Hercules Dowie

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.tonge/dowie/index.htm

 

Hercules "Warborn" Dowie (1780 - 1851)

Life & Times

 

DOWIE is a well established name in Scotland and particularly in the county of Fife. Newburgh is a parish on the coast of Fife, and members of the Dowie family are recorded as inhabiting the parish as far back as the 1660's.

Hercules Dowie was born about 1780, and was baptised in Newburgh. He was the son of William Dowie and Catherine Cragie, and a younger brother to William and Robert.

His uncle Robert Dowie was a ship master, and at some time before the end of the 18th Century Hercules and his uncle left Scotland, settling in Liverpool, Lancashire.

A number of events occurred around the turn of the century:

  • Uncle Robert died in 1800. Hercules is not mentioned in the will.

  • Hercules married his first wife, Alice Layland in June 1801

  • Hercules moved from Liverpool to Wigan., where he worked as a weaver.

 

BETWEEN 1804 and 1813, Hercules and Alice had four children; John, Margaret, Catherine and Mary. Sadly, only John survived infancy. Tragically, their mother also died of "consumption" a number of weeks after the birth of Mary, the child surviving her by only another two months.

This must have been a truly wretched time for Hercules, who at the age of 33 was a widower struggling to maintain his nine year old son John. Almost his entire family had been wiped out by consumption and small pox.

Just over a year after the death of his first wife, Hercules remarried to Ann Rigby at Wigan Parish Church just after Christmas 1814. Over the next sixteen years the couple parented another seven children: Catherine, Robert, William, Fanny, Mary, Frances and Ann.

 

DURING this period Hercules was in receipt of Poor Relief on several occasions, when he was too sick to work, or when there was simply no work available. In 1828, the Overseers of the Poor from Ince, Wigan, attempted to have the family removed to Liverpool, as they had failed to obtain appropriate authority to settle in Wigan originally. The removal order would appear to have been the subject of an appeal which must have been successful, as the family remained resident in Ince.

On March 9th 1851, Hercules Dowie died at Broom Street, Ince, aged 71. He was buried at Wigan Parish Church four days later in an unmarked grave.

 

Records & Documents

Transcriptions of surviving documents which I have found which relate to this branch of the Dowie family.   There are also some copies of sections of the original papers.

 Scotland

Descendants

Hercules  had at least fifteen grand-children,  and at least thirteen great grand-children.  Mainly through the Shuttleworth line, over a hundred direct line descendants can be traced, across England, Germany and the United States.

Other Facts & Figures

Distribution of the surname Dowie across the British Isles in 1881, listings of the most popular christian names for the Dowies in 1881 and a listing of Newburgh's surrounding parishes.

 

  1881 Surname DistributionDistribution of the surname Dowie and derivatives throughout the British Isles from the 1881 Census

 

 

 

 

Place

No. of People

Fife

264

Edin

102

Lana

94

Nthu

72

Lanc

68

York

56

Surr

45

Pert

31

Ayr

25

Forf

24

Renf

20

Durh

19

Lond

17

Ches

17

Som

9

Hamp

8

Suff

8

Corn

7

Kent

7

Linl

7

Suss

7

Argy

6

Nott

6

Clac

6

Selk

5

Camb

5

Linc

5

Kinr

5

Hadd

4

Glam

3

Warw

2

Dunb

2

RoCr

2

Dumf

2

Cumb

1

Stir

1

Esse

1

Bedf

1

Banf

1

Norf

1

 

1881 Favourite first namesTop 40 favourite first names for Dowie families throughout the British Isles from the 1881 Census.  Unusual first names include; Devina,  Ebenezer Telford, Euphemia, Ginevra, Magdalena, Marshall, Meldrum, Minnie, Temprance, Wakefield and, of course, Hercules.

 

Name

No. of Occurrences

James

61

William

60

John

51

Margaret

45

Mary

35

Elizabeth

31

Robert

27

Jane

25

Agnes

25

Isabella

24

George

20

David

17

Andrew

15

Thomas

15

Ann

15

Catherine

15

Christina

14

Helen

14

Annie

13

Alexander

13

Henry

9

Mary A.

8

Ellen

7

Janet

7

Walter

7

Hannah

7

Sarah

7

Martha

6

Barbara

5

Maggie

5

Eliza

5

Euphemia

5

Peter

5

Charles

4

Mary Ann

4

Margaret S.

4

Joseph

4

Emily

4

Jessie

4

Francis

4

Dowie Family Researchers

Other Dowie researchers contact details and resources

Stephen Tonge   3rdFebruary2001   stephen.tonge@tongefamily.info