Person:Robert Cowan (20)

Robert Cowan
b.6 Jan 1744
m. 1780
  1. Mary Cowan1781 -
  2. Eleanor Cowan1786 - 1873
  3. James Cowan1788 - 1863
  4. Captain William Rutledge Cowan1790 - 1868
  5. Andrew Cowan1793 - 1876
  6. George Rutledge Cowan1797 - 1874
  7. John Rutledge Cowan1799 - 1849
  • HRobert Cowan1744 - 1826
  • WDelaney
Facts and Events
Name Robert Cowan
Gender Male
Birth[1][6] 6 Jan 1744 Possibly Ireland
Alt Birth? 18 Jun 1754 Unproven military grave marker
Marriage 1780 Virginia[Probably in Washington County, Va-William Rutledge Moved to White Top in|Probably in Washington Co., Va-parents moved to White Top in 1777]
to Nancy Rutledge
Residence[2][3] 1796 Sullivan, Tennessee, United States180 acres
Death? 17 Jan 1824 Sullivan, Tennessee, United StatesSee notes for additional information
Alt Death[6][7] 16 Feb 1840 This is his wife's death on an unproven military grave marker
Burial[6] Cowan-Delaney Cemetery, Holston Valley, Sullivan, 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


Transcript:Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin County, Illinois, 1891, pgs 320-21 for Robert S Cowan
Document. Will of Robert Cowan of Sullivan, TN, Writ. 1823, Proven 1842


Person:Robert Cowan (10) Of Jefferson County: YDNA results suggest there is no family connection.
Person:Robert Cowan (11) son of Robert (10)
Analysis. YDNA for Descendants of Robert Cowan of Sullivan County
Analysis. Genealogy of Robert Cowan (20): Summary of research issues for Robert Cowan (20)
Transcript:Land Transactions for Robert Cowan (20) Transcriptions of various deeds for Robert Cowan (20)


Ancestry Public member Tree Vita for Robert Cowan b 1744 =Nancy Rutledge



Person:Robert Cowan (20), ... was born in the North of Ireland, being a descendant of Scotch ancestry. He came to America before the Revolution in the prime of young manhood and when the war broke out between the Colonists and the Mother Country he entered the Continental army, and did brave service in the cause of liberty. He fought under Gen. Washington, and was with the army when it crossed the Delaware. When peace was declared he resided in Virginia for a time, and then removed to Tennessee, of which he was a pioneer, and there his life was brought to a close at a ripe age. The maiden name of his wife, great-grandmother of subject, was Nancy Rutledge. She is thought to have been born in South Carolina, and she died in Tennessee. She was the mother of five sons, --James, Andrew, William, George and John. The three elder sons served under Jackson at the battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.
The family of Nancy Rutledge, wife of Robert (20), owned landin the vicinity of White Top Knobs in what  was then Sullivan County NC, but is now Sullivan County, TN.   Robert's land lay on what is now   Rooty Branch Road just north of the Old General Delaney Cemetery (now Cowan-Delaney).  The Cowan-Delaney Cemetery is on the corner of Rooty Branch and Lakeview Dock Road
The family of Nancy Rutledge, wife of Robert (20), owned landin the vicinity of White Top Knobs in what was then Sullivan County NC, but is now Sullivan County, TN. Robert's land lay on what is now Rooty Branch Road just north of the Old General Delaney Cemetery (now Cowan-Delaney). The Cowan-Delaney Cemetery is on the corner of Rooty Branch and Lakeview Dock Road

Is there proof?

Notes A

From Donna Atkinson, referring to the family of Nancy Rutledge, wife of Robert Cowan:
Per article in The Lookout Notable Southern Families THE RUTLEDGE FAMILY by Robert Thomas Case a great great great grandson of General George Rutledge, Elinor or Eleanor migrated to the Americas about 1763. They emigrated and landed at Charleston South Carolina and then removed to Augusta County, Virginia, where they settled in the neighborhood known as Tinkling Spring. William remained there until 1777 when he and his family removed to Sullivan County, Tennessee, settling on a small creek known as White Top where he produced grants for his land.

Letter from George G., grandson of William George per letter in Mara Harris collection,[Where is this located?] states that the family came into America through Baltimore, Maryland and immediately emigrated to Augusta County, Va (check documents and information in Tyron County, North Carolina) where they remained about a year, then they emigrated to Sullivan County, Tn. (then North Carolina). He also notes that Annis Armstrong Rutledge, his grandmother informed him many times that George Rutledge of Ireland remained in Ireland in possession of his large estate in Tyrone County, Ireland, as well as his wife's interest. His wife was a daughter of one of the leaders of the Clans in the Highlands of Scotland and her name was Mary (Nellie) Gamble. He states that due to the bitterness of the war of 1775 and the causes that brought on the War of 1812, there was never any correspondence between the Old Country and America with the family and friends. Annis stated that she understood the estate was confiscated for 99 years and he believed the descendants of George Rutledge in Ireland and many others who were kindred would eventually receive the amount of their friend's estates there.

Another letter follows William George Rutledge's letter from Ann Rutledge to a cousin Billie more information about her line of the Rutledge's who came to the Winchester and Stanton Virginia area which proved that nephews also came there long enough to acquire land and then came to "Carliny". Her ancestor was a George with wife Jean? who lived in Augusta County, Va, [moved to] Tennessee, and then came to South Carolina. She lived on a parcel of land on the south side of Catawba River at the mouth of Kuykendall Creek (also known as the Dutchman's Creek. This parcel was originally granted to James Armstrong who deeded it to Joseph Armstrong, who in turn sold the grant to George Rutledge in 1754.[4] This letter is signed Love, Auntie Pat (Ann Rutledge Rollins).


Vita for Robert Cowan are much confused. A discussion of this is to be found at Analysis. Genealogy of Robert Cowan (20). Dates currently shown represent best approximations based on a considered examination of the available data. Some of the alternative vita dates shown are undoubted wrong, but all have a documented basis in something that is commonly cited. Knowing why they are likely rejected is as important as rejecting them. They are retained here simply to provide a basis for consideration, and should be left intact as alternatives.

Transcription of Book 10 Part A Jun 10, 1824-Sept 13 1826 states: Sullivan County, Tn Deed Book 10 Part A Jun 10 1824-Sep 13 1826 17 Feb 1826 Robert Cowan to Nathan Willit, both of Sullivan Co., for a valuable consideration unto the said Nathan Willitt, 97 acres in Sullivan County on the south side of Holston River. Begin N12 poles to the river, down the river N77 W46 poles, down the river S28 W40 poles, with the same S30E44 poles, S70E94 poles to the river with the same N80E42, N 17 poles, N40 E115 poles, then to the beginning. Including Isaac Riddles old survey Robert Cowan (seal) Attest: Abraham Gregg George R. Cowan Feb Session 1826 provided by George R. cowan and Abram Gregg G. W. Netherland DClk for R Netherland Clk Reg Mar 08 1826.

This deed would indicate that Robert Cowan died after March 8, 1826. Not 1824 as stated. Needs more verification.

Transcription of Book 10 Part A Jun 10, 1824-Sept 13 1826 States: Sullivan County, Tennessee Book 10 Part A Jun 10 1824-Sept 13 1826 John Cowan to Andrew Cowan for $1200 dollars, forever relinquish and quit claim to the right, title or interest that I have or may have in and to 150 acres of land willed to me by Robert Cowan, my father, adjoining the land of John Thomas, David Dryden and others. John Cowan (seal) Attest: G R Cowan David Shaver, Jr Nov Session 1825 proved by George R Cowan and David Shaver Jr G W Netherland DClk for R Netherland Clk Reg Dec 24 1825

This confuses the death date even more. If this was filed in 1825 from the will, then death date could be 1824 but deed from Robert Cowan to Nathan Willit is dated 1826 indicating he is still alive. More research needed.


  1. Biographical Sketch of Robert S Cowan, in Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin County, Illinois: containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, governors of the state and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago [Illinois]: Biographical Pub. Co., 1891)
    Pgs 320-21.
  2. Sullivan, Tennessee, United States. 1796 Sullivan County, Tennessee Tax List

    Name: Robert Cowan
    State: TN
    County: Sullivan County
    Township: No Township Listed
    Year: 1796
    Record Type: Tax list
    Database: TN Early Census Index

  3. Tennessee, Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895.

    Name: Robert Cowan
    Year: 1812
    Residence: Sullivan, Tennessee

  4. Holston Territory Genealogical Society (Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee). Families and history of Sullivan County, Tennessee. (Tennessee: The Society, c1992)
    Pg. 30.

    Robert, Cowan* - 180 Ac*

  5.   Puett, Minnie Stowe. History of Gaston County. (Charlotte, North Carolina: Library of Congress, 1939)

    "A grant was also given to James Armstrong in 1753. He deeded it to Joseph Armstrong. Joseph sold it to George Rutledge in 1754."

  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 DAR Gravestone marker. See: Notebook. Notes for Robert Cowan of Sullivan, TN fo specifics.
    Donna Atkinson notes:" the stones are now faded out and people have gotten the dates from the DAR markers. The dates (from what I remember) on the markers were placed about 1935 but the application was rejected...the marker remains.
  7. Will probate date. From Donna Atkinson (September 2011): "The clerk certification that the copy is the same as the "original filed in his office" is 26th day of November1842...nothing is said about when the actual first will was filed which would be when the estate was filed". The will was written in 1823. The gap between will date and probate date (19 years), seems unusual, and may indicate that Robert died considerably before 1840, but that for whatever reason the will was not probated until much later. If Robert was indeed born in 1744 (not 1754 per the DAR marker), his death about 1840 seems suspicious. Not at all impossible, but less likely. ~~~~
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