Welsh Settlers In Johnson & Iowa Counties, Iowa
Genealogies and Histories of some of the first Welsh Settlers
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• Richard Williams born in Montgomeryshire, Wales


Jan 14 - Ann Evans, 2nd wife of Richard Williams, born in Montgomeryshire, Wales
Oct 01 - Jane Tudor, 1st wife of Richard Williams, born in Wales
Oct 27 - Jane Tudor - Christening at Graig Independent Church, Machynlleth, Wales.


1835 - John Baxter, father of William, is naturalized in PA.
1836 Jul 27 - William Baxter, future husband of Elizabeth Williams, is born.


1843 Nov 12 - The 1st Elizabeth Williams, Daughter of Richard and Jane, is born.
1844 Apr 11 - Richard Pugh and Ann Evans are married in Hamilton County, Ohio
1844 - Richard Williams migrates to Iowa.
1844 - Ann Evans, Evan Evans, William Evans, and Richard Pugh migrate from Ohio to Iowa.
1845 Jul 31 - The 1st Elizabeth Williams dies.
1848 Jan 14 - The 2nd Elizabeth, Lizzie Williams, is born in Iowa City, Iowa.
1848 Dec 19 - Jane Tudor dies in Sharon Center, Iowa.


1850 Aug 03 - Richard Pugh dies in Williamsburg, Iowa.
1851 Mar 15 - Richard Williams and Ann Evans are married in Williamsburg, Iowa
1852 Nov 03 - Sarah M. Williams in born in Williamsburg, Iowa.
1854 Oct 18 - Jennie Williams is born in Williamsburg, Iowa.
1856 06 DEC - John M. Williams is born in Williamsburg, Iowa.


Jul 09 - Richard Williams dies in Williamsburg, Iowa.

Family Journeys

This outline chronicles some of the relationships and migrations of three groups of Welsh people who eventually settled in Iowa.


Richard Williams was born in Montgomeryshire Wales in 1814. It is not known when he immigrated to America, but came to Iowa in about 1843/4 (1856 census). Richard may have been born in the Machynlleth area as was his first wife, Jane Tudor. Richard's second wife, Ann Evans, also may have been born in this area.

Machynlleth & Darowen, Mongomeryshire, Wales

The children of Richard Tudor and Elizabeth Lumley, born in the Machynlleth area of Montgomeryshire Wales, were Hugh, Jane, Richard, Edward, Ann, Elizabeth, and Margaret (Mary?). The Tudor family emigrated from Wales to America before 18321. They lived in Cambria Co, Pennsylvania for 12 years.

The children of David and Jane Evans, born in Montgomeryshire Wales, were Evan, William, and Ann. The Evans children, along with Richard Pugh (future first husband of Ann Evans) and Sarah Evans (wife of William; maiden name the same), immigrated to America 1841. William Evans married Sarah in Wales a few days before the group set out for America. They lived around Cincinnati, Ohio for nearly 4 years.

The children of John Baxter and Elisabeth Pryce, born in Pennsylvania, were David, Elizabeth, William, Owen, Thomas, Mary, Margaret, Ruth, and Willie. John emigrated from Wales before 1832 and was naturalized in 1835. John's son, William, married Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Richard Williams and Jane Tudor. John's daughter, Elizabeth, probably married Edward Tudor.


It is possible that when Richard Williams emigrated from Wales, he landed in Pennsylvania. He may have come with, or meet-up with, the Tudors. It is also possible that he arrived in Iowa. In any case, he landed in Iowa about 1843/4 and married Jane Tudor prior to Nov 1843. Jane was only about 12 years of age when she came to America with her family. The marriage date of Richard and Jane is as yet unknown, however documentation2 shows they had a child (Elizabeth #1) on Nov 12, 18433. This child died two years later.
It is interesting to note that an IGI record is found for a Richard Williams, b. 1814 married a "Jane" b. 1820, in 1840 Wales. I suppose it is possible Jane Tudor traveled back to Wales to marry.

The entire Tudor family is found living in Cambria Township, Cambria Co., in the 1840 census. The Tudor's and presumably Richard Williams remained in Cambria County until 1844.

The Baxter's remained in Pennsylvania for longer period of time before migrating to Iowa. The entire family can be found in Carroll Township, Cambria Co. in the 1850 census. The migrated after 1853 and before 1860.


The Evans siblings--Evan, William, and Ann--William's wife Sarah Evans, and Richard Pugh, lived near Cincinnati for nearly 4 years. In 1844 in Hamilton Co, Evan married Jane Simon and Ann married Richard Pugh. Jane Simon immigrated from Wales to Utica, NY, then came to Cincinnati.

~Migration to Iowa~

Migration from Cincinnati to Burlington

The Evans siblings--Evan, William, and Ann-- and their spouses--Jane (Simon), Sarah (Evans), and Richard Pugh--set out, from near Cincinnati, for Iowa in the fall of 1844. They sailed down the Ohio river and crossed the Mississippi at Burlington, Des Moines County, Iowa. From there they hired an Ox-team to take them to what is now known as Williamsburg, Troy Township, Iowa County.

The Tudor's and possibly Richard Williams traveled from Cambria Co., Penn. to Johnson County, Iowa in 1943/4. They settled in Union Township.

The Baxter's migrated to Sharon Township in Johnson Co., sometime after 1853.

~Johnson County, Iowa~

Little is known about Richard & Jane (Tudor) Williams between 1843/4, the time they arrived in Johnson county, and when Jane died in 1848. However, an interesting historic note has been captured from that period. In January 1846, the Welsh Congregational Church was established. Among it's charter members were the Tudors, the Williamses, The Pughs and the Evanses. This shows that Richard knew his future 2nd wife, Ann (Evans) Pugh, and her husband while he was married to his first wife. It is also possible that these people knew each other in Wales. The Evans, were among only a handful of people living in Troy Township, Iowa County. To attend this church six miles outside of Iowa City, they had to travel by ox-team about 26 miles. Another interesting note says that the membership of Richard & Jane Williams, and all the Evanses and their spouses, "were received by letter". This means that they joined the church by bringing with them a letter of recommendation from their previous church. The Evans living about 28 miles away in Troy Township, Iowa County (where Williamsburg was later founded).

A couple of interesting bits of information can be gleaned by looking at the 1850 census of Union Township. After Jane (Tudor) Williams died, Richard Williams is found to be living with her brother, Hugh Tudor, in Union Township. In a house close by Hugh and Richard, lived David and Susan Jones who, along with their three children, were taking care of Richard and Jane Williams' infant daughter Elizabeth. Next door, lived Edward T. Williams and Phebe C. (Wilson) Davis Williams.

The first bit of information is that there might have been a close relationship with the Richard Williams or the Tudor's with the caretakers (the Joneses) of Richard's daughter, Elizabeth. The second is that there was another Williams living next door. Other information found suggest that Richard and Edward are not related.

~Iowa County, Iowa~

Late in 1850, or very early in 1851, widower Richard Williams moved to Troy Township in Iowa County and married the widow Ann (Evans) Pugh in January 1851. The 1851 Iowa State census shows his infant daughter, Elizabeth, living with them along with Ann's children, Richard Pugh, David Pugh, and Mary Pugh. Elizabeth Williams was still living with her father and stepmother in 1856. It seems directly after Richard died in July of 1860, Elizabeth moved back to live with the Tudors. The 1870 census shows Elizabeth living with her uncle, Hugh Tudor, back in Johnson county. Before Richard died, he and Ann had three other children: Sarah M. Williams, Jennie (Jane) Williams, and John M. Williams..

Source Notes:

1 The 1900 census listing for Edward Tudor states he emigrated from Wales in 1832, however other notes suggest it was earlier.

2 Jones & Evans Families. 1996, Kathleen Jones.

3 Although exact dates are documented in the Jones & Evans book, the original source in unknown.