Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MORGAN , JOHN JENKYN (‘ Glanberach ’; 1875 - 1961 ); local historian and essayist ;

b. at Bodist Isaf , Glanaman, Carms. , 10 Aug. 1875 , s. of Jenkin and Angharad Morgan . He was educ. at Brynlloi British school , Glanaman , but began working in Mynydd pit , Cwmaman , when he was 12. He later worked in the Raven tinplate works Glanaman until his retirement in 1930 . He m. Harriet , dau. of Thomas and Sarah Jones , Brynlloi shop , Glanaman , 5 Oct. 1901 . She d. 25 Nov. 1956 at a service in Bryn Seion chapel , Glanaman : she was a sister of the ministers , W. Glasnant Jones , Dafydd G. Jones and E. Aman Jones . They had 4 children.

In an underprivileged age J.J. Morgan took advantage of every opportunity to develop his abilities. He was a cultured man and through his close friendship with Richard Williams (‘ Gwydderig ’, DWB , 1066-7) he became a keen follower of eisteddfodau and won many prizes, mainly for essays and handbooks of local history. He became a member of the Gorsedd of Bards at Llanelli in 1895 adopting the name Glanberach . He competed regularly at the national eisteddfod and was a sharp critic of adjudicators , especially if they were ‘college people’. He gained prizes at the eisteddfodau in Ammanford ( 1922 ), Swansea ( 1926 ), Holyhead ( 1927 ), Denbigh ( 1939 ), Llanrwst ( 1951 ), Pwllheli ( 1955 ): some of these compositions are in the National Library . He was one of the Presidents of the Day at the Bridgend National Eisteddfod in 1948 and he was the oldest member of the Gorsedd following the death of Elfed ( H. Elvet Lewis , see above ) in 1953 . He broadcast frequently and wrote articles on local history to Welsh periodicals . He collected a large library of material relating to the Amman valley and the surrounding area and he was active in every cultural movement in the district. He was secretary of the children's eisteddfod during the ministry of Rhys J. Huws ( DWB , 401-2) in Bryn Seion chapel , Glanaman , a church in whose foundation he played a prominent part; he was librarian and secretary of the miners' reading-room in Glanaman . He published Cofiant John Foulkes Williams ( 1906 ), and Hanner canrif o hanes Bryn Seion, Glanaman, 1907-1957 ( 1957 ). He d. at his home in Brynlloi , Glanaman , 18 May 1961 and was buried in Hen Fethel Cemetery , Cwmaman .

Sources:

  • A. T. Davies , Crwydro Sir Gâr , Llandybie, 1955 (1955) , 285;
  • Y Tyst , 8 June 1961 ;
  • personal information.

Author:

Dr Huw Walters, F.S.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001