Margaret & Elizabeth Roberts
– Quarry Surgeons of the 1800s
Llawfeddyges Dinorwig & Ffestiniog
One of the first doctors of Ysbyty Dinorwig, a ‘celebrated surgeon’, was Dr Robert Roberts (Doctor Roberts Y Chwarel), from Llanberis. He married Ellen Roberts (handily, also nee Roberts). Their eldest daughter Margaret Roberts was born in 1815.
Margaret married Howel Parry from Dinorwig (presumably a quarryman) and they had 9 children, which you’d have thought would be occupation enough. They moved to Porthmadog & Tremadog, where Margaret was also an
‘excellent surgeon – people came to her from everywhere, with wounds of all kinds and she was extremely successful’.
She died in 1879, aged 64.
And in a final extraordinary twist, Margaret’s younger brother, John Roberts, who had ALSO become a surgeon, moved to Ffestiniog and married Elizabeth (handily also nee Roberts) from Ffestiniog. They had no less than 11 children. It turns out that Elizabeth - who was neice to Margaret - an
‘excellent practicing surgeon, repairing hundreds of quarrymen through the whole quarry before there was any thought of a hospital’.
With thanks to Elin Tomos for finding the story and helping me decipher it. The image is of her mother Janice’s quarry family… I like to think that teulu Roberts may have been similar