Person:Andrew Cowan (9)

Andrew Cowan
b.02 May 1782 Virginia
d.20 October 1872 Bradley County, Tennessee
m. BEF 1774
  1. Eleanor Cowan1774 - 1831
  2. John [Alexander] Cowan1775 - 1821
  3. Samuel Cowan, Sheriff1779 - 1828
  4. Andrew Cowan1782 - 1872
  5. Robert Cowan1784 - 1869
  6. Ann Cowanabt 1790 - abt 1850
  7. Polly Cowan
  8. William Cowan
  9. James Walker Cowan1798 - 1870
  10. David Luther? Leonidas? Cowanabt 1799 - bet 1870 and 1880
m. 26 September 1816
  1. Samuel Houston Cowan1817 -
  2. Nancy Gillespy Cowan1819 - 1846
  3. Jane Walker Cowan1821 -
  4. William Baker Cowan1823 - Aft 1906
  5. Isabella Ann Cowan1825 - 1908
  6. Matthew Leonidas Cowan1828 -
  7. Andrew Finis Cowan1829 - aft 1906
  8. James Independence Gillespie Cowan1832 -
  9. Martha Serena Cowan1835 - 1928
  • HAndrew Cowan1782 - 1872
  • W.  Margaret Fisher (add)
m. 12 January 1857
Facts and Events
Name Andrew Cowan
Gender Male
Birth? 02 May 1782 Virginia
Marriage 26 September 1816 to Esther F. Houston
Marriage 12 January 1857 McMinn, TNto Margaret Fisher (add)
Death? 20 October 1872 Bradley County, Tennessee
Burial[1] Flint Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Flint Springs, Bradley Co., TN

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Originally presented on Familypedia

Document. Andrew Cowan Service and Pension Record, War of 1812
Document. Andrew Cowan In:Biographical Dictionary of Tennessee General Assembly


Andrew Cowan was the son of William Cowan‎ and Jane Walker. He is believed to have been born in 1782 a few years before his parents relocated to the Little River, in what is now Blount County, TN, along with Jane's brother, John Walker IV of the Wigton Walker line. Andrew first married Esther F. Houston (b: 19 July 1795 d: 12 August 1850 in TN). Esther bore Andrew 9 children. After her death in 1850 Andrew remarried to Margaret Fisher, bc 1799.

Andrew served in the War of 1812, for which service he received bountry land, and ultimately a pension. (See Document. Andrew Cowan Service and Pension Record, War of 1812. After his marriage to Esther "he settled on a farm three miles from Maryville where he lived for twenty years, then moved to a farm on Nine Mile Creek above Niles Perry, living there nine years. He then bought and located on a farm ten miles south of Cleveland on the public road from Cleveland, Tennessee to Dalton, Georgia. There he lived until his death in his 91st year." Source:Fleming, 1971

Child List

Samuel Houston COWAN b: 1817 in TN d: 1864 during Civil War m. Sally ______ HUBBARD b: 1822 d: 1887
Nancy Gillespy COWAN, dsp b: 28 Mar 1819 in TN d: 05 Oct 1846 in Flint Springs, TN
Jane Walker COWAN b: 05 Jun 1821 in TN d: 19 Dec 1895 m. Joseph A______ JOHNSTON d: 11 Dec 1875
William Baker COWAN b: 1823 in TN d: Aft. 1906 in Lewisville, TX m. Malinda Euphema COBB b: 1830
Isabella Ann COWAN b: 1825 in TN d: 13 Aug 1908 in Wise Co., TX m. Pulaski Wallace NORWOOD
Matthew Leonidas COWAN b: 1828 in TN d: 1914 in Waketon, TX m. Elizabeth ______ MITCHELL
Andrew Finis COWAN b: Dec 1829 in Bradley Co., TN d: Aft. 1906 in Wagoner, OK m. Elizabeth _______ "Lizzie" CLINGAN b: 01 Apil 1830 d:
James Independence Gillespie COWAN b: 04 Jul 1832 in TN d: 1917 m#1. Annie E______ GALBREATH b: 1834 d: 12 Oct 1857
m#2. Mary Jane LINDSAY b: 1846 in Jackson Co., AL
Martha Serena COWAN b: 1835 in TN d: 13 Jan 1928 in San Diego, San Diego Co., CA m. John McGAUGHEY b: 1823 d: 18 Oct 1874

See:Document. Andrew Cowan In:Biographical Dictionary of Tennessee General Assembly for an alternative view of his children and marriages.

Land Records

  • #497 - Andrew Cowan - 208 acres 2 rods 14 poles- Blount County-on south side Nine Mile Creek-CC Ssmuel Brown, James Hamson and Andrew Sterns, Surveyed April 30, 1807. [Source: Territory South of French Broad, Land Grants].
  • #548 - Andrew Cowan - 205 acres 3 rods 8 perches - Sevier County-on Boyds Creek-CC Hugh Cowan and Wm. Cowan., Surveyed August 23, 1807. [Source: Territory South of French Broad, Land Grants].


Andrew Cowan's pension application for his War of 1812 service, National Archives, Washington, DC.
Blount Co., TN marriage records (for first marriage to Ester F. Houston)
McMinn Co., TN marriage records (for second marriage, to Miss Margaret Fisher) Copy of the marriage license clearly indicates she was "Miss" Margaret Fisher.

Marriage 1 to: Miss Esther F "Hetty" Houston ... 26 September 1816 in Blount Co., TN by Isaac Anderson, M. G.

Key document to establishing relationship of Andrew Cowan to John [Alexander] Cowan is Andrew Cowan's Letter (May 17, 1857; Bradley Co., TN) to Rosanna (Gillespy/Gillespie) Cowan (addressed as "Dear Sister Roseanna") ... original in possession of James E. Freeman, Camas, WA (as August, 2006).

(Copy of the Andrew Cowan's 1857 letter was included with Margie Cowan's First Families of Tennessee applications for William Cowan and John [Alexander] Cowan, along with a copy of his pension application for War of 1812 service to prove that the signatures matched on both documents.)

Key document to establishing identity of several of William Cowan & Jane Walker's children is Andrew Finis Cowan's (AFC) Letter (June 7, 1906; Indian Territory/Oklahoma) to Columbia Cowan (Pierce City, Lawrence Co., MO) ... original in possession of James E. Freeman, Camas, WA (as August, 2006). (Copy of the the AFC letter was included with Margie Cowan's First Families of Tennessee applications for William Cowan and John [Alexander] Cowan.)

The letter was written by Andrew, who was 77 years old (b. December 1829), in an apparent response to Columbia’s request for information about their ancestors, initiated because of a “claim” (scam?) that the Cowans were potential heirs to a part of Central Park and she was trying to “prove” whether her Cowan ancestors tied into the Central Park “ancestors”. Thus, Andrew responds with information about his aunts and uncles, makes “honorable” mention to several of their children, and a reference to his grandmother, Jane (Walker) Cowan.

Of note, Andrew ("Sr." ... son of William Cowan and Jane Walker) was 90 when he died in 1872. While Andrew Finis Cowan's eldest three aunts and uncles died at relatively young ages (either before AFC was born or shortly thereafter), their spouses did not die until many years later. Further, since Andrew Finis Cowan was 43 when his father died, it is likely he heard many stories first hand about his grandparents (William & Jane) as well as his aunts/uncles, interacted with the remaining aunts & uncles and/or their children (his first cousins), was aware of correspondence between the families, and/or that the families visited each other ... especially so since many of these aunts/uncles remained in Knox/Blount/Loudon counties, which were in relatively close proximity to McMinn and Bradley counties, where AFC and his father lived for many years.

Tombstone photos of Andrew Cowan, Hetty (Houston) Cowan, and Nancy Gillespy COWAN at Flint Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Flint Springs, Bradley Co., TN

Census Andrew Cowan appears to have been a census enumerator on the 1840 census in Blount Co., TN as evidenced by his very distinct handwriting and signature. (This handwriting matches that found on his 1812 pension application and also the 1857 letter written to Rosanna (Gillespy) Cowan.

Andrew Cowan's family is enumerated as follows: 1840 census -- Blount Co., TN M 1(5-10) 2(10-15) 1(15-20) 1(20-30) 1(50-60) F 1(5-10) 1(10-15) 1(15-20) 1(20-30) 1(40-50)

The people enumerated in Andrew's household in 1840 (Blount Co., TN) match what is known of his family ...

Age Range Qty Census Birth Most Likely Person Real Birthdate Age

 Males	 05-10	 1	 b. 1830-1835	 James Independence Gillespy (J I G) Cowan	 07/04/1832	 08

10-15 2 b. 1825-1830 Matthew Leonidas Cowan Andrew Finis Cowan 1828 12/01/1829 12 11 15-20 1 b. 1820-1825 William Baker Cowan 1823 17 20-30 1 b. 1810-1820 Samuel Houston Cowan 1817 23 50-60 1 b. 1780-1790 Andrew Cowan 05/02/1782 58

 Females	 05-10	 1	 b. 1830-1835	 Martha Serena Cowan	 1835	 05

10-15 1 b. 1825-1830 Isabella Ann Cowan 11/27/1825 15 15-20 1 b. 1820-1825 Jane Walker Cowan 06/05/1821 19 20-30 1 b. 1810-1820 Nancy Gillespy Cowan 03/28/1819 21 40-50 1 b. 1790-1800 Ester F. “Hettie” [Houston] Cowan 07/19/1795 45

The Andrew Cowan in the 1840 Blount Co., TN census is not to be confused with the Andrew Cowan found on the 1840 Bradley Co., TN census. (See Research Needs below.) 1840 census -- Bradley Co., TN M 2(5-10) 2(15-20) 1(40-50) F 1(5-10) 2(10-15) 1(40-50)

1850 census, TN, Bradley, Subdivision 26, M432_871, 10/09/1850, p. 168; l. 19-24, 410/410, Farmer Last Name First Name Age Sex Occupation Value Born COWAN Andrew 60 M Farmer 2500 TN Hester 55 F TN Matilda 22 F TN Andrew F 20 M TN James 19 M TN Martha 15 F TN

1860 census, TN, Bradley, District 4, M653_1241, 06/23/1860, p. 90; l. 4-11 Last Name First Name Age Sex Occupation Value Value Born COWAN Andrew 78 M Farmer TN Margaret 60 F TN COWAN Wm B 35 M Farmer 4000 2000 TN Malinda 29 F TN Andrew 08 M TN Hetta A 05 F TN Arta E 8/12 F TN COBB John O 18 M TN

1870 census, TN, Bradley, Cleveland, First Civil District, M593_1515, 07/14/1870, p. 21-22, l. 30-40+1-2 Last Name First Name Age Sex R Occupation Value Value Born COWAN Andrew 88 M W Retired Farming 1200 VA Margaret 65 F W Keeping House TN COWAN William B 46 M W Farming 3500 TN Melinda E 39 F W Keeping House TN Andrew S 18 M W Farm Laborer TN Hetty A 13 F W TN Arter E 10 F W TN Martha E 07 F W TN Mary R 05 F W TN John O C 02 M W TN COBB Henry C 21 M W Attending School TN

Andrew Finis Cowan's 1906 letter makes reference to having a brother, William B, living in Lewinsvile, TX at the time he was writing the letter. William Baker Cowan later moved to Texas from Bradley Co., TN.

editReferences Bates, Lucy Womack, TN Society NSDAR, Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in TN, 1974 (revised 1979 by Helen Crawford Marsh), p. 42 … lists children: “Andrew b 5/2/1780 m Hetty Houston; Samuel b. 7/23/1799 m. Ester Jane Houston; Eleanor b. 1774 m. James Gillespie; John Alexander; James; Robert; David. Ref: DAR #435539 [Barbara Gillespie]” Boyer, Reba Bayless, Marriage Records of McMinn County, Tennessee 1820-1870, 1964, p. 64 (DAR Library) Boyer, Reba & Reksten, Harald, Index to McMinn County, Tennessee Tax Lists 1829-1832, 1836 & Detail from 1836 Tax List, Heritage Books, Inc., 1996, p. 39, 78. (DAR Library) Fagen, Barbara, Bradley County Will Book 1864-1883 Index, 1989, p. 4 (DAR Library) Fleming, John Kerr; Cowans of County Down, Derreth Publishing Co., Raleigh, NC; p. 371-376. (DAR Library) Hudson, Mary Kay Parrish, TN Society DAR, Register of Qualified Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee, p. 24 … lists children: Andrew, Samuel, Eleanor Gillespie, John Alexander, James, Robert, David. (DAR Library) Ross, Ernest Lafayette, Historical Cemetery Records of Bradley County, Tennessee, Vol. I, p. 158, (DAR Library) Snell, William R., Death Notices in the Cleveland Banner (Tennessee) 1865-1883, 1991, p. 6 (DAR Library) White, Emma Siggins; Genealogy of the Descendants of John Walker of Wigton, Scotland, with Records of a Few Allied Families. Also War Records and Some Fragmentary Notes Pertaining to the History of Virginia. 1600-1902, Tiernan-Dart Printing Company, Kansas City, MO; 1902. [DAR Library] DAR Applications, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC. The following application was submitted to the DAR on the Revolutionary War service of William Cowan through his son, Andrew. (Copies of DAR applications are available from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1776 D Street, NW, Washington, DC. Cost is $10 for each application, which includes the four pages of each application.) DAR # Date Applicant's Name Cowan Child's Name Rev. War Ancestor 088306 10/04/1911 Annie (Cowan) Stephens Andrew Cowan William Cowan Note: Annie (Cowan) Stephens application is a very, very early application and is not well documented. In fact, her documentation for William Cowan ties to a William Cowan with military service in Pennsylvania. However, her application is good for providing clues to her heritage. Essentially, the vital statistics she provides are able to be proven by census and other documents.

editResearch Needs Please help other researchers by posting your tombstone photos at

If you are a COWAN male, the Cowan DNA Project needs you to help establish links between the various Cowan branches. Click the link and sign up!

Need death date for second wife, Margaret (Fisher) Cowan, and place of burial. (She is not buried with or near Andrew, Hettie, Nancy G Cowan at Flint Springs.) She obviously died after 1870 because she is enumerated with him in the 1870 census. Athens, Hiwassee Patriot, November 17, 1840 ... need text of article; Burns, History of Blount County, 43, 58n, 106, 312 ... need text of referenced pages; Presbyterian records, Blount County file in Tennessee State Library ... need extracts; Lyle, The Lyle Family, 177-80 ... need text of referenced pages; McClung, The McClung Family, 54-56 ... need text of referenced pages;

Anyone with additional info on Andrew Cowan, please contact mcowan @

NOTE: Andrew (m. Ester F. "Hettie" Houston) is not to be confused with another Andrew Cowan living in Bradley Co. at the same time. This other Andrew Cowan (b. Jul. 24, 1857 d. Aug. 30, 1876) appears on the 1840 census of Bradley Co., appears to have lived primarily inside Cleveland, TN (while "subject" Andrew lived 10 miles south of Cleveland at Flint Springs) This other Andrew Cowan is buried at Fort Hill Cemetery within Cleveland, TN. Others buried with him at Fort Hill are: James M. Cowan (b. Feb. 16, 1823 d. Feb. 25, 1874) John M. Cowan (b. Jul. 26, 1855 d. Dec. 30, 1879) Lena R. Cowan (b. Aug. 31, 1861 d. May 13, 1880) Nancy W. Cowan (b. Apr. 7, 1830 d. Oct. 3, 1864 ) Nannie A. Cowan (b. Oct. 28, 1859 d. Jun. 20, 1876)

QUESTION: Who are these Cowans? Their relationship to John [Alexander] Cowan and Andrew Cowan (of Flint Springs, TN)? In the 1830 McMinn Co., TN census there are two sets (possibly 3) of Cowans, relationship to each other unknown. Rosanna Cowan ... plus Campbell, Robert, and William (pages 171-172) ... Campbell is Rosanna's son; Robert and William are brothers-in-law. James Sr. ... plus James "Jr." (by age range on census and proximity to James Sr. on the census page) (p. 181) ... is in the same age range as Rosanna. Could he be another brother of Rosanna's husband, John [Alexander] Cowan? David (p. 142) ... presumably this is another of Rosanna's brothers-in-law ... and, presumably, this is the same David Cowan found on the 1819 Alabama Census living near Rosanna's son, James Gillespie Cowan. (The ages match.)

  1. Cleveland Banner, October 25, 1872, p. 3, col. 1 [Cleveland, TN Public Library … mircrofilm]
    -- Died --
    " In Flint Spring Valley, ten miles south of Cleveland, in this county, on the same evening [the 20th in notice above], of old age, Mr. Andrew Cowan. The deceased had lived over 90 years at the time of his death."