James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Teaching, children & college

On 10 October 1863, the North Wales Chronicle reported that Elijah had won "promotion" to run the National School at Glanogwen, on the mainland, having persevered and worked hard to make Penmon National School one of the best in Anglesey, as evinced by the comments of the School Inspectors. In gratitude for his labours, Penmon School Committee gave him a valuable 14 day time-piece and the pupil teachers and children gave him a barometer and Elizabeth a gold ring.

Glanogwen School Elijah and Elizabeth lived in the Glanogwen National School House, Bethesda, while Elijah was teaching at the school (right); I am told that a tile in his memory was later set into the floor of the building. Elias was headmaster at nearby Llanllechid School and for some years the two brothers and their families lived less than two miles apart but separated by a very steep hillside. As a pupil teacher, Elias had won, by examination, a coverted Queen's Scholarship; a pupil teacher under Elijah's tutorship not only became the first from Glanogwen School to obtain a first class scholarship (also a Queen's Scholarship) but managed to achieve that distinction a year early [North Wales Chronicle, Sat. 4 Feb 1865].

The first five of Elijah and Elizabeth’s seven children - Mary (b 7 Jan 1866), Clara (b 1866/7) [Bangor 1867, 1st qt], Eyton Pritchard (b 21 Nov 1868), Oswald Williams (b 1870) [Bangor 1870, 2nd qt] and Edith (b 1872) [Bangor 1872, 2nd qt] - were born while they lived at Glanogwen National School House.

On 26 January 1870 Elijah enrolled at Trinity College Dublin; his brothers Elias and Timothy had enrolled there fifteen months and nine months earlier, respectively [Oscar Wilde enrolled in 1871]. With families to support Elijah and Elias were 'steamboat men'; the 1871 census shows that Elijah was then still living with his family at Glanogwen School House and that he was both a school master and an undergraduate of Trinity College Dublin. In most Universities, students were obliged to attend lectures throughout the year. Trinity College students could keep terms by being present only at the term examinations; many undergraduates living in England did so and they were called 'steamboat men'.

Elias and Timothy obtained their degrees in 1871 and 1872 and Elijah graduated BA in the winter of 1873 (degree conferred, 17 December 1873). All three brothers obtained their MA’s from Trinity College in the spring of 1878.