Saturday, 13 September 2008

Sir Samuel Evans commemoration

The Reverend Mark Williams, vicar of Skewen, said prayers over the grave of Sir Samuel Evans on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of his death. Present were Janet Jones, chair of Coedffranc Community Council, Councillor Keith Davies, Charles Fletcher, vice-chair of Coedffranc CC, Ron McConville, president of Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats and Robert King, prominent local historian.

We intend to organise a larger ceremony next May on his 150th anniversary. Records are being scoured as I write in order to establish his exact date of birth, but it would be good to know if he has any descendants still alive, so that we can welcome them to Skewen and Neath Abbey in 2009.


Frank H Little said...

We now have an exact date of birth: 4th May 1859.

Samuel Evans' parents, John and Margaret, were from Cenarth in Carmarthenshire. The grocer's shop which they set up in Skewen, where Samuel was born, became an insurance broker's, then an estate agency which has now been abandoned because of the credit drought.

He married twice. His first wife was Rachel, the daughter of William Thomas of Skewen, by whom he had a son, Horace. Rachel died in 1889, the same year as Horace was born. Samuel remarried sixteen years later. His second wife, Blanche de Pinto, was the widowed youngest daughter of Charles Rule of Cincinnati, an Irish-American. Blanche gave him a daughter, Gwen.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should write to the Evening Standard, see if any decentents of Gwen Evans still exist.

Frank H Little said...

Maybe the Argus would be more appropriate, since Sir Samuel and Blanche apparently settled in Brighton in their latter years.

There again, the American connection (and is there any truth in the legend that Sir Samuel knew Andrew Carnegie personally?) may have taken Gwen back across the Atlantic.

Frank H Little said...

There is an interesting side-track. Blanche's first husband, Herbert de Pinto, bore the surname of a distinguished line of Sephardic Jews who settled and prospered in the Netherlands. The most famous member, the philosopher and economist Isaac de Pinto, was a significant supporter of William of Orange and his successful conquest of England. So far, I have not been able to bridge the two hundred year gap.