Notebook. Robert Cowan in Washington, Greene, Sevier, and Cocke Counties, TN



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Person:Robert Cowan (10)
Person:Andrew Cowan (5)


This lineage refers to a John Cowan, son of Robert, who married Leah Lewis in Old Washington County TN. He apparently has brothers Andrew and perhaps Samuel.

The Andrew listed who sells land to brother John is probably Person:Andrew Cowan (5). If brother John is the one who is identified as being the son of Robert Cowan, than Andrew's father is now identified as Robert. This Robert is alive in 1783, but perhaps dies the following year, as there seem to be no further records for him. This could be the basis for identifying the DOD of Person:Robert Cowan (10) as 1784. Andrew (5) lived on Indian Creek in what is now Jefferson County.


Source:FTM Fox-Enterkin Family

198. John Cowan, Sr., born 1768 in NC. He married 199. Leah Lewis.

     199. Leah Lewis310. She was the daughter of 398. George Lewis and 399. Rachel Chrisman. 

Notes for John Cowan, Sr.: County Formations 1783 Greene Co. created from Washington Co. 1792 Jefferson Co. created from Greene Co. and Hawkins Co. 1794 Sevier Co. created from Jefferson Co. 1797 Cocke Co. created from Jefferson Co.

Families from North Carolina that settled in the Trion comunity area of Jefferson Co., Tennessee, on Indian Creek were, - Cowan, Brimer, Hall, McCoigs. (Smokey Mt Historical Society Newsletter, May-July 1980, p. 14)

In 1783 in the Washington Co., TN, Court, John Cowan was released for taxes when his father, Robert Cowan, made oath that John was under the age of 21 at that time. (Tennessee Tidbits 1778-1914, Majorie Fischer & Ruth Burns, 1988, p. 70; Washington Co., TN Court Minutes, Book 1, p. 262) This is probably the basis for giving Johns' DOB as 1763. (1783-20=1763). Presumably this is related to paying land tax. In Virginia you couldn't own land if you were under age 18. If you were between 16 or 17, you could pay the taxes on the land but not own it outright. At age 18 you were both obligated to pay taxes, and could own the land. If this is similar to circumstances in NC/TN at this time, then age 21 doesn't enter into the picture. The summary given in the source for the data in this paragraph may have misinterpreted the age of John. Rather than being under age 21, he might have been under age 16. This would imply a DOB of about 1768 or later. This needs to be checked.

In the 1800 Tax List of Jefferson Co., John Cowan was listed as having 100 acres and 1 white poll (free males between 21 and 50 years old) in Captain Copeland's Company. Also was listed a Jane Cowan with 300 acres and 0 white polls. Jane Cowan could have been John Cowan's mother. [This is probably Jane Thompson, second wife of Andrew Cowan (5). Andrew dies in 1798.] The Denton, Lewis, Swann, and Sehorn families also lived in Captain Copeland's Company. (1800 Tax List, Jefferson Co., TN, Pollyanna Creekmore, The East Tenn Historical Society's Publications, No. 28, 1956, p. 159.

In 1813 John Cowan, John Cowan, Jr., Samuel Cowan, Robert Cowan, and Andrew Cowan [Andrew (5) had a son Andrew; this may be him] signed a petition requesting the General Assembly of Tennessee to not demand payment of debts from the citizens of the area due to bad economic conditions. (Smoky Mt. Historical Society Newsletter, Fall 1983, p. 75)

A Jefferson County deed dated 9 August 1815 states that Andrew Cowan sold his claim to his father's estate to his brother, John Cowan. [This would be Andrew son of Andrew 5, not Andrew son of Robert (10), as Andrew (5) dies 1798] Words in the deed are "my right and title and claims of my father's estate of lands to my brother John Cowan of Jefferson County and state aforesaid...". (Jefferson Co., TN, Deed Book M-P, 18 Nov. 1806 - 9 Aug. 1815, p. 156)

In the 1822 Tax List of Jefferson County, 4 different Cowan names were listed in Capt. Copeland's Company: John Cowan (1 WP, 170 a), Joel W. Cowan (1 WP, 100 a), George Cowan (1 WP), and Mathew Cowan (1 WP). (Jefferson County, Tenn - 1822 Tax List, Early East Tennessee Tax Lists, by Mary Barnett Curtis)

Between 1826 and 1831 John Cowan and his wife Leah sold 106 acres Gaberial Lewis, 143 acres to George Lewis, and 124 acres to Eli Lewis, brothers of Leah, all on Indian Creek in Jefferson Co., TN. (Jefferson Co., TN Deed Book R, p. 181; Book S, p. 104, 105, 107)

In the 1830 Federal Census of Jefferson Co., Tennessee, John Cowan was listed. In this census he was living 2 households from Katherine Swann, mother of Robert Swann, who married his daughter, Rachel. 2 other Cowan famlies lived nearby, George Cowan and Jonathan Cowan. (Federal Census, Jefferson Co, TN, p. 330)

In 1836 John and Leah Cowan deeded their property to John Cowan, Jr. in exchange for his promise to care for them until their death. (Jefferson Co., TN, Deed Book M-P, 18 Nov. 1806 - 9 Aug. 1815, p. 156)

Children of John Cowan and Leah Lewis are:

	99	i.	 	Rachel Cowan, born July 29, 1795 in TN; died 1862 in Jefferson Co., TN; married Robert Swann June 08, 1814 in Jefferson Co., TN.
		ii.	 	Margaret Cowan, died May 06, 1826; married James Hill November 26, 1811.
		iii.	 	John Cowan, Jr.
		iv.	 	Joel Cowan