“Mamgu” was born Catherine Thomas in Gilfach Goch “Rhondda” Glamorgan in 1869, and was a daughter of William and Catherine Thomas (nee Phillips). Her father William was born in 1833 at St. Mary Hill in the Vale of Glamorgan and, in the census of 1851, he was a single farm servant of Bryn-cwtyn Pencoed (Nr. Bridgend Glam.). By the time of the next census he had got married and he and his wife Catherine were living at Llewellyns Row Llanharry. There was about a nine year age gap between the couple; Catherine was born in 1841/42 just up the road from St. Mary Hill, in Llanblethian near Cowbridge. In this 1861 census, William was still an agricultural labourer and his wife was described as a dress maker. Catherine’s birthplace of Llanblethian is today a highly exclusive village, and it was here that their son John was born in 1865. By 1871 the family had moved to Gilfach Goch, inbetween the Ogmore and Rhondda Valley’s. The first pit had opened there in 1868, and not surprisingly William had swapped the “land” for the coalface. It was whilst living here that Mamgu and her older sister, Mary Jane (1867), were born. It was all change for Mamgu by the next census of 1881, she was now living with her widowed nan, Mary Phillips, who was an inn keeper! Mary was born in Llanharry in 1815 and her “tafarn” was The Globe Inn at Cowbridge. People who knew Mamgu later on in her life would probably find it hard to imagine her living in a pub!
Mamgu became part of the Moses family on August 30th 1890, when she married Gwilym Moses at Pontypridd Registry Office. It is not known how the couple met; according to the marriage certificate Mamgu was now living in Ynysybwl, whilst Gwilym gave his place of residence as Porth Cwm Rhondda. Mamgu’s devout Christian faith was certainly tested to the limit during her lifetime; widowed in her mid-fifties and with two of her daughter-in-laws dying young, she was probably helping to bring up her grandchildren well into her eighties.