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James Cowley Family
By Frances Fox
Taken from Ye Olde Ancestors, December 5, 1991
Written permission given by the New Boston Genealogy Society
to post this information to the Bowie County TXGenWeb site.


The 1850 Bowie County, Texas census reports James Cowley, age 41, a tanner, living on 640 acres, born in Tennessee, living with his new wife of less than one year.  This would have to be his second wife because he had four older children also living in the house.  We believe this second wife was Mariah Hulda Duke Smith, the sister of Pleas Duke.  There was a three year old daughter living with them named Sarah A Smith.  The four older Cowley children were: James W age 17, Jesse T age 7, William Boyd age 3, Mare E age 3.

In the 1860 census the little Smith girl is no longer there and there were two sons added: Josephus age 11, and Benjamin F age 9.  In 1860 another little boy was born and named James Cowley so you have half-brothers both named James Cowley after the father.  James Cowley who came here to Bowie County, Texas and received a land grant of 640 acres northwest of New Boston was born about 1809.  His oldest son James was born in 1833 and his youngest son James was born in 1860.  I am going to give you the children of yet another son, William Boyd Cowley.

William Boyd Cowley, 1847-1887, married Amanda Elizabeth Duke, a daughter of Pleas Duke and Martha F Rosser.  She was not his first cousin because his mother was not Mariah Hulda Duke as we first had thought.  Their children were:
1. James Pleasent "Tip", 1872-1926, married Mrs Mary Lea Wingfield Hughes in 1907.  They had 3 children
2. Thomas Francis "Tom", 1874-1957, married Ada Epsy Howard.  They had 5 children.  Miss Grace Cowley was one of those children.
3. Jesse Turner, 1876-1924, married Eunice Burns.  They had 8 children
4. Joseph Huly/Hughley "Bud", 1878-?, married Ruth Kate Akin.  They lived in Ft Worth and had 1 adopted son
5. Smithie Hattie Bell, 1878-1968, married Dave Duffer.  Pete Duffer was one of their sons
6. John Duke "Johnny", 1880-1931, married Hallie Howard
7. William Boyd "Will", 1882-1964, married Ethel Crow. 
Bud and Smithie were twins.

Some members of this family are buried at Woodstock Cemetery and others are buried at Read Hill.  There are some relatives buried at Red Bayou. 



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