Seven Brothers Core



Cowan Tapestry
Cowan Links

……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky



Source:Fleming, 1971


Seven Cowan Brothers
Cowan Descendancy from Niall of the Nine Hostages
YDNA. Cowan Groups
Cowan YDNA Project
Children of the Seven Cowan Brothers


The Seven Brothers Core subgroup is believed to have originated with Seven Brothers who settled in Pennsylvania in 1726. Fleming, 1971 identified this subgroup, and the name has broad acceptance among their descendants. Fleming identifies the seven brothers as :

  • Andrew
  • David
  • James
  • John
  • Matthew
  • Samuel
  • William

Earlier family historians, (Source:Houston, et al. 1916 and Source:Dunavant, 1947) believed that The Seven Brothers came to America from County Down. These authors pointed to the appearance of a group known as The Wigton Walkers in Old Chester County to support this idea. The appearance of these Walkers in Old Chester is seemingly well documented by Source:White, 1902 citing early family records. According to White, 1902, per Fleming 1947:

John Walker...settled in Newry, [County Down] Ireland. He and family...left Strangford Bay in May, 1726...on a vessel commanded by Richard Walker, and landed in Maryland, August 2nd. He transported his family and in Chester County PA.

Flemming accepted this view because:

1. They all came from County Down, Ireland
2. They all came to America about the same time
3. They all settled initially in Chester County PA

Unfortunately, while there is some evidence to show that at least some members of White's Wigton Walkers came from County Down in 1726 to settled in what was then Chester County PA, there is no corresponding evidence that this was so for the Cowans. Specifically, there is no documentation known to show that any member of the Seven Brothers actually settled in Chester County. Their presence there is dictated only by the fact that they are believed by some of the earlier researchers to have come over on the same ship as the Wigton Walkers. Yet there seems to be no independent information to confirm that they were on the same ship as the Wigton Walkers, and White, 1902 does not include them in her list of members of the extended family of John Walker, the immigrant---except to the extent of the marriage of three Walker sisters to three Cowan Brothers, two generations later on.

It is not even clear that they were in fact brothers. While descendants of this subgroup share a common YDNA signature their common ancestor is not known. We presume they share a recent common ancestor, but whether that ancestor was their father or not, is unknown. Nonetheless there is some reason to believe that this group did in fact settle somewhere in Pennsylvania in prior by 1730. Some members of the family are believed to have settled in Albemarle County by 1735, and others in adjacent Augusta County by 1740. From here the family spread southward along the Great Road, down into the Carolinas, with some members of the extended family returning to Virginia to settle in Castle's Woods in Southwestern Virginia by 1770, and further south in northeastern Tennessee after 1786.

Similarity Matrix


Many of the eldest ancestors in the matrix above, as identified by kit owners, have a corresponding article on WeRelate. In some cases we have additional information about the lineage over and beyond what the kit owner(s) have provided. That may include identification of parents, or further back. For ancestors in red (or blank) we have insufficient information to identify who the person is. There may or may not be an article for them on WeRelate, but if there is we don't have enough information to make the connection.
Ancestors highlighted in "Khaki" are thought to be one of the "Seven Brothers"
284293 John Collins, b. 1896 and d. 1924 Person:John Collins () 18961924Insufficient information to identify person
89028 James C.(Campbell) Cowan1819-1885 Cumberland C, KY person:James Cowan (70) 18191885
Albany, Clinton KY
Jemimah Ferguson
* 260024 David C Cowan, 1825-1874 person:David Cowan (33)18251874
* 11081 Andrew Cowan b 1812 TN and Matilda Driskel b KY person:Andrew Cowan (37)181218841835Matilda Driskel
19612 Mathew Cowan b. 1777 & Catherine Trousdale person:Mathew Cowan (1)177018651800 Sumner TNCatherine Trousdale
54325 Mathew Cowan b. 1777 & Catherine Trousdale person:Mathew Cowan (1)177018651800 Sumner TNCatherine Trousdale
* 7381 Jonathan Cowan, b 1803, Jefferson County, TN person:Jonathan Cowan (1) 1803 Jefferson CountyBelieved to be the grandson of Person:Andrew Cowan (5) of Jefferson County, TN
* 34656 Joseph Cowan b.c. 1820 married in Dandridge, TN person:Joseph Cowan ()1820 DandridgeInsufficient information to identify person; given the location, probably of the line of Andrew of Jefferson County.
* 11178 Samuel Franklin Cowan, b. MO 1833, d. TX 1883 person:Samuel Cowan () 18331883 TXInsufficient information to identify person
* 189630 Andrew Cowan m Hettie Houston (Blount/Bradley Co., person:Andrew Cowan (9) 178218571816
1) Hettie Houston
2) Margaret Fisher
* 7376 Samuel & Sarah Keith Cowan person:Samuel Cowan (23)177018001837Sarah KeithFamily believed to have originated in Albemarle County VA;
7384 William Andrew Cowan, b1853 TN m. Martha James person:William Cowan (65)Martha James
23147 Andrew Matthew Cowan, b. c. 1759, VA. ? person:Andrew Cowan () bc1759 VA? Insufficient information to identify person
* 45027 David Cowan - Sevier Co. TN person:David Cowan (1)before 17391811 Sevier Co TNLived in Albemarle prior to about 1770, in Castles Woods VA 1770-1786, then in Sevier County TN until death. Father is believed to be person:John Cowan (65)
58024 Clemuel Cowan b Feb 1853 McMinn Co, TN USA person:Clemuel Cowan (1) 1853 McMinn TNParents believed by some to be Samuel Cowan and Permelia Jane, basis unknown
* 12443 William Cowan=Jane Walker , Blount Co. TN person:William Cowan (25)Jane WalkerThere are a number of kits in the 7B Bridge Group that trace to William and Jane, but which have too few markers to allow us to confidently place them in the Core, based on YDNA. Their lineage data, however, seems consistent with the kit owners identification of their earliest ancestor as William (25).
* 7377 Robert & Susannah Woods Cowan, son John person:Robert Cowan (10)17401784, Jefferson, TNSusannah WoodsSusannah is most likely related to the Michael Woods family, which may place her in Albemarle/Bedford, VA
83345 John Cowan m Susannah Glover , Old 96th District person:John Cowan (35) 1770<1806Susannah GloverHis parents believed to be John Cowan, Sr (1739-1792) and Margaret who came to Old 96 District in SC about 1760 from Augusta Co VA
14740 Edward Coen b 1783, Ranamacken, Galway, IRE 1783 Ranamaken, Galway, Ireland Insufficient information to localize
26038 John Alexander Cowan b1775 d1821, m Rosannah Gillis 17775 1821 Rosannah Gillis
179625 John Cowan b1739 Chester, PA d1792 1739 Chester PA 1792 Insufficient data to localize; There are several lineages on Ancestry with a John Cowan born 1727-1735 in Chester County PA, but seem to be attached to either the Pequea Creek Group, or to the Cowan's Gap Group.
7376 Samuel & Sarah Keith Cowan Person:Samuel Cowan (23) 1779 Bedford VA ? 1835 Titus Tx 1800 Knox or Blount TN Sarah Keith

160416 Insufficient information
58823 Insufficient information
*162860 Insufficient information
B1258 Insufficient information
157852 Insufficient information

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