Rural Carmarthenshire

The northern slopes of the Black Mountain around Llanddeusant in Carmarthenshire were owned and farmed by the Evans family for more than 300 years.  Their line goes back to Rees Evan (d 1722), “Yeoman of ye parish of Llanddoysant in ye county of Carmarthen” (read his will hereand to Phillip George who died in 1746. Gorsddu was farmed by the family until the retirement in the 1950s of John Evans (1897-1964) and his sister Myra (1903-1987).

Ann Evans nee Davies outside Tybrych in Llanddeusant with her daughter Jane

Daniel Evans (1829-1911) married Anne Davies (1824-1923), a servant at Blaensawdde. It was there, according to the legend of Llyn-y-fan Fach, that a farmer fell in love with the fairy maiden in the lake. She gave birth to three sons, the Physicians of Myddfai, before returning to the water after her husband struck her three times.

Daniel and Anne’s daughter Catherine (1873-1962) married John Herbert Evans (1868-1933) whose father Griffith Evans (1830-1914) had been a toll collector at the New Lodge Inn in the Twyi valley on the road between Nantgaredig and Porthyrhyd. It was one of the places attacked during the Rebecca Riots which swept through South West Wales between 1839 and 1842.

Y Polyn today

According to the family, The New Lodge Inn was also known as Hen Tafarn Y Polyn because unusually a pole blocked the road instead of a gate. Local people remembered a toll board on the wall of the bar. The Polyn was in the family for three generations, run first by William Evans (b 1804) then his daughters Elizabeth (b 1833), Sarah (b 1837) and Ester (b 1839).   The pub was taken over by his grandson John Herbert Evans (1868-1933) on his retirement from his welding business in Llanelli.  Family papers show it was sold in 1938 for £400 by his brother William Valentine Evans (1881-1967).

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