A Glamorgan Family History
|Rebecca (Howell) Evans
|Early life||1840s||1850s||1860s||1870s||Later life|
Rebecca Howell was the 3rd surviving child of Roger and Sarah Howell of Nantmoel Uchaf. She was born on 6th March 1812 probably at Nantmoel Uchaf farm, Rhyndwyclydach in the Glamorgan parish of Llangyfelach. Although there are currently no extant records to confirm it, her baptism on March 19th, by Rev. D. Davies of Swansea, was likely to have taken place at the Baran Chapel, Nantmoel, where her father was the founding minister. Like her siblings she was raised in a well known and hospitable household where she would have met many people from all walks of life.
On 18th March 1831, when she was nearly 19 years old, Rebecca married Rev. Daniel Evans of Brynllefrith Farm, Gwauncaegurwen at Llangyfelach Parish Church. Daniel was a great-grandson of Rev. William Evans (minister at Cwmllynfell chapel 1767-1770) and had apparently been raised by relatives at Gwrhyd Isaf farm. According to his biography in the Congregational Yearbook, he had been a student at Roger Howell's theological school at Nantmoel where he and Rebecca probably met. At the time of their marriage, he was the minister at the Independant, Hen Gapel, Llanybri near Llanstephan, where he had been ordained on 10th May 1829. This is where the couple set up their first home. Both Daniel and Rebecca were able to sign their names on the marriage entry in the parish records. Their witnesses were Rebecca's brother, John Howell; her brother-in-law, Evan Bevan and a Thomas Williams.
In approx. 1833, Rebecca and Daniel's first child Sarah was born, followed at 2 yearly intervals by Mary in 1835 and Gwenllian in 1837. In 1838, after Daniel received a call from Nazareth Chapel, Pontyates the family moved to the hamlet of Glyn, Pontyates where he also took on the ministry of Ebenezer Chapel at Crwbin - 3 miles from Pontyates. A 4th daughter, Rebecca was born in 1839 at Pontyates.
Rebecca and Daniel's 1st son, William was born in 1841. All 5 children were enumerated in the census of this year, in which Daniel is described as a shopkeeper. Was this was a secondary occupation to his ministry (to support his large family) or a mistake by the enumerator? In 1842, when Ramah Chapel was built at Llandyfaelog, he became the Minister there too and served the 3 chapels of Nazareth, Ebenezer and Ramah for nearly 50 years. Rebecca and Daniel's gravestone at Nazareth chapel reveals that Rebecca gave birth to another daughter, named Elizabeth on 1st August 1842. This little girl died 20 days later on 21st August. Sometime the following year, another baby girl was born - also named Elizabeth - who died aged 5 years on Christmas Eve 1848. Both children were buried with their parents.
Rebecca's married life must have closely resembled that of her mother's - as the wife of a busy minister with a large family, living at the heart of their community. In April 1843 her father, Roger Howell died aged 69, followed a year later by her mother, Sarah in July 1844. Along with her 4 sisters, Rebecca is named as a beneficiary of her mother's will which was proved at Carmarthen on 18th November that year. On 28th September 1845, Rebecca's oldest sister, Ann died at the age of only 40 and was buried at Baran chapel cemetery.
|Transcript of Sarah Howell's will|
Just prior to the census of 1851, Rebecca lost another close member of her family when her younger sister, Sarah died of consumption aged 40, leaving 5 daughters. For the Evans family, this census shows no obvious change since 1841. Daniel is described as a minister of the Gospel and the family's address is given as Pencae, in the hamlet of Glyn. Around 1857, Rebecca and Daniel became grandparents when their eldest daughter, Sarah (now the wife of David Thomas, of Llanelly) gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth - possibly named for Sarah's 2 young sisters. 2 years later in 1859, Sarah also gave birth to a son, John.
Daniel and Rebecca are recorded as living at Ty Evans, Glyn, Llangendeirne, along with their 3rd daughter, Gwenllian, aged 23, (occupation not given) and their only son William aged 20, who is described as being a scholar. Also in the household is a grandson called William Evans, aged 10 months, born Llangendeirne. As this child's surname is Evans, the implication is that he is that he may be the illegitimate son either of one of Daniel & Rebecca's 2 unmarried daughters or possibly their unmarried, son, William. Daniel & Rebecca's youngest daughter, Rebecca is also married by this census and living with her husband, Thomas Jones in Aberdare. I'm unable to trace their 2nd eldest daughter, Mary at present.
On 29th June 1865 Rebecca died, aged 52 years. She was buried with her 2 infant daughters in the graveyard at Nazareth Chapel, Pontyates. An inscription relating to her death reads:
"Aml ddrygau a gaiff y cyfiawn, ond yr Arglwydd a'i gwared ef oddi wrthynt oll"
(Often the righteous receive many injuries, but the Lord will deliver them from these many injuries).
In the census of 1871 Rebecca's husband, Daniel is described as a widower and as an Independent Minister of Nazareth. He is living with his now married son, William (described as a draper); daughter-in-law, Jane; grandson, William, aged 11 and a female domestic servant. A visitor, Mary Lewis, recorded as being a dressmaker from Llangynog, is also enumerated with the family. She is possibly Daniel and Rebecca's 2nd eldest daughter, although I cannot as yet, trace her marriage.
Their 3rd daughter, Gwenllian married Daniel Job, son of John and Sarah Job of Tynycoed Farm, Llangendeirne in 1863. By 1871, Gwenllian had 2 children, 6 year old, Rebecca (named for her maternal grandmother) and 5 year old John (named for his paternal grandfather) and was living with her husband, Daniel at a dwelling called Dyffryn in Llangendeirne. One month after the 1871 census, on 2nd May that year, Gwenllian died, aged only 35 years. In the December Quarter of the same year, Daniel married again to a Mary Thomas of Llangendeirne.
Gwenllian was buried in the graveyard at Nazareth Chapel. Her memorial inscription reads:
"SACRED. In the memory of Gwenllian, daughter of the Rev. Daniel Evans and wife of Daniel Job of this parish, who died 2 May 1871 aged 35. Am hyny byddwch chwithau barod" (And therefore you should be ready also).
Daniel Job died on 9th June 1913, aged 72. Despite having married again, he chose to be buried with Gwenllian at Nazareth.
By 1881 Daniel is living alone (apart from a young servant), at 2 Gwendraeth View, Pontyates in the hamlet of Glyn. He is recorded as being 78 years old and is apparently still working as a minister as he is not described as being retired. He died on 4th December 1884, aged 84 and is buried in the cemetery at Nazareth Chapel near to the chapel door. Daniel was buried with Rebecca and their 2 young daughters. His gravestone bears the inscription:
"Meddyliwch am eich blaenoriad, y rhai a draethasant i chwi air Duw, fydd y rhai dilynwch
gan ystyried eu hymanoeddiad hwnt"
(Remember them that ruled over you, which spake unto you the word of God; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith: Hebrews 13/7) Soon after his death, the 3 chapels he had served together for so long separated.
In the 1881 census, Daniel's son, William is enumerated at a separate address. He is now widowed and continues to be a draper but is also described as a grocer. Living in his household is a general servant and also his 14 year old niece, Jane Jones from Aberdare - daughter of his sister, Rebecca. William's nephew/son, William Evans, aged 21 is possibly enumerated as a farm servant at Glynllech farm, Ystradgynlais.
By 1891, Rebecca and Daniel's son William is possibly the widowed colliery labourer boarding at Pontyates Cottages in the household of collier, David Bowen and his wife Lettice in Glyn. This change of occupation suggests that he has lost or given up his former business. His nephew/son, William (described as a collier) is possibly enumerated with his wife, Esther and daughter, Rachel at North Road, Loughor.
Unable to find the elder William in the census of 1901 while the younger, William is possibly still living in Loughor (at Gething Terrace) with his previously described wife and daughter and a son, David John.
|Sarah (Evans) Thomas||Mary (Evans) ? Lewis||Gwenllian (Evans) Job||Rebecca (Evans) Jones|
|William Evans||Elizabeth Evans||Elizabeth Evans|