COWAN-L ArchivesArchiver > COWAN > 2003-06 > 1056295242
Subject: [COWAN-L] Misc. Ulster Notes
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 11:20:42 EDT
For general information the following from a fellow researcher in Northern
Ireland. Simon is responding to some posts I made last year.
Must tell you how much I enjoyed your accounts of your Irish visit last
summer - splendid stuff! You certainly made the most of your time.
I already had the PRONI reference on the Londonderry papers amonst my long
list of material to search, but would have put a low priority on it. Thanks to
you, I see that Robert Cowan wrote from Bombay to James McCrea in London; I
felt absolutely certain there was a connection. More weeks to spend in that
These McCreas of Derry were connected by marriage to the Laws and Alexanders,
both of which were involved in India - the latter making an enormous fortune,
Lords Caledon. Conected families were the Holmeses, Hunters and Hornbys -
William Hornby being Governor of Bombay. In other words there was an extensive
Derry connection with the E India Company. William Hornby's will in
particular is fascinating in its references to sealed boxes of jewels in his bankers'
vaults! There is material in the Belfast Newsletter on them which I have not
No doubt you have This:
K James passed through Ballendrait on way to Strabane form Montgevlin Castle
on 20 Apr. 1689, after dining under a sycamore tree in the front of the house
of John Keys Esq at Cavanacor, to whom he gave protection, which afterwards
saved this gentleman’s house, when those of all the Prots Around him were
burned. The oak table at which the monarch sat and the china upon which the dinner
was served are preserved as curiosities by Mrs Denny and her sister Mrs
Armstrong, of Ballindrait, who are descendants of the King’s host at Cavanacor. A
labourer at Clonfad preserves the chair in which James sat in Robin Cowan’s house
at St Johnston, where he dined on 19 April.
The Denny and Keys families are also my relations, and almost certainly
Also you will probably have this but I send it in case not:
Will of John Houston of Dundee 1732; sister Elizabeth Gardiner alias Houston;
Alderman John Cowan and his daughter Mary Cowan;
John and Alexander Houston sons to John Houston of Drumnabratty [Raphoe
Mary Bredin alias MclleWain and the other children of James MclleWain;
Children of the late Thos Scott of Carigans [Killea par. Co Don.]
Andrew Donnell son of James Donnell of Pennsylvania;
Joseph Scott of Tobershane [Toberslane in Killea par.]
Jean Thompson dau of Archibald Thompson of Molennan;
Benjamin Davies of Derry, merchant;
William McAdoo, servant of testator.
William Boyd of Monereagh Dissenting Teacher;
Dr Andrew Hamilton.
Execs Alderman John Cowan of Derry and brother-in –law John Marshall;
Overseer Revd Andrew Hamilton DD;
Witnesses John Paul, Robt Paul.
Interesting the mention of Benjamin Davis mentioned in your Robert Cowan
letters from Bombay. The Houstons and McIlwaines married generation after
generation into my Holmeses.
Thomas Gardiner, of this family, also left a considerable fortune, but made I
think in the West Indies sugar trade; he was related to Laws and Alexanders.
You may not have this:
T/1096/1 Will of Wm Wray of Castle- Wray [omitted to note date].
"..to Richard Cowan of Lifford ten guineas to buy a mourning ring…"
"…the said [Damascus] guns and Great Guns for the use of Richard Cowan of
Witnesses Samuel Delap, seal; John King, seal; Robt McElwee, seal.
I believe these Cowans of Lifford to have been connected to those in nearby
Donagheady parish Co Tyrone - two of the main branches of the McCreas were
based in Lifford and Donagheady; these families were prominent in colonial
I also have this:
p.46: 18 Feb 1755, Cowan in a list of St Johnston freeholders.
p. 82, "Richard Cowan, Dublin (uncle to Oliver Miller, Magirr, Strabane).."
p. 110, John Cowan son of Mr Cowan of Lifford, "got 20000 pounds in the Eng
lottery has declared himself a candidate fot the County of Donegall, and has
already begun to entertain…"
Wonder if you have anything on these Millers? they are connected to my
Taylors of Raphoe.
I also have this:
>From Irish Marriages: being an index to the marriages in Walkers Hibernian
Magazine 1771-1812 by Henry Farrar, London, Phillimore and Co, 1897:
Capt Andrew Cowan to Mary Black, d. of John, of Springmount, nr. Dromore,
style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffInteresting as the Blacks and McCreas inter-married; I think this is the same
family as the famous Belfast/Bordeaux Black family of wine merchants.
I also have a feeling these will be your Cowans as Rockbridge County VA seems
to have been full of Donegal families; McClintock, Norris etc are Donegal
names of course. These could be the Moores of Molenan near Derry, my ancestors
who were prominent in the events 1789.
>From Rockbridge Co Marriage Licence Bonds 1776-1801 [ for surnames beginning
with E – for other surnames, change the penult "b" to whatever initial you
Bond dat 13 Aug 1793; John Moore and James Cowan bd; J M to marry Elizabeth
McClintock "dau of Mary Norris which intermarried with James Norris of
So extremely rare for an Ulster family to be able to pinpoint its origin in
Scotland - wonderful for you.
Best wishes and thanks again, Simon