Facts and Events
A number of Rowles family groups appear in early Maryland records, especially in Accomac, Ann Arundel, and Baltimore Counties. The name "Thomas" appears in all of them. When did this Thomas Rowles of Baltimore first appear there, and from where in the colony?
Baltimore, Maryland, 1790 census:
Steuben County, New York, 1800 census:
Thomas was a farmer and also a hotel-keeper, which became something of a family business.
According to the standard history of Steuben County, Thomas Rowles came from Maryland in 1803 and settled on a farm "on the corner" [of a section?], about one mile southeast of the village of Bradford. This is in error, however, as Thomas appears in the 1800 census in Steuben County [See above] and was probably in the county as early as 1793.
What were a bunch of Marylanders doing in upper New York State? According to McMaster, the settlement of Bath began in late 1793. This area was part of the purchase by Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, 21 Nov 1788, from the State of Massachusetts for £300,000 in securities. (Indian title already had been purchased in July 1788.) The title included 2.6 million acres (the entire counties of Steuben, Yates, and Ontario, and parts of Wayne, Monroe, and Allegany). The area of Steuben County was surveyed in the summer of 1789. Capt. Williamson (the agent for that area) brought in settlers, primarily from Virginia and Maryland, and from Europe, with only a sprinkling of Yankees.