52 Ancestors – Who is Uncle Ran?

This week’s theme is Curious and the person that has provoked the most head scratching is Uncle Ran, not so much about his vital statistics rather than how he fits in with the family, if he fits in at all.

My Mum used to talk fondly of summer holidays spent at Uncle Ran and Auntie Annie’s farm, New House Farm, Little Dewchurch, just south of Hereford.. Sadly no longer there, it was accessed across two fields and had no electricity or running water. Mum remembers big feather beds and roaming the country singing the theme from Davy Crockett! Uncle Ran was described as being rosy cheeked with one tooth and “legs that wouldn’t stop a pig”. Ran and Annie had a daughter called Dorothy who apparently had moved away after her parents death.

We discovered that Uncle Ran’s name was in fact William Randall Davies. This seemed to fit in as my maternal great grandmother was a Davies. After finding his gravestone in the tiny church at Bolstone, accessed through a farmyard and over a gate, we found out that Auntie Annie was in fact a Violet Annie and also their birth and death dates. Uncle Ran had died in St Mary’s Hospital (which is just up the road from where I live now) of dementia in 1968. Having a rough birth date was a godsend as you can imagine how many William R Davies’ there are in Herefordshire and surrounding areas. He was born in 1890 in Llowes, which is just outside of Hay on Wye, to William and Agnes Davies. However his father was born in Talgarth and had no connection with “my” Davies family. Similarly, his mother was also born in Llowes and I have no connections there.

I thought then perhaps that Auntie Annie was the connection but finding their marriage was a nightmare. I tried tracking down Dorothy’s birth to get a mother’s maiden name but without a firm date of birth you’d be surprised at how many Dorothy Davies’ were born in Herefordshire in the 1920s. Eventually I found her birth and her parents marriage. William Randall Davies married Violet Annie Pugh in the December quarter of 1925 in the Pontypridd district. There are no Pughs on my tree and the only connection with Pontypridd is through my 2 x great Uncle Garnett Griffiths who moved there in the 1910s.

So I am left with a number of questions:

What is their connection with my family? Are they friends of the family and if so, how did they meet as they don’t seem to have connection with Hereford City and my family has no obvious connection with Llowes or Little Dewchurch.

What made Uncle Ran and his family move to Little Dewchurch? The 1921 census shows Ran still living at home with his mum and sisters in the Mill at Llowes and as Little Dewchurch is about 30 miles away, it doesn’t seem like a natural move.

It is one of the cases where I might never know the answer but will keep chipping away until the Eureka moment hits!

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