History associated with the Vawer family

Side Shoots

Jean Woodward

IGI records contain references to several people in early mediaeval times with the suffix 'Vawr'. There are Gwaethvoed, Gwerystan Vawr, and Einion Vawr, amongst others, but having read their pedigrees I'm not at all certain that these belonged to our Vawer family. It may be that Vawr was used just as a descriptive term. Vawr or Vawer used as a surname for our line would not have occurred before about 1420, certainly not before 1400 and one assumes that all bearing that surname would have been descended from Hywel 'Fawr' ap Rhys of Gilfach Wen, Llandysul, b. about 1400, or, I suppose, from his possible brothers, if any.

There are records of Vawrs (not our direct line) in the later 15th century in various places in Wales, the most numerous being from Carmarthen, which is only about 20 miles south of Llandysul, and probably are related. They may well be descendants of the younger sons, if any, of Hywel ' Fawr', (bc 1400), of Gilfach-Wen, Llandysul.

The following comes from the Cambrian Register, Volume 111, NYPL Research Libraries - 3 3433 07136797 Printed in London in 1818 and in the Astor Library, New York (Author Rev. Thomas Beynon). The relevant chapter is entitled A Calendar of the Mayors, Bailiffs and High Sheriffs of the Corporation of Carmarthen from the year of our Lord 1400. [This information was researched by John Copley, whose wife is a Vawer descendent.]

The first years of these records contain very English- sounding names; Christian + surname. The names, curiously, become progressively more Welsh. The Vawr records are:
p.249 John Lewis and Richard Vawr, Bailiffs in 1481 in the reign of Edward IV
p.249 Richard Vaur (sic) and Richard and John Ostler, Bailiffs in 1483 in the reign of Edward V and Richard III.
p.250 Richard Vaur and David John ap Ievan, Bailiffs in 1489 in the reign of Henry VII
p.250 Lewis Vawr and John Phillip, Bailiffs in 1496 in the reign of Henry VII.

It looks as if Richard could have been the grandson of the first 'Fawr', Hywel, born in about 1400. Richard may have been 30ish when he became a Bailiff, so born in 1451 ish. Lewis could have been a brother, or even a son. These do not figure on the pedigrees we have, but were undoubtedly younger son(s?) who moved from Gilfach Wen when the eldest son ' took over'. There is a record of one William Vaure, who in 1456, was renting some land near Cardiff, at Leckworth. Information again researched by John Copley from British History Online, Manorial records; Ministers' account of the Lordship of Leckworth, Cardiff records Volume 2, Author John Hobson Mattews ( editor) in 1900.

Pages 60 - 67 - Minister's Account of the Lordship of Leckworth, 1456
Sale of the Herbage of meadows. For the herbage of half an acre of meadow formerly of Robert Wilcoke he is nothing charged here, because (it is) to rent in the new Rental. Nor for one acre of meadow in Westewhitnoke he is nothing charged here, because it is rented to John Mascolde as appears in the new Rental. Nor for one acre in Cowmede formerly of William Davy he answers nothing here, because it was rented to William Vaure as appears in the said new Rental, and now demised unto William Cowpre with his whole tenure.

Another younger son of Hywel 'Fawr'? Cardiff Records, Volume 1, Chapter II MINISTERS ACCOUNTS, 1263- 1550
The Ministers' Accounts are financial statements sent up to the Crown from the persons appointed to manage estates which had come into the King's hands on the death of the Lord without heir male, or under certain other circumstances. English and Welsh words employed by the Latin scribes are here exactly reproduced. The original spelling of patronymics and place-names is preserved throughout this work. The information is in 5 columns: Column 1 :- surname Column 2 :- christian names Column 3 :- page number of Record in the Chapter Column 4 :- year of Record Column 5 :- short description VAWER Thomas 230 1542/3 4d for 2a . ( This means that in 1542/3 one Thomas Vawer bought 2 acres for four pence. A descendant of the William Vaure above?)

In Merion in the Welsh Tract, with sketches of the townships of Haverford and Radnor, much of which is a genealogy, there is a record on page 159 of one Philip Vawr whose daughter married Ralph ap Jenkin. This was probably some time in the 15th century, because the son of said Ralph was living in 1520. So his grandfather, Philip, must have been one of the earliest to bear Vawr as a surname, in Haverford. He could well have been contemporary with Rhys 'Fawr' ap Hywel. A brother? Was he the earliest Haverford Vawr?? Rhys ' Fawr' married Angharad ferch Jenkin. Same Jenkin? Philip's daughter (no name) could have married the brother of her aunt-by-marriage??

IGI records for Pembroke, record the following in Haverfordwest 'Mr Vawre' b.c. 1528 married 'Mrs Vawre' (b.c.1532) in 1559 Their son Thomas, b.c. 1560 married Johan (i.e. Joan) Smith (b.c. 1564) in 1591 Thomas and Johan then had Joane, b.c.1592, Ann, b.c. 1594 and Jenckin, b.c. 1596 Thomas's parents - the Mr and Mrs Vawre, could very well have been the brother and sister-in-law of Jenkin (bc 1530, the father of William - mayor), of whose siblings we have no record. William had a brother called Thomas but I doubt that Mr Vawre and Mrs Vawre, above, were William's parents because they were not married, according to the records above, until William was at least 11 years old - maybe older. William's father was the first generation to be born in Haverfordwest .

Home Page