Rev. William Batten 1778 - 1864

William was born in 1778 with no exact date of birth however, his birth year is mentioned in one of the old ledgers of the White Church in Dyffryn and his baptism is recorded as 16th February 1779.  In addition, volume 5 of the Denbigh Parish Registers records his baptism on the 16th February 1779 his father recorded as William Beaton his father's occupation was a Skinner and his mother's name Rebeek.  I therefore have two sources showing William's baptism details and recording his father as William Beaton.

William became a well-known Wesleyan Minister especially on the North Wales Circuit therefore there is quite a lot of information either in the public domain although some of his history is archived material with different organisations.  The latter being subject to copyright laws if I can get permission to include the information I will do so with acknowledgements.  As I have already said on my home page this is my hobby and I do not gain financially from any of my research. 

William Batten married Alice Bennion who was born Oswestry 6th May 1791 she was the daughter of Mr. Edward Bennion a Surgeon from Oswestry Shropshire.  Alice was baptised June 1791 both the records I have for Alice do not show the exact day she was baptised.  William and Alice married on the 13th January 1813 at St. Oswald's Parish Church Oswestry.  Source: details taken from microfiche entry at Oswestry Library, the surname for William looks like 'Bolton' which is possibly why I could not find it on other records.  Thank you to Derek at Oswestry Library for finding these details.


In 1835 William appeared in Pigot and Co's National Commercial Directory 1835 for North Wales on the page for Llanwrst under the heading Nobility, Gentry and Clergy which reads: BATTEN Rev William, Scotland St.  William served at Llanwrst for two years from 1834-1836.

1841 Census for Wales

From 1839-1842 William's Ministry was at Beaumaris the 1841 census shows William aged 60 living at Bodfeirig, Anglesey his occupation given as Minister of the Gospel.  Interestingly his family are living at a different address.  Source: HO107; piece 1359; folio 27; page 4;

It has taken me months to find Alice and the family on the 1841 census and finally found them living at Hermitage Place, Beaumaris and the surname had been transcribed as Batton.  Alice aged 45 was living with possibly four of her children.  Why do I say possibly?  Because I have found another child that I cannot find any baptism records for and the only reason I can assume the he was Alice and William's child is that the age range is in sequence.  The children living with Alice at that time were John aged 15, occupation illegible, Alice aged 14, David aged 12 and Sarah aged 9.  At this time, I have no idea were David came from.

1851 Census for Wales

1851 Census for Wales

From 1843 to his death in 1864 William's Ministry was at Llanfyllin for a period of 19 years; this was unusual as a Ministry tended to be for one or two years and occasionally three years.  As we can see from William's obituary further down on this page, it states that "for twenty-two years he bore his infirmities of age with exemplary patience".  The 1851 census shows that William and Alice where living at Garth Cottage, Llansantffraid the surname had been transcribed as 'Ballen'.  William's profession then Wesleyan Minister aged 70 and Alice aged 59 a Minister's wife.  They had three of their children living at home with them Thomas aged 31, profession Wesleyan Minister, daughter Alice aged 34 and daughter Sarah aged 19.  Both daughters profession described as 'at home'.

1861 Census for Wales

William was a Superannuated Wesleyan Minister (this is how it has been transcribed), he and Alice on the 1861 census for Wales where living in the Village of Llansantffraid, he was 82, Alice aged 69 and at that time they had a daughter Sarah living at home aged 29.  As far as I can tell they had eight children.  Sadly, their daughter Alice died 2nd February 1856 at the age of 29 and their son Thomas died at the age of 37 on Good Friday, April 10th, 1857. 

From the births of their children we can see that William and Alice moved around Wales with his Ministry.  It is also interesting how William's professional titles change with the different baptisms of his and Alice's children.  William and Alice possibly had another daughter Mary as there is a reference in Isaac Watkins’s book on Oswestry page 237 to "Mr. Thomas Owen, who married firstly Mary Batten, grand-daughter of Dr. Edward D Bennion of Cyrnybwch".  The significance of this is that John was baptised at Cyrn Y Bwch and the Bennion's were mentioned on John's baptism records as maternal parents (grandparents).  However, if Mary were their daughter then Alice would have given birth to her at 50, not sure about this and I have sent for Mary's birth certificate.  Interestingly Mary Batten was the first wife of Thomas Owen, Publisher, and Stationer of Oswestry he published a book in 1904 with the title of Personal Reminiscences of Oswestry.  Now that I have split the Batten pages, I will be able to cover Thomas Owen see right hand column.