b.abt. 1763 Virginia
m. est. 1762
Facts and Events
*Originally placed in the WeRelate "Digital Library". That resource was an early approach taken to documentation, that ultimately proved unsuccessful. It is no longer online, but the data can probably be recovered from storage.
John Cowan was the son of person:Samuel Cowan (1) and person:Ann Walker (39). His father was killed by Indians in 1776 and his mother taken prisoner in a separate raid the next year. (See Indian Captivity Stories of the Cowan Family). John was a minor at the time, but eventually inherited the property of his father which lay adjacent to the property of his uncle Person:William Cowan (12) in Castles' Woods Virginia. After the Reolution he moved (briefly) to what is now Madison County KY. Here he settled ner his uncle William Cowan, and kinsman David Gass. Within a year or so he moved south to wht is now Blount County TN, again in the company of his Uncle William.
John married Agnes Martin on August 2, 1788 in what was then known as Greene County, NC, but was probably in the area that later became Blount County, TN. About 1806 he moved with other family members to Franklin County, TN. He served with the Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen, a militia unit, from 28 September 1814 to 27 March 1815 during the Creek Indian War.) The regimental history identifies him as a Captain under Major William Russell.  Governor John Sevier, mentions "Major John Cowan" in an 1804 letter (see Transcript:Sarah H., March 2005). This maybe a reference to John (12), but could be a reference to a different John Cowan altogether. John Cowan of Franklin Tennessee is commonly known in his family line as "Major John Cowan". As such he is frequently confused with a "Major John Cowan" who is supposed to have married a Mary Walker; that Major John is said to have been killed by Indians on the Clinch River in Virginia in 1779, and wife Mary to have been captured by Indians. While this story line is frequently cited (it appears in Fleming, 1971) and is based on letters JB Cowan, a descendant of John (12), its obvious that he can not be the John Cowan (12) as the latter was still a minor child in 1779. No original source record has been located for a John Cowan who is supposed to have been killed on the Clinch in 1779. That individual probably did not exist, and represents a complex confusion in the Cowan family history. This is discussed more completely in Indian Captivity Stories of the Cowan Family.
Major John Cowan is buried in Goshen Cemetery, near Cowan, TN, in Franklin County.
"SALE OF ELIZABETH M. COWAN'S DOWER RIGHTS: Wm. M. Cowan bought the dower rights of Elizabeth M. Cowan, widow of John Cowan, for $220.00 on 15 May 1837. Witnessed by John Handley & Robt. Cowan. (Deed Bk P, P 401) [Presumably a Franklin Co TN land transaction. John Handley is presumably the son of Samuel Handley (1751-1840) who married Nancy Cowan, daughter of Major John Cowan and Agness Martin. Elizabeth was John Cowan's second wife.
Commonly known as Major John Cowan, he married Agnes Martin on August 2, 1788 in what was then known as Greene County, NC, but was probably in the area later known as Blount County, TN. About 1806 he moved with other family members to the area of Franklin County, TN. He served with the Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen, a militia unit, from 28 September 1814 to 27 March 1815 during the Creek Indian War. The regimental history identifies him as a Captain under Major William Russell. Governor John Sevier, mentions "Major John Cowan" in an 1804 letter (see Hill, Sarah H., March 2005); this may indicate a different John Cowan from the one who married Agnes Martin. He is buried in Goshen Cemetery, near Cowan, TN, in Franklin County.
This major John Cowan is not to be confused with the Major John Cowan (?-c1779), who is commonly identified as having been killed on the Clinch River in an Indian raid between 1778 and 1780. (See Indian Captivity Stories.
This John Cowan is also not to be confused with John Alexander Cowan (1775-1821) who married Rosannah Gillespy/Gillespie in Blount Co., TN on August 27, 1797 and who died October 12, 1821 in Dallas Co., AL. (Too many undocumented internet family trees have the two John Cowans confused and intermingled.)
For a list of articles concerning someone named "John Cowan" see John Cowan Disambiguation).
VITAEdit Entry Source/Basis/Commentary DOB: 1763 Based on gravestone POB: DOD: 22nd April 1837 Based on gravestone, will was filed 3 May 1837 POD: Cowan, Franklin Co, TN based location of grave Burial: Goshen Cemetery, Cowan, Franklin Co TN Spouse 1: Agness Martin (1763-1827) vita based on gravestone DOM: Aug 2 1788 Recorded in the Green County, Tennessee, Marriages, Roll 94, Page 38 POM: Greene Co NC Recorded in the Green County, Tennessee, Marriages, Roll 94, Page 38 Spouse 2: Elizabeth M. identified in John Cowan's wills, and sale of dower Rights DOM: after 1827 POM: Father: Robert Cowan (1732-1784) dates unverified, alternatives abound Mother: Susannah Woods (1736-?) dates unverified, alternatives abound Major John Cowan (1763-1837) is usually identified as the son of Robert Cowan (1732-178?) and Susannah Woods (1736-?).
Intermeidate Source:Digital Library of Georgia
Knoxville 9th August 1804
The two roads leading from the aforesaid points, to intersect each other conformably to the articles of agreement between the united Statesand the Indians. You will also agree and conclude upon a certain and Suitable place to prefix a twin pike to be erected. As the two roads to be laid off from Tellicoand Southwest pointwill require some time, I therefore recommend the road leading from Tellico, to be the first marked out, provided you can not have them both laid off at or near the same time -- I have observed that probably your place of meeting would be about the Middle Ground, but you will please to Notice, that for a great part of the Way leading from Tennessee river there is two roads to be cut on our side, which considerably Stretch and lengthen the distance, and it aught to be so arranged that Tennesseeshould not have more miles to cut, than Georgia, who have resolved to pay an equal Moiety of the expense. Those indifinate points it is expected will be agreed upon and adjusted,
in a manner consistant with such reciprocity, Fairnes and equibility as ought ever to subsist and Govern between Sister States, taking into View mutual and beneficial advantages -- For your further Guide and instructions, you will attend strictly to the Articles of agreement between the United Statesand the Cherokees, and the law passed by our [illegible]] legislature on the Subject -- Should it so happen that You could not agree with the GeorginCommissioners what particular part of the road on our side, we are to cut and open out, your own discretion in that case will then Govern your conduct agreably to the agreement and law, above quoted -- I have no doubt you will perceive the propriety of making every exertion to have the roads laid off and marked out as soon as possible, and report immeadiately thereon, the manner in which the same has been conducted, the distance in Miles you suppose there may be on our part to cut, what kind of Country the same will pass through, and whether the same will require any Causwaying, ditching, or bridging -- and if any, how much
In the mean time you will please forward at suitable opportunities information how you are progressing --
I am Gentlemen very respectfully your Mo Obt Servt (signed)
Colo Joseph McMin Colo Samuel Wear, and Maj John Cowan Commissioners & c
Copy Instructions to Commissioners 9 Augt 1804 To be recorded http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/meta/html/dlg/zlna/meta_dlg_zlna_gs059.html
Original Source:Deed Bk P, P 401 [Presumably a Franklin Co TN land transaction. John Handley is presumably the son of Samuel Handley (1751-1840) who married Nancy Cowan, daughter of Major John Cowan and Agness Martin. Intermediate Source:FamilyPedia
"SALE OF ELIZABETH M. COWAN'S DOWER RIGHTS: Wm. M. Cowan bought the dower rights of Elizabeth M. Cowan, widow of John Cowan, for $220.00 on 15 May 1837. Witnessed by John Handley & Robt. Cowan.