George Bowers

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George Bowers, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at Manby, Lincolnshire, England, about 1593.1 He died at Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, December 1656.1

George married (1) Barbara Smyth at Braithwell, Yorkshire, England, 9 February 1614/15;1,2 he married (2) Elizabeth Worthington at Cambridge, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 15 April 1649. The ancestry of both women is unknown (or not traced here.)1,2

George Bowers was in Plymouth Colony before 1637 as on 7 March of that year he was made a freeman (voting citizen). He lived at first in Scituate, Massachusetts where he must have been a member of the church and a property owner which were requirements when applying for freeman status.

In 1638 he was cited for "leaving no passage for man or beaste, neither by the seaside nor for cattell through his ground," but a committee laid out a way that was "least prejudiciall to Mr Bower."

In 1639 he bought land in Plymouth and his name appears often in those records with the title of "Mr.” He appointed constable for Plymouth by the Plymouth Court, 4 Jun 1639. Later that year he was appointed to see about lumber "bought for the building of the prison at Plymouth."

In 1640 he sold his lands in Scituate and went to Cambridge in the Bay Colony, probably for his sons' education. At least one son (John) went to Harvard, and they all left evidence of being very well educated for the time. In Cambridge they lived on North Avenue.

In 1641, he was one of eight men who built the largest ship yet built by the colony.

He kept his citizenship at Plymouth and neglected to formally become a citizen of the Bay Colony. In 1652 he was cited for voting in the election for governor. He acknowledged that and pleaded ignorance and stated that as a freeman of Plymouth he thought he was entitled to vote in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His fine was reduced from 10-00-00 to 5-00-00. That same year he was also fined "for rending a deed comitted to his trust, with severall articles betweene the said George Bowers and Benanuel Bowers, his sonne.” Benanuel, supposed to be the eldest son, want to marry a Quaker, and later did, arousing his father's ire, and he "rended the deed.” Apparently they reconciled, for in 1656, the year he died, George conveyed 20 acres in Charlestown, "next to the Cambridge line," to Benanuel.

His will was dated 8 Nov 1656 and probated 30 Dec 1656. In it, he named his wife Elizabeth, and children Benanuel, "who had already received his portion;" John, Patience, wife of Humphrey Bradshaw; Silence; and Jerathmeel. His wife and Jerathmeel were to have the homestead.1

Family 1

Barbara Smyth b. say 1595, d. 25 Mar 1644
Children
  • Benanuel Bowers1 b. say 1616, d. 1696
  • Ruth Bowers1 b. say 1619, d. 1687
  • Matthew Bowers1 b. say 1627, d. 30 Jan 1644
  • John Bowers1 b. abt. 1629, d. 14 Jun 1687
  • Patience Bowers1 b. say 1632
  • Silence Bowers1 b. say 1636, d. 1677

Family 2

Elizabeth Worthington
Child

Citations

  1. [S764] Zelinda Makepeace Douhan, editor, The Ancestry of Russell Makepeace of Marion, Massachusetts, 1904-1986: A Descendant of Thomas Makepeace of Dorchester, Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts: Newbury Street Press, 2005), 97-111, further cited as Douhan, Makepeace.
  2. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 181, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).