Susannah Fowler Life Sketch

(1702 - 1791)

Susannah Fowler was born on March 22, 1702, in Prince George's County, British Colonial Maryland. Susannah never married. Susannah died before May of 1791 in Georgetown, Montgomery County, Maryland.

Susannah Fowler, 4th child of Thomas Fowler and Susannah Iiams was born in Prince George's County, British Colonial Maryland on March 22, 1702. Susannah was raised on her father's 400 acre plantation “Ridgley's and Tyler's Chance” located between Whitemarsh and the Patuxent River. Susannah was about 13 years of age when her father died. Likely Susannah was bound in servitude to learn a trade. Like several of her brothers, she appears to have been sent to the Broadneck area of Anne Arundel and learned to be a seamstress.

In August of 1740 Susannah Fowler was in the Anne Arundel county court charged with bastardy. Susannah appeared in court again in November of 1740 when she was convicted of having 3 base born children. The children appeared to be by Thomas John Hammond. Thomas John Hammond paid Susannah's fees and gave security.

Thomas John Hammond was the son of Gen. John Hammond and Anne Greenbury, and was heir to a very large estate in Anne Arundel. Thomas John married Anne Cockey and they had 4 children between 1722 and 1730. There is strong evidence to suggest that Thomas John's wife Anne was already deceased when his relationship with Susannah began. Thomas John Hammond's social status, “Gentleman” would not condone a marriage below his station to Susannah Fowler, 30 year old “spinster” and seamstress.

Susannah was not the first in her family to have a relationship out of wedlock and children. Her Aunt Hester Iiams had an affair and children with a married man and had been gifted land by her children's father.

Susannah had 3 known children with Thomas John Hammond between 1732 and 1740:

  1. Elisha Fowler
  2. Sarah Fowler
  3. Saul Fowler

Susannah appeared in court one more time in March of 1742 presented again for bastardy. She was fined 30 shillings. Her brother Benjamin Fowler gave her security.

On February 9, 1744, Susannah Fowler and her siblings each received 3 pounds 2 shillings 10 ¾ pence from the final distribution of her father's estate. The use of her surname in the distribution confirms that Susannah was unmarried at the age of 41.

Susannah's son Elisha Fowler became a cabinet maker and lived in Annapolis, then Frederick, Maryland before settling in Georgetown, Montgomery County, Maryland.

In October of 1762, Susannah and Thomas John appeared to still have a relationship. When Thomas John gifted his son John Hammond a tract of land called “Gosnell's Adventure”, Susannah and their daughter Sarah Fowler witnessed the deed.

By April of 1767, Thomas John Hammond was deceased. It is not known whether Thomas John provided for Susannah and their children in any manner. However, when Thomas John's estate was inventoried, the inventory was unusual. It consisted of Thomas John's wearing apparel and 19 slaves. The inventory did not contain any items one would expect to find in a gentleman's inventory such as furniture, household items, tools, books, cookware, or serveware. Also oddly, Thomas Worthington, who married one of Thomas John's daughters and was present when the inventory was conducted, “absolutely refused” to sign the inventory after being asked several times.

Susannah purchased a lot in Georgetown on September 11, 1778, for £12. Georgetown was located on the edge of Prince George's and Montgomery Counties and eventually became part of the District of Columbia in 1791.. According to the 1783 Maryland Tax Assessment, Elisha lived nearby.

On August 19, 1790, Susannah Fowler made her will “Susannah Fowler, seamstress, being in perfect mind and memory” devised her lot to her grandson Elisha Fowler, son of Elisha, and also named another grandson, Thomas John Fowler.

Susannah Fowler died before May 20, 1791 at the age of 89.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch Updated: January 2023


Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel County Court Judgment Record. Aug 1740, pg 2.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel County Court Judgment Record. Nov 1740, pg 93-94.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel County Court Judgment Record. Mar 1742, pg 398.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel County Court Judgment Record. Jun 1742, pg 481.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Testamentary Proceedings. Liber 31 Folio 446.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel County. Liber BB 3 Folio 27.

Carothers, Bettie Stirling. “1776 Census of Maryland”. FamilySeach Digital Library.

Carothers, Bettie Stirling. “9000 Men who Signed the Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to Maryland during the Revolution”. FamilySearch Digital Library.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Montgomery County. Liber A1 Folio 169.

Maryland State Archives. 1783 Tax Record. Montgomery County.

Maryland Wills. Prince George's County. Liber T1, 1790-1796, Folio 305.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Inventories. Liber 103 Folio 181.

Susannah Fowler genealogy research