The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Bowen and Story Family Papers
4.5 linear feet (6 boxes)
This collection contains the
accumulated materials of the Bowen and Story families, who were connected through
SERIES I. Bowen Family
A. Nathan Bowen (1698-1776)
B. Edward Bowen
C. Nathan Bowen (1752-1837)
D. Ashley Bowen
E. Family Almanacs
SERIES II. Story Family
A. Isaac Story
B. William E. Story
C. Frederick Story
D. Other Story Family Members
SERIES III. Martin Family SERIES IV. Woodberry Family SERIES V. Assorted Family Documents SERIES VI. Family Ephemera SERIES VII. Genealogy
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains the accumulated materials of the Bowen and Story families,
who were connected through various marriages. The collected materials were
eventually passed down to William Story, Jr. The collection is organized into seven
Series I. Bowen Family, which is the collected
material of the Bowen family of Marblehead, Massachusetts, make
up more than half of the collection, the bulk being almanacs interleaved with
diaries dating from 1742 to 1847. Subseries C. Nathan Bowen
(1752-1837) may contain materials pertaining to Nathan, Jr. (b.1698). Box
1 Folder 12 contains the papers of Woodward Abraham, the father of Polly Abraham
(Nathan's third wife), and Nicholas Melzard, the father of Mary Melzard (Nathan's
fourth wife). Subseries D. Ashley Bowen contains only a
handful of Ashley's materials. Besides correspondence there is one paper for the
Sloop Nancy from 1785 and one largely blank journal
from 1778. Subseries E. Family Almanacs, Box 2 Folder
1 contains two bound volumes of almanacs interleaved with
journals that belonged to Nathan, Edward and his son Nathan. The remaining folders
in the two boxes that make up this subseries contain separate almanacs interleaved
with diaries belonging to different family members, who are noted on each
folder. See Appendix I for detailed descriptions of the almanacs.
Series II. Story Family, which is the collected
material of the Story family focuses mainly on William Edward, with materials from
his childhood and his professional life. Subseries B. William E.
Story, 1850-1930, Box 4 Folder 6 contains one
tintype each of William and his brother Frederick as children while Box 4 Folder 8
contains a leather-bound book of handwritten and typed remembrances from colleagues
and students commemorating William's 35th year of teaching higher mathematics. His
father Isaac's materials are focused on his genealogical research.
Series III. Martin Family contains a journal of
Elizabeth (Bowen) Martin who was the daughter of Nathan Bowen (b.1698). The series
also contains two letters belonging to the Martin family.
Series IV. Woodberry Family contains correspondence
and mementos of the Woodberry family. The Woodberry family is connected to the Bowen
family through the marriage of Elizabeth Bowen (b.1783) and Jacob Woodberry. Their
daughter, Elizabeth Woodberry, connected the family to the Story family through her
marriage to Isaac Story (b.1818). The majority of the materials in this series
pertain to Jacob Woodberry.
Series V. Assorted Family Documents contains various
documents whose ownership within the family is not known. Box 5 Folder 2 contains
fragments of documents, many of which are signatures that have been removed from
their original documents. The other fragments are large and small sections from
other documents that have been damaged over time. The non-family member documents in
Box 5 Folders 4-5 and Box 6 Folder 8 pertain to people outside
of the immediate families of this collection; the reasons for their ownership by the
family is not clearly known.
Series VI. Family Ephemera, Box 5 Folder 6 contains one children's illustrated picture album dated 1855.
This book was first owned by Thorndike Story (b.1853), one of Isaac's children who
died at a young age, and was later owned by William Edward Story. This folder also
contains one printed advanced arithmetic book with a copyright date of 1628. This
book was owned by Nathan Bowen (b.1698), Edward Bowen, Nathan Bowen (b.1752), Nathan
Bowen, Jr. (b.1798), William Edward Story, and William Edward Story, Jr.
Series VII. Genealogy contains charts,
correspondence, and other documents related to the genealogy of the entire family.
Many of the items in this series were compiled by Isaac Story (b.1818). The majority
of the research and writing in the genealogy book in Box 5 Folder 9 was done by Isaac.
Nathan Bowen was born in Massachusetts in 1698. He was a
shopkeeper, scrivener, almanac writer, esquire and Justice of the Peace in
Marblehead, Massachusetts. He had 11 children with his first wife Sarah Ashley;
Edward (b.1720), Ashley (b.1728), and Elizabeth (b.1735) are three who are
represented in the collection. After Sarah died in 1740, he married Hannah Harris in
1741 and had one child. He later married Mary Boden in 1794. Nathan died on December
Edward Bowen was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on
December 30, 1720. He was a mariner, yeoman, and esquire. He married five times and
had 11 children. He married Elizabeth Boden in 1750; Nathan Bowen (b.1752) is the
only child represented in the collection. He later married Mary Burnham in 1762,
Lydia (last name and marriage dates are unknown), Deborah (Kimball) Hawkes in 1774,
and Mercy Cross in 1795. He died on October 5, 1796.
Edward's son Nathan Bowen was born in Marblehead,
Massachusetts on October 5, 1752. He was a cabinetmaker and notary public in
Marblehead. He married Elizabeth Martin, his first cousin, in 1781 and had 5
children, Elizabeth (b.1783) is the only one represented in the collection. After
his wife's death in 1797 he married Hannah Stiles the same year. They had one son,
Nathan Jr., in 1798 who is also represented in the collection. After Hannah's death
he married Polly Abraham in 1798; his last marriage was to Mary Melzard in 1801. He
died on August 11, 1837.
Ashley Bowen was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts in
1728. He was a mariner and rigger in Marblehead. He kept many diaries and journals,
some of which were made into an autobiography by Daniel Vickers. He married Deborah
Chadwick in 1758 and had five children. He later married Mary Shaw in 1771 and Mary
Graves in 1782. He died on February 2, 1813.
Elizabeth Bowen, sister of Ashley and Edward, was
born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on February 27, 1734 and died in 1809. She married
Knott Martin in 1756; their daughter Elizabeth Martin was born in 1761. Elizabeth
Martin married her first cousin Nathan Bowen (b.1752) in 1781. Two of their
children, Elizabeth Bowen (b.1783) and Sally Martin Bowen (b.1789) link the
Woodberry and Story families with the Bowen and Martin families. Elizabeth Bowen
married Jacob Woodberry and they had Elizabeth Woodberry. Sally Martin married Isaac
Story (b.1783) and they had Isaac Story in 1818. Elizabeth Woodberry and Isaac Story
(b.1818) married in 1846.
Isaac Story was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on
October 4, 1818 to Isaac and Sally Martin (Bowen) Story. His grandfather, Dr. Elisha
Story, was a member of the Sons of Liberty and participated in the Boston Tea Party.
Isaac started out as a bank teller and quickly moved onto a career in the school
system holding positions as Head Master and Principal in Pennsylvania, North
Carolina and Maryland. During this time he studied law and eventually moved to
Boston where he was admitted to the bar in 1844. In 1856, he represented Somerville
in the General Court and was appointed Justice of the Police Court in Somerville in
1872. He was a member of the School Committee and the New-England Historic
Genealogical Society. He was married to Elizabeth Bowen Woodberry, his first cousin,
from 1846 until her death in 1888. Only three of their 10 children lived into
adulthood: William E. (b.1850), Frederick W. (b.1852), and Isaac M. (b.1855). He was
then married to Mary Ann Chase from 1890 until his death. He died on December 19,
1901 in Somerville, Massachusetts.
William Edward Story was born in Boston,
Massachusetts on April 29, 1850. He attended Harvard College for mathematics and was
one of the first students to graduate with honors in 1871. He worked on his doctoral
studies at the Universities of Berlin and Leipzig from 1871 to 1875. He received his
PhD in 1875 from Leipzig for his thesis On the algebraic
relations existing between the polars of the binary quintic. He returned
to Boston and became a mathematics tutor at Harvard from 1875-1876. He then taught
at John Hopkins University in 1876, starting as an Associate in Mathematics, he was
then promoted to Assistant Professor and promoted a second time to Associate
Professor. He left John Hopkins to become the Head of the Mathematics Department at
Clark University upon its opening in 1889. He was Editor of The American Journal of Mathematics from 1878 to 1882, Editor of the
Mathematical Review, and a member of the National
Academy of Sciences. He retired from Clark University in 1921 as an Emeritus
Professor. William Story was a prominent scholar, researcher, and professor of pure
mathematics as well as a leader in establishing high standards for university-level
mathematics in the United States. He married May D. Harrison in 1878 and had one
son, William Edward, Jr. On April 10, 1930, William Edward Story died of
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Bowen, Ashley, 1728-1813
Bowen, Edward, 1720-1796
Bowen, Elizabeth, 1734-1809
Bowen, Nathan, 1698-1776
Bowen, Nathan, 1752-1837
Martin, Elizabeth, b. 1761
Story, Issac, 1818-1901
Story, William E., 1850-1930
Justices of the peace
Penobscot Expedition, 1779
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
Bowen and Story Family Papers, MSS 444, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum,
This material was purchased from the estate of William E. Story, Jr. in 1970. The
diary of Elizabeth Bowen (b. 1734) was donated by Isaac M. Story in 1914.
Collection processed by Erin Ellingham, April 2010.
Bowen, Ashley. Journals of Ashley Bowen (1728-1813) of
Marblehead. Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1973.
Franklin, Fabian. "William Edward Story (1850-1930)." Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 70.10 (1936):
Gordon, George A. "Isaac Story." Proceedings of the
New-England Historic Genealogical Society. Boston: New-England Historic
Society, 1903. Lxxiii-lxxv.
Holman, Winifred Lovering. Ancestry of Nathan Bowen of
Perley, Sidney. "Bowen Genealogy." The Essex
Antiquarian 10 (1906): 57-58.
Roads, Samuel. The History and Traditions of
Marblehead. Boston: Houghton, Osgood, and Company, 1880.
Vickers, Daniel. "An Honest Tar: Ashley Bowen of Marblehead." The New England Quarterly 69.4 (1996): 531-553.
Bowen, Ashley Papers, 1728-1813, MH 41
Elisha Story account book, 1820-1846, Farming and household accounts. Bound with
the log book of an unidentified vessel, Log 877
Marblehead Historical Society (1700-1899): Diaries, Collection number MS
61-1355. Marblehead Historical Society in Marblehead, Massachusetts