William Hamer 1870 - 1960

William Hamer was born on the 15th February 1870 at Oerley (Oerle), Trefeglwys.  There was no father registered on his birth certificate although we do know that David Hamer was his father.  His mother Sarah Evans registered his birth on the 19th March 1870.  William’s mother and father married on the 18th March 1871.

The 1891 census list William as a “Farm boy” and as single.  That page is all in Welsh and Welsh is given as the language spoken.

William Hamer married Sarah Jones on the 13th November 1896, at the Peniel C.M. Chapel Carno by the Reverend Dr. Griffith Parry by Licence.  William aged 26, then a Farmer and living at Rhosyrhaidd Carno.  Sarah aged 24 with no profession and living then at Minffordd Carno, she was the third daughter of Richard Jones Builder.  David Hamer and Annie Jones were witnesses.

By the 1901 census, William and Sarah had moved to Oswestry in Shropshire and they had two children.  Sarah Edith born c1898 at Carno and Margaret Ann, my grandmother, born on the 6th November 1899.  The family lived at 17 Victoria Street, Oswestry and William then a Cattle Dealer, own account.  Source: RG13/2545  

William and Sarah had eight children together four daughters and four sons.  I have already mentioned Sarah and Margaret and believe the family knew these two as Edith and Maggie.  Agnes Mary was born Qtr. 2 1902, Gladys Hannah, September 1903, William Franklyn, Qtr. 2 1906, David Meredith December 1908, Richard Maldwyn born 28th January 1912 and John Charles 1914. 

From the obituary shown on this page in the bottom right hand column William and Sarah were amongst the principal mourners of his mother’s death in May 1927.   

William and Sarah celebrated their Golden Wedding on the 13th November 1946 a short announcement appeared on the 13th November in the Border Counties Advertizer.  On the 20th November 1946, an article and photograph appeared in the Advertizer giving details of their parents, date and place of their marriage.  The article gave brief details of William’s occupation and hobbies, listed all their children, and stated that they had twelve grandchildren.  My dad being one of those grandchildren.  The photograph that appeared in the paper is shown below.

William was well known as a cattle and sheep dealer at Oswestry and Welshpool markets.  During WW1 from 1914 – 1918 he became a special constable at Oswestry.  He was an active member of Oswald Road Presbyterian Church where he taught Sunday school.  For twelve years prior to his death, he was an Elder at that church.  His interests were bible reading and gardening.  In an article printed in the Oswestry Advertizer on 17th February 1960 to celebrate his 90th birthday, William stated that he had read the Bible right through three times.  To his children William was known as ‘Dada’.

I remember little about William, to me he was always the little man in the background with the Trilby hat.  He obviously was not a big part of my life and I do not remember my dad talking about him very much.  My mum and other members of the Hamer family have indicated that he liked a drink and had an eye for the ladies.  Although he and Sarah celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary it has been said that he was not always nice to Sarah.

Sarah was involved with activities at Seion Welsh Presbyterian Church of which she was a member up until the time of her death.  She was also a member of Oswestry Welsh Society and identified herself with the Temperance movement and missionary work for the church.

Sarah died before I was born, and I don’t ever remember my Dad or Nan talking about her.

William & Sarah's Children

William and Sarah’s children

Sarah Edith Hamer born 1897 at Trefeglwys and married John Ogwen Reese known as Ogwen in 1924.  From the article dated 20th November 1946 in the Advertizer Sarah and John where living at Ty Harmon, Carno.  My family called her Edith but, on her gravestone, she was listed as Sarah.  John died on the 14th February 1987 at 1 Trem-y-noddfa Carno aged 92.  Sarah died on the 27th November 1991 aged 94 on her gravestone she was described as late of 1 Trem-y-noddfa but did not die there.  Both Sarah and John are buried in the same grave at Carno Church. Source: BMD Vol 11b, page 139. 

At this time, I am aware that they had three daughters, one son and there is at least one living grandson.

I have just been sent the most delightful email by Sarah’s grandson, Richard it is so informative that I am enclosing the details here.

“As promised, here are some details about my Grandmother – Sarah Edith.  I was brought up by my grandparents and we lived at Ty Hamon in Cwm Cledan (the Cledan Valley) about a mile from Carno village.  It was an old stone smallholding in the hills with two cows, about 30 sheep, a pig and lots of chickens. 

It was a very hard life for her as it was subsistence farming and from Monday to Friday, she had to look after everything during the day whilst my grandfather worked as a shop salesman at D R Davies (ironmongers and farm implements) in Newtown.

Before moving to Ty Hamon (the house of Hamon) they had lived higher up the valley at Blaen y Cwm (Head of the Valley), a grimmer old farmhouse up on the Carno Moors, where they had brought up their four daughters and a son. 

Sarah E was a devout chapelgoer at the Peniel Methodist Chapel (Capel y Bont – Chapel on the Bridge) in the village, and sincerely believed she would go straight to heaven when she died.  As self-sufficient as possible, she preserved home-grown fruit and vegetables and wasted nothing, (sheep’s wool scraps rescued from thorn bushes would be pushed into the toes of our shoes to keep shape, and socks would be darned until the original heel no longer existed).  Not an eccentricity – an essential procedure as money was scarce for us in those days.

In 1960, we moved down to the village to a two-bedroom council bungalow where life improved for her.  In a few years, she and John Ogwen were pensioners and I left home in 1965.  They both remained quite active, taking part in the local Senior Citizens Club and going on countless bus excursions.  She deservedly enjoyed the last years of her life until J.O. died.  Sarah stayed at Trem-y-noddfa for about a year and then moved to live with one of her daughters in Shrewsbury.

Sarah was looking forward to the company of her sister Gladys who was living in Roft St, but fate struck a cruel blow when Gladys suddenly died.  By this time Sarah’s arthritis had worsened but she was still mobile until she fell and broke her hip.  She then needed 24-hour care and moved into a home where she eventually died at Shrewsbury.

Margaret Ann Hamer was known as Maggie, she was my grandmother was born 6th November 1899, at 17 Victoria Road Oswestry.  Details of Maggie you will find under the Harris Family. Source: BMD Vol 6a, page 681


Sarah Edith Hamer aged 18


My thanks to Richard for the above photograph

Agnes Mary Hamer, born 1902, at Oswestry and she married Herbert Beddow known as Bert in Qtr. 4 1924.  Herbert was born about 1902.  From the article in the Advertizer dated 20th November 1946 to celebrate her mum and dad’s Golden Wedding Agnes and Bert where living at Oakfield Montgomery. Source: BMD Vol 6a

Gladys Hannah Hamer was born 1903 and never married.  For many years she was Manageress at Woolworths.  She was my sister’s godmother.  I remember Gladys as being full of fun and for several years when I was a child, she held New Year’s parties for all her nieces and nephews at 51 Roft Street.  As far as I can remember she had a large farmhouse cellar like kitchen.  There would be lots of food and lots of party games like musical chairs and blind man’s buff.  Although most of us children have lost touch now and moved on and away at the time to me it gave a great sense of family and belonging.  Gladys and her brother David lived at Roft Street probably until he died.  They also looked after William and Sarah until their deaths.  As far as I am aware Gladys moved into a smaller place at this time, I do not have the details.  Source: BMD Vol 6a, page 700

William Franklyn Hamer born 1906 Qtr.: Apr/May/Jun Source: BMD Vol 6a, page 688. No further details.

Auntie Glady's Parties


I have been given copies of three wonderful photographs that show me and my cousins at my Auntie Gladys’s New Year’s Parties, held in Roft Street, Oswestry.  Although a little grainy they clearly show us as children being brought together once a year as family. 

The 1st photograph on the left shows at the back Roy, Norman, John on the right hand side sitting on the settle from left to right Susan, Elizabeth, me, Steven, Judith and on the chair in the front of the photograph my sister.  The settle us children are sitting on up until 2013 was still in the family.



The 2nd photograph top right photograph shows back row, John, Susan, Elizabeth, me opening the present, Christine and Julie.



The 3rd photograph bottom right of Auntie Gladys unfortunately we cannot see her face with Barry sitting directly underneath her.  The other lady looks very much like my Nan, but it could be one of her sisters. Judith in front, Steven next to her and Norman and John back row.


My thanks to Christine, who I met again in the summer of 2007.  I had not seen Christine for 40 plus years it was lovely to have a chat and she sent me these lovely photographs.

As a matter of interest, the ‘Settle’ that we girls are sitting on is still in the family and is owned by Christine.