A Glamorgan Family History
Ann (Bevan) Davies
Early life:
Ann Bevan was apparently the
eldest daughter of Evan and Ann (nee Howell) Bevan and a grand-daughter of Rev. Roger Howell.  She was born in 1828, probably at Nant-y-gaseg isaf farm, Cwmgors which her father inherited in a bequest from his own father's will.  As the eldest daughter she was probably named after her paternal grandmother, Ann Bevan and is first recorded in the 1841 census as being 10 years old.  Following her  mother's death in 1845, it is likely that Ann took on some housekeeping duties and became involved in caring for her younger siblings; especially sister, Sarah who was only 4 at the time of their mother's death

By the time of the next census, Ann was the wife of
Rev. John Davies, of Llandefeilog, Carmarthenshire, whom she had married on Christmas Eve 1847 at Christ Church, Cwmamman.  John Davies was 21 years older than Ann and was a widower with 4 daughters.  They had probably become acquainted after John had been called to take on the care of Baran Chapel in 1844.  This was a year after the death of Ann's maternal grandfather, Rev. Roger Howell - the founding minister of the chapel.  John had actually been one of the ministers who officiated at Roger's funeral.   In January 1849 Ann gave birth to her first child, a son, Roger - named for her grandfather.  Tragically, Roger died on 21st September that year and was buried at Hen Fethel cemetery with John's 1st wife, Mary and 3 of her own children who had died as infants.  The 1851 census shows John and Ann living at Prospect Cottage, near the Mount public house in Gwauncaegurwen, with John's 4 surviving daughters, whose ages ranged from 10-20.  At only 23, Ann was barely older than her eldest step-child.  At this time John was ministering to 3 chapels: Bethel, Cwmamman; Nebo, Felindre and Baran, Rhyndwyclydach.
In the 10 years since 1851, Ann had given birth to
5 more children:  George (age 10), Eleazer (age 8), Matilda (age 5), Ann (age 4) and Evan Garibali (age 3).   John's older daughters had all left home and Ann had the help of a housemaid, Mary Roberts to cope with her large, young family.  They were now living at Tynycoed cottage, Bettws in the parish of Llandilofawr, Carmarthenshire.  This is where John's main chapel, Bethel was situated.  By 1861 John had relinquished the care of Baran and Nebo chapels and had taken on Cross Inn chapel (later known as the Christian Temple), alongside Bethel.  According to a booklet on the history the Christian Temple, around this time he visited North Wales with another minister and whilst climbing to see the sunrise, caught a dreadful cold which debilitated him for months and caused him to suffer great pain.  Although he eventually recovered, he never totally regained his previous health.
The census of
1871 finds the family living at Grove Cottage in Bettws.  Ann has given birth to another 2 children:  Claudia Ursula (age 5) and Rufus (age 2).  Apart from their daughter, Ann, none of the children appear to have been named after family members and their names are quite unusual for the community they are living in.  Of the older 5 children, only Evan remains at home.  Ann's eldest son, George is living and working away from home as a draper's assistant in the household of draper, Morris Price of Ystalyfera.   I'm unable to find Matilda, Eleazer and Ann in this census.  Eleazer is probably at college prior to beginning his medical studies.  According to the Medical Register of 1913, he received his licence to practice as a physician and surgeon at Edinburgh on 27th November 1879.  Ann, who would only be 14 at this time may have died.   Weakened by his illness, and by then aged 70, John retired in 1877, 48 years after he was first ordained as a minister at Penygraig chapel near Carmarthen in 1829.
1881, even though John has retired, the family are enumerated at "Minister's House", Bettws.  Eldest daughter, Matilda, a draper's shop assistant, and scholars, Claudia and Rufus are enumerated with their parents.  In this census, son, George is employed as a draper's assistant working in Green St., Neath.  Evan is similarly occupied at Temple St., Swansea and Eleazer is enumerated in Heolwormwood, Merthyr Tydfil as a doctor.  There seems to be a definite affinity for haberdashery in the family with 3 members employed in this trade.

John died on
18th October 1886, aged 79 and was buried at Hen Fethel churchyard near the grave of his first wife and some of their deceased children. 
Dr Eleazer Davies J.P.
Rev. John Davies
Ann is enumerated as a widow living at
"The Grove", Bettws in 1891.  Claudia Ursula, a dressmaker is the only one of Ann's children still living at home.  Matilda has married David Evans, a draper who was previously apprenticed, with her brother George, to Morris Price of Ystalyfera.  She and David live at 5 Talbot St., Riverside, Cardiff.  George has also married (to Mary Ann George from Cardiganshire) and has his own drapery business at 19 Green Street, Neath - where he employs his youngest brother, Rufus as an assistant. So far, George is the only one of her children to provide Ann with a grandchild - 5 year old Daisy Matilda.  Eleazer remains unmarried and is now the medical practitioner for the village of Fochriw, Gelligaer while Evan Garibaldi is employed as draper's assistant working for Ben Evans department store in Swansea.  Ann's household also included a house servant, Mary Griffiths.  With so many drapers in the family, dressmaker, Claudia could never have been short of material.
The new century:
The census of
1901 finds Ann still living in Grove Cottage, Bettws.  She is enumerated with her widowed step-daughter, Catherine Thomas and her younger brother, Roger Bevan. Roger, who was deaf and dumb after contracting scarlet fever in childhood, had never married and following the deaths of his parents, had spent much of his life in service. Catherine was the youngest of Ann's step-daughters and as such, was probably the closest to her - having been only 6 years old when her father had remarried.  She had married the Rev. William (Lamb) Thomas of Garnant on 6th October 1880, when she was about 38.  She was William's 2nd wife and they had a daughter, Margaret in 1883, before he died in 1885.  In this census, Catherine's daughter, Margaret is possibly the 17 year old drapery assistant (what else!) from Garnant who is enumerated at a Queen St., store in Cardiff.

Of Ann's own children, Claudia has now married - to
George Davies of Fishguard (another draper!) and is living at 10 Penmaen St., Swansea.  They have 3 children:  John, age 6; James, age 4 and Annie, age 2.  Eleazer remains at Fochriw, Gelligaer and is still a bachelor.  Matilda and her husband, David are still at the same address in Cardiff and have a 7 year old son, John.  David now has his own drapery business and employs his brother-in-law, Rufus as an assistant.  Son, George remains at Green St., Neath (now no. 13) also running his own business.  Finally, Evan Garibaldi seems to have had enough of drapery and is now enumerated as an ironmonger's assistant. He too is now married - to Elvira Evans (of Quarter Bach) and has a year old daughter called Dilys.  The family are living at 16 Aylesbury Rd., Swansea.

Ann died on 26th December 1910, aged 82  and is buried with John at
Hen Fethel cemetery, overlooking the villages of Garnant and Glanamman.  Her brother, Roger predeceased her on 16th January 1907 and was buried with his parents and elder brother, Llewelyn at Baran chapel's graveyard.
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Copyright © 2006 Rina Callingham