David Cowan (?-1811)

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David settled on Boyds Creek in Sevier County, TN sometime after the end of the Revolution. His wife is sometimes identified as Jane Wright. He is frequently identified with the David Cowan who constructed Cowan's Fort in Castles Woods, modern Scott County, VA, in the early 1770's; That David Cowan did leave the Castle's Woods area about the same time that this David Cowan settled in Boyd's Creek. Other Cowan family members who lived in the Castle's Woods area, and are presumed to be kin to David, settled about this same time in Blount County, TN (adjacent to Sevier County) including William Cowan (1750-1809)‎ and wife Jane Walker (1755-1806), John Cowan (XXXXX), the son of Samuel Cowan (?-c1776) and Ann Walker (?-?), and Ann Walker's brother, John Walker IV (c1740-c1817) aka "Indian Killer"). This lends credance to the idea that David of Castle's Woods is the same person as the David who settled on Boyd's Creek, but direct evidence to support this is lacking.

Also supporting this idea is YDNA evidence, which indicates that the YDNA of David's male line descendants is a close match to those of William Cowan. However, the YDNA of David's descendants is an even better match for other family lines, such as that for Samuel Cowan (?-?) and Sarah Keith (?-?). It appears that these and other lines are in fact all closely related to the Cowan's of Castles' Woods, but the exact relationship is not known. In any case does not prove that David of Boyds Creek is the same as David of Castles Woods.


DOB: c1740 based on DOB of eldest child
DOD: 1811 Based on probate date of will
POD: Sevier Co, TN Based on where will was filed.



Eleanor COWAN b: 1761
John COWAN b: 1762
Andrew COWAN b: 1768
William COWAN b: 1769
Samuel COWAN b: 1773
David COWAN b: 1775
James COWAN b: 1778
Sarah COWAN b: 27 FEB 1778 in Sevier County, Tennessee
Alexander COWAN b: 1780
Hugh COWAN b: 1782

Family historyEdit

David Cowan (?-1811)/NotesEdit


Will of David Cowan [supplied by Pollyanna Creekmore]

In the name of God, Amen!

I, David Cowan, of Sevier County - State of Tennessee, being of sound and perfect mind and many thanks be to God for the same, but knowing the

frailty of man and that it is ordained for all to die, do make, Constitute, ordain this my last will and testament, thereby revoking all

other wills, bequests, or legacies by me in any manner made.

First I recommend my soul to Almighty God, hoping through merits of Jesus Christ to have forgiveness for all my sins and I resign my body to

the dust of the earth from whence it came to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors hereinafter named. As touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to help me it is my will and desire to dispose of the same in the following manner:

Improviso -- It is my will and desire that my just debts and burial expenses should be speedily and punctually paid by my Executors.

[Item] To my son, Andrew Cowan, I give and bequeath the tract of land whereon he now lives.

[Item] To my sons, William and Samuel Cowan, I give and bequeath all that part of my tract of land on which I now live which lies southeast of Boyd's Creek to be equally divided between the said William Cowan and Samuel.

[Item] To my sons David Cowan and Alexander Cowan and James Cowan I give and bequeath a tract of land which I claim in consequence of military services done by my son John Cowan, deceased; which land it is my will and desire should be equally divided among my three sons aforesaid.

[Item] To my son, Hugh Cowan, I give and bequeath the plantation whereon I now live with all the appurtenances except that part mentioned which I have bequeathed to my sons William and Samuel Cowan.

[Item] To my daughter Eleanor McClung, I give and bequeath one cow and calf.

[Item] To Jane McClung, daughtor of William McClung and my daughter Eleanor McClung, I give and bequeath one heifer. To my son William Cowan, I give and bequeath one colt.

[Item] To my daughter, Sallie [Sarah] Chitwood, wife of Pleasant Chitwood, I give and bequeath one looking glass.

To my son, Hugh Cowan, aforesaid, I give and bequeath one horse in addition to the legacy above mentioned.

To my daughter, Eleanor McClung, I give and bequeath all

the household furniture which she has in her possession in addition to her legacy above mentioned.

It is my will and desire that the residue of my estate both real and personal should be sold at the discretion of my Executors and the money from the sale of such estate to be equally divided among my children and in case of the death of any of the legatees mentioned in this will and testament before the same goes into effect then the legacy of of the deceased, this is my will and desire, should descend to the nearest heir of the deceased, or the descendants.

Lastly, I appoint, constitute and ordain my son Hugh Cowan and James Henderson of the State and County aforesaid, Executors of this my last will and testament. In witness of all and every part whereof I have hereunto set my hand, affixed my seal, this the fourth day of February in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundren and eleven and of American Independence the thirty fifth.

Signed DAVID COWAN [his mark] seal

Signed, sealed, published and delivered in the presence of us, who in presence of each other have hereunto set our names.

Signed: John Houk John B. Swan Abel Howe

I, Samuel Wear, Clerk of thie Court of Pleas in a quarterly session of Sevier County do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the

original will as found in Court of Pleas in the office of Sevier.

Attest Samuel Wear, Clerk of CPC



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