I thought I'd share with you my very recent experience in ordering the wrong
will from the NLW. There are some interesting aspects to the will I did get,
and perhaps one of you will recognise the names/place.
It is a lengthy tale, you need to concentrate :-)
Firstly, I was trying to track down the death of a ggg grandfather, one
William Jones of Blaenant Uchaf farm, Cadoxton juxta Neath, Gla. He was there
on the 1841 census, gone by 1851.
No burial entry on the Cadoxton PRs between those dates. I still have to
search Cilybebyll PRs which is the adjacent parish and where the chapels are
much nearer than within Cadoxton parish itself.
The only likely Will entry I have found on the Llandaff Probate Index is for a
William Jones in 1855.
So I emailed off for it to NLW, quoted the ref number, said I ONLY wanted it
if he lived/died at Blaenant. They duly wrote back asking for the £5 which I
sent. All of this only took about 10 days, the will arrived this morning. I
was impressed by the NLW's efficiency.
BUT, it isn't my William Jones at all, this man lived at Brynydylus
[Bryndulais], which coincidentally isn't very far from Blaenant farm .
AND at first sight he wasn't even called Jones !
Putting aside my disappointment , and the NLW's apparent oversight of my
address proviso, the will and attached documents are so interesting that I
The will itself is dated 17 March 1843. It says it is the will of William
Davies , farmer
.of Cadoxton. Makes several bequests; his daughters , Barbara
£40, Elizabeth £40 and Mary[says Marry] £40. Also his sister Margaret £3.
All to be paid 12 months after his death.
The residue to go to his son David Davies.
William Davies made his mark.
The witnesses are John Morgan by mark and John Morgan junior.
The next piece of paper is a sworn declaration dated 14 May 1855 by David
" otherwise called and written in the will David Davies the lawful son of the
.was duly sworn
that the goods chattels and credits of the said
deceased are under the value of £200 and that the testator died in the month
of April 1849..the testator not having appointed any executor before me[?]
Signed R Prichard, Surrogate.
The above accompanied his formal request for Letters of Administration of his
With this is a sworn statement by John Morgan the younger , one of the matters
he states is that the will was " written by and in the proper handwriting of
The Reverend James Williams, Independent Minister pursuant to the directions
and instructions given him by the deceased."
Another is " said deceased who appeared perfectly to understand the same
made his mark
.in the presence of this Deponent and of John Morgan senior
the other attesting witness , both of whom were present at the same time and
the said John Morgan senior made his mark and the Deponent signed his name to
the said will".
Then a piece which says;
"Merthyr Tydfil, May 14 1855, the bearer David Jones attends to prove the will
of his father William Davies otherwise Jones. The attestation clause is
defective but W Jones who accompanies the bearer was present & can prove the
due execution of the will"
Then there is a Bond ;
"David Jones of Bryndylus, William Jones of Brynybedd,Bryndylus, and John
Morgan the younger of Ystradgynlais,Brecon
are held and firmly bound unto
the Right Reverend Father in God Alfred by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of
Llandaff in the sum of £400.
Sealed with our Seals dated the fourteenth day of May
..in the eighteenth year
of the Reign of our sovereign Lady Victoria
. and in the Year of our Lord
one thousand and Eight Hundred and fifty five.
The Condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden David
written in the Will" David Davies"
the lawful son and Residual Legatee
in the last will
..of William Jones ..otherwise called and also written
William [Davies] to make a true and perfect inventory of all and singular the
goods chattels and credits of the deceased
..do exhibit in the Registry of the
Consistory Court of Llandaff on or before the last day of November next
well and faithfully administer according to Law
.. then this obligation to be
Right then, the questions that strike me, you may have others, and even some
of the answers ?
Why did David Davies become David Jones between 1843 and 1849 ?
I see he is on the 1851 census Cadoxton , at Bryndulais, as David Jones, aged
52, with his wife Anne and children.
Why did he wait 6 years before seeking Letters of Administration ?
There was apparently no formal lease in his father's estate as one of the
above declarations said so. The will mentions no land at all, odd that David
is still there at Bryndulais in 1851 with it's 90 acres then ? Unless David
owned it and the father only lived there.
It seems the Minister omitted to include a clause appointing an executor,
which invalidated the will, hence the need for the L/A, but still, why the
Anybody come across such a thing before ?
And is it possible that they were called Jones all the time, the Minister
simply getting confused, easily done.........
But a William Davies was buried on 6 April 1849 on the Cadoxton Prs.........no
William Jones that year.
And there are possible bapt entries for three of the four children, not
Barbara, on the Cadoxton Prs under David.
And there are two possible marriages in Cadoxton for David/Anne under
David/Davies, none under Jones. In neither case was she a Jones before
Strikes me as a bit of an unforseeable name change hurdle for anyone
researching this family, unless they found the will of course . Wonder if it's
indexed under Davies as well............