The Marriage Bondsman of Sarah Jane Rowlett: Mr. William G. Coleman

Sarah Jane Rowlett was the daughter of Rebecca and William Rowlett, a southern planter holding land in both Chesterfield and Mecklenburg counties, Southside Virginia.

From Revolutionary War Pension application documents I know that William Rowlett (b. 13 August 1755) took Rebecca to be his wife in 7 May 1825, and was in poor health when applying for the pension in 1833 at the age of 77.  Today I found a source online with Rowlett wills transcribed; though I need to confirm with original documents someday, this text offers details that fit, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

William Rowlett 26 March 1836 Chesterfield County.

To my wife Rebecca, plantation for her natural life; negroes should be kept together on plantation. To daughter Sarah Jane Rowlett, plantation after her mother’s death.  If she dies before she reaches the age of twenty one, then to grandson William G. Coleman.

Executor grandson William G. Coleman

In 1799 a Sally Rowlett married one Thomas Coleman in Mecklenburg County, bond paid by William Brown, consent given by William Rowlett, father.  Thomas was named as the son of Cluverius Coleman.  This event coincides with the fact that William Rowlett lived in Mecklenburg County for thirty years after the Revolutionary War before returning to Chesterfield county for another 20 years.  He died 2 June 1839 in Mecklenburg County.

It is quite possible for Sally Rowlett to be the daughter of an earlier marriage, and that her son could be William G. Coleman, the same William G. Coleman serving as executor in 1836, and  posting the marriage bond for his mom’s baby sister, Sarah Jane Rowlett in 1844.

Still to address is the mystery of  William, Rebecca and Sarah Jane’s relocation to the Mecklenburg County land, where they no doubt met up with Mr. James H. Dodson, a neighbor. (1864 Gilmer map of Mecklenburg county) And what happened to the Chesterfield County land?

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