James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Married life in Llanllechid

Elias and Margaret had a large family. Their first eight children were born in Llanllechid. They were Edwin James (b 1859), William Pierce (b 20 November 1860), Elias [b 1862/3], Thomas Edward (b 13 November 1864), Mary (b about 1866), Susan Ellen (b 1868), Margaret Ellen (b 1869/70) and Lizzie, (b. 1871/2). Their other children were Charlotte Ann (b 1874), Myfanwy (b 1876/7), Gwen Lily (b 1879), Sarah Louisa (b Feb 1881), Enid (b 1881/2) and John Lowry Morgan Owen, (b 1884).

Elias lived in Llanllechid, probably from the mid 1850s until 1871. It was reported in the North Wales Chronicle of 9 January, 1864, that the parents of his schoolchildren and neighbours gave him a generous Christmas gift in 1863. In the exchange of speeches at the presentation, which took place at the school, it was mentioned that Elias had been teaching for nine years and that when he came to this purely Welsh neighbourhood of Llanllechid he did not speak Welsh though he swiftly remedied this. Elias in thanking the assembly, deflected praise away from himself to the people who had supported him; “The success of a school depends upon internal management and external encouragement." The latter, he said, included the co-operation of parents, the visits of ladies and gentlemen and the active support and involvement of the school managers, and in every one of these respects he had been very lucky. Difficulties, he suggested, arose from outside, from factors such as funding and government policy. He also took the opportunity to reinforce the importance of regular and prompt attendance of pupils to allow them to make the most of their few years at school, a maximum of four years in general.

The North Wales Chronicle of 9 Sept, 1869, reported a gathering of over 400 at the school the previous Sunday for the laying of the foundation stone for the new National School building (the school was being enlarged) and a tea with which both Elias and Margaret were involved. The Penrhyn Brass Band played and, after tea, led a prossession to Bryn-Owen and back.

Elias was still in Llanllechid when he joined the Powys-land Club in 1871 though his house was actually just in the neighbouring community of Ruabon (South Caellwyngrydd and Rachub) according to the 1871 census. His brother Elijah was schoolmaster at nearby Glanogwen National School, Bethesda, at least between about October 1863 and 1872 (evidenced from the birthplaces of his children). Many times they must have climbed up and down the long, steep hillside between them to visit each other; Bethesda nestles in a valley with Llanllechid lying just over the crest of a very steep hill to the north (map), both on the edge of what is now Snowdonia National Park.