With strikes in the postal service & the ever-increasing cost of sending cards, I am sending fewer this year so, my apologies to those of you who do not receive a card, but rest assured that my extended family is often in my thoughts. I wish you all a very happy Christmas & all the very best for 2023; it looks as if it promises to be yet another challenging year!
We returned to UK, yesterday, from our French property, where I received an email from a journalist, Anthony Hayward. He was researching the life of the actor Meg Wynn-Owen, whom many will recall from her role in the long-running TV period drama Upstairs Downstairs; apparently Meg died this summer. While she was alive, I would have written very little about her on my website, but she is mentioned here, in the pages about my aunt, the actor Ruth Wynn Owen. Although Meg was not a blood relative, she took Ruth's surname as her stage name. Ruth's influence over the teenage Meg was profound and Meg became like another daughter to Ruth. For this reason, I provide a link to her obituary, and now that I have access to my notes, I shall see if there is anything more I can add about Meg's life and, in particular, about her association with Ruth.
In recent months, I have added a little information to various pages on this site. The greatest changes were made this month, when I reorganised and added to the English version and the Spanish version of the life story of Wharton Peers Jones, who left Wales to live in Chile. He married Mary Pierce Owen, the eldest daughter of Rev. Elias Owen.
My research into the Owen family's association with Chile has probably exhausted the current resources available to me so I shall revisit the topic at interludes to try to tie up some of the loose ends. In the meantime I have added some further information to the pages of John Lowry Morgan Owen. Sadly, the lives of several members of the families who settled in Chile, were cut short; Jack died at the age of forty-eight, from a brain tumour.
I have now added a Spanish version (largely using 'Google Translate') of the Wharton Peers Jones page, which I hope to improve on, in due course.
At long last I have started to upload some of the information I have been collecting in recent months. I have added a much more detailed page about the fascinating life of Wharton Peers Jones who married Mary Pierce Owen. They seem to have prospered in Chile. Mary's pages also include more information about their descendants. I have added some more information to the pages about Mary's sister, Lizzie Owen, who, in 1906, also emigrated to Chile. This latter information is sketchy and, partly due to the sources used, paints a somewhat gloomy picture of what became of Lizzie's family; I shall continue to seek further information and hope it may be more uplifting.
I am not an active member of any social media site so this is my portal to wish you well in what is a crisis affecting everyone, in all parts of the world.
For some months I have been preoccupied with other interests and commitments, as well as helping others with genealogy research, and have not been updating this site.
Family and friends are so important at times like this and, with enforced separation, we very much appreciate being able to enjoy video clips of our own children and grandchildren as well as video link-ups.
Please do all you can to protect yourself and others by obeying your Government’s instructions. I have been amazed both at the stupid and selfish actions of the few and at the courage and magnanimity of the many, who are voluntarily putting themselves at increased risk in order to help others; to the latter I extend a heartfelt “thank you”.
Do take care.
I have updated the pages about
Donald Magrath (1898-1987).
I am grateful to Bromsgrove School for giving me permission to reproduce two team photos and, in the fullness of time, I hope to explore what became of the young men in those photos, as I did
with the photo of Bangor University football team of 1913-14.
I learned something of what became of Enid Owen (1882 - 1940) a while ago and I have now updated her pages. She had no children of her own but became a step-mother in America. Now the only complete mystery to do with the many children of Rev. Elias Owen is what became of his daughter, Lizzie Wilde and her family who were bound for Chile and were due to arrive immediately after the country's devastating earthquake of 1906.
I have been delighted to have been contacted by several members of this extended Owen family in recent weeks and have now updated the information in two sections as well as revising and tidying up other sections. The most recent revisions and additions have been to the sections about
Marjorie Owen and her descendants
Mary Brown (aka 'Mary Starkey') and her descendants.
I am still trying to catch up with incoming offerings from family members and others. Most recently I have been busy trying to identify the people in a beautiful set of photographs which a lady had found amongst her late father's possessions; she has no connection with the families on this site but took the trouble to contact me and to send me the photos, for which I am most grateful. Elisha Edwin Owen (1846 - 1932) married Harriet WILDING (1846 - 1934) and the pictures involve members of that Owen family, members of the extensive WILDING families and family friends, mainly of Vera Wilding Owen. In due course I hope to add all these photos to this site, together with any information I have been able to gather about those concerned.
I make an urgent PLEA TO ALL; please ensure that people in photographs you possess have been clearly identified for future generations to enjoy ... and that any handwriting is legible!
I am most grateful to a gentleman who has made some useful suggestions about access to resources, from one of which he obtained and has sent me a better photograph of Vernon Elias Owen (1893-1915). He also drew my attention to this letter which confirms that Vernon's father had been with him in France in the days before he died.
I have been tidying and updating various sections, in particular those involving the Birkenhead branches of the family. I have also been updating the index (please let me know if you find any links I have failed to correct). I have yet to update the timeline and the family tree but I shall need R and R before tackling those! I should now have the time to contact several members of the family who I hope will forgive my tardy responses to the news/information they have sent me.
I have been collating and updating information about the descendants of Timothy Owen Bennett (1862-1940) many of whom continued to live in the Wirral peninsula. I have not amended the large section about (Frederick) Vincent Roberts (1907-1977), which was updated just a few years ago with information largely provided by his daughter but also by his son. I try to avoid revealing the identities of living people and there are inherent dangers in expanding the family story towards the present day so I hope family members who have any concerns or spot any inaccuracies will contact me; this holds true for any part of this family history. I also hope that those who are interested in their roots might be able to add anecdotes, pictures or other material to help to colour the accounts of the lives of any the people on these pages.
Incidentally, I was delighted to discover that one of the descendants of Timothy Owen Roberts is in her nineties. Since many family members have continued to live in the Wirral, she must have witnessed much of the family history evolving. I hope someone has the time to talk to her about her life and about the lives of those around her; I am sure it is a fascinating story. I could contact her and would be happy to talk to her/ exchange emails but I shall leave it for her to contact me if she would want this. We celebrated the passing of another of my decades last month but I've a couple more to go to reach 90!
Please note that I have yet to complete the updating process (e.g. the index needs to be modified).
I’ve been busy helping friends with research into their family histories but recently a gentleman kindly contacted me through this website to give me a link to a page about a member of the Salter family; this family appear on my page about the Wildings of Shropshire. It prompted me to look further into this branch of the family which revealed the significant involvement of one man in the establishment of an efficient UK Government meteorological service and the deaths of two of his brothers in WWI.
I am always grateful to anyone who takes the trouble to contact me to provide me with further information, to point out any errors I may have made or to discuss any of their concerns about the content of this site.
Life has been extremely busy since before Christmas but I have found time to update the information about the three Owens who were at Durham University together in the early 1890s (see here) and about the brave sea rescue made by one of them in 1893 (see here); I am particularly grateful to Tony Whittaker for the information he provided in the latter regard.
I am also very grateful for additional information and pictures sent to me by Ian, the son of Donald Magrath and hope to follow this up in the very near future.
Earlier this month I was contacted by someone whose research concerned a family with connections to Waterloo High School (later called Blundellsands House School) which was where Eyton Pritchard Owen was teaching immediately after graduating from Durham University. In 1893 Eyton, in extremely challenging conditions, saved a boy from drowning in the Mersey estuary; sadly the boys brother and a friend could not be saved. I now know that the name of the boy who survived was George Edward Kruger (on marriage he added his wife's maiden name and became George Edward Kruger-Gray). He went on to become an artist, sculptor and designer of stained glass windows but his principal occupation was designing the reverse side for many coins of Britain and its Empire (now Commonwealth Countries); a Canadian cousin sent me photographs of coins in current usage in her country that still bear the initials K-G of their designer. The information prompted further research into Eyton's history and I discovered that Durham University have uploaded past University Journals to the Net from which I have learned much more, not only about Eyton but also about his brother Oswald Wiliiams Owen and their cousin Thomas Edward Owen, whose university careers all overlapped.
In the New Year I shall be adding this information to my site.
My last major area of research for this site was time-consuming but extremely rewarding and concerned the life of Isabella Ellen Roberts and her descendants in America.
Though there are still gaps and mysteries within the families on these pages, it has reached the stage where I feel most new information will probably have to come from living descendants. I am most grateful to those who have helped me in this way. To anyone who may feel I have not maintained contact with them, please note that once I have traced a descendant I leave it to them to decide if they want to keep in touch. I appreciate that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for uncovering the family story and that people lead busy lives but rest assured that I am always delighted to hear from anyone connected with this extended Owen family.
I would be particularly pleased to hear from you if you could shed light on what became of:
- Isabella's sister, Catherine Ann Roberts.
- the family of Lizzie Wilde (née Owen), who were bound for Talcahuano, Chile, and due to arrive in 1906, just after Chile's massive earthquake.
- any descendants in Chile of Lizzie's sister, Mary Wharton-Jones (née Owen).
As the centenary of the end of WWI passes, we remember those of this family who gave there lives in that war (see the 'People index') as well as other family members who served and survived the horrors of that conflict.
What a wonderful weekend! For me it wasn’t just the splendour of the royal wedding but also several contacts/events involving members of my 'Owen' family. My cousin, the son of Eric Wynn-Owen , joined me and other members of my family to go and watch 'our team' win through to the Rugby Union Premiership Final. Then on Sunday my husband and I were invitees to the splendid feast laid on to celebrate the joint 170th birthday of a 2nd cousin and his wife (only the third time we've met); he is the son of Elizabeth Duthie (née Tyson). In addition, on Saturday I received an email from one of my Canadian 2nd cousins, a daughter of Gwyn Owen, saying she was planning a visit to Europe later this year, when we hope we'll be able to meet up again; some years ago my husband and I coupled a holiday in Canada (mentioned here) with meeting her, her sister and her brother and she’s since visited us several times. We've been delighted to have members of the family from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and UK to stay with us and we look forward to similar visits in the future. It’s lovely to be part of this extensive Owen family, to exchange emails now and again, and occasionally to have the opportunity to meet.
With regard to the website, I believe the 'People Index' (top ribbon) is now up to date but I have yet to add the most recent findings to the 'Family Tree'; as ever, please let me know if you find any any errors or omissions.
I'm delighted to report that the message mentioned in my last bulletin did get through. I do appreciate how difficult it can be to find the time to dig out information but I hope that, in due course, I may learn more about this very interesting branch of the family in America.
This week I was greatly encouraged by a glimpse into the current world of state education. I had occasion to revisit my alma mater, Watford Grammar School for Girls, a state school that has been in existence for over 300 years. It's the school where my mother was a pupil and later a governor, for which my father and grandfather's business supplied the school uniform, where I was a deputy head girl and to which I was twice invited back to teach. The main buildings, the character of the school and the appearance of the girls are so little changed that I could have been transported back in time. But it has changed; it's no longer fully selective and it boasts some tremendous new facilities. It clearly continues to offer a wonderful educational to its puils. I was and they are very lucky.
I have discovered that Robert and Isabella Jones have many living descendant. I am so admiring of this couple that, whether or not I learn more about their descendants, I am cheered to know that their bloodline lives on. Unfortunately, the email address one of them gave me was incomplete so I can’t be sure the message I sent got through. However, I should be contactable via this website and I would be delighted to hear from anyone who can add to this American area of research. I uploaded that revised section in haste before we went away and have since tidied it up a little; there is probably more tidying to do.
Though life is quite busy in these summer months, I hope I shall soon be able to add information to the section about Mary Owen and family, having been contacted again by a lady I exchanged emails with a while ago. Sadly the disappearance of Mary’s sister Lizzie, her husband and six children, who followed Mary to Chile, remains a mystery.
I have, in haste, uploaded information I have found about the ancestry of Robert L Jones (1841 - 1907) and information about each of the 4 siblings who, like Robert, settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland, close to one another and in the area around Delta, Pa..
Click here to see notes on their family history. The notes on each individual can be accessed from that page or by clicking on one of the names, below:
- John W Jones (1836-1913) - travelled to America in 1857
- Elinor Jones (b Nov 1838) - married Richard Jones - travelled to America with her family in 1890
- Robert L Jones (1841-1917) - travelled to America in 1860
- William Penn Jones (1845-1921) travelled to America in 1886
- Anne Jones (1846-1921) - m Richard Roberts - travelled to America with her family in 1885
I shall be checking through these new pages myself but please notify me if you find any mistakes.
I have not been idle over the winter. I have found some new information about Isabel Ellen Roberts (1852-1917) (aka Isabella) but very much more information about her husband Robert L. Jones (1852-1917) and have completely revised the Pennsylvania section of my site. I am not a Welsh speaker so it has taken a long time to translate reports in "American Welsh". I shall add more of the original Welsh newspaper reports in due course to enable people to improve on my translations. I have also found out much more about Robert's siblings and about his family history which I shall be adding. I have got as far as adding a new page about Robert's brother John W Jones, largely to help other researchers who have confused him with a man of the same name living in nearby Delta, Pa.. They had wives with the same name, were from the same part of Wales, both worked in the slate quarries, both attended the same church and mixed in the same social circles; they can be distinguished by an age difference of about 10 years and by their children.
Robert & Isabella's story - the success they achieved, the struggle against adversity, the good they did for their community - is uplifting. I would be delighted to hear from any descendants; there must be so much more to tell and some photographs of family members would be most welcome.
I have yet to fully update the index, the family tree, etc.; it will be done ASAP.
I continue to seek information about the descendants of Isabel Ellen Roberts (1852-1917) in America and have discovered more about her children & in particular about John Hayden Jones (1874-1917). I need to try to find primary sources for much of the information & the research is continuing. The section will be augmented as I learn more.
I have revised and added to the section on the church and rectory at Efenechtyd where
Rev. Elias Owen
lived for just over eleven years. The five pages starting
include information acquired and photos taken during my recent visit to North Wales.
I have transcribed the ten articles Elias wrote for the Ruthin School Magazine and they can be accessed from the above section or from this page.
I have found another obituary for Rev. Elijah Owen, one of the brothers of Elias. It repeats some of the information in the obituary already included here but also adds to it.
I am gradually adding all the information I have discovered over the year & the latest additions concern
James Prichard Selby (aka Shelby).
In particular, I have introduced a
about his service in the Second Boer War.
I suspect there may be an interlude of a few weeks before I add more from my recent trip to north Wales.
I have now added a section about the experiences of Timothy Morgan Owen Shelby as a headmaster in Brymbo, based on the School Log Books, written by him. These books revealed that Timothy's wife, Bertha, taught with him at Brymbo Church School, leaving just before their marriage. They also show that his niece, Charlotte Miriam Labron taught with him for many years at Brymbo Council School, until she left to get married. Tragically, she and her husband died from TB just a few years later. That history can be accessed via Timothy's pages or here.
Further research has revealed that Timothy was unwittingly caught up in a major controversy relating to the Local Education Committee's attempts to close Brymbo Church School in order to replace it with a new school, Brymbo Council School. It rapidly escalated from being a local issue to being part of a national one and it was several years before the matter was eventually settled. The details of this contoversy appear here. These two pages are inter-linked, as is the page about the Drinkwaters, mentioned in the previous news. I shall be contacting Wrexham Archives to see if I am allowed to include copies of some of the extracts from the school logs; I regret that all three pages are rather wordy and could do with some illustrations to make them more interesting.
I have yet to modify the pages of the individuals concerned, such as Charlotte Labron. I have yet to add some of the glorious pictures and further information from my recent visit to Wales but this will be done ASAP.
22/09/2017I am in the process of collating all the information obtained from my recent trip to Wales. As usual, I have allowed myself to become distracted by peripheral research, on this occasion about two Wrexham doctors. I have not yet linked the section about them to the main site but, to prove I have not been idle, a first draft can be seen here. I regret that I have not yet found a picture of Katharine Rosebery Drinkwater.
10/09/2017I am grateful to Marion Henshaw (she and her husband, Charles, currently occupy The Old Rectory, Efenechtyd) for informing me about the Efenechtyd church open day & to them & to all those who helped to make my brief visit to that part of Denbighshire so enjoyable & so informative. I have just returned home & in due course I shall add further information & photographs to this site, concerning Rev. Elias Owen, who occupied Efenechtyd vicarage for 11 years, and the Shelby family of his sister, Sarah Ann Owen, some of whom lived in and around Wrexham.
In the meantime, I have added pictures of Lt Col. H J Madocks, Commander of the 9th RWF & one of the six officers of that battalion killed at the Battle of Festubert, another of them being one of the grandsons of Rev. Elias Owen, William (Billy) Henry Kenrick Owen. I have also added a photograph of Maj. Charles Burrard, the most senior officer of the battalion to survive that battle (he also survived the war) who then took over the writing of the battalion war diary; extracts are included in my description of events. I am grateful to Robert Vaughan for allowing me to use these photos which appear on his site about the battalion & about events that day.
13/08/2017On Saturday & Sunday, 9 & 10 September, the church at Efenechtyd where Rev. Elias Owen was incumbent when his son, Elias, died in tragic circumstances, will open its doors (11.00am - 4.00pm) for free access to view the church & more (e.g. parish records from several centuries will be available). The owners of the The Old Rectory, Mr and Mrs Henshaw, will welcome visitors and offer refreshments, all proceeds going to the British Heart Foundation. (Click here to see the original information.)
I am not sure if I shall be able to go but I shall make every effort to do so.
24/06/2017Following a visit to Northumberland I have been able to add information about Rev. Oswald Williams Owen (1870-1939) and a little more here about his two daughters who died in infancy and here about his other three daughters.
I have recently added a picture of the painting, dated 1795, of Thomas Owen's dog, Thomas being the father of James Owen. (see this page)
I have also added copies of letters and further information concerning (John) Gurth Morgan-Owen (1883-1916), including one letter that sheds light on how he died.
(My thanks to Timothy Morgan-Owen for the above.)
I have been updating several sections of this site, much of the new information resulting from further discoveries in The 1939 Register and in the National Library of Wales Newspaper website.
Perhaps the most surprising discoveries have concerned
Cicely Starkey. I have also added a little more about some of her siblings
These are other sections to which I have added significant information and/or pictures.
Sections concerning four of those killed in WWI:
- Vernon Elias Owen
- William (Billy) Henry Kenrick Owen
- (Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen
- (John) Gurth Morgan-Owen
- Thomas Francis Shelby in Argentina
- The possible descendants of Mary Owen in Chile
- The 3 pages about John Lowry Morgan Owen who went to Chile and about his son Cledwyn
- John James Shelby
- Several of the daughters of Jemima Owen (the 4 pages starting here)
- The sisters, Isabel Ann and Mary Brown (aka Starkey) and their descendants
- The 3 pages about the descendants of Elijah Trevethan (aka Roberts)
I am very sorry to have to report that Andrew Gardner Dixson Staines (b 11 Feb 1937) died on 16 September 2016 and I extend my condolences to his family.
Andrew was more than 20 years younger than Ruth Wynn Owen but was, for many decades, her companion. Like Ruth, he was an actor. They met in 1962 at Northampton Theatre and subsequently shared a flat in Ealing. They also spent time with Ruth's husband, Ian Danby, at "Skiers Spring Lodge" in Hoyland, Yorkshire, and later at "The Corner Cottage", Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk, to which the Danby household moved in 1974 when Ian retired. The extended family seemed to get along quite well.
In the last twenty years of her life when Ruth had to face protracted periods in hospital, demoralising setbacks and all the unpleasantness associated with her cancer, Andrew's love and support was a great comfort to her. She died on 6 May 1992 and so was unable to offer the same support to Andrew during his protracted final illness, when he had to undergo regular dialysis.
In conversation and in correspondence, Andrew provided me with considerable information and material about Ruth for which I am most grateful.
Specific recent changes within this family history include:
A revised and augmented report about the players in the !913-14 Bangor University football team which included Vernon Elias Owen (1893-1916).
A newly disovered photo of Vernon and a newly disovered photo of William (Billy) H K Owen (1893 - 1915). These cousins were both killed in WWI, as was their cousin (Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen (1898 - 1917), who was a pilot and I've discovered a photo of him as a cadet.
Two newspaper reports are now included that describe graphically events surrounding Billy's death (see here and here).
Sadly, I have just learned of the death of Gilbert Starkey Jones (10 October 1918 - 14 October 2016) and I extend my condolences to his family. I look forard to learning more about Gilbert and about his wife Margaret (October 1917 - 4 December 2015); I believe their marriage of almost 70 years comfortably surpasses the length of any other marriage on this website.
I have obtained more information from the National Library of Wales Newspaper website. With this I have so far added to the sections about William Henry Kenrick Owen (1893 - 1915) and Vernon Elias Owen (1893 - 1915). I have also included newly found photographs of these two cousins who fought together in WWI and were killed within 6 weeks of each other. I shall be adding more information from this source when time permits.
As a rule I do not include information about living people on this site but I have just added a link to the website of Timothy Morgan-Owen, son of John Maddox Morgan-Owen (1931-99).
Another apology, this time to anyone who has tried to contact me via picture, verse or reference pages as it has just been pointed out to me that 'Contact Me' on those pages provides the wrong email address. I believe I have now corrected all the relevant pages. In view of my inexperience at creating web pages, I am relieved that more errors have not been found but I am grateful whenever such mistakes are brought to my attention. Thank you John, in this instance.
A sincere apology to the family of (Harriet) Rosemary Bradley-Dyne, who was always known as Rosemary; I have, at long last, corrected my mistake of stating that her first name was Winifred.
Sarah Ann Owen (1829 - 1898)
married into the Shelby family & I have been contacted by a lady in Missouri who would like help establishing the ancestry of Samuel Shelby, born 1776/77, most likely in Virginia (The date is based on the age recorded at his death in 1860 in Union Co., Tennessee, the part formerly known as Claiborne Co.). By the time of the 1810 census, he had married Susannah Zimmerly & they were living in Washington Co., VA, with their 3 children. Many of the Shelbys in America are descended from Evan Dhu Shelby, Sr (1690-1751) & DNA testing strongly suggests there is a family connexion between Samuel’s living descendant & the family of Evan Shelby but this researcher has been unable to establish the link.
Apparently a lady called Denise Green Rutherford contacted one of Samuel’s descendants with information from an old family bible that had belonged to Samuel’s wife, Susannah. The faded records therein stated that Samuel's grandfather was John Shelby, married to Elizabeth (last name gone), & they had 3 children, Phillip (Samuel's father), Henry and Peter. Phillip had married Mahala (last name missing) & their children were Samuel, Jeremiah & Nathan whose birthdates were listed. There was a complete list of Samuel and Susannah's children with birthdates except for the youngest, Isaac; it also listed two older children who had died and a baby who lived only one day. Unfortunately, subsequent efforts to trace Denise have proved fruitless.
It is all very intriguing & the researcher would appreciate any information about Samuel Shelby's ancestry.
A very happy New Year to those who follow my website. I am delighted to announce the birth of my 5th grandchild, Ella May Cholerton, born on New Year's Day.
I would be grateful to hear from any Welsh speaker who can identify/translate what was purported to be an old Welsh verse:
This is now included in a completely new section about Edward Morgan (ca1882 - 1922) who married Charlotte Miriam Labron (1882 - 1923), both of them afflicted by TB & dying tragically young. I am very grateful for material supplied by a descendant of Edward's sister, Esther.
I have revised & added to the section about (John) Oswald Owen (1872 - 1950).
I hope to get up to the PRO at Kew this winter & possibly to the Metropolitan Archives to tie up a few loose ends. As ever, I welcome new information & photos concerning the people in this family history.
24/08/2015It's been a while since my last news report as I have been preoccupied with other interests but I have now started to add more to this site. Recently amended pages concern:
Sarah Jane Jones (1876-1958), her niece Barbara Alice Rawlinson (1913- NK ) and her husband, Louisa Morgan Shelby (1853-1931) and a small change to that of Gerald M Baldwin (1931-1997). I have also added a report about four of the sons of James and Susannah Owen to this page and a newspaper report which describes the rather grand wedding of Mary Owen.
In addition I have been contacted by a TV producer who is working on a documentary about the Welsh international footballers who fought in the Great War and is interested in the life of Morgan Maddox Morgan-Owen (1877-1950) and a researcher who is involved in a project using genetics to investigate the history of Wales. The genetic research concerns the male line and fortunately my cousin (he also has a son and grandson) is the ideal candidate, these three being almost the only living males descended from James Owen along a male line; he has agreed to donate his DNA.
A very merry Christmas to all those who share my website and very best wishes for 2015.
One of my New Year resolutions will be to include my other ancestral lines on this site, though none have provided me with as much material as the Owens nor with such detailed histories.
Various members of this family fought for their country and, tragically, there are several who were killed in combat. I often think of them and never more so than now, on the centenary of the outbreak of WWI. Approximately one hundred years ago one of them, (John) Gurth Morgan-Owen (1883 - 1916), returned from South America to enlist. Initially, he was deemed unfit for service due to an old injury but he later contrived to be accepted. Together with one of his brothers, with whom he spent his last evening alive, he served in what is now Iraq, where he was killed in the battle of Sannayat, an attack that went horribly wrong.
Two cousins, William Henry Kenrick Owen (1893 - 1915) and Vernon Elias Owen (1893 - 1915), both university students at the time of the outbreak of WWI, fought together in northern France. Billy was fatally wounded during a peripheral attack intended to draw German troops away from the Battle of Loos. In the event, those involved in the first waves of the attack over flat, open ground were mown down by enemy machine-gun fire and the attack was aborted. Vernon survived that day but less than 6 weeks later, a calamitous set of circumstances led to his own fatal wounding whilst attempting to relieve forward trenches.
Similar errors in planning and execution of an attack led to the death of my mother's cousin, (William) Noel Dawson Tyson (1896 - 1918). In the same year, Frederick Starkey (1896 - 1918) was killed. (Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen (1898 - 1917), a pilot, was killed in Lincolnshire when his aircraft crashed after it developed mechanical problems at low altitude.
Noel Tyson's mother was probably not alone in feeling her son had died in vain when hostilities broke out again in 1939. WWII led to the death of at least two more members of the family. John Michael Fitzgerald Day (1917 - 1942) was killed in action during the Battle of El Alamein; he never saw his daughter. My mother's step-brother, Paul Henry Klipsch (c1917 - 1940), with German ancestry but both he and his father fought for the allies, was a pilot who was shot down and killed over northern France in 1943 (Channel 4 made a TimeTeam programme about digging up his Spitfire).
The sacrifice these young men made should not be forgotten but neither should we forget the other combatants who survived long periods of conflict nor the civilians who suffered and/or contributed nor those involved in ongoing conflicts.
Latest updates include more information about William Henry Kendrick (Billy) Owen between here and the end of his section. As well as other small additions, there is further information about Billy's cousin (Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen here and the section on their aunt, Mary Owen has been extended.
The National Library of Wales has transcribed many Welsh newspapers and put them online. This has provided a wealth of information some of which I have yet to prepare for uploading to this site. The following are the changes that have so far been uploaded.
Please forgive any resulting errors in internal links. Many have been corrected but I shall probably not complete this process until I return from France.
If anyone can help me translate some of reports that are in Welsh, I would be most grateful.
The most significant find was a small announcement concerning the death of a granddaughter of Rev. Elias Owen (1833-1899). This child was the daughter of Mary and Wharton Peers Jones and she died at Wharton Hall, Carahue, Chile. Clearly, this was Elias's daughter, Mary Owen (b abt 1866), and further research has revealed that her husband was a welshman who made his fortune in Chile.
I have learned about the death and funeral of Mary's mother, Margaret (c1866-1901), and discovered the identity of Mary's sister, Annie Owen (1874-1877) (the 'missing' child of Elias and Margaret).
I presume Mary Owen married abroad as I have found no record of her marriage but I do now include reports of the marriages of two of her siblings, William Pierce Owen (1860-1937) and Margaret Ellen Owen (c1870-1924). There is also a little more about their siblings, Lizzie Owen (b abt 1871), Sarah Louisa (aka Sally) Owen (1881-1975) and John (aka Jack) Lowry Morgan Owen (b 1884).
Incidentally, I came across a case concerning the theft of a horse rug belonging to Elias when two of his daughters were in Ruthin.
I have found an account of the funeral of James Owen's eldest daughter, Sarah Ann Shelby (1830-1898) and have found more information about her sons, James Pritchard Shelby (aka Selby) (1863-1949) and Timothy Morgan Owen Shelby (1869-1954).
There is more information about Edwin James Owen (1859-c1928) and about two of his children Beatrice Marion (aka Trixi) Owen (1889-1974) and (Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen (1898-1917). There is also more about the brewery in Dolgelly that Trixi's future husband, JRC Fitzgerald Day (c1877-1936) ran, aswell as a report of their wedding.
THERE IS MORE TO COME!
Sadly, I have just learned of the death, yesterday in New Zealand, of my cousin, Anne Danby. I extend my condolences to her family.
There have been a few additions and corrections to this account in recent months. I have been contacted by a descendant of the only daughter of
Harold Sidney Abrahamson
by his first wife. As a widower, Harold married
Nesta Mary Maxwell Wood (née Morgan-Owen).
His early life and parentage remains a mystery but I am immensely grateful to Simon Francis, who provided me with much of the information we do have about Harold, in particular that concerning his business connections with the Far East.
There have been significant additions to the story of Rev. Edwin James Owen. It remains a mystery why his first child, Ivy May Owen was not raised by her natural parents, though they maintained contact with her but my thanks to a descendant, Ian Parrott, who made me aware of her of existence and who has also provided me with information and photographs.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the many people who have helped me with my research. I am always happy to attribute sources so, if you are one of those people who has provided material and if you would like to be mentioned, please let me know.
After several months of comparative inactivity re my genealogical research I am delighted to report that I have made an excellent recovery from my surgery & my daughter has also recovered from a long illness which has been preoccupying me.
Sadly, in re-establishing contact with several family members, I learned of the death of Johannes George Knoesen (aka Hans) (27 Aug 1929 - 26 Sept 2013) (pictured right) from a very aggressive cancer. He was married to the daughter of Eyton Pritchard OWEN (1868 – 1950).
Hans was Afrikaans. He was born at Jansenville in the Cape & was brought up in the Karoo. Following his attendance at Middleburg schools in the Cape, he spent two years at Grootfontein Agricultural College & then four years at Pretoria for a Diploma in Agricultural Engineering. He started work at the Agricultural Extension Offices (Vryheid/ Greytown) & after two years moved to Cedara College from which he retired in 1989, though he continued to lecture there, part-time. It was at Cedara College that he & his wife lived after their marriage in 1955. By the time I visited them in 1999 they were living in a large bungalow in Merrivale Heights, set in an acre of land. Hans, a keen ornithologist, ensured that a wide variety of birds were attracted to their garden. After twenty-nine years, the upkeep became too much for them & they moved into a cottage in a small complex, Amber Valley, just outside Howick & near the river that feeds the Howick falls. Hans played bowls & continued to enjoy bird-watching. As his wife’s health deteriorated, Hans was very involved in caring for her. I extend my condolences to his wife & to his three daughters & their families.
I shall be adding new information to this site in the New Year. In the meantime I wish you a very happy Christmas & all the very best for 2014.
02/07/2013On my return home after major surgery, from which I am making an excellent recovery, I was delighted to find an email from a descendant of Rev. Edwin James Owen & Jessie Beatrice (née Paterson). It revealed that this couple had a daughter, Ivy May Owen, born in Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire, on 1 May 1887, the year before their marriage at St Marylebone parish church. In October 1906, Ivy obtained an official copy of her birth certificate which stated that her parents were married on 10 March 1877 (more likely to have been 1887 on the original certificate); the informant was Ivy’s grandfather, Augustus Paterson, & it was he who found a couple called Syrett to ‘adopt’ Ivy. In one of his letters to them, prior to the ‘adoption’ he wrote: “The child is in Scotland under charge of a respectable person who has had care of her since she was two months old, it being impossible for the parents to acknowledge her at the time, in fact, she was the issue of a private marriage.” (It is not clear what was meant by a ‘private marriage’.) In the 1891 & 1901 censuses Ivy was with the Syrett family in Ealing, Middlesex, & bore their surname but evidence suggests she maintained contact with her birth family. I look forward to learning more about Ivy from her descendants so that her story can be added to this family history.
09/06/2013I am saddened to announce the death of my cousin Sally (aka Sarah) Donson (née Danby) at Scunthorpe General Hospital on 4 June 2013, aged 74. I extend my condolences to the more immediate members of her family, including her twin and her other sister.
I have been contacted by a grandson of Arthur L Jones and centenarian, Mollie Jones, and look forward to learning more about the American descendants of Isabel Owen (c1831-1895).
24/03/2013I am delighted to have made contact with descendants of (Mary) Louise Roberts (1895-1972). It took such a long time to unravel the complex life of Isabel Owen (1831-1895) that news of some of her descendants is only now emerging. I am grateful both for the information and for the photographs, which are lovely. Tragically, even as late as the mid-twentieth century TB was still claiming young lives.
Further brief additions have been made elsewhere in the site.
07/03/2013There have been problems with my Internet host but I hope these have now been resolved. I am sorry if you have had difficulty opening the site. I have been Spring-cleaning the site &, in particular, checking internal & external links; I hope those that are left are both active & accurate. Please let me know if any don't work, though the Online Welsh Biography site can be problematic, I suspect due to high demand.
I have rewritten parts of the section about Isabel Ellen Roberts (aka Isabella Roberts Jones) in the light of this 1907 biography of her husband, Robert L. Jones, who was a quarry owner in Pennsylvania.
17/02/2013I have, at long last, discovered what became of Lizzie Owen. Her younger brother and sister, Sally and John, sailed to Chile in January 1906, where John lived out his days, and Lizzie and her family sailed to Chile in August of that year, presumably to settle as I have found no subsequent record of them in UK. In all likelihood they were all following in the footsteps of their eldest sister, Mary, I shall now try again to find out what became of her.
I shall shortly be adding photographs of some of Rev. Elias Owen's children and some further news about his daughter, Margaret Ellen Jones.
10/02/2013A long time ago, the younger brother of Garmon Owen Jones sent me a copy of the eulogy he delivered at Garmon's funeral. I must apologise for filing away this information without adding it to the site, an omission that has now been rectified.
15/01/2013Further information from 19th century newspapers has now been added to the following sections:
Timothy Morgan Owen
29/12/2012I have now added further information about the following people:
and added to the information about some of his children. It was interesting to discover that Elijah found himself the innocent party in a
major local controversy,
since his son, Reginald, was similarly innocently embroiled in a
concerning RIBA; both must have been very upsetting at the time.
Jemima Owen and added to the information about her descendants though there do not appear to be any living descendants.
Thomas William Owen.
I shall be making further announcements when I have had the time to collate the new information; there is plenty about Elias Owen and Timothy Morgan Owen and about some of their descendants.
6/12/2012I have now added further information from 19th century newspapers to the Shelby family pages.
29/11/2012I have added information about the following though research in these areas is on-going:
Nesta Mary Morgan-Owen and her second husband, Harold Sidney Abrahamson.
Edward James Owen and his son, Bernard Owen.
Edward Magrath and the Magrath family.
I have added a little more to the pages for
Edwin James Owen and for Miriam Charlotte Labron.
I shall gradually add the information I have been collecting from newspaper reports, some trivial (e.g. one of Elias Owen's young daughters fell from a fast moving train but escaped without serious injury) and some more fundamental. With Christmas fast approaching this may be delayed ... but watch this space!
10/11/2012A lady called Annette Edwards found, amongst the items in a house clearance, a photo of the 1913-14 University College of North Wales (Bangor) football team which included Vernon Elias Owen. She saved it from imminent destruction and took the trouble to contact me. I have found out more about the young men concerned, several of whom, like Vernon, did not survive WWI, & have included the information on this site. Click on the picture on the above page to see an enlargement of the photo & for access to the information.
I have discovered many more interesting newspaper articles that refer to members of my extended Owen family & I shall shortly be adding this information to the site
5/2/2012I am very grateful to Bev McGuinness of the Denmark Historical Society in Western Australia for providing me with photographs and some more information to better understand the life of William Parry Owen in Australia; his section has been revised and the pages renumbered.
31/1/2012At Christmas I was saddened to learn of the death of Alastair James Magrath (20/6/1972-22/5/2011) at the tragically young age of thirty eight. I extend my deepest sympathy to his parents & to the rest of his family. (Incidentally, I have recently added a little more information about the experiences of Alastair's grandfather, Donald Magrath, as a Japanese P.O.W.)
Again on a sad note, I discovered that the husband of Margaret Ellen Owen, Rev. John James Jones, was a patient in a mental hospital in 1911 & probably died two years later, leaving Margaret to raise their three young children.
By contrast, I was delighted to be contacted by the daughter of (Frederick) Vincent Roberts. Information from her & her brother, together with the writings of their father & augmented by information from various other sources, helped to create a vivid picture of his life &, in particular, of his time as a P.O.W., ultimately in Germany, in WWII; how quickly what had been to me simply a name evolved into a rounded human being. (His writings as a POW are now at the Imperial War Museum.) I have also learned a little more about the descendants of his uncle, Elijah Trevethan Roberts though this is sadly lacking in depth.
An email from a pupil at the school where Eric Wynn Owen taught provided a lovely tribute to Eric. This former pupil also sent me an mp3 copy of Eric's reading of part of the poem, 'High Flight', from the closing credits of the Time Team programme about digging up the Spitfire of his step-brother, Paul Klipsch.
15/11/2011I have discovered what happened to William Parry Owen. After traumatic beginnings to his life and having lived through WWI, William & his wife settled in Australia. I doubt they could have envisaged the deprivations and hard work that lay ahead of them. They could not have envisaged the events that led to William's death.
02/10/2011The information about the 1899 Oxford University tour of Prague and Vienna has been added here.
29/09/2011A search facility for the site is available via the top ribbon though I hope to provide one in future that excludes ads. Various small additions have been made, including to Frank Ifor Moran Owen's pages and I have added some pictures of Kano to Hugh Morgan-Owen's pages. I'm about to add some information to Morgan Maddox Morgan-Owen. His tours with Oxford University & with Corinthians helped instigate the game of football worldwide and I have just learned of a significant tour he made to Austria in the 1899/1900 season.
18/09/2011Firstly I wish to extend my condolences to the family of Thelma C Angell (née Starkey) who died on 8 September after a long battle against cancer.
After over a month away I have now been able to update some of the information towards the end of the Klipsch page having been contacted by a descendant in New Zealand.
I am also learning more about some of the descendants of Isabella Ellen Roberts helped very generously by Pamela Myers in Pennsylvania; I am updating this section almost daily at the moment. Pam is a very busy lady who amongst other things is a Trustee at Rehoboth Welsh Chapel in Delta PA and 'webmaster' of the Delta Welsh Heritage site.
I am very grateful to Tammy Smith in Australia for finding a possible death record for William Parry Owen and some further information about Edwin Augustus Owen. .
22/07/2011The site will appear little changed but it has been considerably restructured. Please let me know if you find this has created any broken links or other problems. The minimum screen size required to view this site is 1000 x 600 px; those with larger screens can zoom to enarge the pages if required.
07/06/2011There is a new section about the extended WILDING family of Harriet WILDING who married Elisha OWEN . Perhaps the most famous family member was Harriet's niece, the society photographer, Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976) . I shall seek to improve the presentation of this section to make it easier to interrelate the generations.
Through the site I have been contacted by several authors writing books that concern some of the individuals herein. Janet Murphy contacted me about the Irish family of Fitzgerald Day. & I was able to help her in a very, very small way with her research. She very kindly sent me the product of her labours, Killarney Sketches [ISBN: 978-1-4475-0503-7] which has just been published. It is a reproduction, with background information, of the 1862 publication by Rev John Robert Fitzgerald Day & it is a lovely evocation of a byegone era & of a beautiful part of Ireland.
I thought I knew about most of the living descendants of people mentioned in this site but I have been delighted to discover a few more. I am always pleased to hear from such family members who can rest assured that information about them will not appear here; information about living individuals is excluded.
I have just learned that (Halbert) Peter Gray Tyson Glendinning died on 27 May and his funeral is next Monday. I had the pleasure of meeting him and he was a lovely man. I extend my condolences to his sons and to the rest of his family.
09/02/2011Circumstances continue to limit my research but I have added some information about the Klipsch family. It is only very indirectly related to the Owen family but their story seemed to be worth telling.
01/01/2011Circumstances have limited my research in recent months but I now hope to learn more about the family & to add to the information on this site. I wish everyone in my extended family good health & contentment in 2011.
15/11/2010I had omitted to include information about Charles Christopher Danby; it is now there. Once again there have been minor additions elsewhere & some interesting contacts from other researchers.
03/11/2010Have added odds & ends to the site, in particular information re. Beatrice Marion Day with revised Map of Malay Peninsular. The Spitfire I, P9373, in which Paul Klipsch was killed is being restored & should be flying from Duxford in 2-3 years.
14/10/2010I have added an account of a mysterious death that may well have had nothing to do with the death of young Elias Owen but the timing & location (Rev. Elias Owen conducted the funeral service) add to its intrigue. Even Scottish newspapers carried the story. It can be accessed from the above page, from features or directly by clicking here. (Pictures now included)
28/09/2010Further material & photos have being added to the sections mentioned in the last update ... & more information is hoped for. Another photo of William Pierce Owen has been added as has a photo of his son William (Billy) Henry Kenrick Owen. More information has been provided & discovered about Isabel Ann Brown and about her sister Mary Brown. Many thanks to all those who are helping me learn more.
23/09/2010I am delighted that so many people have visited my site & I have enjoyed receiving messages both from family members & from others researching subjects with which members of the family have been associated. The research continues .....
I am in contact with some of the descendants of Eva Margaret Owen & am adding information to the site as I learn more. Any further information or photos would be most welcome. A picture of her father, Elias, a son of Rev. Elias Owen, has been added.
28/07/2010I have added some YouTube links on this page & on the 'Links' page - these mainly concern war & war poetry.
I have also added a little more information in various places.
Sadly, I have recently learned of the deaths of John James SHELBY (1940-2010) and Robin Gosling (1926-2007). I send my condolences to their families.
01/07/2010 - The site is launchedI hope visitors to the site will share information/pictures and I welcome any constructive criticism of the site.
I have various avenues to explore and will update the site as I learn more about the Owen family; any major changes will be announced in this section of the site.