Dear Linnie and all
other BOWLES researchers,
Here is what I have
been able to reconstruct to date about my Bowles ancestors from Halifax and
Cumberland Counties in Virginia. I still have many questions about where
this John Bowles fits in to the bigger Bowles picture. My research seems
to contradict what is outlined in the book “The
History of the Bowles Family.." by Thomas M. Farquhar. Specifically his section on
of Cumberland County on page 102. From John Bowles’ will, it seems
probable that he had only four children who continued his lineage including
only one son, Benjamin. Hopefully the details provided below will
help other researchers and trigger a new discussion about our mutual Bowles
ancestors in Cumberland County. I am also hopeful that it may spark some
response/discussion of the MOORE, DOWDY, and EAST lines.
First, consider the following land transactions in what
was first Goochland County, and later became Cumberland County. Notice
the first two both contain reference to Stinking Water Creek/Run. Also,
note the repeated mention of surnames in proximity to John Bowles/Boles
(Davenport, Arnold, Hamilton/Hambleton).
12 Jan 1746; John Bowls, 300 acres.
Goochland Co at the Head of Stinking Water Run of Appomattox River, in the Fork
of sd Run; adjoining John Law, Thomas Davenport,
William Arnold, Charles Bostick and William Hamilton. (I also see that
a Thomas Bowles enters the Goochland County picture in this same time frame…
does anyone know the relationship between John and Thomas? Are they
27 May 1773; Cumberland County Deed Book #5; Joseph Jenkins of Littleton
Parish to William Davenport and William Hambleton of same for 150 pounds sell
300 acres in Cumberland on both sides of Stinking Water Creek adj. William
Hambleton, John Boles, William Davenport, William Major, Richard
Weatherford, Appomattock River.
9 Dec 1779; William Davenport of Cumberland County to David Davenport of
same for 3000 pounds current money of Va sell 200 acres on both sides of
TareWallet? Creek being the land and plantation where said David Davenport now
lives and being the land formerly belonging to Stephen Davenport Decd. and adj.
William Davenport Sr., Henry Davenport, John Bowles, Moses Arnold, and
8 May 1788; Cumberland County Deed Book #6; Henry and Ann Davenport of
Cumberland County to Edmund Terry of Powatton Co. sell 201 acres where Henry
Davenport now lives adj. William Davenport, Marshall Booker, John Bowles,
In 1794, John Bowles dies, predeceased by his son
Benjamin. In his will he names his son, grandchildren, and
son-in-laws. He leaves his land to his grandson Allen Bowles, my 4th
Cumberland County January 1 one
thousand seven hundred + ninety three. This is the last will and testament
of John Bowles Item I give and bequeath unto my grandson Allen Bowles all the
land I own in the above county of Cumberland to have and hold to him and his
heirs forever with all and every appurtenances thereunto belonging also my
negro fellow named London to his and his heirs forever. Item I give and
bequeath unto my grandaughter Marah Bowles one negro girl named Jinney to have
and to hold the said negro Jinney with all her future increase from this day
forward to her and her heirs forever.
Item I give and bequeath unto my grandaughter Elizabeth Benjamin Bowles one
negro girl named Amy with all her future increase to have and to hold to her
and her heirs forever. Item I give and bequeath unto my son in law Thomas
Moore Sr. one negro woman Rachael to have and to hold the said negro woman
Rachael with all her future increase from this day forward to him and his heirs
forever. Item I give and bequeath unto my son in law William Moore my
desk and quilt trunk to him and his heirs forever.
Item I give and bequeath unto my grandson Benjamin Dowdy one feather bed &
furniture also I give unto my grandson John Dowdy one feather bed &
furniture + unto my grandson Moses one of my best cows and calves to him and
his heirs forever.
My will and desire is that the whole balance and residue of my estate in
whatsoever kind it may be equally divided between the estate of Benjamin
Bowles, Thomas Moore, William Moore + my three grandchildren Benjamin Dowdy,
John Dowdy, + Moses Dowdy to them and their heirs forever. Lastly I
appoint my friends Thomas Moore Sr., Joseph Jenkins + William Ballero(?)
executors of this my last will and testament and do hereby revoke and annul all
former wills by me made and acknowledge this to be my last will + testament in
witness my hand and seal the day + date first above written. John
Bowles Signed sealed + delivered in the presence of Marshall Booker,
Beverley Lee, Charles Lee Junr.
At a court held for Cumberland County the 27th day of January 1794. This
last will and testament of John Bowles deceased was exhibited in court and
proved by the witnesses therto + ordered to be recorded + on the motion of
Thomas Moore one of the executors therein named...
Subsequent land transactions now name Allen
Bowles. In 1803 and 1804, Allen Bowles sells his land in Cumberland
County and purchases land in Halifax County from William East, his future
father-in-law. His uncle Thomas Moore also moves to Halifax County in
2 April 1803; Cumberland County Deed Book #9; William T Davenport of Cumberland
County to secure payment of 1000 by 1 Sept sells to William Hobson, Jacob
Faris, and Peter Philips... a certain tract in Cumberland County... the
dividend of land late the property of William Davenport decd of Cumberland adj.
John Jones estate, Little Gunea Creek, Allen Bowls, Samuel Owens, Alexious M
Davenport, Thomas F Davenport, Jacob Farris.
1803; Cumberland County Deed Book #9; Allen Bowles to Sam Owen, 35 acres
1804; Cumberland County Deed Book #9; Allen Bowles to Peter Jefferson,
23 Jan 1804; Halifax County, VA; Allin BOWLES of Cumberland Co., VA
bought from William EAST 139a. on Miry Creek, Halifax Co., VA
Both Allen Bowles and his sister Elizabeth Benjamin
Bowles marry into the EAST family in Halifax County;
23 Dec 1808; Elizabeth B. Bowles
married Richard East
4 July 1810; Allen Bowles married Polly East