Edmund Bowker, my 9X great grandfather, is another who left few records of his life, mainly because he died at the age of about 46.
He was born c1619 in England, but his birth place has not yet been proven.
The Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England before 1692 says that Edmund arrived in Dorchester in 1646, married Mary Potter, removed to Sudbury, Massachusetts and died in March 1666. However, Torrey’s New England Marriages to 1700 questions the identity of Edmund’s first wife as Elizabeth Smith/Mary Potter?, leaving the question unresolved.
Edmund is thought to have had two wives, which makes sense for a man born c1619 and living in the Boston area in 1646. There is an Ellen Bowker who died on 21 January 1659/60 in Boston. No other information is given about her or her age and her maiden name is unknown, if she was an adult.
Edmund’s widow, named in the probate administration, is Margaret. She remarried to Thomas Holbrook Sr. of Sherborn on 26 January 1668/69. Margaret died 9 April 1690, also in Sherborn.
Could Edmund possibly have had three wives? I guess so, but there are no extant records proving it. If he had earlier wives, did he have children born before 1659?
There is a John Bowker/Bunker who died in Marlborough in 1721, aged 74 years, making his year of birth about 1647. He married Mary Howe, 8 January 1678, Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts. John “Booker” signed Edmund’s inventory with his mark, so he was most likely Edmund’s son.
There is also a James Bowker who married Mary (MNU) by 1684 and lived in Scituate. She was born in 1665 so he was likely at least a few years old than her. I think it is less likely that this James was Edmund’s son, because he didn’t live near any other known family, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
There are three who are named as children of Edmund Bowker in their birth records:
- Elizabeth, born 5 March 1659, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married Thomas Lund, 28 March 1679, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts
- Edmund, born 13 December 1661, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died 1706; married Sarah Paramenter, 29 March 1688, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
- Mary, born 15 April 1665, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died 1692, Sherborn, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Thomas Holbrook Jr., 20 January 1684, Sherborn, Middlesex, Massachusetts
There is an inventory of Edmund Bowker’s estate. Heirs are not named and I am not as interested in a list of his belongings. It’s another one of those hard to read 17th century handwriting deals, so I leave a transcription of it to anyone who would like to take it on.
His probate is found in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, File #2319.
My line of descent:
Edmund Bowker & Margaret (MNU)
Elizabeth Bowker & Thomas Lund
Elizabeth Lund & Samuel Scripture
Samuel Scripture & Mary Green
James Scripture & Sibbel Shepley
Oliver Scripture & Mary Goddard Bucknam
Mary Elizabeth Scripture & George Rogers Tarbox
Nellie F. Tarbox & Calvin Segee Adams
Charles Edwin Adams & Annie Maude Stuart
Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
Doris Priscilla Adams & George Michael Sabo
Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – me!