Thomas Fowler Life Sketch

(abt. 1673 - 1715)

Thomas Fowler was born about 1673 likely in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland. Thomas married Susannah Iiams on October 15, 1696, in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland. Thomas Fowler died around June, 1715, in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland.


Thomas Fowler was born around 1673. Although a birthdate of February 27, 1673 and a birthplace of Anne Arundel County is noted on several sites, a confirmation source has not been located. Thomas’ parents are unknown. Whether born in Maryland, or entered the province of Maryland, Thomas likely lived in the area of Anne Arundel County known as South River and where the Iiams family lived.

Thomas married Susannah Iiams, daughter of William Iiams and Elizabeth Cheney on October 15, 1696, in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland Thomas and Suannah had the following known children:

  1. Elizabeth Fowler
  2. William Fowler
  3. Thomas Fowler
  4. Susannah Fowler
  5. John Fowler
  6. Benjamin Fowler
  7. Samuel Fowler
  8. Mary Fowler
  9. Richard Fowler
  10. Jeremiah Fowler
  11. Anne Fowler
  12. Benoni Fowler

Following their marriage, Thomas and Susannah moved to Prince George’s County. At the time, the land owners of South River were beginning to expand inland, west of South River, and patent land along the Patuxent River. Susannah’s father patented “Iiam’s Choice” around 1695 and her maternal grandfather Richard Cheney patented “Cheney’s Adventure” in 1696, both along the Patuxent River in Prince George’s County. The Patuxent River was and still is the border between Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties. Since Thomas and Susannah’s children were born in Prince George’s County, the family may have lived at one of these plantations until Thomas could purchase land of his own.

On March 8, 1702, Thomas, “planter of Prince George’s county”, purchased a 100 part of “Ridgely’s and Tyler’s Chance” named “Fowler’s Venture” in Prince George’s County for the sum of £20. On February 24, 1706, Thomas purchased an additional 300 acre part of “Ridgley’s and Tyler’s Chance” for £120. The land was located between White Marsh, present day Bowie and the Patuxent River. At some point, the name “Fowler’s Venture” disappeared and the 400 acre land parcel became known only by the name “Ridgley’s and Tyler’s Chance”.

In August of 1704, Thomas found himself in Provincial Court on behalf of his sister-in-law Hester Iiams. Hester had borne children out-of-wedlock with John Duvall and then moved in with Benjamin Burgess. Thomas appeared with Hester and agreed to pay her fees for “lewdly cohabitating with Ben Burgess”. Both Thomas and Hester also agreed to pay the fines associated with the offense.

Before June 8, 1715, Thomas, about 42 years old, died intestate. All of Thomas’ children except Elizabeth were minors: William - 17, Thomas - 14, Susannah - 13, John - 11, Benjamin - 10, Samuel -8 , Mary - 7, Richard - 5, Jeremiah - 3 , and Anne - 1. Thomas’ wife Susannah was 4 months pregnant with their 12th child. Thomas’ estate was inventoried on June 8, 1715. A second inventory was recorded the following year on February 22, 1716, after the birth of Thomas’ son on November 15, 1715. Susannah named the boy Benoni, which means “son of my sorrow”.

Son William was heir to his father’s estate and Susannah was entitled to ⅓ dower’s rights. Shortly before or after Thomas’ death, daughter Elizabeth married Samuel Howard. As was common for the time, the minor children were considered orphans even though their mother was still alive. Without an inheritance, the older children were likely bound in servitude to learn a trade. Records years later suggest that Thomas, Susannah, John, Benjamin, and Samuel were placed in the Broadneck area of Anne Arundel. William and the youngest children appear to have remained with their mother.

The final account of Thomas’ estate was administered by Susannah’s second husband Mark Brown on February 9, 1744. Thomas’ 12 heirs received 3 pounds 2 shillings 10 ¾ pence. Payments were made to Thomas’ 9 sons, to the husbands of Mary and Anne Fowler, to the eldest son of Elizabeth, her first husband having died, and to Susannah Fowler who was unmarried.

Records show interactions between Thomas’ children throughout their lifetimes and include land transactions, guardianships to nieces and nephews, sureties for estates, security and bonds for courts and witnesses to wills and legal transactions.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch completed: November 2020


Sources:

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Elizabeth Fowler, 1697.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for William Fowler, 1699.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Thomas Fowler, 1700.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Susanna Fowler, 1702.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for John Fowler, 1703.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Benjamin Fowler, 1705.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Samuel Fowler, 1706.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Mary Fowler, 1708.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Richard Fowler, 1709.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Jeremiah Fowler, 1711.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Ann Fowler, 1713.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Thomas Fowler in entry for Benony Fowler, 1715.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s County, Liber C Folio 46A & 183 A.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Inventories and Accounts, Liber 36C Folio 229 & 270.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Inventories and Accounts, Liber 37C Folio 122.

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

Harbury, Katherine E., “Beware of Appearances, Scenes One and Two The Case of Hester Iiams”, Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, Vol 52, No 2, 2011.

Newman, Harry Wright. “Anne Arundel Gentry: A Genealogical History of Twenty-Two Pioneers of Anne Arundel County, MD., and Their Descendants”. The Lord Baltimore Press, Baltimore, MD. 1933.

Thomas Fowler genealogy research