GOWEN-L ArchivesArchiver > GOWEN > 2002-01 > 1010284638
From: "Arlee Gowen" <>
Subject: [Gowen] Electronic Newsletter, Volume 4, No. 11
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2002 20:37:18 -0600
Gowen Research Foundation
Volume 4No. 11
JONATHAN HENRY GOWEN SUFFERED MANY DEBILITIES
FROM HIS CIVIL WAR SERVICE IN 37TH KENTUCKY
Jonathan Henry Gowen, son of John Going and Margaret Gregory
Going, was born in 1822 in Patrick County, Virginia, according
to the research of Clara Jean Grider, a descendant and a Foun-
dation Member of Cave City, Kentucky. On March 22, 2001, she
wrote that he had brothers, James Going, Lee Going and Isham
Going. Jonathan Henry Gowen did not name Isham Going as a
brother when he gave a deposition to the Pension Bureau.
A kinsman "Frederick Going" was married December 10, 1818, to
Nancy Coomer [Comer?] in adjoining Surry County, North Caroli-
na, according to "Surry County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds,
It is suggested that he was a kinsman of Frederick Gowen be-
cause he appears to be closely associated with him. Melungeon
characteristics are also found among his descendants. Jona-
than Henry Gowen also named one of his children “Frederick.”
Jonathan Henry Gowen was born in 1822 in Patrick County, Vir-
ginia, according to the 1860 census of Adair County, Kentucky.
He was born in 1827, according to the research of Jessie Gowen
On February 6, 1846 "Jonathan Goen" was married to Hannah J.
Beasley, according to "Surry County, North Carolina Marriage
Bonds, 1780-1868." She was also born in Patrick County about
1826, and both of her parents were born in Virginia, according
to the census enumeration. She was born August 15, 1829, ac-
cording to the research of Jessie Gowen Thompson. J. Allen
Berryman was the bondsman for the marriage.
Later that year "James Goen" was married to Elizabeth Beasley,
according to the Surry County volume. Eli Crouk was bondsman.
“James Goen” is regarded as a brother of Jonathan Henry Gowen.
Elizabeth Beasley is possibly a sister to Hannah J. Beasley.
"Morgan Goin" was married April 5, 1862 by J. Gray, J.P. Wil-
liam Gilmer was bondsman.
An interesting court record was found in an old book found at
Patrick County Library and given to the Historical Museum in
1987. On page 17 appeared an entry: “Dec. 1836 [The following
entry was crossed out]:
"Elizabeth Beazly v. Thomas Tatum, Executor of Thomas Beazly,
deceased, Hannah Going, alias Beazly, Thomas Going alias Beaz-
ly, Hardin Going, alias Beazly, Seaton Chandler and Hannah
Chandler, his wife, formerly Hannah Going, alias Beazly, Ben-
jamin Harris and Catherine Harris, his wife, formerly Catherine
Going, alias Beazly, Polly Beazly, Mary Chandler, James [or
Jane] Chandler, Lucinda Chandler, Priscilla Chandler and Judith
Chandler. Spa in Chancery- No Spa.”
Jonathan Henry Gowen and Hannah J. Beasley Gowen were enumera-
ted in the 1850 census of Stokes County, North Carolina, along
with "James Going and Betsy [Beasley?] Going and their children
next door, with a Beasley household between them and John Go-
ing, his wife, Margaret and a 15-year-old boy, LeRoy Going,"
according to the research of Steve Gowen.
>From 1844 until 1855 Jonathan Henry Gowen lived in Stokes
County, just across the state line from Patrick County. From
1853 to 1859 he lived “20 miles northwest of Danbury, North
Carolina,” according to a statement made in his pension appli-
cation. He also stated that his location was 12 miles from Mt.
Airy, North Carolina in Surry County. He declared that he re-
ceived his mail at Francisco, North Carolina in Stokes County
at that time.
In 1859, he removed to join Frederick Gowen in Adair County,
Kentucky. A photograph of Jonathan Henry Gowen indicates him
to be a tall, lean, stern man with a full growth of neck whis-
kers. He was a hunting dog fancier, and descendants "swore
that he loved his dogs more than his children," according to
Martha Ann Gowen McGrath, a descendant of Louisville, Kentuc-
ky. Consequently, none of his children would tolerate a dog
on his homestead after he was grown. He was described by his
son, Andrew Jackson Gowen as a “good fiddler and a good dan-
His household appeared in the 1860 census of Adair County.
Fortunately for genealogists, the enumerator saw fit to in-
clude the county of birth for each individual:
"Going,Jonathan 38, born in Patrick Co, VA, farmer
Hannah 34, born in Patrick Co, VA
Mary F. 15, born in Stokes Co, NC
Sarah J. 13, born in Stokes Co, NC
John 11, born in Stokes Co, NC
Fanny9, born in Stokes Co, NC
Thomas J. [twin] 5, born in Stokes Co, NC
Henry C. [twin] 5, born in Stokes Co, NC
Susan E.3, born in Adair Co, KY
Frederick 3/12, born in Adair Co, KY"
He enlisted August 16, 1863 as a private during the Civil War
in Co. G, Thirty-seventh Kentucky Infantry Regiment. He was
discharged December 29, 1864. In his pension application he
stated that he was once a prisoner-of-war, captured by the
His household reappeared June 22, 1870 located seven miles
west of Columbia, Kentucky as Household 119-119:
"Gowen,Jonathan46, born in VA, farmer, $300
personal prop, $3,000 real
Hannah44, born in VA
Andrew J.18, born in NC, farmer
Thomas J.14, born in NC, farmer
Henry C.14, born in NC, farmer
Susan E.12, born in KY
Jonathan10, born in KY
Nancy M. 8, born in KY
Martha A. 6, born in KY
Cornelius 3, born in KY
Emily 2/12, born in KY”
Jonathan Henry Gowen began to prepare a pension application
in 1879 for Civil War service in which his health severely
declined. The application process was lengthy and thorough.
Over 100 legal documents were filed with the Department of
Interior’s Pension Office. This bulky file, obtained by La
Donna DeMar, a descendant of Summerville, South Carolina, con-
tained many interesting vignettes of life in central Kentucky
following the Civil War and much genealogical information on
the family. Jonathan Henry Gowen received a disability pen-
sion soon after his discharge, but was dropped from the pen-
sion rolls in 1882, only to be reinstated later.
Among the documents in the file were:
Affidavit of Riley Compton, July 22, 1879
Affidavit of Capt. James O. Nelson, 1879
Affidavit of Riley Compton, June 25, 1881
Affidavit of Jonathan Henry Gowen, February 7, 1882
Affidavit of T. J. Keltner, 1883
Affidavit of Mary A. Keltner, 1883
Affidavit of Meredith J. Hopper, 1883
Affidavit of Ulysses Coomer, 1883
Affidavit of Dr. G. P. Harvey, 1883
Affidavit of Jesse Coomer, 1883
Affidavit of Charles Coomer, 1883
Testimony of Nathaniel Moore, July 7, 1883
Original Invalid Pension, August 31, 1883
Affidavit of Meredith J. Hopper, September 1883
Deposition of Jonathan Henry Gowen, June 25, 1885
Deposition of Nathan J. Moore, June 25, 1885
Deposition of Meredith J. Hopper, June 25, 1885
Deposition of James O. Nelson, June 25, 1885
Deposition of Thomas Shirley, June 26, 1885
Deposition of Riley Compton, June 26, 1885
Deposition of Charles Coomer, June 26, 1885
Deposition of Jesse Coomer, June 26, 1885
Deposition of William R. Moss, June 26, 1885
Deposition of Ulysses Coomer, June 25, 1885
Original Invalid Pension, August 31, 1883
Deposition of Shelby Tarter, September 4, 1885
Deposition of Thomas J. Keltner, September 5, 1885
Deposition of Dr. James G. Taylor, September 7, 1885
Deposition of Mary A. Keltner, September 8, 1885
Deposition of Joseph N. Nelson, September 8, 1885
Affidavit of Dr. James R. Duncan, November 28, 1885
Affidavit of Dr. Hazelwood, January 11, 1886
Affidavit of William P. Barnes, 1886
Restoration of Pension, 1886
Affidavit of Dr. James G. Taylor, July 17, 1886
Pension Certificate, 1889
Deposition of James O. Nelson, November 20, 1897
Deposition of Kellis J. Compton, November 20, 1897
Deposition of Riley Compton, November 21, 1897
Deposition of A. J. Gowen, December 13, 1898
Deposition of James O. Nelson, December 13, 1898
Deposition of Riley Compton, December 14, 1898
Deposition of Jonathan Henry Gowen, December 13, 1898
Deposition of Mary F. Moore, December 14, 1898
Deposition of Pyrrhus Nelson, December 15, 1898
Deposition of Thomas A. Kemp, December 15, 1898
Deposition of W. M. Coomer, December 16, 1898
Deposition of Peter Compton, December 16, 1898
Deposition of Charles Coomer, December 16, 1898
Form showing “Pensioner Dropped,” January 22, 1906
State of Kentucky}
County of Adair}
"On this 24th day of July, 1879, personally appeared before me,
clerk of the County Court in and for the county and state a-
foresaid, Johnathan Gowan who being first duly sworn according
to law, declares that he is the identical Johnathan Gowan who
enlisted in the Military Service of the United States in Compa-
ny G, 37th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry in the war of
1861, & on the 16th day of August 1863 at Glasgow, Kentucky un-
der the name of Johnathan Gowan and was honorably discharged on
the 29th day of December, 1864 at Louisville, Kentucky, and
that while in the Military Service aforesaid and in the line of
his duty & without any fault of his, he contracted yellow jaun-
dice, diarrhea, and was followed by dropsy. This [was] on or
about the last of November 1863 at Glasgow, Kentucky , and was
sent to hospital at Glasgow, Ky, and was sent home in Dec’r
1863, about two weeks before Christmas on furlough and remain-
ed at home under treatment of Dr. J. G. Taylor until in July
1864 when I returned to my regiment at Lexington, Ky, and I
have never recovered from said disease.
His present physical condition is as follows: His legs are sore
& swelled and often almost entirely unable to walk, and his
whole body [is] weak and feeble & his general health very bad
& frequent pains about the region of the heart and weak pulse,
loss of flesh and general debility and misery of the back and
He further states that he has never served in the Military Ser-
vice of the United States since his discharge from the service
aforesaid, that he was never in hospital except at Glasgow, Ky,
that his personal description is as follows: Age 54 years,
Height six feet & one inch, Complexion dark, Eyes dark, Hair
black and his occupation since his discharge from the army a-
foresaid is that of a farmer, and he has resided in Adair
County, Kentucky since his discharge, and he hereby appoints C.
M. Sallee of Columbia, Kentucky his attorney to prosecute this,
J. T. Kemp
James O. Nelson"
J. G. Taylor, M.D. of Chicago, Illinois wrote a statement to
attach to the application of Jonathan Gowen:
“I J. G. Taylor, a resident of the city of Chicago, State of
Illinois, on oath depose and say that about the year 1864
Johnathan Gowen called upon me to treat him for his afflic-
tion. He had been in the United States Army in the late war
of the rebellion and had got sick and came home on furlough
to be treated and recruited [rested?] up. His condition when
I saw him was that of General Dropsy or Anasarca. I could not
discover any organic disease of the heart or organs to account
for his condition, so I decided that it was general debility
and exhaustion from exposure & fatigue. I put him on treatment
and the dropsy soon began to leave his body, but fell into his
legs, he remained under treatment at home about five or six
months and at that time was so far recovered as to be able to
go back to the army, but he was not well. After the close of
the war, he came home still afflicted, and I have occasionally
met with him at long intervals and examined him and have always
found him more or less afflicted in the same way, and now his
condition is, his muscular system is flabby, his complexion
sallow, his liver congested, his legs sore with swellings, the
beat of his heart feeble and a despeptiak [dyspeptic] condi-
tion. Generally all these symptoms are clearly traceable back
to the disease I treated him for while belonging to the Army,
in fact from the various times I have seen him & treated him
since that time, I can say that he has never been much better.
I then resided in Adair County, Kentucky, the county of Gowen’s
residence, but now reside in the city of Chicago, state of Ill-
inois, and I am not interested in the claim in which this is
to be used.
James G. Taylor, M.D.”
The pension claim of Jonathan Gowen was filed with the War De-
partment June 23, 1881:
“Pension claim No. 330,880
Adutant General’s Office
WashingtonJune 23, 1881
Respectfully returned to the Commissioner of Pensions. John-
erthan Gowan, Private, Company G, 37th Regiment, Kentucky Mtd.
Inf. Volunteers, was enrolled on the 16th day of August, 1863
at Glasgow, Kentucky and is reported:
Present October 24, 1863 [at muster of company]
Nov. & Dec. 1863, absent on sick leave in Adair County, KY
Jan. & Feb. 1864, absent without leave since December 15,
1863, same to June 30, 1864
July & Aug. 1864 present. Tried and sentenced to forfeit
One month’s pay for absence without leave, and returned to
duty by Regimental Court Martial August 29, 1864 at Louis-
ville, Ky as Private Jonathan Gowan
Regimental return for November 1863 does not report him Ab-
sent. Nature and duration of sickness not stated in Medical
Certificate on file.
Assistant Adjutant General”
On July 7, 1883 M. J. Hopper, a neighbor of Jonathan Henry Go-
wen made a statement supporting his pension application:
“I, M. J. Hopper, a resident of Adair County, Kentucky, being
duly sworn according to law in the matter of invalid pension
Claim No. 330,080 of Jonathan Gowen, state my age is 36 years,
my Post Office address is East Fork, Metcalf County, Kentucky,
that I have know claimant for 12 years past that I have lived
a near neighbor to him as much as six or seven years, that
since that time I am of the opinion that he has been unable to
perform any kind of manual labor to do himself justice.
I think his health and constitution is completely broken down.
His complexion and general appearance shows that he is a very
feeble and unhealthy man, and during these 6 or 7 years I have
frequently seen his legs, and they have running sores on them
which seems to me to be sufficient to prevent him from walking,
and he has done very little labor for the past 6 or 7 years,
and I think he ought not to work at all. He can’t do but little
work at any time. I have no interest in his claim directly or
M. J. Hopper”
On July 11, 1883 another neighbor, Nathaniel Moore prepared a
“I, Nathaniel Moore, a resident of Adair County, Kentucky, be-
ing duly sworn according to law in the matter of an invalid
pension claim No. 330,080 of Jonathan Gowen, say that I have
known and lived a near neighbor to claimant for sixteen years
last past and during this whole time said Gowen has been a
very feeble bodied man and unable in my opinion to make as
much as one half a hand or to perform half the labor on the
farm as an able-bodied, healthy man. I have frequently seen
his legs, and they have a number of sores on them, sometimes
they discharge matter, and he keeps them dressed most of the
time and has on several occasions disabled him from walking.
If my legs were in the same condition, I would consider myself
unable to go about at all. He has been in this condition since
I first knew him except that he has been gradually growing fee-
ble and less able. I have often known him to have sick spells
and vomiting with them. He has a very unhealthy complexion as
I consider which is of a yellowish and sallow caste. His
health is completely broken down. My age is 38 years. My post
office address is East Fork, Metcalf County, Kentucky, and I
am in no way interested in this claim, directly or indirectly.
T. R. Moss"
“On the twenty-fifth day of June 1885 at County of Adair, State
of Kentucky before me S. B. Chapin, Special Examiner of the
Pension Office, personally appeared Meredith J. Hopper, who be-
ing by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories
propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid
pension claim, deposes and says:
His age is 36 years, occupation farmer, address, East Fork,
Metcalf County, Ky.
Question: How long have you known Jonathan Gowan?
Answer: About 15 years, I reckon.
Question: What has been his physical condition during that
Answer: He has had that sore on his leg. I saw it as long as
13 years ago, and when he works in the heat, he gets sick.
Question: What has been his ability to labor since 1873 each
Answer: Well, hardly half.
Question: What has been your means of knowing this?
Answer: I have worked with him some, as much as a month all
together, and have lived in the neighborhood all the time.
Question: Were you related to him in any way?
Answer: Yes, sir, I am his son-in-law.
Question: Has he complained of any thing except his leg since
you have known him?
Answer: Yes sir, he has had chills at times.
Question: How long ago was it that you first knew him to have
Answer: About nine years ago, I reckon.
Meredith S. Hopper”
“On the twenty-fifth day of June 1885 at County of Adair,
State of Kentucky before me S. B. Chapin, Special Examiner of
the Pension Office, personally appeared Nathan J. Moore, who
being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogator-
ies propounded to him during this special examination of afore-
said pension claim, deposes and says:
His age is 46 years, occupation farmer, address: East Fork,
Metcalfe County, Ky.
Question: How long have you known Jonathan Gowan?
Answer: About 17 years.
Question: What has been his physical condition during this
Answer: Well, sir, he has had bad health ever since I have
Question: What has he complained of?
Answer: Being sick in his leg and very frequently chills.
Question: When did you first know him to have chills?
Answer: About 15 years ago, I reckon.
Question: What has been the trouble with his leg?
Answer: Sore, swelled up, running sores.
Question: Which leg has been affected?
Answer: I think his right leg. I won’t be certain.
Question: Have you seen this leg?
Answer: Yes sir, hundreds of times. I reckon.
Question: When did you first see it?
Answer: About 16 years ago.
Question: Was it sore then?
Answer: Yes, sir.
Question: Was it swelled up or wasted?
Answer: It was swelled up.
Question: What has been his ability to labor for the past 16
years, each year?
Answer: Well, it has been something like 13 years that I don’t
think that he has been able to do more than half labor.
Question: What has been your means of knowing his condition
during that period?
Answer: Well, sir, I have been here frequently, been with him
every two or three weeks at the outside, have worked two or
three days at a time for him at different times.
Question: Are you related to him?
Answer: I married his daughter.”
“Also personally appeared Cornelius Gowen, a resident of
Gradyville, Ky. and E. Gowen , a resident of Gradyville, Ky,
persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to cred-
it and who being by me duly sworn, say they were present and
saw Jonathan Gowen, the claimant sign his name or make his
mark to the foregoing declaration, that they have every reason
to believe from the appearance of said claimant and their ac-
quaintance with him that he is the identical person that he
represents himself to be and that they have no interest in the
prosecution of this claim.
“Declaration for renewal of original Invalid Pension:
State of Kentucky}
County of Adair}
On this, the ____ day of May A.D 1886 personally appeared be-
fore me, the deputy and of the court of record within the a-
foresaid state and county, Jonathan Gowen, aged 63 years, a
resident of the town of Gradyville, county of Adair and state
of Kentucky who being duly sworn according to law declares
that he is the identical Jonathan Gowen who was a private in
Co. G, 37th Regiment, Ky. Mt. Inf. and that his certificate is
of Claim No. 327267 and that he drew pension from the date
from the date of his discharge till 1882 and was discontinued
and he further states that the disability for which pension
was allowed still exists and did exist at the time pension was
discontinued, and he makes this application for the purpose of
restoration of pension that his former post office address was
East Fork, Metcalfe Co, Ky, but now is Gradyville, Adair Coun-
“I cannot now say who knew of my legs being sore while in the
army. It has been so long, and they were not sore until a
short time before my muster out of the service.
Question: By whom can you prove that you were sound at your
Answer: T. J. Kellum, Pyrrhus Nelson and those already named
herein. I hear you read this statement. I have understood
your questions, and my answers are correctly recorded herein.
I am not able to go, but want you to see the witnesses, but
want S. A. Harper present to represent me while the witness-
es testify, but I will be present when James O. Nelson testi-
This is correct. I am so feeble that I cannot write my name
any more and am obliged to sign by mark.
Jonathan [X] Gowen
This is correct.
S. A. Harper
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 13th day of December
1898, and I certify that the contents were fully made known
to deponent before signing.
R. J. Austin
Case of Jonathan Gowen, Certificate No. 324757
On this 13th day of December 1898 at near Gradyville, County
of Adair, State of Kentucky, before me, R. J. Austin, a Special
Examiner of the Pension Office, personally appeared the pen-
sioner Jonathan Gowen, who being by me first duly sworn to an-
swer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this
Special Examination to aforesaid pension claim, deposes and
My age is 71 years, P.O. Gradyville, Ky, occupation, has been
that of a farmer. I am not able to do anything now. I served
in Co. G, 37th Ky. Mtd. Inf. from August 1863 until December
1864. This was the only military service I ever saw, and I was
never in the Naval Service. I was never in the Confederate
Army, except as a prisoner of war. I enlisted from this neigh-
borhood, and had lived here about two years before I enlisted.
I came here from North Carolina, Stokes County near Francisco
and lived 10 or 12 miles from Mt. Airy in Surry County. I have
two brothers living in N.C, James Gowen and Lee Gowen. James’
P.O. was Francisco, and Lee’s P.O. was White Plains, Patrick
County, Va, the last I knew. I was a farmer before I left N.C.
I hired no one to work for me. Robert Hines, Henderson Dingman
and Ira Jessups were my near neighbors and will know as much as
anyone else about me. I had an attack of dyspepsia in N.C. is
all the sickness I had then. I had no sickness after coming to
this county until my enlistment in the above named organization.
My intimate friends and associates in Ky, for the two years be-
fore my enlistment were James O. Nelson, W. R. Moss, Pyrrhus
Nelson and T. J. Kellum. These are all the ones living now who
were close neighbors before the war.
Question: Were you a sound, healthy man when you enlisted?
Answer: Yes, sir, I was.
Question: Did you have anything the matter with your legs at
any time before your enlistment?
Answer: I did not. I had no sores on my legs until after my
enlistment. No, I had no spell of fever before enlistment.
We were not stripped & examined at enlistment or M.I. [muster
in?], but was just asked a few questions. I wore boots while
in the service. No, I didn’t wear shoes. No, I did not tell
anyone that I could not wear boots on account of sore legs
for I did wear boots all the time while I was in the service.
I have often complained since the war that I could not wear
boots because my legs were sore, but I never made such a com-
plaint before my service. I was living on the farm of Eliza-
beth Kemp [dead] at enlistment and had lived there most all
the time after coming from North Carolina. She had two sons,
George and Tom. George’s P.O. was Columbia, and I don’t know
Tom’s P.O. I did not write any body except my children the
two years before enlistment. My daughters’ names are Frances
Moore, Sarah J. Pike, P. O. Columbus, Mo, and my son is A. J.
Question: Did you have any difficulty with a man named John
Wauf at any time?
Answer: Some time after the close of the war, I was riding a-
long the road and John Wauf came along drunk and hit me on
the head with a club. It did not hurt me at all, only cut a
hole in my hat. No, he did not hit me on the leg at all.
No, he did not strike me with a rock on the leg or any place
else. My legs began to be sore about two months before I
was M.O. [mustered out] of the service. This was at Lexing-
ton, Ky. My legs both swelled up while I was in the service,
and I could press my thumb on the flesh of my legs, and it
would make a dent that I could lay a hen egg in, and then the
legs broke out in yellow blisters. Dr. J. G. Taylor [dead]
who lived in Columbia examined me before I was mustered out
of the service, and he said the condition of my legs was a
result of the jaundice which I had in the service while camp-
ed at Glasgow, Ky. I got a furlough and came home. No, I
did not make a crop while at home, but my wife and children
made a crop while I was home. No, my legs were not sore
while I was at home that time. No, my legs were never in-
jured in any way before the war. I have hurt my legs often
since they got sore, that is, would accidently knock the scab
off and make the sore bleed. I recollect that I was at work
on the road 15 or 20 years ago, and a piece of rock flew and
struck right in the sore on the right leg and made it bleed a
good deal. This the worst hurt I have had since my legs be-
came sore. My bunk mates during the war were Billy Coomer
dead] and Charles Coomer, P.O, Gradyville, Ky. I do not re-
call any other bunk mates. I was cook for the Captain, Lo-
gan Strange, P.O. Burksville, Ky, and our sergt. was Peter
Releford, P.O. unknown.”
“On this 14th day of December, 1898 at near Gradyville, County
of Adair, State of Kentucky, before me, R. J. Austin, a special
examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Mary F.
Moore who being my me first duly sworn to answer truly all in-
terrogatories propounded to her during this special examination
of aforesaid claim for pension deposes and says:
I am 54 years of age, my post-office is as above, occupation,
housekeeper. I am the wife of Nathan J. Moore, a farmer. I am
a daughter of Jonathan Gowen, I lived with my father till my
marriage in 1866. I was 13 or 14 yrs. old when we came from NC
to Ky. It was three or four years after he came to Kentucky
until he enlisted. If there was any thing the matter with him
before his enlistment, I don’t know about it. If we had any
thing the matter with his legs, I know nothing about it. He
had no sickness before his enlistment. He was at home sick dur-
ing the war, that is during his service. He was home on fur-
lough. He had the yaller jaundice and like to have died. If
his legs were sore at any time while he was in the service, I
don’t know it. I recollect that his legs were swelled shortly
after he came out of the service, can’t say how long. I don’t
think it was as much as a year after he came out of the service
until his legs swelled. Oh, yes, I saw his legs at that time,
and they were swelled, both legs. It seems like he was bloated
while he was sick during the war. I think it was some time af-
ter he came from the war until he had sores on his legs-about
a year or maybe less.
If he ever got his legs or either of them hurt before or since
the war, I never heard it. If he was hurt while plowing, I
know nothing about it. I recollect that he put up a chimney ]
for Mr. James Compton, but if he hurt his leg by dropping a
stone on it or in any other way, I never heard of it.
If he had any trouble with John Wauf, I know nothing about it.
His legs have been sore ever since they first became sore.
His health was not good when he came out of the war. He has
had some sickness during the last few years, but his legs be-
came sore to my knowledge shortly after the war.
When my father was at home sick during the war, he did no work
at all and wasn’t able. We thought for a good while that he
would die. My mother [dead] and brother Jack and I made the
crop. He was yellow when sick and complained of his stomach,
head and back.
I am a daughter. I have no pecuniary interest. I hear this
read, and it is correct.
Mary F. [X] Moore
S. A. Hatfiel
John N. Moore”
DEPOSITION, Case of Jonathan Gowen, No. 324757
On this 13th day of December, 1898 at near Gradyville, County
of Adair, State of Kentucky, before me, R. J. Austin, a special
examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared A. J.
Gowen, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all
interrogatories propounded to him during this special examina-
tion of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:
I am 47 years of age, my post-office is Gradyville, Ky, occupa-
tion, farmer and merchant. I am a son of the pensioner, Jona-
than Gowen. My father moved from N.C. when I was eight years
of age and settled near here. I was born February 2, 1851.
I have always been with my father or near him. I remember very
well when he enlisted in the war. I was at home at the time.
His health was as good as the ordinary man. He never was a very
robust man. No, he never had any spells of sickness prior to
his enlistment that I recollect about.
He came home during the war with a spell of ‘Yaller Jaunders’
and was awful bad, and we thought he would die. He was awful
yellow when he came home. He came home on sick furlough and
was there probably several months, don’t recollect exactly.
Question: Was there any thing the matter with his legs before
he enlisted in the war?
Answer: No, if there ever was, I have no recollection of it.
I worked with him daily from early boyhood till he went into
the service and often saw his bare legs and know there was
nothing the matter with his legs until he enlisted. My fa-
ther had something like dropsy or something like that in the
spring after he came out of the service.
I can’t say how he was affected, don’t know whether his legs
swelled or not, but think they were. The first spring after
he was discharged he and I were working together in the field.
My father was plowing. He stopped and called to me that he
had hurt his leg. I went to him and found that a cornstalk
had knocked a little bit of skin off his shin, the left shin,
I think, and it was bleeding. It did not seem to amount too
much, and after wrapping it up with something, he went on
ith his work. His leg never healed up after that, and after
a while, the other leg got sore.
This is the first I knew of my father having a sore on his
leg, but he had complained of not being well from the time
of his discharge, and I think his had been swelled from the
time he came home more or less. I think both legs are af-
fected about alike now. My father has only worn shoes on
his feet with the exception one pair of fine boots all his
life. He made his own shoes. He never fancied boots, but
there was no reason for him not wearing boots before the war.
I remember that John Wauf struck my father on the head with
a stick or something, but did not hit him on the leg. I know
this took place after the war. My father was not hurt. Wauf
was drinking at the time. The above is all the injury my fa-
ther rec’d after the war except he would sometimes accidental-
ly knock the scab off the sore on his legs.
I hear you read this. I have understood your questions, and
my answers are correctly recorded. My father did not make a
crop while at home on furlough. He did not work a lick. He
was not able to work any. My mother and I made the crop.
This is correct.
A. J. Gowen, Deponent”
DEPOSITION: Case of Jonathan Gowen, No. 324757
“On this 16th day of December, 1898 at Gradyville, County of
Adair, State of Kentucky, before me, R. J. Austin, a special
examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared W. M.
Coomer, who being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all
interrogatories propounded to him during this special examina-
tion of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:
I am 59 years of age, my post-office address is as above, occu-
pation, a farmer. I served in Co. E, 3rd Ky, Inf. from August
1861 till October 1864.
I got acquainted with Jonathan Gowen about 1858 or 1859, at any
rate, it was when he came here from N.C. We lived about one
mile & a half apart, and I saw him often up till I enlisted and
visited at his house and courted his daughter.
He was a good fiddler and a good dancer at that time, and while
I never examined his legs, I don’t believe there was a thing
the matter with his leg or legs or I would know something about
it. I did not see him from my enlistment till his discharge.
We then lived about the same distance apart. We never worked
together, but I have seen him at work in the field many a time.
The first I ever heard of his having any thing the matter with
his legs was several years after his discharge when I heard Dr.
J. G. Taylor [dead] say that Jonathan Gowen had something the
matter with his legs and that he [Taylor] had made him an affi-
davit to that effect. I never heard that Jonathan Gowen hurt
his leg or legs before or since the war. I reckon that Jona-
than Gowen and John Wauf had a difficulty shortly after the
war. I did not see the difficulty, but John Wauf came by my
house the next day and stopped and told us about it. He said
he hit him on the head with a piece of fence rail. No he did
not say he hit him on the leg. That took place shortly after
the war. I knew this from the fact that it was after I mar-
ried, and I did not marry until the 18th of November 1866.
I never heard that he got his leg hurt while building a chim-
ney for James Compton or anyone else.
I am not related to Jonathan Gowen nor have I any interest
in the case. I have understood your questions and my answers
are correctly recorded herein.
W. M. [X] Coomer
S. A. Hurfur"
On June 10, 1880 the household of Jonathan Henry Gowen appeared
in Adair County at Gradyville, Kentucky, Civil District 5, Enu-
meration District 4, page 19:
Gowen, Jonathan55, born in VA, father born in [blank],
mother born in NC, farmer
Hannah53, born in VA, father born in VA,
mother born in VA, wife
Elizabeth21, born in KY, father born in VA,
mother born in VA, daughter
Nancy M. 17, born in KY, father born in VA,
mother born in VA, daughter
Cornelius15, born in KY, father born in VA,
mother born in VA, son, farmer
Emley 9, born in KY, father born in VA
mother born in VA, daughter"
A. T. Wood, United States Pension Agent of Louisville, Kentucky
reported January 22, 1906 that Jonathan Henry Gowen “who was
last paid at $24 to May 4, 1905 has been dropped because of
death in July 1905.”
According to the family bible owned in 1972 by Martha Ann Gowen
McGrath, a descendant of Louisville, Kentucky, children born to
Mary Frances Gowenborn Jan. 23, 1848 [1844?]
Sarah Jane Gowenborn May 4, 1849
John Gowenborn in 1850
Andrew Jackson Gowenborn February 2, 1851
Fanny Gowenborn February 2, 1853
Thomas Jefferson Gowenborn June 12, 1855
Henry Clay Gowenborn June 12, 1855
Susan Elizabeth Gowenborn in 1858
Jonathan Frederick Gowenborn January 10, 1859
Nancy M. Gowenborn April 20, 1962
Martha Alice Gowenborn in 1864
Cornelius C. Gowenborn February 14, 1867
Emily Gowenborn in April 1870
Basil Goins Finally Won Land
In Georgia's Last Lottery
Basil Goins was born in Virginia about 1780. It is believed
that he was married about 1804, wife's name, Betsy. After the
War of 1812, they removed to Hall County, Georgia in the hope
of receiving free land. They apparently became estranged
there about 1828.
"Basil Gowen" was married to Manerva Brown in Upson County,
Georgia March 7, 1830. "Basdal Goin," was listed as the head
of a household in the 1830 census of Hall County composed of a
"white male 40-50; a white female, 15-20 and a white female
Betsy Goin was also listed as the head of a household in the
1830 census of Hall County, composed of a "white female 40-50,
a white male 30-40, two white males 15-20, a white male 15-20
and a white male 10-15," according to "Index to 1830 Georgia
Census," page 117.
Nearby were enumerated two Goin households, believed to be
those of her sons, "John Goin, white male, age 20-30 page 92,"
and "William Goin, white male, age 20-30, page 104."
"Basil Going, William Going and the orphans of Sherwood Going"
were successful in the Georgia gold land lottery of 1832 which
was the final lottery held in the state. Basil Goins finally
had good fortune on the last chance.
Georgia had used its land since 1784 as an inducement for set-
tlers. In 1803 legislation provided for the lottery to con-
tinue to be used in distributing free land to its 162,000 cit-p
White male inhabitants of the state who had reached the age of
21 and who were citizens of the United States and residents of
Georgia were entitled to one draw. A man with wife and chil-
dren was entitled to two draws, as well as widows who were
heads of households. The lottery system was used to distribu-
te more than 30,000,000 acres west of the Oconee River. More
than 100,000 fortunate individuals and families benefited from
the seven lotteries held between 1803 and 1832. By that time,
the state's population had quadrupled; a tremendous buffer a-
gainst the Indians had been created.
Children born to Basil Goins and Betsy Goins include:
Albert Goinsborn about 1805
William Goinsborn about 1806
John Goinsborn about 1808
J. Bazzil Goinsborn about 1810
Washington Joshua Goinsborn August 13, 1813
Jefferson Goinsborn August 13, 1813
ELLIS ISLAND IMMIGRATION MUSEUM LISTS
THE GOIN FAMILY WITH 22 CROSSINGS
After more than four years of work, millions of volunteer hours and
almost $25 million, the American Family Immigration History Center
opened its doors to the American people. This center, housed in the
Ellis Island Immigration Museum along with a companion Website pro-
vides easy access to ships' passenger manifest records of more than
22 million immigrants who entered through the Port of New York and
Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924. While these records have been avail-
able on microfilm for years through the National Archives, this is
the first time they are available via an electronic database.
Current microfilm records at the National Archives cover immigration
through the Port of New York from 1820 to 1957. While the American
Family Immigration History Center's database currently includes only
the records from 1892-1924, the peak years, they plan to continue
adding records until all Ellis Island records are available elec-
tronically. Records of immigrants through other U.S. ports will be
added to database subsequently.
Immigration records show members of the Going family making 75 en-
trances into the United States through the Port of New York and El-
lis Island in the 32 years between 1892 and 1924. They were among
the 22 million immigrants, passengers and crew members who made a
transit through the port facility, according to the website of the
American Family Immigration Center.
The Website is accessed at: http://www.ellisislandrecords.org
Included in the records were:
Name of Passenger Residence Arrived Age
1. Edouard E. Goin Mantes 1906 24
2. Ellen M. Goin Paris 1903 25
3. Eugenio Goin Havana 1904 35
4. George L. Goin 1921 23
5. Guillehno Goin Barcelona 1904 25
6. Isabella Goin Port of Spain, Trinidad 1924 24
7. Jarolaino Goin Mesis, Genova 1906 14
8. Mrs. J. D. Goin London1892 25
9. Ellen Goin 1907 29
10. J. D. Goin 1896 48
11. Jean Goin 1917 18
12. Anselmo Goin Pampeleine 1906 24
13. Ellen Goin London1892 16
14. Ellen Goin 1910 21
15. E. N. Goin 1896 20
16. George Goin Trinidad, West Indies1914 31
17. James Goin 1910 50
18. Marie Goin Neffes-Alpes, France 1910 18
19. Jeanette Goin New York 1906 50
20. Ellen Goin Paris 1903 26
21. Jentel Goin 1893 11
22. J.P. Goin 1908 31
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years from colonial days in America to the present are recorded
in chronological order. Records from family members in all 50
states plus many foreign countries are included in the Manu-
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"Melungia, Home of the Melungeons" is a collection of articles
written by members of the Foundation during the past 12 years.
These articles deal with the documents left by the Melungeons
and also with the various clues and theories of their origin.
The printed Newsletter section contains all the Newsletters
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written by the various researchers in the Foundation dating
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Elijah Goin Goes to Court with Slanderer
In Claiborne County, Tennessee
By Carol Anne Ledford
Trouble started for Elijah Goin when his daughter, Mary Ann
"Polly" Goin was married to William H. "Billy" Mayes May 23,
1853 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. Sterling Mayes, brother
to the groom, took exception to the marriage, and one week la-
ter was telling everyone that his brother had married a Mulat-
to and that the whole Goin family were Mulattos and Negroes.
Sterling even instructed his children to taunt the Goin child-
ren with the Mulatto label and promised to protect them in it.
By July, the whole county had heard the accusations. Sterling
had gone so far as to make up a little song about Blacks and
Mulattos which he sang to the tune of "Old Dan Tucker," popu-
lar jig tune of the day. He even had the nerve to sing the
song to Elijah Goin in front of his friends on the main street
of Tazewell, the county seat.
Elijah Goin bit his tongue and turned the other cheek, hoping
that Sterling would tire of his little game, but the pressure
only intensified. In September, Sterling sang his doggerel
verses in church. He made his rhymes fit the hymns that were
being sung at the camp meeting, an evangelistic meeting held
outdoors in a tent. Several rows of worshipers heard the cau-
stic Mulatto slurs drowning out the gospel words.
That was the last straw, Elijah Goin filed suit in Circuit
Court for slander against Sterling Mayes September 15, 1853,
requesting damages of $5,000, a monumental sum in those days.
The charges were serious and damaging to Elijah Goin who was
a schoolteacher and active in community affairs. He had once
been elected as constable. It was embarrassing to his family
and his friends, and Elijah Goin had to take action before his
reputation and standing in the county were destroyed.
Action on the suit was exceedingly slow, with continuous post-
ponements and continuances. It would be five years before a
verdict was finally handed down. When the case finally went
to court July 26, 1858, the trial lasted 37 court days and
involved the testimony of 43 witnesses. Tennessee law re-
quired that the loser in a suit pay the court costs and the
expense of bringing in the witnesses. The witnesses were paid
25 cents a day for their appearances, and if they traveled
over 20 miles, they were paid four cents a mile travel allow-
ance. There were 22 witnesses who had to be in court 27 days
of the trial, some traveling as far as 290 miles. Total court
costs of the case was $720 with $669 going to the witnesses.
Each of the litigants had to post bond guaranteeing payment of
the huge sum. Both were men of substance, but it was a severe
obligation. Elijah Goin owned land valued at $1,000, and his
personal property was valued at $350.
He was 38 years old and married. His wife and six children
would suffer severely if the verdict went against the plain-
iff. William H. "Billy" Mayes joined his father-in-law in
posting the bond.
The "Mulatto and Negro" charge had serious implications. The
Territory Act of 1794 and the Tennessee Constitution of 1796
declared, "all Negroes, Mulattos and Indians and persons of
mixed blood, descended from Negro or Indian ancestors to the
third generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each genera-
ion may have been a white person, whether bond or free, should
be held deemed to be incapable in law to be a witness in any
case whatsoever, except against each other."
The Act also forbad such persons from obtaining marriage li-
enses, voting, owning land, paying taxes, making wills, owning
slaves or holding office. Their civil rights were denied.
Even in Revolutionary days and in the War of 1812, Negroes and
Mulattos could not serve as soldiers. A few were utilized in
non-combatant roles as cooks and teamsters.
Elijah Goin's 70-year-old father, Levi Goin was enduring great
anguish. Elijah Goin had several brothers, uncles and cousins
who were undergoing mental duress, not to mention all of the
in-laws involved. He took some comfort in the fact his old
grandfather, Thomas Goin, Revolutionary soldier and family pa-
riarch of Claiborne County, did not have to undergo the pain
and anxiety that the trial brought to the family.
Thomas Goin had lived in Claiborne County long before its cre-
tion in 1801 and had died there in 1838, 15 years before the
suit was filed. Thomas Goin didn't come to Claiborne County;
the county came to him. Thomas Goin bought his land, 225 acres
on Cherokee Creek in 1786 from the State of North Carolina, two
years before Tennessee came into existence. He was a constable
there [Washington County, North Carolina] in 1784. He served
on several jury panels there, according to the county court re-
ords and was in court in Jonesborough on the day that Andrew
Jackson was admitted to the bar.
In 1788, he sold his land in Washington County and moved 90
miles west to newly-created Hawkins County, Tennessee from
which Claiborne would be later created. He appeared there as a
taxpayer on Big Barren Creek in 1799 in "Capt. Coxes company."
The postoffice of Goin, Tennessee would later be named for this
pioneer's family. Goin still exists today, but the postoffice
was discontinued in 1965. In 1802, he and his sons help to
build to road to Tazewell and were appointed its overseers. In
1803, he was instrumental in establishing the Big Barren Primi-
tive Baptist Church. He served on Claiborne County jury panels
and in 1833 was listed as a "white male" taxpayer.
Until he died in 1838, no one had ever suggested that he was a
Negro or a Mulatto. The family had distinct Melungeon features,
but the mixed-blood characteristics were attributed to Indian or
Portuguese ancestry. Thomas Goin was buried in Old Big Barren
Cemetery. The site is now at the bottom of Morris Lake, and it
is unknown if the graves were moved before the lake was created.
Known children of Thomas Goin include Levi Goin, born about
1778, Uriah Goin, born about 1785 and Isaac Abraham Goin, born
The verdict? Elijah Goin won his slander suit against Sterling
Mayes, and the jury awarded him $50 damages, far less than the
$5,000 he sought. Sterling Mayes appealed the case to the Ten-
nessee Supreme Court in Knoxville where the Circuit Court's de-
cision was reversed and remanded. He won the appeal on the
grounds that it had long been common knowledge in the community
that the Goin family was of mixed blood and that he was not
seeking the forfeiture of the civil rights of Elijah Goin.
The authoress, Carol Anne Ledford who was born March 4, 1944
in Monroe, Michigan is a double ninth-generation granddaughter
of Thomas Goin. Two of his sons, Levi Goin and Uriah Goin were
her eighth-generation grandfathers.
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fulness, both to you and the recipients.
Does anyone have Edmond Dalkin "Ned" Gowen from Quebec City,
Quebec, Canada. He, the son of Hamond Gowen, lawyer of Quebec
City, was born June 28th 1875. He was married to Esther Marion
"Queenie" Drum about 1898. They removed to Teton County, Mon-
tana in 1914 to farm. They lived in the Bynum, Montana area
where he died in March 1934. Esther Marion "Queenie" Drum
Gowen was a resident of Choteau, Montana in 1978, according to
the April 13, 1978 edition of the "Choteau Acantha." She died
December 26, 1979. Both were buried in Choteau Cemetery.
Anyone doing that research or can make a connection, please
let me know. As always, very appreciative for any help or di-
Dave & Val Dyke
I am eagerly looking for information about the John Goens fam-
ily living in Crossville, Alabama around 1838-1840. John Goens/
Goins/Goings is listed as a founder of the Methodist Church in
Crossville, or the Pine Bark Methodist church as it was known
then. Does anyone know anything about the Goens family buried
in the Crossville Methodist Church cemetary, especially whether
or not they took in a Cherokee baby or boy to raise as their own?
4015 Sierra Drive
Austin, Texas 78731
I am searching for any additional information about the follow-
John H. Gowan, born in St. Mary's [Gowansville], Ontario, Cana-
da, & Annie Elizabeth Mackie, born in London, England [c1855 -
John H. Gowan was a blacksmith. The Gowan family came from
Scotland, from the Isle of Skye or Aberdeen.
Jessie Gowan, married William Jamieson
John Hilton Gowan, born Westbourne, Manitoba, Canada, August
7, 1889 - October 1970, married Helen Rundel.
Annie Gowen, married Samuel Simpson
Eva Gowan, married James McKinnon.
Cora Ruth Gowan, married William Gowan, a cousin.
Nellie Gowan, husband's name Dawe
Mary Gowan, married William Bill Beare.
Aggie Gowan, married Ted Palmer.
Any help would be appreciated.
I would appreciate any information concerning Hester Goins, a
former school teacher [I am told] and resident of Spencer, SD
in McCook County. She is a Great Aunt by marriage. Last in-
formation has her near 100 years of age in the early 1990's
and possibly living in a nursing home in or near Spencer. Her
husband was John Goins and possibly died in 1926 or 1927.
I would like to hear from anyone who has any information on William
Gowan [born 1800-1805] who was living in Appomattox County, VA
around 1850 thru 1860. His wife was Elizabeth Gowan. I be-
lieve that his brother Jordan Gowan and wife, Betsy Gowan lived
in the same area at that time
Children born to William Gowan & Elizabeth Gowan include:
James Gowan, Martha Gowan, Jordan Gowan, Judith A. Gowan,
Nancy Gowan, Frances Gowan, Mary Gowan, Alexander Gowan,
Elizabeth Gowan and twins Sarah Gowan & Eliza Gowan, according
to census return.
These families lived in Buckinghan County prior to the forma-
tion of Appomattox in 1845.
Thanks to anyone who can give me any help on this family. I
have been trying to find more information on them for years
without any luck.
Barbara Goins Albright
9912 Stardust Drive
Indianapolis, IN, 46229
If there is anyone out there who recognizes this story please
email me at . I am looking for my Grandmother's
family from Canada. I have so little information, but will tell
what I know. My Grandmother, Lillian Luella Lindsay or Lindsey
married a man by the name of Connie Clay West. He is from Geor-
gia, USA. They left Canada and on their way to Georgia. My
mother, Marjorie Helen West was born on November 29, 1926 in De-
troit, Michigan. She was married to George Abbott Gowen, Jr.
My Grandmother was born on May 26,1904 and died in June of 1985.
She was remarried in the mid-fifties, husband's name McGuire.
I had an older sister that visited some of the family in Canada.
but when she passed away, we could find nothing to lead us to
these family members. I hope there is someone out there who
recognizes some of this and will contact me. Blessings to all
and I look forward to hearing from any of you.
Thanks so much,
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