YDNA. Cowan Group Similarity Matrixs



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The following is currently being updated. The data that appears here is based on publically available data on the Cowan YDNA project site at FTDNA, combined with additional information readily available on the web. No "private" data should appear here. Please contact Q 13:44, 29 February 2012 (EST), if any privacy issues arise.


Cowan YDNA Project Group Summary


See YDNA. Cowan Groups#Background. Note: Some kit numbers appear with a colored background. Similarly colored kit numbers indicate exact YDNA matches.

Seven Brothers

The Seven Cowan Brothers Group is said to have originated from Seven Brothers who settled in Pennsylvania in 1726. Much is unclear about this group, and many popularly held beliefs appear to be unfounded. Only limited direct evidence has been found for the Seven Brothers in Pennsylvania. Some descendants whose YDNA matches the Seven Brother signature trace their descent to person:David Cowan (1) who settled in Albemarle County, VA, about 1735. He is thought to be related to Margaret Cowan who married John Gass, in Cumberland County PA c. 1730. But the relationship between Margaret and David Cowan is unknown, and it its not certain that Margaret's last name/married name was actually "Cowan". It is not clear that there were in fact Seven Brothers, as identified by Source:Fleming, 1971. While members of this group share a common YDNA signature, their common ancestor is not known. The only thing that ties all of these individuals together is that they share a common modal YDNA pattern, and are presumed to have a relatively recent common ancestor. Even this may be illusory, as this line shares a very common YDNA type, referred to as "Niall of the Nine Hostages". Niall lived in the 9th century Ireland, and is believed to have been the progenator of about one in ten male Irish living today. The fact that his YDNA is consistent with the Seven Brothers, may indicate that the reason there are so many Seven Brothers in the Cowan YDNA project, may be that that they share the large portion of their YDNA with other Niall descendants, and that their common ancestor lies further back than genealogical methods can reveal. In this view, at least some of these lineages may represent independent adoption of the Cowan Surname, rather than descent from a common ancestor bearing that surname.

The 7 Brothers Cecil County subgroup. Participants in this subgroup closely match each other (3-4% dissimilarity). Two kits trace descent to a "John Coen" born 1687. died 1749 in Baltimore Co, Md. A John Coen/Cowing/Cowen is reputed to have been born abut 1690 in Maryland. His Place of birth is usually given as "Baltimore MD", but at least one researcher gives it as Cecil County Maryland on "Teggs Delight". Given that John is said to have married a Catharine Teague, this seems particularly plausible. Given his apparent early presence in Cecil County, it is possible that he, or his father, is the immigrant ancestor of the Seven Brothers line in America. Alternatively, his early presence in Cecil County may represent an independent importation from the other Seven Brothers members.

Isle of Mann

July 2012

August 2012


Scituate. This group is characterized by having YDNA results consistent with the E1B1 haplogroup; this is a relatively uncommon haplogroup among families associated with Scot-Irish lineages, and may reflect a line immigrating to Scotland at an early date, from the Mediterranean or further south. Limited heritage information is currently available for these kits. All three kits point to an early importation to Scituate Mass, possibly with a John Cowen as the immigrant ancestor. Most researchers believe that John arrived in Boston in February 1652 aboard the ship "John & Sara." The ship's passenger list included 261 Scots who had been taken prisoner by Oliver Cromwell's forces at the Battle of Worcester on September 3, 1651. One of the Scots on the passenger list was John Coehon (Colquhoun) and it is generally thought that it was this man who appears in Scituate town records as John Cowin/Cowen. fide Lee Cowing, 27 april 2011.

Wythe County

Waiting revision

Wythe County Cowans
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
79227 Samuel Cowan, Wythe Co, VA b1815 d 1866 G 25
84853 Person:Samuel Cowan (29) Samuel Thomas Cowan b. 1816 Wythe Co., VA G 25

Old 96

Waiting revision

Members of this group trace their descent from Andrew Cowan (1742-1786) and wife Ann. This couple lived in the portion of "Old 96 District" that later became Abbeville County. Other Cowans lived in this same general area, including members of the Seven Brothers Group.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
109152 Andrew Cowan d 1789 wife Ann R1b1a2 37
104481 Andrew Cowan d 1789 wife Ann R1b1a2 37

Pequea Creek

Waiting revision

The Pequea Creek Cowans Core settled on Pequea Creek, in Lancaster County, PA, before 1721. They are believed to have come to Pennsylvania from the Cheviot Hills area of Scotland (See: The British Origins of the Pequea Valley Cowans). Descendants sharing the YDNA signature of this group are very clearly demarcated from other groups, with no other person currently in the test (as of April 2011) matching more closely than about 25% based on yALL test results. Note that not all members of this group necessarily descended from Pequea Creek Settlers. Some may may descend from ancestors who immigrated separatly, or may not have left Scotland.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
11152 James Cowan ; Selkirkshire, Scotland R1b1a2 67
134213 Henry Rowley, 1595 ; 1673 London Middlesex R1b1a2a1a1b3 67
130149 John Cowings 1720 Ryton, County Durham, England R1b1a2a1a1b3 67
26699 John and Elizabeth settled on Pequea Creek in modern Lancaster County, sometime around 1720. Son William moved to Rowan County NC about ?. Immigrant John & Elizabeth Cowan; son Wm. R1b1a2 37
45875 Immigrant John & Elizabeth Cowan; son Wm. R1b1a2 37
79370 Immigrant John & Elizabeth Cowan; son Wm. R1b1a2 37
7375 Henry, son of John and Elizabeth, moved to Fourth Creek, Rowan county, NC, by 1785. He died c1800. His wife Jean died the following year Source:Fleming, 1971 Immigrant John & Elizabeth ? Cowan; son Henry R1b1a2 67
14156 John, son of John and Elizabeth, was born about 1723, moved to Rowan County NC about 1750, dying there after 1789. Source:Fleming, 1971 Immigrant John & ElizabethCowan; son John R1b1a2 37
77219 Christopher Cowan ; Rowan/Iredell Co, NC R1b1a2 37
112002 Joseph Skiles Cowan R1b1a2 37
57011 Joseph Skiles Cowan (1777-1846) R1b1a2 25
18577 Joseph Skiles Cowan (1777; 1846) R1b1a2 67
180975 R1b1a2 37
35621 R1b1a2 37
131374 R1b1a2 37
124205 R1b1a2 37
102548 R1b1a2 37
212331 John J Cowan b. 1813 TN d. 1865 69
Pequea Creek Outlier A. All but one kit in this group show an exact 12/12 marker match (0% dissimiliarity) with each other, and modest 11/12 matches with the core Pequea Creek Group, and with PCO B. One kit, testing at 111 markers, shows slight similarity to this group (matching 11/12). Despite having tested for 111 markers, this kit shows only weak matches with the Pequea Creek group, and with the Isle of Mann Group.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
139392 R1b1a2 12
162433 R1b1a2 12
83808 R1b1a2 12
99544 R1b1a2 12
83266 R1b1a2 12
90218 R1b1a2 12
104544 R1b1a2 12
52021 William Riley McCowan, b. 1828, Wayne Co., KY R1b1a2a1a1b4g 111
Members of Pequea Creek Outlier Group B show modest matches for each other, and for PCO A and C.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
29705 Francis McCown b abt 1710 Ireland d 1761 Virginia R1b1a2a1a1b4 111
93399 William Alfred Edwards, 1882 ; 1955 R1b1a2 67
Isle of Mann. This group shows weak internal affinities (typically 23/25, 8.3% dissimilarity), and an equally weak affinity to Pequea Creek Outlier A. The family history information provided for members of this group is limited. One of the five kits (37 markers) gives its origin as on the Isle of Mann, c. 1350. Whether other members of this group have any relationship to the Isle of Mann is unknown. Given the fact that three of the four kits tested at 25 markers, and the relatively weak interrelationships, it would not be surprizing to find the relationships between these four individuals break down with further testing.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
89718 R1b1a2 12
132282 R1b1a2 25
2640 Cowin ; Isle of Mann 1300's R1b1a2 37
46345 R1b1a2 25
25655 Wm M. Cowin b (1820; 30) TN?MO m JennetteWoolsey R1b1a2 25
Pequea Creek Outliers. Members of this group tend to show modest affinities toward each other, and slight affinity toward other members of the Pequea Creek Super Group.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
41836 Richard Fancher, b.1700 R1b1a2a1a1b4 67
83960 Scotland R1b1a2 12
86584 Alexander Cowan b 1769 East Lothian, Scotland R1b1a2 12
89545 R1b1a2 12
7388 Edward Coyan, Cowan, Coyn bc1755 Ulster R1b1a2 25
190429 R1b1a2 67
133632 Robert Cowan b. 1744 d. 1826 R1b1a2 67
181408 Margaret Eileen Young CowanAugust 4, 1920; 2001 R1b1a2a1a1b4 37
180079 Allen R1b1a2a1a1b4 67
44773 John Cowan b. c. 1811 IRE, d. 1879 SOUTH AUSTRALIA R1b1a2a1a1b4 67
164964 R1b1a2 37

Scotland Now

The only thing known about the members of this group is their original designation "Scotland Now". Presumably the owners of these two kits currently live in Scotland. At 12 markers they show no particular affinity for any other group.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
86700 R1b1a2 12
89540 R1b1a2 12

Cowans Gap

Waiting revision

The Cowan's Gap Cowans group is characterized by kits traceing their descent to one of the early Cowan Settlers in Bedford/Fulton County who located near Cowan's Gap shortly before the end of the Revolution, OR to descendants of Hugh Cowan who settled on the Octoraro Creek in Chester/Lancaster County about 1720. The Cowans of Cowan's Gap may be descendants of Hugh. Both groups share the same I1 haplogroup and a similar overall YDNA signature. See discussion at Octoraro Creek Cowans. Fleming, 1971, placed Hugh Cowan of Octoararo Creek within his "Four Brothers" group. The other three "brothers" lived nearby on Pequea Creek. We now know that Hugh of Octoraro was unrelated to the "Pequea Creek Cowans", but is closely related to the Cowan's Gap Cowans.
Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
170459 Beaton/Cowan I1 67
140726 John Cowan, 1831; 1902, Fulton County, PA I1 111
111074 Cowan's from Cowan's Gap, PA I1 37
117266 presumed descendant of Hugh Cowan of Octoraro Creek Joseph Cowan b 1827 I1 25
131187 I1 37

Knoxville Merchants

YDNA. Knoxville Merchant Cowan Group Samuel and Nathaniel Cowan settled in Knoxville TN, before 1793. They were among the towns earliest settlers, and established a store on what is now Gay Street. There are numerous records for them in the area, showing their role as merchants. James Cowan also settled here, and is thought by researchers to be the brother of the better known Samuel and Nathaniel. Based on YDNA results there are several lines of descent with comparable YDNA. Most of these lines seem to point to a South Carolina locale. The designation "Knoxville Merchants Cowan Group", is arbitrary, and does not mean that others belonging to this group are descended from Samuel, Nathaniel or James, or that those lines even passed through Knoxville. There are records that show that Samuel and Nathaniel Cowan had numerous business dealings in Blount County. There are specific records showing that they had dealings with various Cowan's from that area. This is sometimes taken to imply a family connection. However, YDNA for descendants of the Blount County Cowans shows that they are in the Seven Cowan Brothers Group, and do not show a common Cowan Ancestor with the Knoxville Cowans.

YDNA analysis shows that members of this group are very closely related, typically differening no more than

Kit Note Lineage Data Haplogroup N-markers
156315 R1a1a 37
9142Homman Website John Cowan was born Abt. 1720 in North Carolina, died 1775 in NC. Married Margaret Unknown. John Cowan b. abt 1720 d. 1775 NC , will 12 April 1775, Children:Hannah, John (b. Abt. 1750, d. Abt. 1783), William( b. Abt. 1755, d. 1785) .

Mary b. 18/Mar/1768, Anson/Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, d. 07/Feb/1832, Lincoln County, Tennessee].

R1a1a 67
26986 Rootsweb COWAN, John (ca 1720 to 1786) m. SHIELDS, Mary. John COWAN believed to own land in Hunterdon Co. on Spruce Run....[Purchased] a 311 acre tract in Berkeley Co. VA (now Jefferson Co WV) in Nov. 1774] John Cowan; 1735 Hunterdon Co, New Jersey R1a1a 67
97821 David Cowan b 1755 in Virginia, United States, m. 1786 Ceclia Jenny Garrison in Laurens, Laurens, South Carolina, United States; Father of James Cowan, Mary Magdaline Polly Cowan, Francis Cowan, Celia Cowan, Rebecca Adeline Cowan, Anne Anna Cowan and David Cowan Jr; Died November 1826 in Laurens, Laurens, South Carolina, United States (GenWiki)] David Cowan 1755; 1826, Co. Antrim, No. Ireland R1a1a 67
7758 David Cowan; Born abt 1755 VA>SC. R1a1a 67
9970 David & Celia Garrison Cowan ; Laurens County, SC R1a1a 37
7989 Elijah Cowan ca 1800 NC>GA>LA R1a1a 67
18756 John Cowen, d. 1837 Chester Co. SC R1a1a 37
17581 John Cowen, d. 1837 Chester Co. SC R1a1a 25
7379 Person:James Cowan (35) James Cowan m Margaret C. Russell; Knoxville, TN R1a1a 37
105964 James Cowan/Margaret Moore, St. Clair, AL, SC>AL R1a1a 37
72500 R1a1a 67


Cowan YDNA results, as presented on FTDNA, have been analyzed using the yALL program. The data were extracted 4 October 2011. The following identifies and characterizes the genealogically independent groups based on this analysis. See Footnote below for technical background.[1]

Some of the kits did not compare favorably with any other kits currently available. These kits are labeled "No match".

Two very large, "super groups" have been identified, "The Seven Brothers", and the "Pequea Creek". Both groups include "outliers" that match some, but not all (or even most) of the other members. Typically, outliers are placed within a supergroup because they match more closely with members of that group, than any other, but also exceed the acceptance critieria. Additional work is needed within these supergroups to sort out their internal relationships.

Please note that the assigned group names are somewhat arbitary, and are often based on where ancestors associated with specific kits were living. Some members of the group may have no obvious ties to the group name, but are placed within the group simply because of YDNA similarity.

The "Lineage" sections provides such information as was made available by the test subject. Additional information has been provided where available in the "notes" section. Lineage data are provided "for consideration", and the interested user should not presume that they are necessarily correct.

Technical Information describing the run is identified below.:

Data Extraction Date:October 4, 2011
Run Date:October 6, 2011, 19:38:3
Run Name:Cowan ReGrouping