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I have two Evans families in my paternal line. One came down my father’s maternal line and were from Staffordshire and Worcestershire – they lived in villages that appear to have jumped between counties a lot. The second line comes from North Wales. They have always played the part of the thorn in my side, well along with the Williams’ of course.
Even if we take the vast number of Evans’ in Wales out of the equation, this paternal line has always been impossible to find.
Over the last 13 years, I have picked them up and put them down more times than I need to consider. I have shared a love/hate relationship with them.
After ‘knocking down’ the wall that prevented me from researching beyond my 2x great grandfather, Richard Morris EVANS, I realised how stupid I had been. But those were the days of inexperience, I suppose.
I now know that Richard’s parents were Evan EVANS and Laura/Lowry ROBERTS. Now, this generation is giving me even more grief than the previous conundrum. At least with Richard, I had a crazy lucky break involving another Ancestry member. He posted photographs of his male ancestors, who happened to look like carbon copies of my Dad, Uncles, brother and the male cousins. The genes are strong with this one. The familial link has been confirmed through DNA matches – although I have yet to make contact since my results came in.
Evan is the Evans I think I want to focus on for this brick wall challenge.
Evan was born around 1830 in Caernarvonshire, Wales. I have him on a single census return, and that is as detailed as his place of birth is. It’s a great disappointment.
On 23rd October 1862, Evan married Laura ROBERTS at the Bethesda Chapel in Festiniog. He was 31, and she was 25. At the time of his marriage, Evan lived at Tyisaf, Festiniog and working as a Farm Servant. He gave his father as Evan EVANS, a deceased agricultural labourer.
Evan and Laura had 4, possibly 6, children that I know of, Richard Morris, Edward, Evan, and Robert. I think there may have been another Evan, but I’m not sure enough to include him here. There is also a mention of a child born between Evan’s death and burial, but I can’t substantiate this at the moment.
Evan died on 24th May 1875, in an accident at Cwmorthin Slate Quarry. He slipped and fell while crossing a bridge.
I don’t know if I expect to break down this brick wall, or whether this is simply an exercise to appease myself that I have tried everything. I don’t know if I will ever trace the line back another generation. Still, I never thought I would have proof that Evan and Laura are my ancestors either. New records are becoming available all the time, and it is these that make my challenges a little bit easier.