Thomas Evans

Tom Evans was the son of William J. Evans  and was born in Aberystwyth in Cardiganshire, Wales (United Kingdom) in 1832. He had come to America with his family ten years later and lived in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

When he was eighteen, Tom Evans left Wisconsin and sailed around Cape Horn landing at San Francisco. He headed for Placerville and got a job driving a stagecoach between Virginia City, Nevada and Nevada City, California. He next moved to Solano County where he bought property near the present day city of Dixon. After selling this property, he returned to San Francisco where he caught a ship bound for Santa Barbara but when he reached San Simeon he got off because, it is said, the coast reminded him of his home in Wales.  Here Tom purchased some land from Don Juan Castro in 1868. Castro had become the owner of the northern portion of a Mexican Land Grant called Rancho Piedra Blanca, originally granted to Jose de Jesus Pico in 1840. The Evans ranch was just north of Piedras Blancas Light Station.

Thomas Evans

Tom then returned to Wisconsin where he married Mary Jarmon of Wales, Wisconsin, just a few miles from his home town of Waukesha. Tom’s brother, John, was already married to one of Mary’s sisters, Ann Jarmon. Tom and Mary returned to San Francisco by train in 1869, the year the transcontinental railroad was completed, and proceeded to San Simeon by steamer.  They had six sons and two daughters at the ranch: John, Thomas, Katherine, Walter, Anabel, George, David and William. Their two daughters, Kate and Anabel, married Van Gordon brothers Vine and Earl, respectively. Two of their sons, Thomas and David, married Clemence sisters Evelyn and Helen, respectively.

Helen was David’s second wife and they had two sons, William and James. In the 1960s, James Evans, together with his partner Thomas Gerst, became majority owners of the Guthrie-Bianchini House (now the Cambria Historical Museum) at the corner of Burton Drive and Center Street. They are still the owners of the “Bucket of Blood Saloon” building (formerly the home of Painted Sky Recording Studio) at the corner of Center and Bridge Streets.

Mary Jarmon Evans

Mary Jarmon was on of fourteen children and she had seven sisters. After she married Tom and moved to the ranch, some of her sisters came from Wisconsin to visit. When Elizabeth Jarmon came to California in 1879, she married Captain Lorin V. Thondyke who was the head keeper at Piedras Blancas Light Station. They had two sons and Elizabeth died in 1886 when the boys were four and five years old. Another of Mary’s sisters, Margaret Jarmon, also came to visit in 1897 and she also married Captain Thorndyke, becoming his third wife. Martha Jarmon, yet another sister, came to visit in 1872 and married Benjamin F. Muma of San Simeon.

Mary Evans died in 1881 and Tom Evans died in 1919. Both are buried in the Cambria Community Cemetery.

15 Responses to “Thomas Evans”

  1. B&J says:


    We interviewed Peggy Evans and that’s where we got much of the information about the Evans family. But, alas, we did not ask her about Aldyth’s children.

  2. Judy Evans says:

    My parents were Bud and Peggy Evans. I am looking for the daughters of Aldyth Evans Lay and granddaughters of Lillian Evans.

  3. Kathleen Lay says:

    Robert Evans and his wife Martha had not one but three children. Paul is the oldest and still living in LA county. Linda, the oldest daughter, is deceased. Sue Evans Blyth is in Stockton.

    Aldyth Cecilia Evans and Robert Herman Lay married on May 6, 1944.

    John Clinton Evans, Jr. was lost at sea. He was sailing his boat from Fort Bragg to winter over in Morro Bay and never made it. His mother Lillian searched for him for until her death in 1962. At the time of her death, he was not yet legally dead.

  4. B&J says:

    As mentioned in the third paragraph of the article, Tom and Mary Evans had six sons and two daughters at the ranch. One of the sons (we think he was the oldest) was John C. Evans who married Lillian Dennis. John and Lillian had three children: Aldyth who married Robert Lay; John C. Evans, Jr. (Clint) who married Mayme Tift; and Robert D. Evans who married Martha Kraals.

    Jonn C. Evans was born on November 28, 1870 at San Simeon, CA and he married Lillian Emma Dennis in 1913 at San Luis Obispo, CA. He died February 14, 1953 at San Luis Obispo, CA. Lillian Dennis was the daughter of Nelson Dennis and Jennie Brown.

    Aldyth was born on October 2, 1920 at San Francisco, CA. she married Robert Lay June 5, 1944 in Paso Robles, CA and she died in1990 at Atascadero, CA.

    John Clinton Evans, Jr. was born on November 27, 1913 at Cambria, CA and he married Mayme Tift on September 13, 1939. They had one child: Michalle Ann Evans. He died November, 1959 at sea off the California coast.

    Robert D. Evans and Martha Kraals and had one child: Paul Dennis Evans.


  5. Janet Nichols says:

    To add to my other note.I think Lillian died in the 60s or 70s. She was in her 70s. Retired to Los Osos

  6. Janet Nichols says:

    Does anyone have info on John and Lillian Evans? Lived North of the light house, as the road starts to climb. Had 2 sons, Clint and Robert and a daughter Aldyth.
    I think John Evans had a Quicksilver mine North of Gorda.
    Thanks Janet Nichols

  7. B&J says:

    Hi Sandy:

    We have no clue as to her cause of death either. She was only about 34 years old.

    If you really want to know, you can probably see her death certificate at the San Luis Obispo County Clerk/Recorder’s Office but remember she died in 1886 and diagnoses were not that accurate then. It would give you a good idea as to her cause of death, though. If you do find out, please post it so we’ll all know.


  8. sandy bosworth says:

    I am a tour guide at Piedras Blancas Lightstation and would love to have any info on what Lizzie Jarmon died from. Have never found any clues.

  9. Cassie says:

    Sadly my Mary and Tom are as far back as I’ve been able to get so far and their death dates and the info on the two girls is all I have. It’s possible that they might be cousins or just happen to have the same names and lived at the same time and place.

    But it does appear my Tom and Mary came over after their daughter Hannah was born in 1845 but before 1872 when Hannah gave birth to her first child. I would probably have to travel to Wales to see if there was any more information on them there, which hopefully I’ll be able to do some day, as I do have a good chunk of my family coming from there. Evans does appear to have been a popular last name.

    And thank you so much for the photos of their tombstones, I will add these to my family records.

  10. B&J says:


    Thanks for that information. We actually came across that Mary Jarmon’s tombstone in Salem Cemetery near Waukesha, Wisconsin. She was married to Thomas T. Evans. She was born in 1805 and died December 28, 1881. We don’t know how how they were related to our Evans family. Do you?

    The Tom Evans in the article above was Thomas J. Evans and his father’s brother’s name was Thomas H. Evans.

    We walked through both the Salem and Jerusalem cemeteries near Waukesha and about every fourth or fifth tombstone says “Evans” on it!


  11. Cassie says:

    I just want to post that there appears to have been two Thomas Evans and Mary Jarmon’s in Wisconsin during the same time. The other pair were also married but had two daughters, Jane who died in childhood and Hannah who went on to marry William C James.

  12. B&J says:


    Thank you very much for that correction. We meant to say that Mary Evans (not Martha Evans) died in 1881. We got this date from her tombstone so we think it’s accurate. The date we have for the death of Martha Jarmon Muma is 1910 but we got it from an internet posting with no author so we wouldn’t consider it very authoritative. Thank you for verifying that date.

    Since you expressed an interest in the Jarmon sisters, we have sent you an email with more information than you probably wanted!

  13. Joan Lisi says:

    I read with great interest the article on Thomas Evans, and noted a typo at the end. Martha Evans is probably your reference to Mary’s sister, Martha Jarmon, who died in 1910, widow of B.F. Muma, my direct ancestor. I believe Mary died at the age of 88, as refered to in “Chronicles of the Cambria Pioneers.” which would put her death in 1940, or 1937 depending on which birth date you believe.

    I am looking for any stories about the sisters, and of course have the info. about the other 2 who married into the Thorndyke family.

    My wonderful distant cousin, Vincent Bulman, found this article and forwarded it to me.

  14. B&J says:

    Wow! It didn’t take you long to find this posting – about 8 hours! We’re glad you liked it.

    We were in Wales a few years ago and we photographed the headstones of all the Jarmons and Evans’s. That helped a lot in our research. We went to the Clerk’s office but, alas, it was closed.


  15. Jo Simon says:

    Pleased to see this on website this morning…………
    Jo Simon (former Clerk-Treasurer in Village of Wales, Waukesha County, Wisconsin.)

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