|Sarah (Price) Howells' ancestry
So was William Price descended from one of Evan Price's sons and if so, which one? It would help if we could find a date of birth for Evan or any of his children, but there are no clues in the will and as yet they have not been found in Llanelli parish records - which are only available from 1684 and have several missing years. The only clue is the parish record of Evan's daughter, Jane Price's marriage to Hector Rees on 30th March 1719 at Pembrey - which suggests her date of birth to be around 1695-1700. Her husband however, was born in 1683, so Jane herself may have been born slightly earlier. Jane was apparently Evan's oldest daughter but was she his oldest child? It might be deduced from Jane's date of birth that Evan was born circa 1650-1670.
Unfortunately, Evan's wife, Jane provides no further clues in her own will, dated 1746. She describes herself as being "of the town of Llanelly" and requests that she be buried at Pembrey. She makes only 2 small bequests: to her son, Thomas and daughter, Margaret - who is named as her only executor. Part of the inventory of her estate included rent from John Price (? her eldest son) from "1st May to 27th October last". The will was signed on 20th October 1746 and proved on 9th December that year by Margaret's oath.
It is perhaps surprising that Jane named Margaret as her executor, as in May 1746, Margaret had made a complaint against her mother and oldest brother, John at the Court Baron of Llangyfelach in Glamorgan, regarding their failure to release to her a tenement called Clase Bach in the Clase parcel of Llangyfelach. Judgement was made in Margaret's favour, but what was her claim to this land? Clase Bach (aka Tir y Clase) had originally been left to Margaret's older brother Richard in their father's will of 1727. On July 3rd 1732, Richard Price had written a letter to his relation, Thomas Price of the Penlle'rgaer estate in Glamorgan offering him the mortgage of another piece of land, known as Tyle Du in Llangyfelach in exchange for the sum of £50. It was Richard's intention to use this money to help him "make something of his life" and join the Lifeguards - having been accepted for the same the previous Wednesday. Did Richard also dispose of the rest of his estate at this time or did he die in the service of the Lifeguards and bequeath Clase Bach to his sister, Margaret? Do these circumstances also explain how Richard's elder brother, John apparently inherited Penyfan after his mother's death, when it was originally intended for Richard or his heirs? Jane Price doesn't mention the disposal of Penyfan in her will, so had it already been bequeathed or sold to John? John's possession of Penyfan is indicated by a bequest in the will of his brother-in-law, Hector Rees, started in 1740 and completed in 1763 (after being disputed in Chancery by Hector's granddaughters, Elizabeth and Mary Rees and John Llewelyn of Penlle'rgaer). Hector Rees bequeathed Penyfan to his youngest son, Edward and described it as:
"...lying in the parish of Llanelly aforesaid in the said county of Carmarthen in as large and ample and beneficial manner as I lately purchased the same of and from John Price, gentleman...."
Edward Rees apparently never married and according to Major Francis Jones, when he died, he left Penyfan to his sister, Jane's children. Jane had married John Johnes of Dolau Cothi on 9th February 1758 and had 5 children: John, Jane, Mary Anne, Elizabeth Margaret and Charlotte. From the evidence of letters between Jane Johnes and her younger sister, Margaret (Dolaucothi Correspondence 12 collection at NLW); Penyfan was occupied by Margaret and her husband, Evan Griffiths in the early 1800s until Margaret's death, aged 80 in 1816. It was later apparently occupied for a period of time by Jane & Margaret's 1st cousin, Margaret Elizabeth Eaton.
|Connection to Penlle'rgaer:
Richard Price's 1732 letter to Thomas Price of Penlle'rgaer to raise funds for his career in the Lifeguards suggests a possible connection between the 2 families. This connection is apparently confirmed by an entry on page 1262 of Burke's Genealogical & Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry, Part 2, 4th edition, 1863, which states that:
"Hector Rees Esq. of Pembrey Court & Cilymaenllwyd in Carmarthen, J.P., High Sheriff 1745, born in 1683; he married Jane, daughter of Evan Price Esq., of Penyfan, grandson of Price of Penllergare and had issue..."
Its not clear from this reference which Price of Penlle'rgaer was Evan's grandfather. The Thomas Price that Richard corresponded with was himself the son of another Thomas Price (circa 1641-1724) and the grandson of Griffith Price, Penlle'rgaer who died in 1665. Richard's father, Evan (who died in 1727) was perhaps a contemporary of Thomas Price senior, suggesting that he would possibly be the grandson of Griffith Price's father. Griffith's father was John Price, Penlle'rgaer - originally John ap Rees - who first adopted the surname Price. John Price died in 1638. From the evidence of his will and documents in the Penllegaer B collection, John Price had at least 4 sons: Griffith, Richard, John and William and 2 daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine. There are 3 references in the Penllergaer B documents to a John Price, gentleman of Llanelly between the years 1677-1679. These references are too early to refer to Evan's son, John but could possibly refer to his father - after whom he might well have named his eldest son. Is this then the link between Penyfan and Penlle'rgaer?
|Who was William Price's ancestor?
In Rees & Thomas' book, "Hanes Eglwsi Annibynol", William Price is described as "Mr. W. Price, Penyfan, Llanelli", suggesting that he was possibly born at Penyfan, or may have lived there. Does this suggestion link him to Evan's son, John Price who apparently acquired the estate after Jane Price's death? If this is the case, was John Price's eventual sale of Penyfan the reason William decamped to Swansea? William's daughter, Sarah was born circa 1775, indicating his own date of birth to be circa 1740-1750. Would this make him John Price's son or grandson?
Who else might be William's ancestor? If it was Richard, would John have had the authority to sell Penyfan? Surely the estate would have passed to William or a sibling, either directly or through another generation - unless Richard sold it to John? What about Charles and James? Why doesn't Jane mention them in her will? I'm currently not able to find any marriage details relating to these 2 brothers, but perhaps significantly, a James Price was buried at Llanelli on 08/12/1740.
Thanks to the helpful assistance of Llanelli historian, Benita Afan Rees and the Carmarthenshire FHS database, I now have the baptism dates of some of Evan and Jane's children:
Jana Price, daughter of Evan, baptised 21/05/1699
Anna Price, daughter of Evan, baptised 02/02/1701
John Price, son of Evan, baptised 29/05/1704
Jacob Price, son of Evan, baptised 19/02/1711
Charles Price, son of Evan, baptised 29/03/1715
Thomas Price, son of Evan, baptised 18/03/1716
Margaretta Price, daughter of Evan, baptised 09/04/1719
The girl's names especially appear to have been recorded in a Latinised form. Richard's baptism is not included and neither is James - unless he has been mistranscribed as Jacob. These entries appear to confirm that Jane was Evan's eldest child. If Evan Price did marry twice (Anne of Goodig & Jane), this might explain the gap between the births of John and Jacob/James - although Richard's birth would need to be included here. It might also explain why Richard appeared to be the main beneficiary of Evan's will and John was only bequeathed 5s. If John had inherited Goodig through his mother, he may have had no need of a further settlement.
The will of Evan's father, John Price (received on 15/03/2007) reveals that Evan inherited Penyfan from his father who died on 9th December 1687. The will also names Evan's mother, Joan and his younger brother, Thomas who was under 21 at the time of his father's death. Evan and his mother were the executors of the will and the estate was equally divided:
"...in 3 parts whereof I do give and bequeath 2 parts thereof unto my eldest son Evan Price and 1 part to Joan my loving wife..."
Evan was required by his father to support his younger brother until he came of age. As well as Penyfan he inherited the tenements of Twlleddy (for his mother's use in her lifetime) and Clase bach, both in the parish of Llangyfelach, Glamorgan. Twlleddy was probably the Tyle Du that Evan later bequeathed to his own son, Richard along with the contentious, Clase bach.
As outlined above, in Burke's Genealogical & Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of 1863, Evan was described rather obscurely, as being the grandson of Price of Penlle'rgaer. Was this a reference to Griffith Price, Penlle'rgaer or his father, John ap Rees (later Price)? From the evidence of both men's wills, (proved in 1665 and 1638 respectively), only John ap Rees had a son called John who survived him - suggesting that Evan's father, John was the son of John ap Rees and the younger brother of Griffith Price. Evan would then have been the 1st cousin of Griffith's son, Thomas who succeeded Griffith at Penlle'rgaer.
Although his father's will makes no reference to Evan being married, it does stipulate that Evan and his mother should:
"...cohabit and live together in love and unity as becometh a mother and a son."
suggesting that Evan was still a bachelor at this time. Does this stipulation imply some previous difficulties between Evan and his mother? Another hint of family dissent is perhaps given in John Price's direction to Evan that he should honour an annual payment of £6 to his brother, Thomas:
"...provided that the said Thomas Price shall come to his brother's house to demand it. And in case the said Evan Price shall not pay the said sume of £6 yearly unto his brother Thomas Price I hereby order and fully impower and authorize my said son Thomas Price to distrayne upon the Tenement of Lands called by Clase bach situate lying and being in the parish of Llangyfelach..."
To distrayne (or distrain) is, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 4th ed., 2000, to "seize and hold (property) to compel payment or reparation, as of debts". Once again, Clase bach appears to have been a potential source of dispute.
The date of birth of Evan's eldest child, Jane in 1699 suggests that he didn't marry until the late 1690s. But it is still unclear whether this was to Anne of Goodig or to Jane?
|Will of Thomas Price:
While it doesn't answer that question, the will of Evan's youngest son, Thomas (also received on 15th March) does gratifyingly provide the link between Sarah Price and Penyfan.
Thomas died at the age of 74 in 1791, after having suffered a "stroke of palsy". From details given in the will he appears to have been living in the household of his sister, Margaret and her husband, Thomas Bowen at the time of his death. His burial record in the parish register describes him as having been an excise officer. As well as making bequests to Margaret and her daughters, Margaret Griffith (later Eaton) and Jane Bowen, he leaves £10 to his cousin, Jane Dalton, wife of Edward Dalton "of the Pool in Pembrey". This couple were probably related to the Captain James Dalton named in Captain Evan Price of Swansea's will of 1823.
More importantly however, Thomas leaves a bequest of £50 to:
"William Price of Swansea the son of my brother John."
This simple statement clarifies that Sarah Price's father, William was the son of Evan Price of Penyfan's eldest son, John. It also identifies Sarah as a direct descendant of the Price family of Penlle'rgaer.
Other relationships can now also be identified:
Sarah's father, William was a 1st cousin of the children of Hector and Jane (Price) Rees of Cilymaenllwyd, i.e.:
John Rees (1724-1760): married Mary Hughes of Penymaes. Inherited Cilymaenllwyd from his father in 1750, but died 10 years later, aged only 36. Cilymaenllwyd passed to his own son, John, aged 11, who like his grandfather, Hector served a term of office as High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire..
Edward Rees (1726-?): inherited Penyfan from his father after it was sold to Hector Rees by William's father, John Price. According to Major Francis Jones, Edward died without children and left Penyfan to his sister, Jane's children. From letters in the Dolaucothi Correspondence (1) & (12) collections in the National Library of Wales, he appears to have died some time before 1790.
Jane Rees (1729-1784): married John Johnes of Dolau Cothi and had 5 children: John, Jane, Mary Ann, Elizabeth Margaret and Charlotte. Their only son, John inherited Dolau Cothi and was in turn, succeeded there by his son, County Court Judge John Johnes who was murdered by his butler, Henry Tremble on 19th August 1876.
Margaret Rees (1737-1816): married Evan Griffith of Llangolman, Pembrokeshire in 1767. This couple lived for a period of time at Penyfan. Evan died aged 92 in 1814. Margaret died in 1816. Also connected to Hengoed Fach farm which was sold after Evan's death in 1814. ? Evan was the father (by a previous marriage) of Evan Griffith Jnr. who married Margaret Bowen (daughter of Margaret Price & Thomas Bowen) in 1780.
Thomas Rees: appears to have died young
James Rees: appears to have died young
William was a 1st cousin of the children of Thomas and Margaret (Price) Bowen of Llanelli, i.e.
Thomas Bowen (1756-?): not mentioned in his uncle, Thomas Price's will of 1791, ? died young
Jane Bowen (1758-?): sole executrix of her uncle Thomas Price's will of 1791. Received bequest of tenement called Ty'n y Cwm in the parish of Llanvillo, Breconshire in the will. Married John Griffiths of Llanelli in 1792. Received equal share with her sister, Margaret and relatives, Elizabeth Gay and Sarah (Price) Howell of the proceeds of Captain Evan Price of Swansea's will in 1823.
Margaret Bowen (1759-1830): married Evan Griffith Jnr. (aka the younger) of Llanelli in 1780 and they had a daughter, Charlotte in 1785. Evan died in 1787 and by 1794 it's known that the widowed Margaret had gone into partnership with her father, Thomas and fellow mining industrialist, Willam Roderick. The partnership eventually over extended itself financially and William Roderick was declared bankrupt. Prior to this Margaret remarried on 20th November 1805 to Henry Eaton (originally of Swansea) who later served as Portreeve of Llanelly and Collector of Customs. Margaret's daughter, Charlotte died in 1806, aged only 21. Margaret was named as the main beneficiary in her 1st husband, Evan's will (received from NLW 15/3/07) inheriting several properties in Llandeilo and Llandefeilog. She was also the sole benefactor of her father's will of 1809 and as detailed above, received a portion of the estate of her relative, Evan Price of Swansea. When her 2nd husband, Henry Eaton died in 1819, he left the bulk of his estate to his 2 daughters from his 1st marriage. Margaret received some of his personal belongings which were to be passed on to Henry's daughters after her own death. Margaret died in 1830 after apparently living at Penyfan for a period of time. While Henry had been buried at Llanelli, Margaret was laid to rest at Pembrey with her 1st husband and daughter.
Ann Bowen (1760-?): not mentioned in her uncle, Thomas Price's will, ? died young.
|Acknowledgements re information to date:
As well as the various family wills, much background information regarding the history of Llanelli and details of the Rees family of Cilymaenllwyd has been gained from the excellent CD published by William & Benita Rees:
Llanelli Birth of a Town
|Benita has also been kind enough to share her own research and to offer very valuable collaberation in assessing the validity of new facts that we have uncovered about the relationships between the landed families of Llanelli and district.|