John Elias Born (1774)
was born on May 6th, 1774 at Crynllwynbach farm, in the parish of Aberch, four miles from Pwllheli on the Lleyn Peninsula. His father was a farmer and weaver, like his father before him. He was from humble, yet comfortable circumstances. Elias was always grateful to his religious and moral grandfather, for taking an interest in him and having him brought up in the way of duty, morality and religion. This upbringing kept Elias away from the usual vices and follies of youth. “He would set before me, when capable of understanding it, the evil and danger of using bad words, lying and swearing, and taking God’s name in vain; also of breaking the Sabbath. He would moreover teach me to respect and honour the worship of God.”
His grandfather was an Anglican, and he took Elias to church as soon as he could walk the few miles distance. He taught his grandson how to read Welsh when Elias was four or five and he had read from Genesis to the middle of Jeremiah by the time he was seven. Much of his thought was on godly matters, even as a child and he had frightening dreams about Judgement Day and about going to hell; something he would later preach about with great clarity. He was very conscious of doing wrong, and if he thought he had done something he shouldn’t, he would be very distressed and might cry and get out of bed to pray.