The Owens Family

Owens Family History

Owens Family Tree

Alexander and Marian Owens

ALEXANDER OWENS my grandfather, was born in 1878. He grew up in Royal Flatt in Manchester, in Jamaica West Indies. My grandmother MARIAN MORGAN, was born in 1880 and grew up in Richmond Green, St.Mary, in Jamaica West Indies. My grandfather met and married my grandmother in Jackson, St.Mary and they set up house in Richmond Green, St.Mary in 1901.


Alexander became a manager at the Railroad Station in Montego Bay. His wife Marian was a housewife raising their nine children, Albert, Oscar, Percy, Olga, Ernest, Pauline, Ellen, Azalee, and Elsie.


The Owens family had a farm in Richmond Green; they raised chickens, goats, pigs and horses. They cultivated banana, coffee, chocolate, pimento, breadfruit and ackee. They were happy in this tropical paradise.


The children all attended school at the Jackson School in nearby Jackson. There was a river between the Owens farm and the school house. This river was called Broad Stone River. Sometimes because of heavy rains, Oscar would have to take his younger siblings on Sport Boy the big stallion that he liked to ride. He rode the horse through the deep wide river to the other bank so the children could get to school. When the children were coming home from school in the evening, if the river was still flooded, they would stay at Aunt Ada’s house so they wouldn’t have to cross the river again until the water went down.


There was a big jackfruit tree on the family farm, and just about every other day Cynthia, Elsie, Lena, Ellen and Pauline would always go by to pick jackfruit. However almost every time they attempted to get these fruits, a large green lizard would challenge them by bobbing his head up and down and sticking out the bright orange dewlap under his throat. The girls would run screaming down the hill without the jackfruit. They all felt maybe it was a ghost (duppy) that had taken on the form of the lizard to stop them from getting the jackfruit.


Marian Owens was a very religious woman. The family attended Jackson Baptist church.

Albert Owens

The first child, liked the Railroad business & was learning this from his father in Montego Bay. He got very sick and remained so for some time, then he died. He was a very young man, when this happened early in his twenties.

Oscar Owens

Was the second child. He loved hard boiled eggs. He had a lot of fun looking for the eggs from all the chickens on the farm. He would then hide in the bushes and cook and eat some of the eggs he found.


Oscar worked on the farm and had a wholesale business with Ernest his younger brother. People in the community bought the crops from the farm and sold it at different markets. Oscar was in charge of the farm; he did all the cultivation and made all the decisions related to the farm.


After Alexander and Marian died, Oscar left for Kingston where he worked as a special constable for different government hospitals. He later went on to work at Light & Power Electrical Company at Foreshore Road Power Station in Greenwich Farm, Kingston.


Oscar had no children.

Percy Owens

The third child, also liked the Railroad business & was learning this from his father in Montego Bay when he also died. He was a very young man, when this happened early in his twenties.

Olga Owens

Olga Owens

Was the fourth child. Early in her teens, she stayed for a couple of years with her father Alexander in Montego Bay; there she took dressmaking and music lessons. Her teacher was Miss McFarlane. Olga returned to Richmond Green after her time with her father.


Olga later had a son, Carlton Escoffrey.


After her parents died, Olga moved to Linstead in St Catherine. She found work as a seamstress there. She relocated later to the Bonnet/Benbow District, St Catherine where she met and married Clarence George Ford in April of 1944. Mr. Ford died on November 19th 1973. Olga moved to Kingston to find a better life and sent her son Carlton to a private school in Linstead.


After living for several years in Kingston, Olga migrated to New York and then to Stanford Connecticut where she worked in several hospitals as a nursing assistant. During this time she met the CEO of a major corporation. He requested her assistance in taking care of his sick mother and eventually himself. She accepted this offer, giving up her job at the hospital and relocating to Greenwich, Connecticut. She remained employed with this family for many years until she retired.


On retirement, Olga relocated to Miami Florida, where her son Carlton and his wife Beverly and family lived. Olga attended Miami Gospel Church in Miami.

Ernest Owens

Ernest Owens

The fifth child, went to Panama in the early 1940s to work on the Panama Canal for several years. He returned to Jamaica in the late 1940s. Earnest soon became a driver at Shell Oil Company in Kingston. He worked there for many years. He later worked at National Baking Company as a sales representative.


He married Joyce Chin. They have six children, they are, Mazie, Veronica, Sharon, Carlton, Princess and Andrew.   

Pauline Owens

Pauline Owens

My mother, was the sixth child of my grandparents. She was very close to her father Alexander. While Alexander loved all of his children very much, Pauline and her father had a very special bond. She looked exactly like him. They were so close, that everyone at home and in the Richmond district called her Miss Alex.


Early in her teens, Pauline stayed for a couple of years with her father Alexander in Montego Bay, there she took dressmaking and music lessons. Her teacher was Miss McFarlane.


After returning to Richmond Green, Pauline had two daughters, Cynthia and Gwen. Cynthia became very close to her grandparents. Cynthia and Gwen made beautiful memories on the farm with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and the neighbors in the district. They and their aunts were quite mischievous as most children are. So they got into trouble sometimes. 


There was a lady in the district - Ms. Lide who had an Avocado Pear tree, she also grew sugar cane. Cynthia, Gwen and also Elsie, Lena and Ellen could not resist picking pears from this tree and breaking the cane without permission on the way to school. They would eat the cane on their journey, but hide the pears in the bushes and get them on their way home from school. They loved to torment Ms. Lide, and so, though she would complain about their behavior and they would be punished, they persisted in their actions.


Alexander fell ill some years later, and Pauline became his personal nurse. She remained his nurse until he died in her arms.


Pauline left Richmond Green to live in Richmond soon after her parents' death. She took Cynthia with her. Gwen however, stayed with her father Stanley and aunt and cousin in Richmond Green. She was raised by them in a house not too far from the Owen's farm.


Richmond was a bigger town than Richmond Green; Pauline hoped to find a job there. She did find a job. She took care of the son of the Catholic Bishop of the district. Her charge grew up to become the president of a catholic organization devoting itself to working tirelessly to better the lives of poor people globally.


A few weeks later her sisters Elsie, Lena and Ellen joined Pauline in Richmond. But this did not last. They wanted to stay in the same place, but they all couldn't find good jobs in Richmond. So they moved to Kingston.


Sometime later, Pauline met and married Neil Godden. Together, they had three children, Evelyn, Hector and Delta. Pauline found a good job in Kingston at the Ministry of Finance, Department of Supply. She worked there for many years. Pauline was also a seamstress.


Cynthia and Gwen went back and forth between Kingston and Richmond Green as they grew up. Then as young women, they both went to London, England to study nursing. Elsie who was by this time an established seamstress made the dresses the sisters wore to embark on this great adventure. As everyone waved them good-bye, Pauline was teary-eyed to see them go; they had grown into such fine young ladies.


Pauline migrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1971. She got a job as a nanny for the children of an affluent pilot and his wife. When that job ended, Pauline like her sister Elsie, decided to work in health care. She became a certified nursing assistant and secured a position at Crownsville State Hospital in Maryland from 1973- 1975.

Her children Evelyn, Hector and Delta who had been living in Jamaica, joined her in Maryland in 1973. Couple years later, Pauline relocated from Maryland to Brooklyn, New York with the children. She dedicated herself to caring for the homebound in New York until she retired/ became ill in 2000.

Pauline attended church frequently at the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church. In her spare time she enjoyed reading, traveling, gardening and cooking various Jamaica dishes for her family.


Ellen Owens

Ellen Owens

ELLEN, the seventh child, was named after her grandmother. Following her parents death she moved to Richmond to find work. Her older sisters had already left for Richmond, paving the way for her. The job market in Richmond was not as strong and Ellen struggled to find work. It was not long after, she moved to Kingston, following her sister Elsie who was already there.


Ellen attended Madam Rose Leon's Beauty School in Kingston, where she learned hairdressing; she went on to become a fabulous hairstylist in Jamaica. In the 1960s she landed a fulltime job working for Serve-Well Manufacturing Company and became supervisor of a sales staff, selling top of the line appliances, stoves and refrigerators which were sold locally and also shipped all over the world. Ellen was a beautiful fair, almost golden skinned woman, leading to her parents earlier nicknaming her" GOLD." The 1970s saw Ellen migrating to Canada where she lived and worked. She relocated to the United States in the 80s to be near her daughter, Rosemarie Angela (Dawkins) McKenzie.

Azalee (Lena) Owens

Lena Owens

AZALEE (LENA), the eighth child, also left Richmond Green soon after her parents' death. She went to live in Richmond like her sisters. But in 1940 the job market was very slow in the Richmond/ Highgate area. She could only find temporary work. So she also moved to Kingston. The job situation was much better there. She was able to get a job at Serve Well with her sister Ellen. She worked at Serve Well for many years.


Lena had no children.


She migrated to Canada, but returned to Jamaica some years later.

Elsie Owens

Elsie Owens

The ninth and last child of my grandparents, is now the matriarch of the Owens family. She also left Richmond Green soon after her parents died. She went to live in Richmond like her sisters. Elsie worked at Richmond Police Station as an administrative assistant.


A school friend of Elsie, sponsored her to move to Kingston. Later Elsie’s sisters followed her there. When they moved to Kingston, this allowed them all to better their lives. Elsie attended Miss Lindsey’s Dressmaking School on Slipe Pen Road in Kingston. In 1950 Elsie opened her own business, “Elsie’s Dressmaking Parlor,” on Bay Farm Road in Kingston. There she sometimes made beautiful wedding dresses.


Elsie married James Hudson on January 24, 1953 at St Andrew‘s Parish Church in Half-Way- Tree in Kingston. His family was highly educated. James was an affluent masonry contractor in Jamaica.


The entire Owens family attended the wedding. Elsie had three bride’s maids, with Pauline serving as maid-of-honor. Elsie and James have been married for 55 years.


They later migrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1969. Here Elsie became a certified nursing assistant, dedicating herself to caring for the homebound in Baltimore.


Elsie is a member of South Biscayne Church, North Port. She is the loving and devoted mother of her two sons Roy and Jay. Elsie and James are retired and both live in North Port, Florida.

About Jamiaca


National Fruit –
The Ackee (Blighia sapida)

“Carry me ackee go a Linstead Market, not a quattie wut sell” is a line in the popular Jamaican folk song ‘Linstead Market’. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica as well as a component of the national dish – ackee and codfish.


Although the ackee is not indigenous to Jamaica, it has remarkable historic associations. Originally, it was imported to the island from West Africa, probably on a slave ship. Now it grows here luxuriantly, producing large quantities of edible fruit each year.


Ackee is derived from the original name Ankye which comes from the Twi language of Ghana. The botanical name of the fruit – Blighia Sapida – was given in honour of Captain William Bligh of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame, who in 1793 took plants of the fruit from Jamaica to England. Captain Bligh also brought the first breadfruit to Jamaica. Before this, the ackee was unknown to science. In 1778 Dr Thomas Clarke, one of the earliest propogators of the tree, introduced it to the eastern parishes.


The ackee tree grows up to 15.24m (50ft) under favourable conditions. It bears large red and yellow fruit 7.5 – 10 cm (3-4 in.) long. When ripe these fruits burst into sections revealing shiny black round seeds on top of a yellow aril which is partially edible.


There are two main types of ackee identified by the colour of the aril. That with a soft yellow aril is known as ‘butter’ and ‘cheese’ is hard and cream-coloured. Ackee contains a poison (hypoglcin) which is dissipated when it is properly harvested and cooked. The fruit should not be gathered until the pods open naturally. In addition, the aril must be properly cleaned of red fibre and the cooking water discarded.


Jamaica is the only place where the fruit is widely eaten. However, it has been introduced into most of the other Caribbean islands (for example, Trinidad, Grenada, Antigua and Barbados), Central America and Florida, where it is known by different names and does not thrive in economic quantities. Jamaican canned ackee is now exported and sold in markets patronized by expatriate Jamaicans.


Ackee is a very delicious fruit and when boiled and cooked with seasoning and salt fish or salt pork, it is considered one of Jamaica’s greatest delicacies.

  Coat Of Arms

The Jamaican Coat of Arms

The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many One People’, based on the population’s multi-racial roots. The motto is represented on the Coat of Arms, showing a male and female member of the Taino tribe standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples. The crest shows a Jamaican crocodile mounted on the Royal Helmet of the British Monarchy and mantling.



National Flower – Lignum Vitae (Guiacum officinale)

The Lignum Vitae was found here by Christopher Columbus. Its name, when translated from Latin, means “wood of life” – probably adopted because of its medicinal qualities. The short, compact tree is native to continental tropical American and the West Indies. In Jamaica it grows best in the dry woodland along the north and south coasts of the island.


The plant is extremely ornamental, producing an attractive blue flower and orange-yellow fruit, while its crown has an attractive rounded shape. The tree is one of the most useful in the world. The body, gum, bark, fruit, leaves and blossom all serve some useful purpose. In fact, the tree has been regarded for its medicinal properties. A gum (gum guaiac) obtained from its resin was once regarded as a purgative. It was exported to Europe from the early sixteenth century as a remedy (combined with mercury) for syphillis and has also been used as a remedy for gout.


The wood was once used as propeller shaft bearings in nearly all the ships sailing the ‘Seven Seas’. Because of this, Lignum Vitae and Jamaica are closely associated in shipyards worldwide. It is a very heavy wood which will sink in water. Because of its toughness it is used for items such as mortars, mallets, pulleys and batons carried by policemen. Sometimes it is used for furniture.

National tree

National Tree – The Blue Mahoe (Hibiscus elatus)

The Blue Mahoe is the national tree of Jamaica. It is indigenous to the island and grows quite rapidly, often attaining 20m (66ft) or more in height. In wetter districts it will grow in a wide range of elevations, up to 1200m (4000 ft.) and is often used in reforestation.


The tree is quite attractive with its straight trunk, broad green leaves and hibiscus-like flowers. The attractive flower changes colour as it matures, going from bright yellow to orange red and finally to crimson.


The name mahoe is derived from a Carib Indian word. The ‘blue’refers to blue-green streaks in the polished wood, giving it a distinctive appearance.


The Blue Mahoe is so beautiful and durable that it is widely used for cabinet making and also for making decorative objects such as picture frames, bowls and carving.


The inner bark of the tree is often referred to as Cuba bark because it was formerly used for tying bundles of Havana cigars. Cuba is the only other place where the Blue Mahoe grows naturally.

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