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Col. James Bowie

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In 1706, the first member of the Bowie Family, John Bowie (1688-1759), emigrated to America from Scotland. He settled in the area that would eventually become the state of Maryland.
One of his grandchildren, James Bowie (1739-1799) moved to South Carolina, where his son Rezin Pleasant Bowie was born c. 1762.
Rezin Pleasant Bowie, who moved to Louisiana c. 1802, is the founder of the Louisiana branch of the family, which lived in the central portion of the state (Catahoula, Avoyelles, Terrebon & St. Landry Parishes).
Rezin Pleasant Bowie died in 1821 in Opelousas. His wife was Elve ap-Catesby Jones (d. 1838). Their children:

John Jones Bowie, b 1785, d 1859, attorney; lived in Arkansas as an adult.
Sarah Bowie, b 1787, m. Mr. Davis of Opelousas, LA. No surviving children.
Mary Bowie, b 1789, m. Abraham Bird of Missouri.
Martha Bowie, b 1791, m. James Nugent, 2nd Alexander B. Sterret, 1st settler of Shreveport, LA
Rezin Pleasant Bowie, Jr. (1793-1841) served in the War of 1812; State Rep. for Avoyelles Parish, LA. Died in New Orleans. Married Margaret Neville. Children:
. John Bowie, b 1814, d infancy
. Matilda Eleanor Bowie, b 1817, d 1892, m. Joseph Hickman Moore
. Seyborne Bowie, d at age three
. Martha Anidremella Bowie, died age 21
. ElveAnna Bowie, b 1820, d 1873 m 1841 John Yarlor Moore

David Bowie , b ?, d mid-1810s, drowned in the Mississippi River as a teen.

Col. James Bowie (1796-1836), named for his paternal grandfather, lived in Lousiana. Was state representative of Catahoula Parish in 1826. Some descendants claim James Bowie, fmc., born at Catahoula, moved to Avoyelles, LA ca 1860, is a mulatto descendant of Jim Bowie and forefather of this branch of Bowie family which still resides in Central Louisiana. Actually, James Bowie FMC was a different person. The James Bowie that moved to Avoyelles was the second son of James Bowie, FMC.
Col. James Bowie married Ursula de Veremendi, daughter of a Mexican governer, in 1831. Two children were born to this union. His wife and two young children died in an 1832 cholera epidemic. Thus, there are no direct descendants of Col. James Bowie.
Col. James Bowie died in the defense of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas on March 6, 1836.

Stephen Bowie b 1797, d. 1833, parish sheriff; m Mary Compton.
. Mary Anne or Marion Bowie, b 1825 m. Charles Leckie
. James Bowie, Jr. b ca 1828, m. Elizabeth Kirkland

                                                    - Source: The Bowies and their Kindred, by Walter Worthington Bowie, 1899

In 1998, Mrs. Virginia Lobdell Jennings wrote a book entitled The Rezin Bowie Family of Louisiana -- Documents Supporting Corrections and Additions Concering The Rezin Bowie Family of Louisiana and Suggestions For Further Research". (Mrs. Jennings is a descendant of Mary Bowie Bird.) COMING SOON: A searchable webpage genealogy of the descendants of Rezin Bowie, using my data and that of Mrs. Jennings.

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So far, I have only seen reference to one document that contains the names of James Bowie and James Bowie, free man of color. (I am in the process of obtaining an image of the actual document.) It was summarized in the December, 1983 issue of the Louisiana Genealogical Register:

STEPHEN BOWIE, attorney-in-fact for JAMES BOWIE, on the 24th day of January, 1827, for $900.00, sells and delivers unto JAMES BOWIE, a free man of colour of the parish of Catahoula, the following slaves: Kissey, aged 35 years, Lydia, aged 6 years, and Tom, aged 4 years, all slaves for life. Witnesses: C. D. BRASHEAR and JESSE CLIFFS. SILAS TALBERT, Notary Public.

The following footnote was added to the summary: "Stephen and James Bowie were brothers, and originally lived in Catahoula parish, La. It is not unlikely that this "free man of colour" was a relative."

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Biography of James Bowie (from the Alamo movie website, by historian Jeffrey Dane)

Another biography of Col. Jim Bowie

The Bowie Knife: Its origins.

Theme song from "The Adventures of Jim Bowie" television show (ABC 1956-58)

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James Bowie, as rendered by Texas artist Mark Barnett

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Joe Musso is a Southern California based artist and historical illustrator who has contributed to many movies through the years. He is also an expert on Jim Bowie, the Bowie Knife and the Battle for the Alamo. He was able to ascertain the correct birthplace of James Bowie (Kentucky) after years of many other states (Tennessee, Georgia, etc.) claiming the honor. He has become such an expert on the Bowie Knife that one design is referred to as the "Musso Bowie Knife!"

Joe Musso, Steve Bowie, Jeffrey Dane

Los Angeles, March 10, 2007

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The Handbook of Texas Online has articles about:

James Bowie

Rezin P. Bowie

The Bowie Knife

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Other links:

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library

The Official Alamo Site

The Alamo Site (a site featuring an Alamo discussion group)


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