1788 Richard Pugh was born Llanfachreth, a few miles north of Dolgellau (see map below). Llanfachreth is a veritable nest of Pughs at this time. Even 50 years later, a detailed analysis of the 1841 census returns for Llanfachreth shows 95 Pughs, but not a single Richard Pugh of any age. An analysis shows that it would appear that any Richard Pughs from Llanfachreth were now living in Dolgellau.
There are lots of Pughs at Llanfachreth who may (or may not) have been a brother of "our" Richard Pugh b1788. Hugh Pugh b1783, John b1772, John Pugh b1780, William Pugh b1787, Robert Pugh b1791, Howell Pugh b1794, Evan Pugh b1794, John 1795, William 1795, Howell 1798, Griffith Pugh b1799, Cadwalder Pugh b1799, Evan Pugh b1800, all fall into the same category as they were born in Llanfachreth at that time. The wealth of Hugh Pughs who appear to have been born in Llanfachreth in or around 1822 make it difficult to say who was the ancestor of the Hugh Pugh who went to Patagonia .
1817 Richard Pugh, Bachelor of Llanfachreth parish, marries Ann Evans Spinster of the same parish by Licence on 19th Nov 1817 witnessed by William Pugh and Hugh Humphreys. Bishops transcripts in Genuki. Confusingly there is another marriage on 25 Oct 1817 of Richard Pugh of Dolgellau to Ann Lewis of Ffestiniog at Ffestiniog. So two Richard Pugh to Ann marriages, either of which could be our man. The Ffestiniog. marriage produces no children in Ffestiniog (though it may have produced them elsewhere), and does tie in with the Richard Pugh that ends up in the Ffestiniog workhouse. I have not been able to conclusively prove which of these Richard and Ann Pughs are my ancestors.
Records show Richard and Ann Pugh had the following children (ref IGI batch number C057411) baptised in Llanfachreth. Richard Pugh is a farmer living at Buchesau, Llanfachreth
Cae Heuad (above) is a traditional former farmhouse with attached outbuildings in a beautiful and tranquil setting. The property is isolated but not remote, about five miles from Dolgellau. Constructed of stone under a slated roof, the main house dates from 1812, incorporating the original 17th century house and the dairy to the rear, which is now the kitchen. The house retains most of the original features.
1840 It is not possible to be sure if this is our Richard, but a document (Z/M/569/3) in Dolgellau Record Office cites Richard Pugh as the under-tenant of a dwelling at Tyddin yr hen Pandu and Fro Heulog in Dolgellau Parish. The document is a deed of sale on 26 June in that year by Thomas Jones Stevens of various properties to Griffith David
1841 census. Richard Pugh age 55 living near Dolgellau. Agricultural labourer, born: Merionethshire, Wales. Living at Ystrad Meurig in Dolgellau and part of Garthgynfawr 2ml SW of Dolgellau with Jane Pugh 20, Ann Pugh 15. One assumes these are his daughters, but the 1841 census does not yield such information. There is no mention of his wife Ann. The daughters do not tie up with the daughters born to the Richard Pugh in Llanfachreth above. On balance this is not "our" Richard Pugh.
There is another Richard Pugh in Dolgellau in 1841 census, born about 1790 to 1795, living at Upper Mill St, Dolgelley. However I canot tie him to either later censuses or our family (apart from a Morris Pugh being a witness at the marriage of "our" Evan, and that a Margaret Pugh was witness to marriage of Ann Pugh, a daughter of Our Richard) or Llanfachreth. He cannot be easily tied to the Richard Pugh given below in the 1851 census. But a working hypothesis is to assume it might be our man, and try to find a link, as there are no other possibilities.
1849 His daughter Jane marries Edward Evans at Mallwyd (10 miles south east of Dolgellau) but Jane's illegitimate son remains with Richard and Ann in the 1851 census.
1851 census. Richard Pugh born Llanfachreth, Merionethshire, Labourer, age 63, and Ann Pugh, 63 born Dolgellau
They were living at Lodgefach, Crogennant, Dolgellau with Evan Pugh, age: 24, born Dolgellau, son of Richard Pugh. Also listed in the house is William Pugh 3 (Grandson of Richard Pugh) born Dolgellau. He is listed in the 1861 census as living in Corris. His mother Jane then age 37, i.e, born circa 1824, (born Llanfachreth) married an Edward Evans, from that census information. William is the only Pugh they have in that household then. William appears to go off to London, marry but had no children of his own.
As this is the first census that we can trawl for information on a particular birthplace like Llanfachreth, the protagonists are aging too much to get much family information. Most of the men born in Llanfachreth, at the time of Richard Pugh's birth, have stayed at Llanfachreth, or a few miles of it. This map presents their movements. Richard Pugh b1788 has gone to Crogennant, a few miles from Dolgellau. He is a labourer, and his wife Ann was born Dolgellau
1852 his daughter Ann marries William Jones in Bala, where she had been working as a chambermaid in a Bala hotel.
1853 his son Evan Pugh (my direct ancestor) marries (marriage cert) 6 August 1853 at Tal-y-Llyn Parish Church Evan. Pugh age 26 a miner from Craig y fachddn, son of Richard Pugh, labourer marries Jane Thomas age 20 from Tan y Ewan, daughter of Rhys Thomas, a parish clerk. Craigyfachddu (Dark Rock) stands high above Corris but cannot be seen from the road as it is engulfed by tall trees.
If one assumes from his son's marriage certificate that Richard is alive in 1853, then either he has died between 1853 and 1861, or else the man whose life I follow below to the Ffestiniog Workhouse is "our" Richard Pugh. Deaths that occur between these dates are as below, so I ordered the 3 certificates to see if I can eliminate or confirm that route. None of them relate to the Richard in the 1851 census, so the Ffestiniog Workhose Richard is still in the frame, as I cannot prove that the 1851 census Richard has died.
1861 census shows Richard Pugh, Age: 68, born: Llanfachreth, Merionethshire, appears as a servant (in fact a cowman) at 24 Lombard Street, Ynyscynhaiarn near Ffestiniog, in the household of a William Evan Morris and his wife Jane Morris.
26 Lombard St today
Mr Morris is a farmer of 160 acres. In the 1871 census he describes himself a "farmer and merchant". There are 4 other servants in the household. William Morris had been the Collector of Harbour dues here in the 1851 census. The map shows this right on the harbour at Portmadog , some 6 miles from Ffestiniog. Porthmadog Harbour (Portmadoc Harbour), Caernarfonshire, was constructed by W. A. Madocks between 1821 and 1825. It became a centre for the export of slate from Blaenau Ffestiniog, Merionethshire, with 116,000 tons being shipped out in 1873. Porthmadog and nearby Borth-y-Gest also became important centres for shipbuilding. The Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire Steamship Company was formed in 1864. It purchased the Steam Ship Rebecca to carry stores from Liverpool to supply the growing town of Porthmadog. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the harbour was owned or managed successively by F.W.A. Roche, E. Breese and Ellen B. Davidson for the Harbour Trust. William Evans Morris and Richard Jones Morris ran the harbour office. W. E. Morris also acted as local agent for the brewers S. Allsopp and Sons Ltd, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.
The William Pugh, grandson from 1851 now appears in 1861 census as William Pugh Age: 13 born: Dolgellau, Merionethshire. Son of Jane Evans (Pugh). Living at Corris with: - Edward Evans 40, head of household, slate quarrier; Jane Evans 37, wife, born Llanfachreth; William Pugh 13, son, slate quarrier, born Dolgellau, Jane Evans 6, born Tal-y-Llyn, Edward Evans 4, born Tal-y-Llyn. She married Edwrd Evans inMay 1849. So Richard Pugh has parted company with his family and, for whatever reason ventured further afield. or died.
1871 census shows that he ( This would be the Richard Pugh of Dolgellau that married in Ffestiniog in 1817 to Ann Lewis) is now in the Ffestiniog workhouse. Richard Pugh, Age: 80, born: Llanfachreth, Merionethshire. Inmate. His profession is given as "labourer". The Ffestiniog workhouse was in fact at Minfford, and only about 2 miles from where he had been a servant
The workhouse later became Bron y Garth Hospital
The Ffestiniog (or Ffestiniog) Poor Law Union was formed on 8th May, 1837. Its operation was overseen by an elected Board of Guardians, 22 in number, representing its 15 constituent parishes included Ynyscynhaiarn. The population falling within the Union at the 1831 census had been 11,489. The average annual poor-rate expenditure for the period 1834-36 had been £4,208 or 7s.4d. per head. Ffestiniog Union workhouse was erected in about 1839 at Minffordd. The Poor Law Commissioners authorised an expenditure of £3,200 on construction of the building which was to accommodate 150 inmates. The workhouse location and layout are shown here
However another Richard Pugh of around the right age appears in the 1871 census living as a servant at Llangelynin, he is down as a farm servant, and widower aged 79, born Dolgellau. (our Richard should be 83). Oddly I cannot find a death record of the Llangelynin Richard Pugh.
1873 There appears to only be one possible death record - Richard Pugh, Age at Death: 83, Year of Registration: 1873, Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec, District: Ffestiniog. Volume: 11b. Page: 283. That certificate shows he died 16th Dec 1873 at the Ffestiniog Workhouse, and is cited to have been "formerly a farmer"
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