Tregare is an ancient parish on the Northern border of the Raglan hundred of Monmouthshire
in southeast Wales. It is bisected by the old coaching road from Abergavenny to Monmouth
and two of the original coach houses, now converted into residential properties ,
remain in the village.
It can be established so far that the George Family originated in Tregare Monmouthshire,
with the birth of Thomas George in 1613. Church records prior to that dates are mainly
written in Latin and my knowledge of Latin is so limited it might as well not exist.
Even if it was of a reasonable standard the handwriting of these records by the Church
officials are abominable and deciphering would be extremely in accurate
My brother, David together with his son, Derek , and Derek’s daughter, Gemma and
myself Allen began searching on the internet for the family roots and that was the
beginning of a 12 month session of investigation.
My father, Evan George was the youngest member of Edwin George and Ann George’s family
and he had six bothers and three sisters who were all born in Tregare between 1886
and 1909. They were rather a large family compared with present day families and
as far as we can ascertain all went to Tregare School and lived in a small cottage
on West Road Tregare known as Rose Cottage and my father was the last member of that
family to attend Tregare School.
My father appeared to have only introduced David and I to certain members of his
family for reasons known only to him, and we were quite surprised to discover that
we had more uncles and cousins than we first realised. He spoke very little of Tregare
accept that he mentioned numerous times that many of the family was buried there
in Tregare Churchyard. We were never taken to Tregare church although I myself had
attended services in the church in the 1950’s when I was in my late teens. How I
did not notice the avenue of grave stones of The George Family, which are situated
immediately outside the church porch, remains a mystery accept to say that I remember
my mind being concentrated on more important matters at that time.
During our research David and I decided to visit the church yard and it was then
that we found the grave stones which were almost un- readable. We decided to revisit
the grave yard at a later date armed with a wire brush, scraper and trowel, thus
enabling us to read the details on the stones.
On our second visit to the church yard we were both busy at work deciphering the
grave stones when two ladies appeared watching what we were doing. One of the ladies
remarked that she hoped we were not digging any one up. A conversation struck up
and I remarked that our task would be easier if we could look at the church records.
The elder of the ladies said that she had the church records at her home. She turned
out to be the Church warden, Mrs. Cissy Cowles and she invited David and me to The
Arthur Farm Tregare. David and I duly arrived the next day and all the records she
had were on the Kitchen Table and she kindly helped us through the records and provided
us with tea and freshly baked cakes .We spent an enjoyable afternoon and came away
with much information both past and present. Thus our family Tree began to grow.
Mrs. Cowles informed us that we could find more parish records at the county library
On my next visit to Usk we visited the Tregare church yard again and discovered the
last George grave where our grandfather Edwin George and grandmother Ann George are
laid to rest. We discovered the grave by accident as it was overgrown by grass and
was not in a very good state. The concrete top of the grave had split and protruding
some three feet into the air. It did not look good and was in need of urgent renovation.
David and I decided to put things in better order and revisited next day armed with
pick axe and sledge hammer we set about putting things in order. We of coarse obtained
permission from Mrs Cowles whose husband‘s grave is situated next to the grave; it
now looks more in keeping with the rest of the church yard and nothing like the eyesore
it had become. The next day David and I visited the library at Cwmbran and read various
records including The Tregare School records consisting of the attendance records
and punishment records. Both were very revealing, especially the punishment records
which described in full detail how the punishments were administered.
We finished our quest at Cwmbran Library and we decided to visit our cousin Glenys
who is the daughter of my father’s brother. A branch of the family my father had
introduced us to and she revealed to us that her son had done quite some work on
the George family records. I contacted him by Email and he introduced me to Amanda
Gharu who I telephoned. Amanda introduced me to her father Graham George.
Things were now gathering pace as it turned out that Graham’s Grandfather, Enoch
George was a brother of my father. Neither David nor I could ever remember our father
ever mentioning he had a brother named Enoch Finding Graham was a revelation him
not only being a second cousin but a Genealogist and he had done much research into
the George Family. By this time David and I had done much Internet research and
had found many leads pertaining to the George Family but the difficulty was connecting
them into the tree. Graham lived in London but still owned property in Monmouthshire
and frequently visited South Wales.
A meeting was arranged and Graham and his wife Valarie called into David’s on their
next visit. We had a very good reunion culminating with dinner at the Hall Inn at
Gwehelog. Graham supplied us with information needed for David and I to fit our Church
records and Internet leads into the tree. He also provided us with photocopies of
a Will made by Elizabeth George who was the daughter of Thomas George born in Tregare
in 1613 and the beginning of our tree. Elizabeth, being unmarried unlike married
women was thus able at that time to make a Will. The Will makes interesting reading,
a copy of which is included in the Documents section of this site.
The Family Tree ends with David’s grandson ,Alexander David George, who is the son
of Nigel George and Vanessa the latest addition to the family in 2008 The span of
the tree is almost 400 years and will I am sure continue.
The church of St. Mary is an ancient building of stone in the Early English style,
consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and a western tower containing 5 bells:
the chancel retains an ancient piscina; the stone steps and doorway formerly leading
to the rood loft still exist; and there are mural tablets to the Wysome family: the
church was restored in 1888 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and has 100 sittings.
The register dates from the year 1751. The living is a vicarage, net income £150
with 7 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff
and held since 1877 by the Rev. William Evans, of St. Aidans. Charities amounting
to £31 yearly are distributed in bread and money.