Document. Will of Robert Cowan of Sullivan, TN, Writ. 1823, Proven 1842



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Original Source: Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville, Tennessee, Will Book 1, Page 847
Intermediate Source: Ancestry, Cowan Message Board, Mara806


Person:Robert Cowan (20)


In the name God, Amen, I, Robert Cowan, a resident of Sullivan County, in the State of Tennessee, being advanced in age and considering the uncertainty of life, having the perfect use of mind and memory do make and publish this my last will and testament, on Lord[sic], one thousand eight hundred and twenty-thee[sic] [1823]. In[...]

I give and devise one third part of the tract of land with the peaceable and undisturbed possession of death to be disposed of as hereinafter mentioned.
Further to my said wife Nancy Cowan all of my bedding household and kitchen furniture unconditionally to be by her disposed as she may think proper.
Further to her, the said Nancy Cowan, I give my Negro girl named Choe, and my sorrel mare as before to be disposed at her death as she may think proper.
To my daughter Polly Moss, I give and bequeath my negro man, named Joseph, now in her possession, confirming the title to said slave to her and her heirs.
To my son, James Cowan I give and bequeath my negro boy named Ben, and my negro girl, named Betsy, to him and his heirs.
Further to my daughter, Ellen Willet, I give and bequeath my negro girl, named Diana, also my negro boy, named Mike, to her and her heirs.
To my son William R. Cowan, I give, advise and make over all my interest, right and title to a tract of land lying in the county of Sullivan on Steels Creek together with my negro boy, named Nelson, to him and his heirs.
To my son, Andrew Cowan, I give and devise the plantation on which I now live subject to the dower of my wife, Nancy Cowan, herein before mentioned, said tract of land containing two hundred and twenty acres. To him, the said Andrew Cowan, I give and bequeath my negro man, named Tom, and my negro man, named Dick.
To my son, George R. Cowan, I give and devise my tract of land purchased of James Offils Estate lying on Holston River to him and his heirs, also to him the said George R. Cowan, I give and bequeath my negro man, named Morrison, my negro man named Joshua, my negro girl named Lucy.
And finally to my son, John Cowan, I give and devise my lower plantation adjoining the plantation on which I live containing 150 acres, to him and to his heirs also to him, the said John Cowan, I give and bequeath my negro boy, named Hervey,
and further bequest to my son, Andrew Cowan, I give and bequeath to him any smith tools and smith shop furniture toto, also my farming utensils.
The balance of the stock of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs on hand at my death, I wish sold by my executors at my death at credit of at least twelve months and the proceeds of such sale equally divided between James Cowan, Polly Moss, and Ellen Willet.
Further my wagon, wagon geering, and all the money due to me by note, bond or otherwise together with the money on hand I wish to be equally divided between James Cowan, Polly Moss, Ellen Willet, George Cowan, William R. Cowan and John Cowan. Share and share alike the understanding my wish is that my buggy and buggy geering to be sold by my executors at public sale.
I further give and bequeath my negro girl, named Milly to my wife, Nancy Cowan unconditionally.
And lastly, I constitute and appoint my beloved sons James Cowan and George Cowan executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all wills by me made. In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix my seal the date first above written.
John R. Dulany
Benjamin Pemberton
Joseph Carmack
State of Tennessee I, John C. Rutledge, Clerk of the County Court of said county do certify that th

Sullivan County the forgoing is a true and perfect copy of the original now on file in my office. Witness my hand and seal of Office this 26th day of November 1842.

John C. Rutledge, Clerk
By Samuel Evans, D. C.


Nancy and Robert Cowan are buried at the old General Delaney (now called Cowan-Delaney ) which is near or on their farm. Nancy's father, William Rutledge, is also buried there. (Not sure of this fact 2013) None of their original gravestones are legible at present but original stone listings are available. The bronze plaque on the grave, which is not a DAR marker per order for the plaque, reads

Robert Cowan Pennsylvania, Pvt. 1 Bn. Lancaster Co., Mil. (see below)
Revolutionary War
June 18, 1754 Feb 16, 1840 (wife's birth and death dates)

Original stones in 1975 show b. 1744 died 1826

June 29, 2013--------------------------

Service Warrants from North Carolina Archives show that Robert Cowan was in the North Carolina 7th Continental Line from the Halifax Military District.

Survey No. 188 dated 29th Nov 1809 states that Robert Cowan was a Sargent in the North Carolina Continental Line. State of North Carolina William White, Secretary of State To William Christmas, Esq. Surveyor of Military Lands, Greeting. You are hereby required to lay off and survey for Robert Cowan a Sargent in the Continental line Four hundred and twenty eight Acres of Land within the Limits of the Lands reserved by Law for the Officers and Soldiers of the Continental Line of this State, observing the directions of the Act of Assembly in such cases made and provided for running out of Lands--Two just and Fair Plans of such Survey, with proper Certificates annexed to each, you are to transmit with this Warrant to the Office from which Titles are to be performed, within the Time limited by Law.

Given under my Hand at Raleigh, the 29th day of Nov-1809 Will White

The 7th Continental Line, which shows Robert Cowan's name and is tied to the land warrants, served at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and wintered with Washington at Valley Forge. The unit was disbanded after the winter at Valley Forge in 1778. Time lines would appear to fit the movements of Robert Cowan of Sullivan. More proof should be considered.

Supporting payment receipts are on file in the North Carolina Archives and the deeds confirm that this land belongs to Robert Cowan (20).