This week the focus of Surname Saturday is the patronymic surname ‘Hughes’. While the origin of the name is apparently in Wales my Hughes history has taken me out of Wales into the Black Country.
Follow my ancestor’s journeys from Shropshire to Worcestershire and Staffordshire then on to Monmouthshire.
My earliest Hughes (so far) is John Hughes. John married Sarah around the turn of the 19th century, possibly in Shropshire. They had several children including Thomas (1809), James (1811), Joseph (1813), Richard (1815), George (1820) and Sarah (1821). These children were born and baptised in Hinstock, Shropshire.
I have found little out about the lives of this family and have not yet confirmed they belong to my line.
John and Sarah’s third known child, Joseph Hughes, was baptised in Hinstock on 3rd October 1813. He moved to Worcestershire prior to his marriage in December 1835, to Hannah Jones.
Joseph and Hannah started their married life in Old Swinford with John working as a labourer.
The couple had numerous children including John (1836), William (1838), Ameliah (1840), Elizabeth (1842), George (1846), Joseph (1849), Thomas (1850), Clara (1852), Sarah (1855) and Thomas (1857).
John changed occupations a number of times, being a labourer, coal miner, nail maker and back to a labourer until his death in 1888 in the Stourbridge Registration district.
George Hughes, the fifth child of John and Sarah, was baptised in Lye on 21 January 1847. He became a nail maker, like his father at the same time, and married Prudence Knowles, a nail maker’s daughter, on 16th December 1867 in Old Swinford, Worcestershire.
George, Prudence and their children; William Joseph (1868), Elizabeth (1870), Foley (1873), Daniel (1875), Norah (1878), John Thomas (1880), Mary (1884), Selina (1889) and Mary (1890), lived in Wollescote, Worcestershire.
George died in 1911, followed in 1926 by his widow, Prudence.
The most unusual named child of George and Prudence, Foley, was born on 29th October 1873 in Lye, Worcestershire. He grew up as the son of a frost nail maker and became a bucket maker before he was 17.
Foley married Henrietta Evans at Christchurch, Lye on 24th October 1892.
By the time of the 1911 census the family had moved to South Wales and Foley was working as a miner, living in Maesycwmmer.
They are recorded as having 7 children, 3 sadly deceased. Their remaining known children, Norah (1901), Alice (1903), George Henry (1905) and Florrie May (1909). The first 3 named children were born in the Black Country while Florrie was born in New Tredegar, around 7 miles from Maesycwmmer.
Henrietta died 10 years later. Foley continued living in Monmouthshire until his death in 1965.
Norah, the first known child of Foley and Henrietta, was born in Lye on 13th May 1901. I doubt she was the first child but my search for any siblings before her is postponed.
Norah married on 22nd March 1920 at Holy Trinity Church, Ystrad Mynach. Her husband was Edward James Hodges, a local lad, born and raised in a mining family.
Norah and Edward suffered so much heartbreak during their married life. They had four children, Oliver Hughes (1920), Ralph (1922), Mary (1924) and a still living great Auntie. Of their four children, only one survived her parents.
Oliver, a Sergeant (Air Gnr.) in the RAAF, died on 4th September 1943 when the Lancaster MKIII he was in was shot down en route to Berlin. He is buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
Ralph, previously unknown to us, was born on 4th June 1922. He died within a month of his birth.
Mary, my grandmother, was taken on 11th June 1970 by breast cancer leaving her husband and young children.
Norah died in 1977 followed by Edward in 1989.
The Hughes families have added much to my research and brought their fair share of sad stories, it would be lovely to be able to trace the Hughes line further back.