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For most of the 19th century, Upper Cwmhir was occupied by various Williams’.

At the time of the 1831 Land Tax Assessment, a William Williams was in residence. He was assessed for a £1 yearly rental on the property.

1841 census

In 1841, the residents were William Williams, aged “20” Occupation “Ind” and born in Monmouthshire. There was also an Elizabeth Williams, aged “50” also born in Monmouthshire and a William Jones aged 10, an Agricultural labourer and a William “ditto” aged “20” born outside of Monmouthshire a M S (male servant). I assume that Elizabeth was William’s mother.

With the sparseness of detail, it is not easy to be sure about exactly which Williams’ and Jones these were. These are such common names.

Williams’ were still in residence in later censuses:

1851 census

In 1851 we still see that Williams’ were still in residence - an older William Williams, a 78 year old widower, born in Glascoed who was a farmer. He may well have been the same William Williams who appeared on the 1831 Land Tax Assessment, although this is a bit of an assumption. Here we see that Upper Cwmhir was not a large farm by any means - he only farmed 8 acres.

His daughter in law, Mary Williams (aged 28) - born Panteg - was living there and in obvious poverty. She was in receipt of parish relief, along with her two daughters, Harriet (aged 6) and Eliza (aged 4), both of whom had been born in Glascoed. It is not clear who their father (by now deceased) was.

In 1856, the Usk Observer reported that one of William’s

1861 census

On the 1861 census, the farm is called “Lower Cwmare” - although since Upper Cwmare is not on this census and Lower Cwmare appears twice, I have assumed that this is the same . William Williams, born Glascoed aged 48 is now the farmer. I believe that this is likely to be the William Williams, baptised in Monkswood on 21st March 1813, son of the Glascoed residents, William and Elizabeth Williams. This William had at least two siblings, Sarah (baptised on 20th Jan 1811 at Monkswood - who later married William Rowland) and David (baptised 10th Sept 1815 at Monkswood - who later farmed at Manachty farm, Monkswood).

Also living at the house in 1861 were Mary Ann (William’s wife) aged 50 born in Glascoed. I believe that the house’s entry on this census was:

29 Lower Cwmare

William Williams Head Married 48   Farmer Monmouthshire Glascoed

Mary Ann Williams Wife Married   50 Farmer's wife Monmouthshire Glascoed

Margaret Williams Dau Unmarried   14   Monmouthshire Glascoed

Jamima Williams Dau     12   Monmouthshire Glascoed

 Elizabeth Williams Dau     8   Monmouthshire Glascoed


1871 census

40 Upper Cwmare William Williams Head Mar 58  Agricultural labourer Glascoed Mon

  Mary ann Williams Wife Mar  60 Labourers wife Glascoed Mon

  Elizabeth Williams Dau unmar  18 Scholar Glascoed Mon

  Leonard Williams Nephew - 12  - Llanvrechva Upper Mon Imbecile


1881 census

13 Upper Cwmare William Williams Head Married 68   Farmer Monmouthshire Glascoed  

    Mary ann Williams Wife Married   70   Monmouthshire Glascoed Blind

    Elizabeth Williams Daughter Unmarried   26   Monmouthshire Glascoed  

    Alice Margaret Williams Granddaughter     9   Monmouthshire Glascoed  

 1891 census

8. Upper Cwmare William Williams Head Widower 78   Farmer     x Monmouthshire Glascoed   Both

    Alice Williams Grandaughter Single   19 Housekeeper for grandfather       Monmouthshire  Glascoed    English

9. William Stoneham Lodger Single 23   Labourer at steel works    x Monmouthshire Shirenewton   English


1901 census

14 Upper Cwmhir (4 rooms)

William Stoneham Head Married 32   Plate layer on Railway Worker   Monmouth Shirenewton    English

 Alice Stoneham Wife Married   28       Monmouth Glascoed   English

Louisa Stoneham Daughter     8       Monmouth Glascoed   English

William Stoneham Son   5         Monmouth Glascoed   English


 1911 census:

15 Upper Cwmhir Cottage (4 rooms)

William Stoneham Head 42  Married     Brickmaking Little Mill Brick Co. Worker  Shirnewton Mon - English

Alice Stoneham Wife  38 Married 19 2 2 -     Glascoed Mon - English

Louisa Stoneham Daughter  18 Single     Dress maker  Own account At home Glascoed  Mon - English

William Stoneham Son 15       Brick making Little Mill Brick Co. Worker  Glascoed Mon - English

Upper Cwmhir is situated at the end of Cwmhir Road, which winds up to the north of the village from Jerusalem Lane if you are approaching from New Inn.

It’s near neighbour is rather predictably, Lower Cwmhir (also marked on this map).