William was the eldest son of Owen and Gwen Williams of Tan y Graig, Nant Y Rhiw, and a brother of Thomas Williams who later lived at Gorsedd Grucyn.
I am very grateful to Mr Bryn Jones for permission to use this family history record which he has compiled.


Tan y Graig
1846 - 1898

This part of the story follows William Williams who was born in about 1846, the son of Owen and Gwen Williams who were then living at Tan y Graig, a farm to the south east of Llanrwst. 


Tan y Graig

William was the oldest son of the family and the older brother of Thomas Williams who took over the Gorsedd Grucyn farm from their father Owen. William was living with the family in 1851 but by 1861 had moved away. In 1861, a William Williams (b. 1846 Llanrwst) is a servant working as an agricultural labourer at Llwynsaint farm a mile south of Gwytherin which is about six miles due east of Llanrwst; this may be "our" William but we cannot be sure.


Capel Seion
William Williams married Ellen Hughes on 13th May 1871 in the Seion Chapel (Calvinistic Methodist), Station Road, Llanrwst which still stands today. The certificate shows William Williams aged 26 of Henfodnant, Eglwysfach and Ellen Hughes aged 25 of Gwyndy, Eglwysfach.
William's father is shown as Owen Williams, a farmer; Ellen's father is William Hughes, also a farmer.The witnesses at the wedding were Price Jones and Catherine Williams (who signed her name with a mark and is probably William's sister).

In the 1871 census, William Williams is an agricultural labourer living in Old Bodnod near to Bodnod Hall. Bodnod Hall was occupied by William Hanmer who became a baronet. It was located on the Aberconway estate of which the famous Bodnant Gardens are now part. Old Bodnod still appears on the current map; Henfodnant is its rough equivalent in Welsh. The name of the farmer in 1871 was Owen Jones. The most recent occupant was Lady Rose McClaren; her history may be viewed at the following web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Rose_McLaren (click for link). The McLaren family also owned Bryn Rhudd that was farmed by ancestors of Dilys Grace Austin nee Jones, my maternal grandmother.

Gwyndy, the place that Ellen Hughes was living in with her aunt in 1871 is only a mile from Old Bodnod! It still stands today. These addresses appear on the marriage certificate; the wedding took place shortly after the 1871 census.

Ellen's parents were William and Ann Hughes; Ann was born in about 1816 in Llangwstenin near Mochdre, William was born in about at 1800 at Llansantffraid. William was employed as an agricultural labourer. They had two daughters, Ellen (aka Eleanor and Ellenor), both of whom were born near Is-glan on the Flintshire. 

1881 Llwydcoed Isa

In the 1881 census, William's family is recorded as living at Llwydcoed Isa, a farm in the hills above Colwyn Bay and Mochdre. The farm still exists today and is obviously prospering; the domestic and farm accommodation both look well maintained.

Living at the farm in 1881 are:

Name Age 1881 Year Status and occupation Born
William 45 1846/47 Farmer of 75 acres employing two men Llanrwst

Eleanor 45 1846/47 Farmer's wife Llanerch-y-mor    
Winifred 7 1874/75 Farmer's daughter Llwydcoed Isaf
William O. 3 1878/79 Farmer's son Llwydcoed Isaf
Dinah 2 1879/80 Farmer's daughter Llwydcoed Isaf
Anne 3 mon 1880/81 Farmer's daughter Llwydcoed Isaf

The children are shown as born at Llwydcoed-isaf. William (b. 1845) is shown as born in Llanrwst; Eleanor (b. 1846) is shown as born in Llanerch-y-mor, Flintshire. This is a village on the coast about 3 miles from Mostyn towards Chester.

1891 Scarisbrick House, 
Abergele Rd, Colwyn Bay

In the 1891 census, Nellie's family is living with the Salisbury family in Scarisbrick House, Abergele Road, Conway. William is still alive.
We're not sure which house this is since names have disappeared from most houses and there have been demolitions along the road. Many of the buildings are shops with living accommodation above.

A nearby house in the census, Chester House, is now to be found at the corner of The Dingle and Abergele Road. It's possible that a house next door but one, now the Posh Laundry, is Scarisbrick House. The domestic part of the property is certainly large enough to accommodate two large families in discrete parts of the house.

Round the corner in Lawson Road is a Welsh Presbyterian Chapel, Bethlehem, where William and Ellen's daughter Elizabeth Ellen Williams and Richard Jones were married in 1910.

The census details are:
Name Age 1891 Year Relation Job Born
William 45 1846 Head Carter Llanrwst
Ellen 54 1847 Wife  Flintshire, Whitford
Winifred 17 1874/75 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Dinah 14 1879/80 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Annie 10 1881/82 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Robert 7 1884/85 Son  Colwyn Bay
Elizabeth 4 1886/87 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Mary 3 1888/89 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Thomas 1 1890/91 Son  Colwyn Bay

The younger William who would have been 13 is living as a servant at Gwern Tyno farm (also referred to as Wern Dyno), just to the south of Colwyn Bay on the Nant-y-Glyn Road. The head is Thomas Evans (b. 1851) and his wife is Elizabeth (b. 1855). It's fairly close to Llwydcoed Isaf farm on the Nant-y-Glyn Road.

The other family in Scarisbrick House is named Salisbury. The wife (Elizabeth) was born in Llanrwst in 1855 so there may be a connection with William; the Salisbury children were also born in Llanrwst. Salisbury is a name in Llanrwst that dates back to the 17th century at least. Edward is to be found lodging in Ffestiniog in 1881; he was working as a stonemason as he is in 1891. He came originally from Llanasa in Flintshire. He is not to be found in 1901.

There is a record of the death of a William Williams aged 52 in 1898 registered in Conway. This is probably him but I'm not sure. (There may be others around the same time.)

1901 census
Grove Park, Colwyn Bay

In the 1901 census, Nellie's family is living in Grove Park, Colwyn Bay. This is a road of Victorian villas to the south of Abergele Road near The Dingle; the villas vary in size but have small gardens. The houses are now numbered but in the census only names are used; most of the names have now disappeared from the houses. A central block of villas indicates they were built in 1899, so the family must have moved in when they were newly built. The census indicates that the house was at the far end of the road near the junction with Rhiw Road before it becomes Grove Park West. At the junction on Grove Park there is a small shop (now Londis).

By 1901, the head of the family William has died and Ellen/Elinor is a widow; she is identified as having been born in Whitford Flintshire which is about 3-4 miles inland from Mostyn. Still living at the family home are: 

Name Age 1901 Year Relation Job Born
Ellen 54 1847 Head; widower  Flintshire, Whitford
Winifred 27 1874/75 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
William  23 1878/79 Son General carter Colwyn Bay
Dinah 22 1879/80 Daughter Dressmaker (worker) Colwyn Bay
Annie 20 1881/82 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Robert 17 1884/85 Son Greengrocer (worker) Colwyn Bay
Elizabeth 14 1886/87 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Mary 13 1888/89 Daughter  Colwyn Bay
Thomas 11 1890/91 Son  Colwyn Bay
All the children speak both Welsh and English.

After 1901

William Williams' family had four daughters (Winifred, Annie, Dinah, Elizabeth (Nellie) and Mary). Other than Nellie and Mary, none of the sisters married. There were three brothers Robert Henry, Thomas William and William Owen. Thomas William was killed in action during the first world war. William Owen had two sons, Trevor and Ritchie and a daughter Gwyneth.

Mary Catherine Williams was William's youngest daughter; she married Jack Williams (??) (born in Penrhyndeudraeth ??). Jack was a tailor who emigrated to Chicago, USA. They returned to Old Colwyn after retiring from Chicago. Mary was a witness at Nellie's wedding in 1910.

At the time of Nellie's wedding, the family was living at 17 Greenfield Road, Colwyn Bay LL29 8EL. 17 Greenfield Road is a shop, maybe the "Tackle Box", fishing.

William's younger sister Jane also moved nearby to Bryniog, Grove Park, Colwyn Bay, where she died on January 14th 1916 as Mrs Jane Edwards aged 68. A poetical tribute was written in her memory by brother Thomas Williams 'Grucyn', and appears in the 'Penillion Thomas Williams' link on this website, recalling their Tan y Graig days

Thomas Williams 1890-1918

Thomas Williams was the youngest of William's children. He served and died in the 1st World War.

Thomas was a Private in the 6th Battalion of the East Kent Regiment who are nicknamed "The Buffs". He enlisted in the Buffs as an early volunteer during the first week of September 1914. He was posted to the 8th Battalion but for some reason didn't go overseas with them in 1915. At some stage he transferred to the 6th Battalion.

He died on 9th August 1918 at, I think, the Battle of Amiens. Amiens is in Picardy, North West France. The 6th Battalion of the Buffs became part of the 37th Brigade which was itself part of the 12th (Eastern) Division, one of the Kitchener's Army divisions raised from volunteers by Lord Kitchener. It fought on the Western Front for the duration of the First World War.


The Battle of Amiens, which began on 8 August 1918, was the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ultimately led to the end of World War I. Allied forces advanced over seven miles on the first day, one of the greatest advances of the war. The battle is also notable for its effects on both sides' morale and the large amount of surrendering German forces. This led Erich Ludendorff to famously describe the first day of the battle as "the black day of the German Army." Amiens was one of the first major battles involving armoured warfare and marked the end of trench warfare on the Western Front, fighting becoming mobile once again until the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918.

There are two puzzles here:
a - Why did a Welshman choose the East Kent Regiment
b - Why didn't he go overseas until after 1/1/1916

The War Diary records the following for the day that Thomas died:
 "At 17:00 on the 9/8/1918 the 6th Buffs moved off to capture the village of Morlancourt and consolidate on the ridge beyond. The Brigade was preceded by 7 tanks. The enemy were surprised and despite heavy machine gun fire from Villers Chapel, The Buffs reported that they had reached their objectives and that the enemy were in full retreat at 20:00. The Germans counter attacked at 03:30 the following morning but were beaten back. The Buffs casualties were fairly modest given the success of the attack. Three officers were killed and 11 wounded. Other ranks casualties were 168 including 17 killed."

Thomas is buried in France at Franvillers; it is a village and district in the Department of the Somme, and stands on high ground above the River Ancre across the river from the scene of the battle in which Thomas fell. It is on the D929 Amiens (19 kilometres) to Albert (10 kilometres) road. The Communal Cemetery and Extension are south-east of the village on the C201 road. The Commonwealth Graves Commission looks after the cemetery.The communal cemetery at Franvillers was used at intervals from May 1916 to May 1918. It contains eight Commonwealth burials of the First World War. The adjoining extension was used from April to August 1918 by units and field ambulances engaged in the defence of Amiens. It contains 248 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and five German graves. The extension was designed by W C Von Berg. Thomas is buried in Grave 9 of Row C of Plot II. In the photo this will be the first row in front of the Great Cross

Elizabeth Ellen (Nellie) Jones nee Williams

Nellie Jones died in Chester on 25th July 1974 aged 87 years; she was born on 28th July 1886. She had lived in Vicar's Cross, Chester since about 1914. She was married to Richard R Jones who died in 1938 at the age of 62. They were married on 1st December 1910 at the Bethlehem Chapel, Lawson Road, Colwyn Bay.

Nellie is buried in Handbridge Cemetery, Chester. Her death was reported in the local newspaper in Chester. The photo probably dates from around the time of her marriage. Blowing up the photo reveals that she is not wearing a wedding ring but that might not mean anything!
On her marriage, Nellie and Richard lived briefly in Ffestiniog, probably 28 The Square. My father (Emyr Wynn) and his elder brother (David Cyril) were born there. The family then moved to Chester in 1914, to live at Devonia, Vicar's Cross Road, Chester. Her only daughter, Elinor, still lives in the house - a very lively lady in her eighties.

Richard worked in insurance for Pearl and General, rising by the time of his death to become insurance superintendent. Richard and Nellie had six sons and 1 daughter: David Cyril 1911 and Emyr Wynn 1913 were born while the family lived in Ffestiniog and then:

 Mervyn   1916
 W Arthur  1918
 Ifor   1920
 Vincent   1922
 Elinor   1923

were all born in Chester. Below is an extract from the Chester Chronicle during World War II


Brothers Cyril, Emyr, Mervyn, Arthur, Ivor and Vincent

Mrs Jones, widow of Mr Richard Jones, Devinia, 120 Vicar's Cross, has six sons, five of whom are in the Forces. Her only daughter is also on War work.

Cyril (31), her oldest son, is an aero engine inspector at an aircraft factory. Before the war,  he was employed by Brookhirst Switengear Ltd., Last week he volunteered for the Home Guard.

Emyr (29) a private in the Argyles, has been in the Army for three years and is now with the First Army in North Africa. He was wounded on March 3rd this year. He was formerly employed in the Frodsham-street branch of the Chester Co-operative Society. 

Mervyn (26), a telegraphist in the Royal Navy has been serving for two and a half years and was formerly employed by the local branch of Messrs George Mason's and afterwards with the firm in Yorkshire.

Arthur (24) is a corporal in the R.E.M.E. and was called up with the Militia in May 1939. He was sent to France at Christmas, was in the Dunkirk evacuation and was drafted overseas. He was formerly employed as an electrician at the Grosvenor Hotel, having served his apprenticeship with Messrs F. J. Jones electricians.

Ivor (22), a gunner, has been in the Royal Artillery for two years. He is now overseas. He served his apprenticeship at Brookhirst Switchgear Ltd..

Vincent (20), the youngest, has been on the ground staff of the R.A.F. for two years. He was formerly employed by Messrs Barretts, Foregate Street.

The daughter, Elinor who is 19, is employed in the office of an aircraft factory. 

The death occurred on the 25th July of Mrs Elizabeth Ellen Jones, aged 87 of Devonia, 120 Vicar's Cross Road, Chester. She is survived by six sons and a daughter. 

A member of the Welsh Presbyterian Church, Chester since 1914, she took great interest in all its activities. She was a former President of the Ladies' Guild and often competed in the local Eisteddfod. Her hobbies included dressmaking, needlework and embroidery.

The funeral took place on Tuesday, when a service at St John Street Presbyterian Church was conducted by Rev Rhys ab Ogwen Jones and Rev Meirion Philips.

The mourners were Mr & Mrs E.W. Jones, also rep. Emrys, Dilys and Tom; Mr M. Jones, Mr & Mrs W.A. Jones also rep. Mr D. Jones son; Mr & Mrs I. Jones; Mr & Mrs V. Jones (sons and duaughters in law); Mr & Mrs K. Roberts (son in law and daughter) , David Roberts, Bryn Jones also rep. Sandra; Trevor Jones also rep David and Alison; Linda and Brian Jones, Peter Jones (grandchildren); Mrs Gwyneth Evans, Alun Evans, Mr & Mrs Richie Williams (nephews & nieces); Mrs M. Abel, Mr A.E. Cheshire also rep. Mrs L. Cheshire, Mr & Mrs Bounds, Mrs C. Morris, Mr & Mrs Kelly, Mrs Barnett, Mrs Williams.

Those also present included; Messrs O. Roberts, J.F. Owen also rep. Mrs J. Owen), O. J. Roberts also rep Mrs Roberts and Mr & Mrs T.G. Hughes, J.H. Jones , Rev M. Philips, G. Williams also rep Mrs Williams, W.V. Jones also rep Mrs W.V. Jones, L. Davies also rep Mrs L. Daviesand Mrs E.W. Jones, D.A Jones.

Medames H. Williams, S.M. Roberts,, W.S. Morris also rep. Mr W.J. Morris, R. Williams, D. Evans also rep Mr D. Evans, Mrs E. Lister also rep Mr E. Lister, J. Emrys-Jones also rep Mr J. Emrys-Jones, J.H. Thomas, J.E. Hughes. Mrs Emrys-Roberts also rep Mr Emrys-Jones, A. Owens also rep Mr R.G. Davies and Mrs B Jackacott(?), E. Holdings also rep Mrs A. Williams, Mrs Arfon Williams.
Mr &Mrs T. Williams, Mr &Neville. Miss M.M. Owen

Floral tributes were received from; Cyril; Emyr and Violet and Dilys; Bryn and Emrys; Mervyn Arthur and Joyce; Ivor and Doreen; Vincent, Molly, Peter and Julian; Elinor Ernie and David; Trevor and David; Linda and Brian; Alison, Emily and  Nance; Nia and Albert;  Gwyneth, Trevor, Eirlys and Len; Gwyn, Richie,Tudor and Ceinwen; Mena and Alyn; Jean and Robert Mitchel; Alf and Lily Cheshire; Walter, David (Saltney), Mabel; Kate and Ray; Joan (?) and Ralph; C. Morris; A. and R. Brawd (?); John St, Church Ladies' Guild; City Road Church Ladies Guild.

The undertakers were Messrs G. Petin (?) and Son .  

Emyr Wynn Jones was my father. He married Violet May Austin of Llansantffraid Glyn Ceiriog in April 1948.

They had three children and lived in Chester. The eldest child was Richard Bryn Jones (me) born 1949; in 1950, twins Emrys Evan and Dilys Elizabeth appeared.

I married Sandra Titley of Trench Telford in 1971 and we had two children Gareth Richard and Geraint Paul. We now live in Bishop Burton in East Yorkshire where I manage the village web site 
http://www.bishopburton.org.uk (click for link)  Gareth lives in Nottingham.

Paul lives in Soest, Holland with his Dutch wife, Seppina Boodt and their three children. Emrys married Carol Ellis and they have three children; all live in Flintshire, North Wales. Dilys married Tom Halford; they live in Calgary, Canada and have two sons who work in the Los Angeles area.