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.
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.
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!
The following simplified chart shows the relationship.
Quod Erat Demonstrandum