Genealogical KeynotesEdit

The content of this page contributed by: Margie Cowan


  • Born: 27 April 1802 in TN
  • Married:
  1. 27 October 1835 in Lowndes Co., AL to Mary MOOR
  2. c. 1848 in _________________ to (Mrs.) Ann M______ CAMPBELL, widow of Frederick Campbell of Wilcox Co., AL
  3. 06 August 1850 in ______________ to Virginia CLOPTON


James Gillespie COWAN was the son of John [ Alexander] COWAN and Rosanna "Anna / Annie" GILLESPY/GILLESPIE


  1. Mary MOOR, daughter of James MOOR and Nancy _________
  2. (Mrs.) Anne M______ CAMPBELL
  3. Virginia CLOPTON, daughter of James B______ CLOPTON and Mary T______ "Polly" REES

Religious AffiliationEdit

Member, Pleasant Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Hill, AL

Child ListEdit

  1. William James COWAN b: 08/30/1836 d: 07/28/1853
  2. Rosanna Jane COWAN b: 09/20/1837 d: after 1880 (non compes mentes)
  3. Mary Ellen COWAN b: 0/10/1839 d: 09/06/1868
    m. George Yates HIGGINS b: c. 1837 d. 10/__/1875
  4. John Newton COWAN b: 01/07/1843 d: 01/06/1900 Lowndes Co., AL
    m.#1 Emma CLOPTON, daughter of Dr. Albert Gallatin Clopton
    m.#2 Laura Blanche KERR, daughter of Elijah Mount KERR, Esq. and Martha Ann CLOPTON

Family HistoryEdit

Alternative InterpretationEdit


  • Cowan family Bible (in possession of Margie Cowan as of 2006)
  • Tombstones at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Hill, Lowndes Co., AL
  • 1850 Census (Lowndes County, AL … Lowndes District, roll M432_8, 11 October 1850, pg 118, #444/444, image 438 online)
Household of James G. Cowan and Virginia CLOPTON
COWAN James G. 47 M Planter 5 000 TN
Virginia 38 F GA
Rosana 74 F VA
William J 14 M AL
Rosana J 13 F AL
Mary Elen 12 F AL
John N 07 M AL
  • 1860 Census (Lowndes County, AL … Northern Division, Hayneville PO, roll M653_14, 1 Sept 1860, pg 541, sheet 17, #131/468, image 60 online)
COWAN J E. [sic] 57 M Planter 42,000 61,974 TN
Virginia 47 F GA
Rosana J 22 F AL
Mary E 20 F AL
John N 17 M AL
Martha F 07 F AL
  • 1870 Census (Lowndes County, AL … Beat No. 4, Benton PO, roll M593_25, 26 August 1870, pg 368, sheet 72 B, img. 350 online), fam# 606/626
COWAN James G. 66 M Farmer 8,000 2,000 TN
Virginia 50 F Keeping House GA
Rosana J 31 F At Home AL Cannot read/write Idiotic
Martha F 17 F At Home AL Cannot read/write


  • Obituaries:
  1. Kelsey, Michael, The Southern Argus: Obituaries, Death Notices, and Implied Deaths June 1869 through June :1874, Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, MD; 1996, p. 157.
    April 19 1872 Issue
    “Died at this residence near Pleasant Hill, the 13th inst., James G. Cowan, one of the oldest citizens of the county.”
  2. Selma Weekly Times, 23 April 1872, page 1, column 7, "City News," Wednesday, April 17.
    Verbatim transcript from the copy at the office of the Selma Times-Journal by F. Wilbur Helmbold
    On Saturday last, 13th inst., at his residence near Pleasant Hill in this, Dallas county, after a short illness, Mr. James G. Cowan, one of the oldest and most respected citizens, departed this life, surrounded by his grief-stricken family and friends. Mr. Cowan started the first ferry at this point before there was even the beginning [sicl of a town here, and at that time made the prediction that there would one day be a city on the bluff on which Selma stands. He was a man of the most sterling traits of character, had a heart overflowing with the milk of human kindness, and no man in distress or affliction ever appealed to him in vain. His charity was boundless and manifested itself in a thousand ways and upon as many objects. His integrity was perfect and his dealings with his fellow men were eminently upright and just. Mr. Cowan was a consistent and most worthy member of the Presbyterian Church and died in full communion with it. He lived universally respected, and his death caused profound sorrow in the community in which he resided for more than a quarter of a century. Peace to his ashes!
  3. Kelsey, Michael, The Southern Argus: Obituaries, Death Notices, and Implied Deaths June 1869 through June 1874, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1996
    p. 60 — Lebanon, TN Friday, January 15, 1847, Vol. 5, No. 35
    Pleasant Hill, AL Died 12-16-1846 “Mary Cowan – age 48 – consort of James G. Cowan and sister of Rev. Wm Moore, Left husband and four children.
  4. Kelsey, Michael, The Southern Argus: Obituaries, Death Notices, and Implied Deaths June 1869 through June 1874, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1996
    p. 95 — Lebanon, TN Friday, October 27, 1849, Vol. 8, No. 18
    Died 9-1849 in Lowndes Co. AL, Ann, consort of Jas. G. Cowan, age 49 [42?] Formerly widow of Federick Campbell of Wilcox Co. Married her present husband in 1848. Left husband and four twice motherless children.

  • Kelsey, Michael and Kelsey Nancy Graff and Parsons, Ginny Guinn, Miscellaneous Alabama Newspaper Abstracts, Vol. I, ISBN 0-7884-0238-2, Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, MD, 1995.
Selma Free Press, Selma, AL, November 14, 1835
“Married, on Thursday evening the 28th ult., by the Rev. Mr. Ware, Mr. James G. Cowan to Miss Mary Moor, both of Cedar Creek in this county.”

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