James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Lizzie Owen (b c1871)

Once again we are back with the children of Rev. Elias Owen and Margaret. Lizzie Owen (b. 1871/2 [probably Bangor 1872, 2nd qt]) was with the her family in the 1881 and 1891 censuses when she was 9 and 19 years old respectively. In the 1901 census there was a Lizzie Wilde, aged 25 and born in Llanyblodwel (Lizzie Owen would have been 29 and born in Llanllechid though her family had susequently lived in Llanyblodwel), who was married to Edward Wilde, a 25-year old farmer, who had been born in Woolaston, Shropshire. They were living at 'Broom Hill', Westbury, Shropshire, about ten miles from Lanyblodwel, with their two sons, Henry E., aged 2, and Edward O., aged 10 months. Edward employed a resident waggoner and there was also a resident domestic servant. There was an Edward Wilde, born in nearby Melverley, Shropshire, and aged eighteen, living with his farming family in Greater Woolaston in 1891.

The General Register contains the marriage of Lizzie Owen and Edward Wilde [Oswestry, 1899, 1st qt], very shortly before the birth of their first child, Henry Elias Wilde [Bangor, 1899, 2nd qt], the registration location suggesting Lizzie went away to give birth, probably in an effort to avoid a scandal. Elias suffered his fatal stroke in May of that year. No doubt it would have been a stressful time for any family, the more so because it involved the vicar's daughter and it explains why Lizzie was not at her father's funeral. Other children followed in rapid succession: Edward Owen Wilde, was born the following year [Atcham, 1900, 3rd qt], Ivy Wilde [Atcham, 1901, 4th qt], Lizzie Wilde [Atcham, 1903, 1st qt], May Wilde [Atcham, 1904, 3rd qt], William Wilde [Atcham, 1905, 4th qt].

Lizzie's sister, Mary, and her husband, Wharton Peers Jones, lived in Chile, where Wharton had prospered, and Lizzie's brother and sister, Jack and Sally, sailed to Chile in January 1906. On 2 August 1906, Edward Wilde, labourer, and Lizzie, together with their children Elias, Edward, Ivy, Lizzie, Mary and William (possibly together with Ada Dorgau or Dorgan) sailed to Talcahuano, Chile, aboard the Oropesa. This is the last record I have of them. They would have arrived in the aftermath of one of the largest earthquakes in Chile's history. The main quake occurred on 15 August but aftershocks continued for some time and the devastation was massive (see here for contemporary accounts of the disaster). If this deterred them from remaining in Chile, like many Welsh emigrants, they may have moved on to Australia. They might have settled in Chile or they could have joined the huge Welsh community in Patagonia, just over the border in Argentina. Any information about what became of this family would be much appreciated.