Nathaniel BOWMAN's birth date and place are still under some speculation, but it is thought he was born 9 Feb 1607/8 near Leek, Stafford, England. We do know he and his wife, Anna arrived together, on one of the ships of the Winthrop Fleet of 1630, arriving before the fall of 1630. No children were listed with the Bowmans, although children were listed with others, so we may assume all their Bowman children were born in Watertown, Massachusetts. The Winthrop Fleet comprised eleven ships, 4 of them used for livestock and provisions, and held a total of approximately 700 passengers. Note that a sailing trip could take as much as seventy days, crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
The passages from England were not without tragedy, as evidenced by the following, taken from an online article:
Winthrop wrote to his wife just before they set sail that there were seven hundred passengers. Six months after their arrival, Thomas Dudley wrote to Bridget Fiennes, Countess of Lincoln and mother of Lady Arbella and Charles Fiennes, that over two hundred passengers had died between their landing April 30 and the following December, 1630. That letter traveled via the Lyon April 1, 1631 and reached England four weeks later.
[my bolded words above]
Nathaniel likely married Anna in approximately 1629, in England. Her surname has been listed as Barnard in several sources, but this seems unlikely to several genealogists, looking for possible Barnard ancestors. Another surname, BERESFORD, appears much more likely, and is given as her maiden name in details of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlers. Details may be found in several places, including in the book: The Great Migration Begins [etc.] by Robert C. Anderson (pub. by NEHGS, but also available on Ancestry, and available perhaps at a library near you!).
Arriving in 1630 and settling in Watertown, MA, the BOWMANs had the following seven children, born in Watertown, of which the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th children - three girls - died before 1639:
- Francis [ancestor], b. 16 Dec 1630, d. 16 Dec 1687 Cambridge MA; m. 26 Jul 1661 to Martha SHERMAN (b.21 Dec 1640, Watertown MA); 10 children
- Mary, b. 1633, d. bef 1 Jan 1637/38, aged 5
- Joanna, b. bef 20 Nov 1638, d. bef 20 Nov 1638 [burial date] as infant.
- Dorcas, b. 31 Jan 1638/39, d. 1 week later 6 Feb 1638/9 as infant
- Nathaniel [jr.], b. 6 Mar 1640/41, d. 1707 Wethersfield, CT; unmarried, no children
- Joanna, b. 20 Nov 1642, d. after 1682; m. to an unknown Turner; one dau Hannah
- Dorcas, b. after 1643; m. bef 1665 to Benjamin Blackleach; 2 sons Nathaniel, Benjamin jr.
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