“Lieutenant Fowler was a Virginian of excellent family.  He was a man of powerful stature.”

“I can recall the appearance of Mr. Ellis Fowler (son of the lieutenant), a tall, fair man, with a deep and most powerful voice.”

Miss Sarah Adeline Sims, daughter of Joseph Starke Sims


“We Fowlers have thin, fine, light hair.”

Godfrey Butler Fowler


We do not have an image of Henry Ellis Fowler, nor do we have images of his sons or daughters.  It is possible to get an understanding of what he may have looked like through the descriptions of Miss S.A. Sims and Godfrey B. Fowler.  We also have photographic evidence of a few of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Henry Ellis Fowler had seven sons, and two or three daughters.  He had upwards of fifty grandchildren, and more than one hundred and seventy five great grandchildren, perhaps– probably– more than two hundred.

That there is any photographic evidence of any of these descendants is no less than remarkable considering the era and the random chance of old photographs surviving somewhat intact for many years.

Henry Ellis Fowler was a “man of powerful stature” and his son Ellis Fowler was a “tall, fair man”.  His great grandson Henry Richard Fowler was “an extraordinary specimen of manhood and he was of a splendid physical development”  who weighed over two hundred pounds.

Melissa Fowler and Rufus Marion Fowler, the grandchildren of Henry Ellis Fowler, had dark hair, and Rufus had blue eyes.  Both Melissa and Rufus were also grandchildren of the James Moseley line which could account for the dark hair.

The photograph of  grandson Thomas Gillman Fowler indicates a dark haired man with a proud stature.  Please note that it is very possible that the man in this image may be an earlier photograph of Charles Ellis Fowler or one of his brothers.

Five of the great grandchildren of Henry Ellis Fowler appear to have been both dark haired and dark complexioned: Henry Richard Fowler, Sarah Purchase Fowler, Charles Ellis Fowler, Godfrey Butler Fowler, and Felix C. Haile.

The remaining great grandchildren in the photographic evidence below have either gray hair (due to old age) or brown hair.

So was Henry Ellis Fowler a man of blue eyed, light colored hair, or was he dark haired and dark eyed?  It’s hard to say for certain.  Perhaps DNA analysis would help answer this question.  It is certain that he and at least some of his grandsons and great grandsons gave the appearance of height and strength.

  • Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808 m. Catherine Puckett
    • Ephraim Fowler 1765-1822 m. Nancy Moseley
      • Lydia Fowler 1785-after 1850 m. Charles Hames
        • CINTHIA JEANETTE HAMES 1817-1901 m. James S. Durham
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.32.35 PM.png
      • Ellis Fowler m. Sarah Mabry
        • HENRY RICHARD FOWLER 1825-1885 m. Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr
        • IMG_4604
    • Ellis Fowler 1770-after 1850 m. Mary 1880-after 1850
      • Ellis Fowler 1810-after 1880 m. Sarah Clark
        • ELIZABETH AUGILAR FOWLER 1841–1924 m. Robert Henry Petty
        • elizabeth-augilar-fowler.jpg
        • NANCY P (NANNIE) FOWLER 1854–1939 m. John Worthy Eison
        • nannie p
        • SARAH PURCHASE FOWLER1860–1933
        • purchase-fowler-photo.png
    • Godfrey Fowler 1773-1850 m. Nannie Kelly
      • THOMAS GILLMAN FOWLER 1798-1880 m. Susannah Hames
      • Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 12.21.28 PM.png
        • CHARLES ELLIS FOWLER 1828-1900 m. Mary Margaret White
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.57.11 PM.png
        • SUSANNAH ADELINE FOWLER 1843-1901 m. D.P Boulware; A. C. White
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.59.17 PM.png
      • Joseph Fowler 1800-1852 m. Clarissa Foster
        • GODFREY BUTLER FOWLER 1837-1906 m. Louisa Jane Mitchell
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 00.04.47 AM.png
      • Milligan Fowler 1802-1871 relationship with Frances Haile
        • FELIX C. HAILE  1829-1884
        • felix haile
    • Mark Fowler 1780-1849 m. Elizabeth Moseley
      • MELISSA FOWLER 1823-1889 m. Isaac Creighton Horne
      • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.45.39 PM.png
      • Catherine Fowler 1805-before 1882
        • THOMAS W. FOWELR 1834- 1861
        • image-51
    • Womack Fowler 1785-1848 m. Susannah Moseley
      • RUFUS MARION FOWLER 1825-1864 m. Dorothy Moseley
      • rufus fowler
      • James Hervey Fowler 1832-1862 m. Mary Cansada James
        • HARRISON DAVID FOWLER 1860-1927 m, Nancy James
        • Harrison David Fowler
    • John Fowler d. 1833
      • Desina Fowler 1802- 1840 m. James Walton McWhirter
        • DESINA JANE MCWHIRTER 1840-1913 m. Asa Franklin Miller
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.54.17 PM.png



3 thoughts on “HENRY ELLIS FOWLER: Clues to His Appearance

  1. Desiner Jane Fowler Married James Walton McWhirter not Charles as stated in John Fowler’s will. Charles McWhirter also married aFowler.


    1. Nancy….thanks so much for pointing out my mistake! I am going to make the correction now. I welcome all comments and corrections.
      Thanks for taking time to read the article!! Deb


  2. Thanks so much for all your continued efforts. (Descendant of Sarah Ann Fowler Goforth, daughter of Henry Fowler, granddaughter of Stephen Fowler (1798-1866).


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