James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Marriage & Harriet's family

(Map of Wistanstow area for reference);    (Harriet Wilding's extended family)

Elisha married Harriet Wilding at Bishops Castle on Tuesday, 18 February 1868. Harriet had been born on 24 August 1846 and christened at Wistanstow on 30 August. She was the daughter of James Ambler Wilding, grocer of Wistanstow and Harriet (née Pinches). Her paternal grandparents were William Wilding (b abt 1776), surgeon of Pulverbatch, Shropshire and Ann Ambler. Harriet and James had at least nine children, including Louisa Maria and Eliza (Lizzie), who would marry Richard Marston in 1878 in Knoxville, Knox, Tennessee, subsequently creating a family line in America.

James Ambler Wilding, died in 1860 [Ch. Stretton 1860 4th qt] and in 1861 his widow was running the family drapers and grocery business in Wistanstow, aided by their daughter, Harriet. Two years later Harriet Wilding senior remarried [Ch Stretton 1863 1st qt] and she and her husband, James Passey, had a daughter, Emily, who was born in Wistanstow in 1865 [Ch Stretton 1865 2nd qt].

It is more than likely that Elisha’s wife, Harriet, was related to one of the directors of the Bishop's Castle Railway, John Powell Wilding, who was also a surgeon but in Montgomery, just over the border in Wales. He had been born in about 1812 in Church Pulverbatch, a small village adjacent to Pulverbatch, which is where Harriet’s grandparents were married (in the 1861 census it states John was born at 'Shepton Fields, Church Pulverbatch'). John's father was Edward Wilding. The association with Pulverbatch and the fact that John, like Harriet’s grandfather, William, was a surgeon would strongly suggest a family connection.

Elisha and Harriet's first child, Effie Rosina Owen, was born at Bishops Castle in 1869 [reg. Clun 1869, 2nd qt.]. She was christened there on 4 April 1869. By then Harriet’s mother was once more a widow - the death of a James Passey had been registered in 1866 in Presteigne, about 16 miles from Wistanstow, [Presteigne 1866, 1st qt] – and she was living with Elisha, Harriet, and their family at Butter Cross in Bishop’s Castle at the time of the 1871 census. Harriet (sen.) was still a ‘draper, etc’ but her daughter Eliza Wilding, aged 19, was running the business in Wistanstow assisted by her sister Louisa Maria, aged 16, and living with them was their half-sister Emily, aged 5, as well as two servants and a visiting butcher. Elisha and his family were soon to move to Wistanstow, probably when he stopped working for the railway company. Harriet (senior) died in 1877 aged 58 [Church Stretton 1877 2nd qt.]. I believe her youngest daughter, Emily, may have died later that year.