John Owen - The search for my Maternal Grandfathers Roots
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The search for my Maternal Grandfathers Roots

My Grandfather died September 24, 1934 when my mother was 14yrs old.

Just before my mother died in 1997, I happened to ask if her father was Welsh, with the surname Owen, Mother said "my dad came from Banbury Cross".

John Henry Owen and Adelaide Wallis

John Henry Owen and Adelaide Wallis

This was the only information I had of my grandfather, that his name was John Henry Owen and he was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
From the age given on his marriage certificate in 1898, he was born about 1876, son of John Owen dec.
A search of the GRO, 3 years either side of 1876, gave no results.

Searching the 1881 census I found a John Henry Hancock Owen the correct age, born in Banbury, with father John, mother Emma, plus other children named, Hancock Owen or Powell Owen.
Was this my John Henry Owen?
With mother Emma, but Emma what.?

The Parish registers for Christ Church Banbury 1877, show four children baptised on May 16th, surname Hancock.
They were all children of Emma Hancock, there was no fathers name given.
Hancock John Henry Owen, Hancock Emma, Hancock Sarah Ann, Hancock Annie Georgina.
This led me to think that John Henry's mother's maiden name was Hancock.

Looking further at the Christ Church registers, I found this marriage, November 13th 1877, between a John Owen & Emma Hancock (widow).
John Owen, hawker, son of George Owen, fishmonger.
Emma Owen daughter of Thomas Powell, gardener
Witness George Owen & Harriet Owen.

This John Owen was born in Banbury 1840, son of George Owen & Mary McKinnon, & baptised September 14, 1842
George Owen & Mary McKinnon were married 7th October 1836, Banbury.
Mary Ann McKinnon daughter of Hector McKinnon & Elizabeth McKendrick?
No marriage found in Banbury.

I find John Owen in the 1851 & 1861 census living with his parents in Banbury, but have yet to find him 1871 census, he does not seem to be in Oxfordshire. As he was a hawker he would have travelled around.

John Owen returns to Banbury sometime after the 1871 census was taken & 1875.

After his marriage we find him 1881 census, Banbury, with his family

1881 Census 43, Middle Cherwell St, Neithrop, Banbury
Pro Ref RG 11, Piece 1529, Folio 7 page 8
Owen John, hd, m, Labourer, 44, Banbury, Oxford
Owen Emma, wife, m, 42, Banbury, Oxford
Owen Powell Emma, daur, Scholar, 13, Banbury, Oxford
Owen Hancock Annie, daur, 8, Banbury, Oxford
Owen Hancock John Henry, son, 4, Banbury, Oxford
Owen Henry, son, 1, Banbury, Oxford
Wagstaff Richard James, lod, Cordwainer, w, 62, London, Middlesex
Note all the children now have the surname Owen.

I still had to the find the birth certificate of my grandfather so decided to search for John Henry Hancock.
This is the birth registration;
John Henry Hancock, son of Emma Hancock (no father's name given) born 11th May 1876, Neithrop, Banbury.

As Emma was a widow when she married John Owen, I now knew Emma must have married a Hancock.
Further searches of Parish records reveal the marriage of an Emma Powell & Henry Hancock, 27th September, 1871, Independent Chapel, Banbury.
Henry Hancock, son of Thomas Hancock, dec.
Emma Powell, daughter of Thomas Powell, dec. witness Cornelius Ford & Jane Powell

Emma's birth certificate 15th February 1840, Banbury, father Thomas Powell, mother Esther Powell nee Hughes.
I now had Emma's parent's names.
Marriage of Thomas Powell & Esther Hughes, 16th October 1822, Banbury, Oxford

At the time of the 1851 census Thomas Powell was a widower, living with son Thomas, and daughters Ann & Emma.
Death of Esther Powell, 2nd July 1848.

As Emma was a widow in 1877, I searched for a death certificate for Henry Hancock.
28th March 1875, Henry Hancock male 29, general labourer, wife, Emma Hancock present.

Emma Owen (Powell, Hancock) died sometime between the 1891 census & 1901 census.
Emma Owen born Banbury,not found in 1901 census.
No death certificate found yet.
I have birth, marriages and all other census records for Emma.

John Owen husband of Emma died 8th September 1887, occupation Fish Hawker

No sign of John Henry Owen my grandfather, 1891 Census Oxford

I knew John Henry was in Kettering in 1898 when he married decided to search the 1891 census fiche at Kettering Library.

This is what I found.
1891 Census Kettering, Northants 40, Water St, Kettering
Clarke George, hd, m, 24, Iron moulder, Banbury, Oxford
Clark Sarah, wife, m, 24, Banbury, Oxford
Clark Owen, son 3, Banbury, Oxford
Clark Fanny, daur, 1, Banbury, Oxford
Owen John, visitor,s,15, foundry labourer, Oxford, Banbury
Clark Jerry, lod, m, 32, Iron moulder, Banbury, Oxford
Clark Ester, lod, wife, m, 29, Banbury, Oxford
Clark Emma, daur, 1, Banbury, Oxford
Sarah & Esther Clarke are half sisters to John Owen visitor

John Henry Owen married Adelaide Wallis 28/5/1898
St Mary's Church, Fuller St, Kettering, Northants
Witness Harry Tilley & Rose Ann Tilley, sister & brother in-law of Adelaide

Address at marriage 4, Victoria Terrace, Kettering, Northants
Later to be known as Stamford Rd.

John Owen & family 1901 census
1901 Census Kettering
10, Lawson St, RG 13 1449
Owen John, hd, 25, ironmoulder, m b Banbury, Oxford
Owen Addy, wife, 23, m, b Kettering
Owen John, son, 2, b, Kettering
Owen Fred,, son,1,b,Kettering

John Owen & Adelaide Wallis had 9 children, my mother Dorothy being the youngest.

All the children of John & Adelaide were, baptised, St Mary's, Church, Fuller St, Kettering

Register of electors 1918 Kettering, 8590
John Henry Owen, 33, Stamford Rd, Kettering
Adelaide Owen 33, Stamford Rd, Kettering.

Adelaide Wallis died 27th September, and buried October 8, 1931, in London Rd, Cemetery, Kettering, Northants.
John & Adelaide are buried together with Adelaide's Mother Emma Bellamy (Wallis)

Contributed by Heather Hudson
Email: Heathermay.Hudson(@)
To contact Heather Hudson, copy and paste the address and remove the brackets around the @ - thank you.
Website:Family Pages of Heather Hudson