James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Isabel Ann Brown (aka Starkey)

Victoria and Henry Brown's first daughter, Isabel Ann Brown, was born on 22 December 1884 in Tranmere, Cheshire [Birkenhead 1885, 1st qt], about a month after their marriage and she was christened at Tranmere on 26 April 1885. In the 1891 census she was with her grandmother, Isabel (née Owen), and bore the surname Starkey. In 1901 she was back with her mother and with the rest of the Starkey family. She married John Wilfred Minshall in St Nicholas Church, Liverpool on Christmas Day 1904. He had been born in 1885 [Birkenhead 1885, 2nd qt]. By 1911, according to the census, they were living at 83 Woodville Road, Birkenhead, with their daughters (Elizabeth) Victoria, born on 28 September 1905 and Ruth, born on 8 February 1909. (Woodville Road is the next road along from Briardale where the Starkeys lived). In about 1914, Isabel gave birth to a son, Harold W Minshall, [Birkenhead 1914, 1st qt] who lived only a short time [d Liverpool 1914, 1st qt].

The family was still living in Woodville Road in 1919 when John was discharged from the army. He had enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, 159th Bde, in 1915, aged thirty, 5ft 6 1/4 ins tall, a butcher who according to his army record may have had a tattoo of clasped hands. He spent some time in Brighton before embarking for France as a driver in February 1916. By the end of the war he had attained the rank of sergeant, had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field and had been shot in the neck. In March 1916 a Miss B Warman of Myrtle Street, Woolwich, where he had been briefly stationed before France, wrote to the War Office asking to know his whereabouts. A Miss Alice Hayward of Gladstone Place, Lewes Road, Brighton wrote three times, first in 1917, asking for contact details for John with whom she had lost contact when he left for France. She wrote again in 1918 saying she had been writing every week but he had apparently not received her letters - "I have something very urgent to ask him and it is a great worry to me not to [be] able to hear".

'Wilf' Minshall Meanwhile Isabel had given birth to a son, (John) Wilfred Minshall (right), born on 18 November 1917. 'Wilf' married Clara Hollingworth [Birkenhead 1940, 1st qt] - she was a twin, born in 1920 [Birkenhead 1920, 3rd qt]. Sadly their daughter Cecilia E Minshall, born the following year [Birkenhead 1941, 2nd qt], died aged one [Birkenhead 1942, 2nd qt]. Clara herself died, aged twenty-four [Birkenhead 1944, 3rd qt] and a few months later 'Wilf' remarried. He died on 14 January 2010 at Grange Nursing Home in Heswall and is survived by his second wife, two daughters and two grandchildren.