Mary Hames was born in Union County, South Carolina circa 1835.

Her mother, Lydia Fowler (1785-after 1850), was the oldest daughter of Ephraim Fowler (1765-1822), and Ephraim Fowler was the oldest son of Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808).

The father of Mary Hames was Charles E. Hames (1782-1847), the out-of-wedlock son of William Hames (1759-1823) and an unknown mother.

William Hames was the son of Charles Hames (1732–1807) and Catherine Krugg (1735–1835).

Mary Hames lived in the 1850 household with her mother Lydia Fowler Hames, her maternal grandmother Nancy Moseley Fowler (d. after 1850), widow of Ephraim, and her brother Francis Hames (1828-1903).

Mary Hames had another brother, Coleman Hames, (1814-1887) who lived nearby with his family.

The names of the neighbors — Lemuel Fowler and wife Milly, Mary White (another daughter of Ephraim Fowler, the Gaults, the Gallmans, the Kelly family — allow me to pinpoint with certainty the 1850 location of these people. They lived in the Pea Ridge/ Kelly section of Union County.

Mother Nancy Moseley Fowler and daughter Lydia Fowler Hames died in the decade between 1850 to 1860.

Coleman Hames moved himself and his family to Cherokee County, Georgia.

Francis Hames married, started his family, and stayed put in Union County.

Cross Keys is an important crossroad community in the history of Union County. The Cross Keys House built by Barrum Bobo is there, famous for the Davis family who lived there in 1865, and who unknowingly hosted and served lunch to the President of the Confederacy — Jefferson Davis — and his Cabinet as they fled from the Union Army at the end of the Civil War.

The Elijah Dunaway family settled near Cross Keys at Keenan’s Bridge which crossed Fairforest Creek. The location is solidly proven by his presence next to Nimrod Sharp in the 1860 census and the document printed in the paper in 1877.

By car today, the drive from Cross Keys to Pea Ridge is thirty minutes, being a distance of twenty miles.

In the 1850s, a meeting and then a courtship between a young Mary Hames and Abraham Dunaway would not have been a small undertaking.

Still, Mary Hames did meet and marry Abraham Dunaway (1830–1864), a son of Elijah Dunaway and wife Elizabeth. This marriage likely took place in 1859.

In 1860, Abraham “Abrom” Dunaway and his new bride Mary Hames lived next to her brother — Francis Hames and his family..

The location of the Abraham Dunaway family appears to have been closer to the town of Union. I say this because the occupations of the neighbors surrounding the family were those of city dwellers: doctors, and merchants, and clerks, and preachers, students, and carpenters… with a few farmers thrown in for good measure.

1860 Union County SC Census

Abraham and Mary Dunaway were in the 1860 census record childless, but that would soon change. A son was born in 1860, and a daughter in 1862. No more children would follow. The reason? The Civil War.

In the winter of 1861-1862, Abraham Dunaway left his family behind to join other young men of the South Carolina 18th Infantry Regiment; marching off to war, marching away from their loved ones as the faint notes of Dixie drifted in the wind.

Did Abraham Dunaway ever make it back home… just one more time… to see his family? I do not know.

Abraham Dunaway died on the 25th of June in the year 1864 in Petersburg, Virginia.

Mary Hames Dunaway was left a widow with two small children. She and her children were found in the 1870 household of her father-in-law, Elijah Dunaway.and his wife Elizabeth.

1870 Union County SC Census

Elijah Dunaway was head of household in the 1880 census. His daughter-in-law Mary Hames Dunaway was there still, as was her son Robert Dunaway. Two members of the home were absent: Elijah’s wife Elizabeth Dunaway had died, and Mary’s daughter Jane Dunaway had married.

1880 Union County SC Census

Robert Liggon Dunaway was the only son born to Mary Hames and Abraham Dunaway. His 1860 birth, the soon-after enlistment of his father in the Civil War, and the 1864 death of his father in faraway Virginia determined that he would never know his father.

Young Robert was raised — along with his sister Jane — by his widowed mother Mary in the home of his paternal grandparents, Elijah and Elizabeth Dunaway. He lived the majority of his life in the Cross Keys community.

He married Martha J. “Mattie” Lawson (1868-1890) daughter of William Lawson (1815–) and Parthenia Edwards (1825–).

From the May 17, 1889 issue of the Weekly Union Times: Robert L. Dunaway of Cross Anchor and Mattie J. Lawson of Cross Keys were married May 14th, by Rev. C. Smith at the Yarbourgh Chapel Parsonage.

A daughter, Mary Alma Dunaway, was born on March 18, 1890.

Martha perhaps died in childbirth, or shortly afterwards, for Robert Liggon Dunaway was next married to Louisa B, Kelley by 1894.

Three sons and two daughters were born to Robert Dunaway and Louisa.

The Robert Dunaway family moved from Cross Anchor to Woodruff, South Carolina in the decade between 1910 to 1920.

Robert Liggon Dunaway died on July 13, 1927 in Beech Springs, Spartanburg County (now known as the town of Wellford). He was buried at Yarbourgh’s Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery near Cross Anchor.

He shares a headstone with his wife Louisa. The headstone of their son Irving Christopher Dunaway (1885-1954) is adjacent to theirs.

I drive by there often, and more often than not, stop by to see the final resting place of Robert Liggon Dunaway. Someone put flowers on his grave a few years back. The flowers have somewhat survived, battered by the wind and the rain, the heat of summer and the cold of winter. But they are there, a reminder that someone once thought of this man.

Below are photographs of the church, the graveyard, and the graves of Robert Liggon Dunaway, Louisa Kelley Dunaway, and son Irving Christopher Dunaway.

Mary Hames and Abraham Dunaway had one daughter, Jane Dunaway, born in 1862. If Jane had ever laid eyes upon her father, she would have retained no memory of the man. These were the realities of war and the price war demanded of the women and children left behind.

Jane Dunaway married William Franklin O’Shields (1857–1935) before 1880. Using the “years married” column on the 1900 and 1910 census records, they wed in 1877 or 1878.

As per census records in 1900, Jane had given birth to ten children, and had six children living. In 1910, she had given birth to 16 children, and had seven living. I have found evidence of six sons and one daughter who survived until adulthood.

Jane Dunaway O’Shields died in 1911.

I have traced her descendants to present day, although the entirety of my research is not reflected below.

I do want to make mention of the additional connection to the Fowler family through Jane’s son Robert Newton O’Shield’s marriage to Hessie Fowler (1879- 1901). Hessie Fowler was descended from William Goode Fowler (1825-1899) on her paternal side, and John Fowler the Hatter (d. 1833) on her maternal side.

From the April 24, 1901 issue of The Progress: Mrs. Hessie O’Shields, daughter of George Fowler and wife of Robert O’Shields died Sunday 21 April 1901. She leaves a little babe one week old, a husband, father, mother, sisters, and brothers. (West End news)

Wild speculation: was Willie O’Shields born ca. 1901 the daughter of Robert O’Shields and Hessie Fowler and raised by her grandmother Jane Dunaway O’Shields, or was she the last child born to Jane Dunaway O’Shields? Did the one week old babe survive or follow her mother to the grave?

Robert O’Shields married Mattie Sims (1886-1932) after the death of his first wife Hessie Fowler.

  • Henry Ellis Fowler
    • Ephraim Fowler (1765-1822)
      • Lydia Fowler (1785-1852) m. Charles E. Hames
        • MARY HAMES (1835-1908) m. Abraham Dunaway (1830-1864)
          • Robert Liggon Dunaway (1860-1927) m. Martha Lawson (1868-1890); m. Louisa B Kelley (1870–1953)
            • Mary Alma Dunaway (1890–1961) m. James Edward Crook (1885–1939)
              • Mattie Belle Crook (1906–1970)
              • Catharine Crook (1908–1958)
              • Hallie Mae Crook (1910–1981)
              • Cole Blease Crook (1912–1959)
              • Edith Crook (1914–1988)
              • Ben C Crook (1917–)
              • James Crook( 1920–)
              • Virginia Crook (1922–)
              • Edna F Crook1925–)
            • Irving Christopher Dunaway (1895–1954) m. Irma Pearson (1898-1954)
            • Robert Lewis Dunaway (1896–1932) m. Ethel Elizabeth Patton (18957-1988)
              • James Liggon Dunaway Sr. (1919-1974)
              • Velma Wygenia Dunaway (1921-1938)
              • Nellie Doris Dunaway (1923- -)
              • Flora Jean Dunaway (1929-2013)
            • Arthur Dunaway (1898– before 1910)
            • Orrie Leannah Dunaway (1900– 1941) m. Claude Lomax Cooper (b. 1895)
              • Pansy Cooper (1917-)
              • Sarah Cooper (1921-)
              • Carolinda Cooper (1924-)
            • Cora Elizabeth Dunaway (1902–1989) m. Samuel Earl Cooper (1898-1962)
              • Margaret Cooper (1922-2014
              • Dorothy Louisa Cooper (1924-2005)
              • Robert Gerald Cooper 1932-2015
          • Jane Dunaway (1862-1911) m. William Franklin O’Shields (1857-1935)
            • Robert Newton O’Shields (1881-1950) m. Hessie Fowler (1879-1901) ; m. Mattie E. Sims (1886-1932)
              • Infant O’Shields (1901-1901)
              • Roy Wilson O’Shields (1907-1952)
              • Clifford Johnnie O’Shields (1911-1974)
              • Autry Wade O’Shields (1918-1983)
            • William Berry O’Shields (1883-1937)
            • Ernest Malcolm O’Shields (1886-1938)
            • P. Abraham O”Shields (1887-1918)
            • Luther Franklin O’Shields (1890-1952)
            • Benjamin Earle O’Shields (1891-1961)
            • Willie O’Shields (1901-after 1930)

4 thoughts on “MARY HAMES (1835-1908) Daughter of Lydia Fowler

  1. As usual your research is excellent and thanks for the info.

    I would like to make one minor correction.

    When Robert Liggon (or Ligon) died in 1927, Wellford had been a town for many years. Wellford was already on my 1887 map of Spartanburg County. He died not in the town of Beech Springs, but in the BEECH SPRINGS TOWNSHIP..

    Richard Fowler Jesse LeRoy Fowler Jesse Miles Fowler Pinckney Leander Fowler Martin Fowler William Fowler born in SC about 1790 per Henderson County Census. I believe in Union County, but I can find no record. Thank you

    Richard Fowler


    1. Hi Richard, Thanks for reading and especially for your comment!! Thanks for the correction. I have only been able to find out that Wellford was originally called Beech Springs or Beech Springs Township, and I cannot find another location for a place called Beech Springs in Spartanburg County. I — maybe wrongfully — assumed that some still called the area Beech Springs long after the change in name was made. If you know the correct location of the Beech Springs where Robert Dunaway died, please email or comment again.

      As you know, I have looked at your family lines over and over. A 37 marker yDNA test would perhaps help with your research and finally put to rest the answer to the origins of your Fowler line.

      Thanks again — always good to hear from you!

      Deb Fowler


    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my work. I wish I could find a direct descended male from the William Goode Fowler line who is willing to DNA test. It would allow me to finally put his descendants in their rightful place!


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