FINDING THE IMMIGRANT ANCESTORS: I knew that Eliza Rees, wife of immigrant Stephen Picton of Wales, came with her younger children from Wales to join her husband Stephen and their two oldest children in Kansas. I also knew that Eliza Rees Picton's father was James Rees. Her mother's name was not known.
I also did not know was where she and her parents lived in Wales. Obtaining her marriage certificate to Stephen Picton in 1851 showed that she was living on a farm called Dyffryn Broiden in the parish of Llanboidy when she was married. Husband Stephen Picton also lived in the parish of Llanboidy when they marrried.
Information from the marriage record led to finding Eliza Rees Picton's widowed mother and siblings living on the farm Dyffrynbroiden in the parish of Llanboidy, Carmarthenshire, Wales in the 1851 Census. The birth places listed for the children lead to the 1841 Census for the nearby parish of Trelech. The problem was that three of the children, Sarah, my Eliza, and Richard were not listed with the family. I did not find them nearby in the parish Trelech either. Only after several years and finally finding the Rees family living at Dyffrynbroiden in the parish of Llanboidy for several more censuses, did I think that the "missing" children may have been there with relatives in 1841. Eliza/Elizabeth and Richard were! There was also a 50 year old "Annah" Phillips, list as "FS" which means female servant. She was probably the maternal grandmother or aunt of the two young children. Two unknown young men, Owen Thomas, age 20, and Job Williams, age 15, were listed as agricultural laborers at the beginning of the household record. In what was apparently another building on the same farm were Lucy Evans, age 40, and Mary, age 8.
CONFIRMATION OF THE PHILLIPS CONNECTION Civil birth registration starts in 1837. Official extractions of the birth and death cerificates arrived. The birth certificates of the four last children show that Elizabeth Rees' maiden name was indeed Phillips. Finding two children living on the farm Dyffrynbroiden in 1841 which has an Annah Philips, female servant, age 50, as a resident, connects this farm to the Phillips family. This Annah Phillips was certainly related to two young children. A burial for an Anna Phillips in Rhyd y Parc cemetery, the same cemetery as Elizabeth (Phillips) Rees is buried, is apparently for the "Annah" Phillips in the 1841 Census. There is five year descepancy in the birth years from the census and the tombstone. In 1841 the ages of adults were in 5 year groups. For example, anyone between 50 and 54 were listed as the younger age of 50.
BIRTH PARISH FOR ELIZA: The 1851 Census indicates that both Eliza Rees and her brother James Rees were born in the parish of Llanfihangel. There are actually several parishes that begin with this name. Some time ago I searched all of the records of all of the parishes chuches begiinning with Llanfihangel. None of them recorded a birth of Eliza Rees. The 1861 Census shows that the brother James Rees was born in Llanfihangel Abercowin. So probably Eliza Rees was born in that parish.
SEARCH FOR PARENTS FOR ELIZABETH PHILLIPS: A search of the Llanwinio Parish Records showed an Elizabeth Phillips who was christened on 26 Feb 1804. She was the oldest child Samuel Phillips and Ann John. Their younger children were Ebanezer, Benj, and Joshua. 1841 Censuses did not list marital status. That 1841 Census with Annah Phillips could have been a married name for the wife Ann John in this Llanwinio Parish record. I immediately thought this family could be the right one for Elizabeth Phillips I was searching for. The census records indicated Eliza Rees' mother Elizabeth Phillips Rees was born in 1802. Proximity and a only close time put the find in the probable category and I entered the names followed by a "?".
ANNAH PHILLIPS 1851?: In 1841 she was listed as age 50. The 1841 Census listed adult ages in 5 year increments. By this time, Census searches could be done on Ancestry.com. Seven possibilities were found. Some were in unfamiliar parishes. In familiar Llanboidy was a 60 year old Anne Phillips married to a John Phillips with two children of about 20 - probably not. Also a 72 year old widowed Anne Phillps in Caewn in familiar Llanwinio - too old. A 72 year old Anne Phillips with a 46 year old daughter Anne in Trelech ar Bettws. - too old and no daughter mentioned in 1841. A 63 year old Anne Phillips, born in familiar Llanwinio, was an unmarried midwife who was a visitor to Phillip Jones family - best choice. At this point, a death certificate for the Ann Phillips who was buried in Rhydyparc might should give her marital status, birth name, father's name.
NEW PHILLIPS AND HOWELL INFORMATION: Elizabeth Wilson with whom I had communicated some years ago, shared important updates with me. James Phillips of Blaentrafle and his wife Phebe Howell were the parents of Elizabeth Phillips Rees and thus the grandparents of Eliza Rees Picton. Some others on Ancestry.com have listed the circumstantial Samuel Phillips and Ann John that I discussed above as parents. This new well-researched Phillips parent information needs to be distributed.
I have added new Rees, Phillps, and Rees ancestors that she found. I went back to the burials in Rhydyparc Cemetery, marked the persons I knew about, and used the information on the stones to calculate birth years and added family relationships. I have been inspired to look for websites and photos for these ancestors. Eliza Rees Picton's famous grandfather
Rev. Gabriel Rees (1757-1807) and his
Rhydwilym Baptist Chapel are online. Scroll down through Llanwinio Images and you will see the photo and information about the Llanwinio Parish Church and the tombstone for Phebe Phillips, Eliza Rees Picton's grandmother.
"The Phillips family of Blaentrafle WERE Rhydyparc.
Of the grave stones readable in the 1950's when the record was made, there are so many of the Phillips
family there. Elizabeth has her father, aunt, 2 brothers, sister, children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and 3
great uncles. She is surrounded by her family." - Elizabeth Wilson
WILLS FOR GABRIEL REES AND REV. GABRIEL REES A few years ago I had done some searches for wills of my Welsh Martin Rees and his children with the surname of Martin on the online version for the National Library of Wales Wills. I thought the still famous Rev. Gabriel Rees had enough property that he must have made a will. He did. I have purchased a copy and have been able to add all the children and one grandson mentioned in his will. His will also confirmed that his wife was named Sara and that she was still living and was named as exortrix when he signed the will.
The Gabriel Rees who was the father of Rev. Gabriel Rees also had a will which named his children. His daughter Rachel was named as the exortrix.
I looked for Phillps wills and did not find them. The next search is to see if James Rees, Eliza Rees Picton's father had a will.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Owen Samuel Picton for his The Family Tree of Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Picton, Their Family and Descendants, 1825-1976 which listed the parents of Stephen Picton's wife Eliza Rees as Mr. and Mrs. James Rees and my mother, and who did original research in Wales, has a great website on the Pictons, and who took gorgeous clear photos of ancestor place in Wales actually went to Rhydyparc Cemetery to take photos after I had found that cemetery,
Frances Luella Picton Martin for giving me the same names as Owen Picton and who included a Eliza Rees Picton in a photo in the Ancestry Piture Book,
Ann Taylor who had shared the tombstone inscription and burial place for Elizabeth Phillips Rees and many others of the Phillips family at Rhydyparc and who was the person who translated the Welsh on the tombstones,
Brian Picton Swann who has done such terrific Picton research, confirmed some of my Rees research because he had already found much of the same information even though Rees is not his family line, and was looking for the tithe map for Dyffryn boiden, the farm on which Rees family lived for many years, and how found the burial of James Rees in the Llanwinio Parish Churchyard.
Sharon Richards of the Carmarthen Record Office who found the birth certificates for the four youngest of James and Elizabeth Rees's children and the death certificate for Elizabeth Rees which confirmed that the families I had found in the parishes of Treleach and Llanboidy were the same family, but could not find a death certificate for James Rees in the same place.
Pat Howell who found two of James and Elizabeth's children who were not at home in Panthowell in Trelech were living in Dyffrynbroiden, Llanboidy back in the day when there were no public indexes of censuses and no online censuses,
Tony Morris who gave information on a Pheobe Rees (James). who was the first and elder daughter of James and Elizabeth (Phillips) Rees and was not living with the family in Pantohowel in 1841, on his website, and has sent be interesting connecting information and a typed extraction of the death certificate of James Rees, which I had never been able to locate,
and to Elizabeth Wilson, who started with a family tree by Sally James, then researched wills and marriage records and tombstones at Rhydyparc and shared her Rees, Phillips, and Howell discoveries with me.
QUESTIONS: Where and when was James Rees of Panthowell, Treleach, born?
whose marriage and and the christening record of her children were listed in the parish church in Llanwinio Was his wife Elizabeth (Phillips) Rees the daughter of Samuel Philips and Ann John? These parents had a daughter Elizabeth whose birth was registered at the parish church in Llanwinio, the place where my Elizabeth was born. But the birth dates differ by a year or two.
Or were my Elizabeth's parents nonconformists and her birth record still not found?
Was the marriage of James Rees and Elizabeth Phillips in the parish church of Llanwinio, the marriage of "my" James and Elizabeth? Or were there two such couples of similar age and a marriage of persons with the same names in another parish? It is my understanding that marriages at the time were required to be in parish churches.
Where was the Sarah Rees, the nine year old daughter of James and Elizabeth (Phillips) Rees, in 1841?
Did they also have an eleven year old child in 1841?
Do nonconformist church records in Llanfihangel Abercowin still survive? Where are they located?
What happened to Eliza Rees's siblings? Did any of them emigrate?
Please contact me by email: Jeanette@Martin-Froeschner.net