James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Nesta Mary Morgan-Owen

Nesta Mary Morgan-Owen Nesta Mary Morgan-Owen (left) was born in Bishops Castle, Shropshire, on 22 September 1879. She was an accomplished harpist, very beautiful and very talented. On 18 September 1907 at the old parish church of Montgomery [Fordon 1907, 3rd qt] she married Maxwell Wood (b 1880), youngest child of Matthew Wood, a wealthy brewer and spirit merchant, of Westoe, South Shields. Nesta, who wore an Empire dress of cream duchesse satin, trimmed with Irish lace, with a pearl, diamond, and turquoise pendant, the gift of the bridegroom, was given away by her father. The bridesmaids were her sister Gwen; Miss Watford, of the Chapel, Abergavenny; Miss Perks, of Dolanog; and Miss Richmond, of Quarry House, Great Crosby. The groomsman was Mr Robert Chapman, of Westoe, South Shields. One of the three clergy who conducted the service was her uncle Thomas William Owen. The couple enjoyed a honeymoon in the Lake District. Incidentally, Maxwell might have been the Maxwell Wood who in 1909 travelled third class aboard the Lucitania from New York arriving at Liverpool on 5 October.

The 1911 census shows Nesta living with a servant at Sandmarsh Cottage, Queens Road, Aberystwyth, her occupation being "garage proprietor", an employer. Interestingly, the information that she had been married 3 years and that there had been no children was crossed out in red. If the marriage was already over, it is surprising that when Maxwell enlisted in the Army Service Corps in 1915, aged thirty-four, he was apparently living at Bronwylfa, Cardiganshire, and he was a 'Motor Lorry Driver'. He served in Salonica (now Thessaloniki). In 1917, according to her brother’s army records, Nesta was living in Barton Street, Westminster.

I was told that Maxwell deceived Timothy about his financial prospects; he was insolvent and sought to borrow money from Timothy’s affluent friends. Timothy had to start selling up to settle Wood’s debts in order to retain his good name. A major sale of the Morgan-Owen property in 1925 finally clearing these debts. I was also told that Wood went off to the Spanish Civil War and never returned. However, on his discharge from the army in 1919, Maxwell gave his address as Nocturn Rise, Lincoln and in 1926 a London solicitor was writing to the War Office seeking his whereabouts. It would appear Maxwell died in England in 1943, aged sixty-three [Chesterfield 1943, 4th qt]. >