Hugh was born 28 Feb 1857 at Summerhill Terrace, Holyhead, son of Owen OWENS (1822 – 1891) and Mary ROWLANDS (1825 – 1893) , who married 25 Dec 1848 in Holyhead.
Hugh’s father Owen was a ship’s stoker, born in Holyhead, but moved his family to Kirkdale, West Derby, Liverpool in 1870s. In 1881 the family were listed as living at 17 Ariel Street, where Owen is listed as a builders labourer. Also in the household are his daughter Mary Jane and her husband (James WILLIAMSON) and child. Also listed is Hugh, occupation: Mariner, even though he married the previous December . His wife Elizabeth was with her parents at Llanfain Holyhead at 1881 census. Hugh may have been staying with his parents before embarking on ship, or if on short shore leave.
Hugh married 28 December 1880, Elizabeth ROBERTS in Holyhead. daughter of William & Frances. In 1891 Elizabeth and 3 children were living at 7 Llanfain, Holyhead and Hugh was on board “Primrose” as 2nd engineer. By 1901 he was in Trinity Service being a lamplighter on Grange Channel Light Vessel, Heysham. His family not found for 1901 census, but probably still in Holyhead, as this is the residence given for his son William’s death in 1902.
The family had relocated to Harwich by September 1910 where death of his daughter is recorded. Hugh was mate of “Outer Gabbard”, living at 61 Fernlea Road in Harwich in 1911.
Hugh and Elizabeth moved back to Holyhead, their address given as 27 Portyfelin, Holyhead in 1922 (Medal card index for Trinity House Service) and the same 22 Jun 1927 when Hugh died – occupation given as Master Mariner.
Hugh OWENS maritime service:
From crew lists for vessels registered Liverpool:
sometime prior to 1877 Ship “Lightning of London”
1877 Ship “Wisconsin” rank: AB – Route Liverpool to New York
1877-78 Ship “Montana” rank: AB – Route Liverpool to New York
sometime between 1878 and 1881 on “Arizona”
1881 Ship “Parthia” rank: AB
prior to 1892 ship “Primrose”
1892 Ship “Brier Rose” rank: 2nd engineer – coastal route
1891 – 2nd engineer on “Primrose” berthed at Silloth dock, route Barrow–Coburg
1901 – Trinity service Grange Channel LV, Heysham
1911 – Trinity Service Outer Gabbard LV, Harwich
Hugh and Elizabeth had 3 children, all of whom died unmarried.
Of his children:
William Owen OWENS b 1881 Q4, d 1901 Q2
Killed in an explosion on board mail steamer “Munster” 17 May 1902 (Holyhead to Dublin route) Buried 22 May, Holyhead.
Frances Mary b. 1883 Q4 d. 1910 Q3
Died of pulmonary tuberculosis in September 1910, buried Harwich 22nd Sep
Hugh b. 1889 Q4, bap. 29 December, d. 1918
Enlisted in Manchester to the Royal Engineers, Sapper 438158, 427th Field company. He died of wounds, 6 April 1918 Somme, France (Spring Offensive battle)
CONTACT WITH DESCENDANTS:
Through Ancestry contact made with Bill, who is great great nephew of Hugh. He provided much of the information here, which has been checked with available records.
Hugh was youngest brother of Bill’s Grandfather – Owen Hughes OWENS, who was also a mariner and died when SS Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915.