John William Lowery and his wife Sarah Caroline McFalls were my great great great grandparents.

John William Lowery was born in Yancy County, North Carolina on April 6, 1845. I have seen records stating that he was born in 1842. He was one of the fifteen-or-so children of William Stewart “Scully” Lowery (1816–1898) and Mary “Polly” Biddix (1816–1880).

The William Stewart Lowery Family

Spelled Laurie, Lowry, Lowrey, Lowery, and a few other ways, this family was Scottish, although they had likely stopped off in Northern Ireland for a generation or two, coming to the new world as Scotch Irish. Alexander Lowry was our immigrant ancestor.

It is believed that the family arrived in Philadelphia in the mid 1700s, then traveled to the mountains of North Carolina, settling and living in Burke, Yancey, Mitchell, Madison, McDowell, and Rutherford Counties.

William Stewart Lowery and Mary Biddix raised their children in Yancey County, and eventually moved to Mitchell County in their old age. Old “Scully” Lowery and his family emerged from the Mitchell County mountains in a covered wagon pulled by oxen around 1890. I do not know the location of his grave but my research puts his death in Rutherford County in 1898.

His son, John William Lowery, is likely one of the older boys in the photograph above. John William Lowery married Sarah Caroline McFalls c. 1870, daughter of Arthur McFalls (1828–1863) and Hazel “Hazy” Althenie McHone (1827–1900).

The Arthur McFalls family were also from Yancey County and moved into Mitchell County after the death of Arthur in the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia on September 20, 1863. I have heard many family stories that Sarah Caroline McFalls was of Cherokee Indian descent, but I have found no Native American in the DNA results of her descendants. She does look like an old Indian woman in the photograph below:

The John William Lowery Family
Back row: William Lowery, John Columbus Lowery, Ellie Burwell (wife of John Columbus Lowery), Pauline Lowery (daughter of John Columbus Lowery), Rachel Lowery and Hazy Lowery
Front row: Samuel Lowery, Grady Lowery (son of John Columbus Lowery) John William Lowery, Sarah Caroline McFalls, and Ida Lowery (daughter of McDonal Carol Lowery)

John William Lowery and Sarah Caroline McFalls had ten children. Their son, McDonal Carol “Mac” Lowery, married Alice Elizabeth Atkins. My great grandmother Ida Lowery was born to them in 1895. A year later, Alice Elizabeth Atkins died. Mac Lowery was murdered in 1901, and young Ida was an orphan. Her grandparents, John William Lowery and Sarah Caroline McFalls took her in and raised her along with their own children.

John William Lowery died on February 16, 1925 from injuries he received in an automobile accident in High Shoals, Rutherford County, North Carolina. Sarah Caroline McFalls Lowery died May 9, 1928 of old age.

John William Lowery 1845-1925 m. Sarah Caroline McFalls 1849-1928

  • Harriett “Hattie” Lowery (1867-1941)
  • Henry Wesley Lowery (1870-1940)
  • James Fillmore Lowery (1873–1962)
  • McDonal Carol Lowery (1875–1901)
  • Mary Lowery (1877–1958)
  • John Columbus Lowery (1880–1931)
  • Hazel Roseana Lowery (1884-1972)
  • William Massey Lowery (1885–1960)
  • Rachel M Lowery (1886–1967)
  • Samuel Washington Lowery (1895–1962)

5 thoughts on “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #11: JOHN WILLIAM LOWERY (1845-1925)

  1. I’m going through doing my family tree and came across this what a joy! Ida Lowery is the daughter of Alice Atkins and Mdonal Lowery. Ida Lowery is my Great Great Grandmother! How awesome, thank you for posting these pictures!


    1. Hayden, you are my second cousin, once removed. I am glad that you came across my post and that you liked it. Your great grandmother Alice was named after her grandmother Alice Atkins. Not too long before she died, I took your great grandmother Alice to the beach. It was a wonderful trip. –she always enjoyed life and I miss her. You know she was named after her grandmother Alice Atkins. I have a rather large collection of photographs of Ida Lowery and Aunt Alice. Perhaps I could send you copies or write an article about her and include the photos. (you may already have them too). Thanks again for finding my site!! Deb Fowler


      1. Wow an article would be amazing! My Grandmother and I would really love that. We are working on this together when I see her.


      2. I’ve got the article in my draft folder. In the meantime, email me at and I will send you a link to my family tree that includes the ancestry of Ida Lowery and Adam Teseniar. I have been researching my family for over 40 years. Uncle Robert helped me get started on. the Lowery/Teseniar line and I took it back a long way. I will also send you copies of the photos that I have of your great grandmother Alice. I have the wedding day photo of Ida and Adam and so many more.


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