James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

The daughters of Oswald Williams Owen

Little is known about what became of Os and Edith’s three daughters who survived infancy. Elizabeth Jean Edith Owen (b. 6 May 1905 in Berwick and known as Elsie) and twins Margaret Hogarth Owen and Dorothy Mary Owen (b. 15 March 1907 in Berwick). None of them married, perhaps because they feared a genetic link to the deaths of their sisters Gwendoline and Ruth, both of whom died soon after birth. In this regard, it might also be relevant that their grandfather, John Clay, "died aged just 49 in January 1880 due to ‘General Paralysis of the Insane’ otherwise known as syphilis" (source) (this explains why he died in Edinburgh, more than 50 miles from his home in Berwick-upon-Tweed).

Elsie was baptised on 11 June 1905 at the parish church in Berwick. The local paper reported a dance display by children of the Newcastle dance School, one of the principals of which was Os’s eldest daughter Elsie, who as a child had been lame and may still have been partially disabled. The display took place at the parish hall that had been built at St. Mary the Virgin church when Os had been the incumbent. [Newcastle Journal, 20 Feb 1935]. The school had been started in the previous year for children aged from 6 to 14 who could not afford the normal tuition fees but wanted to become professional dancers and already one pupil had come 2nd in a national dancing competition. In 1939 she was a "Dancing Instructress Travelling", living with her sisters in 'Beechcroft', Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It would appear that Elsie did quite well in her chosen profession. When she died on 25 September 1962, she left an estate of £11000 with probate granted to Lloyds Bank Ltd. She was then living at 26 Westminster Road, Davyhulme, a good-sized semi-detached house in a leafy suburb of Manchester.

The twins were born on 15 March 1907 and baptised at the parish church in Berwick, Margaret on 24 March and Dorothy on 17 April. In 1939 the three sisiters were living together at Beechcroft with Grace E McLellan. a state registered nurse; it my be that she had nursed Os before he died six months earlier. Margaret was looking after the home and Dorothy was a shorthand typist in the drapery industry. Dorothy was the sole occupant of "Beechcroft" in the Electoral Register by the end of WWII. There was a Dorothy Mary Owen in the WRNS in WWII; at the end of 1940 she was a 3rd officer at HMS Drake, the RN base at Devonport, and was promoted to 2nd officer in April 1943. Dorothy lived to be seventy-nine [d Knowsley, Apr 1984]. Margaret died in 1970 [Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1970, 2nd qt].

Click here to see the only pictures I have of the three daughters, in infancy.