Thursday, March 12, 2015

Granville Bowman of Kentucky - 52 Ancestors #10

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is "Stormy Weather." I couldn't find an appropriate ancestor to write about under this theme, so I am writing about an ancestor from my Kentucky branch.

Bowman vital records in
Gorin family bible
Granville Bowman is my 4th great grandfather who was likely born in Virginia and lived in Kentucky most of his adult life.

According to the Gorin Family Bible that I have, (see several family pages here and a closeup at left), Granville was born on March 21, 1786, and he died on August 11, 1841. (Note that this bible was published in 1856, which means that these birth and death dates were entered much later than the event.) Based on some Kentucky land grants given to a Granville Bowman in 1799, there is either another man by the name of Granville Bowman (possible), or my 4th great grandfather was born by 1778 (maybe 1776).

Granville was born in Virginia, probably Chesterfield County, where his father owned land and was listed in tax records. Kentucky became a state in 1792 and I believe Granville Bowman arrived in Cumberland County, Kentucky within a decade of statehood.

Cumberland County, Kentucky
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Granville married Polly Walthall on May 16, 1809, presumably in Kentucky. I find Granville Bowman in Cumberland County in each of the decennial United States censuses from 1810 through 1840, which list only the head of household and tick marks for the other household members. Following is a summary of what those censuses contain:

1810 - Granville (and Polly) and four slaves.
1820 - Granville (and household members Polly, two young males and three young females, one of whom is my third great-grandmother, Mary Ann Bowman) and five slaves. This census has a tick mark in the column indicating that there was one "person engaged in commerce," which tells me that Granville was not a farmer at that time.
1830 - Granville (and household members Polly, three young males, one teenage female, my third great-grandmother) and nineteen slaves. This census doesn't tell me what Granville did for a living, but possibly farming of some sort, with that many slaves.
1840 - Granville (and household members Polly, and one male in his 20s, my 3rd great uncle) and 11 slaves. This census does indicate that seven members are employed in agriculture.

FYI: The 1800 census is lost for Virginia and Kentucky so I can't confirm the Bowman family residence using the census, but there are tax records that put Granville's father, Pleasant Bowman, in Chesterfield County, Virginia in the latter half of the 18th century and as late as 1802.

Also, since I find only one Granville Bowman in these censuses, I believe there is only one and his birth date is more likely in the 1770s rather than 1786.

In an database: Kentucky, Land Grants, 1782-1924, I find several entries for Granville Bowman in Cumberland County, Kentucky, the first two in 1799 implying an earlier birth date than what the bible record indicates:
October 1799 - received 200 acres near Cumberland River and 200 acres near Clover Creek
July 1807 - received 71 acres near Clover Creek
April 1820 - received 50 acres near Indian Creek
April 1825 - received 50 acres near Cumberland River
May 1832 - "Greenville" Bowman received 200 acres "On State Line"
December 1835 - received 150 acres near Little Willow Creek and 50 acres near Willis Creek

Granville and Polly had six children that I know of, most of which come from secondary sources:
Mary Ann Bowman (1814-1870) married Thomas Jefferson Gorin (See Surname Saturday ~ Gorin.)
Edward Spencer Bowman (1815-1852)
Irabella Pleasant Bowman (1817-1820)
Patric H. Bowman (Feb 1820-Aug 1820)
Albert H. Bowman (1823-1826)
Harrett Francis Bowman (Feb 1827 - Oct 1827)

It looks like if I could find his will and/or probate records and land records for his property in Cumberland County, it would help confirm the details about his life. I will keep looking online, but this looks like it needs a trip to Kentucky (and Virginia) to find the primary sources for my Bowmans.

I descend from Granville Bowman as follows:

Granville Bowman
Mary Ann Bowman
Mary Elizabeth Gorin
Mary Bowman Ashby
Elizabeth Adsit
Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.

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