Analysis:Evidence for William Cowan (12) in Kentucky



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Person:William Cowan (12)
Person:John Snoddy (1)


From Andy Cowan, to Margie Cowan, dated 27 Nov 2006

Jane White McPherson Cowan, wife of Charles Cowan of Lebanon Ohio...was born in Bourbon County, KY where her father Adam had settled in of the boundaries of his land lay along the land of William Cowan...William Cowan sold a part of his 1000 acres to Alexander Breckenridge in 1790. The deed reads "William Cowan of the County of Greene and the State of North Carolina and his wife, Jane.....". Greene County later became part of the State of Tennessee. The William Cowan land deeded to Breckenridge is described as beginning at a corner to David Gass. David Gass' mother may have been a Margaret Cowan, married to John Gass in Lancaster, PA
Image:Snoddy, Gass, Cowan in Kentucky.jpg William Cowan (25) settled briefly in Bourbon County KY, but sold his property there by 1790. William's Kentucky land was adjacent to David Gass, whose whife Margaret, might have been William's sister. John Snoddy (1) married Margaret Walker, sister of his wife Jane Walker, settled somewhat further south in Madison County. Their son John settled in Bourbon County. Note that the county boundaries depicted here are the modern boundaries. While we know with some precision where John Snoddy settled in Madison County, we currently know less about where William's land lay. It may, in fact, have been closer to where John Snoddy settled than is apparent from this mapping.


Andy's note to Margie suggests that after the Revolution, William Cowan considered resettling in Kentucky. He probably intended to take advantage of land warrants obtained from the State of Virginia for his Revolutionary War era service. The nearby presence of David Gass is significant (as Andy notes in his full email) because Gass had also been a settler in Castles' Woods. That Gass is known to have gone to Kentucky with Boone in the first wave of settlement in 1775. This by itself tends to confirm that this particular William Cowan is in fact the William Cowan of Castle's Woods.

Andy also observes that Gass' mother may have been Margaret Cowan, married to John Gass in Lancaster County. What this is based on is not apparent, but if true, probably indicates that Gass and William Cowan were brother's inlaw, and may point to an approach for identifying William's parents. [1]