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The Family of Mary Jones (1836-1903) and Watkin Williams (c. 1836-1897)

Mary Jones was the daughter of Daniel Jones and Ann Rees The Pant-Teg nonconformist baptism records show a Mary Jones - daughter of Daniel Jones Gellilwcafach, labourer in the parish of Llanguick and his wife Ann - born June 9 1836 and baptised June 16 1836 by Phillip Griffiths independent minister of Pant-Teg, Alltwen and Carmel. Gelli-Lwca-Fach is close to Saron Chapel, Rhydyfro.

Mary Jones married Watkin Williams on March 16 1861 (Llandilofawr district, vol 11a page 667) at Christ Church, Cwmamman, Carmarthenshire, witnessed by Jonah Morgan (neighbour at Brynlloi house) and Daniel Jones. Watkin was the son of David Williams, a farmer, with residence given as Nantgwineu (a farm between Lower Brynaman and Garnant - in 1861 census David (64) and wife Mary (55) are at that farm with daughters Harriet Williams (23), Margaret Williams (18) and son Daniel Williams (16)). Mary Jones was resident at Gellyceidrim. In the 1861 census they were living at Cross Keys, Bettws (Glanaman) with her brother Hugh:

Watkin Williams Head Mar 24 Coal Miner;
Mary Williams Wife Mar 24 Coal Miners wife ;
Hugh Jones Boarder Un 21 Coal Miner;
all born Glamorgan Llanguick.

Elizabeth Jones appears in 1861 as a 19-year-old servant with William Walter, a butcher at Caedu, Llandebie, Carmarthenshire.

By 1871 Mary and her husband had moved back to Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen at Caegurwen Row:

Watkin William Head Mar 34 Iron Miner Born Glamorganshire;
Mary do Wife Mar 34 Wife do;
Anne William do Daur 6 Scholar Born Carmarthenshire;
Daniel William do Son 2 Born Glamorganshire.

In 1881 a Watkin Williams and wife Mary aged 44 cannot be found in Caegurwen. However, there is a family with the following details at no. 5, Colliers Row in Mawr Lower, Pontardawe district - given the names and ages of the three eldest children, they are likely to be the correct family:

Watkin Williams Head Mar 34 Coal Miner Born Glamorgan Killybebyll;
Mary Williams Wife Mar 34 Born Glamorgan Llanguick;
David Williams Son Unm 19 Coal Miner Born Carmarthen Bettws;
Ann Williams Daur do 16 General domestic servant Born Carmarthen Bettws;
Daniel Williams Son 11 Scholar Born Glamorgan Llangyfelach;
Watkin Williams Son 9 do Born Glamorgan Llangyfelach;
Mary Williams Daur 5 do Born Glamorgan Llangyfelach;
Elizabeth Williams Daur 1 do Born Glamorgan Llangyfelach.

The death of a Watkin Williams aged 60 was registered in 1897 (Pontardawe 11a 467). In 1901 Mary Williams (64) was a widow living in Tyr Lone, Graig Felen, Clydach with son Watkin (29) a coal miner hewer, daughters Mary (25) and Elizabeth (21) and grandson Daniel Morris (7).

CLYDACH MYSTERY. Swansea Valley Man's Disappearance. ANOTHER WILLIE LLEWELYN SENSATION. Clydach, a little town about fire miles from Swansea, has been thrown into a state of great consternation during the past few days by the somewhat strange disappearance of Mr. Watkin Williams, the youngest son of the late Watkin Williams, of Graigfelen Farm, Clydach, who left home on Sunday morning last. The affair is at present a mystery, and steps for the recovery of Williams are being carried out something on the same lines as were adopted during the search for little Willie Llewelyn, of Aberdare. Williams, a quiet and inoffensive fellow, lived with his widowed mother and sisters in the farmhouse stated, a little thatched dwelling situated at the side of Gellywastad Mountain, Clydach. He had up to about six months ago been employed at the Graigola Merthyr Colliery, Clydach, as a haulier. He had been in indifferent health until about four months ago. when he was compelled to give up work. Throughout Sunday an active search of the neighbourhood was made by his relatives and friends. On Sunday evening the Swansea Canal was "let out," but nothing whatever could be traced. On Monday the colliers at Graigola Merthyr Colliery, numbering many hundreds. who happened to be idle, organised search parties, but their efforts were unsuccessful. On Tuesday morning the same colliers and those employed at Messrs. Moody's Colliery, instead of going to work, formed search parties, and scoured the district for miles round. When evening wore on, and each party arrived, they all reported "No clue." The searching parties were formed in long lines, each man being about a yard from his friend. The line slowly advanced over the ground. and closely investigated every secluded spot in the locality. To-day the Graigola, Merthyr, Messrs. Moody's, and Hill's Merthyr collieries are idle, and the men are in search of Williams. The excitement in the locality is most intense, the mother, sisters, and, relatives being terribly grief-stricken. The wail of the poor mother goes to the heart of everyone, but, despite all efforts, the affair at present remains shrouded in mystery. (Evening Express July 23 1902).

THE CLYDACH MYSTERY. Body of Williams Found in Abergeily Woods. The body of Watkin Williams, who had been searched for by hundreds of his fellow- workers last week. was found on Thursday afternoon in the Abergelly Woods, between Llangyfelach and Velindre. about three miles from his home. It was in an advanced state of decomposition, and serious wounds in the throat point to suicide. (Evening Express August 1 1902).

CLYDACH MYSTERY SOLVED. On Friday Mr F. H. Glynn Price, coroner, held an inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Watkin Williams (30), the man who so mysteriously disappeared from his home 11 days ago, and was on Thursday found dead in Abergelly Woods. The inquiry was held at the Clydach Public Hall. Mr Thecophilus Morgan acted as foreman of the jury. Mary Williams', sister of the deceased, said her brother was found missing from bed at 4 o'clock in the morning. He had not done any work for seven months. Daniel Williams, brother, said deceased had been depressed after sustaining injury to his hand. Before then he was fairly cheerful. Witness was present with the search party when the body was found. Deceased was lying on bis back in Abergelly Woods. The body was so disfigured that witness could not identity it except through the clothes and by the wound from the injury which deceased bad received on his wrist. P.C. Thomas, Clyciach, said he and P.C. Jones, Pontardawe, and about 20 other men were searching Abergelly Woods, and while so engaged ho heard David Rees exclaim, There is something here. He rushed forward and found deceased on his back under a large tree. There was a big gash on the throat. He observed also close to the body a blood-stained knife and a piece of cord, and a red pocket-handkerchief was in the pocket. On a branch of the tree there were three rope marks, caused, he believed, whilst deceased was trying to strangle himself. Dr. Havard Jones said the wounds were severe enough to cause death. The Coroner remarked that it was a satisfac- tion to the people of the locality that the body bad been found. Ho referred to the great self-sacrifice shown in the efforts made to find the body. The jury came to the conclusion that deceased had committed suicide whilst temporarily insane. (Cardiff Times August 9 1902).

A Mary Williams aged 67 of Graigfelen, Clydach, Rhyndwyclydach - widow of Watkin Williams a farmer - was registered by her son David Williams on August 10 1903.

Llais Llafur August 15 1903 (courtesy of Caryl Jones, Ystradgynlais Family History Society) reported Mary's death on the same day as her mother:


Gyda yr un hanes daeth y newydd dwys am farwolaeth sydyn Mrs. Mary Williams, Craigfelen, Clydach, gweddw y diweddar Mr Watkyn Williams (Watkin Nantygwine gynt) yn ei 67 mlwydd oed, ar ol ond ychydig ddyddiau o gystudd trwm. Deallwn i'w hangladd gymeryd lle prydnawn Iau 13eg cyf., i'w daearu yn yr un bedd a'i diweddar briod yn mynwent Pantycrwys. Yr oedd yr ymadawedig, yr henaf o blant y diweddaf Daniel a Nansen Jones, a gadawodd hi a'i phriod fro Amman er ys tua 34 mlwydd yn ol gan sefydlu a gwneud eu cartref yn ardal Craigcefnparc a Clydach. Bu y ferch (Mrs. Williams) farw tua 7 o'r gloch dydd Llun, a'i mam farw tua 4 yr un dydd. Heddwch i'w llwch a chysuron y nef i'r cylch helaeth perthynasau yn ei profedigaeth a'i galar.

Ann Williams and David Morris

In 1891 daughter Ann (28) and her husband David Morris (28) were in Rhyndwyclydach. He was a coal miner. Their children were listed as Watkin Morris (6), Hopkin Morris (born 24 June 1887) and David J. Morris (2). There was a marriage between an Ann Williams and a David Morris in Sep Quarter 1884 (Pontardawe 11a 896). By 1901 Ann and David's ages are given as 36 and 48 respectively. Their family is shown as Welsh-speaking only with David born Carmarthenshire. Watkin and Hopkin are coal miners (the latter a door keeper). The children have been joined by Rachel Morris (9), Hugh Gomer Morris (6), Mary Morris (3) (born January 1898, according to Clydach Girls' School records) and Esther Morris (1), all born Glamorgan Llangyfelach. According to Clydach Girls School records, Esther was born in August 1899 and left school 'for Home' in 1913.

In the 1911 census there were 12 children. Hugh Gomer was Hugh Graham (as registered) and the additional children were: Isaac Morris (9), Elizabeth Irene Morris (8), Ann Morris (7), William Morris (5) and Matilda Morris (1).

A Watkin Morris died in West Glamorgan district in December Quarter 1936 aged 51.

Hopkin Morris (24 June 1887-15 September 1961)

Hopkin Morris married Elizabeth (Bessie) Gertrude Saunders (Gittins) (15 October 1890-1974) in December Quarter 1909. They had daughters Phyllis Irene Morris (21 Mar 1910- ) who married Stanley Owen (23 Nov 1907- ), Gwynneth D. Morris in 1915 and Margaret Morris (23 April 1924-1997) who married Robert G Williams in 1948. Hopkin was a colliery overman residing in Forge Road in the 1939 Register.

Western Mail 20 June 1939: They Count 177 Years Between Them.
The Morris family of Clydach, Swansea Valley, are proud of their four generations' record, with an aggregate of 177 years.
Mr David Morris, who is a twin brother of Mr John Morris who lives in retirement at Cathely Farm, Graigcefnparc, Swansea Valley, the place of their birth, was born on October 17, 1852. Their eldest brother is Mr Isaac Morris, aged 88 years, who lives also in Clydach.
Mr Hopkin Morris is the second son of Mr David Morris and one of 13 children. He is 52 years old and an overman at the Clydach Merthyr Colliery, where he has been employed for 39 years.
Mrs Stanley Owen, aged 29, is the eldest daughter of Mr Hopkin Morris, and her son, John Dudley Owen, is 10 years old.
Mr and Mrs David Morris have 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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