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(Abt 1780-)
Margaret FLOYD
(Abt 1780-)
(Bef 1774-1839)
Unknown First Wife of Joseph Leffew
(1810/1811-After 1884)
(Abt 1839-Abt 1872)


Family Links


Mary MAJORS 3 4

  • Born: Abt 1839, Grainger County, Tennessee 5
  • Marriage: John BOWERS on 3 Jan 1857 in Grainger County, Tennessee 1 2
  • Died: Abt 1872 6

bullet   Other names for Mary were Catherine or Katherine 6 7 and Polly.5


bullet  Research Notes:

Cherokee Ancestry: Bowers family oral history states that Polly was one-half Cherokee. However, see the racial admixture discussion in the Research Note for Stephen Lefew. Whatever her racial admixture from her Leffew mother, it seems likely the non-white portion was substantially less than one-half.

AKA Katherine or Catherine: Our Bowers family oral history has her name as Katherine or Catherine. See, for example, the family records of George Johnston and the Edna (Bowers) Bartlett letter. But, this name does not appear in any official records. There is a Catherine listed in Polk McAlvain's day book right after the listing for John Bowers, which on first glance looks like it would be a listing for his wife, but the dates of birth and death for this Catherine suggest she was a deceased child. She may have been listed with John rather than the other children because they were both deceased at the time these entries were made. But, that doesn't explain the lack of a listing for Mary. Perhaps Polk, a Choctaw Indian, had a patiarchial view of the family or just didn't know about her since she had died years before the family moved to the Choctaw Nation.

Date and Place of Death: We know from the 1870 census for Grainger Co., TN, that Mary was alive at that time. The letter written by Edna (Bowers) Bartlett was written in an attempt to find out more information about Mary's Cherokee Indian heritage. That letter states that she was known to the family as Katherine or Catherine and that she died when her father, John DeWitt Bowers, was five years old. That would put her date of death as about 1872. It would appear she died either just before or just after the family moved from Grainger Co., TN to Mammoth Spring, Fulton Co., AR (see dates in connection with John Bowers' pension application). 6 8 9


bullet  Noted events in her life were:

1. Census: 1840, Grainger County, Tennessee. 10

Household of Thos. Majors: 20001-21001
Polly is presumed to be one of the female children in the under age 5 bracket.

2. Census: 1850, Grainger County, Tennessee. 5

Household of Thomas Majors: Polly, 11, F, TN, School

3. Census: 1860, Grainger County, Tennessee. 3

Household of John Bowers: Mary Bowers, 23, F, TN, Illiterate

4. Census: 1870, Grainger County, Tennessee. 4

Household of John Bowers: Bowers, Mary, 29, F, W. Keeping House, TN, Illiterate


Mary married John BOWERS, son of Andrew BOWERS (Jr.) and Katherine HOWETH, on 3 Jan 1857 in Grainger County, Tennessee.1 2 (John BOWERS was born on 2 Apr 1837 in Grainger County, Tennessee 11 12 and died on 6 Sep 1884 in Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory 12.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

1. The Film source shows John Bowers to Polly Majors, Jan. 2, 1857, By B. Branson, J. P., Jan 3, 1857.

2. The xerographic copy of the original documents show:

"Marriage License [issued by James K. Mcanally, Clerk of the the Court]
John Bowers
Polly Majors
Issued Jan 2 1857
Executed January 3th 1857
B. Branson
Justice of the Peace"

"Marriage Bond [Bondsmen: John Bowers and John Wolfenbarger]
John Bowers
Polly Majors
Taken Jan. 2, 1857" 1 2



1 Porter H. McCarty, Miss Lucille Renean and Mrs. Ellen H. Wilson, Compilers, Marriage Records 1838-1857, Grainger County, Tennessee, (The Historical Records Survey, 22 Feb 1939), FHL Film No. 024,657, Item 3, Page 297 of Records, Page 80 of Film.

2 Grainger County, Tennessee, Marriage Records, Marriage License, with Return, and Marriage Bond for John Bowers to Polly Majors. The author is in possession of xerographic copies of the official records, which were copied for the author in 2000 by Mickey Morris of M & D Genealogy.

3 1860 Census, Grainger County, Tennessee, FHL Film No. 805,250, Page 521 (Districts 13 & 14, Dwelling 1667, Family 1667).

4 1870 Census, Grainger County, Tennessee, FHL Film No. 553,029, Page 132 (12th District, Clear Spring P. O., Dwelling 13, Family 13).

5 1850 Census, Grainger County, Tennessee, FHL Film No. 444,836, Page 100 (District 12, Dwelling 1429, Family 1492).

6 Letter from Edna (Bowers) Bartlett to Area Director of Five Civilized Tribes, dated July 20, 1956. (Copy in possession of author).

7 Family Records of George G. Johnston. George G. Johnston, son of George Goold Johnston and Ola Pearl Bowers, belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Motivated by love of family and the teachings of their church, George, who passed away in 2005, and his wife, Lela, who passed away in 2001, spent much of their life together researching their families. This included not only research at the Family History Libraries in Mesa, AZ and Salt Lake City, UT, but also genealogy trips to interview other Bowers and Anderson descendants and to find the burial places of our Bowers and Anderson ancestors, as well as extensive correspondence with other descendants. George and Lela not only researched the past, but also kept up with the marriages, births and deaths of the current descendants of John DeWitt Bowers and Tilitha Ann Anderson. Our family is indebted to them.

8 Family Records of George G. Johnston.

9 "Daybook of Polk McAlvain." Polk McAlvain was Louisa Matilda Bowers' Choctaw husband. The original daybook passed from Florence Thomas nee McAlvain, daughter of Polk and Louisa, to her daughter, Lucille Blackard nee Thomas, in 1990. George G. Johnston has viewed the daybook and taken notes and photographs of it. The author has a copy of his notes.

10 1840 Census, Grainger County, Tennessee, FHL Film No. 024,546, Page 126.

11 Andrew Bowers Family Bible. The whereabouts or even continued existence of the Andrew Bowers Family Bible is unknown. However, there are two known transcriptions of the family information contained in the bible: first, a 1978 transcription by Ruth Bowers Dommestrup, at which time the bible was in the possession of Rector Bowers (William Rosecrans Bowers, Thomas Bowers, Andrew Bowers); and second, a transcription of unknown date and authorship that was obtained from collateral Howeth descendants and which contains the following note at the bottom of the transcription, "this is copied from the old record. the only one any of us knows of anywhere. this record is very fraile and looks to be written with pokeberry ink." The transcriptions are nearly identical, but do have differences: Ruth's has Grainger Co., TN as the place of marriage for Andrew and Katharine, while the Howeth version has nothing in that respect; Ruth's has daughter Katharine being born 6 Apr 1827, while the Howeth version spells her name Kathrine and has her date of birth as 16 Apr 1827; and Ruth's has son Andrew being born 9 Jun 1829, while the Howeth version adds his middle initial "J." and has the date of birth as 19 Jun 1829. Neither transcription provides places of birth nor dates of death. The dates for which this source is cited are from Ruth's transcription.

12 "Daybook of Polk McAlvain."

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