Born: 1811, Mt. Freedom, Randolph, Morris Co. New Jersey
Died: between 1870-80, New Jersey
Parents: Jabez Trowbridge & Jane Lewis
Occupations: cattleman?, courier, farmer/laborer
First Marriage: Feb. 15, 1838, New Providence, Union Co., New Jersey
First Wife: Phebe Martha Parrot
Born: 1811, New Providence, Union Co., New Jersey
Died: May 1, 1847, New Providence, Union Co., New Jersey
Parents: Joseph Parrot & Martha Cory (external link)
Second Marriage: between 1850-1860, Union Co., New Jersey
Second Wife: Mary W. Trowbridge (maiden name unknown)
Born: about 1823, New Jersey
Died: still living, 1870, New Providence, Union Co., New Jersey
According to Francis Bacon Trowbridge in "The
Trowbridge Genealogy", Augustine Trowbridge was a cattle dealer who
lived in New Providence, New Jersey. One day he Left home with a large
amount of money to purchase stock, and was never seen again. He was
presumed the victim of foul play, perhaps robbed and killed by bandits.
Augustines Wife Phebe came from a prominent New Providence family, the
Parrots. Upon review of Census records from 1850 through 1870; it would
appear that Francis Bacon Trowbridge Had incomplete information
regarding the fate of Augustine Trowbridge, as he appears very much
alive. He may have ran out on Phebe, although the Trowbridge's
certainly knew where he was, as well as his in-laws, because in the
1850 census he was caring for his elderly mother, Jane Lewis, and
possibly mentally challenged sister Ruth in New Providence, living near
a member of the Parrot family, not exactly keeping a low profile, if
indeed he did abandon his family. At the same time, Augustine was
caring for his mother and sister; his two daughters by Phebe were
living with the John Stites family, who also lived in New Providence.
And from the census information, Augustine does not seem to have had
anything to do with his two daughters. Twenty years later, in the 1870
census, Augustine is stillliving in New Providence as a farmer/laborer
named "Augustus", remarried to 47 year old Mary A. Trowbridge (maiden
name unknown), with 10 year old daughter Elizabeth. Augustine must have
died sometime during the 1870s, because he does not show up anywhere in
the 1880 United States Census.
By 1850, Augustine & Phebe's two daughters, Martha Jane and Joanna, do not live with their grandfather, Joseph Parrot, who certainly was young enough (50 years old), and the means to take care of the girls. Joseph Parrot and his second wife, Abigail Jones, appear in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census still living in the same farm in New Providence. It is unknown what happened to the girls until 1870, where Martha Jane reappears in the census as a housekeeper working in Newark with a widow Mrs. Samuel Clark, and again ten years later in Knowlton, Warren Co., working as a servant for the Quick family. She died in Warren County around 1905, apparently having never married. It is unknown what happened to her sister, Joanna, because she seems to disappear after 1850,although it is possible she may have married. So what was thought to have been a murder mystery for several decades, at least since the publication of the "Trowbridge Genealogy" in 1909 could have been a simple case of abandonment, but also simply been a time that Augustine was not caring for his daughters. Francis Bacon Trowbridge's source of information could've been Martha Jane or her sister, it is possible that this could have been the story that was told to them, if it was the Stites, the Parrots or whoever else may have raised them.
If you have any more information on this branch of the Trowbridge family, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.