Welsh hats were formerly manufactured [in Llanelli] by one Evans in Kings Square on a small, almost a domestic scale.
J.Innes, Old Llanelly, (Cardiff, 1902), p. 57
Only one hat maker, Howell Evans, was listed under Llanelli in trade directories between 1840 and 1858. He was not in directories for 1835 or 1865 and later. His address was consistently given as Spring Gardens.
In the 1841 census returns, a household comprising Howell Evans (55-60, Hatter, born Carmarthenshire), Elizabeth Evans (55-60, no occupation stated, born outside Carmarthenshire), David Evans (25-30, Hatter J[ourneyman], born Carmarthenshire), James Evans (20-25, Hatter J[ourneyman], born Carmarthenshire), Anne Evans (20-25, Hat Trimmer, born Carmarthenshire) and Harriet Evans (17, no occupation stated, born Carmarthenshire), lived in Mill Street, part of the Spring Gardens area.
It seems probable that Howell Evans died between 1841 and 1851. He does not appear in the 1851 census but his son, David Evans seems to have taken over the business. David Evans, (head, married, 35, hatter, born Carmarthen Town), Mary Evans (wife, married, 35, born Bristol), David (son, 2, born Llanelly), Howell (son, 2, born Llanelly) and Mary Ann (daughter, 3 months, born Llanelly) lived at 3 Church Street. No other hatters were listed for Llanelli.
In 1861, David Evans is described as a labourer.
(Many thanks to Robert Protheroe-Jones of the Welsh Industrial Museum, Swansea for this information.)