William Fowler Life Sketch

(1699 - 1769)

William Fowler was born on February 16, 1699 in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland. William married Susannah Duvall on August 25, 1724, in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland. William Fowler died before March 29, 1769 in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland.


William Fowler, 2nd child and oldest son of Thomas Fowler and Susannah Iiams was born in Prince George’s County, British Colonial Maryland on Feb 16, 1698. William grew up on his father’s plantation, 400 acres called “Ridgely’s and Tyler’s Chance” located in Prince George’s County near present day Bowie, between Whitemarsh and the Patuxent River.

When William’s father died intestate in 1715, 16 year old William became sole heir to his father’s estate. As heir in law, William likely remained on the estate with his mother and her second husband Mark Brown. In 1721, William reached the age of majority.

On August 25, 1724, William married Susannah Duvall, daughter of Mareen Duvall and Elizabeth Jacob. William and Susannah had the following known children:

  1. Elizabeth Fowler
  2. Susannah Fowler
  3. Thomas Fowler
  4. William Fowler
  5. Mareen Fowler
  6. Benjamin Fowler
  7. John Fowler
  8. Jacob Fowler

On March 24, 1742, William Fowler “aged about forty four Years” gave a deposition regarding the location of the boundary of “Eglinton”. Mark Brown, his mother’s second husband also gave a deposition.

Also in 1742 Queen Anne’s parish decided to erect pews in the Chapel reasoning that “that the Chappel would more commodiously hold the Inhabitants if the same was divided into Pews”. The pews were intended to hold 3 families each and the parishioners were asked to group themselves - “The People to build the pews uniform at their own expense.” The families of William Fowler, Mark Brown, along with Dr. William Denune comprised one of the groups of three.

On February 9, 1744, William and all of his siblings each received 3 pounds 2 shillings 10 ¾ pence when Mark Brown made the final distribution of their father’s estate. Likely the distribution was made after the death of their mother Susannah.

In November of 1755, William petitioned the court to “prove and perpetuate the bounds” of “Ridgley’s and Tyler’s Chance”.

In 1764 at the age of 65, William divided “Ridgley’s and Tyler’s Chance” and gifted it to his surviving sons “in consideration of the natural love and affection”. Thomas received 60 acres, William Jr. received 60 acres, Mareen received 120 acres, John received 70 acres, and Jacob received 90 acres. None of the deeds recorded William’s wife Susannah waiving her dower’s right so it is presumed that Susannah was deceased by this date. Son Benjamin did not receive a share either implying that Benjamin was deceased by this date.

Unfortunately by the time William gifted the land, the plantation was already in financial trouble. Sons Mareen, Thomas and William Jr. immediately mortgaged their land. John sold slaves and horses and leased his property. Then before 1766 Mareen died. From land records, it is known that Mareen had a son, so Mareen’s share was held in trust until his son reached majority.

In August of 1768, Jacob mortgaged his piece of “Ridgley’s and Tyler’s Chance” along with all the cattle and household goods. At the same time, Thomas and his wife Margaret sold their 60 acre share.

Sometime in early 1769, William Fowler died in Prince George’s County at the age of 70. His son Jacob administered the remaining personal estate which consisted of livestock, tools and household furniture. When the final account was administered the estate was insolvent.

Between 1771 and 1776, sons William, John and Jacob Fowler all sold their pieces of “Ridgley’s and Tyler’s Chance” to their cousin Mareen Howard Duvall. Mareen Fowler’s son William, upon reaching the age of majority, also sold his piece to Mareen Howard Duvall. By the time the State of Maryland conducted its 1776 census, none of William’s surviving sons were recorded in Prince George’s county so likely all had moved elsewhere.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch completed: December 2020


Sources:

“Register of Queen Anne’s Parish, Prince George’s Co., Maryland, 1689-1777”. FamilySearch. Microfilm #0014304.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, William Fowler, 1699.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, William Fowler in entry for Elizabeth Fowler, 1725.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, William Fowler in entry for Thomas Fowler, 1728.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, William Fowler in entry for William Fowler, 1730.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, William Fowler in entry for Maren Fowler, 1731.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, William Fowler in entry for Benjamin Fowler, 1733.

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. Inventory. Liber 100 Folio 26.

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

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s County. Liber Y Folio 656.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s County, Liber TT Folios 170, 174, 178, 184, 201, 203, 206, 314, 402, 413, 598.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s County, Liber BB 2 Folios 19.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s County, Liber BB 3 Folios 20, 225.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Prince George’s County. Liber NN Folio 436.

Maryland State Archives. Proceedings of the Council of Maryland. Liber CB Folio 179.

William Fowler genealogy research