Person:Mathias Cowan (1)

m. BEF 1725
  1. James Cowan1725 - 1751
  2. John Cowan1727 - 1747/48
  3. Joseph Cowan1728/29 - 1777
  4. Jean Cowan1730/31 -
  5. Mathias Cowan1734 - 1819
  • HMathias Cowan1734 - 1819
  • WRachel GrayABT 1731 - 1815
  1. James Cowan
  2. George Cowan1755-1765 -
  3. Martha Cowan1756-1775 -
  4. Mary Cowan1756-1775 -
  5. Ann Cowan1756-1775 - 1819
  6. Elizabeth Cowan1756-1775 -
  7. Rachel Cowan1756-1775 -
  8. Sarah Cowan1756-1775 -
  9. Joseph Cowan1774 - 1854
Facts and Events
Name Mathias Cowan
Gender Male
Birth? 1734 Chester County, Pennsylvania
Death? 25 FEB 1819 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania



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USGENWEB 1773 Bedford County PA Tax list Mathias is listed in Hempfield TWP, 2 .6 tax
Source:Boucher, 1906
Source:History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania
Source:Fleming, 1971
Transcript:Family History of Hugh Cowan, 1669-aft1749
Data. 1810 Census records in PA for Cowan Heads of Household
Data. Cowan Burials in Long Run Cemetery, Huntingdon Twp, Westmoreland County PA
Oath of Allegiance of Mathias Cowan of Westmoreland, PA, 4 Sept. 1777


Octoraro Creek Cowans
Cowan's Gap Cowans


Fleming, 1971 identifies Mathias as the son of Hugh Cowan (4) of Octoraro Creek in Lancaster County, by his first wife, Ann Mathias. Hugh's Grandson WIlliam left a family history, in which he identifies his grandfather as Hugh, and list his grandfathers children. He identifies Mathias as the first child of Hugh's second wife, Mary Scott. Hugh's will seems to identify only children by his second marriage; since he includes Mathias as an heir, it seems likely that Mathias was indeed a child of Hugh's by his marriage to Mary Scott. The fact that Hugh named this child "Mathias" would seem to be a memorialization of his first wife's maiden name, rather than indicating that Mathias was a child by Ann Mathias.

Mathias is identified as the first known settler in Huntingdon Township of Westmoreland County, having come to the area in 1761, with his wife Rachel Gray. Since Mathias brother David (11) married a Mary Gray, presumed to be Rachel's sister, we can probably assume that the marriage took place in Chester County, prior to 1761 Mathias died in 1819 at age 84 per a transcription of his gravestone, indicating that he was born about 1734-1735. He would have reached adulthood about 1754-55, so that is probably the earliest that this marriage could have occurred. There is a 1771 record for a Mathias Cowan living in Bedford County. Other known descendants of Hugh Cowan (4) lived in this same area adjacent to Cumberland and Franlklin County so it is possible that this is a record for Mathias (1). If so, then his 1761 arrival in Westmoreland County may be in error.

Mathias is believed to have come to Westmoreland County in company with his brother James. Half-brother William had settled initially in the Cumberland County area of Pennsylvania, but about 1788 moved on to Westmoreland County, where he lived out his life with his second wife, and their children. In later years contemporary records show a number of Cowans living in Westmoreland County, and areas that had once been included in Westmoreland County. At some of these records undoubtedly refer to descendands of Mathias, or one or another of his brothers who also settled in the area. There may, however, be other Cowan lines in western PA with whom they could be confused. Traceing out the family relationships of the Cowans in the area after 1800 may provide additional information about the family of Mathias.



From Source:Boucher, 1906:[1]

Mathias Cowan is entitled to the honor of being the first settler of the town ship. He was married to a Miss Gray, and came to Westmoreland county in a covered cart, in which they lived until he had built his log cabin in the wilderness. Not long after their arrival his brother-in-law, Abner Gray, was captured by the Indians and taken into captivity. ...

The Long Run Presbyterian Church was organized under the supervision of the Red Stone Presbytery, about 1790. Its present edifice is of brick, and was built in 1865. Near by is the graveyard, and these are a few of the names, with the dates of birth and death, which may be deciphered from the mossy headstones : :Catherine Gregory, died December 18, 1833, aged 92.

George Miller, died November 11, 1843, aged 86.
Sarah Marchand Scull, died June 8, 1845, born March 1, 1819.
John Scull, died February 8, 1828, aged 63.
Robert Taylor, died August 6, 1824, aged 84.
John McCurdy, died May 12, 1825, aged 54.
James Cowan, died October 11, 1826, aged 54.
Mathew Cowan died December 25, 1819, aged 84.
William Larimer died September 18, 1838, aged 67. His wife Martha died January 13, 1798, aged 27.
Anne Larimer, second wife of William Larimer, born May 8, 1783. died August 23, 1853.
James Cavett, born June 7, 1778, died February 22, 1872, aged 94 years.
Jacob Cort, died October 13, 1853, aged 47.
Catharine Hufnagle, died February 21, 1843, aged 80.
George Kennedv, died 1841, aged 70.
John Boyd, died May- 18, 1840, aged 78.
Charles Stewart, died July 2, 1836, aged 62.
Robert Marshall, died January 28, 1829, aged 63.
Daniel Wattirs, died July 8, 1838, aged 51.
Rev. Christopher Hodgson, born September 12, 181 1, died March 25i 1874,
William Caldwell, Sr., died December 7, 1872, aged 79.
John Cooper, died 1820, aged 84.
Jane Cooper, his wife, died 1793, aged 43.
Ben Jamin Byerly, born May 15, 1791, died January 3, 1864.

Original Source:Source:History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania Intermediate Source:Ancestry public member tree, originally added by Mark Connar

The first know settlement was made in 1761, by Matthias Cowan, who married a Miss Gray, and came in a cart, in which they lived until he built his cabin on the farm now owned by Matthias Cowan Ekin, his grandson. Cowan's brother-in-law, Abner Gray, was captured on this farm by Indians and carried into captivity." ... In 1761, Matthias Cowan, who had married a Miss Gray, settled in the township. He was a Scotch-Irishman. His children were James, Joseph, George, Martha (married to William Ekin), Mary, Betsey, and Ann (married respectively to three brothers named Hughey), and two daughters who died young and unmarried. ...... (the farm) lies about four miles south of Irwin Station, between it and the Youghlogheny River, and is the place where his maternal grandfather, Matthias Cowan, first located one hundred and twenty one years ago, during all of which time the homestead has been in the family and belonging to three generations.

  1. See Also: Data. Cowan Burials in Long Run Cemetery, Huntingdon Twp, Westmoreland County PA which is more complete for Cowans, but not necessarily more accurate.