The picture is of my Great Great Grandfather Dr FWC Beavan. Back in 2007 I was chasing my BEAVAN family. According to oral tradition my 3 x Great Grandfather Frederick BEAVAN (the elder born c 1786) benefited under the Will of Serjeant Edward WILLIAMS of Middle Temple (who died in 1759). It was for him that my 2 x great grandfather Frederick Williams Cadwalleder BEAVAN (the younger son, born 1808, of above Frederick) was named.
According to the same tradition Lord Alvanly, Sir Charles Edmonston & Mrs SCURRAHS were guardians under the Will & Frederick the elder & his brothers, Henry & John spent the holidays with the Miss’ Hardins, sisters of Lord Alvanly who lived near Beverly in Yorkshire.
I had researched Lord Alvanly, Sir Charles Edmonston and the sisters but never found out who was MRS SCURRAHS. Research in the PRO (now TNA) where there are documents regarding the WILLIAMS estate and the BEAVAN family, and the purchase of relevant Wills, had proved it was actually the senior Frederick’s father, John BEAVAN who was the benefactor ( the father of brothers John, Henry and Frederick BEAVAN all born c 1780-1786). Unfortunately, he died when his sons were young, sometime before 1789. The estate remained in the possession of Edward WILLIAMS’ wife (Elizabeth nee Capper) until she died in 1793 and when the father, John BEAVAN (the elder) had by then also died. The sons John, Henry and Frederick therefore inherited but were minors at that time, so this would explain why Guardians were appointed. This all took years of painstaking research and many dollars to figure out. Fortunately for me, as well as leaving Wills, the family fought for their inheritances in Chancery as their mobility makes it hard to find parish registers to help. Chancery documents are heavy reading but they often give a lot of detail of family relationships and ancestry.
As it is often the case though, everyone is called John, Henry and Frederick making it a little hard to follow. As well, for good measure and as a blessing in disguise, everyone starts also throwing in Williams for a second name. 🙂
Eventually I tracked some of them to Swansea in Glamorganshire Wales (brothers John and Henry Williams, and later Frederick turns up too for a short time) and this is why I was interested in the Cambrian Index online http://www.swansea.gov.uk/cambrian and, using it as a guide, I had copied a lot of pages from the Cambrian when I was in Swansea in early 2007 – entries such as those below advertising houses to rent, property for sale etc. that enabled me to draw a timeline of who was where and when.
Cambrian A00 BIRTHS 26 January 1805 AT BRISTOL, THE LADY OF H.W.BEVAN, LATE OF TOWNHILL, SWANSEA, A DAUGHTER.
Cambrian H24 BUILDINGS, RESIDENTIAL, APARTMENTS 12 October 1805 TO LET,TOWNHILL HOUSE & LAND;APPLY.J.BEAVAN CWM-GWYN OR MR.PHILLIPS,ATTORNEY,SWANSEA.P3.
Cambrian K44 SOCIAL, PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT, GAMEKEEPERS 28 September 1805 JOHN BEVAN,CWMGWYN,GAMEKEEPER TO RICHARD MANSEL PHILLIPS,SKETTY HALL. P1.
Cambrian TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION,
By Messrs. REES and THOMASC
On Wednesday, the 25th day of March, 1840, at two o’clock in the afternoon, at the SIX BELLS INN, Park-street, Swansea,
In Two Lots.
All that very desirable and compact FREEHOLD FARM and LANDS, called LLANMORLAIS, situate in the parish of Llanrhidian, in the county of Glamorgan, containing 32 Acres, of thereabouts, now in the possession of Mrs. Mary BEVAN, widow.
There are some very Valuable Veins of Coal and Iron Stone under the above arm, which could easily be worked at considerable profit, the property being near the Barry River, and thus affording great facilities for shipping it.
Also to be sold at the same time and place,
53 OAK TIMBER TREES, and also about 120 tons of COAL PIT TIMBER, growing on the above Farm.
For further particulars apply to Messrs. BERRINGTON and JENKIN, Solicitors, Swansea; or to Mr. David REES, Auctioneer, Oxford-street, Swansea, and to view the Farm and Timber apply to Mrs. BEVAN, on the premises.
Breaking down the brick wall.
There were a couple of difficulties – Beavan/Bevan in Swansea and Neath is like Smith anywhere else and, although I am not sure, I don’t think my family is related to the other prominent BEAVAN family in Swansea. For these reasons, I have to always be careful not to assume too much and to sort them carefully.
One day in September 2007, I got out my fiche of St Mary’s Swansea to look for a burial of John BEAVAN, the eldest son of John BEAVAN, as I had figured out that he must have died between 1804 and 1809 using information from the Cambrian. I found a suitable one, Mr John BEAVAN aged 25 in 1806. So back again I went to the Cambrian Index hoping to get some more information and found this entry:
Cambrian C10 DEATHS, DEATH NOTICES 05 July 1806 JOHN BEVAN ESQ.,AGED 25,FORMERLY OF CWMGWYN & HENDREVOYLAN, LATTERLY OF SWANSEA. P3.
It looked very promising as I knew the one I wanted was from Cwmgwyn. Looking further on I found another:
Cambrian C40 DEATHS, WILLS, ESTATES, ETC. 12 July 1806 P2. CREDITORS OF JOHN BEVAN OF CWMGWYN – MRS. SCURRAH, MOTHER & ADMINISTRATIX OF INTESTATE
Mrs Scurrah!!! Mother! His mother, I knew, was Mary THURSTON/BEAVAN born 1759 so she must have remarried and it perhaps explains why they may have moved to Swansea.
I could not believe my luck!
Next step was to get the Administration and search for a marriage of Mary Beavan to ? Scurrah.
© 2015 Lynette Nunn
Postscript: I eventually found the marriage of Mary Beavan to Robert Scurrah in the Saint George Bloomsbury Register of Marriages LMA 21 February 1797. They had two children, Robert Thomas Beavan Scurrah baptised in St Mary, St Marylebone 25 Dec 1799 and Mary Margaret Scurrah born about 1806. Again newspapers led me to corroborating evidence.