Was William Fowler's (1572-1660) wife Sarah Neeld?

+5 votes

In some uncited genealogies, William Fowler's wife has the name Sarah Neeld. But is that correct?

Having researched many quality sources I find no support for the last name of his wife "Sarah". Some sources do not even list her name at all, i.e. Genealogical memoir of the descendants of Capt. William Fowler, New Haven, Connecticut. by Hon. James Fowler; The history of the Fowlers / compiled and published by the author Christine Cecilia Fowler; An historical sketch and genealogical record of the Fowlers of Milford, Conn by John William Fowler; Anderson's Great Migration; and Families of Early Milford Connecticut by Susan Woodruff Abbott does not list a wife at all. No death records for a Sarah Fowler (or any Fowler for that matter) were found in Connecticut between 1637 and 1639 when she supposedly died. Other quality sources show her name as Sarah _______: Torrey's New England Marriages cites William's marriage to Sarah?______; Families of Early Guilford by Alvin Talcot gives her name as Sarah ______. Torrey cites some other sources, many of which I reviewed, which either have her name as unknown, or Sarah ______. No marriage has been found in England for William and Sarah, and no quality sources have been found to support this name.

Does anyone have any insight as to whether his wife's name is truly Sarah Neeld?

WikiTree profile: William Fowler
in Genealogy Help by S Willson G2G6 Pilot (165k points)
Does Anderson cite any contemporary documentation for the given name?
William Fowler was not a featured name, and Anderson never mentioned his wife's name at all. All the entries I saw in Anderson's works had to do with Fowler's lots of land in Milford.

There is one more source I found, again with her name as just Sarah _____; in NEHGR 53 (1899):310, an article entitled "John Fowler of Guilford and his descendants". John was a presumed son of this William Fowler. It names a few other children as well, but I didn't go track down all their information.
You may have already looked at these, but just in case they contain something additional the citations listed in GMD are Middle Town Connecticut Church Records 1, MiTR 2 (assume this is Middletown Town Records but the abbreviation is omitted from the key to titles), Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven 1:27; NEHGR 54:352 (and also the Fowler Genealogical Memoir).
Thanks. I took a look at them all, and did not find any reference to William's wife at all.

1 Answer

+3 votes
IMO, you have made an excellent case for her being Sarah (uncertain) Unknown.   I'd handle this by noting at the top of her profile that there's no support whatsoever for "Neeld", and more of a tradition than evidence that she was "Sarah,"  and then have a Research Notes section that summarizes the searches you've made, with the names of the sources searched, as you've done here.
by Patricia Hawkins G2G6 Mach 3 (30.5k points)

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