Somewhere, in the deeply wooded forest that surrounds the Joseph Kelly Cemetery, lie the bones of the Fowler Patriarch of Union County, South Carolina, Henry Ellis Fowler.  His grave is among the many marked by only a field stone, and the few remembered with an engraved headstone.

Today, his countless descendants are scattered across places near and far; places populated with the offspring of his offspring.  Could Henry Ellis have ever entertained the thought in his lifetime that someone would try to catch a glimpse of his existence over 200 years after his death? 

Henry Ellis was born in Virginia circa 1746, more than likely a son of Godfrey Fowler and grandson of Mark Fowler, descended from the John Fowler who immigrated from England to America in the mid 1600’s.

Henry Ellis married Catherine Puckett, daughter of Ephraim Puckett and wife Hannah, while living in Virginia.  Some of their children, if not all, were born in Virginia.  They had seven sons and two (or more?) daughters who managed to survive the perilous childhood illnesses of the times to reach adulthood.

Much has been written about Charles Sims, friend as well as Captain to Henry Ellis during the Revolutionary War.  Through these treasured words, we are able to learn more about the life of our Henry Ellis.  It has been said that the two men moved from Virginia with their families around 1773/1774 and settled on Tinker Creek in the western part of what was later to become Union District.

At some point in time, Henry Ellis and sons made their way across the county to the lush lands near the headwaters of Fannin Creek, and later, the Pacolet River, making their homes on Mill and Sandy Run Creeks.  There are many land transactions recorded at the local courthouse showing that they lived there in the late 1700’s through the mid 1800’s. 

After Catherine died circa 1800, Henry Ellis married her sister Mary Puckett.  Henry Ellis drafted his will in January 1808 and was laid to rest shortly afterwards.  Although his mortal life was over, it was also the beginning of the legacy he left behind in his children and grandchildren and their children’s children.

This will be an in-depth study of Henry Ellis Fowler and his many descendants.  I will use census records, deeds, wills, cemetery and church records — every piece of information available to peer into the past and reconstruct the lives of the ones who came before us. These are my people.

Kelly family cemetery photo from

7 thoughts on “HENRY ELLIS FOWLER (1746-1808)

  1. Good day to you my name is Michael Perry and a descendant of Vestian Fowler I have run across some information that I think may be useful in all of our researching and that is a book called The House of Fowler and includes Paden/Paden Family History it contains info. as well as pictures of family members chapter XIV contains Godfrey B. Fowler of Jonesville, Union County, South Carolina. Further lists Ellis Fowler from Virginia, and lists him as having six sons and one daughter, Wyman, Godfrey, Mark, Ephraim, Ellis, and William. Not sure why no name for daughter.


    1. Hi Michael, Thanks so much for reading and for your comments! I am very familiar with the House of Fowler; in fact, I once held the author’s original copy (very, very carefully) in my hands! I have also DNA tested a descendant of the author, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are two or more totally different Fowler lines mixed up in the book. The book was published in 1939, long before research was made easier and more accurate using the internet and DNA testing. I can also tell you that the author was not descended from the John Fowler the First about whom the book was written. This was quite a shock to find out but DNA is truth and that is what we all, as family historians, strive for and hope to find. The Ellis Fowler (d. 1808) who was born in Virginia and died in Union County, SC was a descendant of John Fowler the First. I have spent many years researching the line, and I have yDNA tested many descendants. Now, on another note: Vestian (Vesta Ann) Fowler was the daughter of William Goode Fowler (1825-1899). I do not know how he was related to the Ellis Fowler family. Do you? I have two potential males directly descended from the William G. Fowler line. One is not interested in testing, and I have been unable to contact the other. Any ideas of the origins of William G. Fowler?


      1. Thank you for setting me straight on the information honestly I do not know the origins of William G. Fowler at least not as of this communication. Guess I still have a bit of work ahead of me.


  2. yDNA testing would answer the questions about William G. Fowler. He was living among the Ephraim Fowler sons and daughters, and their children, so I believe that he was connected somehow through that branch. I am going to continue to pursue a male descendant to test. I have been known to persist for years in locating living male descendants, so stay tuned! We may find out something sooner than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi and good day to you was just reading your post my name is Michael Perry and my line runs through Vesta Ann Fowler Porter and am not sure if my DNA would be any help for you if so let me know, I will do what I can.


  3. Wish I was able to help but as I am only related to Vesta Ann is through her son William “W.E.” Edward Porter who was son of Vesta Ann and Jedithan “Gid” Porter. But I will keep on keeping on and looking. Best of luck to all. HAPPY Hunting and Holidays.


  4. Wish I was able to help but as I am only related to Vesta Ann is through her son William “W.E.” Edward Porter who was son of Vesta Ann and Jedithan “Gid” Porter. But I will keep on keeping on and looking. Best of luck to all. HAPPY Hunting and Holidays from the Pacific Northwest.

    Liked by 1 person

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