Author Topic: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams  (Read 1385 times)

Offline Talacharn

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 10 June 20 13:32 BST (UK) »
I am not on Ancestry and during lockdown it is Family Search.

I will sort out the newspaper links, but nothing relates to Lee. At the time, I was not looking for such a connection, but will now have a search. Writing up my notes, I kept the newspaper, date and page, but deleted the link, which I need to go back and find. Some are of Daniel and Catherine in court for fighting. The only one I have for Edwin, is when he teamed up with Samson and Nelson Williams pretending to be government officials, or something like that. Newspaper articles might hold some clues, as one told me Samson Williams was actually Boswell. Although Edwin sits better in Wales than Edward, there are plenty called Edward at this time in Wales. It may be more to do with court appearances etc. causing some confusion with his identity.

When Martha Jane died in 1940, combined with the war, I imagine the fish business shrank as the men joined up and women worked in the local ammunitions factories. Some would still be fishing locally as fish was not rationed. In the 1939 Register, there are five closed records, which were young children of the daughters that would need to be looked after. The women were very close and looked after each other. Martha Jane the mother and her three daughters are buried in the same plot; not with their husbandís. At the start of World War Two, all fairs stopped. He was too old to join up. It would be 1943 when you nan was 10 and he returned to the fairs. By then, fairs were starting again in England, so I assume also in Wales for the general morale. ĎShowpeople received special "Traveller's Ration Cards" and "Showmen's Vehicle Fuel Ration Cards" which they could use throughout the country. Not only were they encouraged to open fairs in the city centres and parkland, but some local authorities actually paid the showmen or waived the rent for the wartime period.í From an interesting article at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/nfca/researchandarticles/wwii As most food stuffs were rationed, which continued after the war, I donít see how he could be a caterer at fairs, unless he had specific ration cards. Maybe the extra rations were of sugar to make candyfloss.

Regarding the military photograph, how old did Daniel look? If it was World War One, he was 44 when it started in 1914. The recruit had to be taller than 5 feet 3 inches and aged between 18 and 38. He might have lied about his age. During World War One there were no fairs and the whole industry almost died out. Other than the mines there was not much else to do.

When you mentioned Daniel leading a double life, I feel his son Aran also lead one. In the 1939 Register, there is an Aran Evans living in Llandeilo and trading as a Fish Monger. He is not with his wife but another woman, both claiming to be married. And I cannot find Martha Jane on the 1939 Register. I asked questions on Rootschat and some thought it a different person because of the wife. With the war starting, he could have joined up again, though I think it is him as that spelling of Aran is not common and also a Fish Monger. Martha Jane, his wife, died in 1945 living at 18 Blue Street, the family home, but was not there in 1939. They did not have any children and she died of Carcinoma of Ovary, apparently more common in women who have not had children. Her death certificate says ĎWife of Aron Evans a Fish Merchantí. My feeling is, he also left her for someone else.

Often the Lee family used Lee at the end of first names, so Zubilee makes sense as people would know she was from the Lee family once married. Then she would be known as Zubie/Subie. Without the christening information, it will be handed down as spoken. Each census though spells it differently. Rootschat members found me the christening and death information, thinking they could be the same person. When you said Subie was a Lee, it has to be the same person. Do you know when Edwin died?

Regardless of Edwin being Edward or a Lee, in census records he was always 1-2 years older the Subie, so I feel it may be 1837-8. Because census records say he was born in Brecon/Radnorshire, if his parents were travellers, it is unlikely there will be a registration and his baptism could be anywhere.

My stumbling block has been, Dan Evans on 1901 census at Favi field and John Evans on 1911 census Milford Arms Yard. There are crossing outs/amendments, but both share the same age and place of birth, so they might be the same person. The baptism I found only has Daniel in 1901 aged 4, therefore I am treating them as different people, but have found nothing more. Until you made contact I had given up and was concentrating on other areas of my tree, as technically Danial and Aran only married into my family.

Offline Talacharn

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 10 June 20 16:32 BST (UK) »
I have only searched from those held by the National Library of Wales, Ancestry may have others, especially in England.

Edwin Evans
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3388925/3388930/92/
A Gipsy Pretending To Be A Government Inspector
If you use the advanced search with Edwin Evans and the box below Samson it is covered in three different papers, but may be the same article, and also a Welsh language version.
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3724681/3724684/21/
Possibly the right Edwin Evans, about sealing and having aliases.
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3340772/3340779/56/
Cruelty to a horse.

There is nothing relating to Edward Evans or Edwin Lee

Edward Lee
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3080229/3080235/46/
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4511306/4511312/29/
Same article. Murdered wife and the age/year is close, but insane.
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4511238/4511240/9/
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3673230/3673233/20/
Follow up of the above.

Daniel Evans
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4426091/4426099/96/

Fighting
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3796027/3796031/25/
Drunk with William Boswell who seems to be Catherineís brother.
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3584763/3584766/5/
Fight
Catherine Evans
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3645819/3645821/8/
Assault

Have you checked prison records?
There is a good chance they went to prison and the records may have aliases.

I found an early census record for Nelson Williams working in the Forest of Dean. There cannot be many called Nelson. Both Boswell and Lee families can be found throughout England, so their path into Wales could be anywhere. The Lee family in Worcestershire is not that far from the Forest of Dean.

Offline Daisyday75

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 11 June 20 20:19 BST (UK) »
Thank you for the newspaper links they were fantastic to read and certainly makes me think the changes of surname was probably so that Edwin had aliases for criminal activity. I have him as dying in 1903 from records on ancestry.  I don't have his death certificate though.
I have Daniel's children as Matilda (Tilly), Aron (actually looks like Caron on 1911 census?), Evan and I have found a Daniel John Evans suggesting that they are one of the same person.
That's really interesting about the Travellers getting special ration cards, I didn't know that.  The problem with my family history is that it is stories passed down and usually there is some element of truth but it's finding it!
The photo of Daniel has always been a mystery to me with him in uniform due to his age?  In the photo he is in 30's I would say, black hair, moustache and wearing uniform. He is standing behind a chair in the pose...That is the only photo I have ever seen of him.
Thank you for the information about Nelson Williams and Samson Williams/Boswell and the Forest of Dean.  I will search those names and areas see if I can find anything..


Offline Talacharn

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 11 June 20 21:20 BST (UK) »
I do not know traveller customs, if the husband should be older than his wife. He may be younger than Subie, but claiming to be older. Like with Subie, his age and therefore estimated year of birth are all over the place. It would seem, neither of them know how old they were, or when they were born, so how can they know how much older he is? My feeling is he will be older.

I am sure others researching traveller families come across the same issues, in struggling to find the right person. By their nature, they were elusive in moving around, not telling the truth, changing their names to suit and not abiding with government formality. Then the further you go back, the less accurate the dates are. Most will be baptised and there should be records, though some churches/chapels have not released them to be found online.

Of Danielís first set of children, Matilda and Aran were registered and baptised, so I assume Daniel and John were also recorded. I know Daniel was baptised. Sometimes it takes a little luck, or a sideways step; and I have to accept, sometimes they will not be found. Finding Aran was a sideways step.

On Rootschat, I have asked in different threads about the children. In 1911, it is Aaron, but in 1901 I feel Evan is Aran. They sound similar and if the enumerator was a Welsh speaker it is an easy mistake. They gave their children ĎEnglishí or traveller names, there are no Welsh names other than Evan. Aran is how it was spelt, but was registered Perran and baptised Perrin Lee. Daniel has a christening record from 1901 aged 4. I believe Daniel and John are different sons. I feel they gave one name, age and place of birth, then changed the name and left the remaining information. From the 1911 census there were 4 children with 4 still alive.

Birth: Perran Evans (Aran) . 1895 . mmn Voss (Boswell)
(Ref: Jan-Mar 1895 . Swansea . Volume 11a . Page 1043)
Baptism: Perrin Lee . 08 Jul 1895 . Penllergaer . Sketty St. Paul, Glamorgan . Father's Name: Daniel . Peg Maker . Mother's Name: Catherine

There is a Daniel Evans, born 1897, who died in 1948 in Carmarthen. I need to find him on the 1939 Register to see where he was living and his occupation. Daniel snr. and Aran settled in Carmarthen/Haverfordwest, Matilda married in Haverfordwest, had a daughter and divorced before living in Swansea. There is a good chance Daniel and John also lived in the area. The 1921 census should answer a lot of questions.

Using Family Search, I am unable to see original images. If Edwinís parents were traveller, his fatherís occupation within baptisms may be the only way to identify him. Do you have Danielís birth certificate? It is on my list for when Covid19 eases a little further. I am expecting his father to be Edwin and a Basket Maker.

If Subie died before Edwin, I donít know who would register the death. Anyone other than a family member will probably not identify him.
Death: Edwin Evans . 79 (Est 1838)
Jan-Mar 1917 . Llanelly . Volume 11a . Page 1416
Being Jan-Mar it is likely to be 1837. which matches her christening and the only one that fitted with him being older.
Pembrey, Llanelly, Pontardulais and parts of Swansea seem regular haunts for the family and many other travellers.

I cannot find Edwin in 1901 or 1911. There were issues in 1901, that some travellers refused to answer census questions, or gave very vague answers. Daniel answered fully, but others I have seen, like Nelson Williams, tell you nothing other than his name, and his wife was also called Nelson. Being a government official, entering large traveller encampments to ask lots of questions, is not a job I would fancy. Especially when they were not happy regarding the census.

Death: Nelson Williams . Swansea Jul-Sep 1906 . Age: 60 (Est 1846) . Volume: 11a . Page: 510 . Line Number: 232
Nelson died after being struck by a pedal cyclist. There was an article in the newspaper and there are plenty about Samson Williams if you search for both using the same website as the previous links.

There is the start of a discussion on Rootschat (April 05) by Watts/Wills called Linda, with no response, but it is the same family.
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=50649.msg201133#msg201133

Offline Daisyday75

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #13 on: Friday 12 June 20 16:32 BST (UK) »
I don't think the Daniel Evans born 1897 died 1948 is the correct one.  I know he was a lot older than my great Nan. I have been searching on ancestry trying to find his birth and death entries so that I can order certificates but so many Daniel Evans! I believe he died around 1948 because my Nan saying her sister was only 18 months old and she was born in 1946 and that with the census suggesting he was born 1870-71.  I'm assuming he died and is buried in Carmarthenshire. I have tried searching general Wales but not a single person adds up with the proper birth and death year.
I've been looking more closely at Subie Lee siblings and she had a brother Perrin/Perun/Perrid Brook Williams/Lee. He was born 1852 Bewdley Gloucestershire. There are lots of things pertaining to him with variants of his name! Seems he had 2 wives! 1 of his children is called Nelson.

Offline Talacharn

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #14 on: Friday 12 June 20 18:19 BST (UK) »
The Daniel Evans of 1897 was the son. I have his baptism and wondered if he was also living in the area near other family members. The census suggests he was born in 1897.

Daniel snr was born in Llanwrda according to the 1911 census. It is transcribed as Llanunda (or something similar, which is in Pembrokeshire). In 1901 it is Llandovery. I asked on Rootschat as having read the original, I felt it was Llanwrda and others agreed. Llanwnda is about 4 miles from Llandovery.
(Ref: Daniel Evans . Oct-Dec 1870 . mmn Lee . Llandovery . Volume 11a . Page 633) Found by Rootschat members as I was looking at 1871. The GRO also gives the motherís maiden name; and the only Lee in Llandovery. This is one of the certificates I am waiting to buy. Although he was actually born in 1870, in the 1939 Register it was written as 1871. The register was written before his birthday, so if he gave his age, along with day and month, it could be subtracted wrongly.

Perrin Brook Williams is the one I found first and kept cropping up, so knew I had the right family. There was a child called Perrin who died very young. That caused some confusion when finding Perran/Perrin Lee Evans, who became Aran. It seems he was named after the child that died. Although I did not look, I assume Perrin Brook Williams was the father. I thought he was related to Catherine as going back, her motherís maiden name was Williams. It now looks like all are related to the Lee family. If he was Subie's brother and a Lee, did he change his name to Williams? I need to look, but think he is the son of one of her sisters.

Catherine is buried in Pembrey church. I have looked, but on a miserable day and did not find it. Tradition suggests a traveller is burnt with his van. Did your great grandmother continue to live in the van? A burial plot and stone costs money, or they were buried in what was called a pauperís grave, where several were buried in the same plot and no stone. There must have been sufficient money to for Catherine to be buried, but as he aged did the money drop off? If it is a pauperís grave that will be Llanelli.

Nelson Williams who I mentioned previously was born in 1840s, so could be an uncle. I pulled back from looking deeper into many of them as they only touched my family tree through marriage. If the Nelson child was born in 1906, it could be in memory of Nelson who died, being hit by a bicycle that year.

Offline Daisyday75

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #15 on: Saturday 13 June 20 13:44 BST (UK) »
That Daniel you found must be the correct one. I will order the birth certificate as may give some clues about Edwin.  The fact that Daniel and Catherine baptised Perrin Lee makes me think he was actually Lee not Evans.
My great Nan moved to Pembroke with her sister after Daniel died. She still had lots of children at home and I think they had to move into some kind of poor house but I still have to find out more about it. 
Even though i have lots of family in Wales I struggle with all the place names and where they are etc. as I live in Essex.
I don't think Daniel was cremated in his van in Romany tradition as I have found Eldorife buried and other members of the family buried.
Elizabeth's children who are alive today visit her grave but none have ever menioned his grave so I don't know where it is.
I am wondering about that photo, maybe it was actually Aran and mistakenly thought to be Daniel. It was Daniel's youngest daughter that had it so she wouldn't actually remember what he looked like?
Thank you for your help and all the information you have given me. It is very much appreciated and especially as they married in to your family so not your direct line

Offline Talacharn

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #16 on: Saturday 13 June 20 14:58 BST (UK) »
My family are from Carmarthenshire though I was born in Cheshire. Around 18 years ago I moved to Carmarthenshire, so know the places mentioned. By car, I am 20 minutes from Carmarthen, 30 minutes from Pembrey and 40 minutes from Llanelli. Although they only married into my family, I found their lives interesting with similarities to my Williams family. You have answered several questions I had and did not know where to look.

Danielís birth registration I thought I had passed to you before, but from your response it was clear I had not. Any change from Lee to Evans may well be the generation before Edwin.

Perrin Lee I struggled with when the baptism was found for me. It should be Evans, but peeling away all other information it had to be right. Were they using Lee as a middle name, or surname? Clearly the recorder thought it was a surname. Initially I thought that, but now I am not so sure.

I suspect there was not enough money to have Daniel buried privately, unless he paid for more than one depth when Catherine died, but even that would involve a cost. If not there, my hunch is, he will be in an unmarked Ďpauperís grave.

http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Wales/
Of almost 2,000 workhouses, only 19 were in Wales, of which more than half were in Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire Archives are very good. I have visited a few times. With 10 workhouses, if possible you may need to find the area she moved to.

The only deaths for Danial Evans registered between 1947 and 1949 in Carmarthenshire, are all in Carmarthen. In 1948, he was 78, but the person who registered his death would probably not know. None of the deaths match exactly, but this is the closest.
Daniel Evans . Jul-Sep 1948 . 80 . Carmarthen . Volume 8a . Page 227

As for the photograph, it may not be Daniel senior. The Boer War in South Africa, 1899-1902, is the right time for Daniel to be in his thirties, but in 1901 he was in Aberavan. He married during World War One, so did his son Aran. There is nothing on either marriage certificate suggesting he was serving in the forces. Aranís certificate states he was in the army, while Daniel was a Collier. At his own marriage, he was a Public Amusement Caterer. The war ended in 1918, though soldiers were not released until 1919 or later. Catherine died in 1916. Her death certificate is another I would like to have, to see who registered the death. Church records say she was in the Living Van in Pembrey, was Daniel with her? (Pembrey is half way between Carmarthen and Llanelli.) Nothing at present, confirms he was in the forces. I wonder if the photograph is Aran or Daniel junior, or the other son who I believe is John. But they would only be 18-20 years old at the start. I have Aranís regiments and numbers, but that is all.

During World War One, Daniel seems to be based in Carmarthenshire. The Williams family were living at 19 Market St, Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, which was a public house called the Ivy Bush Inn. Aran was living there when he married. Daniel married in Carmarthen and was in the Living Van. At that time, it would seem Martha Jane moved from Haverfordwest to 18 Blue Street, Carmarthen. I wonder if one of the issues was that she did not live in his van and attend fairs?

Offline Talacharn

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
    • View Profile
Re: Samson Williams/Boswell, Nelson Williams
« Reply #17 on: Sunday 14 June 20 20:43 BST (UK) »
Following on from my last post, I think this is the only Evans information not passed to you:
Birth: Matilda Evans . 1893 . mmn Bass (Boswell)
(Ref: Oct-Dec 1893 . Swansea . Volume 11a . Page 841)
Baptism: 1893 . Lliw Common . Llandilo TíBont, Glamorgan
Father's Name: Daniel . Tinman . Mother's Name: Catherine
Marriage: 1917 . George Davies
(Ref: Oct-Dec 1917 . Haverfordwest . Volume 11a . Page 2348)
Birth: Elizabeth M Davies (Maud) . mmn Evans
(Ref: Jan-Mar 1920 . Haverfordwest . Volume 11a . Page 3185)
Divorced (Ref: 1939 Register RG101/72961/008/23 Letter Code: XIJB)
Died: Matilda Davies . Birth Date: 01 Jan 1893 (Matches 1939 Register)
Jul-Sep 1974 . Swansea . Volume 27 . Page 2342
On the 1939 Register, an amendment suggests Elizabeth M Davies (Maud) went on to marry a Nicholson. Possible: Margery Davies . Aubrey D Nicholson . Jan-Mar 1942 . Swansea . Volume 11a . Page 2386.

At present, I am unable to access the full 1939 Register, but there is an addition you may want to follow. I had forgotten, when this morning it came back to me. Looking at the record for Daniel, when I scrolled either side of the main image, there was a handwritten reference in the margin, suggesting Daniel was also living somewhere else. I followed the reference and a Daniel Evans was married to another woman in Carmarthen, but the birth date did not match, so I dismissed it. Now with his double life, there may be something there; in addition to Martha Jane, but if dates do not match, proof will be difficult.

Aran died in 1958 (17 January 1958) of acute cardiac failure. He was living in Cwmgwilli and working as a builders labourer. Cwmgwilli is between Llanelli and Ammanford in Carmarthenshire. Before lockdown I tried to find his grave. Assuming it would be Llanelli I made contact. He was not there, but they felt it would be Ammanford in being closer. I never got around to it before lockdown. The triangle between marriage, living in Llandeilo with another woman and his death I have not pieced together, and probably never will.

Following Catherine Annís lineage back is interesting in being a Boswell and before that her mother was a Williams. The Boswells at least were travelling showmen and probably the Williams clan too. Their base was in Machynlleth (by car 65 miles and 2 hours from Carmarthen). Somewhere within the lineage, I would expect them to marry into the Lee family; and other traveller families. Taking the Boswell, Williams and Lee families back, may lead you to Edwin. If you cannot find it one way, a detour often helps. Somewhere, that Boswell/Williams family should include Samson and Nelson Williams, but Samson was really a Boswell. I found the 1881 and 1891 census records for Catherine as a Boswell, but it is so interwoven and that was where I left my search.

Aran being baptised Perrin Lee may hint at Edwinís name, it certainly does with Subie, but Perrin came from the Williams side, which I accept also links to the Lee family. But the Williams clan were linked more to the Boswells. I feel Edwin could also be a Boswell and how he knew Catherine. One of the links below shows a Boswell using the name Evans. The difficulty is, both names are changed, so unless you get lucky with a newspaper article you will never know. I only looked in Welsh newspapers up to 1919, while the change may have happened in England.

Boswell marriage in Pembrokeshire 1887:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3710559/3710563/22/
Woman assaulted Tenby 1909:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3712011/3712014/11/
Ben Boswell, a travelling gipsy, otherwise Stanley Evans 1909:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4206640/4206642/25/
Lee - Boswell Wedding in Cheshire 1892:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3708530/3708533/24/
Boswells blocking the road 1903:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3415436/3415440/74/
Zuba Boswell fortune telling 1886:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/4407083/4407086/34/
Samson Williams actually Boswell 1889:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3302314/3302318/35/
Interesting article about English gypsy names:
https://newspapers.library.wales/view/3644855/3644859/19/

There are newspaper articles about Samson Williams, a gipsy being in court for mistreating a horse near Pelcomb Cross, about 3 miles from Haverfordwest in 1905. At the same time my grandfather and great-grandfather (also Martha Jane) were living at Haverfordwest, and my great-grandfatherís brother was near Pelcomb Cross, all being fish hawkers. I am sure they knew each other.

Daniel might be in Carmarthen Town Cemetery, Elim Road, Carmarthen, SA31 1TX. Until I looked yesterday, I did not know it existed. They are undertaking a safety audit of headstones and may have found Daniel. There is an email address and mobile number for the Clerk of Carmarthen Town Council and I have sent him an email. The probability is that Daniel died in Carmarthen, but if he was still travelling, it could be anywhere along the South Wales coast.