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Monday, November 24, 2014

The Muddle Masses of Inaccurate Reporting

Bowen Family
Bullock Family
Garnzey Family

Richard Bowen’s ancestry is still a highly contested issue. So far, it appears his father might have been Thomas Bowen of Kettle Hill in Wales. Other researchers, far better than I, also claim Richard’s father to be James Bowen. I have tried to puzzle through all the arguments and find myself no closer to any solution. But I do have an opinion.  The Welsh, in accordance with the times, had no surnames. They used a patronymic system which indicated you were the son or daughter of the male adult in the family.  They used the prefixes, ab, ap, verch, and ferch, most commonly, to designate the names of the children in a family.
Thus, a man named Rhys (Rice) would have a son, let’s say John ap Rhys and a daughter, Joan verch Rhys. Eventually, John’s name became Price and the daughter married and changed her name to her husband’s. Another example is ap Harry, which years later became the surname Perry. A name such as ap Richard became Pritchard.  In the same way, ab was used to show a son. The National hero of Wales is Owain Glyndwyr. Many a male child was named Owain or Owen in honor of this man. So a male child of Owen would be ab Owen or eventually, Bowen. There are many variations on the spellings of the surnames that evolved. If you are looking for a Welsh surname, check every possible form of the spelling. They can differ remarkably, even within the same family branch.

This most likely resulted in a large number of people with the surname Bowen who may or may not have been related to each other. They also tended to use the same given names over and over, causing generational and lateral blurring. When there were five sons in a family and they all married and used the same given names for their sons, John, Richard, James, Thomas, William, etc., it all becomes really difficult to determine which John Bowen was the son of which one of the brothers.

Therefore, at this point, I will grant that Richard Bowen was born in Wales, that he immigrated to the colonies and that his father is unknown to me. He was b. about 1590 in Wales, perhaps Glamorganshire, and d. Feb. 4 1675 in Rehoboth, MA. His first wife is unknown, although many claim it was Anne Bourne who was from Swansea, Wales. However this marriage and an elaborate ancestry which was all 19th century fabrication has been debunked, by TAG Vol. 76 p. 263 (2001). It is believed that all of his children were by his first wife. His 2nd wife was Elizabeth (nee unknown) March, widow of George Marsh. Some have said her maiden name was Rey or Key. Richard and his first wife and children were briefly reported to have been in Weymouth before striking out for Rehoboth.

He was present on Jun 21 1644, in Rehoboth, when woodland divisions were granted to 58 men, but no actual date of immigration has been found.

His children were:

          Alice (1620-?) m. Robert Wheaton
          Sarah (1623-bef 1673) m. Robert Fuller
          Thomas (1625-1663) m. Elizabeth Brewster
          Ruth (1627-1688) m. Leverich Kendrick
      2  Obadiah (1627-1710) m. Mary Clifton
          William (1630-?)
          George (1631-1632)
          Richard (1632-?)

2 Obadiah Bowen (1623-1710) m. 1651 Mary Clifton – 15 children
     3   Obadiah (1651-1699) m. 1677 Abigail Bullock
          Mary (1653-1678) m. Isaac Allen
          Sarah (1654-1703) m. 1672 John Savage
          Jacob (1656 -?)
          Rebecca (1657-?)
          Daughter (1658-?)
          *Samuel (1659-1728) m. 1684 Elizabeth Wood
          Joseph (1662-1727 m. 1683 Elizabeth Rounds
          Thomas (1664-1743) m. 1689 Thankful Mason
          *Hannah (1665-1715) m. 1685 Timothy Brooks
          Lydia (1666-1758) m. 1686 Joseph Mason
          Sarah (1668-?) m. 1686 James Abell
          Mercy (1672-young)
          Isaac (1674-1706) m. 1698 Hanna Winchester
          Hezekiah (1678-?)

*Samuel and his family moved to Cohansey, NJ. *Hannah married Rev. Timothy Brooks who moved with some of his congregation to Cohansey, NJ. Both Samuel Bowen and Timothy Brooks died there. Hannah Bowen Brooks is said to have died in Bowentown, NJ.
3 Obadiah and Abigail Bullock Bowen
If the Bowen origins are clouded in the distant past records, then so too are the records of the Bullocks. Abigail’s father is recorded as Richard Bullock of Rehoboth MA, but there ends any certainty. It appears there were several contemporaries by the name of Richard Bullock. The greatest amount of energy has been directed to connecting Richard Bullock to Elizabeth Ingraham, a descendant of Sir Arthur Ingraham. I believe this is driven by Sir Arthur’s connection to Royalty. So far I have found no evidence that will support this. What I have found is vastly inconsistent dates, which makes everything fall apart. So, again on this family name I take the stand of not knowing what is correct so will refrain from offering something that would most likely prove to be incorrect.

Children of Obadiah and Abigail Bullock Bowen:

     4   James (1680-1738) m. 1703 Elizabeth Garnzey
          Hezekiah (1682-1751) m. 1706 Elizabeth Randall
          Mary (1684-?) m. 1710 John Bush
          Elizabeth (1686-?) m. Silas Clark
          Abigail (1688-1710) m.1701 Benjamin Fiske
          Peleg  (?)
          Daniel (1689-1737) m. 1716 Priscilla Vinton
          Aaron (1691-1774) m. 1717 Experience Whitaker
          Sarah (1693-?) m. Martyn Luther
          Nathan (1698-1776) m. Mary Boden

The Garnzey family seems to have originated in Somersetshire, England. Yet after many attempts to get a straight forward idea of when the family arrived in the colonies has only resulted in a head spinning event. From birthdates that had a range of 50 years (for just one person) to one woman living to be 123 years old and another who married both her husband and her son, I have given up on finding anything that is remotely worth reporting on the ancestry of Elizabeth Garnzry.

   4     The children of James and Elizabeth Garnzey Bowen:

          Lydiah (1704-1747) m. 1724 Squire Wheeler
    5    Elizabeth (c.1705-1755) m. 1726 Jonathan Cole
          Obadiah (1706-?) m. c 1731 Barbara Martin
          Tabitha (1710-?) m. c, 1731 Daniel Wheaton
          Mary (1713-?) m. 1733 Thomas Wilbur
          Patience (1716-?)
          Experience (1720-?)
          Abigail (1722-?)

5. Elizabeth Bowen and Jonathan Cole
6. Abigail Martin and Jonathan Cole
7. Margaret Wade and Ebenezer Cole
8. Catherine Buck and Edward Cole
9. Rebecca Cole and Alexander Chambers
10. Alvina Chambers and Patrick John Broderick
                    My grandparents

A History of Rehoboth, Rev. George Tilton, 1918
Find a Grave
Historical Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Ellery Bicknell Crane, Worcester Historical Museum

The Visitation of the county of Somerset in the Year 1623