Bogdonoff-Dick Ancestry

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  • ID: I931
  • Name: Richard BOWEN
  • Reference Number: 1312
  • Sex: M 1
  • Birth: 1580 in Courthouse, Illston, Glamorganshire, Wales
  • Death: ABT 2 FEB 1674 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co., MA 2 3
  • Event: Alternate Death AFT JUN 1675 Rehoboth, Bristol Co., MA 4
  • Burial: 4 FEB 1674 Rehoboth, Bristol Co., MA
  • Note: Burial 5
  • Note:


    The British origins of Richard Bowen are highly contested, as demonstrated in the notes below, but in summary:

    1. Some say he was the son of James Bowen & Ellen (some say wrongly Eleanor) Griffith, but the names of James' children are clearly listed with three, including Richard, identified as dying young. James' will also makes no mention of Richard who was still alive at the time of James' death.

    2. There is talk of a coat of arms tying Richard Bowen to Thomas Bowen. But the coat of arms theory doesn't stand. Richard Bown had no knowntombstone therefore any coat of arms on a Bowen tombstone came generations later. There are no known gravestones of Richard Bowen, his children orhis grandchildren.

    3. Many say Richard Bowen was brother to Griffith Bowen of Boston, both being sons of James or Owen. But no documentation supports this.

    4. Others propose he was the son of Thomas Bowen of Kettle Hill, which makes more sense than other theories. See below.

    No marriage record is found for him; no record exits for the first or last (maiden) name of his first wife (though many name her Ann Bourne). Norecord exists concerning when he left England or on which ship.

    Many sources (just search for "Richard Bowen" b. 1580 +/- a few years) indicate that Richard's parents were James Bowen and Eleanor Griffith (including E.C. Bowen who published the 1884 Memorial to the Bowen Family). But none of those trees contain a strong source for this information.

    Craig A. Davis ( points out that in James' will, which was proved in 1626, several of his children are listed in that will; Richard is not one of them (and Richard was still in Wales at this time). More specifically, Ken Boyer writes: "Lewys Dwnn's manuscript visitation [Peniarth MS No. 268 at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth] clearly lists James Bowen's children, with Richard and two others labeled mort, or deceased, with no issue." []

    Researcher Brian Lewis offers the following as evidence that Thomas was father of Richard:

    "1. Colonial Families of America, 1951, pages 153-156 has the lineage of Richard Bowen as the son of Thomas [d. 1587, and wife Jane Williams, dau of Harry Williams of Brynoch] being the [parents] of Richard. [This same source claims lineage of Richard and Thomas back to Gwraldeg, King of Brecknockshire in the first century, citing the following sources: "As shown in genealogical records compiled by Alfred R. Justice, giving thefollowing references: History of Brecknockshire--Jones. Welsh manuscript of Llewelyn Offeiriad. Manuscript of Jesus College, Oxford; also: Morganiaeet Glamorganiae, pp. 193, 204, 225, 515-- George T. Clark.]

    2. Americans of Royal Descent, Charles H. Browning, 6th ed., Phil., Pa., 1905, pages 462-463 has Richard Bowen as the son of Thomas Bowen.

    3. The James Bowen, Lord High Sheriff of Pembrokeshire in 1623, who married Ellen Griffith (not Eleanor as commonly recorded most American genealogies) daughter of John Griffith, son of Sir William Griffith, Knight, of Penrhyn had a son, George Bowen who also became Lord High Sheriff in 1632. George married Dorothy, daughter of John Scourfield of Moat. There is no mention of a son Richard anywhere. Source: Burke's Landed Gentry, pages 57-58.

    4. For what it is worth, James Bowen's crest and arms are not the same as Richard's. Richard's are in keeping with those of Thomas Bowen of KettleHill and Court House. While it is not conclusive proof of a father son relationship, it is more likely they were since the same arms appear ontombstones in both New England and Wales. [But the following web site makes a strong case that Richard was unlikely to have a carved tombstone at]

    5. I believe I have a chart from one of the Visitation books showing the connection of Thomas to Richard."

    More from Brian Lewis (10 Feb 2005 email to Jillaine Smith) supporting the coat-of-arms as true theory:
    "I am going to hold that [Thomas was father of Richard] until more information comes to light. My reason is that of the arms. Since the New England Colonies (as well as England, Scotland, Wales, Man, Ireland, Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, Cuba, the Bahamas, et el, all being colonies of Great Britian) were subject to British Law in British Courts until after our Revolution had won our Independence from Great Britian, the use of arms or misuse of arms is a very serious matter and the penalties were (are still) imposed (today) for such. The most celebrated case is that of Le Scrope (also spelt Scroope) vs Grosvenor in the late 1300s for the use of Azure bend... I do not think that the Bowens would have laid claim to arms of Bowens of Court House if they did not have believe they were connected to that line and they had not come from that part of Wales. There are other Bowens with arms granted to them. Why not pick theirs? I believe it was based on what was considered to be reliable oral tradition (and possibly written documentation) handed down generation to generation from 1640 to 1783 (143 years) with full knowledge of British Lawin effect at that time. I think the evidence shows that the Bowens of Rehoboth were known for their honesty, integrity, Christian faith and were held in high esteem by their peers within their community and the Colonies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and their General Courts.

    There seems to be one glaring fact that is noticeably overlooked, that is, Rehoboth was a part of Rhode Island from the 1640s until 1863 (223 years)until it was included in a land swap with the State of Massachusetts. Rhode Island wanted some off shore islands. So Rhode Island is a good and much overlooked resource for information on Rehoboth and genealogical research."

    [end notes from Brian Lewis.]

    Carl Boyer III in his _Ancestral Lines_ 3rd edition, Santa Clarita, CA: 1998 writes (p. 104):
    (copied from here:

    "There is no grouping of graves of children and grandchildren of Richard Bowen around any unmarked or worn flat tombs. Indeed, much later burials were made near the ancient tombs of Rehoboth, eliminating any significance of the position of graves. The Newman Cemetery, known in the contemporary Rehoboth records from 1669 to 1790 as the "Burying Place," was probably started about 1647 and expanded in 1680, 1738 and 1790. The first burials were made about 250 feet southeast of the first meeting house; the cemetery, which now contains about ten acres, lies south of the Newman Congregation Church and Newman Avenue, and west of Pawtucket Avenue, now in East Providence, R.I. "

    [Letter from Richard LeBaron Bowen, Jr., dated 3 Jan. 1994, which revised at length his father's presentation in Early Rehoboth, 4:31-371. "One has to assume that my father soon realized that in all probability Jabez Bowen had simply appropriated a Coat of Arms from some heraldry book where they were shown as Bowen arms. Indeed, a letter he wrote to Harold Bowditch on August 11, 1939 indicates that he was actively searching for the specific English work from which the arms had been copied. There is no known connection to Griffith Bowen, of Boston, whose Welsh line to Bleddyn ap Maenyrch and beyond is well documented."

    [Herman Nickerson, Jr. "Griffith and Margaret (Fleming) Bowen of Wales and Massachusetts," NGSQ, 67 (1979), 163-166, and Nickerson, "Griffith Bowenof Wales and Massachusetts," The Connecticut Nutmegger, 19 (1987), 588-596: "Moreover, E.C. Bowen's own words make obvious the reasons for a lack of trust in the statement that Richard Bowen of Rehoboth was a son of James Bowen of Llwyngwair. "I have seen a record somewhere, and noted it, that Richard Bowen of Kittle Hill (who emigrated in 1640) had a son George, his eldest son and heir, whom he left in Wales (and this party was probablythe sheriff in 1650), and that Hugh and the second George were his descendants." Cottingham identified positively George Bowen of Kettlehill in 1679 as son of Charles, who was son of George of Kittle Hill, sheriff in 1650, who in turn was a son of John Bowen of Pennard. Cottingham, whose work is mentioned below, had George Bowen of Kettlehill, Esq., Sheriff 1679, Admin. gr. 1698, as soil of Charles Bowen of Kettlehill, living in 1686, who was son of George Bowen of Kettlehill, Sheriff 1650. This George was in turn the son of John Bowen of Pennard, whose will was proved 1609, and his wife Margaret, daughter of John Daniel of Kitthill and widow of Matthew Hamon. It is apparent that much of E.C. Bowen's work was fabricated, and none of the data in it call be trusted without verification from independent sources."

    Elislia Chandler Bowen [101] quoted Dwn [sic; reference is to Lewys Dwnn] by saying that he used "a term (all equivalent), which, being translated into English, signifies that Richard, son of James Bowen of Llwyngwair, 'chose the hunter's armor, and left the country with, it." This is false, for the term published is mort, which means "dead," implying died young.

    --- end Carl Boyer --


    The first known record of Richard Bowen in New England is described in the History of Weymouth:
    It describes the "earliest land record of Richard1 Bowen," dated 1642: "Tenn acres Eyght of them upland two of swampe lying in the plaine firstgiven to Thomas White bounded on the East with the land of Martin Phillipes, of Ralph (Allin) on the west, of his owne on the south, a highway onthe north."

    Almost immediately after, though, he was one of the 50 or so people who left Weymouth to settle Seaconk. Not initially attached to eitherMassachusetts Bay Colony or Plymouth, it became attached to the latter and was named Rehoboth. He was regularly recorded in Rehoboth town records:

    1643: Chosen, among others, as first board of Rehoboth Selectmen on Dec. 9.
    1645: Made freeman on 4 June; On Dec 20 or 29, layed out the neck of land called Wanamoyat. It is estimated that his first wife died about this time.
    1646: Appointed with several others to get fences in Rehoboth on March 16.
    1647: Elected townsman (selectman) on 26 May [R.L. Bowen, 1:28, 3:121 and 142].
    1648: In November, he married in either Hingham or Weymouth Elizabeth Rey, widow of George Marsh who d. Hingham, 2 Jul 1647.
    1651: Elected to serve Rehoboth as deputy to Plymouth Colony's general court.
    1653: On May 13, "Richard Bowen & James Ridwaye" were chosen "for overseers of the wayes," and a list of "the Subscriptions of the Inhabitants" ofRehoboth empowering Richard Bowen, Stephen Paine, Thomas Cooper and William Sabin to represent them in settling the status of Rehoboth lands lyingwithin the bounds of the new Sowams purchase was drawn up on 28 June 1653 [R.L. Bowen, 1:18 and 126].
    1654: In the spring it was found necessary to appoint William Carpenter, Richard Bowen and John Allen as arbitrators in a dispute between RichardTitus and Nicholas Ide over a parcel of salt meadow [R.L. Bowen, 2:138].
    1671: recorded as having been assessed 3/7 in taxes, a figure somewhat below the median
    1672: 28 May: recorded as having sold his one-half share in the 1666 North Purchase distribution to Thomas Ormsbee [R.L. Bowen, 1:39 and 41].
    1675: Second wife of Richard Bowen buried in Rehoboth (Rehoboth VR, volume I, #53, p. 800)

    His twelve acre home lot was adjacent to the "Ring of Green" of Rehoboth, which was a common pasture for the town, as well as the location of thefirst meeting house. This area faces Pleasant Avenue and is just south of Newman Avenue in present East Providence, Rhode Island.

    Leonard Bliss, in his History of Rehoboth [45], stated that Richard Bowen served as town clerk. Richard LeBaron Bowen, Jr. pointed out in a letterof 16 May 1994 that the records [1:108] of the Rehoboth town meetings make it clear that it was Richard Bullock who was chosen town clerk on 14Seventh Month 1654.

    Plymouth Colony Wills, Vol. 3, pp 148-149, written 4 Jun 1675; refers to himself as Richard Bowen senior of Rehoboth in the Colony of New Plymouth.Mentioned beloved wife Elizabeth, son William, son Obadiah, son Richard (who he makes sole executor), daughters Allice Wheaton, Sarah Fuller, RuthKenericke.

    Text of Richard Bowen's last will and testament:
    (see also:
    Note that it was made 4 Jun 1675 but Rehoboth Vital Records indicate he was buried 4 Feb 1674:
    SOURCE: Plymouth Colony Wills, Vol. 3, pp.148-149, #P241.

    The Last will and Testament of Richard Bowin, Sr.
    June 4, 1675

    The last Will and Testament of Richard Bowin senir of Rehoboth in the Collonie of Plymouth in New England exhibited to the Court held att Plymouthaforsaid the fouth of June Anno: Dom 1675 on the oath of Mr John Pecke as followeth

    Be it Knowne unto all men by these prsents that I Richard Bowin senir: of Rehoboth in the Collonie of New Plymouth in New England Doe the Day andDate above written ordaine and make this my last will and Testament being in my Good and prfect Memory and understanding as followeth;

    Item I Give to my beloved wife Elizabeth two Cowes and one heiffer a yeer old and a Mare 5 yeer old and a Mare Colt two yeer old and one Colt thatfolloweth the Mare;

    Item I Give unto my wife my best bed; with all that belonges to it; and all my linnine two Pewter platters; with som other small peeces of pewter;both the bras kettles I Iron pott I skillett one frying pan all my poultry and halfe my swine younge and old alsoe I Give to my wife one Coffer; andhalfe my provisions after my buriall; halfe of my Corne; halfe my hay that is Gathered in or may be Growing att my Decease; halfe my butter CheeseBacon and porke; one hake with the eke belonging to it; one Cherne one brewing tubb one powdering tubb one beer barrell and my milk vessells;Cushens one Candlesticke; all these foremensioned prticulars; I Give to my beloved wife to Dispose of att her Death unto whom shee will; moreover IGive unto my wife my bible my warming pan; halfe my house that prte of the Leanto, nearest unto the Chimney; as alsoe halfe my orchyard; and halfemy home lott; excepting that prte I sould unto Stephen Paine senir: being an acre more or lesse; all these I say I Give unto my beloved wife, thefull tearme of her life; moreover my wife shall have libertie to mow two load of hay on my meddow att Palmers River and three load more on my meddowon the New meddow necke, every yeer soe longe as shee liveth;

    Item I Give to my son Willam one hundred pounds Comonage; my lott on the East syde of the plaine my lott in the second Devision; my prte of ffreshmeddow lying and being neare the mile run; my ffresh meddow at Palmers River all my meddow that I have mowed att my meddow on the New meddow neckeThe other pte of this meddow, I have Given unto my son Obadiah; and my son Richard, as will appeer by a Deed of Gift under my hand; Moreover I Giveunto my son Willam; halfe my house halfe my barn; halfe my orchyard halfe my home lott except that I sould to Steven Paine senir: and it is my Willthat that after my wifes Decease that my son Willam shall have all my housing and barnes orchyard homlott with all those lands and meddowes beforemensioned unto him and his heires forever;

    Item I Give unto my son Willam halfe my swine halfe my Corne halfe my hay; Ingathered or may be Growing and halfe my provisions; butter Cheese baconPorke;

    Item I Give to my son Willam halfe my Cart and wheeles my Cart Rope with my plow and plowirons belonging to it 2 Chaires two hogsheads, and allother Corne vessell my wife Can spare; my hake with the Ringe; on it; my Great brasse pott an Iron pott and my Great brasse pan; and alsoe it is mywill that hee shall have the land which is to be Devided according to the Devision of 20 acrees to the hundred pound estate; and alsoe my lottlately layed out on the necke Called Wachamaquat necke; and all such lands as shalbe Devided after the Date hereof; according to the proportion of ahundred pound estate; I alsoe Give unto my son Willam; my Chest in the hall my Coffer in the seller loft my Chaine my hay knife Dung forke PikesRakes hand saw augers 2 beetle ringes and all my Iron wedges; as alsoe that oxe Called Duke; and my bible after my Wifes Decease;

    Item I alsoe Give unto my son Willam the bed hee now lyeth on and the furniture belonging to it; and one bed sheet and my winnow sheet; and all myboards about my house, and all my wearing apparrell;

    Item I Give unto my son Obadiah halfe a hundred pounds of Comonage; my plow Irons of my breakeing plow and my thawrtcutt saw and halfe my loggChaine; and the other halfe I Give to my son Willam;

    Item I Give to my Daughter Allice Wheaton my Daughter Sarah ffuller and my Daughter Ruth Kenericke my old mare and a Colt that suckes on her;

    Item I Give to my Daughter Allice Wheaton my fflagon and two pewter platters;

    Item I Give to my Daughter Sarah ffuller my warming pan after my wifes Decease; and a pewter platter when the will is proved;

    Item I Give to my Daughter Ruth Kenericke one pewter platter;

    It is alsoe my will that if any of these fornamed beasts: viz: neat beasts or horses given Doe Die or come to any lose, the lose shalbe to thepticular prson or prsons unto whom they were Given; my executor shalbe free hee shall not make it Good to him or them; Item all the Rest of my Goodslands Chattles or whatsoever I have not Given in this my Will and Testament; I Give to my son Richard whom I make and ordaine my sole executor topay my Debts and to Discharge my legacyes and to see my body buried; witnes my hand the Day and yeer above written

    The marke R of Richard
    Bowin senir:

    Stephen Paine Junr:
    John Pecke;

    From The Plymouth Colony Archive Project Index to Plymouth Colony Wills & Inventories, 1670-1685:

    Bowen Richard Sr. Rehoboth Will 6/4/1675; Inventory6/4/1675


    1. E. C. Bowen, Memorial to the Richard Bowen, 1884. Note: much of his work has been found by others to have been wrong at best or fabricated.
    2. Craig A. Davis, individual researcher.
    3. Last Will & Testament of James Bowen.
    4. Lewys Dwnn, Heraldic Visitations of Wales, 2 vol 1846; or Manuscript Visitation, Peniarth MS, No 268, National Library in Aberystwyth.
    5. Ruth Lawrence, editor, Colonial Families of America, National Americana Society (1933), pp 153-156.
    6. Alfred R. Justice, [genealogy records compilation...]
    7. ___ Jones (?), History of Brecknockshire...
    8. Llewelyn Offeiriad, [welsh manuscript], Manuscript of Jesus College, Oxford.
    9. George T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae et Glamorganiae, London (1886), pp. 193, 204, 225, 515
    10. Charles H. Browning, Americans of Royal Descent, 6th edition, Philadelphia, PA (1905); pp. 462-463.
    11. Bernard Burke, Genealogical & Heraldic History of the Landed GEntry, pp. 57-58 (Google Books).
    12. Carl Boyer III, Ancestral Lines, 3rd edition, Santa Clarita, CA (1998), p. 104.
    13. Richard LeBaron Bowen, Jr., 3 Jan 1884 letter to Carl Boyer III.
    14. Herman Nickerson, Jr., "Griffith and Margaret (Fleming) Bowen of Wales & Mass.," NGSQ, vol. 67 (1979), pp. 163-166.
    15. Herman Nickerson, Jr., "Griffith Bowen of Wales & Mass.," [77th?] Connecticut Nutmegger, vol. 19 (1987), pp. 588-596.
    16. _____ Cottingham.
    17. ____, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Volume 4.
    18. James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rehoboth, MA, vol. I, #53, Providence: Narragansett Historical Society (1897); p. 800.
    19. Leonard Bliss, History of Rehoboth.
    20. Last Will & Testament of Richard Bowen of Rehoboth, Plymouth Colony Wills, vol. 3, pp. 148-149.
    21. J.Y.W. Lloyd, The History of THe Princes, The Lords Marcher and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fadog, vol. VI (1887), London.
  • _UID: E684479C30AB4C23A4E1556F2378958F9FD3
  • Change Date: 1 MAY 2009

    Marriage 1 Ann? BOURNE? b: 1586 in Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales
    • Married: 1620 in Kettle Hill, Glamorganshire, Wales
    • Note:
      Seven children, all born in Wales; all died in Rehoboth, MA.
      Looks like they emigrated after 1632. points out that there is "no shred of evidence" identifying even the first name ofRichard's first wife, much less her surname.
    1. Has Children Richard Bowen b: ABT 1620 in Glamorganshire, Wales?
    2. Has Children Alice BOWEN b: 1622 in Courthouse, Illston, Glamorganshire, Wales
    3. Has Children Sarah Bowen b: ABT 1625 in Glamorganshire, Wales?
    4. Has No Children Ruth Bowen b: ABT 1625 in Glamorganshire, Wales?
    5. Has No Children William Bowen b: ABT 1627
    6. Has Children Obadiah Bowen b: ABT 1627 in England
    7. Has Children Thomas Bowen b: ABT 1630 in Glamorganshire, Wales?

    Marriage 2 Elizabeth Rey b: ABT 1600 in Hempstead, England
    • Married: AFT 1645

    1. Title: Email Correspondence - Brian Lewis (brianlewis AT
      Text: While sources not included, my confidence level in his work is high.
      8189 South East 76th Avenue, Trenton, FL 32693; (352) 472-5957
      Page: Correspondence of 10 Aug 2004, Name
    2. Author: James N. Arnold
      Publication: Providence. Narragansett Historical Society publication.
      Title: Vital Records of Rehoboth 1642-1896
      Text: Marriages, intentions, births, deaths, with supplement containing the record of 1896, colonial returns, lists of the early settlers, purchasers,freemen, inhabitants, the soldiers serving in Philip's war and the revolution.
      Compilation from original records; therefore secondary source.
      Page: Supplement, p. 899, @CN2058@, Death
    3. Author: James N. Arnold
      Publication: Providence. Narragansett Historical Society publication.
      Title: Vital Records of Rehoboth 1642-1896
      Text: Marriages, intentions, births, deaths, with supplement containing the record of 1896, colonial returns, lists of the early settlers, purchasers,freemen, inhabitants, the soldiers serving in Philip's war and the revolution.
      Compilation from original records; therefore secondary source.
      Page: p. 800, @CN2202@, Death
    4. Repository: and
      Title: Last Will and Testament of Richard Bowen
      Page: Plymouth Colony Wills, Vol. 3, pp.148-149, #P241., Alternate Death
    5. Author: James N. Arnold
      Repository: and (NEHGS)
      Publication: Narragansett Historical Publishers
      Title: Vital Records of Rehoboth, MA 1642-1896
      Text: There are two source types on a searchable index database; and digitized copies of the 1897 book.
      Page: p. 800, Burial
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