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Archiver > COWAN > 1999-08 > 0936116338

From: <>
Subject: Re: [COWAN-L] Orphan Cowan family
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 12:18:58 EDT


A nice last name, McCorkle, especially if you are from North Carolina as the
McCorkles were prominent in the early history of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, my alma mater.

Just a guess but and educated guess says that your John Cowan was probably
related to one of the seven brothers in Flemings Cowans from County Down. I
am the 6th great grandson of Samuel Cowan, killed by Indians on the Clinch
River in 1776. He had several brothers most of them ending up in east
Tennessee which is quite close to Buncomb County. What really interests me
is the middle name of your James which happens to be Stewart. I have been
trying to solve the 30 year old mystery as to the origins of the seven
brothers and am convinced the answer lies in Londonderry, with John Cowan the
High Sheriff in 1695 whose father Robert was an elder in the Presbyterian
church in Raphoe, Donegal. John Cowan had several children and not all of
them are accounted for. I believe one to be the father off the seven
brothers but have not proven it yet. John Cowan was married to a Stewart and
his daughter Mary married Alexander Stewart of the Ards, a very wealty man
who founded the town of Newtonards.

The reason I suspect this is that Dr. JB Cowan of Tullahoma, Tenn and Gen.
Nathan Bedford Forrests Chief Surgeon had a family history that says the
family originated in Londonderry, and before that Scotland. I have a copy of
the letter he wrote to a distant relative in 1895 answering a genealogical
question and gives the family tree all the way back to Derry. He does not
however, give the name of Samuel Cowans father which is the person I am
looking for. The fact you have a Stewart as a middle name should not be
disregarded in your search and I think I would concentrate on the seven
brothers line of Cowans. Those would include the children and gran children
of Samuel, James, John, Nathanial, Robert, Matthew, and William which is
quite a task since they all had numerous children.

Robert Cowan

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