Hannah [Unknown-540234, GCSZ-7JD] was the wife of Lewis Prees [Prees-11, L8S2-73L]. Many researchers, including almost every tree at, believe that her maiden name was Hannah David and that her parents were Francis and Margaret David. However, none of them cite any sources for this name, and I haven't been able to find any sources to support this conclusion.

Question: What evidence, if any, is there to support the idea that Hannah's maiden surname was David?

Source of this Maiden Name

The maiden name of Hannah David seems to come from the "Millennium File" by Heritage Consulting, and/or from the LDS Church's "International Genealogical Index" (IGI). Neither of these are primary sources: the Millenium File is simply a collection of family trees put together by a defunct professional genealogy company, and the IGI is mostly a set of notes and family trees put together by various anonymous researchers. Both date from the second half of the twentieth century and, at least in this case, neither cite any primary sources from the lifetimes of the people they refer to. They can be taken as a hint of the direction in which we should be looking, but they are not reliable sources in themselves.

In the "Collaborate" section of Lewis Prees's FamilySearch profile, we find the following note:

Father: John PREES
Mother: Margaret
Spouse: Hannah DAVID

Source: Family Records; Film #445861, Ord 90664, B: 1 Dec 1953
E: 12 JAN 1954 SLAKE; Call No. 1621470,
B: 10 Nov 1990 ATLAN, E: 18 Apr 1991 ATLAN;
Call Nos. 1761134 SS: 5 Mar 1993 SLAKE; 1621470;

A further comment on that same page notes that "the first three children cannot belong to this family. They were born way before the parents' marriage". As this comment is from 2010, and the change log for this profile only extends back to 2012, we cannot draw any conclusions as to which children are being referred to by this comment – but it does seem to imply that the commenter had information about Lewis and Hannah's marriage, and therefore that such information must be findable.

In the "Collaborate" section of the profile for Lewis and Hannah's daughter Amelia, we find the following note:

Father: Lewis PREES
Mother: Hannah DAVID
Spouse: (1) Edmund LEWIS
(2) William HARDING
Source: Batch 6010687, sheet 28

And similarly, for four of Lewis and Hannah's other children (John, William, Hannah and Margaret), we find the following note:

Father: Lewis PREES
Mother: Hannah DAVID
Source: Film #447813; F# 456894

These film numbers would appear to refer to researchers' notes, rather than films of primary sources. I requested copies from FamilySearch to see whether there is any useful information in them, but was told that it was not possible for copies to be made of these documents.

There is also a large amount of correspondence between the Genealogical Society of Utah and a number of its patrons who commissioned research into the family in the 1950s; these were microfilmed and are available at FamilySearch (films 446432, 539552 and 539553). These consist of many hundreds of pages, mostly of letters, with a lot of repeated content, and would take a very long time to look through exhaustively; I did however find several family group sheets for various members of the family tree. Most gave the mother's maiden name - but none of the ones for Lewis and Hannah did, strongly hinting that the professional researchers in the 1950s weren't able to find a marriage or another source for her maiden name either.

Evidence from Hannah's Lifetime

Now we will look at primary sources.

For the parish registers, I have mainly used FindMyPast's collections of Glamorganshire Baptisms, Glamorganshire Burials and Glamorganshire Marriages and Banns. These form a complete collection of all surviving parish registers from Glamorgan in the period in question. I also consulted the parish registers at Glamorgan Archives before FindMyPast collection was available; my understanding is that they are the same scans of the same registers.

The following is a summary of all the evidence that I have found so far:

I have also searched for, but not found, the following evidence:

The fact that a researcher concluded that they were married in about 1782 does not necessarily demonstrate that they found a primary source stating that year. It is quite common to make a note that a couple probably got married about a year or two before the birth of their first child - and if you are only going by the Llandaff baptisms and assuming that their first child was Amelia in 1783, then a note that they probably married in 1782 is very plausible.

Hannah's death and burial register entries in 1841 give her age at death as 85, suggesting a birth date of around 1756. If we assume that Hannah was baptised in Llandaff, then the potentially matching records are:

While the daughter of Francis David is the closest match to the birth date implied by the death and burial records, it should be noted that ages on death and burial records were frequently incorrect by several years. Any of these four baptisms are well within the expected timeframe for a death and burial in 1841 giving an age of 85 – and of course we haven't considered that Hannah may have been born in a different parish. It is absolutely not a safe conclusion that the baptism with the closest-matching age is necessarily the right one.

Lewis and Hannah's daughter Amelia [Prees-12, LZ6N-MR8] married twice - first to Edmund Lewis in 1808, and then to William Harding in 1817. On both marriages, one of the witnesses is called John David; as witnesses were frequently (but by no means always) relatives, and especially as this John David witnessed both of Amelia's marriages, we might wonder whether he was a close relative, perhaps an uncle - but this would only be a point to suggest the direction of our research, not any sort of proof in itself.


We can see from these last two pieces of evidence a reason why the researcher whose notes were included in the IGI might have concluded that Hannah's father was Francis David. However, while the primary sources might point towards this as a decent possibility, they do not provide sufficient evidence for us to confirm that researcher's conclusion. It is unlikely that we would be able to solidly conclude anything about Hannah's maiden name without finding a marriage record - presumably in a different parish - or a similar primary source that provides both her maiden and married surnames.

WikiTree G2G: Evidence for Hannah David's maiden surname (wife of Lewis Prees)?

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