Cilcennin is a village situated in the heart of the Aeron valley, some five miles from Aberaeron, and one mile north-east of Ciliau Aeron, in Ceredigion, West Wales. The village has a parish church, the Holy Trinity, and a chapel, Capel Seion, and a strong sense of community that is evidenced by the Cilcennin Community Website.
Holy Trinity churchyard is home to a granite memorial to the men of the area who fell during both world wars.
There are several walks in the area and the Aberaeron to Lampeter Trail passes close to the village as it meanders through the valley of the River Aeron.
For the less energetic, there is a short circular walk from the village through woodlands and fields, including some ancient tracks, to the riverside “Secret Garden” on the banks of the River Aeron. An abundance of flora and fauna can be discovered along the way and the trail leads through Blaen Camel Farm, an organic farm, which stands alongside its own stream, Nant Camel.
Historically Cilcennin is known as the scene of a slaughter committed in 1210 by Rhys and Owain ab Grufydd, who, with three hundred chosen men, defeated a superior body of English (or Norman) and Welsh troops, under the command of their uncle Maelgwyn.
It was many years later when Cilcennin again made a mark in the history books, when the 1818 Welsh, as they became known, emigrated from the district to settle in Ohio in the USA.
Indeed, between 1818 and 1850 over 3,000 from the rural villages of central Ceredigion left Wales to settle in America.
John Jones (Tirbach), an elder or patriarch of the Welsh settlement of Jackson and Gallia (0hio), and his wife Eleanor, were natives of Cilcennin Parish, Cardiganshire, (as it was then known) Wales. With two unmarried children, two married daughters, and their families, they emigrated to America in April 1818. David their elder son came over later.
They took a ship at Liverpool and were eight weeks less one day, on the ocean, landing at Baltimore on the first day of July; from thence to Pittsburgh by wagon, then to Gallipolis by raft where their boat was partially wrecked. Eventually, they, with three other families from the same Parish, settled in what was then Raccoon Township, Gallia County, OH, later becoming part of Madison Township, Jackson County, Ohio. Thus they became the founders of the famous Welsh settlement of Jackson and Gallia.
John Jones is also known as John Jones Ship having kept a tavern in Wales under the sign of a painted ship in full sail. Tirbach is Welsh for Little Land or Small Farm.
Nicknames based on one's address or work are a proud tradition in Wales. Indeed they could be called a necessity to distinguish between all the Joneses and Williamses Robertses and Evanses in the population. Source: "The Family Tree of John Jones," Virgil H. Evans, Oak Hill Public Library - Oak Hill, OH.