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CHARLES DOBIE : GENEALOGY
BOWMAN

SAMUEL BOWMAN and DOROTHY SMOKE


Updated January 17, 2007

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Most of this information is contained in 14 hand-written sheets of paper found on the Heritage Quest website (filed under both Samuel and Dorothy Bowman, File number W.27,663). They are the applications for a military pension, made by Samuel Bowman and later after his death, by his wife Dorothy. Unluckily for Samuel, six months after he was released from the military, his pocketbook containing his military release papers, was stolen. Years later, when applying for a pension, it was clear that the military pension board didn't believe he had served, so he had to submit the testimony of witnesses (witnefses) to prove his case.

The text on this page is the gist of the documents, together with other information I've gathered from other sources.


Samuel Bowman, son of Robert Bowman, was born in 1763 in County Down, Ireland. He immigrated with his parents and sibling(s) to the USA about 1770. The family landed in New York City, and went directly to Albany where they lived for many years. Because they went directly to Albany I suspect that they had Bowman cousins already living there (Bowman is a very common name in the Albany area).

Some time in 1780 or 1781, at age 16, Samuel was drafted into the Continental Army for a period of three months, then for nine months (during which time he was present at the Battle of Saratoga where General Burgoyne's army was defeated and captured). He was again drafted for another period of nine months, at the end of which, in about November 1782, he enlisted for three years, where he served the remainder of the war at West Point. He finally completed his military service at age 21, at which time he went back to school to complete his education. As far as I can tell, the only military rank he held was Private.

Samuel's wife was named Dorothy, (I know from other sources that her name was Dorothy SMOKE) and they had a large family. At the time of Samuel's death in February, 1841, they lived in Marshall County, West Virginia.

Samuel Bowman had at least one brother Robert, who was two years older than Samuel, and who by 1837 had at least one son, Samuel, who at that time lived in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

When the Bowman family lived in Albany, New York, one of Samuel's siblings was already married and had a daughter Nancy. She lived with, or close by, Samuel's parents (whom she calls her grandparents). Nancy Bowman's married name was MILLS and in 1837 she lived in Brooks County Virginia. It is known from Samuel Bowman's will that he had a daughter Nancy, but from the testimony given by Nancy Mills for Samuel Bowman in his pension application, she does not refer to Samuel as her father. It would also seem unreasonable for Samuel to have been drafted while his brother Robert, two years older, was not, unless Robert was married and probably had at least one child. Nancy Mills testified she could "well remember" Samuel coming home from the war. I can only conclude that she was the child of Samuel's older brother Robert, or of another sibling of whom I'm not aware.

From other sources I also know the following:

Samuel Bowman's will also states that he owned property in Jolly Town, Green County, Pennsylvania.

The full text of Samuel Bowman's last will and testament can be seen on Linda Fluharty's Marshall County West Virginia GenWeb website.


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