John Thomas b1839 - d circa 1867

Jane Thomas gave her father as John Thomas, quarryman, on her marriage certificate, her birth certificate gives that officially her father was unknown (though this legally just means that he could not be named on the birth certificate, as the parents were not married) . One assumes her mother was living in Llanddeiniolen (Jane always put her place of birth as Llanddeiniolen) and entered the Carnarvon workhouse, a few miles away for Jane's actual birth. So if one trawls for all John Thomas in Llanddeiniolen in 1861 census who are 10 years older or younger than Elizabeth Hughes, one should find the putative father. Elizabeth Hughes was 32 years old when she gave birth to Jane Thomas. We also know that Jane's father was a slate quarrier (from her marriage certificate). One would assume that the father was close to her mother's age, and more likely to be older, than to be much younger. Also he might be more likely to be a single than a married man (however I have no idea of the morality or ease of affairs with married men in rural Wales at that time, although the illegitimate births that I have followed through in our own family in Wales appear to be from unmarried men) Assuming that our John Thomas was living in Llanddeiniolen in 1861, the father of Jane Thomas would be, in order of likelihood:-

So, among the quarrymen there is one unmarried John Thomas living in Llanddeinolen and born Llanddeiniolen parish. IGI show John Thomas Christened 10 Nov 1839 at Llanddeiniolen, Caernarvon. Born 1 Nov 1839 on Birth Cert, son of Robert Thomas and Ellen Hughes. His father was a quarryman. Siblings born to same parents on IGI are William Thomas born 15 March 1838, Ellen Thomas born 10 January 1830

1841 census shows John Thomas age: 1 is the youngest son of Robert Thomas 30, a slate quarryman and his wife Elinor Thomas 30. The two elder siblings are Thomas Thomas 6, William Thomas 3. Living at Faenewyddion (??) in Llanddeiniolen

1851 census shows John Thomas age: 11. Son of Robert (age 40) and Ellen (age 40) Thomas, born: Llanddeiniolen, Caernarvonshire. Living at Glanrafon, Llanddeiniolen with his siblings Thomas Thomas 15, William Thomas 13, Margaret Thomas 4, Mary Thomas 2 .

The father Robert Thomas was born in Clynog, Caernarvonshire. The mother Ellen and the children all born in Llanddeiniolen

1861 census John Thomas, born: Llanddeiniolen, Caernarvonshire, slate quarry man, age: 21. Son of Ellinor Thomas 50 - late quarry man's widow living with her children at Blaen Afon, Llanddeiniolen. Siblings are William Thomas 22 - slate quarry miner, Margaret Thomas 13 - laundress, Marry Thomas 12

Had John Thomas married Elizabeth Hughes it would have been between 1861 (after the census on April 7th) and probably before Dec 1863 as his daughter Jane Thomas was born 3 August 1864 at Rhydfadog, Llanddeiniolen, Caernarvonshire. Of course the parents may never have married, and given that Elizabeth Hughes never changed her name to Thomas, I assume that indeed they never did marry.

The quality of life enjoyed by a quarryman and his family at this time was described as "simply wretched". Ill health also was a constant companion to them, mainly stomach disorders, hernias, hemorrhoids and respiratory diseases. Accidents occurred, but not as often as in coal mining. First aid was crude. Medical assistance often distant, whilst in most quarries the only ambulance was a stretcher. However, large quarries like Penrhyn, Dinorwig, Llechwedd and the Oakeley ran their own hospitals. The Oakeley hospital dated from 1848 and the Dinorwig Hospital opened in 1876, even though no doctor was appointed there until 1893. The average age of death in 1893 at Blaenau Ffestiniog for those employed at the dressing sheds, where the slate dust was most heavy, was 47.9 years.

The only deaths that his could have been are the ones prior to 1865 that do not give an age in the index and even the correct one, if it exists will only add cause of death. Deaths Mar 1864 John Thomas Carnarvon 11b 409 and Deaths Jun 1864 John Thomas Carnarvon 11b 356 are the most likely deaths if he did in fact die

So John Thomas either died at a young age around 1864, or sought a marriage elsewhere. With a name like John Thomas it would be difficult to explore all the possibilities or any marriage that he might (or might not) have had. Whatever did happen, Elizabeth Hughes did not appear to have any help from the Thomas family, or indeed her own family, after the birth of her daughter Jane Thomas.

Thomas family index