Christmas Evans was born at Ysgarwen, near Tre-groes, in the parish of Llandysul, Cardiganshire, on Christmas Day 1766. His father was a poor shoemaker who died when Christmas was nine. This left the family in dire poverty, but his mother’s brother took Christmas to work on his farm in Bwlchog, Llanfihangel-ar-Arth. His stayed there for six years under the care of his cruel, drunkard uncle. At the age of seventeen he could not read a word and he had had no one to guide him into living a moral or godly life. Probably as a result of associating with poor, brutal boys like himself he had a series of accidents, any one of which might have killed him. He was stabbed in a quarrel, he nearly drowned and was saved with difficulty, he fell from a high tree with an open knife in his hand and a horse ran away with him down a low and narrow passage.