The PROBERT coat of arms - but no motto !
With no access to a Family Bible I started with a collection of 'word of mouth' stories that I have been able to follow up and discover more about my family. Luckily my ancestors did not move around too much and with a lot of help from the Herefordshire Family History Society and the Powys Family History Society I have been able to find out more than I ever hoped for! - If you find that we share an ancestor please contact me!
The name Probert is said to derive from the Welsh 'ap Robert' which means ' the son of Robert'.
An extract from the Probert of Cabalva and Clirow (Clyro), Radnorshire illustrates how the name developed.
From Lewis Davies Radnor Pedigree 1597
Robert ap Gwillim ap Llewellyn ap Meuric ap Griffith ap Meuric Ddw m Ellen dau of Rofser Wychan o'r Clirow
Rofser ap Robert m Blanch dau of Jenkin Wychan ap Walken Wychan
Rofser ap Rofser m Sybil dau of Hugh David ap Lewis
Their son was
William PROBERT of Cabalva 1597 !
I have found Probert relatives in America, Canada and Australia.
But the in 19th Century the name Probert was very common in Radnorshire.
What did they leave behind ? - Some Wills !
Radnorshire Proberts !
The area around Colva, Gladestry and Llanfihangel is a beautiful area of Wales. It is an agricultural area with many hamlets scattered around. My family were farmers who lived in a small hamlet called Llanfihangel Nant Melan. A Thomas Probert 'walked over the hill' from Glascwm in 1802 and married Margaret Gwynne! Their son - John was my great grandfather!
Llanfihangel Nant Melan Church Altar
John was a farmer whose son James married Eliza PRITCHARD who was living in Colva. Eliza's family came from Shropshire. James and Eliza were married in Colva Church on December 9 1874.
Colva Church - ' the dear, humble, white-washed little church' -Francis Kilvert
Eliza Probert (nee Pritchard) lived at Cwm Ceste, Colva. She was a member of a large family who lived at Cwm Ceste for at least 50 years. Another farm in the area has had Proberts living there for over 200 years !
As yet unidentified photograph showing a family outside Cwm Ceste
(I hope that it is MY Pritchards)!
More on my Radnorshire family
Shropshire Pritchards !
Eliza's parents married in Gladestry, Radnorshire. Her father, William Pritchard, lived in Llanfihangel Nant Melan - I wonder if he knew James and John Probert?
Bishops Castle Church
Eliza's mother was Mary Morris who was born in Mainstone, Shropshire in 1815.
Shropshire is in England and is known as a 'border county'. The area has many castles built during the centuries to promote law and order!
Clun Church Gate, Clun, Shropshire
Mary Morris was a 'Shropshire Hamer'. She married Edward Morris in Clun on April 8 1810. They had at least two children - Mary and her brother Edward. Mary's father was George Hamer, one of a large family of Hamers who lived in Clun and Llanfairwaterdine in the 17th and 18th centuries.
More on my Shropshire family
Towards the end of the 19th Century, James Probert and his brother John must have felt that there was a better living to be had 'over the border' in England. They began to search for a farm to rent and eventually found one just west of Hereford. The two brothers must have felt that they were both needed to farm this acreage and they moved to Yazor near Hereford. At first James and his family and John and his niece Annie who acted as his housekeeper all lived together in the large farmhouse.
I have not been able to find out any details yet as to why but when a farm just along the road was made available for rent, James and his family moved there.
James and Eliza had already started a family while living at Llanfihangel Nant Melan and more children were born after their move. Eventually they had eight children - my grandfather Arthur was one of them!
Life must have been very different living in England to when they lived in Radnorshire - but unfortunately I do not know what persuaded them to move, how they managed to move all their belongings and/or animals, or what they thought of their new home.
Harvest time meant that they employed casual labour to help gather all the hay and crops in. In a Herefordshire Directory entry made after 1900 Eliza's occupation is given as a farmer and hop grower.
Harvest time at Yazor at the end of the 19th Century
James Probert died at his home in December 1900 and Eliza continued to run the house and farm until her death in 1907. They together with John and Annie his housekeeper are buried in Yazor Churchyard.
More on my Herefordshire Proberts !
Probert Wills - the dividing of the spoils!
Thomas Probert Late of Maesmellan in the parish of Llanfihangel Nant MelanJuly 3rd 1848
First I give and bequeath unto Charles Price, New Radnor in the county of Radnorshire, gentleman, all my goods, money, chattels stock and effects of what description soever and wheresoever, his heirs, executors and administrators upon trust that is to say that he shall pay or cause to be paid first to my grandson William Probert, son of John Probert the sum of twenty pounds also to my daughter, Louisa Jenkins, the wife of Thomas Jenkins the sum of ten pounds.
Also I give and bequeath the money secured on a note of John Halls, the parish of New Radnor, deceased, amounting to the sum of twenty pounds to be equally divided between my two executors hereafter mentioned and my grandson William Probert and my daughter Louisa Jenkins the wife of Thomas Jenkins share and share alike but if by any means the money secured on this note should be lost or not recoverable then the said legacies of five pounds bequeathed to be null and void.
The rest, residue and remainder of my goods, money, chattels, live and dead stock of every name and description whatever and wheresoever the same may be, I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Probert, now living with me and my daughter Jane Probert, also of Maesmellan, to be equally divided between them share and share alike.
I also further constitute and appoint my son Thomas Probert of Maesmellan, in the parish of Llanfihangel Nant Melan, County of Radnor and also my daughter Jane Probert, now living with me jointly executors…………….Thomas' Inventory
Horse saddle & wearing apparel £8.0.0
239 sheep £125.9.6
32 sheep - sold £19.12.0
2 horses and gearings £22.10.0
2 colts £5.10.0
22 cattle £81.5.0
10 pigs £6.10.0
Wheat, oats, barley with straw £23.5.0
Hay and clover £15.0.0
Implements of husbandry £10.0.0
Household furniture, dairy and brewing utensils £20.0.0
Cheese, butter and bacon £312.0.0
Cash in the house £5.0.0
Total - £379.11.6
Money due to the deceased £25.0.0
Total value of the estate £404.11.6
John Probert late of Upperton farm, Yazor, Herefordshire
I John Probert of Upperton in the parish of Yazor in the county of Herefordshire, farmer do declare this to be my last will and testament which I make this nineteenth day of September 1897 and whereby I appoint my brother James Probert sole executor.
I bequeath to my niece Elizabeth Probert my present housekeeper the sum of one hundred pounds, subject to the payment of all my just debts funeral and testamentary expense I bequeath all the residue of my personal estate to my said brother James for his own use during his life and after his decease I bequeath the same to all the children of my said brother who shall be living at his decease in equal shares absolutely. I hereby revoke all former wills made by me. In witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand on the day and year first above written.
Signed John Probert
On the 23rd day of August 1898 Probate of this will was granted at Hereford to James Probert the sole Executor
Late of Yazor Court, Yazor, Herefordshire 1900
This is the last will and testament of me James Probert of Yazor Court in the County of Hereford, Farmer which I make this twenty seventh day of February 1891 and whereby I appoint my wife Eliza and brother John Executrix Executor and Trustees.
I bequeath all my personal estate to the said trustees of this my will upon trust to discharge all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses and pay the residue of such estate unto and equally between all my children as and when they respectively attain the age of twenty one years the income of the share that each shall presumptively be entitled to be paid to my said wife during the minority of each such child as long as she my said wife shall continue my widow and after her death or second marriage to be expended for the benefit of such child.
In witness so whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name
Signed James Probert
On the 17th day of January 1901 this will was granted at Hereford to Eliza Probert, widow, the surviving Executor.
The earliest record that I have found of my Probert line is a James Probert from Llanfihangel Nant Melan who married a Bridget Parker from Pembridge in 1757.
Llanfihangel church is dedicated to St. Michael who had acquired a reputation for being able to 'deal' with dragons! Superstition has it that a dragon used to roam around the hills that surround the hamlet.
The church is built upon a mound that is surrounded by yew trees.
Llanfihangel Nant Melan still has its' village inn. The Forest Inn stands on the main road through the hamlet close to the church and on the opposite side of the road to Lower House Farm where the Proberts lived. At one stage in the 1900's my Aunt Mary Probert held the license.
The Forest Inn Llanfihangel Nant Melan - not too far a walk from Lower House Farm !
Arthur Probert 's (b. 1882) wife Leonora Vincent Brown (1884 - 1929) was born at Hatfield in Herefordshire. Her parents William Smith Brown (b.1855) and Mary ? were the schoolmaster and mistress at the school. William Smith Brown was born in Wiltshire.
The school and school house are adjacent to the church. The school was open from 1882 -1924.
Mary and William Browne moved to Hatfield School from Worcestershire where they had been the schoolmaster and mistress at Castle Morton School. We think that William must have died before 1891 because in 1898 Mary made the move to Mansel Lacy near Hereford to be the schoolmistress. Her daughter Leonora, my grandmother was the assistant mistress there. Mary Browne worked there until her health began to fade and she decided to go and live with her son Leonard who was a vicar at Ightam Mote in Kent.
A commendation given to Mary Browne on her leaving Mansel Lacy School, July 1911
Kelly's Directory 1890Hatfield is a parish with a scattered population, about 3 miles north east of Steens Bridge railway station on the uncompleted section of the Leominster, Bromyard and Worcester section of the Great Western Railway.
The church of St. Leonard is an ancient building incorporating distinct traces of Saxon work, but has been rebuilt in the Early English and later styles and consists of chancel, nave, western porch and a low turret of wood at the west end containing two bells: the chancel was thoroughly restored by the trustees of the Hatfield estate in 1878 at a cost of £250. The stained East window was erected in memory of Thomas Ashton Esq., of Middleton, Lancs who died in 1869. The register dates from 1615.Post Office : Edward Shepherd, sub-postmaster. Letters through Leominster arrive at about 9.10 a.m. : dispatched at 3.30 p.m. The nearest money order and telegraph office is at Bredenbury National School (mixed) built with residence for the mistress in 1852 by the late T. Ashton, esq., and enlarged by Mrs. Ashton in 1877: it will hold 100 children; average attendance 54. & is supported in part by Mrs. Ashton and £20 yearly from Docklow the children from which parish attend here. Mrs. Mary Brown mistress.
Yazor (old) Church
When James and Eliza Probert moved to Herefordshire in the late 19th century they lived with James' brother John first of all at Upperton Farm, Yazor. For whatever reason they eventually moved a short way down the road to rent Yazor Court Farm, which is adjacent to Yazor Church.
Although James and Eliza had married at Colva Church in Radnorshire they are both buried at Yazor. James died in 1900 and Eliza in 1907. John is buried there too.
You may like to check out our Welsh Cousins site, listed below. I have put this site together to show off our beautiful country and to show my Probert relatives where their forebears used to live.
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