From Terry Cowan [1 September 2010]
From email by Terry Cowan to Bill Willis, 1 September 2010, with minor reformating
The Old Chester [Cowan] site just gets better and better!
On the Pequea Cowan pedigree charts, you have David (14) as having 2
wives: Hannah, and Rebecca Robbins. Hannah is correct, but Rebecca
Robbins married another David Cowan--son of John Cowan, Jr. This David
and Rebecca were in Rowan Co. (buried Thyatira Cem.) While Hannah's
David died in Lancaster Co. in 1785, but she and all 7 children moved to
KY, so you might want to change the color from NC to KY for him. I can
send you proof of all this if you need it.
Also, I believe that there is more evidence of Henry Cowan being a son
of the immigrant David Cowan, but I have always qualified that by saying
that he could have been a brother to David instead, so I have no problem
with how you have him shown on the chart.
"We have no information about the descendants of Henry Cowan, and so
can't discuss their possible dispersion. The children of David Cowan, on
the otherhand either remained in the Pequea Creek area, moved to Rowan
County NC, or to Kentucky."
I think we can "tentatively" discuss their dispersion.
First, there is this: there are the Rowan County NC Cowans in our YDNA
group who can positively be shown NOT to be descended from the 3 known
brothers. Until another name pops up, Henry is the "designated
- We'll need to look at the YDNA data more closely on this. But if they are descended from Henry, and don't match the Three Brothers, then Henry could be neither Davids brother or father. Q 08:53, 1 September 2010 (EDT)
- I am approaching it from the other angle—We have no proof of any descendants of Henry Cowan. We do know there are Rowan County Cowans--some in the YDNA group--that definitely fit tightly into the complex web of Rowan County Cowan connections. So, we know this: a) they are part of this particular Cowan group and b) they CANNOT be descended from John, David, or William. THEREFORE, at this time, Henry Cowan seems the most likely point of connection. All I am saying is that I am not working it down from Henry, but rather, working it back to a point where Henry seems the most likely candidate. The following are some of these unaccounted-for Rowan County Cowans: George Cowan who purchased land in 1750, James Stephenson Cowan who d. ca. 1781, John Cowan, 1745-1789, Margaret Cowan who married Abel Armstrong in 1769, David Cowan, 1755-1811, later of Mecklenburg Co., Mary Cowan who married David Foster, 1772, Stephen Cowan, b. 1750s who married Patsy Caldwell, Samuel Cowan, b. ca. 1760 married Phebe Lewis, Mary Cowan who married William Burke, Susannah Cowan who married Sampson McConnaughey. And there are others. Our YDNA link is with several descendants of Joseph Skiles Cowan, son of the John Cowan, 1745-1789 above. As this John Cowan could not be a son or grandson of the 3 brothers, then who was his father--and the progenitor of all the other connections listed above? When you go back to Lancaster County, PA, the only other name you find there, in the period when the connection would have to be made (1720-1760) was....Henry. That is not to say it has to be him, but it does have to be somebody, and there are currently no other candidates. So, to recap: the question is NOT whether they match the 3 brothers--they do! The question is how? And I think Henry Cowan plays a part in that. Terry Cowan
But there is also this:
- A Henry Cowan married Mary Byers at St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA in 1761.
- This cannot be Henry, son of John, for he married Jane (Jean) Varner in 1753 and she survived him.
- This cannot be Henry, son of David, for he died in 1760 (will in Lancaster Co. index; particulars of will detailed in subsequent David Cowan family deeds) unmarried, leaving his estate to his brothers.
- William apparently did not have a son named Henry, or if he did, this son died leaving no heirs.
- Soooo, who was this Henry who married Mary Byers in 1761?
- By process of elimination, he would seem to be either the son or grandson of our older Henry. And it was this Henry who was murdered in Middletown, PA in 1768, with a widow Mary. Rowan County NC deed records of the early 1800s mention the land of a "Polly Byers Cowan," and the Mary Cowan (1738-1815) buried in the midst of the Cowans in Third Creek Presbyterian Cemetery in Rowan County, NC, I believe to be her; and her 2 prospective daughters continue to mix it up, matrimonially with the extended Cowan clan there.
All of this is to say that there is a lot of evidence pointing to the dispersion of at least some of the Henry Cowan family to Rowan County
(and I also believe some stayed in Lancaster County.)
Food for thought.
That's very helpful. Eventually, when I work my way down to the Cowan's in the Cradle, this will all tie together, or help tie things together. Sometimes the hardest thing to realize is "where are the gaps"...where do the threads of the tapestry not tie together to make a picture. then we can keep an eye out for the missing threads. Q 19:19, 1 September 2010 (EDT)