THE HARRIES FAMILY - SHIPBUILDERS OF ABERAERON AND LLANSANTFFRAED,
CARDIGANSHIRE IN THE 19th CENTURY
- c.1781 John
Harries (known in Welsh as Shôn Harri), the founder of the family
shipbuilding business, is born at Newquay, Cardiganshire.
Building of the new port begins at Aberaeron. This was the project of the
Reverend Alban Jones-Gwynne.
- c.1810 John marries Margaret James.
- c.1814 John and Margaret’s son Henry
Harries is born.
- 1820 The
Harries family are living at the Factory, Aberarth.
John and Margaret’s son John junior (Shôn Harri bach) is born.
John and Margaret’s son David is born.
- c.1830 John Harries senior starts
building ships on the south side of the harbour at Aberaeron.
Henry Harries marries Hannah, daughter of David and Hannah Jones of Synod
- 1841 census
- John Harries [senior], shipwright age 60, his wife Margaret 50,
daughters Mary 25, and Margaret 20, sons John [junior] 15, and David 15
are living at the Carpenter’s Arms, Henfynyw, Aberaeron.
Henry Harries [shown as ‘Hendry Haris’] - ship’s
carpenter age 25, wife ‘Hanah’ 20, and son John 2, are living at Britannia Row,
- 1844 John
senior, aged 63, hands over the shipyard business to his two sons John and
Henry. It is thought that the schooner "John and Henry” built in this
year was named in honour of this occasion.
‘J & H Harries' operates as a partnership during which time they build
Henry, the older brother, decides to operate independently from John
- 1851 census
- John senior, (shipbuilder), wife Margaret, and their sons John junior,
(shipbuilder), and David, (shipbuilder), are living at 80, College
[?] Henfynyw, Aberaeron.
Henry, (shipbuilder), his wife Hannah and 6 children
are living at 14 Alban Square, Llandewi-Aberarth, Aberaeron.
- 1851 Henry
Harries, Hannah his first wife, and their children move from Aberaeron to
Llansantffraed. Henry starts building ships there, on the bank of the
- 1853 Henry’s
first wife Hannah, and their 7 year old son Henry, both die on the same
day - 24th March - at Troedrhiw, Llansantffraed, soon after the birth of their
daughter Hannah. The baby Hannah survives.
- c.1854 John
Harries junior marries Hannah, daughter of Owen James.
Henry Harries marries Mary, daughter of Evan Jones, a weaver.
John Harries junior’s first wife Hannah dies.
John Harries junior marries Salome Griffiths.
- 1861 John
Harries junior’s son John dies aged 7.
The census for Aberaeron shows John Harries senior (shipbuilder)
living at 1 Dolphin Place Henfynyw with his wife Margaret.
John Harries junior (shipbuilder) is living next door
at 2 Dolphin Place with his second wife Salome, and two children of his first
marriage - David 5, and Evan 3.
David Harries, who was recorded as a shipbuilder in
1851, is listed in the 1861 census as a miller, age 33, at Llyswen Mill,
Henfynyw, with his wife Margaret age 32 and their 4 children. [He appears again
as a miller in the 1871, 1881 and 1891 censuses, so presumably he took little
further part in the family shipbuilding business]. He died in 1899.
for Llansantffraed, shows that Henry Harries (shipbuilder), and his wife Mary,
are living at ‘Pengraig’, with the four children of Henry’s first marriage to
Hannah, and three children of Henry’s
second marriage to Mary.
John Harries [senior] and his wife Margaret both die [in April and June
respectively] at Aberaeron. They are buried at Llandewi-Aberarth.
- 1863/1864 The Harries brothers’ last large ships are built:-
1863 The ‘Gwladys’, a 164 ton brigantine, by Henry at
- 1864, The ‘Oronsa’,
a 158 ton brigantine, by John Harries junior at Aberaeron.
- 1868 Henry
Harries moves with his immediate family to Steynton, Milford and retires.
- 1871 The
census for Aberaeron shows John Harries junior (shipbuilder) living
at Dolphin Place Henfynyw, with
his second wife Salome, and children David 15, Evan 13, Henry 10, John G
8, Benjamin 7, Martha 3, and Daniel 1.
Harries has not yet been found in the census for this year.
- On 22 September,
John Harries [junior], aged 48, is found drowned at Bute Docks, Cardiff. Coroner’s
verdict of ‘accidental drowning while on duty’.
- 1881 census
shows Henry Harries’ family at Marine Gardens, Steynton. Although retired
[?], he appears here as a shipwright.
- 1890 Mary,
Henry’s second wife, dies at Milford on 3rd June 1890.
- 1891 census
- Henry has returned as a widower to the village of Llansantffraed, and is
living at Ty Cam with his widowed daughter Mary Davies, his granddaughter
Hannah Jones, and Hannah’s three children.
- 1892 Henry
Harries dies on the last day of December at Wave Villa [Ty Cam] Llansantffraed.
- 1893 Henry
is buried on 5th January at the parish church.
Harries family records
National censuses for Wales 1841-1901
IGI LDS family search website
“Maritime Heritage - The ships and seamen of Southern
Ceredigion” by J Geraint Jenkins.
Aberaeron: by W J
Lewis - Cambrian Press Aberystwyth
Aberaeron: The Community and Seafaring 1800-1900 by David
Ceredigion, Vol. VI/2 1969
Burial records compiled by Cardiganshire Family History
Llanon website http://www.llanon.org.uk
'The Growth and Decline of Cardiganshire Shipbuilding from
1740-1914 with special reference to Llansantffraid'. M. Phil. thesis of the
late G. Ivor Thomas, former Vicar of Llansantffraed 1994.