Friday, February 22, 2008

Pugh Family History

My grandparents' wedding in Calcutta in 1904. Archie Pugh is standing at Nina's left shoulder and her father, Sir Arundel Tagg Arundel, next to him. Others present include 'Puff-Puff' (in the middle next to Archie) and Eyelyn and his wife - fearsome Aunt Norie.

Pugh - PUGH - Originating from the Welsh AP "son of" Hugh which has subsequently been contracted. The first name Hugh came to Britain with the Norman forces of William the Conqueror. The 2nd Norman Earl of Chester was Hugh D'Avranches aka Hugh "Lupus".

Lovegrove & Abermad Estates

This is a whole new chapter on its own. A search for Loves Grove on the internet has thrown up a whole range of websites. I’ll include immediately below an extract regarding the Pugh Evans family of Lovesgrove (as the family there is known).

“In 1843, Lovesgrove, in the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, Cardiganshire, was bought for £7,500 by John Evans (1804-1874), a prosperous lime merchant who owned a shop in Commerce House, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Lewis Pugh of Abermad, Llanychaearn, Cardiganshire, adding his wife's surname to his own, the family becoming Pugh Evans. John and Elizabeth's second son, Lewis Pugh Evans (1837-1908) inherited Abermad following the death of his bachelor uncle, on condition that he took the surname of Pugh. Their third son, Sir Griffith Humphrey Pugh Evans (1840-1902) inherited Lovesgrove and built a mansion there in 1883. In 1873, he married Emelia Savi, daughter of Sir James Hills of Bengal. Sir Griffith Humphrey Pugh Evans was succeeded by his son, Brigadier Lewis Pugh Evans (1881-1962), who fought in the Boer War and World War I. He was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1917.”

My start point is Auntie Beryl’s pencilled note that an unidentified daughter (of Humphrey Pugh of Penycraig) married Evans of Abermaide. I have spent some considerable time trying to tease out the options, and can offer the following possible scenario (with the usual health warning!).

Given our earlier (and, it now seems, probably mistaken) association of Lewis Pugh and his son, David Pugh, with Loves Grove, I tried to establish a possible link there. However, the generational dates just don’t match up.

John Evans was born in 1804, and his second son, Lewis, in 1837. Our Lewis Pugh of Loves Grove, who was a grandson of Humphrey Pugh, was born in 1816, so there is no way he could be the Lewis Pugh of Abermad referred to in the above extract, as he is clearly of the same generation as John Evans. Equally, if a daughter of our family married John Evans, from either Abermad or Lovesgrove, she could not generationally have been a daughter of Humphrey Pugh.

So there is a clear disparity between the two records. Pause for thought….. There is one other possible option that could be drawn from Auntie Beryl’s information.

On the far end of Humphrey Pugh’s tree is another son, Lewis Pugh, noted by us as “of Aberystwyth”, as related to Auntie Beryl. Allowing for memory distortions by the story tellers of the time, and given the close geographical proximity of both Abermad and Loves Grove to Aberystwyth (or possibly surmising that what was relayed as Aberystwyth was actually Abermad), I suggest that this may have been conceivably the same person.

In other words, the Pugh Evans reference to Lewis Pugh of Abermad is to our Lewis Pugh of Aberystwyth, son of Humphrey Pugh.

(I’m making this up as I go along, but please bear with me.) Our record of Lewis of Aberystwyth shows him as a son of Humphrey Pugh (ie in the right generation for the Pugh Evans account), with a son, Lewis, marrying Elizabeth Evan, and having three children, Evan G, John and Lewis. Forget the son and his family, I don’t think they figure, and it’s just unfortunate that the same names keep swanning around in this complex overlap area.

Let’s assume for the moment that Lewis of Aberystwyth (Lewis of Abermad, if my theory is correct) had a daughter (Elizabeth), whom we’ve never previously identified. Then all the rest begins to fall into place. I’ll rest my case there for the moment.

Let’s come back to the Pugh Evans account. From Diana’s further searches, Lewis Pugh Evans, second son of John and Elizabeth Pugh Evans, went to Corpus Christi College, Oxford 1855-59. BA 1859, MA 1862. Barrister at law at Lincolns Inn 1862. Assumed the surname of Pugh by royal licence in 1868. Was subsequently an MP from 1880 to 1885.

David Pugh Jones Evans (!) (?), fourth son of John Evans of Lovesgrove (is this the same John (Pugh) Evans?), also attended Corpus Christi College 1860-64. BA 1864, MA 1867. Rector of Trefonen, Salop, 1874-78, vicar of Carmarthen 1878-85, and of Lampeter Velfrey 1885.

Griffith Humphrey Pugh Evans, recorded separately as fourth son (cf the above extract showing him as third son) of John (Pugh) Evans of Aberystwyth, attended Lincoln College, Oxford 1858-62. BA 1862, MA 1872. JP, DL, barrister at law at Lincolns Inn 1867. Became a member of the Legislative Council of India.

I have transcribed separately an article on Sir Griffith’s second son, Brigadier Lewis Pugh Evans (1881-1962), who had a distinguished military career after attending Eton College. His awards included the VC and DSO and Bar.

Finally, I include another extract on the estate at Abermad:

“A Lewis Pugh bought the Abermad estate in 1852, having made a vast fortune from the Copa Hill mine in Cwm Ystwyth. He died in 1868, leaving his estate to his nephew, Lewis Pugh Evans (1837-1908) of Lovesgrove, on the condition that he changed his surname to Pugh. The re-named Lewis Pugh Pugh, who was at various times an MP and Attorney General to the Government of India, had the house at Cymerau, up behind Glandyfi, built in 1905. His son was Major Herbert Owain Pugh (b. 1874), and his grandson was Major-General Lewis Pugh. The Major-General retired to Cymerau from the Army in 1961, lived in the house and developed its gardens until 1978, and died in 1981. A stained glass window in Eglwysfach church commemorates members of the Pugh family of Voelas and Cymerau. The property has now been converted into self-catering holiday accommodation.”

Talk about changing surnames back and forth! No wonder our job is a difficult one!

1 comment:

  1. This is all quite interesting.I descend from
    Ellis Pugh(1656-1718).His descendants came to
    America.Thomas Pugh(1685-1723),was born in
    Dolgelly and died in Pennsylvania,U.S.A.
    I believe Ellis was a son of John apHugh and
    Martha Caimet.Is there in fact a connection
    with my Pugh family and this one ? Will some
    one please contact me and let me know ?
    My e-mail address is: