I have had an interest in genealogy since I was young. I joined Ancestry in 2009, adding the relatives that I knew: my parents, my grandparents on both sides, and my great grandparents on both sides.
When I got stumped, I started reaching out to my family. I was given a book by my grandfather, who’s uncle had compiled that line back to the early 1600’s!
I thought, How cool is this??! It set me on a path to see how far back I could go on the other branches of my tree! This was the beginning of my journey into my family history.
Where I had issues was the Vendetti line since most of them stayed over in Italy, so there really wasn’t much information to back up what Ancestry was suggesting for me for their birth and death dates, where they lived, etc.; however, I did see that most on my paternal great grandmother’s line (my grandmother’s mother) that the people suggested to me were from Calabria, Italy, which coincided with what my grandmother told me: her mom’s side of the family was from Calabria.
In my searches, I traced back my mom’s line to not one, but two(!) Revolutionary War soldiers! With the Bowie line, there’s been one that was verified, but I’m still trying to verify the two on my maternal grandmother’s line.
Our patriot ancestor on the Bowie line is George Bowie, who is my fifth-great-grandfather.
When I looked him up, his name was listed as Bowey in the record1—I know that the family name has been changed a few times; going to a cemetery once as a young boy, I found a grave with a last name pronounced the same as ours, but spelled altogether different. It’s amazing what happens to a name throughout history!
As for further information on our patriot ancestor, George was born on 20 July 1747 in Truro, Barnstable County, Massachusetts; and passed away on 4 May 1793 in Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland County, Maine. He drowned along with a few other men, so his actual death date is marked as both the 3rd and the 4th, depending on which source you look at, but the 4th seems to be the date majorly cited. He assisted in establishing American Independence while acting in the capacity of Private in Capt. Samuel Thomas’s company in Col. Benjamin Tupper’s regiment.2
In the family history book I was given, Uncle Everett lists a few other sources to substantiate George’s service. I will be looking into those as they don’t seem to be listed as proof of his service for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) or Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), only the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, vol 2; pg 339.
We always had an inkling that our family was in some way linked to a war, but I’m excited because finding the documentation for our patriot ancestor means two things: We found the information corroborating his service; and I can join the SAR (a double win!) and my mom and sister can join the DAR—there have even been a few SAR and DAR applications that I’ve uncovered in my tree which were fun to find!
I’m honored to be joining the ranks of my great uncle in the SAR—he was the person who compiled the book I used to trace our shared ancestor back—thanks for your hard work, Uncle Everett! And thanks for giving me the book, grandpa!
I’m excited to see what’s to come!
PS: If anyone is interested in joining the SAR or the DAR through George Bowie (Bowey), please let me know. I would love to help you with proving his service and any genealogy I can, and I’d love to meet another relative!
1Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, vol 2; pg 339.