Despite fathering 13 children, Charles Moses does not have as many descendants as you would imagine, as four of his offspring died as children and only one of his three sons who reached adulthood got married.
The son who did get married was Charles’ first born from his curtailed marriage to Ann Lewis. Alfred (later briefly Alfred John) Moses began his life living down in Trefforest at the home of his maternal grandparents, which he shared with his parents and two teenage “Lewis” uncles. After the death of his mother in a Hopkinstown pub, young Alfred was left at Hendre Rhys Farm to be raised by his grandparents, whilst his father embarked on family number two a couple of miles away in The Rhondda. Whilst at the farm, his Grandparents Evan and Catws, give the youngster a new “middle” name, John, which must have left the young boy even more confused. We do not know when Alfred left Hendre Rhys, and the next we hear of him was when he got married in 1890 – minus his middle name! Hopkinstown based Coalminer Alfred was 29 when he tied the knot, which was quite a mature age to wed back then. His bride was 28 year old heavily pregnant colliers daughter Mary Ann Jones from High Street Cymer, who’s father was also called Charles. The illiterate couple were married at the Registry Office in Pontypridd on April 5th 1890, where outside the local midwife must have been on standby, as Mary Ann was only 14 days away from giving birth. Their daughter Elizabeth Ann was born at”2 Hopkins Town” just outside Pontypridd on 19/4/1890. By the following years census the family had made the short move to 17 Ty Mawr Road Gyfeillon Hopkinstown; an address they shared with lodger Windsor Thomas, his wife and young son.
By the next census of 1901, the family had moved up the Rhondda Fach, to 110 East Road Tylorstown; without the lodgers but with two new arrivals – another Evan (XV) Moses (b.9/9/1894 and David (b.8/8/1898). Sadly and amazingly, three other children did not live long enough to make the move up to Tylorstown – Mary Jane, born on Guy Fauwkes night 1891, died just two days before her second birthday; Charles III (b.7/8/1893) only lasted three months, dying on November 25th; whilst another boy, Thomas Charles (b.1/5/1897), again died aged three months on the 26th of August. All three children perished from various types of convulsions, and poor Alfred was present on all three occasions. Interestingly all three children were taken “back” to Llanwynno to be buried at St. Gwynno’s. The month of November in the year 1893, must have been particularly devastating for Alfred and Mary Ann; imaging losing two of your children in the space of 22 days; people back then must have been made of strong stuff to cope with such tragedy. The seventh and last of Alfred and Mary Ann’s children was the only one born at East Road Tylorstown; and it was a girl called Gwen who arrived on January 5th 1902.
In the census of 1911, the family who incidentally were all bilingual, were living at 10 Upper Terrace Stanleytown Rhondda Fach along with a one year old “niece” Morfydd Roberts. The Stanleytown born baby was presumably from Mary Ann’s side of the family. Alfred Moses died relatively young (aged 56) at home on the 26th of July 1917, from “Phthisis“, which is an archaic name for tuberculosis. On his death certificate he was described as “Formerly a Coal hewer“, which suggests he had already retired from work through ill health. Alfred was laid to rest over at Llanwynno on the 1st of August, in what was probably the last Moses family funeral held at St. Gwynno’s. In contrast his widow Mary Ann Moses, lived to the ripe old age of 88, dying at The Avenue Pontygwaith Rhondda Fach on January 8th 1949. She died from senile decay, with son David the informant on the certificate. Indeed coal hewing bachelor David, only outlived his mam by two years, when he died aged 52 from heart problems. He passed away on February 14th 1951 at 64 The Avenue Ponty-gwaith, where he was living with his nephew H.D. Brown who certified the death. His brother Evan XV married Beatrice May Vowles at the Holy Trinity Church (East Rd.) Tylorstown, two days before Christmas in the year after his father’s death (1918). They began married life living at 10 Upper Terrace before moving to Vivian St. in nearby Tylorstown. The couple had three children, all daughters – Eva May (died aged two in 1923), Betty Gwendoline (b.1924) and there was then a gap of six years before Iris Rowena‘s birth in 1930. Evan himself was “Ex Army” and then a colliery surface rider before ending up as a Pontygwaith-based munitions factory worker. He sadly died from a heart attack in July 1945 when he was only 51 years old. This death, three and a half years before his own mother’s, coupled with his bachelor brother’s early passing, means that the Moses surname disappears from Alfred’s branch in 1951.
But what about Alfred and Mary Ann’s two surviving daughters? Eldest girl Elizabeth Ann married soldier William Edward Evans on June 28th 1915. The couple had been near neighbours, living only eight doors apart at Upper Terrace Stanleytown, and were married at the local Holy Trinity Church, where Elizabeth Ann’s brother Evan and his then girlfriend Miss Vowles were the witnesses. The marriage turned out to be a brief one, as sadly William did not return from the First World War. On November 3rd 1914 Elizabeth Ann Moses had given birth to a girl called Gladys May at 10 Upper Terrace Stanleytown. No father was declared on the birth certificate; we assume/hope the dad was W.E Evans. We also assume that Elizabeth Ann later remarried as she had a son – H.D. Brown. Youngest sibling Gwen married Trevor Thomas Hooton from Cardiff on the 2nd of April 1923. They had three children – Sydney David b.1925, Ronald b.1927 and Thelma May b.1930.
Charles Moses’ second child was Mary Ann, who’s birth in a Hopkinstown Public House in 1865, resulted in the death of his first wife Ann, and the break up of his fledgling family. Whilst her brother Alfred headed off up to Hendre Rhys Farm, Mary Ann was left with her maternal grandparents – the Lewis’. By the next census of 1871, six year old Mary Ann Moses was living at Rock Bedwellty in the Sirhowy Valley with her Grandmother Mary Lewis and uncle Aneurin. Sadly her nan was now a 53 year old widow; so the young girl had already lost her mam, her grandfather and probably become estranged from her father. We lose track of her after this census, and do not know how much, if any, contact she had with Charles during her life.
Now the bulk of Charles’ children from his 2nd marriage –
Charles’ first child with H(A)nna(h) was Catherine, who would be the first of four consecutive girls. She went on to marry Wenvoe-born miner Samuel Griffiths on July 2nd 1887 at Pontypridd Registry Office. Samuel, the 26 year old son of collier Thomas Griffiths, was living in Llantrisant at the time of the wedding, whilst 20 year old Catherine was based at Beddau, halfway between Llantrisant and Pontypridd. The couple lived at Pontypridd (now Newbridge) Road in the Davidstown district of Llantrisant, where the first of their six children, Thomas Charles, was born on November 27th 1889. His brother David G. arrived in 1892, whilst their sisters Mary Ann and Hannah Elizabeth were born just over a year apart, at 28 Trebanog Road, Cymer in Cwm Rhondda on March 20th 1894 and June 15th 1895. By the census of 1901, the Griffiths family had skipped over three valley’s and were living at 11 Edward Street Treharris in the Taff Bargoed Valley, where Samuel was working as a “Fireman“. Ten years later and the family were still in Treharris, but were now living in 24 John Street. Samuel was now described as a colliery fireman, almost certainly at the nearby Deep Navigation Colliery. Sadly there were two children missing from this census; but there were also two new additions to the Griffiths family. We assume that Mary Ann died as a young child, and we definitely know that eldest boy Thomas Charles died aged 12 between October and December 1901. People deal with the loss of a child in different ways; Samuel and Catherine’s response was to start having more children after a gap of almost a decade! Given the same first name as his dead brother, Thomas M. was born in the Merthyr district in 1905; but they did not manage to “replace” their lost daughter, as the final child born in 1907 was another boy – Evan L.
Evan L. who was now the seventeenth “Moses” family member with this Christian name, turns up over in Ynysybwl in 1948 at the funeral of Elizabeth Ann Edwards (his mothers 1st cousin), for what was probably the last real gathering of the Moses “clan”. Indeed Catherine only just missed it herself, having (prob) died in O/N/Dec. 1945 aged 78 (Merthyr Tydfil 11a 613). Her husband Samuel had (prob) died in A/M/June 1937 aged 76 (MT 11a 612).
The next girl was named after the Welsh heroin Gwenllian, but would usually be referred to by the more English Gwendoline. She would go on to marry Aberdare-born coalminer Evan James on April 9th 1892. Evan was the son of collier John James, and ironically it was a Registry Office wedding; I say ironically because at the time of the wedding, 21 year old Evan was living in Church Street Ferndale (Rhondda Fach), whilst his 22 year old bride was residing at Vestry Row Trebanog (Nr. Porth). I hope the family enjoyed the day, because it would be the last wedding in Charles’ branch for 14 years. The couple made their home in Porth Rhondda before eventually moving to 30 Frederick Street Ferndale. Six of their children were Cwm Rhondda born – Gwenny (1893 Porth) John Charles (1895), Ellen Hannah (1900), Elsie Maud (1903), a daughter Parthemia (sounds like an ocean liner!) (1905) and Lilian May (1907) – all Ferndale.
Sometime between 1907 and 1910 the family swapped the Rhondda for The Cynon Valley; we know this as the 1911 census finds them living at No.9 Rheola Street Penrhiwceiber. A boy Trevor was born there in 1910, and there may have been more children post census as Gwendoline James was still of child bearing age. Evan James was now working as a colliery fireman below ground, and ironically this new address in “Ceiber” was practically in the shadows of Wern goch Farm where Gwen’s Gt. gt. grandparents had lived over a century before.
Charles and H(A)nna(h)’s third daughter was another Rebecca Moses, and it was to be another Pontypridd Registry Office wedding to a coalminer for her on the 18th of February 1888. Interestingly on the wedding certificate she gives her age as 19, when in fact she had only turned 16 the previous month! We assume that her husband, 23 year old Robert Davies the son of the late collier John Davies, gave his correct age. Robert was residing at “Hafod” inbetween Porth (Rhondda) and the town of Pontypridd before the wedding, whilst Rebecca had left home and was living in the High Street Pontypridd. Incidentally, Rebecca’s older sister “Gwen Moses” was one of the witnesses. We do not know why Rebecca was so keen to get married; she was probably not pregnant as the first child does not arrive until the 24th of April 1890. The boy called John Charles Davies, was born at 7 Trebanog Road Cymer near Porth. By the following years census however, they had all moved in with Charles and H(A)nna(h) who lived in nearby Vestry Row. Sadly Robert Davies died young, and we know that Rebecca re-married. Husband number two was Daniel Walters, and following the wedding Rebecca’s son John Charles Davies became known as Jack Walters! “Jack” had a son Robert Davies II who during the 2nd World War moved from Ferndale (Cwm Rhondda) to Ynys Mon/Anglesey to work at the Saunders Roe factory (aerospace engineering) in Beaumaris.
We now enter a period (1873-87) of infant mortality, bachelor boys, and single motherhood. A girl Hannah only lived for three days, whilst Charles’ first son for fourteen years, Evan VIIII, died shortly after his third birthday. The unfortunate Evan was buried over at Llanwynno three days after his death on 12/12/1877. Less than fifteen weeks before this tragedy, another boy had been born – David Charles; obviously a time of mixed emotions for the family. David Charles unsurprisingly became a collier, and was only 45 when he died on August 11th 1923 from “Acute Lobar Pneumonia” at 41 Cymer Road, Dinas. He never married and there is no record of any children by him; his brother-in-law Thomas Price was the informant on the certificate. David Charles was buried with his parents at the Trealaw Cemetery Nr. Porth Cwm Rhondda; was he their favourite?
Mr. Price performed the same task seven years later when Charles and H(A)nna(h)’s third boy in a row, (another) Evan XI Thomas Moses, died painfully at Llwynypia Hospital from abscess’ (one of which was on his spine) on December 3rd 1930. Ynyshir (Rhondda)-based when he died, Evan T. had like his father risen from coal hewer to colliery Overman. He was only 50 when he died, and again he had remained a childless bachelor. The only thing of interest we have found about Evan T. is that in the 1911 census, whilst living at his younger sisters house along with his parents, the 32 year old bachelor’s middle name was given for some reason as Samuel!
It was now back to girls for Charles and H(A)nna(h), and it was another Hannah, but this time with a Maria added. Her birth took the number of Charles’ offspring into double figures, although of course two had died and two were living elsewhere. Later, as a 17 year old domestic servant girl, she had an illegitimate daughter called Rebecca on August 20th 1898 at 68 Cymer Road Porth. This addition to the family had to be brought up by Grandparents Charles and H(A)nna(h). In the next census of 1901, Hannah Maria was still (on paper at least) a single mam, still a servant, but was now living at 72 Trebanog Road Porth. We do not know if Hannah Maria Moses did eventually get married; her daughter Rebecca was still living with her grandparents in 1911.
Charles’ reproductive prowess concluded with a spate of Sarah’s between 1883-87. The first girl, called Sarah Ann, only lived for one year and seven months before dying of bronchitis ten days before Christmas 1884. Grieving dad Charles was so distraught he gives the wrong name to the Registrar for the death certificate – Sarah Jane; which happened to be the name of the next girl born on March 14th 1886. She tragically only survived for two hours at Peny-graig after being born prematurely. This surely must be the shortest “life” of any Moses family member; both babies were buried at St. Gwynno’s Llanwynno on 18/12/1884 and 16/3/1886 respectively.
It was not unlucky 13 for Charles, but third time lucky for H(A)nna(h), as she gave birth to another Sarah Jane (II) on October 9th 1887 at Trebanog, Cymer. Happily she not only survived, but ended up giving Charles’ branch a belated wedding on February 19th 1906 – less than three years before her father passed away. Sarah Jane II was 19 when she got married and not 21, as stated on the certificate. Presumably she lied to avoid having to get her parents consent for the wedding to Thomas Price (b.1884) at Pontypridd Registry Office. The couple had had three children by the census of 1911; more probably followed as Sarah Jane was by then still only 24, or was it 26! It was a Porth born baby every two years for Mr. and Mrs. Price – Thomas Glyndwr (1907), William Charles (1909) and the unusually named Olga Doreen (1911). In 1911 the Price family shared their house (22 Cymer Road) with Charles and H(A)nna(h), Sarah Jane’s two bachelor brothers and her niece.
Amazingly despite fathering 13 children, through a combination of infant deaths, female births and this branch seemingly carrying the “bachelor gene”, Charles does not have any living descendants with the surname Moses!! This might explain why we have not yet been able to make contact with any living relatives from this branch – is there anybody out there?
Yes! In October 2013 we were contacted by Ieuan Williams of Benllech Ynys Mon, who is a Gt.x3 Grandson of Charles Moses. Ieuan is descended from Charles’ daughter Rebecca.