Mr. Gelly (Gelly Mayo) John I—
Father: Father John
Gelly John I has 1 child listed here: • Lewis John III
The editor has introduced the entirely fictitious Father John as a putative father for the five Johns documented in the Vicar Thomas Phillipps’ Book (see below) in order to tie them into the main tree. Their real father would probably have been born around 1615. Note also that the connexion between Gelly Mayo and the Gelly Johns is tenuous - read on...
Lewis John III, Feb 21,1675 , son of Gelly and Catherine. Lewis married, ca 1696, Hester, b. Mar 26, 1676, dau. of William and Rose Reece. This is Gelly I, but I am not totally convinced. The dates. until almost 1800, are baptisms rather than births, as these are church records
Lewis III was said to be a fisherman but thereafter, there are many blacksmiths in the family. His son, Gelly III, b.1708, was a smith, as was Matthew, GellyÂ’s son. Matthew had two sons, David. b. 1782, and Richard, b. 1784, both smiths. David John, described by the Dictionary of Welsh Biography as a Unitarian Minister and Chartist, had two sons, Matthew, and David, both smiths, whilst Richard John had a large family including John, his eldest, Matthew and Richard, all three working as smiths. Finally John John moved to the Ivy Bush at Llandebie, where two of his young sons, were working with him as blacksmiths, until 1880, when their father died. This family tradition lasted over five generations, and well over 150 years.
The Johns of Laugharne
At the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, there is a collection of Bishops’ Transcripts dating from the 1680’s, but the earlier sheets are not complete, and often damaged and illegible as well as being partly in Latin. From 1725, the set is almost complete but there are still minor damaged sections. However, for Laugharne, the Carmarthen Record Office has a fine collection of the earliest records, either as original records, film, or even indexed, printed books. The treasure in their collection is a careful copy, apparently made in the middle of the 18th C. of all the baptisms, marriages and burials, in a neat and legible hand “from the self-styled Register”. This remarkable book, which was found in the attic of the vicarage, on a visit in 1972, was in outstanding condition, starting at 1639 in the case of marriages, and slightly later for baptisms and burials. The date of 1639 must be the earliest date for which any reliable record could be expected and, quite by chance, there is a record of the marriage of Lewis John to Ann Harry on October 20, 1639. This document was later presented to the Record Office, and is identified as Vicar Thomas Phillipps’ Book. Vicar Phillips was the incumbent from 1706 to 1748, the date of the last entries. This has now been transcribed and indexed, which makes life easier, though it is still possible to examine the original manuscript.
A long session at the Record Office confirmed the family line, shown in the next section, together with exact dates, which were not formerly noted, back to Lewis John, b. Feb.21, 1675. Lewis married Hester Reece, b.Mar. 26, 1676. There is no record of their marriage, ca 1697, but their eight children are clearly documented. From this time, the normal ‘English’ style is used, with a continuing surname, Unfortunately, before this, the Welsh patronymic nomenclature creates all sorts of difficulties. Though Lewis John is shown as the son of Gelly and Catherine, there is no sign of a Gelly John, but there is a marriage of Gelly Mayo to Catherine Gronow, on Nov 1, 1640. In spite of being assured by the Record Office staff that this was perfectly normal, the gap of 35 years leaves me with serious doubts. I have therefore refrained from stating the exact relationship, before the birth of Lewis in 1675.
Early marriages, connection unproven, Including Gelly I
- Lewis John I = Ann Harry, Oct 16, 1639
- Gelly Mayo = Catherine Gronow, Nov 1, 1640
- Thomas John = Dorothy Morgan, Nov 12, 1666
- David John = Mary Morgan, Jan 18, 1677
- Lewis Richard = Jane Morgan, Nov 19, 1672,
Family from 1685, with recorded details: the dates normally specify baptisms rather than births. All are in the register of Laugharne.
- Lewis John III, b. Feb 21,1675 , son of Gelly and Catherine. married, ca 1696, Hester, b. Mar 26, 1676, dau. of William and Rose Reece
They had a family:
- Catherine, Dec 12 1698
- Susannah Sep 15 1705
- Gelly II Feb 8, 1701 died as infant
- Gelly III, smith, Aug 4, 1708 -1789 = Dinah Hood, m. Oct 2,1739.
- Matthew Nov 11 1702 = Elizabeth Crocker, Nov 9 1728
- John Aug 5, 1711
- Mark (twin) Nov 11 1702
- Hannah May 28, 1714,.
Matthew John and Elizabeth, m. 9 Nov 1728, had a family:
- Mary Sep 12 1729 - 1810 Elizabeth Dec 8, 1735
- Hester Feb 21 1731 Elisha Feb 20. 1737
- Susanna Mar13.1733 - Jul 27 1738 Susanna II Nov 19 1739 - Jan 28 1742
Gelly John III, Smith, and Dinah Hood, m. Oct 2 1739, had a family:
- Elizabeth Jul 3 1741 = William Jeremiah, m. Nov 23 1765 Daniel Nov 28, 1751
- Matthew May 26 1744 = Mary John, Jul 23 1780, by licence Mary Jun 24,. 1753
- David Apr 19 1746 Hannah Oct 8, 1754 = Wm Evan, clothier, m. Nov 8, 1777
- Mark May 27 1748 Lewis V Mar 26, 1759 = Betty Jardine, m. Apr 18,1786.
- Gelly IV Nov 28 1749 = Elizabeth David, m. Dec 27 1770, died Nov 30 1776.
Matthew John, smith, and Mary, had two sons:
- David, Mar 27 1783, smith of St Clears, married Sarah Russol, b. Kidwelly, in Llangan, Feb1 1806.
- Richard, Mar 14 1784, smith, Laugharne, married Ann Thomas, Jan 21 1812.
Gelly John IV and Elizabeth David had a dau.Charlotte, Oct 1 1771 - 1774, and Charlotte II, Jul 10, 1775. He married a second time, Rachel William, on Jan 29 1788, with family:
- Elizabeth Oct 19 1788
- James Sep 24 1795 - Sep 22 1875, who assumed the name, James Augustus St John
- Gelly died on Jun 23, 1802 and was buried on June 25, aged 52.
- Rachel was buried on Mar 27 1828, aged 65.
Lewis John, smith, of Laugharne, married Betty Jardine at Llandawke, April 18,1786, and had family:
- David Feb 18 1787 Alex Jardiner Oct 15 1796
- Daniel Jones Mar 9 1788 -1812 Gelly VI Oct 13 1798, born Sep 15.
- William Sep 24 1792 Elizabeth Jun 21 1801, born May 29
- Jane Jul 20 1794
This last para. is of a family whose exact relationship to the main tree. is uncertain. It is included because of Gelly VI. A Gelly John appears with Elizabeth. James John's sister, in a police report about those involved in selling revolutionary tracts in London. while James John was temporarily editor of The Republican, a radical paper, while its owner, Thomas Carlyle, was imprisoned for blasphemous sedition. Thomas Carlyle's wife, who was working with James, later took over the paper, and James moved to Plymouth.where he edited another radical paper there.
James' experiences as editor of the Republican did not last long. Its first edition had published a detailed eyewitness account of the Peterloo massacre, when an open meeting, in support of parliamentary reform, was charged by the military, killing nine and wounding five hundred. The circulation is said to have soared and temporarily even exceeded that of the pro-government Times. The authorities took violent action: eight of the paper's staff were imprisoned, in addition to Richard Carlile, and over the next two years, over 150 men and women were imprisoned for selling the paper.
At that time, apparently only three out of one hundred men were eligible to vote. It is very surprising that James survived, and he was dismissed after seven editions, as a result of differences of opinion with the publisher, Mrs Carlile, who had taken over while her husband was in gaol. She was later gaoled.herself.