The Evan family is of ancient Welsh descent, tracing back to the Roman invasion, and are mentioned in Roman History. Tradition has it that they were originally of Roman extraction, through some intermarriage with a Roman soldier. Mr. Rowland E. Evans of Philadelphia has prepared an elaborate document on the subject, and traces this family through many generations, back to Mervyn Vrych, King of Man, who was killed in battle with the King of Mercia A. D. 864. Mervyn married Essylt, daughter and sole heiress of Conan Tyndaethwy, King of Wales, who died 818-20. Both Mervyn, and Essylt trace their descent from Lludd, King of Britain, brother of Caswallon the chief who resisted the invasion of Caesar, before the Christian era. (Notes made by Mrs Wm Parker Faulke, dec’d.)
The Welsh descent of this line runs as follows:
I. David Goch of Penllech, who appears as a Leaseholder of crown lands in Carnarvonshire, in the 18th year of the reign of Edward II, and was living Nov 9, 1314. He married Maud d of David Lloyd (who traced descent from Owen Gnynedd, prince of Gnynedd; had issue 3 sons: one of whom,
II. Ieven Goch the Graianoe of Penllech, who appears on the jury to take the extent of Cymytmaen 1352. He had titles to certain lands in that period, and m Eva da of Einion ap Cynvelyn (who traced descent from Bleddyn Prince of Wales) issue two sons, the eldest:
III. Evan Modoc (who it is claimed came to America before Columbus) registered in Cwm Amwich pedigree as “ancestor of the gentleman Ysbitty Evan, in Denbigshire” issue:
IV. Diekws duu, who m Gwen dau of Ievan duu (who traced descent from Maelor Crwn head of the 7th noble tribes of Wales) issue:
V. Einion, who m Morvyd dau of Mtw ap Llowarch, issue:
VI. Howel, who m Mali dau of Llewellyn, issue:
VII. Griffith, who m Gwenllian, dau of Einion ap Eivan Lloyd, issue:
VIII. Lewis, who m Ethli dau of Edward ap Ievan, issue:
IX. Robert, who m Gwrvyl dau of Llewellyn ap David of Llan Rwst, Denbigshire, whose 4th son:
X.—Ievan (known as Evan Robert Lewis) living 1601, removed from Rhiwlas, in Merionothshire to Vron Goch, and died there. He had five sons, all after the Welsh custom taking the name of Evan. as follows: 1 John ap Evan—2 Cadwalader ap Evan—3 Griffith ap Evan—4 Owen ap Evan—5 Evan ap Evan.
Many of this family immigrated to Va, and from that State to Albemarle at a very early date. The earliest known settler in Va was William Evans, who was a subject in the Colony at Jamestown Jan 1609-Nov 1609. (Browns Geneses to America.) Richard Evans age 35 came to America in “Neptune” 1618. He was probably father, or gr-father of the Richard who died in Perq 1693. Wm Evans passenger for Va, in “Primrose” July 1635, under Comd of Capt Douglas. Jo Evans was transported to Va in Thomas & John from Gravesend Eng, Jan 6, 1635. Richard Evans arrived in Va in “Temperance” from Newfoundland 1619 Comd by Lt Gilbert Peppet. Another Richard was trans’ to Accomac Co Va June 25, 1625, by Wm Andrews. Among the living Feb 16, 1623 (after the Indian massacre of Mar 22, 1622) “at Elizabeth Cittye” are to be found the names of the following Evans: Richard, Thomas, William, John, Marke, & George Evans. (Hotten.)
Richard Evans was trans’ to Norfolk Co Va, by Richard Parsons 1639. Capt Evans brought over 100 immigrants to Va 1619. Dr George Hacke trans’ to Northampton Co Va, Row Evans, & Edward Evans, 1652. Peter Knight trans’ William, & Lawrence Evans, to Gloucester Co, Va, July 16, 1652. Thomas Evans arrived in Va, with Wm Jones of Northampton Co, July 24, 1645, and settled on Hungars Creek. (Hotten.) Peter Evans of the Island of Barbados apt’ friend Henry Jones of same, his Att’ to ack’ a “release of land in Isle of Wight Co Va,” “unto Levin Buffkin, John Knowles, & Elizabeth Outland, Inhabitants of Virginia.” 18, 6mo 1664. (Isle of Wight records.)
Phillip Evans of Plymouth, Mercht made an assignment of goods, in Warrick Crick Bay, Dec 20, 1667. (Isle of Wight records.)
Benjamin Evans, & Faith his wife, of Charles City Co Va, deeded land in Isle of Wight Co, to Thomas Sharp of Surry Co, 365a on Nottoway River. June 12, 1724. (Great Book Isle of Wight Co.)
Abraham Evans with wife Elizabeth was living in Surry Co Va, July 7, 1685. He died about this time, & she Executed his Estate.
William Evans had grt for land in Isle of Wight Co, 100a, 1713. (Land book 7-.)
Benjamin Evans had grt for land in Isle of Wight Co, 375a, 1713. (Land book 7-.)
Benjamin Evans had grt for land, 300a in Prince George Co Va, 1705.
Peter Evans immigrated to Va 1650, with the Woolard family, and settled in Northumberland Co, bringing with him wife Elizabeth, and children: Peter (2) John, & Richard, and one dau Sarah. His will was p in Richmond Co 1706, naming the same children, & wife. It is thought that his son Peter moved to Hertford Co N. C. He sold to Charles Merritt, “½ of 600a upon Deep Creek, up Chowanoak River” (Chowan) Mar 16, 1707. (This land was in Hertford Co.) His descendants will be treated later.
John Ewens (Evans) was grt 460a “on Appamattocks” called Bristoll, adj Wm Sanders Nov 10, 1642. He received another grt 50a in Nansemond Co, Oct 28, 1672, formerly granted to Wm Ward.
John Evans, of Sittingbourne Par, Rapp Co Va, will p Jan 29, 1682, names sons: John, & William (not of age) father-in-law William Veale, brother Martin Johnson, God-dau Margaret Ward (d of Bryant Ward) wife Elizabeth.
John Evans was grt 400a in Albemarle, Dec 29, 1718, adj John Jordan Jr. He very probably migrated to Perq Precinct, with the Jordans, who came from Isle of Wight Co. John Jordan Sr m Ruselak Elett (Elliott) Aug 10, 1690. He is thought to be a son of Richard Jordan of Isle of Wight Co Va. A deed was made by him of 50a to “my son and dau John Evans, & Jean his wife,” on Ducking Stool Branch, July 15, 1717. He became a Quaker in Nansemond Co, 8, 11mo 1709.
John Evans, who resided in Chowan County will p Jan 15, 1739, names sons: John (to whom he left “plan’ whereon I now live”) Thomas, & Benjamin, dau’s Jane, Mary & Rachel Evans, wife Jane. Wit’ by John Evans (son) & Charles Jordan (Probably bro-in-law). John, & Benjamin Evans were both of age before 1718.
Thomas Evans, probably brother of John (1) appeared in Perq simultaneously, & m Dorothy —, issue: William, b Jan 9, 1689. His will p in Chowan Co Nov 2, 1732, names son: Thomas (2), dau’s Alice Williamson, Sarah Broney, & Elizabeth Walker, wife Ellener. (Thomas, & John Evans may have been sons of Thomas & Ann of Essex Co Va.) Thomas (2) Thomas (1) moved to Tyrrell Co, where his will was p June 1745. In this will his mother “Elener Evans” is named. According to this will he had no male descendants.
Richard Evans was grt 240a of land in Perq Precinct 1684, on N. E. side of Perq River, near Castletons Creek. His will p in Albemarle, Oct 2, 1693 names sons: Jonathan, & Richard, dau’s Rabakah, & Ann, wife Elizabeth, who m 2d Jeames Old Sept 11, 1694. Elizabeth Evens was a headright of John Lee, who received a grt for land in Nansemond Co Va, on E side of Summerton Creek, April 3, 1694. The name “Eivens” according to the old Welsh spelling was used by Richard in his will 1693. He “Departed this Life” May 20, 1693. As no mention of a birth date is given in Berkeley Par Reg, for the three eldest children, we are led to believe they were born in Va, before moving to N. C. Ann (d of Richard Evans, & wife Elizabeth) was b Nov 4, 1685—2 Sarah, b Aug 30, 1693. She being born three months after his death is not named in his will, but her mother in a deed in Perq made provision for her, equal with the others. (See Deeds in this book) Richard, second son of Richard (1) moved to Beaufort Co N. C. (His will, Grimes.)
Jonathan Evans (1) Richard (1) m Mary Luten (d of Thomas, of Chowan Co). His land was situated on the S. W. side of Perq River, adj a place called “Dawsons” (600a) which he sold to Isaac Wilson, Sept 3, 1707. He was grt 141a in Perq, Nov 22, 1714 in the fork of Castletons Creek. He bought 275a from Thomas Harvey, & Elizabeth his wife, on S. W. Side of Perq River, adj Henry Clayton, Elizabeth French, & John Pettiver. Elizabeth French is thought to be his mother, (her 3d husband being Richard French). Court was held at her house in Perq, for a number of years. Court was also held at the house of Jonathan Evans, seemingly the same place. Jonathan Evans certainly had one son William, who is named in his mothers will p in Perq Mar 7, 1723, and other records show that they had two dau’s: Mary, m Thomas Burket before Oct 15, 1752, and Elizabeth, who m Thomas Houghton of Chowan Co, before Apl 18, 1743, at which time her father was dec’d.
Thomas Luten of Chowan Co, deeded to his dau Mary Evans, 200a of land in said Co, called “Sandy Point” 1718. She had granted to her 300a in Perq Co, by Lords Proprietors, on Little River, adj Capt John Hecklefield, and her son William was living on said land Jan 4, 1723, to Jan 20, 1728/9. He conveyed this land to John Stepney, Nov 5, 1729 “land patented by my mother Mary Evans April 20, 1719,” on Little River, adj William Godfrey. Another deed was made by him of 225a, to Col Richard Sanderson, adj land of Col Hecklefield dec’d. Jonathan & Mary (Luten) Evans, had besides son William, certainly one dau Sarah, b Feb 26, 1717/8. (Berkeley Par Reg.) According to these deeds the Evans land lay near the mouth of Little River, around the town of same name, on South west side of the River.
It is an unfortunate fact that neither Jonathan, or William Evans his son made wills in Perq, therefore their descendants are vague, and uncertain. The early persons of this name in Perq, adhered to the Quaker faith, but after a few years they are found with wives of other denominations, and in this way lost caste with the Quaker Church. It is thought, but not proven, that there was at an early date an intermarriage of some Evans with a Harvey lady, or a descendant of some Harvey line, as the name of Miles, and Harvey continued as a given name in the Evans family for many generations. This connection probably came down from Miles Harvey, as both those names figure in the line of Evans, who went west, even to the present day.
As both Jonathan, & William Evans are not available for descent, we have to depend on Peter Evans of Bertie Co for our next move downwards. It seems very certain that his descendants came over to Perq, and from them a straight line can be traced. Peter Evans of Bertie, lived near Ahoskie, and sold to William Evans (probably our own William, son of Jonathan) 100a of land on Catawaske Swamp, Hertford Co, April 19, 1715, and also deeded 235a to his son Robert, on So side of Petty Shore (same Co) on same date. Robert Evans with consent of wife Ann, sold 100a on West Shore, to John Wood, “whereon I now live” Mar 19, 1719. He later assigned 640a on South side of Ahosky Swamp, to Peter Parker, Oct 16, 1720. Ann Evans appears as Admix of her dec’d husband Robert Evans, May 1745. Her son Robert, inherited land in Perq, from John Perrisho, and it is probable that he moved to Perq, to take possession of this property. His will, p in Perq Jan 1758, names sons: John, Robert, and dau’s: Sarah Griffin, Elizabeth, & Mary Evans, gr-children: Demsey, Aaron, Robert, & Huldah Blanchard.—His inventory, Jan 7, 1758. Robert Evans Ex. This proves that his son Robert was over 21 years of age at this time.
Robert Evans Sr appears on Tax list of Seth Sumner, 1765 with 425a of land in Perq Co. Thomas, John, Joseph, & William Evans on same list, one poll. John Evans had 116a, Joseph 370a, & Thomas 116a in Piney Woods District, 1791.
The division of Robert Evans (3) in Perq Co, May 1797. Heirs: Miriam Pearson, Sarah Woolard, Mary Lacey, and sons: John, William & Benjamin. To each £56, 17s 10½p.
Peter Evans of Bertie Co m Sarah Wynn (d of —) m 2d Rose —.
Evans, John (1) Robert (3) Robert (2) Robert (1) m Mariah Forbush, June 9, 1771. He m 2d Miriam Forbes, June 7, 1772 (untraced). One son John (Jack).
Evans, Joseph, (parents uncertain) m Elizabeth Woolard, and his will p in Perq, May 1727, is authority for his children: Wife Elizabeth, son Phineas, dau’s: Margaret Moore, Rachel Jessop, Mary Whitehead, Jemima, Annie, Elizabeth, and Minerva Evans. Nathan, & Exum White Exrs.
Evans, Thomas, (parents uncertain) will Perq p Aug 1825, names son Chalkey, dau’s: Rhoda, Elizabeth, Mourning Evans, John Clary, & P. Evans Exrs.
Evans, Chalkey (1) Thomas (1) will p in Perq. May 1832. Wife Jemima, dau Margaret. Josiah Bagley and Joshua Jessop Exrs.
Evans, Mary (d of Robert) (3) had sons: Miles, & Evan Lacey.
Evans, Benjamin (1) Robert (3) Robert (2) Robert (1) m Miriam Davis, May 24, 1802, m 2d Rebecca Willard of Perq Co, issue: 1 Charles, m Minerva Grant—2 Margaret, d young—3 Patsy, m Henry Buckner—5 Exum (Axum) m Elizabeth Parks, of York, Ill, 1826—5 William, m — Wilhoit—6 Joseph, m Elmira — —7 Nancy, m William Buckner—8 Abigail, m — Bardell—9 Elizabeth, m Sam Prevo, State Rep—10 Rebecca, m Wm Bishop of Kanwakee, Ill—11 Rev Nixon Evans, m Minerva Bartlett of York, Ill—12 William, m Jane Baliff—13 Miles, m Betty Willard—14 Anna, d young—15 Pegga, m Miles Huckabell—16 Martha, d young.
Benjamin Evans m 2d Hannah Lamb (widow Moore) issue: 17 Noah, m Sarah Alberta—18 Mary—19 Malinda, m Col Allen Buckner (s of William Sr) 20 Hannah Ellen, m John Gaynor—21 Robert, d young—22 Silas—23 Henry—24 Sarah Ann.
Thirteen of the first children were born in Hertford, N. C.
Exum (4th son of Benjamin) moved to York, Ill, about 1816 with his family. In 1831 he moved to Plainfield, Ill, where he plyed his trade as a miller, and it is thought he sawed the lumber for the first frame building erected in Chicago. His sons: Milton Harvey, Charles Wesley, and dau’s: Sally, Cynthia, Ann, Minerva, & Matilda, the last two twins, were all born in the west.
Harvey Evans (s of Exum, & Elizabeth Parks) had issue: William, Walter A. Evans, Milton Harvey Jr, M. D. (surgeon of Joplin, Mo) Ira Elsworth, and dau’s: Mary Ellen, Sarah Adeline, Eunice, m — Lockwood, & Carrie Hall, m — Pike.
(I am indebted to Dr. M. H. Evans of Joplin, Mo, for the data of Evans in his line who moved west to Illinois.)
Source: History of Perquimans County by Ellen Goode Rawlings Winslow, (1931).