This one’s been floating around for a while; I’ve seen a couple copies of it but no one seemed to know who she was. It turns out there was a copy in my aunt’s possession which had been identified years ago by my grandfather. The young woman in the portrait is Maybelle (Douglas) Hart, daughter of John Smart Douglas and his wife Isabel Amanda Oakes of Adams Co., Wisconsin. Maybelle (usually called May) married Arthur Hart. They resided in Chicago and had no children. May was the sister of Jeremiah E. “Jed” Douglas, Edward Douglas, and Libbie (Douglas) Colburn.
For more years than I care to think about, I have puzzled over the identity of the Amy Bowen born circa 1727 who married Eleazer Fitch. Her given name appears variously spelled as Amy, Amie, and Amey, and although she is usually surnamed Bowen, I once saw her name given as Amy Brown. On a recent webcrawl looking for anything that might have been found about Amy, I stumbled across a Genforum post by Terry A. Bowen suggesting that Amy was the Amica Bowen born 10 September 1726, daughter of Ebenezer and Anne (Newman) Bowen of Rehoboth, MA. It looked good – sounded reasonable – but was it?
Proof has surfaced: Bristol Co., MA deeds, Book 35, Page 292. Sold by Ebenezer Fitch and Amie his wife to William Cole “…all that twelve acres of wood land divided to the said Amie out of the estate of her father Ebenezer Bowen late of Rehoboth deceased”.
In this deed, Eleazer Fitch is identified as being both of Bristol County and of “Providence plantation” in the colony of Rhode Island, which tallies with the Eleazer who was later of Windham, CT, and who, being of the Loyalist persuasion, ultimately removed to Canada. His daughter Philena had married into the Elderkin family, who were rather enthusiastically on the other side, leading one to suspect that the Revolutionary War was a somewhat uncomfortable situation for her in terms of familial loyalties.
Carl Boyer’s research has done a pretty good job of demolishing the previously claimed ancestry for the immigrant Richard Bowen from whom Amy’s Bowen family descends, so the line currently dead-ends on this side of the pond, but at the moment, I’ll happily celebrate just knowing who Amy was. Here – have a (virtual) cigar!