I have been hunting for his birth data for many years. I have his wife, his children, his marriage, his occupation and his death......but no clue as to where he came from. We are talking roughly 1730 to 1740 for a birth year......just a guess. He somehow ended up in Flimby and after a long search and the help of a Tasmanian researcher, would you believe......I found their marriage (in the wrong parish book of course) to Mary Allanby of Flimby. There are some Bownesses in the wee town of Flimby, but I don't think he is a close relation. He and Mary moved to Whitehaven and had several children. In 1766 they had the first..."John Allanby Bowness"...ok that ties in with the mother's maiden name. Son John A. didn't marry till he was around 52 and died a year later. He worked as an Agent for Lord Lowther, the coal mine magnate. I have letters from John Allanby Bowness to Lord Lowther. He named a John Benn as executor of his Will. Mary Allanby Bowness died roughly in 1801.....I have her Will which was proved in 1803. In it she names various sons and daughters and they were rather wealthy as she left the girls 150 GBP each, along with ball gowns. Son #2 was William Bowness, born in 1768 and he is the one that I descend from. He moved in the very late 1700's to Kirkton, Scotland, just north of Dumfries. We have all stayed in the house he bought in 1795 and were just enthralled. The church is across the street and the tombstone has to be 15 feet tall and names many Bownesses. (frugal Scots??). Two of his sons and a daughter came to Prince Edward Island in Canada in 1827 and were considered pioneers there. My father was the first to leave PEI. OK, I have thoroughly traced us back to William Bowness of Kirkton. But I have two brickwalls on my hands. First of all, where the heck was the original John born. He died in 1787 in Whitehaven. And even more mysterious is that every child of his other than John Allanby and William seemed to disappear off the earth!! There is nothing re marriages or deaths for these people. I rather suspect one "daughter" was really William's daughter, which would be Mary's granddaughter, not a daughter. She died relatively young up in Kirkton so may have been in ill health. But these other daughters who got all that money and silk ball gowns simply disappeared!!! Their names were as follows.....Mary, Fanny and Elizabeth, along with Margaret. There were other sons and she left money and property to one.....Phillip. John A. was wealthy, William had gone to Scotland and so she left everything to Phillip and the girls, it seems. I have written out the story of my mysterious Bownesses mostly from memory as my FTM on Windows 7 is not working well. Using PAF and it is pretty good for this. Another tidbit that was fascinating is that the mother.....Mary Allanby Bowness......had 12 siblings. One of them (William Allanby) went to PEI 50 years earlier than my direct ancestors and he was in the military but drawing half-pay. He bought a huge amount of land and was having trouble making the payments. His wife was rather outspoken and I have seen snippets from letters she wrote to a relative.....demanding money and help. This "relative" was the Duke of Portland....blew me away!! And the year William was in PEI was around 1770. So lots of meat in this mysterious stew of Bownesses. I just can't find where the first one came from and I know it is a more common surname in Windermere. Perhaps he had a cousin in Flimby. When I was there in 2004, I found that there were no Bownesses living in the Lake District so that too is baffling. Now you have the story and any hints or help would be most welcome. I have hit brick walls with ALL of my lines, both English and Spanish. So have lots more to ask about. Thanks to all.