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Sarah (Price) Howell's ancestry
Starting point for research:
Prior to reading the Reverend Roger Howell's memorial biography in the book,
Hanes Eglwysi Annibynol by T. Rees & J. Thomas, I knew nothing about Sarah Elizabeth Price's ancestry, other than the fact that when she married Roger on 05/07/1804 at Llangyfelach Parish Church, she was described as being "of the Parish of St. Mary's, Swansea".  In their biography, Rees & Thomas add some futher information by stating that Roger married "Miss Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. W. Price, Penyfan, Llanelli".  The authors obtained this information from the details of a letter published in the Welsh language, Congregationalist magazine, "Y Diwygiwr" (The Revivalist) by Roger's son, John Howell in 1845.

I discovered that Penyfan was now a housing estate in Llanelli, but that this area had originally been the site of what Major Francis Jones, describes as a
mansion in his book, "Historic Carmarthenshire Homes".  Once the seat of an Evan Price, gentleman, the mansion had eventually passed out of the Price family through Evan's eldest daughter, Jane who married Hector Rees of nearby Cilymaenllwyd circa 1719.  This information established an apparent connection between the Price family and Penyfan, but didn't clarify Sarah and her father's own relationship to the estate.  In searching for a link, I obtained the will of a later Evan Price who died in Swansea in 1823, hoping that he might prove to be related. This Evan Price was an (apparently) unmarried, retired sea captain who made bequests to several "kinfolk" in his will.  These were:
James Dalton of the town of Swansea, lately commander of the Villiers Brig

John Wedge of Goodig in the Parish of Pembrey

Sarah Elizabeth Howell of Nantmole in the Parish of Langavelach daughter of my esteemed friend the late Mr. William Price of Swansea

Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Eaton, widow of the late Henry Eaton of Llanelly

Mrs Jane Griffiths, wife of Mr. John Griffiths of Llanelly

Mrs Elizabeth Gay, widow of the late Mr. John Gay of Llanelly
Although Evan Price doesn't specify how any of these people are related to him, or demonstrate any obvious personal connection to Penyfan, he does provide a link to Sarah Howell and confirm a hunch that her father's name was William.  Under the terms of the will, James Dalton and John Wedge received relatively small bequests, with the bulk of the estate being shared equally by the 4 women.  An initial hope that Evan might be a brother of William's seems to be dashed by his description of William as "my esteemed friend".  Yet, he does call Sarah a "relation", confirming their family connection and since they share the same surname, this kinship probably includes her father.

Evan Price's death was recorded in the Swansea based, Cambrian newspaper in December 1823.  He  was buried at Llanelli parish church on 6th December 1823 - demonstrating his own links to the town.  His age in the parish entry is recorded as being 86 years (born circa 1737).  This makes him a likely contemporary of Sarah's father, William.  From the evidence of the 1841 census and a probable baptism entry Sarah was born on 24th July 1774 and baptised on 2nd September.   Her father was therefore likely to have been born circa 1740-1750.

The next step was to find out more about the previously unknown beneficeries of Evan's will and identify their connections (if any) to Sarah:
James Dalton:
From the details of the will and various references in the Cambrian Index database, James Dalton was a sea captain who lived at Fisher Street, Swansea.  His wife, Elizabeth had predeased him on 19th August 1814 and James himself later died on 19th March 1827.  The 1841 census shows their 2 surviving, unmarried daughters, Jane and Margaret still living at Fisher Street.  Jane died later that year in October, whilst Margaret died in June 1856 aged 68.  The 2 daughters were buried with their parents and 3 other children at St. Mary's, Swansea.  Significantly, a Margaret Dalton was recorded as a witness to Evan Price's will.  Evan's bequest to James was "the full sum of 10 for a suit of clothes as a mark of my respect for him"

James' only surviving son,
Captain William Price Dalton later became the Dock Master of the Beaufort Dock in Swansea.  He died, aged 70 in 1868.  Parish records for Swansea St. Mary's record that James Dalton was aged 78 when he died, (born circa 1749) while his wife, Elizabeth was aged 68 when she died in 1814 (born circa 1746).  James Dalton married Elizabeth Price in 1773 at Swansea - raising the question:   was Elizabeth a sister of Evan or William (or both)?  Further investigation of James finds that he was probably the son of Edward and Jane Dalton of Pwll, Pembrey and was baptised there on 25th October 1748 - showing close links to the Llanelly area.  The Dalton family of Pembrey appear to have been the agents for the Vaughans of Golden Grove.  The 2 families' connections go back to the time of the Civil War when Walter Dalton escaped to Wales with Rowland Vaughan from the Battle of Worcester, Sept. 1651.  There is also a Dalton genealogy website at:
John Wedge:
John Wedge of Goodig, Pembrey (circa 1765-1853), was born at St. Ives, the eldest son of John Wedge Senior, a Cornish sea captain and Elizabeth Thomas of Goodig.  Goodig (or Gwdig) in Pembrey was originally a farm  which was enlarged to become a small Plas at the end of the 18th century.  According to Major Francis Jones, John Wedge's mother, Elizabeth inherited Goodig from her brother, John Thomas who died childless.  Elizabeth and John were apparently the children of John Thomas of Trekyrn, Llanwinio and his wife, Anne Price.  Major Jones describes Anne Price as being a daughter of Evan Price of Penyfan and his wife, Anne, who inherited Goodig from her father, Thomas David Roger ab Owen. (this however, conflicts with the details of Evan Price's will - see below)

John Wedge junior is renowned for drawing up the first chart of the Burry Port Inlet in 1805 and also a plan of Kidwelly Bar and harbour in 1807.  He was recorded at Goodig with his wife Jane and children, Jane, Anne and John in the census of 1841.  Another daughter, Elizabeth had died in 1828, aged 31.  Daughter Jane died just before the census of 1851, aged 41 and son, John died later the same year in July, leaving daughter, Anne as his only heir.  John and his wife, Jane both died in 1853.  In his will Evan Price left John
"the sum of 30 in remembrance of his kind civilities to me".
Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Eaton:
From notices in the Cambrian newspaper and parish records, Margaret Elizabeth Eaton was the widow of Captain Henry Seys Eaton, the Collector of Customs (from 1817) and former Portreeve (1807) for Llanelli who died in April 1819 and was buried at Llanelli.  Margaret & Henry had married on 20th November 1805.  It's likely that this was a 3rd marriage for Henry while Margaret had been previously married (08/06/1780) to Evan Griffiths of Llanelly and had an only daughter, Charlotte, born 1785 from that marriage.  Charlotte died in 1806, aged 21 years and is buried at Pembrey.  Henry had 2 daughters from his first marriage, Elizabeth & Jane - who are the main beneficiaries of his will.  His youngest daughter, Jane (wife of David Bevan of Pennard, Gower) lived to be 99.

Margaret was born Margaret Bowen, daughter of Llanelli mining industrialist,
Thomas Bowen and his wife, Margaret.  She was baptised on 9th April 1759 at St. Elli, Llanelli and had 3 siblings, Thomas, Jane and Ann.  From the evidence of documents in the Penllergaer B collection at the National Library of Wales, Margaret's mother was Margaret Price, the youngest daughter of Evan Price, Penyfan.

When Margaret died, aged 69 in April 1830, she was apparently living at Penyfan.  Her 1st husband,
Evan Griffith may have been related to the Evan Griffith of Llangolman, Pembrokeshire who was married to Margaret Rees of Cilymaenllwd.  This couple had been occupying Penyfan until their respective deaths in 1814 and 1816.  Margaret Rees was a daughter of Jane Rees (nee Price) - the eldest daughter of Evan Price, making her a 1st cousin of Margaret Eaton.   Margaret Rees' elder sister, Jane Rees had inherited Penyfan from their brother, Edward who was said to have died childless.  Jane Rees was married to John Johnes of Dolau Cothi, near Pumsaint, Conwil Caio, Carmarthenshire. 
Mrs Jane Griffiths:
Married John Griffiths, gentleman, 1792, Llanelly.  Maiden name, Bowen, ? is sister of Margaret Bowen above and was the Jane Bowen who witnessed Margaret's first marriage to Evan Griffith on 8th June 1780 at Llanelli.
Mrs Elizabeth Gay
Married John Gay, mariner 13/05/1771 at Llanelli.  Maiden name Jones.  Children:  Joseph, christened 20/05/1773; John, christened 07/09/1777 and Thomas, christened 10/09/1781.  Unable to establish a connection to Evan or the Price family at present.  BMD records obtained from Carmarthenshire FHS database.
Witnesses to the will:
John Edmond:  Ironmonger of Castle Bailey St., Swansea, later Controller of Stamps for Swansea.  Curiously, his son, William, who was on the health board for Swansea and later became a county magistrate, was one of the witnesses to Sarah's will.
John Rees: Swansea
Margaret Dalton:  daughter of James Dalton, one of the above beneficiaries.
Evan Price, Penyfan:
The next logical step was to obtain the will of Evan Price, Penyfan who died in 1727, nearly 100 years before his namesake and possible descendant, discussed above.  Some of the details of the will differ from the family relationships described by Major Francis Jones in his discussions of the families of Penyfan and Goodig.  e.g. Major Jones states that Evan Price married
Anne, the heiress of Thomas David Roger ab Owen of Goodig, but in Evan's will - dated August 1827 - his wife is named as Jane.  Possibly Jane was Evan's 2nd wife.

The beneficiaries of the will are his wife and children:

Wife, Jane - inherits Penyfan during her lifetime, after which it passes to 2nd son, Richard.  Jane's name is also confirmed by a covenant in the Penlle'rgaer B collection at NLW, dated May 10th 1746, which names:  Jane, widow of Evan Price, Penyfan and includes his eldest son, John & daughter, Margaret.

Names children (and describes their ranking as below):
1st son, John - ? it was John who married the Goodig heiress and not Evan, as stated by Major Jones. Receives only 5s in the will.  Is this because he already has his inheritance, received on marriage?
2nd son, Richard - who inherits the greater part of the estate & is an executor with his mother.
3rd son, James - who receives property and a silver spoon and tankard
4th son, Charles - who receives property and a silver spoon and tumbler
5th son, Thomas - who receives property and 2 silver spoons
No mention of a
1st daughter's name, but if she is the Jane who married Hector Rees of Cilymaenllwyd in 1719 - she may have received her inheritance at the time of her marriage.  Hector Rees' name is on the inventory of the will.
2nd daughter, Anne - died unmarried in 1755, when she made a will leaving her estate to her brother, Thomas & sister, Margaret, who was apparently still unmarried at the time.  Receives money and a silver spoon in her father's will.
3rd daughter, Margaret who later married Thomas Bowen and had children who included her daughter, Margaret, who later married Evan Griffiths and Henry Eaton, as detailed above.  Receives money and a silver spoon in her father's will.
Copyright © 2007 Rina Callingham