Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wills and Inventories and Sales, Oh My!

I must be getting old. It used to be that I would do some data entry after a hard day in Fort Wayne, in the hotel in the evening. After this trip, I did a few vital record entries, knowing that I was not going to scan anything until I got home, where I could use my combo printer/scanner/fax/copier with a sheet feeder. It just makes it so much easier.

Finally, back home, I began organizing my copies for scanning. And then I put them aside. So it was that I found myself transcribing directly from the page instead of using Transcript (I've written about this little gem before) to transcribe them. This morning I pulled the five pages from the Abstracts of Frederick County, Virginia: Wills, Inventories & Accounts, 1743-1816, and scanned them using the sheet feeder on my multifunction printer. And then loaded the first page into Transcript and it makes transcription so easy. None of that where did I leave off nonsense.

Now, there were two George Bowmans in Frederick County, father and son. The father, my great-great-great-great-great grandfather died somewhere between the date of the codicil to his will (August 28, 1766) and the date his will was probated which was March 2, 1768. So I am guessing he probably died in late February of 1768. The other George Bowman was his son as his will, written June 27, 1769, probated September 5, 1769, names his sister Mary Stephens; his brother Abraham and brother-in-law George Brinker named as executors.

George Bowman senior had a huge estate with several properties; George junior a smaller estate with a single property a servant and a "Negro fellow." The confusing thing of course is that these wills are being probated fairly close together. Can we spell confused? And it appears that final settlement did not occur on George Bowman senior's will until 1789. It appears that George junior's was finally settled in 1798.

George senior's executors were his sons, Jacob (died 1780), George (died 1769) and son-in-law Isaac Ruddle/Ruddell. The family began to migrate from Virginia not long after the death of Mary Hite Bowman, their mother. As her death caused some re-distribution, this further delayed settlement. Then there was the fact, that Isaac Bowman, Abraham Bowman, John Bowman and Joseph Bowman, all sons of George, were off exploring and surveying Kentucky. Until the Revolution began. Joseph died at the battle of Vincennes in 1779. Abraham was Colonel of the German or 8th Virginia Regiment. He was also my great-great-great-great grandfather. For more about Abraham go here. And yes, the family was German, Hans Georg Baumann being born in Eppengen, Baden, Germany in 1681.

I once claimed that my ancestors owned slaves, but there were few that I could put names to. The April 5 1769 inventory of George Bowman, Senior's property names Charles, worth of 16 pounds, Win (female) worth 18 pounds, Nell, worth 40 pounds (including child or children, not named), Milly worth 12 pounds and Dick worth 30 pounds. Also named in the will were Harry & Esther, slaves who were to be given to his wife Mary Hite Bowman and sold and monies divided among heirs at her death. Later sales name a few more.

I found it interesting in 1789 more than 20 years after his death, George Bowman's senior's estate is finally divided, even naming his wife, who died before 1773. As her share was to be divided among her children, I guess her 972 pounds and 10 1/2 pence had to be accounted for also.

Okay, I guess that is enough blathering on about this confusing family. I better get back to those transcriptions.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

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