Solving the mystery of Maria Dowdeswell of Fort William, Bombay, $India :: Genealogy
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Solving the mystery of Maria Dowdeswell of Fort William, Bombay, $India

Journal by barbarafrankl

Maria Dowdeswell was my g-g-g-grandmother. The first time that I can find any records that relate to her is when she married John Benjamin Seely in India in 1813. George Dowdeswell was a member of the council of India and was at one point its vice president. I have many records which show him supporting Maria and her family. These include escorting her children to England, leaving her money in his will and sponsoring her son, George Bebb Seely, in his application to the East India Company. This last is the only place where I have been able to find any reference to George's relationship to Maria (George is referred to as George Bebb's grandfather).

If, as seems likely, Maria was George's daughter she must have been illegitimate or the product of a local Indian marriage but I cannot find anything to support this.

Has anyone out there any information that might help me?

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by barbarafrankl Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-02-09 05:41:08

barbarafrankl has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2011. is researching the following names: DOWDESWELL.

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by dougwait on 2012-11-03 08:02:06

Hi, my g-g-g-g grandfather was John Bellett Sealy's father, Benjamin Sealy. I believe that the John Benjamin Seely that you mention as being married to Maria Dowdeswell may be John Bellett Sealy. I cannot add any light on Maria but have some information on John B Sealy and the rest of his family. I'd love to confirm the confidence with which you believe that Maria was married to John Benjamin Seely to seek to confirm which one of us may have the wrong/right Sealy/Seely.


Melbourne, Australia

by barbarafrankl on 2012-11-03 17:12:00


Thanks for getting back to me

I am sure about Jon Benjamin Seely. He was born in 1786 in London, the son of John and Lucinda Seely, and went to India as a young man where he died in 1826. The Indian Office records in the British Library have details of the marriage and the births of all the children. Jon also wrote a number of books about his experiences in India, of which two are still available in 'print on demand'.

Jon and Marias' oldest daughter, Emily, was my g g grandmother. She married a Cracroft and through them we can trace our ancestry back to the Norman conquest. The only other one of the children to have children was George Bebb Seely. George trained as a surgeon and returned to India where he had two daughters one of whom married a Belgian merchant, J G Mengens, and the other who married Robert Beatson Pemberton. All of those details also come from the India office records

If some of that background is similar to what you know about your Benjamin Sealy then they could be the same. Otherwise they don't seem to be the same unfortunately



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