When I bought the one hundred and seventy-six year old ASA FOWLER Family Bible, I knew nothing about the family. I was hoping that this Fowler line would somehow connect to mine. It did not. I researched this Fowler family and it is a family with a wonderful history. Asa Fowler is descended from Philip Fowler who was born in England circa 1590, immigrated to America in 1634, and lived in Ipswich, Massachusetts until his death in 1679.
Asa Fowler was born in Pembroke, New Hampshire, the son of Benjamin Fowler and Mahitable Ladd. A year after graduating from Dartmouth College, he moved to Concord, New Hampshire in 1834. In 1837, he married Mary Cilley Knox (1815-1882). The couple had four sons and one daughter.
Asa Fowler was a politician, a lawyer, a justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and he was in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Asa Fowler was in a law partnership that lasted from 1838 until 1845 with Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth president of the United States. One must spend a little time researching his life to fully appreciate the man and his many accomplishments.
After retiring from political life, Asa Fowler spent his remaining years traveling to Europe, Florida, and California. He died in San Rafael, California on April 26, 1885. His last travels brought his body home to be buried in his beloved Concord, New Hampshire.
I do not know how the Family Bible of Asa Fowler began in a great family and now resides in my genealogy library, but it gave me a research opportunity that I would have never had otherwise. The bible is dated 1845, and it is very fragile. I have taken a few photographs of the bible along with the family pages inside. The third photograph in the series appears to the signature of Asa Fowler, with Concord, N.H. written below.
The Family Bible is a treasure, but I was also fortunate enough to obtain a first edition family history of Philip Fowler and his descendants: The Fowler Family- A Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Philip and Mary Fowler of Ipswich, Massachusetts by Matthew Adams Stickney; published 1883.
The book was donated to the Nahant Public Library in 1884 by Samuel Hammond Russell (1823-1894). Nahant is a tiny resort beach town in Essex County, about 20 miles from Boston. Samuel H. Russell came from an educated, prominent family in Boston. I have not researched to see if he was related to Philip Fowler.
Thanks to the head start I was given through the family records in the bible and the information in the genealogy book, I was able to trace this Fowler family to present day. Yes, I have DNA tested descendants. This is one of the most fascinating Fowler families that I have researched to date.