John Davies Williams , 18811964 (aged 83 years)

Name
John Davies /Williams/
Given names
John Davies
Surname
Williams
Name
Johnny /Corbett/
Given names
Johnny
Surname
Corbett
Registration

Volume 11b, Page 158

Occupation

http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=TNA%2FR39%2F7638%2F7638I%2F012%2F12

Residence

http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=TNA%2FR39%2F7638%2F7638I%2F012%2F12

Registration

Volume 8c, Page 22, Age 83

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Entered info into The Williams Family Tree Wiki

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Aberdovey Cemetery

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Birth registration: Machynlleth, Mar 1881, Volume 11b, Page 158.

John Davies Williams was born in Church Street, Aberdovey, Merionethshire, Wales and his birth was recorded as No. 89 in the Register of Births No. 11 in Pennal (Machynlleth). His Birth Certificate states he was born on Fifth February 1881 at Church Street, Aberdovey, Merionethshire, Wales. His name is given as John Davies (Williams), his Father as Owen Williams and his mother as Elizabeth Williams formerly Davies. The Occupation of his father is given as Master Mariner and the Signature, description and residence of informant was Elizabeth Williams, Mother, Church Street, Aberdovey, Merionethshire, Wales. The Birth was registered on Twelfth March 1881.

From the 1881 Census (RG11, Piece 5478, Folio 50, Page 21), John Davies Williams (Taid), 2 months old, was living at Church Street (Aberdovey, Merionethshire, Wales). His father was not present (he was aboard the Olive Branch in Milford Haven) and the head of the family was his mother Elizabeth, 42, a Sailor's Wife. Also at the same address were his siblings Annie Elizabeth, 20, a General Servant, Mary, 18, a Dressmaker, Scholars Owen, 10, David John, 8, Susannah, 6, and Jane Ellen, 4, along with Thomas Owen, 2.

From the 1891 Census (RG12 Piece 4587 Folio 48 Page 9), John Davies (Taid), aged 10, was living with his father Owen, 52, a Trinity Pilot, and his stepmother Jane, 39, at 20 Church Street, Aberdovey, Merionethshire, Wales. With him were his sister Susannah, 16, and his half-sister Maggie, 2.

I have been unable to find Taid in the 1901 Census.

From the 1911 Census (RG14PN22279 RG78PN1317 RD454 SD4 ED1 SN379) John Davies, 30, General Labourer from Aberdovey, Merionethshire, was with his wife Annie, 24, from Pennal, Merionethshire, and son Eric Wynne, 2, born Machynlleth, Montgomeryshire, at 40 Greenleaf Street, Toxteth Park, Lancashire, England. Visiting the family was Ann Rowlands, widow, 45, Charwoman from Towyn, Merionethshire.

Taid is mentioned in the book 'A Real Little Seaport' by Lewis Lloyd (ISBN 1 874786 48 8) as serving as 'Boy' at a rate of £1 a month aboard the Schooner «b»«i»Sarah Davies«/b»«/i». Some of the information given by Lewis Lloyd is not quite correct as he states that Taid joined the Sarah Davies at the age of 15 when in reality, according to his Discharge Book, he was a mere 13.

The following was written by my uncle A. Peris Williams:-

«b»John Davies Williams«/b»

John Davies Williams was born at Penygraig, Church Street, Aberdyfi, in 1881 where his father, Owen Williams and his mother Elizabeth Williams lived. According to the census of 1881 the household consisted of Elizabeth Williams (42), Annie Elizabeth (20), Mary (18), Owen (10), David John (8), Susanah (6), Jane Ellen (4), Thomas Owen (2), and John Davies (2 months). His father, Owen Williams was not included in the census as he was in Milford Haven at the time on board the "Olive Branch".

Elizabeth Williams died on the 13th May 1882 when he was only 12 months old and is buried at Maethlon Cemetery in Happy Valley. Her grave is marked "Elizabeth, wife of Capt. Owen Williams, Olive Branch, and Aberdovey aged 43 years". (Many gravestones in seaside areas are marked with the name of the ship on which the deceased captained or served.)

Owen Williams remarried. He and his second wife, Jane, at sometime later, moved to live in 1 Bodfor Terrace, where Owen Williams died on the 14th October 1924, aged 86 years. This being one month before I was born. So I never knew my grandfather.

He and his second wife are buried together at Aberdyfi cemetery. The grave is situated two rows down and four graves to the left of our family grave.

My father's first employment was at a grocer's shop in Liverpool owned by a relative. However, he soon returned to Aberdyfi and sailed in his first boat at the age of 13 years. This was probably the Lady Alice, transporting coal, slate, timber and corn to various ports abroad.

He spent the next 15 years of his life sailing the seven seas. During which time he made two round the world trips. A list of ships in which he served is appended. This information is taken from his discharge books, which are in my possession.

He completed his active seafaring in the employ of the Mersey Light Ships.

He married Annie Jones, my mother, at Toxteth Park, Liverpool on the 31st March 1908 and had eight sons. Eric Wynne (1908-1934), John Ivor (1909-1910), Owen Leslie (1911-2001), Richard Clifford (1912-1917), David Kenneth (1913-1978), John Ronald (1915-1965), Alan Eurwyn (1920-1991), Alun Peris (1924-). They also raised a niece, Susanah Jones, which we all regarded as our sister.

During the First World War he was employed as a foreman fitter in the building of the Marconi wireless Station at Tywyn where all his skills were required in building huge wireless masts. His rate of pay is recorded as 6 1/2d per hour. The 1/2d being the extra pay for being a foreman. This finally rose to 10 1/2d per hour. His service to the Marconi Wireless was recognised in 1962 by being made a Member of the Marconi Transoceanic Guild.

During the Second World War, together with his pilotage duties, he served with the National Fire Service and the local royal Observer Corps. I have in my possession a certificate acknowledging this service.

In 1936 he followed in his father's footsteps and was appointed the Trinity House Pilot for the river Dyfi. This position he held for 15 years retiring in 1951.

My father, like all old sailors, could turn his hand to most things, and worked in painting and decorating and carpentry. mostly, however, he worked with the elements he was most happy with, which was rope and tackle and all things with a seafaring connotation. He used to sit for hours on end plaiting old rope into doormats with intricate designs. He carved wooden spoons not only for everyday use but also in competitions for local eisteddfods. For each of his sons he, carved model sailing ships.

He was expert at repairing clinker built or carvel boats that had been damaged in storms etc. Many were the time that he waited for me to come home from school to hold the hammer for him whilst he clenched rivets to the planks that were being replaced.

He suffered from Pageats Disease for many years and died peacefully at his home in 10, The Hall, Aberdyfi in 1964. He was buried in the cemetery at Aberdyfi where two of his sons had previously been interred.

A. Peris Williams

Vessels In which John Davies Williams sailed - compiled from his Discharge Book by Alun Peris Williams:-

  1. Sarah Davies. (Schooner) 1894. Aged 13 years.
  2. Ann Warran (Aberystwyth) 6/11/1896 to 20/7/1897
  3. Mervinia (Aberystwyth) 8/1897 to 1/1898
  4. Gifford (Barque) 2/1898 to 2/5/1899 Liverpool to Sydney, San Francisco, Tacoma, Cardiff
  5. Edward Windes. (Portmadoc) 26/7/1900 to 13/11/1900 Tacoma to Cardiff
  6. Bernard Hall 24/11/1900 to 4/2/1901 Liverpool, W. Indies, U.S.A.
  7. Queen of Cambria 4/3/1901 to 11/6/1902 Caernarvon, Dunkirk, Australia.
  8. Lizzie (First Steamship) 8/1/1903 Cardiff to Pembrey
  9. Barbadian 19/2/1903 to 19/5/1903 West Indies
  10. Sant Kevin (S.S) (Newcastle) 14/6/1903
  11. Lizzie 30/10/1905 to 22/12/1905 Liverpool
  12. Pluvier (Schooner) to 21/11/1906
  13. Canadian 31/10/1908 to 29/11/1908 Liverpool to Boston.
  14. Canadian 5/12/1908 to 4/1/1909 Liverpool to Boston
  15. Canadian 9/1/1909 to 7/2/1909 Liverpool to Boston

Note..... 4) and 7) were Round the World trips. One of the earliest trips was in the Barque Charlotte Young but I have no information as to dates nor destination. Single dates are discharge dates taken from his Discharge Book

A.P.W.

Thank you, Peris, for your notes.

I have been trying to track down Taid (John Davies Williams) in the 1901 Census, so far without any luck. He was aboard the «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» at the time of the census.

The «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» Caernarfon (not to be confused with the Cambrian Queen) (O.N. 74867) was a three masted iron barque (865 tons) built in 1876 by Osbourne Graham and Company, Hylton, Sunderland. She was 194.2' long by 32.8' broad by 20.2' deep and owned by Robert Jones, Plas Tirion, Pwllheli in 1876 and then William Thomas and Son, Nefyn. She was bought by Robert Thomas of Criccieth and Liverpool in 1896.

The «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» arrived in Dunedin, Australia on 10 Feb 1883 and is reported to have arrived in Port Chalmers, New Zealand on the same day after sailing from Deal on a 90 day voyage. The ship's Master at that time was a Captain M Parry.

Captain Griffith Jones of Nefyn was A.B. aboard the ship between 18 Aug 1888 and 12 Jul 1889.

According to newspaper articles, the «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» left Tocopilla, Chile on 30th August, 1900, bound for Falmouth. On 28th December 1901 it was reported "There has been a recurrence of storms and violent gales in the channel and considerable damage has been wrought ashore. Telegraph lines are down in many places." "The British bark «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» from Tocopilla, August 30, for Falmouth, while being towed into Falmouth, parted her towline and the force of the gale blew her across the bows of the British bark Crown of India, which arrived in Falmouth December 27 from San Francisco. The latter vessel suffered damage to her head and the «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» was cut down to the water's edge. She has been beached and is leaking."

Somehow, the vessel was repaired and then sailed to Caernarvon.

John Davies Williams (Taid) was aboard the «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» between 4 Mar 1901 to 11 Jun 1902 while she sailed from Caernarvon to Dunkirk and Australia.

Lloyd's List 02 March 1901: Ship's Loading Directory; Liverpool Morning Post 06 March 1901: Home Arrivals: Holyhead, March 3 -- «i»Queen of Cambria«/i», Liverpool for Adelaide.

From Lloyd's List 05 March 1901: Sailed March 4, «i»Queen of Cambria«/i»; Adelaide; Abermaed (s), Swansea, Hippomenes (s), Monetvideo 5, 9 40 a.m. -- WNW, light, very misty and rainy Liverpool.

From the Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser 06 March 1901: Sailed March 5, The «i»Queen of Cambria«/i» for Adelaide; Hippomenes, Montevideo.

The vessel was wrecked on 26 May 1906, at Lobos de Tierra on passage from Lobos to Antwerp with guano. The Times, Saturday, Dec 29, 1906; pg. 4; Issue 36338; col E Wrecks, Casualties &c. Falmouth, Dec. 27 - Barque «i»Queen of Cambria «/i»from Tocopilia (nitrate) entering port in tow, parted cable and fell across bows of Barque Crown of India, from San Francisco, damaging her bead. «i»Queen of Cambria «/i»is cut down to water's edge, and has been beached.

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Note: Courtesy of Dilys Williams
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