Am I related to Lana Turner on the Cowan side?

My mom died 6 years ago today, and she was a big fan of all things Hollywood. She’d get a kick out of the possibility that she was related to Lana Turner.

I received the following comment on one of my blog posts:

“Hello, I saw your post, and would like to ask you, are you related to “Henry Arthur Cowan”, whom was married to “Julia Ann (Cullum) Cowan, as Julia was my Great Grandmother, she was born march 24, 1885, and died in July 1904, at her age of (19) yrs. old, her death was due to complications with her “RH factor blood type, and her Pregnancy, her baby girl “Mildred Frances Cowan” was born on Feb. 12, 1904, she was 4 months old when her Mother died, they lived in Arkansas. I know we were also related to some people named “Reece”, “Minnie Reece”, (her married name), and she had a son, named Oran Reece, we were also related to some people named Hinson,”

First, I checked my tree. I knew there was a Mildred Cowan, because she was my grandfather’s cousin and I have an amazing (sad, and yet also hilarious) letter she wrote to him. But, unfortunately the commenter wasn’t referring to that Mildred Cowan. My Cowans were definitely in Arkansas (and as it turns out, in the same county) and my great grandmother Cowan’s maiden name was Hinson, so I thought it was possible that we intersected somehow.

Through a quick Google search I learned that Mildred Frances Cowan, born February 12, 1904, the daughter of Julia Ann Cullum Cowan, was the mother of the famous Lana Turner. Her father’s name, however, appears to have been William Arthur Cowan or Willis Arthur Cowan, not Henry Arthur Cowan as the commenter said. Through further Googling I discovered that Mildred Frances Cowan was the only child of both parents, since her father didn’t remarry. Mildred had only one child, Julia Jean Turner, who became known as Lana Turner. It appears that Lana had only one child too, Cheryl Crane, who is still living and has no children.

I found a tree online and followed it back from William/Willis Arthur Cowan to my 5x Great Grandparents William Cowan (1750-1809) and Jane Walker (1755-1806). It seems possible that Lana Turner descends from William and Jane’s son Samuel, while I descend from their son Robert.

Soon, maybe this week even, I will work on pushing my Cowan line back two more generations, documenting back to William Cowan and Jane Walker, and see if it all connects.

5 thoughts on “Am I related to Lana Turner on the Cowan side?

  1. Dear Suzanne Gray;

    I am the woman whom sent you a message on your Blog Post, quite awhile back. at the time I made a “mistake”, in the name of , the man, I was reference to, at the time I asked you for information, concerning the Cowan, and the Reece , families, of whom I “am”, related to. through my “Birth Mother”…at the time I asked you for information, …I mistakenly, said his name was ….”Henry Arthur Cowan”…while actually the man’s name was …..”William Arthur Cowan”…….he was , referd , to, as, “Willis”, by members of my Foster family… foster mother was 2nd , cousin to …”Julia Jean Tuner”,… of whom my foster family did not refer to to as “JUDY”, nor as “Lana”…they referd to her as , simply, “Jean”..

    I, am a (69) yr. old woman, living in Springfield, Mo….(65) miles drive from “Webb City, Mo.”, very close to “Neosho Mo.” and “Nevada Mo.” ..”Webb City, Mo.” is where my “Great grandparents”….”Mary Annette “Nettie” Turner”, and ” Robert Joseph “Joe”, Turner”, … lived for decades, …died there and are both buried there….. they are the , “Paternal”, “Grand Parents”, of “Hollywood Legend”, “Lana Turner”…their son…. “John “Virgil” Madison Turner”, (my Paternal grandfather)…was “Lana’s” , Father….my Foster Mother was 2nd cousin to my Birth mother, “Julia Jean Turner” (Lana Turner)….my foster Grandmother was actually my “Great Aunt,” and “Aunt” to my birth Mother “Lana Turner”.

    I am in process as I write, to obtain “DNA” to back up, my claims, as the secret, biological “secret” Illegitimate, daughter of “, “Julia Jean Turner”.

    , I was born , in..California, ..I was an, “Illegitimate Child”.. of whom was, swept under the rug,
    my birth denied and kept secret by my biological parents, in attempts, to “avoid “Scandal”, , which in the 1940’s would have, quickly, destroyed ,the Hollywood careers”, of both my biological parents

    Since April 2001, have been recovering from “Acute Trauma Induced Amnesia” (ATIA) / PTSD and “Severe Anxiety Disorder” (SAD)… which I had suffered from, and was “suppressed”, in ,with violence”, since my age (3) in 1951.. at hands of various members of my, “Foster Family”… as acts of severe inappropriate vengeance seeking against my Birth Mother “Julia Jean Turner”…AKA…Hollywood Legend “Lana Turner”…

    The foster family hated my birth Mother and they held my birth Mother unduly liable that doors, of Hollywood, failed to open for various foster family members, hopeful careers in the ,”Movie Ind.”….My foster father was a “Child Sex Offender”, with a “Deputy Sheriff Commission” and ,”Organized Crime connected”. which aided my foster parents to obtain me as their foster child, while blackmailing my Mother…”Lana Turner”… with threats of exposing my illegitimate, and destroying her career, if she did not give the various foster family members (Lana’s cousins)
    “Hollywood Movie Contracts”. which was of course unobtainable for my birth Mother to give…..thus the foster family members, they locked in on me, in my toddler yrs. as a focal point of severe inappropriate vengeance seeking against my birth Mother,

    For My entire life, birth Mother was in and out of my life, it was not as tho. I never met or knew, my “Mother “Lana Turner”, or my grand Mother “Mildred Turner” and my half Sister, “Cheryl Crane”…because the opposite is true”…. 1971 after I, nearly died in Childbirth, my Mother, “Lana”, my Grandmother “Mildred” and my half Sister “Cheryl”, came to the Hospital here in Springfield, Mo. to visit me, unfortunately I was suffering from “Amnesia”, and was very confused at all my birth Mother was conveying yo me….it was at that time, she told me she was not married to my father, at tome she became pregnant, with me, and when I was borne, and that she had fallen in love with me, thus she opted for, placing me up for adoption, with intentions of “legally adopting me”, and then raising me before the public as her adopted, child….however, my Mother’s 2nd ,cousin “my foster ” and her Husband” (foster father), learned of my Mother’s intentions, and locked in on me, originally holding me for ransom in form of the Movie contracts….as time passed, I had suffered so much child abuse,, the foster parents, were “Paranoid”, of the potential return of my memory, and the horrific abuse of every type imaginable , they refused to give me up, for fear they would be Prosecuted, if the abuse was discovered.

    Refute me all you wish, with all the false and misinformation, which is printed in the Biographies, , Books, and the TV I, interviews, of my Mother “Lana Turner” and my sister “Cheryl Crane”…..the information, that is recorded, as “Lana” having only,, (1) child is “not true”…. “Cheryl is not telling the truth…for many years she did not believe our Mother even loved her….it is my opinion that Cheryl resented me, as she believed Mother loved me more than she loved Cheryl, because , in 1967, I was told by a member of the family, whom was close to my Mother whom also lived in Los Angeles , ca. , and of whom came to see me, ..that my Mother cried most every day, and drank a lot, because I did not remember her…. Did you know about my Mother’s Suicide attempt in 1951 ?….and why she actually tired to kill herself ?…well I know why she tried to kill herself…

    In her book, “Lana” the Lady, the :Legend the Truth, she, (my Mother :”Lana”) told me there is a hint. in that book…and the hint she said was when she wrote, that , “Cheryl”, was her “only living child”, …”BY”…”Steven Crane”…..she did not say, “Cheryl was her only child”, ..and from there it was reprinted that “Cheryl” is Mother’s only child. …Cheryl has her own reasons for rejecting me, and denying my existence …God only knows why, maybe she wants to be the only child of our Mother, so she can be reassured , constantly, that our Mother did not have another child to give her love to……which is very sad for me, and breaks my heart, as I, remember, and love, my sister, and need her in my life.



    • Sonja, are you getting your DNA test through I did, so if you do too it may find us to be cousins. I know absolutely nothing about the people you mention, beyond what is online. I wish you the best of luck in getting to the bottom of it. You have lived an interesting life, and I am sorry to hear of the unfortunate parts. I wish you abundant peace and happiness.


      • Dear Suzanne;

        Thank you for your reply and your kindness…actually I got my DNA test kit from 23and me…however I intend to get one from as well…..also there is another route I am taking for the DNA testing…I have been discussing the issue with a “Turner,” test subject and a “Porter” test subject…whom are both willing.

        My maternal grandmother “……Mildred Francis (Cowan) Turner was the Great, Maternal Granddaughter, of , “Julia Ann (Porter) Cullum”…Mother of..”Julia Ann (Cullum) Cowan”……Mother of “Mildred Francis (Cowan) Turner….Mother of…”Julia Jean Turner”…Mother of “Cheryl Christine Crane”, and of “,Me”

        I was really taken aback when I saw your photo….you bear very strong, physical strong resemblance to the women in the family, whom are related to my birth Mother ..”Lana Turner”…you are very pretty, as were they….I have noticed your lovely Mother bears a strong likeness to my grandmother “Mildred (Cowan) Turner,”, when my
        “Grand”, was young…

        In 1971, when my Mother (Lana) visited me in the Hosp. she told me that her grandmother, and the grandmother of my foster mother were ..either cousins or half sisters..however my Mother (Lana) seemed to be having difficulty trying to determine exactly which….however she told me one of the women’s name was “Cilia Combs”.

        I hope you and I do turn out to be cousins, I would be honored to have such a nice, lady as you for my cousin,

        May God Bless You and Yours



  2. Greetings! It appears we might be (distant) cousins. My dad I was born in the same town as letter Turner. His name was Lawrence Turner Beale and he had always told me they were first cousins.


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