Jane Thomas b1864

This I believe to be a photo of Jane Thomas. Its provenance is that it comes unnamed from her son John Evans

Jane Thomas lived a short life, but packed a lot into it. Born 1864 in the Carnarvon Workhouse, she died 34 years later in Deiniolen of TB. She was the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Hughes and for the first 11 years of her life lived alone with her mother, by then working as a washerwoman, in Fron Heulog, Llanddeiniolen (just outside Dinorwic village). Her mother later married a John Hughes in 1875, a widower with several "imbecile" children. Jane lived as part of this family at Pen-y-ffridd (just outside Clwt-y-Bont), and was working as a dressmaker in the 1881 census. She must have left home soon after this and moved to Deiniolen village, and was living in Co-operative House, Deiniolen when she married Henry Evans in 1886. They set up home in High Street Deiniolen (Ebenezer) and lived there until her death. She produced 6 children with her husband Henry Evans before she died in 1899.

1864 Jane Ellen Thomas was born Jane Hughes (birth cert) on 11 May 1864 in the Caernarvon Workhouse (the workhouse is located in Llanbeblig Parish), the illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Hughes b1835. The father is left blank, but she was called Jane Thomas for the first 10 years of her life, and gave John Thomas as her father when she married. Her parents certainly never married.

Elizabeth Hughes map

1871 census shows Jane Thomas, age 7, born Carnarvon Town. Daughter of Elizabeth Hughes 36 washer woman (the mother was born at Llandwrog, Caernarvonshire). She is living at Fron Heulog, Llanddeiniolen with just her mother (this is just outside Dinorwic village). The enumerator's district 17 that they are listed in covers "part of the parish of Llanddeiniolen from Groeslon Llys on the south side of the road to Penisarwaen Village up to Pen y groes, Rhyd Fawr, Tynllan and on the east side up to the road from the rectors house to Rhydyfwch, following the river to Bryn Efail Bridge including Penrhyn and Pensarn"

There are 43 girls called "Jane" with any surname, residing in Llanddeiniolen in the 1871 census. Certainly this is the only Jane Thomas of that age. And I have been able to link her mother to their re-appearance in the next census, and to Griffith Hughes.

1881 census There are 31 girls with Christian name "Jane" who are living in Llanddeiniolen.in the census. This link is the only one that she could be.

The converse trawl for girls called Jane born in Llanddeiniolen and living anywhere in Wales does not lead to any other candidates. Basically if her mother is Elizabeth, this is she. Rum goings on, as she is living at Pen Y Ffridd, Llanddeiniolen. Jane E. Hughes, Dressmaker, Age: 16, born: Llanddeiniolen, Caernarvonshire, Wales. Living at Pen Y Ffridd, Llanddeiniolen.The head of household is John Hughes 52, farm labourer. And family are listed as Elizabeth Hughes 49 (born Llandwrog), wife plus children Richard Hughes 31, son, imbecile, Ann Hughes 17, daughter, imbecile, Jane E. Hughes 16, daughter, Mary E. Hughes 14, daughter, imbecile. John Hughes seems to have had a genetic problem with his family.

This is not the same place as the Pen-y-ffridd road on the edge of the village of Rhiwlas.This 1881 entry is in the enumerator district 20. "Part of the Civil Parish of Llanddeiniolen. From the south side of the road from Groeslon Rhilan to Rhydfadog and on the west side of the river to Clwt y bont village and on the east side of the road to Bleau y waen including the west side of Ebenezer village, and the east side of Clwt y bont village" Although Pen-y-ffridd is not marked on the map today, one can followed the enumerators route and see where it was.

Jane Thomas's mother Elizabeth married John Hughes in 1875(marriage cert). Jane Thomas then became Jane Hughes at this point in her life. Mother's and daughters places of birth are consistent between the 1871 and 1881 censuses. If one also looks at John Hughes family in the 1871 census one sees that he was married to a "Grace" with the same son Richard "imbecile" and same daughters Ann and Mary.

His children are listed as Richard 21, John 18, Edward 14, Owen10, Ann 6 and Mary 3. There is no "Jane E Hughes" as in the 1881 census and the wife of John Hughes is now Elizabeth Hughes. They are also in 1861 census in Anglesey, and John Hughes is born at Llandegfan, a parish in Anglesey, 2 miles S.W. of Beaumaris, its post town, and 4 from Bangor. And in 1851 census living at Penmynydd in county Anglesey, 4 miles W. of Beaumaris. IGI gives John Hughes Christening on 6 Sep 1829 at Llandegfan, Anglesey, however there are a number of John Hughes here at this time. John Hughes and wife Elizabeth are in in 1891 census but appear to have both died before 1901.

The marriage certificate for Elizabeth Hughes to John Hughes shows John Hughes (age 46, widower, farm labourer living at Pen-y-Ffridd) marrying Elizabeth Hughes (Spinster, age 40, daughter of Griffith Hughes, copper miner)

1886 Jane Ellen Thomas marries Henry Evans at Caernarvon Register Office on 20 May 1886. She is given as aged 21, of Co-operative House, Ebenezer, daughter of John Thomas (deceased) a Slate Quarrier. Her husband is a tailor, age 25, of View Terrace, Ebenezer. (marriage certificate) . It is unusual that the marriage is in a Registry Office rather than a church. She was given in the 1881 census as a "dress maker", so presumably it is through their work that she met Henry Evans who was a tailor.

1890 John Richard Evans is born, their first child. (one of the few members of my mother's Welsh family that I knew, as he lived in Northern Ireland)

1891 census gives Jane Evans 27, born Llanddeiniolen, speaks both English & Welsh. Her trade is given as "grocer". Only her son John and her husband Henry are listed as living with her in this census. The family are living at High Street, Ebenezer, Llanddeiniolen

She then produces a number of children

1892 twins Henry Herbert Evans and Elizabeth Ann Evans (my grandmother)

1894 Jane Evans

1897 Grif Ll Evans

1899 Born Jan Anne Evans died aged 11 months in Dec 1899

1899. She died at High Street, Ebenezer, Llanddeiniolen on 27 March 1899 age 34. She died of TB.

She died of Phthisis, which is an old name for TB. The main cause of disease in Victorian Britain was tuberculosis and typhus fever, which were the cause of painful, contagious, and long-lasting epidemics that killed people of all classes. Naturally, the lower classes suffered the most. Once infected, a person's life span could be anywhere from a month to several years. Infected people spent their remaining days knowing they will die but ignorant of when their death will come: "Some died quickly, within months, but many suffered a severe attack that was followed by a respite which could last ten years, even twenty or thirty" . Every aspect of consumption was marked by uncertainty that bred apprehension and bewilderment, that forced people to live without jobs, marriage, or an hope at all for the future. Jane's infection may have been picked up in her early years in the workhouse, or during the impoverished years before her mother's marriage in 1875

It was thought in the family that she died in childbirth and that the child was "given away or adopted", but the death certificate clearly states Phthisis as the cause of death. I suspect the child was already born, but only a few months old, and that the widower, Henry Evans could not cope with the baby as well as his other children. I am a little unclear as to who "Nell" was who is also referred to in the family. And I cannot find her birth certificate.

Henry Evans b1861