EVANS : Oswestry and Wolverhampton

My great-great-great-grandfather was William Evans, born about 1800, probably at Treflach near Oswestry.  His wife was Jane Baines, who had been born at Llangadfan, Montgomeryshire, in 1798 (see BAINES family).

Some of their children were christened at Llanyblodwel, and included Edward (25 Dec 1823), Elizabeth (20 Nov 1825 – died); Elizabeth (13 May 1827), William (22 March 1829) and Jane (19 June 1831).  The parish register gives father’s occupation as labourer, and abode as Llynclys, Porthywaen.  A younger child, Richard, was born 28 November 1833, and ten days later baptised at an Independent chapel.  His father was described as a labourer of the township of Blodwell, parish of Llanyblodwel. Their youngest son was John, my great-great-grandfather, who was born there in 1835.

By 1838 the family was living a few miles away in the township of Treflach, where a daughter Mary was baptised in December that year.  The census of 1841 records them:
William Evans, aged 40, labourer
Jane, aged 40
Edward, aged 15, agricultural labourer
Thomas, aged 11
Richard, aged 7
John, aged 5
Elizabeth, aged 13
Jane, aged 9
Mary, aged 2
Hannah, aged 2mths
*Hannah was born on 28 March 1841 at Treflach. The birth certificate shows her father as William Evans, labourer, and mother as Jane Evans, formerly Baines.

Enclosures map of Treflach in 1841

Some time after 1844 the family moved east to Wolverhampton, where the 1851 census recorded them at 27 Monmore Green:
William Evans, head, aged 51, furnace labourer, born Oswestry
Jane Evans, wife, aged 57, born Wales, Llang.…n
*Elizabeth, daughter, aged 22, labourer at blast furnace, born Wales, Llang.…n
Jane, daughter, aged 18, born Oswestry
Richard, son, aged 16, coal miner, born Oswestry
John, son, aged 14, coal miner, born Oswestry
Mary, daughter, aged 12, born Oswestry
Margaret, daughter, aged 6 born Oswestry
John Morris, lodger, aged 19, coal miner, born Oswestry.

Another son, Thomas (24) also a coal miner, was lodging nearby.  His birthplace is recorded as Llanyblodwel.

*The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married William Addison Mincher at St Matthew’s church on 7 July 1851. She died in the summer of 1861 leaving two sons, George (1855) and William (1859), and her husband subsequently remarried and had further children.  

On the 1861 census the family was living at Wesley Street, Wolverhampton:
William Evans, 63, furnace labourer; born Oswestry
Jane, wife, 65; born Montgomeryshire
Jane, daughter, 31, unmarried, general servant; born Oswestry, Shropshire
Margaret, daughter, 17, general servant; born Oswestry, Shropshire
*William, son, married, 33, coalminer; born Oswestry, Shropshire
Bridget, son’s wife, 26; born Mayo, Ireland.

*William Evans jnr married Bridget Nolan at St Matthew’s church on 22 August 1853.  Their witnesses were William’s sister Elizabeth and her husband Addison Mincher.

Next door to them in Wesley Street were living William and Jane Evans’s eldest son, Edward, and his family:
*Edward Evans, aged 36, furnace labourer, born Lunclis (Llynclys) Salop
Ann, wife, aged 38, born Montgomeryshire
Mary Jane, daughter, aged 12, born Wolverhampton
Edward, son, aged 3, born Wolverhampton
John, son, aged 1, born Wolverhampton
John Evans, father, aged 50, carter, born Wales  (This may be Ann Evans’s brother: her father was dead before 1848).

*Edward Evans married Ann Evans (born at Llanymynech) at St Peter’s Wolverhampton on 6 February 1848. The address of both was given as Monmore Green.

Another brother, Richard Evans, married widow Sarah Bratt, nee Powell, at St Matthew’s on 25 December 1861.  On that year’s census they had been living in adjacent properties in Wesley Street.

William Evans was buried at Merridale Cemetery on 8 January 1863. The register gives his age as 64, occupation labourer and abode Monmore Green. His widow Jane subsequently remarried, on 10 November 1864 at St Matthew’s church, to George Phelp or Phelps, a forge labourer, whose wife had been buried only six weeks earlier. The marriage certificate gives her address as Monmore Green and her father as Richard Baines, deceased. Witnesses were John McMahon and Sarah Morgan. 

Jane was widowed for a second time towards the end of 1868. On the 1871 census she and her daughter Jane were living at 9 Frost Street with two lodgers, both bricklayers’ labourers:
Jane Phelps, widow, aged 75, born Llangaden (sic), Montgomeryshire
Jane Evans, daughter, aged 39, born Oswestry
William Taylor, boarder, aged 47, born Gloucester
Thomas Edwards, boarder, aged 60, born Ellesmere.

On the 1881 census Jane and her daughter were still at 1 Court, 9 Frost Street:
Jane Felton, head, aged 87, widow, born Llangolen, Wales*; receiving parish relief
Jane Evans, lodger, aged 50, unmarried, born Oswestry, Shropshire; receiving parish relief
William Taylor, lodger, aged 64, unmarried, born Thornbury, Gloucester; general labourer.
*Jane’s surname and place of birth were recorded inaccurately here – cf 1871 census.

Jane died at Frost Street on 31 December 1881, aged 88 according to the death certificate (she was actually 83). Cause of death was given as old age, with apoplexy as a secondary cause; and she is described as widow of George Phelp, forge labourer. Present at the death was Elizabeth Pickerill. She was buried at Merridale cemetery on 5 January 1882, and is recorded in the register as Jane Paley Phelps, aged 88, widow, of Frost Street.

Her daughter Jane died aged 57, and was buried at the same cemetery on 28 January 1890.

Her youngest son John Evans, my great-great-grandfather, married Mary Bradley at St Matthew’s church, Wolverhampton, on 10 September 1855, when both were under the age of 21. In the parish register they are shown as John Evans, minor, bachelor, of Monmore Green; occupation, miner; father, William Evans, labourer. Mary Bradley, minor, spinster, of Monmore Green; father, Thomas Bradley, miner (see BRADLEY family).

Their witnesses were a neighbour, John Hopwood, and the groom’s sister Mary Evans, who were married at St Matthew’s the following year, 29 December 1856. This time the witnesses were Mary’s brother, Richard Evans, and Jane Perkins. Mary Bradley appears to have had an illegitimate child before her marriage, referred to on the 1861 census as John Evans’s son-in-law (a term used for step-son).  This child, recorded as both Bradley and Evans, died at the age of 22 and was buried at Merridale cemetery on 17 March 1875.  The register records him as Richard Evans, a miner living at Rough Hills.

On the 1861 census John and Mary Evans were living at Wesley Street, Wolverhampton:
John Evans, aged 25, coalminer; born Oswestry, Shrops
Mary, wife, aged 26; born Dudley
Richard B.Bradley, son-in-law, aged 6; born Wolverhampton (Mary’s illegitimate child)
William, son, aged 4; born Wolverhampton
John, son, aged 1; born Wolverhampton.

On the 1871 census the family was living at Fighting Cocks along the Dudley Road and recorded as:
John Evans, head, aged 35, miner coal, born Oswestry
Mary, wife, aged 36, born Dudley
Richard, (step)son, aged 16, brass caster
Betsey (Elizabeth), daughter, aged 7
Thomas, son, aged 7
Jane, daughter, aged 4
Mary, daughter, aged 2 – my great-grandmother
Edward, son, aged 1
all born at Wolverhampton.

Until at least 1875, when his youngest child Richard was born, John Evans worked as a coal miner. Sometime after that date the family acquired a cow, and began selling milk. On the 1881 census they had moved back to Rough Hills:
John Evans, head, aged 47, born Montgomery, Wales; milkseller (cf other censuses)
Mary Evans, wife, aged 46, born Dudley
Elizabeth Evans, daughter, aged 17, born W’ton; domestic servant
Thomas Evans, son, aged 16, born W’ton; iron plate worker
Jane Evans, daughter, aged 14
Mary Evans, daughter, aged 13
Edward Evans, son, aged 11 > all scholars, born Wolverhampton
John Evans, son, aged 8
Richard Evans, son, aged 5.

(The youngest son, Richard James Evans, born at Rough Hills on 4 June 1875, was named in memory of his half-brother Richard who had died aged 22 three months earlier.)

On the 1891 census the family was now at at 30 Steelhouse Lane in the parish of All Saints, and recorded as:
John Evans, head, aged 55, born Oswestry, Montgomeryshire; milkman
Mary, wife, aged 57, born Dudley, Worcestershire
Thomas, son, aged 28; iron stamper
John, son, aged 18; iron stamper > all born Wolverhampton
Richard, son, aged 16; drawer out in furnace
Alice Horton, aged 14, domestic servant.

John and Mary’s daughter, my great-grandmother Mary Jane Evans, married William Thomas Tufft at St Matthew’s Church on 15 February 1886. On the marriage certificate her father John Evans is described as a cowkeeper. Both were living at Frost Street, where Mary Jane’s grandmother and aunt had been residing in 1881 (see above).

My grandmother, May Tufft, was born at 30 Steelhouse Lane on 8 January 1894.  The Tufft family was at this address on the 1901 census, and Mary Jane Tufft (below) was still living here thirty years later, selling sweets, so it must have been a shared family home for a long time.   Mary Jane died here on 7 February 1932. The death certificate gives her age as 65 and describes her as ‘wife of William Thomas Tufft, formerly electric cable joiner’s labourer’. Cause of death was acute bronchitis, and present at the death was her son Ernest, who was living with her.

On the 1901 census, John and Mary Evans are shown at separate addresses. John’s birthplace and age differ from those given in 1851 & 1881.

Parish of St Luke’s, Wolverhampton:
John Evans, head, married, aged 62, born Wolverhampton; milkseller
Thomas Evans, son, single, aged 35, born Wolverhampton; blacksmith
Richard Evans, son, single, aged 26, born Wolverhampton; general labourer
Joseph Wright, visitor, single, aged 63, born Wolverhampton; general labourer.

57 Dale Street, parish of St Paul’s, Wolverhampton:
*John H.Evans, head, married, aged 27, born Wolverhampton; builder’s carter
Caroline Evans, wife, aged 27, born Wolverhampton
Mary E.Evans, daughter, aged 7, born Wolverhampton
Beatrice Evans, daughter, aged 5, born Wolverhampton
John Henry Evans, son, aged 3, born Wolverhampton
Sarah G.Evans, daughter, aged 1, born Wolverhampton
Mary Evans, mother, married, aged 67, born Wolverhampton (cf 1881 census).

*John Henry Evans married Caroline McHale at Wolverhampton June quarter 1893.
Mary Evans died here at Dale Street not long after the census was taken, and was buried at Merridale municipal cemetery on 28 April 1901.  The register gives her age as 65, and describes her as wife of John Evans, milkman.
John Evans himself died three years later and was buried at Merridale on 4 December 1904.  The register gives his age as 72, and describes him as a labourer living at Steelhouse Lane.