So shall it be with my father: he shall be
called a prince over his posterity, holding
the keys of the patriarchal priesthood over the kingdom of God on earth, even the Church
of the Latter Day Saints, and he shall sit in the general assembly of patriarchs, even in
council with the Ancient of Days when he shall sit and all the patriarchs with him and shall
enjoy his right and authority under the direction of the Ancient of Days.
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OWEN, Robert

OWEN, Robert

Male 1657 - 1697  (40 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name OWEN, Robert 
    Born 1657  Wales, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 8 Oct 1697  Merion, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 10 Oct 1697  Friend's Meeting, Merion Station, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, United States of America Find all individuals with events at this location 
    WAC 13 Dec 1929  ARIZO Find all individuals with events at this location 
    _TAG Reviewed on FS 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I63493  Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith
    Last Modified 19 Aug 2021 

    Father EVAN, Owen ap,   b. 1626, Fron-Goch, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Apr 1669, Fron Goch, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years) 
    Mother GAINOR, Joan,   b. 13 Sep 1629, Frongoch, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Dec 1678, Frongoch, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years) 
    Married 1655  Merionethshire, Wales, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F15525  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family HUMPHREY, Rebecca,   b. Abt 1660, Tal-y-Bont, Merionethshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Oct 1697, Merion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 37 years) 
    Married 11 Jan 1678  Llangelynin, Merionethshire, Wales, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 24 Jan 2022 
    Family ID F30368  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

    • Robert Owen looked up from his work. Coming down the road was a man whom he had not seen for quite a while. It was his friend John. John had been sent from their town in Wales to England by one of the ministers to learn of a new religion which seemed to be gaining in popularity.
      Robert went back to his work but later that day he heard of a religious meeting being held in which John would speak. Robert was a prosperous, - man, and because he was active in the affairs of the community, he felt inclined to attend the religious meeting. He was open to new ideas, always looking for truth.
      There was much about seventeenth century England which Robert was opposed to. The Stewart restoration had introduced a new kind of continental elegance to the worldly court. Courtiers took to wearing immense wigs and using snuff. They displayed their elegance in high heeled-slippers, flourished walking sticks and ostentatious mansions. This show of conspicuous consumption was resented by Robert and his associates.. Although prosperous himself, he felt there was little need for opulence in life.
      That evening as Robert sat amongst his neighbors listening to their friend, a sweet spirit settled upon him. His friend had obviously been converted to this new religion. He spoke of the need to come unto Christ, Jesus who died for them, and had sent his spirit into their hearts, to instruct and guide them in the things pertaining to life and salvation. He felt that through repentance and a true change of the heart, a man could gain strength and guidance in the practical affairs of religion.
      Robert sat up. Was he really saying that a man could on his own talk to God and gain help in his personal life? This was new religion! Coming from a time of memorized prayers and priests who did the reading of scriptures and praying for their congregations, this was new doctrine indeed. Listening again he heard the words “Man may have the privilege of direct access to God, without the intervention of the human priest.”
      Robert was up much in the night thinking of these new religious concepts. His heart seemed to accept this new idea and feel at home with its revelation. Robert spoke to his young wife, Rebecca, about what he had heard. They had recently been married, and they had such plans for their lives together. With all this talk of religion, Rebecca could not help but wonder what part these new teaching would play in their future. They went back many times to hear more, and joined with friends from the community to which these new teaching had found a willing heart.
      Robert’s friend John had been converted to the teachings of a man by the name of George Fox. He was a simple man who called his followers “Friends” and his “Society of Friends” grew over time to a very large following from one side of Europe to the other and even into Asia and Africa. The name “Quakers” came to this group in time, and this is the name whereby they have been know for generations in England and in America.
      There were many men of wealth and learning like Robert Owen who felt impressed to join themselves with the new society which was rapidly becoming a religion of its own. Robert was grateful for the new truths he was learning which went along with the bible as he knew it. Many of his friends felt the same and there was a companionship together.
      With all the happiness which the new followers of George Fox were feeling, all was not well in the country as a whole. Charles II had come into power, and he and his cohorts were not happy about the new religious uprising. The numbers attending the Church of England were dwindling, and the church had become a way for the King to control his subjects.
      Years before, King Henry VIII had broken away from the Church of Rome and the Pope and declared himself head of the Church in England. In order to discover any secret opposition to his purposes and crush it, he had introduced the Oath of Supremacy, by which prominent subjects were required to confess with an oath that King Henry was the supreme ruler over the Church in England as apposed to the Pope. During the reign of Elizabeth 1 some religious tolerance was offered, in the early stages at least, but during her half-sister, Mary’s reign, intolerance abounded and much cruelty was evoked upon those who would not submit.
      Now Charles II was in power and he was adamant that all would submit. Special acts were passed to prevent the spread of Quakerism. Quakers were forbidden to meet together and compelled to take the oath of allegiance and supremacy. This oath was completely contrary to the teachings of the Quakers who were learning to put God and Jesus Christ first in their lives. How could they swear an oath that went against everything they believed? As some began to balk at taking the oath, the court was astonished and filled with fury because they could not make the Quakers bow to their will. In response, all persons not attending their parish church were heavily fined by the court, as were those who attempted to preach the Quaker faith.
      Rebecca’s own father, Owen Humphery, was having trouble with the Church of England also. He and some of his friends were among those who refused to attend the new Church of England. Because of their beligerance in defying the order, they were accused of non-attendance in the Church of England in their parish church and were shut up in a filthy hog-pen for days, and their servants were not allowed to come near them or give them proper food and clothing. Some were confined for years in Bala of Dolgelley jail, within sight of their homes, and others were so heavily fined as to almost ruin them. Rebecca was distressed over the treatment of her father, but there was nothing she could do against the powerful church authorities.
      Robert talked with, Rebecca, late into the night. What would they do when it came time for him to swear the oath? They could see the terrible persecution that was happening all around them. They prayed to their new found God, and struggled in their hearts. Robert knew he could not turn his heart against the teachings he had accepted. He had felt things in this new religion which he could not deny. Surely there was a God in Heaven, and surely his son Jesus Christ, whom he had accepted would sustain him in his time of trial. Rebecca knew the deep conviction of her husband and felt the same burning in her own heart.
      The day came when Robert was required to take the Oath of Supremacy, confessing Charles’ supremacy over the church. Robert knew in his heart who reigned supreme over the church. His faith in God and Jesus Christ could not be shaken by the craftiness of men. Robert stood firm, refusing to take the oath. Rebecca was touched with gratitude for a man who would stand for the truth, yet there was an ache in her heart as tear-stained eyes watched them lead her beloved husband to his imprisonment.
      It would be five long and lonely years before Robert would be released from the wretched prison. When Rebecca was finally allowed to bring her poor husband home, his health was not well. It would take time and tender care to restore his once vibrant energy, but she was grateful that their prayers had been heard and that he was finally away from the filthy prison.
      As Roberts health improved, Rebecca found that they would soon be starting that long awaited family they had always planned for. Soon she was cradeling a baby son whom they named Evan. Two more babies would follow, a boy the next year and a girl the year after that, but sadly, both died shortly after their births. It was such a heartbreak for Rebecca and Robert who had been forced to postone their family for so many years during Robert’s imprisonment to now have these sweet children taken from them in their infancy.
      There was great excitement among Robert and Rebecca’s friends in Wales. They were looking for a new place to live their religion. William Penn had distributed pamphlets all over Europe to the Quakers inviting them to join him in the New World. This was a whole new idea to Rebecca. To leave their lovely land of Wales and her dear family behind was a big commitment. Robert, on the other hand felt it to be a grand adventure. He yearned for a place to raise his family with religious freedoms.
      After much prayer and talk and after one more baby girl had joined the family, the decision was made. Robert and Rebecca gathered their two little ones, bade a tearful goodbye to their parents, and together with their friends, set sail for America in 1690.
      It was a long and wearisome journey for Rebecca as she was now carrying another child within her. Robert helped with little Evan and baby Elizabeth, but Rebecca was tormented with sea sickness most of the voyage. It was a great relief when they were finally able to step foot onto solid ground in the New World. They gathered in what would become Pennsylvania on a large tract of land being bought up by the Quakers.
      Robert became actively involved in the community from the start, serving as Justice of the Peace. In 1695 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and was re-elected for a second term.
      Life was good in the new world. Over time, three more babies were added to the family so that they had five growing and healthy children to keep their lives busy. Robert and Rebecca were stalwarts in their new community as they had been in Wales. It was a good life.
      The year of 1697 started out with the joy of a baby daughter born in the cold month of January. They named her after her mother, and baby Rebecca was adored by her brothers and sisters, as all babies are.
      When the summer came, the community was caught in a great small pox epidemic. There were many in the neighborhood who were stricken with the dreaded disease. Rebecca was the first to be laid low. She suffered terribly, and all that could be done to help her was tried. Robert and the children prayed for their dear mother, but in the end, the young family bade their mother farewell and Rebecca died on the 23rd of August. She was only about 34 years of age. It was a great blow to her six little children who ranged in age from little 7 month old, Rebecca to 13 year old, Evan.
      Robert was devastated by the death of his wife. She had truly been his sole mate. They had been through so much together in their short years together. Now what was he to do without her. The family was not over their grieving, for just a month later baby Rebecca was laid by the side of her mother in an earthly grave. By now the dixease was rampant in the community, and soon Robert himself was stricken. Of course, they tried everything they could to save the young father. The prayers of the religious community remembered him, but finally, just seventeen days after his baby’s death, Robert was to follow, returning to that God who gave him life
      With all of the deaths from the smallpox epidemic, the community banded together to care for those who were left behind, like the young children of Robert and Rebecca Owen. The children were taken into the families of their friends and raised as their parents would have wanted them to be.
      Years would go by, but the legacy of Robert Owen would follow him down through the generations. Uncle Edward Hunter, the great, great grandson of, Robert Owen was very proud of his ancestor. He would relate the circumstances of Robert’s short but remarkable life, and in his quaint way would close by repeating, “Oath of allegiance—yes, yes, yes—refused to take it—imprisoned for five years!” Then lifting up his hands, throwing back his head, and half shutting his eyes in a sort of dreamy ecstasy, exclaim, ‘Beautiful! Beautiful!’

      Robert Owen is the father of John Owen, who is the father of Rebecca Owen Maris, who is the mother of Hannah Maris Hunter, who is the father of William Hunter who is the father of Edward Hunter, who is the father of Mary Ann Hunter Barrus who is the mother of Edith Marian Barrus Dew, who is the mother of Deloris, Milo LeRoy, LaMar Owen, and Maxine Dew

      This story is based on the following accounts: Edward Hunter Faithful Steward, by William E. Hunter, M.D., 12-18. Religious Encyclopedia, The New Schaff-herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, by Phillip Schaff. 393 (DFH/Hu82-83).

      Dew Book
      This story comes from a book I (Jolene Christensen Dew) wrote which is in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City call # 929.273D51dj There are 102 stories in the book. The book is titled for each of the families in the book as follows: " Dew, Gillette, Kirk, Barrus, Hunter, Nickerson, Hyde family stories : Samuel Phillip Dew, Edith Marion Barrus, Heber Dew, Elizabeth Kirk, Thomas Dew, Jane Gillette, Phillip Kirk, Mary Ann Taylor, Owen Henry Barrus, Mary Ann Hunter, Emery Barrus, Huldah Abigail Nickerson, Freeman Nickerson, Huldah Chapman, Edward Hunter, Martha Ann Hyde, Edward Hunter, Ann Standly, Rosel Hyde, Mary Annn Cowles, Heman Hyde, Polly Wyman Tilton" Author Jolene Christensen Dew

      Here is the original link:

      When the schoolhouse in Chester County, Pennsylvania, burned to the ground in 1833, wealthy Quaker Edward Hunter offered to replace it on land he would donate if residents “would allow all persons and persuasions to meet in it to worship God.” 1 This requirement was included in the articles of agreement for the donated land and building. The finished building was called the West Nantmeal Seminary.

      Quaker and Scotch-Irish Presbyterian farmers populated Chester County, which is located about 12 miles west of Philadelphia. In the spring of 1839, Latter-day Saint missionaries Elijah H. Davis and Lorenzo Barnes arranged to use the West Nantmeal Seminary building to teach the gospel. When residents became outraged, Edward Hunter reminded them of the agreement made in 1833 allowing people of every religion to have the privilege of meeting there to worship God. He told the people that the “Mormons” would have their rights or he would take the building back. Such were the circumstances that surrounded the first visit of the missionaries to the valley that would eventually become known as “Mormon Hollow,” circumstances that prepared Edward Hunter to be an advocate for these early Saints.

      An Ancestor’s Influence

      Born on 22 June 1793 in Newtown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Edward Hunter was the second son and seventh child born to Edward and Hannah Maris Hunter (p. 227; see note 1 for complete reference). As a youth, he was strongly influenced by stories of his stalwart ancestors from England and Ireland. Of particular influence was the story of his second great-grandfather, Robert Owen of North Wales, also a man of wealth and power. Ancestor Robert was imprisoned for five years because he refused to take the oath of allegiance when Charles II was restored to the British throne. After his release, Robert immigrated to America and purchased land in Philadelphia amid other Quakers such as himself.

      As an adult, strong-willed and tenacious, Edward Hunter was fond of referring to this incident in the life of his ancestor. He would tell the story and then end by repeating, “Oath of allegiance—yes, yes—refused to take it—imprisoned for five years.” Then, lifting up his hands, throwing back his head, and half shutting his eyes in a sort of dreamy ecstasy, he would exclaim, “Beautiful! beautiful!” (p. 228).

      No doubt Edward drew upon this example of integrity shown by his ancestor when he stood firm in behalf of the Latter-day Saint missionaries in 1839.

      Light Filled the Room

      Soon after the missionaries taught the gospel in 1839 in the West Nantmeal Seminary building, Edward heard that missionary Elijah H. Davis was going to speak in Locust Grove, a few miles away, and that there were plans to treat him badly. He mounted his horse and rode over to Locust Grove. Of Elijah Davis and his teachings, Edward said: “He was a humble young man, the first one that I was impressed was sent of God. … He spoke well on the subject [of the Atonement], but before he was through [Robert] Johnson interrupted him and ordered him to quit preaching. I sprang up and said: ‘He is a stranger and shall have justice shown him and be respected; we will hear him and then hear you speak.’ I was informed that there were many present opposed to the ‘Mormons,’ but I resolved as I lived that Mr. Davis should be protected, if I had to meet the rabble on their own ground. I kept my eye on them and determined to stand by him at the risk of person and property. I had friends, though Mr. Davis had none. Mr. J. Johnson, brother to Robert Johnson, came to me as I was going out and apologized for his brother’s conduct. I walked out of the crowd, got on my horse and rode home alone” (p. 229).

      After going home and retiring for the night, Edward lay awake for some time thinking about what had taken place. “My reflections were,” he said, “why have I taken such a decided stand for those strangers, and I asked the Lord: ‘Are those Mormons thy servants?’ Instantly, a light came in the room at the top of the door, so great that I could not endure it. I covered my head with the bed-clothes and turned over to the wall. I had exerted my mind and body much that day and soon fell asleep” (p. 229).

      Baptisms in Chester County

      On 8 October 1840, Edward Hunter was baptized by Elder Orson Hyde. Edward’s wife, Ann, was also baptized. Of Edward’s baptism, neighbor H. W. Vallette said, “I only felt that if a man like Edward Hunter, whose name was a synonym of upright probity, of sound sense and discernment, could be brought to believe in these things, what right had I or others of less understanding to … ridicule them.” 2

      Hearts were softened among these Quaker residents, and soon about 200 were baptized, sometimes at the rate of eight to ten a week. The Prophet Joseph Smith stopped in “Mormon Hollow” for about two weeks in January 1840 in connection with a trip to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The Prophet spoke to the Saints at the West Nantmeal Seminary and stayed with the Hunter family. During the autumn of 1840, Hyrum Smith visited Edward. They attended conference in Philadelphia, and Brother Hunter “subscribed liberally to the building of the Nauvoo House and the Temple” (p. 229).

      On a subsequent visit, Hyrum walked with Edward along the banks of the Brandywine River, and Edward told Hyrum about the death of his young son George Washington Hunter. Hyrum taught him of the plan of salvation. This brought great comfort to Brother Hunter, who had been “devotedly attached” to his son. About a year later, Brother Hunter had a dream wherein he saw his young son. “In appearance he was more perfect than in natural life—the same blue eyes, curly hair, fair complexion, and a most beautiful appearance,” said Edward. Edward begged him to remain, but George said “in his own familiar voice” that he had many friends in heaven (p. 230).

      Exodus to Nauvoo

      Edward had found financial success from the time he was a young man because of his hard work and good business sense. But he was also generous. In September 1841 Brother Hunter visited Nauvoo, Illinois, and purchased a farm and several town lots. He then returned to Chester County and sold two of his farms. In June 1842 the Hunter family moved to Nauvoo. Once there, he cheerfully donated $7,000 in cash and nearly $5,000 in goods to the Prophet Joseph for the building of Zion. He continued to donate generously, so much so, that the Prophet Joseph Smith told him he had done enough and to reserve the rest for his own use (p. 230).

      In Nauvoo, as persecution against the Saints began to mount, Brother Hunter was arrested with others on the charge of treason and taken to Carthage Jail in June 1843. Now Edward had been wrongfully imprisoned as had his ancestor. Fortunately, the imprisonment was short, and all were soon sent free.

      When the Prophet was put on trial in Springfield, Illinois, Brother Hunter was there. After the Prophet’s acquittal, Edward offered his home to the Prophet as a place of safety. Loyal and devoted, Edward became one of Joseph’s bodyguards. During this time, Brother Hunter enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the Prophet.

      Among the revelations the Prophet received in the Hunter home were sections 127 and 128 of the Doctrine and Covenants concerning baptism for the dead. Of this time, Brother Hunter said, “The two years I was in Nauvoo with Joseph, it was one stream of revelations.” 3

      As a member of the Nauvoo City Council, Edward voted to put an end to the Expositor, a libelous paper created by apostates and enemies of the Saints to encourage mob violence. Soon after the destruction of the press, the Prophet Joseph asked Brother Hunter to go to Springfield to represent the Church’s position to the governor.

      “You have known me for several years,” said the Prophet to Edward. “Say to the governor, under oath, everything good and bad you know of me” (p. 230).

      Brother Edward and two other men did so. They returned to Nauvoo late in the afternoon on 27 June 1844—about the same time Joseph and Hyrum were killed at Carthage Jail. Of the events following the Martyrdom, Edward wrote: “Next day, [Joseph and Hyrum’s] bodies were brought from Carthage to Nauvoo. We formed two lines to receive them; I was placed on the extreme right, to wheel in after the bodies, and march to the Mansion. As we passed the Temple, there were crowds of mourners there, lamenting the great loss of our Prophet and Patriarch. The scene was enough to almost melt the soul of man. Mr. Brewer, myself and others took brother Joseph’s body in to the Mansion House. … At midnight [we] carried the body of Joseph from the Mansion House to the Nauvoo House, and put him and Hyrum in one grave. Their death was hard to bear. Our hope was almost gone, not knowing then that Joseph had prepared for the Kingdom to go on, by delivering the keys to the Twelve and rolling off the burden from his shoulders on to theirs” (p. 231).

      Ordained a Bishop in Nauvoo

      Five months after the Martyrdom, President Brigham Young, assisted by Elder Heber C. Kimball and Presiding Bishop Newell K. Whitney, ordained Edward Hunter a high priest. He was then set apart as a bishop of the Nauvoo Fifth Ward. When he was promised that he should “have power to raise up the drooping spirit,” he felt simultaneously “a remarkable sensation thrilled through his being, confirming the truth of the speaker’s words” (p. 231).

      Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote of Bishop Hunter’s character: “Honest, straightforward in his dealings, and candid even to bluntness in his speech, his heart overflowed with kindness and he enjoyed the love and confidence of all. Childlike and humble, he was nevertheless shrewd and discerning. He was charitable and open-handed to all. … He was a great exhorter to faithfulness, particularly in the payment of tithes and offerings. His familiar speech at the Bishop’s meetings: ‘Pay your tithing and be blessed,’ has passed into a proverb” (p. 232).

      When the Saints were forced from Nauvoo, Bishop Hunter and many of the “Mormon Hollow Saints” left together in the spring or summer of 1846 and joined the main body of Latter-day Saints in Winter Quarters. Bishop Hunter had suffered from sickness in Iowa, but upon arrival at Winter Quarters, he again served as bishop.

      Winter Quarters to Salt Lake Valley

      As the hard winter of 1846–47 ended and the exodus to the Salt Lake Valley began, President Young appointed Bishop Hunter captain of 100 wagons. The group arrived on 29 September 1847. Once in the valley, Bishop Hunter again served as bishop.

      In the fall of 1849 President Young sent Bishop Hunter back to the Missouri River to supervise the immigration of the poorer Saints to Zion. Bishop Hunter played an integral part in the implementation of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund (PEF). Under the direction of the First Presidency and as a member of the PEF committee, he helped “set in motion the vast emigrating enterprise which has peopled with souls from two hemispheres the mountain vales of Utah” (p. 231). Bishop Hunter’s generous donation of $5,000 of his own money literally helped build Zion.

      On 7 April 1851, following the death of Newell K. Whitney, second Presiding Bishop, Edward Hunter was sustained as the third Presiding Bishop of the Church. At the time, “they were responsible for Church temporal affairs, for local bishops, and for stake Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Bishop Hunter met every two weeks with northern Utah bishops to coordinate efforts regarding public works, tithes, resources, immigration and immigrants, and the needy. However, the First Presidency, not the Presiding Bishopric, made finance and resource policy and called and released bishops.” 4

      Two years later, during general conference on 6 April 1853, he laid the southwest cornerstone of the Salt Lake Temple.

      Bishop Hunter’s Death

      For 62 years Bishop Hunter watched over the temporal workings of the Church. He succeeded in his desire to magnify his calling in the Church and was a loyal and loving husband and father to his wife and children. He once said he hoped his life’s work was acceptable “in the sight of God and those who preside over me in this Latter-day work” (p. 232).

      Bishop Hunter died on 16 October 1883 after a long illness. According to Elder Whitney: “His health had been feeble for a long time, though his mind was unimpaired, and for the last month he had frequently been absent from his office. Among those who visited his bedside during his illness were President John Taylor and Apostle Erastus Snow. So passed from this stage of action, where for over 90 years he had acted well and faithfully every part assigned him, a man of God as noted for his uprightness and integrity, as for his genial nature and overflowing kindness of heart. His memory will live as long as the great work with which he was identified, and which he labored so long and faithfully to establish” (p. 232).