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The Last Will and Testament of David ap Rees ap Jevan Athro
From “Radnorshire Wills,” abstracted by E.J.L. Cole
Published in Radnorshire Society Transactions, Volume 53, 1983, page 70-71
Translated by Larry P. James, 2011

“£” = pound;
“s” = shilling;
“d” = pence;
“ap” = Welsh for “son of”;
“vz” = Welsh for “daughter of”;
“woir” or “owir” = Welsh for “grandchild”;
“tir” = Welsh for “land”;
“kine” = Welsh for “cow”;
“y” or “yr” = Welsh for “the”.

     Below is the last will and testament of David ap Rees ap Jevan yr Athro Hen ap Gruffud, the great grandfather of David James (circa 1660-1739) of Llandegley & Glascwm Parishes of Radnorshire, Wales.  James ap David, the son of David ap Rees identified in this last will and testament. is the progenitor of the James family of Llandegley & Glascwm.  This document marks the first appearance of James ap David in the known records of Radnorshire.  Many relatives are mentioned in this document which sets forth the genesis of several families including the James, Davies, Lewis, John and Meredith families of Landegley.  The clan’s ancient historic lands are referred to as the “The Soith” or “The South” owing to the fact that the family are the descendants of Lord Ieuan yr Athro Hen ap Gruffydd of Denbighshire, Wales who lived circa 1330 on an estate further north called Plas Einion in the Parish of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd.  The lands referred to as The Soith are located in the hills surrounding Llandegley and were once claimed as the exclusive hunting grounds of Roger Mortimer, the Earl of March described by E.J.L. Cole in his 1946 essay entitled The Castles of Maelienydd, and in later times referred to as “Coed Swydd, the hill on which the Pales Meeting House stands, about 1½ miles to the north of Llandegley.”  The text in standard format is from the original abstract prepared by E.J.L. Cole.  The text is italic are translations from the Welsh language for ease of interpretation.

14 February 1583 in the 26th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the 1st

I, David ap Rees ap Jevan Athro of Llandegley, County of Radnor, sick; soul to God; body to Llandegley church,

to poor men’s box 12d;

to catholic Church at. St Davids 4d;

to son Jevan ap David tenement [farm] called Tir [Land of] David ap Rees ap Jevan Here in a place called Y [The] Soith in Llandegley, which I purchased on condition Of redemption of said David ap Rees ap Jevn Here;

to John ap David my youngest son 1 parcel arable & meadow called Rosse yr Heole [The Hidden (heole) Moor (rosse)] in Llanvihangell Kevenllis which I purchased of Howell ap Rees ap Howell on condition Of redemption;

to said Jevan ap David 2 steers 3 years old at May next, 1 black 1 brown;

to son Lewes 1 pyed [“pied” or “milking”] black cow & 2 sheep;

to John ap David 4 wild mares & 1 yearling colt, 1 black cow, 10 sheep;

to Catheringe vz [daughter of] Morgan spinster 2 kine, 1 heifer, 1 cow calf in custody of David ap Gllm & 10 sheep, 1 red yearling bullock;

to Katherine vz [daughter of] David my eldest daughter 1 mare white & 2 kine, 1 black 1 plewed red;

to Katherin vz [daughter of] Lluis my woire [granddaughter] 1 black cow;

to Lewis ap M’dithe [Meredith] my owir [grandson] 1 brown cow;

to James Greffethe my owir [grandson] 4 sheep;

to Ellen vz [daughter of] Lluis spinster 1 yearling heifer, 2 sheep;

to Meredith ap Greffith my woir [grandson] 1 black yearling heifer;

to daughter. Katherin 2 ewes;

to son James ap David £4 on my exors [executors]; if he dies before payment to be divided between Jevan ap David, Lluis ap David, John ap David my sons;

to Rees ap John my cousen 1 wheather;

rest of goods to Greffeth ap David my eldest son (exor) [executor];

overseers:  tutors etc:  James ap Jevan ap Greffethe, Lluis David ap Lluis, M’edd ap John & John ap Jevan Phillipp;

Witness:  Phellipp ap Jevn ap Jevn, Howell ap Rees ap Howell & Rees John;

Debts due on testator:  to Jevan ap John by bond £6 13s 4d, Howell Phellipp 4s; Jevan ap Griffiths 33s 4d; David ap Jevan Here 6s 8d, Meredith ap John £3, Phillipp’e ap Jevan ap Jevan 4s 4d;

Inventory:  11 kine each 13s 4d; 4 oxen each 20s; 1 heifer 10s; 2 yearling heifers each 5s; 2 steers each 7s; 40 yearling sheep or hoggs each 2s; 3 wild mares each 13s 4d; 2 yearling colts each 5s; 1 horse 20s; householdstuff…; corn in barn & fields 40s.  

Proved:  28 April 1584.