Thomas Bowrey : What’s in a Name?

When I started writing Thomas Bowrey’s biography, I thought of him as Bowrey. After all, my connection with him was through my Bowry One-Name Study. His surname was important. But for that, I would never have found him and learned of his extraordinary life.

As I have mentioned on many occasions, over a period of just over two years between 2015 and 2017, I undertook Gill Blanchard’s wonderful Writing Your Family History workshops. At the start, my subject was still Bowrey. The exercises set as part of the second workshop pushed me to uncover more of Thomas Bowrey’s early life and, at around the same time, I drew a sketch of him and his wife Mary.

Suddenly, Bowrey came to life and he became Thomas. He was a real person and, in my mind, he has been Thomas ever since. Despite this, for reasons of consistency, I continued to use Bowrey in my social media posts.

It is now time for a change. As I begin to give my talks based on Thomas’ papers it will become even more difficult to maintain this naming inconsistency. From now on, I will no longer refer to him as Bowrey but use his given name hoping that my followers will also come to feel closer to him.

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