74. Thomas BOWLBY
(7)(8) was born in 1665.
(370) He was christened on 16 Sep 1665 in
Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, England.
(373) Dennis Heathcote's research indiciate Thomas was Christened
at Mansfield Woodhouse 16 Sept 1664. He signed a will in 1730/31.
(374) 1730-1, 23rd day, 12 mo. (Feb.). Boulsby (Bowlsby), Thomas,
now of Burlington Co., yeoman; will of. "Whereas in Oct. 1727 there was
surveyed unto me in Hunterdon Co. 1550 acres of land, 500 of which I sold to
Abraham Hulings of Burlington, Esq. I now order the remainder to be sold to
pay my debts." Son, Thomas, now in old England, land on branch of Rairington
(Raritan) River in Hunterdon Co. Son, George, land lying between Whipeney Town
and Mary Bullis. Son, John to have his full quantity of my land. Father-in-law,
Sam'll Barker, in his will gave land to my children - Elizabeth, Martha, Jane
and Richard - 200 acres in West Jersey. Executors - Son, John, and friend, Abraham
Hulings, Esq. Witnesses - Jno. Allen, Sam'l Bickley, Thos. Scattergood, Sam'l
Scattergood, Nathaniel Wilkison. Proved March 18, 1730.
Lib. 3, p. 121.
1730-1, March 17. Inventory of personal estate, ¹82.2.6; made by James
Billyeld, Nathaniel Wilkison and Titan Leeds.
Will of Thomas Bowlby. Nottinghamshire Record Office PRMR 68/5. (Full Text)
I Thomas Bowlby of the Town and County of Burlington in the West (Division) of
New Jersey yeoman being at this time exercised with great weakness of body but
thanks be to God sound and perfect disposing Mind and Memory do make Ordain and
put in Writing this my Last will and Testament in manner and form ass followeth
first and principally I Give and Recommend my soul into the hands or almighty
God (who) gave it and my Body to the Earth to be buried in a Christian Like and
Decent Manner at the Discretion of my executors hereafter named and as touching
the Disposing of all such Worldly Estate as it hath pleased God to bestow on
me in this life I give Devise and Dispose thereof as followeth Whereas In October
l727 there was Laid out and Surveyed unto me in the county of Hunterdon One thousand
five hundred and fifty Acres of Land five hundred thereof I lately sold and Conveyed.unto
Abraham Hewlings of the Town of Burlington Esq ye remainder of which said tract
of land I Order to be sold by my Executors in order to pay my Debts and funeral
Charges Item I give and bequenth unto my son Thomas Bowlby now in old England
all my tract of Land lying on one of the Branches of Rarrington River in the
County of Hunterdon in West Jersey containing about two thousand acres be the.same
more or less to hold to his heirs and assigns for ever Item I give and bequeath
unto my Son George Bowlby all that piece of Land Lying between Wipeny Town &
Mary Bullisus Land Supposed to be three Hundred Acres be the same More or Less
in Said County of Hunterdon to hould to him his heirs and assigns for ever Whereas
my father in law Saml Barker gave to my children Viz Elizabeth Bowlby Martha
Bowlby Jane Bowlby and Richard Bowlby two hundred acres of land in said West
Jersey:by his last will and testament each of them two hundred apiece and I do
by virtue of. these presents give unto each of my said children out of my said
lands in West Jersey Three Hundred. a peice more to make up to Each of my said
Children five hundred acres a peice to hould to each or my said Children and
to their heirs and assigns for ever and all my Estate both Real and personal
to me belonging or in any Wise Appertaining lying and being (in) my Native Country
in old England ! give and bequeath unto my dear and Well Beloved Wife Martha
Bowiby for her to sell give and dispose of as She shall See meet for her Conveniences
and Best advantage All the Rest of the Lands and Plantations ln.the Said province
of West Jersey to me belonging and not willed and Bequeathed by me and no ways
Conveyed and my Right and Shares of Land to be taken up in Said Province of West
Jersey I Order and Appoint my Executors to Dispose of for the Advantage of my
children as they Shall see meet My son John Bowlby first to have his full Quantity
of Land Equal with the rest of my children out of the same and I do Nominate
and Appoint my beloved Son John Bowlby and my trusty and well Beloved friend
Abraham Hewlings Esq to be my only and sole Executors of this my Last Will and
Testament giving and granting my Said executors or the survivor of them as full
power and ample authority to sell and Dispose of the Lands first above mentioned
to Be Sold and as Much other of my Lands not particularly bequeathed in order
to pay my just Debts and funeral Charges as full to all Intents and purposes
as if I was personelly present to do it myself Revoking and Making Null and
Void all former Wills by me Made and Do make this and only this to Be my Last
Will and testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed
my seal this twenty third day of the twelth month Called ffeby and in this fourth
year of the Reign of King George the Second over England and Anno Domine one
Thousand seven hundred and thirty one---------
Signed Sealed published pronounced and Declared by the testator
Signed as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us ye Subscribers Viz
signed John Allen Sam Bickley
He died between 23 Feb 1730 and 18 Mar 1731 in Burlington, West New Jersey
(376) He was a saddler.(377)
Thomas was born at Mansfield Woodhouse, just north of the city of Mansfield,
county Nottingham, for all except the last three of four years of his life.
As the third son in his family, he was probably bound out in an apprenticeship
to a trade, and several early documents refer to him as a saddler. An apprenticeship
may account for his relatively late marriage. Thomas was about 26 years old
when he married Martha Barker at Old Brampton, county , Derby, England and came
to America abt. 1727.
Two sons, Jordan and Samuel, stayed in England, while John, Thomas, George and
Richard came to America. Richard, born ca 1719, believed to be the youngest,
came to America in ca. 1746, (in 1786 he said that he had been here 40 years)
while Thomas is reported to have died in 1731, in New Jersey, (one of the dates
may be in error) The brother, George had seven sons, three in the Continental
Militia, and four (including another Richard) were Loyalists.
The claim of Richard Bowlby is found in Loyalist Settlements 1783-1789 having
been heard at Halifax, February 23, 1786, by Dundas. In it, Bowlby swore that
he was born in England, came to America 40 years ago and settled in Sussex Co.,
West Jersey and lived there in 1775; he was a Justice of the Peace under the
British Government. The report goes on to detail the property, both real and
personal, which was confiscated and sold. (Savary says it sold for 5,580 pounds,
New Jersey currency). His participation with the British forces in 1776, is
Richard came to Nova Scotia as a Loyalist in 1783, and settled two miles east
of Lawrencetown. His son Abraham settled in Shelburne, NS., but the name is now
He was married to Martha BARKER on 9 Apr 1693 in Old Brampton in Derbyshire.
(378) Thomas and Martha lived in Mansfield
Woodhouse where their nine children were born. Though their sons Samuel and
John were christened in their grandfather's parish in Barlborough, they were
probably born at Mansfield Woodhouse where the other seven children were christened.
A record in the New Jersey Archives show that on 10 April 1697, Thomas Bowlby,
"...saddler of Mansfield Woodhouse..." purchased one 24th of one of
the 100 proprietary shares in the province of West Jersey from John Hutchison,
"...tanner of Burlington County." This was four years after Thomas'
marriage, and followed the example of his father-in-law who had previously purchased
similar portions of shares and held large tracts of land in the Jerseys.
Jordan Bowlby of Helmsley, Thomas' uncle, published his will 25 May 1714, in
which Thomas Bowlby of Mansfield Woodhouse and Thomas' son, Jordan were named
sole executors, and Jordan was named a principal heir. Thomas' second son, Samuel,
became a principal heir in the will published by Samuel Barker on 9 January 1724.
A series of critical events, which suddenly and irretrievably changed the lives
of each member of the Bowlby family and brought the Bowlbys to America, occurred
after Samuel Barker wrote his will. Both Samuel Bowlby and Samuel Barker died
about the same time in 1725, and all heirs of Samuel Barker found themselves
placed in untenable positions by his long, involved will. Samuel Bowlby was
to have been the major recipient of his grandfather's considerable properties
in England and America; he was also to have had the duties of administrating
the bequests made to his family and other heirs. In case of his death, however,
all his portion and duties of the estate reverted in trust to Mary Bullus, Samuel
Barker's niece who lived with him and who was sole executrix in his will. A
manuscript on the Bowlby family written by Colonel Herbert Bowlby in 1968 has
annexed the following letter, said to be a letter from Thomas Bowlby, Jr (7)
to Jordan (9), son of Edward (8) and grandson of Thomas'(6) son Jordan Bowlby
"I received thine, April 26, 1766. As to famaley, I begin at Samuel Barker,
my grandfather, he died at Barlborough in Derbyshire, he had two children, a
son and a daughter, his son John had a daughter married to John Bodon of Bandonfolds,
she died and left a son and a daughter rank Romans, and this is he which now
enjoys the land thee talks of, and all that can be of service to thee is my Grandfather's
will, where he says that no papiest shall heir any of his lands. The daughter
[Martha, Samuel Barker's daughter] was my mother and thy Grandfather's mother,
he [Jordan] was her eldest son, when my grandfather died he left the Chief part
of his Estate to Moll Bullos, which was very considerable, but my father and
Bodon came to agreement with her, in the agreement Bodon had three hundred acres
of lands in the Jerseys, is what Bullos means and the other land in Derbyshire
and my father had all the lands and rights in Jerseys where Moll Bullos chose
two thousand acres, and this is what Sam Bullos now enjoys."
This letter reflects two provisions in Samuel Barker's will that caused conflict.
John Bodon's son was not to receive any bequest unless he were raised in the
Protestant faith. Mary Bullus was to receive 2,000 acres of land in West New
Jersey, but she married Francis Ludlan before 1730, and the land was in his name
until his death; then by will of Mary Ludlam, 4 Sept 1750, the land went to Francis
Bullus, probably a brother; next, Francis Bullus died testate, 22 December 1759,
and left the land to his nephew, Samuel Bullus and his heirs. Parts of this
2,000 acres lay adjoining lands owned by the Bowlbys in Morris and Hunterdon
counties, and was later purchased bymembers of the Bowlby family. The confusion
over the land was probably not clarified until 1765 when the last lands deeded
to Samuel Barker in 1680 were resurveyed and the record in the Bowlby name by
John Bowlby (7), Thomas' (6) son and executor.
Two indentures found recorded in the New Jersey Archives further explain what
happened. An indenture dated 13 April 1726 discloses that a meeting of all the
heirs was held 8 September, 1725, and that an agreement was reached under the
advice of Sir John Rhodes. The reason for the meeting and subsequent indenture
was that Mary Bullus wished to be relieved of the trusts that had reverted to
her as executrix at the death of Samuel Bowlby. The purposes of the indenture
was to give the lands and all proprietary rights to land in the province of West
New Jersey over to three disinterested guardians who were to hold the lands in
trust for Martha Bowlby on condition that Mary Bullus was to have first choice
of 2,000 acres which had been bequested to her in the will, and that John Bodon,
Samuel Barker's grandson, was to have 300 acres in spite of his Catholic faith.
This indenture also circumvented provisions in Samuel Barker's will that Thomas
Bowlby was to receive no more than five shillings from the estate, and that Martha
Bowlby's life endowment from the estate was all that she should receive. The
second indenture found in the New Jersey Archives show that Martha Bowlby and
her three trustees immediately sold all rights to the lands from her father's
estate to her husband, Thomas Bowlby, for five shillings. This last indenture
was publish 10 November 1726, and Thomas must have left England soon after, because
he was apparently in Burlington, West New Jersey, on 26 August 1727, when he
was named executor in the will of Josiah Mercer.
Upon arriving in America, Thomas immediately set about managing the lands formerly
belonging to Samuel Barker, and claiming new lands. From Thomas' will it is evident
that in October 1727, 1,500 acres in Hunterdon County were surveyed in his name.
In a deed executed 1 September 1729, Thomas disposed of 100 acres, "...being
part of 3,120 acres in the fork of Anococus Creek, formerly surveyed to Samuel
Barker, Martha Roads and Martha Wright..." From an indenture dated 28 March
1794, it is evident that on 6 July 1730, Thomas Bowlby filed quitclaim upon
2,000 acres to Francis Ludlam; Francis Ludlam had married Mary Bullus, and this
land was to satisfy the bequest made to her. Of the 100 available shares in
West New Jersey, Thomas received three quarters of a share from Samuel Barker's
estate, but deeds and documents after Thomas' death state that at the time office
death he held on and one fifth shares, so Thomas must have purchased other portions
of shares on his own.
Thomas Bowlby's will of 23 Feb 1730/1, gives all his property in "Old England"
to his wife. Jordan, the eldest son, is no mentioned and may be assumed deceased
at that time. Thomas stipulated in his will that his children, Elizabeth, Martha,
Jane, and Richard were to receive enough land over and above the 200 acres bequested
by their grandfather to make up 500 acres each in West New Jersey. Son John
was to receive his full quantity of land equal with the other children. The
land bequested to son George, who was next to the youngest son, was specifically
designated as "...all that piece of land lying between Whipeny Town and
Mary Bullus land Supposed to be three hundred Acres be the Same More or Less..."
The inequity that arises in the bequest of 2,000 acres to Thomas, who was Thomas'
fourth son has its own story to tell.
A difficult to read microfilmed document at Rutgers University Library shows
the following: "Warrant from the Council of Proprietors...May 1749...to
survey to Thomas Bowlby all that tract, a plantation lying on the Branches of
the Rarington River, County of Morris 1,612 acres...formerly surveyed to Thomas
Barker, dec's Gentleman, there being an agreement...between Thomas Bowlby and
the Executors of Samuel Barker... by advice of John Rhodes, Mary Bullus...Thomas
Bowlby and Martha his wife... Richard Eddy, Clement Snowdon, Garis Meakin and
Robert Enn..." Thomas Barker was a Quaker wine merchant of London who became
one of the 24 proprietors of East Jersey in 1682 under William Penn's administration.
According to "Minutes of the Board of Proprietors of East Jersey,"
Thomas Barker received a Raritan River tract in 1690. After he died around
1705, the tract apparently became part of Samuel Barker's estate, which indicates
that Thomas and Samuel Barker were related. In Calnek's HISTORY OF ANNAPOLIS
COUNTY NOVA SCOTIA, in writing about Thomas Bowlby's son Richard, the following
appears: "In an obituary notice a few years since, of his grandson, Adam
Bowlby, of Ontario...it was stated that his ancestor was one of the twelve associated
with Penn in the charter of administration of the government of Pennsylvania.
I cannot explain that statement." If Thomas Barker were Samuel's father,
then the Richard Bowlby written about in Calnek's history was the great grandsons
of Thomas Barker, one of the 24 proprietors associated with Penn in the government
of East New Jersey. Thomas Bowlby's son Thomas most likely received his maternal
great grandfather's land, perhaps as a namesake bequest.
When Thomas Bowlby came to America in 1727, he brought with him his third son,
John and his two youngest sons, George and Richard. In England he left his wife,
Martha, two sons Jordan and Thomas, and three daughters Elizabeth, Martha, and
Jane. His fourth son, Thomas, came to New Jersey in 1744, and probably brought
with him his sister, Elizabeth, who is known to have died in New Jersey. There
is some evidence that Edward Bowlby, the son of Thomas' eldest son Jordan, also
came to New Jersey with his uncle in 1744. However, the known progenitors of
the Bowlby family in America were the fours sons of Thomas and Martha (Barker)
Bowlby: John, Thomas, George, and Richard. Martha BARKER
was born about
1671 in Derbyshire, England.(380) She
died in 1761 in Barlborough, Derbyshire, England.
(381)(382) Ann and Mike Boulby
found in the parish records, a death for Martha Bowlby in 1761. But, in the
Iron Worker and King Solomon, it represents 1751. Martha Barker was the only
daughter of Samuel Barker, Gentleman, of Barlborough, county Derby. Although
her birth date is unknown, a letter from the rector of Barlborough to William
J. Hill in 1965 states that a Martha "Bowlesby" died and was buried
there 19 February 1761. If this was Thomas' wife, she must have been around 90
years old to have been married in 1693. Thomas BOWLBY and Martha BARKER had
the following children:
(8) was born about 1698 in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, England.
(384) He was christened on 27 Dec 1698 in
Barlborough parish, county of Derby, England.(385)
(386) He died before 8 Sep 1725.
Samuel was living on 9 January 1724, when his grandfather, Samuel Barker,
named him as his principal heir. But, he died before the meeting of his grandfather's
heirs on 8 September, 1725. He apparently died unmarried, since his older brother,
Jordan was named his heir at law in 1726.
John M. BOWLBY Sr..
Richard BOWLBY Sr..