The Family of James Hares
of Penclawdd, Wales
New Castle, Pennsylvania

by Jeffrey L. Thomas

In my efforts to document the Hares family of Shipham, Somerset, England, I have paid particular attention to the descendants of Samuel Hares (1763-1815) and his second wife Susannah Wookey, concentrating on their descendants who eventually emigrated to Wales and the United States. One example of this migration pattern is the family of James Hares and his wife Jane Stock. James was born circa 1865 in the town of Penclawdd, Glamorganshire, Wales. He was the son of Samuel Hares and Hannah Isles of Shipham and Bristol in Gloucestershire, the grandson of Samuel Hares and Flower Tripp of Shipham, and the great-grandson of the above-mentioned Samuel Hares and Susannah Wookey.

Although James' father Samuel Hares was born in Shipham in 1822, his wife Hannah was born in St. George, Gloucestershire, where Samuel married, and where the couple's first children were born. Sometime before 1865 the family of Samuel and Hannah Hares moved to Penclawdd in Glamorganshire, Wales, where James and his sister Elizabeth were born, thus beginning the Hares family to this part of Wales.

James is present with his mother and father's family in the census of Penclawdd for the years 1861 through 1881. In 1889 James married Jane Stock, and the couple makes their first appearance in the 1891 census of Penclawdd. Their first child, Samuel James, was born later that year on 28 Sept 1891, followed by Thomas in 1892 and Job in early 1895. Passenger records from Ellis Island indicate that James Hares and his family left Wales in 1895 and emigrated to the United States. James emigrated first, sailing from Southampton and arriving at the port of New York on 2 March 1895, on board the ship, New York.". A few The next month he was joined by his wife Jane and children Samuel, Thomas and Job, who arrived in New York 22 April 1895 on board the ship "Berlin."

James and family initially settled in New Kensington, Lawrence Co., Pennsylvania, where we find the Hares family in the 1900 census, as follows:

1900 Census, New Kensington, Lawrence Co., Pa

Name Relationship DOB Age Marital Status Born Immigration Date Occupation
James Hares Head Mar 1865 35 M12 Wales 1892 Doubler
Jane Hares Wife Apr 1866 34 M12 7/6 England 1892  
Samuel J. Hares Son Sept 1890 10? S Wales   Attends School
Thomas Hares Son Feb 1892 8 S PA   Attends School
Job Hares Son May 1894 6 S PA   Attends School
William Hares Son June 1896 3 S PA    
Mary J. Hares Dau Nov 1898 1 S PA    
Hannah Hares Dau Nov 1899 6/12 S PA    

By this time the family had added children William (b. 1896), Mary J. (b. 1898), and Hannah (b. 1899). The census lists James' as a "doubler," an occupation I have not yet been able to identify. Sometime before the next census was taken in 1910, the family moved to New Castle in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, which is located in the extreme western portion of the state, and it is here that the Hares family called home for the next several decades. According to the census, Jane gave birth to two additional children between 1900 and 1910 (9/6), however only one, 9 year old daughter Anna, appears in the census. That means that by 1910 Jane had lost two more children, the unknown child born between the census years, and daughter Hannah who appears as an infant in the 1900 census.

The next set of family records are World War I registration cards for sons Samuel, Job and William, executed in 1917 and 1918. These records offer a more intimate glimpse into the lives of the Hares family, as they contain details not contained in census returns. I will list the principal details from each sons cards below:

Name: Samuel James Hares
Age: 26
Address: 637 Adams, Gary, Indiana
Date of Birth: 28 Sept 1891
Citizenship Status: Naturalized Citizen
Where Born: Penclawdd, Wales, Great Britain
Present Occupation: Roller
By Whom Employed: Am Sheet & Tin Plate Co.
Where Employed: Gary, Indiana
Married or Single: Single
Height: Medium
Build: Medium
Color of Eyes: Brown
Color of Hair: Black
Signed: Samuel James Hares
Date: June 5, 1917

Samuel's registration tells us that in 1917 he was not in New Castle, Pa., but rather working in Gary Indiana. Next are the registration card for Job and William Hares.

Name: Job Hares
Age: 22
Address: 1510 S. Jefferson, New Castle Pa.
Date of Birth: 6 Feb 1895
Citizenship Status: Naturalized Citizen
Where Born: Penclawdd, Wales
Present Occupation: Machinist Prentice
By Whom Employed: New Castle
Where Employed: Car Works
Married or Single: Single
Height: Medium
Build: Medium
Color of Eyes: Brown
Color of Hair: ????
Signed: Job Hares
Date: June 5, 1917

Name: William Hares
Age: (none stated)
Address: 1510 S. Jefferson, New Castle Pa.
Date of Birth: 6 Nov 1896
Where Born: New Keningstown, America
Father's Birthplace: Wales
Name of Employer: A Sr T.P. Co Shenango Works
Place of Employment: New Castle, Pa. Name of Nearest Relative: Mrs. Jane Hares
Address of Nearest Relative: 1510 S. Jefferson, New Castle Pa.
Color of Eyes: Grey
Color of Hair: Lt Brown
Signed: William Hares
Date: June 5, 1918

From these two cards we learn that at the time both Job and William Hares were living at home with mother and father on South Jefferson in New Castle, which is exactly where we find the family living in the next census in 1920. The registration cards also reveal Samuel, Job and William's full date of birth, or rather, what they understood their date of birth to be. As such, these dates should take precedence over dates indicated by other sources, such as the census. We also see that Samuel and Job state that their place of birth as Penclawdd, Wales. By the 1920 Samuel has rejoined the family in New Castle, which included the same family members present in the 1910 census.

By the time of the 1930 census, James and family, with the exception of son Job, had moved to Plum Township in Venago County, Pennsylvania, although there are indications that the family returned to New Castle before the end of the decade.

In the early 1920s, son Job Hares married a woman named Edith and began raising his own family in New Castle, where is where we find him in the 1930 census, with wife Edith, and children Sarah, James, Ethel and Edith. Social Security records indicate that Job Hares died in 1987 (3 Nov), although the record does not state a place of death. He would have been 92 at the time of his death.

Although I have yet to discover when James and Jane Hares died, we have one more final family record that at least proves that James Hares was still living in 1938. The record is a passenger list for a ship (the S.S. Laconia) sailing from Liverpool to New York, arriving in October of 1838. On board were both James Hares and his son William, who had likely been visiting their ancestral homeland for some reason. The passenger records describe James as a 72 year married man, who was naturalized on 11 June 1907. His current address is given as the familiar 1510 S. Jefferson Street in New Castle, Pa. William is described as a 41 year old single male, born 6 Nov 1896 in New Kensington, Pa. His address is given as 102 N. Wayne Street in New Castle. This final, remarkable glimpse of James and William, at present is s wonderful substitute for the 1940 census, which has not yet been released. It tells us that both James and his wife Jane were still living in late 1938, and that the family still resided at their home on South Jefferson St. in New Castle.

I would be very interested in contacting anyone who is researching this family, or any descendant of James and Jane Hares of Penclawdd, Wales and New Castle, Pa.

Jeffrey L. Thomas
March 2006


Update: July 2006. I recently came across the obituary below for Mary Ann Hares Cheney, the daughter of James and Jane Hares, which sheds more light on the family. The information and obituary was compiled by Ellery (NY) town historian Loraine C. Smith.

Cheney, Mary Jane Hares. b. June 6, 1898 New Kensington, Pa. d. Sept. 9, 1992.

Age 94, daughter of James & Jane (Stock) Hares, wife of Asa Burton Cheney, died at 4:56 a.m. today in the home of her daughter, Donna Stage of Dewittville. She was the widow of Asa B. Cheney, with whom she observed their 64th wedding anniversary, June 1, 1988, and who died April 2, 1989. Mrs. Cheney was born June 6, 1898, in New Kensington, Pa., a daughter of James and Jane Stock Hares. She was a graduate of New Castle, Pa. High School and the New Castle Hospital School of Nursing, class of 1920. During World War II, she was a registered nurse at WCA Hospital. She attended the Methodist churches in Bemus Point and Bradenton. Memberships include the PTA, the Study Club, Home Bureau, and Farm Bureau, all of Bemus Point, the Ross Grange, and the Ellery Republican Committee. Surviving are two sons, William H. Cheney of Homer, Ala., and Bradenton, Fla., and John C. Cheney of Bemus Point; three daughters, Anabel Weise of Mayville, Donna Stage of Dewittville, and Edith Johnson of Bemus Point; 18 grandchildren………Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Martha Cheney; a sister Hannah Bell; and four brothers, Job, Sam, Tom and William Hares. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Lind Funeral Home. Burial will be in Bemus Point Cemetery.


Samuel Hares (1763-1815) of Shipham, Somerset
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