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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

Bedford County
Charles Lowry, born abt 1683
Lazarus Lowry, born abt 1688









The various Lowry family generations (Black, Mulatto and White) in America began in Donegal, Ireland and the Gambia, West Africa during the early 17th century in the aftermath of the great British expansion into North America.

Virginia Dare (born 1587), first child born of English parents in America. In 1587 the English soldier and explorer Sir Walter Raleigh sent a group of colonists under John White to establish a settlement in North America to be known as Virginia, after Queen Elizabeth I, who was called the Virgin Queen.

About a month after the colonists settled on Roanoke Island, off present-day North Carolina, a child was born on August 18 to Ananias Dare, a member of Governor White's staff, and his wife Ellinor, the governor's daughter. The infant was named Virginia, after the colony. Nine days later White sailed for England. A war between Spain and England delayed communications with Roanoke until 1590, and no trace of the inhabitants of the colony was ever found.

Indeed, it was not until the late 1600s that sizeable numbers of White females migrated to or were born in English speaking American colonies.  Englishmen aboard ship and in the colonies found their sexual pleasures and womanly comforts in the persons of Native American and African slave women, and fathered many thousands of offspring of mixed ancestry in the 17th century, and then even many more tens of thousands in the 18th century. 

By the time of 19th century endings of Native American independence and African enslavements in America, ... millions of human beings in America were descended from the loins of conquests.

Africans, African-Americans, African-Caribbean, African-Europeans and even African Semites have for centuries experienced sexual integration with Europeans, Arabs, Jews and even Native Americans to the extent that it ought to be a non-issue.

But, it is necessary to understand how and why sexual integrations occurred in the context of male conquests and power, ... not love, which in some cases no doubt existed.  In reality, the affirmative actions of women insisting their men-folk incapable of desiring women other than themselves is a mockery of human nature.         


The Lowry family saga in America began in Scotland with the birth of James Lowry in year 1650 and movement as a British crown loyalist, likely a soldier,  to occupation of Donegal, Ireland around year 1680 where and when he married an Irish woman who bore him three sons. 

The revolution of 1688 no doubt changed his fortunes and status in the British Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  The English King James had died and his son Charles was beheaded for recruiting Irish loyalists to the British crown to fight against Englishmen.  So, it is almost a certainty that his sons did not inherit wealth prior to their movement into America.  The various Lowry family beginnings (Black, Mulatto and White) in America began in Donegal, Ireland and the Gambia, West Africa during the early 17th century.  It would be irrational to research and write about the heritage of African-Americans without referring to heritages of otherwise White Americans or even the millions of Native Americans that lived among them.


The British Rebellion of 1688 ended the reign of  King James II and also ended influence and opportunities for the Irish Lowry young men like Charles (born 1683), James (born 1685), and Lazarus (born 1688).  The names of the parents and grandparents are an obvious clue they were loyalists to the English crown of the displaced Tudors (James and son Charles descended from Henry, Elizabeth, etc.), .... replaced by King William and Queen Mary who vastly expanded the African slave trade by using their superior navy to dominate it.

Make no mistake about it, neither slaves or any of other person or possession of value could have been acquired or entered into British controlled ports without a royal issued permit and fee.  In fact, Britain ruled the seven seas, and especially trade winds between Africa and the Americas.  And, many thousands of British subjects from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland served aboard slave ships in their vast triangular trade of: slaves from Africa, tobacco from America and trade goods from England.


William III

William, at the invitation of Protestant opponents of James II, led a revolt against the Catholic English monarchy in 1688. This event established William and his wife, Mary, as rulers of England.  Religious faith mattered as much or more to European kingships, and many men were able and willing to fight and die in struggles to rid themselves of what many believed to be religion not of their cultures or making such as the Latin dominated Roman Catholic Church cemented in the Latin language bastions of France, Italy and Spain in the new world economic, naval and military competition of 17th and 18th centuries.  Africa and the Americas mattered.

The English slave fort and port established at Gambia by King James (during years 1611 and beyond when he published the King James version of the Holy Bible), ... came into existence to supply slaves for English settlements at Jamestown and their other American and Caribbean colonies.  By beginning of the 18th century, ... the need for Africans as slaves had vastly increased as more royal colonies were added, and the energetic English merchants and lords of the land and seas dutifully worked and conspired to gain more slaves for more lands being planted and harvested with cash crops like tobacco. 

"By enactments in 1665 and 1680 the Irish export trade to England in cattle, milk, butter, and cheese had been forbidden.  The trade in woolens, which had grown up among the Irish Protestants, was likewise crushed by an enactment of 1699, which prohibited the export of woolen goods from Ireland to any country whatever.  Small amends for these injuries were made by leaving the linen trade undisturbed. 

The result of these measures was gradual economic decline.  Many Irish emigrated from the country --- the Roman Catholics to Spain and France, the Protestants to America." [Microsoft Encarta]   



British aristocracy used many tens of thousands of conscripted and indentured Irishmen to expand the British trade in slaves from the Gambia and tobacco production in Virginia, opening new lands in places like Bedford County (named after the Duke of Bedford) for tobacco production settlers like Charles Lowry whose brother Lazarus settled in Philadelphia. 

It is not certain when the brothers Charles, James and Lazarus came to America; but, the records make very clear that unless a White man embarked in America as a soldier, sailor, indentured servant or man of property licensed to come in, ... they could not get in. 

There is reason to believe that William Lowry, born in 1646 was their uncle (father's brother) and likely their sponsor/patron for immigration to the colonies. It is also possible, they came to inherit their uncle's property pursuant English common law. 

William, by virtue of his name, is another indicator that Lowry family had the right connections for entering the new ports of Williamsburg, Bermuda Hundred and other places where English settlers were first congregated.  The British crown ran a tight ship, and until the colony of Georgia was established to help empty English jails there was no other way to get in unless imported as an African slave.  They certainly did not encourage or welcome Roman Catholics unless brought in from Ireland as an indentured servant.

It is not known whether or not the Lowry brothers came to America as indentured servants.  It was not uncommon for land-owing aristocrat families in England and America to pay for the transport of an Irishman in consideration for a certain amount of services often referred to as "mechanics." 

What is for certain is that Charles Burr Lowry established a slave plantation to grow tobacco, and it likely included Gambia born ancestors of Lee Lowry born in 1865.  Different descendents have various views and conflicting views about the good or evil that ensued. Below website is an example.

                                                                        Tommy Markham's Analogy

We ought not ignore the fact that in the 17th century, ... excepting for New England Quakers and other religious oriented migrations to America, very few men other than those of aristocratic wealth and holdings ever arrived with a wife. 

It was only after earning their sought after fortune or land and slave holdings did men dare venture back to England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland to obtain a wife to join them in the colonies. 

Few of these men ever professed to being celibate or not interested in women.   Meanwhile, back in America most  White men, like Black and Red men, found female comforts among native American and African slave women. 

The earliest known non-White Lowry was Peter Lowry born in 1795 according to data gathered by the Mormon Church in 1880.  So, for sake of clarity we begin with the assumption that he had a mother, and she had a mother and each gave birth to offspring who had fathers whether Black, White or Mulatto; and, enslaved mothers had the unique privilege of naming their babies.

We find it fascinating that so many Lowry's in Ohio who are descended from the White Peter Lowry, Virginia born in 1777 around Bedford, Virginia have many of the same first and family names given to scores of Lowry offspring born to slave mothers.

Home ] Bedford County ] Charles Lowry, born abt 1683 ] Lazarus Lowry, born abt 1688 ]

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Last modified: 12/29/16