Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , DAVID ( 1834 - 1890 ), Wallington , Surrey , local historian and genealogist .

Born 28 May 1834 , at Llanblethian, Glam. , the only child of Thomas Jones , maltster , and Hannah , his wife. He was educated at a private school at Cowbridge and after leaving Llanblethian and residing at various places in England he finally settled, in 1875 , at Wallington . From that time until 1879 he seems to have held a responsible position as a clerk with Campbell, Shearer and Co. , merchants , in the city of London ; but by the end of the latter year he was able to retire and thereafter almost all his time was devoted to historical research . He d., unmarried, on 11 July 1890 , and was buried in his mother's grave at Beddington , Surrey .

On account of the scope and thoroughness of his researches — and despite the fact that he published nothing beyond a few articles in various periodicals and newspapers — David Jones is regarded as one of our chief authorities on the post-mediaeval history of Glamorgan . During his retirement he worked indefatigably in the London libraries and record repositories; and during periodical visits to Glam. , he made abstracts of hundreds of Llandaff wills, made sketches of all the parish churches and many other historic buildings , copied all the older inscriptions in the churches and churchyards and made extensive extracts from such records as parish registers and the remarkable diary kept by the schoolmaster William Thomas ( 1727 - 1795 ) . The value of his transcripts and abstracts is greatly enhanced by the detailed indexes which he prepared, and in some respects his collections cover a far wider field than the county of Glamorgan itself. At Somerset House , e.g. he made abstracts of every Welsh will down to 1650 and every South Wales will down to 1700 . Under the terms of his own will his Welsh collections passed to Illtyd B. Nicholl , The Ham , Llantwit Major , and half a century later Nicholl presented the greater portion of them to Cardiff City Library , where the numerous letters which David Jones wrote to T. C. Evans ( Cadrawd ) are also preserved. A much smaller portion is included with the Llanmaes manuscripts at the National Library of Wales .


  • David Jones 's manuscripts in Cardiff City Library;
  • Western Mail , 15 July 1890 ;
  • G. J. Williams , Traddodiad Llenyddol Morgannwg (1948) , 317;
  • Archaeologia Cambrensis , 1892 , 81;
  • information given to the City Librarian of Cardiff by Mr. Illtyd B. Nicholl , the borough librarian of Beddington and Wallington, and the librarian of the Guildhall library, London.


Thomas James Hopkins, (1919-87), Cardiff

Published date: 1959