National Library of Wales

Anwyl Family Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 ANWYL

Held at:

Title: Anwyl Family Papers

Short title: Anwyl family, papers

Dates of creation: 1848-1983

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.108 cubic metres (11 boxes, 2 rolls, 2 walking sticks)

Name of creator(s): Anwyl family of Chester and Pontypridd


Administrative and biographical history: The Anwyls of Chester and Pontypridd can be traced to the Anwyls of Caerwys who still resided in Caerwys in 1816 when Edward Anwyl was born. Like his father John, he was a weaver. In 1841 Edward had a son John 'Ioan Anwyl' (1841-1921), born at Chester. When Edward died the whole family moved to Chester. John married Ellen in 1863 and had five children. He was a deacon at his local church, and also served as Church secretary. He also preached at local Welsh churches, and was the Chairman of the Flint and Denbigh 'Undeb' in 1904. In 1906, they moved to Pontypridd, so that they could assist John Anwyl who lived there.
The first son, Edward, was educated at Oriel and Mansfield College, Oxford. In 1892, he was appointed Professor of Welsh at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He played a leading role in many of the College's activities, and also acted as a member of the Central Welsh Board of Secondary Education in Wales. He was knighted in 1911. The second son, Hugh W. Anwyl, became Headmaster of the Council School, Corwen, where he married Winifred Jones in 1897. He died in 1916. The third son, William Anwyl (1870-1952), was an engineer in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. He married in 1899 and had a daughter, Ellen Catherine Anwyl (b. 1902). The only daughter of John and Ellen, Catherine Miriam (1871-1953) cared for her mother, and also her blind brother. She worked for the British Women's Temperance Association in Chester and Pontypridd.
The Rev. John Bodfan Anwyl (1875-1949) became a Congregational minister, receiving his first appointment at Elim chapel, Carmarthen in 1899. However, following an illness he became deaf and later took on the post of Superintendent of the Deaf and Dumb Mission at Pontypridd in 1904. He edited many editions of Spurrell's Welsh-English Dictionary .


Scope and content: The archive includes papers and letters of members of the Anwyl family of Chester, 1848-1983, including letters to Sir Edward Anwyl, Welsh scholar.


Language/script: English , Welsh

System of arrangement: Arranged by papers of individual family members followed by miscellaneous family papers and memorabilia

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright laws apply

Finding aids: A hard copy of the schedule is in NLW Minor Lists & Summaries, 1987, pp. 3-9, available at NLW and HMC. An online catalogue can be accessed from

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records donated to NLW have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Ellen Catherine Anwyl of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, July 1986.


Related units of description: Family photographs are National Library of Wales, Special Collections, PE 4977. A photocopy of Ellen Catherine Anwyl's typescript history of the Anwyl family and of her recollections of her life over eighty years is NLW Facs 615, 622, and a copy of Lawson, Anwyl & Anwyl-Davies, The Anwyl families, vol. I is NLW ex 486. The bulk of John Bodfan Anwyl's papers are Bodfan Anwyl Papers at the National Library of Wales.


Note: Title supplied from content of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Mair James.
The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Griffith, John Edwards, Pedigrees of Anglesey & Carnarvonshire Families , (Horncstle,1914); Anwyl, Ellen Catherine, 'History of the Anwyl Family of Chester and Pontypridd' (NLW Facs 615).

Rules or conventions: This description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) Second Edition; AACR2; and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: April 2001



Anwyl family, | of Chester and Pontypridd | Archives

Personal names

Anwyl family, of Chester and Pontypridd

Anwyl, E. (Edward), 1866-1914

Corporate names