An old 1869 photograph by a photographer “Artist” at Allen Bros. and a reply letter from a FOWLER cousin in Texas proves the parentage of William FOWLER to John FOWLER and Elizabeth TAYLOR, settlers from Gloucestershire, England to Yarmouth Township, Upper Canada (now Elgin Co., Ontario) in 1832.
By Nancy Tevebaugh
Nancy Jane FOWLER Calvert was my paternal great grandmother and my namesake. When I married in 1978, my father asked a cousin of his if she had some memorabilia from their grandmother (Nancy Jane) that I could have. She gave me a dresser, handmade pillow, purse, and a couple of old letters. This was one of the letters. It was written by Nancy (“Nannie”) to her cousin, Sallie Fowler. In the letter was a photograph of a young girl with “Allen Bro’s Artists, Over Carrie & Pollock’s Store, St. Thomas, Ontario” on the back. I knew the Fowler relatives were from New York/Canada, but I have been unable to make any family connections beyond Nancy’s father, William Henry Fowler. Coupled with research and the kind help of Bruce Johnson, the letter has made vital connections to my family’s history in Elgin County!
Transcription of Letter of Nancy Jane Fowler of Upshur Co. Texas to her Cousin Sallie Fowler of Yarmouth Twp., Elgin Co. Ontario – Grammer slightly corrected for readability – See image of letter below for exact spelling and grammar used.
While the reply letter for the letter with the photograph was sent from Texas to Canada it somehow found its way back to the sender’s descendant in Texas.
Genealogical Notes by BCJ
John and Elizabeth (Taylor) Fowler immigrated from Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England to Upper Canada in 1832 with their children, John (b. 1810), Sarah (b. 1813), Thomas (b. 1814), Ann (b. 1819), Jacob (b. 1820) Esther Mary (b. ca 1820), William (b. 1822) and Emma (b. 1825. John took up land northeast of St. Thomas (Concession 11, Lot 10?) and is given there in the 1842 census for Yarmouth, Elgin County.
With evidence from the 1869 letter from son William’s daughter, Nancy Jane Fowler in Upshur County Texas it is now known that William had left Elgin County sometime before 1848 when he married Margaret E. NICHOLS in Mississippi. He migrated to Upshur County Texas where he farmed before and after serving in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Nancy Jane was the eldest of William’s 6 children who lived to adulthood.
William’s brother Thomas FOWLER remained in Elgin County, married Eliza DOOLITTLE in 1844 and raised a family of six children including first daughter Esther Sarah “Sallie” FOWLER who sent the above photograph taken by Allen Bros. of St. Thomas in 1869
Elizabeth FOWLER died in 1856 and husband John died in 1859. Both are buried at the Salt Creek Cemetery in Elgin County.
(As of 8 Feb 2023 – Work in Progress – more notes to me added)