James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Miriam Shelby

Sarah and John Shelby had a daughter, Miriam Shelby, known as Nellie or Nell who was born in 1857 in Rumney, Monmouthshire. I cannot find an entry for her birth in the General Register but I believe she may well have been recorded as Miriam Shebb [Abergavenny 1857, 2nd qt]. In 1871 she was 13, living with her family and she was a general domestic servant; her ages as recorded in all the censuses are consistent. In 1881 she was still a general servant but at Oak Bank Avenue, Blackley, Manchester, with children William Ingham, aged 3, and Dora Ingham, aged 2. They were the children of Robert, a commission agent, and Miriam Ingham who were staying elsewhere in Manchester at the time of the census.

Miriam Shelby was a witness at the marriage of her sister, Louisa, to John Labron in 1881 and she herself married John William Owen in 1895 [Wrexham 1895, 3rd qt]. John, born in about 1865 in Llanfair-Fechan, Caernarvonshire, had been the schoolmaster at Minera, living next door to Miriam’s sister Louisa and her family in 1891. John and Miriam’s only daughter Olwen Owen, born in 1897 [Wrexham 1897, 2nd qt] sadly died soon after birth [Wrexham 1897, 1st qt]. It was apparently at Nellie’s insistance that Olwen Hedley was so-named. (See also Olwen Mary Owen Shelby,). Nellie and John were among the mourners at the funeral of her uncle Elias in May 1899. In 1901 Miriam and John were living in the boys’ schoolhouse at Ruabon School where John was a master. (map 4)

Nellie died on Thursday, 1 January 1925, aged 62 [Bangor 1925, 1st qt]. There was a newspaper cutting, in memoriam: In loving memory of my dear wife Miriam (Nell) remembered by her husband and all at "Rhianfa", Llanllechid, Bangor .... JW. The address in Llanllechid was that of one of Miriam’s cousins (Gwen) Lily Owen, a daughters of Elias Owen, and her family. John, known to his neices and nephews as Uncle Jack, was very popular with them as he generally gave them treats when he and Nellie visited, as they often did. He became headmaster at Ruabon (map 4) and I am told that he subsequently married his maid, May, who bore him a daughter and they named her Miriam. John might have died in the winter of 1936/7, aged 72 [Wrexham 1937, 1st qt].