Bowen Family of Columbus County, NC

Lisa Y. Henderson on her Fourth Generation Inclusive blog lists the following Indian information:

Catherine Jackson. Died 7 July 1932, Waccamaw, Columbus County. Indian. Widow of David Jackson. Born 12 April 1858 in Columbus County to J.A. Bowen of Columbus County and Susan Lacewell of Bladen County. Buried Holly Ridge NC. Informant, Geo. M. Mitchell.

In the 1860 census of Columbus County: John Bowen, 45, farmer, wife Susan 46, and children John, 23, Frances, 21, Lucy, 20, Anna, 17, Jane, 15, Betsey, 13, James, 10, G., 8, Henry, 5, Lydia, 3, and Caty Bowen, 2. John and Susan were born in Bladen County. They and their oldest three children were described as mulatto; the remainder as black.

John William Mitchell. Died 5 January 1934, Waccamaw, Columbus County. Indian. Married to Colista Mitchell. Farmer. Born 1 November 1858, Waccamaw, to B.F. Mitchell and Mary Frances Bowen. Buried Mitchell cemetery. Informant, Cary Mitchell, Hallsboro NC.

In the 1860 census of Bladen County: B.F. Mitchel, 24, wife Mary F., 21, and children A.E., 3, and John W., 2.

It would appear that the Bowen family is the common link between these two individuals who are both listed as Indian.

To see additional information about family members, please visit Lisa’s blog posting:

http://ncfpc.net/2013/05/15/free-issue-death-certificates-miscellaneous-no-14-2/

Additional North Carolina Bowen family information can be found here.

Find-A-Grave shows that John A. Bowen, buried in the Mitchellfield Cemetery, was born in 1834 and died April 12, 1900.  Also buried in the same cemetery is Lucy Ann Bowen born in 1841, died Sept. 7, 1898.

There is a Bowen Cemetery in Columbus County, but the burials do not appear to be any members of this family.

Columbus County was formed in 1808.  The Bowen family seems to have been from Bladen County.  John was born there in 1815, so in the 1820 county census, his family should be listed and he would have been age 5.

In the 1820 census in Bladen County, the James Bowen family is shown as “free colored people” and they have 2 males to the age of 14, 1 male 26 to 45, 1 male 45 and over, 1 female to age 14 and  female 14 to the age of 26.  They also have 2 slaves.

William Bowen also heads a “free colored” household.  He has 1 male to age 14, 1 male 26 to 45, 1 female to 14 and one female over 14-26.  This family also has a slave.

Judy Bowen, two houses from William has 1 white male 26-45.  The rest of the family is “free colored” and consists of 1 male to age 14, two males 14-26, 1 female to 14 and one female over 45, probably Judy.

The 1790, 1800 and 1810 census shows no Bowen families in Bladen County nor any William, James or Judy who are listed as non-white in any other NC county.  There is a James Bowen in Orange County in 1790 but Ancestry’s system is not currently displaying that particular census page, so I could not discern if James was white or of color.

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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8 Responses to Bowen Family of Columbus County, NC

  1. Luke Alexander says:

    John A. Bowen, Sr. (b.1816) and wife Susan Lacewell Bowen (b.1816) were parents of John A. Bowen, Jr. (1834-1900), Mary Frances Bowen Mitchell (1836-1923) and Catherine Bowen Jackson (1858-1932). Lucy Ann Moore Bowen (1841-1898) was 1st wife of John A. Bowen, Jr. John William Mitchell (1858-1934) was eldest son of Mary Frances Bowen Mitchell and Benjamin Franklin Mitchell (1833-1917).

    This Bowen family are among the ancestors of the community now known as the Waccamaw-Siouan Indian Tribe in Columbus and Bladen counties, NC. Many of the current day Bowen descendants are enrolled Waccamaw-Siouan tribal members, others are not but remain in the area and proudly acknowledge their Native-American heritage. Early ancestors of these families were identified as free people of color and are known to rest at Mitchell Field Cemetery in Columbus County and Blanks Cemetery in Bladen County.

    However, it is not clear that the earliest Bowens are the source of Native ancestry for this family. Judith McBean Bowen and her sons William and James Bowen listed in 1820 census were mixed-race immigrants from Jamaica. They co-owned the Mount Pleasant Plantation on the Cape Fear River near what is now East Arcadia, NC with mixed-race relatives Janet Spendlove, Roger Spendlove and Gooden E. Bowen. The plantation was willed to them by their British-Jamaican parents who arrived in Bladen County during the mid-1770s. Census, wills and deed records indicate these individuals were related to Bowens within the Waccamaw-Siouan community. Native ancestry within these families seems more likely tied to Blanks, Lacewell, Mitchell, Moore and other associated families with an earlier presence in the area.

    I am a family researcher with origins in Columbus County and a relative to the Bowen descendants. I hope this helps give a bit of perspective and would gladly share additional info off-blog. I enjoy your website, especially when you happen to touch on my Waccamaw-Siouan and Lumbee ancestors.

    • Thank you so very much for this information.

    • randybe1 says:

      Hi Luke, do you have any record of John A Bowen and Susan Lacewell also having a daughter, Elizabeth Bowen, who married Henry J Blanks? Can you confirm this information?

      • Luke Alexander says:

        Hi, yes I can confirm, Elizabeth Bowen Blanks (1848-1900) was another daughter of J.A. and Susan Bowen. She married Henry Jenkins Blanks (1841-1900) in Columbus County, NC on December 6, 1866. Elizabeth and H.J. Blanks have a shared marked gravesite at Blanks Cemetery in Council, NC within the State Designated Tribal Area of the Waccamaw-Siouan community.

      • randybe1 says:

        Great stuff. Elizabeth Bowen Blanks and Henry Jenkins Blanks are my (2nd) great grandparents.
        Thanks very much for your confirmation.

    • Naja Martin says:

      In my research of my Bladen County origins, I have found a stopping point at Edward & Rebecca Bowen both born around 1813. They have a daughter named Caroline/Carolina.
      Another stopping point is James Bowen, born 1828, married to Easter Blanks, born 1835. Any input you can provide would be appreciated.

  2. mo says:

    Thanks for the info. My mom is a part of the Bowen Blanks group in bladen county– they live on a road called bowen-blanks lol. We all look alike too down there lol.

  3. Steven Bowens says:

    Hey Im looking for direct descendant of Thomas Bowens born 1850 In Georgia. He would be my great grandfather’s dad (James Henry Bowen)m Delia Womack(wife) from Henry County Alabama.

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