Robert Cowan (1784-1870) and Elizabeth Colville (1793-1865)

Robert Cowan and Elizabeth Colville are my 4X Great Grandparents.

Robert Cowan was born June 22, 1784 in Washington County, Virginia. He was the son of William Cowan, who served in the American Revolution, and Jane Walker.

Elizabeth Colville was born April 15, 1793 in Tennessee. She is the daughter of Joseph Colville and Sarah Lusk.

It is said that Robert and his brother James went to Tennessee with Joseph Colville. Both Cowan brothers married daughters of Joseph Colville. Robert married Elizabeth Colville in about 1808.

The book “A History of Tennessee and Tennesseeans: The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry, and Modern Activities” mentions that in 1809 the town of McMinnville, Tennessee chose land of Joseph Colville (my 5X Great Grandfather, father of Elizabeth Colville), John A. Wilson, and Robert Cowan for the building of a permanent courthouse.

On the 1820 US Census, Robert Cowan was head of a household in Franklin, Tennessee. There were 12 in the household: 3 males under age 10 (Larkin was 4, and the other two are unknown); 1 male aged 26-44 (Robert was 36); 2 females under age 10 (Louisa was 7 and the other two are unknown); 2 females aged 10-15 (unknown); 1 female aged 26-44 (Elizabeth was 27); 1 male slave under age 14; 2 female slaves under age 14.

On the 1830 US Census, Robert Cowan was head of a household in McMinn, Tennessee. There were 10 in the household: 2 males under age 5 (Marvel was 1 and John was 3); 1 male aged 10-14 (Larken was 14); 1 male aged 20-29 (unknown); 1 male aged 40-49 (Robert was 46); 2 females aged 5-9 (Martha was 5 and Nancy was 7); 1 female aged 10-14 (Jane was 10); 1 female aged 15-19 (Louisa was 17); 1 female aged 40-49 (Elizabeth was 37).

Members of the Cowan, Hubbard and Colville families, including three Cowan brothers – Robert, Samuel and James – came by wagon train from McMinn County, Tennessee to Benton County, Arkansas.

Robert Cowan appears on the 1836 tax list for Washington County, Arkansas.

On December 31, 1836 Robert Cowan was made Postmaster of Hubbards, Benton County, Arkansas. His brother James Cowan took over the position in May of 1844.

On the 1840 US Census, Robert Cowan was head of a household in Bailey, Benton County, Arkansas. There were 11 in the household: 1 male aged 5-9 (Walker was 7); 2 males aged 10-14 (Marvel was 11 and John was 13); 1 male aged 20-29 (Larkin was 24); 1 male aged 40-49 (Robert was 56); 1 female under age 5 (perhaps the Mary I’ve seen listed as their daughter, born in 1835); 2 females aged 15-19 (Martha was 15 and Nancy was 17); 1 female aged 20-29 (Jane was 20); 1 female aged 30-39 (Louisa was 27); 1 female aged 40-49 (Elizabeth was 47).

US General Land Office records show that Robert Cowan purchased 40 acres in Benton County, Arkansas on August 1, 1844.

On the 1850 US Census, Robert, a farmer, was 66 and Elizabeth was 57. They lived in Osage, Benton County, Arkansas. Four children were at home: John, age 22, a carpenter; Louisa, age 37; Marvel, age 20; Walker, age 17.

On the 1860 US Census, Robert was 76 and still farming. Elizabeth was 67. Living with them was 17-year-old Larkin Creager, their grandson. They lived in Colville Township, Benton County, Arkansas.

US General Land Office records show that Robert Cowan purchased an0ther 40 acres in Benton County, Arkansas on October 1, 1860.

Elizabeth died December 26, 1865 in Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Robert died in September of 1870 (according to the Federal Census Mortality Schedule) in Lowell, Benton County, Arkansas. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

The known children of Robert Cowan and Elizabeth Colville:

Louisa Cowan – Louisa was born September 17, 1813 in Tennessee.  She is found at age 37 living with her parents on the 1850 US Census.

Larkin Farrell Cowan – Larkin was born January 31, 1816 in Tennessee.  He married Martha Evelyn Stroud in about 1823 in Warren County, Tennessee. On the 1850 US Census, Larkin was 34,  and Martha was 27. They had 2 sons and Larkin was a farmer. He died in 1856 in Benton County, Arkansas. On the 1860 US Census, widowed Martha lived with 4 children and farmed next to her in-laws.

Jane Lusk Cowan – Jane was born May 4, 1820. She married George Lewis Creager on November 21, 1815 in Arkansas, and they had 4 children. He died in about 1855. She married Elisha Johnson, a widower with 6 kids, in 1858. They had a son. Jane died in 1893 in Benton County, Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Nancy Laura Catherine Cowan – Nancy was born July 14, 1823 in Tennessee. She married George McGarrah in about 1824. They had 6 children. It’s not known when she died, but her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Martha Ann Cowan – Martha was born 24 April 24, 1825 in Warren County, Tennessee.
She married Christopher Columbus Nail in about 1849. They had 5 children. She died January 2, 1900 in Benton County, Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

John Gillespie Cowan – John was my 3X Great Grandfather. Read about him here.

Marvel Valero Cowan – Marvel was born November 30, 1829 in Tennessee. He married Margaret Peaks. They had 3 children. He was a blacksmith. He served as a Private in Company H of Gordon’s Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry. He married Mary McCall, and they had 5 children.

Walker S. Cowan – Walker was born March 16, 1833 in Benton County, Arkansas.  He married Nancy Jane Wilmoth and they had at least 2 children. He served in Confederate Army, Company A, 15th Northwest Arkansas Infantry.

Mary Elizabeth Cowan – Mary was born March 31, 1835 in Benton County, Arkansas. I have no record of her, but many genealogists list her and there’s a space for her on the 1840 census as a female under age 5.

 

John Gillespie Cowan (1827-1915) & Elvira Hubbard Cowan (1829-1919)

John Gillespie Cowan was born August 29, 1827 in Tennessee. His parents are Robert Cowan and Elizabeth Colville. You can see Robert’s Find A Grave memorial here and Elizabeth’s here.

Elvira Hubbard Cowan was born July 21, 1829 in Tennessee. Her parents are Robert Hubbard and Elizabeth Whitlock.

On 1860 US Census, John & Elvira farmed in Osage, Arkansas. Isabel was 8, Emily was 6, Thomas was 4 and Robert was 1.

On the 1870 US Census, John 42 and Elviry was 41, and they were still farming in Osage, Arkansas. Isabel was 18, Emily was 16, Thomas was 14, Robert was 11, Elizabeth was 8, Martha was 4, William was 7 months old. Also in the house is Elvira’s sister Manerva Hubbard, age 24, housekeeper.

On the 1880 US Census, John is 52, Elvira is 50, Elizabeth E is 18, Martha A is 13 and William is 10. A laborer named Quinton Drewery, age 18, is also in the house.

On the 1900 US Census, John is 73 and Elvira is 71. Granddaughter Maude Hicks, age 9, lives with them. They are farming in Washington, Arkansas.

On the 1910 US Census, they are still in Washington, Arkansas. John is 82 and farming. Elvira is 81. Living with them is son Thomas B, age 54, a carpenter.

John died January 6, 1915 in Bent, Arkansas. His Find A Grave memorial is here. Elvira died July 11, 1918. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Their children:

Isabell Cowan – Bell was born April 2, 1852 in Arkansas. She married Alfred Deal Baggett, a farmer, in Benton County, Arkansas on November 28, 1878. She died October 31, 1879 giving birth to twins who also died. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Emma Josephine Cowan – Emma was born 1854 in Benton County, Arkansas. She married Dr. Dodson Christian, M.D. in 1872 and they had 4 children, two of which died in infancy, and one which was adopted. She died in June 1899 in Washington County, Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Thomas B. Cowan – Read more about my great great grandfather here.

Robert Cowan –  Robert was born in May 1859 in Arkansas according to the 1900 US Census. He married Nannie A. Sharp on May 10, 1893 in Benton County, Arkansas. They had 4 children. By the 1910 US Census, Nannie is a widow, and she died in August 1944. I haven’t found a death record for Robert and I can’t find either of them on Find A Grave.

I’m confused about something. There’s a “sister” named Sallie Cowan living with Robert and Nannie in 1900, and living with widowed Nannie in 1910 noted as “sister-in-law.” I have identified the 7 children John and Elvira Cowan say they have on the 1900 census, and there is no Sallie. I found that Sallie married Haislip Alonzo McGaugh on November 3, 1921. (To further confuse the situation, he was previously married to Sallie Sharp, who I think is Nannie A Sharp’s sister. Sallie Sharp died April 27, 1921 and he made fast work of finding himself another Sallie, who had been living with his sister-in-law!) Sallie Lou Cowan McGaugh died December 21, 1943 in Benton County, Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. Haislip Alonzo McGaugh and both of his Sallie’s are buried in Barron Cemetery in Bentonville, Arkansas. But how is Sallie Lou Cowan related to Robert Cowan?

Also interesting to note, there’s a Nannie A. Cowan buried in Washington County, Arkansas who was born the same year as Robert’s wife Nannie, and died the same year as Robert’s Nannie. But she is buried with Richard G. Cowan, I found their marriage record, and I find them together on the census.

Elizabeth Elvira Cowan – Elizabeth was born October 24, 1861 in Arkansas. She married James Monroe Hicks on December 23, 1886 in Benton County, Arkansas. They had 2 children, but one died as a toddler. Elizabeth died on January 5, 1896. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. On the 1900 US Census their daughter Maude Hicks, age 9, is living with Elizabeth’s parents.

Martha Anna Cowan – Anna was born 1867 in Benton County, Arkansas. She married Robert Bennett Reed on December 22, 1887 in Washington County, Arkansas. They had 4 children. Robert was a farmer and then became a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service and then was a farmer again, in Benton County, Arkansas. He died in 1922. She died October 31, 1956. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

William Hayden Cowan – William was born December 13, 1869 in Arkansas. He married Eva Jane Vaughn on August 3, 1893 in Washington County, Arkansas. They had 3 children. Eva died in 1913. William married Lizzie Martin by 1920 and had two stepchildren. He was a mail carrier in Lowell, Arkansas. His Find A Grave memorial is here.