Andrew Cowan, of Jefferson County, TN
Facts and Events
- Register Summary
- Handwriting Samples of Various Andrew Cowans
- Cowan Family in Southwest Virginia
- Person:Andrew Cowan (6)
This article is for Andrew Cowan who lived in Jefferson County TN from (roughly) 1790to about 1798. This person is commonly identified as the Andrew Cowan (6) the Justice, who married Mary Walker of the Wigton Walker line. That identification is not consistent with data showing that Andrew (6) remained in Washington County Virginia until well after Andrew (5)'s death in 1798, probably dying there by 1810. In the latter year, a "Mary Walker" [is this a typo for "Mary Cowan"?... WMW 13 Aug 2015] is identified as a land owner, probably indicating that she was a widow, and presumably Mary Walker of the Wigton Walker line. The wife of Andrew of Jefferson County is frequently identified as "Mary Walker", but t his identification seems to be based on the belief that her husband is Andrew the Justice. While it is clear that Andrew of Jefferson County was married twice, the documentation that shows his wife was a "Mary", let alone a "Mary Walker", has not surfaced. The current belief is that Andrew (5) of Jefferson County, and Andrew (6) the Gentleman Justice, are two different persons.
A descendant of Jonathan Cowan, reputed grandson of Andrew Cowan, matched the Seven Brothers YDNA signature exactly in a 37 Marker Test.
Andrew Cowan settled in Jefferson County, TN sometime before 1793 where he married Person:Jane Thompson (38) Walker, widow of Person: James Walker (94). 
Andrew acquired 400 acres of land, on Indian Creek, a tributary of the French Broad, near Dandridge, Jefferson County, TN.  It is presumed that this is the general area in which he lived, if not on this particular parcel than somewhere in the general vicinity.
Approximate location of Andrew Cowan's property "above the mouth of Indian Creek". Area within the red box is slightly less than 400 acres.
Cowan family Cemetery about 1940, prior to inundation by the waters of Douglas Lake.
Andrew is believed to have had as many as twelve children by his first wife, and three by his second wife person:Jane Thompson (38). His life on Indian Creek was probably comfortable for the time, as at his death his estatate inventory included several "luxury" items. 
Andrew died no later than October of 1798. He was probably buried in what became the family cemetery, now inundated by the waters of Douglas Lake.
|DOB:||before 1747||Assuming that Andrew was at least 20 years of age at the time of marriage to his first wife, and that this marriage probably occurred before 1767, a DOB of no later than 1747 is implied. This is impossibly early for him to be the son of Susannah Woods who was supposedly born no later than 1751. Her DOB may be in error, or the identity and ages of Andrews children may be in error.
|DOD:||1798||Estate Inventory recorded 21 January, 1799; executrix notes: "1 horse 4 years old about 14 hands high which said horse is carried away in a clandestine manner by Andrew Cowan Junior who claims him as his property, though the said horse was in my possession 125 days after the decease of said Cowan and never claimed by any person to my knowledge." This indicates that Andrew died well before 1 January 1799
|POD:||Jefferson County, TN||based on fact that estate was probated in Jefferson County Court
|Spouse 1:||Sometimes identified as Mary Walker, daughter of John Walker III of the Wigton Walker line. There seems to be no primary documentation that gives his wife's name as "Mary"; the idea that she was "Mary", seems to be based on an assumption that she was the "Mary Walker" who married Andrew Cowan of Southwest Virginia. That Andrew did indeed marry a "Mary Walker", but sourt records show that the latter couple remained in Southwest Virginia.
|DOM:||<1767||Andrew Cowan is reputed to have had 12 children by his first wife. She died sometime prior to 1793 when he remarried. Assuming a 2 year birth interval, with the last child being born in 1792, and allowing a year after marriage for the birth of their first child, that places their marriage at no later than 1767, and probably earlier.
|Spouse 2||Person:Jane Thompson (38)||Previously married to Person:James Walker (94), by whom she had three children. See: Afidavit of Elizabeth Thompson, 1796
|POM:||Jefferson County, TN||
- Afidavit of Elizabeth Thompson, 1796
- ↑ His estate inventory includes the statement "1 horse 4 years old about 14 hands high which said horse is carried away in a clandestine manner by Andrew Cowan Junior who claims him as his property, though the said horse was in my possession 125 days after the decease of said Cowan and never claimed by any person to my knowledge." This indicates that he died at least 125 days prior to the preparation of the inventory, and so his DOD can be no later than the end of September 1798. His son Thompson Cowan is reputed to have been born in 1798, and, if born posthumously, could have been conceived as early as sometime in 1797. Thus, Andrew probably died sometime between 1797 and the end of September 1798. [The estate inventory was original transcribed placed in the WeRelate Library section, to which links in this article were directed. The Library was later deactivated and those records can no longer be accessed there. Inventory data needs to be recovered (including the original source) and place in a separate article on WeRelate]
- ↑ The earliest records for him in the area date to about 1793, but he had been presumably living there for some time. Where he was prior to his appearance in Jefferson County is unknown.
- ↑ The earliest date we have for him is a bond date for his marriage to Jane Walker nee' Thompson. That date is not clear in the surviving records, but based on DOB's for their children, was probably 1793. See Cowan Marriage Records Jefferson County, TN. One possibility is that he may be the Andrew Cowan who was baptized in Augusta County, Virginia in 1741, and who may be the same person as the Andrew Cowan, Jr., of whom it was said that he was "out of [Augusta] county" in 1765.
- ↑ Many believe that this Andrew Cowan is the same person as Andrew Cowan who married Mary Walker, and settled in Southwest Virginia c1772. One of the reasons this connection is being made may be because Jane Thompson's first husband, James Walker, could arguably be regarded as a relation of Mary Walker, Andrew's supposed first wife. Mary Walker was the daughter of John Walker III of the Walkers Creek line of Wigton Walkers. This particular James Walker is a descendant of Samuel Walker=Jane Patterson of the Natural Bridge line of Wigton Walkers. The Natural Bridge and Walkers Creek lines were combined by White 1902 to form a single large descendancy. YDNA test results has shown that the two lines are in fact unrelated to each other, except through certain marriages in Rockbridge County. Nonetheless, for many years people have operated on the belief that these family lines were both descended from John Walker I of Wigton Scotland. As a result, it was natural to see the marriage between Andrew Cowan and Jane Thompson Walker as a "kin marriage". The fact that the two lines are not related reduces this argument. While it appears that Andrew Cowan in Jefferson County was married previously to his marriage to Jane Thompson, he can not be the Andrew Cowan who married Mary Walker daughter of John Walker III. Court records show that the later Andrew Cowan continued to live i Virginia, serving as a "Gentleman Justice" until well after the death of Andrew Cowan (5).
- ↑ See: Andrew Cowan Land Grant. This property is believed to be in the area now overlain by Douglas Lake, created by daming on the French Broad in 1940.
- ↑ The estate inventory included, in addition to the typical farm and household equipment and furnishing:
Delftware would have been a luxury/status item in a frontier settlement, and its presence in his estate suggests that Andrew was fairly well off.
- 6 small pewter basins
- 1/2 dozen pewter plates,
- 3 dishes,
- 4 delp [sic delft"?] plates,
- 1 set of tea ware delp [sic delft"?],
- some books
- ↑ His estate inventory includes the statement "1 horse 4 years old about 14 hands high which said horse is carried away in a clandestine manner by Andrew Cowan Junior who claims him as his property, though the said horse was in my possession 125 days after the decease of said Cowan and never claimed by any person to my knowledge." This indicates that he died at least 125 days prior to the preparation of the inventory, and so his DOD can be no later than the end of September 1798. His son Thompson Cowan is reputed to have been born in 1798, and, if born posthumously, could have been conceived as early as sometime in 1797. Thus, Andrew probably died sometime between 1797 and the end of September 1798.
- ↑ Samuel Ware was the bondsman for the marriage of Andrew Cowan and Jean Thompson, widow of James Walker. Samuel Ware/Weir married Jane's sister Mary; this couple lived in Sevier county, but we can infer that at the time of Andrews marriage, were living in Jefferson County. Need transcript of marriage record/bands/license