Day: August 13, 2017

Black Sheep Sunday – Dent Stowell (1882-1948) – part 3

Black Sheep Sunday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

To participate in Black Sheep Sunday simply create a post with the main focus being an ancestor with a “shaded past.”

This is the third and final part of the Dent Stowell trilogy.

Dent Stowell, is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2

We left the story last week with Dent having appeared before Magistrates in Burnley and committed for trial at Manchester Assizes on charges of bigamy.

There are a couple of reports in the local papers about the trial. One of them in the Lancashire Evening Post of 3 May 1933 recaps much of the story from my blog post last week. During the trial Dent handed a written statement to the judge.

Announcing his decision the judge (Mr Justice Lawrence) is reported to have commented:-

You appear, very soon after going through the ceremony with her in Carlisle, to have told the woman with whom you are now living, that you were married. Though at the time of that ceremony you did deceive her. You have now lived with her 14 years, and apparently have treated her very well. In binding you over, I have taken into account the circumstances of your past life, as you have set them out in this statement, and the way in which your real wife behaved to you.

So there we have it Dent pleaded guilty to bigamy and was bound over indefinitely.

There are still loose ends to tie up in the story.

I was curious to discover why I hadn’t found a marriage for Dent Stowell and Helen Gordon in 1918. I checked the marriage indexes again and found a marriage listed for Helen Gordon and Samuel Stowell in the March quarter of 1918. So it seems that Dent used a different name, presumably to try and avoid complications. I wonder what name Helen knew him as at the time.

Rose Ann Stowell died in 1939 – her death is recorded in the June quarter in Burnley, Lancashire. Sometime during the same quarter Dent and Helen married legally.

About nine years later Dent passed away and was buried in Burnley Cemetery on 1 April 1948.

According to some online sources it appears that after Dent’s death Helen went back to the USA in 1949, although she did visit the UK at least once in 1955.

There is a record of Helen’s death in Los Angeles, California on 11 February 1984. Also a burial on 20 February 1984 in Burnley Cemetery where she was laid to rest in the same grave plot as Dent.

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