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confused owen family

A problem shared is a problem halved. Post your brick walls here and see whether you can offer advice to others

confused owen family

Postby pattie » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:47 am

I have the most awful time trying to trace my owen decendants. I started with my grandfather cyril Howen(born shropshire 1912) who's last name is really Owen. i then recieved his birth certificate which stated his parents as Edith Mary Lewis and Alfred Owen(born1882 shropshire) both from shropshire. i traced Alfred back to a mother called Martha, father unknown, Martha was a domestic servant. now the fun begins, Cyrils wedding certificate for 1934 to my grandmother Emma coley states his father as Frederick Francis Howen(not able to find this person) the list goes on, my main grievence is Marthas family.
Martha is suppose to have been born 1858 shrewsbury shropshire father Edward Owen mother Ann (1861 census aged 3) no registered birth by these parents.
other siblings follow but none seem to match the parents.
I have recieved certificates from someone claiming to be a relative on this side of the family, but they are all for the years 1848 onwards, 1 stating Martha was born 1851 to a John Owen.
In 1890 Martha marries a Thomas Pritchard and states her father as Edward, i have sent for the birth certificates for the years 1858-1861 all show fathers as John owen.
How do i break down this brick wall and find the right line to follow?. Help please. :(
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Re: confused owen family

Postby Phil Knight » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:39 am

Pattie, I don't know if this will help much, but:
1) 1891, 204 New Square Wellington, Shropshire:
Thomas Pritchard (Head) - 24, Wellington Shropshire
Martha Pritchard (Wife) - 29, Shrewsbury Shropshire
Alfred Owen (step son) - 8, Wellington Shropshire
Louisa Owen (step daughter) - 5, Wellington Shropshire
Mary Ann Pritchard (daughter) - 2, Wellington Shropshire
Edith Ellen Pritchard (daughter) - 4 months, Wellington Shropshire

2) 1881 & 1871 - several possible Martha Owens, but the nearest in age, and born in Shrewsbury, is Martha Jane Owen (in 1881, but in 1871 transcribed as Martha I Owen), born c. 1861, parents Henry & Jane. Obviously, I can't promise she's the right person, but her marriage cert. might give her middle name to allow the link. I've also found a record for this woman's christening, parents Henry & Jane, for 25/12/1860 & a FreeBMD birth record for the same quarter.

1) Marriage quarter to March 1889 in Wellington - Thomas Pritchard & Martha Owen. (No wedding record & nothing other than the FreeBMD record on Ancestry)
2) Birth quarter to March 1883 in Wellington - Alfred Owen
3) Birth quarter to June 1886 in Wellington - Louisa Owen
(Neither are on
4) Of possibly little or no interest, a Thomas Pritchard married Clara Woods in Wellington in 1885 - presumably there was only one TP there in those years, so I assume his first wife died.

If you've got Alfred's birth cert already, and it's not informative, maybe Louisa's might help? The Thomas P and Martha marriage cert. might help by showing if she's a spinster, widow, etc?

If you try the 1883 marriage cert., therefore, it may open a chink in the brick wall, especially if Martha gives a middle name and/or parents - the names of the witnesses may also help in case they are her parents or siblings. Or, as I've found a couple of times, what's on any certificate may have no link to reality at all, and parents have been invented (sometimes using siblings' names and/or professions!) - but that's my ancestors, yours may well have been honest.

If certificates do prove informative, feel free to email me via here and I'll happily use my Ancestry sub. to do more lookups.
If you haven't used them, and are helpful free sites, althoguh their coverage isn't 100% - but to be honest no site's coverage seems to be 100%.

Best of luck.

Researching Knight, Norton and Perkins from Leicester, Stow, Frankish, Fulstow, Empringham, Gleadle & others from Lincolnshire, Wells & related families in Nottinghamshire & Stampers from Kirkbymoorside & area.
Phil Knight
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Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

Re: confused owen family

Postby debsstock » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:41 am

Hi Pattie

Just to go back to basics - a couple of questions:
- how do you know for sure that your grandfather Cyril was born in Shropshire?
- how do you know that his name was really Owen, not Howen?
- did he have a middle name?
- did he have any brothers and sisters?
- do you have a birthdate for him that doesn't come from the birth certificate you obtained - for example, a family birthday book, a headstone, etc.?

If you only have his age from his marriage certificate, it's important to remember that these aren't always accurate (especially if there is a bit of a gap between the bride and groom). It's wise to investigate potential births a few years either side of the date you think most likely, and I note from FreeBMD that a number of Cyril Owens were born in the period 1910-1914. It's rather curious that he would give his father's name as Frederick Francis on his marriage certificate if the birth registration with Alfred as his father is correct, and it would be advisable to clear this discrepancy up first before looking at the earlier generations.

If you can supply a few of the answers above, perhaps we can help you sort out your problem.

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Location: Surrey

Re: confused owen family

Postby pattie » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:36 pm

Hi Deb
Thank you for your look ups. i spent a lot of time looking for Cyril, just to clarify mr grandfather married twice so i obtained both certificates, the second states cyril howen otherwise owen father alfred owen brewers cellarman deceased this occupation is stated on cyrils birth certificate.
alfred and louisa both have no known father.

martha, spinster father edward owen. her wedding certificate states aged 37 which would make her born 1851/2. but why is she down as 3 months on the 1861 census because i have checked for her with a John owen (father) but to no avail, i have also tried to work out who all the other children belong to in the Edward household from the 1871-1891 census, its very hard to marry them all off or kill them off, its like they dont really exist.

now Cyrils family: alfred owen joins the welsh fussieliers in 1915 (i have his medal card).
while he is away a sidney owen is born to him in dec 1916 he dies two months later, 1912 sees the birth of a mary elizabeth owen she dies also from results of a burn in jan 1916. then the family disappear from shropshire only to turn up in 1918 in Blackburn where Alfred has supposedly changed his name to Sidney Howen (he dies under this name in 1922) wife Edith Mary Howen nee Lewis here they have another Daughter called Kathleen May Howen born 1918, they then move back to Leicester where they have another child,Gertrude Ethel Howen born 1923 a few monthes after Alfred/Sidney dies.

Gertrude marries a Pegg they get divorced and she changes her name to Patricia and marries again.
so this is why i cannot understand this family, Martha with parents that are not hers, people whom constantly change their names, i am intrigued to see what other secrets they hold

Thank you Pattie
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am

Re: confused owen family

Postby pattie » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:44 pm

Hi Phill

Thank you for your help, i do have that information already.

I know i have the right cyril it took me nearly two years of searching to find him. i knew of my grandfathers second marriage and his wifes name so i was able to trace back from there. the fact that my grandfather died in Leicester also help to fill in some pieces.

But what i dont understand is why the whole family moved from Shropshire to Blackburn and then down to Leicester, if Alfred was in the forces would his family have travelled with him? it seems highly unlikely given the war and the moad of transport available.

Thank you Pattie
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am

Re: confused owen family

Postby kandbc » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:58 pm

I was so excited to see that you have been researching the same Owen family that I've been researching since I've never come across anyone researching the same family. Martha Owen married to Thomas Pritchard in 1889 is my paternal great grandmother. My grandmother is Beatrice born was in 1893. I tentatively have listed Martha's parents as Henry and Mary Anne but have no proof - they seemed the most logical. I believe that Martha's marriage to Thomas was her second marriage or she had two children out of wedlock before marrying him - I refer to Alfred born in 1883 and Louisa born in 1886. I'd enjoy hearing from you. Cheers, Kathy (in Canada)
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Re: confused owen family

Postby pattie » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:23 pm

I am hoping that Kandbc from canada still uses this site. I really would like to speak to you further on this family. I haven't been able to get on the site for a long time and have wanted to reply to your helpful information. I know it was 2013 when you replied to me but if your still out there please get in touch again.
Regards Pattie
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am

Re: confused owen family

Postby kandbc » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:15 pm

Hi Pattie,
I just saw your message and would love to 'talk' with you. I've ticked the box "notify me when a reply is posted", which should help us keep in touch. K
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:46 pm

Re: confused owen family

Postby kandbc » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:41 pm

Patti, I was reading more of your posts and was so pleased to know that you're Alfred's descendant. I've been able to find very little about Alfred but knew that he had 2 daughters and died at a young age ... thanks for filling in the blanks. One of my Gran's cousins said that Louisa Owen (Martha's daughter when she married Thomas Pritchard) was the eldest and unmarried. K
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:46 pm

Re: confused owen family

Postby pattie » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:31 pm

Hi Kath

Louisa was the second child to Martha, her brother Alfred was born two years earlier. He was only about 38 when he died, but he changed his name to Sidney howen and died in 1922 a few months before his daughter was born. mind you about 2 years after he died his wife has another baby and puts his name down as the father, is that what they call early ivf treatment. Sidney was the name of a son born as he entered the 1st world war, he died at a month old.

It seems I come from a very dysfunctional family in one way or another. My grandfather Alfreds son it seems never knew his surname was Owen until the 2nd time he married, in fact the first time he married he didn't seem to know who his father really was because the name he gives for his licence is most fictitious.
Is there any thing in particular you would like to know, I cant help with pictures i'm afraid because I don't have any and I have no idea what anybody looks like, I don't even have pictures of my self from childhood, only my second marriage.

Louisa has children but does not seem to marry any of their fathers, her death is quite sad really.
I found a baptism for Martha with parents Edward and Ann. Martha was born on 26 feb 1858 and was baptized on the 25th apr 1858 in st michaels anglican church shrewsbury.
I will try and find the paper work for Louisa's death and put it in for you if you like, there is also a newspaper clipping of it.
well if you want to ask me anything that's ok or if you just want to chit chat in general that's ok too.

Best Regards Pattie

ps is Kath your real name?
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