Document. Land record for sons of Robert Cowan, Washington County, TN, 1799



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Intermediate Source:"jane vining", Subject: [COWAN-L] Land, Robt Cowan deceased, Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2001
Direct Source:Washington County, TN Roll 196, Vol. 6, Pages 549-50

Comments of Jane Vining: Robert Cowan (married to Susannah Woods) was a land speculator as was many other farmers. He had...3 parcels unsold at his death. His sons declared themselves his heirs and sold the parcels, probably several years later. They are very diffcult to read, but I was able to transcribe one of them.


Person:Robert Cowan (10)
person:Samuel Handley (1)
Document. Will of Michael Woods (2), 1777


22 October 1799

This Indenture made this twenty second day of October in the year of Our Lord 1799 between

John Cowan
Andrew Cowan
Robt Cowan and
Samuel Cowan

of the County of Blount of the one part and Adam Harmon of the County of Washington of the other part. Both of the State of Tennessee Witness that the said Cowans for and in consideration of the sum of 660 Dollars and two thirds to them in hand the reciept where of is hereby acknowledged, hath said and by these presents both Grant, Bargain and Confirm unto the said Adam Harmon his heirs and forever all that tract or parcel of land containing one hundred and twenty acres lying and being in the County of Washington on Nolachachi River of a 300 acre tract in the name of Robt Cowan deceased No 569 begining at a Popular on the South of the River then South 65 East 155 Poles and the Stake thence S. 22 W. along a conditional line 105 Poles to the line of the old survey thence North 65 West 220 Poles to a stake thence direct line to the begining together with all the Appurtences there unto belonging or in any wise appertaining and the said John Cowan, Andrew Cowan, Robt Cowan, Samuel do bind themselves their heirs Executor to warrant and forever defend the sd line to the sd Adam Harmon his heirs Executor Administrations and forever as a free clear and indisposable estate of and heirtence in for that in witnessess where of the Day and Year first written Signed Sealed and Delivered in presence of

James Wallace
John Cowan
Samuel Handly
Andrew Cowan
Robt Cowan
Samuel Cowan


John, Andrew, Robert, and Samuel Cowan are presumably the sons of Person:Robert Cowan (10), who have inherited the property mentioned. James Wallace may be a soninlaw, who also received a share of the land. He is also likely a kinsman of Robert's wife, Susannah Woods. Samuel Handly is almost certainly Person:Samuel Handley (1) who is otherwise believed to be the husband of Susan Cowan, daughter of Robert Sr., and may have received a right to the land through Susan's inheritance.

The commonly cited DOB's of the sons and daughters of Robert are questionable. Robert Sr. is known to have been alive in 1783 when he gave a statement to the effect that his son John was still a minor not subject to taxes. For this fact to have been questioned would seem to indicate that John may have been close to being considered an adult for tax purposes in 1783. Assuming that a person had to be at least 18 years of age to be considered libel for land taxes, implies that in 1783 John was no more than 17 years of age, implying that he was born no later than 1766. Susannah's father, Person:Michael Woods (2) wrote his will in 1776, identifying a daughter as "Susannah Cown", presumed to be the wife of Robert Cowan. That suggests that Robert and Susannah were married by 1776, suggesting that a DOB of no later than 1776 is reasonable for John Cowan. Susannah, however, is commonly said to have been born in 1751, though direct evidence for that has not been found. Given that DOB she would have been about 15 years of age when John was born. This is possible, though it seems unlikely. Nonetheless, nothing examined so far immediately contradicts the DOB's commonly given for these children of Robert Cowan and Susannah Woods.