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Archiver > COWAN > 1998-04 > 0893473641

From: John Giacoletti <>
Subject: Early Ulster Cowans & Colquhouns
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 23:07:21 -0400

The following list will push back to 1642 the account of Cowans in Ulster
and shows them to be a part of the Scottish troops raised to fight against
the rebellion of the largely Catholic Irish Gaels who had been displaced by
the Scottish and English settlements of the Plantation period. The Scottish
forces numbered 10,000 men.

The material appears in an easily read typescript of an original manuscript
held in the Record Office, Chancery Lane, London. The English title is
"English and Scottish Forces in the North of Ireland 1642." The manuscript
was transcribed by Rev. David Stewart, B.A., Belfast in 1913 and 1914. Only
a part of the original manuscript is transcribed.

I believe that the "John Cowan" listed on page 65 is the same John Cowan
singled out as a leading Presbyterian in the 1653 Declaration of
Carrickfergus, and that he is the most probable source of the Cowans in
County Down.

p. 48 John Cowne
p. 64 William Cowine Cumber/Down July 29, 1642
p. 65 John Cowan " "
p. 76 John M'Cowne
p.101 William Cowen
p.121 William Cowen
p.138 John Cowen Belfast/Antrim April 26, 1642
p.138 Wm Cowen " "
p.146 Walter Cowen
p.165 Adam Colhowne
p.167 Patrick Colquhone
p.167 Robert Quoloune
p.168 John Cowane Raphoe/Donegal August 20, 1642
p.174 Adam Cowan " August 29, 1642
p.174 David Cowan " "
p.175 Richard Cowan
p. 177 Walter Colhowne
p.177 Walter Colhowne
p.177 Neill McCowan
p.179 John Couen
p.182 Bryan O'Cowan
p.193 John Cowan Newtowne/Donegal August 20, 1642
p.199 Patrick Coloquone Letterkerny/Donegal "
p.199 John Colquone " "
p.201 Patrick Coloquohne
p.209 Arthur M'Cowen
p.214 John Colquhoun
p.214 Umphra Colquhoun
p.217 Robert Cohune
p.232 Tho. Cowhowne

The entry for John Cowan on page 65 is followed by the report of the
muster chief:

The Captain of the Unit was "Hugh Montgomery, Lieut.-Colonell to Hugh
Viscount Montgomery of the Ardes, Colonell, his foot company mustered at
Cumber in the County of Downe the nyne and twentieth day of July 1642." The
unit "is found in strength as followeth officers tenne, soldiers one
hundred, sick three."

The association of Cowan and Colquhouns at Raphoe and in the vicinity of
Raphoe in Donegal is most interesting. The Colquhoun clan chief had a
plantation at Raphoe and this is pretty clear evidence that clansmen were
gathered from the lands of the Colquhoun chief in Scotland and sent to
Ireland to protect and defend his holdings.

In addition, the various spellings of Colquhoun on the list are an
indication of how the Cowan name in some cases was changed from Colquhoun
to Cowan. The entry for Tho. Cowhowne on p. 232 shows this process quite

Now determining which cow or which coon might be yours ... well, aah ...
darts anyone?


Cowan, County Down
McClay, County Tyrone
MacClea, Argyll

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