I’m having a frustrating time trying to get beyond Richard Powell, born around 1791 in, he says, Bromfield, Shropshire.

I can only find two likely Richard Powells, neither of whom was born or baptised in Bromfield. One was baptised in Clunbury on 23 September 1792, son of William and Mary.  The other was baptised in Chirbury on 8 January 1792, son of John and Sarah.  Which one, if either?  Richard did not name any of his children William or John but he does have a Mary and Sarah (common names anyway).

I searched for any Powells baptised in Bromfield about that time (+- 5 years) and came up with just four:

Jane 15 May 1796, daughter of John and Martha; Joseph 6 October 1793, son of John and Martha; Mary 16 December 1787 daughter of Jeremiah and Martha; Mary 13 January 1788 daughter of Jeremiah and Martha.

This doesn’t really help.

In the 1851 census he has a nephew visiting – a John Rhees.  So he must have had a sister who married a Rhees.  So I searched for a Powell marrying a Rhees (or Rees).  Unfortunately, there are a lot, mostly (as you’d expect) in Wales.  I limited the search to Shropshire and the only likely one is Martha Powell marrying Thomas Reese on 13 December 1807 in St Leonard, Bridgnorth, Shropshire.  Witnesses include Richard Phillips and Elizabeth Jones, names that appear in my family (but no link here).  Tantalising.

I then did a search for the 1841 census for the Reese family but no results for Shropshire.  The only likely candidates were Thomas (a labourer) and Martha Rees born 1791 and 1796 respectively, with a son, John, and two other children but all, apparently, born in Pembrokeshire.  In the 1851 census, John’s birth place is Montgomeryshire and his father is a farmer.  I searched for Thomas and/or Martha in the 1851 census for Pembrokeshire, Montgomeryshire or Shropshire but none of the Thomas’ found were farmers.  There are too many results for other regions.  I tried a few but no luck.  No luck, either, for 1861.

I had a little more luck with finding the death of Richard’s wife, Martha.  The last census I could find her in was the 1871 census (a widow) so I searched for deaths after that and found the burial of Martha Powell, resident of Clun, on 23 August 1873 at Church Pulverbatch, age 82.  Finally.

As for Richard’s death, the last census he appeared in was 1861, therefore he died between 1861 and 1871.  I hadn’t been able to find a death record because there were so many Richard Powells and the two likely records didn’t give any further clue beyond year and quarter.  I, therefore, did a search at probatesearch starting with 1862 and found him listed under 1863, having died on 15 July 1862.


Thomas Bright was a son-in-law.  Brilliant.  I achieved something.