A Glamorgan Family History
|Jane (Howell) Jones
Jane Howell appears to be the youngest child of Rev. Roger Howell and his wife, Sarah. She was born 9th May 1819, at Nantmoel Uchaf farm, Rhyndwyclydach. According to the family Bible, she was baptised (probably at the nearby Baran chapel where her father was the minister), by Rev. Lewis Powell of Capel Isaac on 11th May.
Given her father's interest in the education of young people and the proximity of the school he kept at Baran and Nantmoel, it is likely that Jane received at least a basic education. Otherwise, her early life was probably taken up with learning housekeeping skills and supporting her parents in their prominent role in the community.
On 4th November 1837 when she was 18, Jane married Howell Jones of Llechart Fawr farm at Llangyfelach church. Howell, who was 15 years her senior, was the son of Isaac Jones (formerly John) of Glynmeirch and Llechart Fawr farms in Rhyndwyclydach. Howell had a younger brother, also called Isaac who farmed at Glynmeirch after his father. Isaac (jnr.) later married Gwenllian (nee Lewis) who was a sister of Ann Lewis of Ystradgynlais (the daughters of John Lewis of Penygoiof (sic) farm, Gurnos). Ann Lewis married Jane's brother, John in 1839. The 2 Lewis sisters therefore both became sisters-in-law to Jane - Ann being married to her brother and Gwenllian being married to her husband's brother.
In the early part of 1839 Jane became a mother with the birth of her first child, Isaac - named after his paternal grandfather. Sadly, Isaac died on 10th December that year, aged only 7 months. He was buried with his paternal grandparents, Isaac and Magdalen Jones in the Baran chapel cemetery.
By the census of 1841, Howell and Jane are enumerated at Llechart Fawr with another son called Isaac who is a year old. They employ 2 agricultural labourers and have 3 female servants in their household. This census does not give any details about the size of Llechart fawr, but in his indepth examination of this property, historian, Jeff Childs found that it was one of the largest in Rhyndwyclydach. In the tithe apportionments of 1838 the farm was measured as being 185 acres and 3 roods making it the 3rd largest in the combined higher and lower divisions of the parcel. It was situated in the higher division of the hamlet - on the boundary with the lower division - at approximately 600 feet above sea level. Some records suggest that the farm had been in existance, alongside it's counterpart, Llechart fach, since the mid 16th century and prior to being sold to Howell's father in 1819, had been part of the large Briton Ferry Estate. Howell is likely to taken over the farm after the death of his father in 1836, while his brother took over Glynmeirch.
It was Howell Jones who was the informant named on the death certificate of Jane's father, Rev. Roger Howell when he died in 1843 - indicating his presence at Roger's death. A year later in 1844, Jane's mother, Sarah died at Llechart fawr. Along with her 4 sisters, Jane was named as a beneficiary of her mother's will, which was proved at Carmarthen on 18th November that year, on the oath of her older sister, Sarah Bowen.
|Sarah Howell's will|
By the census of 1851, Jane and Howell's family has greatly increased with the births of 5 more children to keep Isaac company: Roger (age 9 and named for his maternal grandfather), Sarah (age 6 and probably named for her maternal grandmother), John (age 4), David (age 2) and William (7 months).
Without effective forms of contraception or control over the management of their own lives, frequent childbearing was the lot of many women at this time. Only the effects of breastfeeding, which temporarily reduced fertility, allowed the typical spacing of approximately 2 years seen between the birth of each child. Coupled with an often arduous physical life, multiple pregnancies - especially as the woman got older - would eventually take their toll on her health and could even prove fatal.
A farm labourer and 2 house servants completed the Jones household and Howell is described as being a farmer of 186 acres.
The census of 1861 apparently shows little change to the household apart from the birth of youngest child, Howell - by then aged 6. Oldest son, Isaac is described as a farmer's son indicating that farming is his choice of occupation too. Roger, now 19, is an apprentice carpenter while 12 year old David is a carter. On closer inspection though, it can be seen that Jane and Howell's only daughter, Sarah is recorded as being married and that her surname is now actually James. There is no mention of her husband, but Sarah who is only 16, is a very new bride having just married blacksmith, William James at St. John's Church in Clydach on the 2nd of March. She is also enumerated with her husband, William in the home of his widowed mother, Ann who ran the Royal Oak public house in Rhydyfro.
At the end of this decade, Howell was named in his brother-in-law, Henry Bowen's will as being the investor, on his behalf, of a sum of money that Henry had bequeathed to his grandchildren, for them to receive at the age of 21. Henry Bowen, originally of Llettyrcrydd farm in Rhyndwyclydach, was the widower of Jane's older sister, Sarah who had died in 1851.
|Sarah (Jones) James