HISTORY OF ELIAS DAVIES OF WALES
Elias Davis, my paternal great great grandfather, was Baptized Elias Davies on May 25, 1857, in Penheolgerrig, Lower Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales. The parents of Elias were William Davies and Elizabeth nee Davies. William was a Brewer’s laborer. William and Elizabeth were married on December 11, 1846 in the Parish of Llangathen, Carmarthenshire. William Davies was living at Bwlchy-y-wynl(?), Carmarthenshire. William lists his father as Thomas Davies, a laborer, and Elizabeth lists her father as William Davies, a Cooper.
In the 1851 Welsh census William is living in Merthyr Tydfil in the Ecclesiastical Parish of Cyfarthfa with his mother-in-law, Mary Davies. William gives his age as 30 (b. 1821). William has his daughter, Sarah, age 4 (b. 1Q1847) living with him. Also, living with them are Mary Davies’ two children, Anne, age 25 (b. 1826) and William, age 23 (b. 1828). Mary Davies is the widow of a Sawyer (wood worker) and gives her place of birth as Llandyfeilog, Carmarthenshire. Her two children, Anne and William, were born in Llandeilo(fawr). William, husband of Elizabeth, indicates that he was born in Llangathen and his daughter, Sarah, was born in Llandeilo(fawr). William’s wife, Elizabeth, was living in Llansadwrn, Llanddeusant, Carmarthenshire, with their son, Thomas. Elizabeth gives her age as 30 (b. 1821) and that she was born in Llandyfeisant, Carmarthenshire. Thomas gives his age as 1 (b. 1850) and was born in Llansadwrn, Carmarthenshire. The GRO records indicate that Thomas was born on September 15, 1849. They were living at Aberlegan, Llansadwrn.
According to the Parish records of Carmarthenshire, William Davies, husband of Elizabeth, was Baptized on November 6, 1820, to parents Thomas and Elizabeth Davies in Llangathen Parish. Thomas is a laborer and they are living at Penrhiwradar (Penrhiw-yr-adar), Llangathen. This is near Goetre, Llangathen. Thomas Davies married Elizabeth Thomas on March 14, 1809 in Llangathen Parish. They also had children, Mary, Baptized on December 28, 1809, in Llangathen Parish and son, John, Baptized on June 23, 1813, in Llangathen Parish. Thomas and Elizabeth are recorded in the 1841, 1851, 1861, and 1871(Thomas) Welsh census records. They are still living in the same area (College Cottages) and Bwlchygwynt, Llangathen. They both claim to be born in Llangathen. Thomas gives his age as 66 (b. 1785) and Elizabeth gives her age as 71 (b. 1780) in the 1851 census. A Thomas Davies was Baptized on August 24, 1784 to parents Daniel and Mary Davies in Llangathen Parish. Daniel lists his occupation as a laborer. An Elizabeth Thomas was Baptized to a John Thomas on March 10, 1781 in Llangathen Parish. However, an Elizabeth Thomas was also Baptized to a John Thomas on March 23, 1780 in Llangathen Parish. This could be a younger sister that had died.
It is noted that a Daniel David married a Mary Huett on August 25, 1769 in Llangathen Parish. Also, a Daniel David was baptized to a Thomas David on September 27, 1755 in Llangathen Parish. It is not confirmed that these are our ancestors, however; in the 1851, 1861, and 1871 census records both Thomas and Elizabeth Davies indicate that they were both born in Llangathen. Also, William and Elizabeth Davies named their first two sons Thomas (for William’s father) and William (for the father). William and Elizabeth named their first (and second) daughter, Sarah, after Elizabeth’s sister who had recently died. Their final child was a boy named Elias. I suspect that Elizabeth knew this would be their last child. Her husband William may have already died. I think Elias was named for his mother Elizabeth.
Additionally, a John Thomas married a Mary David on July 23, 1762 in Llangathen Parish. Thomas and Elizabeth Davies named their first daughter, Mary, after Elizabeth’s mother, Mary David. Thomas Davies wrote his own signature on the marriage record in 1809, but Elizabeth Thomas signed by Mark. It is unlikely that either of Elizabeth’s parents could write their own signature, as well. I also note that a John Thomas married a Mary John on September 28, 1770 and a John Thomas married a Mary Evan on February 24, 1764. All were members of Llangathen Parish.
Elizabeth Davies, wife of William, was Baptized on January 13, 1822 in the Parish of Llandyfeisant, Carmarthenshire. Her parents are listed as William and Mary Davies. William claims he is a Coachman from Man(er)vabon. I believe that this is the modern Llanfabon. Llanfabon is located near Heolfawr Road, north of Pontypridd and east of Abercynon. William Davies married Mary Richard on December 29, 1821 in LLanwrda Parish. William is listed as a Yeoman. Their second child, Anne, was Baptized on April 16, 1826 in Llandeilofawr Parish. William is listed as a laborer and they are living in Danygraig, Trecastle Hamlet, Llandeilofawr. This is near Pen-y-banc and just northeast of Rhiw-yr-adar. I could not find a baptism for their third child, William who said he was from Llandeilofawr. On November 25, 1832 their fourth child, Beatrice, was Baptized in Llangathen Parish. The family had moved to Quarrey-box, Llangathen next to Rhiw-yr-adar. William now lists his occupation as a Sawyer. Beatrice would die in 2Q1840 in the Llandeilofawr District. I could not find a baptism for their last child, Sarah, who is listed in the 1841 census as age 5 (b. 1836). Sarah would die before the 1851 Welsh census and before 1Q1847.
In the 1841 census William and Mary are living at Quarrey, Llangathen. William lists his occupation as a Sawyer. William and Mary both give their age as 45 (b. 1796). William indicates he was not born in Carmarthenshire. A William Davies was Baptized on May 23, 1797 to parents William and Mary Davies in LLandyfodwg Parish, Glamorgan. It is not confirmed that this is our ancestor, but it is very likely. William, father, would die before the 1851 Welsh census. William’s wife, Mary Richard, was baptized on March 2, 1797, in LLandyfeilog Parish. Mary’s father is John Richard. It appears that another Mary Richard was baptized on November 11, 1791 to father, John Richard. I suspect that this was a sister that died earlier. A John Richard married an Anne Rees by Banns on October 18, 1791 in Llandyfeilog Parish. William and Mary Davies named their second daughter, Anne, after Mary’s mother.
ELIAS DAVIES IN THE UNITED STATES
In the 1861 Welsh census Elias Davies was living in Lower Merthyr Tydfil in the Ecclesiastical Parish of Cyfartha with his mother Elizabeth (age 30), brother Thomas (age 12), sister Sarah (age 9), and brother William (age 7, born in Merthyr Tydfil). Elias’ father, William, is deceased. Given the age of Elias, William died sometime between 1856 and 1861. Also, it appears that the daughter, Sarah, in the 1851 census (age 4) had died and a new daughter born about 1852 in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, was renamed Sarah. The family is living in the Hamlet of Gellydeg. Gellydeg is just north of Heolgerrig and northeast of Aberdare, Glamorgan. To earn extra income, Elizabeth has taken in three boarders.
In the 1871 census Elias Davies and his sister, Sarah, are living in the Maesteg Collier, Cottage 167, Bridgend, in the civil parish of LLandyfodwg, with their uncle, William Davies. William is a Carpenter, Elias is a Collier, and Sarah is a Washerwoman. Living in Cottage 169 is Elizabeth Davies with her two sons, Thomas and William. Elizabeth is a Dressmaker and William and Thomas are Colliers. Note that LLandyfodwg could be the area where Elizabeth’s father, William, was born.
In the 1881 census Elias Davies is married and living in Cottage Gilvach Goch #143, Bridgend Howbridge Union, Llandyfodwg. On November 12, 1877, Elias Davies married Mary Jane Nicholas in Maesteg, in the Parish of Llandyfodwg, Glamorgan. They were both 20 years of age and Elias indicates that he is a Carpenter. While Elias’ father was a Cooper, Mary Jane’s father was a Collier. Elias and Mary Jane had two children, Elizabeth Jane, age 3 (b. 1Q1878) and Mary Ann, 11 months. Mary Ann was born on May 5, 1880 in Maesteg, Bridgend, Glamorgan.
Elias’ mother, Elizabeth and her two sons, Thomas and William, are also living in Cottage Gilvach Goch #135, Bridgend Howbridge Union. Both sons are unmarried and are working as Colliers. Elizabeth is a Housekeeper. Elizabeth and Thomas would spend the rest of their lives living in Ogmore, Bridgend, Gilfach Goch, LLandyfodwg. Thomas would die in 1Q1904 and Elizabeth would die in 1Q1909. In the 1891 Welsh census a William Davi(e)s is living in Gellydeg, Lower Merthyr Tydfil, in the Cyfartfha Ecclesiastical Parish. William gives his birth year as 1854 and his occupation as a Collier. William married a Catherine Davi(e)s and is living with her father, Robert Davi(e)s. They have a son, Robert Evan Davi(e)s, who is 11 months old.
In 4Q1884 Elias and Mary Jane would have a son, Elias. Elias would die in Bridgend in 1Q1885. In 1886/1887, Elias and Mary Jane, and their family, would emigrate to the United States. Unfortunately there are no 1890 U.S. census records as they were destroyed in a fire. In the 1900 U.S. census Elias and Mary Jane are residing at 205 Main Street, Moose Borough, Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. The family consists of: Thomas, age 18 (b. April, 1882, Wales), Sarah, age 13 (b. December, 1887), Margaret, age 10 (b. November, 1889), and Eva, age 5 (b. March, 1895). Elias is a Carpenter and Thomas works as a Driver. I could not find a record for Elizabeth Jane Davi(e)s in the 1900 census.
Mary Ann Davi(e)s married Joseph Bassett Williams (my great grandfather) on October 13, 1898 in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. Joseph was living in Old Forge Township and Mary Ann was living in Minooka, PA. Mary Ann was 18 years old and had the consent of her father. In the 1900 census Joseph and Mary Ann are living at 446 West Market Street, Scranton, PA. Visiting with them on June 1 was Mary Ann’s sister, Margaret Davi(e)s, age 10.
In the 1910 U.S. census Elias and Mary Jane are living at 219 Union Street, Taylor Borough, Scranton, PA. Living with them are: Margaret, age18; Evan, age 17; and Ralph, age 13. Both Evan and Ralph are listed as sons. Their daughter Sarah, age 23, is married to Evan Jones and is also living with the family. Evan and Sarah were married on March 28, 1908 in Taylor, Scranton, PA.
In 1920, Elias and Mary Jane are living at 204 West Grove Street, Taylor, Scranton, PA. Elias lists his age as 64 and indicates that he is a Carpenter. Living with them is a cousin, Ann Butler. Ann is 59 years old (b. 1861) and was born in Wales. Ann is a widow and indicates that she emigrated to the United States in 1906. Margaret Davi(e)s would marry Handel Griffith on June 14, 1913 in Wilkes Barre, PA. Evan Davi(e)s would marry Edith Davi(e)s on July 15, 1914 in Taylor, PA. Evan and Edith would have two children: Sherwood Evan Davi(e)s born November 21, 1915 in PA; and Mary Jane Davi(e)s born about 1922 in PA. Ralph Davi(e)s would marry Ethel Davi(e)s on December 22, 1917 in Taylor, PA. They would have three children: John Elias Davi(e)s born on February 2, 1921 in PA; Mary Jane Davi(e)s born on January 30, 1933 in PA; and Thomas Davi(e)s born and died in 1935 in Scranton, PA.
In the 1930 census Elias and Mary Jane are living at 206R Pond Street, Taylor, Scranton. PA. Residing at 208 Pond Street is their daughter, Sarah. Sarah and Evan Jones have a daughter, Dorothy, age 19, and a son, Thomas, age 14. Evan is a merchant in the grocery business.
Elias Davi(e)s would die on October 3, 1937 in Taylor, Scranton, PA. Mary Jane Nicholas Davi(e)s would die in Taylor, PA on March 23, 1939.
Evan Davi(e)s would die in West Palm Beach, Florida on April 9, 1986. Ralph Davi(e)s died in Delaware County, PA on July 8, 1987. Mary Ann Davi(e)s Williams would die in Marcus Hook, PA on May 24, 1951 (my great grandmother).
Paul R Williams
December 23, 2015