WILLIAMS Thomas (A76)
One day, walking through the Churchyard, a flat stone poked through the turf. Giving it a little nudge, a gravestone emerged below the turf. This gravestone had been buried for many years and there was no mention of it on the 1993 Churchyard map. The Raglan Primary School History Detectives uncovered the gravestone. In all they found three stones - all belonging to the WILLIAMS family - Including the oldest stone in the Churchyard.
The gravestones for this family appear to be a collapsed table top tomb. It is believed that this, and many other gravestones, would have been moved or lost when the Lady Chapel was added to the Church in the late 1860's. Indeed, one of the reasons for the Church renovation was that the graveyard was full and needed to be expanded. Sections D-F of the Churchyard were opened at that time. Today, we are facing the same problems in that the Churchyard is closed to new graves and a new graveyard was consecrated a few years ago on Monmouth Road.
When you go to the other end of the Church - notice that there are no gravestones (even though the Churchyard map shows that some are there). These gravestones have become overgrown and it is too dangerous at present to uncover them, due to the instability of the roof tiles above.
- (A76)WILLIAM, Mary. 17?8 F - Here lieth the body of MARY the daughter of THOMAS and MARY WILLIAMS of this arise who departed this life Jan the 16th 1684, aged 3yr & 6 months. God took me in my infancy for fear of future misery. The Lord of Heaven he thought be to take me to a place of rest P1040826/27
- (A76)Here also lyeth the Body of THOMAS WILLIAMS of this Parish who departed this life Jan the 6 day of July 1708, aged 55 years. Husband and father he was beloved both far and near. Neighbour just in all his ways deserves this worldly praise P1040809
- (76a) Benjamin WILLIAMS who departed this life May 12, 1861, age 68. Here lies the child of Christ and from the grave his coming hope to live a joyful rising. Farewell in Christ (partial inscription) P1050732
- (A76b)In memory of BENJAMIN WILLIAMS of the Parish who died June 13 1808, aged 55 years. Farewell dear wife my life is past. My love for you so long did pass. And now for me no sorrow take but love my child for my sake P1050731
The epitaphs are lovely - but they tell us very little about this family. We have been able to identify four names on this set of gravestones.
- Mary, daughter of Thomas and Mary WILLIAMS,
- Thomas WILLIAMS b.1653 - d.1708
- Benjamin WILLIAMS, b. 1791 - d.1861
- Benjamin WILLIAMS, b. 1753 - d.1808.
Thomas WILLIAMS (b.1653 - d.1708) was born nearly 10 years after the Siege of Raglan Castle in 1646. These were turbulent times and records are difficult to find. From the gravestones we know that he was married to Mary WILLIAMS and they had one child, Mary, who died in infancy.
Benjamin WILLIAMS (b.1753 - d.1808) may have been the grandson of Thomas and Jane WILLIAMS. Benjamin WILLIAMS was a farmer at the Warrage and at Bettws (UK Land Tax Redemption, 1798, Ragland, Mon, England, pp. 146-149) He made a bond in 1808 1808: Bond, Benjamin WILLIAMS, (LL1808-127 - National Library of Wales)
Benjamin WILLIAMS, d. 1861 may be the son or grandson of Benjamin WILLIAMS. They provide confirmation that Benjamin WIllIAMS owned and occupied Cross Lace Farm in the parish of Raglan(Raglan Tithe Map, 1841 no. 113). The 1841 Census records show Cross Lace, Farm House and premises - Benjamin Williams, 50, farmer, one ag lab (John Howell 53 ag lab), three servants (Joseph Lewis 29 m.s. William Williams, 16 m.s., Sarah Roberts 28 f.s). Benjamin WILLIAMS (along with William Williams and George Pritchard) to Paul Morgan (W&T 664, GB0218 W&T_1.pdf)
RAGLAN CENSUS RECORDS
CROSS LACE FARM:
- 1851 - Ann NORMAN, Head, age 33, b. 1818, farmer, Peterchurch, Here.
- 1861 - William BAYLIS, Head, m. age 38, b. 1823, Raglan, Mon. farmer 35 acres
- 1871 - John WILLIAMS, Head, age m. 42, b. 1829, Llantrissent, Mon, farmer of 33 acres
- 1881 - William PHILLIPS, head, age 56, b. 1825, Llangorse, Mon. farmer of 140 acres
- 1891 - William PHILLIPS, head, s, age 65, b. 1826, Llangovan, Mon, Farmer
- 1901 - George THOMAS, H, M. age 20, m. b. 1881, Herefordshire, Farmer
- 1911 - George THOMAS, H. M. age 40, m. b. 1871, Hereford, Farming
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