Elijah "Lige" Bowling Notes

 Elijah ‘Lige’ Bowling was born on 22 Jan 1801 in Lee Co, VA, died on 20 Oct 1883 at age 82, and was buried in Bowling Cemetery, Green mount, Laurel County, KY.

General Notes: As per Harley Bowling’s “Bowling’s of Eastern Kentucky” Elijah Bowling was born on the Three Forks of the Powell River in Lee County, VA; and came to Kentucky with his father, Rev Jesse Bowling around 1809. Elijah is buried in the Bowling Cemetery, Green mount, Laurel Co, KY, near the Laurel/ Jackson County line off Hwy 30. Elijah was married three times. First on 3/18/1819 , to Susannah Roberts. Susannah’s parents were Jesse and Nancy Ander son Roberts, were also from Lee Co, VA. They settled in the Red Bird River territory of Clay Co around 1810. Elijah and Susannah had eight children before her death.

Elijah married 2nd on 11/13/ 1843 to Mary Ann Cobb when he was 42 years of age. Mary Ann Cobb Bowling and Elijah had five children before she died on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River at the age of 40 years old  on 8/ 5/1858.

Elijah’s 3rd wife Nancy Ann Bryant was born on  3 /15/ 1824 was the widow of James Centers of Morgan County, Kentucky. Elijah was 58 and Nancy Ann age 36 when they were married at Elijah’s home on the Middle Fork on 9 /20/1859. Nancy Ann died on May 21, 1904. There were no children from this marriage.

The history of Perry County shows that Elijah was an early Justice of the Peace and served a two year term as Sheriff 1844 – 1846.

Elijah, like his brothers was involved in buying / selling land.

200 acres – 19 May 1836 North Fork, Kentucky River Perry County

300 acres – 5 June 1840 Bowling’s Branch Perry County

400 acres – 31 Sept 1846 Middle Fork, Kentucky River Perry County

The 1849 tax list of Breathitt County shows

650 acres Crockettsville

50 acres Turkey Creek

Elijah and his family were residents of Breathitt County after its formation with the exception of his son, Elijah Bowling, Jr. He and the rest of h is family moved to Jackson County after the Civil War ended. His grandson n, Jason Walker Bowling states in the Dickey Diary that his grandfather, Elijah was baptized by Rev Daniel Duff. Jason further states that Elijah left Kentucky during the Civil War and stayed with his Uncle, David Penning ton in Lee County, Virginia.

Elijah and his family found a new home in Jackson County near his relatives in the Moore and Terrill’s Creek area off Hwy 20 near the Jackson / Laurel County line. He and his wife, Nancy became members of the United Baptist Church of Mt Pleasant in Laurel County in 1867. A large number of their family also became members of the same church.

Elijah married Susannah Roberts, daughter of Jesse Roberts and Nancy Anderson, on 18 Mar 1819. Susannah was born in 1799 in Clay Co, KY and died in 1850 in Clay Co, KY at age 51.

Children from this marriage were:

+21F  i. Chaney Bowling was born on 10 Mar 1820 in Breathitt Co, KY. +22M ii. Jesse B Bowling was born on 14 Jan 1822 in Perry Co, Ky, died on 14 Sep 1878 in Laurel Co, KY at age 56, and was buried in Bowling Cemetery, Laurel Co, KY.    

+23 M iii. Delaney Bowling was born on 7 Nov 1823

+24 M iv. William Robert Bowling was born in 1826 in Breathitt Co, KY and died before 1863.

+25 M v. Elijah Bowling Jr was born on 29 Feb 1828 in Clay Co, KY and died on 17 Feb 1908 in Stamper’s Fork, Canoe, Breathitt Co, KY at age 79.

26 F vi. Nancy Jane Bowling was born about 1829 in Perry Co, Ky.

Nancy married Larkin Murrell. Larkin was born in 1826.

27 M vii. Elisha Bowling was born on 23 Jun 1831 in Lee Co, VA.

Elisha married Elvira Crawford. Elvira was born on 24 Feb 1838.
Most of this information was given to me by one of the greatest researchers that ever lived, Harley Tucker Bowling. RIP my cousin, you are missed!

The Bowling Name in History

These stats were gathered after I read the book, “The Bowling Name in History” by Ancestry. I have listed some of the most interesting numbers:

The Bowling Name in History

Timeline in History

1840- 110 Bowling Families with most living in Kentucky. (21).

1861-1865- 163 Bowling Union Soldiers and 358 Confederate Soldiers.

1880- Top Bowling US Occupations- Keeping house, farmer, laborer, at home.

1881 England- Most Bowling residents lived in Lancashire and Yorkshire Counties

1900-1170 Bowling Families with most living in KY, average household size 5.34

1914-1918 World War I- 1,565 Bowling draft registrants, with most registering in KY.

1920- 1844 Bowling households of which 44 percent owned home, 70 % of these individuals were literate.

1939-1945 World War II- 895 Bowling soldiers joined the US Army.

Today- Most Bowling families in US  live in Kentucky and Ohio.


1832-1904- Bowling land patents were issued from the federal government.

1821-1948- Most Bowling immigrants to US came from England, Ireland, and Canada.

1945- Most Bowling Immigrants to the US arrived in 1945. The Queen Mary was the most common ship that Bowling immigrants sailed on.


Ships the Bowling’s Sailed On:

Queen Mary-20 ppl                                         Adriatic- 8ppl

Leviathan- 16 ppl                                            Baltic- 8 ppl.

Queen Elizabeth- 15 ppl

Britannic- 14 ppl

Cedric- 11 ppl

City of Limerick- 9 ppl

General Maurice Rose- 9 ppl

Majestic- 9 ppl

1840 Fun Facts

US population was 17,069,000

Inventions: Sewing machine, vulcanized rubber

Most popular spectator event: Horse racing

10- hour work day was established.


States with the most Bowling Households in 1840-

Kentucky -21


Tennessee- 11

Indiana- 9



Bowling Households in Kentucky


Early Kentucky inhabitants included members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Shawnee Indian Tribes. Daniel Boone established the first English-speaking settlement in the area in 1775.  Kentucky became a state in 1792.  The 1820 Missouri Compromise confirmed its status as a slave state. Kentucky’s 1840 population was 780,000 including 190,000 people of African descent.


1880- Did you know?

US Population- 50,155,783.

Residents born outside the US: 5,248,568

Teacher’s salary monthly: male- 71.50  and female: 54.50 per month

Life expectancy was 39.6 years

Bike Ownership- 50,000

Miles of Railroad track- 87,000


States with most Bowling’s in 1880

Kentucky- 110

Virginia- 73






Mary Pennington Bowling

Mary Pennington Bowling…


According to just about every notation that I have read – Mary Pennington was born at the hollow of the Yadkin River on the east side of Blue Ridge and New River in Wilkes Co., NC.  Now someone who knows the area fairly well can probably tell me where that is, exactly.  I suspect that it is probably near or in what is now known as Ashe Co., NC.  Ashe Co., NC was carved out of Wilkes Co., NC in 1799.  We know that Mary Pennington’s father, Micajah lived in Ashe Co., NC and probably had land there when she was born. 


Mary Pennington was the oldest daughter of 10 children and married her husband when her youngest sibling was only three years old.  Jesse Bowling was probably a widower with one son when he married Mary Pennington when she was 19 years old on 6 Jan 1785 in Wilkes Co., NC.  He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War having served as a Sergeant from North Carolina and has a recorded pension (#514974).  He was the son of Benjamin Bolling and Patsy Phelps.  There has been an ongoing discussion for years that Jesse Bowling was a descendant of Pocahontas…I have enough trouble keeping up with Bowlings who are related to the Penningtons without getting into that discussion.  So here is Mary, newly married and a new step mother and married to a man who is a military veteran.  In the early years of their marriage they are recorded in Wilkes Co., NC, Lee Co., VA and Hawkins Co., TN.  Jesse and Mary probably moved to Hawkins Co., TN at least by 1794 and perhaps earlier.  Jesse is baptized by Rev. Andrew Baker of the Blackwater Primitive Baptist Church and was himself a Baptist preacher. So that perhaps explains their wanderings in the early years of their marriage.


By 1804, they are probably back in Lee Co., VA according to the birth places of their children and it is likely they were living close to her parents by that time.  By 1810, Jesse and Mary are in Clay Co., KY and are recorded in the census there.  I find it very interesting that they live in Clay Co., KY because I find traces of several Penningtons there as well as other members of the maternal side of my family.    Jesse and Mary are recorded in 1820 in Perry Co., KY.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they moved much because Perry Co., KY was formed from Clay and Floyd Co., KY and when they are recorded as dying in Breathitt Co., KY aft 1840, it is still could be the same area as Breathitt Co., KY was formed out of Clay, Estill & Perry Counties.  Since I am not that familiar with where they lived exactly, history and geography tell me that they probably lived in the same area but the county lines might have changed on them.


So, they have traveled from North Carolina, to Virginia, to Tennessee and then back to Virginia and finally have settled in Kentucky.  Along the way, Jesse worked as a Preacher and they had 12 children together.  Their children were:

  • Hannah Bowling b. 28 Apr 1786 Lee Co., VA d. 1841 m. Nelson Gay m. Leonard Huff
  • Mary “Polly” Bowling b. 1 Mar 1788 VA/NC d. aft 1880 Perry Co., KY m. Abraham Barger
  • John S. Bowling b. 1789 Hawkins Co., TN d. 26 Jul 1838 Krypton, Perry Co., KY m. Mary Lewis
  • Justice Tucker Bowling b. 1790 Wilkes Co., NC d. 1880 Perry Co., KY m. Hanna Reed
  • Rachel Bowling b. abt 1792 m. Joseph Reason
  • Elizabeth Bowling b. 1 Apr 1794 Hawkins Co., TN d. Feb 1866 Jackson Co., KY m. Abel Pennington
  • Eliajah “Lige” Bowling b. 22 Jan 1798 Lee Co., VA d. 22 Oct 1883 m. 1 – Susanna Roberts m. 2 – Mary Ann Keen m.3 – Nancy Ann Bryant
  • Jesse Bowling, Jr. b. abt 1800 d. bet 1848-1850 Breathitt Co., KY m. 1 – Nancy Dewees m. 2 – Winifred Lewis
  • Margaret “Patsy” Bowling b. 1804 Lee Co., VA m. 1 – Joseph Spencer m. 2. – ? Maggard
  • William “Priimpy Bill” Bowling b. abt 1806 Lee Co., VA m. Deborah Duff
  • Nancy Bowling b. abt 1808 Lee Co., VA or KY m. Edward Begley
  • George Bowling b. abt 1810 m. Phoebe Lewis
  • Jesse’s oldest son from his first marriage was John E. Bowling b. 1777 Wilkes Co., NC d. aft 1839 m. Susan Sizemore


This is a large family – but the two most intriguing children are Mary Polly Bowling and Elizabeth Bowling.  Mary “Polly” Bowling had at least 5 children but they intermarried with their Johnston cousins through their mother’s family (Sarah Pennington m. Samuel Johnson/Johnston) and their children marry into some of the more well-known families in Kentucky such as Gay, Brewer, and Spurlock.  Elizabeth marries her possible cousin Abel Pennington and their children also marry into some well-known families including their Johnson/Johnston cousins, Combs, Turner, Moore & McGee.  Between these two daughters, I have met the majority of Mary Pennington descendants through my research.


Jesse and Mary Pennington Bowling died with a year of each other.  Jesse died 10 Mar 1841 and Mary died 21 Mar 1842 both in Breathitt Co., KY probably around Quicksand creek.  For their time period, they both lived to be old people and probably also saw the death of at least three of their children.  There is a lot left to be done to fill out the families and probably many puzzles to unravel.  These families seem to intermarry enough and used so many similar names that sometimes it is very difficult to figure out which is which…but if you are descendant of Mary Pennington through her daughters Elizabeth or Mary – you could be a member of three different Pennington family groups – which is certainly confusing enough.

http://img1.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gifPosted by Carmen Johnson http://img2.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif