Hay view from Castle

Hay view from Castle
Hay-on-Wye, Powys (formerly Breconshire), Wales. The "Town of Books" (and Vaughans!)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Glimpse of John and Elinor's Surviving Son William in 1871

Publication date was 14 October 1871:


I believe this is William Vaughan christened 1830 in Hay, Breconshire, and who died before 1881 when his wife Elizabeth (Betsy) is listed in the Llanfoist Census as "widow." It appears that he was engaged in dredging the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal and not in the illegal activity.

John and Elinor's first-born child, that we know of, was named William. He died in 1823. It was a common practice to name a child after a sibling that had already died. In fact, John's uncle William (1768-1851), who we believe may have trained him as a butcher, was the third William in that family after two others died as infants.

The William in the article stayed behind in Llanfoist while other members of the family went to Durham, England as puddlers in the iron works. Others left for America. He was listed on the census in 1861 as a labourer in the iron works and in 1871 as simply "labourer." This may be because the Garn Ddyrrys (Garndirris) Forge closed in 1863. And by 1869, the Canal also ceased its primary use as an industrial transport system with the opening of the Brynmawr and Blaenavon Railway that was leased to the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) to carry coal to the Midlands. The rail line also connected down the Cwmavon through Abersychan to Pontypool where it met with the rail lines in South Wales and could transport iron and coal to Newport and Cardiff.

We are still searching for the dates and causes of this William's death before 1871. He had family that stayed in Llanfoist including sons who carried the Vaughan name on in that home locale likely into present distant cousins. We Vaughans seem to have placed families of cousins in all our historical locations. That brings the War Memorials home when you see the name of Vaughan. And this little story brings additional life to the canal where we believe Grandma Elinor was baptized into the Mormon Church in 1841.

The Brecon and Abergavenny Canal at Llanfoist Wharf, 2016

Llanfoist Wharf depicted in the 1840s - 50s

Rainbow over Llanfoist and Abergavenny from the Canal, July 2016.
Ysgyrrid Fawr, the Holy Mountain (also, the Skirrid) in the distance.

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