James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Thomas Edward Owen

Elias and Margaret’s fourth son, Thomas Edward Owen, was born in Llanllechid on Sunday, 13 November 1864 [Bangor, 1864 4th qt]. He initially followed his elder brother, William, into the law and he became a solicitor’s clerk (he passed the preliminary examination of the Incorporated Law Society in 1888 [North Wales Chronicle, 2 June 1888]). Such was his profession on 14 December 1889 when he married Eleanor Roberts Daniels, the daughter of William, a sawyer, and Jane Daniels [Carnarvon, 1889 4th qt.]. In the 1881 census she was ‘Ellen’ and was a pupil teacher.

He then made the brave decision to study at Durham University where he was a student with two of his cousins, Eyton Pritchard Owen and Oswald Williams Owen in the early 1890s. Information about their student days can be seen here. At the time of the 1891 census he was a married student living with his parents and siblings and Eleanor may have been the ‘Elleanor Owen’, married schoolteacher, visiting the Morrison family at Dwygyfylchi, Carnarvonshire. He obtained his BA in the summer of 1892 and, like his father, went into the church; he was ordained a deacon at Bangor cathedral on 18 December 1892 and was then a curate at Blaenau-Festiniog, Merionethshire until 1896; he would return as vicar of Blaenau-Festiniog (1919-1924). In the 1901 census Thomas was living in Bangor, and was both English and Welsh speaking. The only other resident listed was a servant, Lucy A. Roberts, 14, born in Liverpool.

Thomas was ordained a priest in 1894 and was subsequently a Minor Canon at Bangor Cathedral (1896-1902). In 1899 he officiated at the marriage of his sister Susan. He was rector of Meyliterne w Bottwnog, Pwlhelli, Caernarvon (1902-1911), which is where he and Eleanor were living at the time of the 1911 census. Presenting evidence to the Royal Commission [North Wales Express, 12 July 1907], Thomas said his parishioners at Bottwnog: "who were almost entirely monoglot Welsh, consisted of tenant farmers and farm labourers. There were two churches with a total accommodation for 349, and the communicants numbered 94. Among the contributors to the church building fund were several landowners, about whom the Chairman said they had realised the responsibilities of their position." (These landowners also often donated to the Nonconformist Church.) In December 1907, Thomas was awarded an M.A. by Durham University [Welsh Coast Pioneer, 19 Dec. 1907]. He subsequently became vicar of St Hywyn, Abardaron, Caernarvonshire (1911-1919). (map)    >>