Thomas Evans

Thomas Evans was born on 5 Apr 1826 and was baptized four days later in St Peter’s Collegiate Church Wolverhampton. He was the second son of Richard Evans and Mary Shaw-Hellier.

He married Sarah Amelia Agard, a governness from Manchester on 14 Jun 1855. The 1851 census shows she was working for the Thompson family at Barnhurst. However after the marriage Thomas started by renting the same property and commenced farming. They had six children, all of whom were born at Barnhurst. Commercially Thomas appears to have been inept and he was not able to make a living.

Thomas Evans (probably)

By about 1875 the marriage was under strain and at some point in the late 1870’s Thomas fled for Australia – perhaps to find his brother Charles. The censuses indicate a marked decline in financial prosperity from 1861 to 1871. His wife Sarah descended into what was described as a ‘religious melancholy’. The failure of Thomas to “do his duty” was a cause of considerable torment within the Evans family and particularly to Thomas’s ageing mother Mary, who died in 1878.

We know that Henry and Sarah strongly dispproved of Thomas’s behaviour but certainly some of the other brothers notably William were more sympathetic. William indeed was sending money out to Australia after 1900 and tried to track him down as late as 1910, by which time we can assume he was dead.

The reprobation shown to Thomas was certainly not matched by any support for the beleaguered Sarah. By the 1891 census she is recorded as a ‘lunatic’ in an institution in Warrington. It can only be speculated as to whether this condition was the cause or effect of the domestic break up.

Thomas’s abandoned family undoubtedly struggled without their father but this perhaps was particularly character forming for some of them. The family moved north to Cheshire where Sarah had been born and appear to have eked out a living by needlework and tailoring. However the solidarity of the family in this adversity meant that each of the children were able to forge independent business careers, most notably Ernest who founded a travel business in Switzerland.

The further fortunes of the Agard Evans are well recorded by the direct descendants.

Family of Thomas EVANS and Sarah Amelia AGARD

Husband:Thomas EVANS (1826-aft1910)
Wife:Sarah Amelia AGARD (1828-1893)
Children:Ernest Agard EVANS (1858-1924)
Herbert EVANS (1858-bef1860)
Thomas Henry Agard EVANS (bap.1860, d.1916)
Fanny Agard EVANS (1862- )
Jessie Agard EVANS (1864- )
Charles Arthur Agard EVANS (1865-1930)
Marriage14 Jun 1855Manchester Cathedral
Divorcebtw 1872 and 1879Thomas abandons family and goes to Australia

Husband: Thomas EVANS

Name:Thomas EVANS
Father:Richard EVANS (1797-1859)
Mother:Mary SHAW-HELLIER (1801-1878)
Birth5 Apr 1826Wolverhampton
Baptism9 Apr 1826 (age 0)St Peters Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton
Occupation1861 (age 34-35)Maltster and Farmer; Gunstone
Occupation1871 (age 44-45)Retired Farmer
Emigrationc. 1875 (age 48-49)from Leaves family and goes to Australia
Deathaft 1910 (age 83-84)Australia

Wife: Sarah Amelia AGARD

Name:Sarah Amelia AGARD
Father:William Stringer AGARD ( – )
Birth28 Jun 1828Manchester
Baptism24 Jul 1828 (age 0)Grosvenor Street Independent Chapel, Manchester
Occupation1851 (age 22-23)Governess in Thompson Family,; Barnhurst, Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Census1891 (age 62-63)1891 – Noted as lunatic – described by family as “deep religious melancholia”
Death10 Aug 1893 (age 65)Warrington, Cheshire

Child 1: Ernest Agard EVANS

Name:Ernest Agard EVANS
Spouse:Jean Playfair Gow GREGOR (1872-1956)
Birth19 Mar 1858Barnhurst, Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Baptism16 Apr 1858 (age 0)Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Emigration1895 (age 36-37)from Dresden
Emigration1899 (age 40-41)from Laussanne Switzerland
Death16 Sep 1924 (age 66)Laussanne, Switzerland

Child 2: Herbert EVANS

Name:Herbert EVANS
Birth19 Mar 1858Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Deathbef 1860 (age 1-2)

Child 3: Thomas Henry Agard EVANS

Name:Thomas Henry Agard EVANS
Spouse:Cecile (Lily) BENZENGRE (1862- )
Baptism8 Jun 1860Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Death12 Mar 1916Petrograd, Russia

Child 4: Fanny Agard EVANS

Name:Fanny Agard EVANS
Birth7 Aug 1862

Child 5: Jessie Agard EVANS

Name:Jessie Agard EVANS
Spouse:William Edward COLEGRAVE (1859- )
Birth20 Feb 1864Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Baptism15 Apr 1864 (age 0)Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Occupation1891 (age 26-27)-; Language Teacher

Child 6: Charles Arthur Agard EVANS

Name:Charles Arthur Agard EVANS
Spouse:Margaret SIMPSON (1867-1944)
Birth20 Aug 1865Tettenhall, Staffordshire
Baptism15 Sep 1865 (age 0)
Death2 Feb 1930 (age 64)Birmingham
Last updated on 2 October 2017 by JJ Morgan