Elizabeth Fowler Life Sketch

(1697 - abt 1773 )

Elizabeth Fowler was born on June 14, 1697 in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland. Elizabeth Fowler married (1) Samuel Howard about 1715 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, (2) Cornelius Howard about 1726 in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland, and (3) Edward Rumney about 1736 in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland. Elizabeth Fowler Howard Rumney died around 1773 in Annapolis, British Colonial America.


Elizabeth Fowler, oldest child of Thomas Fowler and Susannah Iiams was born in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland, on June 14, 1697. Elizabeth was raised with her 10 siblings on her father’s plantation, 400 acres called “Ridgely’s and Tyler’s Chance”, located between present day Bowie, White Marsh and the Patuxent River.

Shortly before or after her father’s death in 1715, Elizabeth about age 17, married Samuel Howard of Anne Arundel County, son of Philip Howard and Sarah. Samuel’s father died in 1705 and Samuel lived with his mother and her second husband, Henry Pinkney. When Samuel reached the age of majority in 1711, he inherited “Howards Inheritance”, 449 acres in Anne Arundel county and located near the Fowler family in Prince George’s county. Samuel also inherited “Porters Hills”, 200 acres, a 120 acre part of “Warner’s Neck”, “Lancaster Plains”, 180 acres, and “Howards Range”, 321 acres in Baltimore county.

Elizabeth and Samuel Howard had 5 known children:

  1. Susannah Howard
  2. Samuel Howard
  3. Thomas Howard
  4. Ruth Howard
  5. John Howard

On February 9, 1723, Samuel Howard of Anne Arundel County, planter, made his last Will and Testament, “I Samuel Howard, being sick and weak of body but of sound mind and memory … To my 3 sons Samuel Howard, Thomas Howard and John Howard, all my real estate to be equally divided between them … unto my aforesaid three sons and my two daughters Susannah Howard and Ruth Howard all my personal estate after my wife’s third deducted and my just debts paid … my dear loving wife Elizabeth Executrix”. By June 23, 1724, the date the will was proven, Samuel was deceased.

Around 1726 Elizabeth remarried, a cousin of Samuel’s, Cornelius Howard, son of Capt. Cornelius Howard and Mary Roper. While Cornelius had been devised land from both his deceased father and his deceased brother Charles, Cornelius sold his land holdings prior to his marriage with Elizabeth. Cornelius sold “Howards Heirship” and “Howards Hills” in 1716 and “Freeborne’s Progress” in 1721. In 1720 Cornelius became guardian to his brother Charles’ son, Benjamin Howard, age 4. As guardian, Cornelius was responsible for the management of his nephew’s property. Benjamin was devised “Roper’s Neck”, a 300 acre parcel on the north side of the South River.

Elizabeth and Cornelius had two known children:

  1. Sophia Howard
  2. Cornelius Howard

Cornelius died before February 28, 1729, the date his estate was inventoried. While Cornelius’ personal estate was appraised at £601, Elizabeth apparently needed money for on March 1, 1729 she borrowed £1000 from her mother’s second husband Mark Brown. “I Elizabeth Howard of Anne Arundel County, widow, do stand and am firmly bound to Mark Brown of Prince George’s County, Planter, in the full sum of one thousand pounds to be paid to the said Mark Brown or his true and lawful heirs … I so bind my heirs, assigns and administrators …”. The bond mentions Samuel Howard “Elizabeth’s former husband, deceased” and “her late husband Cornelius Howard, deceased”.

When Cornelius’ estate was administered in 1743, it showed that most of the value of Cornelius’ estate was in accounts due to others: to his siblings as his father’s executor, to the 5 children of Samuel and Elizabeth Howard, and to his nephew Benjamin Howard. Cornelius also owed money to Samuel Fowler, Elizabeth’s brother. After disbursements were made, Cornelius’ personal estate was worth less than £80.

Elizabeth married again, Edward Rumney, son of Edward Rumney and Eleanor. Edward was an Innkeeper and Tavern owner. Elizabeth and Edward had 1 known daughter:

  1. Elizabeth Rumney

Edward became Samuel Howard’s guardian, and likely guardian to all of Elizabeth’s children. In March 1740, Edward Rumney petitioned the court to establish and award “him and others” possession of a tract of land known as “Howard’s Inheritance” While Samuel and Thomas Howard were of majority their brother and co-heir John Howard was still a minor.

On Feb 11, 1743, Edward Rumney and Elizabeth administered Cornelius Howards’ estate. Payments were made to Elizabeth’s children by Samuel Howard, Thomas, Samuel, John, Susanna and Ruth Howard, who had all reached the age of majority.

On Dec 12, 1743, Edward Rumney conveyed to Samuel and Thomas Howard, the oldest and 2nd sons of Elizabeth and Samuel Howard, a large amount of goods including leather chairs, tables, iron pots and kettles and blacksmith tools. He also conveyed 2 servants, a slave and several horses.

On Dec 27, 1743, John Howard, 3rd son of Samuel Howard and Elizabeth, sold his interest in the land he inherited from his father to his oldest brother Samuel. The transaction included the right and title to the land that John would have after the decease of his mother, Elizabeth Rumney, Elizabeth’s dower right.

The final account of the estate of Thomas Fowler, Elizabeth’s father, was administered on February 9, 1744. Since Elizabeth’s first husband was deceased, Elizabeth’s oldest male heir, her son Samuel Howard, received a part of the distribution.

In 1745 several of Edward Rumney’s step-children, Thomas, John and Sophia Howard, brought a case against him.

In 1746 Edward Rumney appeared before the Provincial Court and stated that he had recovered from his brother-in-law Benjamin Fowler and Benjamin’s wife Hellen, two tracts of land, “Heirs Purchase” and “Jubb’s Discovery”. One year later, Benjamin Fowler appeared before the Provincial Court stating that Edward Rumney was in debt to him in the amount of £1000, and the money had not been paid. A month later in November of 1747, Benjamin Fowler appeared before the Provincial Court again. The debt still unpaid, the Justices issued a warrant for the arrest of Edward Rumney. Benjamin was able to recover “Heirs Purchase” and “Jubb’s Discovery” which he sold for £150 in December of 1747, however the balance of the outstanding debt owned by Edward Rumney to Benjamin Fowler placed Benjamin and his wife Hellen in financial distress.

On Feb 28, 1748, Edmund Rumney, along with his step-son Samuel Howard, leased a house on the point in Annapolis.

Between 1747 and 1750, the cases filed against Edward Rumney by others are too numerous to count and by August 1750, Edward Rumney was jailed in Annapolis for debt.

On Aug 20, 1750, the Maryland courts received a warrant from the Virginia courts “send back to this Colony … one Edward Rumney formerly a Tavern Keeper in Annapolis”. Edward was accused of the treasonable crime of “coining and counterfeiting”, his accomplice, a Virginian, Lowe Jackson. The Council of Maryland proceedings tell the story “directed to the Sheriff of AA County to deliver Edward Rumney now in his custody under execution of debt, to the Sheriff of Prince George’s County who is to convey said Rumney to some Magistrate in Virginia in order to be tried there … unless he should be executed for a capital crime, that he ought to be brought back and redelivered to the Sheriff of Anne Arundel County … If he should be either acquitted or pardoned or otherwise discharged by your Judicature, I must entreat you [Magistrate in Virginia] to in such a case you will order him to be safely reconveyed and redelivered … should an escape happen either in the conveyance of him to Williamsburgh, after a delivery of him, or in his return to this province .. you will take such measures as not to suffer his creditors here to lose their debts”.

Virginia records described Edward Rumney as “aged about 40 years, of a middle size, full faced, black complexion, smooth tongue, and free of speech, much addicted to playing at billiards and gaming”.

While being transferred from the jail in Annapolis to Williamsburg, Virginia, Edward was confined in jail in Fairfax County, Virginia, where he escaped, presumably back to Maryland. Although there were significant rewards posted for his capture, Edward was never found. Edward Rumney’s co-conspirator Lowe Jackson was convicted and then executed on April 13, 1753.

When the next administration of Cornelius Howard’s estate was recorded on Dec 19, 1750, Mark Brown of Prince George’s County, Elizabeth’s mother’s second husband, was the administrator. Edward Rumney could obviously not perform the administration as he and Elizabeth had done previously. It is not known why Elizabeth did not administer the estate. Mark Brown distributed to Cornelius’ two children Sophia Howard and Cornelius Howard £21 each.

In October of 1752, the house in Annapolis that Edward Rumney and Samuel Howard had leased, was re-leased to someone else.

In 1759, Elizabeth Rumney, the “daughter of Edward”, was sent to live with her cousin Mareen Fowler, son of her mother’s brother William. The court issued allowances to daughter Elizabeth Rumney in November 1759 and November 1760. In November of 1761, she was placed in the care of her aunt Hellen Fowler, wife of Benjamin Fowler.

While Elizabeth had dower rights to the property of her first husband Samuel, at some point she moved to Annapolis. She may have stayed in a room at the house of Benjamin Tasker Jr. In Benjamin Tasker’s probate records dated 1762, the inventory recorded furniture in “Mrs. Rumney’s room”.

In January of 1767, Elizabeth’s oldest son Samuel Howard died. Samuel’s oldest son and heir, was also named Samuel.

On March 12, 1772, Elizabeth Rumney of the City of Annapolis “the widow of Samuel Howard” relinquished her dower rights to Samuel Howard “grandson of Samuel Howard” and “eldest son of Samuel Howard, son of Samuel Howard”. Elizabeth’s grandson Samuel Howard, sold all of the family properties 2 years later.

Elizabeth was approaching her 75th birthday when she signed the deed relinquishing her dower rights. Likely, Elizabeth died in Annapolis, British Colonial Maryland, shortly after the deed was made.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch completed: Oct 2022


Sources:

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Elizabeth Fowler, 1697.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Elizabeth in entry for Susannah Howard, 1716.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Elizabeth in entry for Samuel Howard, 1717.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Elizabeth in entry for Samuel Howard, 1718.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Elizabeth in entry for Cornelius Howard, 1728.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel County Court Judgment Record. June 1706, pg 351.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Wills. Vol. 18 Folio 290.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IB 2 Folio 330.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Land Records. Vol. 721 Pg. 344

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record, 1720 June, pg 225 & November, pg 463.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Inventory. Vol 16. Folio 21.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s. Liber M Folio 446.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record. March 1740, pg 128.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Accounts. Vol 20. Folio 51.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber RB 1 Folio 341.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Land Records. Vol. 699, Folio 465.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record, March 1745/7, pg 465-408.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record, Mar 1747, July 1747, Aug 1747, Mar 1748, Aug 1749.

Maryland State Archives. Proceedings of the Council of Maryland. Liber CB Folio 414.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber RB 3 Folio 533.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record, Jun 1757, pg 502.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record, Nov 1759, pg 587 & Nov 1760, pg 38.

Maryland State Archives. Anne Arundel Provincial Court Judgment Record, Nov 1761, pg 375.

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

Scott, Kenneth. “Counterfeiting in Colonial Virginia.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 61, No. 1, 1953, pp. 3–33.

Berkeley, Henry J., M.D. “A Register of the Cabinet Makers and Allied Trades in Maryland as shown by the Newspapers and Directories 1746 to 1820”. Maryland Historical Magazine. Vol 25, pg 3. Baltimore, MD.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber RB 2 Folio 529.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. Liber EI 10 Folio 622, 800 & 1038P.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IB 3 Folio 249.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IB 4 Folio 394.

Elizabeth Fowler genealogy research