Author Topic: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams  (Read 1376 times)

Offline Talacharn

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Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« on: Friday 03 January 20 17:57 GMT (UK) »
I posted this on the Carmarthenshire page and asked if it would be more appropriate to ask questions on the Travelling People page. A response suggested I copied this to the Travelling People page and link to the Carmarthenshire one:
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=814423.new;topicseen#new

On the Romanygenes website, it says on the page Boswells in Wales; Catherine Ann Boswell was born in Swansea Jul-Sep 1872. I am looking for a Catherine Ann(e) who married Daniel Evans, whose father Edwin Evans was in court alongside Samson Williams and Nelson Williams. I found in a newspaper article that Samson Williams was Samson Boswell, which made me think; if Samson Williams was born a Boswell, could Catherine Ann(e) be registered as a Williams?
Birth: Catherine Ann Williams
Neath Jul-Sep 1872 . Volume: 11a . Page: 558 . Line Number: 171
On the 1911 Census, Catherine was born in Swansea, but if they were travelling people, birth registration could easily be Neath.

I have also looked for newspaper articles for Nelson Williams and found two Census records. It is clear, they did not want to give any information; even his wife is called Nelson or N K and only by 1901 has the saying of Williams been mastered, though that might be the one collecting the information. I tried to find Nelson as a Boswell in Wales and England. There was nothing, though he might not have been a Boswell.
1901 Census: Llandilotalybont St Teilo . Llandeilo-talybont, Glamorgan
Nelson Williams . M . 40 (Est. 1861)
Nelson Williams . F . 39
Schedule Type: 145 . Page Number: 27

1891 Census: Llandilo Talybont
Nelson Willims . Head . M . 30 (Est. 1861) . Married . England . Basket Maker
N K Willims . Wife . F . England
RG12 . Piece/Folio: 4470/ 54 . Page Number: 25

Nelson Williams died in 1906, hit by a cyclist near Swansea.

If possible, I would like more information about Samson Williams/Boswell and family; Nelson Williams, who I assume had a previous surname. Also Edward/Edwin Evans, whose family I have traced, but now question if Evans was the name born with, or he adopted it in Wales.

Offline Talacharn

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #1 on: Friday 17 January 20 20:05 GMT (UK) »
My Daniel Evans lived in a caravan all his adult life; and probably childhood as well as his father Edward/Edwin Evans was a Basket Maker. In the 1939 Register, he is in the 'Living Van' at Carmarthen, it seems having split from his second wife Martha Jane, but still claiming to be still married. His first wife, Catherine Ann(e) died in 1916. As for his marriage to Catherine, in the 1911 Census it says they had been married 19 years, but I have found no record. Being travellers, it could be anywhere, though I am assuming they never married.

Daniel was a Travelling Showman, selling products at fairs. I can only find him within the triangle of Llandovery, Aberavon and St. Clears. When in a gipsy encampment near Swansea he worked in the tin plate industry. I cannot imagine him being a groom.

There are two deaths, both in Carmarthen and both suggest a birth of 1871.

Death: Daniel Evans . Age: 69 (Est 1871)
Jan-Mar 1940 . Carmarthen
Volume: 11A . Page: 2737 . Line Number: 9

Death: Daniel Evans . Age: 87 (Est 1871)
Apr-Jun 1958 . Carmarthen
Volume: 8A . Page: 285 . Line Number: 126

Offline Talacharn

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 18 January 20 13:15 GMT (UK) »
On the Travelling People page, I am hoping to find more information about Samson and Nelson Williams and Edward/Edwin Evans. I know Samson claims to have been born in Cwmavon, but reports from a court case says his name was actually Boswell. Where he was born may not be accurate either. Does anyone know of a Samson Boswell, or Nelson (possibly Boswell) both born around 1850, who left England? As for Edward/Edwin Evans, I feel he could also be from England, but have nothing more to go on.


Offline Daisyday75

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 07 June 20 15:01 BST (UK) »
Daniel Evans born 1871 was my great grandfather and was indeed a travelling showman. Elizabeth Roberts his partner on 1939 census was my great grandmother.  He was married to Catherine Boswell but I have never heard of him being married to a Martha? Edwin Evans his father I was told by my grandmother (Daniel's daughter) that he changed his name to help find work.  I have been searching for years to try to find his real surname.  There is a possibility he was in fact a Lee.  He married Subie Lee who was Sampson Lee's Daughter.

Offline Talacharn

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #4 on: Monday 08 June 20 13:26 BST (UK) »
Hi Daisyday75
Welcome to Rootschat.

If you look through different threads on Rootschat, Daniel Evans is mentioned many times. Thanks to members, I am aware of his parents, though found his father’s name from the 2 marriage certificates.

You might be interested in another thread:
Herefordshire / Re: Zibiah Evans born Hereford
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=827648.msg6918107#msg6918107
I found the 1891 census where she is spelt Zibiah and posted the question. I felt it was the right family having come across Perrin B Williams before. Some of the members were great, taking the family back much further and linking it to the Lee family. The 1881 census was confusing as it suggested the children were born in Caernarvonshire.

I found the birth and baptism of two children (Matilda and Aran), but two are still unconfirmed. For Daniel I only have a baptism and nothing for the final child, though think his name was John.

Catherine Ann Evans (Boswell) died 13 Nov 1916 . 46
(Ref: Oct-Dec 1916 . Llanelly . Volume 11a . Page 1191)
Burial: Pembrey . Catherine Anne Evans . 13 Nov 1916 . 46 years . Ivor Roberts – Curate . Living Van – Foundry Field Burry Port
(Ref: Digital Folder Number: 004190760)

On 26 November 1917, in Carmarthen, he married Martha Jane Williams, the widow of Thomas Williams. They were my great-grandparents. His son Aran married their daughter Martha Jane Williams, 15 May 1918 in Haverfordwest, where the Williams family was based. Also within the above thread, Aran was registered Perran and baptised Perrin Lee.

In the 1939 Register, both Martha Jane Evans and Daniel Evans were living in Carmarthen. Both claim to be married, but not living together. She was at 18 Blue Street and he was in the Living Van. Also in the 1939 Register, it says Mayra, May Roberts was single. Mayra, May had been crossed out, with handwritten Elizabeth Mary added.
Regarding the ‘Officially Closed Records’, I searched for children for a Roberts and found a few, but did not go any further.

I could not find a marriage between them before 1939, though they could have married after. At present, I do not know when Daniel died. Martha Jane died in 1940.

Offline Daisyday75

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 09 June 20 11:37 BST (UK) »
Hello, thank you for welcoming me to this chat.  i had absolutely no idea that Daniel had married Martha! There was a rumour in our family that Daniel led a double life but I dismissed this when I found his marriage to Catherine Boswell.  He never married my great grandmother Elizabeth Mary Roberts. I have her birth cert and this was her correct name. She was always known as May so i think this is why all the cross outs on the 1939 register. Daniel and Elizabeth had 10 children the first my auntie Gloria (Dorothy Gloria Roberts)was born in 1929. My Nan Ira Urenda Roberts was born in 1933.
 She is blanked out on the census although sadly passed in 2013. He was a fish monger for a while but went back to travelling with the fair when my Nan was 10. My Nan was on the fair until she married at age 19. 
I think the correct spelling for Daniel's mother is Subie as this is on her death certificate and my Nan's youngest sister was also named Subie after Daniel's Mum.
Now I have more questions regarding this marriage to Martha! Lol
Do you know anything of his army record?  I saw a photo of Daniel many years ago in a military uniform standing behind a chair.  I don't know what happened to this photo and i haven't yet found his military record??
So many questions...

Offline Talacharn

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 09 June 20 15:28 BST (UK) »
I am not aware of his military service. Travellers were patriotic and joined up to serve the country. Also during the war, there were no fairs. The information regarding Aran’s service was from Rootschat and the thread will be available on the page Armed Forces . World War One. Considering Daniel’s age, his service may well have been before World War One. You could ask a question on the Armed Forces page. As a last hope in finding the remaining two children, Daniel and probably John, I asked if they joined up, but found nothing.

Marriage: Daniel Evans . Catherine Ann Boswell
(Ref: Swansea Jul-Sep 1899 . Volume 11a . Page 1446)
Marriage Certificate: 14 Aug 1899 . Register Office . District of Swansea
Daniel Evans . 28 years . Batchelor . Licensed Hawker . Travelling Van, Dyfatty Street, Swansea . Father: Edwin Evans . Basket Maker (Master) . Catherine Boswell otherwise Catherine Ann Boswell . 26 years . Spinster . Licensed Hawker . Travelling Van, Dyfatty Street, Swansea . Father: William Boswell . Showman . Witnesses: Edwin Evans . Delinda Elizabeth Tracy

Marriage: Daniel Evans . Martha Jane Williams
(Ref: Oct-Dec 1917 . Carmarthen . Volume . Page )
Marriage Certificate: 26 November 1917 . Register Office . District of Carmarthen . Daniel Evans . 47. Widower . Public Amusement Caterer . Van Carmarthen Park . Father: Edward Evans (deceased) . Basket Maker . Martha Jane Williams . 46 . Widow . Fruiterer . Ivy Bush Inn, Market Street, Haverfordwest . Thomas Richards . Railway Porter

In the 1911 census, it says Daniel and Catherine had been married 19 years, having 4 children with 4 still living. They formally married in 1899 at the Register Office, Swansea after their children had been born. Many followed gipsy customs, so the 19 years could relate to that marriage event. Or wanting to hide they were not married.

When Aran married 6 months later, he and Daniel were referred to as Colliers, though Aran was in the Army, first the South Lancashire Regiment and then the Machine Gun Corp.
Marriage: Aran Evans . Martha Jane Evans . Haverfordwest
(Ref: Apr-Jun 1918 . Volume 11a Page 2108)
Marriage Certificate:
15 May 1918 . Register Office . Aran Evans . 23 . Batchelor . Private - Machine Gun Corps - 272440 . Collier . 19 Market Street, Haverfordwest . Father: Daniel Evans (Collier) . Martha Jane Williams . 24 . Spinster . 19 Market Street, Haverfordwest . Father: Thomas Williams (Deceased) . Fish merchant . Witnesses: John Williams . Daniel Evans

On the original document Mayra, May had been crossed out, with handwritten Elizabeth Mary added. They used different names depending on who they were talking to, like the courts. In completing the register, they were talking to officials, while the amendments were health staff etc.

There are a few interesting articles in newspapers regarding Daniel and Catherine, also Edwin with Samson and Nelson Williams. I will look out the links for you. In a different court case, Samson Williams was unmasked as Samson Boswell by the court.

I was not aware he continued with the fairs, or that he has 10 children. On the 1939 Register, although living together, I was not sure Daniel was their father, in being registered in her name. Until you said, there was no proof. When he married Martha Jane, they had no children and I do not know how long he and Martha Jane stayed together. The Williams family; mother, two daughters and their husbands, as well as Daniel were all Fish Mongers in Carmarthen, so I imagine they worked together. By 1939, Martha Jane was described as incapacitated. In 1939 Daniel was 69, born in 1870 (though his birth date says 1871), so clearly still capable of fathering children. Do you know when Daniel died?


Offline Talacharn

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 09 June 20 15:29 BST (UK) »
To avoid the sigma, when moving to Wales, Boswell often became Williams and Lee may have become Evans, but have not seen anything written about that change. I know Matilda Evans was registered with the mother’s maiden name being Bass and Aran (Perran) Evans was Voss. From those I concluded they were both Boswell without saying so. The other two children were not the same, so I cannot narrow down the search, though think their mmn could be Williams as Catherine’s mother was a Williams. Searching for a Williams in Wales is like the needle in a haystack. Earlier and different census records, have Catherine and brothers, all being Boswells, living with Williams grandparents in Machynlleth while parents attended fairs. In one census they were Boss rather than Boswell.

When Daniel married Catherine, his father was Edwin Evans and when he married Martha Jane Williams in 1917 he was Edward Evans (deceased). That could be a hearing, or transcription error, or his real name could be Edward. Edwin claims to have been born in Brecon and Zubilee/Subie was born in Hereford. She nor her siblings were formally registered, so it is only christenings and census records.

If he was actually born in Brecon and Edwin’s parents were travellers, it may not be registered, with the baptism being elsewhere. Even when registered it is difficult to identify them. Where they were born, may not be where they the birth was registered, as between the two they could have travelled miles. Daniel, the son of Daniel, was baptised in 1901 aged 4 years near Swansea, but the census says he was born in Pontypridd. At present, I have not been able to pin down a birth registration.

On Rootschat I was offered this Christening:
Zubilee Lee . 12 May 1839 . Elmley Castle, Worcestershire
Father's Name: Sampson Lee . Mother's Name: Ederifee
GS Film: 1042169 . Digital Folder: 008069912 . Indexing Project (Batch): C04858-3 . System Origin: ODM
It would seem Ederifee’s father was a Buckland, a name that crops up linked with the Lee family.

I wonder if Zubilee was the name give and Subie the name used. Who registered the death would offer the name she was known by. Daniel’s son Aran was born and registered Perran, baptised Perin Lee and died Aran, as that was how he was known.

There is an issue, which I have not resolved: Her christening in 1839 does not accurately match with the census records; 1881 says 33 so birth 1848 and 1891 says 40 so birth 1851. The same census records say Edwin was 1-2 years older, so 1846 and 1850. But going from the christening, his birth year would be 1837-8. I accept there can be small inaccuracies with estimating the birth year, but not 9-12 years. They were illiterate, he certainly was, and they did not always tell the truth. The census records are the right family, as one daughter was witness to Daniel and Catherine’s marriage. From the 1881 census I know of four children; Urena, Delenda, Angelus and Daniel (transcribed as David). It is likely there were more children, living with relatives, or they had simply flown the nest as the eldest Urena was 14. There are possible candidates from a quick GRO search, but they need to be cross-checked against baptisms. Until the library reopens, I am using Family Search, so cannot see images that would give occupation etc.

My Evans search was to find a little more about them as they married into my family; but out of interest I went deeper and wider. The Williams family were hawkers, so I assume they knew each other from the fairs. My search has stuck on the generation before in trying to find a John Williams from Newcastle in Emlyn, but wonder if all the families are related if I can go far enough back, maybe all being Lee and Boswell. The Williams family were fishermen, fish mongers and had fish and chip shops. In being a travelling showman, Daniel Evans was a public amusement caterer, with Catherine and their children assisting in the business. But in other records he was a peg maker, tin worker (winter months) and later a fish monger. Then from your knowledge, he went back to the fairs.

I don’t know if you are aware of http://romanygenes.com
A Rootschat member directed me to it as Daniel Evans and family are mentioned, just the 1901 census. I have more census records and at some point I will forward them to Romanygenes. I had a hunch Catherine Evans was a Boswell and found her listed among the Boswells in Wales page. Although there is an Evans page, it has many called Daniel, but no Edwin. The website uses Flash, so if it does not load, click on the space and request to load appears, click yes.

Offline Daisyday75

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Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 10 June 20 11:59 BST (UK) »
Daniel died in 1948 his youngest daughter was only 18 months old.  He led quite a life it seems! My Nan worked on a candy floss stall so that ties in with the catering at fairs.
The ages are always difficult as it was thought more prestigious to say that you were older than you were. When a Romany died it was customary to make them much older to have had a good life. That can be very confusing when someone ages 20 years on a 10 year census! Subie Lee claims her father lived to 100 but he was 81 at best! I have records of her Mother Eldorife Buckland and father Sampson Lee.  The Bucklands were a large Romany family along with the Lees.  I'm sorry if you know all this already?? I have about 16 siblings for Subie.. On her death certificate it says she died ages 57 years in 1902 and it was registered by Edwin Evans. This would put her being born 1845 so the death cert is probably incorrect as the baptism much earlier and the parents on the baptism you've found are correct.
I wonder if Edwin could in fact be Edward and changed to a more 'Welsh' name like Edwin Evans? Eldorife's father and grandfather were both Edward.  Edward Junior was hanged for a crime he did not commit and apparently lots of Romany children were named Edward after this??  I have searched for Edwin Evans and cannot find any trace of him before the 1881 census where he is in Gypsy camp living with Subie.
I looked on Romany genes and found Daniel and Catherine with their children but no Edwin. I've also been looking into Evans Romany family that were in Wales at the time and in the Radnorshire area but I cannot find an Edwin there either! Total mystery...
I think those newspaper reports may hold a clue.. It is quite possible he was actually a Lee.   Maybe we need to find an Edward Lee born 1846??
Sounds like Martha was very ill and left to fend for herself?
That would be amazing if you could share the links for the court I would be very interested.
Are you on ancestry?  If so my tree is public and a lot of what I have found can be seen i.e baptisms, marriages etc.
I have Dan Evans on 1901 Census at Favi field and John Evans on 1911 Census Milford Arms Yard