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I first started researching the Evans family in May of 2006.  The family are my husband's, grandmother’s family and we knew very little about them.  His grandmother Mary Jane Evans born April 5th 1882 and married George Griffiths. Working back through the census I was able to do a limited amount unfortunately there were very few family stories and nobody at the beginning of my research could help.  We knew there had been a family bible, that my husband could describe but he did not know where it had gone and so we thought any information it might have held was lost.

We now fast-forward to June 2007 and we have just spent a brilliant day with my husband's cousin and his lovely wife at their home in Cheshire.  It was the first time my husband had met his cousin and my husband is in his late fifties.  When my husband first spotted his cousin, he knew instantly who he was the family resemblance he found amazing.  To our delight his cousin produced the family bible and to everyone’s delight we found dates of birth of the Evans family and so I can tell their story.

I will start with my husband's Gt Gt Gt Grandparents William and Elizabeth Evans and will work through the census information as I find it.

1861 Census for England  Source: R.G. 9/1877

William Evans born c1826 born Oswestry Shropshire married to Elizabeth c1829 born Oswestry and at this time her surname is unknown.  On the 1861 census, William's age is 35 and his occupation listed as Brick maker.  His wife Elizabeth also aged 32 listed as Brick maker’s wife.  Their is an address given on this census but it is very difficult to read.

William and Elizabeth had the following children:

Mary Evans born about 1850 is listed on the 1861 census for England as a scholar, aged 11, birthplace shown as Oswestry, Shropshire.

John Evans born 18th November 1852 at the age of 9 appears on the 1861 census for England his birthplace at that time given as Oswestry.  John his parents, brother and sisters where living in the civil parish of Sweeney. John's date of birth is the first in the family bible, which probably means that he started the entries for his family. 

Thomas Evans aged 7 in 1861 also a scholar born Oswestry c1854.

Sarah Evans aged 5 born Oswestry c1856 not at school.

Jane Evans aged 3 born Oswestry c1858.

Alice Evans aged 1 born 1860 Oswestry.

1871 Census for England Source: RG10/2780

The 1871 census for England shows us that either children had left home to work or they had died.  William now aged 46 the Head of the family and occupation Brick maker.  His wife Elizabeth aged 44 had given birth to another three children making a total of nine that I can find documented between 1861 and 1871.  There is no address on this census other than the family where living in the civil parish of Sweeney.  The children at home as follows:

John aged 19, Brick maker

Thomas aged 17, Labourer

Jane aged 14, Scholar

Alice aged 11, Scholar

Elizabeth aged 9, Scholar

Ann aged 7, Scholar

Sarah aged 5, Scholar

The questions posed here are did Mary leave home to work or marry?  She would have been 21 by this census.  What happened to Sarah born c1856?  Did she die?  On this census, we have Sarah born 1866.  It would appear she would have been named after her sister.

John married Hannah Embrey on 13th May 1875 at the Baptist Chapel Oswestry the Rev. E.D. Wilkes officiated.  John and Hannah became Mary Jane’s father and therefore were my husband's great-grandparents.


1881 Census shows John then aged 29 and Hannah aged 26 living at Sweeney.  John's occupation then Engineer of Brickworks (Driver).  Hannah had given birth to three children Thomas N then aged 4, John aged, 3 and Ann E, aged 1.  Thomas was shown as a scholar and his initial was transcribed as an N however, on the 1891 census his intial was transcribed as a W.  The latter is the most likely as his grandfather was called William.  Source RG11/2657

1891 Census John and Hannah had moved to 2 Chruch Terrace, Oswestry.  John then aged 38 and occupation then Engine Driver at Brewery.  He and Hannah had six xhildren living at home.  Thomas W aged 14 occupation (), John aged 13 occupation Errand Boy.  Mary Jane then aged 9 and Florence aged 5 were both scholars, Alfred aged 3 and Hannah 2 months.  Source RG12/2116   

The above photograph is of the Heritage Centre in Oswestry.  No 2 was the home of John Evans in 1891.  My husband and I recently visited the Heritage Centre and took a few photographs of his great grandparents home as it is now.  I found it quite humbling the space the Evans family and their children had to live in.  The day we visited the sun was shining and the outlook on to the Church and its grounds was peaceful and for that moment in time I could allow myself to imagine myself back in 1891. 

1901 Census John and Hannah had moved Brickyard Cottage at Cletterwood Nr. Welshpool, Montgomeryshire.  John aged 48 and was now the Manager of the Brick Works (worker).  Hannah was then aged 48, John aged 23 and a Labourer at the Brickworks, Florence aged 15, Alfred aged 13 and Annie aged 10.  Source:RG/13/5202 page 7

Map of the Brick Works Buttington

I understand John died about 1904 as yet I have not followed through on this.


This page last updated 21st January 2008

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Do you recognise any of these family names Batten, Evans, Francis, Groves, Hamer and Harris from Oswestry and surrounding areas then have a look at