i remain very grateful to mrs glenys hookham_ also of powys pfhs

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					Jerman of Llanidloes – Part 2

The first part of this article concentrated on the direct Jerman ancestors of my
grandmother, Mrs Mary Enid Jones (née Jerman) of Llanidloes. I discovered that my
Jermans came from the same farming stock that all the mid-Wales Jermans seem to,
and I ended the last article considering the life of my GGG grandfather, Maurice Jerman
(1815-1902) of Bedw Farm, near Oakley Park, Llanidloes.

Thus far, my research had been original and had used primary sources such as the
1851 and 1881 censuses, and inspection of the Birth, Marriage and Death registers in
London. I also got a lot of help in the early days from the POWYS-L mailing list run by
Rootsweb and must thank Mrs Margaret Harvey for doing some crucial early census
look-ups for me. However, as time passed, I was getting worried about having to find
material that was pre-census and pre-1837 registration, and although I had begun to
delve into the on-line International Genealogical Index (IGI), I was wary of accepting its
(tempting) results at face-value. This was when I sent letters of introduction to various
members of Powys FHS and Montgomeryshire Genealogical Society. I received replies
from most of them and I would again like to thank any of these kind people now reading
this article. However, above all, Mrs Glenys Hookham of Oxfordshire provided me with
what I can only describe as gold-dust – four or five very detailed, hand-written family
trees summarising what were obviously years of work for her – and this done in a pre-
Internet era. At this point, my own very small branch line connected straight into the
bustling main lines of Jerman lineages rail-roading their way through centuries of
occupancy of this small part of mid-Wales.


This photograph, taken from the road high above Llyn Clwedog, looks towards Van (Van terrace
can be seen centre right) with Llyn y Fan in the centre. This land was amongst the first farmed by
the Jermans. Photo by author, August 2002.

It is easy to show relationships between most if not all Jermans in this area because the
name is unusual. There are several theories about the origin of the name.
german in the fullest sense of relationship, not half-brother etc.

germanus (latin) genuine (of same parents) cf Old French germain

Germanus of related peoples of central and N. Europe, name perhaps given by Celts to their

(all quotations from Oxford English Dictionary)

We must here consider St Germain. Of French origin – and hence the eponymous
Parisian boulevard and football team - he was also known in Wales as St. Garmon and
here a possible point of confusion arises: it is possible that the Germain name entered
Wales immediately after his recorded presence in the country in the sixth century.
However, it is equally conceivable that the Germain variant - present throughout
Continental Europe - did not come until much later to Wales, although possibly deriving
from the same source.

Although the Jerman/Jarman name is regarded as an "old" Montgomeryshire name, it is
not one of the "old" Welsh names, nor can it appear to be readily derivable from such
through the ancient Welsh patrynomic system. Some sources suggest that it was
present in the locality in at least the sixteenth century, the first recorded examples so far
being identified in the Trefeglwys area. I am grateful, for example, for Michael Gibbon’s
contribution in the last Croncil, mentioning a 1632 deposition containing the name of
Giles Jarman, aged 90. There are also various documents referring to local Jermans in
the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

Montgomeryshire had attracted migrants from earliest times through easy access up the
Severn and Wye valleys: Romans, Saxons and Normans all found their way into the
county at some point. However, set against these general migration flows can be found
isolated examples of re-settlement of particular groups. Murray Chapman has, for
example, a well-known study concerning the implantation in the 16th century by Robert
Dudley, Earl of Leicester, of groups of people from Derbyshire. My theory is that the
Jerman name came with a group of similar migrants to this area, but the likely origin
being Flemish. Roberts and Owen ("The Story of Montgomeryshire, Cardiff, 1916)
consider that the "Flemish element" in Montgomeryshire is represented by "Hamers,
Woosnams, Jarmans, Ingrams, Bebbs, Ryders, Jarretts &c."

An early mention of Flemish in-migration is through Henry I's settlement of Flemings in
Pembrokeshire in the twelth century. The extract below considers this:

"The surname Jarman, German, Jerman, is said to have its origin with a small group of
people sent by Henry 1 of England to Wales in the year 1107 "to civilize the Welsh
people by arts of peace." These Flemish colonists spoke low German, and because of
their language the Welsh people called them "Germans." No doubt their identity was all
but lost in the ensuing 550 years before any of them sailed for an American harbor. They
were indeed peace-loving people as they came to America as members of the Society of
Friends. Among the early Welsh Quaker immigrants were John and Margaret Jerman,
who came from Langerig [Llangurig], Montgomeryshire, Wales, in 1683, and settled in
Chester County, Pennsylvania. An Edward Jerman was prominent among the Welsh
Quakers in the Philadelphia area as early as 1703 or before. It is on the Eastern shore
that the Quakers are first found in Virginia. They were there as early as1656-7, and they
settled first in Accomac County due to its sparse population and remote location from the
seat of the government across the Bay at Jamestown."

Later, however, Roberts and Owen mention the implantation of a further Flemish
element, "There is evidence of the code of laws compiled by Howell Dda that the making
of woolen fabrics was a well-developed industry in Wales as far back as a thousand
years ago (i.e. c.1000) In the Middle Ages, the industry was further developed after the
coming of the Flemings. In 1331, Edward III introduced seventy families of Flemish
weavers into this country, and during the succeeding hundred years several others
reached our shores. Many of them settled in Wales and their coming resulted in a great
improvement in the making of cloths...Thus Llanbrynmair, where dwelt several
descendants of Flemish weavers, became a flourishing centre of the woolen industry"

There is also evidence that at the end of the seventeenth century, groups of French
protestant refugees came over to escape persecution following Edict of Nantes - many
any of these made their homes in Montgomeryshire and Breconshire; again they were
involved in weaving, and some may have carried the "Germain" name or variant.

Elsewhere in the UK, concentrations of the name are found in areas of Somerset and
Devon. There were certainly trading links in the Middle Ages across the Bristol Channel
but I have seen no evidence to suggest which way, if any, the name travelled. There are
also concentrations of the name in East Anglia, supporting a theory of Flemish origin
through trade across the North Sea


Time will hopefully allow me to pin down more exactly the arrival of Jermans in
Montgomeryshire, but it has so far helped me to make sense of their origins to follow the
classification suggested to me by Mrs Hookham. She considers that most, if not all of
today’s Jermans can, through the generations, be traced back to one (or more) of three
key locations around which Jerman occupancy has revolved since earliest records.

1. Penclyn

Penclyn farm is situated about 1 mile east of the Llyn Clywedog reservoir. The owner
was Sir Watkyn Williams Wynn, one of the largest landowners in Wales in the eighteenth
century. It is said that he let the farm to one of his servants, named Jerman and the farm
continued in Jerman occupancy for years. A bed belonging to this family was moved
from Cwmdylluan to Tynwaen and it is said that the name of the craftsman and the year
1500 were carved on the wood of the bed (this information was provided to me by Mrs
Jean Jenkins of South Wales).
Upland vista near Llyn Clwyedog showing Penclyn Farm. Photo by author, 2002

On 26 April 1771, David Jerman of Llanwnog married Jane Bennett and they had six
children, one of whom, Thomas, farmed at Penclyn. He was the last of the family to farm
here, as he moved to Van Farm in about 1847 when the Penclyn Lead Mining Company
took the farm from him. The children of David Jerman and Jane Bennett were extremely
prolific and much of the family tree so far discovered goes back to them, and David
Jerman's parents, believed to be a Daniel Jerman and Mary. In his 1989 study,
“Chartism in Llanidloes 1838-1839”, E.R. Morris mentions that a Jerman of Penclyn
Farm was one of many farmers suspected of colluding with the putative insurgents by
lending them a gun from the farm.

2. Pennhyle

A Richard Jerman (parents unknown) married Margaret (possibly Cleaton) in
approximately 1750 and resided at Pennyhle, about half-way between Llanidloes and
Llangurig. An early example of inter-marriage between different Jerman branches took
place in April 1783 through the marriage of their son Thomas to Mary Jerman, daughter
of Daniel Jerman and Martha Meredith of Cae-Iago. Their descendants were again
extremely prolific and established farming families at Dolgenwith, Tyddyn Felinddu,
Croes-llyn and Baily, Llangurig, amongst others.

3. Cae Iago

The line of most direct interest to me starts here. Daniel Jerman (1727-1801) married
Martha Meredith, of Faidre Fawr, on 8 January 1750. They farmed at Cae-Iago, near
Van, and this farm continued to be connected to Jerman families until very recently.

Daniel Jarman and Martha Meredith had at least 11 children, some of whom were
similarly prolific and this couple figure as the key nodal ancestors for many of today’s
Jerman researchers. It has surprised me generally to find that the Jermans seemed to
be a hardy lot: these families and others comprise large numbers of children surviving
infancy into adulthood and while there is evidence of some infant mortality (and a lot of it
might be unrecorded) it has not been as high as I had imagined. Average death ages
also seem to be higher than might, for example, be found in the nascent industrial areas.

It is thus around this couple that I will attempt to consider some of the further
descendancies. Bear in mind, please, that we are now dealing with over 1500
individuals, all connected to one another. From Daniel Jarman and Martha Meredith
came the following key families:

       -   the Glangwden branch – through son Daniel Jarman (1751-1842) and his
           marriages to Elizabeth Stephens and Mary Davies;
       -   a link to the Llangurig, Dolgenwith branch through daughter Mary Jarman
           (1760-1807) and marriage to Thomas Jerman;
       -   a continuing Cae Iago branch through son David Jarman (1764-1845) and
           his marriage to Elizabeth Ashton;
       -   the Llanbrynmair branch – through son John Jarman (1774-1846) and his
           marriage to Ann Ashton; also through son Thomas Jarman (1755-1843) and
           Ann Griffiths;

These are not the only descendancies. I have left out for example daughter Sarah
Jerman’s marriage to Thomas Jones (of Dolbachog and the origins of the Jones,
Tynyrwtra family – see; thanks to Neal Bright), daughter
Anne to Edmund Morgan, Edward Jerman to Catherine Owen, Bridget Jerman to
Thomas Williams (although these come back indirectly, later in this article), Martha
Jerman to John Davies, Richard Jerman to Martha Ashton.

I cannot attempt to consider all these lines here, and indeed many of them are being
actively researched by others. My direct line is through the Glangwden Jarmans and
their son and my 5XGGrandfather Daniel Jarman (1751 – 1842).


4100: DANIEL JARMAN - probably born ca 1720 to 1733 (brother of Sarah
Jarman); died 1798-1801 (will dates); m ... The will of Daniel Jarman,
yeoman of Caeiago, Llanidloes, Wales, dated 8 Sep 1798 (probated 26 Jun
1801), mentions gr-son David Davies (minor), son Daniel Jerman (minor,
trustee), dau Mary (wife of Thomas Jarman), Anne (wife of Edmund Morgan),
son David Jarman (trustee), grandchildren (minors, children of Thomas
Williams & deceased dau Bridget, of Coed Mawr), dau Sarah (wife of Thomas
Jones), son-in-law Thomas Jarman (trustee, of Dole-y-Gwenith), children of
deceased son Edward Jarman (as Edward Jarman, Martha Jarman, Mary
Jarman, Anne Jarman, & Daniel Jarman, all minors), gr-dau Anne (wife of
Richard Robert), sister Sarah Jarman, Anne (illegitimate dau of son Thomas
Jarman), son John Jarman, son Richard Jarman, and Daniel Jarman (son of
son Daniel Jarman); wit. Philip Swancott, Richard Jervis, John Davies (Clerk).
From “Families of Montgomeryshire, Wales 1675-1825”, compiled by
B.Barker, (2001)

There is possibly some discrepancy in the will extract above as it mentions both a “minor
son” Daniel and a “son” Daniel. I will have to ignore this for now, and concentrate on a
Daniel Jerman, who was undoubtedly a son. Born in September 1751, he died on 24
December 1842, and his headstone, now unfortunately badly eroded, in St Michael’s
churchyard, Trefeglwys is one of the earliest Jerman stones I have found.

He appears to have married twice: in 1776, in Aberhafesp, to Elizabeth Stephens, and
after her death in 1793, to Mary Davies in 1795. The Glangwden branch continues to
the present day through Mary Davies’ son Thomas Jerman (1810-1886). However, of
direct interest to me are two of the children from the first marriage to Elizabeth
Stepehens. Firstly, Daniel Jerman (1789-1862) later of Coedmawr is considered in more
detail below as he continues my direct line. However, at this point, I wish to consider
daughter Margaret Jerman - and also some serious detective work.

A Margaret Jerman married Daniel Jerman of Bont Dolgadfan on 21 November 1812.
They are known to have been first cousins (Daniel’s father Thomas Jerman (1755-1843)
was brother to Margaret’s father Daniel Jerman (1751-1842). Finding this family later,
however, has been tricky. I started with the Powys1851 census CD, which yielded no
results. Unfortunately, this is because the family were mis-transcribed as “Jameson” (I
am grateful to Ann Lightman for suggesting this originally). It is easy to understand why
the error arose, when looking at the original. The location is correct on the original
image – discernable as “Cringoed”. However, Margaret has now become Mary.

Extract from 1851 Census: Daniel and Mary Jerman, Cringoed (near Llanbrynmair)

Similarly on the 1841 census, one finds a Daniel and Mary Jerman together with children
at “Tybrith”. Now, it this Tybrith I am interested in, as in March 1841, my GGG
Grandmother, Elizabeth Jerman (1818-1901), is recorded as resident there in March
1841, at her marriage to Edward George, later miller of Glyngynywdd, Cwmbelan, as
described in my previous article. This has been one of my highest “brick walls” – if the
Elizabeth Jerman, daughter of Glangwden is the same Elizabeth Jerman who married
Edward George, then my direct ancestors come full circle when my GG Grandfather
Daniel Jerman (of Bedw) married (wittingly or not) his second cousin, Elizabeth George
(daughter to Edward George and Elizabeth Jerman), in 1872. They would have shared
the same Great Grandparents: Daniel Jerman and Elizabeth Stephens of Glangwden.

I am aware that some of this is wishful thinking and am conscious of not trying to bend
the facts to fit the hypothesis. However, even more tantalisingly, a will proved 7/10/1852
for Daniel Jarman, Cringoed, leaves money, to amongst others, daughter Elizabeth
George, wife of John George. I am still trying to find out if this if this John might have
been Edward!

I am also trying to locate the “Tybrith” where Elizabeth Jerman was married from and
where her presumed parents Daniel and Mary are resident in the 1841 census. A well-
known Ty Brith is in Carno – now a hotel. In his “Arwystli Notebook”, C. Vaughan Owen
mentions “The house occupied by John Marsh [the prominent family of Llanidloes
lawyers] and his family was Ty Brith…We are told in a diary kept by a Dr Davies that in
1843 a Captain and Mrs Curry had been living there but were leaving, having had a sale
of all their goods”. What I am unsure of is when this house was built, and if might
possibly have been built between shortly after 1841 over a previous farm occupied by
Daniel and Mary Jerman (who are found up the road ten years later at Cringoed).

What this of course points to is the need to inspect original sources – something which
only time will allow me to do.


Mrs Glenys Hookham is, like me, descended from Jermans who lived at Coedmawr farm,
north of Oakley Park.

The earliest reference to Jerman connection with this farm I have is with Cae Iago Daniel
Jerman’s 1798 will (extract above), where the children of a Thomas Williams and
deceased daughter Bridget Jerman are mentioned. Bridget and Thomas had married in
1789 and I have records of two of their children: Anne (1791) and Thomas (Jan 1797).
Bridget herself died in August 1797 and Thomas Williams appears to have re-married, in
May 1805, another Jerman girl – this time Elizabeth, from nearby Bedw Farm. At least
two more children were forthcoming: Sarah (1807) and William (1809). The 1812 will of
Elizabeth’s father, Thomas Jerman of Bedw, mentions his daughter and these children
as being of Coedmawr. However, there now appears to have been a break in
occupancy by what is now a Williams direct line: at some point between 1812 and 1841.

This is because Daniel Jerman (1789-1862) of Glangwden, and Mary Evans (1791-1878)
are shown resident at Coedmawr in the 1841 census. They had married in Carno in
1811. They had at least 13 children between 1812 and 1837.

As has been noted elsewhere, inter-marriage among Jerman families was quite common
and it is interesting to note that two of this family's daughters married a father and son
from a related Jarman family. In March 1848, Sarah, aged 24, became the second wife
of Edward Jerman, 50, of Tyddyn Felindu. His maternal grandparents were Daniel
Jarman and Martha Meredith, of Cae-Iago, one of whose grandsons was Daniel Jarman
here of Coedmawr. Sarah married, therefore, her first cousin, once removed. Later, in
July 1848, sister Ann Jerman of Coedmawr married her second cousin, Thomas Jacks
Jerman, who was Edward Jarman's son. The middle name Jacks came from his mother,
Martha Jacks.

Daniel Jerman died in August 1862 and is buried in the Parish Church of St Idloes,
Llanidloes. His 1852 will, shown here, was proved in November 1862 and was
straightforward, in that the whole of his residual estate was left to “his dear wife Mary”.

I have, however, found it very difficult to read this will properly. One sentence intrigues
me: “…of my real and Personal Estate consisting of my freehold (?) farm and lands
______ and known by the name of Waen (?) __________ in the parish of Trefeglwys
and _____ county of Montgomery”. I do not know if the crucial missing words refer to
property other than Coedmawr; nor I am sure that he owned Coedmawr outright.
However, the inclusion of the words “farm and lands” and what I think is the word
“freehold” suggests that he did own some land, and this would have been unusual; most
farms in the area would have been tenanted. Certainly, direct descendants from this
Daniel Jerman continued to farm Coedmawr until the 1930s and the farm continues to
this day to be in Jerman hands.

I believe Daniel and Mary Jerman’s eldest child to have been Maurice Jerman (1815-
1902) – my GGG Grandfather – and with whom I concluded the last part of this article.
There are again many other actively researched lines from the other children to this
marriage – and more still to be looked at…


There are many more stories to tell about the Jermans in this part of the world. I have
only alluded to the fascinating connections between them and another similarly
“dynastic” local family, the Ashtons. There is the story of more Jerman involvement with
the Chartist uprising of 1839 in Llanidloes and also the locally well-known artists and
teachers from the same family. Many Jermans contributed to the Welsh diaspora and
have migrated since earliest times to the USA. But these will have to wait. What I need
to do is to shed some light on some of the shadowy corners of the IGI, to go through the
Parish Registers and land registries properly and to visit the NLW, Aberystwyth. It is
time to come out from behind my computer…

Further information is available at


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