James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

William Parry Owen (1887 - 1937)

William Parry Owen, the son of Elias (jun) and Zillah (née Parry), was born on 18 May 1887 [Ruthin 1887, 3rd qt] at Efenechtyd when his father was still a student. After the tragic suicide of his father and the disappearance of his mother William was brought up by his Owen grandparents. He continued to live with his grandmother, Margaret Owen, and some of her children in Bangor after his grandfather died (in 1901 he was described as her nephew though he had previously been described as her grandson). He is almost certainly the boy in the sailor suit in this photo.

In 1911 William was a wagoner for farmer Evan Maurice Griffiths at Tynycoed, back in Llanyblodwel, the last parish of his late grandfather, Rev. Elias Owen. Llanyblodwel has little changed over the years and Tynycoed (Ty'n-y-coed) has a 17th century farmhouse that is now a listed building. William served in the Great War and in 1915 he married Marion May Selby [Chelsea 1915, 4th qt]. She was known as May and was the daughter of Fanny and William Selby, a joiner from Scotland who had settled in London and married a Londoner. Her family was living in Marylebone in 1901 which was where May had been born on 10 May 1890 [Marylebone 1890, 2nd qt]. In 1911 May Selby had been a resident housemaid for a wealthy Scot, Duncan Cameron, in Chelsea. I can only imagine that she and William met after he had enlisted.

SS Ballarat 1 On 14 December 1922, William (34) and his wife Marion May (31) sailed from Tilbury, London, aboard the Ballarat (right) bound for Fremantle, Western Australia, a port that has now been swallowed up by the expansion of Perth. They gave their last address in England as 52 Lysia Street, Fulham Palace Road, London, and William gave his occupation as 'farming'.

The Ballarat had been launched in 1920 and had come into service the following year. She had 491 permanent third class berths and 758 temporary berths in prefabricated dormitories, the latter for the outward voyage only. She was one of several such ships that were designed specifically to provide transport for the boom in emigration to Australia at that time but by 1926 this had declined and the ship was scrapped about ten years later.