The Cynefin project is digitising 19th Century Welsh Tithe maps and making them available online for all to access. These maps, dating from the 1840s, have documents attached naming the landowners and land occupiers in Wales at that time, and show us the exact location of their farms and fields.
Many of the people found on these maps and documents later emigrated to other countries, or had relatives who had already emigrated, mostly due to the difficult living conditions in Wales at the time. One of the most popular countries that the Welsh emigrated to was the USA, and many subsequently took part in the American Civil War.
One of the Welshmen who fought in the American Civil War was John Griffith Jones who was born in 1843. He can be linked to the family farm of his grandfather, also John Jones, of Bryn y Fedwen, Llanrug. The cynefin.wales website gives us a direct link between John Jones himself, the name of the farm and land which he occupied, and the location of the farm and land on the tithe map. The tithe map can also be overlaid with other modern and historic maps for comparison.
John Griffith Jones’ story is told through the Welsh letters he wrote to his family during the American Civil War. His letters have been digitised and can be seen online on the National Library of Wales‘s website.
Many others who emigrated from Wales can also be traced on Welsh tithe maps. The information from these tithe maps will be fully searchable online once the documents have been transcribed by volunteers.
You can help make this fascinating resource freely available online by contributing to the Cynefin crowdsourcing website.