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Griffiths is an old Welsh name associated with the northern tribes of Gwynedd. It would originally have been ap Gruffydd or son of Griffith. This would therefore be one of the older family names of Wales. The name of Jacks is less certain in origin. According to the notes my father made for me it has also been spelt Jax or Jaques. The latter spelling seems to indicate Norman influence. Many of the Welsh nobility took French forms for their names and affected Norman ways in order to distinguish themselves from the ‘common’ Welsh, who were in conflict with their overlords, when the Marches were given to the Normans. It is not clear whether it was originally a Norman name or simply changed to suit the prevailing wind. Hargrave, or Le Hargré, at Allerbury was the home of the Jacks family for three centuries from 1549 to 1849. It was once an old manor house with a moat and it was situated a few miles on the English side of Welshpool in Shropshire.
Squire WILLIAM JACKS was born on 13th August 1782. His family had lived and farmed at Hargrave, Allerbury, since 1549. He was a cripple and lived with some doctors in Shrewsbury for some years in his youth. He formed a friendship with Col. Price-Jones, who was Sheriff of Shropshire and apparently a very extravagant man who eventually had to flee to France to avoid his creditors. William Jacks married SUSANNAH JONES of Cardeston Park in 1803 and they had five children.
ELIZABETH JACKS was born in 1810, the fourth child of Squire William, and she came out at a ball at Col. Price-Jones house in St. Chads in Shrewsbury. She married JOHN GRIFFITHS, who was born in 1821, and they had six children, William, Eliza, Susannah, John, Marian and Sarah. William, the first child, died young so that effectively Eliza was the eldest child.
ELIZA GRIFFITHS was born on 17th March 1847 at Hargrave in Allerbury, Shropshire. She was the second eldest child of John Griffiths, a farmer of Ruyton near Condover in Shropshire. His father, William had lived at The Isle, Shropshire and I believe that he was also a farmer. Unfortunately I have no information about the Griffith family that goes any further back at this time. John Griffiths, Eliza’s father married Elizabeth Jacks. Eliza married JOHN KENT and had three children; Elsie, Edith Winifred and Harold.
SUSANNAH GRIFFITHS was born in 1849. She married THOMAS RIDDUCK DEAKIN, a confectioner of Shrewsbury. They had six children, Maude, Amy, Lottie, Frederic, Clara and Dorothy. Of these I remember Maude, Clara and Dorothy. Dorothy lived in London when I knew her. Her husband was Ernest Jarvis. Clara lived in Marazion in Cornwall and Maude lived in Eastbourne. I never met Amy but I believe she was a dancing teacher who lived in Cardiff. All the Deakins were very kind and I think Harold and Winifred Kent spent quite a bit of time with their Deakin cousins in their youth, and they were both very fond of them. Winifred was also very fond of ‘Uncle Tom’, their father, who lived to the age of 87, dying at his daughter’s house near Warrington on 6th. March 1939.
JOHN GRIFFITHS, Sussanah’s brother, was born in 1851 at Allerbury. Winifred mentions him as Uncle John in her diary, and that he was married to Florence, but I have no further information about him except that he died in Worthing on 23rd July 1943.
Of Miriam and Sarah Griffiths I know nothing at all except their names.