Life for the children
The writings of two of James and Susannah's children give an insight into what life was like as they grew up in Llanidloes.
One of the twin sons, Thomas William Owen, described how the family spent their Sundays:
And here my mind is carried back to the days of my own childhood and boyhood - carried back to Sundays spent, some would say, too rigorously. They did not seem so to us. We had to go to the Sunday School twice, in the morning and afternoon. We went to church twice, in the morning and evening. Then at night, we were assembled together to read the bible and to sing. Those were delightful days.
With this upbringing it is hardly surprising that three of the Owen boys went into the Church.
Elias recalled his mother telling him fairy stories; she would have been well versed in the legends of her native land. Llanidloes was a community very much influenced by witchcraft and folklore in those days. Stories were passed down through the generations and many were recorded by Elias Owen in his Welsh Folk-Lore. A Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales, published in 1889 by Messrs. Woodall, Minshall, Thomas & Co. Oswestry. (Click here for the HTML version).
The reverend author informs his readers that he heard his mother relate the tale many times, …. [Elias gives the tale the following heading and goes on to recount it in detail] ‘A young man marries a Fairy Lady in Fairy Land and brings her to live with him among his own people.’ (p 44-48)
The following extracts shed further light on the children's experiences: