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The REAL Theodosius Fowler

Judy Fowler wrote:

I have the Fowler Family History book, published in 1950. Here is a small part about T.O Fowler: Theodosius Oliver Fowler, born on Feb 11, 1786 and died Oct 12, 1861. He married on Feb 10, 1820 to Amelia Silvie DePau, daughter of Francis and Silvie (Degrasse) DePau, who was Born in South Carolina and Died Dec 22 1887.

Both Amelia and Theodosius lie in the Fowler family vault in the churchyard at Eastchester, NY. In 1817, Theodosius was appointed Captain of the Militia in Jefferson Co., NY. In 1819, he had "moved away." His son, Degrasse Fowler enlisted in the Civil War at Derby, Ct. They had two sons, Degrasse and Theodosius Augustus Fowler. Hope this helps in your stories. Thank you, I do have much info on the Fowler's if interested. 

The pamphlet, Fowler, A History of the Town 1807-1957 written by Helen Scott Cunningham, Fowler Town Historian, it states that Theodosius came to the area in 1814. In 1816, they began work on the mansion, built on the south shore of Lake Killarney (renamed Sylvia Lake in honor of Amelia Sylvia). The mansion took three years to build. Mrs. Cunningham says. After a residence there of over twenty years Mr. Fowler sold the property to one Thomas D. Carpenter from whose heirs it was later purchased by John L. Parker. Then about 1872 the mansion was destroyed by fire, only the stones remained.

Photo of Theodosius Fowler sent by Willis (Bill) Fowler, 2005. He writes:

Since photography didn't start happening until 1849 we know this portrait wastaken sometime between 1849 and 1861 when Theodosius died at the age of 75. So I'm guessing he was in his mid to late 60's when the photo was taken. 

As near as I can determine from my research, my Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather Samuel Fowler, was probably Theodosius Oliver Fowler's cousin. Samuel was born in 1785. Theodosius Oliver was born on 2-11-1786. In "History of The Fowlers" published in 1950, it's easy to trace Major Theodosius' line all the way back to the 1400's. However, I get stuck at Samuel. The "History of The Fowlers" shows Theodosius Oliver marrying Amelia de Pau.


I was born in Watertown and grew up in the Gouverneur area. I live in Auburn, NY, now. But I still have lots of relatives, Fowler and Durham, living in the North Country. 

I was given the photo of Theodosius by Beatrice Benjamin Kelsey, who was also related to the Fowler's. Bea told me the story of Silvia Lake shortly before her passing a couple of years back. She was well into her 80's but had a wonderful memory.

Theo and Amelia Fowler's Children

The N. Y. Gazette for March 12, 1798, contains the following: "Married at Charleston, S. C. on the 23d ult., Francis Depau, Esq., to Silvia, daughter of the late Admiral Count de Grasse."

THEODOSIUS OLIVER FOWLER, b. Feb. 11, 1786; d. Oct.12, 1861; married Feb.10, 1820, Amelia, daughter of Francis and Silvie (de Grasse) Depau. Mr. Fowler was elected a member of the New York State Society of the Cinn. in place of his father in 1843; Asst. Treasurer, 1850. Mrs. Fowler d. Dec.22, 1887. They had the following children:

  1. Theodosius Augustus, b. Nov. 9, 1820; d. 1882; elected a member of the N.Y. State Society of the Cinn. in 1862; m. Mary Caroline, daughter of William H. Russell. Mrs. Fowler d. Oct.21, 1896. They had: Silvie Alexandrine Maxime de Grasse.

  2. Francis Depau, b. Sept., 1822; d. s. p. 8 Nov., 1884.

  3. de Grasse Bostwick, b. July, 1824; d. Oct. 5, 1890; elected a member of the N.Y. State Society of the Cinn. in 1885; m. Julia Colt and had: 1 Amelie Depau, 2 Meta Oliver, 3 Julia Pierson, d. s. p., 4 Alice Silvia. de Grasse was a doctor. He died at The Hague in Holland, he has an obit in the New York Times 9 Oct 1890. (info sent by Will Johnson)

  4. Silvia Maria Antonia, b. Aug., 1826; d. s. p. Sept. 18. 1887. 

  5. Amelie Louise, b. July, 1830. A Mother Superior of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. 

  6. Adele Madeline, b. June 1, 1834; m. George W. Wilson, b. Aug.10, 1839; d. April 8, 1872. 

  7. Mortimer Livingston, b. May, 1835; d. May 22,1893; m. Charlotte, daughter of David Ogden.

Sylvia, the Sailing Packet: SYLVIE DE GRASSE (1833)

The U.S. ship SYLVIE [occasionally: SILVIE] DE GRASSE, was built at Hartford, Connecticut, by D. & H. Burgess in 1833, for the Old Line (later called the Union Line) of sailing packets between New York and Le Havre. 641 tons; 140 ft 6 in x 31 ft 8 in x 15 ft 10 in (length x beam x depth of hold).

She was named after Sylvie de Grasse, daughter of the French admiral who had made possible the American victory at Yorktown, and wife of Francis Depau, a native of Bayonne, France, who had emigrated to the United States by way of Haiti, and was the co-founder and principal owner of the Old Line.

The vessel was sold for California in 1848, and in September 1849 struck and sank at the mouth of the Columbia River with nearly a half million feet of lumber aboard.


A sailing packet ship

Source: Robert Greenhalgh Albion, Square-Riggers on Schedule; The New York Sailing Packets to England, France, and the Cotton Ports (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1938), pp. 104, 284.

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