ELEANOR “ELLEN” WILLIAMS
In the 1850 census for Schuylkill Twp., Schuylkill County, PA, I had previously found the family of Evan and Mary WILLIAMS along with children: Anna 19, Margaret 15, Thomas 13, and Hallender 8, all born in Wales. (see “Seventy Years in the Coal Mines – the annotated edition”, page 59, footnote #63.) The family Bible record for the birth of Margaret (Williams) MEYRICK showed that she was born 23 March 1835 in Wales. Since this Margaret WILLIAMS was the only Margaret WILLIAMS of the same age in Schuylkill County in 1850, I thought that she was the most likely possibility to be my second great grandmother. Using the Ancestry.com census index for Wales in 1841, the closest family that I could find was a household in Blaina, Aberystruth, Monmouthshire. The household consisted of: Evan WILLIAMS, head 35, collier; Mary 30, wife; Harriet, daughter, 10; Margaret, daughter, 6; Thomas, son, 4; and, Mary, daughter, 2. Evan and daughter, Harriet, were born in Monmouthshire. Wife, Mary, and the remaining children were not born in Monmouthshire. If this was the same family, then Harriet from the 1841 census and Anna from the 1850 census would have to be the same person, and the ages matched. Also, the absence of the daughter, Mary, in the 1850 census would suggest that she had probably died. There were approximately 20 deaths in the old District of Abergavenny for the name, Mary WILLIAMS, in the 1841-1843 time range. She could also have died during the voyage to the USA. Hallender from the 1850 census was shown as Ellen in the 1860 census and was the only child remaining in the household in 1860. A marriage for Evan WILLIAMS and Mary THOMAS on 29 March 1830 in St. Peters Church in Blaina was found in the Gwent Family History Society index, 1813-1837. That was the only marriage of an Evan WILLIAMS to anyone named Mary in this area in that time period. Before pursuing the marriage record, I wanted to see if the Ellen WILLIAMS, daughter of Evan and Mary WILLIAMS in the USA censuses 1850-1860, was the daughter of Evan WILLIAMS and Mary THOMAS. After ordering two incorrect certificates, I received a birth certificate from the General Register Office in the UK for Eleanor WILLIAMS, born 13 August 1841 in Coalbrookvale, Aberystruth, Monmouthshire, Wales. She was the daughter of Evan WILLIAMS, collier, and Mary WILLIAMS, formerly THOMAS. Coalbrookvale is a small village near Blaina in Gwent (formerly Monmouthshire), Wales. At this point, I think that the evidence is pretty convincing that this was the same family. Unfortunately, I have been unable to trace the siblings of Margaret (Williams) MEYRICK. I did find an Ellen LEWIS, 29 born in Wales, who was the wife of Abraham LEWIS, 30, miner, born in Wales, in the 1870 census for Mahanoy, Schuylkill County, PA. They had no children in the household at that time. I was unable to find them in the 1880 census.