CHAPTER LX HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LIFE AND TIMES OF OUR THOMPSON AND WARD ANCESTORS Compiled by Judy B. Anderson https://www.jstor.org/stable/23366391?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
Alexander Spottswood was sent over from England to be Governor of Virginia, a position he held from 1710 to 1723. He was of Scottish descent, and had earned rank in the British Army. His discovery of the Shenandoah Valley in 1716 planted the seed for European colonization in the area beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, and his expedition became the forerunner of the pioneer movement which brought the first settlers to the Clinch Valley and all parts of Southwest Virginia.
In 1727, six ship loads of people from Ulster landed in Philadelphia, and between 1733 and 1734, approximately 30,000 Scotch-Irish came to American for religious and political reasons. By 1770 nearly half a million Scotch-Irish had left Ulster to make America their home [Pendleton, pg. 158]. The flood of people didn't stop until the Toleration Act for Ireland was enacted by Parliament in 1782 [Ibid., pg. 157]. Most of the emigrants settled in Pennsylvania near the western mountains, where they served as a deterrent to the Indian raids on the older settlements.
This contact with the American wilderness changed the emphasis from settlements to the acquiring of cheap farming land. A new society was formed, contributed to by the combined efforts of the Yankees, Southerners, Scotch- Irish, Germans and Welsh, and shaped by the frontier influence upon them.
The creation of Spottsylvania County in 1721 was an open invitation, to those more bold in spirit, to settle in the area west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, although there were hunting and exploring parties into the area, the first permanent settlement was not accomplished until 1732 [Pendleton, pg. 160], when Joist Hite of Pennsylvania, brought his family and settled a little south of where Winchester is now located. A controversy between Hite and Lord Fairfax, concerning rights to the land, caused individuals to avoid that part of the valley and push up the Shenandoah River to areas which were not embroiled in controversy.
As a result of his acquaintance with John Sailing, a pioneer who had explored the region in 1726, John Lewis settled in the Shenandoah Valley about 1732. Sailing had been captured by the Indians and lived among them for six years before returning to Winchester, where he met Lewis. Lewis was from Donegal, and brought three sons with him - Thomas, Andrew and William. A fourth son, Charles, was born in Virginia.
Andrew commanded the Virginians at the Battle of Point Pleasant, where Charles lost his life. Soon after the Lewis settlement pioneers poured into the area from Pennsylvania, bringing with them their axe, gun and livestock, and squatting on more land than they could use, knowing the excess could be sold at a profit.
With the long-handled axe, the cabin was built - often a communal affair – the land was cleared, furniture was fashioned, dishes were hollowed out, and farm instruments were made and shaped. It was even used as a shaving tool.
The rifle was used to procure food, to protect themselves against the unruly elements of the area, and as a defense against the Indians. Add a horse or two, and the pioneer was ready to start life in the wilderness.
The trees were girdled by the Southerners and Scotch-Irish, with it taking as long as four or five years for them to rot away and enable the pioneer to clear a ten- or fifteen-acre plot of ground. During this time the settlers would purchase grain, from those who were already established, to sustain themselves, wheat being the common crop of the Mohawk and Shenandoah Valleys.
At a later date pioneers came through the Gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Maryland, some settling in the Valley before moving on to Southwest Virginia and the Clinch Valley.
In September of 1734 the County of Orange was divided off Spottsylvania, extending from the Great Lakes in the north to the Pacific Ocean in the west. To encourage settlement, those persons who were living in the area by January 1, 1735 would be exempt from public, county and parish levies for three years.
The encroachment of the French into Virginia territory made it desirable for the English to settle north and west as rapidly as possible. To this end, two new counties were created in 1738 - *Frederick and Augusta - the last of which remained attached to Orange County and St. Mark's Parish (in search of church records in Augusta County) until there were enough inhabitants in the area to set up their own system of courts and justices.
The settlers in this area were exempt from levies for ten years. Except for a piece of the valley east of Rockingham and Page counties, and a small part of West Virginia, all the area west of the Blue Ridge was Augusta County, extending its boundaries from Canada to the Pacific Ocean, and containing most of what would become West Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin, and all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Ilinois. *However, it was 1745 before it was organized with its own justices and courts.
Among the justices were James Patton and John Buchanan, who were not only leaders in the district, but were also the leading spirits in the exploration and settlement of the Trans-Allegheny regions.
Some time between 1745 and 1748 Patton secured a grant from the Crown for 120,000 acres of land to be located west of the Alleghenies. He organized an exploring party consisting of himself, Col. John Buchanan, Charles Campbell, Thomas Walker, James Wood and a number of hunters, cooks, chain carriers, etc. They left from Patton's home, near the present Waynesboro in Augusta County.
It has been claimed by historians of the area that traders came from east of the mountains to visit the Cherokee village in Tennessee many years before the Patton expedition. Hunters had also come from the eastern part of Virginia to the Clinch and Holston valleys, attracted by the abundance of game.
Among them was William Clinch, whose name was given to the valley, and the river, which has its source in Tazewell County, Virginia. Col. Patton was the first to enter the territory now embraced by Tazewell County, however. When he and his party returned home they incorporated what became known as the Loyal Company. By 1754 Dr. Thomas Walker, and other surveyors of the company, had located tracts of land totaling 45,000 acres. Many they settled themselves; the rest were sold to prospective settlers.
Early settlement of the area beyond Pennsylvania was somewhat hindered by the French and Indian hostilities which began in 1754, and concluded in 1763. This was the final struggle between France and England for control of the North American continent.
MILITARY: The French gained many Indian allies who made incursions amongst the Allegheny pioneers, killing and taking prisoners. Most of the outrages were committed against the settlers of the New River and Holston Valleys. In an effort to avenge these raids, the Sandy Expedition was organized in 1756, composed of Augusta County militia and four companies of volunteers. This was the first military expedition of white men into what is now Tazewell County and into the Burkes Garden area. Notes in the journal of Capt. William Preston detailed that Burkes Garden consisted of 5,000 or 6,000 acres of rich and fertile land which was well watered by many streams. He also noted that it was surrounded with mountains which made it almost impassable.
Included in this expedition, which was commanded by Col. Andrew Lewis, was my sixth great grandfather, Capt. John Smith, who was commander of one of the companies. The purpose of this sortie was to look for the Shawnee Indians and to destroy their towns in an effort to discourage Indian raids.
Being unfamiliar with this wild and rugged territory, the men underwent severe hardships and many began to desert. Not only was the expedition a failure, it gave further incentive to the hostile tribes in the area to continue their attacks upon the colonists. It was approximately twenty years after the surveying parties had located tracts of land before settlers came to the attractive region.
The pioneers who settled the region which was to become Tazewell County, Virginia were a different class of individuals than the first Jamestown settlers. They had strong hearts, willing hands, and were inspired to work hard to do all they could to secure an inheritance of political and religious freedom for themselves and their descendants. They did well in selecting the beautiful mountain country of Tazewell. A large portion of the pioneer settlers in Tazewell were of the Scotch-Irish blood.
The reason for this can be traced to James I, who, in 1611, began to people the Ulster area with colonists from Scotland in an effort to outnumber the Catholics with Protestants. These people were intelligent and many of them were artisans. As with any area that is lived in for a number of years, intermarriage was not unusual.
By 1698 English manufacturers became jealous of the Scotch-Irish manufacturers, and the English Church started to persecute all Protestants who dissented the doctrine of the established church. When oppressions became unendurable, a large number of persons emigrated to America.
In speaking of the Scotch-Irish pioneers, it has been said that "no more numerous than the English, no more freedom-loving than the Huguenots, no more industrious than the Germans, the Scotch-Irish were nonetheless the group that left their image stamped indelibly on this frontier. Many of their characteristics came to be considered specific hallmarks of the American character. . . . The Scotch-Irish person . . . has been described as both 'venturesome and cautious, taciturn to a fault, but speaking his mind freely when aroused. Essentially serious, he could nevertheless display a sense of humor
Friend and foe alike were objects of his steadfast attention and his nature rebelled against anything that savored of injustice or deceit, nor did he take kindly to restraint of any kind." [Wilma Dykeman, The Battle of King's Mountain 1783 - With Fire and Sword (Wash. D.C. 1978, pg. U.)]For a time it appeared, under a proclamation made by George U. in 1763, that even those who had already settled the Clinch and Holston Valleys would have to leave. Fortunately, by 1768 and 1770 treaties had been negotiated with the Indians which again opened the territory.
In order to hasten settlement, Augusta County was divided in 1769 and the county of Botetourt was created. There were more county divisions which subsequently placed our relatives in Fincastle County (1772), Russell County (1776), Montgomery County (1777), Washington County (1777) and Wythe County (1790), before the creation of Tazewell in 1800.
In 1776, Thomas Witten became the first white man to move with his family within the confines of what is now known as Tazewell County. *Rees Bowen was the second white man to bring his family and make permanent residence in the Clinch Valley.
MOSES BOWEN AND REBECCA REES (RHYS) A legend exists which gives a Bowen the credit of carrying the Sword of State before King Arthur at his coronation. Since this was approximately 1,300 years ago, there are no records to substantiate this claim. It is fairly certain, however, that the family was descended from one Griffith, a Prince of Dyfed.
In the Welsh system of naming, the given name would be followed by "ap", meaning "son of, then the name of the father, and so on, backward in time as far as they had knowledge. In 1364, Llewelyn ap Owen ap Pentre Evan, in Dyfed was one of the free tenants of the Fee of Trewem. His children were bom about the time that surnames started to take hold in Wales, and they were the beginnings of families named Owen, Lewis and Bowen - which started as "ap Owen," was then softened to "a'Bowen," and finally became "Bowen."
The main seat of the Bowen family is still located at Pentre Evan, Dyfed. Various descendants, however, moved to locations all over the world. Moses Bowen married Rebecca Rees (Reece, Rhys). In the Compendium of American Genealogy. Vol. 4, pg. 655, it states that Moses Bowen descended from Evan ap Owen of Pentoc, in Wales, and was the first to assume the name Bowen.
Rebecca's father is thought to have been Hugh Rees (Rhys) and her mother a Lloyd, although there is no proof of this at the present time. They came with a large company from Wales about 1698, settling first in Massachusetts, and then in Pennsylvania. Supposedly, they moved from there to Gwynedd Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, with a large group of Welsh families who had purchased land there. (There is possibly a connection with Nancy’s husband, John Owen, a Welshman in Pennsylvania.) But if so, they must have kept right on moving, as there is no information on Bowens in that area.
Moses and his wife eventually settled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where they spent the remainder of their days. He was apparently a man of means, as he acquired 10,000 acres of land there. Nothing is known about Rebecca Rhys, but she must have possessed a forceful personality. A boy in almost every generation was named Rees, and a girl was named Rebecca, a custom which has persisted, in many cases, to this day.
Moses and Rebecca had one son who was of a certainty theirs - John, and possibly more. It is thought that Henry Bowen, who was located in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1740 was a son. He eventually settled in Frederick County, Virginia, and on January 15, 1743 purchased land in the Opequan Grant on the Yorkshireman's Branch of Opequan River, about five miles north of Winchester. The name of his wife is unknown, but his children are thought to have been Pricilla, who married William Gaddis; Henry Jr., who married Anne Moon; and Catherine, who married James Crumley. Moses is thought to have died about 1775, and Rebecca in 1777.
JOHN BOWEN AND LILY MCILHANEY John Bowen was bom about 1705. Some records refer to John as a Quaker, but none of the records show that his father, Moses, was associated with the Quaker faith. (I believed Nancy grew up in a Quaker community in York) His mother, Rebecca, may have been a member of that sect, as in Henshaws. Vol. II, pg. 743, Fairfax, London County, Virginia, the record shows that "Rebecca Bowen received on certificate of form New Garden's Women's meeting 'some time go' request 'few lines to recommend her' as she intends returning 29-10-1757. Granted certificate to New Garden Monthly meeting Pa. 26-11-1757."
John, who was a man of considerable wealth for that day, married Lily Mcllhaney, daughter of Henry and Jane Mcllhaney, later in his life. Henry and Jane were Irish of Scotch descent. Early into the 18th Century they undertook a move to America. Ships at that time didn't know the meaning of sanitation. Quarters were cramped; food and water was often foul; and if the ocean was rough, the travelers were constantly wet. Thousands of individuals died on board ship or were lost at sea. Henry was one of these, leaving his wife, Jane, a son, Henry, and a small daughter, Lily.
Jane remarried to a Mr. Hunter, by whom she had a large family, and the family moved to Pennsylvania. Both Jane and Lily were expert flax spinners, and it was said that Jane was the first to bring the flax wheel into Pennsylvania. Henry eventually entered the King's service and moved to England.
Lily, who was bom about 1709, was 17 years of age when she married John Bowen. It is possible that after their marriage they moved from Pennsylvania to Delaware, before moving to Frederick County in what is now Western Maryland. They were there a short time before moving on to one of the pioneer settlements in the Shenandoah Valley, in an area now known as Rockbridge County, Virginia. This was, perhaps, as early as 1732. The earliest record of John Bowen is a bond dated 1748 to Col. Patton for land on the upper James River. John and his family settled on what was then known as Buckeye Bottom, just below the present Clifton Forge, and about four miles south of the confluence of the James and Cowpasture Rivers.
They increased their land holdings in 1750 with a grant of 70 acres on a branch of the James, and 238 acres on Glade Creek, a tributary of the Roanoke River. In 1754 they acquired 320 acres at Broad Spring and 112 acr s on a small branch of the James. John lived on Buckeye Bottom until his death in the spring of 1761. The administrix of the John Bowen will, which was probated May 19, 1761, was Lily.
WILL OF JOHN BOWEN Augusta County, Virginia Will Bk. 3, pgs. 24-26. Dated Mar. 13, 1760. Proved May 19, 1761.
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. I, John Bowen, of the County and parish of Augusta, in the Colony of Virginia, being at this time in perfect health, sound sense and memory, but calling to mind the uncertainty of life and that it is appointed for all men once to die - first of all, I recommend my soul to God that gave it, trusting that thru the merits and intersession of my Redeemer, the L ord Jesus Christ, that I will receive the same again at the General Resurrection, and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a Christian and descent manner, and the worldly Estate wherewith God, in his good and providence, hath pleased me with, I order and appoint to be disposed of in the following manner, that is to say:
I hereby order, constitute and appoint my well beloved wife, Lilhe Bowen, to be sole Executor of this, my last will and Testament, and to be Guardian to my children, and that immediately after my decease a regular and true inventory be made of my personal Estate, and that the same be duly appraised, and then that all and singular and every part and parcel of my real and personal estate and the same be duly appraised and then, that all and singular every part and parcel of my Real and Personal Estate (after just debts and funeral charges are duly paid off) shall be and remain in the hands of my said wife to be by her at any time devided. given in manor and form, part or parcel, amongst my children as shall judge proper and Expidient. except one Malato slave named Johnson, and that
I bequeath unto my daughter, Mary, and her heirs, and she failing of heirs, then the slave shall Descend to my son Charles, his heirs, and in case my wife shall marry again, that then she shall be Intitled to no more than the third of my personal Estate according to the apportionment mentioned above, and a negro woman named Hannah shall be and remain with my wife during her life, and at her decease to be Bequeathed or given to any one or more of my children in manner and form my wife shall see cause.
And I do by these presents Disanul. Revok and make void all and all manner of will or wills, testaments or Testaments by me formerly made previously, and by these Presents confirming, publishing and Declaring this to be my Last Will and Testament, signed with my hand and sealed with my seal this thirteenth day of March and in the year of our Lord God, one thousand seven hundred and Sixty, and in the thirty third year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the second. Signed, sealed, published and Declared in the Presence of John Smith, Margaret Smith Peter Luney, Walter Crockett Jonathan Smith, Buchanan John Bowen (Seal)
At a Court held for Augusta Co. May 19, 1761. This last will and testament of John Bowen, dec'd, was proved by the oaths of John Buchanan, John Smith, Jonathan Smith, three of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.
Although Lily was illiterate, she had a strong, discriminating mind, attending to many legal matters, purchasing and selling property, and successfully managing large farms. In 1779 the Southwest was opened for further settlement and the Bowen fannly migrated to the Holston and Clinch River Valley. Lily purchased 800 acres along the Great Road from Col. Patton's executors. Supposedly the first missionaries to the Holston settlements held their meetings in Lily Bowen's ball room. Lily was buried at Abingdon, Virginia. The Lily Bowen will is found in the records of Washington County, Virginia.
WILL OF LILY BOWEN Washington County, Virginia Bk. 1, pg. 73
I, Lilly Bowen, of Washington County and Commonwealth of Virginia, do make and ordain this my Last Will & Testament and therefore first of all do recommend my Soul to God who gave it, and my Body to the earth to be decently interred, not doubting but I shall receive it again at the general Ressurection by the Almighty power of God. As to my Worldly Goods, I will and desire that they be disposed of in the following manner:
I give and bequeath to my son, Henry Bowen, at my death, my Negro wench Jane, also my young black Mare.
To my Sons - Rees, William and Robert Bowen, the sum of four shillings each, they having had their full share of their Father's Estate already.
To my Daughters – Agnes Buchanan, my young white Mare, my Bed and Bedcloaths, also one third part of my pewter, in which is to be included two large basans, also a third part of the principal and Interest of my Loan Office Certificate of one hundred Pounds.
To my daughter, Jean Looncy, another third part, and the remaining third part of the Certificate to iny Son, Charles. To my Son, Arthur Bowen, a moiety or that part of the Crab Orchard Tract of Land whereon he now lives, the dividing line between him and his brother, Charles, to be ? as they have already agreed on.
To my son, Charles Bowen, the remaining part of the said tract of land whereon he now lives, and my Negro Lad called Wyat, and a Negro fellow called Jack, left him by his father, and of which he is now wrongfully despossessed of ? together with all the remainder of my Personal Estate not herein bequeathed, of which I may be in possession of at my death, who is to pay my funeral expenses and pay all my just debts.
John Bowen and Lillian (Lily) Mcllhaney (Mclllhaney) had the following children:
l)Rees Bowen, bom 10 Apr. 1729. Md. Margaret Louisa, or perhaps just Louisa, Smith. 2) Nancy Bowen, bom abt. 1732. Md. Archibald Buchanan. 3) John Bowen, bom abt. 1734. Md. Rachel Mathews. 4) Agnes Bowen, bom abt. 1735. Md. (1st) James McFerran, (2nd) Archibald Buchanan. 5) Jane Bowen, bom abt. 1736. Md. (1st) Mr. Isaac Cunningham, (2nd) Joseph Looney. 6) Henry Bowen, bom abt. 1738. Md. Anne Cunningham. 7) Robert Bowen, bom abt. 1740. Md. Mary Gillespie. 8) Rebecca Bowen, bom abt. 1740. Md. Jonathan Whitley. 9) William Bowen, bom abt. 1742. Md. - Mary Henley Russell. 10) Arthur C. Bowen, bom abt. 1744. Md. Mary McMurray. 11) Charles Bowen, bom abt. 1747. Md. Nancy Gillespie. 12) Mary Bowen, bom abt. 1748. Md. William Porter. 13) Moses Bowen, bom abt. 1753; died 1761, unmarried.