Fowler Family History
The earliest Fowler directly traceable to our current families is John Fowler of Dalbury Lees (England). John married Frances Webb, and together they had sons Joseph, William, Richard, and daughters Ann, Isabel, Margaret, Alice and Judith. His son William had already left for America when he died in 1645. William Fowler landed in Boston on June 26, 1637, and in New Haven, Connecticut March 30, 1638. He finally located in Milford, Conn. in 1639. William and his wife Sarah had four children including William, Sarah, Ambrose and John. William died in January of 1660 or 1661. William (Jr.) married a Deborah or Mary Tapp. William Sr.'s son John, the Deacon John Fowler, came to Guilford, Connecticut prior to 1648. He married a woman named Mary Hubbard. Much of the early Fowler history comes from the document "The Fowler Families in England and America: The line to Deacon John Fowler, of Guilford" by Wharton Dickinson circa 1900.
John and Mary had a son Abraham, who had a son Ebenezer, who were then followed by three generations of Nathaniel Fowlers including Nathaniel Fowler and Sally Cruttenden. They were the parents of Sarah Jocelyn Fowler who married Daniel B. Marsh in 1850 or 1851. The Fowler lineage is covered in "Families of Early Guilford, Connecticut" by Alvan Talcott, 1984. Jean P. Nisbet possesses a treatise on the Fowler's titled, "The Fowler Families in England and America: The line of Deacon John Fowler of Guilford by Wharton Dickinson. This document describes Fowlers from the 1200's to the 1800's, with the American Fowlers residing in Connecticut and Rhode Island. In her copy a handwritten note refers to Nathaniel Fowler (1788-1857) as a "great, great, great grandfather." It is not known who wrote this handwritten notation, however it does appear to be accurate.
Nathaniel Fowler and Sally Cruttenten Both references describe Nathaniel Fowler's marriage to Sally Cruttenden on June 26, 1817. Talcott describes four children including Mary C. (b. 1818), Sarah Jocelyn (b. 1820), Julia Ann (b. 1823), and Harriet Frances (b. 1825). It further notes that Sarah Jocelyn married Daniel B. Marsh, confirming this connection between the two families. The 1850 census lists the Nathaniel Fowler family in Guilford, Connecticut with Nathaniel (61), Sarah (61), Mary C. (31), Sarah J. (29), Julia H. (26), and Harriet L. (24). The ages all match the Talcott book very closely, and only Julia's and Harriet's middle initial conflict. Why Nathaniel is shown living with a woman named Sarah and not Sally is not known. Perhaps the census taker got her name wrong, or he married again later in life. Nathaniel is listed as a farmer with real estate worth four thousand dollars.
How Nathaniel and Sally's daughter Sarah J. was ever introduced to Daniel B. Marsh hundreds of miles away in the tiny village of McLean, New York we will probably never known. Mary Marsh remembers that her grandfather, Eugene Fowler Marsh, used to travel to New England, and visit an aunt with the last name of Fowler in Guilford, Connecticut. This aunt had a quince tree in her yard, and Eugene would bring quince fruit back that was then made into jelly. Jean Patterson Nisbet remembers her grandfather, Eugene Fowler Marsh, taking her to a cemetery in or near Guilford, Connecticut when she was a small child to see the family graves there. Jean also remembers that her mother, Helen, had a first cousin named Fred Bishop in the New Haven, Connecticut area.