I have been in contact with Shirley, the present owner of Saron Cottages, which has now been converted into a single property. She has an Indenture dated 1834 in which William Lewis leaves to Susanna his wife the property. The witnesses of this document are Noah and Martha Price and Thomas Lewis (possibly his son).
Donna Hamilton has also sent me a copy of an original document, dated April 1827, In which Thomas and James Lewis are requesting permission from the Bishop of Llandaff to build a Chapel for worship.
There is also a document in 1831 which states Thomas Lewis is occupying a building called Saron, and has land by the chapel which is valued at 15 shillings.
On the 1840 electoral register Thomas Lewis owns freehold land near canal bridge no.84.
The tithe of 1841 says Thomas Lewis has a cottage and garden holding 34 perches. The census of the same date says Thomas is 40, a tailor, he is married to Elizabeth who is 35, their children are Thomas 15 and Daniel 5.
This wonderful photo of Thomas Lewis was sent to me by Donna Hamilton.
I have nothing to add until the census of 1851 when Thomas is 51, he was born in Breconshire, Elizabeth, his wife, is now a straw bonnet maker, born in Goytrey, as are their children, Daniel now 14 and daughter Mary who is 8.
I have done a little research on the children, firstly Thomas in 1851 had become a British schoolmaster, he is married to Jane and is living in Llangadock, Carmarthenshire. He died in 1859 aged 33 and was buried at Saron Chapel churchyard.
Daniel married a lady called Eliza, he also moved away and died in July 1908. His will says he left £2,954 14s between his wife and two sons, George Daniel, a schoolmaster and Ernest Albert, a provision merchant. The photograph is Daniel with his wife Eliza.
Mary married Josiah Lewis and they lived at Dan-y-graig.
In 1858 Thomas Lewis becomes an overseer of the poor for the parish.
Lewis Edmund, the local builder, said in his diary that on Friday June 8th 1860 he was at Thomas Lewis the taylor (his spelling) but didn’t say what work he was doing.
The land tax of 1867/8 says Thomas Lewis owns 2 cottage and gardens and that they are in his own occupation.
On the census of 1871 Thomas is now 71, still a tailor, Elizabeth is 66, living with them is Elizabeth Lewis, widow, she is classed as a lodger, is an annuitant and was born in Goytrey.
The following year, 1872, Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas, dies aged 67, she is buried at Saron Chapel churchyard.
The census of 1881 finds Thomas a widower, he is living alone at Saron. Thomas died in January 1888 whilst at Yew Tree Farm, he was also buried at Saron Chapel churchyard. He leaves the sum of £458 9s 8d to his son Dan, provision dealer of Basford Villa, Basford.
The updated tithe of 1888 gives Josiah Lewis of Dan-y-graig as the owner of Saron Cottages, Josiah is the son-in-law of Thomas, I have tried to find a family connection but it seems it is just a coincidence that he married the daughter of Thomas and have the same surname.
In 1891 the occupier is now John Evans, he is 32, a wheelwright born in Panteg, his wife Minnie is 29, she was born in Brislington, Bristol, their children are Annie 6, Harry 4, and one year old Ivor, all born in Goytrey.
According to the census of 1901 Saron is now three properties, but I doubt this is correct, I suspect the listing of Henry Jenkins, Baptist minister as a separate entry at No.2, this should have been entered with the family living there. John Evans is still living at No.1 at that time along with his family, Harry is now 14 and a railway porter.
The census of 1911 calls the property, Saron House, it has 4 rooms, this is obviously the larger property and I now know it is No. 1. John Evans and Minnie are still in occupation, they have been married for 27 years, have four children, all are living.
John and Minnie remain at Saron on the electoral register until 1923, then William Thomas remains there until 1927, followed by Wilfred and Violet Simons. By 1935 Reginald and Grace Kate Cornish are in residence.
The last electoral register before the war gives Elizabeth and Daniel Mills, Daniel was born in 1874, he is bricklayer journeyman, Elizabeth was born in 1883, their sons, living with them are Daniel born in 1914, he is a builders general labourer and Reece, 22, who is a plasterer’s charge hand.
On the 1945/7 electoral register Daniel Mills is living at No. 1 Saron cottages on his own.
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