Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , THOMAS GRIFFITHS ( Cyffin ; 1834 - 1884 ), antiquary ,

son of David and Elizabeth Jones ; was b. at Llansantffraid, Mont. 12 Jan. 1834 . His father, a shopkeeper , d. when he was 14 and he carried on the business until his own death, 10 Sept. 1884 . Since he had received very little schooling, owing to ill-health, he undertook to educate himself by extensive reading and writing. He took great delight in collecting books and manuscripts , and was keenly interested in the folk-lore, native idiom, traditions, and antiquities of Wales , and especially those of his own district. It is said he collected a mass of material on the history of the Quakers in Montgomeryshire . He was a frequent contributor to Welsh periodicals , sometimes using the pen-name Cyffin , and in later years ‘ Gypt ’ and ‘ Borderer .’ He was an accomplished penillion -singer. In the summer of 1861 he succeeded in founding the Powys Cymreigyddion society , and became its first president . When the Powysland club was formed he became an active member, and contributed to the Mont. Coll. He was a Nonconformist (Independent) and a Liberal . He m., 7 Feb. 1871 , Mary Anna , daughter of Samuel Pryce , Gwern-y-pant ; they had six children.


  • Eminent Welshmen: a short biographical dictionary of Welshmen ... from the earliest times to the present (1908) ;
  • Montgomeryshire Worthies (1894) ;
  • Collections Historical and Archaeological relating to Montgomeryshire , iv, 75-168, x, 359-78, xi, 61-124, 285-316, xii, 297-308, xiii, 311-32, xiv, 345-54;
  • Y Geninen , 1883 (75), 1884 (236-8), 1885 (62-3).


Dr Enid Pierce Roberts, M.A., D.Litt., Bangor

Published date: 1959