by Rachel Boyd

In the quest to find the link between the various branches of Badham families, especially to try to find the progenitors of the Badhams of Begelly, a search of documents available at the National Library of Wales (NLW) in Aberystwyth revealed the existence of two wills which appeared to be promising. B1NS has also referred to them under “Probate records for Wales” on the Society’s CD-ROM. However I think viewing of the actual document enlivens the search,1 so excerpts are included here, and copies of the wills are available at NLW which holds the copyright. They do allow transcriptions of the document to be published. In another source I found a reference to Evan Baddam and William Meylor, sergeants to the Mayor of Haverfordwest, 1660-1661, at Borough court. Sergeant, (not in the military sense) refers to some sort of person able to read and write who was responsible for collecting fines, and so on. It is curious therefore to note that Evan (1) only made his mark.

The earlier of the two is the will of Evan Baddam of Haverfordwest, created on 18 April 1668, grant of probate on or after his death on 24 July 1669.

The transcription of the document has been challenging, as the small hand drawn Latin text sample shown above illustrates, but worthwhile from a genealogist’s point of view because in it he refers to his siblings, and from a historian’s point of view, because it gives insight into belongings deemed of worth in the everyday life of ordinary folk. Evidently Evan must have been a man of some means in the standards of the day, although an actual inventory submitted at probate does not amount to anywhere near what Evan thought his estate would yield.2

So from this document we can draw a little family tree:


18 Aprilis Anno Domini 1668

In the name of God Amen, I Evan Baddam of ye town & county of Haverffordwest being sick of body, but of good mind & perfect Memory do make my last will & testament in Manner & forme following, First I give and bequeath my soule to Allmighty God my Creator and Redeemer & my body to the Earth to be interred with Christian Buriall. Item I give and bequeath towards the Repairation of the Cathedral Church of St Davids six pence. Item I give towards the Repairation of the Church of St Thomas in Haverffordwest five shillings, Item I give to the poor of the sayd parish equally to be distributed amongst them five shillings, Item I give & bequeath to my brother Rhytherich Baddam one shilling, Item I give & bequeath to my sister Katherine one shilling, Item I give & bequeath to my sister Margaret one shilling, Item I give & bequeath to my sister Elizabeth Baddam the wife of Louis Morris the sum of five shillings or the full value of them in any other Comodity that she shall approve of as __ad Coinage and that to be satisfied within one year after my decease, Item I give & bequeath to my servant Elianor Bythy one Ewe & Lambs to be delived unto her within one year after my decease; Item I give & bequeath to my daughter Margaret Baddam the sum of ten pounds to be payd unto her in manner & forme following, Item the sum of fforty shillings to be payd unto her within one year after my decease, the sum of fforty shillings the second year after my decease, the sum of fforty shillings the third year after my decease, & the sum fforty shillings the fourth year after my decease, And if it chaunce my sayd daughter to dye or not to demand the sayd sum within ye sayd years then my will is that the sum of fforty shillings of the sayd money shall be given & payd unto my affore sayd brother Rhytherich Baddam within one year, And the sum of fforty shillings to my sister Katherine above mensioned the second year And the sum of fforty shillings to my sister Margaret the third year And the sum of four pounds to be payd unto my sister Elizabeth the fourth yeare, And if it happen any or all of them to dye before ye Receipt of the particular sums affore sayd then my will & intent is ye ye sowall funds divided as affore sayd might be distributed equally amongst theyr children. Item I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary Baddam the sum of ten pounds whom I Constitute appoynt & ordaine sowly & wholly to be my Executrix of this my last will & testament unto whom I give all the rest of my goods Cattells & Chattels movable & immovable __ s__d, with all legacyes & debts due unto me as hereafter follow, And to whom I desire to have this my last will & testament fully and truly performed In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand & seale ye Day & year above written.

Debts due on the Testator

Japrims to Mary Evan the wife of Mannie ) ti 
James of Haverffordwest the sum of___1 - 0 - 0
    Twenty shillings
Debts due to the Testator

From ye sowall persons following lb    s    d
J____ from Owen Gwyther of 
Haverffordwest 3    18    0
Item from Buttin Ormond of 
Clarbeston (?) 0    10    0
Item from John Vaughan of ye 
parish of llan y chwr 0    10    0
Item from Henry Conyr Mucer of ye
 Parish & County of Haverffordwest 0    13    0
Item from Mr John Pryce of 
Scotchborough 0    10    0
Item from Mr Matthew Pryce

0     2     0

Item from Mr William Davids of 

4     9     0

Signed sealed and delivered
in ye presence of J Smyth, Margaret Williams, John Donallt

The text in the Figure below is in Latin, and has not been transcribed. Anybody want to give it a try?

This Latin text  transcribed in modern characters, is as follows: “Noverint universi per presentes Nos Marium Baddam de Haverfordwest”

The next paragraph continues the bond:

The Condition of this obligation is such that if the abovebound Mary Baddam Executrix of the last will and testament of Evan Baddam deceased does well and truly pay & discharge all the debts and legacyes of the ^sd deceadint as farr as his goodes will amount unto and the Laws he charge, And ixhibit a true & perfect Inventory of ^all the goodes & Chattles of the sd deceadent when she shalbe thereto lawfully Called, And give a true account thereof, And lastly shall save keep harmless and indemnify the said Lord Bishop and all his officers for grantinge the probatt of ye said will that then this obligation to be voyd or els to be and remaine in full force power and vertue.
Sealed and delived in the presence of
 H Jones GCE
 Thos Powell    sig Maria X Baddam
    sig Ri— Smith   R S

Several pages of inventory follow and include everything Evan owned, for example chamber pots and “One Cark3 of Hay.”

Badhams of Llys-y-Fran

On their CD-ROM, B1NS identifies all of the family members listed in the Will of Evan Badham of Llys-y-fran. The church records have also given us his parents, Roderick Baddam and Anne Thomas who were married there on 24 Mar 1729/30. Considering the naming patterns prevalent at the time, it is highly likely that this Roderick was a descendant of Rhytherich Baddam, brother of Evan(1) of Haverfordwest. You will have noted that Evan(1) did not list any male heirs.4

A map (see above) shows the proximity of the locations in which Baddams were found in the 1650-1900 time period. As shown on the map, Llys-y-fran is not too far from Haverfordwest being about 7 miles to the NE.

Begelly and other locations are SE of Haverfordwest, and south of the registral district hub of Narberth.

It would be fortunate indeed if any records pertaining to Rhytherich were to be discovered, as there is still the chance that he was the forefather to the Begelly area Baddams, as well as the Llys-y-fran family.

Evan(2) would have been a contemporary of the earliest known Begelly Baddams, so at best a first cousin. His will denies the likelihood that his offspring were connected, as Evan’s only son (John) had only one son (Thomas) who was close to twenty years

younger than the John and George Badham who headed the two established Pemrokeshire branches. The known straightline descendancy is shown below.5

Evan(2)’s will was much easier to read and transcribe, as it was beautifully penned.  It is also available at NLW [Call No. SD/1820/ 206]. It is unmercifully long as all relationships are repeated in every phrase. Only the transcribed paragraph that identifies next of kin is therefore included here.

- - - All my real Estate whatsoever and wheresoever situate unto William Phillips of Southfield in the parish of Llysyfrane in the County of Pembroke aforesaid – Farmer, Thomas Llewellin of Woodstock in the same County Farmer and William Bateman of Scullock in the same County Farmer, their heirs and assigns for ever  Upon Trust that they my said Trustees and the survivors and survivor of them shall and do as soon as conveniently may be after my decease sell and dispose of my said Freehold Estate and the fee simple thereof for the best price or prices that can be got for the same and to receive the money for which the same shall be sold and give a receipt or receipts for the same which receipt or...

...and shall pay unto my four Grandchildren John Gibby, Hannah Gibby, Elizabeth Gibby and Richard Gibby (the sons and daughters of my daughter Martha Gibby by her husband Richard Gibby) the sum of Twenty pounds apiece and to Thomas Badham (the illegitimate son of my late son John Badham deceased) the sum of Twenty pounds on their respectively attaining the age of twenty one years And in case any or either of my said Grandchildren or the said Thomas Badham shall die before he she or they shall attain such age Then my Will is and I do hereby direct that the legacy...

Signed sealed published and declared by the said Testator Evan Badham as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses -


  1. The Society always recommends reference to original sources, where there are transcribed records.
  2. The legacies may have been taken from land and buildings which were not covered by the  inventoriy.
  3. “Cark,” a measure normally used for wool weighing about 25 lbs - How Heavy, How Much, and How Long? C.R. Chapman, Loching Publishing, England, 1996, ISBN 1 873686 09 9.
  4. Not included in the text of the Will, as shown here, is Evan’s age of 91, at the time of his death.
  5. It was common at this time for first and other sons’ inheritence to be settled during the lifetime of their father and not appear in the Will. This is even more likely since Evan was 91 at his death. The illegitimate Thomas might have been specially included in the Will because of his illegitimacy and the death of his father.

Peter Badham, in conducting a review of this issue of the Journal, has supplied further information (see the end notes above).