Born in 1833, the son of James Owen, who farmed in Llandysilio parish, Montgomeryshire, but later settled at Llanidloes. Trained for the teaching profession, Elias Owen was appointed headmaster of Llanllechid National School. Here he began to evince interest in archaeological matters. He devoted his attention to the antiquities of the parish, publishing the results of his researches in the North Wales Chronicle, and in Archæologia Cambrensis, under the title Arvona Antiqua, 1866, 1867 (with map), 1872. While at Llanllechid he married Margaret Pierce. In 1871 he took the degree of B.A. at Trinity College, Dublin, proceeding M.A. in 1878. Ordained deacon in 1871 (priested 1872) by the bishop of Bangor, he became curate of Llanwnnog, Montgomeryshire, whence, in 1875, he moved to Holy Trinity, Oswestry. The following year he was appointed diocesan inspector of schools (S. Asaph), which office he held till 1881, when he accepted the living of Efenechtyd, near Ruthin. In 1892 he was presented to the incumbency of Llanyblodwel, where he remained till his death, 19 May 1899, at the age of 65, and where he was buried.
He continued to be a diligent student of antiquities, and was elected F.S.A. A prolific writer, his best-known literary work is The Old Stone Crosses of the Vale of Clwyd, 1886. Another work, Welsh Folklore, 1896, was a prize-essay at the 1887 national eisteddfod (London). He also edited (1895) the works of Griffith Edwards (Gutyn Padarn). At the time of his death he was engaged on a book on ‘The Holy Wells of North Wales,’ the uncompleted manuscript of which is preserved in the N.L.W. He contributed many articles to Archæologia Cambrensis, The Antiquary, The Reliquary, Montgomeryshire Collections, etc.
Published date: 1959
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