Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lily McIlhaney Bowen 1709- 1780

Lily McIlhaney
   Ah the Irish woman I hoped to claim.  She was the mother of a Rebecca Bowen.
I have not pursued this too much since I doubt she is my relative.  But I just hate throwing out any research  so perhaps someone else will find this useful.
Lily McIlhaney was said to be born about 1709 in Ireland to Henry MCILHANEY (b: 1673 Ireland and  Jane MCGEEHAN (b: 1673 Ireland)
I have no info about her trip here but it appears she met John Bowen in PA possibly Chester or Delaware Co.
 She married  John BOWEN (b 1696 in Gwynnedd township, Chester Co. PA)
 I read a lovely story about John Bowen being awestruck by the lovely Irish lass but who knows the truth of their meeting.
 I found this quote about John though " the Quaker who was remarkable for his personal prowess, and an active,       energetic farmer of considerable wealth for that day"  I read they owned slaves and are said to be mentioned in    "Lyman Chalkley's Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia -
   Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County 1745-1800."
  It does seem they were married and living in VA by 1730.

John died  by 1761  Wife, Lillis ( Lillie), named sole executor and guardian  of the youngest girl, Mary.
 At that point it appears in various online biographies  about her , Lily was a very good business woman herself, increasing the family wealth after John's death.  This may explain why she was executor not one of the adult sons.

In 1779, she purchased 800 acres on Holston River Valley in VA. This was after John's death

This is a list of children I found
Nancy BOWEN b: BET 1729 AND 1732 in Orange Co., (then Spotsylvania Co.) VA
Agnes BOWEN b: BET 1735 AND 1740 in Orange Co., VA
John BOWEN b: 21 MAY 1735 in VA
Reece BOWEN b: 1737 in Rockingham Co., (then Augusta Co.) VA
Henry BOWE N b: 1738 in Augusta, Augusta Co., VA
Jane BOWEN b: 1739 in Augusta Co., VA
Robert BOWEN b: 1740 in Augusta Co., VA
Rebecca BOWEN b: 1740 in VA
William BOWEN b: 1742 in Fincastle Co., VA?
Arthur BOWEN b: 17 JAN 1743/44 in Augusta Co., VA
Mary BOWEN b: 1748 in Augusta Co., VA
Charles BOWEN b: SEP 1749 in Augusta Co., VA
Moses BOWEN b: 1754 in VA

Alternate list of children
Nancy Anne  b: 1729- 1732 in Orange or Spotsylvania , VA
Agnes b: 1735-1740 in Orange Co., VA
John b: 21 May 1735 in Augusta Co., VA
Jane  b: 1736 in Augusta, VA
Rees  b: 1737 in Tazewell  or Rockingham or Augusta Co., Va
Henry b: 1738 in Augusta Co., VA
Jean Jane  b: 1739 in Augusta, VA
Moses  b: 1739 in Augusta, VA
Rebecca  b: 1740 in Augusta Co., VA
Robert P. b: 174 0 in Augusta Co., VA
Arthur M.  b: 17 Jan 1742/43 in Augusta Co., VA
William R. b: 1744 in Augusta or Fincastle, Virginia
Mary  b: 8 Apr 1748 in Augusta, VA
Charles  b: Sep 1749 in Augusta Co., VA

 Lily signed a will April 4, 1780 and I believe it was taken to probate in June 1780 Washington Co., VA,   she left her estate to Reece, William, Robert, Henry, Charles, Agnes, and Jean.
(TL NOTE No Rebecca but also no Jane, John, Arthur, or Mary  I know there was a Mary from John's will did she (Mary) die?)

It appears Lily may be in the DAR register--- I found this note about her --"She became a patriot in the American Revolution by furnishing supplies and feeding and clothing colonial troops in the continental army." I read all of the sons were in the Revolutionary War and all of the daughters
married men who were in the war also.

If my family is thru the George Schmidt Smith line, then this is reportedly a grandmother.
 I have many doubts about this  line including the  distrubing  statement that the Rebecca Bowen  married John Whitley, died,   Neither John or Lily named her in their wills .  John Whitley was still nearby as he signed as a witness for Lily.

If  Rebecca was still living,  if she had run away from John as some have claimed, why would Lily still associate with John? 

I have seen some strange family relationships  in my own experience, so I cannot rule the possibilty .


  1. I know... years later, but I'm wondering if you've had any clarification about Rebecca Bowen and George Smith. Supposedly, I'm a descendant, but I'm wondering what's truth and what's myth. Phillip Smith and Millie Adkins are my 3X great-grandparents.

    1. Susan if you are still looking at the family tree, contact me at the blog or my email Just realized I had turned off the notify me button!!