James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Isabel Ellen Roberts

Isabel's eldest daughter Isabel Ellen Roberts was born on 25 November 1852 [Newtown 1852, 4th qt] in China Street, Llanidloes (map 2). Her father was Isabel's first husband, John Roberts. At the time of the 1861 census she alone was with her mother in Domgay (map 1) but she subsequently avoided most of the complications of her mother's life by settling in America; it may be that her father had relocated there.

Early in my research I was told that her mother, Isabel Owen, had two daughters and that one of them, Nellie, married a quarry proprietor in Delta, Pennsylvania, and had children, Bella and Idris. Further research revealed that this 'Nellie' was Isabella Ellen Roberts, that she married Robert L Jones who became a quarry proprietor in the Delta area of Pennsylvania and that their two youngest children were called Isabella and Idris.

The main resources used to research this section were: York County, Pennsylvania Biographical History , John Gibson, Chicago: F.A. Battey Publishing Co., 1886 (hereafter denoted by '1886 biography') and the History of York County Pennsylvania , Biographical, Vol. II, 1907, George R. Prowell, p427 ('1907 biography') - this confirmed that Isabella Ellen Roberts was the wife of Robert L Jones. The brief biographies present the picture of a man who 'made good' from quite lowly beginnings but an excellent resource for Welsh research in the 19th and early 20th century, Welsh Newspapers Online, and in particular the American Welsh language newspaper Y Drych ('YD') reveals much more about how Robert's success was hard won and how determination and great courage was required to overcome the many setbacks encountered - accidents, fires, flooding. etc. - and to implement expensive projects. The reports also show that throughout their lives Robert and Isabella continued to be charitable, caring and devout and to be held in high esteem and affection by their friends and neighbours. As a non-Welsh speaker I have done my best to convey the meaning of these reports. Events are presented in approximately chronological order. Information about the Jones family can be seen here.

A US census recorded that Isabella travelled to America in 1869; Isa Roberts, seventeen, is listed as sailing on the City of Boston and arriving in New York on 22 September 1869. One wonders who paid for the voyage and who, if anyone, accompanied her. It seems unlikely she would have travelled alone; the names either side of hers on the ship's passenger list are Martha Dean, forty-seven and married, and, John Lambert, a joiner aged forty, travelling with James Lambert, aged eight.