Robert Evans Home, Gwynedd,
Pennsylvania, as it appeared in 1926.
|This photograph, taken in 1927, shows the Robert Evans house
just after restoration (removal of more modern construction).
Inside, the house still had the original fire places, including
an 11 foot wide kitchen hearth. A spring house is off to the
right of the house. The steep pitched roof is typical of
seventeenth century Welsh dwellings. The work crew doing the
restoration discovered on the end of a large stone at the jamb
of the first door that read at one end "R.E. 1716" and at the
other end the inscription H.E. (for son Hugh).
The article in question is from the magazine "The House Beautiful", January 1927 and was entitled "Restoring an old Welsh Farmhouse". It is reproduced below.
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Robert Evans (b. Wales about 1658, d. March 1738), the original owner, was one of the four Evans brothers who emigrated from Pennlyn, Merionethshire, Wales and settled in Gwynedd township in 1698. His wife was named Ellen. The Smith memorial, published about 40 years after he died says, "Some time before [Robert Evans] left his native country he forsook the national worship, and went to Friends' meetings, and soon after his arrival he entered into close fellowship and union with Friends. He was a very diligent frequenter of meetings. He had a gift for the ministry which was well received, as it was chiefly remarks on his own experience in religion." Robert died in the 1st month (March), 1738 and Thomas Chalkley, in his Journal says: "I was at the burial of Robert Evan of North Wales. He was upward of four score years of age, and one of the first settlers there; - a man who lived and died in the love of God and of his neighbors, of whom I believe it might be truly said, as our Saviour said of Nathaniel, 'Behold an Israelite indeed in whom there is not guile." He was a minister of Christ, full of divine and religious matter." (from Howard Jenkins, p. 88, Historical Collections of Gwynedd)
Before constructing this home his family undoubtedbly lived in a log house. His land (map) was over a thousand acres and stretched from Evans Road to Swedesford Road and from the Whitpain line to the present day junction of Dekalb Pike (US 202) and Meetinghouse Road. Not long after settlement he began to sell off parts of this large tract - to Cadwallader Roberts (before 1707) and John Davies (in 1707) among others. He owned the land on which stands the present day William Penn Inn and part of Foulkeways, and he donated the land on which stands Gwynedd Friends Meeting. From the initials H.E. found on the door sill, his son Hugh lived in the house with his father. Hugh Evans (married Margaret Roberts) died in 1734 before his father. Robert Evans sold the house to a relative, Amos Roberts (the great grandson of Robert's brother Thomas Evans and the nephew by marriage of son Hugh.) Amos on his death in 1792 passed it to his son George (m. Rachel), who sold it in 1835 to John Searl. In 1884 this house belonged to Silas White and the 1927 restoratation was done when the Shearer family owned the property.
1769 Gwynedd twp., Philadelphia County, tax list: Amos Roberts 184 acres, 3 horses, 8 cows, no servants or slaves, tax 20 pounds, 5 shillings, 4 d.
1776 Gwynedd twp., Philadelphia County, tax list: Amos Roberts 189 acres, 3 horses, 8 cows - note says he has 9 children
1790 census, Gwynedd, Montgomery Co., PA: 25-67 Roberts, Amos: 4 males 16 & up, 1 male <16, 6 females, 0 others, 0 slaves.