1794 Nathanial Gowin b. abt 1794 in Va, m. Sabra Midgett, lived in Wilson Co, TN

From GRF Newsletter Jan, 1991:

James Alexander Gowin and Rebecca Adams Gowin were residents of Virginia about 1793 when their son, Nathaniel Gowin was born, according to the research of Larry Austin May, a descendant of Salem, Ohio.

Nathaniel “Nathan” Gowin was born about 1794 in Virginia.11

It has been suggested that he was born in Rockingham County.3

On July 28, 1813, he was married in Roane County, Tennessee to Sabra Midgett, daughter of George Midgett and his first wife, Sabra Burrus.12

Sabra [pension file shows Sabrina] Midgett Gowin was born about 1795 at Cape Hatteras in Dare County, North Carolina.

“Nathan Goens” enlisted in Capt. Joseph Goodsen’s company of Tennessee militia in the War of 1812, according to “War of 1812 Pensioners” by Virgil D. White. He received Survivor’s Certificate No. 1382 and a bounty land warrant. In 1817, when Nathaniel Gowin became 21, he was listed in the tax list of Grainger County, Tennessee adjoining “John Going.”15

Nathaniel Gowin paid taxes in this county from 1816 to 1819. In 1820, he was on the census roll of Wilson County, Tennessee and remained there at least until 1826 when he and
“Shadrack Gains” appeared on the tax roll. By 1830, he had returned to Grainger County. He appeared there in the 1830 and 1831 tax rolls, farming 90 acres previously rendered by
John Gowin.

A land grant may have prompted his move to Jersey County, Illinois.13

He was enumerated there in the 1840 census.14

Sabra Midgett Gowin died August 20, 1860, and he was remarried in Jersey County to Sylva Wilcox July 12, 1862.13

Nathaniel Gowin died March 23, 1879 in Grafton Precinct and was buried in Otterville, Illinois in Jersey County. Sylva Wilcox Gowin died about 1898 in Virden, Illinois.

Children born to Nathaniel Gowin and Sabra Midgett Gowin include:

Daniel Gowin born 1810-20 in TN,
George Gowin born 1810-20 in TN
[daughter] born 1810-20 in TN
[daughter] born 1820-30 in TN
Miner Steele Gowin born October 1, 1823 in Wilson Co.
Hester Gowin born Nov. 25, 1825 in Wilson Co.
[daughter] born 1825-30
Steve Gowin born 1825-30
Emeline Gowin born c1838 in Illinois
Nathan F. Gowin born c1840 in Illinois
Paris M. Gowin born April 25, 1841 in Illinois

Miner Steele Gowin, son of Nathaniel Gowin and Sabra Midgett Gowin, was born October 1,  1823 in Wilson County, Tennessee.

While a nonagenarian, he was asked by the secretary of the Illinois State Historical Society to write an account of his life and his philosophy. It was published in the “Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society” in 1916.

Through the courtesy of Larry Austin May, a great-great grandson of Salem, Ohio and a member of the Foundation, the article written by Miner Steele Gowin was made available for reprinting in the Newsletter.

“A Letter From a Venerable Member of the Illinois State Historical Society

“To Jessie Palmer Weber,
Dear Lady:–

In an effort to comply with the request you made me last May, when I called on you at your office in Springfield, Illinois, that I write something of my experience and observations, to be printed in the records of the Illinois Historical Society, I herewith submit these lines.

My birthday will be October 1st, 1916, at which time I will be 93 years old. I am in fairly good health and strength, I think of reasonable sound mind and memory; but I realize that the time is soon to arrive when I shall surrender all earthly ties and possessions and take that last and final journey into the unknown and unknowable hereafter.

First, I wish to declare my abiding faith and loyalty to the foundation principles of our great and glorious government. (Made sacred, and I hope secure for all time to come by the shedding of so much precious blood.) The first is that all men are created equal; and when I say men I mean men and women.

The second great principle is that all are equally entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and when I pledge allegiance to that principle, I do not mean that it carries with it a license for one man to encroach upon the rights or liberties of his fellow-man;
man’s liberties cease where the lawful rights of his fellow-man begin.

I believe in the organization and consolidation of wealth, of labor. of intellect, where the object and aim of said organization and consolidation is for the good of humanity, the welfare of the nation. But, I am opposed to such organization and consolidation when the object is to oppose just laws, thwart justice and strangle healthy competition. While I believe in the intercourse of nations under well defined international law, or rules of action, and that Americans while domiciled in a foreign country should recognize and obeythe Laws of the country in which they’re sojourning, yet I believe in a fealty and loyalty which knows but one allegiance and that allegiance is and always has been with me America–my America.

And I claim that we have a right to demand and enforce the position that all persons exercising the right of citizenship and claiming protection under our flag should yield strict, undivided allegiance to our flag, to our laws, to our country, and again, when he or she has done this, and is doing this, they are entitled to the protection of this government in all that the word protection implies, when taken in connection with those words–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It matters not whether that citizen is upon our own soil or upon the high seas or in foreign lands.

Under treaty arrangement or under international laws, made by the civilized nations of the world, he should be made to feel secure in his life, his liberty and his property rights, under the strong arm of this nation, which if clearly asserted and forcefully demanded will
always have the moral support of the law-loving people of all civilized nations. For me I have but one national allegiance and that is America. I have but one party allegiance and that is progressive republicanism. I have but one religious allegiance and that is the cause
of humanity. I have but one objective allegiance and that is to do good. I have always welcomed the torches of knowledge, of light, of love. I have always tried to stand on the solid rocks of reason and truth.

I was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, near Lebanon, October 1st, 1823. I was brought by my father and mother, Nathaniel Gowin and Sabry Gowin, by covered wagon and oxteam in 1827 up through Kentucky, across the corner of Indiana into the southeastern part of Illinois and then across the sparsely settled region of south-central Illinois, until we reached the country now known as Jersey County, Illinois. Into the west woods as it was called, a few miles west of where Jerseyville now stands, my father pulled, as it would not do to stop away out on the wild and wind-swept prairies.

Shifting from one locality to another small settlement, through what is now Jersey County (then a part of Greene), I spent my boyhood and young manhood days, sometimes on foot, sometimes on horseback, sometimes in old-style farm wagons I traveled over the  unbroken ground where the city of Jerseyville now stands. Many the furrow in the virgin soil I plowed, many the tree I felled, many the rail I split, many the day a cradle I swung to cut the golden grain.

In 1846 I was married to Nancy Beeman. To this union ten children were born. Four of them died in early infancy and childhood, six of them grew to manhood and womanhood as follows: Stephen L. Gowin, now of Fulton, Missouri; Ellis M. Gowin, drowned in 1901
near Buffalo, Missouri, at the age of 51 years; Nannie T. Gowin, now Mrs. Walter Grundy (a widow), at Morrisonville, Illinois; Arnest E. Gowin, residing now at Morrisonville, Illinois; Miner S. Gowin, now a resident of McCune, Kansas, and Mary A. Gowin, now Mary A. Gorman (a widow) of Muskogee, Oklahoma.

In 1868 I moved with my family to Montgomery County, Illinois.

In 1884 I moved with my wife to McCune, Kansas. In 1896 we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary of wedded life. In 1900 my wife died. She was buried at McCune. In 1903, I was married to Louisa Campbell of Jerseyville, lived there one year, then we moved to McCune. In 1916, my second wife died. She also was buried at McCune. I am at this writing still maintaining my home at McCune.

I have voted at eighteen presidential elections, thirteen of those I have voted for have been elected. If I live and have my health at election time this fall, I shall vote for Charles E. Hughes for president, and of course expect him to be elected.

While I have lived for a great many years in Kansas, there has scarcely been a year when I did not return once or twice to Illinois. I have always kept in close touch with her progress and development and have personally known so many of her great men and having been so closely related to and associated with so very, very many of her so-called ordinary men and women, it is still a comfort and inspiration to mingle with so great a people.

My advice to those beginning in life is, be industrious, be saving, be honest, be temperate in all things, be true to yourself and just to others, and above all else be true and loyal to your government, be brave to meet the issues of the day as they arise and be strong to battle ever for the right. Miner S. Gowin.”

Nancy Beeman Gowin died January 31, 1900, and Miner Steele Gowin died July 23, 1918. They were buried at McCune, Kansas. Ten children were born to them:

Harriet A. Gowin born in 1847
Stephen Lincoln Gowin born March 21, 1848
Ellis Miner Gowin born June 21, 1850
Talitha Gowin born about 1852
Colitha Gowin born about 1853
Nancy C. Gowin born March 14, 1854
Arnest Edgar Gowin born July 7, 1857
Orman Gile Gowin born December 27, 1859
Miner Steele Gowin, Jr. born about 1861
Mary Ann Gowin born August 23, 1865

Children born to them include:

Ellis Miner Gowin born June 21, 1850

Ellis Miner Gowin, son of Miner Steel Gowin and Nancy Beeman Gowin, was born in Jersey County June 21, 1850. He was married there April 24, 1879 to Mary E. Osburn who was born in Jefferson County, Illinois December 24, 1861. In 1886 they lived in Crawford County, Kansas. Mary E. Osburn Gowin died in Dallas County, Missouri January 1, 1900, and he died there July 4, 1901.

Children born to Ellis Miner Gowin and Mary E. Osburn Gowin include:

Nancy Ann Gowin born April 5, 1886

Nancy Ann Gowin, daughter of Ellis Miner Gowin and Mary E. Osburn Gowin, was born April 5, 1886 in Crawford County. She was married November 16, 1904 in Fayetteville,
Arkansas to Omer Austin May. He was born in Polk County Missouri June 29, 1885. He died July 27, 1929 in Dallas County. She died June 13, 1984 in Greene County, Missouri.

Children born to them include:

Harley Fitzel May born December 19, 1905

Harley Fritzel May, son of Omer Austin May and Nancy Ann Gowin May, was born December 19, 1905 in Dallas County.

He was married April 20, 1931 to Esther Mattie Locke who was born October 23, 1909 in Polk County. They continued there in 1937.

Children born to Harley Fritzel May and Esther Mattie Locke May include:

Larry Austin May born January 2, 1937

Larry Austin May, son of Harley Fritzel May and Esther Mattie Locke May, was born in Polk County January 2, 1937.

He was married February 1, 1958 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to Elva Gail Williamson. In 1990 they lived in Salem, Ohio.


2. Mary Gowin was born about 1795 in Virginia.4

About 1820, she was married to George Midgett as his second wife.16

They appeared in the 1820 census of Wilson County without children.9

Four children appeared on the 1830 Wilson County enumeration.

They removed to Crawford County, Illinois where George Midgett died in 1846, naming their four children in his will.

She and her family appeared there in the 1850 census. Later she and part of her children removed to Wabash County, Illinois.16

Children born to them include:

Stephen C. Midgett born c1821 in TN
Joseph A. Midgett born Dec. 7, 1822 in TN
James A. Midgett born c1824 in TN
Martha Midgett b1826-30 in TN

3. Delilah Gowin, born December 20, 1800 in Tennessee, was married September 21, 1820 to James Dunsmore in Lebanon, Tennessee in Wilson County with Shadrack Gowin as surety.7,17

James Dunsmore was born in North Carolina about 1800.17

They did a lot of moving: 1826, Grainger County tax list, Capt. Andrew Eaton’s company;15 1829, daughter born in Tennessee; 1835, son born in Virginia; 1846, lived in Rockcastle County, Kentucky;17 and in 1850, enumerated in Hancock County, Tennessee. Delilah Gowin Dunsmore died there October 18, 1859 and was buried in McGinnis Cemetery.17

Children born to them include:

Martha J. Dunsmore born Sept. 13, 1826 in Tennessee
John Dunsmore born c1829 in TN
Manerva F. Dunsmore born July 3, 1835 in Virginia

James Gowin appeared in the 1810 tax list of Wilson County, Tennessee. There were several Gowen families, all South Carolinians, originally from North Carolina, in the adjacent
counties of Davidson and Rutherford. [See GRF Newsletter August 1990] The 1811 tax list of Grainger County listed James Gowin, Sr. and James Gowin, Jr.

“David Smith Goins,” son of “Shadrack Going” of Patrick County, Virginia was born in Hanover County November 21, 1751.19

He enlisted about 1776 in the Revolutionary Army from Halifax County where he continued as a resident until 1786. David Smith Goins appeared in the 1782 tax list there with two family members. In 1785, the family had grown to four.20

“David Smith Goins” lived in Grayson County, Virginia from 1787 to 1790. “David Gowin, black” appeared as the head of a household in the 1810 census of Wythe County,  Virginia.19

In 1830, the federal census of Grainger County, Tennessee listed him as “David Goan, free colored.”16

In 1832, he applied for his pension at age 76 in Hamilton County, Tennessee.

He died there February 26, 1834. His pension file states in 1840 that his pension was paid to his children [unnamed]. Who were they? Why was he given the middle name of Smith at a time when middle names were seldom used? [See Newsletter, April 1990]

Labon Goins, brother of David Smith Goins, was born in Hanover County in 1757, but did not serve in the Revolutionary Army.19 He was a son of “Shadrack Going” and was living
in Grainger County in 1806.15 [Newsletter, April 1990]

Other Gowin/Goin/Going men in Hanover County were: John Gowin, born before 1713, leased land in Hanover County June 7, 1734 in St. Martin’s Parish and Philip Going, born before 1742, was a tithable in Hanover County in 1763 for 220 acres Henry Going, born before 1761, was on the 1782 tax list for Hanover County with eight in his family, possibly six children born before 1782.

Halifax County was formed from Antrim Parish of Lunenburg County, Virginia in 1752. As mentioned above, David Smith Goins was listed here on the tax lists of 1782 and 1785.20

Others in this county were his father, “Shadrack Going,” born before 1730, who appeared on the 1782 tax list with 12 in his family, probably 10 children born before 1785.20

“Shadrack Going” had to be living in Hanover County in 1751 and 1757 for the birth of his sons, David Smith Goins and Labon Goins.

On October 4, 1780 in Halifax County, “Shadrack Going,” “David Going” and Peter Wilson witnessed the will of Stephen Wilson. The will was proved June 20, 1782 “by two witnesses
[unnamed].”24 On a deed recorded Nov. 17, 1785, “Shadrack Going” sold 451 acres on Pole Cat Creek to Henry Hobson.25

Others in the same county include Zephaniah Gowin, born about 1758 in Halifax County. He enlisted in the Revolutionary Army in 1779 from Henry County, Virginia.26

In 1810, he was in Rockingham County, North Carolina.21

“Zephamiah Goans, free person of color” was enumerated in the 1830 census of Roane County, Tennessee [where Nathaniel Gowin was married in 1813]. On December 18, 1834, he was a justice in Hawkins County, Tennessee when he applied for his pension.

From “Virginia Patents,” page 809, John Gowin was issued Patent No. 34: “Lunenburg County, February 14, 1761, 400 acres beginning at William Hill’s corner on Reedy Branch,
adjacent Ruffin’s line.” This patent was issued in Lunenburg County before Halifax County was formed.28

The land lay about 12 miles from the land of “Shadrack Going” on Pole Cat Creek. From the date of this patent, John Gowin was probably born before 1740. He appears on the 1782 tax list with two members in the family and reappears in the 1785 tax list with four in the family, probably two children born between 1782 and 1785. He could be the same “John Going” who died in Henry County, Virginia in 1801.

Daniel Going, born before 1761, appeared on the 1782 tax list of Halifax County with two in the family.20

He is possibly the Daniel Going of Grainger and Jefferson counties in Tennessee.

Jacob Gowen, in his pension application, stated that he was born in Henry County, Virginia in 1762, however in 1762, that area was in Halifax County. He lived in Kentucky between
1790 and 1820. On June 7, 1832, he was in Vermillion County, Illinois. From 1826 to 1838, he lived in Lawrence County, Illinois, the county where Shadrack Gowin died in 1878.

The Revolutionary War pension application of Charles Gowens stated that he was born in Henry County in 1763. Again, that area was Halifax County at that time. He continued in
Henry County in 1779; in Harrison County, Kentucky from 1797 to 1815 and in Gallatin County, Kentucky where “Charles Goin” headed a household in 1830. He applied for
his pension there October 22, 1833 at age 70.30

He was enumerated in the 1840 census of pensioners in Gallatin County.

He wrote his will there June 18, 1847. In 1855, at age 92, he made application for a Bounty Land Warrant and received a 160-acre grant under the Pension Act of 1855. He lived to be
102 years old, dying in Gallatin County in 1865. [Newsletter, January 1990]

William Goings, born 1763, enlisted at Halifax Court House, Virginia for the period of the Revolutionary War. He was married in October 1793, wife’s name Elizabeth, in Caswell
County, North Carolina, adjoining Rockingham on the east.

He applied for a pension in 1819 in Hawkins County, Tennessee and mentioned his wife, two sons, ages 11 and 2 and two daughters, ages 10 and 8. He died there August 23, 1847.
[See GRF Newsletter, August 1990.]

In 1776, Henry County, Virginia was formed from Pittsylvania County. Goin/Going/Gowin individuals appearing in Henry County include; Charles, Clabourn, David, Elizabeth, Jacob, James, John, Josiah, Littleberry “Berry,” Nancy, Simon, Susanna, Zacheriah, Zedekiah and Zephaniah32,33

John Goan received land in Pittsylvania County in 1770.34

“John Going” took the oath of allegiance August 30, 1777.35

Why? He received a land grant on March 1, 1784 of 374 acres on both sides of Blackberry Creek, adjoining his own land and that of John Witt. “John Gowin” patented an additional 79 acres on Blackberry Creek April 16, 1788. In 1795 he purchased land from Bartlett Washington. “John Going” was granted 153 acres on both sides of Little Blackberry Creek.36

Henry County Will Book 2, page 37 records the will of John Going, Sr, proved in 1801. Heirs named were Clabourn, Elizabeth, John, Nancy, Josiah, Littleberry, Susanna, Simeon,
Zedekiah and Zacheriah.37

Where did these seven sons live?

David Goan received land in Pittsylvania County in 1770.34

On March 30, 1789, “David Gowin” was granted 94 acres on Spoon Creek, adjoining the land of John Ward and 185 acres on the south side of Spoon Creek, “adjoining Collier.”36

[David Smith Goins was supposedly in Grayson County, Virginia at this time.]

James Goan received land in Pittsylvania County in 1770.34

“James Gowing” purchased land from William Higgenbottom in 1784 in Henry County. On August 2, 1797, “James Gowin” was granted 61 acres, adjoining Augustine Brown, on both
sides of Little Dan River.36

Revolutionary War soldiers from Henry County include:

Charles Gowens, born 1763; Jacob Gowen, born 1762;
William Going, born 1761 and Zephaniah Gowin, born about 1758.

Patrick County, Virginia was formed from Henry County in 1790. Shadrack Going of Hanover and Halifax counties was first mentioned in Patrick County records when he bought 1,000 acres June 11, 1792 on both sides of the Little Dan River from John Marr for 500 pounds, a lot of money for that time. On November 4, 1793 Shadrack Going administered the estate of Nathan Going who had been killed by being struck in the head with “the eye of a weeding hoe” by Robert Hall on the plantation of Jacob Lawson. Thomas Ward and Joshua Adams were his bondsmen. Edward Tolman, John Hanby and Nathaniel Smith were appointed to settle the estate.

In November 1803, “Shadrack Goine” sold 48 acres of his 1,000 acres to his grandson, Shadrack Beazley for a “valuable consideration.”38

“Shadrack Going” wrote his will January 4, 1805, naming “wife, Hannah; sons, John, David Smith, James, Claborne, Solomon, Shadrack, Caleb and Obadiah; daughters, Keziah, Jerushe, Fanny Bowlin, wife of Edmund Bowlin and Hannah Beazley, wife of Thomas Beazley; grandchildren, Rebecca Going, daughter of Fanny Going, wife of Edmond Bowlin
and Shadrack Beazley. Witnesses were David P. _______, William Coomer and H. Adams.

Quoting from Patrick County Deed Book 3, page 87:

“State of Tennessee}
County of Grainger}

“Whereas Shadrack Gowing, late of the county of Patrick . . . possessed land in said county lying on Little Dan River, containing 912 acres and also possessed of a considerable
personal estate . . . whereas Shadrick Gowing had the following children, Jerusha, John, David Smith, James, Fanny, Claiborne, Leaborne [Laban], Kesiah, Shadrake, Hannah, Obediah, and Caleb. . . . John, James, Caleb, Claiborne, Shadrick and Leaborne . . . appoint Henry Howell of the County of Grainger . . . their true and lawful attorney . . . to sue . . . Obediah Gowing for settling the property unfairly and submitting a will which was not
Shadrack Gowing’s will.

July 24, 1806 John Gowing James Gowing
Caleb Gowing Claiborne Gowing
Leaborne [X] Gowing Jerush Gowing


J. J. Jack, Leaborne [X] Gowing, Henry Howell”

It is interesting to note that Jerusha Going signed the instrument with her brothers, but was not mentioned in the document.

Shadrack Gowing was mentioned in the document, but did not sign it. Leaborne Gowing, one of the plaintiffs, also signed as a witness.

On March 31, 1808 “Jerusha Gowing and Kesiah Gowing, heirs of Shadrack Gowing, dec’d,” gave a quit claim deed to their interest in the estate to Gabriel Hanby, Sr. On August 9,  1808   “Obediah Going of this county sells to Gabriel Hanby 1,200 acres on the Little Dan River for $1,600 whereon Shadrick Going, deceased lived.” The deed was witnessed by
William Carter, Thomas [X] Beasley and John Tatum.

Patrick County Deed Book 3, page 83 records an apparent settlement of the dispute dated October 30, 1807:

“I, Henry Howell, attorney for John Going, James Going and Laborne [no last name] have this day by virtue of my power compromised all manner of dispute about the will of
Shadrack Going, dec’d and so hereby for the above named persons transfer all their right and rights unto a certain tract of land to Gab’l Hanby and for which land a suit was
brought in Patrick Court to set aside a second will, as witness my hand and seal.

Witnesses: Henry Howell
Nat’l Claiborne, Fleming Saunders”

Following are the known children of Shadrack Going/Gowing with allowances for other possible children, making a family of 21 siblings:

John Going born c1749
David Smith Going born November 21, 1751
[child] born c1753
[child] born c1755
Laban Going born in 1757
[child] born c1759
Daniel Going born c1761
Hannah Going born c1763, married Thomas Beasley
Caleb Going born c1765
[child] born c1767
James Going born c1769
Solomon Going born c1771
Claiborne Going born in 1773, married Sarah
Shadrack Going born c1775
Nathan Going born c1777
Obediah Going born c1779
Fanny Going born c1781, married Edmund Bowlin
Rebecca Going born c1783, married P. Finley
Frederick Gowen born c1785, married Nancy Coomer
Jerusha Going born c1787
Keziah Going born c1789

It is assumed that Shadrack Going had more than one wife. Perhaps the presentation of this family will open some new avenues of research and stimulate other investigation.


Also of Patrick County, James Goin, born before 1765, wrote a will dated August 21, 1807. It was proved in the January court term of 1808. Legatees named included: Peggy Adams
[no relationship given]; daughters, Prudence Goin and Betsy Goin; sons, Stephen and William; youngest children, Arthur, Isaac and Nancy Goin. Executors were Jesse Williams,
Joseph Jessup, Joseph Jackson and John A. Grigg. Witnesses were Moses H. Grigg, Moses Grigg and Drury Bondurant.39

On January 11, 1810 Nancy Goins, widow of James Goins, appointed Benjamin Goins of Surry County, North Carolina her lawful attorney in a suit against Harman Prowman.

Witnesses were “James S. Gains” and “John S. Gains,” according to Surry County Deed Book 3, page 351.38

Surry County touches Patrick County, Virginia.

On February 20, 1812, “James S. Gains” and Obediah Goin, “heir at law of Shadrack Goin, dec’d exchanged land on the west side of the Goin line on Thomas Beazley’s corner,” according to Patrick County Deed Book 3, page 530.38

Witnesses were John Tatum, Thomas Beazley and “William D. Gaines.”

Jean Grider Fry of Cave City, Kentucky wrote of her great grandfather, Jonathan Gowen who was born in 1822 in Patrick County. On February 6, 1846 “Jonathan Goen” was married
to Hannah J. Beasley in Surry County, according to the county’s marriage records. The bride, traditionally a half Cherokee, was born in 1826, according to the 1860 census of
Adair County, Kentucky. [See GRF Newsletter, July 1990]

A survey of Gowin, Going, Gowing, Goyne, Goine, Goin, Goins on the Patrick County Deed Index from 1792 to 1821 listed Shadrack, John, David, Joseph, William, Jesse, James, James S, Claiborne, Caleb, Leaborne, Obediah and Zedekiah.38

Marriage licenses between 1791 and 1812 for individuals of interest to Gowen chroniclers include: Jacob, Benjamin, Isaac, Richard, Mary, Rebecca, William, Caleb, Margret, Nancy,
Stephen, Elizabeth, Beverage and John.43

Rockingham County, North Carolina which adjoins Henry County, Virginia on the south was the location of Aaron Going.

On May 16, 1787, he received 410 acres from the state on the headwaters of Matrimony Creek on the Dan River and on Paw Paw Creek of the Mayo “adjoining the former line of
Saluel Gates & Hamilton,” according to Rockingham County Deed Book A, page 33. On November 8, 1788, Aaron Going sold his 410 acres to Tusbyfield Barns for £200.44

“Aaron Gowan, son of George and Sarah,” was christened September 3, 1738 in St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, Virginia.45

This is the same area that Shadrack Going came from. James Going, Patrick Neely and W. Hamilton on February 21, 1789 were witnesses to a Rockingham County deed in which Hance McKeen of Guilford County, North Carolina sold land to George Harston of Henry County, Virginia.

Conveyed for 25 pounds was 155 acres on Paw Paw Creek of Mayo River, adjoining the Virginia line.44

The 1790 census of Salisbury District [which included all of Tennessee], Rockingham County enumerated “James Gowing, 1 white male over 16, 3 white males under 16 and 3 females.”

Other Gowins mentioned in early Rockingham County deeds include: Robert Goin, November 10, 1792; Henry Goins, September 3, 1793 and Jesse Gowen/Goin, October 27,

The 1810 census for Rockingham County, North Carolina listed Frederick Going, Jesse Going, Zephaniah Going and Thomas Goines.27

Traces of the descendants of Shadrack Gowing have been found in several counties in Tennessee: Claiborne, Grainger, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Roane and
Wilson. On November 27, 1797, James Goin received North Carolina Land Grant No. 300 for 262 acres on the Tennessee River and 938 acres on the north side of Tennessee River in
what is now Grainger County.47

A 1799 tax list for this county records “Thomas Goen, James Goen, John Goen, John
Gowen, William Gowen and Alexander Gowen,” all listed as “white.” Grainger County was formed from Hawkins and Knox Counties in 1796.

The 1810 tax list of Grainger County lists six sons and one son-in-law of Shadrack Gowin/Going of Patrick County, Virginia:

“Bolling, Edmund 1 white poll
Goan, John 1 white poll 90 ac. on Young’s Crk
Goan, Claiborne 1 white poll 100 ac. on Young’s Crk
Goan, James 1 white poll
Goan, William 1 white poll
Goan, Shaderick 1 white poll
Goan, Daniel 1 white poll 338 ac. on Richland Crk
Gowin, Caleb 1 white poll
*Howell Henry 1 white poll 900 ac. on Young’s Crk

*Attorney for Going brothers in Patrick County lawsuit.

The 1810 census records these families differently:

“Bolen, Edmund 8 free colored 6 children
Goan, John 9 free colored 7 children
Goan, Claibourn 8 free colored 6 children
Goan, James 3 free colored, 1 white female 16-26
Goan, Shadrach 5 free colored 3 children
Goan, Caleb 6 free colored 4 children
Goin, Daniel 1 white male 26-45, 1 white female 26-45, 2 white females 10-16, 4 white males 0-10, 1 wh. female 0-10, 1 slave
Guin, Joseph 1 white male 26-45, one white female 16-26, 1 white male 0-10, 1 white  female 0-10
Guin, William 1 white male 26-45, 1 white female 26-45, 1 white female 10-16, 1 white female 0-10”

From tax lists it is apparent that six sons of Shadrack Going spent these years in Grainger County:

John Gowin 1806-1828
James Going 1799-1811
Claiborne Goins 1810-1811
Shadrack Going 1806-1815
Caleb Gowin 1808-1819
David Smith Goins 1819-1827

Shadrack Going of Patrick County is the same man that is on the 1782 Halifax County tax list and was born before 1730.

David Smith Goins, born November 21, 1751, is one of his children. Shadrack Going had at least 10 children born by 1782. The sons in Grainger County at the time of his death in
1805 were at least 18 years old, all born before 1787. Judging from the size of their families in 1810, they were probably much older.

My ggg-grandfather was Shadrack Gowin, and he was born in 1791 in Virginia. The Grainger County Shadrack Going who died in 1805 was an older man.

Daniel Gowin, born between 1735 and 1745, died in Jefferson County, Tennessee prior to September 1810, the date of his estate inventory. He had a son, Shadrack Gowin who was
born in 1790 and who married Syntha Inman January 31, 1809 and who remained in Jefferson County. Daniel Gowin had a grandson, Drury Goin, born to Fanny Goin out of wedlock.

There were two individuals named Drury Gowin/Goans in Grainger County. One who was born before 1781 was a bondsman for the marriage of Nancy Gowen to James Randolph
November 22, 1802.50

Drury Goans was born in 1793 in Tennessee and was married to Mary Goans August 23, 1817
in Grainger County.50

She was born in Tennessee in 1798.

The younger Drury Goans was on the Grainger County tax lists from 1819 to 1828 with Daniel Goan/Gowen. Daniel Goan and Drury Goans were recorded as “white” on all tax
lists and census returns. Daniel Goan, born between 1755 and 1758, applied for a Revolutionary pension in Campbell County, Tennessee in 1818 and make a supplemental application in 1820. Having reached the age of 65, he was not assessed for his 363 acres in Grainger County after 1824.15

My gg-grandfather was Drury Gowin, and he was born in Tennessee in 1819.

Appearing in Grainger County records between 1799 and 1834 were: Alexander Gowin, Jeremiah Gowin, Henry Gowin, Riley Gowin, Carson Gowin, Levi Gowin, Nathan Gowin,
Preston Gowin, Pryor L. Gowin, William Gowin and Thomas Gowin.

William Goin and Thomas Goin, both born between 1750 and 1760 and both enumerated in the 1830 Claiborne County census are the right age to be sons of Shadrack Going.

Zephaniah Gowin, born in 1758 in Halifax County, Virginia, applied for a Revolutionary pension in Hawkins County, Tennessee, is also the right age to be a son of Shadrack Going. William Going, born in Hawkins County between 1754 and 1764 was also the right age.

This report would not be complete without mentioning the East Tennesssee militiamen of interest to Gowen chroniclers in the War of 1812. They included:

Gowens, John Pvt, Bunch’s Regt, [1814]
Gowin James Pvt, Bunch’s Regt, [1814]
Gowins,* Nathan Pvt, 4th Regt, [Bayles’]
Goin,* Isaac Pvt, 4th Regt, [Bayles’]
Gowins, Wishock Pvt, 4th Regt, [Bayles’]
Gowins,* Drury Pvt, 4th Regt, [Bayles’]
Goin, William Pvt, 4th Regt, [Bayles’]
Gowan,* James Pvt, 3rd Regt, [Johnson’s]
Goin, Isaac Pvt, 3rd Regt, [Johnson’s].
Going, Caleb Pvt, 2nd Regt. [Lillard’s]
Going, Pleasant Pvt, Rangers, U.S. Volunteers
Going, William Pvt, Rangers, U.S. Volunteers
Gowing, William Crp, Morgan’s Cherokee Scouts
Going to Lift Pvt, Morgan’s Cherokee Scouts
Going to Send Pvt, Morgan’s Cherokee Scouts
Going Wolf Pvt, Morgan’s Cherokee Scouts
Going to Shake the Earth Pvt, Morgan’s Cherokee Scouts
*Drew a pension

There is a definite migration pattern in movements of family members of interest to Gowen researchers. Beginning in Hanover County, Virginia, it leads to Halifax County and then to Patrick County. From there the pattern leads to Grainger County, Tennessee and then to Wilson County and points west. Family history cannot be based on speculation. It is hoped that other researchers can add documentation to this data and fill in the gaps with information from family bibles, diaries, journals and legal records. Many court cases have been won with circumstantial evidence, but at this point, this “case” would not “stand up in court” without additional documentation.


1. Ruth Straley, 5373 Old Smith Valley Rd, Greenwood, IN, 46143.
2. Crawford Co, IL Marriage Book B, page 270.
3. Madge Howard, 717 Fourth Ave. N, Great Falls, MT, 59401.
4. James Madison Gowin, 7347 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN, 37209.
5. 1840, 1850, 1860 Federal Census, Crawford County, IL.
6. Sumner Cemetery, Lawrence County, IL.
7. Wilson County, TN Marriage Bonds.
8. Wilson County, TN Tax Lists, 1810-1841.
9. 1820, 1830 Federal Census, Wilson County, TN.
10. U. S. Dept. of Interior, 350 S. Pickett St, Alexandria, VA, 22304.
11. 1850 Federal Census, Jersey County, IL.
12. Roane County, TN Marriage Bonds, 1801-1855.
13. War of 1812 Service Records and Pension Files.
14. 1840 Federal Census, Jersey County, IL.
15. Grainger Co, TN Tax Lists, 1799-1834.
16. “Highsmiths in America” by Chris Bailey.
17. Grace McGinnis, Box 601, Morristown, TN, 37814.
18. 1850 Federal Census, Hancock Co, TN.
19. Revolutionary War Pension File #S3406.
20. “Heads of Families, Virginia, 1790.”
21. 1830, 1850 Federal Census, Grainger County, TN.
22. “Valentine Papers” by Edward Pleasants.
23. “Virginia Tithables from Burned Record Counties” by Woodson.
24. Halifax County, VA Will Book 1, page 404.
25. Halifax County, VA Deed Book B, page 316.
26. Revolutionary War Pension File #R4165.
27. 1810 Federal Census, Rockingham County, NC.
28. Land Patents, Virginia State Library, Archives Div, Richmond, VA.
29. Revolutionary War Pension File #S32273.
30. Revolutionary War Pension File #S31072.
31. Revolutionary War Pension File #W930.
32. Henry County, VA Deed Index.
33. Henry County, VA Marriage Index.
34. “Index to Pittsylvania County, VA Land Entries, 1737-1770.”
35. “Bulletin of Virginia-North Carolina Piedmont Gen. Soc, Nov. 1981.
36. “History of Patrick and Henry Counties, VA” by Pedigo.
37. Henry County, VA Will Book 2, page 37.
38. Patrick County, VA deed records.
39. Patrick County, VA Will Book 1, page 6, 53, 80.
40. “The Southwest Virginian,” Vol. VI, No. 28, March 1983.
41. Norma Jolly, 650-127 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, San Marcos, CA, 92069.
42. Jean Grider Fry, 1734 Salem Church Road, Cave City, KY, 42127.
43. Patrick County, VA marriages, 1791-1822.
44. Rockingham County, NC Deed Abstracts, 1785-1800.
45. I. G. I. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
46. “Heads of Families, North Carolina, 1790.”
47. Knox County, TN Deed Book 1, page 128.
48. 1810 Federal Census, Grainger County, TN.
49. Jefferson County, TN Will Book 1, page 341.
50. Grainger County, TN marriage records.
51. Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, Grainger County, TN, 1802-1812.