1825 born near Llangefni on Anglesey, probably on 3rd April, and before official records began. One can follow his life through the census abstracts of him. His grandson John Evans had a pocket book (in Emrys Pugh's possession) with an interesting annotation to a photograph "The tobacco box of my old grand-father John Evans. Tailor 1821", which may to point to a 1821 birth, or may in fact refer to the John Evans one generation earlier.
It is difficult to be absolutely certain of the place of his birth, as it is rendered it in a number of different ways in the censuses. The 1851 census calls it Llandryan, the 1861 census gives Llandrygan (this is a clear and unambiguous script) (5miles NW of Llangefni). The 1881 census gives Llachgenfarwdd (??), Anglesey, I cannot find this, however there is a Llechcynvarwydd (or Llechcynfarwy on the map today), and Llandrygan (listed as his birthplace in 1861) is within a mile of it. My conclusion is that this is where he was born in 1825.
IGI gives two baptisms to John
Evans and Jane Prichard at Llandrygarn, Anglesey. John on 03 April
1825 and William on 6 April 1828. In addition the IGI has a birth here 29
December 1822 of a Catherine Evans to John Evans and Jane Owen. Llandrygarn,
a parish 2 miles from Gwyndy, 4 miles S.W. of Llanerchymedd, and 6 N.W. of
Llangefni, its post town. It is clear from further research that Llandrygarn
and Llandrygan are the same parish. This would appear to be the birth of our
man (unless there were two John Evans born within a year of each other in
this parish to a John and Jane Evans, which is does not appear to be the case)
1841 Census, the first census available, shows him as the 15 year old son of John and Jane Evans, living at Park Stanley, about 1 mile SW of Llangefni on Anglesey. His father is a tailor, the trade he himself later takes up. The family is made up of:-
John Evans, age 40 tailor, living
at Park Stanley, Llangefni
Jane Evans, age 50, wife
Owen Evans, age 20
Catherine Evans, age 15
John Evans, age 15
Henry Evans, age 7
"LLANGEFNI, a parish and market town in the hundred of Menai, county Anglesey, 7 miles N. of Newborough, 8 W. of Beaumaris... It is situated in a vale, watered by the river Cefni, which is here crossed by a-bridge of two arches. The main road between Bangor and Holyhead passes through it, as well as the old Roman road. The little town of Llangefni is a bustling and prosperous place, with a population of about 1,800. It contains a market-house, a commercial bank, and one for savings. Petty sessions are held in the town. It unites with Beaumaris and others in returning one member to parliament. The chief employments of the people are leather dressing, malting, and the woollen manufacture. There are corn mills on the stream. In the last century it was only a small hamlet." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
1851 census shows that he is no longer living with his parents. Only Catherine and Henry of the children are still living with their parents at Park Stanley. Our man John Evans, servant, tailor age 26 (born Llandryan, Anglesey) living at High Street, Llanllechid, Bethesda. He is one of 3 servant tailors working for David Evans, tailor, born Dolgellau and David Evans' wife Elizabeth, born "Llandryan, Carnarvonshire", whereas our man John is from Llandryan, Anglesey). This is certainly our man. I do not know what relationship, if any, he had to David and Elizabeth Evans who employed him.
He seems a bit old for an apprentice. However the David Evans who is his employer was born at Dolgellau, and is unlikely to be related. Elizabeth, David Evans wife, could be related, although there is not an Elizabeth of that age in the 1841 census back in Anglesey.
1860 John Evans,(marriage certificate) bachelor and a tailor aged 30 marries Ellen Edwards, a spinster, aged 31 of Llanfair-is-gaer (or Bryn Llanfair) a parish, county Caernarfon, 2 miles N.E. of Caernarfon, and 7 from Bangor. It is situated on the shore of the Menai Strait, and includes the township of Brynffynon and port of Dinorwig. His father is John Evans, a tailor and her father John Edwards, a nailor.
1861 census shows that he has now married and is living with his wife Ellen at Gilfachbach, Llanddanielat ((4 miles SE of Llangefni). The census records John Evans (age31), a tailor born Llandrygan (this is a clear and, I think, unambiguous script, and Llandrygan is 5miles NW of Llangefni). His wife is Ellen, age 36, born: Llangwyllog, Anglesey (Llangwyllog is 2 miles NW of Llangefni). Their only child at that time is Elizabeth Evans 10, born Llangefni, Anglesey. Ellen brought her illegitimate daughter Elizabeth with her, to her new life with John Evans. This explains why there is a 10-year gap between the children Elizabeth and Henry.
1861 Henry Evans their first joint child was born on 24 May 1861 at Gilfach-bach, Llanddaniel-fab, Anglesey,
1866 another child John R Evans was born He seems to have been the only other child to have survived, however he died aged 5 soon after the 1871 census.
1871 census gives: John Evans (age 46), he has given up being a tailor and is now a labourer born Anglesey. His wife is Ellen, (age 45) born Anglesey. They are living at Allt Goch, Cwm Y Glo, Llanrug. having by now moved from Anglesey to Snowdonia. Their three children are living with them - Elizabeth Evans 20, born Llangefni, Anglesey. Henry Evans 10, born Llanddaniel, Anglesey. John R Evans 5, born Llanrug, Caernarfon
1871 John Richard Evans dies aged 5, of "infantile convulsions", at Alt Goch, Cwm y Glo, Llanrug. The death was reported by "Ellen Jones" but does not say who Ellen Jones was.
1881 census gives: John Evans(age 56), by now a quarryman and born: Llachgenfarwdd (probably Llechcynvarwydd), Anglesey. His wife is Ellen (age 54) born Llangwyllog, Anglesey (Llangwyllog is 2 miles NW of Llangefni). They are living at Allt goch, Cwm y Glo, Llanrug. Their two children are Elizabeth Evans 30, daughter, born Llangefni, Anglesey. Henry Evans 19, son, tailor, born Llanddaniel, Anglesey
The probable quarry that he would have worked at would have been Dinorwic, about 2 miles away from Cwm y flo.The Dinorwic Slate Quarry is located between the town of Llanberis and the village of Dinorwig in north Wales. It was the second largest slate quarry in Wales, indeed in the world, after the neighbouring Penrhyn Quarry. At its peak in the late 1800s, 'when it was producing an annual outcome of 100,000 tonnes', Dinorwic employed over 3,000 men . Local people had been working the mountain for centuries before the Assheton Smith family opened Dinorwic Quarry in 1788. By the end of the 19th century, just five families owned almost all the land in Gwynedd. The Assheton Smith family from Cheshire were one of these five families. Their estate, Y Faenol on the banks of the Menai Straits, covered 34,000 acres of land. In George William Duff Assheton Smith's time, white cattle, deer and American bison, even bears and monkeys, roamed Y Faenol's park. His brother Charles was more interested in the conventional gentlemanly amusements of the day — his racehorses won the Grand National four times, and he was besotted with racing yachts.
John Evans may have been involved in the dispute, which broke out at the Dinorwic Quarries, in October 1885. The men tended to see themselves as independent contractors rather than employees on a wage, and trade unions were slow to develop. There were grievances however, including unfairness in setting bargains and disputes over days off. The North Wales Quarrymen's Union (NWQMU) was formed in 1874. A dispute at Dinorwig over the curtailing of holidays led to a lockout lasting until February 1886. Matters came to a head on 23 October 1885 when the quarrymen were told that all those who had attended a mass meeting ten days earlier would be dismissed from the quarry. As this pamphlet and song maintain, the 2,700 quarrymen who found themselves out of work experienced great hardship during the five-month lock-out which eventually resulted in a bitter defeat for the quarrymen.
Dinorwic closed in 1969 and the old quarry workshops are now home to the Welsh Slate Museum, which documents the economic importance and proud history of the industry.
1886 He is still alive when his son Henry Evans marries (in as much as the marriage cert does not say he is dead)
1891 I think that they have moved to Llanbeblig (Carnarvon town)
Nothing comes up for the death of a John Evans of the right age between 1881 and 1891 census dates so I feel that one of these three is his death
Deaths Dec 1891 Evans John 66 Carnarvon 11b 330
Deaths Dec 1895 Evans John 70 Carnarvon 11b 293
Deaths Jun 1900 Evans John 74 Carnarvon 11b 315