JOHN FOWLER (c. 1787-before 1840) was the second son born to Ephraim Fowler.  John was mentioned in very few documents, and as a result, he seems to be somewhat overlooked in genealogy research.

The first document, with reference to John, found in my research was Ephraim’s will of 1822.  John is listed as one of the children to inherit Ephraim’s estate:

all the rest of my estate to be equally divided amongst my children, to wit, Jasper, Lidia, JOHN, Sally, Polly, Stephen, Milley, Caty, and Ellis

In addition to the will, John Fowler’s name was recorded three times in the estate settlement papers.  It is hard to say at this point in my research that the John Fowler mentioned in the settlement was Ephraim’s son John.  It is possible that the documents referred to John Fowler, the Hatter.  I am including sections of the estate settlement regardless:

the “E” after John Fowler’s name may indicate that this was John Fowler, son of  (Henry) Ellis Fowler
To ditto paid JOHN FOWLER amt of $25 on his amount for work of a ????
cash paid JOHN FOWLER amt $3.00 of his amount

There was a JOHN A. FOWLER in the 1830 Union County, SC Census living among the Ephraim Fowler families:

  • Nancy Fowler (widow of Ephraim)
  • Richard White (married to Ephraim’s daughter Mary “Polly”Fowler)
  • Jasper Fowler (son of Ephraim)
  • Stephen Fowler (son of Ephraim)
  • John A. Fowler (son of Ephraim?)


The ages of the older male and female in the 1830 census “fit” the ages of Ephraim’s son John and his wife Nancy.  To support this theory, the ages of the children in the household are also a good “fit” for the children of John and Nancy:

  • John Fowler b. 1787   1 male age 40-49
  • Nancy b. 1800   1 female 30-39
  • Washington b. 1818   1 male 10-14
  • Thomas b. 1824   1 male 5-9
  • John b. 1830    1 male < 5
  • Rebecca b. 1821   1 female 5-9
  • Charity b. 1822   1 female 5-9

The absence of additional children after the 1830 birth of son John leads me to believe that John Fowler (the father) died shortly after the 1830 census was recorded.

I discovered  documents in the Union County Courthouse and the SC State Archives regarding the final settlement of John’s father, Ephraim Fowler.  One of these documents from 1849 led me to the discovery of the name of John’s oldest son — Washington Fowler.  I was able to locate Washington in the 1840 Union County census.  He was listed as age 20-29 along with a female 15-19, and a female <5.  Washington seems to have vanished into thin air after 1840.

I have not been able to locate the remaining family members in 1840.

In 1850, John’s widow Nancy lived  with her son Thomas Fowler and his wife, Sarah Elendar Hames.  John and Nancy’s daughter Rebecca (who later married Felix Burgess) and their son John also lived in the household.  There was an 8 year old child named Mary.  My theory is that Mary was the daughter of Washington Fowler, oldest son of John and Nancy, or Mary may have been the daughter of Rebecca and perhaps born out of wedlock.

In 1850, the Thomas Fowler household was positioned in the middle of the Ephraim Fowler clan: sister Charity Fowler and her husband (as well as her first cousin) William J. Fowler, were living nearby.  Other related families living as neighbors were as follows: Julia Fowler Sprouse (daughter of Ephraim’s son Ellis); Sarah Mabry Fowler (widow of Ephraim’s son Ellis) and their son Henry; Stephen Fowler (son of Ephraim); Lemuel, Zachariah, Mary and Susan Fowler (grown children of Ephraim’s son Jasper).

1850 Census Union County, SC

In 1860, Thomas Fowler and his wife Sarah Elendar Hames lived in the Kelton area of Union County, SC.  They had a son, Gillman, age 6, and a daughter Mary, age 4.

1860 Census Union County, SC   ( Kelton Post Office)

Davidson, Iredell County, North Carolina.  About 80 miles from Kelton, Union County, South Carolina. Finding the Thomas Fowler household in Iredell County, I had to wonder what event inspired the Thomas Fowler family to pack up and move far away from family and friends in the years between 1860 and 1870?

I have read the history of the early settlers who, in 1749, began moving into what later became Iredell County.  Although I have learned that it is a beautiful section of the state of North Carolina, I doubt lovely landscapes alone were enough to motivate a family to relocate from the safe surroundings of an extended family and familiarity to a land unknown.

I have searched the 1870 census of Davidson, Iredell County to see if I could find another family with whom Thomas Fowler or his wife Sarah Elendar Hames could have been connected.  I found no names in the census that would give me any resolution or answer to my question.

When one takes into consideration that the years between 1860 and 1870 were filled with a long civil war, and the starvation, devastation, and reconstruction that followed, it is even more difficult to understand a move across counties and a state line, leaving family behind.

Thomas Fowler and wife Sarah Elendar Hames were living with son Gillman, daughters (Mary) Susannah, (Lou) Ella, and Anna.

1870 Census Davidson, Iredell County, NC

As long as the journey was from Union County to Iredell County, the journey the Thomas Fowler family made between 1870 and 1880 was even longer.  They made the move to Liberty township in Pickens County, SC during the decade, a distance of 135 miles traveling on the roads of today.

The family headed by Thomas included Sarah Elendar Hames, and daughters Mary Susannah and Anna.  Son Gillman had married Susan Wilson; daughter Lou Ella had married Jasper Rufus Oates.

1880 Census Pickens County, SC



Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808 m. Catherine Puckett

  • Ephraim Fowler 1765-1822 m. Nancy Moseley
    • JOHN FOWLER 1787-before 1840 m. Nancy 1800- after 1860
      1. Washington Fowler 1818- after 1840 m. unknown
        • daughter b. circa 1838
      2. Rebecca Fowler 1821- m. Felix Burgess 1822-
        • Nancy Burgess 1854-
        • Rhoda Burgess 1856-
        • James Newton Burgess 1858-1924 m. Anna Lipsey 1868–1903
          • Willie Burgess 1889-
          • Fannie Burgess 1891-
          • Arthur B. Burgess 1895-1966 m. Annie Ida Stines 1900-1985
            • Blanch Burgess 1921-1944 m. Henry Palmer
            • Howard Jackson Burgess Sr. 1925-2001
            • Vivian Burgess 1929-2006
            • Larkin Newton Burgess 1932-2013
            • M_________ Burgess 1935-
            • S_________ Burgess 1938-
            • L.J. Burgess 1940-1992
            • B________ Burgess
          • Jesse Burgess 1896–
          • Judson Burgess 1899–1966 
        • Caroline Burgess 1861-
        • John Burgess 1865-
      3. Charity Fowler 1822-after 1880 m. William Fowler 1810-after 1870
        • Greenberry Fowler (b. 1837)
        • Mary Fowler (b. 1838)  
        • Martha Fowler (b. 1840)
        • Susan A. Fowler (b. 1842)
        • Rebecca Fowler (b. 1845)
        • Newton Fowler (b. 1849)
        • Cordelia Fowler (b. 1855) m.  James Toliver Wix
          • Greenberry Wix  (1875- ) married Sara Angeline Tessner
            • James O. Wix (1908-1929)
            • Nancy Cordelia Wix (1911-)
            • Geneva “Eva” Wix (1917-1990)
        • John Fowler (1858–1930)
        •  Jasper (Joseph) Fowler (1859– after 1910) m. Dulcieny (Sena)
          • William Fowler (1879-before 1900)
          • James Fowler (1883-1942)
          • Thomas Fowler (1886-)                          
        • Gillman Fowler (1863– after 1930)
      4. Thomas Fowler 1824-1911 m. Sarah Elender Hames 1823-1911
        • Isaac Gilmer Fowler 1852-1938 m. Susan Katherine Willson
          • John William Fowler 1875–1972 m. Mary Elizabeth Newton 1879-1913
            • Henrietta Elizabeth Fowler 1899-1988 m. Joseph Rufus Brinkhoff
              • Elizabeth Rachel Brinkhoff
            • William Newton “Bud” Fowler 1900-1959
            • John Henry Fowler 1903–1993
            • Audrey Amanda “Cricket” Fowler 1905–1990
            • Samuel Robert “Bob” Fowler 1907–1990
            • Isaac Fowler 1908–
            • Flossie H Fowler 1910–2005
            • James Truman Fowler 1913-2003
          • Walter Clarence Fowler 1877–1963 m. Ida Mae Cantrell 1884-1978
            •  Clarence Gillimon Fowler 1903–1988 m. Annie Louise Thornhill 1917–2011
              • J________ Fowler
            • John Roy Fowler 1905–1980 m. Gladys Christine Porter 1912-1997
              • William R. Fowler 1929-2013
              • Wallace Clarence Fowler 1930-1987
              • Peggy Jean Fowler 1935–2013
              •  Mary Jo Fowler 1938–1938
              •  Donald Wade Fowler 1939–1991 m. Marion Odessa Brooks 1943–1977
                • Donald Wade Fowler Jr. 1963-1987
            • William Oscar Fowler 1908–1974
            • Infant  Male Fowler 1916–1916
          • Thomas Julius “Jude” Fowler 1878–1967 m. Maude Maybell Pilgrim 1887–1940
            • Christine Fowler 1909–1986
            • Julius P. Fowler 1918–1942
            • Itau Fowler 1925–2013 m. Homer Ellison
            • daughter Fowler 1926–
            • G________ Fowler
          • Bessie Fowler 1884–
          • Hugh Gilmore Fowler 1885–1964
          • May Fowler 1887–1980
          • Maud Fowler 1891–
          •  Frank Wilson Fowler 1893–1975
          • Alma Fowler 1898–1990
        • Mary Susannah Fowler 1857-
        • LouElla Fowler 1861- 1920 m. Jasper Rufus Oates 1856–1938
          • Francis May “Fannie” Oates 1880–1975
          • John Mason Oates 1884–1955
          • Bessie Lee Oates 1887–1919
          • Mary Beth Oates 1890–
          • William J. E. Oates 1894–1894
          • Robert Cullis Oates 1898–1966
          • Marshall Verner Oates 1901–1931
        • Anna Fowler 1868-1913
      5. John Fowler 1830-




















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