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Morris Franklyn Evans of Cattaraugus County New York

This is the elder sister of Morris Evans. Her name is Anna
Photo taken in Dover, New Hampshire circa 1908
As I was growing up, my father often reminded me that I could rely on my own inner strength, which, in his opinion, I inherited through my ancestors; particularly the ones from Wales.

Dad’s mother, Jessie, spoke the native tongue, Cymraeg. His grandfather, Morris, was the first generation American. I guess that makes me fourth generation away from “the old country”. My great-great grandparents, William and Anna Evans came to New York State about 1843, bringing two sons with them, John and William (Jr.). As far as I have been able to determine, they first settled in Schuyler, Herkimer county.

By the time Morris came along, April of 1852, his siblings, Thomas, David, Benjamin, and Mary had preceded him; after that, a younger sister, Elizabeth, known as Libby. Morris and Libby remained close all their lives.

Eventually, William and Anna moved to Cattaraugus county in western NY probably because of the railroad boom. They purchased and exchanged a great deal of land, speculating more than farming it.  They continued to speak and live in the Welsh ways.

As was common practice among his people, at the age of thirteen Morris was apprenticed out to learn a trade. His older sister, Mary, was married to a man who ran a cheese factory where Morris could have continued out his life as a cheese maker in familial job security. However, as an adult, Morris choose to become a carpenter and most of his life he worked in various aspects of the field; once, for the railroad building huge railroad bridges, especially the famous Kinzua bridge.

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