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
The Welsh construction ap Evan has yielded the surname Bevan.

Evans Resources on

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

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
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
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
  • 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
  • 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
1700’s to
the late 1900’s. The first of this
family was Rees
, 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

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

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.

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
1700’s. His son Eyre married a Limerick
heiress and moved to that county. Eyre’s
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
The four
Evans sons
of Evan Robert Lewis from Merionethshire were Quakers
who founded in 1698 the Welsh tract near Philadelphia which they called

Evans at Gwynedd included:

  • Evan Evans who proselyted for
    the Anglican church there. Oliver Evans,
    his grandson, was an American inventor and industrialist in
    In the early 1800’s he pioneered an automated grist mill for flour and
    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

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
Protestant minister in southern Ontario, near Simcoe.
His son Thomas followed his father’s
vocation, but in the small village of Tadoussac along the St. Lawrence
river in

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

Evans Miscellany

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

Evans Names

was the fiirst historian of the Welsh, with his book Mirror The First Age written in
Welsh in 1716.
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.
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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