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I first learned that my 4th great grandfather was Henry Hughes, a Printer, from the marriage certificate of my 3rd great grandparents Elizabeth Hughes and William Lewis on 26 Apr 1839 at St Giles without Cripplegate, London, England.

From the 1851 England Census I knew that Elizabeth had been born in Brecon, Wales, and a distant cousin uncovered a quote from “A history of the county of Brecknock: Volume 2” by Theophilus Jones:

Of Hughes, the printer's family, there are several well-kept memorials. H. Hughes, printer, died June 14. 1794, aged 39. Elizabeth, his daughter, died April 14, 1795, aged 8; four other children died in infancy. Also of Ann, widow of Henry Hughes, she died March 26, 1821, aged 75. Henry Hughes, jun., of Brecon, printer; he died April 15, 1820, aged 39 ; also of his two sons, who died in infancy. Also of William, son of the above-named H. Hughes; he died July 30, 1829, aged 8 years.

From FindMy Past and Ancestry I have been able to find a number of images of vital records (and census records) that all support the Hughes family of printers being my ancestors:

  • Henry John Hughes was christened on 27 May 1787 at Brecon St John the Evangelist as the son of Henry and Ann. His father’s occupation was given as Printer. The memorial mentioned above suggests that he was born in 1781 (died 1820, aged 39) but he was christened on the same day as his sister Elizabeth so it is possible that he was six years old at the time.
  • Henry (a Printer) and Priscilla of Old Port Inferior Ward had three children christened at Brecon St Mary on 15 Jun 1814:
    • David, who the 1841 and 1851 England Census suggests was born about 1811-12;
    • Elizabeth, my 3rd great grandmother; and
    • Henry
  • Henry (a Printer) and Priscilla of Old Port Inferior Ward had another child christened at Brecon St Mary on 1 Sep 1815:
    • William
  • and from the memorial mentioned above there appears to have been another William born in about 1821 who "died July 30, 1829, aged 8 years.”

Henry died on 15 Apr 1820 at the age of 39 years and was buried on 18 Apr 1820 at Brecon St John the Evangelist. His occupation was given as Printer and his residence as Old Port Inferior Ward.

Priscilla was also a printer, which I learned from Brycheiniog Vol. 35 2003 "Brecknock at the crossroads : journalism, history and cultural identity in nineteenth-century Wales":

In 1808, Henry Hughes entered the trade, which on his death in 1827 [sic] was taken up by his wife Priscilla, who produced the 1,635-page, three volume edition of Sir William Ousley's Travels in various countries in the East, issued between 1819 and 1823. These volumes Jones judged to be the 'best the county has produced', at least up to the time of writing in 1921. Priscilla Hughes also printed broadsides and popular ballads, such as on the murder of John Price by Rees Lewis, both shepherds, on 23 April 1826.

Despite my 4th great grandmother being a prominent printer in an industry where, at the time I suspect there would have been few women, I have not been able to find a record of her:

  • birth/christening - probably around 1785 in or near Brecon; or
  • marriage to Henry Hughes (possibly named as Henry John Hughes) - probably around 1810 in or near Brecon

The Hereford Journal of 04 September 1839 reported her death:

enter image description here

There is a death certificate that I am confident is hers, but I have not yet obtained it:

Name:   Priscilla Hughes
Registration Year:  1839
Registration Quarter:   Jul-Aug-Sep
Registration district:  Hay
Inferred County:    Breconshire
Volume: 26
Page:   208

In the meantime, does anyone have any ideas where I might find a marriage record for Priscilla who married Henry Hughes?

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    Not necessarily baptism or marriage but have you looked at (1) newspapers and (2) wills on llgc.org.uk? – user104 Nov 2 '14 at 15:23
  • Thanks for the reminder about llgc.org.uk which I do not consult as much as I ought. There do not appear to be Wills there for either Henry Hughes (father and son) or Priscilla - which to me seems almost surprising due to their prominence. I should invest more time looking at Welsh newspapers but my searches so far have not turned up any references to them. – PolyGeo Nov 2 '14 at 22:49
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    Have you looked at Priscilla's burial? The age suggests a slightly earlier birthdate of c1779 search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/… – Harry Vervet Aug 23 '15 at 2:50
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    Also not directly related to this question but just wanted to make sure you've seen it: Henry was apprenticed to William and George North (printers of Brecon) from 1796. It says the apprenticeship was to last from 1796 until age 21, so it's unlikely he married Priscilla before then. search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1851 – Harry Vervet Aug 23 '15 at 3:00
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    The information spans two pages, so you have to look on the following page - which includes that info plus the duties paid. Count down carefully though to make sure you're still on the correct row – Harry Vervet Aug 23 '15 at 3:19
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Today FindMyPast announced:

Wales Parish Registers

We’ve added a substantial tranche of new records to our exclusive collection of Welsh county baptisms, marriages, banns and burials.

One of the first things that I looked for was the marriage of Henry Hughes (1780-1820) the Printer of Brecon and I found it at Llanelieu/Llaneliw:

Henry Hughes of the Parish of St David's Brecon and Priscilla Thomas of this Parish were married in this church by Banns this Twenty Third day of December in the year of our Lord, One Thousand Eight Hundred & Six by me.

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