1835 Jane Thomas was born in Tal y Llyn. One can follow her life through all the census returns from childhood to old age. The 1841 and 1851 census dates would indicate her birth between 1 April 1835 and 6 June 1835. Oddly she added two years to her age on marriage certificate. But by her death she was using her correct age again.
1841 census Name: Jane Thomas Age: 6, living in Talyllyn with parents Rhys Thomas 45, Elizabeth Thomas 40, and older siblings Elinor Thomas 13, Catherine Thomas 11, Mary Thomas 9. Rhys Thomas, age: 45 (Birth Year: about 1796) , born: Merionethshire, Wales. A tailor, living at Tyn iwen, in the township of Corris, parish Talyllyn. The 1841 census was taken Sunday 6th/7th June 1841 and the adult ages were rounded down to nearest 5 years.
1851 census records Jane Thomas, age: 15, born: Talyllyn, Merionethshire as a visitor at this household at Ty yn Berth, Corris with David Thomas 74 - head, a farmer of 54 acres employing 1 labourer (david Thomas was her uncle). The 1851 census was taken 31st March 1851
1853 she married Evan Pugh (b1826) on 6 August 1853 at Talyllyn Church, Merioneth. 6 August 1853 at Talyllyn Parish Church. Evan Pugh age 26 a miner (presumably at Cwmodyn Quarry) 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. (marriage certificate) . No occupation is ascribed to Jane - she was still living at home at Tan'r Ewan. One of the witnesses was a Morris Pugh, the other Hugh Williams. Morris Pugh was probably Evan's brother. Evan and Jane were to have eight children, three sons and five daughters.
The details of the birth of their children is given on her husband's pages. The family lived at Tynyberth, Corris until about 1860, then moved to Hillsborough Terrace, Corris for 2 years, before moving to Dolgellau. Then on to Cwm y Glo near Llanrug, six miles from Caernarfon from 1865 to 1869. It was probably the big explosion at Cwm y Glo (detailed under her husband Evan Pugh b1826) that made them decide to move back to Dolgellau.
1870 Her father Rees Thomas died. On the 26th October 1870 Rees Thomas died at Fron Yw aged 77. In his will he left the freehold property to his daughters, Catherine and Mary, during their lifetime and then to his grandson Rees Pugh. He also stipulated that should one of the daughters get married then the one remaining single could continue to live at Fron Yw if she so wished for an annual payment to her sister of £3. He left his Cambrian Railway share to Rees Pugh. The executor of the will was Rees Thomas's son-in-law Evan Roberts, the husband of Sarah Thomas. He was a Welsh Presbyterian minister and at the time they lived in 10 Western Road in Handsworth near Birmingham.
1871 census living at Pandyisaf, Garthgynfawr 2ml E of Dolgellau. Pandyisaf is is a most attractive house on the banks of the River Wnion and is just downstream of the lower end of the Torrent Walk at Dolgellau. At present it is the home of the owner of the nearby holiday caravan site.
1881 census living back at Hillsborough, Upper Corris.
Not long after 1881 census the Pugh family moved yet again, this time to Peniarth Arms in Llanfihangel-y-Pennant. Peniarth Arms was a small inn serving the village and environs of Llanfihangel-y-Pennant.
There is a handed-down story in the family that, whilst at Peniarth Arms, Jane inherited and sold a house at Pandyrodyn, Dolgellau. She walked to Dolgellau to collect 200 gold sovereigns and then set out on the mountainous eight miles or so back to Llanfihangel y Pennant. (This was the same route as followed by Mary Jones on her trek to Bala in search of a Bible from Rev. Thomas Charles). Jane passed Llyn Gwernan and arrived at Dyffrydan. As she began to climb into the loneliness of Cader Idris Jane was uneasy about the remaining journey ahead, conscious of the heaviness of the sovereigns she was carrying, the approach of dusk and the threat of the gathering mist. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a large white dog appeared at her side - Jane immediately felt strangely secure and protected. Together they ascended the heights of Cader Idris, climbing to the 1840 foot saddle between Tyrau Mawr and Pen y Gader. By the time they had traversed the saddle and reached the remote Hafotty, daylight was fading noticeably. Jane, with the dog always keeping close by, hurried as best she could down the treacherously steep slopes from Hafotty to Gwastadfryn. Soon Jane was able to see through the mist the small church of Llanfihangel y Pennant and, opposite, the paraffin-lamp glow of the Peniarth Arms. The white dog paused, looked for a moment at Jane, then veered away from her side and vanished into the mist.
The Peniarth Arms in 2008
1885 Her husband Evan Pugh died 22 October 1885 (death cert) at Peniarth Arms Llanfihangel-y-Pennant and is buried with his wife Jane in the churchyard at Talyllyn. Died of Chronic Bronchitis and his profession is "inn keeper".He was aged 58.
Jane continued to live in Peniarth Arms for another nineteen years. The more colloquial name for the Peniarth Arms was 'Tafarn Llan' and Jane was known to her grandchildren as "Mam Llan"
1891 census gives
Jane Pugh, age 55, born Talyllyn, Merionethshire, Head of household. A widow
and "hotel keeper pub". Living at Peniarth Arms, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant
with family of
Mary A Pugh 34, daughter, assisting in the inn
Jane Pugh 29, daughter, assisting in the inn
Evan M Pugh 27, son, slate quarryman, born Dolgellau.
Silvanus Pugh 11, grandson, born Talyllyn (son of Elizabeth Pugh)
Willie Pugh 10, grandson, born London (known to be son of Mary Ann Pugh)
John E Pugh 7, grandson, born Llanfihangel-y-Pennant (known to be son of Mary Ann Pugh)
The grandson, Silvanus is still there and now has 2 more relations, one Willie Pugh born in London and another John E Pugh born locally at Llanfihangel-y-Pennant. Again they are in the 1901 census, and the youngest grandson is listed as John Evans Pugh ( another liaison of Mary Ann Pugh, this time with a Mr Evans)
1901 census Jane is living with her 2 unmarried daughters Jane and Elizabeth plus son Evan Morris Pugh.
But her daughter Mary Ann Pugh, age 45, wife of Robert Pugh age 52, is living at Pandy Square Abergynolwyn (interestingly her grandson by her son Rees, Evan Pugh, was born at Pandy Square in 1896 to Rees Pugh and Margaret nee Jenkins). Robert Pugh is described as a grocer and butcher born at Dylife, Montgomeryshire (about 18 miles SE of Abergynolwyn). Living with them are John Evans Pugh 17, stepson of Robert Pugh born Llanfihangel Y Pennant and Susannah J Pugh 4, daughter of Robert Pugh and Mary Ann
And the census also shows that Silvanus Pugh and William Pugh have moved to the Rhondda, presumably to work in the coal mines
Mawddach Crescent, Arthog
1904 she moved with her children Elizabeth, Jane and Evan Morris to the then new house Brohyfryd, a superb location on the southern bank of the Mawddach estuary in Mawddach Crescent, Arthog. (The Peniarth Arms is still in the 'family' as a holiday home of the descendants of Evan and Jane's daughter Sarah Catherine).
1911 Jane Pugh (nee Thomas) died at Mawddach Crescent, Arthog, near Barmouth Junction. Buried at Tal-y-llyn. The graves of Evan Pugh b1826 and Jane Pugh (nee Thomas) b1835 and the grave of their Grandson John Evans Pugh are all enclosed with low iron railings to the east of the church at Tal-y-llyn, approximately 7 rows away from the eastern boundary. "In loving memory of Jane Pugh Brohyfryd Mawddach Crescent Arthog, formerly of Llanfihangel y Pennant, who died in Jesus September 21st 1911, aged 76 years."
Jane, the wife of Evan Pugh and the daughter of Rees Thomas, the son of Edward Thomas and Sarah Rees, died of pneumonia at Brohyfryd aged 76 on the 21st September 1911. As well as being buried with Evan Pugh at Talyllyn, her grave is in close proximity to her parents and grandparents. Her grave inscription reads:
‘Twr cadarn yw enw yr Arglwydd: atto y rhed y cyfiawn, ac y mae yn ddiogel.’
(The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs XVIII, 10)
Jane Pugh (nee Thomas) buried at Tal-y-llyn