There are many misconceptions out there in “family research land” about the Union County, South Carolina William Fowler married to Rhoda. As I browse through the many Fowler family trees on, I see that my fellow Fowler researchers are as confused as I once was about the William Fowler married to Rhoda. For a long time, I believed that this William was the son of Godfrey Fowler and Nannie Kelly. New found documents and a little logical thought finally put me on the right path to discovering the truth.

I do not yet know the parents of this William, but I do know that…

  • William Fowler married to Rhoda was NOT the son of Henry Ellis Fowler and Catherine Puckett!
  • William Fowler married to Rhoda was NOT the son of Godfrey Fowler and Nannie Kelly!
  • William Fowler married to Rhoda was NOT the son of Womack Fowler and Susannah Moseley!

William Fowler married to Rhoda MAY have been the son of John Fowler “the Elder” (d. 1818) and Fannie.

Before I wander into the territory of theory and speculation of the parentage of William Fowler married to Rhoda, I want to offer proof and documentation showing that it is impossible for him to have been a son of Henry Ellis Fowler, Godfrey Fowler, or Womack Fowler.

William Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler and Catherine Puckett

It is known from the Last Will and Testament of Henry Ellis Fowler that he and Catherine Puckett did have a son named William Fowler. Although I have not been able to document the date of birth for William, it is proven by William’s Last Will and Testament that he died between the date he signed his will, February 10, 1812, and the date it was recorded, March 17, 1812. (Probate Records, Box 7, Packages 9)

WILLIAM FOWLER, (d. 1812), son of Henry Ellis Fowler

In his will, William Fowler did not mention a wife or children, but instead left his estate to Polly and Delinda Burgess, the two daughters of Sarah Burgess. In the event that Polly and Delinda died without heirs, the estate would go to Mark Fowler and Wymac Fowler, two of William’s brothers, and sons of Henry Ellis Fowler.



Given that William Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler and Catherine Puckett, died in 1812, I think it is safe to say with great certainty that he was not the William Fowler married to Rhoda.

William Fowler, son of Godfrey Fowler and Nannie Kelly

William Fowler, son of Godfrey Fowler and Nannie Kelly was born circa 1813. In 1822, Godfrey and Nannie’s son Thomas Gillman Fowler signed a document stating that he would maintain the life necessities of his parents, Godfrey and Nannie, until their deaths, and his two younger brothers, William Fowler and Coleman Fowler, until they reached the age of twenty-one.


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As per the document of 1822, William Fowler, son of Godfrey, was under the age of twenty-one. William, in fact, was about 9 years of age in 1822.

William Fowler (b. 1795) married to Rhoda would have been 27 in 1822. He and Rhoda may have had their first child in 1820, and certainly had begun their family by 1824.

The age difference between William Fowler (son of Godfrey & Nannie) and William Fowler married to Rhoda is far too great for these two Williams to have been one and the same.

In 1900, the Honorable Godfrey Butler Fowler (son of Joseph Fowler, son of Godfrey Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler) wrote this about his uncle: William Fowler, son of Godfrey, died a young man. He was a teacher and a surveyor.”

Thus, I state with full confidence that William Fowler married to Rhoda was not William Fowler, son of Godfrey.

William Fowler, son of Womack Fowler and Susannah Moseley

William Fowler, son of Womack, was born on December 17, 1812. The date of his birth was recorded in the Fowler family Bible. William married Martha LNU and they appeared in two Union County, SC census records together, 1850 and 1860.

William and Martha had no children as per an estate settlement document of 1879. The information contained within the document stated that William had died in 1872, and his widow Martha was to inherit her husband’s share of the Womack and Susannah Moseley Fowler estate.

William Fowler did leave a Last Will and Testament which can be found in the Columbia, SC State Archives.  A portion of his estate was left to his only child: a son born out of wedlock, Morgan Reaves whose mother was Millie ReavesMillie married William Pierce and had no more children.

The birth date obtained from the Bible, and the information contained within the 1879 estate settlement document are proof that William Fowler, son of Womack was not the William Fowler married to Rhoda. 

William Fowler married to Rhoda and their family in the 1850 Union County, SC census:

willliam Fowler married to rhoda
1850 Union County SC Census

The Descendants of William Fowler married to Rhoda

William Fowler 1795-before 1860 m. Rhoda 1798-after 1870

  1. Polly Fowler 1820– (not documented as a daughter)
  2. Simeon Fowler 1824– m. Jane Hodge 1826–1870
    1. Susan Fowler 1854– m. James Gassaway Millwood 1859– (Susan may have been a daughter of Ellis Fowler and stepdaughter of Simeon)
      1. Millage Millwood 1872–
      2. James H. Millwood 1877–
    2. Elias John Fowler 1856– aft 1880 (John may have been a son of Ellis Fowler and stepson of Simeon)
    3. Samuel Fowler 1860–after 1890  m. Lucy Cook 1870-1914
      1. John Glover Fowler 1885–1939 m. Elizabeth Kerr 1881-
      2. May Fowler 1885–
      3. Annie J Fowler 1888–
      4. Elizabeth Lizzie Fowler 1891–
    4. Franklin Fowler 1861–1913 m Nannie Cook 1874
      1. Clarence Fowler 1897–
      2. Marie Fowler 1900–
      3. Mark Fowler 1903-1976 m. Irene Mitchell 1909–1956
        1. William Hubert Fowler 1926–1944
        2. J G Fowler 1927–1991 m. Betty Lou Sparks 1930-2019
        3. Elizabeth C Fowler 1929–1999 m. John Robert Osment –1999
        4. Janie Harriet Fowler 1933–2002 m. Ralph Tucker 1930-1988
        5. Tommie Frank Fowler 1939–2008
        6. Daughter Fowler
      4. Bertha Fowler 1904-1993 m. Jeff Campbell 1902-1967
      5. Boyd Fowler 1912-1984 m. Gracie Alice Robinson
    5. Elma Fowler 1866–1925 m. John Hill 1854–1915
      1. James Hill 1884– (adopted son)
      2. Janie Hill 1884–1924
      3. Willie Tate Hill 1886–1962 m. Katie Catherine Aiken 1889–1944
        1. Marie Hill 1906–1978
        2. Earline (Lena) Hill 1909–1937
        3. Leroy Hill 1915–1983
        4. Clarence Tate Hill 1917–1950
        5. Vernelle Hill 1920–2002
      4. Charlie Simms Hill 1887–1958
      5. Elzie Arthur Hill 1896–1962
      6. Clara Hill 1898–1910
      7. Walter George Hill 1901–1957
      8. Lizzie Hill 1902–1980
      9. Bessie Hill 1909–
  3. Samuel Fowler 1829–1880 m. unknown
    1. William Henry Fowler 1875–1960
  4. James Fowler 1832–1862 m. Caroline Hodge 1830–1912 (daughter of John Jackson Hodge and Martha Patsey Fowler)
    1. Desdamona Fowler 1854–1887 m. John A. Mize 1853–1912
      1. Charles Frederick Mize Sr. 1873–
      2. Nettie Mize 1876–1911
      3. John Mize 1877–
      4. Monroe Mimms Mize 1883–1945
      5. Albert Horace Mize 1885–
      6. Virginia James (May) Mize 1885–1955
      7. Mattie Mize 1887–1962
    2. William Edward Fowler 1856– 1894 m. Amanda Jones 1859–1889
      1. James Washington Fowler 1877–1951 m. Monnie Hunter 1885–1949
        1. Lillian May Fowler 1913–
        2. John F Fowler 1918–
        3. Annie L Fowler 1919– 1996 m. Charles Trogee Green 1919-1990
        4. Eunice Elizabeth Fowler 1921-1982 m. Nick Brown; m. Macon Monroe Holliday 1924-2007
      2. Sallie Fowler 1879
      3. John Riley Fowler 1883– 1951 m. Eugenia Camilla McGee 1886–1912
        1. Lillian Kathleen Fowler 1906–1978 m. George Thedford Watkins 1901–1963
          1. Nora Watkins 1925–
          2. Betty Jo Watkins 1927– 1988 m. Charles Barden 1927-1978
          3. Thomas Watkins 1939–
    3. James Monroe Fowler 1858–1931 m. Julia Cook 1852–1945
      1. James Monroe Fowler 1876–1961 m. Mary Etta Burgess 1886–1943
        1. Jane Fowler 1900–
        2. Maggie Fowler 1901–
        3. Nolan John Henry Fowler 1904–1986 m. Mae Lipsey
        4. Aulean Fowler 1906–
        5. Ernest S Fowler 1907–1961 m. Bessie Dorman 1910–1996
          1.  Evelyn Fowler 1928-1971
          2. Thelma Margaret Fowler 1930–1996
          3. James William Fowler 1932–2005
        6. Wallace Erbie Fowler 1911-2018 and Lincie E Henderson 1910–1933; m. Ida Inman 1912–1970
          1. Furman Lester Henderson 1929-2018 m. Sara Crocker 1931-2009
            1. Lester Gene Henderson 1959-1959
            2. Anthony Furman Henderson 1961-2021
          2. Carole Blanche Fowler 1934–1995
          3. Son Fowler 1939–
        7. Camilla Fowler 1914–
        8. Theron William Fowler 1921–1993 m. Doris Ada Gregory
        9. Mozelle Fowler 1923–
      2. Minnie Fowler 1881–1962
      3. Forest Eldred Fowler 1884–1926
      4. Marvin McAddam Fowler 1889–1927
    4. Kansaby Fowler 1860–
  5. Pamela Fowler 1837–
  6. Edith “Edy” Fowler 1841– m. Felix Parham Fowler 1829– (son of Womack Fowler)
    1. Rhoda Fowler 1856–
    2. William Fowler 1859–
    3. Rufus Fowler 1861– m. Alice G. Foster 1856–1931
      1. Herbert Fowler 1881–1951 m. Annie Dessie Horn Fowler 1892
        1. Jennings Rufus Fowler 1903–1967
        2. Ruth Fowler 1911–
        3. Pauline Fowler 1913–
        4. Herbert Blease Fowler 1915–1988
        5. Daisy Belle Fowler Buice 1917–1968
        6. Eugene Fowler 1920–1997
        7. Hoyt Earl Fowler 1927–1993
      2. Lula Fowler 1883–1902
      3. Marnie Fowler 1885–

Who Were The Parents of William Fowler Married to Rhoda??

Unfortunately, finding the names of William’s parents is not as easy as finding the names of the ones who were not his parents. Everything from here to the end of the article is theory and speculation. Good theory and speculation, but not proof. I am hoping that yDNA testing will bring truth to light in the very near future.

It is my theory that Willliam Fowler married to Rhoda was the son of John Fowler (d. 1818) and Fannie. I have come to this conclusion by the process of eliminating the possible Fowler heads of households who had sons around the time William was born……1795; positions on census records; and the names of the sons in the Last Will and Testament of John Fowler (d. 1818).

so much more to come soon……..

4 thoughts on “WILLIAM FOWLER 1795-before 1860, married to Rhoda

  1. This is a great site. But can anyone help me with WILLIAM FOWLER born IN SOUTH CAROLINA about 1790-1800 per census died 1856-1860 in Henderson County, married to ELIZABETH…born about 1798 died about 1850-1860 He is my ancestor and names so common, I have hit a dead-end. It was assumed by some that he was born in Union County, but I cannot find a William that fits. The names of his children are suggestive: LEMUEL, GEORGE WASHINGTON, MARTIN, BERRY BENJAMIN, JAMES TINSLEY, JOHN JACKSON AND DOROTHY. Martin, my ancestor named a son PINCKNEY long after Governor Pinckney’s term, and I suspected that he (my ggfather might have been named for the Pinckney TWP in Union county. But no proof. All of the above were born in SC except John and Dorothy and I have traced them all forward. BUT the ancestry of William is unfound. HELP! Richard Fowler


  2. My second Great Grandfather was William Fowler born abt. 1794- 1795. In the books The Annals of The Fowlers and House of Fowlers it says that Sherwood Fowler had a son William Fowler born 1795 called Little Billy. Sherwoods brother Alexander Fowler Jr. also had a son William Fowler called Big Billy. He married Sherwood Fowler’s daughter Ann Fowler born 1790 his first cousin.


    1. I have also been back and forth many times trying to get a definitive on William Fowler as well. The Henderson County probate records beginning 1857 for William Fowler’s contested estate, show all of his sons (Lemuel, Martin, Berry, George, Tinsley and John) evidenced in this record. Yet, it is vacant Dorothy, whom I suspect may have passed by this date as she does not show in the 1860 census either. Moreover, as I reviewed these records again this date, I am beginning to wonder if the 1857 date, is being misread and is actually an 1854 date of death and giving room for the pending contest of 1857 between the brothers and the other party. Here, the name John McCarson shows him to be the Administrator of the estate. Further, while the name of William’s supposed wife Elizabeth does not show in these probate reports, the name Jane clearly does, and is seen in the July 8, 1857 note, stating in part, ‘Jane Fowler widow of William Fowler deceased…’. Still, was this Elizabeth’s middle name, or vice versa, or other. Martin Fowler is my great great grandfather.


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