The Society was officially formed when a group of enthusiastic genealogists interested in all aspects of the history of the Bowdler family agreed to hold annual meetings. Starting in 1987, the meetings were held in Shrewsbury and were a great success. Though starting with a small group they quickly grew attracting up to 50 ‘Bowdlers’ at each meeting. They continued each year until 1999.
Over the years the core members prepared many genealogical charts which linked modern Bowdlers with existing Bowdler pedigrees and corresponded with Bowdler descendants all over the world.
The founder members, who came from all walks of life, were:
- Hugh Bowdler – The original expert on the history of the Family and its genealogy, started in the 1940s and continued extensively till his death in 1988. Descended from the Meadowtown/Chirbury Bowdlers Hugh was a persistent pursuer in the search for accuracy.
- Paul Bowdler Keene – Cousin of the late Hugh Bowdler and also descended from the Meadowtown/Chirbury Bowdlers. Paul and his wife Pat concentrated on research in West Shropshire and bordering counties until Paul’s untimely death in 1993.
- William G Bowdler – Born in Argentina but resident in Virginia, U.S.A., Bill was related to Terry and Keith Bowdler through the Madeley line of descent. He researched North America and Canada in pursuit of “exiled” Bowdlers and also had contacts elsewhere including South Africa. Bill sadly passed over in 2016.
- Terry Bowdler – Related to Bill and Keith Bowdler via the Madeley line of descent. Terry, assisted by his wife Joy, concentrated on research in East Shropshire and neighbouring counties. Due to ill health, Terry is no longer doing research.
- John C. A. Bowdler – John was descended from the Marton/Chirbury Bowdlers and distantly related to the late Paul and the late Hugh. John’s main interest was historical research into the early Bowdlers/de Bollers. His forebears researched the Marton branch of the Family in earlier times. The fathers of both John and Bill were known to each other long before the Society came into being.
- Keith Bowdler – Although resident in Australia, Keith was born in Ebbw Vale, South Wales and is related to Bill and Terry Bowdler through the Madeley line. Keith’s wife Freda was born in Boston, Lincs, and she and Keith have produced a large amount of research material for the Society and have contacts in Australia and New Zealand.
- T,W.E. (Ed) Bowdler – Lived in Florida but was originally from New Jersey, U.S.A. Ed researched America and Canada and his father came from Shrewsbury. His ancester has been traced to Mid-Wales and there is a possible connection with Chirbury.
- Ian Bowdler – Son of Terry and Joy, Ian was responsible for printing and preparatory work for the Annual Meetings. Ian produced a great deal of historical research on the Madeley line and the early Bowdlers/de Boulers. Currently trying to digitise all of the information gathered by the society…. and also manage this web site.