Monday, 29 October 2012

A Farm Journal ~ from the 16th to the 31st May 1867

My great great great uncle John Bayliff Bowman lived at Summer Hill, near Monyash in the County of Derby.
The Bowman family, who were Quakers, had three farms, One Ash Grange [which John Bayliff Bowman often referred to as O.A.], Cales and Summer Hill [which he usually referred to as S.Hill or S.H.]

In this photo John is fourth from the left. My great great grandparents, Ebenezer and Hannah Bowman, are the third and fourth adults from the right. John and Ebenezer were brothers and their parents are the elderly couple in the middle, Henry and Mary Bowman.

The Bowman family

"A Farm Journal"continues :~
5 - 16 Ditto weather set potatoes in Pewet Knobs - E.H. home

6 - 17 Fine - frosty nights none too much grass cows milking well too Jesse to Hopton for bones - doing Waterhole to seed down filling a big pit hole up

7 - 18 Ditto weather sow[in]g bones Waterhole etc

1 - 19 Ditto weather

2 - 20 Ditto seed[in]g Waterhole

3 - 21 Ditto little snow at times to Hopton for bones to Watchell for the 3 beasts from Chas Dyson

4 - 22 Very sharp frost hail storms & a covering of snow aft[ernoo]n w[hi]t[e] over at night very cold N.E.wind finish[e]d sow[in]g bones on Waterhole - & part seeds

5 - 23 Fair but cold E wind with frosty nights - little rain even[in]g - fallow[in]g

6 - 24 Ditto ditto & work

7 - 25 the same - pastures are failing cows milking well considering 2 cheeses 1 day 1 the other at both places

1 - 26 Very showery

2 - 27 Ditto Fine growing day

3 - 28 Fine day - fallow[in]g

4 - 29 Ditto

5 - 30 Ditto

6 - 31 Fine growing weather to the Union aft[ernoo]n Audit of Overseers a/c's [sic] - sow[e]d corn turnips Pewet Knobs  


  1. Finished sowing bones? I'm afraid I'm lost here...

    1. I assume/believe that bones were ground up and used as fertiliser ?

    2. I certainly hope so...the alternative is rather frightening.

    3. Better dust than bones definitely.

  2. Sounds very cold for May,but of course it is quite a cold area,which I found out many times.Ann

    1. It's an open area isn't it. I was walking across there a few months ago and the wind whistles across the fields with nothing [or very little] to stop it. I always felt that this area suited the Bowman as Quakers ... there were no frills to them.

  3. So, Hopton is the place to go for bones? What bones might they be?

    1. Having Googled 'Hopton' and 'bones' I see there is in fact a Bone Mill Quarry there though it is now an active quarry. Still it must have got the name for some reason and surely the existence of a bone mill seems the obvious reason.

      I would have thought the bones of cows and sheep as they were eaten would be the obvious ones ... but I am guessing :-)

  4. The young woman third from the left is very beautiful, even if vanity was not allowed with the Quakers. The study I am working on is based on Quaker philosophy ( called Circle of Trust with Parker Palmer) and is a very peaceful life approach, even just for your own daily living, excluding their honourable approach to wars and conflict. "Letting it go is a good, good, guideline for life."

    re: sowing bones.... in my vegetable patches that would mean turning under for dissolving into the soil, but would be fish bones....or chicken bones... like you would do in a compost... what kind of bones was he using that he had to send Jesse to get at Hopton? I see your note above to answer me now. Bones are also collected for grinding at china clay making factories.

    1. I have all their names somewhere ... I will have to look up who she is. As John Bayliff Bowman has his arm ... well, I see they all largely have their arms/hands on the person[s] next to them ~ they were obviously close. So, whether this woman was his sister or wife or cousin I'm not sure.

      Yes, I have a lot of time for Quakers. In fact I have this afternoon been reading a little about a Quaker who taught me history 50 years or so ago ... and at the time I didn't realise this or her connection to my family. A blog for another time perhaps.

      As for bones I recall in the past few years adding a handful of bone dust to newly planted bushes etc. I dare say fishbones would have featured in that but I assume when Jesse was sent for 'bones' it was a large amount ... on the back of a cart perhaps ? Certainly if they were being spread on a field they would want a sizeable quantity wouldn't they ?