Seven Brothers Bridge



Cowan Tapestry
Cowan Links

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



Seven Cowan Brothers


The Seven Brothers Group of the Cowan YDNA project consists of 5 subgroups, one of which is the Seven Brothers Bridge.

This subgroup includes 10 kits. They probably belong to one or another of the other four subgroups, but this can not be concluded based on consideration of their YDNA. This is because they tested at 12 or 25 markers. As a result, their YDNA matches equally well with multiple subgroups. Consideration of the lineage data provided by the kit owners suggests that six of the ten kits probably belong to the core Seven Brothers:

YDNA Similarity for the Cowan Bridge subgroupLinks to WeRelate person


Kit Lineage Hap N WeRelate DOB POB DOD POD DOM POM Spouse Father Mother Notes
87101 R1b1a2 12 NO Data
72499 John Cowan 1811-1845 Knockaldie, m Margaret McNeil R1b1a2 12 Person:John Cowan (78) Margaret McNeil
* 11680 William & Cynthia Morgan Cowan, Marion Co, TN R1b1a2a1a1b4b 25 Person:William Cowan (43) Cynthia Morgan Based on lineage data most likely in the 7B Cowan-Morgan subgroup
* 54325 Mathew Cowan, b. 1777 and d. 1865 Putnam Co., TN R1b1a2 25 Person:Mathew Cowan (1) Catherine Trousdale
14523 County Down Ireland 1808 R1b1a2 37 Person:William Cowan (43) Cynthia Morgan Most likely Cowan Morgan
23925 William Cowan=Jane Walker Cowan , Blount Co. TN R1b1a2 25 Person:William Cowan (25) Jane Walker Most likely Cowan Morgan
* 28890 William Cowan=Jane Walker , Blount Co. TN R1b1a2 25 Person:William Cowan (25) Jane Walker Most likley 7B Core based on llineage data
* 66884 Andrew Cowan m Martha Evans, Sevier Co, TN R1b1a2 25 Person:Andrew Cowan (22) Martha Evans Most likley 7B Core based on llineage data and location
124273 James & Hannah Woods Cowan, Sr., son James R1b1a2a1a1b4b 12 Person:James Cowan (14) Hannah Woods Most likley 7B Core based on llineage data
7386 James & Hannah Woods Cowan, Sr., son James R1b1a2a1a1b4b 25 Person:James Cowan (14) Hannah Woods Most likley 7B Core based on llineage data
* 13547 James & Hannah Woods Cowan, Sr., son Hiram R1b1a2 25 Person:James Cowan (14) Hannah Woods Most likley 7B Core based on llineage data

*Indicates member CowanShortList or CowanAnnex mailing list

In general, these kits match most closely with one or another of the Seven Brothers subgroups, and do not match well with any other Cowan YDNA project. However, comparison of YDNA similarity for 12 and 25 marker tests suggests that these kits can not be placed cleanly in one subgroup or another. Rather they "bridge" between two or more subgroups (hence the name "Seven Brothers Bridge". Expansion of the number of markers tested would probably push these kits into one subgroup or another. Based on the lineage data provided by the kit owners, most of the kits probably belong to the Seven Brothers Core group, though at least one belongs to the Seven Brothers Cowan Morgan subgroup, and one belongs to an ancestral line that remained in Ireland.

That is, Kits beginning with 7386, on down to 13547 are probably Seven Brothers Core. Kit 11680, is probably in the Cowan-Morgan subgroup. Kit 7101k 72499, and 54325, can not be assigned based on the lineage data they provide, and their marker levels preclude making a satisfactory guess based on their YDNA alone. And of course, with no lineage information about 87101, we can do nothing at all with it.

Of these kits, 72499 is one of the more intriguing kits in the the Seven Brothers Group, despite the fact that its a simple 12 marker test. The reason for this is because of the lineage information. While it doesn't itself point to a Seven Brothers connection, the fact that the person apparently died in 1845 in somewhere called "Knockaldie". Based on the name itself it may be assumed that Knockaldie is probably in either Ireland or Scotland. WHen I've searched for this place in the past I've come up with very little. However, in reviewing this group I revisited this question. Knockaldie still does not show up in obvious places like Google Maps, but new web sources point to it being located in Leswalt, in what is now Dumfries Galoway. As it turns out, Knockaldie is a "fermtoun", which translates as "farm town", and is something akin to the Irish "town lands". In this particular case Knockaldie appears to haave been a collection of homes where farm workers lived. It seems to have some sort of association with "Balgracie", as there's a site plan[1]that provides a sketch of both locations, and shows "steadings and enclosures. Field-names given. Cot houses, marl pit, moss and roads noted" the National Archives of Scotland. Blagracie lies a mile or so to the north of Knockaldie. Both properties were apparently owned by Sir Andrew Agnew in 1850 when the sketch was made.

The lineage data provided by the kit owner identifies John Cowan (78) 1790-1875 as the earliest known ancestor. [2]A descendant of one of John's sons (not identified by the kit owner), took the YDNA test showing a match with members of the Seven Brothers Group. This son is probably Person:John Cowan (81) who emigrated to America the year he married (1880) settling near Yakima Washington. [3]

While its always intriguing to find a connection "over there", this particular connection is of more than passing interest. The reason for that is that there has been a long-standing view that the Seven Brothers came to America from Wigton, Scotland. Source:Fleming, 1971 suggests that the Seven Brothers came to America in 1726 with the Wigton Walkers, who themselves are believed to have come from Wigton, in Wigtonshire. Fleming based this idea on the work of "Mrs. Dunvant", a DAR charwoman. Unfortunately, if Dunavant or Fleming had direct information to show that the two families immigrated to America together, they did not document that information, and direct supporting evidence for this has not been found todate. [4]

Evidence for this is highly limited, but Wigton is about 25 miles from Knockaldie. The fact that the descendant of John of Knockaldie shares the Seven Brothers YDNA signature suggests that the Seven Brothers did indeed migrate from Wigtonshire. A possible explanation for these data is that when the Wigton Walkers left Scotland for Ireland (c1710), and later came to America, they had already established relationships with the Cowans. In this view the Seven Brothers would have immigrated to America about the same time as the Wigton Walkers, and settled in the same area of Pennsylvania and maryland (The Nottingham Lots in Old Chester and Cecil County MD). At least one kinsman of the Seven Brothers would have remained behind, giving rise to the line that lived at Knockaldie.