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Evan Bowles of St. Marys Parish, Louisiana

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The earliest Bowles I have found in Louisiana would be Evan Bowles who is on record in St. Mary parish and living on the Lower Bayou Teche (which runs through St. Mary Parish) from 1806. 

In 'Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Louisiana' by Merritt M. Robinson, Vol. XII, New Orleans, 1846 we learn on page 5 that in 1806 Evan Bowles was a surveyor of some disputed land on the Bayou Teche (written Tache on the older maps).

In the Naval Register for 1829 Evan Bowles is listed as having been appointed as the 'agent for the preservation of timber in Louisiana suitable for naval purposes' on May 5, 1821 at a salary of $300.

We get a bit more information from the register of St. Mary Parish, Louisiana:  ref. 
Page 7: Evan Bowles and Eugene Carlin signed as witnesses to a Provost marriage in St. Mary's Parish on Oct. 1, 1812. 
Page 41: In a note on an 1825 marriage which Evan Bowles witnessed it mentions that Evan was married to Celestin Carlin's sister Dorothea Carlin.  Celestin Carlin was married to Marie Therese Provost. 
Page 71: One of the heirs of Joseph Carlin is stated to be his daughter Dorothea, wife of Evan Bowles.






Evan is listed in line 18 of the 1830 Federal Census of St. Mary Parish, LA as:

# males 40 to under 50              1 (this would be Evan)
# males 50 to under 60              1 (this would be his wife)
# females 20 to under 30           2 (this would likely be daughter Louisa)
# females 60 to under 70           1 (unknown who this would be)
# male slaves under 10              5
# male slaves 10 to under 24      8
# male slaves 24 to under 36      4
# male slaves 36 to under 55      4
# male slaves 55 to under 100     2
# female slaves under 10            2
# female slaves 10 to under 24    2
# female slaves 24 to under 36    4

This would indicate that Evan had done rather well for himself in Louisiana and was well established as a plantation owner with 31 slaves by 1830.

In another book by the same author: 'St. Mary Parish, Louisiana: Heirship Series, Vol. I Annotated Abstracts of the Successions, 1811-1834' we learn:
Page 3: In the list of Joseph Carlin's heirs, # 6 is his daughter Dorothea or Dorothy, married to Evan Bowles.  It also refers the reader 'For their family see Ests. #228, opened in 1832; #263, 1833 and #885, 1855'. (see p. 131 below)
Page 114: 6 July 1832 James Plaisted ..... represents that Evan Bowles is deceased.
Page 131-133: Est. #228 Evan Bowles, dec. 28 Aug. 1832.  The entire terms of his estate are stated and from these terms we can establish his immediate family tree as:
(click on the image to the right to read the original copy)
Mr. Bowles
1.  John Bowles in Washington county, Maryland in 1818
2.  Mary (Polly) Bowles dec. in 1818 (probably recently)
(note: John Bowles wrote to Evan that their sister Polly had died; Polly is most often used as a nickname for Mary)
3.  Evan Bowles m. Dorothea Carlin (dau. of Joseph Carlin) New Orleans
3.1  Thomas E. Bowles (over 21 in 1832)
3.2  Matilda Bowles (over 21 in 1832) widow of Henry Goodrich, in March 1837
3.3  Louisa Bowles (Eliza) m. Alexander L. Fields bef. 1832
3.4  Eleanor Bowles (under 21 in 1832) m. Capt. Simon C. Mathison
Eleanor d. 1846 (Est. 587, 1846)
3.5  Susan A. Bowles (under 21 in 1832) m. Benjamin Franklin Shields betw. 1832 and Dec 21, 1833 and living in Hopkinsville, Christian co., Kentucky.
Evan Bowles d. Aug. 28, 1832
Dorothea d. 1855 (Est. #885, 1855)

It is quite clear that this is the Thomas Bowles family of Washington county, Maryland.  Thomas had sons John (in 1766) and Evan (1778) and a daughter Mary (in 1771).  Also, these siblings had another brother, Isaac Bowles, whose son, John W. Bowles, appears in New Orleans in the early 1800's operating a fleet of steamboats on the river trade (see Captain John W. Bowles)

References in Louisiana give us more on Evan's family and confirmation of much of the above.  With all the information available combined we now have:

Evan Bowles b. ~ 1785 Frederick county, Maryland (Thomas Bowles, Eleanor Baker)
m. Dorothee Carlin (b. ~ 1788 St. Martinville, LA; Joseph Carlin, Francoise Lange)
 Nov. 22, 1808 St. Martinville, St. Martin parish, LA   ref.
1.  Mathilde Bowles b. Oct. 27, 1809 bp. June 18, 1810 St. Martinville, St. Martin parish, LA
(spon.: Denis Carlin, Marguerite Bourgeois)  ref.
2.  Adelard (Thomas E.) Bowles b. Dec. 23, 1810  bp. Feb. 27, 1811 St. Martinville, St. Martin parish, LA
(spon.: Adelard Verret, Celestine Carlin)  ref.
(Thomas is most likely the boy who was baptized Adelard as Thomas was a legal heir and over 21 in 1832 when Evan died and there is no time for another boy to be born of Evan and Dorothee's marriage; no Adelard is mentioned in the estate papers)
Thomas d. summer 1841 Tennessee (unmarried and no children)
3.  Louisa b. ~ 1811/1812 m. Alexander L. Field or Fields bef. 1832
(she has to fit here but I haven't found her baptismal or marriage record)
4.  Eleanore Bowles b. Aug. 11, 1813 bp. Dec. 14, 1815 St. Martinville, St. Martin parish, LA
(spon.: Terence Carlin, Hortense Carlin)   ref.
m. Simon C. Matheson
5.  Eliza (Susan) Bowles b. Aug. 12, 1814 bp. Dec. 14, 1815 St. Martinville, St. Martin parish, LA
(spon.: Lufroy Carlin, Josephine Carlin)  ref.
6.  Claire Aminte Bowles b. July 29, bp. Oct. 21, 1818 St. Martinville, St. Martin parish, LA
(spon: Thomas Bowles, Claire Carlin)  ref.
Claire d. bef. 1832 (not mentioned in Evan's estate papers)
Evan d. Aug. 28, 1832 Franklin, St. Mary Parish, LA ref.

Thomas E. Bowles' estate papers ref. tell us that following Evan's death, his plantation was co-owned by his widow and his only son, Thomas (so Adelard was Thomas).  His widow owned 5/9 of his estate and Thomas owned 4/9 and he was also the Manager of the plantation which produced sugar and molasses.  Thomas died in 1841 while away in Tennessee leaving two Wills.  The first left his estate to his sister Eleanor and named her as Executor and the second left her still the heir but named her husband, Simon C. Matheson, as Executor.  That measure was probably just a reflection of the role of a married woman at the time and was not contested by Eleanor.  Louisa's husband, however, unsuccessfully contested both Wills on Eleanor's behalf in an attempt to inherit her share of her father's original estate.  Note: the succession notes state that "The appelee, Eleanor Matheson, being authorized by her husband, presented her petition to the Court of probates ...." when she filed her defense of her inheritance and Simon Matheson filed all the appeals on his wife's behalf.  These court actions seem to have ended with the sale of the assets (sugar, molasses and the land) of Evan's plantation on the Lower Bayou Teche. 

As Thomas was the only son and he died childless, there doesn't seem to have been any continuation of this particular Bowles line in Louisiana.


This site was last updated 10/23/18