Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who Were the Parents of Knight Bowles of Goochland Co, VA?

On the Internet in various databases, I find the same Knight Bowles, born 1745/46, listed as a son of David Bowles & Sarah Rice (this is apparently wrong as David Bowles seems to have married first a Sarah Hughes and second a Winifred Rice who outlived him); a son of John Knight Bowles & Sarah Curd (obviously wrong as Sarah Curd was his WIFE, not his mother), a son of Benjamin Bowles and Mary Webber (this couple did at least live in Goochland), and as a son of Thomas Bowles and Mary Anderson, or an unknown wife (I do not find that such a relationship existed between a Thomas Bowles and a Mary Anderson). None of these offer any proof - there are no wills or estate settlements, etc. There were many other Bowles families in Goochland County,. Virginia, contemporaries, so likely Knight had brothers or cousins living there.

I do not know for sure that Knight and John Bowles were brothers, but I believe they likely were. Please see the next post for John's story. They were contemporaries, both married Curd daughters [though not sisters] and had children baptized about the same time at St. James Northam Parish in Goochland. Gideon and Bartlett also seem to be possible candidates for brothers. Gideon & Knight both named a son as Anderson. [I also research Andersons who came from the area of Hanover/Goochland/Louisa Counties and Bartlett is a common given name in that family.] I have found only two possible children for Bartlett - a daughter Cecily born in 1768, baptized at St. James Northam and probably a son named also named Bartlett. Since a younger Bartlett. is mentioned in connection of the estate of the Sarah Bowles below, who may have been the widow of a Philip Bowles, perhaps Bartlett belongs in that family. And possibly all are related in some way. Knight & John Bowles, both named sons John and daughters Nancy, Sarah, and Elizabeth - all incredibly common given names of the time, but John also appears to have given his son Charles the middle of name of Knight.

The Douglas Register has the following Bowles marriages in a close time frame; from the number it's obvious there must have been more than a single Bowles family and there is never a significant generational gap in the records. I have not included all the Bowles records, just the implied marriages prior to 1775 and the actual marriages prior to 1800.
The following were from baptisms of children and are implied marriages - these couples were married by the date shown:
Jerusha Bowles & Samuel Moseby had a child, Mary, baptized 1755. They subsequently had five more children baptized at St. James Northam.
Ruth Bowls & Benjamin Thacker had a child Benjamin, baptized 1757.
Gideon Bowles & Ann Hughes had a child, Jean, baptized 1758. They had eight more children listed.
Mary Bowles & Thomas Perriere had a child John, baptized 1767
Patrick Bowles & Nannie Owen had a daughter, Nannie Jones Bowles, born Nov 1770
Philip Bowles & Sarah Bacon had a son, Thomas, born Dec 1773
These were actual marriage dates:
Oney Bowles, married Andrew Yeargan, 3 Jan 1757 Oney is known to have been the daughter of a Sarah Bowles who died in Caswell Co NC, will dated 31 Oct 1783 which names a son as John, a daughter Mary Washington and a daughter Oney Yeargin. Sarah's husband is believed to have been still another John Bowles - he had 100 acres on Cubb Creek in Caswell, near the Granville Co line, ca 1777, He appears to have been the only Bowles living in Caswell at that time.
Sarah Bowles, married James Cauthon, 28 Sep 1762
John Bowles, married Elizabeth Curd, 2 Dec 1764
Bartlet Bowles, married Ann Owen, 13 Nov 1766
Knight Bowles married Sarah Curd, 19 Feb 1767
Another John Bowles, son of Benjamin, dec'd, married Mary Redford, dau of William, dec'd, 9 Nov 1768
Susanna Bowles, married Jo. Wade, 13 Oct 1770
Frances Bowles , married Josh Barner, 10 Jun 1772
Sarah Bowles, married Stephen Perkins, 13 Dec 1772
Jesse Bowles, married Hannah Perkins, 3 Mar 1773
Frankie Bowles, married Bartlet Ford, 20 Mar 1774
Susannah Bowles, married William Hughes, 10 Apr 1775/79
William Bowles, married Elizabeth Napier, 14 Feb 1778
Martha Bowles, married Humphrey Gains, 18 Feb 1779
I cannot identify the following Sarah Bowles. John, Knight, and Bartlett are often seen as brothers, and Charles Knight Bowles was a son of John, but the father of John & Knight is not consistent in online databases as described earlier. There is an implied marriage in the Register; Philip Bowles & Sarah Bacon had a son Thomas baptized on 14 Feb 1774, he was born 29 Dec 1773. This seems to be the only candidate for the following widow named Sarah. A Susannah Bowles married William Hughes, 10 Apr 1775 or 79, St. James Northam, Goochland Co, VA, according to The Douglas Register, by the Rev. William Douglas, 1928. They may have had a son of the same name. Perhaps there is some relationship between Philip & Susannah Bowles, given the widow is Sarah and William Hughes was the administrator of her estate. J. Haden is undoubtedly the same Joseph Haden who witnessed the Will of Knight Bowles [Joseph was a brother to my husband's direct Haden ancestor]. William G. Poindexter was William Green Poindexter, son of Rev. John Poindexter [I am a very distant cousin to these Poindexters].

Will Book 2,Pg 139
Fluvanna, to wit:
In obedience to an order of the Worshipful Court of Fluvanna, We(the undersigned have examined the Accts. Of Wm. Hughes, Serv. Adm. Of the estate of Sarah Bowles, dec’d(on Oath) and find it to fairly Stated as within will appear. It is also further stated by the said Adm. That there is a Bond belonging to sd. Estate, given by Wm. Roysler/Royster dec’d. on the 3rd of Jany 1803 on demand for 611#.5”6 which was delivered to Wm. G.Poindexter, Atty. At Law, to bring suit on, as appears also by a recd. From sd. Atty. For sd. Bond, which belongs to the Legatees of Sarah Bowles, dec’d. & that he this? Adm. Has no claim in it, further than his part as a Legatee in sd. Estate, if it ever should be recovered & collected. Certified under our hands this 17th day of July 1813.
J. Haden
Abra. Venable
John Holland
William Hughes Serv. Adm. of Sarah Bowles Dec’d. in acct with said estate.
Money rec’d from John Bowles of Bond 32#9”
Interest 7 months 1#2”10 1/4
Money Rec’d from Knight Bowles….30#
Balance yet due from Knight Bowles…3#15”7
Money Rec’d from Bartlett Bowles…. 6”
Money Rec’d from Anderson Bryant……..3”
Money Rec’d from Tarlton Rice…………..11”7
Money Rec’d from Stephen Farrar…………12”
By sundry Tickets to the Clk of Goochland, the Clk of the Gen. Court
To Wm. G. Poindextor, Atty at Law……2#2”9
By cash paid Charles Knight Bowles….4#
By cash yet due Charles Knight Bowles…..4#+
Midwifes fee….12”
By Tickets due the Clk of Fluvanna for order, and report of Administration….6”
By expenses and trouble attending to the administration of sd. Estate….3#12”
At a Court of monthly session held for Fluvanna County on Monday the 26th day of July 1813. This Account and Report of the Settlement of the Adm. Of the Estate of Sarah Bowles, dec’d by William Hughes, Serv. Adm. Was this day returned and ordered to be recorded.
Knight Bowles wife, Sarah Curd, was named in the will of her father, Richard Curd. His will dated 22 Jun 1778, proved 19 Oct 1778. Richard Curd named his wife Sarah and nine children: Ann Redford, Edmund Curd, Mary Perkins, Sary Bowles, Elizabeth Underwood, Lucy Watkins, Frances Curd, Suzanna Pollock, and Ann Williams Curd. Goochland Deed & Will Book 12, p.194. The will states: "At the decease of my wife, her half of said Tract called the Piney Woods Tract, to be equally divided between daughters Mary Perkins, Sarah Bowles, Lucy Watkins, Frances Curd, Susanna Pollock & Ann Williams Curd"

This tract was sold, Goochland DB 14,p.445,16 Aug 1784, and Sarah Curd Bowles does not appear as one of the owners. I believe she had died by August of 1784. Benjamin Perkins and Mary his wife, Thos. Hatcher and Lucy his wife, Thos. Pollock & Susannah his wife, Frances Curd to George Underwood 150£. 173 acres and 1/3 part of an acre being part of a larger tract of land - Piney Woods Tract. Land given by Richd Curd in his will to Mary Perkins, Lucy Walker now Lucy Hatcher, Susanna Pollock and Frances Curd, all daughters of the sd Richd. Curd. Adjoining land of Colo. John Curd, Edward McBride, Archer Payne & George Underwood.
The only wife who signed was Susannah Pollock.
Wit: James George, Francis Underwood, Ezekiel Perkins
20 Sep 1784. Acknowledged by Perkins, Hatcher, Pollock & Curd to be their acts. 21 Aug 1787 Susanna, wife of Thomas Pollock & Lucy wife of Thomas Hatcher were examined & relinquished their right.

Knight Bowles married second to Martha who was the widow of John Ellis. A bequest in the will of Knight Bowles to his son Drury Wood Bowles was "all the chairs I bought from the estate of Drury Wood deceased". Likely Martha was nee Martha Wood. Drury Wood Bowles, the youngest child was surely a child of Martha; Elizabeth, a child handicapped in some way, may also have been Martha's.
The children are listed here as in his Will dated 27 May 1817, Fluvanna Co VA. The will was submitted to Probate by Anderson Bowles 23 Oct 1820.
He named beloved wife Polly [Note: I suspect this should have read Patty, the nickname for Martha, probably the T's not crossed. Or there is an unknown later marriage. I have not seen the original copy, only a full transcription online.] to have free use of where he now resides during her widowhood, livestock, his clock.
1. Son Anderson, woman Fillis & her children
2. Daughter Molley Flanagan, wife of James, woman Anna
3. Son Thomas, girl Milley which he took with him to Kentucky
4. Daughter Sally Malloy, woman Franky and her increase
5. Daughter Fanney Perkins, woman Tabby and children which she has in her possession
6. grandson Knight B. Curd, lad named Phil [probably the daughter Nancy baptized at St. James Northam married Daniel Curd and this was her only child born before her death]
7. Lend to daughter-in-law Elizabeth Bowles, widow of son Richard C., until children Sally Ann & John N. Bowles come of age, the negro man Stephen now in possession of my daughter-in-law
8. Son John, in his lifetime, the man Winson who is now dead; his children to have a negro of equal value
9. Son Drury W. Bowles, negro woman, Charity or one of her children and a tract of land, adjoining Grubbs, William Hughes, John Martin and chairs bought from estate of Drury Wood, deceased.
10. To grandson Benjamin C. Johnson, $50 [daughter Molly was married first to Benjamin C. Johnson by whom she had this child; Molly married James Flanagan after the death of the older Benjamin Johnson]11. Negroes George & Anna to remain in the hands of executors for support of daughter Elizabeth
After death of wife, remainder to be divided into ten equal parts:
1/10 to daughter Sally Molloy; 1/10 to son Anderson; 1/10 to grandchildren, son of son John: Richard K., Lucy A. & Augustus Knight Bowles; 1/10 to Frances Perkins; 1/10 for support of dau Elizabeth; 1/10 to son Thomas; 1/10 to son Drury W./ 1/10 to Sally Ann & John N. Bowles, children of son Richard; 1/10 to Knight B. Curd; 1/10 after the $50 to Benjamin C. Johnson, then the rest between him & Sally Ann & John N. Bowles. [Note: This list of 10 parts omits daughter Molly Flanagan, but does include her son Benjamin C. Johnson]Executors: Sons Anderson & Drury W. Bowles. Friends Benjamin Bowles and John B. Perkins.
Signed in presence of J. Haden, Richard H. Hope, John Martinson, Reuben Martin, James Busy, G. W. Richardson.
Proved by Joseph Haden & George W. Richardson. Anderson Bowles applied as executor. Bond of $20,000 with William Hughes Jr. & Knight B. Perkins, security.

Full transcript of the Will:
I Knight Bowles of the County of Fluvanna do make constitute and ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following to wit:
1st I lend to my beloved wife [?]Polly Bowles the free use of the land and appurtenances whereon I now reside except the part hereinafter mentioned during her widowhood should she wish to continue thereon: On the following conditions (that is to say) provided she relinquishes to my estate for the same term the interest which she holds by virtue of her right of dower in a Tract or parcel of land in Henrico County. I lend her also in like manner two horses, she taking choice out of my stock of horses and also as many sheep, cattle and hog as may thought by my executors sufficient for her: Also as much corn and meal as will be sufficient for her for one year. Also the use of my clock during the same period, it being my wish for it not to be removed from where it is.
2nd I confirm to my son Anderson the fee simple right to negro woman named Fillis and her children to him and his heirs forever.
3rd I confirm to my daughter Molley Flanagan the wife of James Flanagan the fee simple right to a negro woman named Anna to her and her heirs forever together with her children, meaning to her heirs lawfully begotten of body.
4th I confirm to my son Thomas Bowles the fee simple right to a negro girl named Milley which girl he took with him to Kentucky her and her increase to him and his heirs forever.
5th I confirm unto my daughter Sally Malloy the fee simple right to a negro woman named Franky and also all her increase to her and her heirs forever.
6th I confirm unto my daughter Fanney Perkins the fee simple right to a negro woman named Tabby and all her increase to her and her heirs forever which negro woman and children she now has in possession.
7th I give to my grandson Knight B. Curd on conditions hereafter mentioned one negro lad named Phil but if my said grandson should die without lawful heir, then it's my will that the said negro should return to my estate and be divided as hereafter will be directed to be divided but in case of issue to go to that or them as the case may be forever.
8th I lend to my daughter-in-law Elizabeth Bowles, widow of my deceased. son Richard C. Bowles, till my said son's children, Sally Ann Bowles and John N. Bowles, come of age or marries or she my said daughter-in-law should marry at which time may happen first I confirm the right of a negro man, Stephen, now in possession of my said daughter-in-law to my said two grandchildren and their heirs forever.
9th Having heretofore given my son John Bowles in his lifetime one negro man named Winson which said negro is now dead, it is now my will that his children have out of my estate a negro of equal value or the value in money also one feather bed and furniture to them and their heirs forever.
10th I give to my son Drury W. Bowles his choice of my negro woman to wit, Charity or one of her children, also the following tract of land viz. Beginning at a corner pine on Grubbs line near a pond on the south side of the road known by the name of the pond drean, then a strait line so as to include the spring I now use, thence a line so as to include the barn, thence the nearest course to the fence or edge of the woods North of my house: thence with the fence to the gate near the road: thence to the road and up the road to where William Hughes' line and my line crosses the road: thence along Hughes' line till it intersects with John Martin's line: thence with Martin's line and my own till it crosses the pond drean: thence up the pond drean to the first named place and corner pine. Also all the chairs I bought from the estate of Drury Wood deceased. all of which negro, land and chairs are to him and his heirs forever.
11th I give to my grandson Benjamin C. Johnson fifty dollars to him and his heirs forever.
I desire and my will is that a negro girl and a negro boy named George and Anna remain in the hands of my executors hereinafter named for the support of my daughter Elizabeth.
12th I desire that all my just debts be paid the remainder and residue of my estate not herein before given away including what is lent to my wife and debts due to me or that may become due to me and also the Negroes ? for the support of my daughter Elizabeth, after her death shall be divided into ten equal parts viz
13th One tenth part to my daughter Sally Molloy to her and her heirs forever
14th One tenth to my son Anderson and his heirs forever
15th One tenth to my three grandchildren, the children of my son John viz: Richard K. Bowles, Lucy A. Bowles and Augustus Knight Bowles to them and their heirs forever.
16th One tenth to my daughter Frances Perkins and her heirs forever.
17th One tenth to remain in the hands of my executors for the further support of my daughter Elizabeth in addition to the aforementioned negroes left for that purpose and at her my said daughter's death to be divided in the same way
18th One tenth to my son Thomas to him and his heirs forever
19th One tenth to my son Drury W. Bowles and his heirs forever
20th One tenth to my two grandchildren, Sally Ann Bowles and John N. Bowles to them and their heirs forever
21st One tenth to my grandson Knight B. Curd under the same restrictions as Item 7
22nd One tenth to be disposed of as follows, first to pay the legacy given to my grandson Benjamin C. Johnson (say fifty dollars) the balance then remaining I give to be equally divided between my said grandson and my two grandchildren Sally Ann Bowles and John N. Bowles to them and their heirs forever.
Item. Whereas it may appear by the first clause in my will that my clock is always to continue where she is in order that it may be rightly understood it is my wish that she be divided after the loan of her to my wife expires in the same way as is divided in the division of my other estate not given away.
Lastly I appoint my sons Anderson Bowles, Drury W. Bowles and my friends Benjamin Bowles and John B. Perkins Executors to this my last Will and Testament revoking all other wills by me heretofore made declaring this to be my last Will & Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day of May 1817.
Signed or acknowledged
In presence of
Bart X Bowles
Richard H. Hope
John Martinson
Reuben Martin
James Busy
G. W. Richardson
J. Haden

At a court of quarterly His sessions held for Fluvanna County on the 28th day of August 1820 this day in open court This Will was proved by the oaths of Joseph Haden and George W. Richardson Witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
And at a court of monthly session held for Fluvanna County on Monday the 23rd day of October 1820 This will was this day presented in court and on the motion of Anderson Bowles an executor therein named who made oath thereto as the law directs and entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of Twenty Thousand Dollars with William Hughes Jr. and Knight B. Perkins his securities conditioned as the law directs certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form and time is allowed the other executors therein named to qualify thereto.
John Timberlake, CFC
A Copy??Teste
G. E. M. Winn, DC


  1. The parents of Knight Bowles (b.8 May 1746) were John Bowles and Sarah Knight. Knight was my 4th great-grandfather.

    The Sarah Curd married to Knight Bowles did not have a father named Richard. Her father was Thomas S. Curd (b. 1669). Her mother was Kathleen Price.

    You can contact me at johnlee0815@myactv.net if you have anymore questions.

  2. I did contact the gentleman above who has just returned to research. His information is quite old and not documented. The wife of Knight Bowles, Sarah Curd, was indeed the daughter of Richard Curd - he named her as "Sary Bowles" in his will and Knight Bowles was recipient of slaves in the estate division. Thomas S. Curd seems to have belonged to an earlier generation and any connection to the Curds in Goochland in unknown.

  3. In the opening sentence, you state: "I find the same Knight Bowles, born 1745/46, listed as a son of David Bowles & Sarah Rice." To my knowledge there was no such marriage. Capt David Bowles m1 Sarah Hughes m2 Winniford Rice. The Rice marriage was much later and is proven. I don't know if the Hughes marriage is proven but David's first marriage was before 1749 and he almost certainly had more children than those named in his will or living near him in KY.