James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Jersey, retirement & death

From another letter:
July 29, 1927. The sole surviving relative of my father and mine died a good number of years ago, unmarried I believe, at a place called 'Pont-rkyd-y-groes' some ten or twelve miles from Aberystwith and not very far from Tregaron, Cardiganshire. His name was Evan Shelby - note the old name 'Evan.' ----- From what my dad used to tell me his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he also, were engaged in the lead mining industry, being 'Captains' or managers of different lead mines. That the Evan Shelby who left for America years and years ago was a relative of my father's there can be no doubt, as he often spoke to me of his relatives in America.

It is not yet clear as to when James started teaching in Jersey, the Channel Islands, but 'James Prichard Selby' appears in the school log (1883-1905) for St James' Boys' School and also in the school log book (1900-1911) for the Elementary Board School, Phillip's Street; 'Mr. Selby' appears in the school log (1902-1925) for St John's School and also in the school log book (1920-1943) for La Motte School, St Helier. I am told that he ended his career in the 1920's as Deputy Headmaster of La Motte School.

In retirement he lived in Abergele in Denbighshire. His grandchildren remembered him as being charming, stern and fair but always smiling. He had a mass of white hair and a lovely drooping moustache. He was severely afflicted by arthritis in old age. They also recalled the loganberries that grew in his garden and the “Felix the cat” that hung there to keep the birds away. Ever the teacher, his final ambition was to see his young grandson write in 'joined-up' script.

James died in Abergele on 23 March 1949 and, as was expected in those days and in those parts, he lay in state in the front room until his funeral. His widow insisted his grandson kiss the corpse and 'there was an unholy row' when he refused!

I believe Sally may have died in the winter of 1958/9, aged 82 [Wood Green 1958, 1st qt].