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Robert Bowman Portrait
Oil portrait of Robert Bowman

Personal Artifacts of Robert Bowman of Glasgow, Scotland

I am fortunate to have inherited two very special pieces relating to one of my paternal great-great-grandfathers, Robert Bowman: (1) his original indenture agreement as an apprentice mason in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, dated 1817,[1] and (2) an oil portrait of him as a successful monumental worker, date unknown.[2]Robert Bowman was baptized on 14 May 1797, in Craigie, Ayrshire, Scotland.[3] He was the third child (of 10) and first son born to Andrew Bowman and Janet Robertson. On 4 December 1821 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, he married Marion Wallace, daughter of Robert Wallace and Marion Kennedy.[4] Robert and Marion had five children: Andrew, Mary, William, Marion, and Jane. In the absence of other information, I was able to track Robert through various censuses. In 1841, he was living on Glebe Street in Barony Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland.[5] He was living as a boarder, and his profession was listed as “Sculptor.” However, his family – Marion, four children, Robert's mother (Janet), and Robert's sister Elisabeth – were living in Kilmarnock Parish in the 1841 census, where Marion was working as a “Handsewer.”[6] I have no information on why they were living separately. It is also interesting that Robert's mother and sister are living with Marion. Also in this census, daughter Mary was working as a “F.S.” (Female Servant) in the Dalrymple household in Kilmarnock.[7] Robert’s wife, Marion, died prior to the 1851 census, but I have been unable to find any record of her death. In the 1851 census, Robert and three children (William, Marion, and Jane), were living in Barony Parish, and Robert was listed as a widower.[8] Robert was again listed as a “Sculptor” and son William was listed as an “Apprentice Sculptor”. Marion was keeping house and Jane was a “Scholar.”

Electoral registers show that Robert had moved to Glasgow by 1857.[9] He died at the approximate age of 63 of bronchitis at 2:20 a.m. on 10 November 1860 at his residence at 28 Parson Street in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and is buried in Sighthill Cemetery, Glasgow. In the Statutory Register of Deaths, he was listed as a Widower with the occupation of Sculptor. His son, William Bowman, was the informant.[10]

As previously mentioned, Robert and Marion had five children: Andrew, Mary, William, Marion, and Jane. Daughter Mary married Thomas White on 1 June 1849.[11] Their youngest daughter, Laurina Jane (White) Hunt, passed both artifacts to her nephew, Thomas Gay White (my father), from whom I inherited them in 1973. We believe that Laurina Hunt received the document and portrait from her mother, Mary (Bowman) White, the second child and eldest daughter of Robert and Marion (Wallace) Bowman.

Note: This article was originally written for publication in the newsletter of the Dallas Genealogical Society. In this post, I have corrected two errors related to the 1841 Census and the household of Marion (Wallace) Bowman. I had wrongly stated that Marion's mother and sister were residing in the house, when it was in fact Robert's mother and sister.


[1] Indenture for Apprentice document for Robert Bowman [Kilmarnock, Scotland, entered into on 2 July 1817 and completed 29 May 1820]; Moore Family Collection, privately held by Kristin White Moore, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Traverse City, Michigan.

[2] Oil portrait of Robert Bowman, date unknown; Moore Family Collection, privately held by Kristin White Moore, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Traverse City, Michigan.

[3] National Records of Scotland, “Old Parish Registers – Births and Baptisms,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 22 June 2017); digital image, Robert Bowman baptism, 14 May 1797; citing OPR Births 584/00 0010 0172 Craigie.

[4] National Records of Scotland, “Old Parish Registers – Marriages,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 19 June 2017); digital image, Marriage of Robert Bowman and Marion Wallace, 4 December 1821; citing OPR Marriages 597/00 0100 0040 Kilmarnock.

[5] 1841 census of Scotland, Barony Parish, p. 11, Robert Bowman; image, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 20 July 2017.

[6] 1841 census of Scotland, Kilmarnock Parish, p. 16, Marion Bowman; image, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 19 July 2017.

[7] 1841 census of Scotland, Kilmarnock Parish, p. 1, Mary Bowman; image, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 19 July 2017.

[8] 1851 census of Scotland, Barony Parish, p. 8, Robert Bowman; image, National Records of Scotland, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 19 July 2017.

[9] Ancestry.com, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1857-1962 (Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Date:2016 Place:Lehi, UT, USA), The Mitchell Library; Glasgow, Scotland; Reference Number: 410498. 

[10] National Records of Scotland, “Statutory Registers - Deaths,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 9 August 2020); digital image, 1860 Deaths in the Central District in the Burgh of Glasgow, Page 543, No. 1629.

[11] National Records of Scotland, “Old Parish Registers – Marriages,” database with images, ScotlandsPeople (https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/: accessed 14 February 2024); digital image, Marriage of Thomas White and Mary Bowman, 1 May 1849; citing OPR Marriages 622/00 0190 0514 Barony.