George Robert Plowman was born in the St. Pancras district of London and lived in Kentish Town and Westminster. In May 1872, after the death of his mother Sarah from typhoid fever, George traveled with his father George, brother Samuel, and sister Mary on the Royal Mail ship "Medway" from London to Quebec, Canada. Eventually the Plowman family settled in St. Louis, Missouri.
In his youth George made his living as a carpenter. He married Johannah Dohrendorf in St. Louis on August 16, 1879. Hannah died of a brain infection in March 1890. On July 30th 1890, George placed their three children, Alfred, Robert and May, in the St. Louis Protestant Orphan Asylum at 330 N. Gore Ave., Webster Groves, Missouri. The children stayed there until February 3, 1892 when they were removed by their father after his second marriage to Emma Augusta "Gussie" Warmouth. In the notes below are all the references to the Plowman family in the day books of the orphanage during the time the children spent there.
George and Gussie had 2 daughters, Sally and Louise. Around 1902-03 the Plowman family moved from St. Louis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. An news article from 1899 may shed light on the reason George moved his family from St. Louis.
Alfred and Robert, by then grown men, remained in St. Louis. Cedar Rapids city directories list George working as a traveling agent for several different companies between 1903 and 1910. After 1910 George is listed as working as a janitor for the YMCA and running a cabinet repair shop.
If the loss of his mother, first child and first wife were not enough, additional misfortunes strained George Plowman and his family in the early years of the new century. His oldest son's wife, Jessie Plowman, died of ptomaine poisoning in 1908. Daughter May's husband, Frank Moody, died while still a young man in 1912. May was left with 2 young sons to raise and no source of income. A year later May died under mysterious circumstances, in Chicago, of a ruptured tubal pregnancy. May was unmarried at the time of her death and the Plowman family evidently hid her cause of death from their community. Next, daughter Louise became pregnant and made a desperate marriage with an alcoholic and drug-addicted miscreant, Harry Jobe, who abused Louise and her son Bruce. By 1917 George and his wife Gussie were estranged and lived at separate addresses. Gussie died in 1919 in Cedar Rapids and is buried there. George divided his time between St. Louis and Cedar Rapids after Gussie's death. He died in Cedar Rapids in 1921 and his daughter Sally returned his body to St. Louis for burial. George's son, Al, struggled to pay the costs for his father's burial because George had no savings when he died.
The following is the text of an obituary for Geogre R. Plowman:
The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette
Mon., May 23, 1921, p. 13, col. 5
Death of George R. Plowman.
"George R. Plowman, who for many years conducted a cabinet repair shop in the rear of Second avenue at Seventh street, died at a local hospital at 2:30 a.m. Sunday after a lingering illness. He was 65 years of age and is survived by several relatives in this city and St. Louis. The body will be taken this evening to St. Louis for burial."
It was a lonely end for a life filled with change and adventure early on and loss in the later years.
WikiTree profile Plowman-34 created through the import of Davidson_Fink.ged on Sep 26, 2011 by Shayne Davidson. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Shayne and others.
Source: S10 Type: Periodical Author: Gould Directory Company Title: Gould?s St. Louis directory Periodical: published yearly Volume: various years Source Locality: Missouri History Museum Library, 225 S Skinker Blvd, St Louis, MO, 63105-2317, (314) 746-4500
Source: S1013 Type: Newspaper Title: May Moody Obituary Periodical: The Cedar Rapids Daily Republican-Newspaper Place: Cedar Rapids, IA Date: Fri., Nov. 7, 1913 Page: p. 9, col. 3 & 4 Media: digital
Source: S1014 Type: Vital Record Title: Cedar Rapids City Death Record-Plowman, Geo R. Date: 22 May 1921, 2;30 A.M. Place: Cedar Rapids, Linn Co., IA File Number: Book 2, p. 170, line 11 Source Locality: Linn County Genealogical Library
Source: S1015 Text: Turner Mortuary Record, Vol. 1920-1925, p. 56
Source: S1051 Type: Newspaper Title: The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette Place: Cedar Rapids, IA Date: 10 Jul 1909 Page: 14 Media: digital Source Locality: NewspaperArchive.com
Source: S1060 Type: Periodical Author: Gould Directory Co. Title: St. Louis City Directory, 1889, 1890 Date: 1889 and 1890
Source: S171 Type: Vital Record Title: Ceritifed copy of an entry of marriage-George Plowman Date: 20 Sep 1853 Place: Southampton File Number: 32
Source: S33 Type: Vital Record Title: Missouri Birth records, 1851-1910
Source: S39 Type: Vital Record Title: Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008 Date: 12 May 1872 Place: Ottawa, Canada: Library and Archives Canada File Number: RG76, T-479 to T-520, T-4689 to T-4874, T-14700 to T-14939, C-4511 to C-4542 Media: digital Source Locality: Ancestry.com
Source: S50 Type: Census Title: 1900 US Federal Census Place: MISSOURI > ST LOUIS > 12-WD ST LOUIS Date: 6 Jun 1900 Media: digital Source Locality: Heritage Quest DATV Sep 2010
Source: S616 Type: Census Title: 1861 England Census Place: Middlesex, St. Pancras, Kentish Town, District 21 Date: 7 Apr 1861 Media: digital Source Locality: Ancestry.com DATV 30 Jun 2010
Source: S719 Type: Census Title: 1880 Federal Census Place: MISSOURI > ST LOUIS > 12-WD ST LOUIS Date: 8 Nov 1880 Media: digital Source Locality: Heritage Quest DATV Oct 2010
Source: S722 Type: Census Title: 1920 Federal Census Place: MISSOURI > ST LOUIS > 13-WD; ST LOUIS- Date: 9 Jan 1920 Media: digital Source Locality: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. DATV Oct 2010
Source: S8 Type: Book Author: Plowman, Benjamin Henry Flasket, 1852- [from old catalog] Periodical: A register of Plowmans in America, as far as obtained with tracings of families, and extracts from English and American records (1901) Editor: Plowman, Benjamin H. F. Publication: Plowman, Benjamin H. F. Page: 21
Source: S802 Type: Vital Record Title: England birth records Place: St. Pancras, London File Number: vol. 1b, page 95 Media: digital Source Locality: ancestry.com
Source: S805 Type: Vital Record Title: Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002-George R. Plowman and Johannah Dohrendorf Date: 16 Aug 1879 Place: St. Louis, MO Media: paper copy of original
Source: S9 Type: Census Title: 1871 England Census Place: Westminster District, St. Anne Soho Sub-Reg District, London, England Date: 1871 Media: digital Source Locality: National Archives of the UK DATV Nov 2008
Source: S916 Type: Census Title: 1910 Federal Census-George R. Plowman Place: Iowa > Linn > Cedar Rapids Precinct 9 > District 115 > 11 Date: 18 Apr 1910 Media: digital Source Locality: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. DATV Nov 2010
Source: S934 Type: Vital Record Title: Missouri Birth Records, 1851-1910 Record for May Pfowman Date: 13 Sep 1886 Place: City of St. Louis File Number: image 158 of 159 Media: digital Source Locality: Missouri Birth Records [Microfilm]. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives
Source: S935 Type: Vital Record Title: Missouri Birth Records, 1851-1910-George Plowman Date: 27 May 1880 Place: City of St. Louis File Number: image 103 of 148 Media: digital Source Locality: Missouri Birth Records [Microfilm]. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives
Source: Search of Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763–1900
The following notes were transcribed by Shayne Davidson in July of 2000 from the daybooks of the St. Louis Protestant Children's Orphan's Asylum. The fragile books were stored in the archives of the UMSL Mercantile Library. St. Louis, Missouri:
Wed., July 30 Mr. Plowman placed three children in the asylum.
Sun. Aug. 3 Mr. Plowman, Mr. Rich called to see their children.
Sun. Aug. 10 Mr. Plowman took tea.
Sun. Aug. 31 The plowman children's uncle called.
Fri. Sept. 19 Plowman children went to town on the five fifteen train to spend a few days.
Sun. Sept. 21 Plowman children returned.
Fri. Nov. 7 Robbie Plowman was quite sick with indigestion. Gave him a dose of castor oil and the consequence was I was up all night with him.
Sun. Nov. 16 Mr. Martin and Plowman were out to see their children.
Tues. Dec 23 The three Plowman children left us for a Christmas visit.
Mon. Jan 12 The Plowman boys are miserable look quite badly + yet are not sick enough for bed.
Fri. Apr 17 Plowmans go to city.
Mon. Apr 20 Willie Edwards returned, also the Plowman boys.
May 10 Mr. Plowman returns his child who has been out for a months visit. May said she was glad to get home again. In fact she said she frequently wanted to come back before he brought her.
June 21 Mr. Sender, Plowman ...all came to see their children or friends.
June 28 Mr. Plowman ...all came to see their children or friends.
Sat. July 4 The children all had firecrackers as Mr. Martin came out with a big basket full and gave every boy whose parents or friends had not given him firecrackers some. So from ten o'clock until about six we had popping and snapping. Then in the evening Mr. Plowman and Martin together with the teacher and Mr. Carroll + others went over to the pond pasture and the two men set off about eight dollars worth of fireworks which they had brought to the satisfaction of the children.
July 19 Mr. Plowman ...out to see their children.
July 26 Mr. Plowman ...were out to see their children.
Aug. 16 Mrs. Thau cam to see her children, also Mr. Plowman and Mr. Stocker.
Sept. 3 Mr. Plowman called.
Sept. 13 Mr. Martin...Mr. Plowman came out on the four train.
Sept. 20 Mr...Mr. Plowman ...came to see their children.
Sept. 27 Mr...Mr. Plowman ...came to see their children.
Oct. 4 Mr...Mr. Plowman ...all to see their children.
Oct. 11 Sun. A great number to see their children. Of course Mr. Plowman.
Nov. 1 Mr...Mr. Plowman ...all were out to see their children.
Nov. 1 Mr...Mr. Plowman ...all were here.
Dec. 6 Mr. Plowman...out to see their children.
Dec. 24 The Martins,...all went to town. Also May Crawley and Plowmans. May to stay.
Jan. 17 Mr. Plowman will remove his children the second of Feb. He is married and will then be housekeeping.
Feby. 3 Plowman children left.
Cedar Rapids City Death Record, Book 2, p. 170, line 11, ledger style record. Recorded by Linn County for the city of Cedar Rapids and now the property of the Linn County Genealogical Library.
Name - Plowman, Geo R.; Sex - M; Color - W; Marital Status - Widower; Place of Birth - England; Place of Death - Mercy Hospital (Cedar Rapids); Age - 65 Years; Occupation - Retired ; Date & hour of death - May 22, 1921, 2:30 a.m.; Attending physician - E. M. Victorine; Place & date of burial - St. Louis, Mo., May 18, 1921 (sic); Undertaker - J. B. Turner & Son
Turner Mortuary Record, Vol. 1920-1925, p. 56
George R. Plowman; Residence - Cedar Rapids; b. Aug. 20, 1858, London, England; d. May 22, 1921, Mercy Hospital (Cedar Rapids); buried: May 25, 1921, St. Louis, Mo.; Occupation - Retired cabinet maker; Spouse - widowed; Father - Robt. Geo. Plowman, b. England
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with George by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage (beta) of DNA with George: