Starting with records I had (Anne’s christening record, a will left by a husband indicating that at one point she was a Francis, and an 1841 Llangynog census of Courtmalle, the leasehold named in the will), I began to piece together Anne’s life, little by little, as I analyzed records, especially their details. Patterns emerged. A few people kept reappearing. And places—farms, houses, even fields—in Wales, they had names, and when those names reappeared, I followed them as if they were special aunts. I began to recognize the family members who witnessed weddings. I saw children name babies after their fathers and brothers. I watched relatives stay close; when one moved, another appeared nearby on a census. I discovered unmarried brothers working on farms, and later caring for aged aunts. Before I knew it, I was differentiating my Joneses from those dozens others in the parish. I learned to FOLLOW THE PATTERNS MORE THAN THE NAMES.
Here is a brief outlines of Anne Jones’ life from start to finish. Follow her through three husbands, from Carmarthenshire, Wales, to Lehi, Utah, to Montana. What a delightful woman! Her picture above was posted on FamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch.org.
Starting at the beginning: Here’s her christening record from Llangynog, Carmarthenshire (also written as Llangunnock or a variation). It’s the same parish where most, but I believe, not all of Anne’s brothers and sisters were baptized. At a time when thousands of Welshmen, including cousins, were attending Nonconformist chapels, Anne's and Mary’s parents stayed true to the Church of Wales. Llangynog is about seven miles southwest of the city of Carmarthen, meaning that Carmarthen has an Anglican cathedral.
|Anne Jones Christening|
Anne Francis 13 Mar 1836-1845
Keep in mind that marrying by license cost more than marrying by Banns, as most people did. Therefore, licenses were more prestigious and were often favored by those of a higher social class, as well as by those who felt they needed to marry quietly or in a hurry. Banns required that the names of the bride and groom be read aloud for three consecutive weeks before their marriage in each of their parishes.
|John Francis Marriage to Anne Jones|
In order to obtain a license, usually from the diocese, the groom needed to put up money, or a bond, and a witness needed to swear to such things as the bride and groom were both over 21 and neither was already married. Very often the bond contains no new genealogical information.
|John Francis Marriage Bond|
By law, if either the bride or groom was under 21, they needed consent from parents. In actuality, Anne was a few months shy of being a legal adult. She would turn 21 the following November.
John and Anne Francis had two children, Sarah, born in 1836 or 1837, and David, born in August, 1840, three months before his father passed away. When John Francis wrote his will in July, 1840, he referred to his “unborn child.” But John was still alive when his son was born; he signed the certificate for David’s birth on 9 Aug 1840.
Image pending! I’ve mislaid (or misfiled) my copy of David’s birth certificate and have sent for another. Here's the transcription of David’s birth certificate that I made when I held it in my hands:
GRO births, July-September 1840 quarter, Carmarthen district, volume 26, p. 495. David Francis, boy, born 9 Aug 1840, at Courtmalle in the parish of Llangunnock. Father: John Francis, farmer. Mother: Ann Francis, formerly Jones. Informant: John Francis, father, Courtmalle, in the parish of Llangunnock. Date birth recorded: 27 Aug 1840.
Sarah's November, 1836 or 1837, birth date came from death and other records. I could find no baptism record for either child in the surviving records for Llangynog parish or in nearby Nonconformist chapels. Even if the children were baptized, record keeping was sometimes haphazard, and records may never be found.
Following documentation that is there, this burial record from Llangynog parish shows that John Francis died in November, 1840.
|John Francis Burial|
Luckily for Anne and for us, John Francis left a will. Seeing John Jones, Pantyddwygraig, on a will abstract was the first alert that Anne Francis was really Anne Jones. Even though the relationship wasn’t stated, it was suggested and quickly verified through marriage and burial records.
John Francis’ will said that John Jones, Pontyddwygraig, mason, was one of two trustees. He wanted his wife Anne, daughter Sarah and then unborn son (David) to be provided for by his leases until the children were 20. He named his two leasehold properties: Courtmalle, in Llangynog, and Treked, in the adjacent parish of Llangain. The will was probated 11 Dec 1840, less than a month after his death.
From the will we learn that John Francis leased land that another man owned, the owner’s “freehold.” Few Welshmen owned property. However, land was leased for long periods, up to 999 years; leases were passed down in families and can be followed. Checking Courtmalle on the 1841 Tithe Map, which the parish used to see how much “tithe” residents owed to help fund the parish community, John Francis’ lease for Courtmalle was for 124 acres, a very large farm. Plus, he had another leasehold in Llangain. He ranked high in the parish pecking order.
Here is the image of widow Anne Francis’ family at Courtmalle on the 1841 Llangynog census, taken census night, 6 Jun 1841 throughout Great Britain. This census does not define family relationships, and the ages of adults over 18 are most often rounded down to the nearest five years.
|1841 Llangygog Census for Courtmalle|
I believe that Anne's brother Thomas, rounded age 20, is the Thomas Jones working as an agricultural laborer. To my knowledge he will never marry and will appear in the homes of family members on at least two other censuses. Anne’s older sister Margaret, rounded age 25, is also with the family, identified as a general servant. When Margaret marries in 1844, that record will indicate she is a servant working at Courtmalle.Thomas Williams will be one of the witnesses at her wedding, and then he will marry Anne Jones Francis the following year. (The marriage certificate also identifies Margaret's father as John Jones, mason. See the certificate image attached to Margaret Jones' and John Davies' marriage in Family Search Family Tree. FamilySearch.org )
Anne Williams: 20 Mar 1845-1854
|Thomas Williams and Anne Jones Parish Register Marriage Record|
On the 1851 Llangynog Census, Thomas Williams’ and Anne Jones Francis’ combined family is living at Courtmalle.The 1851 census was taken 30 Mar 1851 throughout Great Britain. It's the first census to identify family relationships and to help nail down birth places and years. Notice that Sarah and David Francis are identified as Thomas' stepchildren who are employed on the farm. Mary Ann, Sophia and Elizabeth are listed as daughters.
|1851 Llangynog Census of Courtmalle|
If you were to look for Thomas Williams’ family on the 1841 Llangynog Census, you’d find them at Ffoesddu. He was shown living at one of his father's leaseholds, with his first wife Anne and three daughters Mary (Anne), Sophia and Elizabeth. You can see the image, connected to Thomas Williams on FamilySearch Family Tree. Here’s the transcription for the Ffoesddu household. Remember that Anne Jones Francis is at Courtmalle on the 1841 census, widowed with her two children Sarah and David. These are different families.
1841 Wales Census, Llangunnock, Carmarthenshire Class HO107 Piece: 1382 Book: 2010; Folio 7 p. 6 GSU 464309. Line 5. Farm: Ffoesddu. Thomas Williams, 35, farmer, born in county. Anne Williams, 35, born in county. Mary, 10, born in county. Sophia, 7, born in county. Elizabeth, 3, born in county. Anne Davis, 40, female servant, born in county. David Howells, 15, agricultural labourer, born in county. Ancestry.com
Thomas Williams' daughter Mary [Anne’s] 1831 christening record is from the neighboring chapelry of Llanllwch, St. Peter Carmarthen parish. (See the record attached to Mary Anne on her FamilySearch Family Tree page.) It shows that Thomas Williams’ first wife also was named Anne Jones. Things have gotten complicated for Williams descendants sorting all this out. FamilySearch.org
Anne and Thomas Williams had two children together who, sadly, died young. Here are images for the records of Edmund, presumably named after his grandfather Edmund Williams, and John, presumably named after his maternal grandfather John Jones. Edmund was born in 1845. The Informant, father Thomas Williams, says his residence is still Ffoessdu.
|Edmund Williams Birth Certificate|
Below is Edmund’s death certificate.
|Edmund Williams Death Certificate|
Even though poor Edmund was really only 4 years old when he died, from his father’s name and residence, we know we have the right person. Notice that the informant is John Jones, Pantyddwygraig, who always signs with his characteristic mark. (He could not write his name.)
Next are death and burial images for second son John, who died even younger.
|John Williams Death Certificate|
|John Williams Burial Record|
When Anne Williams sailed to America in 1854 with an LDS group aboard The Golconda, it was with Sarah and David Francis, her children from her first marriage to John Francis, as well as with her two stepdaughters, Eliza (Elizabeth) and Mary Anne Williams. (I am not sure what happened to Sophia, another of Thomas' daughters from his first marriage.) Every member of Anne's family is able to pay his or her own passage. Sadly, Thomas must have died, because he disappears from the story. I have found no burial record in Llangynog. Perhaps he is buried with his first wife, because I’ve not found her burial record either.
Here is a record of the family’s registration for the voyage. Sarah Francis, 16, and Mary Williams, 22, appear on the bottom of the first page. Ann Williams, 36, Eliza (Elizabeth) Williams, 14, and David Francis, 12, appear on the second. (The age of 39-year-old Anne is hedged a bit.)
|1854 Ship Registration, The Golconda|
The LDS church in Wales had headquarters in Merthyr Tydfil, and many Mormon emigrants from all over South Wales “originated” from there, coming with the organized group of Saints. As the record indicates, they sailed from Liverpool, England, on 4 Feb 1854 and arrived in New Orleans 18 Mar 1854. Check out details and accounts from voyage diaries on the Mormon Migration website.
The family is listed together upon their arrived in New Orleans, at the top of this record:
|Ann Jones Family's New Orleans Arrival|
Evans descendants recall that Samuel Evans, the father-in-law of Ann's sister Mary, was also on the 1854 voyage of The Golconda, along with his second wife Catherine Havart, who died along the way. She probably died after finishing her Mississippi River trip, because she is buried in St. Louis, Missouri. Journals from the journey speak of several cholera deaths in St. Louis. Here is a record of her death:
|Catherine Havart Powell Evans St. Louis Burial Record|
From more information obtained from the death index below we see that this may not be the exact date of death or burial because records were recorded weekly.
St. Louis City Death Records, 1850-1908 Record (Index) St. Louis Genealogical Society, copied by Provo, UT, USA: MyFamily.com (Ancestry.com), Vol. C, p.140, County Library RDSL 2, Missouri Archive C 10360, SLGS Rolls 301. Catherine Evans. Death date: 10 Apr 1854, City Cemetery. [Deaths were recorded once a week. The date given in the index is the day on which all the deaths for the week were recorded.]
What happened to Samuel Evans and to Anne Jones' family in the next few months is unknown. They had crossed the Atlantic and probably had gone up the Mississippi River with the other Golconda Saints. According to journals of several in that party, a majority quickly traveled to Utah Territory; their handcart company arrived in Salt Lake City on 6 Oct 1854.
Although I have found no record of the Williams/Francis family (or of Samuel Evans) with any overland group, this timing is logical. However, family lore says that Anne's family did not travel by handcart. According to the Life Story of Anne's son David Francis on FamilySearch Family Tree, Anne had enough money to buy and outfit two wagons and teams. Plus, she hired a driver to help take her family west. They reached Salt Lake by the end of October.
Sadly, the next record for the family documents the death of Anne's daughter, Sarah Francis, in Salt Lake City on 27 Oct 1854. Here is Sarah's Salt Lake County death record:
|Sarah Francis Death Record|
Notice Sarah's last name was “France,” instead of Francis and no last name was given for mother Ann on the actual record. Another error was made for Sarah’s probable burial, as found in a Salt Lake internment database. The transcription, obtained online, gave this information:
Sarah France (sic), born 27 Oct. 1854 (sic), Carmarthen, Wales; died 27 Oct. 1854, Salt Lake City, Utah. Plot 432 A-11-10. Buried 27 Oct 1854 Salt Lake City Cemetery. Ancestry.com Also Cemeteries.utah.gov/burials
Inaccurate information in the first death record is explainable, considering the circumstances: Anne was a brand new immigrant, who most likely could not speak English, and who was bereaved. As for the inconsistencies in the burial record, the same birth and burial dates were recorded in the Utah State Archives' index of individuals interred in Salt Lake cemeteries. If this is 18-year-old Sarah Francis, she has become a newborn infant. A visit to the archives to see the original record could clear things up.
I have not run across any records for Anne’s stepdaughter Mary Anne Williams, since her arrival in New Orleans. I have unsuccessfully searched marriages and deaths and hope that she didn’t die along the way, too.
And we’ll probably never know how and when Anne Jones met her sister Mary’s father-in-law, Samuel Evans. But even if they had never met before they all boarded The Golconda in early 1854, they would become acquainted by the end of the year. Records indicate that Anne Jones and her family became neighbors of Abel and Mary Jones Evans’ family, including Samuel, in Lehi, and they attended the same LDS ward, at least for a while.
Anne James: 1854-16 Jan 1900
Anne appears in Lehi, Utah, for the first time in November, 1854, and she has another new name: Anne James.
I couldn’t figure out how her new husband, Daniel James, came into the picture until David Francis' biography solved the mystery. It turns out, the story said, that Anne married the driver she had hired to take her family to Utah. (David Francis' story is posted with a picture of David as an older man. When you read it, check out his great beard and overalls.) FamilySearch.org.
Ann and Daniel James and Samuel Evans all arrived in Lehi, Utah, sometime before 14 Nov 1854, because that is the date in which Anne James, Daniel James and Samuel Evans all had patriarchal blessings there from patriarch John Murdock, according to early church records. Here’s a transcription of the record for Anne’s blessing from the Early Church Information File:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Early Church Information File, 1830-1900, Card 71, Ann James: Ann James, born 9 Nov 1816, Llangynog, Carmarthen, South Wales. Father: John Jones, mother: Elizabeth. Blessing 14 Nov., 1854, Lehi, Utah, by Patriarch John Murdock. Vol. 13, p. 13 #6. [Note: Ann will use the birth year of 1816, instead of 1815, in all Lehi ward records.] FamilySearch.org
Anne and her family stayed in Lehi for at least four years. The 1856 Utah Territorial Census showed all of them living near Abel and Mary (Jones) Evans, where Samuel Evans also lived. Learning this made me happy; my ancestor Mary Jones had always seemed so far removed from the family she had loved in Carmarthenshire.
Indeed, Anne’s family appears several times on Lehi ward records. Some of the entries are for rebaptisms, which were common among church members at this time. Because many early Welsh LDS church records have not survived, the information appearing with rebaptisms can give insight into dates for first baptisms in Wales. Here’s a transcribed rebaptism record for Anne from her Lehi ward:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lehi, Utah, Ward Record of Members 1851-1903 LDS Church Historian's Office, 1969, p. 36, line 12. Rebaptism. Ann James, daughter of John and Elizabeth Jones, born Nov. 9 1816, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Baptized first time July 1848 by Evan Jones.
Notice that Ann said that she was first baptized into the LDS church in July, 1848, which is almost a year earlier than her sister, Mary, who said she was baptized in June, 1849, on her rebaptism record.
Here is the rebaptism record for Ann’s son David Francis from the Lehi ward. He said that he was baptized the first time in 1849 (in Wales) by Thomas Williams. I believe this very well may have been his stepfather, the only father he would have known growing up in Llangynog.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lehi, Utah, Ward Record of Members 1851-1903 LDS Church Historian's Office, 1969, Rebaptisms, p. 36, line 13. David Francis, son of John and Ann, born Aug. 8, 1940, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, baptized first time in 1849 by Thomas Williams. [David’s] Priesthood office: Teacher, ordained 1856.
One of the next important family events recorded in Lehi was a wedding. Anne’s stepdaughter Elizabeth Williams married Henry H. McConnell in January, 1858. Abel Evans performed the civil ceremony. The couple was sealed in the Endowment House the following month, 12 Feb 1858. Here’s a transcription of the Lehi marriage record, taken from ward records:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lehi, Utah, Ward Record of Members 1851-1903 LDS Church Historian's Office, 1969, Marriages, Book A, p.100, entry #3. Henry McConnell and Elizabeth Williams, married Jan. 23, 1858. Ceremony performed by Abel Evans.
The McConnells moved to Cedar City, Utah, and raised a large family, with many descendants. Elizabeth Williams McConnell died there in 1918.
Meanwhile, Daniel James and Ann bore two children together in Utah: Charlotte, born in 1856, and Elizabeth Ann, born 12 Mar 1858. Here's a transcription of the record of Elizabeth Ann’s blessing from Lehi ward records:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lehi, Utah, Ward Record of Members 1851-1903 LDS Church Historian's Office, 1969, p.3, line 7 blessings of children. Elizabeth Ann Jones James, daughter of Daniel and Ann, born March 12, 1858, in Lehi, Utah, Deseret, Blessed May 8, 1859 by John Brown. [Note: Most records of baby blessings in this ward at this time inserted the mother’s maiden surname just before the father’s surname.]
Here are the girls with their parents in 1860 in Weber County, Utah. David Francis is listed, but is identified as David F. James.
|1860 Weber County Census of Daniel James and Anne Jones Family|
Daniel and Anne James’ two daughters married two brothers, Nelson Peter and Ephraim Staffanson, in Deer Lodge County, Montana.
Charlotte died at age 26, with three young children, and was buried in April, 1882, in Philipsburg, Granite County, Montana. The Findagrave website has an emotional account of her internment, originally published in the local paper. Findagrave.com
Elizabeth Ann, the mother of six children, lived most of her life in Deer Lodge County, Montana, and died, age 87, on 12 Jul 1945 at Sidney, Richland, Montana.
David Francis married Sarah Jones, an English woman. They lived most of their lives in North Ogden, Utah, where he worked as a freighter and achieved community prominence. He died 8 Feb 1933 in Idaho, but he and his wife are buried in North Ogden Cemetery, Weber, Utah.
On the 1880 census, he and his young family lived with his mother and her husband Daniel James in Deer Lodge County. According to David’s Life Sketch on FamilySearch Family Tree, Daniel James moved his family from Weber County, Utah, with followers of the Morrisite church; however, David and his mother Anne remained faithful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
|1880 Deer Lodge County, Montana, Census for Daniel James and Anne Jones, and David Francis Families|
According to a death date posted on FamilySearch, presumably from family records, Anne (Jones Francis Williams) James died 16 Jan 1900, in Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Montana. She was 84 years old. FamilySearch.org.