The Bowen Family

Lee Co., VA / Hancock Co., TN

Ephraim Bowen

"Ephraim Son of Robt. & Avis Bowen born 12th Feb. 1731 bap. 30th July 1732" [The Vestry Book and Register of Bristol Parish, Virginia, 1720-1789]

Micajah Bowen stated in his pension application that he was born in Lunenburg Co., Va. and when a small child moved to Albemarle County.  As early as 24 Aug 1766, Ephraim Bowen was in Albemarle Co., Va., for on that date, with Charles Lambert and William Daily, he witnessed the will of Michael Daugherty. (Book B, p. 213).  It appears that Ephraim rented land to farm in Albemarle County from this date until his first land purchase in 1784.

On 18 Oct 1773 Ephraim Bowing borrowed 41 pounds from John Henderson, Junr. and mortgaged personal property and "my whole Crop Tobs. made this present year Except Enough to pay Wm. Hamner my Rents due to him to this date". Witnesses: Henry Hasper, Turner Hamner, Randlh. Johnson. (Deed Book 6, p. 269)

Ephraim Bowing was listed on the Personal Property Tax List of Albemarle Co., Va. for 1782, and was taxed on 14 cattle and 4 horses. John Bowing was also on the list with one cow and 2 horses.  On 11 Aug 1784 Ephraim Bowen of Albemarle County bought 300 acres of land in Albemarle County "on both sides of the north fork of Hardware River", next John Bolings [Bowen?] and Gay.  He paid Richard Woolfolk 81 pounds for the land. Witnesses to the deed were John Wharton, Patton Woodfin, and Thomas West. (Deed Book 9, page 8).

Ephraim Bowen of Albemarle Co., Va. made his will 7 Jan 1790, "being advanced in years". He left a life estate to wife Ann, which at her death was to go to son Micajah Bowen, who was to furnish youngest son James Bowen a good horse and saddle and a good suit of clothes.  He gave one shilling each to John, Reuben, and William.  Wife Ann and son Micajah Bowen were appointed executors, and the will was witnessed by Robert Harris, Jno. Harris, and Hannah Updegrove. (Will Book 3, page 163).

Marie L. Loebig contributed information about James Boian (Family Group Sheet, Sept. 1984, Pittsburg, Pa.)

There were several Bowen families in early Lunenburg County. Lunenburg was formed from Brunswick County in 1746. A Benjamin Bowing was mentioned in Brunswick County court records, 3 July 1735.

Appearing on the 1748 Tithe List of Lunenburg County (the part that became Mecklenburg in 1764-5) were: Robert Bowen, William & David Bowen, and William Bowen, Jr.  In 1752, Robert Bowen and William Bowen were listed.

In 1764 the following Bowen were listed in St. James Parish of Lunenburg County: David Bowen, with 1 tithe and 75 acres; Robert Bowen, with 1 tithe and 125 acres; and two named Jesse Bowen, 1 tithe each.

On 28 June 1766, William Bowen, Jr. of Mecklenburg County (wife Lucrecy) sold 50 acres in a fork of Taylors Creek to William Desmang, Sr. of Lunenburg Co. for 20 pounds. This land was part of a tract patented by George Vaughan in 1847.  Witnesses to the deed were Drury Bowen, Jesse Bowen, John Howell, and William Robison.

In 1768 Drury Bowen and Robert Bowen were granted 425 acres on the south side of Meherrin River and on Eagles Nest Creek. This and all the above items are from Elliott, Early Settlers of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Volumes 1 and 2.

The birth of Ephraim Bowen was recorded in the Bristol Parish records.

Ephraim son of Robt & Avis Bowen born 12th Feby 1731 bapt 30th July 1732

By the old calendar, the year changed on March 25, not January 1. By our modern calendar, Ephriam's date of birth would be considered 12 Feb 1732.

Although a Robert Bowen appeared in the Brunswick Co records in 1741 at almost the same time that William Bowen Sr appeared, and a Robert Bowen - or maybe several Robert Bowens - appeared in the later Lunenburg and Mecklenburg records, we can't be sure which one, if any, was Ephraim's father. A Robert Bowen was listed on the 1748 Lunenburg tithes list. Although Ephraim would have turned 16 by 1748, Robert listed only himself. A Robert Bowen died in Mecklenburg Co about 1788/89, but his legatees did not include Ephraim or any of Ephraim's children.

Ephraim was never listed for tithes in Lunenburg Co under Robert Bowen's name or under his own name from 1748 to 1752 or in 1764, the only tithes lists that included Bowens from this area. No record has been found for him in the deed books. However, he did appear in the Lunenburg Co Order Books:

Vol. 5
p. 83:  William Bowing plaintif against Ephrahim Bowing defendant in debt. The parties having agreed the difference subsisting between them therefore this suit is ordered to be dismissed.
May Court, 1758
p. 88:  Ephraim Bowen petitioner against Thomas Wright defendant on a peto.
It was ordered that 2 pounds 10 shillings be paid to Bowen.
June Court, 1758

Vol. 6 (1759-1760)
p. 10:  William Bowing against Ephraim Bowing for debt; plaintiff to recover agst dfdnt & Lyddal Bacon Sheriff
June Court, 1759
p. 105: Richd Hanson agst Epharim [sic] Bowen dfdnt; petitioner to recover debt
May Court, 1760
p. 202
Jas Williams aptd surveyor rd from Three Mile Tree to head of Haw branch to cart path leading from Caliham's Rd to the Chappel, with assistance Geo Vaughan, Saml Kirk, Jas Thomason, Jas Campbell, Abraham Merriman, Epharim Bowing, Wm Sho[?]le, Henry C[h]avus, Wm Slaughter, Wm Bowing Sr, Robt Bowing, Jesse Brown, Wm Bowing Jr, David Bowing, Isaac Johnson, Jas Williams.
December Court, 1760

Vol. 8 (1761-1762)
p. 74:  Richd Hanson agst Ephraim Bowing dfdnt (Wm Burgamy bail); jury: Wm Cook et al; plaintif to recover
July Court, 1762
p. 100:  Nicholas Edmunds agst Ephraim Bowing defdnt; petitioner to recover
Sept Court, 1762
p 103: Wm Pennell agst Ephraim Bowing dfdnt; plaintif nonsuited for failing to give security
Sept Court, 1762
p. 112:  Ephraim Bowing against John Wilson  1762

Vol. 9 (1763-1764)
p. 277:  Samuel Marshall against Ephraim Boing for debt
p. 282:  Ephraim Boing sued and it is dismissed

Vol. 10  (1764-1765)
p. 24:  John Smith against Ephraim Bowing & John Ladd for a debt, dismissed
p. 31:  Joseph Parish against Ephraim Bowing
p. 41:  Samuel Marshall against Ephraim Boing - is dismissed
p. 90:  David Garfield against Ephraim Bowen

It's possible that Ephraim may have lived in the western part of Lunenburg Co that became Charlotte Co for a short period of time. Or perhaps his wife came from that area. The family records for the birth of Ephraim's youngest son James state that he was born in Charlotte Co in 1765. (More below.)

Two of Ephraim's sons' Revolutionary service pension applications give a little more insight into Ephraim's history.

Son Micajah Bowen's Albemarle Co, VA pension application (S.29643) dated 5 Nov 1833 gave his age as 80 and his birth date as 8 Aug 1753. It also stated that Micajah had moved with his family to Albemarle Co "when a small child". His pension started 11 Dec 1833. At that time, Micajah was age 81. (More below)

Son Reuben Bowen's Hawkins Co, TN pension application (5851) dated 28 Nov 1832 stated he was age 76 and had been born in Lunenburg Co on the "Herron River" (Meherrin River). His pension started on 2 May 1833. At that time, Reuben was age 78 which would place his date of birth at about 1755. (More below)

The following Albemarle Co records
were sent to me by Linda,
a descendant of Micajah Bowen.

As early as Aug. 24, 1766, Ephriam Bowen was in Albemarle Co, VA. for on that date, with Charles Lambert and William Daily, he witnessed the will of Michael Daugerty. (Book B, page 213)

Oct. 18, 1773--Deed Book 6, page 269
Ephraim Bowing (Bowen) borrowed 41 pounds from John Henderson, and mortgaged personal property and "my whole crop tabs. made this present year except enough to pay Wm. Hamner my rents due to him to this date". Witnesses: Henry Hasper, Turner Hamner, Randolh Johnson.

Ephriam Bowing (Bowen) was listed on the personal property tax list of Albemarle Co., VA for 1782, and was taxed on 14 cattle and 4 horses. John Bowing was also on the list with one cow and 2 horses.

Albemarle County Land Deeds, 1784-1785, pp. 8-9
Deed Book 9, page 8
Woolfolk to Bowing
This indenture made this Eleventh day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four; between Richard Woolfolk of Albemarle County on one part and Ephriam Bowen on other part of the within County; Witnesseth that Richard Woolfolk in consideration of sum of eighty one pounds current money to him in hand paid by Ephriam Boing, the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge, hath and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto Epheram Boing and to his heirs one certain parcel of land lying in the within County on both sides of the North Fork of Hardware River and bounded; Begining at a white Oak in John Boing's line and runing new lines ten degrees West one hundred and fourteen poles to pointers, North eighty two degrees West one hundred six poles crossing Hardware River and a small Branch to a Hickory, South forty sever degrees West one hundred fifty eight poles to pointers in Gay's line, and with Gay's line North seventy two degrees West eighty poles to a white Oak, sixty five degrees West forty poles to a Hickory, thence new lines North fifty four degrees West one hundred forty poles to pointers, North fifty three degrees East forty two poles to a red Oak, South eighty one degrees East forty one poles to a white Oak, North fifty three degrees East two hundred and forty crossing Harware River to the first station; containing by estimation three hundred acres of land be the same more or less together with all houses orchrds and water courses thereunto belonging; To have and to hold the three hundred acres of land together with the aforesaid premises and every of their appurtenances unto Epheram Boing his heirs and Richard Woolfolk his heirs against all other persons shall warrant and for ever defend by these presents; In Witness whereof Richard Woolfolk hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year above written.
Sealed and delivered in present of John Wharton, Talton Woodson, Thos. West

Memorandum:  That on the Eleventh day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four quiet and peaceable possession and seisen of the land and tenements was had and taken by Richard Woolfolk in his proper person and by him was delivered to Ephram Boing according to the form of the with Deed.  In presence of John Wharton, Talton Woodson, Thos. West, Richard Woolfolk

At Albemarle August Court MDCCLXXXIV [1784] This indenture and Memorandum were acknowledged by Richard Woolfolk, party thereto, and ordered to be recorded.
Tests:  H. Martin, Dy. Clk.

It is interesting that Ephraim purchased property in 1784 at the age of 53. According to notes included under Reuben Bowen below, Reuben's discharge papers were lost when his father's (Ephraim's) house burned in 1782.

Ephraim Bowen left his will in Albemarle Co, VA (WB 3 p 162, 163) dated 7 Jan 1790, proved July 1792, naming wife Anne and sons John, Reubin, William, Micajah, and "younger son" James.

In the name of God amen, Ephriam Bowen, of Albemarle County, being of advanced years, infirmed of body, but perfect of mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say permissibly and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of the almighty God, who gave it, and my body commanded to the earth to be buried in a decent burial at the discretion of my Exors and as touching such worldly estate as it has pleased almighty God to bestow me with in this life. First I desire all my debts to be paid.  I give and bequeath unto my son John, one shilling sterling. I give my son Reubin, one shilling sterling. I give to my son William one shilling sterling to them and their heirs forever.  Lastly I give and bequeath unto my wife after payments of said debts all the rest of my estate during the rest of her life.  Both and Personal after her decease to go to my son Micajah Bowen, under the burden of furnishing my younger son james Bowen a good horse and saddle and a good suite of clothes.  I hereby institute and appoint my wife Anne Bowen and Micajah Bowen to be my soul executors of this my last will and testament and I hereby utterly disallow all and every other will by me made ratifying this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament, in witness where of I have hereunto put my hand and seal this seventh day of January 1790.
Witness:  Robert Harris, John Harris, Hannah (may be Harrah) Updegrove.
Signed by his mark  X  Ephraim Bowen
Probated July 1792.

Question:  Did Anne ever appear in any earlier records for Ephraim? If not, I don't think it's safe to assume she was the mother of his children. It's certainly possible that she was, but she also could have been a later wife that Ephraim married after some or all of his children were born. Unless further documentation for Anne can be found, we can only be sure she was Ephraim's wife at the time of his death.

Many thanks to Linda who contributed the Albemarle Co records above!! Linda also sent information concerning the Revolutionary pension applications for Ephraim's sons John, Micajah, Reubin, and William below. I do not have copies or transcripts of the complete records and in some cases I suspect or know this information is not complete. If anyone has copies of the complete records and would be willing to contribute them to be posted here so they will be available to others, I'd be thrilled to include them. Meanwhile, I would suggest that anyone who wants to be absolutely sure they have all the information contained in these applications exactly as it appears in the original documents with no possible omissions or transcription errors or interpretation errors make arrangements to order copies. The information below will at least give you some idea what records exist and what they are believed to contain.