Thomas STOWELL (1797-1886)

Aside from the slightly uncomplimentary note in his manuscript Manx Families1 that Thomas's only claim to fame, or notoriety, was that he fathered 16 children, A. W. Moore adds as a footnote (at least I assume it is his):

Edward Stoile married Anne Casement 1727 and had issue.... Thomas born 1733.

There is a Maughold baptismal record2 for a Tho. STOEL, son of Edwd. STOEL and Ann, on 20 Jan 1733, and this is possibly the Tomas to whom Moore was referring. Moore has this branch of the Stowells as being of Ballastowell in Maughold. A property of that name is shown on the 1870 County map of the UK Ordnance Survey, and in the Manorial Rolls, Ballastoale is listed as a quarterland in the treen of Ballure. On the island, the parishes are divided into treens and the treens into quarterlands. There is also an anonymous manuscript pedigree in the Museum Library at Douglas 3 in which the Thomas STOWELL who married Ann BROWN, is described as of Ramsey, and as her cousin, but of course no sources are given.

John Arthur STOWELL(672) (1913-2005), who conducted an extensive one-name study, did not believe these were the correct parents for Thomas, and thought that his father was a John STOWELL and mother Mary SCARFF. There is a record of the baptism as Santon4, on 10 Jun 1733 of Thos. STOALE, son of Jon STOALE and Margt. SCARFF. Being a transcription, Mary may have been mis- transcribed as Margt. I have not checked the film myself. I do not know, at present, on what evidence J A Stowell decided that these were the correct parents of the Thomas who married Ann BROWN.

A Thomas STOWELL died in 1807, and the Braddan burial register4 reads:

Thomas Stowel aged 76 residence Douglas 24 Oct 1807.

There is, so far as I know, no matching Monumental Inscription recorded at Braddan. J. A. Stowell says that Thomas was buried at Braddan in the Drumgold grave. The Manx Advertiser of Saturday 24 Oct 1807 contained the announcement:

Died suddenly, on the night of Tuesday last, Mr Thos. Stowell, sen. of this town.

This announcement would give the date of Thomas' death as 20 Oct 1807. I have found no will or other document which links this Thomas, with the one who married Ann Brown and fathered all those children. Also, the age of 76 implies that he was born about 1731 not 1733, unless he was not baptised as an infant, but only later. The IGI does not contain any matching baptism in1730 or 1731.

Thomas STOWELL(75) and Anne Brown(76) married at Braddan, on 28 Oct 1759 6, which would make him 26 if he was born in 1733. There is also a transcript which reads:

Registry of Deeds - Official Copy:

Thomas Stowell (widower) and Anne Brown both of the town of Douglas within this parish were marryd in this Church by Lycence this twenty eighth day of Octr in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine by me Joseph Cosnahan vicar. This marriage was solemnized between us Thos. Stowell, Ann Stowell late Ann Brown in the presence of Geo. Stowell, Ann Cosnahan.

The Rev. Joseph Cosnahan was Anne's uncle, who had succeeded his father (her grandfather) the Rev. John Cosnahan as Vicar of Braddan on the latter's death in 1749. The witness Ann Cosnahan could have been her aunt or even her grandmother. George Stowell could have been the groom's brother.

There is some uncertainty over the 16 children (15 sons and 1 daughter) Thomas and Ann are supposed to have had, but so far as I can make out, and with the help of information collected by Brian Kneen and Liz Newland, and the pedigree chart compiled of J,\> A. Stowell, they are listed below.

Children of Thomas Stowell(75) and Anne Brown (76)

No. Name Notes
1 Hugh STOWELL (278) Born about 1760. Died as an infant. There does not seem to be any record of baptism or burial at Braddan.
2 John STOWELL (79) Born 1762. Died 1799. Advocate, poet and master of Peel Grammar School. Buried at Braddan on 21 Jul 1799. [Braddan Parish Burial Register, Book 1, 1624-1799, Isle of Man Family History Society, p.80]
3 Robert STOWELL(82) Christened 9 Nov 1763. Died 1790 in Jamaica
4 Thomas STOWELL(83) Christened 28 Nov 1764. Lawyer, Clerk of the Rolls. Married four times. Died 1821.
5 William STOWELL(521) Born in 1765, and died in infancy?
6 Hugh STOWELL(520) Christened 15 Jul 1767. Died in 1768 and was buried at Braddan on 25 Jan 1768 [Braddan Parish Burial Register, Book 1, 1624-1799, Isle of Man Family History Society, p.80].
7 Hugh STOWELL(72) Christened 7 Dec 1768. Married Amelia CALLOW (73) on 20 Sep 1796 at Santon. Died in 1768. See his separate page.
8 James STOWELL(78) A twin to William, christened 22 Nov 1770. Captain, married Ann Redfern in 1799, and died in 1817.
9 William STOWELL(84) A twin to James, christened 22 Nov 1770, married Ann Hendry in 1799 by whom he had issue. Died in 1839. See his separate page.
10 Joseph STOWELL(217) Born 1772. I have not found any baptismal record. Married Elizaabeth La Mothe on 28 Mar 1796 and had issue. Master of Peel schools. Died in 1801.
11 Benjamin STOWELL(77) Christened 10 July 1774. Captain in the Army. Died ?
12 baby son (280) Born aout 1775, died in infancy
13 Margaret Ann STOWELL(80) Christened 1 Jan 1777. Died 1852, unmarried.
14 baby son (281) Born and died in 1778.
15 Redmond/Redman STOWELL(81) Christened 24 May 1779. Died ?
16 baby son (282) Born 1780, died in infancy.

All of the first 11 children for whom there are baptismal records quoted in the IGI were christened at St. Mathew’s, Douglas. Margaret and Redman were christened at Ramsey, which is in the parish of Maughold where their mother died in 1783, worn out I would say. I have found no record of Joseph’s baptism, nor of the three missing and possibly unnamed sons.

Thomas Stowell died in 1807. Ann Brown was the second of his three wives. The first was Catherine Radcliffe, whom he married in about 1757. Catherine Radcliffe was born in about 1737 and died at sea in 1757. There were no children by this marriage. Thomas's third wife was Elinor Gawn (1751-1816), the widow of Thomas Bowes Austen, and this third marriage took place at Braddan on 26 Jul 1796 when he was 63 and she 44. There were no children.


1) Manx Families, by A.W. Moore, manuscript, 1899. Parts have been transcribed and are available online.
2) Familysearch, based on FHL film 106375, Parish register transcripts of Kirk-Maughold, 1647-1883, this film containing baptisms 1650-1849; marriages 1648-1807; burials 1647-1849.
3) Isle of Man MuseumLibrary, Acc. No. 6945. From notes on the pedigree, the author was a grandchild of William Hendry STOWELL
4) Familysearch, based on FHL film 106745, Parish register transcripts of St. Anne (the dedication is actually to St. Sanctain, or Santain, but was often called St. Anne's), Santon, 1690-1883, this film containing baptisms 1690-1916; marriages and burials, 1690-1849.
5) BRADDAN PARISH, Burial Register, Book 2, 1800 - 1849. Isle of Man Family History Society, undated. The source for this transcription was the original registers.
6) Familysearch, based on FHL film 106709, Parish register transcripts of Kirk-Braddan, 1624-1883. This film contains marriages, 1713-1817.

© John Stowell 2006             This file last edited on 24 May 2011.

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