Seven Cowan Brothers

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……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky

__________________________

Sources

Source:Fleming, 1971

Related

Interpreting a Similarity Matrix
Cowan Descendancy from Niall of the Nine Hostages
YDNA. Cowan Groups
Cowan YDNA Project
Seven Cowan Brothers Kit and Lineage Data
Flemings Seven Brothers Group

Overview

The Seven Cowan Brothers Group. "Traditionally", (Fleming, 1971) this group is believed to have originated from Seven Brothers who settled in Pennsylvania in 1726. Much is unclear about this group, and many popularly held beliefs appear to be unfounded. Only limited direct evidence has been found for the Seven Brothers in Pennsylvania. YDNA similarity analysis shows that the group is formed from at least five subgroups:

  • Seven Brothers Core which corresponds to Fleming's Seven Brothers
  • Seven Brothers Cowan-Morgan which traces descent to William Cowan=Cynthia Morgan. This group may also connect directly to the Seven Brothers Core, but their YDNA signature seems to imply an earlier common ancestor.
  • Seven Brothers Cecil County which traces to a John Coen who was born in Maryland (Cecil County, or Baltimore) in 1690. He may be the Patriarch of the Seven Brothers, as he predates the known presence of the Seven Brothers Core in America. Alternatively, he may represent an int=dependent importation.
  • Seven Brothers Bridge based on limited YDNA testing, and which may fall into two or more of the other Seven Brothers subgroups. More specifically, the number of markers tested is insufficient to clearly place them in any of these groups
  • Seven Brothers Distant which includes a number of kits whose YDNA haplotype suggests they are distantly related to the Seven Brothers. Most of the kits in this group have no known relationship to the Seven Brothers, and any connection may be more apparent than real. ONe kit traces descent to Samuel=Ann Walker, one of the Seven Brothers, though a son Robert. Samuel and Ann are not known to have had a son Robert, so the connection may be spurious.

The above display shows the "dissimilarity" between each kit and every other kit in the Cowan YDNA project, exclusive of the "Bridge". [1] The blue diagonal line of boxes represents the comparison of each kit with itself. Because it is being compared with itself its "dissimilarity" is 0.0%. In comparison with other kits, increasing values indicate increasing dissimilarity. In some cases values were obtained that exceed the acceptance criteria of 16.0%. These values are not shown, or rather, they are shown as "empty boxes". As dissimilarity increases, the probability that two kits share a releatively recent common ancestor drops. While FTDNA does not use similarity criteria for evaluating the nearness of matches, they do provide information about the likelihood that a certain number of markers off represents a common ancestor. Generally speaking, their data suggests that a match corresponding to something more than a dissimilarity of about 13 percent probably does not indicate a relatively recent common ancestor.

It is not clear that there were in fact Seven Brothers, as identified by Source:Fleming, 1971. While members of this group share a common YDNA signature, their common ancestor is not known. The only thing that ties all of these individuals together is that they share a common YDNA signature, and are presumed to have a relatively recent common ancestor.

Some descendants whose YDNA matches the Seven Brother signature trace their descent to person:David Cowan (1) who settled in Albemarle County, VA, about 1735. David is one of the Seven Brothers, and is arguably among the best document of the early Cowan's. He is thought to be related to Margaret Cowan who married John Gass, in Cumberland County PA c. 1730. But the relationship between Margaret and David Cowan is unknown, and it its not certain that Margaret's last name was actually "Cowan". David (1) moved to Southwest Virginia about 1770, settling in Castle's Woods near three of the other "Seven Brothers", William, Andrew and Samuel Cowan. After the Revolution David moved to Sevier County TN, settling a short distance from William who settled in Blount County.

Discussion

Source:Fleming, 1971 identifies "Seven Brothers" thought to settle in Pennsylvania about 1726, in conjunction with a group known as The Wigton Walkers. Fleming identified the following as the Seven Brothers:

Andrew
Person:David Cowan (1)
James
John
Matthew
Samuel
Person:William Cowan (25)

These Cowans were believed by Fleming to be closely related to his "Four Brothers Group", and to "Robert Cowan", which correspond roughly with the Pequea Creek Cowans and the Octoraro Creek Cowans as discussed here in the Tapestry. The reasons he gives for this belief are:

1. They all came from County Down, Ireland
2. They all came to America about the same time
3. They all settled initially in Chester County PA

For Fleming, the key group in establishing the above "facts" is the Seven Brothers. While the other groups can be easily shown to have appeared in the Old Chester area during the 1720's, there was no indication in the record that they came from County Down. Earlier family historians, (Source:Houston, et al. 1916 and Source:Dunavant, 1947) however, believed that The Seven Brothers did come from County Down. These authors pointed to the appearance of a group known as The Wigton Walkers in Old Chester County to support this idea. The appearance of these Walkers in Old Chester is seemingly well documented by Source:White, 1902 citing early family records. According to White, 1902, per Fleming 1947:

John Walker...settled in Newry, [County Down] Ireland. He and family...left Strangford Bay in May, 1726...on a vessel commanded by Richard Walker, and landed in Maryland, August 2nd. He transported his family and in Chester County PA.

As it happens, three of the grand-daughters of this John Walker married three Cowan brothers of the Seven Brothers line as detailed in White 1902. These Cowans settled with various kinsmen in Castle's Woods in Southwest Virginia. For reasons not explained Source:Dunavant, 1947 concluded that these marriages indicated that the Cowan's were among the extended family of the Wigton Walkers who came to America "on a vessel commanded by Richard Walker." From this she concluded they came from County Down, AND settled in Chester County. This was accepted by Fleming, and since he believed that the Seven Brothers were related to what we are calling Pequea Creek Cowans and the Octoraro Creek Cowans, he concluded that they all came from County Down.

There is a problem with this conclusion.

Specifically, there is no documentation known to show that any member of the Seven Brothers actually settled in Chester County. Their presence there is dictated only by the fact that they are believed to have come over on the same ship as the Wigton Walkers. Yet there seems to be no independent information to confirm that they were on the same ship as the Wigton Walkers, and White, 1902 does not include them in her list of members of the extended family of John Walker, the immigrant---except to the extent of the marriage of three Walker sisters to three Cowan Brothers, two generations later.

Analysis of the Cowan YDNA shows quite clearly that the Seven Brothers Group are NOT closely related to either the Pequea Creek or Octoraro Creek lines of Cowans. Those lines do not share a relatively recent common ancestor with the Seven Brothers. Their presence in Old Chester presumably represents independent of importations of these patriarch lineages. It seems likely that the Seven Brothers entered America through Philadelphia, and settled initially in Pennsylvania during the early part of the 18th century. Where they initially settled in Pennsylvania remains unclear.

Seven Brothers Cecil County

SubGroup Kit Lineage N WeRelate DOBPOBDODPODDOMPOMSpouseFatherMotherSonNotes
Cecil 19114 Will & Elizabeth Mullen Cowan, son Buford 37 Will Coen Elizabeth Mullen Buford Insufficient data to localize
Cecil 91883 John Coen b1687, d1749, Baltimore MD 67 John Coen 1687-1692 1749 Baltimore Md1712 Baltimore MD Susannah Teague John Cowen Deborah Litchfield
Cecil 118488 John Coen b1687, d1749, Baltimore MD 67

Seven Brothers Bridge

SubGroup Kit Lineage N WeRelate DOBPOBDODPODDOMPOMSpouseFatherMotherSonNotes
Bridge 87101 12 Insuffcient lineage data to localize
Bridge 72499 John Cowan 1811-1845 Knockaldie,m Margaret McNeil 12 Insuffcient lineage data to localize
Bridge 11680 William & Cynthia Morgan Cowan, Marion Co, TN 25 Person:William Cowan (43) Most likely in the Cowan Morgan group based on lineage data
Bridge 54325 Mathew Cowan, b. 1777 and d. 1865 Putnam Co., TN 25 Insuffcient lineage data to localize
Bridge 14523 County Down Ireland 1808 37 Insuffcient lineage data to localize
Bridge 23925 William Cowan=Jane Walker Cowan , Blount Co. TN 25 Person:William Cowan (25) Most likely in the 7B group based on lineage data
Bridge 28890 William Cowan=Jane Walker , Blount Co. TN 25 Person:William Cowan (25) Most likely in the 7B group based on lineage data
Bridge 66884 Andrew Cowan m Martha Evans, Sevier Co, TN 25 Person:Andrew Cowan (22) Most likely in the 7B group based on lineage data
Bridge 124273 James & Hannah Woods Cowan, Sr., son James 12 Person:James Cowan (14) Most likely in the 7B group based on lineage data
Bridge 7386 James & Hannah Woods Cowan, Sr., son James 25 Person:James Cowan (14) Most likely in the 7B group based on lineage data
Bridge 13547 James & Hannah Woods Cowan, Sr., son Hiram 25 Person:James Cowan (14) Most likely in the 7B group based on lineage data

Seven Brothers Core

SubGroup Kit Lineage N WeRelate DOBPOBDODPODDOMPOMSpouseFatherMotherSonNotes
Core 14740 Edward Coen b 1783, Ranamacken, Galway, IRE 37 Edward Coen 1783 Ranamacken, Galway, Ireland Insufficient data to localize
Core 26038 John Alexander Cowan b1775 d1821, m Rosannah Gillis 37 Person:John Cowan (33)17751821 Rosannah Gillis
Core 160416 37
Core 284293 John Collins, b. 1896 and d. 1924 67 John Collins 1896 1924 Insufficient data to localize. There was a John Collins in Georgia 1896-1924 that could be this person.
Core 179625 John Cowan b1739 Chester, PA d1792 67 JOhn Cowan 1739 Chester PA1792
Core 89028 James C.(Campbell) Cowan1819-1885 Cumberland C, KY 111 Person:James Cowan (70) 1819 1885 Cumberland Co KY
Core 260024 David Cowan, 1825-1874 m. Elizabeth Trewhitt 67 Person:David Cowan (33) 1825 Tennessee1874 Bradley, Tennessee est. 1845 Bradley, Tennessee Elizabeth Trewhitt James Monroe / David Franklin DOB from 1850 Census / DOM assumed from parents ages and DOB of eldest child / POM assumed from residence prior and after marriage
Core 11081 Andrew Cowan b 1812 TN and Matilda Driskel b KY 37 Person:Andrew Cowan (37) Matilda Driskel
Core 19612 Mathew Cowan b. 1777 & Catherine Trousdale 37 Mathew Cowan 1777 Catherine Trousdale
Core 7376 Samuel & Sarah Keith Cowan 37 Person:Samuel Cowan (23) Sarah Keith
Core 7381 Jonathan Cowan, b 1803, Jefferson County, TN 37 Jonathan Cowan 1803 Jefferson Co TN
Core 34656 Joseph Cowan b.c. 1820 married in Dandridge, TN 67 Joseph Cowan c1820 Dandridge TN
Core 189630 Andrew Cowan m Hettie Houston (Blount/Bradley Co., 67 Andrew Cowan Hettie Houston Blount Bradley Co TN?
Core 11178 Samuel Franklin Cowan, b. MO 1833, d. TX 1883 67 Samuel Cowan 1833 1883
Core 58823 67
Core 45027 David Cowan - Sevier Co. TN 67 Person:David Cowan (1) Albemarle Co Va, >SW VA, >Sevier County TN
Core 23147 Andrew Matthew Cowan, b. c. 1759, VA. ? 67 Andrew Cowan 1759 VA?
Core 7384 William Andrew Cowan, b1853 TN m. Martha James 67 William Cowan 1853TN Martha James
Core 162860 37
Core 7377 Robert & Susannah Woods Cowan, son John 37 Robert Cowan Susannah Woods
Core 12443 William Cowan=Jane Walker , Blount Co. TN 67 Person:William Cowan (25)
Core 83345 John Cowan m Susannah Glover , Old 96th District S 67 person:John Cowan (35) Susannah GLover
Core 58024 Clemuel Cowan b Feb 1853 McMinn Co, TN USA 67 Clemuel Cowan 1853McMinn TN
Core B1258 30
Core 157852 37
Core 890298 XXXXXX

Seven Brothers Cowan-Morgan

SubGroup Kit Lineage N WeRelate DOBPOBDODPODDOMPOMSpouseFatherMotherSonNotes
Cowan-Morgan N32460 Thomas Coyne, b. ca. 1830, Ireland nr. Athlone 111 Thomas Coyne
Cowan-Morgan N49082 John Coyne, b. ca. 1830 nr. Athlone 67 John Coyne
Cowan-Morgan 49023 James Alvis Cowan 67 James Cowan
Cowan-Morgan 16796 James Cowan b. VA 1775 d Meigs County, TN 1841 67 James Cowan
Cowan-Morgan 37467 William & Cynthia Morgan Cowan, son Seabird 37 Person:William Cowan (43) 1801 1885 Cynthia Morgan
Cowan-Morgan 7382 William & Cynthia Morgan Cowan, Marion Co, TN 37 Person:William Cowan (43) 1801 1885 Cynthia Morgan
Cowan-Morgan 13184 William & Cynthia Morgan Cowan, Marion Co, TN 37 Person:William Cowan (43) 1801 1885 Cynthia Morgan
Cowan-Morgan 34096 Wm Cowan, son Samual Pleasant Cowan, Hunt Co,TX 37 William Cowan

Seven Brothers Distant

SubGroup Kit Lineage N WeRelate DOBPOBDODPODDOMPOMSpouseFatherMotherSonNotes
Distant 14479 Hugh Cowan, b.c. 1765 Ireland > PA >TN>KY > IN 67 Hugh Cowan
Distant *148768 Patrick Cowan 67 Patrick Cowan c. 1790 Louth Ireland Son moved to Australia
Distant 253928 James Lynn b. 1786 d.1871 county mayo ireland 67 James Lynn
Distant 118647 Patt Headen Bendenstown Ballon Co Carlow b.1770 67 Patrick Headen
Distant 132630 37
Distant 35133 Samuel & Anne Walker Cowan, son Robert 67 Person:Samuel Cowan (1) Samuel and Ann are not known to have had a son Robert.
Distant *10883 J.L. Cowan b. 1822 TN & Almira S. Mahal Vance (KY) 37 JL Cowan
Distant 228786 John Edward Mullin, b. 1796. 111 John Cowan

*Members of the CowanShortList

Footnotes

References
  1. Kits in the Bridge can not be accurate assigned to any of the Seven Brothers subgroups based on YDNA comparisons. For the most part t his is because these kits were tested at 25 or fewer markers. Such tests often result in "false positive" or "false negative" matches that dissappear when the number of markers tested is increased. In some cases, kits testing with 37+ markers will not show a match with a kit testing at 37+ markers, but do show a match with some members of the Bridge that have tested at fewer markers. At least one kit shows no matches at the selection criteria used with any of the kits in the other Seven Brothers subgroups, though it does show matches with some members of the Bridge subgroup. This may suggest that while some of the Bridge members share a YDNA signature in common with the Seven Brothers, any common ancestor may lie outside of a genealogically meaningful timeframe (GMT)