View Full Version : Puzzle for Carmarthen Hughes family
28-01-2009, 10:59 PM
I have only just joined this forum, but I have been reading other people's threads, and I am stunned by how helpful and knowledgeable people are... so I wondered if anyone had any suggestions about my great-great-great Grandfather's family.
Charles Henry Hughes was a solicitor in Carmarthen, born around 1807 (he is shown as 33 years old on the 1841 census. Here's the thing... his daughter, my great-great grandmother, Maria Hughes, was born around 1838, although I could find no record of her birth in the Births index from 1837 on.
She as already born by 1841, and yet Charles Henry Hughes is shown with his mother, Sarah Hughes, and his brother, sister and two servants in Quay Street on the night of the census.
His children appear to be with someone else, possibly maternal relations, but no mother than I can see:
Mary Jones, 50, washerwoman, Ann Jones, 28, Lettice Jones, 75, Sarah Jones 10, Henry Hughes 4 and Maria Hughes 2.
I wondered if perhaps the mother had died, and that's why the children weren't with their father, but in 1851 there are more children, still with the Jones family: Charles Hughes aged 1, Mary Hughes 5, Frances Hughes aged 8, as well as Henry and Maria. Mary Jones is shown as head of the family aged 63, her daughter Ann Jones aged 37 and William Jones aged 22.
20years later in 1861, Charles Henry Hughes is living with Henry, Maria, Frances, Mary and Charles...still no sign of a wife.
This man was a well-respected member of the community, he was a Land Commissioner, and county solicitor... I just wonder why he wasn't with his children for those first two censuses. And what could have happened to his wife? Could Ann Jones be the mother of the children? If she were, wouldn't that have meant a terrible scandal? If more children hadn't been born, or if the new children hadn't also been with the Jones family on the night of the census - again - I wouldn't be so confused.
I did find a marriage at around the right date, of a Charles Hughes and Rachel Jones in 1830, in Llanelly, Brecon, Wales but with names like Hughes and Jones in Wales, that may not mean anything at all. And if it were right... what happened to Rachel? Why doesn't she appear anywhere?
I haven't been able to afford to get certificates for all my direct ancestors yet, so haven't invested in certs for the other children...and can't find Maria's birth anyway. But one day... one day.... Until then I occasionally come across these records and puzzle over them.
29-01-2009, 5:28 AM
I wonder if Maria ws registered as MARY, there being several born in the area, or name changed for convenience to avoid mixups?
I saw the marriage you mention, & a Rachel Hughes Death was reg. Llanelly Sep 1/4 1839. May be she.
Could Mr Hughes wife have been working 'in a suitable field' where she was not at home at night for the census? or have to care fo some-one else?
I think Lettice Jones - 75- is actually 15 yrs, & there is a birth entry for her
in Carmarthen Sep 1/4 1838 26-457.
Poss. also that Mr.Hughes had to travel to his clients & found it easier to drop in on his Mothers house than disturb the resedence where his children were.
Oh you lucky 'Fee' you can find some lovely tales here.! I do hope you findthe real one tho", Quite unthinking of them to leave such a quandary for you. :D
I'm guessing the way to find the mother is via a birth certificate from one of the children. Or find some-one who hs already done so. Good luck.
30-01-2009, 7:00 AM
Thank you so much for your reply, Wendy!
It's such an amazing resource being able to "talk" to people here. Unfortunately none of my family is particularly interested in family history, an so I don't have anyone I can chat to about it, or share the cost of research.
Thank you for the things you discovered, I shall file those away. Maybe I should start making a list of certificates to order and make a very strange wish list for birthdays and christmas!
30-01-2009, 7:14 AM
This is an interesting one, I am off to work soon but I would love to have a play with your family later, can you post the census references, just to save me a bit of time. |wave|
31-01-2009, 1:36 AM
Another "??" question Fee, have you 'Googled' this man?
I have sent a PM. just in case you missed this one.....you are not alone in your search. :)
31-01-2009, 11:11 AM
Thanks Waitabit... I have bumped into the other researcher before, but I think he concluded that it wasn't the Hughes family he wanted....
A few comments: Maria was definitely Maria and there have been both Marias and Marys in the same generation so it is a separate name... I hadn't considered that this might have been misinterpreted by the registrar or vicar and noted down wrongly as Mary, so that is a good thought.
I am not sure whether Lettice is 15 or 75, the one in the line below hers is straight and the number I interpreted as a 7 looks quite different from that.
I must admit I felt very stupid when I read Astoria's requested for the Census references. I have been researching my family history for over twenty years and I have only recorded the references, rather than the content of the census return itself, if I was unable to get into the census record (due to not having a paying account etc) or if I took a screenshot of the record itself. I realised immediately when you asked for the information how stupid and sloppy I had been... I just assumed that the information inside the record was the...well you can see what I did. I slapped myself soundly on the wrist.
Fortunately I did take a screenshot of some of the census returns involved, and so I can tell you that the Hughes ones are all in Carmarthenshire, and these are the references I have:
1841 Quay Street Carmarthen (Charles Henry Hughes)enum dist 14 Page 1
1841 Maria and Henry Hughes HO107/1387/2 (Church Street)
1851 Carmarthen St peters enum dist 2H Folio 170 page 29 schedule 129
1851 Carmarthen St Peter* enum dist 2O Folio 310 Page 5 sched 20,
HO107/2473 Church St (Jones family and Hughes children)
1861 Quay Street, Carmarthen.
1871 parish of Carmarthen St peters enum dist 4 schedule 168
There is another part to the mystery I forgot to mention. There were notices in the papers in 1880 about the will of Charles Henry Hughes, asking for creditors to come forward, in which they say that he died in or about the month of March 1879... which makes it sound as though they don't know when he died. And there was also a court case, Hughes against Spivey, over the will.
My direct ancestor was William Smith Spivey, who had been Charles Henry Hughes clerk, and who married Maria Hughes.
I cannot believe that a) I didn't note the census information b) I didn't note on the screen shot which publication I took the cutting from (either the London Gazette or the Times) and c)I went to the National Archives and didn't think to look up Charles Henry Hughes's will.
Why didn't I see these things before? They jumped out at me as soon as you asked your question Astoria. I'm a sad excuse for a family researcher. Mea Culpa. This iswhat comes from trying to follow too many leads at once.... Any help that you can give me to sort myself out, is gratefully received. I see that I have a lot to learn.
Thank you all!
31-01-2009, 11:23 AM
Fee, the information you did record is more than enough to get our teeth into, so no need for wrist slapping whatsoever. ;)
I am forever having to retrace my steps because I failed to record the important bits.
You might be able to get the will online from the National Archives, I am totally useless when it comes to searching their site, but I am sure some one will give you a hand if it is needed.
I'm off to get myself acquainted with your family now, I'll be back soon. |wave|
31-01-2009, 11:56 AM
Thank you Astoria!
Incidentally, I looked back into the correspondence I had with the other researcher on Charles Henry and his family. He had actually been to Carmarthen on a wild goose chase, because he had followed the wrong family line back. Although all the children's births are shown as Carmarthen St Peter, the only person's baptism that he could find in the baptismal records for that church was for Charles Henry Hughes himself on 9 November 1807 *none* of the children's baptisms were recorded there, and *none* of the births after 1837 showed up on a CRO search of the indexes either. This seems extraordinary given that he was a solicitor, the county treasurer from 1850 etc.
He recorded that Charles's father was JOhn, and confirmed that the Sarah in the 1841 census was Charles's mother.
My grandmother told me, many years ago, that this Hughes family was related to Hugh Price Hughes, the methodist preacher, although I have never found a link. I am wondering whether there was a methodist church in Carmarthen and whether they were then counted as non-conformists? My knowledge about that is hazy for the 19th century (I know a lot more about the 17th century!).
best wishes and thanks
31-01-2009, 2:16 PM
This is curious, now A-try are finally back up and running, I have been having a look at the census entries.
1851 HO107 2473 170 29
Charles Henry Hughes head unmarried 43 Attorney and Solicitor born [Camaith] Carmarthen
Elizabeth Hopkins House servant unmarried 40 born ditto
1861 RG9 4140 17 28 also listed as unmarried but a w has been added at the side.
Of course the 51 entry could just be an error.
31-01-2009, 3:14 PM
Philip Russell, the researcher who followed my ancestors off on a red herring trail, said that his assumption was that the mother of the children died after the last known child was born in 1850, and so was dead by 1851. He didn't find either a marriage or a death that could be attributed to her with any certainty.
31-01-2009, 4:36 PM
Sorry I am getting nowhere with this yet, but I did find this
I think this may be the one you misplaced, should help you find the will, I had a look on the National Archives site and it looks as though you will have to apply to York for it.
31-01-2009, 4:40 PM
31-01-2009, 5:42 PM
Just a thought, do you have a LDS family history centre close to you, you could order the film for the Charles/Rachel marriage if Charles is a solicitor or in training, she's your girl.
31-01-2009, 9:14 PM
Thank you Astoria! No, I don't have one terribly near me, but I am up in London quite a lot... I could go to Holborn or Guildhall if the indexes for disputed wills are available there. I couldn't find anything on the National Archives site, and it looked to me that the combination of property and disputed will might be a bad one.
If I have to apply to york, I do - at least I now have a firm date for his death and some details.
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