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W Evans / W E

William Evans Jr.

1775 - 1830 Portsmouth, NH.

Mechanic and Joiner

W Evans / W E


1st tier

William Evans Jr. 1775-1830, Portsmouth, NH. A mechanic in his obituary and a joiner in his probate and deeds.

Wife Betsey Rowell and children; Eveline 1805-1822, Caroline (Huse) b 1809-d 1831, Francis M b 1818 – d 1830, Ann E. (Mendum) b 1800 d 1841, Mary Elizabeth (Cate) b 1811 – d 1901. (Children from probate and obit documents)

Portsmouth deeds 1800, 1820  joiner and guardianship 1808, joiner.

Extensive inventory with joiner tools; planes, saws, squares, lathe, work benches, sash, unfinished stock.  The planes were; 8 beads, 5 rabbets, 2 nozin, 8 ovalos, 2 qtr rounds, 1 sash, 1 pr. Match, 3 molding, 6 for blinds, 3 cornish, 10 rounds, 1 raising, 9 plane stocks, 8 bench planes. The mention of 9 plane stocks is important.



At his death, he was a widower and several of his 6 children were still minors.

The Portsmouth Athenaeum has a 1827 pine and maple standing desk in red / brown paint and 1828 bookshelves made by William Evans along with original receipts.

There are two additional furniture pieces known which are marked in caps “W. EVANS”. A painted dressing table, Portsmouth 1805-1820. Strawberry Bank Museum 1992.5. A drop leaf table, possibly Portsmouth 1745-75, private collection, Pennington 1979, no. 123. (Two generations may be indicated based on the date range.)

William’s daughter Mary Elizabeth sold some of William’s Portsmouth land on South Street, with a house and workshop, but remained at the house at 6th South Street, now 47th South Street. The ca 1752 house is still standing and is known as the William Evans house.

The identification of William’s parents is not straight forward, and the genealogical literature is not clear. Here,  William and Anna, are put forward as his possible parents based on the assumption that John Wentworth Evans was his brother.  (William became guardian of John W’s son John in 1808 after petitioning the Court and co-signed a deed in 1796.) ( The guardianship information (Rockingham County Wills, Exeter, vol. 38, p 279) was found in ”The Evans family of Dover, vol. 12, page 3332.) The trade of William (1742) is not known.  John W. a mariner, had sundry joiners and coopers tools in his 1802 probate.

The older William Evans was born in 1742 and married Anna in 1768. His father, Richard (1706-1788) and a son Richard (1734 – d after 1801) both of Portsmouth, were joyners / carpenters. The Richard’s were listed as joiners in Portsmouth deeds between 1730 – 1788. After this date, the Portsmouth Richard’s trade switched to merchant.

William, the joiner, matched lands in the deeds to lands in probate, so his identity is solid. However, there were other period Williams in the Portsmouth area.  

  • William Evans in Portsmouth, a merchant, who was born in 1776 to Daniel Evans. This William moved to Portland, ME in 1797 where he died in 1859.

  • Willian Evans b 1755 son of John and Dorothy

As to other Evans’ families, Salisbury and Dover Evans’ had housewrights and joiners, but none were W Evans.

The 1790 census records William Evans in VT, NH, CT, ME, MA, NY  and PA with a couple of Walters thrown into the mix. NH and PA have the largest number of contingents. Deeds from Middlesex, Essex, Bristol, Norfolk, Suffolk, Worcester, Plymouth, MA and Rockingham, NH were searched as well as extant probate records from the above states.


The Portsmouth Athenaeum's 1827 pine and maple standing desk in red / brown paint

1830 Obituary


2nd tier

William Evans, Philadelphia

1780 2 story carpenter shop for sale since he was a loyalist.

12.5” beech with maple tote, found near Rowley, MA. Robust chamfers.


The front of the plane is imprinted “W Evans” and “W E” which might indicate two generations of use and ownership.










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