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Andrew Cowan (1782-1872)/Errors Explained

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Source is in error in the following "facts":

  1. States Andrew Cowan’s vitae as 1782 - 1840 ... Andrew Cowan, son of William Cowan and Jane Walker:
    • Was born: 02 May 1782 in VA
    • Died: 20 October 1872 in Bradley Co., TN ... at the age of 90!
    • Was buried at Flint Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery, next to his wife, Hettie.

  2. Andrew Cowan, son of William Cowan and Jane Walker, did not die in 1840:
    • He was the census enumerator for Blount Co. in 1840 ...
    • He appears in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census in Bradley Co., TN.
      (In 1850, he is listed with wife Hettie and 4 of his children by her.
      In 1860 and 1870, he is enumerated with second wife, Margaret ... see below #4 ... and son William Baker Cowan's family)
    • He wrote a letter (scanned copy/digital photo in Margie Cowan's possession, if anyone is interested) to his sister-in-law in 1857 ... "Dear Sister Roseanna" (his spelling).
      (Andrew's letter addresses Rosanna as "sister", since she was the widow of his brother -- John [Alexander] Cowan ... and, thus, his sister-in-law.)
      It is signed with the same distinct signature that appears on the 1840 Blount Co. census as the census enumerator.

      Notes about John [Alexander] Cowan and Rosanna "Anna / Annie" GILLESPY/GILLESPIE:
      • Rosanna Gillespy/Gillespie was the wife of Andrew's brother, John [Alexander] Cowan.
      • John and Rosanna were married in Blount Co. in 1797.
      • Rosanna and her eldest son, James Gillespie Cowan, were granted Letters of Administration in Dallas Co., AL when John died in 1821;
      • Rosanna returned to TN until at least 1833, when there is a letter from the Mars Hill Presbyterian Church stating that she has removed from the area;
      • Rosanna died in Pleasant Hill, AL in 1857 and is buried at the Pleasant Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church cemetery; etc., etc., etc.
      • The Bible records for John/Rosanna, in possession of Margie Cowan, verify vitae for John and Rosanna’s births, deaths, marriage.

    • Andrew Cowan’s "brief" obit appeared in the Cleveland, TN newspaper in 1872.
    • See Flint Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery for tombstone pictures of:
      Andrew Cowan, Ester F “Hettie” (Houston) Cowan, Nancy Gillespie Cowan,
      as well as grandchildren’s tombstones:
      Joseph Leonidas Cowan, Artie A. (Cowan) Morelock, and Martha Ann Norwood.

    Thus, the above facts prove the error of the source’s statement that he "Died in Blount County September 22, 1840; place of burial not named."
    (Statement definitely does not apply to Andrew Cowan, son of William Cowan and Jane Walker and husband of Ester F. “Hettie” Houston. Statement has to reference the “other” Andrew Cowan who was in TN General Assembly and died in 1840 in Blount Co.)

  3. Fleming's Cowans of County Down does not show a "first" wife and five children by that "first" wife.
    (Arguably, Fleming could have been wrong but, other than this source’s information, there is no other reference found tying these 5 children tied to Andrew Cowan, son of William Cowan and Jane Walker)
    Both Houston's and/or Maxwell's books list only Ester F. “Hettie” Houston as Andrew Cowan’s wife. Both these books are much more contemporary to the events of Andrew’s life than Fleming’s book.

  4. Andrew Cowan did marry at least twice ...
    • 1st:    26 September 1816 in Blount Co., TN by Isaac Anderson, M. G. to Ester F. "Hettie" Houston
    • 2nd:  12 January 1857 in McMinn Co., TN by Jonathan Thomas, J. P. to Miss Margaret Fisher

    Fleming, Houston, and Maxwell did not have the marriage to Margaret Fisher in their books either; however, the marriage license is found in Athens, McMinn Co., TN ... and Andrew is enumerated in the 1860 and 1870 census with wife, Margaret, and either living with or next door to his son, William Baker Cowan.

  5. Andrew Cowan (son of William Cowan and Jane Walker and husband of Ester F. “Hettie” Houston) was in the War of 1812, true.
    His War of 1812 pension application (with his distinct signature) is at the National Archives.
    (If anyone is interested in digital images of the rest of his pension, contact mcowan @ erols.com).

  6. Depending on location of Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church – Blount Co., Loudon Co., etc.?? – and date church formed, it is questionable whether Andrew Cowan (son of William Cowan and Jane Walker and husband of Ester F. “Hettie” Houston) was associated with this church. However, he was definitely a member of the Flint Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Bradley Co., TN

  7. Andrew Cowan (son of William Cowan and Jane Walker and husband of Ester F. “Hettie” Houston) did reside in Blount County
    but
    in question is the source’s statement that he "later [resided] in Loudon County."
    • Loudon Co. was NOT created until 1870 from portions of Roane, Monroe, and Blount counties.
    • By 1870, Andrew Cowan is clearly residing in Bradley Co., TN ... as proven by the 1850-1870 census!


  8. It is true Andrew Cowan (son of William Cowan and Jane Walker and husband of Ester F. “Hettie” Houston) moved south, but it is questionable that he resided in Monroe Co. since he is found in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census in Bradley Co. However, while it is unlikely he lived in Monroe Co., it should be noted that:
    • Blount County (which included Loudon prior to 1870) is north/ northeast of Monroe Co.
    • McMinn County is west of Monroe Co.
    • Bradley County (which was created out of McMinn Co.) is west and south of Monroe Co.


CONCLUSION

  1. It is highly likely the source’s information "merged" two Andrew Cowans into one biographical entry. Both Andrew Cowans presumably lived in Blount Co.
  2. One Andrew Cowan may well have died in 1840 and been the father of the five children listed,
    but ,
    the Andrew Cowan that married Ester F. "Hettie" Houston clearly died in 1872 in Bradley Co., TN
  3. As descendants of Andrew Cowan (m. Hettie Houston) have not referenced him being in the TN Gen. Assembly, this fact likely a to the “other” Andrew Cowan ... the "other" Andrew Cowan that allegedly died 1840?

Thus, there are several erroneous "facts" in this source’s biographical information on Andrew Cowan.
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