John M. Bowlby Sr. (b. Bef. December 19, 1703, d. 1782)
John M. Bowlby Sr. (son of Thomas Bowlby and Martha Barker)69 was born Bef. December 19, 1703 in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, England., and died 1782 in Mansfield Woodhouse Township Sussex County, NJ. He married Mary Mercer on 1734 in Burlington, New Jersy.
Notes for John M. Bowlby Sr.: "In the name of God Amen: I, John Bowlby Senior of the County of Sussex and Township of Mansfield Woodhouse and State of New Jersey being weak in body but of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God therefore I do make, ordain, publish, and put in writing this my last will and testament in the following manner.
And first of all I recommend my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth to be buried in a christianlike and decent manner at the discretion of my executors herein after named and as for such worldly goods as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and bequeath in the following manner.
And first I will that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and satisfied.
Also I give and bequeath onto my beloved wife Mary Bowlby all and singular my personal estate during her natural life and it is my will that mys aid wife shall dispose of such part of my personal estate as she shall not want to home.
She will and I also will and order that six acres of land adjoining Samuel Johnston Mils be divided into 12 equal parts to be divided amongst my granddaughters by lot.
My son Samuel's daughter Mary Bowlby half an acre also his daughter Hannah Bowlby half an acre also his daughter Sarah Bowlby half an acre and also his daughter Ann Bowlby half an acre also I order that my son John Bowlby's daughter Mary Bowlby half an acre and I also order that my son Thomas Bowlby's daughter Olive Bowlby half an acre;
I also will and order that my daughter Hanah Palmer's son Philip Palmer half an acre and I also order her daughter Mary Daley half an acre and also her daughter Sarah Palmer half an acre and also her daughter Ruhannah Palmer half and acre and I also order that my daughter Sarah Coleman's Mary Coleman half an acre and also my daughter Hannah Palmer's daughter Hannah Palmer half an acre.
I also will and order that all the remainder part of my land and property rights undisposed of here to for, I order to be divided into three equal parts and I give and bequeath onto my beloved son Samuel Bowlby one equal third part of said lands and rights.
And I also order bequeath to my beloved son Thomas Bowlby one equal third of said lands and rights and I also will and order that the other third part be equally divided between my two grandsons John and James Bowlby Suns of my beloved Sun John Bowlby and I also give and bequeath onto my nephew Edward Bowlby son of my brother Jordan Bowlby the sum of five shillings;
Also I constitute my beloved wife Mary Bowlby my Executrix and I also constitute and appoint my trusty and well beloved friend Joseph Laning my Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annulling all wills by me heretofor made ratify and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament hereof I have set my hand and seal this 7th day of December in the Year of Our Lord 1779."
(Signed) John Bowlby
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered, By the Hand of John Bowlby, In the Presence of us.
Edward Laning Isaac Laning Altiye? Laning He died between 7 Dec 1779 and 31 Dec 1782 in Imlaydale, Mansfield, Woodhouse Twp., Sussex Co., NJ.(323) From BOWLBY FAMILIES:
He came with his father to Burlington, New Jersey, in 1727. In 1731, he became coexecutor of his father's will, and responsible to heirs in England and New Jersey. John probably married his wife Mary _______ before 1735, the estimated birth of his eldest son, Samuel. In 1737, the family moved to the junction of two large tracts of land surveyed to John's maternal grandfather, Samuel Barker, in 1680. The place became known as Imlaydale, which is still inhabited and lies across the Musconectcong from New Hampton, New Jersey.
In Traditions of Hunterdon, pg. 85 THE BOWLBYS OF HAMPTON (copied by Florence Bowlby, transcribed by Cynthia Katzman Bowlby)
The land from Asburry to Hampton Junction and extending over the Musconetonz into Warren County, a tract of 5,088 acres was purchased by John Bowlby from the first proprietors about the year 1740. John Bowlby came from England and selected this spot as favorable for a mill site.
His house stood near where Peter Cramer now lives. It was once considered as the grandest house in the settlement. It consisted of logs hewn on two sides and notched at the ends; was 1 1/2 stories high and had two large rooms below stairs, while the other houses had only one. It was the first house built here.
John Bowlby was quite young when he came to this country. His 2 brothers, Thomas and Richard, and their sisters came with them. Joseph Bowlby, now 83 years old, living at New Hampton, can remember when there was nothing but log houses in the whole valley.
When John Bowlby was running the boundaries of his land, Col. Daniel Coxe was also laying out a tract to the east of him. There seems to have been some strife between them as to who should get his survey extended on record first, and at the same time, get as much of the creek as possible.
Coxe became alarmed, mounted his horse and rode towards Burlington as fast as he could, while Bowlby ran his lines so far as to take up the whole stream, keeping Coxe out of every foot of it. He then mounted a horse and followed Coxe, who rode one horse to death, and borrowed another, and thus reached Burlington first. But Bowlby, "kept him out of the creek" and that was all he desired, for he now had the mill site, and the most valuable portion of the land. Before the mill was built, Bowlby went to Pittstown to mill, a distance of 10 miles, through the wilderness, following an Indian path. Sometimes he had to wait his turn, and would not get back for 2-3 days.
You can find out more about Col. Coxe and the early Jersey settlement at: http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/mckstmerjersey.htm
p. 86 THE BOWLBY LAND DEALS.
John Bowlby had 3 sons, Samuel who lived at the homestead, and owned the mill; John who took a part of the land that lay in Warren County, and Thomas or "Esq Tom" as he was called, by virtue of his office, who lived on the side of the stream, where Jacob Skinner now lives.
From TRADITIONS OF HUNTERDON as copied by Florence Bowlby and entered by Cynthia Katzman Bowlby p. 86
John Bowlby sold many hundreds of acres for 2s, 6d per acre, because he did not want to pay tax on it. Parties now living tell about the time they could have bought land from Bowlby for 50 cents an acre.
He was married to Mary before 1735.(324) Mary(3) (24)(5) (6)(7) died about 1799. (325) The maiden name of John's wife Mary remains completely uncertain. To date, our efforts to uncover primary source information regarding her maiden name have led us only to historical researchers speculations. What we have seen are "best guesses" but nothing definitive, and backed by virtually no primary source material.
Unfortunately, it seems that some of the speculative suggestions have sort of "turned into fact" as the details
The one researcher who has left us his "case" for suggesting Mary LANING, is Raymond Edwin Bowlby. He wrote:
John (7) married before 1735, the estimated birth of his eldest son. John's will states that his wife's name was Mary, but family historians disagree upon her maiden name. Some believed her name was Mary Laning, while others believed she was Mary, the daughter of Josiah Mercer of Burlington of whose will Thomas Bowlby (6), John's father, became executor in 1727. After carefully studying John's will, Harriet Stryker-Rodda, a leading expert on early New Jersey genealogical history today, wrote her opinion in a letter of 10 Nov. 1981, that the wife of John was Mary Laning: 'That will proves without a doubt his relationship and family name of his wife Mary, for the executors were wife Mary and friend Joseph Laning, witnesses Edward Laning, Isaac Laning and Altiye Laning. A wife's interests in an estate in such a rural area as Mansfield-Woodhouse were normally protected by having her relatives party to its settlement if any were living nearby."
But, many other well respected historical researchers have also left us their opinions.
Perhaps a source of suggesting Mercer as Mary's maiden name may have come from DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE COLONIAL HISTORY OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, VOLUME XXIII. CALENDAR OF NEW JERSEY WILLS, VOL. I. 1670-1730 page 316
1727 Aug. 26. Mercer, Josiah, late of Edmington, Co. of Middlesex, Great Britain, now of Burlington, gentleman; will of. Wife Sarah. Daughter Mary. Real and personal estate. Executor - Thomas Bowlby, Witnesses - Tho: Barnes, Will'm Robinson, Daniel Mestayer. Proved September 5, 1727.
1727 Sept. 5. Inventory of the personal estate, L60.5, incl. 18 moydores, 2 half moydores, 1/2 guinea, 2 small gold rings, in all 139 pwt. and 18 gr. at 5sh. 6 per pwt. L38.8.7 1/2, money in copper pennies L4, a silver watch and steel seal and chain L5, a silver tobacco box and pipe stopper L1.5; made by Thos. Hunloke and Tho. Barnes.
______ _____, Mercer, 1 _______. Part of will of , mentions a will executed in Great Britain and left in the Custody of wife Sarah. Leaves real property in America to the wife and daughter Mary and appoints Thomas Bowlby as executor; used as wrapper of another (Eddington, 1727) will.
1. Doubtless the Josiah Mercer whose will is given in the next preceding paragraph.
From: THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST VOL. XXXIV (1958). Article written by Lewis D. Cook. F.A.S.G., of Philadelphia: BOWLBY OF MANSFIELD-WOODHOUSE, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND OF BURLINGTON, MORRIS, HUNTERDON, AND SUSSEX COUNTIES N.J.: OF PHILADELPHIA, PENNA., AND NOVA SCOTIA
"iv. John Bowlby, executor of father's Will in 1731; is said to have m. one Mary Lanning, dau. of some Joseph Lanning, in 1734, but evidence is not found. The Joseph Lanning named a co-executor in the Will of John Bowlby was probably the testator of Bethlehem Twp., Hunterdon Co., N.J., 1814, q.v. in NJ Archives, 42:248. John Bowlby d. testate in Mansfield Twp., Sussex Co., Nj, between 7 Dec 1779 and 31 Dec. 1782, appointing he wife Mary Bowlby and friend Joseph Laning executors, and devising his estate to his children..."
He further mentions that the baptisms of some of their children, by the Church of England minister in Sussex Co., N.J. are found in his register, published in the Penna. Magazine of Hist. and Biog., vol. 12.
But, on 23 Nov 1972, William M. Leffingwell sent a draft of his article BOWLBY to Janis Pahnke, (and she kindly has sent a copy to me...) From pg 3.
"... 3. John, b. m Mary (Mercer ?) ....
As executor of his father's will, John Bowlby was responsible for the family's right to land in West Jersey. He probably returned to England after his father's death, where he may have married Mary Mercer. He was back in the Province by 1735, when his first son, Samuel, was born."
We remain hopeful that we might yet uncover more definitive evidence by exploring both the Laning and Mercer genealogies. Other theories abound, such as Mary was first married to a Mercer or a Laning prior to her marriage to John, or that he was married to two different women by the name of Mary - first to a Mary Mercer, then to a Mary Laning. But, to date, none of these speculative theories are based upon any direct evidence that our Mary Bowlby was related to either the Mercer or Lanning families.
More About John M. Bowlby Sr.: Christening: December 19, 1703, Parish of Barlborough, County Derby, England. Will: December 07, 1779
More About John M. Bowlby Sr. and Mary Mercer: Marriage: 1734, Burlington, New Jersy.
Children of John M. Bowlby Sr. and Mary Mercer are:
Samuel Bowlby, b. Abt. 1735, Burlington, New Jersy, d. 1823, Imlaydale, Sussex Co., New Jersy.
John Bowlby Jr., b. Bet. 1735 - 1744, Imlaydale, Sussex Co., New Jersy, d. date unknown.
+Hannah Martha Bowlby, b. Abt. 1736, Mansfield Woodhouse, Sussex County New Jersy, d. Aft. 1810, Rowan County, North Carolina.
Sarah Bowlby, b. Abt. 1738, Imlaydale, Sussex Co., New Jersy, d. date unknown.
Thomas Bowlby, b. April 02, 1744, Hunterdon County, New Jersy, d. January 08, 1827.