I am grateful to John Williams for sharing his family history with us. His Williams family lived at Tan Y Fron, Penmon.

This Tan y Fron page has been a great success, and I would like to thank everyone who has contibuted.  John Williams, Nigel Williams, Alison Morris-Jones, Rose Lewis, Neale Lawson, Simon Harding, Clive Williams, Peter Williams and Sarah Roberts.  

Through the www.penmon.org site, we have been able to put so many 'distant' relatives of the Williams family in touch with each other. Thank you all for your support - Ken Davies 

Other LLANGOED links
on this site 

Take a stroll through Llangoed in bygone days, and discover who were the heads of the households 

Information on places and people who lived in Llangoed. If you have an enquiry, why not get in touch
  - mail@penmon.org 


It really saddened me to receive the following message from Mrs Debbie Williams, on the 7th April, 2011. KD
Dear Ken
It is with deep regret that I have to tell you John died last night. 

You may not have been aware that he had been suffering from mesothelioma for four years, and after major surgery, recovered enough to enjoy his vintage car racing for another three and a half years, to the amazement of his doctors.

Your site gave him immense pleasure and many hours of enjoyment.  As an only child, with no close relatives, he was thrilled to make contact with distant relatives through Penmon.org and in November 2010, we met up with three of them when we returned to Anglesey.
The discovery of your site opened up a whole new world for him, one that kept him busy all winter when it was too cold to fettle his Riley Brooklands. 

He loved the 'detective' aspect of finding links between people, and was never happier than ferreting around in censuses listening to jazz on the computer.

He has files and files full of research which for the moment, I will put in the attic.  Perhaps sometime later, I will go through them as I am sure these could be useful for other members of your site researching the Tan Y Fron Williams family.

With best wishes
Debbie Williams

Debbie's words mean so much to me. To contact me so soon after John's passing, really endorses what she says about his great interest in wanting to research, but most importantly, share his knowledge of the Tan y Fron, Williams family, laterly, through this Penmon website.

His first e-mail to me related to an item which he found on the Penmon People Years Ago page;

Robert Williams of the Old School House in 1901was my g.g. uncle. He had farmed Tan y Fron, but by 1901 he had retired and his son John had taken over. On John's death Tan y Fron was farmed by Robert (always known in the family as Robin), and his sister Gwladys. The other sister Elizabeth (Lizzie) was a schoolteacher and also lived on the farm. There was another sister Grace who was born after 1901 and died in 1936. None of them married and the farm was sold to the Lloyd family in the 1970's, when only Elizabeth was left. She moved to a house in Rating Row, Beaumaris, and then to the Haulfre old peoples home in Llangoed. She died in 1992.

This correspondence was to evolve dramatically, as he gave further information on the Bowen family, lighthouse keeper at Penmon, the Staples family in Beaumaris and many others.

However, this e-mail of John's in September 2010, really says it all:

This message is addressed to the following people (in no particular order): 

Ken Davies
Sally Roberts
Wally Howerton
Nigel Williams
Peter Williams
Rose Lewis
Chris Kay
David Williamson
Alison Jones
Clive Williams
Rhys Williams 
David Jones
Elinor Williams

The purpose of this message is to list the distant cousins I have "met" through Ken's fantastic Penmon website, and to a lesser extent the Ancestry website.  All are either related to the Williams - Keepers/Pilots family, or to the Williams - Tan y Fron family. 
of John and Jane Williams)
Wally Howerton - who is descended from John and Jane's son Owen, and his wife Dorothy (Griffiths), who lived in Holyhead, through their daughter Jane, who married a Thomas Parry, etc. etc.
Chris Kay - who is descended from John and Jane's son Richard, and his wife Elizabeth, who lived in Abergele, through their son Richard, and his wife Esther Mary (Churchill), etc. etc.
David Williamson - who is descended from John and Jane's son Richard, and his wife Elizabeth, who lived in Abergele, through their son John, and his wife Louisa (Bishop), etc. etc.
Clive Williams - who is descended from John and Jane's daughter Jane, and her husband Robert Roberts, who lived in Llangoed and Penmon, through their daughter Jane, and her husband Edward Jones, who lived in Bangor, etc. etc.
Rhys Williams - who is descended from John and Janes daughter Jane, and her husband Robert Roberts, who lived in Llangoed and Penmon, through their daughter Sarah, and her husband Rees Williams, who lived in Conway, Liverpool, Penmon and Llangoed, etc. etc.
David Jones - who is descended from John and Janes daughter Jane, and her husband Robert Roberts, who lived in Llangoed and Penmon, through their son John, and his wife Anne, who lived in Penmon, and then through their daughter Mary Jane etc. etc.
Tan y Fron
(Descendents of John and Mary Williams)
Sally Roberts - who is descended from John and Mary's son Rowland, and his wife Mary (Jones), who lived in Llangoed (Minffordd), through their son William, and his wife Elizabeth (Bowen), and then through their daughter Sarah Anne etc. etc.
Nigel Williams - who is descended from John and Mary's son Rowland, and his wife Mary (Jones), who lived in Llangoed (Minffordd), through their son William, and his wife Elizabeth (Bowen), and then through their son William Henry etc. etc.
Peter Williams - who is descended from John and Mary's son Hugh, and his wife Jane (Rowlands), who lived in Llanbabo and Beaumaris, through their son John Parry Williams, and his wife Margaret (Mathias) etc. etc.
Rose Lewis - who is descended from John and Mary's son Owen, and his wife Mary (Nicholson), who lived in Liverpool, Through their daughter Roselina, and her husband Carey Staples etc. etc.
Alison Jones - who is descended from John and Mary's son Rowland, and his wife Mary (Jones), who lived in Llangoed (Minffordd), through their son Robert, and his wife Elizabeth (Williams) etc. etc.
Elinor Williams - who understands that she is related to the Grace Hughes, the wife of John and Mary's son Robert, who farmed Tan y Fron after them.  I have to be honest, and say that I am not absolutely sure about this, as there is another Grace Hughes, who I have always assumed was Robert's wife.  We need to do a bit more research here.
There have been other people that have been in touch who are related by marriage to the two Williams families.  A lady in Australia who is related to Ellen Parry of Llangoed (the miller's family) the wife of John and Jane's son John (the pilot), and others.
Then there is me.  I am descended from both families, through Robert, the son of John and Jane Williams, who married Martha, the daughter of John and Mary
I hope I haven't forgotten anybody important. 
Best regards to all of you. 
John Williams

All those listed above played such a great part in keeping John interested in his family history during the last three years or so of his life.

I feel both honoured and humbled to have played just a small part in helping to compile John's family history. John and the family members above did all the work, all I did was to put it together...... and what a memorable experience it has been ! Thank you John. 

Debbie Williams closes this small tribute
 to her husband John

Photo copyright Lucy Hollis

We had the funeral service on the 14th April, in a tiny chapel on the coast path - St Nons, pictured above.  When I told John what I was planning he said he couldn't think of two more beautiful places in the world - St Nons and Penmon.

I am taking half of John's ashes to Penmon to inter them in his grandparents' grave.  His parents' ashes are also there.  Then he really will have come home and I hope his forefathers are lining up to welcome him. 
John only felt at home in that little corner of Anglesey - he did love it so.

This Tan y Fron page
is dedicated to John's memory.

From Peter Williams;
Whilst I did not know John personally I found him to be one of the most helpful people I have ever known and I'm 65 and I feel very sad , I feel as though a member of my Family has passed away
Without the help of John through your website I would never have found and broken down the brick walls in my Family History. He took brick walls head on and solved mine and I in turn was able to help Rosemary Lewis.
Thank you for letting me know it would be nice if we could keep up John's tradition and continue to help other family members trace there ancestors of which I will help where I can. It may be the book closes here but it is a large book and still much reading and investigation to be done.

I was honoured to communicate with him as he was a special person, so much help he gave his only reward was knowing he had helped his greater family to understand our Origins
Debbie must also be special to have encouraged John to follow his Feelings which must have taken up a considerable amount of time.

From Michelle Hall
I've just heard the sad news about John Williams' passing from David Williamson. I think I must be the "lady in Australia" referred to, as I am a descendent of Ellen Parry. While only related by marriage, and distantly, John was always very encouraging to me as I did my research about really quite unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar country. I'm grateful that so much work (done by everyone) has been preserved on this website for the future.

Tan Y Fron, Williams Family
dedicated to the memory of
Mr John Williams
1940 - 2011
who died on the 6th April 2011 

Now the day has dawned
And the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.
A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.


Tan Y Fron in the 1920's.
Photo courtesy of John Williams.

History of John Williams
(died June 25th 1787)
as handwritten by his great grandson
Robert Williams (Preswylfa) in 1918
(copies of the original handwritten history, 
kindly supplied by Nigel Williams)

History of John Williams
(died June 25th 1787)
as written by his great grandson
Robert Williams (Preswylfa) in 1918
(kindly suppled by Alison Morris-Jones)

The history of Tan-y-Fron family 100 years ago, first they lived at Gorddinog Aber, a Gentleman called John Williams, the owner of that Estate and had two sons, and one daughter, and a gentleman named Sir William Bond fell in love with the daughter, but the father did not like him, yet the daughter ran away from home to get married, and lived in London and sometime after she sent home for some flowers from her father's garden, so when the father heard he went to his garden and rubbed every one flower under his feet that no flowers could be sent to her, and the son-in-law for some reason or other went to law against his father in law and gained the law, and some time after the said John Williams felt that it was not right that the parish should have the tenth part of his crops, and of his wool, so he went to law again and lost, and Bailiff was sent there, and when the said three saw this they left Gorddenog, and went to live under an oak tree, so a friend name Wm Jones from Hol-yhead came across them and perswaded them to come with him to Anglesey, and this was before salt water had come up the Menai Straits, only fresh water river and most of the land which is now covered with salt water belonged to the land which is now covered with salt water belonged to the Gorlenog Estate, and Tan-y-Fron, which was in two or three small Farms, when the father and two sons came there to live, without a scrap of anything to start farming, so the father went to Baronhills to one of the Buckleys to ask for a loan of two sacks of barley to saw, and saying that he had nothing to work on the ground neither, so the Buckley said that he could give him, the two sacks of barley and an old horse if he would sign for them, so that was agreed and brought the two sacks of barley home on the old Horses back, and after the first harvest took back the two sacks of barley and the old horse, when the Buckley told him he had signed to give Tan-y-Fron in place of the two sacks of barley and the old Horse, nad the long blade of ground which is now with Pwll Crwn belonged to Tan-y-Fron that time, one of the name was Rowland, who was put prentiship of Taylor with someone at Llainswllt Llangoed and when he came out of his (apprectiship) he went to sea and was heard of working in Rope works at New-york, and about fifteen years ago a mission came to Carnarvon from Jamaica seeking for relative to this Rowland Williams who had (escaped) from Jamaica in the time of freedom to slaves, as he (posessed) 2,000 of slaves, working a sugar plantation, and in the Plantation was a Church and on this Churchs Gable End was engraved on a stone Presented by Rowland Williams from Penmon Anglesey, and the said plantation was very (lately) wild and (unclaimed), the other sons name was John, so Rowland and John is still kept up in the family, and also Gorddinog is well kept up there is Gorddinog in Llangoed named by Mr Henry Jones, (Brother to Mary, wife of John Williams) who took one acre piece of ground from one of the Buckleys on lease and built a cottage on it named Gorddinog and lived there all his life, and his wife for a few years longer, after which the old cottage was pulled down and a terrace was built and called by the same name.  another son of Tan-y-Fron who was a Baptise Minister, lived at Cemais Anglesey and built a cottage for his dwelling and named it Gorddinog.  another of the family son of the late Rowland Williams Minffordd Llangoed, went to live near Llandudno, and built two cottages named one Gorddinog and  the other Cornelyn.

This history was written in 1918 by Robert Williams, Preswylfa, Llangoed. He is the son of Rowland Williams Minffordd, who is mentioned in the history. 
Mary the wife of John Williams also mentioned, was his Grandmother, who had six sons and three daughters, name of the sons were, John, William, Owen, Rowland, Hugh, Robert, and name of the daughters were, Mary, Elizabeth, Martha, this family was a great support to the Wesleyans, although was not members, but John began to preach with the Wesleyans for some time and as he could not agree with the old ministers fund (he wanted this fund to open to the local Preachers as well as Ministers), he went to the Baptist and remained a Minister with them to the end of his life, Owen was a ships carpenter and lived in Liverpool, had one son, and two daughters.  the son Gerat was staying at Tan-y-Fron, and was killed by his cousin, Isaac, in playing with throwing stones at one another, ( a very small stone hit him under his ear hole, and he died on the spot, & was buried at Penmon Church yard) the daughters name was Fannie-Anne, and Rose, Rowland was a stone dresser and builder, and lived at Minffordd, Llangoed, (he built most of the first Wesleyan Chapel in Llangoed, and his son Hugh atending on him both free of charge, and Tan-y-Fron carts carted most of the stones).



At Tan y Fron was John Williams 60 a farmer, Mary 50, Hugh 20, Robert 15, Elizabeth 11 and Mary 8. Hannah Prichard 15 was also there.

Coffadwriaeth am
Tan y Fron yn y plwyf hwn,
yr hwn a fu farw Chwefror 18 1846
yn 68 oed.
Hefyd MARY
fu farw Mawrth 25 1859 yn 26 oed.
Hefyd MARY,
fu farw Mai 13 1864
yn 74 oed.

Rose Lewis writes;
I have the family Bible of the Williams family of Penmon which unfortunately doesn't have the address of where they lived in Penmon, (later confirmed as Tan y Fron KD) but I have been told that it was believed to be a farmhouse which got destroyed by fire at sometime, and the Bible I have looks like it has been rescued from a fire as it is tarnished and burnt at the edges.

John Williams replies;
In the census of 1841 there were two properties at Tan y Fron, but by 1851 there was only one.  The farmhouse that is still there today was built in 1848, according to the plaque on the building.  Perhaps there was indeed a fire in the 1840's.  The plaque says RBWB 1848, and the RBWB refers to Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams Bulkeley who owned Tan y Fron.  The Williams family bought the freehold later


Mary Williams 61, farmed Tan Y Fron. She was born in Llangoed. Her family were all born in Penmon. Hugh was 33, Robert 26, both farming, Elizabeth 21 was a sailor's wife, Mary 18. Owen Roberts 25 of Penmon and Robert Jones 67 of Llangoed were both mariners, and John Williams 12 of Llangoed was a cowman.


Tan y Fron was farmed by widow Mary Williams 71 of Llangoed, with her son Robert 37 of Penmon. Her grandsons William 9 and Isaac 5 were born in Llanddona. Ellen Williams 19 of Penmon was a housemaid, Humphrey Jones18 of Pentraeth a carter, and John Pritchard 11 a cowman from Llanfair.

John Williams writes; The 1861 Census for Tan y Fron is especially interesting to me for two reasons. Firstly the 9 year old grandson William who was at Tan y Fron in 1861 is my grandfather. Although both his parents were from Penmon, he was born in Llanddona in 1852. His parents and siblings were living at their smallholding called Flicws in Llanddona in 1861, but he was obviously with his grandmother, and other family members, at Tan y Fron. Either there wasn't enough room at Flicws, or perhaps he was already helping on the farm after his grandfather John had died, or maybe he didn't get on with his family!. The other interesting Tan y Fron entry for 1861 is another grandson called Isaac. According to the Penmon christening register he was the illegitimate son of John Jones (Servant) and Mary Williams and the address was Tan y Fron. Mary Williams died in 1859 at the age of 26. Jared was the son of Owen and Mary Williams,  who is buried in Penmon died aged 10 in 1861. I can find no baptism record for Jared, or a marriage between Owen and Mary Williams, and I could be wrong, but the parish burial record says Jared was from Tan y Fron. Jared does not appear in either the 1851 or 1861 census returns.  I don't have a birth date in 1851, so he could have missed the census, but he didn't die until November 1861 so should appear somewhere in the census of that year, but I cannot find a single Jared Williams. Isaac, who was still at Tan y Fron in 1871, and in the meantime had become a joiner. I am pretty sure that sometime after 1871 he went to sea as a ships carpenter and died in 1876.

Additional information came to light from Rose Lewis, a descendant of the Staples family in Beaumaris - see link to 'OTHER BEAUMARIS FAMILIES' Rose writes;
I was reading the Williams family history on your site and was amazed to see that John Williams who wrote it, mentioned a Jared Williams who was the son of an Owen and Mary Williams, oddly enough Rosalina's parents were called Owen (as I mentioned previously b. Penmon 1821) his wife was called Mary and they also have a Son called Jared which I would guess is quite an unusual name,Mary was from the Nicholson family in Holyhead and the name Jared comes from her Father Jared Nicholson.The man who wrote it says he can't find Jared on later census, my Owen and Mary and Son Jared are  found on later Census returns living in the  Toxteth Park area of Liverpool.I am sure it is probably a coincidence, its just the name Jared is a bit unusual, I have no doubt there were many Owen and Mary Williams's, but how many would have a son with the name Jared?I think my Jared Wlliams might even have been born in Liverpool, I will have to check it out.

In reply, John writes; That is fantastic.  I think we can now say for sure that Owen Williams was from Tan y Fron, and my great great uncle. The evidence is pretty conclusive.  

Jared Williams is buried at Penmon.

Er cof am
mab Owen a Mary Williams 
bu farw Tachwedd 20 1861
yn 10 oed 

The parish register says that he was buried on 25 November 1861 (it actually records his age as 11) and gives the residence as Tan y Fron.  Previously, I was unable to work out who Jared Williams was.  The name Jared is very unusual and obviously comes from his mother's side. 

Jared's father Owen was a son of John and Mary Williams of Tan y Fron.  I have the family bible of his brother (Robert) and his birth date is recorded as 26 August 1820.  He was christened at Penmon on 3 September 1820.  At that time his father John was recorded as a mariner  I had not been able to find anything about Owen after his christening, but you seem to have solved the mystery.

Rose Lewis adds more wonderful information;
I have been reading the Williams Tan Y Fron details again on your web site.  Its amazing to think that there is a connection. Its really odd but I was immediately drawn to reading about the Williams's and Tan Y Fron section before you even told me there is a connection between the families!
I am now trying to get my head around where the connection lies, would I be right in saying that John Williams' G,G Grandfather, and my G,G, Grandfather Owen Williams were brothers?

The older members of my family had often talked of a farming  connection, and even as a small child I used to love listening to them talk of their past.
John mentions that he also has Williams Family Bibles, I have a Bible and a hymn book, that my Mother gave to me shortly before she died, and believe me, they are very precious, but even more so now I know where they originated from. I often looked at them, wondering where Rose's family home was.She obviously handed it down to my Grandmother Rose as it says on it, "To my Daughter Rosaline, from her Mother Rosealina Staples" and she has put brackets with Williams next to the Staples. Now its with this Rose!!

My goodness Ken, see how valuable your website is? It has given me all this new knowledge and fired my imagination! Rosealina may not have ever lived at Tan Y Fron, but it was her Father's family home, and I know how very important my stays at the Smallholding of my Nain and Taid's in Meifod was to me, it was where my Dad played as a boy, and it meant an awful lot to me. My head is full of memories of Meifod.

 It says it all really that when Owen and Mary's Son Jared (Rosealina's Brother) died, that even though they were living in Liverpool they brought his body home to rest.

Thank you once again Ken, because if it hadn't been for your wonderful website all this information would not have come to light.I feel like more pieces of a very large jig-saw have been found!


Robert Williams 46, of Penmon, farmed 49 acres at Tan Y Fron with his wife Grace 24 of Llandegfan. Their son John 2, and nephew Isaac Williams 16, a joiner were born in Penmon. General servant Ellen Williams 17 was from Coedana, and agricultural servant John Roberts 16 from Penmon.


Robert Williams 56 farmed Tan y Fron, and was Penmon born. Wife Grace 34 was from Llanddyfnan, and children John 12 and Mary Ann 7, from Penmon. William Hughes 16 was an indoor farm servant of Llanfair PG and general servant Grace Thomas 22, from Penmon.


Robert Williams 66 of Penmon, farmed Tan y Fron with his Llanddyfran born wife Grace 44. Children John 22 and Mary A 17 were both Penmon born. General servant Catherine Hughes 15 and farm servant Owen Hughes 16 were both from Penmon, and servant Owen Willams 21 was from Llanddona.

John Williams 32 farmed Tan y Fron with wife Jane 38, daughter Gwladys 6, son Robert 4, and daughter Elizabeth J. 8 months old. The family were from Penmon apart from Jane who was born Llanddyfnan. Limestone Quarry Agent George Fingland 22 of Scotland was boarding with them. He spoke English. Working on the farm were Lydia Roberts 18 a domestic servant from Llanddona, John Ellis 21 a carter from Llaniestyn and John W. Jones 14 a veterinary agricultural servant of Llangoed. Lydia spoke Welsh and the two Johns spoke both languages.

Sarah Roberts of Penmon writes; interested to read your news re "Bowens & Williams families in Penmon.My grt.grt.grandfather was Henry Bowen, lighthouse keeper. My maternal grandfather was George Fingland who was a lodger at TanyFron- 1901 census. I now live in Penmon.

John Williams, 42, head of household farmed Tan y Fron, with his wife Jane, 48. They had been married 17 years and had 5 children, all of whom had survived. Robert Hugh Williams,14, son was working on the farm. Of their four daughters, only Gwladys Mary, 16 worked there, and as a dairymaid. Elizabeth, 10 was at school, Grace was 9 and Helen 5. Robert Owen, 22, single was a Waggoner on the farm. All were born at Penmon, other than Jane (Llanddyfnan) and Robert (Pentraeth). All were bilingual.

(GREAT GREAT UNCLE of John Williams)
Born 12/09/1824
"A Rwyrnwyd y llyfur yn y year 1851"
William Williams born 18/02/1810
John Williams born 29/11/1812

Rowland Williams born 14/05/1815
Hugh Williams born 07/07/1817
Owen Williams born 26/08/1820
Martha Williams  born 01/04/1827

Elizabeth Williams born 26/07/1829

Mary Williams born 14/03/1833
John Williams a fu farw (died) 18/02/1846
Mary Williams ei wraig (his wife)
a fu farw (died) 12/05/1864
John Williams born 04/05/1868
Mary Ann Williams born 31/10/1873
Grace Williams born 01/08/1845

  A LETTER FROM 1890     

John Williams of Pembrokeshire writes; I found this transcription among family papers.  I cannot be sure who it was addressed to, but I guess it was to a female member of the Tan y Fron family, in Penmon, in response to a letter received by him.
Gorddinog ,
Cemaes, November 1890
Dear Niece
I received your letter this morning and I will try to answer some of your questions as far as I know about them.

My grandfather's name was John Williams and my grandmother's name was Elizabeth Williams and the name of their residence was 'Caehir' (long field) which was a small holding added to Tanyfron after the death of my grandmother, and by now part of it belongs to Pwll Crwn owned formerly by Hugh Roberts.

My grandfather and my grandmother had five children namely two daughters and three boys - the name of the eldest was William, and my father the second, was John and the youngest was Rowland.

My grandfather and his two daughters were drowned in the Penmon boat when they were returning from the Bangor fair - June 25 - 1787. My grandmother died in a year's time after the accident of a broken heart after their loss.
William went to Tycoch, Llanffinan to his aunt and there he died. My father went as an apprentice as a sailor, and Rowland was sent as an apprentice as a tailor to a man who at that time lived at Llain Swllt, Llangoed; and when he had served his time there - he went to America - and the only thing that my father heard of him afterwards - that he was working in a rope factory in New York. This is what I heard about him, that he went to Jamaica. A man named Deiniol Wyn was a missionary of the English Church in Jamaica, and afterwards became a schoolmaster there and when he returned from there to his old home in
Caernarfon, he met two men from Cemaes and asked them whether they knew a man named Rowland Williams, Penmon or any of his relations. 

The man said that a man of that name had been to Jamaica and lived there and had a sugar plantation and kept two thousand slaves. He had built a church and had given it as a gift to the English church. His name was engraved on the gable end of the church - Rowland Williams, Penmon, Anglesea during the time when England gave the slaves their freedom. He left his estate and went to South America and never returned. One of his workmen told Deiniol Wyn this, and when Deiniol Wyn was in Jamaica, the estate had become wild without an owner. I do not know nor the one in Cemaes, which place in Jamaica he lived, nor where the church was. Very likely he died before this and that in South America he died and was buried there - I do not know.

Deiniol Wyn is dead but his relations are living in Caernarfon. Very likely if you came across them, they could give you all the information.

We are pleased to hear that M A Williams, Tanyfron  is getting better.
We are sorry to hear that R Roberts Llangoed is still poorly.
We wish to be remember to you and all the family

Yours very sincerely
Your uncle - John Williams

John explains that; John Williams was a retired minister and can be found at Gorddinog in the Cemaes Census returns of the relevant period. 

I guess that Cae Hir, where his ancestors lived, was the long field between the Tan y Fron Covert and the track leading to Tan y Fron.  Indeed the field now belongs in part to Pwll Crwn and in part to Tan y Fron.
I can find no refernces to a ferry accident in 1787 involving the Penmon ferry.  Only the well reported Abermenai ferry tragedy in 1785.
The story about the Rowland Williams and his slaves in Jamaica is fascinating, but possibly a bit embelished when passed from seaman to seaman!
The Mary Anne Williams mentioned in the letter is the daughter of Robert Williams, Tan y Fron.  I believe Robert Roberts, Llangoed, was the son in law of my g.g.grandfather John Williams, the Black Point pilot, both of whom lived at Pwll Crwn Fach.
If you can add to the information contained in above letter, please contact John, via this website, on the contact form on the left hand side of this page.  
Response received in connection with the 1890 letter and Rowland Williams' connection with Jamaica.
I have been very interested in your web site
There is a plaque in a wall of a church in Anglesea, Parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica to a Rowland Williams of Penmon which is undated but could be c 1700.  There seems to be too much of a coincidence that this Rowland or his forebears might have gone to Jamaica from Penmon.  Do you know if there is anyone with a Williams from Penmon Genealogy as I would like to have got in touch?
The letter regarding the Rowland Williams and the church I believe is a little muddled as the Williams of Anglesea who owned the plantation when the slaves got their freedom was one Joseph Stone Williams and he left the estate to my 3xgt grandfather Theodore who was vicar of Hendon. Theodore and Joseph were brothers and a Rowland William's gt gt grandsons.
I have no doubt you get other letters of this nature so please do not spend anytime on it.
Many thanks
Neale Lawson

John William is undertaking further research into his Tan Y Fron family. He would appreciate clarification/confrimation on the following. If you can help please contact mail@penmon.org .Thank you.
He writes;
I have a complication with my research, which has been following all nine children of John and Mary Williams, born between 1810 and 1833.  I know for certain what happened to seven of them, and think I know about the others, but would like to be sure that I am right about these two.  
The first, and for me the most important confirmation, is the identity of John Williams, Baptist Minister, who wrote the letter to his niece, which you included under Penmon Nostalgia.  I cannot be certain who the niece was, but, as it was among our family papers, and he refers to Tany y Fron, he must fit in somewhere.  There is a very strong indication that he was the son of John and Mary Williams

I have the family bible of another son, Robert, which gives the names and dates of birth of all his siblings.  From this I know the second son, John, was born 29/11/1812.  This corresponds exactly to the ages in the census returns for the Baptist Minister, John Williams, living at Cemaes. 
The document which should provide definite confirmation is his marriage registration to his wife Anne E Williams, as it would give his father's name and occupation.  Anne was born in Llanfairynghornwy, but I have been unable to find their marriage in any parish records.  I am also not sure what Anne's maiden name was.  In 1881 they had a Jane Roberts living with them, who was described as a niece, so perhaps Anne was previously a Roberts. 

Having been born in 1812, it is very likely that John Williams married before 1837, so there would be no official registration.  Without the marriage details, it is impossible to be absolutely sure that I have the right John Williams.  I would really like to be certain, as it would mean that from the contents of his letter we can trace the family back to the second half of the 18th century, and include the ferry tragedy, as well as the tantalising possibility of a connection to Jamaica and slavery!  An additional piece of evidence in his letter suggests he was indeed the son of John and Mary Williams.
After telling the story about his grandfather and his two aunts being drowned in 1787, he says that his father John went as an apprentice sailor.  Now although John and Mary were at Tan y Fron in the early 1800's, John's occupation was actually recorded as a mariner in 1820, when their son Owen was baptised.
Another son of John and Mary Williams I would like to be sure about is Hugh, their fourth son, born 07/07/1817.  After a search of the census returns, I believe he married a Jane Rowlands, who was the daughter of a Robert and Anne Rowlands, who farmed Cae Mawr in Llanbabo.  Jane had been born in Penmon, and I think the Rowlands family were probably from Penmon
Cae Mawr was a Baron Hill property like Tan y Fron.  In 1861 Hugh and Jane Williams were farming Cae Mawr, but by 1871 the had moved to Beaumaris.  In 1881 Hugh was a sawyer and porter, and in 1891 and 1901 he was a retired pier porter.  They had a number of children.  Two became schoolteachers, including Mary A Williams. 
According to the letter from 1968, also under Penmon Nostalgia, Mary A Williams taught at the Board School in Beaumaris.  I have a sneaking feeling that she may have been the niece that received the letter from John Williams, Baptist Minister.  I believe Hugh Williams died around 1903, but I am not sure where he is buried, or what became of his children.  Again it will probably take his marriage registration to confirm for certain that he was indeed the son of John and Mary Williams, Tan y Fron.  So far I have been unable to find this.
Any assistance would be appreciated.

I have started looking at the Slave Registers of the 1820 -1830 period, and find there was a Rowland Williams, who appears to have been an owner of a relatively small number of slaves, mostly in the parish of Elizabeth, but also in St Catherines, and Kingston (not in Westmoreland). What is quite interesting is that he also appears to have acted as Attorney (the terminology which seems to mean a representative, or manager for an absentee landlord) for other slave (plantation?) owners. One of the people he acted for was Joseph Stone Williams, and this is the name mentioned by Neale Lawson. There are quite a number of Williams owning slaves in Jamaica in this period, and it would be interesting to know if and how they were connected.


I don't know whether it will be possible to confirm that this Rowland Williams was from Penmon, and, if so if he was the uncle of John Williams, but it would be great to find out.


I spent a couple of afternoons at the Records Office in Llangefni, and had some success, but also some of the usual failures.
The main success was to confirm for certain that John Williams (The Minister that sent the fascinating letter about the ferry tragedy, and the possible connection to the Jamaica slaves story) was indeed the son of John and Mary Williams - Tan y Fron, who was born 18/02/1810.  This means that we can go back a further generation, and now know that John Williams - Tan y Fron, who was born in 1778, was one of the three sons who were orphaned, when their father and two sisters were drowned in the ferry accident in 1787, and their mother Elizabeth died a year later from a "broken heart".  I was able to confirm this when I found John Williams' marriage to an Ann Jones in Llanfairynghornwy on 26/12/1838 which confirmed his address as Tan y Fron and his father as a farmer called John Williams
I also stumbled on another curious thing about Thomas Staples, whose story you have under Beaumaris families.  As you know, Rose Lewis managed to confirm a connection with Penmon, when she helped discover that Owen Williams, another son of John and Mary Williams - Tan y Fron, who had married a Mary Nicholson from Holyhead, had gone to Liverpool, and that their daughter Rosalina had married Carey Staples.  I had assumed that this was probably the only connection between the Staples family and Penmon, but no!  The Thomas Staples who came from London was married in Penmon on 02/01/1807 to an Ann Williams, who was the daughter of William Williams and she was living in Penmon at the time.  I know the later census returns show she was born in Aber, Caernarvonshire, but she was definitely in Penmon in 1807.  I cannot work out which William Williams was her father, but he might have been the gamekeeper at Penmon Park (my great great grandfather), whose son William Williams (1871 - 1837) (Grave A120 Penmon) was also a gamekeeper.  The Aber connection is rather confusing though.

Simon Harding writes;Message: Hello, I read the letter from 1890 with interest. My grandmother was Rosamond Williams from Jamaica and I know something of the genealogy of the Williams in that island. Do you have contact details for Neale Lawson as Joseph Stone Williams is on my family tree and I would like to see how our information compares. I am not sure if it is anything to do with Penmon, but could be.

Neale Lawson replies;I am attaching a brief family tree of the Williams family in which I am interested.  I cannot vouchsafe for its accuracy although I think there is a fair chance it is correct.  I have a copy of Frances Celia Stone's father's will in which the children are all minors so I cannot verify this connection.  If you want anymore on the branches or a narrative report I could let you have these.

Received this intriguing letter from Marie Williams of Jamaica. KD

Having read the following extract about the 1890 letter on your website, I wonder if I am in anyway related to the Williamses of Tan y Fron?
"... and when he came out of his (apprenticeship) he went to sea and was heard of working in Rope works at New-York, and about fifteen years ago a mission came to Carnarvon from Jamaica seeking for relative to this Rowland Williams who had (escaped) from Jamaica in the time of freedom to slaves, as he (posessed) 2,000 of slaves, working a sugar plantation, and in the Plantation was a Church and on this Churchs Gable End was engraved on a stone Presented by Rowland Williams from Penmon Anglesey, and the said plantation was very (lately) wild and..."
 As a Jamaican with the family name "Williams" and with family from Clarendon, St Catherine, I wonder if I could have great grandfathers from this line.  My grandmother's name Eliza Williams on my mother's side and the very similar sounding names in my family have me intrigued.  It may of course just be coincidence and there must be so many "Williams" in Jamaica anyway.
" ...I have started looking at the Slave Registers of the 1820 -1830 period, and find there was a Rowland Williams, who appears to have been an owner of a relatively small number of slaves, mostly in the parish of Elizabeth, but also in St Catherines, and Kingston (not in Westmoreland). What is quite interesting is that he also appears to have acted as Attorney (the terminology which seems to mean a representative, or manager for an absentee landlord) for other slave (plantation?) owners. One of the people he acted for was Joseph Stone Williams, and this is the name mentioned by Neale Lawson. There are quite a number of Williams owning slaves in Jamaica in this period, and it would be interesting to know if and how they were connected..."
I always suspected that I might have Welsh roots, although I am Jamaican, having the "Williams" surname.  Both my parents are Williams, meaning that my mother's surname was Williams before she married and we all come from St Catherine.  The extract that I've taken from the Williams website mentions "slaves mostly in St Elizabeth but also in St Catherine" too, which makes me wonder if I am in some way connected.
I haven't managed to trace any family to Anglesey yet because I have only just started doing my research which has only amounted in me discovering quite accidentally the Tan y Fron Williams website on the Internet yesterday and becoming both fascinated and excited by it all!
I am trying to trace my family tree, and having read the Tan y Fron page, this really spurs me on!

Neale Lawson kindly responds;
I have had forwarded your email regarding your grandmother Eliza Williams.
Since I first put my message on the Penmon site I have proceeded a long way with my Jamaican connection.  Although I have a Rowland Williams in my tree he has no connection with Anglesea except that his son bought an estate called Anglesea from one of the Haughton family in Jamaica.  My Williams also had a plantation called Carawina and both were in the parish of Westmoreland.  My Williams family appear to have originated from Dorset and my ancestor left Jamaica in 1805 with his mother and brother.  One brother William stayed behind and ran the estates.
I will send you some information on Rowland Williams born 17th August 1789 who did leave Jamaica, but went to Canada, was an attorney and died in about 1840.  His will is dated 5 December 1840
If I can be of more help please let me know
Neale Lawson

Marie can be contacted via mail@penmon.org if you can help her with her family history research. KD

Request from David Armstrong in Western Australia;
G'day Ken

I was wondering if you could please put me in touch with Neale Lawson and Marie Williams of Jamaica whose letters are on your website.
I have long been researching my own ancestry, but have only recently started to look at my step-father, David Ellis' ancestry.  Much of it was done in the 1940s and 50s by my step-grandfather, however, while accurate, the documentation to prove the pedigree is sadly lacking, and I am know remedying that omission.  David Ellis was a Great Great Grandson of the Rev. Theodore Williams, Vicar of Hendon, who was born ca. 1785 in Jamaica, thus Neale Lawson is his third cousin once removed (or my step-fourth cousin!).  It is only in the past two weeks or so that I identified the parish of Westmoreland as being the place in Jamaica where "my" Jamaican Williams originates, as David Ellis' paternal grandmother, Alice Williams was born in Trinchinopoly.
Thanks for your website. 
Io Saturnalia et felici Novus Annus 
David Armstrong
I have forwarded your e-mail to Neil and Marie as requested. KD
December 2013

Nigel Williams writes;

Dear Mr Davies, Just been on your web site and found it to be very interesting. I have a book in my possession all about the Williams family, which was found in an attic in Llangoed. It was handwritten in 1902, starting in Tan y Fron through to my family in China House. I also have an aunty in her late 70s who has a fantastic memory. She can hopefully fill in a lot of things missing that I have read and in the book.

I have been in touch with Nigel, who will kindly send me a photocopy of the book, which will appear here in due course. Ken Davies

 Alison Morris-Jones writes;

I was really interested to read your info on the Penmon website.
I am also related to the Williams family of Tan y Fron.  I have gone back as far as John and Elizabeth Williams, who died in 1787. 
John (who I understand from an account written by my great grandfather Robert Williams of Preswylfa, Llangoed, was from Gorddinog, Aber) but have not been able to prove that as John Williams is too common a name. 

John and two of his daughters died on June 25th 1787 on their way home to Penmon from the Bangor fair, when the boat was sunk. Elizabeth died later that year from a broken heart.
Their children were William, John, Margaret, Ann and Rowland.  Their son John married a Mary Jones and they had a lot of children: Elizabeth, William, John, Rowland, Hugh, Owen, Robert, Martha and Mary.

I am decended from Rowland, who  has a large family gravestone in Penmon graveyard.  Rowland had 2 children, Owen and John from his first marriage to Margaret and 9 children; Mary, William (who married Elizabeth Bowen), Hugh, Henry, Elizabeth, Anne (who married a David Daniel Bowen), Robert (my great grandfather), Rowland and Ellen.

I also have a copy of the letter of John Williams to his niece. 

I have also looked and not found the marriage certificate unfortunately, if it was a non-conformist marriage, then the records may have been lost I suppose. 
I am also interested in the connection with a sugar plantation in Jamaica, as family legend says that someone from the Williams family had a plantation with 1000 slaves and that the family member a Rowland Williams had a chapel in Jamaica named after him. 

Robert Williams married Elizabeth Williams from Gorad, so lots of Williamses to research in a small area! I have not finished looking at the wealth of info on your website yet, but being impetuous by nature could not resist contacting you straight away. 

I find a great delight in discovering new relatives.

Alison writes about her ancestors;

Minffordd- The home of Rowland Williams and his family 

Can anyone identify the two ladies? 

Rowland Williams (4th child of John Williams and his wife Mary) was born 14th May 1815 in Pen y Marian, Llangoed.    I don't know where his older siblings Elizabeth, William and John were born, but Rowland, and his brother Hugh were born in Pen y Marian, Llangoed.

His parents then moved to Tan y Fron and had Owen, Robert, Martha and Mary.
As an Adult, Rowland lived at Minffordd, Llangoed.  He had two children,  Owen and John with his first wife Margaret, but was widowed and married his second wife Mary Jones of Cefn Hir, daughter of William Jones, farmer, on 21st March 1842 at Llangoed Church, witnessed by Hugh Williams and Robert Williams (presumably two of his brothers). 

He had more children; Mary, William, Hugh, Henry, Elizabeth, Anne, Robert, Rowland and Ellen all born at Minffordd.

1841 census ; Minffordd, Llangoed. Rowland Williams 25, agricultural labourer. The household consisted of Owen 5, John 3, and Mary Thomas 25, a female servant. All born on Anglesey.
NB - the census for 1841 does not record details of relationships, nor status eg single,married or widowed

 1851 census ; Minffordd, Llangoed. Rowland Williams 35, stonemason, Mary 35 wife, children Mary 8, William 6, Hugh 4, Henry 4 months. General servant was Elizabeth Lewis 17. All were recorded on the census as born on Anglesey.

1861 census ; Minffordd, Llangoed. Rowland Williams 45, stonemason, Mary 45, wife, children, Mary 18, William 16, a draper's assistant, Hugh 14, Henry 10, Elizabeth 7, Ann 5, Robert 3. His wife Mary was born in Pentraeth, the rest of the family were born in Llangoed.

NB- Robert wrote about his great grandfather,John  Williams who died in 1787. Robert also wrote about himself and his brother Hugh.

He was a stone mason by trade.  His wife Mary died 27th July 1869


Er cof am
ELENOR merch
Minffordd, Llangoed
a aned Hydref 29
bu farw Tachwdd.23 1848.
Hefyd ELIZABETH eu merch
fu farw Mawrth 5 1868
yn 15 mlwydd oed.
Hefyd MARY gwraig
fu farw Gorff 27 1869
yn 54 mlwydd oed.
mab, fu farw Mehfn.23
1871 yn 7 mlwydd oed

1871 census ; Minffordd, Llangoed. Rowland Williams, 55, widower, stone cutter and owner of 10 acres of land, children Henry 20, pupil teacher, Anne 15, Robert 13, Rowland 8, all born Llangoed.

Sadly, young Rowland died on the 23rd June 1871 and is shown on the above memorial inscription, as aged 7.

Rowland married his third wife Margaret.

Rowland himself died 17th March 1882 

Rowland Williams' grave in Penmon

Er serchog coffadwriaeth
Minffordd Llangoed
yr hwn a fu farw
Mawrth 17eg 1882..
"Ac a gofodir mew gogoniant". 1 COR 15. 43.
MARGARET, anwyl briod
a fu farw Tachwedd 17eg 1886
yn 62 mlwydd oed.
Y rhai hyn ddihunant - o wyll bedd,
I well byd cyfodant -
Telynau a gynau gant,
I ganu mewn gogoniant.
anwyl ferch y diweddar
yr hon a hunodd yn yr Iesu
Rhagfyr 18 1893
yn 19 mlwydd oed

His son William married Elizabeth Bowen and they had children William, Rowland, Johnny, Mary and Sarah.  

His son Hugh married Elizabeth Williams and had children Rowland, Robert, Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, Jannie and Henrietta

His son Henry also had 5 children Albert Henry, William Rowland, Mable Sarah, Mary Jane and Caroline Elizabeth

His daughter Anne married David Daniel Bowen, who in 1881 lived on his own at 2 Marine Terrace, Criccieth aged 24. He traded as a  grocer and fancy goods dealer.

1891 census ; Deiniol House Criccieth, Caernarfonshire. David Daniel Bowen 34, grocer born Holyhead, Ann 35 wife born Llangoed. General servants were Elizabeth Ellis 27 domestic, born Criccieth and William Roberts 15, porter, born Pentrefelin.

1901 census ; Bryn Hafod, Llaneugrad, Caernarfonshire. David Daniel Bowen 44, draper & grocer, born Holyhead, Ann Bowen, 45, wife, draper, born Llangoed, children Sarah 8 and Henry W. 2, both born Criccieth. Ellen Jones 22, was their domestic servant, born Sarn. All were bilingual.

Anne died aged 48, in 1903 when living at Victoria House, Llanddona.


 Their son William Caradoc who was born in 1901, died aged 4 in September 1905.

David Daniel Bowen died in 1938, aged 81.

In loving memory of
died 30th of August 1903
aged 48 years.
And of
who died 10th of September 1905
aged 4 years.
died 4th Jan. 1938
aged 81 years

His son Robert married Elizabeth Williams, (daughter of John and Elizabeth Williams of Tyn Lon, who later moved to Gorad Tre'r Castell)   

                 Robert and Elizabeth Williams of Preswylfa, Llangoed

Robert and Elizabeth lived in Preswylfa, Llangoed and had Jack, Margaret Jane, Mary Catherine, Rowland, Elizabeth, Annie, Grace (known as Gay), Edith (known as Edie) and Gwen.

Jack married Elizabeth Darlington and had sons Foliot and John.  The family emigrated to Australia

Margaret Jane married Owen Owens of Tan y Coed, Llaniestyn.

Mary Catherine married John Rowlands, but eloped to Australia with a married neighbour, leaving her husband and daughter Myfanwy behind. 

Myfanwy was brought up by Robert and Elizabeth, being of a similar age to their youngest daughters.  Robert had been a deacon in the Wesleyan chapel, but the whole family were excommunicated from the chapel as a result of the scandal and had to attend the Church instead.

Rowland became clerk of works for the Faenol estate and  married Jenny, with whom he had three children Mona, Robin and Glyn. He then married Mollie and Lizzie Mary.

Elizabeth married David Evans Jones and had two children, Bob  and Enid.

Annie married Owen Hughes and had a daughter Beti.

Grace married Samuel Downs (who was an excellent gardener) and they lived in Preswylfa with their daughter Doreen.

Grace Downs on the front step of Preswylfa. The flowers on either side of the path were very colourful.

Edith married Robert John Roberts (who became clerk of works for the Baron Hill estate) and had a daughter Eirlys, they lived in "Morlais" Beaumaris.

Gwen married Benson Davies and had two children, Mary and John Michael.  They moved to live in London.

born 1845,
and died April 2, 1883 in China House, Llangoed, Bu Penmon

daughter of HENRY BOWEN

History according to Robert Williams (Preswylfa)

William was put a prenties of draper, with Thomas Owen, Castle Street, Beaumaris, and after he came out of printiship, went to Birkenhead to the same traid, but that went failear, so that he had no wages, only bits of velvats and old hat shapes when he came home, and borrowed £50, to start grocer, and flower bisness, at Glan-yr-afon, Llangoed, and for all this place was a very out of the way place coustomers was comming from miles to him, and the Post Office was then at Rhyd, and as Mr David Roberts, Rhyd, (a bisness) was an old establishment and merchant in all sorts of things, and what price he liked to ask, and Williams heading was, small profit, and quick return, and his bisness was well up to his heading, so that Mr David Roberts, refused to give order to a travler from Liverpool, unless he would withdraw the order he had from Williams, so he agreed to do so, and seen the goods not coming in due cors by the steemer, ja.ja, he wrote to the company asking the reason, so they answered and said that they were stopped by Mr. Roberts, so William answered and said, as they had axcepted his order, he would bring an action against them for deceiving his customers, so the company sent the goods and wrote to Mr Roberts, saying that they where oblige to supply Williams, his goods wether he would give them order or not.  so after that, William was on the lookout for a place between Rhyd and Beaumaris, so as not to send his letters to Rhyd, but to the postman in passing, so he got an empty cottage on the Beaumaris Road for shop and another for his dwelling, belonging to Mrs Jones Raglan House Beaumaris and in the few years he was at Glan-yr-Afon made £500. Clear profit, (and about 44 years ago) he married to Miss Elizzabeth Bowen, daughter of Henry Bowen, who was a light keeper at Penmon, and who was a member of the Wesleyan, and after a few years in the cottage in Beaumaris road he heard of a cottage & garden over the road to be offered for sale to the tenant, so went to the tenant Owen Hughes,  shoemaker, asking him if he was for bying, & he said no, so William offered him £50, and the cottage doors & windows, for his bargain, so that was agreed, and William began to clear the old cottage away and asked his Father, brother Hugh, and brother Robert, to draw out a plan of the present China House, and the one of Robert was Axsepted, and began to build at once and cost over £1000, (he was a member of the Wesleyan and was singing leader for many years.  had five children three sons & two daughters sons names was William Henry, Rowland Bowen, Johnny, the daughters name, Mary Lizzie Davies Sarah Ann Fingland and in about six years he was taken ill with yellow jaundice, and after a very short illness died,and was buried at Penmon Church yard, on April 2nd 1883, aged 38 years.

  v. SARAH ANN WILLIAMS, b. China House; d. Abt. 1925, Flagstaff; m. GEORGE FINGLAND

born January 2, 1847,

From the history written by Robert Williams (Preswylfa)

Hugh was sent to Baronhill Garden to learn gardening & at which time closed a large garden & planted apple trees all round, and a row each side the path across the center, at home, Minffordd, and after been at Baronhill Garden for some time had a place to go to Machynllath Hall, from which place, Mrs Massey asked Rowland, his father if he would come to Cornelyn, and take a head gardeners place but his father was afraid that he would be to young for such a responsibility, as the place was in its rough of landscape & all, but however he took the place & got married to Miss Elizzebeth Williams, daughter of John Williams Butcher, Menai Bridge, & came to live to a small cottage at pen-y-fron, Penmon, until the lodge was ready the lodge was now built, & the drive was raised to the leaval the wall top, built between it and the field from four to nine feet deep, & after which all the orchard was drenched about three feet deep & all the trees was shifted, some had sacks packed round the roots, & draged by a Horse, & after which the old horse was shot & buried in the orchet, next work he carried on, was filling in the quarry-hollow under the rocks, & make the flower garden & turf all the lawns also levelling the stable yard to under the lodge, then rownd the gass hoder, with about 4 feet wide of clay round from the seashore, well tamped to hold water, and Hugh was at Cornelyn gardener & manager for 19 years, after which went farming to Bodzagallen, farm Nr Llandudno, (had five children, two sons, & three daughters, the sons name, & three daughters, the sons name was Rowland, & Robert, & the daughters mane was Mary Ellen, Elizzabeth, Jannie, & one daughter was born at Bodzagallen & named Henrretta), the son Rowland is married & in one of the Cottages, mentioned, main Cornelyn, & manager & milk clark for his mother, & misic-teacher, Robert, is farm bailef for his mother.

Fact 1: After marrying lived in main Cornelyn
Fact 2: manager & milk clark for his mother
Fact 1: Music teacher & farm bailiff for his mother


Born August 3, 1857 in MINFFORDD, Llangoed
died October 29, 1929 in PRESWYLFA, Llangoed,
Buried Llangoed.

Life story as written by Robert himself:

I Robert, did not take interest in school, would do anything rather than go to school, went to Penmon National school, off and on, as it was in those days, not forced to go, had a quarter or two later with Mr Alfred Holmes, at Beaumaris, opisit the Pear head, and when I was about 14 I wanted to go to sea & one day made up my pack unaware to aney body at home & went along with a friend 10 days younger to Bangor to look for a ship, but did bot get one, so Father got to know this, & then looked for a place for me, & got me to Cornelyn Gardens, & after been there some time, was sent to Chester Nursery, to wait for an improovers place & in 5 month got a place to go to William Felower Esq, Bunting Dale, Market Drayton, Shropshire, & was there for 16 month when I thought it was best for me to shift because the forman would have me with him to keep gard of him when going down to town on drink, as he was a very cross little man on drink, at first I used to drink Mineral-waters but soon went to drink stronger drinks untill I had gon near as fond of it as the forman, so made up my mind that it was best for me to come away. so come home & went as an aprentis of joiner to Mr John Rowlands, Cueperson for 2½ years paying £12 before me, & after that kept work of my own at home and one of the first jobs was making 50 pheasant coops for Mr F Massey, Cornelyn, Llangoed, & after that the wood work of China House, Llangoed, Dalar - Las, Llangoed, Mahogany rowls on top of the Baptist Chapel pews, & contracting to the Trinity, at Black Point, & wood-work inside the old Wesleyan, Chapel and at time of cleaning out the Chapel & at the door brussing the dust out, Mr & Mrs Massey, Cornelyn came passing & asked me  what I was doing, so I told them that I was cleaning ready for the varnisher to varnish the wood work, and I asked them if they would like to see the inside & they ansered yes, & came in & sat in the pews & admiring the woodwork very much, & when they wanted a joiner at Cornelyn, instead of the Old joiner, who had refused to go to work to the new, narow shop because it was so narow, then Mrs Massey, asked My Brother Hugh, who was manager at the time if I would come there, so I went, & for some time I kept contracting to the Trinity as My Brother said that I was not to have a constant imployment there, however some time in passing Cornelyn I met Mrs Massey & she asked me where I was going & I told her that I was going to see to a contract at Black Point, & she said why do you bother with such things, & I said I had to for my keeping as I was not to be a constant imployer at Cornelyn, & she answered & said that she had plenty of work for me, so I thanked her, & gave up all outside work & constant imployment at Cornelyn for all I had 4/- a week more wages than the former joiner, & it is now nearly 38 years, but he was doing only joiner work, when I manage all trade work when about 21 I got Married to Miss Elizabeth Williams daughter of Mr John Williams , Trecastel Wire, had 11 children, three sons, & eight daughters.

Wood-work of Llangoed Church,

I had been brought up a Wesleyan & was a full member when about 14, & ws apointed a society stuart when about 18 & a little later was apointe asistant to Mr John Jones, Minfordd, deacon, & after his deseased was apointed to take his place as deacon, by then my two sons, & five of my daughters was full members of the Wesleyans, had burried a boy & a girl, & the other two girl was rather young to be made full members.  My eldest daughter Mary Cathrine, began to keep over to the other side company with our name William John Williams who was a member of the same Chapel,& was a baker to Mr William Roberts, Morley House. who had a daughter & son, a mamber of the same, so this daughter warned, William J Williams if he did not give up  keeping company with M.C. Williams that he would have to leave, so they gave up keeping company, & in that time came to keep a grocer business at Dublin House a young man name John Rowlands, & fell in love with MC & married & also W.J. Williams married Miss Laura Jane Roberts, & in about 12 month after the marriage John Rowlands gave up busines & went away to South Africa & was writing to M.C for some time, but Mr John Kaley who was the minister at that time found out that he was married in South Africa, so this W.J. Williams tooke pitty for M.C. & made arangement with her to go to Australia, but M.C. went from here to Cricith for her holydays, & in that time over W.J. Williams, went & met in Liverpool, so I was blamed for not going seeking for M.C, when I had no idea where to seek for her, I had writing to where she used to stay in Liverpool, & they had seen nothing of her, but as Mr W. Roberts & his sister was a rich members of the Chapel & thratin to leave, if I was to remain a diacon there, so they held a commity on the matter & sugested me to resine from been a diacon, so I said I wanted to cunsult my Wife & children, so when I told them & knowing that I was quite inist of the afair they would not here of that, & would not go near that Chapel any more, then I let them choice the place of worship, so Church of Englans was choisen, & now I begin to think that it was a Godsend to work where was room & liberty to work for my Lord, who I am in glory working for , I had pleasure of finding all the dressed stones for the new Wesleyan Chapel a little before I left them, & I am glad to say, that I did not leave god behind.


The Death occured last week at his residence - Preswylfa, Llangoed of Mr Robert Williams.  The deceased who was 72 years of age, had been in indifferent health for some considerable time, but he died unexpectedly, as he attended Divine service on the previous Sunday.  For a period of over 42 years the deceased was employed at Cornelyn, Llangoed.  During his lifetime  Mr Williams took a prominent part in the religious and public life of the village, and he was also for many years a member of the old School Board.  Deceased celebrated his golden wedding last June.  His widow and nine children survive him, the eldest son, Mr Rowland Williams, being clerk of works on the Veinol estate.  The funeral took place last Friday at Llangoed Church-yard.  A service was conducted at the house by the Revs. D E Evans (vicar) and J E Benson  Davies (curate). Festiniog ( son in law), and at the Church and graveside the service was conducted be the Revs. D E Evand and W R Williams (curate Penmon).  Hymns were sung and the Rev J Davies ( curate of Llangoed) officiated at the organ.  There was a large number of floral tributes.
Fact 3: 1891, 8 PANT Y CELYN, LLANGOED
Fact 13: Joiner


On Wednesday the funeral of Mrs Williams, widow of Mr Robert Williams, Preswylfa, took place.  She died on Sunday at the age of 78 years after a long illness.  Mrs Williams, who was a native of the district, was held in high esteem.  The Revs D E Evans and J E Benson Davies, Corris; Mrs and Mr Bert Roberts, Beaumaris; Mrs and Mr Owen Hughes, Bryn; Mrs and Mr Samuel Davies (daughters and sons in law); Mrs and Mr Lister, Rotherham (granddaughter and husband); Mr Robert Jones, Bangor; Miss Enid Jones, Bangor; Miss Megan Owen, Tan y Coed (grandchildren); Mr John Williams, Bethesda (brother); messrs Robert and Owen Williams, Bethesda (nephews);
Mr and Mrs Lewis Morris, Liverpool; Captain and Mrs Williams, Lllandudno Junction; Mr William Williams, China House; Mr Owen Davies, Bodlondeb; Mr Robert Williams, Tan y Fron; Mr John Jones, 8, Mona Terrace (nephews & nieces); Mr William Williams, Ty Newydd (cousin).  The bearers were Messrs, Lewis Morris, R and Owen.


   JOHN WILLIAMS, b. Abt. 1887, 8 PANT Y CELYN, Llangoed,  
d. January 5, 1970, AUSTRALIA Aged 83 yrs.;
married (2) MABEL. 

The death has occurred in Sydney, Australia of Mr John Williams aged 83.  He was a native of this village, the second son of the late Mr and Mrs Robert Williams, Preswylfa.  He was a carpenter by trade and the carved oak pulpit at the Parish Church remains a worthy memorial to his skill.  He and his two sons, Foliet and John emigrated to Australia 46 years ago.  He also leaves a brother and five sisters, to whom sympathy is extended


born November 30, 1850.
He married X.

Part of a letter written by his brother Robert:


Henry was left in school  for to study to be schoolmaster, started at Penmon National & from there to Caernarvon College when he passed his exams very successfull, & was at Port-dinorwic teaching from a fue years & Menai Bridge Master at Llunnanan, Llanntyndwy, Tywyn, where he wase taken ill troubled with carbuncls & Died, & wase burried at Llaneugryn Church yard, had five children, two sons name, Albert Henry, William Rowland, name of the daughters, Mabla Sarah, Mary Jane, Caroline Elizabeth, Henry was never for work but for studying.  Father used to give him & me tasks to do in the garden by the time he would come home & very easey once if at it for a reasonable time, but Henry would not think of his task untill very near to the time for Father to come home when he would run to the garden in a great way to me & offering me coppers or some-thing for dowing his share of work with him before Father came home, & when he was younger than the time mentioned when the thrassing Machins first came about here Father had a stack opersit the Barn, so Henry went to act Engine by the stack with fire & put the stack on fire, very near all the barley was burnt & a very valuable apel Tree was spoilt, and another cas I remember him going on the pony back to the field passing a wasps nest, & further on along the path was a tree growing out over the path so the wasps stung the poney & then she ran and in going under the mentioned tree struck him down almost dead, another time, he saw a snake in the far field & ran home for me to come and kill it, and I was four years younger than him.

  Children of HENRY WILLIAMS and X are:


I was fascinated by this enquiry received from Clive Williams. KD
I was very interested in the history of Penmon families and in particular Pwll Crwn and Tan y Fron.  My grandmother Eliza was either the daughter of Jane and  or granddaughter of John Williams, the Penmon pilot. 

I am doing some family history and discovered that John Williams and his family pursued a case at the Chancery Law courts making claim to part if not all the Penrhyn estates.  .  

I should point out that most of the information I have had been handed down over many generations but through differing branches of the family which in a way supports its authenticity.
My quest started after meeting Rhys Williams, born and bred in Holyhead, and who had been the Principal Archeologist for Cheshire County Council. He is well into his eighties.
His mother was also a direct descendant of John Williams, the original Penmon Pilot and who we believe lived at Pwll Crwn Fach.
The story that she told him was that either in the late 1700s or early 1800s John Williams and his family raised enough money to initiate a claim for part or whole of the Penrhyn estates, a crucial part of their evidence being the parish registers at Llanfaes church which was destroyed at the time of the case and with it, critical evidence (this must therefore relate to either a wedding or birth).  This fits in with the building and completion of the present church, St. Catherine, Llanfaes which started in around 1811 and completed in the 1840s.
Am trying to establish the date on which the old church was destroyed so that we can get a fix as to the time the case was heard in Chancery.
Also tied into the story is the Cochwillan manor house and estate which was the forerunner of the Penrhyn estate and one time was owned by Bishop John Williams (Archbishop of York in the 16th Century)

Cochwillan Manor House
(click here to access website)

Copyright Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The medieval hall of Cochwillan near Tal y Bont, Bangor in Gwynedd
is a place whose name may well reflect the history of the land
on which it was built.

Nothing has come up by googling the name of John Williams with an action but then I do not know whether his claim was against the owners of Cochwillan and/or Pennants.  Cochwillan and Penrhyn were also historically entwined through the marriage of Anne Warburton to the first of the Pennants.

I am trying to find out what was the basis of John Williams' claim as it may throw some new light on some other possible relationship ties I might have.  As mentioned earlier my great grandmother Eliza was a daughter of John Williams, Penmon Pilot and brought up in Pwll Crwn fach before marrying my great grandfather Henry Williams (what's in a name) and living in Bangor where I too was born and raised.
All contributions gratefully received.
Clive can be contacted viamail@penmon.org

Response from Tan y Fron historian, John Williams;
Now to the fascinating story of the court case in Chancery.  I have to say that this is completely new to me.  However I know very little about John Williams, and his family, before 1841.  His father was William, and his mother was Mary. William was the Baron Hill gamekeeper on the Penmon deer park, and that is about all I have found out.  Unfortunately the Penmon parish records were not very detailed in the 1700s, and the vicar was quite lazy when it came to recording the register.
What is interesting is the similarity with the story in the Tan y Fron Williams family about their ancestor who had a legal dispute in the 1700s about property in the Gorddinog/Abergwyngregyn area, which is of course very close to Penrhyn.  Could there be a connection?  The only evidence of the Tan y Fron family dispute is in the history of John Williams written by his grandson Robert Williams in 1918
Now, of course this is not the pilot John Williams, but the ex-mariner who took over Tan y Fron, and whose family stayed there until the 1970s.  Both these John Williams were my great great grandfathers as the pilot's son Robert married the farmer's daughter Martha, and I am descended from their son William, my grandfather.  I have often wondered if the pilot and the farmer (both John Williams) were related in some way.  If so, the family story of the legal dispute could come from the same origins.  Just a thought.

Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn (20 June 1800 - 31 March 1886) was a Welsh landowner and politician. He played a major part in the development of the Welsh slate industry.
Born Edward Gordon Douglas, he was the younger son of the Hon. John Douglas and his wife Lady Frances (née Lascelles). James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, was his paternal grandfather and George Sholto Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton, his elder brother.
He inherited the Penrhyn estate near Bangor in north-west Wales through his wife's relative, Richard Pennant, and changed his name to Douglas-Pennant by Royal license in 1841. Penrhyn was the owner of the Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, Wales, which under his ownership developed into one of the two largest slate quarries in the world. He was also involved in politics and sat as Member of Parliament for Caernarvonshire between 1841 and 1866. He also held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Caernarvonshire. In 1866 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Penrhyn, of Llandegai in the County of Carnarvon

Source Wikipedia, reproduced by license.

Lord Penrhyn meets workers

Lord Penrhyn married, firstly, Juliana Isabella Mary, daughter of George Hay Dawkins Pennant, in 1833. They had two sons and three daughters. After her death in 1842 he married, secondly, Maria Louisa, daughter of Henry FitzRoy, 5th Duke of Grafton, in 1846. They had eight daughters. He died in 1886, aged 85, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, George.

Contact from Chris Kay;
I was thoroughly enjoying your website again recently when I came across the Penrhyn Estate Puzzle section submitted by Clive Williams on the Tan Y Fron, Williams page.
He and I are descendants of John and Mary Williams, Pilot Penmon.
I've started to do some research to try and find the Chancery case, and am also asking some other relatives whether this supposed law suit was ever mentioned to them. I will, of course, keep you abreast of any progress.
I live in England but feel constantly drawn back to Anglesey and Gwynedd, and the family history on your website is a big part of that feeling.