Caution: Both Thomas Bowling of Prince George’s County (d. 1775) and his brother William of Charles County (d. 1789) had sons named John born in the 1730s. Both were in Prince George’s County for many years from the 1760s on, so it is sometimes difficult to identify which one a document refers to. Fortunately, they can sometimes be distinguished by mention of their wives: John (son of Thomas) married Mary —, whereas John (son of William) married Sarah —. Starting around 1780, John son of Joseph is also old enough to appear on documents.
220.127.116.11) John Bowling (c. 1734-1791), the son of William Bowling and his wife Mary, was presumably named for his grandfather. In January 1755, William and his wife Mary sold property to two sons. They conveyed to “Joseph Bowling, Carpenter” 100 acres of a tract of land in Charles Co., being a part of Boarman’s Manor, bounded by William Bowling’s land and Pole Branch. To John Bowling was sold 52 acres, part of Boarman’s Manor adjoining property owned by Joseph Bowling (Chas Co Land A#2:289, A#2:318). Presuming they were of age at this time, both Joseph and John must have been born in 1734 or earlier. That same year, the witnesses for the will of Thomas Bates, mariner, of Charles County, written 19 Aug 1755, were William Bowling, John Bowling, Richard Edlen.
John married a woman named Sarah sometime around 1755-60, if we can judge by the births of their children. In her 1785/86 will, Mary Jenkins of Prince George’s County bequeathed all of her wearing apparel to her daughters Priscilla Boone and Sarah Bowling, to be divided between them, and appointed her grandson Alexis Boone executor. She also left 5 pounds current money to be paid to her son-in-law John Bowling by her daughter Priscilla. Priscilla can be identified as the wife of John Boone of Prince George’s County (will 1787/89) who had a wife Priscilla and a son Alexius. It is quite possible that Mary Jenkins was married more than once, so the father(s) of her daughters is unknown. Several names have been proposed but nothing has been demonstrated.
About this time, John Bowling moved to Prince George’s County, apparently following his sister Mary (Bowling) Boarman. On 13 June 1758, John Bowling sold a tract of land (part of Boarman’s Manor) to his brother Joseph Bowling. (Lib. G3:234). Then a few months later, on 19 December 1758, John Bowling of Charles County bought a 175-acre portion of Piscataway Manor from his brother-in-law Joseph Boarman (who had also moved to Prince George’s County). The brother and sister’s properties were adjacent, because on 7 Sept. 1765, a deed of Christopher Edelen to John Edelen of P.G. Co. describes a portion of Piscataway Manor beginning at the land of Philip Edelen and running to the line of Joseph Boarman and John Bowling. (Deeds PG Liber TT ff. 469, 471). We know from John’s will in 1791 that that 175-acre parcel was his dwelling place.
On 11 September 1779, for 5 shillings sterling he bought a tract called “Downes Neglect” in Prince George’s County containing 93 ½ acres from William Tyler of Charles County (indenture November 25, 1779; PG Land Records 1774-1780, Liber CC 2: 690). On 8 July 1791, John Bowling sold 10 ½ acres of Boarman’s Manor to his brother Francis Bowling for £15 (CC Land Records 1790-1792; Liber K#4:296).
There is a John on the March 1778 list of Oath of Fidelity PG County (Lower King George Hundred). The adjacent sequence of names there (John Edelen, John Bowling, Jos. Boarman Jr.) would be appropriate for him.
In his 1789 will, his father William Bowling bequeathed: “unto my loving son John Bowling two Negroes, one called Abram the other Terasa and her increase, also one ewe and lamb also one heifer.”
There is a John Bowling (Boulins) in the 1790 Census of Prince George’s County with 4 males over 16, 2 males under 16, 6 females and 17 persons enslaved. It is not clear which John Bowling this refers to. Because the census list was compiled, grouping all surnames with “B” together, nothing can be inferred from the adjacent names on the list.
John Bowling (son of William) died in 1791, sometime between writing his will on 23 August (signed with his own hand) and its probate on 11 October. His major asset was his dwelling plantation, 175 acres of Piscataway Manor and 90 acres of another tract of land purchased from William Clagett adjoining a tract of land called Athey’s Choice. These properties were to be held by his wife Sarah and his unmarried daughters Elizabeth Aloysius, Sarah and Priscilla during their single lives. Then it was to be equally divided between his four sons Walter, Edward, Basil and John. He left 5 shillings each to his daughters Ann Spalding and Mary Smith. He named his wife and son Walter as executors. Witnesses were Joseph Boarman, Richard Boarman, and John Stone Webster. The real estate continued open for fifty years until the passing of his last unmarried daughter Elizabeth in 1847 (see below), but the rest was handled quickly. The named executors Sarah Bowling and Walter took the oath (bond) of administration, along with the testator’s son-in-law John Spalding and cousin William L. Bowling — the presence of the last is a sign that the families of the two John Bowling in Prince George’s supported each other. An inventory was taken on 25 November 1791 with Edward Bowling and Elizabeth A. Bowling as next of kin, and those enslaved were quickly advertised for sale: “For sale at late dwelling of John Bowling, decd., nr. Piscataway, about 16 slaves–Sarah Bowling and Walter Bowling, exec.” Georgetown D.C. Weekly Ledger, Nov. 26, 1791. But perhaps this was merely a formal announcement, since John’s widow Sarah appears in the 1800 Census PG Co. (p. 206) with the same number of persons enslaved: She was head of household with 1 male (16-25), 1 male (26-45), 1 female (16-25), 3 females (26-45) and 1 female over 45; and 16 slaves.
John’s four sons and three unmarried daughters were cited by name and bequeathed enslaved persons and livestock in the will of John’s brother Francis Bowling (1800). The will of his brother Thomas Bowling (1799/1801) mentioned niece Mary Bowling and “god Darter” Sarah Bowling and nephew John Bowling (which one?). He does give “the remainder of my money and what is due me to my brother John Bowling’s darters to be equally divided among them”.
The Estate of John Bowling (d. 1791): The 1828 P.G. County Tax List states that the “Heirs of John Bowling” have 295 acres of parts of Piscataway Manor and Downes Delight, valued at $678.50. At the final accounting of the estate in the late 1840s, after the sale of the real estate and expenses, there was a distribution of the balance of $1116.52. Of this, ¼ went to the heirs of Basil (Elizabeth and Mary A. Bowling) and ¼ to the seven heirs of John Francis Regis Bowling. The shares of the other two sons of John Bowling (Walter and Edward apparently died without offspring) were then divided in thirds among the heirs of Basil, John Francis Regis and Ann Spalding (William F. Cripps & wife, Matilda Coyle, John B. Spalding, Catherine Boswell). It is not clear why Mary Smith’s heirs were omitted.
Children of John Bowling and Sarah — born in the range 1755-1775.
18.104.22.168.1) Walter Bowling (bef. 1766 – d. 1815)
He was named co-executor of his father’s will in 1791; his uncle Francis Bowling (1800) gave him four hogs and one ewe. He is recorded with 10 persons enslaved in the 1798 list of slave owners for King George Hundred, P.G. Co. The 1810 census for that hundred lists the household of “W. Bowling”: 1 male over 44, 1 male 26-44, 1 female 26-44, 7 free persons of color, 8 persons enslaved. That grouping could be Walter, his brother Edward, and one of his sisters.
He was a juror on a coroner’s inquest in 1812. An administration bond was posted for him on 14 September 1815 in Prince George’s County by Basil Bowling (executor), Benjamin Duvall of Elisha, and Benjamin H. Clarke. The final distribution of his father’s estate (above) implies that neither he nor his brother Edward left any offspring.
22.214.171.124.2) Elizabeth Aloysius Bowling (c. 1762 – after June 1848)
She received inheritances from her father (1791), her uncle Francis Bowling (1800), and her sister Priscilla (1805). In the 1828 P.G. Co. tax list, “Miss Elizabeth Bowling” in King George Hundred has 1 enslaved under 8, 2 aged 8-14, and 3 aged 14-45 with other property $95 for total value of $555. The 1840 census for Prince George’s Co., District 5, has Elizabeth A. Bowling aged 70-79, with one male “insane” aged 60-69, and 2 slaves. Presumably the man was her brother Edward with whom she had shared a household in 1820.
On 22 June 1847, Elizabeth A. Bowling of PG Co., aged 85, gave a deposition that her sister Mary Bowling, widow of Capt. Charles Smith, had been were married c. 1782.
126.96.36.199.3) Anne (c.1764-1820) marr. John Spalding
On 18 July 1784, Anne married John Spalding (1752-1820), the son of Basil Spalding and Catherine Green. Anne received inheritances from her father (1791) and her uncle Francis Bowling (1800). She died 3 June 1820 and her husband died 27 October 1820. The next generation is documented in the Spalding family bible (Morse File at Md. Center for Culture) and P.G. and Louisiana church records. At the distribution of Anne’s father’s estate in the 1840s, Anne’s only heirs included were William F. Cripps & wife, Matilda Coyle, John B. Spalding, Catherine Boswell.
—Sarah Spalding (16 May 1785-24 Nov. 1844), m. 7 Oct. 1806 William Frederick Hardy. In 1816, they moved to St. Landry Parish, Louisiana along with other Maryland families (Smith, Wills, Mudd, Gardiner). Their daughter Mother Mary Aloysia Hardey was an Assistant Superior General of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
—(Julia) Catherine Spalding (b. 5 Oct. 1787), marr. lic. 2 Jan. 1817 George Boswell
—Matilda Spalding (b. 3 Oct. 1790) marr. lic. 15 May 1813 Francis Coyle
—John Basil (9 Feb. 1793—30 Dec 1856) marr. (1) 14 Dec. 1820 Ann (Nancy) Lambert; marr. (2) 29 Jan. 1833 Moranda Rolings
—Joseph (29 Dec. 1796—d. bef. 1820)
—George Lewis (23 Feb. 1798—1823)
—Michael (3 Dec. 1800—1823)
—Mary Ellen (22 Feb. 1805-1886) marr. 14 Sept. 1824 Wm. McLean Cripps
188.8.131.52.4) Mary (1765- 1843) marr. Capt. Charles Smith
The major sources about this couple are the Pension papers of Lt./Capt. Charles Smith, WR 25002, Fold 3, and research notes of Linda Reno.
In the Charles County Court in August 1838, it was stated that a marriage license was issued on 19 January 1782 to Charles Smith and Mary Bowling. He was the son of Benjamin Smith (d. 1777). Mary Smith of Georgetown, DC, aged 73, stated that she married Charles Smith about 1/19/1782 and he died 5-6 years later.
In his 1788 will, Charles Smith left a third of his personal estate to his wife Mary Smith (executrix) and the remainder to his three children: Benjamin, John, and Polly Smith (all minors). He also explained the conditions of sale to Joshua Mudd of 60 acres of a tract of land called Sharpe, whereon Charles dwelt, which was willed by Benjamin Smith to his son, Charles Smith, after the death of his widow Mary Smith (remarried as Mary Jenkins). Mary Bowling Smith also received inheritances from her father (1791) and her uncle Francis Bowling (1800), who bequeathed “To niece Mary Smith, negroe Linder and hogshead of good tobacco” and “To Mary Smith, (daughter of my niece Mary), one hogshead of good tobacco.”
In 1833, Mary was able to lobby for a pension as widow of Captain Charles Smith, in quarter-yearly payments, a sum of money equal to the half pay of a Captain, in consideration of the services rendered by her husband during the revolutionary war. (Session Laws, 1833, Arch. Md., vol. 210: 348).
In her later years, Mary was senile, and Ninian Beall of D.C. was appointed committee and trustee of Mary Smith, “a lunatic”, on 5/24/1839. Mary died on October 17, 1843. In 1847, administration on the estate of Mary Smith, late of PG Co., dec’d, was granted to Horatio Dyer (the husband of her granddaughter).
In 1850, her nephew John B. Spalding and her husband’s niece Mrs. Louisa Preuss of Baltimore stated that Mrs. Mary Smith left no children living at the time of her death. Mrs. Preuss further stated that Mary Smith’s only daughter Mary was married to Raphael W. Boarman and had four children, viz., Mary Rose Boarman who married Horatio Dyer of PG Co.; sd. Mary Rose died 31 August 1836 leaving four children–Louisa Jane Dyer, now 22; Mary Olivia Dyer, now 19; Louis C. Dyer, now 17; and Julia Frances Dyer, now 14.
184.108.40.206.5) Basil Bowling (c. 1770-after 1828) marr. Mary Dorothy Hardy
Possibly named for his cousin who died young in 1769, so likely born after that. Basil Bowling and Mary Hardey obtained a marriage license in Prince George’s County on 31 December 1799 PG Co. In his will of 1804 (witnessed by John F. Bowling), Henry Hardey left his daughter Mary Dorothy Bowling the properties Chiney and Chiney’s Addition which Hardey purchased from Richard Nelson. Then in 1815, Basil Bowling and Mary Dorothy Bowling of Prince George’s Co. and William Mason of Charles County exchange their respective lands lying partly in Charles County and partially in Prince George’s County (CC, Md. Land Records 1814-1817; Liber IB-11:97).
His uncle Francis Bowling (will 1800) left him one bull and “four hogs and one black sow and six pigs.” The 1805 will of Priscilla Bowling stated that, at the death or marriage of her two single sisters, the “Negroes left to them are to be divided equally” between her nephews William and Henry, sons of Basil.
The Maryland Chancery Court (17 January 1809) lists the case of “Daniel Brent vs. Basil Bowling, PG” regarding the title to Bowlings Chance. The 1809 will of Nathaniel Clagett mentions arrangement paid to Mr. Basil Bowling for the support of the old woman Judy for life. Basil bought a lot in Piscataway Town in 1811, and he served in the P.G. Militia 1813-4. He was a juror on coroner’s inquests in 1806, 1809, 1812.
Basil Bowling was elected sheriff of Prince George’s County for a 3-year term and served 1815-1817 (Federalist party), which led to certain debts, and legislative remedies: “Law 247 March 12, 1827: A bill was passed for the relief of Basil Bowling, late sheriff of Prince George’s county, to allow him credit as the justices of the levy court of PG Co shall certify he is entitled to, with the condition that he first get a bond “to pay all promises he owes the state.” (Md Senate Proceedings, Dec. 1826 session, p.201)
Besides public office, Basil also had visible social and business activities. The National Intelligencer (a Washington newspaper) issue of Nov. 18, 1817 has a notice from Basil Bowling: “Tallyho! Tallyho! An extraordinary Bag Fox will be let loose at Upper Marlboro on Dec. 4. Every comfort will be provided, & a nice premium given for the brush, by B. Bowling, owner.” The National Intelligencer also advertised sales of enslaved persons at the “Tavern of Basil Bowling, in Upper Marlboro” in the issues of 24 January and 8 February 1828. In the 1828 P.G. tax list for Upper Marlboro, Charlotte & Mt. Calvert Hundreds, Basil Bowling is taxed for 5 slaves (under 8), 3 female slaves (14-36), 3 slaves (above 45), 12 ounces of “plate” and $233 other property for a total value of $541.
The 1820 census for Prince Geroge’s County lists him with a large household (perhaps including the staff of his tavern): 1 male over 44, 3 males 26-44, 5 males 16-25, 1 boy 10-15, 1 boy under 10; 1 female 26-44, 1 girl 10-15, 2 girls under 10; and 2 free persons of color and 11 persons enslaved.
Children: Priscilla Bowling’s will (1805) mentions “William and Henry, sons of Basil” but in the distribution of John Bowling’s estate in the late 1840’s, Basil’s heirs are daughters Elizabeth and Mary A. Bowling. In the 1828 P.G. Tax list, “Mary and Eliz. Bowling” have 2 lots improved in Upper Marlboro with value $300. Although Basil was still alive, perhaps the sons had already died, and the daughters had inherited the lots from them.
Perhaps this Elizabeth Bowling is the unplaced Elizabeth Bowling, enumerated in the 1830 census (if the name is right) in Charles County, District 3, aged 30-39, with 1 male 20-29, 1 girl 10-14, 2 girls 5-9, 1 boy under 5) with 16 slaves. Then in the 1840 census for Charles Co., Distr 4 (next to Aloysius Bowling) is Elizabeth Bowling (presumably the same), who is aged in her 40s, with 2 females in their 20s, 2 females 15-19, 1 male in his 20s, 1 male 10-14, 1 male under 5; 6 slaves. It’s possible that this Elizabeth was the widow of Basil’s son William or Henry, who had died in the 1820’s leaving four minor children. Perhaps she inherited some property from her parents or merely moved to Bryantown to have the support of Basil’s cousins there.
220.127.116.11.6) John Francis Regis Bowling (1770s-1830s) marr. Mary Anne Boone
Children: John Thomas, Sarah Ann, Christina Dorothy, Elizabeth Ann, Jane Amanda, Elizabeth Julia, Mary Susanna, John H.F.
18.104.22.168.7) Edward Bowling (after 1776 — d. 1846)
He received inheritances from his father (1791) and uncle Francis Bowling (1800). He witnessed the will of his cousin William Langworth Bowling in 1793. He is recorded in the 1820 census for Piscataway Hundred, Prince George’s County, aged 26-44, living with two females aged 26-44, three enslaved males and three females. Presumably, the two females were his unmarried sisters Elizabeth and Sarah. In the 1840 census, he is likely the man listed as “insane” in the household of his sister Elizabeth A. Bowling (see above).
The first and final account of Edward’s estate (with a balance of about $1305) was given in P.G. County by Thomas Marshall and Elizabeth A. Bowling, administrators. The final distribution of his father’s estate (above) implies that he left no offspring.
22.214.171.124.8) Sarah (d. 1821), single.
She received inheritances from her father (1791), her uncle Francis Bowling (1800), her uncle Thomas (“unto my god darter Sarah Bowling”), and her sister Priscilla (1805). Her administration bond was posted by her nephew John B. Spalding, Richard L. Douglass, and Aloysius Gardiner on 8 June 1821.
126.96.36.199.9) Priscilla (d. 1806), single.
Named for her mother’s sister. She received inheritances from her father (1791) and her uncle Francis Bowling (1800). In her own will (written 5 December 1805, proved 11 March 1805), she left her wearing apparel and her claim to an enslaved woman and six children (part of the estate of her father) to “my two single sisters” Elizabeth and Sarah. After the death of those sisters, the enslaved persons were to be “divided equally” between her “two nephews William and Henry, sons of my brother Basil Bowling”. Priscilla Hagan (presumably a godchild) received $5, and Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of John Shaw received one gown. Her brother John F. R. Bowling was named executor and, after debts, instructed to give 5 pounds current money to the poor. The remainder of the estate was to be divided between Rev. John Fenwick (“to Pray for me”) and the Carmelite Monastery in Charles County. Witnesses: Catherine Edelen, Charity Edelen (PG Co. Will Book Liber T#1: 516; 1803-1808).