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Whatever happened to Jacob Bowman?

Whatever happened to Jacob Bowman?

Richard Bownam was born on October 20, 1767, in Somerset County, NJ. He married Mary Senteney and they had 10 children. By the time he was ready to draw up his will in April 1829, he was living in Hamilton County, Ohio. Apparently the first child Abraham and the last child William were deceased by that time as he does not mention them. George was living nearby in Ohio. Ezekial was in Indiana on his way to Illinois and the remaining children were in Logan County, Illinois. Three of the four girls and Ezekial were married to Lucases.

The remaining children except for Jacob that is. It is obvious from the will, which names every living child regardless of sex, that no one knows where Jacob is. Twice in the will Richard writes: “if my son Jacob return or call for his share within two years…” Richard thinks Jacob is alive and might return although he prudently makes provision for Jacob’s share if he doesn’t within two years.

All we know about Jacob is that he was born between 1802 and 1808 and that in 1829 his father did not believe he was dead. Did he run away? Did he go off on a trip and never return? I have never seen any research which finds Jacob.

It seems to have been a close family. They traveled together and lived in proximity even as adults. Four of them married into the same family, to three siblings and their cousin. After Richard’s death Mary moved to Illinois to Mt. Pulaski Township to be with her family and is buried in Steenbergen Cemetery.

So what happened to Jacob?

Everyone May Be Someone

Everyone May Be Someone

Some people just want to find out about their direct ancestors. They think that will be enough. They ignore all the external people they find: siblings of in laws, neighbors, business associates, anyone who isn’t their direct ancestor. They don’t know how addictive this “little” genealogy hobby will become.


Don’t fall into that trap. When you find a person who married into your line and you see something about his brother write it down. Often when a person married into a family other siblings and/or cousins also married into the same family. Or maybe they didn’t but their children did. You may not know why now but someday you’ll wish you had made the notes when you had the chance.


Originally I busily entered my ancestors into my database. This is a time consuming and, I admit, sometimes semi boring process. Naturally I avoided “unnecessary” people. I quickly learned that, sooner or later, I would need those unnecessary folks. Now I enter all sorts of people, even people who are totally unrelated to me [as far as I know today] but who were living in the area. I am no longer surprised when I eventually find a connection.


About 13 years ago I “met” Neal Downing. Back in the 1850s and 60s three children of Samuel Downing married three children of Robert Downing. These lines were previously unrelated, from different parts of the country, but ended up a mile apart in Logan County. I am a descendant of one of those marriages. Neal descends from another. His ancestors left Logan County and moved west – long gone but once they were closely related.


Last winter Neal commented he didn’t know as much about his wife’s family. In an amazing coincidence her ancestors had also lived in Logan County but moved west. They met in California. He sent me the line they knew, no names I recognized as they were from a different part of the county – until I got to her ancestor Charity Bowman. I did a double take.


I am related to both Neal and his wife. Charity was a sister of Hannah Bowman, my 4th great grandmother. Their mother Mary Senteney Bowman is my 5th great grandmother and Jackie’s 4th great grandmother. Hannah, Charity and their mother are all buried in Steenbergen.


Take the time to write down those names and whatever else you run across. You just never know.

Thomas Franklin Lucas

Thomas Franklin Lucas

Thomas Franklin Lucas was born in what is now Logan County on April 14, 1831. He married Mary Jane Buckles, a daughter of Robert and Mary “Polly” Birks Buckles [and my 4g grandparents], about 1852/53 [records lost in courthouse fire]. Thomas was the son of John T. and Sarah Bowman Lucas [both siblings of my 4g grandparents James and Hannah Bowman Lucas].

Thomas Franklin Lucas died on February 19, 1855, and was buried at Steenbergen. His widow married as his second wife Abner Copeland, a son of William and Sarah Lucas Copeland, and moved to Iowa and then Missouri.

When I asked for probate papers on Thomas Lucas, son of James and Hannah Bowman Lucas, I guess it is not a stretch that I was sent the probate file – or rather a portion of it – for this Thomas Lucas.

New Relative Located

New Relative Located

I have a relative I have never met who, like me, is a double Downing. We are descendants of one of the three marriages of children of Robert Downing to children of Samuel Downing. Although these families settled within a mile or so of each other on Salt Creek they were not related prior to the marriages.

My “cousin” said he’d like to find out more about his wife’s genealogy. Her ancestors are also from Logan County. I said send me what you have, you never know, I might know something that would help. Her ancestors lived in Lincoln so it was a long shot. He did.

Imagine my surprise when I read his list of names. His wife is also related to me. Her ancestor Charity Bowman was a sister to my ancestor Hannah Bowman. Both ladies, along with their mother, are buried at Steenbergen Cemetery.

It’s a small world.

Thomas Lucas and Wives

Thomas Lucas and Wives


The Thomas Lucas Family at Lake Bank Cemetery

The stone on the far right, the tall stone, is that of Thomas Lucas. Thomas had three wives and 17 children. The first wife was Mary Turner. She had 11 children before she died in 1855. Her stone is on the far left. The next stone belongs to her son George. Mary was the maternal grandmother of Lillie Margaret Wood Ryan and sister of Spencer Turner.

Seven of the children were under 15 at the time of her death. This might explain why seven months later Thomas remarried to the widow Harriet Gambrel Lanham. Harriet was 38 and apparently without children. Thomas and Harriet had two daughters before she died in 1867. Her stone is third from the left. Five months later he married the widow Charlotte Bowman East who had three children. Charlotte and Thomas were first cousins through his mother Hannah Bowman. I don’t know what happened to her first three children but the happy couple had three children before Thomas died in 1874 leaving a pregnant widow. That child died about six weeks after birth.

Charlotte soon moved to Kansas where she died in 1908 and was buried in Sumner County.

Although his father died when he was 13 Thomas was not a poor man. This may account for his ability to find a new wife so speedily each time.

The Mystery of Berryman B. Wood

The Mystery of Berryman B. Wood

This is about Berryman Baughan Wood. Berryman B. is not related to Lida although all but three of her grandchildren are his great grandchildren.

Berryman was the son of Solomon and Phebe Lucas Wood. His parents came from Greene County, Ohio, with the migration of church members who formed the Lake Fork Predestinarian Baptist Church in Logan County, Illinois. Phebe’s parents, Abraham and Marcy Kelsey Lucas, and living siblings also made the move. The couple bought land and settled at Rocky Ford in Corwin Township, about 15 miles from the rest of the family. Berryman was born there on December 22, 1834.

What happened next is a mystery due to the 1856 courthouse fire. We know that Solomon Wood was the second coroner of Logan County. We know Phebe died after 1839 when her last child was born, probably before Solomon sold his land on what is now Lucas Chapel Cemetery and moved in 1842. [Land records survive.] It assumed that Phebe is buried in Lucas Chapel but time and the regular spring flooding of Salt Creek have erased all traces of burials in that section of the cemetery.

Solomon remarried by 1847 and his last child was born February 23, 1848. Less than two months later Solomon was dead. Rhoda Tuman Winn Hoffman Wood, the widow, was Administrator of the estate [notice published in Springfield paper]. On April 23, 1849, the widow deeded all interest in Solomon Wood’s land to his heirs and they in turn deeded all interest in her premarital property to her. John Lucas signed as guardian of Joel, Berryman, Lucinda, Rebecca and Solomon. By 1858 the record indicates Ezekiel Bowman was guardian of the two remaining minor children, Solomon and Rebecca, and executor of the Wood estate.

Berryman was apparently raised by John Lucas, his mother’s brother, who was married to Sarah Bowman, a sister of Hannah who was the widow of James Lucas, another brother of Phebe. [Remember this. It will come up again.] Ezekiel Bowman was their brother. The 1850 census lists him as “Benjamin.”

On December 22, 1855, Berryman married Sarah Katherine Lucas. Berryman was a grandson of Abraham Lucas. Sarah was a great granddaughter of Abraham Lucas. Her grandparents were Hannah Bowman and James Lucas. Berryman and Sarah produced 13 children while bouncing around the country. They went to Missouri but returned to Logan County. They went to Texas and returned to Logan County. They went to Kansas and returned to Logan County. On January 20, 1896, Sarah died.

The above picture is of children and grandchildren of Berryman B. and Sarah Katherine. We suspect it was taken when they gathered after Sarah’s death. They placed a stone for her.

The rest of Berryman’s life is also a mystery. My grandmother remembered him with love and amusement. No children or grandchildren survive and almost all of the great grandchildren have died. No record of Berryman’s death has been located. We know it was 1911-1915, probably 1912-1914. When he died no one put up a stone. Years later a grandson made a marker out of concrete and put it on the grave. The death year is unreadable.