Lost Email Contacts

I have recently moved house and, unfortunately, the hard drive containing all my emails and email contacts got damaged in transit. As yet I have not been able to find my most recent backup.

If you have made contact at any time over the last ten years or so could you please email me and let me know about your interest in The Williams Family Tree.

Posted in Family Tree, Information | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.


Much has happened since the last post on this blog – including my retirement from work. Yes, my shift is over and I can concentrate more on The Williams Family Tree. Or so I thought! Isn’t retirement fun? You can go anywhere, do anything, at anytime. Loving it!

We have, however, decided to move house and so a lot of my time has been spent sorting out, throwing out, and getting tired out! Lot and lots of paperwork has been scanned and/or re-downloaded and entered into the Tree. The poor old shredder has been given a hard time as it has been in almost daily making packing material from hundreds of census returns and other documents that are no longer needed.

Of course, nothing is ever simple! As I was doing all this I was also updating the records that went with the documents as well as looking at information other people have sent to me. This is one battle that will never be won as more cousins connect and share their research for which I am truly grateful. Please keep it coming.

On a very sad note, our aunt, Irene aka Rene, passed away in November. She will be sadly missed. Our hearts and thoughts are with the family. Bye Rene, you will never be forgotten.


Auntie Rene celebrating her 96th birthday


My Mom’s sister, Rene, the last of the Ellis girls.

It’ always difficult when a loved one passes away, especially one so full of fun as Rene. A sad reminder to us all that we only spend a short time on this planet so make the most of it.

I have spent a lot of time updating the website lately and hopefully the site will remain after I am gone. I have attempted to ensure that all the photos are correctly displayed and all other images are viewable. Time is again the problem here as new information is constantly coming my way, be it from family, contacts, or new sources on the internet. Trying to keep up with it all is fun but hard work. Below is a list of just some of the surnames that have been added or updated in the last few months. As ever I am always grateful for all the information I have been sent.

Adams, Amatt, Anthony, Bagg, Bedson, Blackbourn, Boon, Borders, Boseley, Bowler, Boxall, Brodie, Brooks, Carter, Chalk, Clowes, Cook, Cowley, Cowpe, Crossley, Davies, Davis, East, Edwards, Everitt, Ferrar, Foster, Gerrard, Gover, Grant, Guilford, Hair, Halliday, Hammond, Hawkswell, Hill, Hillsley, Hodson, Holmes, Hulse, Jacombs, Jarvis, Jones, Jones, Kilburn, kirk, Kybird, Lake, Lord, Lunn, Lysons, Maides, Major, Marcus, Marshall, Matcham, Matthews, McKillop, McQueen, Middlewick, Milledge, Morris, Neal, Neild, Norris, Norton, Palmer, Parsons, Payne, Phillips, Plumhoff, Prosser, Randall, Renshaw, Richardson, Ricketts, Stevens, Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Thorpe, Thrum, Tolchard, Truslove, Walker, Wallwork, Watret, Wells, Wheatley, White, Wilkinson, Williams, Willoughby, Wood, Wright

Posted in Family Tree, News | Leave a comment

Where does the time go?

The 1939 Register on FindMyPast is now included if you have, or take out, a 12 month subscription. There have been many comments about the previously outrageous cost of looking at the register but it seems that FindMyPast have relented and now I have full access at no extra cost. Wonderful!

January 2016 started off with a look at the family of Arthur Thomas Rowlands, a well known figure in Aberdyfi. This was prompted by a photograph of Liverpool House showing Gwennie Evans (later O’Keefe), our first cousin once removed.

Liverpool House about 1912; X Auntie Gwennie

Liverpool House about 1912; X Auntie Gwennie

At the time of the picture, Liverpool House was owned by Edward L. Rowlands and I wanted to see whether there was any family connection. Arthur Rowlands married Vera Grace Davey, the sister of Cyril Francis Davey who married Jesse Evans. Jesse and the Williams Four (David, Susan, Lyn and myself) share the same great grandfather, Captain Owen Williams.

It turns out that Arthur’s father, John, was from Corris and his mother, Martha Ellen, from Berriew. There doesn’t appear to be any relationship to Edward L. Rowlands who was from Llanbrynmair. However, I have been able to add a bit more information about Arthur’s immediate family. And I will be able to add even more from the 1939 Register.

Arthur Thomas Rowlands

Arthur Thomas Rowlands

Out of the blue I received an email from a Sue Gordon (nee Goddard). Sue was born in Leicester and emigrated to Australia with her parents when she was a tennager. She suggested that the Gladys Goddard who married Thomas Haydn Wileman was her grandfather’s sister. Sue’s grandfather was Sidney Goddard. To cut a long story short, she was right. Now there are a bunch more Goddards in The Williams Family Tree – 85, to be exact! The story doesn’t end there though as I have also added Agar/Ager, Stafford, Kirchin, and Corrall to name just a few more surnames of Sue’s relatives.

Finally, for now at least, Claude Norton has been in touch and we have grown a few more twigs on that branch of the family. Claude is related to the Richards and Hoggett side of the family.

My aim over the next few months is to upload all the document images I have gathered over the years and attach them to the relative individuals – pun intended! However, moving house and all that entails may postpone the uploads for a while.


Posted in Family Tree, News | Leave a comment

Cousin John R. Murtaugh

During a recent very brief visit to Aberdyfi, Vickie and I met up with a wonderful young lady, 80 year old Margaret Gwenda Williams – aka Gwenda – the widow of my 2nd cousin once removed, Bernard John Phillips Williams. Gwenda was instrumental in sorting out the connection between the Williams family and John Elfyn Jones for which I am eternally grateful. And thank you Mair for putting me in touch with Gwenda.

In Gwenda’s possession are a number of letters and ‘News Letters’ written by John R. Murtaugh who is my 2nd cousin’s husband’s 2nd cousin once removed. John Murtaugh was researching the history of the Morris family, of which Gwenda is a part. John and Gwenda are 2nd cousins as they are both descendants of James Morris (1838-1908) and Jane Lloyd (1838-1914). Gwenda has very kindly allowed me to borrow these documents and I have been going through them with a fine tooth-comb.

Most of the documents were written in 1996/7 and so we must remember that the World Wide Web was still in its infancy and John didn’t have access to the wealth of information we now have. For instance, in an article entitled “Uncle Richard Stayed Home” he mentions that James Morris’s father, David Morris, was a Sailor whereas, in fact, he was, according to the 1841 Census, a Tailor!

The Richard in the title of the document was the fourth son of James Morris and Jane Lloyd. The question that propmted the article was whether or not Richard went to America with his brothers. According to Gwenda, Richard wanted to marry a young girl from Llanfihangel y Creuddyn and take her to America. Her father said “No, you aren’t going to take my daughter to America”. So Richard went to America but was ill when he arrived and was not allowed to enter the country. He had to return to Wales and in the meantime the girl’s father had died and so Richard married Margaret Anne Howells on 31 August 1892.

Gwenda’s brother, Wyn, suggests that Richard went with his brothers Evan Morris, John Morris and Thomas Morris, along with Evan’s brother-in-law Caleb Davies on the trip to America. However, according to the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, we can see that Richard Morris and Evan Morris travelled with Evan’s brothers-in-law Evan Davies and Caleb Davies and they arrived in New York on 16 April 1888.

New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 for Evan DAVIES (94078)

If my research is correct, Richard and Evan’s brother, John L. Morris, ventured to America four months later and arrived on 4th August 1888.

New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 for John MORRIS (93562)As for brother Thomas, I have not been able to find any indication that he went to America – or anywhere else. He is certainly present in Wales for all the Census Returns between 1871 and 1911. Neither have I been able to find any record of Richard’s return but he obviously did so!

I am very grateful for the research that John Murtaugh has undertaken in his quest to find all of his Morris cousins and I am sure there is a wealth of information that he has gathered over the years. My quest now is to find his living relatives from Portland, Oregon, in the hope that some of the stories and photos that he has been sent are safe and sound somewhere. John was writing a book to be titled “The Morris Story … From Frongoch Fach to ……”. Did this book ever get finished? Does anyone know where I can obtain a copy?

In Volume 15 of The Morris News Letter, dated February 1999, John mentions that he has bought himself a new computer so with any luck he may have digitised some of his work. Is John still alive? He would be 95 now.

What about his children and grandchildren?

Mary Ann (Murtaugh) Brewer, husband Glenn, children Caroline and Paul.
Susan (Murtaugh) Bradshaw, husband Joseph, children Briand and Scott.
John Jeffery Murtaugh, wife Molly, children Graham and Tate.

I have tried contacting a Tate Murtaugh via Facebook but, so far, have not had a reply. If anyone out there is in touch with any of these people please let me know or ask them to contact me (phil@w-f-t.co.uk).

Posted in Family Tree, Information | Leave a comment

It’s Official!

John Elfyn Jones (JEJ), schoolmaster at Tywyn Grammar School (as it was then), was our 2nd cousin once removed. I would like to thank everyone who got involved in the research especially Arwel Pearce, Gwenda Williams and Mair Jones. Mair put me in touch with ‘cousin’ Gwenda who visits John Elfyn’s widow, Marion Washington-Jones, quite often and has supplied some interesting information.

The easiest part of the jigsaw was the marriage between John Elfyn Jones and Marion Washington. From the marriage registrations on Ancestry (ancestry.co.uk) this took place at Haverfordwest in 1962. The next stage was to obtain the marriage certificate which gave me their ages and the names of their fathers. John was aged 33 when he married Marion and his father’s name was John Jones (Retired Forester).

John Elfyn died 3rd March 1996 and the death registration gives his date of birth as 26 April 1929. Armed with this information I tried to find his birth registration. That proved a little difficult as the people at Ancestry don’t know what county Machynlleth is in! It varies between Montgomeryshire and Merionethshire. I knew from information provided by Arwel Pearce that JEJ was born and brought up in and around the villages of Pennal and Cwm-Llinau. So it was a safe bet that his birth was registered in Machynlleth. I finally found it and that gave his mother’s maiden name as Lewis. I sent off for his birth certificate.

Birth Certificate for John Elfyn JONES (93023)

John Elfyn Jones was born 26th April 1929 at Penrhynbach, Cynfalfawr, Pennal, Merionethshire (Penrhynbach was where our great-grandparents lived between 1881 and 1911). His parents were John Jones and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis. The next piece of the puzzle was to find the marriage of his parents. Jones and Lewis are pretty common names and so I needed a little more ammunition. This came again from Arwel who told me that John Elfyn’s father was buried in Cwm-Llinau. Vickie and I happened to spend a day and a half in Aberdyfi recently and we called in at Cwm-Llinau on the way home. We soon found the grave we were looking for (the cemetery is not very big!) and the headstone gave the dates of death and ages of both parents.

Headstone for John Jones (93025) and Sarah Elizabeth Jones (93104) 3

So, when did John and Sarah get married? Assuming they married at a legal age, somewhere between 1902 when Sarah turned 18, and 1929 when John Elfyn was born. Luckily, there were only two marriage registrations to choose from, 1924 and 1927. My instincts told me to go for 1927 and so I sent off for the marriage certificate.

I had already searched my database and found that I already had a John Jones born about 1893, Pennal, who was the son of our great-granduncle Evan Jones (1852-1922). This was a great find as Evan was the son of our great, great grandparents Evan and Gwen Jones. Also, from the 1901 and 1911 census returns for Pennal, great-granduncle Evan Jones was living at Bridge Cottage.

The long-awaited final piece of the jigsaw, the marriage certificate for John Jones and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, duly arrived and confirmed my suspicions. They were married at Maengwyn Chapel in Machynlleth on 15th November 1927. John was residing at Bridge Cottage, Cwrt, Pennal, and his father was named as Evan Jones (deceased), General Labourer. We already knew that Evan died 24 March 1922 so there we have it. Confirmed!

Marriage Certificate for John Jones and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis (27227)

The following simplified chart shows the relationship.

Descendants of Evan Jones chopped

Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Posted in Family Tree, News | Leave a comment