An American Family History

Sarah Bonner Bowles Douglas Smith Harbert

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln
Alternate spellings of Douglas: Dougals, Doughlass, Douglace, Douglass, Dougless, Douglasse, Dowglas, Dowglass, Duglas, Duglass
Bowles Plantation (Bowls, Bowlesley) was a plantation on the Potomac River near Pickawaxon Creek in Charles County, Maryland.
Sarah Bonner inherited it from
William Bowles who had inherited it from his father
Edward Bowles. Sarah left it to her son,
Joseph Douglas.
Maryland was established with religious freedom for Catholics. The colonial economy was based on tobacco cultivated by Africans who had been enslaved.

Sarah Bonner Bowles Douglas Smith Harbert was born about 1636 in England. She was close kin to Henry Bonner.

Her first husband was William Bowles. William and Sarah did not have children. William owned Bowle's plantation in Charles County, Maryland where they lived.

In 1662 William died and Sarah inherited Bowles and half his estate. She was the executrix of the estate.

Her second husband was John Douglas who was their close neighbor and friend of William's. Sarah was about 25 when they married.

John and Sarah's children and life together are described in detail in the section on John and Sarah Douglas.

Sarah married Ralph Smith after John's death. She was the administratrix and sole heir of his estate.

In 1683 she was referred to as the widow of John Douglas and wife of Ralph Smith in Peter Carr's will and in an indenture for a land exchange.

In 1691 Ralph was made guardian of John Platt.

Ralph died on February 10, 1698/99.

Ralph's will was probated on March 10, 1698/99. Sarah was his administratrix. In 1700 she received a payment from Thomas Taylor and was called Mrs. Sarah Smith.

In 1701 she was mentioned as the wife of Captain William Harbert (Herbert) in the will of William Timothy.

William and Sarah both died in 1718. He died in May. George Dent was the executor of William's estate.

Sarah signed her will on July 8, 1718. She died soon after at Bowles. Her next of kin were her step daughter's husband, George Dent, and her grandson, Douglas Gifford. She was almost 80 years old when she died.

Piccowaxen Parish, Maryland was on Cobb Neck between the Wicomico and Potomac Rivers. It has been spelled as Pickawaxon, Pickiawaxen, Pickwaten, Pickwixon, Pykawaxen in Douglas family records. Christ Church Wayside was built there in 1692.The parish became William and Mary Parish.
Children of Colonel John Douglas and Sarah Bonner:
  • John Douglas
  • Robert Douglas
  • Sarah Douglas Gifford Barnes
  • Elizabeth Douglas Brandt Howard Thompson
  • Joseph Douglas
  • Charles Douglas
  • Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
    Guardianship is when a court gives an adult custody of a child and/or the responsibility of managing the child's property. Before women could own property, guardians were appointed for their minor children if their husband died.



    Thomas Tallor [Taylor] 19-1/2B.113 A Charles County Apr 25 1700
    Received from: John Loftin, Anne Hide, Samuel Burnham,
    Payments to: Joseph Venor, Anne Cox, Mrs. Sarah Smith.
    Administratrix/Executrix: widow (unnamed), wife of John Gwin,


    William Timothy 20.264 A Charles County £23.14.0 #3924 May 14 1701
    The amount of the inventory is equivalent to £5,688,
    Payments to: Grace Timothy widow of deceased), John Rose, William Herbert and his wife Sarah (executrix of Ralph Smith), William Nicholls, Phillip Briscoe, Gerrard Fowke.
    Administratrix: Samuell Compton

    In contracts and pleadings usually people and things mentioned before are designated by the term said (sd ) for clarity. Aforesaid (afd, afsd, aforesd ) means it was already mentioned.

    from Maryland Calendar of Wills 14, 662.

    Will of Sarah Herbart
    Herbart, Sarah, widow, Charles County, 8th July 1718;
    26th July 1718
    To son Joseph Douglas and heirs., dwelling plantation and 200 A., The Hills
    To grandsons Thomas, Benjamin, and Joseph Douglas and Douglas Giffard (Gifford), personalty.
    To granddaus. Eliz. Howard and Mary Douglass [daughter of Joseph Douglas], personalty.
    Son Joseph afsd , ex. and residuary legatee.
    Test: Col. Walter Story, Tho. Harris, Sam. Hanson.

    Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.

    from Charles County Maryland Probate Records Inventories Book 1717-1735 49:

    Sarah Herbert decd 26 Jul 1718 -
    Geo Dent, Douglass Gifferd next of kin.


    Sarah Herbert 2.281 A Charles County £190.15.6 458.1.8 Nov 13 1719
    A second inventory is cited in the amount of £78.10.11. A third inventory is cited in the amount of £188.15.3.
    Payments to: William Briscoe.
    Legatees: Douglas Guilford [Gifford?], Thomas Douglas, Thomas Howard Benjamin Douglas, Joshua Douglas.
    Distribution to: accountant.
    Executor: Joseph Douglas.



    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
    An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
    an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
    As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.