Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Stories, 52 Ancestor Weeks, Week # 15, Hezekiah Bowen & His Bride, Phareaby (Fereby) nee(Fitz)Patrick Bowen

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is week 15 of my participation Amy Johnson Crow's, once a week challenge to blog about one ancestor a week, tell their story, biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on that one ancestor. More about the challenge can be found at her Blog, No Story Too Small.

Hezekiah Bowen was born May 4, 1797 in Bulloch County Georgia to Mark Bowen and his wife, who might be Nancy Brown (or might not be).

On September 10, 1820 Hezekiah married his bride, Phareaby Fitzpatrick, or is that Patrick?

Here is the marriage record.  Ya, it is quite difficult to read:

Now look at an edited version of this record, which I cleaned up years ago, carefully, slowly, painstakingly, getting rid of most  of that bleed through stuff.  Some difference, eh?

You will note, in the second line she is Fereby Fitzpatrick and in the second line of the certified statement, she is Fereby Patrick.  Her maiden name written two different ways on one record.  Ya, fun. There are other references to her maiden name being Patrick.  I need to review and do some additional research, so for now, we will continue to reference to her as (Fitz)Patrick.

Hezekiah and Fereby had seven children that we are aware of:

Obadiah, Malachi, Anna, Hezekiah, William M., Nancy and John A.

Hezekiah and Fereby lived west of Portal, Bullock County, farming and raising their children.  On May 14, 1883 Hezekiah passed to his greater rewards.  A little over half a year later on January 4, 1884, Fereby also passed.

Family tradition, passed down through several different family twigs, states that Hezekiah and Fereby were buried near the family home.  Some time later, the land was sold to new owners, out of the family.  Story is that the new owner took the headstones up, using them in the foundation of a barn on the property, the gravesites being plowed and crops grown.  The graves lost forever.

[Bulloch County is super duper rich in genealogical articles and works and a terrific collection at the Statesboro Regional Public Library. I have spent some wonderful research days at this facility using the significantly large and varied collection (thanks to many volunteers and dedicated genealogists that have worked hard to provide so much.) None of the cemetery recordings show a burial for Hezekiah or Fereby.]

So, family tradition claims the grave sites have disappeared and cemetery lists I have seen do not include Hezekiah and Fereby, however, there were residents that knew the general area of the burials and have shared that information with descendants of Hezekiah and Fereby. And, this week, one of those Bowen cousins took me out to the property.

Man and I had a marvelous tour of Portal, it was a special day all the way around.  The weather was perfect, we had a wonderful lunch afterward, I got to see huge hunks of Bulloch County that I would never have discovered on my own, acres and acres of what was and is "Bowen" land.

Maybe the most special part of my day was seeing the reported burial place of Hezekiah and Fereby.  OK, the actual spot could have been anywhere along the fence line, but, my cousin and I decided that we thought it would be nice if they were buried under these large trees, right about where the pink spring flowers were growing.

Yes, we realize that this is not a proven burial place for our ancestors.  Sometimes we need to take family stories and knowledge, the words of others and a bit of faith and accept it all.  For some reason thinking that they were interred where all those pink flowers are is comforting when compared to having no image in my mind's eye.  In this case, closure is pink.


* Additional source data can be obtained by contacting me, see the right hand column for a yahoo email address.

** 52 Ancestors Weeks Button courtesy of Amy Johnson Crow.

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