Thursday, January 21, 2010

Benjamin Bowsher, father of 22!

Benjamin Bowsher
Born 1833
Died 1901

When I look at different branches of my family tree, it amazes me how many children some of my relatives had. Many of my relatives were farmers, it was understandable that they had a large family to help with the work maintaining the fields and the farm itself. One of the largest families on my tree is that of Benjamin Bowsher.

My 3rd great grandfather Benjamin Bowsher was born and raised in Marion County, Ohio. He met and married Nancy Hockenberry, daughter of David and Elizabeth (Reizor) Hockenberry in December of 1854. Nancy was just 18 years old when they married. Within one year they had the first of twelve children. They are as follows:

1. Olive Vivian Bowsher, born 1855
2. Anthony David Bowsher, born 1857
3. Esas Marilda Bowsher, born 1859 (my 2nd great grandmother)
4. Margaret Jane Bowsher, born 1861
5. William Allen Bowsher, born 1863
6. Allen Bowsher, born 1865
7. Ellen Bowsher, born 1867
8. Hester Marie (Hettie) born 1869
9. Everett Bowsher, born 1872
10. Ada Bowsher, born 1874 (twin)
11. Arthur Sherman Bowsher, born 1874 (twin)
12. Infant, unknown name, born 1877

So, at the age of 44 Benjamin was a widow with at least eight children still at home! Wow. In 1879 he married Mary Elizabeth Luse, who was born in 1855, the same year Benjamin and Nancy's oldest daughter Olive was born. I wonder if they were friends?
Benjamin and Mary went on to have ten more children! They are as follows:
1. Martha Melissa Bowsher, born 1880
2. Sarah Elizabeth Bowsher, born 1884
3. Benjamin Bowsher, Jr., born 1886
4. Ida Bowsher, born 1887
5. Joseph Albert Bowsher, born 1888
6. James Francis Bowsher, born 1890
7. George Warren Bowsher, born 1892
8. Lillie Myrtle Bowsher, born 1894
9. Louise T. Bowsher, born 1899
10. Infant, died at birth (Mary may have had the measles)

Twenty two children. I believe that Benjamin had the most children on any branch of my family tree. Unfortunately, he died in 1901 and is buried in Warden Cemetery, Monticello, White County, Indiana. Elizabeth died in 1831. Next time I get to Monticello, I will have to look up the Warden cemetery and hopefully find Benjamin and Nancy's graves. There is a lot of information on the Bowsher family in the White County Museum in Monticello, in fact a direct descendant of Benjamin, and my 4th cousin- Judy Baker Carol is director of the museum. Check out my post about our chance encounter on Good Friday two years ago. I believe someone in the family sent me Benjamin's picture. I have a copy of a picture of Nancy Hockenberry, but it is really a very poor copy otherwise I would have published it as well. Who knows, maybe someone in my family has a really good copy I can get my hands on someday!


Greta Koehl said...

I can sympathize with how much work it is to research these "prolific" ancestors - right now I'm working on the family of my great-great grandfather JMC Norman - from three wives, he had 26 or 27 children.

Anonymous said...

I found your post after Googling Ellen (Elinor) Hockenberry, my great-great grandmother (Nancy's sister) who moved to the White/Pulaski County Indiana area in the early 1860s.

I've often thought she moved to that area since she had family there. I think the Martha Prettyman buried in Clark's Cemetary in White County might be Ellen's daughter.

Heather said...

I believe that we are related some how. Email me and I'll send you my Bowsher Geneology.

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!