A Glamorgan Family History
|Family of Ann Lewis, Penygorof|
|Ann was born 16th August 1816, the daughter of John and Anne Lewis of Penygorof (also spelt Penygrove, Penygorof and Pengorof) farm in Gorof village in the Gurnos parcel of Lower Ystradgynlais, Breconshire. At the time of her marriage to John on 7th December 1839, she had 2 brothers, David and Richard and at least 5 sisters: Jennet, Margaret, Mary, Hannah and Gwenllian. According to a report in the Cambrian newspaper dated 28th December 1839, one of these sisters, Mary died soon after the wedding.
Ann's mother was still alive in the census of 1841, but died in January 1846, aged 62. Her father, John remarried in August of the following year to Caroline Catherine Wilson of Swansea (Cambrian Index dated 27th August) and was enumerated with her at 28 Belle Vue Street, Swansea in the census of 1851. He died on 25th January 1852 at Belle Vue St., aged 67 (Cambrian Index 30th January). Very soon after his death (on 16th July 1852) Caroline married again to John Wills Blake (a cattle dealer from St. Minver, Cornwall) in Swansea. Despite her remarriage, Caroline continued to receive an annuity of approximately £20 a year from the estate of her late husband. From the evidence of an accounts notebook kept by Ann's husband, John Howell, he appears to have played a part in the administration of his father-in-law's estate and there are biannual references to Caroline as Mrs Blake in these records. Other references in the notebook detail the rents collected by John Lewis' son, Richard, from several commercial and residential properties in Ystradgynlais, which included land rented to the Yniscedwin Iron Company.
Ann's older brother, David appears to have succeeded his father in farming at Penygorof after John Lewis' second marriage. Her eldest brother, Richard, farmed at Ystradisaf and later, Ty Canol, farms in Ystradgynlais. Like Ann's husband, John, Richard Lewis was an overseer of the poor and from reports in the Cambrian newspaper was possibly the local registrar for Ystradgynlais. Her oldest sister, Jannet married a William Howell and lived originally at Cwmtawe Isaf farm, Llangiwg and later at Aberdare. Another older sister, Margaret married draper Griffith Lewis and lived in Neath. Griffith later became a wealthy colliery proprietor and the family lived in some style at Alltycham House, Pontardawe. This property was later taken over by their daughter, Mary Ann who married colliery proprietor, Ernest Hall Hedley of Northumberland.
Ann's younger sister, Gwenllian married Isaac Jones of nearby Glynmeirch farm in Rhyndwyclydach Lower. Isaac's brother, Howell Jones of Llechartfawr, Rhyndwyclydach was already married to John Howell's youngest sister, Jane. Ann's youngest living sister, Hannah married maltster, Thomas Davies and lived at Bonmane (Bonymaen), Swansea.
A nephew of Ann's, wheelwright Joseph Lewis (son of her brother, David) appears to have been raised by his Lewis grandparents and was also in receipt of a small annuity from his grandfather's estate. He later assisted his uncle Richard in collecting rentals accrued by the estate - the profits from which were divided amongst the beneficiaries of the estate by administrator, John Howell.
Although Ann's family were known to be Methodists and her sister, Gwenllian worshipped at Horeb Chapel, Pontardawe, Ann was recorded as a member of Baran Chapel in their 1841 list of members.