James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Isabel's death

By 1891 Isabel, a ‘tailoress’, had moved to 139 Oliver Street, Grange, Birkenhead (map) and finally she was declaring herself a widow. With her were her son Elijah and a six-year old ‘niece’ called Isabel A. Starkey, who had been born in Tranmere, Birkenhead. Yet again Isabel was pretending to be her daughter as this ‘niece’ was actually her granddaughter, the eldest child of her daughter Victoria. Another family, Thomas Maskery, a ‘hand driller’ in the shipyards, his wife, Elizabeth and their two baby daughters were living at the same address and the following year Elijah Trevethan Roberts married one of Thomas’s sisters.

Mary Tyson (née Owen), the daughter of Isabel’s brother, Elijah, had married into a wealthy Wirral family in 1890 and was living in nearby Wallasey and subsequently Mary’s mother moved to Liscard in the Wirral with some of her other children. Their circumstances were very unlike Isabel’s but one wonders if members of the two branches of the family ever met.

There were many examples of what might today be called ‘misinformation’ – names, ages and other details - involving Isabel and her children but fortunately her place of birth was almost always consistent, though spellings varied and it was once said to be in Caernarvonshire. However, when she died she could not deny her true age; Isabella Gibbons (née Owen) died aged sixty-five in 1895 [Birkenhead 1895, 2nd qt] (latterly she styled herself 'Isabella').