James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Isabel Ellen Roberts

Isabel’s daughter Isabel Ellen Roberts was born on 25 November 1852 [Newtown 1852, 4th qt] in China Street, Llanidloes (map 2). 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; as suggested above, her father, John Roberts, might have been there and she chose to join him.

The original information I had about her mother was that she had two daughters and one of them, Nellie, married a quarry proprietor in Delta, Pennsylvania, and had children, Bella and Idris. Isabella Ellen was this 'Nellie'; she did marry a man who became a quarry proprietor in the Delta area of Pennsylvania and her two youngest children were called Isabella and Idris.

Isabella Roberts aged 18, born in Wales, and resident in Philadelphia (subdivision No 25) appears in the 1870 US census, enumerated in June 1870. Isabel Ellen would have been seventeen but the births of no other Isabel or Isabella Roberts were registered in Wales from 1850 to 1852 and later evidence confirms this was Isabel’s daughter; like her mother, she had become known as Isabella, which is the name I shall use to distinguish her from her mother. She was living with an American housekeeper, Anna Hartshorne, seventy-eight, and an Irish servant, Mary A. Quigley, thirty-eight.

A later census also revealed that Isabella had 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. It seems unlikely that Isabella would have travelled that distance unaccompanied; 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 a child, James Lambert, aged eight but there does not appear to be any link between them and Isabella.

Further searching of the US censuses suggested that Isabella might have married Robert L Jones, though in the 1900 US census his wife was listed as Isabella R. Jones. (This site reveals that she was called 'Isabella Roberts Jones'; like many ladies, on marriage she had adopted her maiden name as her middle name.) I was reassured this was Isabella (née Roberts) when I discovered the following.