Person:James Cowan (82)

James Cowan
Facts and Events
Name James Cowan
Gender Male
Birth? 1775 Augusta, VA
Death? 11 Dec 1841 Meigs, Tennessee, United States


Smoky Mountain Cowan Tapestry
Cowan Tapestry
Cowan Links

The Tapestry
Families Old Chester Old Augusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies


Anita Cowan's summary of James Cowan, YDNA kit 16796
Leaves From the Family Tree, Penelope Allen, 1982. Southern Historical Press.


Cowan YDNA Project Groups
Seven Cowan Brothers
Seven Brothers Cowan-Morgan
Cowans of Denton County, Texas

Child List

William Wallace Cowan 1800 – 1854
Mary H Cowan 1803 – 1881
Margaret Evaline Cowan 1805 – 1861
Jane M Cowan 1807 – 1861
Joseph Cowan 1808 – 1880
John H Cowan 1817 –
James Archibald Roan Cowan 1821 -


Kit 16796 of the Cowan YDNA project traces descent to James Cowan (1775-1841), d. Meigs County. THis kit is a close match to other kits in the William Cowan=Cynthia Morgan group.

Note 1

From Thelma Cowan…. relaying information from the owner of Kit 16796., James Cowan born 1775, Augusta Co. VA. married Elizabeth? ... James died 11 Dec. 1841 Meigs Co. TN. Elizabeth?, (Clingan) was born in PA., d 1860 in Meigs Co.

Evalina Cowan, m Wm Camp
Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Cowan, m John L. McCarty
Joseph Cowan, m Susan Chattin
Jane M. Cowan, m Wm B. Russell
John H. Cowan, m Paulina ?
James Archibald Roane Cowan, m Martha June ?
William Wallace Cowan (1800-1854) m 1st Elizabeth Chattin: one child, Mary Catherine Cowan (m Wm. H. Hammond); m 2nd Isabella Cozby, (1818-1870) and had five children:
Sarah Cowan, who married Thomas Lafayette (?) Caldwell,
Martha Jane Cowan, who married Thomas Andrew Jackson Bates,
Ellen Cowan, who married William N Hogue, MD
William Wallace Cowan 1846-1911 m Anna Eliza Peace
Evaline Cowan (1848-1854)

Note 2

From Thelma Cowan, 11 June 2014

Tenn Cousins by Worth S. RAY, 976.8 D2r1968, speaks of Bradley Co. TN. on page 481. Bradley Co. was the last East TN. stronghold of the Cherokee Indians before they were removed to the west. It is in the middle of what was called the Occee District after the tribe had ceded to the whites what was known as the Hiwassee Purchase signed in WA. D.C. Feb.27, 1819. The purchase included all the lands from the Little Tenn. river down to the Hiwassee. Return Jonathan Meigs established the Cherokee agency on the present site of Charleston where he was an agent of the government until his death in 1823. After his death Gov. McMinn, a brother of chief John Ross and son of Daniel Ross ran a trading post at the location of what is now the town of Charleston. John Cowan, from a family in Knoxville and Jefferson Co. kept a tavern/hotel there. In "Wills of Hawkins Co. TN." 976.895 p2g v.1, p49, Joseph McMinn, residing at the Cherokee Agency, d 27 Oct. 1824, Calhoun, TN. His wife was named Nancy and it was witnessed by James Cowan, James S. Bridges, John L. McCarty, Jas G. Williams, Wm. W. Cowan, Jas Mitchell.

One of the Cherokee chieftains who signed the Purchase was Major John Walker who was part Cherokee and laid off the town of Calhoun on land allloted to him. Calhoun was the first Co. seat and on a 640 acre reservation. It was opposite the Indian agency on the north banks of the Hiwassee River. Among the first citizens was John Cowan and George Colville. John L. McCarty was administer of the estate of John Walker Jr., McCarty married Polly Cowan, sister to John N. Cowan. The Cowan family came from VA. and settled first Greene, Jefferson, and Knox County, TN.. Several Cowan brothers located on the Hiwassee river when Indian land opened up. The location of McCarty lands near the town of Calhoun was the most important trading post on the Cherokee frontier. John L. McCarty was amerchant there. He was born 1783 and died 1860 in Mc Minn Co.

On a 2003 RootsWeb message board, Anita was seeking further information on James Cowan, b ca 1774 in VA. and migrated to E. TN.. According to Anita, James was married to Elizabeth, my research shows her maiden name was Clingan, born 1779 PA., died 1857, Meigs Co. TN. They had three daughters and four sons. Anita said their names were Evalina Cowan/Camp, Wm, Wallace Cowan, Mary Elizabeth Cowan McCarty, Joseph Cowan, Jane M. Cowan Russell, John H. Cowan and Archibald Roan Cowan. James died 1841, Meigs Co. TN. The James Cowan land was first entered in 1824 by Andrew Cowan.

My research in several different places follows the children; Anita said she descends from the line of William Wallace Cowan, b 1800 d 1861 through HIS son, William Wallace Cowan 1844-1911, who migrated to Tarrent Co, TX. and later to Denton Co. after the Civil War.

Margaret Evaline Cowan, b 1805 d.1861 Grayson Co. TX. William Camp William Wallace Cowan, b 1800 d 1861 Bradley Co. TN. (Two marriages) First was to Elizabeth Chattin in 1829 and second Isabella Cosby in 1839. Mary H. Cowan, b 1803 d 1881, Meigs Co. TN. John L. McCarty Joseph Cowan, b 1808 d 1873, Susan Chatten Jane M. Cowan, b 1810 d Meigs Co., William B Russell John H. Cowan, b1817, Pauline Brittain James Archibald Roan, b 1822, Susan Chattin and Martha Jane Collins.

In Chancery Court Records of McMinn Co. TN. 976.8865 p2b0 p129 (299) Washington W. Peck and Henry Wolf talk about two original grants, one dated Sept 1829 for land entered March 1924 by Andrew Cowan, first settler. James Cowan was listed as having land on Gunstocker Creek and Hiwassee River and in a dispersal of estate of John L. McCarty, several thousand acres, a part of which was the Ross reservation, William Camp is an heir of James Cowan. Sterling Camp is mentioned as are the McCarty's and Haymes.

Note3 Meigs County 1840 census

The only Cowan/Cowen that shows up in the search for Meigs County, 1840 is James Cowen, age 60-69.

Name: James Cowen
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Meigs, Tennessee
Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 60 thru 69: 1
Slaves - Males - Under 10: 1
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23: 2
Slaves - Males - 36 thru 54: 1
Slaves - Females - Under 10: 1
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23: 2
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54: 2
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 7
Free White Persons - Under 20: 1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total Slaves: 9
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 13

In 1850 Elizabeth Cowan shows up living alone in Meigs County. At age 70 she is appropriately aged to be the widow of James

Name: Elizabeth Cowan
Age: 70
Birth Year: abt 1780
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
Home in 1850: Subdivision 22, Meigs, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Female
Family Number: 215
Household Members:
Name Age
Elizabeth Cowan 70

Living adjacent to her is James A.R. Cowan

Name: James A R Cowan
Age: 28
Birth Year: abt 1822
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: Subdivision 22, Meigs, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Male
Family Number: 214
Household Members:
Name Age
James A R Cowan 28
Martha Jane Cowan 25
James R Cowan 4
Elizabeth Ann Cowan 3
Martha E Cowan 1

A Joseph Cowan also appears in the same subdivision 22

Name: Joseph Cowan
Age: 42
Birth Year: abt 1808
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: Subdivision 22, Meigs, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Male
Family Number: 254
Household Members:
Name Age
Joseph Cowan 42
Susan Cowan 34
William W Cowan 13
Mary E Cowan 12
James Cowan 8
Parthenia F Cowan 7
John C Cowan 5
Robert A Cowan 3
Martha E Cowan 1