Elizabeth Williams was born in Middleton, Oswestry in 1849. Her father Samuel Williams and his wife, Harriet, farmed. Harriet had two children, Charles and Maria Downes from a previous marriage, in addition to Elizabeth and her sister Jane, born 1847. The Manford family lived on the next door farm. John and Sarah Manford had seven children; John Frank, born 1848, William, Sarah Jane, Mary, Edward, Thomas Henry and Richard.
By 1871, Samuel and Harriet with their daughter Elizabeth were living at Pengwern Farm, Selattyn. In 1875 Elizabeth married the neighbour’s eldest son, John Frank Manford and they lived at Birchhouse, Selattyn, where John farmed 100 acres employing two general servants. They had five children, all born in Selattyn between 1880 and 1884; Samuel Christain*, Thomas H, Edith Mary, William E and Sarah H, who was born at Llandisilio in 1890.
John Manford died in October 1890, aged 42, leaving his widow Elizabeth with the farm to run and five small children to look after and their young nephew, Thomas H Manford. The executors for his estate of £1551 10s, were Samuel Williams and Edward Manford of Grocers Cross Street, Oswestry. Elizabeth had help on the farm – five servants, including two 16 year old local girls in the house; Ellen James, a nurse and Mary Ann Jones, kitchen maid. On the farm, Sarah Morris another 16 year old, worked as dairymaid and Edward Edwards and Alfred E. Barkley worked as wagoner and under-wagoner.
By 1901, Elizabeth had returned to the family home and farmed at Pentrewern Farm, Selattyn. Her widowed father, Samuel, lived with them and she was helped by her son, Thomas. Samuel, her eldest son was an ironmonger’s assistant. Mary, William and Sarah were still at home. They employed domestic servants, Annie J Roberts and John Drayton (aged 14) and two farm workers, George Drayton (John’s father), a cattle man, and Harry Jones, a wagoner. Samuel Williams died on 30 August 1903, probate to Edward Manford, Grocer £2700.15s.11d.
In 1911, Pentrewern farm was still being run by Elizabeth, now aged 62, helped by her son Thomas and daughter Sarah Harriett. They had a lodger – Elizabeth’s nephew, Richard. He was the 17 year old son of Edward, milk producer/farmer, and Sarah Manford from Oswestry. They employed two general domestic servants, Mary Roberts and Kate Griffiths and farm workers, George Drayton, cowman, John R Dempster, wagoner, William Morris, labourer and Richard Hughes, pig feeder – a 14 year old from Oswestry.
After a long life of farming, Elizabeth died on 11 June 1927, leaving £2304 18s 8d to Thomas Henry Manford, Samuel Christain Manford* and Thomas Golding Roberts, farmers.
*On early census forms the name is given as Christain but later it is given as Christian. (1911 census Samuel Christian Manford, 3 Brook Buildings, Gobowen, corn merchant and grocer married, 1 child and 1934 Kelly’s Directory, Samuel Christian Manford, farmer Buckton).