Select Evans Surname Genealogy

The surname Evans is a patronymic (son of) name from Ieuan or Evan, the Welsh form of John.  There were several early references to Iuean in Welsh history, starting with St. Ieuan in the 6th century.   The Welsh construction ap Evan has yielded the surname Bevan.

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Wales.  Evans as a surname dated from the early 1500's.  The first reference was to a John Yevans in the 1533 Monmouth records.  Its early adoption, in place of the old Welsh patronymic forms, often occurred with those who had English contact.

Evan yr Halen (Evan the salt) was a 16th century salt merchant and one of the richest men in Glamorgan at the time.  His grandson David Evans was High Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1563.  Thomas Evans built his home at the Gnoll estate in the Neath valley in 1666.  Related Evans became coalmine owners at nearby Eaglebush in the 19th century.

The Evans name has appeared mainly in south Wales.  Other early examples were:
  • Richard ap Humphrey of Llanaelhaearn, also known as Richard Evans, who was High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1625.  Later Evans of this family were recorded at Henblas in Anglesey.
  • Euan ap Gruffydd of Penywenallt in Cardiganshire, also known as Evan Griffith Evans, who was a Royalist officer during the Civil War and spent some time in Cardigan prison.  A descendant was the 18th century cleric and historian Theophilus Evans.
  • the Evans at Acheth in Carmarthenshire who date from about 1630.  This family built their Highmead estate in 1777 and became the Davies-Evans.
  • and an Evans family that was active in Noncormist Baptist circles in Breconshire from the 1650's.  Later Evans were based in Bristol, including Dr. Caleb Evans who championed the American cause against John Wesley in the 1770's.
Evans were farmers around Llanddeusant on the Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire from the early 1700ís to the late 1900ís.  The first of this family was Rees Evan, born in 1691 and a yeoman farmer.  The surname had become Evans with the birth of Evan Evans a hundred years later.

David Evans, the son of Evan David, was born in Llantrisant, Glamorgan in 1757.  His descendants for many generations were farmers and local brewers.  Later Evans became silk merchants in London and Sir David Evans made it to be Lord Mayor of London in 1891.

.  By the 19th century, Evans remained very much a Welsh surname.  However, there had been some spillover into English counties, in particular into Shropshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire. 
An early example was John Evans, born in Wales and a Shrewsbury alderman, bailiff and MP in the 1540ís and 1550ís. 

Thomas Evans of Darley in Derbyshire was a prominent early industrialist.  His son Walter built a cotton mill in the village in 1783 and the family - who were to own Alliestree Hall - became local gentry and MP's.

Ireland.  Evans came to Ireland in the 17th century.  Most were to be found in Ulster.  Colonel George Evans from Carmarthenshire arrived in county Cork at this time.  Thomas Evans came into possession of Milltown Castle there in the early 1700ís.  His son Eyre married a Limerick heiress and moved to that county.  Eyreís eldest son Eyre invested in a local Limerick bank which failed in 1820.

  Welsh immigrants, many of them Quakers, headed for Pennsylvania where there was religious toleration. 
The four Evans sons of Evan Robert Lewis from Merionethshire were Quakers who founded in 1698 the Welsh tract near Philadelphia which they called Gwynedd

Evans at Gwynedd included: 

  • Evan Evans who proselyted for the Anglican church there.  Oliver Evans, his grandson, was an American inventor and industrialist in Philadelphia.  In the early 1800ís he pioneered an automated grist mill for flour and a prototype for a steam engine.
  • and Owen Evans, born there in 1699.  His descendants later moved to South Carolina and then to the Quaker community of Waynesville, Ohio.  From there came Jason Evans, a Cincinnati pork packer and banker, and John Evans, Governor of Colorado territory in 1862. 
Canada.  James Evans was a seafarer from Hull in Yorkshire who decided to emigrate to Canada with his family in 1821.  They settled in Grenville, Ontario.  His son James became a Methodist minister, working with the Hudson Bay Company at their remote Norway House north of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba.  In this work he learnt the local Indian languages and was able to put them into print. 

Another Evans family was also of English extraction, but originating from Ireland.  Francis Evans from Westmeath came to Ireland around 1830 and was a Protestant minister in southern Ontario, near Simcoe.  His son Thomas followed his fatherís vocation, but in the small village of Tadoussac along the St. Lawrence river in Quebec

.  There was an Evans family among the first Welsh colonists to Patagonia on the Mimosa in 1865.  Daniel Evans, aged three at the time of the voyage, helped establish a new Welsh colony at the foot of the Andes in 1891 and lived on there until 1943

Select Evans Miscellany.

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

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Theophilus Evans was the fiirst historian of the Welsh, with his book Mirror The First Age written in Welsh in 1716.
John Evans was the Welsh explorer who produced an early map of the Missouri river.
Mary Ann Evans was the Victorian author of novels such as The Mill on the Floss, who wrote under the name of George Eliot.
Godfrey Evans played for the English cricket team as wicketkeeper during the 1940's and 1950's.
Bill Evans
was one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century.
Harold Evans was a well-known British journalist and newspaper editor.

Select Evans Today
  • 232,000 in the UK (most numerous in Swansea)
  • 128,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 94,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)
Evans is the #7 ranked surname in the UK.

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Adams Ellis Johnson O'Connor
Allen Evans Jones O'Sullivan Shaw
Anderson Fisher
Kelly Parker Simpson
Bailey Foster Kennedy Perry Smith
Baker Fox King Peterson Stevens
Barnes Fraser 
Lee Phillips Stewart
Bell Graham Lewis Powell Taylor
Bennett Gray Marshall Price Thomas
Brown Green Martin Reed
Griffiths Mason      
Reynolds Turner
Campbell Hall McDonald Richards
Carter Hamilton Miller  Richardson Walsh
Chapman Harris Mitchell Roberts Ward
Clark Harrison
Moore Robertson Watson
Collins Henderson Morgan Robinson White
Cook Hill Morris Rogers Williams
Cooper Howard Murphy Ross Wilson
Cox Hughes Murray Russell Wood
Davis Jackson Nelson Ryan Wright
Edwards James O'Brien 

For other surnames check the surnames2 page where there are to be found the history and genealogy for more than 800 surnames.

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