The first of Evan III and Catherine Moses’ children was a girl called Ann (III), born almost exactly three months after the wedding on November the 21st 1830. She was born at Ty Cornel Ger Ynus-y-bool in the Parish of Llanwynno Glamorgan, and was the third Ann Moses, following her grandmother and aunt. Ann was Christened at “Lanwonno Church“; thanks to the Family Bible there for giving us yet another spelling! Incidentally the correct spellings are either Llanwynno (Cymraeg) or Llanwonno (English).
Ann was 20 years old and still living at home according to the census of 1851; by which time the Moses family had moved up to Hendre Rhys Farm. Three years later and Ann gave birth to an illegitimate boy at Ty Mawr in the Parish of Llanwynno, on September 15th 1853, with no father declared on the birth certificate. The boy was named Evan, and is number VI in our growing list of Evan’s. I assume that Ann was working as a live in servant at the Ty Mawr Estate at the time of the birth. The large 51 acre estate, a couple of miles away from Hendre Rhys, was owned by an Evan Hopkin who would later give his name to the town of Hopkinstown/Trehopcyn which would spring up on the estate’s land after coal was discovered there. Four years later and Ann was back at Hendre Rhys and giving birth to another illegitimate baby – this time it was a girl called Ellen on January 16th 1857. Again there was no father declared, either on the birth certificate or at the Christening on April 21st. Interestingly, around this time, there did not seem to be any stigma attached to illegitimacy, with newcomers welcomed into the family whatever their provenance. This necklace of farms in the Parish of Llanwynno seems to have been part of a Welsh pre-industrial society where Victorian family values had yet to reach.
Tragically baby Ellen died up at Hendre Rhys Farm, at just three years of age, on March 17th 1859 due to “Accidental death by burning“. The death certificate gives Ellen’s surname as Thomas and describes her as the “Illegitimate Child of Evan Thomas Collier” – presumably he was also the father of Evan VI as well. The certificate also tells us that there was an inquest into the death the very next day, which was carried out by George Overton the Coroner for Glamorganshire. Unfortunately the Glamorgan Records Office do not keep coroners reports dating back that far, so we do not know the full story behind the tragedy; this is a great shame as it would have also given us a fascinating little insight into life up at the farm. Back to Ellen’s father, Evan Thomas, and he was born circa 1828 at Michaelstone-y-Fedw, which was, and still is, a small rural village to the west of Newport/Caesnewydd (Gwent). At the time of Evan VI’s birth, Evan Thomas was a young lodger living at “Pantygraig“, which was practically next door to Ty Mawr, where Ann Moses was working. It was strange that, despite having two children together, they never got married. We can only speculate as to when and why the relationship ended – perhaps Evan did a runner, perhaps he died, maybe he blamed Ann for their daughters death; sadly we shall probably never know.
Less than a year after the tragedy, Ann turns up as a pregnant bride at the local Registry Office on the 25th February 1860, where she married David John. Given this time scale, it seems unlikely that common law husband Evan Thomas would have been still around at the time of Ellen’s death. On the marriage certificate Ann and David’s ages were given as 27 and 25 – but they were both 29!; with Ann two months the elder. Also on the certificate Ann had to describe herself, no doubt somewhat sheepishly, as a “spinster“. David, the son of John John, was a woodcutter/gardener from Cilgerran in Pembrokeshire, but at the time of the wedding he was living at Rhyd-y-Gwreiddyn which was just up the road from Hendre Rhys. Ann’s son, Evan VI, would have been seven years old when his mother married; he does not join the new family unit, and with Thomas being such a common surname we lose track of him. Ann and David’s baby, Alice, was born at “Pen Graigwen” at the bottom of Cwm Rhondda where the couple had began married life near to where Ann’s brother Moses Moses and his family were living. Born five months after the wedding on July the 30th 1860, Alice would later take on a middle name (Mary) after the family had emigrated; this was probably a nod to Ann’s sister Mary Edwards back in Ynysybwl. Alice’s birth certificate also tells us that David, now with a wife and child to support, had swapped cutting wood for cutting coal. Interestingly, five months after Alice’s birth, a David William John died up at Hendre Rhys Farm on December 5th, aged just four months; his parents William and Mary John were presumably relatives of Ann’s husband David.
Young Alice was joined on the 27th February 1864 by a sister, Aretes, born at Tair Heol (three road houses) in Llanwynno Parish. This address which still exists today, was one of a small row of cottages off the Darren Ddu Road in Cwm Clydach, and was only a relatively short distance from Hendre Rhys Farm. The highly unusual Christian name of Aretes, later became Aredes C. following the family’s emigration. I assume that both the girls were named after relatives from David’s side of the family. Ann and David John only had two U.K. census entries together; in 1861 they were living at Penygraigwen Houses, and ten years later they were living half way up the Rhondda Fawr at Gelli Land, where David was now described as a “Mason” – presumably stone rather than free! The John family then dropped off the radar with no further U.K. certificate or census entries. The mystery was solved thanks to an old photograph, which the family had sent back to Ann’s sister Mary Edwards in Ynysybwl. The formal shot of Ann and David sitting down with daughters Alice and Aretes standing behind, was thankfully captioned, and ended up in the possession of Ann Ball who is Ann John’s great niece. The caption in pencil reads “Photograph of David L. Johns and family, Youngstown, Ohio 1887 – to Mary.” As you may have noticed, David had unhelpfully “grown” a middle name and added an S to the family’s surname, which had obviously hindered Glyn’s efforts in trying to track them down!
The family had emigrated to the U.S. via Ireland back in 1880, when Mr. and Mrs. John(s) would have been middle aged – or 49 years old. Contrast this with Ann’s three siblings (Catherine, Morgan and Evan) who would have been only 23, 25 and 33 when they left for America. I would imagine that David must have been fairly confident of finding a good job in Youngstown for him to have uprooted his family; but more likely he probably just wanted a better life for his daughters who would have been 20 and 16 when they emigrated. Ann’s younger sister Catherine (Lewis) and her family had themselves settled in Ohio after emigrating ten years earlier; this would obviously have helped the Johns’ settle in to their new life. Presumably there had been regular correspondence between the two sisters over the previous decade, with Catherine pointing out the benefits of emigrating to the “Buckeye State”. Around this time Youngstown’s burgeoning coal industry was drawing in hundreds of immigrants, especially from Wales, Germany and Ireland, but interestingly according to their first U.S. census entry, David continued to be a stone mason. The timing of the move must have been especially difficult for Ann, as she would have had to have left her elderly and recently widowed mother Catherine; her father (Farmer Evan) had died less than four months before the John(s) family set sail for New York on the Nevada, eventually arriving on the 9th of July 1880. Fourteen months after emigrating, Ann would have heard the sad news of her mothers death back at Hendre Rhys Farm but, despite the obstacles posed by illiteracy, Ann remained in contact with her siblings Mary and Twm back in Ynysybwl.
Sadly as a consequence of emigrating in middle age, both David and Ann experienced less than two decades of life in Ohio. David was “suddenly called” on April 27th 1896 whilst painting the interior of the residence of a Mr. John B. Reese of Emma Street Youngstown. Apparently he was stricken with apoplexy and had been dead for nearly an hour before Mr. Reese found him. David was a deacon and treasurer of his local Welsh Presbyterian Church, and according to his obituary, was “a most worthy citizen” and “one of the best known men in the eastern part of the city”. David was aged 65 when he died, and not “about 62 years of age”, as reported in the local press. Also on his headstone his date of birth is given as 1832 rather than 1831. His “aged” widow Ann died three years later, almost to the day, on April 30th 1899 aged 68. She was described in the Youngstown Vindicator as having “a kindly and unselfish nature” and as “a loyal and devoted mother”. Ann had apparently gradually declined since her husband’s shock death and finally succumbed to pneumonia at the home of her daughter Aredes Rees, where she had lived since her husband’s passing. The couple are both buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery Youngstown.
Thanks to David Jenkins (Ann & David’s Gt. Grandson) of Cortland Ohio for helping us to tie up some loose ends with this branch.
Alice and Aret(d)es and their family’s
Both of Ann and David’s girls would go on to marry fellow Welsh immigrants. Eldest daughter Alice Mary married John Lloyd Jenkins in 1887. John Lloyd was also born in Glamorgan, on October 3rd 1857, and after emigrating he became a “Mail Carrier” and “Postal Clerk” in Youngstown for the next 33 years. Alice M. and John Lloyd had four Ohio born children, and they were all boys – Milton L. 1888/ Stanley N. August 1889/ David John. 20/5/1893 and finally Oliver James. 3/11/1897. Surprisingly the Moses side of the family is not represented in any of the boy’s names.
Youngstown “Machinist” Milton L. was the first boy to marry, when he tied the knot with Georgia B. in 1917; “Retail plumber” Stanley N. was the last when he wed Margaret M., who was nine years his junior, in 1928. Interestingly the two youngest boys married 2nd generation German sisters, Erma Wilhelmina and Hilda Virginia Kreuzwieser, in 1918 and 1924 respectively. We know that Oliver J. and Hilda V. had four children – Alice 1925/Hilda H. 1928/Oliver J. II 4/6/1936-18/11/1999 and David b.1938. Stanley N. and Oliver J. both enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War I (1918), with Oliver J. being discharged after only two months! David J. became an electrician in Youngstown.
Back to their parents, and John Lloyd Jenkins lived to a good age, 85, dying on November 14th 1942 in Youngstown from heart disease; indeed he apparently suffered from heart problems for the last twelve years of his 22 years of retirement. His wife “Housewife” Alice Mary Jenkins also passed away in Youngstown, on 14th June 1922 from a “Cerebral Hemorhage” (sic) aged “61 years 11 months and 2 days” according to her death certificate. (It should be 61/11/ 13). Sadly this happened just two years into her husbands long retirement; she is buried in the city’s Oak Hill Cemetery.
Younger daughter Aretes, now Aredes C., married Welsh-born blacksmith Evan Rees (b. 1857, d. 1914) in 1885. The couple remained in Youngstown and had two children – Stella (b. 1888) and Albert David. (b. November 2nd 1892).
Stella kept it Cymraeg by marrying Idris Edwards in 1916. In the U.S. census of 1920, Stella and Idris were living in Youngstown with Stella’s 56 year old widowed mother Aredes. Idris, who was a manager of an electrical company and then an office worker at a steel mill, comfortably outlived Stella who died in Allen County, Ohio; he himself passed away in Milwaukee in July 1980.
Albert D. Rees became a “Bank Treasurer” in Youngstown, a career which was interrupted when he enlisted in the U.S. Army during WWI. He married Catherine or Kathryn Dorothy Flynn in 1917, and they also had two children – Laverne Aredes 20/10/1918 – 20/6/1996 and Albert D. II. 31/7/1921 – 17/10/ 1977. Albert D. II was enlisted in the U.S. Army during WW2; he ended up getting divorced whilst his sister became Mrs.Bjorgen. Their father Albert D. I died in Akron Summit, Ohio on August 23rd 1961.
Finally Aredes C. Rees (nee Johns) didn’t remain a widow, as shortly after the census of 1920 she remarried. Husband number two was “ageing bachelor” Edmund Price (born 1855/ emigrated 1892), who was apparently worth $5000 – comfort and company in her autumn years; sensible lady! The down-side was that Edmund was described in a letter written by Aredes’ cousin as “a man who was not very nice”. Apparently “everyone” thought “she (Aredes) was very foolish”; but as the writer says “love is blind”! Not surprisingly Aredes outlived Edmund and so became a widow for a second time. Indeed she was still going strong in 1940, aged 76, and was back living with Stella and Idris in Youngstown. Interestingly we have discovered her nickname – she was affectionately known as “Reedy Rees“. Cymraeg iawn! Aredes Rees/Price (nee Johns) passed away in 1947 when she would have been about 83 years old.
We Know that Alice and Aretes kept in touch with their Welsh cousins until at least the 1920’s; but over the course of time contact between Youngstown and Ynysybwl ceased. I have a feeling that it had been the “Moses” sisters branches that had had tried to remain in contact more than the two emigrant brother’s branches. Ann and Mary certainly had a lot in common – both having a boy and girl out of wedlock, with both girls named Ellen dying tragically as infants. Both sisters then went on to marry new partners!
There are still plenty of Ann and David’s descendants still living in Ohio near their original landing area. We know their Gt. Grandaughter Laverne A. Reese passed away in 1996 in Youngstown, whilst the Jenkins line continues to thrive in the state.