4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2020 3:43 PM by Mary Erickson

    Seeking death records of Ezekiel Fowler

    Mary Erickson Newbie

      Greetings, I am trying to find the death date of my 3rd great-grandfather, Ezekiel Washington Fowler (born from 1818/1819 or 1826 in Grafton, NH). His father is Benjamin F. Fowler and his mother is Honor (Nora) Vaugh Hayes. The last record of Ezekiel is 1863 when he was mustered out of the 2nd Cavalry, Nebraska. The last census he appears on is 1860 (Nebraska). in the 1870 Nebraska census, his wife, Harriet "Jane" Odell, is living with her daughter and son-in-law, and two of her children. Other children went to live with friends and relatives in Iowa and Wisconsin. There is no column in the 1870 census for marital status. On the 1880 census in Columbia Co Wisconsin, Harriet (Jane) Odell appears as a widow.

       

      I'm doing research for a DAR patriot, who goes through the line of Ezekiel Fowler, and also the Mayflower Society. Besides, it's a mystery. I corresponded with the Nebraska Historical Society ("History Nebraska"), and they found essentially the same info I have. Ezekiel sold land for taxes after he mustered out of the Army, so he was probably broke and poor. I checked the various county court records (called the clerks of court), and there are no probate records. He and his family are early pioneer settlers in Pawnee, Nebraska. One of their sons was born in a covered wagon en route. At the time, Nebraska was a territory, and I've been told that records there are particularly sparse. There are no grave stones as far as I can tell. I've checked all of the big sites, such as FindaGrave, and have checked every cemetery where any of his relatives are buried, including the Fowler Prairie Family cemetery, and every state in which he lived. His son, Henry Fowler, died in 1868 (Nebraska) at 17 yrs old, and he has a substantial grave stone, which is odd considering his father has none. Unfortunately, several family trees have Ezekiel dying in 1864 in the Civil War and buried at Arlington, but this is wrong. That Ezekiel/Washington Fowler served in New York and is not related. I have checked all military records in NARA and Fold3. He has a Grand Army of the Republic certificate, but there is no date of death.

       

      I may have hit a brick wall and have to face the fact that I may never find a death record. The only fact is that in 1880, his wife is a widow. So he died between 1863-1879. Any guidance is appreciated. I cannot at this point travel to Nebraska and look through graveyards or anything similar. Thanks and regards

        • Re: Seeking death records of Ezekiel Fowler
          Alice Lane Tracker

          Hi Mary,

          Welcome to History Hub

           

          I found this on familysearch.org.

          It is a death record from the Nebraska Historical Society but

          it lacks any information. You should contact them. info below

          I hope they have more than this.

          https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QLRR-YFM3

           

          Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
          Kinman-Oldfield Suite
          128 N 13th, #1010
          Lincoln, NE 68508

          TEL: 402-435-3535
          EMAIL: lfattig@nshsf.org

          Alice Lane

          Research Volunteer

          This information is from https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=4E625E9E-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A

           

          Fowler, Ezekiel W.

           

          BATTLE UNIT NAME:
          2nd Regiment, Nebraska Cavalry
          SIDE:
          Union
          COMPANY:
          E
          SOLDIER'S RANK IN:
          Private
          SOLDIER'S RANK OUT:
          Private
          ALTERNATE NAME:
          FILM NUMBER:
          M547 ROLL 1
          PLAQUE NUMBER:
          NOTES:
            • Re: Seeking death records of Ezekiel Fowler
              Mary Erickson Newbie

              Hi Alice,

               

              Yes, I have this information, which at least states his age and place of birth. I also wrote to NH clerk, and there is no birth record for him.

               

              BTW, the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) form is could be used as a death record, but it is a fraternity of Union Civil War soldiers. My other grandfather's is completely filled out, of course. But here's why Nebraska is incomplete in that regard:

               

              The first post in Nebraska was chartered at the organization

              of the National G.A.R. in April of 1866 at Omaha, Nebraska.

              Nebraska was constituted a provisional department on July 10,

              1867, but when no reports were received at the national

              headquarters, the state was dropped from the rolls. In 1874, a

              provisional Department commander was appointed. At the first

              annual encampment of the Department of Nebraska held at Omaha,

              June 12, 1877,the Department became a permanent part of the G.A.R.

              organization. There were twelve local posts were in the state at

              that time.

               

              I probably have everything available from the usual sources: Ancestry, Family Search, NARA, Fold3, American Ancestors, Newspapers.com (Extra subscription), and so on. I corresponded at length with a historian from History Nebraska (Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation), and have searched beyond that.I have searched his many siblings to see if he is mentioned in anyone's obituary. I have also searched all cemeteries in every state where he lived or where his family lived, besides FindAGrave.

               

              New information might come from a descendent or a nonpublished source. The rest of his family has extensive records. Sounds like he was the bad boy of the family.

               

              Thanks for your interest!

               

              Best regards,

              Mary

            • Re: Seeking death records of Ezekiel Fowler
              Grace Yuhasz Adventurer

              I am not familiar with records specific to the Nebraska area.  However, I do have 3 general thoughts.

               

              --Did you look at the Bureau of Land Management site?  There are 8 land patents involving Ezekiel Fowler.  You mentioned he sold land.  Maybe some of these patents are the man you are looking for and may provide some info or dates that would assist you.  If some are his, it may be worthwhile to order the whole file (I've never ordered one so am not sure what exactly they contain).

              https://glorecords.blm.gov/results/default.aspx?searchCriteria=type=patent|st=|cty=|ln=Fowler|fn=Ezekiel|sp=true|sw=true…

               

              --Newspapers--you may have already checked these.  Since the area was frontier, I would check surrounding area newspapers, even if a bit further away.  Newspapers.com had an article that seems to be your guy.  I don't currently subscribe so cannot read the whole article but it mentions Ezekiel W., wife Jane, and children as pioneers.

              Sioux City Journal

              Page 4

              Sioux City, Iowa

               Sunday, September 17, 1967

              https://www.newspapers.com/search/beta/?#query=%22Ezekiel+Fowler%22&p_province=us-ia

               

              --As they were pioneers, there may be some county/area histories that mention them.

               

              The most likely scenario is that Ezekiel died in the time frame you mentioned.  However, it is possibly he may have left the family and gone off somewhere else. 

               

              Happy hunting!

                • Re: Seeking death records of Ezekiel Fowler
                  Mary Erickson Newbie

                  Hi Grace,

                   

                  Yes, I've got all of the properties from the BLM. They were all sold before or around 1863, the last known record of him. I've checked all of the usual places and more, so I think I'd have to receive notice of some unpublished source or something that is not yet online. He appears in the newspapers occasionally, and he held some regional offices. But if a researcher at History Nebraska can't find Nebraska records of him then, I expect he didn't want to be found.

                   

                  You're most likely correct about the abandonment. It was pretty easy to disappear without a paper trail back then. My paternal grandfather left my dad's family in 1933, and no one knows what became of him. His siblings even hired private detectives in the 40s and 50s. Oh well, another mystery. I too have done my due diligence trying to find him, even DNA. So far, I have no leads on him or a "second family."

                   

                  I wish the US1870 Nebraska census had a marital status checkbox. At least I'd have a narrower date range. The fact that his wife and children lived with relatives at that time suggests that he died or disappeared before 1870. I've checked all of his children to see if he's on any of there census's, etc., but no such luck. Actually, he doesn't appear in any census since 1860. With my luck, he's probably on the 1890 census that burned!

                   

                  Sadly, his wife ended up in an "insane asylum" in Wisconsin (with relatives living nearby), which is so sad. The asylum later built on more housing for the homeless/penniless. There's a paupers grave there with about 200 people; only three graves are marked with names. Her death certificate mentions paralysis, so I'm guessing she had a stroke. For whatever reason, her family couldn't take care of her. Poor thing.

                   

                  Thanks so much for your interest and helpfulness. It's much appreciated.

                   

                  Best regards,

                  Mary