James Walker Cowan (1798-1870)

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Genealogical KeynotesEdit

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  • Born: 09 April 1798 in TN
  • Married: c. 1823
  • Died: 22 July 1870 in Benton Co., AR
  • Burial: Goad Springs Cemetery, Lowell, Benton Co., AR


James Walker Cowan is the son of William COWAN‎ and Jane Walker.


Catherine COLVILLE b: 10 November 1799 in TN d: 07 July 1872 in Benton Co., AR (daughter of Joseph COLVILLE and Sarah LUSK; sister to Elizabeth COLVILLE, wife of Robert COWAN)

Child ListEdit

  1. Nancy Jane COWAN b: Abt. 1824
  2. William A[ndrewville]? COWAN b: 23 May 1826 d: 06 Aug 1862
    m. Martha Ann HUBBARD b: 1831 d: 1866 in AR
  3. Margaret Ann COWAN b: 14 Apr 1828 d: 27 Jan 1899 in Benton Co., AR
  4. Elizabeth Houston COWAN b: Abt. 1830 in TN d: Bef. 1872 in Pea Ridge, AR
    m. John Wesley STROUD b: 07 Feb 1828 in McMinnville, TN d: 30 Apr 1906 in Benton Co., AR
  5. Ellen Catherine COWAN b: Abt. 1834
    m. John S______ WILMOTH / WILMOUTH
  6. Sarah E______ COWAN b: 12 Feb 1832 d: 12 Jan 1904 in Benton Co., AR
    m. James ______ "Jimmie" JOHNSTON
  7. Cynthia Adeline COWAN b: 22 Sep 1836 in Edmonds, WA d: 11 Jul 1923 in Seattle, King Co., WA
    m. Pleasant Calhoun WINNINGHAM b: 17 Aug 1833 in Greene Co., AR d: 16 Feb 1884 in Ft. Smith, AR
  8. Hetty Louisa COWAN b: 27 Dec 1839 d: 22 Mar 1876 in Benton Co., AR
    m#1. Robert M______ HENDERSON
    m#2. William F_______ CREAGER b: Abt. 1841
  9. Martha M______ COWAN b: Abt. 1841

Family HistoryEdit

  • Ingham, Waterhouse and Allied Families (Supplement to), p. 76:
    Robert and James W. Cowan were sons of William (1750-1809) and Jane Walker of Washington Co., VA. who came to Blount Co., TN with Joseph III and George Colville. Robert married Elizabeth and James W. married Catherine, daughters of Joseph Colville III , and lived in Warren and McMinn Cos., TN until around 1830 when they came to Benton Co., AR with Joseph Colville V, to take up land and settled near Lowell. Many of their families are buried at Goad Spring Cemetery. In 1837 Robert Cowan served as a commissioner to select the county seat of Benton Co. His six oldest children were born in Warren Co., TN. Daughter, Martha Ann, married Chris C. Nail from Roane Co., TN. Son John Gillespie, born in McMinn Co., TN. was a farmer and a carpenter. Son, Marvel V., the last born in TN, was a blacksmith in Big Springs township, and son Walker went to Barry Co., MO.
  • Robert and James Cowan settled about eight miles south of Bentonville. A brother-in-law of the Cowans, by the name of Colville, settled in the same locality. Colville Township derives its name from the latter. Colville went to California in 1850, and on one occasion he left the camp by himself and comrades and went out prospecting, and was never afterward heard from. Robert Hubbard, the first representative of Benton County in the State Legislature, settled near the Cowans, and Benjamin and Jefferson Hubbard settled lower down on the Osage. (Chuck Gibson posting)

Alternative InterpretationEdit


  • 1820 census, AL STATE census, Dallas Co enumerates the following COWAN families.
    COWAN, James   M 1(21+) 3(-21)   F 1(21+) 4(-21)   Total White = 9   Total Slaves = 1   Total Inhabitants = 10
    Also in Dallas Co. are his brothers, Robert, John, and David.
    • This James is likely not James Walker Cowan as the family information does not match that of his children.
    • This may be the James that is in the 1830 McMinn Co. census.
    • however, in the 1830 McMinn Co. census, the information on James Cowan Sr. also does not match that of James Walker Cowan's family ... but he is in the same age bracket as Rosanna, possibly suggesting that James Sr and John [Alexander] Cowan were siblings.
    • Regardless, the information is presented here in hopes that someone has an idea of who the 1820 Dallas Co., AL James Cowan is and also that of the 1830 James Cowan Sr. and Jr. in McMinn Co., TN.
  • 1830 census, TN, Warren Co.
    COWAN, James   M 1(under 5) 1(30-40)   F 2(under 5) 1(5-10) 1(20-30)   Total = 6
  • 1840 census, AR, Benton Co., p. 17
    COWAN, James   M 1(10-15)1(20-30)1(30-40)   F 2(under 5) 2(5-10) 2(10-15) 1(15-20)1(30-40)   Total = 11
  • 1850 census, AR, Benton Co., Osage, M432_25, 11/12/1850, p. 14; l. 3-13
    Res Family Last Name First Name Age Sex Occupation Value Born
    410 410 COWAN James W 52 M Farmer 1000 TN
    Catherine 51 F TN
    Nancy J 26 F TN
    William A 24 M TN
    Peggy A 22 F TN
    Elizabeth H 20 F TN
    Sally E 18 F AR
    Ellen E 16 F AR
    Samantha A 14 F AR
    H Louisa 12 F AR
    Martha M 10 F AR
  • 1860 census, AR, Benton Co., Colville Township, Apple Orchard, M653_14, 08/16/1860, p. 186; l. 30-37
    Res Family Last Name First Name Age Sex Occupation Value Value Born
    1207 1201 COWAN James 62 M Farmer 1000 1000 VA
    Catharine 60 F TN
    Peggy 32 F TN
    Hetty 21 F AR
    1208 1202 COWAN William 34 M Farmer 1000 500 TN
    Martha 28 F AR
    James 08 M AR
    Elizabeth 02 F AR
    1210 1204 COWAN Samuel 43 M Farmer TN
    Sarah 37 F TN
    Andrew 10 M AR
    James 09 M AR
    Martha 06 F AR
    Thomas 04 M AR
    Robert 01 M AR
    HUBBARD Susan 18 F Domestic AR
  • 1870 census, AR, Benton Co., Osage Township, Bentonville, M593_47, 07/25/1870, p., l. 10-20
    Res Family Last Name First Name Age Sex Race Occupation Value Value Born
    599 595 COWAN James 72 M W Farmer 2000 500 TN
    Catharine 71 F W Keeping House TN
    Peggy 49 F W At Home TN
    Henry 09 M W AR
    WILMOTH Catharine 36 F W Keeping House AR
    Ida 11 F W AR
    Martha 09 F W AR
    James 07 M W AR
    HENDERSON Hetty 39 F W AR
    John 09 F W AR
    Robert 07 M W AR


    Two Tennessee DAR books list William Cowan's children:

    • Bates, Lucy Womack, TN Society NSDAR, Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in TN, 1974 (revised 1979 by Helen Crawford Marsh), p. 42 … lists children: “Andrew b 5/2/1780 m Hetty Houston; Samuel b. 7/23/1799 m. Ester Jane Houston; Eleanor b. 1774 m. James Gillespie; John Alexander; James; Robert; David. Ref: DAR #435539 [Barbara Gillespie]”
    • Hudson, Mary Kay Parrish, TN Society DAR, Register of Qualified Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Tennessee, p. 24 … lists children: Andrew, Samuel, Eleanor Gillespie, John Alexander, James, Robert, David.

    • Fleming, John Kerr; Cowans of County Down, Derreth Publishing Co., Raleigh, NC; p. 371-376. (DAR Library)

    Research NeedsEdit

    Please help other researchers by posting your tombstone photos at

    If you are a COWAN male, the Cowan DNA Project needs you to help establish links between the various Cowan branches. Click the link and sign up!

    Page NeedsEdit


    If you are a COWAN male, the Cowan DNA Project needs you to help establish links between the various Cowan branches. Click the link and sign up!



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