Some background notes about the Tithes and Tithe maps
The names of farms and fields which accompany the 1840 Tithe maps are referred to as ‘Tithe schedules’ are listed in parishes, and farms are usually grouped according to owners. Tenants are also named. These details are also of interest to family historians.
The Tithe maps as seen on the website are rough, working documents which were used during research. Each farm is coloured for convenience. Field names were entered on the maps to make them easier to study. In the case of some parishes, for example, Llanfihangel-y-traethau, the numbers of the fields are difficult to read. In Llandanwg parish, the names in the schedules are often indistinct, and difficult to read even under ultra-violet light. Recording 14,000 field names by hand was time-consuming and, inevitably, choices had to be made between expediency and elegance. We hope this will not prove a difficulty.
Unfortunately, four out of 14 parishes in Ardudwy, do not have records of field names. This is a tragedy since the Tithe lists are useful benchmarks. The four parishes are, Maentwrog, Ffestiniog, Llanfothen (and the township of Nantmor) and Llanelltud.
The project is trying to address this gap in knowledge by supporting groups and individuals who are recording names which are still in the local memory. They are also recording field names found in sale catalogues onto OS paper maps. Most of these catalogues date to around the beginning of the 20 century.
The work of these volunteers is of the utmost importance. Social changes and the sale of farms severs family connections and with it, the memory of field names.
We have asked our website designer to enable us, in time, to add these names to the Ordnance Survey maps on our website. This will compensate for the lack of Tithe maps in all four parishes. This means that the work of the volunteers attains even more value and we have a record for the future.
It will also enable us to apply the research methods used in the 10 parishes to find out more about our cultural and history landscape in the remaining four parishes.