Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVANS , GRIFFITH , and OAKELEY , families, Tan-y-bwlch , Maentwrog, Mer.

The family of Tan-y-bwlch (or Bwlch Coed y Dyffryn ), Maentwrog, Mer. , claimed descent from Collwyn ap Tangno . According to the pedigrees, ROBERT AB , whose will was dated 24 Aug. 1541 , was twelfth in descent from Collwyn . As with other families in west Merioneth there was a connection with Osbwrn Wyddel (q.v.) — through the marriage of Robert ab Ifan with Annes , daughter of Nicholas ap Thomas ap Dafydd ab Ifan ab Einion ab Osbwrn . The wife of his son, EVAN AP , was Gwen , daughter of Humphrey ap Maredudd ab Evan ap Robert , Cesail-gyfarch, Caerns. , and it was their son, ROBERT AB , who first stabilized the surname and became known as ROBERT EVANS .

Robert Evans m. Elizabeth , daughter of John Wynn ap Cadwaladr , Rhiwlas, Mer. (see Price of Rhiwlas family ), their heir being EVAN EVANS , sheriff of Merioneth in 1634 , who m. Catherine , daughter of Morris ap Robert Wynn , Glyn(cywarch) . ROBERT EVANS , son of Evan and Catherine vch Robert , was admitted to S. John's College , Cambridge , 20 May 1633 , at the age of 18. His wife was Lowry , daughter and heiress of Ffoulk Prys (d. 1624 ) and granddaughter of archdeacon Edmund Prys (q.v.) and their son was EVAN EVANS (d. 1680 ), who m. Jonet , daughter of John Vaughan , Cefnbodig , near Bala . The heir of Evan Evans and Jonet ( Vaughan ) was CATHERINE , who m. ROBERT GRIFFITH (d. 1729 ), of Bach-y-saint , Ynyscynhaearn, Caerns.

The heir of Robert Griffith (who left Bach-y-saint and came to reside at Tan-y-bwlch ) and Catherine ( Evans ) was IFAN GRIFFITH ( 1688 - 1735 ). (Note that Ifan Griffith 's sister, Gwen Griffith , became the wife of Lewis Anwyl (q.v.) , vicar of Abergele , author and translator , and that Ifan Griffith 's brother, Owen Griffith (d. 1728 ), was rector of Llanfrothen .)

The heir of Ifan Griffith was ROBERT GRIFFITH ( 1717 - 1750 ), his son by his first wife, Jane , daughter and heiress of Thomas Meyrick , Berthlwyd , Ffestiniog . Robert Griffith , who was sheriff of Merioneth , 1742 , m. Ann , daughter of Thomas Lloyd Anwyl , Hendre-mur , Llandecwyn . His heir was EVAN GRIFFITH , sheriff of Merioneth , 1770 , whose wife was his cousin Mary , another member of the Anwyl family of Hendre-mur . Evan Griffith and Mary ( Anwyl ) left an heiress, MARGARET (d. 1809 ), who m. WILLIAM OAKELEY ( 1750 - 1811 ), son of William Oakeley , Forton, Staffs. , clergyman . The heir of William Oakeley and Margaret ( Griffith ) was WILLIAM OAKELEY ( 1790 - 1835 ), who, however, d. without leaving an heir and was succeeded by a kinsman, WILLIAM OAKELEY ( 1828 - 1912 ), of the family of Sir Charles Oakeley , bart. , governor of Madras (see D.N.B. ). W. E. Oakeley was very closely connected with the Blaenau Ffestiniog slate quarry industry.

Several poems written to members of the Tan-y-bwlch family have been preserved, among the poets being John Davies ( Siôn Dafydd Las ) , Huw Morys , Evan Williams , John Prichard Prys , and Ellis Rowland , Harlech . The full pedigree table of the Evans and Griffith families contains the names of several clergymen . In this connection note that Mary Anwyl (above), after her husband Evan Griffith d., became the wife of John Griffith , rector of Ffestiniog , and that John Griffith , after her death, m. Eleanor , daughter of David Morris , another rector of Ffestiniog (and a prominent supporter of Griffith Jones 's schools), and by her was the father of ( a ) David Griffith , chaplain of Beaumaris gaol , ( b ) Ann , who m. Robert Williams , surgeon , Amlwch , and ( c ) JANE (d. 1852 ), who became the wife of Thomas Love Peacock ( 1785 - 1866 ), author of The Misfortunes of Elphin and other works (see D.N.B. ); their daughter, MARY PEACOCK , was twice m., her second husband, whom she m. in Aug. 1849 , being George Meredith ( 1828 - 1909 ), novelist (see D.N.B. ).

Sources:

  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families , 1914 ;
  • G. J. Williams , Hanes plwyf Ffestiniog o'r cyfnod boreuaf , Wrexham Hughes and Son, 1882 ;
  • E. Breese , Kalendars of Gwynedd … , 1873 ;
  • Samuel Holland Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. in N.L.W.,
  • together with NLW MSS 1807, 1893, 4458, 14538 (Catalogue of the ‘Plas Tanybwlch MS.’).

Author:

Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959