Samuel Clowes 1674-1740
Their ancestor, Samuel Clowes (1674-1740) was an advanced mathematician and lawyer in England before arriving in New York in 1697. He settled in Jamaica, Queens County, becoming the first lawyer on Long Island. He helped found the first Episcopal Church on Long Island, St George's Church in Jamaica. He was Queens County Clerk, and a (if not the only) land surveyor in Jamaica and Hempstead. Like other wealthy, well connected families at the time, he acquired vast tracts of land in upstate New York. In Clowes' case, his land was located across Orange and Sullivan Counties in the first division of the Minisink Patent. He founded the town of Goshen at the two counties' border and led generations of equally successful Clowes family members in the same fields.
Gerhardus Clowes 1699 - 1752
William’s great-grandfather, Gerhardus (1699-1752) was active in land acquisition and property. Possibly a lawyer, he was Clerk of the Vestry of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Hempstead, the Church where the wedding took place, but in an earlier building. He was involved with his father’s landholdings, acting as Clerk of Orange County, 1721-1722.
Timothy Clowes 1724-1789
William’s grandfather, Timothy Bagley Clowes (1724-1780), was probably an Inn keeper as his house is often mentioned as a meeting place for officials and townspeople.
Joseph Clowes 1759-1812
William’s father, Joseph (1759-1812), was the only sibling who was not a Loyalist. The Clowes’ family’s deep loyalty to the Church of England and the administration of the British Colony, meant a loyalty to the British cause in the Revolutionary War. William’s uncles Gerhardus and John, and his aunt Sarah, were forced to move to Nova Scotia ,while only Joseph remained in Hempstead.