My last post focused on Joseph Bowman (1836 – 1893), the brother of my great-great-grandfather John Bowman (1828-1906) and the son of Robert Bowman and Caroline Reed. In this post, I’ll set down what we know about his son – Joseph James Bowman.

St. Simon Zelotes, Bethnal Green

Joseph James Bowman, who was born in 1857, married Emma Ann Page on 16 May 1880 at the church of St Simon Zelotes, Bethnal Green. Emma, 21, was the daughter of Cambridgshire-born labourer Peter Page and his wife Ann. A year later, when the 1881 census was taken, Joseph, Emma and an unnamed infant son were living at 12 Floreston Street, Mile End. Joseph, a packing case maker like his father, was out of work at the time.

It seems this first child did not survive, since he is not mentioned again in the records. Another son, Joseph Edward, was born in 1883 and a daughter, Rose Ann, in 1888. When the latter was baptised at St. Bartholomew, Bethnal Green, the family was living at 16 Floreston Street. However, when the census was taken three years later, in 1891, the Bowmans were at 89 White House Lane.

The Silvertown Works

They were still at this address in 1892 when their daughter Elizabeth Jessie was born: she was baptised at St. Dunstan’s church, Stepney. However, the couple’s last two children – Edward and Edith – were born in Silvertown, West Ham, in 1894 and 1898 respectively. The Bowmans were living in the West Ham area when Emma died, aged 39, in the first quarter of 1898, possibly from complications following Edith’s birth.

Just over a year later, on 23 April 1899, Joseph remarried, at St. Paul, Bow Common. His second wife was Emma’s sister, Elizabeth Lydia (Lilian in some records), who was herself a widow, having been married to carman Edward Lingwood Peckham, who had died earlier that year. Edward and Elizabeth appear to have had a number of children but I can find no further trace of them until 1911, when Edward and Edith Peckham reappear in the Bowman household.

Walthamstow in 1906

Joseph and Elizabeth had a daughter of their own, Jessie Ladysmith Bowman, in 1900, and at the time of the 1901 census the Bowmans were living at 48 Markham Avenue, Walthamstow. Joseph senior was still working as a packing case maker while the eldest son from his first marriage, Joseph junior, now 18,  was employed as a commercial clerk.

The Bowmans were still at the same address in 1911, with an additional daughter, Jane, born in about 1903. I’ve yet to discover when Joseph and Elizabeth died.