Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Danzy Jones is a whisky liqueur named after its originator, a Builth stonemason, and seemingly sold until the 1940s in the town's Fountain Inn. The recipe has recently been revived by Danzy's grandson and is now sold in Harrods, although presumably not to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Like most Builth achievements there's a Radnorshire twist to the tale, since Danzy's father was from Aberedw and, although born in Maesmynis, Danzy himself was brought up in Llanfaredd. But hey, would I want to take anything away from Builth? Certainly not! I'm more interested in the forename Danzy, variously spelt Danzey, Danzie, Dansey, Dansy etc. etc.

If you were looking for a name that could only come from Radnorshire you could do worse than hit upon, say, Danzey Bufton. Although in truth the name is found mainly in the old Radnorshire family, the Sheens. Where there's a Dansey you'll more often than not find a Sheen somewhere in the family tree. A pity that notorious Radnorian murderer and Spitalfields bully Bill Sheen didn't carry the forename, who knows, one of Dickens' most famous characters might have been a Dansey.

The origins of the forename in Radnorshire probably date back to a marriage in Glasgwm in the first decade of the 18C between a Maria Dauntsey and a Thomas Sheen. They had a grandson christened Dantesy and the name, in it's numerous spelling variations, soon found favour in the Colwyn Hundred.

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