Robert Cowan, of Jefferson County
d.btw 1789 and 1797 Jefferson, Tennessee, United States
m. est. 1766
Facts and Events
This page is for Robert Cowan who lived in northeastern Tennessee about the time of the Revolution, and married Susannah Woods, daughter of Michael Woods Jr of Botetourt. Descendants of this Robert Cowan who have taken the YDNA test, share a YDNA signature with the Seven Brothers Core subgroup of the Seven Cowan Brothers Group. This Robert Cowan is sometimes identified as being born in Lunenburg County, VA. That is not consistent with what is known of the history of the Seven Brothers Core There is a second Robert Cowan about this time in this same general area, but a bit to the north in Sullivan County TN. Descendants of this Robert Cowan show a common YDNA signature with a group known as the Sullivan County Cowans. Data for the two Robert Cowans is frequently intermixed in modern genealogies, and care needs to be exercised when dealing with these persons.
Robert Cowan is said to have married Person:Susannah Woods (1), daughter of Person:Michael Woods (2) and Ann Lambert, by the year 1776 when her father identifies his daughter as "Susannah Cown" in his will. Michael (2) previously lived in Albemarle County, VA, near a kinsman Person:Michael Woods (1), but moved to a parcel in Botetourt County about 1762. 
Robert is commonly said to have been born in Lunenburg County, VA. This seems unlikely, given the association with the Woods family of Ablemarle/Bedford/Augusta Counties of VA, and links to various members of the Seven Cowan Brothers YDNA group, who are also associated with the Woods Family in of Ablemarle/Bedford/Augusta Counties of VA. There may have been a Robert Cowan in Lunenburg County, but direct evidence that this is where Robert (10) came from is absent, and mitigates against the Robert of Lunenburg being the same person.
Susannah is commonly said to have been born in 1751, but documentation for this DOB has not been found. If her DOB was indeed 1751, than we can presume that the marriage occurred well after the move of her parents to Botetourt County. This implies that Robert's family was living in or close to that area.  See, however: DOB Analysis
There is much conflicting information on this Robert Cowan. Some sources claim that his marriage date to Susannah Woods is 1775, but that would have been AFTER the birthdates of three of persons sometimes identified as his children. Also, based upon Susannah Woods' birthdate in 1751 (which also has conflicting dates), she would have been too young to have been the mother of at least one of these children. Some speculate that he had a previous marriage, a fact not particularly consistent with his commonly cited 1746 DOB. Obviously, more research is necessary to sort it out.
This Robert Cowan has been identified as a son of Samuel Cowan and Ann Walker, but based upon Robert's birthdate and the birthdate of Ann Walker, it appears she would have been too young to have been this Robert's mother. (She could have been no more than approximately 12 years old at this Robert Cowan's birth. Moreover, Samuel and Ann are believed to have not married until about 1763, and their eldest was was John Cowan, who was not yet of age by about 1783 when Robert (10) already has a near adult.
From: Rosemary Ramsey Cox Subject: Re: [COWAN-L] Cowan Tibits - Items to file Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 18:30:28 EDT
... John Cowan who was at Harrods very early....John and James Cowan who were at Harrods. John Cowan kept a diary which is often referred to. I believe there is quite a bit of information about him available. Carolyn said she has information that James Cowan a brother to this John was a surveyor and was killed by Indians about 1774 while trying to dry his papers which had gotten wet in a storm. If anyone knows anything more about this James Cowan....
From Laura Cowan Cooper, on Cowan List
[Seeking]... info on Caption John Cowan's Journal dated 1777 - it appears to be about the time that Harrod's Fort in Kentucky was about 3 years old and this John Cowan is called one of the early settlers of Harrods Town. It talks about Squire Boone and Jared Cowan arriving and then Boonesborough - there is mention of Fincastle County, VA so... it ties into the early settling of Kentucky. Laura Cowan Cooper
From Thelma Cowan, 25 April 2014--personal communication
National Number #26772, Robert Cowan, born in Scotland and died in Virginia. Mr. Owen states he was born in Lawerence Co. Alabama in 18 ?_. He is the son of William Pitts Owen, who was born 1838, died 1907, and his wife Martha Wert. She was b 1840, died 1906. Mr. Owen was the grandson of Michael Wert, b 1814, d 1893 and Esther Caroline Cowan, b 1820, d 1903. Mr. Owen stated he was the great-grandson of Samuel Cowan, b1780 , d _., and his wife Mary Dicson, b 1783, d _, married in 1803, Franklin TN.. Then to continue, Mr. Owen gave his last information as the great-great-grandson of Robert Cowan (blank) and his wife Susan Woods (blank).
Information follows that Robert enlisted March 6, 1778 as private in Capt John Steeds Company Forth Virginia Regt, commanded by Capt Neville. He was mustard out because of ill health on Feb. 16, 1779. There was mention of children, Andrew, John, Robert, two daughters mentioned but no names for them. Then Samuel (born 1780, died ?) married 1803?.
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records: