Jefferson County, NY Pioneers




Wells Island, Theresa & Alexandria Township

Elizabeth Comstock, also known as Betsey, was born 1811-12 on Wells Island, daughter of William Comstock and Mary Pattison. Elizabeth died in 1884 and is buried in the Walton Street Cemetery, Alexandria Bay, Jefferson Co., NY and the marker states she was the mother of N. J. Phillips.

Elizabeth married first to William Seaman, son of Caleb Seaman, Jr. and wife Nancy Stevens, of Ontario, Canada. Her first cousin, Lucinda Pattison was married to William Seaman's brother, Caleb Seaman Jr. and after his death she married George Cuppernall. George and Lucinda resided in Orleans, Jefferson Co., NY.

Children of Elizabeth Comstock and William Seaman:

1) Nancy J. Seaman born Feb. 1832 and died 1908; buried Walton Street Cemetery. he married John N. Phillips b October 1831 and died 1913. They married in 1870. Of their five children, only Edith May grew to adulthood.

Children of Nancy J. Seaman and John N. Phillips:

1a) Metta Phillips d 1853 - buried Walton St. Cemetery
2b) Willie Phillips d 1853 - buried Walton St. Cemetery
3c) Johnie Phillips d 1857 - buried Walton St. Cemetery
4d) Eden J. Phillips b 1859 and died 1862
5e) Edith May Phillips b 1863 - married William T. Bascom

2) Experience Seaman born 1835 - no further information

3) Philena Seaman born 9 December 1837 and died 4 June 1928 in Mackinaw, Cheboygan Co., Michigan. She married Jared Dingman who was born December 1834 in New York. He was the son of John Dingman and Charlotte Polly Lull of Clayton, NY.

Children of Philena Seaman and Jared Dingman:

1a) Emma
2b) Harriette
3c) William
4d) John
In the 1870 census of Michigan, John Dingman, age 81 and Charlotte Dingman, age 65, both born NY, are living in the household.

4) Elizabeth Seaman born 1840 - no further information. In the 1855 census of Alexandria Bay, NY, Elizabeth is in the household of her sister, Nancy J. Phillips.

There is no record found so far that indicates what may have happened to William Seaman or his death. However, by 1843, Elizabeth had remarried in Jefferson County to Francis Bowen who is sometimes referred to as Frank in various records. He was born 1818 in Vermont and served in the Civil War, enlisted 11 December 1863, where he was presumably killed as Elizabeth, as his widow, filed on 14 June 1865 for a pension. Application 79138, certificate 129732. He served in 18 NYC.

Children of Elizabeth Comstock and Francis Bowen:

1a) Asa Bowen - born 1843; died 17 November 1916 in Carp Lake, Emmet, MI at 73 years. His death certificate lists his father as Frank Bowen and his mother as Elizabeth Comstock. In the 1860 census of Alexandria Bay, both Asa and brother Alpheus Bowen were in the household of Bruce M. Davis, age 30, and Mary Davis, age 23. Mary Davis was (nee) Hoadley, daughter of John D. Hoadley and Philena Comstock. Philena was a sister of Elizabeth Comstock Bowen. Asa enlisted in the Civil War at age 22 on 9 Feb. 1865; served in 26 NYC. He married Lucina Moore.

In the 1870 census at Orleans, Jefferson Co: Asa Bowen, age 27, farmer
Lucina, age 28
John, age 15
Elizabeth (mother) 59
Blanche, age 2
Adron, age six months

In the 1875 census of Orleans:
Asa Bowen and wife, Lucina E.
children: Blanche b 1869; Adrian b 1870 and Clifford b 1872, as well as John Bowen, Asa's brother.

Clifford C. Bowen was born Aug. 1872 and married May E. Bowen, bc 1875, on 30 Oct. 1901 in Cheboygan, Michigan. His father Asa Bowen and mother Lucina Moor. Her father Levi Bowen and mother Almira Gaskill. Clifford died in 1953 in Cheboygan, MI.

By 1910, Asa was living at Hebron, Cheboygan, Michigan with wife, Lucina.

2b) Levi Bowen - was born 1846 and also served in the Civil War; he enlisted on 6 Feb. 1865 and served with his brother, Asa, in the same company. He married Myra Gaskill, daughter of Lorenzo and Minerva Gaskill of Vermont and New York. Levi was an engineer on a lake steamer. Myra was born in 1843 and died 1896, wife of Levi L. Bowen; she is buried in the Hillside Cemetery in Wilna, Jefferson Co. Levi died in 1910 and is also buried in the Hillside Cemetery.

Children of Levi Bowen and Mira Gaskill:

1a) Elmer b 1868 - died 1876; buried Hillside Cemetery
2b) Charles b 1870 - died 1897; buried Hillside Cemetery
3c) Mary b 1875- married cousin, Clifford C. Bowen

3c) Alpheus Bowen - was born 8 March 1847 on Wells Island, Jefferson Co., NY and died 9 July 1921 in Rockford, Illinois but was buried July 1921 in State Center, Iowa. His death certificate lists Frank W. Bowen as his father and Elizabeth Comstock as his mother. Alpheus was a marine engineer. His wife, Abigail M., was born in 1855 and died in 1945. When he died, two children and his wife survived him: Frank and Clifford of Rockford, Illinois and a daughter, Mrs. Ralph Dugan of Des Moines, Iowa. Two other children, a son and a daughter, died when the family lived at State Center, Iowa and were buried in the Hillside Cemetery there.

Children of Alpheus Bowen and Abigail:

1a) Eden Bowen b 1878, d unknown - buried Hillside Cemetery, stone unreadable
2b) Ella May Bowen b 1877, d unknown - buried Hillside Cemetery, stone unreadable
3d) Clifford C. Bowen
4e) Frank Bowen bc 1883
5e) Florence Bowen bc 1894

4d) Francis Bowen - was born May 1849 and married in 1875 to Clarissa (Clara C.), who was born 4 May 1852. She died 29 Jan. 1902. They were residents of Cheboygan, Michigan in 1900 in the Hebron and Mackinaw Townships.

Children of Francis Bowen and Clarissa:

1a) Bertha Bowen b 1876

5e) John Bowen - born 1855 - died 1900 in Cheboygan, MI. Daughter: Marion Laura Bowen Vorce born 1894, d 1960. His wife named Elizabeth, born 1859; d 1919

In the 1865 census of Jefferson County, Elizabeth Comstock Seaman Bowen stated that she had been married twice and was a widow. She also stated that she was the mother of 13 children, but only those listed have been identified. There is very little information on her first husband, William Seaman, other than the children they had together. The Seaman genealogy states that Caleb Seaman Sr., father of William, was a UE in Canada and left Canada to reside in Rochester, Monroe Co., NY with all of his children, except William who was of Theresa in Jefferson Co., NY. The names of the Seaman children related to the Seaman line: in particular, Nancy J. Seaman, after William's mother, Nancy; Experience after his sister, Experience; Philena after her sister Philena Comstock and Elizabeth after her own name. The children she had with Francis Bowen are almost all named after the Comstock lineage except Asa, who may be named after the Bowen line. In particular, Levi Bowen was named after her grandfather, Levi Comstock. Alpheus Bowen was named after her brother, Alpheus Comstock.

Francis Bowen is often confused with Franklin Bowen of Jefferson County, who was born about 1837, son of John Bowen who was born 1784 in France, and his wife, Catherine b 1787 in NY. This Franklin Bowen also served in the Civil War and buried by his brother, Lemon C. Bowen on 8 September 1896. He was 25 years old at enlistment on 4 August 1862 and served in 10 NYHA. See: Jefferson Co. NY Estate Papers Box B68-70, case 993.


This information about the family of early settler Elizabeth Comstock Seaman Bowen was contributed by volunteer Marilyn Sapienza.

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