HISTORY OF HUGH AND MARY
OWENS ROBERTS AND FAMILY
Roberts was born on a farm called ‘Bryn Ucha’,
located in the hills or on a small mountain about midway between Eglwysbach and Llanrwst in
Denbighshire, North Wales, the 12th of
February, 1803. His father, Robert Roberts, a
very tender, kind-hearted man, was the son of Owen Roberts and Catherine
Thomas. He owned ‘Bryn Ucha’ Farm and was considered a prosperous farmer. ‘Bryn Ucha’ means highest hill or hilltop. The farm produced wheat, oats, barley and flax as did most farms in
that vicinity. Flax was raised to make
linen. They also raised cattle, sheep,
hogs and fowl of all kinds. The Roberts’
were related to most of the farmers in that neighborhood. The farm home at ‘Bryn Ucha’
was built on the hillside by a beautiful spring of water.
is known of Owen and Catherine Thomas Roberts, Hugh’s grandparents, or of their
families. It is presumed that ‘Bryn Ucha’ Farm had belonged to them and their ancestors for
generations and had descended to Robert by natural succession of ownership,
from father to son as was the custom there.
Nothing is known of their children except Robert, the father of Hugh.
mother was Jane Jones, a rather proud aristocratic woman. She was the daughter of Thomas Jones and Jane
Jones. (Jane Jones’ maiden name is
unknown.) Mrs. Jane Jones was Thomas
Jones’ second wife. His first wife was
Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, who was a rather delicate woman who did not live very
long after their marriage. After their
marriage, Thomas and Jane Jones lived at the ‘Craig’, the home of her mother
who was a widow. Hugh was one of a
family of six children: ELIZABETH, OWEN,
HUGH, JANE, MARY and JOHN, all of whom were born and reared at ‘Bryn Ucha’ Farm.
his boyhood Hugh broke one of his arms twice and also had both legs broken,
which caused him to limp. Because of
this condition he was considered unfit for farm work, which was done by hand in
those days and required sturdy bone strength.
Hugh was therefore apprenticed to a shoemaker and learned that trade
which was considered most suitable for him.
He learned his trade at a shoe shop in Llanrwst. During that period he lived, most of the
time, at the home of Dr. Tittle who was a friend of
At Llanrwst he met his future wife. Soon after learning his trade he married Mary
Owens, a servant girl, contrary to the wish of his parents, especially his
mother. They did not think Mary equal in
station with him. However, it was truly
a love match. They were very devoted to
each other and faithful throughout their long lives together. When Mary married Hugh she had many household
items saved up including furniture and a large clock that stood on the
floor. All these had been bought from
her savings. Her father, Thomas Owens,
was not favorable to her marriage because he considered Hugh too religious.
Owens was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Morris Owens. Her parents separated, each marrying
others. Mary Morris married Robert
Griffiths, a tailor of Port Madoc and Harlech. She bore
him several fine children. Thomas Owens
became the father of another family, among whom were
two beautiful daughters. These daughters
were splendid singers and accompanied their father, also a good singer, in
giving very popular concerts.
Owens’ mother was the daughter of Hugh and Margaret Edwards Morris, natives of Llanrwst. Mary
Morris had three brothers and one sister:
EDWARD, ROBERT, JOHN and MARGARET.
and Mary Owens Roberts first lived at ‘Bryn Ucha’,
where their eldest child Jane was born.
They then moved to Llanrwst where they opened
a shoe making and repairing shop.
Business was not very good there.
Eglwysbach, a town about seven miles north,
appeared more favorable so they moved and established the shoe making and
repairing business there. They lived in
a rented home, to which Hugh built a ‘lean-to’ for a shop. He plied his trade here for several years,
during the early part of which he had quite a thriving business and a number of
apprentices, among whom was Robert Evans.
Eglwysbach (meaning ‘Little Church’) was a village of Denbighshire, North Wales. It consisted of a group of homes with some
shops or stores, a blacksmith shop, shoe shop, grist or flour mill, three
taverns, a large Church of England surrounded by the village cemetery, a Wesleyian Church, a Methodist Church, and a Church of the
was the Civic Center for the farming country in
the immediate vicinity. Hugh belonged
to the church of the Dissenters, where he was Superintendent, and Mary, his
wife, was a teacher. But he was not
satisfied with it. After a short time he
left the church and it was closed. Hugh
sought something else in the way of religion, investigating them all as he was
able. On one occasion he went thirty
miles to visit a Catholic Church.
However, he was not favorably inclined toward it and would not join
it. His soul yearned for something else.
this time his apprentice Robert Evans returned from a visit to South Wales. There he had met Captain Dan Jones, a friend
of Joseph Smith, the prophet, and had accepted the strange religion called
“Mormonism.” Robert Evans was the
advocate and representative of this religion, with a commission to preach and
baptize in the name of Jesus Christ and to administer the ordinances of the
Gospel. He presented the new faith to
Hugh and his family. Hugh was deeply
impressed with it. To him it was indeed
“Glad Tidings.” Elder Evans bore strong
testimony to its truth and to the signs following the believers. His words were accompanied with power and
carried conviction to this honest seeker for the truth and his family. When Hugh’s son Owen, who was then ten years
of age and sorely afflicted with dropsy under a doctor’s care, heard the gospel
he was converted. He believed “the sick
were healed”. He demanded baptism and
was so insistent about it that he was taken out of bed in a quilt and baptized May 25, 1847. This was done at night because
of the bitter persecution against those who embraced this new religion. Hugh would not consent for Owen to be
baptized alone, so after Owen he was also baptized that memorable night. Hugh would have been baptized before as he
had been converted but Mary, his wife, had not then been convinced of its
truth. After Owen was baptized, he
manifested great faith and was rapidly improving in health until the neighbors
noticed it and became curious about it.
Mary, in her joy, told them what had happened; what was the real cause
of Owen’s improvement. There was much excitement about it. The neighbors persuaded Mary to again have
Dr. Hughes, the Parish Physician, attend Owen.
Owen objected vigorously, saying that if he took any more Doctor’s
medicine he would die. His objections
did not prevail. Dr. Hughes was called again,
the medicine given, and about a week later Owen died.
On July 14, 1849, Mary and her children ROBERT, ELIZABETH,
CATHERINE, and MARGARET were baptized by Elder Abel Evans, who had followed
Elder Robert Evans into the neighborhood.
Soon afterward Robert Evans migrated to Utah, and not being as well
received as he thought he should have been, went to
President Brigham Young and asked for a mission to Wales. President Young said to him, “And you are not
coming back, are you?” He went to Wales and apostatized, took up a
new religion and preached against the Saints.
He went to Hugh’s home again to preach his new doctrine, but Mary
(Hugh’s wife) forbade him saying they had had enough new religion from him. He died and was buried in Wales out of the Church.
Evans, a good faithful man, organized a branch of the church at Eglwysbach with six members. Hugh and Mary were two of them. Hugh was called to be presiding Elder. He held this position until he migrated to America in 1864. His home was the headquarters for the Elders,
entertaining many. Some Elders were
almost constantly there. There was
always a full house the entire day Sunday when general meetings were held. During the week day evenings
councils, prayer and priesthood meetings were held. Hugh Roberts kept the record of Eglwysbach Branch until he left there, when he delivered
the records to Brother John Roberts of Pensarn, Denbeighshire.
John Williams family, living at Eglwysbach,
were all baptized into the church at about the same time as Hugh’s
family. They were millers and ran the
water-powered burr flour mill at Eglwysbach, making
flour and oatmeal. They were great
friends to Hugh and family and migrated to America in 1855, settling in Ogden. During the sojourn of the Roberts and
Williams families at Eglwysbach the branch was strong
and flourishing, but when those two families left, it dwindled and soon ceased
to exist. The persecution was so bitter
that the Mormon children were excluded from the schools. They were ostracized and many of the people
withdrew their patronage from Hugh in his shoe business. This made it difficult for the family to
obtain livelihood. They endured much
persecution and ridicule and at times openly hostile conduct from neighbors
from the time they embraced the gospel until they left their native land. But they never wavered in their faith.
one occasion Hugh, the presiding Elder, and a traveling Elder were holding a
meeting in Eglwysbach. A mob gathered and took them to a bridge
nearby. The mob took them under the
bridge and were preparing ropes to hand them when the women who followed raised
such a strong remonstrance (particularly Hugh’s daughter Catherine, who rushed
under the bridge and clinging to Hugh said, “You shall not hang my father”)
that the mob desisted with a warning and a threat that the Elders must not
preach Mormonism in that neighborhood again or they would suffer death. Throughout this ordeal the Elders were
resolute and calm. They had no fear nor
did they weaken in their faith in God and His mighty work. Hugh here passed through one of the tests
required of the faithful namely even unto death (D&C 98:14, 15). There are many ways by which this test may
come to mortals and it comes at a time and in a way least expected,
oftentimes. In his travels if the
distance where they were to hold meeting was not too far away, his daughters,
especially Betsy, would accompany them to assist in the singing and to hold the
Elder’s hats and the books they used.
The daughters were all good singers and in this way assisted with the
meetings. Hugh did more or less of this
missionary service all the while he remained in Wales and as his circumstances
would permit him to do. It was during
the carrying out of this missionary labor that he, in company with a traveling
Elder, was mobbed and their lives threatened as heretofore recorded.
bold, constant and uncompromising was Hugh in his efforts to spread the
glorious gospel that he incurred much enmity and bitter hatred toward himself
and his family. As a result he lost his
shoe trade, or in other words the people of Eglwysbach
and that neighborhood boycotted his business.
This condition soon reduced the family to the greatest poverty, even to
want and they were finally sent to the “Work House” or what is commonly known
as the poor house which was located at Llanrust about
7 miles distant. The family did not
remain there long, however, for no sooner did Hugh reach the place than he
began to proclaim the gospel to the inmates with much vigor and he was
progressing so favorable with them that the officers of the institution filled
with consternation at such prospects, decided on another plan. They moved him and his family back to his old
home and assisted in providing him with means to work at his trade as a
shoemaker and he was thereby able to provide for his family through his own
labor. This was much to his liking and
the family progressed quite well under this arrangement, until they left for America. His old neighbors and friends, though bitter
towards his religion, seemed glad to see the family return from the poor house
at Llanrust to their former home for some reason.
was both wholesome and palatable. They
had very little meat as they could not afford it. Their diet was derived mostly from grains and
vegetables, wheat, oats and barley being the principal grains. They had good bread made from wheat and
barley and meal from oats (coarse meal for mush and fine meal for making cakes
like crackers). The oatmeal both coarse
and fine was made by first soaking the oats well, then drying and roasting
until brown. It was then passed through
the burr mill to get the meal as desired, whether coarse or fine. Oatmeal cakes were made by taking the fine
meal, mixing with water and a little salt, then spreading thin in a large
griddle and cooking slightly brown. So
made, it could be kept a year or more and be good. It made a very delightful dish when broken in
a bowl with milk or broth poured on it.
A considerable quantity of this oatmeal cake was made for the journey
across the sea. Another good dish was
Irish potatoes, boiled with the peeling on, then peeled and put in a bowl with
buttermilk poured over them. Indian
cornmeal bread and mush was quite common and much relished. The corn came from America. Toasted bread, buttered, was much used. Milk and cheese spread with butter spread
thinly upon very thin slices of bread were also served. The butter was first spread upon the loaf, then the slice was cut very thin. It was good.
Beer made of barley was a common drink, as was tea. To make beer, the barley was soaked until it
sprouted. It was then dried and baked
brown, then ground into coarse meal.
Then it was soaked in water until fermented. With the use of yeast and hops, a beer was
made. This was a very common drink and
nearly every one in that country made it or at least used it.
children of this splendid couple, all of whom excepting Jane,
were born at Eglwysbach in order of birth are:
Jane born October 10, 1830
Robert Owens born November 20, 1832
Elizabeth (Betsy) born March 6, 1835
Owen born March 19, 1837
Catherine born April 12, 1839
Margaret born May 17, 1841
Mary born November 22, 1843
Hannah born March 27, 1847
John born March 16, 1849
Thomas born April 3, 1851
OWEN AND THOMAS ROBERTS
and Thomas both died in their youth and were buried in the churchyard at Eglwysbach. Thomas
was born April 3, 1851, and three days later he
died. The little body was prepared for
burial and in due time, a funeral service was held at the home. After this service the family and some
friends formed a procession and carried the remains to the village cemetery
surrounding the “little Church” (Eglwysbach). Upon arriving at the cemetery, the gate was
locked and they were refused entrance by the officers in charge, for the burial
of the child. This situation being
noised through the town, there was soon quite a gathering at the cemetery
gate. Hugh was stirred in his soul
because of this unusual unheard of action on the part of the officers in charge
of the cemetery, and he determined to gain entrance, peaceably, if possible, if
not then by force even to the extent of breaking down the gate. He began to preach to those assembled on
toleration, liberty of conscience and of speech and upon the restored
gospel. So logically and forcefully did
he discourse to them that finally the cemetery gate was opened and the
procession proceeded and peacefully buried their dead. This was a very trying incident in the life
of Hugh, which was now beginning to be crowded with severe trials.
The other children lived to manhood/womanhood
and were all honorably married. Each has
a worthy, sturdy, progeny in the earth to follow after them and to honor and
perpetuate their memories and splendid lives through right living in the eyes
of God and man. Jane and Robert, the two
eldest, married in Wales and remained there, never
leaving their native country. Elizabeth
and Margaret both preceded their parents and other members of the family to America.
JANE ROBERTS HUMPHREYS
married Edward Humphreys and went to live at Harlech,
the home of her husband’s family. She is
said to have had after her husband’s death in 1886, something to do with the
care and custody of the famous old Harlech Castle. She lived in a home within the shadow of its
walls for many years, where she died at the age of ninety one. She was a devoted wife and a real mother. Eleven children, six boys and five girls,
blessed their union. Their names
are: ROBERT, MARY, MARGARET, HUMPHREY,
HUGH, EDWARD, JANE ELIZABETH, HANNAH, EDWARD OWEN, LAURA and GRIFFITH. None of them, so far, have left the land of
their fathers. She always manifested a
loving disposition toward her parents and a kindly feeling toward their
religion and was in constant correspondence with them. There is no record of her ever joining the
church to which her parents belonged.
Griffith Humphreys was the son of Robert Griffith and Mary Hughes Morris
Humphreys. His mother Mary was a native
of Llanrwst, Denbighshire, Wales, which fact would partially
account for the possibility of his acquaintance with Jane before their
marriage. His father was a native of Harlech. He was a
Master Tailor, by trade, and was also a noted bass singer. The name of Griffith appears in his name as also
that of his father, presumably because his grandfather was named Griffith
Humphreys, who also was native of Harlech. Edward was also by trade an assistant
overseer. He “ministered” and preached
at the Rehoboth Baptist Chapel at Harlech for 27
years. He died at Harlech,
March 16, 1866.
ROBERT OWENS ROBERTS
was born at Eglwysbach, Denbighshire November 20, 1832. His youth
and young manhood were spent in and around Eglwysbach. The custom of the time was that the oldest
son in a family had certain rights, namely leadership in a
family, privileges to direct the affairs in a family. There were also emoluments, namely the
homestead and most of the estate was his after the father’s death to perpetuate
the name of ancestry, to bless posterity and to preserve the estate and houses
or families of their race. The other
sons and daughters did not enjoy these things as such. Robert was the eldest and one of two sons
leaving families in the earth, the other two passing from mortality in youth
and infancy. He learned the shoemaking
trade of his father. He grew to a
splendid handsome manhood as his countenance and his portrait would
indicate. He was a fine singer and loved
music. With his family, excepting his
sister Jane, he accepted and embraced Mormonism, being baptized July 14, 1849 at Eglwysbach. He took an active part in the affairs of the
Church during all of the time he lived there, and he suffered heroically in
common with them the severe persecution directed against the family because of
his young manhood Robert “fell in love” but it did not terminate for his best
good apparently for he suffered a very severe loss that may mean the loss of
his birthright in the Patriarchal Order of the family, the rights of the first
born. Robert’s love was bestowed upon
Jane Davis, a fine Welsh girl, who had been converted to Mormonism and was an
ardent member of the Church. They dearly
loved each other. It is said they
intended to marry but events that later crowded into their lives over-ruled
this time a traveling Elder of the Church came into their Branch to labor. He took a liking to Jane Davis, but her
relations with Robert stood in the way of his making a favorable impression
with her. This Elder determined to
remove this obstacle, however, and he wrote to Jane advising her that he
desired to have nothing more to do with her and signed Robert’s name to the
letter. Naturally she turned cold
towards Robert and shunned him. Robert
could not understand this, but being rather independent and proud,
let her take her course without remonstrance or explanation. They became separated though they loved each
other. The Elder then pressed his
attentions, wooed, won and married Jane.
They moved to Zion, and in later years when she
met Aunt “Betsy” Owens and learned the truth of her early love affair, she wept
bitterly, for she loved Robert and her life with the one whom she had married
had not been the most cordial and happy.
Robert then found another congenial soul in the person of Elizabeth Owen
of Penmanbach and married her. She was not a member of the Church and was
rather bitter against it. Robert now
went to live at Penmanbach and into the shoemaking
he went into the hardware business. His
wife’s parents were the keepers of the Post Office, which in the country is a
place of rather marked distinction.
After the death of his wife’s parents, Robert inherited the Post Office
and received the appointment to that service, which position he held until his
death on January 26, 1904.
was highly respected. His family
numbered seven children, three sons and four daughters: WILLIAM OWEN, MARY JANE, ELIZABETH, MARGARET,
HANNAH ROBERTS WILLIAM,
HUGH WILLIAM and JOHN OWEN.
More than 100 years later some information was learned about Robert’s
family. Robert chose to remain in Wales after his parents migrated
to America. Although he did not remain active in the
church he was never excommunicated. He
became affiliated with the church of England in Llanfairfechan, Carnarvonshire, Wales. He died January 26,
at Llanfairfechan, Wales and was buried there. In July 1967 David Robert Roberts received a
letter from F. Leslie Twist, Clerk and Chief Financial Officer, Llanfairfechan Urban District Council regarding the
family. Here is part of Mr. Twist’s letter. “I knew the Roberts’ family of which you are
a member. I remember as a boy two ladies
who kept the sub-post office in Village Road, Llanfairfechan
for many years. It was also a newspaper
business. I think one was Mary, a very
small lady and the other her sister.
They are both deceased and buried in the local church yard here, both
spinsters. Then there was another
sister, Hannah, who married a local postman.
They had no children. He died
when 48 and Hannah died in 1939, age 69, in December. In my written record of Hannah’s demise the
local burial book of the local Council revealed she was buried in the local
cemetery, Erw Feiriol. Her husband was younger than she. He died in 1935. I do not know of the first born, William
Owen, nor another sister. However, I remember John Roberts who was the
local Post Master here. He was a very
fine singer, having a good tenor voice.
The whole family were very good living people
and church goers (that is the Church of England, not Non-Conformists). Mr. Roberts belonged to the church choir I
believe, however, I do know that my father and he sang solos together in church
(my father being quite a good singer also - baritone).
John Roberts married an English lady, a Miss Gertrude Udale,
and they had one daughter, Sybil Rosamond, born 24
December 1917. It so happens I knew Sybil
very well. Unfortunately Mr. John
Roberts had a very serious illness, cancer of the throat, and he died a long
time ago when Sybil was a very small girl.
His widow married Mr. Edward W. Williams, who kept a grocery business at
Dunphy Corner and of course Sybil lived with
them. Sybil had never married. She worked for Civil Service and was
transferred to London. Her mother and step-father moved to London with her. They lived in Middlesex, which is near London.”
following information has been verified by researching the Bishop’s Transcript
Records in Llanfairfechan. The oldest son William Owen, died at the age
of three (born April 21, 1861 and died March 12, 1864 at Llanfairfechan);
three girls were spinsters (Mary Jane born 11 June 1863 and died 18 May 1941)(Elizabeth born 5 March 1863 and died 5 January
1920)(Margaret born 19 May 1867 and died 17 April 1929), Hannah married Richard
Owen Williams 20 November 1917. She was
47 years of age and he was 31. They had
no children. She died 29 December 1939 at Llanfairfechan. Her husband died in 1935. Hugh William was born 24 June 1872 and died 19 December 1872 at Llanfairfechan.
only child from this family to have progeny was John Owen Roberts. He was born 19
April 1874 at Llanfairfechan, married Gertrude Udale on 12 June 1912 and died 23 October 1923. Gertrude Udale, daughter of Arthur and Martha Udale
was born September 25, 1890 at Crewe, England and died March 8, 1971. The
following obituary was received from Sybil Rosamond Roberts, his daughter. It appeared in the North Wales Weekly News, Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales, October
John Owen Roberts…died at the age of 49 of cancer of the larynx or generally
known as the voice box. Survivors: Widow, Mrs. Gertrude Udele
Roberts and a five-year old daughter, Sybil Rosamond Roberts…Mr. Roberts was
the Postmaster of Llanfairfechan who had succeeded
his father after his demise. The
position as Postmaster has been in the Family for the last 100 years. He has been unable to discharge his duties
owing to the illness for the last six months, and steps had been taken to make
a public presentation to him on his retirement, but death intervened. He held the Postmaster-ship for 20 years
and was a most efficient official, being popular alike with the public and his
subordinates. He was for many years in
the Christ Church Choir. He took a keen
interest in the local Football Club, of which he was the Vice-president, and at
the meeting of the Committee on Monday a vote of sympathy was passed for the
Widow and child.
funeral took place amid manifest signs of deep respect and regret. The large attendance bore silent testimony to
the popularity of the deceased. The
first part of the funeral service was held at Christ Church, which was filled, and the surpliced choir attended.
The clergy who officiated were the Rev. F. P. Watkin-Davies,
M.A. and the Rev Garel Jones (curate), the former
reading the lesson from the Corinthians in Welsh. The choir chanted the 39th
Psalm. ‘I said I will take heed to my
ways’ and the hymns sung were “Just as I am” and Peace, Perfect Peace.”
those present were the Postmaster of Bangor, Mr. W. Jones; the Postmaster of Penmaenmawr, Mr. J. Henry Thomas; Mr. W. G. Roberts, J. P.;
Mr. J. L. McMichan; Councilor J. Harrison; Rev. John
Griffith, Baptist Minister; Rev. W. E. Williams, C. M. Minister; Mr. Warren,
surveyor; Mr. J. D. Williams; Mr. Pughe; Mr. E.
Williams; Mr. Llewelyn Jones, Llandudno
(formerly organist of Christ Church.)
The chief mourners were: Miss
Roberts (sister); Mrs. R. O. Williams (sister); Mr. A. Udale,
Bangor (father-in-law); Mr. Penrhyn Williams, Newton
(brother-in-law); Mr. W. St. Bodvan Griffith, Bangor
(cousin); Miss M. A. Williams (cousin); Miss E. Williams (cousin); Miss M.
Williams (cousin); Mr. R. O. Williams (brother-in-law); Mr. E. T. Stythe, Carnarvon
(brother-in-law); Mr. V. Child, Bangor (brother-in-law); Mr. E. Godber, Bangor; and Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Jones.
were sent by the following: Mannie and Baby; Mother, Mary and Margaret; Pa and Ma;
Hannah and Dick; Annie, Penrhyn, and Cyril; Maude,
Ernie and Vera; Lily, Vincent and Baby; Misses L. and F. Davies, Paragon; Mr.
and Mrs. Cawthray and Donald; Mrs. H. Clifton Hughes;
Post-Office and Telephone Staffs at Llanfairfechan; Winthrope Villa; All at Gladys Cottage; Miss Pickard; Tony,
Preswylfa Lodge; Mrs. William, Edina; Mr. and Mrs. R.
M. Williams; Messrs. J. S. and E. W. McMichan; Mr. W.
St. Bodvan Griffith; Mrs. Moses Roberts; and Mr. and
Mrs. North; M. A. and Eliza Williams and Maggie. The interment was in the burial ground
attached to the Parish Church.”
following is an autobiography of Sybil Rosamond Roberts: “I was born 24
December 1917, Llanfairfechan, Caernarvonshire, Wales, the only child of John Owen
Roberts and Gertrude Udale Roberts. My father died when I was five years old so I
do not really remember him. One of his
hobbies was drawing and painting. My
mother married again when I was ten years of age.
attended Junior School at Llanfairfechan, from 7 to 10 and
Bangor Girl’s School from 10 to 18. In
September 1939 following the outbreak of World War II, I became a temporary
Civil Servant when I joined the newly created Ministry of Food, working in the
local office at Llanfairfechan, Wales. Following centralization of the local
offices I left the Ministry early in 1950.
Later that year I sat a Civil Service examination and in March 1951 was
posted to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) in London. The DSIR was later reorganized and I remained
in the major part which became the Ministry of Technology. Some years later
following further reorganization, part of the Ministry merged with the Board of
Trade to become the Department of Trade and Industry.
1951 I have worked in at least eight different buildings in various parts of London. At present I am within a short distance of
Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and just across the park from Buckingham Palace, and on the route taken by
the Queen and her Foreign guests when they drive from
Victoria Station to the Palace in open carriages.
first lived in Harrow-on-the-Hill, about eleven miles from London and in 1945 moved to the
Kenton area of Harrow where my mother and stepfather joined me in 1967. In Llanfairfechan
both my mother and stepfather were connected with Church and other activities
and served on many committees. For many
years mother was the Treasurer of both the Llanfairfechan
branch and the Anglisey and the Caenarvonshire County branch of the British
Legions (Woman’s Section) and in this connection twice met Queen Elizabeth (now
the Queen Mother). On the first occasion
she presented a purse to the Queen (this was a donation from her branch to a
special fund). On the second occasion
the Queen presented mother with a certificate of long service.
stepfather was also a Sergeant in the Special Constabulary. They were both enthusiastic golfers. My Stepfather died in 1969, and my mother in
“In 1969 I received a
letter from Lyman (the Hugh and Mary Owens Roberts Family Genealogist) making
inquiries about my father’s family. This
was the first indication mother and I had that there were any members of my
father’s family anywhere. I provided
what little information I had and this Easter (1972) when Lyman wrote and
invited me to the “family reunion”…I decided to accept and within a few weeks
was on my way to USA. I have been given a truly wonderful welcome
by some very wonderful people.” (Sybil
was glad to return to England where the temperature was
only 69 degrees and here in Utah we had been having weather
in the 90s. She thinks when she comes
again it will have to be in the spring or in the fall. We all enjoyed having her visit with us.)
THE REMAINDER OF HUGH’S LIFE
the dedication of the Logan Temple in May 1884, Hugh and Mary
turned their attention to the work of redeeming their dead kindred and friends
as far as they were able to obtain the necessary records. They labored diligently to do this. Mary walked many mornings from the old home
Smithfield to the Logan Temple, a distance of at least 8
miles, to do the endowment work for one soul, then she
would walk back in the evening to her home.
She did this after she was 70 years of age. Such was her desire to see the work done, and
great will be her reward for such devotion and sacrifices. Hugh could not walk much as he was lame, but
his devotion to the cause was none-the-less ardent and he embraced every
opportunity to go to the temple and do what he could.
Roberts was near 6 feet in height, well proportioned, not stout but of an
athletic build. He was medium
complexioned, with keen blue eyes, rather large straight nose, square chin,
high cheek bones, and large ears. He was
of a deeply religious nature, with an undivided love of the Gospel and with a
thorough knowledge and strong testimony of it.
He was kind and jovial, but firm in disposition and was good in judgment. He loved music and had a fine smooth musical
deep bass voice, and exhibited superior musical talent. He found much satisfaction in his trade and
had a friend in anyone who knew him. He
was always willing to give to the needy and help in every worthy work and
answer every call made of him.
Owens Roberts was short of stature and in her later life she became rather
stout of build. She was round in face
with evenly balanced features. She was
medium light complexioned and had small piercing blue eyes. Her voice was gentle and pleasing, and in
song was a rich, melodious soprano. She
was very affectionate and kind, and won the love of all. She was quick in action and unswerving in
purpose. She loved the Gospel with her
whole soul and was willing to make any sacrifice for it. She was industrious and saving. She was a very good cook and
housekeeper—everything tasty, clean and tidy in the home and she was clean and
neat always in her person whether at home or elsewhere. Many times in the evenings when the tasks of
the day were done they would sit and converse about the Gospel and of times
gone by. They would sing the old
familiar songs in Welsh, especially the hymns they used to sing for years in
the Branch at Eglwysbach. One of those hymns was a favorite with them
and gave them much comfort and joy. It
was a hymn in the Old Welsh Hymn Book composed by David R. Roberts, who was the
father of Robert D. Roberts, who had married their daughter Hannah. When they would finish the singing of that hymn
their eyes would be filled with tears and they would exclaim, “Oh, it is
beautiful, it is beautiful.”
souls rejoiced in the many blessings of God to them. They had passed through the storms of life together, they were living in the evening’s sunshine,
contemplating God’s mercy, with a full assurance of the reward that comes from
a well-spent life of perfect union and of devotion to each other and to the
cause of righteousness. They were happy
as children in the company of each other.
They had raised a large family and while all of their children were not
members of the Church of Christ, they were all honorable in
their lives and doing their duty in a way worthy of their noble parentage. This was pleasing and a source of joy to
time finally came for them to make another move. They had lived many years in Smithfield and dearly loved the old
home there and it was hard to leave it.
John, their son, had located nearly Liberty, Bear Lake County, Idaho. He had a large farm there which he had
bought, and being desirous of living near him, Hugh and Mary left the dear old
home and moved into a comfortable log cabin on the farm near to John. By this time Hugh had retired from active
work at his trade and spent his time in reading and visiting around the farm
and in playing with the children. He
loved children as did Mary, and he would often even in his advanced years enter
into their play with them. Never did
they cease the raising of their voices together in song in the quiet
evenings. Never did they cease their
prayers of thanksgiving daily to the true and living God whom they worshipped
and served with undivided hearts. Mortal
life had nearly run its course with them.
Hugh had attained the ripe age of nearly 90 years and becoming ill and
weakened in body, gave up the struggle of life like the burning out of the
candle to its end. He passed peacefully
into the world of spirits on the 13th of Oct
surrounded by some of his children and grandchildren, honored and loved by all.
and well-attended funeral was held in the Liberty Meeting House after which his
remains were deposited in the little cemetery on the hill where the remains of
a number of his grandchildren who preceded him were buried. Mary now took up her abode with her daughter
Margaret R. Morgan, where her every want was supplied by hands until she, too, worn out in body and ill—but a few days gave up
this mortal career on Jan 9, 1894. She went home to that God who gave her life,
to mingle with her loved ones gone before in peace and joy for hers was a
well-earned reward. Her remains were
buried by the side of her faithful husband in the Liberty Cemetery.