Andrew Cowan, of Beverley Manor, Augusta County, VA
Facts and Events
Andrew Cowan was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
There are few records in Augusta County to assist in the reconstruction of this Andrew Cowan's family. We known he was living in "Beverley Manor" by about 1746 when he witnessed the deed of James Cowan, a possible sibling, who had acquired land from John Buchanan, also in Beverley Manor. The name of Andrew's wife was Mary, as listed in an Augusta County deed in 1778. From the processioning list of 1760, we know he had a son (perhaps an adult?) prior to that date. There is also a record of letter from Andrew Cowan to a 'loving brother" David Cowan, who was living in nearby Albemarle County, Virginia in 1766. We also know, from that same letter to his brother David Cowan, that Andrew Cowan was planning on migrating to "Carolina", and was gone from Augusta County well prior to 1780. There is also a probable relationship for Andrew Cowan to a William Cowan, that acquired land adjoining Andrew's in 1771, who could be a sibling, or perhaps a son (additional records are necessary to prove any relationship). Additional research is needed to locate a will (possibly in Carolina) or other records that can assist in the identification of Andrew Cowan's family.
Location of Andrew Cowan's land (Beverley Manor NW, prob. 400 acres originally surveyed for James Bell, bef. 27 Feb. 1749) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009. As listed in the records below, the land surveyed for James Bell (most likely the 400 acre tract highlighted in brown) came into the possession of Andrew Cowan (by means unknown, prior to 27 February 1749). Andrew was clearly living in this area prior to 1746, based upon his witnessing a deed from John Buchanan to James Cowan (possible brother) and in processioning lists and records of neighboring settlers. There is another unlabeled tract (labeled as "1751", highlighted in green) that MAY be another possible location of Andrew's land. James Bell may have somehow re-acquired his land by some means, because there are two deeds recorded later of him selling two 200-acre parcels (again, the 400-acre tract or other tract?). Andrew Cowan later acquired all or part of the neighboring tract of William Cowan, a possible brother to Andrew (more research necessary to establish any relationship).
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 334.--18th August, 1778. William Cowan and Elizabeth ( ), of Rockbridge County, to Andrew Cowan, Sr. (Note: William Cowan appears to be the brother of Andrew, Sr.).
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 391.--20th November, 1778. Andrew ( ) Cowan, Sr., and Mary ( ) to David Kerr and Robert Donaldson, plantation that Andrew and William Cowan lived on.
This land is referenced in the following record:
- Page 403.--17th November, 1778. David Kerr to Robert Donaldson, 230 acres, part of the tract that Andrew Cowan lived on in Beverley Manor. (See deed Donaldson to Kerr next succeedinng.)
- "Processioning" was the periodic review and agreement of property lines between settler's lands. Processioning Lists are useful in determining the general area of a settlers lands and their neighbors at specific time periods:
- Page 19.--Robert Christian and James Caldwell report, viz: 1747-8, 24th February, processioned for Arthur Hamilton; processioned for James Moody, present Robert Wilson; processioned for James Wilson; 26th February, processioned for Andrew Cowan, present Robert Wilson; processioned for James Caldwell, present John and William Caldwell; 27th February, processioned for James Armstrong, present John and William Caldwell; 28th February, processioned for James Armstrong, present Wm. Armstrong and John Davison; 1st March, processioned for Isaac McCully; processioned for Wm. Long, present John Long; 2d March, processioned for James Bell, present Gabriel Alexander; 3d March, processioned for James Alexander; processioned for Thomas Black, present Wm. Johnson; 4th March, processioned for Robert Cunningham; processioned for Wm. Henderson, present, Thomas Black; processioned for Geo. Rutlidge, present Wm. Henderson; 6th March, processioned for Geo. Caldwell, present Wm. Caldwell and Wm. Henderson; processioned for John, Robert, William Christian; 10th March, processioned for Thos. Stewart, present James and John Black. 8th March, 1747-8, Edward Hall's land not processioned, there being a dispute between the said Hall and Col. Patton, not at home.
- Page 281.--1760: Processioned by Jones Henderson, viz: For David and John Black, for Wm. McNab (son present), for Nathan Gilliland, for John Bigam, for Andrew Cowan (son present), for James Peerey, for Elijah McClenachan, for John Cowlter, for Andrew Scott (son present), for Samuel Caldwell.
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records: (Note: there was more than one Andrew Cowan in Augusta County during the mid-1700's, some later records may be for a different Andrew).
- Page 177.--18th February, 1746. John Buchanan, yeoman, to James Cowan, £18.10.0 current money Virginia; 374 acres in B. M. in Patrick Campbell's line; Reed and Moor's land; Col. Patton's land. Witnesses, Andrew Cowen, Robert Foyle, James Trimble. Acknowledged, 18th February, 1746. (Note: the Andrew Cowan that witnessed the deed of James Cowan in Beverley Manor was most likely born prior to 1726, which very well could have been this Andrew Cowan. This also may be the James Cowan that is listed in the "Cowan vs. Cowan" letter, presented below. James Cowan and Andrew MAY have been siblings, additional research is needed to prove any relationship).
- Page 263.--21st May, 1747. James Bell to Thomas Armstrong, £20 current money Virginia; 400 acres on a branch of Cathey's River called Jennings Branch. Teste: Andrew Cowen, James Bell, Jr.; Thos. Rutlidge Acknowledged, 21st May, 1747. Rachel releases dower.
- Page 542.(Abt. May 1748)--Same as to Andrew Cowen's deed. (Note: this is in reference to the following record):
- Page 540.--Commission to Thomas Waring, James Garnet, Benj. Winslow and Francis Waring, Gent., Justices of Essex County, to privately examine Elizabeth, wife of Wm. Beverley, as to release of dower in land conveyed, 12th and 13th August, 1747, to James Lynn, 500 acres on head branches of Shanando, 21st September, 1748. Executed, and dower released, 6th February, 1749.
- Page 485.--8th May, 1748. £20. James Moody and Rebecca, his wife, to Robert Wilson, 185 acres, part of the land James now lives on; corner to James Wilson, a Spanish oak; corner Nicholas Leeper. Teste: Andrew Cowen, James Leeper, Chas. Dalhouse. Acknowledged, and dower released, 18th May, 1748.
- Page 458.--27th February, 1749. Same (From William Beverley) to William Currey, 360 acres Beverley Manor. Corner tract first surveyed for James Bell, now in possession of Andrew Cowin. Corner William Nutt. Tract surveyed for Adam Thompson, now belonging to Robert McClenachan. Corner Samuel McCorkall's land. Corner to James Moody; Cowin's line. Teste: Arthur Hamilton, John Linn, George Anderson.
- Page 324.--27th November, 1749. John Stephenson to Henry Kirkham Buffalo Creek. Teste: Andrew Cowan, William Hall.
- Page 757.--22d May, 1750. James Lynn to Andrew Lynn, 269 acres in Beverley Manor, Saml. Doak's line. Burner Hill; corner Jno. Teat and Saml. Wilson. Teste: Andrew Cowan, Elijah McClenachan, John Ramsey.
- Page 69.--28th November, 1750. Wm. Nutt to John Buchanan, 416-1/2 acres dated 27th July, 1744, part of 650 acres conveyed by Beverley by decree of Orange Co. Same land involved in suit in Orange, Nutt vs. Gibbins Jennings and Wm. Beverley, conveyed by Beverley to Nutt, 13th August, 1745; corner John Coulter, Mill Creek; corner James McCorkals, etc., water grist mill. Eleanor, wife of Wm. Nutt. Teste: Andrew Cowan, John Rutledge, Francis Beatey.
- Page 65.--29th November, 1750. Robert Campbell, Gent., to James Barrey, 149 acres in Beverley Manor, adjoining Glebe land; Wm. Martin's corner, Middle Br. Shanandoe; corner James Young; corner to a graveyard. Teste: David Stewart, Andrew Cowan, John Mitchell.
- Page 348.--29th May, 1751. John Mills to Samuel Akerling, 100 acres on Little River of Woods River; patented to John, 15th September, 1749. Teste: Andrew Cowan.
- Page 214.--20th May, 1752. Robert McCorkal to William Marshall, 269 acres. Wm. Nutt's Mill Creek of Christian's Creek in Beverley Manor; James Caldwell's line. Teste: Edward Hall, Andrew Cowan, James McCorkall.
- Page 230.--15th February, 1758. John Black's will, yeoman--Wife, Isabell; sons, David and John, executors; son, Samuel; son, William Brown Teste: Adam Thompson, Moses Thompson, Andrew Cowan. Produced 16th March, 1758, and not being signed, Samuel Black, the heir-at-law, gave his consent. It was then proved by Adam Thompson and Cowan. David Black qualified.
- Page 261.-- (Abt. 1760)- Nathaniel Davise and Sarah to Francis McDonnall, £34, 150 acres in Beverley Manor; corner Arthur Hamilton; corner Samuel Downey; corner James Gilmer. Teste: Andrew Cowan, Arthur Hamilton.
- Page 472.--3d June, 1762. George Bigham, late of Augusta, to Robert Erwin, yeoman, £32.6, 251 acres on Muddy Creek of Shanando. Teste: Andrew Cowan, Robert Hamilton and James ( ) McNabb. Acknowledged, 17th August, 1762. Delivered: Francis Erwin, 9th July, 1773.
- Page 180.--19th February, 1763. Robert McClenachan and Sarah to John McClenachan, £250, 310 acres by deed from James Armstrong on North Branch Christians Creek, small island in said creek; corner James Caldwell; corner Alexander McClenachan. Also 190 acres from Beverley on Christian's Creek; corner Wm. Nut's land; corner tract surveyed for Andrew Cowen, James Caldwell's line. Delivered: Alexander Sinclair per order, 13th December, 1773.
- Page 130.--18th March, 1771. William Currey to James Currey, £20, 130 acres in Beverley Manor; corner McCorkel's land; corner James Moody, Andrew Cowan's line; corner William Curry. Teste: George McAfee. Wliliam Cowan. Delivered: James Curry, 1st June, 1773.
- Page 334.--29th August, 1777. List of those indebted to the estate of Roger North-- Andrew Cowen, Holstein.
- MARCH, 1770 (E). - Cowan vs. Cowan.--Letter of Andrew Cowan to David Cowan, living in Albemarle, dated January 13, 1766. Loving Brother: This comes to let you know that we are all in good health at present, blessed be God for his mercies. Hoping that these few lines will find you in the same, I desire that you will go to James Cowan's and ask him for a note of mine that lies in my little trunk--a note of 2 pounds and five shillings, which William Teas(?) is due me against March 25, and get the money, for I am going to Carolina. I have nothing material to write you, but desire to be remembered to you all.
- Page 288.--1st May, 1780. David Keer to William Gilkison, of Frederick County, part of tract that Andrew Cowan formerly lived on in Bveerley Manor, Dr. Jackson's line.
- Vol. 2 - McKenney vs. Preston - O. S. 308; N. S. 110 - (excerpt) Elisha Wallen, aged 27, deposes. Caveat, 12th August, 1799, by John Mackenny and Elisha Adams against John Donnell, assignee of Andrew Cowan and John Campbell, Jr., for 400 acres in Lee County on North Fork Clinch... Andrew Cowan came to the western country and settled in now Russell County, when danger from Indians was great. Obtained in 1781 certificate in right of settlement. Surrounding lands were taken up before 1781 and Cowan laid his certificate at the Big Bottom, on North Fork of Clinch, and received a certificate. Cowan sold to orator John Donnell, who sold half to John Campbell, who sold to orator Robert.
Records in Russell County, VA
- The First Court of Russell County. - On 9 May, 1786, the first court of Russell County was held in the Castles Woods settlement at the home of William Roberson. Governor Patrick Henry issued commissions to Justices to preside. The Justices were Alexander Barnett, Henry Smith, Daniel Ward, Andrew Cowan, Samuel Ritchie, Thomas Carter, Henry Dickenson and John Thompson.
- Andrew Cowan and Thomas Carter were chosen to represent the county in the General Assembly (House of Delegates).
- Appointed as county militia officers were: Colonel Henry Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Cowan, Major Charles Cocke, Captains David Ward, William Thompson, William Dorton, Charles Bickley, Francis Browning, James Davidson, Samuel Ritchie, Josiah Fugate and William Martin. Lieutenants were: Alexander Barnett, John Bowen, Charles Hays, John Tate, James Osborn, Samuel Roberson, Elisha Farris, Thomas Carter, Moses Skeggs and John Van Bebber. Ensigns were: Samuel Young, John Thompson, Robert Tate, Henry Hamblin, Solomon Litton, William Byrd, Benjamin Nichalson, Joseph Johnson and William Ewing. 
- 20 Nov 1797 - Russell County, Virginia - Pursuant to a direction of the worshipful Court of Russell county, I do hereby certify that the following Gentlemen are in Commission of the peace in and for the county of Russell. Those that now act are as follows, to wit: Henry Smith, David Ward, Andrew Cowan, Samuel Ritchie, Thomas Carter, John Thompson, Charles Brickley, Richard Price, John Tate, James Gibson, Samuel Robinson, John Smith, Samuel Ewing, and James Dickinson, Gentlemen. Those that have removed are: Alexander Barnett, John Frazer, Charles Cocke, Joshua Ewing, and Christopher Cooper, Gentleman. James Wharton, Gentleman, is dead. James Scott refuses to qualify. Given under my hand his 20th day of November, 1797. Henry Dickinson, C.R.C. [Sherwin McRae, "Calendar of State Papers", Vol 7?, p. 453]