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Radnorshire Vipond's were they?

The family story is that John Thomas changed his name from John Vipond. John's father is claimed to be Thomas Vipond. This could suggest that the Welsh patronymic system was used.  Probably the first recording of this change from John's surname of Vipond, would happen when he got married in 1787. At this date the only recordings were in the parish register, unlike when William Thomas married for the second time in 1838 in Carmarthenshire and his father's name is recoded on the marriage certificate as Thomas Vipond
Much of this information comes from William Bowen Hamer, who married my great aunt Blanche in 1900[?]. He was a clerk to a solicitor in Rhayader and in his note book has the genealogies for many  family's from the Rhayader area. This is a good starting point. My father went to see his cousin Violet Vaughan William's daughter at Sutton St Nicolas over 40 years ago. See photo of his notes below. I can think of no reason for Bowen Hamer to make this storey up and take it at face value.


THOMAS of LLANFADOG and TREHESLOG Parish of Cwmdauddwr.
John Thomas and Ann Edwards both of Rhayader married in Rhayader Church by banns July 20th 1787 by Thomas Edwards, Clerk, in the presence of Hugh Davies, David Morgan, and Edward Davies. John Thomas a marksman and Ann Edwards signed her name.
Averina daughter of John and Ann Thomas baptised April 28th 1788. 
Hugh Son of John and Ann Thomas Born 1790 not married.
Edward Son of John and Ann Thomas  Born 1800 married Debora Edwards. 
Children of Edward and Debora, Ann born 1830 at Nantmadog. Edward Born 1832, David Born 1835,  at Cwm Coel, [now submerged] Margaret Born 1838, Elizabeth born 1845 and John born 1848 at Treheslog.

What do we know about John Vipond? Not a lot! Other than he became a “Thomas”

According to his will he was a Blacksmith, he died on the 28th October 1823. Aged 65. Which conveniently puts him aged 5 when Morgan Jones, his grandfather made his will in 1763 in Cardiganshire.

In John’s will he mentions two son’s Hugh and Edward but nothing of Averina. This is interesting. He appeared to live in Rhayader but was buried in Cwmteuddwr and his residence is given as Bwlch Issa Nantmel in the Parish Register for his death. However there is a simple explanation, Averina his daughter married to Evan Jones, lived in Nantmel and John Jones blacksmith was born at Berthably in 1815, which is next to the Bwlch Issa So as neither Hugh or Edward were married it is lightly that he convalesced with his only daughter. But nothing left to her in his will!  See below.

  John Thomas’s Will dated 15th October 1823.

In the name of God amen, I, John Thomas Blacksmith of the Borough of Rhayader in the County of Radnor being sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manor and form following. As touching such worldly estate where with it doth pleased God to bless me in this life, I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manor and form, first I give and bequeath unto my son Edward Thomas the sum of three hundred pounds being now in the hands of Mr Peter Jones of Llwynderew [by Bonds] in the parish of Abergwesin in the County of Brecon. Also I give devise and bequeath unto my son Hugh Thomas the house where I reside in the borough of Rhayader called by the name of Sun Dial or by whatsoever name it aught or should be called and to his heirs for ever. Also I give devise and bequeath unto my son Hugh Thomas all that meadow called and known by the name of  Waunrhydhir ***** in the parish of Nantmel in the County of Radnor and to his heirs for ever. Also I give and bequeath unto my son Hugh Thomas all the said residue and reminder of my personal Bills Bounds and   demands whatsoever not here before bequeathed also I nominate and appoint my son Hugh Thomas to be the sole executer of this my last will and testament satisfying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament in ******* wher I have set my hand and seal this fifteenth day of October eighteen hundred and twenty three.

                                                                        John Thomas by Mark and seal.

Signed Sealed published and

disclosed by the said John Thomas

as his last will and testament in

the presence of us the subscribers,

Evan Powell, Clerk,

William Jones.

Morgan Jones.  

Effect’s sworn under £450.

Proved by Hugh Thomas 16th April 1824

Waunrhydhir was a meadow close to town where the industrial estate is now. It was left to Hugh who never married and left it to Edward Thomas of Llanfadog whence it followed the Sherington branch of the Thomas family.

I often wondered why John Thomas had lent Peter Jones of Llywnderw £300 in 1823 or before. Well if you need to know anything about the Elan Valley ask John Jones of Lower Llanfadog and yes he knew!!!! Well of the connection to Rhayader.

Peter Jones married Elizabeth Lewis-Lloyd a daughter of Nantgwilt. I suppose a humble blacksmith who was left £5 in 1763 by his Grandfather Morgan Jones had worked hard and become a money lender to the Landed Gentry!!!   See link below which will take you to the Radnor Society Pages Vol 29  1996-1997. "A gentleman of the  name Jones".




A gentleman of the name of Jones, Peter Jones.

So if as I believe, John Thomas was born John Vipond in 1758, his father being Thomas Vipond, his mother, Mary daughter of Morgan and Averina Jones from the Cwmystwyth area, how did he end up in Rhayader when most of the other Viponds ended up lead mining in Carmarthenshire North of Llandovery?

If you read Morgan Jones will [Cardiganshire page] you may come the conclusion that Thomas Vipond was a dubious character. Perhaps most of the Vipond’s in Wales at this time were a bit dubious!!! I haven’t done a Montgomeryshire page as they were only there for about 10 years.  One entry in the Parish Register 1736 sums it all up, “Joseph Vipond bastard son of Joseph Vipond and Catherin Humphries”. Poor Catherin was probably abandoned when the ore ran out and the Viponds skipped it to Cardiganshire.

 With a name like Vipond, to find two Joseph Vipond’s one a junior on a lease of a lead mine dated 1753 [see Cardiganshire pages] called Pen-y-wern-hir near the Village of Pontrhydfendigaid, surely they are the ones aforementioned, Joseph junior 17 years of age? Neither of these Viponds could sign their name. However a Thomas Vipond appears on the lease with an educated hand, it must be very possible that this Thomas Vipond married Mary Jones as it is all in the same parish. Again the ore ran out and the Viponds now skipped it to Llanfair Ar Y Bryn Carmarthenshire. However I think Thomas Vipond went and left the family with Morgan Jones. Burials in Strata Florida of a Mary Voypound a Pauper aged 80 in 1813 probably Thomas Vipond’s wife and in 1827 Mary Vipont aged 63, although the age does not quite fit as she would have been born in 1764 and Morgans will dated 1763, but what of a few years, I have seen ages differ by 10 years of three censuses!!! This certainly suggests that Mary and her daughter Mary and John, did not go with their father. What of Luce I do not know.

Worth noting despite what is written in Morgan Jones will Mary Vipond and her daughter appear to have lost the property left to them in Morgan Jones will.

 So lets follow John's three Children Starting with Averina.  


Averina Thomas born 1788, Married Evan Jones of Cwmdeuddwr, May 31st 1811 by Licence in Rhayader Church. Witnesses Hugh Thomas Brides Brother, David Edwards [who is this?] and William Jones [Possibly Evans Brother] Elizabeth Born July 5th1811, John [Blacksmith] Born 1815, Berthably Nantmel, Hugh Born 1818, Mary Ann Born 1821 and Edward Born 1824. Last three children all Christened 2nd June 1825.

Was Evan Jones’s father John? Was His Brother William? Did they live at Nant yr haidd Cwmdeuddwr? Did William Jones go the USA? Acording to Bowen Hamer Mary Ann eloped with Crashay Baily!!