The Evans family from The Wirral and Cheshire


See the Evans Census Transcripts                                  See the Evans Family Photos

See the Evans Family Tree  and the related Jones and Holmes family Tree 



My husband’s Evans family probably originate from Wales (like most Evans’) although at this point I am still stuck somewhere in Chester where I have a bit of a brick wall!

The sticking block is Robert Evans, grandfather of Henry Evans. According to Henry’s marriage certificate of 1894, he was the son of William Evans, Gentleman, deceased. [“Gentleman” seems a stretch as he was a hawker/Labourer on every census].  Family folklore confirms that Henry was born in Chester and by his age at marriage, born around 1860 give or take a couple of years. The only likely Henry on the 1881 census was living with his mother; father presumed dead. The 1891 census mentioned his mother, Ellen as an earthenware dealer and as my mother-in-law remembered that the family had sold pots, I know that I was on the right track. 

Then by a huge piece of luck, and thanks very much to Irene Birch who found them for me, I know had this Evans family in 1871; with both William and Ellen and five children. Once I had traced William and Ellen’s marriage, I had William’s father, Robert Evans, a labourer.  However, as there are so many Robert Evans’ in Chester, it seemed impossible to narrow him down.  After looking at numerous baptisms for Williams son of Robert, the best case is one baptised at Whitegate on 30th June 1833. The parents were Robert, a Hawker and Mary and they were living at Ellesmere. I am presuming this is Ellesmere Port but why they baptised him at Whitegate,  over 30 miles away, I have no idea!  I cannot yet confirm that this is the correct William. As for Ellen; it appears both her parents were Jones, so that leaves me with a web of Evans and Jones which I will probably never be able to sort out! The earthenware connection does help, though, as I have been able to track down most of Ellen’s family and a related Holmes family that I am still working on.  I will cover these at the end of the page. See the accompanying Jones and Holmes family trees. 



Robert Evans, labourer, b abt 1800? (and wife as yet unknown but possibly Mary Jones) had at least one son:

William Evans born abt 1833 Chester, possibly bp 30.6.1833 Whitegate 6                                                                                                                                            m 7.11.1854 at Liverpool, St Alban to Ellen Jones  1                                                                                                                                                     d 23.2.1873 at Birkenhead aged 40 1.

I have not been able to confirm that this is correct baptism for William.  There are only two that appear; one is the son of Robert and Sarah born on 23rd December, 1827 at Davenham and baptised on 18th April, 1830.  This would be 5 years away from his census age in both 1861 and 1871. The other is the son of Robert, a hawker and Mary baptised on 20th June, 1833 at Whitegate, but living at Ellesmere.  This would seem much more likely but there must be many more missing records.  Likewise I cannot locate William with certainty in the 1841 or 1851 censuses.  One appears with Robert and Sara (mentioned above) and this Robert s a sawyer.  I had wondered if he was living at Handbridge, an area of Chester, at the time of the 1851 census, with his mother Elizabeth. But on researching further, I discovered that this lady was Elizabeth Reece, and her death certificate confirmed that she was the widow of George Evans, Needlemaker, (her second husband) not Robert, so this is clearly not the right William.  The most likely entry on the 1851 census is an 18 year old William living at Foregate Street, Chester, an apprentice ironmonger born in Chester 2, and at the same address is a Sarah Jones. I had wondered if she may have been a sister of Ellen but I cannot find any evidence for this.  Neither can I confirm this William in the 1841 census. 



William married Ellen Jones, daughter of John Jones, earthenware dealer and Mary Jones, on 7th November, 1854 at St. Alban Church, Liverpool.  They were both living in Summer Seat at the time of the marriage. The witnesses were Mary Ann Holmes [who may or may not have been the Mary Ann Evans that married William Holmes on 7th September, 1835] and a Henry Hughes.

William was a hawker or General Dealer and he and Ellen had the following children

Mary Ann Evans born 12.5.1856 at Chester 1                                                                                                                                                                                                    m 1882 Wirral to Robert Pimm (became step-mother to Margaret Pimm)                                                                                                      d 1884 Birkenhead aged 28
William Evans born 1857 Caersws, Montgomeryshire North Wales, bp 24.6.1857 Llanwnog St. Gwynog 3                                                                                  m 2.6.1879 Liverpool St. Nicholas to Rachel Jones 
Henry Evans born 9.6.1859 Chester, bp 3.7.1859 Holy Trinity Chester 6                                                                                                                                            m 26.3.1894 at Tranmere to Susannah Peers 1
                            d 4.6.1917 Tranmere, bur 7.6.1917 Bebington Cemetery                                                                                                         John Evans born 1861/2 at Macclesfield 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                         d 1894 Birkenhead aged 31                                                                                                                                                                          Rachel Evans born 1863/4 Denbigh 2                                                                                                                                                                                                          d 1887 Birkenhead aged 23


William and his family were living at1 Lee’s Court, Princess Street, Chester when Mary Ann was born in 1856 1. By the time of the 1861 census, however they were in a caravan in Threapwood, Flintshire together with a William Holmes, (a possible relation) 2.   In 1871 they were living at 58 Egerton Street, Birkenhead which is where William died on 26th March, 1873 1.   At the time of the 1881 census, Ellen now a widow, was living at 1 Birkenhead Cliffs, Tranmere with Henry, John and Rachel 2 .    By the time of the 1891 census, Ellen was living at 37 Stanley Street with her son sons Henry and John and a 12 year old grand daughter called Margaret Pimm 2. This is how I found out what had happened to Ellen’s eldest daughter, Mary Ann Evans.

Mary Ann had married Robert Pimm in 1882. He had been previously married in 1879 to Catherine Quilliam.  They had a daughter Margaret Catherine Pimm on 16th April, 1880 at Birkenhead 1.  Catherine died shortly after the birth in 1880 and by the time of  the 1881 census Margaret had been adopted by a George Bebbington and his wife Eliza2 .    After Mary Ann and Robert married in 1882, they probably took her back but sadly, Mary Ann also died in 1884 at Birkenhead, aged 28 and this left Robert twice widowed with a young daughter.  We have no idea when Margaret went to live with Ellen but she was certainly thereby the time of the 1891 census.   [Margaret later married William Simmons in 1905 5.  Oddly she called herself Margaret Kathleen at her marriage].

Ellen died on 28th June, 1895 at 16 Roslyn Street, Tranmere aged 64. Her son Henry was present 1.  She was buried on 2nd July 1895 at Bebington cemetery 9



William Evans, the eldest son of William and Ellen was born, according to the censuses in either North Wales or Chester in 1857/58.  It wasn’t until I tracked him down in the 1901 and 1911 censuses that it mentioned Montgomeryshire and a place that I have translated as Caersws. This was confirmed when I found his baptism record of 24th June 1857 on the findmypast website as being the son of William, hawker and Ellen living at Caersws.  William married Rachel Jones, daughter of John Jones, labourer, on 2nd June, 1869 at Liverpool St. Nicholas.  They had the following children gleaned from the census, FreeBMD and parish records; 

William Henry Evans b 30.8.1879, bp 9.9.1879 Tranmere St. Catherine 3                                                                                                                                                                                        d 1Q 1882 Birkenhead 5
William John Henry Evans bp 30.4.1882 Birkenhead St. Paul’s 3 
John Evans b abt 1884 Tranmere
Henry Evans b 4Q 1885 Tranmere 5 
Ellen Evans b 1Q 1887 Birkenhead,                                                                                                                                                                                                            d 1Q 1887 Birkenhead 5
Rachel Evans b 1Q 1889 Tranmere                                                                                                                                                                                                               m1 29.8.1909 Liverpool St. Nicholas  to Joseph Walklett                                                                             m2 1921 Birkenhead to Joseph Ashbrook George                                                                                                                                              d 1951 Birkenhead 4


William was an iron driller at the shipbuilders yard, as was his brother Henry. We know from the 1911 census when they were living at 44 Flamank Street, Birkenhead that they had 6 children and that 2 had died 2.  His first son William born in 1879 was on the 1881 census but appears to have died in early 1882. So it is assumed that the William on the 1891 census is the second born William.  I do not know what happened to William senior apart from the fact that he was living at 7 Morpeth Buildings, Birkenhead in 1917 when he was in attendance at his brother Henry’s death 1.

[I have not been able to trace any of the children apart from Rachel and that was thanks to her descendant Yvonne Chambers who I contacted through ancestry.com and subsequently another relative Kenneth Walklett] 10.



Henry Evans was born in 1859 at Chester. I have been unable to track down the correct birth certificate but found his date of birth as 9th June, 1859 and baptism 3rd July 1859 at Chester Holy Trinity. 6 Henry was a general labourer. He married Susannah Peers, daughter of John Peers and Jane Messom on 26th March, 1894 at Tranmere 1. They lived, from at least 1895, at 20 Seabank Cottages, Tranmere. 

They had three sons, but Charles’ twin John died at 7 months;

Charles Ralph Evans b 3.7.1902 Tranmere, bp 16.7.1902 St. Paul’s Birkenhead 7                                                                                                                                           m 1939 New ferry to Robina Barnes (nee Foster)                                                                                                                                                     d 22.2.1976
John Henry Evans b 3.7.1902 Tranmere,  bp 16.7.1902 St. Paul’s Birkenhead 7                                                                                                                                           bur 10.2.1903 Bebington Cemetery 9                                                                                                                          William Robert Evans (Iron Driller) b 8.12.1903 Tranmere, bp 23.12.1903 St. Paul’s Birkenhead 7                                                                                                                                      m 20.9.1930 Walton to Annie Tyrer                                                                                                                                                                       d 16.3.1960 Birkenhead

At the time of the 1901 Census, Henry and Susannah were living at 20 Seabank Cottages, Birkenhead together with Susannah’s widowed father John Peers 2. This was also the address given at the baptism of the twins and the burial on John Henry in February 1903.  By December 1903 when William was born they were at 10 Seabank Cottages. Susannah died on 9th January 1906 at 20 Seabank Cottages, Tranmere 1 and was buried on 12th June, 1906 in the Non-Conformist section of Bebington Cemetery 9.

Henry Evans was a witness to the will of Charles Ralph Peers, Susannah’s brother, proved in 1907.  At this time, Henry was living at 83 Holt Hill, Tranmere. 8  He died on 4th June, 1917 aged 56. At the time he was living at 1 West View, Tranmere 1.  He was buried on 7th June, 1917 at Bebington Cemetery 9.


          Charles Evans c 1940



  Charles Evans married Robina Barnes (nee Foster) in 1939 and became step-father to Roy, Pauline and Murial Barnes.












William Evans with his daughter Olive c 1950

 William Evans with his daughter Olive                                        c 1950


William Robert known as Bill Evans was the youngest son of Henry Evans and Susannah Peers, born on 11th December,  1903 at 20 Seabank Cottages, Tranmere 1

 William joined the army as a musician.  He was Bandsman W Evans army number 4114516 of the 2nd Battalion Cheshire   Regiment.  From 1st March to 9th July 1921 he attended the pupil course at the Royal Military School of Music (RMSM) at Kneller Hall in  Twickenham.   He was proficient in the oboe and at some point in the late 1920’s he was asked to play for the Shah of Persia.

On 20th September, 1930 Bill married Annie Tyrer, daughter of Henry Tyrer and Maria Needham, at St. Luke the Evangelist church,  Walton-on-the-Hill.  He had been living at 17 Wilburn Street and working as an Iron machinist 1

They had 2 children; Henry Bryan in 1931 (my father-in-law) and Olive Lilian in 1939 (both in Birkenhead).   At the time of the 1939 Register Bill and Annie were living at 8 Buxton Road, Birkenhead 2.  Bill died on 16th March, 1960 at Birkenhead 1






The Jones and Holmes connection. 

Accompanying family trees


Quite apart from the fact that Robert Evans’ wife may or may not be Mary Jones, William’s wife Ellen’s parents were John Jones and Mary Jones. I already knew from my mother-in-law’s anecdotes that the family sold pots and it has become clear that this was from Ellen’s side; herself (in 1891 C), her father John and her mother’s brother James Jones (in 1851 C) were all referred to as Earthenware Dealers, as was her brother George Jones.  When John and Mary married in 1823, he was a “China man”.  From the 1841 and 1851 census returns, plus the baptisms found on ancestry, Familysearch and the Cheshire parish register Project, I have found the following family:

John Jones, a China man when he married, was born about 1803 at St Asaph in Flintshire. He married Mary Jones born about 1803 at Holywell, Flintshire, on 4th July 1823 at Chester St. Oswald.  Throughout his census and parish record entries he is referred to as china man, Earthenware dealer, potter, china seller and hawker.  They had the following children: 

Ellen Jones b Tiverton bp 11.7.1824 Bunbury 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                           d by 1832
William Jones b Tiverton, bp 19.12.1824 Bunbury 3 
Rachel Jones b abt 1826 2 ?bp 26.2.1826 Weaverham6                                                                                                                                                                       m 24.5.1847 Witton-cum-Twambrooks to John Holmes 3
John Jones b 15.8.1827, bp 21.5.1841 St. Mary, Chester  2 
Ellen Jones b abt 1832 Tiverton, bp 28.2.1832 Bunbury                                                                                                                                                                      m 7.11.11854 Liverpool St. Alban to William Evans 1                                                                                                                                                                d 28.6.1895 Birkenhead 1
Elizabeth Jones b Wrexham bp 10.2.1835 Wrexham 12                                                                                                                                      Thomas Jones b abt 1839, bp 6.6.1841 St. Mary, Chester 6
Mary Ann Jones
b abt 1840, bp 21.5.1841 St. Mary, Chester 6                                                                                                                              David Jones b Handbridge, bp 29.6.1845 St. Mary, Chester 6                                                                                                                      George Jones bp 4.1.1848 St. Mary, Chester  6                                                                                                                                                                                             m 1871 Chester to Emma Bithell 


It should be noted that they did not always baptise their children as they were born. They seemed to play catch-up at various times.  Some churches charged a fee for baptisms and it would have made sense for some poorer families to sometimes baptise 2 or 3 at once.  

At the time of the 1841 census, they were living at Handbridge, Chester; John a hawker and not born in county. next door is a David Jones, also a hawker aged 65 and Mary aged 55 and next door again a Robert Jones aged 65, a labourer and Mary aged 55 with a probable son Richard aged 20 2.  This leads me to believe they are part of the same family – but whose? John’s or Mary’s??   At the time of the 1851 census they were living at Handbridge Rock with many of the family described as Earthenware dealers including Mary’s brother James 2.   I could not find the older children; William, Rachel or John in the 1851 census.  However, I did find a marriage for Rachel Jones to John Holmes (son of John Holmes and Charlotte Hughes) on 25th April, 1847 at Witton-cum-Twambrook (now part of Northwich). Rachel’s father John as well as John Holmes and his father, John Holmes are all Hawkers.  The children of John and Rachel can be seen on the Jones and Hughes family tree. 

At the time of the 1861 census, Mary is widowed and living at Lower Bridge Street, Chester with two of her youngest children; Mary Ann and David 2.  I cannot find George, although he does appear in 1881 and 1891, an Earthenware Hawker married to Emma Blithell.  I am not sure what happened to John but Mary appears to have died in 1869 living at Northgate Street, Chester and was buried on 28th June at St. Bridget, Chester? 6

I already had seen a reference to the name Holmes on the Evans family history. A Mary Ann Holmes was a witness at the wedding of William Evans to Ellen Jones and a William Holmes, a hawker was living with William and Ellen at the time of the 1861 census in Flintshire. My first theory is that William Holmes aged 49 in 1861 was William Evans’ step father.  In the census he is described as Step-son which is of course impossible but they may have meant it the other way around.  There is a marriage between William Holmes and Mary Ann Evans that took place in Delamere on 7th September, 1835 3.  But I have no idea who that Mary Ann is – being before 1837, I cannot confirm the father of either of the parties.  Neither does it say whether they are bachelor, spinster or widow so I cannot be sure if she was the widow of Robert Evans! 


       Marriage of William Holmes and Mary Ann Evans in 1835 at Delamere (Findmypast)3


Note the witnesses are George and Jane Holmes.  Here, I can go back to the John Holmes that married Rachel Jones. When I looked at possible births for John, son of John, I found a John baptised at Bangor-Is-Coed in 1825, son of John and Charlotte, no occupation but then a brother George baptised in 1816, John a shopkeeper.  There are also three baptisms for John, Mary and James all on 18th June, 1826 at Delamere 3.  Other probable children include James born 1810 and William in Penley 1814 (this fits with William born about 1812 at Overton on the 1861 census).  At the time of the 1851 census, John, Charlotte and George are all living in Mold, Flintshire; hawkers of earthenware . George is married to Jane and they have a daughter Mary Ann born in 1837 2 . These would be the witnesses at William’s marriage (although technically they did not marry until the following year). 

Having found them all in the 1851 census, it is weird that I cannot find any of them in 1841. And I have searched ancestry, familysearch, find my past and UK census online (the latter shows up occupations in the search results which is extremely useful).  It is important to note that there are some pieces missing from the 1841 census and these represent whole or parts of parishes and hamlets where John and Charlotte plus their sons may have been living. Sadly these include areas in Cheshire, Denbighshire and Flintshire including Mold MC where they were living at the time of the 1851 census. This also probably explains why I cannot find William and Mary Ann which is a shame as that would confirm more about them. 

Joining all this together, I know have a fairly good picture of the Holmes family.  John Holmes was born about 1787 in Chester, a mug man at his marriage. Like John Jones, he had many titles including, Mug man, shopkeeper, hawker and hawker of Earthenware.  He married Charlotte Hughes (born about 1784 at West Kirby) on 26th September, 1808 at St Oswald, Chester 3 , 6.  They had the following children: 

James Holmes b Helsby, bp 15.11.1810 Frodsham 3 , 6                                                                                                                                                                            William Holmes b Overton, bp 15.5.1814 Penley, Flint 6 
                                                        m 6.9.1835 at Delamere to Mary Ann Evans                                                                                                                                                              d 1876 Holywell                                                                                                                                                                George Holmes bp 18.8.1816 Bangor-Is-Coed, Flintshire  6                                                                                                                                                                       m 26.9.1836 Delamere to Jane Jones 3
John Jones bp 29.5.1825  Bangor-Is-Coed, Flintshire  6  
John Jones bp 18.6.1826 Delamere 3                                                                                                                                                                                                       m 24.5.1847 Witton-cum-Twambrooks to Rachel Jones  3                                                                                                 
Mary Holmes
bp 18.6.1826 Delamere 3                                                                                                                                                             James Holmes bp 18.6.1826 Delamere 3


I can find no burials for a James or John – it is possible (as I have known others experience it) that they are same children baptised more than once!

I have no idea what happened to John Holmes senior. Charlotte appears to have died in 1866 and was buried on 16th February at Hope, Flint aged 82. 3

Sadly there are huge parts of the 1861 census around Mold also missing, so this explains why I cannot find any of the family at this time MC





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1 Birth, marriage or death certificate

2 Census Returns from ancestry.co.uk, including the 1939 Register

3 Parish Record collection from Findfmypast

4 ancestry public member tree submission by ymmoore

5 FreeBMD

6 England, Cheshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1598-1900, index, FamilySearch 

7 St. Paul’s Birkenhead registers

8 Will of Charles Ralph peers 1907

9 Bebington Cemetery burial Lookups from Bebington Reference Library

10 Emails from Kenneth Walklett and Yvonne Chambers, 2013

11 Cheshire Parish Register Project (cprdb)

12 Baptisms, marriages, burials from ancestry.co.uk


MC Missing 1841 census Pieces



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