1655 William Gowen b est 1655 in York County, Va

William Gowen born Aug 25, 1655 in York Co, Va – unk wife or children


Mihil Gowen and Prossa Gowen




Children born to Mihil Gowen and Prossa Gowen include:

William Gowen born August 25, 1655 (confirmed)
Philip Gowen b. abt 1657

Possible children of Mihil Gowen and his second wife include:

Mihil Gowen, Jr. born about 1656

States and Counties to research:


1657 October 25- Mihill Gowen, a black servant, receives his freedom in Virginia. The Manumission of Mihill Gowen. [Christopher Stafford decided to free his black servant, Mihill Gowen, in his will.  Stafford’s sister, Amy Barnhouse, carried out his wishes in 1657. The widow Barnhouse also freed Mihill Gowen‘s son, William.  She did not free her enslaved woman, who was William‘s mother.]

“Bee itt known unto all Christian people that whereas Mihill Gowen Negro of late servant to my Brother Xopher Stafford deced by his last will & Testament bearing Date the 18 of Jan 1654 had his freedom given unto him after the expiration of 4 yeares service unto my uncle Robert Stafford Therefore know all whom itt may concern that I Anne Barnehouse for divers good couses mee hereunto moving doe absolutely quitt & discharge the sd Mihill Gowen from any service & for ever sett him free from any claim of service either by mee or any one my behalf as any part or parcell of my Estate that my be claimed by mee the said Amy Barnhouse my heyres Exers Admrs or Assignes as witness my hand this 25 Oct 1657 Amy (AB) Barnhouse”

“Bee itt knowne unto all Xcian people that I Ame Barnehouse of Martins hundred widdow for divers good causes & consideracons mee hereunto moving hath given unto Mihill Gowen Negro hee being att this time servant unto Robert Stafford a Male child borne the 25 Aug 1655 of the body of myNegro Prosta being baptised by Mr. Edward Johnson 2 Sept 1655 & named William & I the said Amy Barnhouse doth bind my selfe my heyres Exer Admr & Ass never to trouble or molest the said Mihill Gowin or his sone William or demand any service of the said Mihill or his said sone William In wittnes whereof I have caused this to be made & done I hereunto sett my hand & Seale this present 16 Sept 1655 Amy (AB) Barnhouse.”

Source: York County Deeds, Orders, and Wills (3) 16, 26 January 1657/8.

Mihil Gowen, a slave of Christopher Stafford of York County, Virginia, was given his freedom September 16, 1657 in two declarations made by Anne Barnhouse, sister of Stafford. The declarations, recorded in “York County, Virginia Wills, Deeds and Orders, 1657-1659,” made after the death of Stafford and after Mihil Gowen had served an additional four years with Robert Stafford, read:

“I, Anne Barnhouse of Martin Hundred, widow, have given Mihil Gowen, Negro, at this time servant to Robert Stafford, a male child born 25 August 1655 of the body of my Negro, Prossa, being baptized by Mr. Edward Johnson 25 September 1655 and named William, and I bind myself never to trouble Mihil Gowen or his son, William or demand any service of them. 16 September 1657.”

“Mihil Gowen, Negro, of late serving my brother Xtopher Stafford, dcsd, by his last will & testament, had his freedom given him after the expiration of 4 years service to my uncle, Robert Stafford. I, Anne Barnhouse do absolve, quit and discharge the said Mihil Gowen from my service 25 October 1657. A. B. [The mark of Anne Barnhouse].

Witnesses: Arthur Dickenson Joseph Albrighton”.

It is estimated that Mihil Gowen was born about 1630, place and parents unknown.  Some think John Graweare may have been his father.

From Gowen Manuscript:  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gowenrf/gowenms001.htm


William Gowen, [Mihil1] son of Mihil Gowen and Prossa Gowen, was born August 25, 1655, according to a statement by Anne Barnhouse which appeared in “York County, Virginia Wills, Deeds and Orders, 1657-1659.” He was baptized one month later by Rev. Edward Johnson on September 15, 1655. Being a child of two black parents, he received a “double dip” of black genes, in contrast to his siblings who may have been from a mixed marriage.

Children born to William Gowen include:

Edward Gowen born about 1681  (No documents linking these two have been located – this appears to be speculative)