James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
click on pictures for enlargments


Llansantffraid church On 21 April 1829, at St. Ffraid Church, Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain (left), James married Susannah Morgan; the day before had been Easter Monday. Witnesses of the marriage were Ann Owen and William Morgan. Ann may well have been James’s mother; the rather shaky signature in the church register suggests the writer was elderly and the College of Arms in a letter of 20 December 1967 to John Morgan-Owen stated that James’s mother was called Ann. William was probably Susannah’s father since Llandysilio church Susannah was the daughter of William Morgan and Sarah Prichard. She had been born on Sunday, 5 May 1805 and christened a fortnight later at Llandysilio church (right); the village of Llandysilio lies about 3 miles east of Llansantffraid (map 1).

Domgay chapel James and Susannah had nine children all of whom survived into adulthood. Sarah Ann was born in 1829 and Isabel, in 1831. Their first son, Elias, was born on 2 December 1833 and their second, Elijah, on 7 November 1835. The two boys were christened at Domgay Congregational or Independent Chapel (left). The chapel is actually at Four Crosses, on what is now the A483 and its records date from 1814.

An obituary for Elias stated that his family was living at Hollywell, near Penrhos, (map 1) at the time of Elias's birth and another that he was born on a farm near Deythur grammar school and that his father was a farmer; other evidence indicates James was a shoe maker in the 1830s. The record of Elias’s christening and that of his brother Elijah gives the family’s place of residence as Domgay in the parish of Llandysilio whilst the birth certificate of their sister, Jemima, states in August 1838 they were living in Sarney (now called Sarnau), just south of Deythur (now called Deuddwr).

For a while the family lived in Montgomery. James and Susannah's third son, Edward James Owen, was born, in about January 1840 and when he was 4 months old, according to the 1841 census (7 June 1841), the family was living in Long Bridge Street, Llanidloes.