Sections in this issue:
1) Foundation Organizes Cooperative Research;
2) Melungion “Skeleton Key” Reveals Genetic Ties;
3) Sloan Team To Investigate Gowrie Conspiracy Legend
(Lt. James Gowen of Beaufort Dist, SC, Earls of Gowrie – the Ruthvens, William Gowen);
4) Copyright Assistance Offered To Writers by Foundation;
5) Was Thomas Gowen the First Of the Name in America?
(18 year old Thomas Gowen arrives in Virginia in 1635);
6) Dear Cousins
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 1, No. 1 September 1989
1) Foundation Organizes
Gowen Research Foundation invites your participation in an exciting new development which represents a quantum leap in our family history research. The non-profit heritage society devoted to the gathering and publishing of the family history, came into being through a grant from Miller A. “Bud” Gowen of Geneva, Switzerland, a cousin and a member of the Swiss financial community.
Efforts are being made to publicize the formation of the Foundation and to acquaint family members with its objectives. A press release has been mailed to genealogical societies and
newspaper genealogical columnists throughout the United States and Canada.
This first edition of the Foundation newsletter is being mailed to 1,600 members of the family nationwide who we feel already have an interest in its history. If you know of family members who would like to be added to the Foundation’s mailing list, please forward their addresses and telephone numbers to this office.
Initially there will be no charge for the newsletter.
The name “Gowen,” which means “smith” in Gaelic, appears in various spellings in American and European records. To make the search as complete as possible the Foundation proposes to gather data on several surnames, the spelling of which has been
used interchangeably through the years. Family lore will be collected on “Gawan, Goan, Goen, Goin, Goines, Going, Govan, Goven, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, Gowine, Gowing, Goun, Gouwen, Goyen, Goyn, Goyne, Guynes and other Soundex versions and plurals.
George Gowan, Editorial Board member of Allen, TX, writes that he has found “Gowen” recorded as “Godwin” in deed records of Columbus County, NC and suggests that researchers be on the lookout for this rendering as well. A name is needed to describe the familia in tota, –all of the above, if you please. Suggestion, anyone?
Genealogists from all over–experts and novices–are being invited by the Foundation to pool their research which will be published in a series of volumes. The project will be conducted under the supervision of an Editorial Board of Directors who, with whatever time and effort they can voluntarily apply, will coordinate the effort in various geographic areas. They will also be on the lookout for other family historians and family members
who have an interest in preserving our heritage.
Compensation to officers and board members initially will be limited to reimbursement for expenses. It is felt that the work of the family genealogists can be augmented by professional researchers where necessary.
Officers of the Foundation include Arlee Gowen, president, Lubbock, TX, Chan Edmondson, vice-president, Dallas, TX; Nancy Hargesheimer, vice president, Lubbock; Linda McNiel, secretary, Lubbock; May Belle Gowen, treasurer, Lubbock, Miller A. Gowen, director, Geneva and Phillip A. Gowan, director, Nashville, TN.
Researchers willing to share their research on any of the surnames are invited to join in the cooperative effort. The Foundation will mail its newsletter free to any descendant requesting it. He will be placed on the Foundation’s mailing list upon submitting
an ancestor chart documenting his descent from one of the allied families.
Correspondence is invited from any individual who has an interest in the preservation of the family heritage. Historical items about ancestors are solicited for publication. Current news items, family reunions, noteworthy accomplishments of family members, ancestor queries and colorful family items are solicited for publication in the Newsletter.
2) Melungeon “Skeleton Key” Reveals Genetic Ties
Due to the discovery of a rare genetic “skeleton key,” it is determined that many descendants with various spellings of the family name are blood related. The fact that each group has “chocolate colored” members called Melungeons, ties all the branches together. The swarthy Melungeons generally have sharp, aquiline features and blue eyes.
It is unfortunate that early census enumerators in the United States did not have the latitude to properly record individuals who did not fit into their prescribed pigeon-holes of “white, Indian, slaves, mulattos, and free men of color. The Melungeons were none of the above!
Louise Littleton Davis, writing in “The Mystery of the Melungeons” refers to them as a “mystery race tucked away between ridges of East Tennessee mountains long before Daniel Boone and the long hunters arrived.” She suggests that they were descendants
of Portuguese sailors shipwrecked off Cape Hatteras in the 1500s or of deserters from Ferdinando De Soto’s expedition in 1539. A Portuguese writer who accompanied the De Soto expedition on its four-year search for gold, wrote “Evora,” an account of the trek, upon his return to Portugal. An English translation of his manuscript was published in 1609 by the Hakluyt Society of London.
In any event, when English adventurers first topped the mountains going westward, there they were–copper-colored colonists who had gotten there first! It is also interesting to note that the Melungeons used English names, such as Gowen/Goin, Ross, Sellers and others.
Jean Patterson Bible in “The Melungeons, Yesterday and Today” concluded that the Melungeons were Portuguese castaways. [“Melungo” means “shipmate” in Portuguese.] Lewis Shepherd concurred and reasoned that because of cultural similarities, the Melungeons were originally Carthagenians who escaped by ship to Portugal when the city fell to the Arabs in A.D. 68.
It is probable that the Melungeons in America predated the first Negro slaves who arrived in Jamestown in 1619. The Melungeons do not have white palms, white soles, thick lips or flared nostrils. Lewis Shepherd, attorney [later judge] of Chattanooga won a lawsuit proving that the Melungeons were not negroid.
John Netherland won a similar lawsuit in Hancock County. As recently as WWII the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Melungeon soldiers should be classified as non-negroid by the military.
It is interesting to note that Melungeon characteristics are found today in several branches of the family–Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, Goin, Going, Goen, Gowing and Goyne.
This strengthens the theory that all of the above carry some common genes, and Melungeon features can crop out in any generation.
Chan Edmondson, light complexioned vice-president of the Foundation, reports that his father, Charles Bartlett Edmondson a Gowen descendant, was called “Choc” because of his
Whether a genealogical curse or blessing, this genetic skeleton key has forced researchers in any of the above to take notes on all of the above. This fact, plus the reality that scribes would invariably record the surname in interchangeable spellings in every generation, requires that research be broadened to include every possibility.
It is planned that a research team be formed to make an intensive study of the Melungeons. Family researchers interested in joining in this effort are requested to contact the Foundation for details.
“The lost cannot be recovered, but let us save what remains; not by vaults and locks which fence them in from the public eye and use, in consigning them to the waste of time, but by a multiplication of copies as shall place them beyond the reach of accident.” –Thomas Jefferson, 1791.
3) Sloan Team To Investigate
Gowrie Conspiracy Legend
One of the most intriguing legends in Gowenana is the story of thee Gowen family’s connection to the Gowrie Conspiracy. The tale is circulated by the Georgia branch of the family, descendants of Third Lt. James Gowen of Beaufort District, SC, of a relationship to Scotch aristocracy.
Religious and political differences aligned the Earls of Gowrie in opposition to King James Vl of Scotland. John Ruthven, third Earl of Gowrie of Perth led the opposition in Parliament against the levying of a tax which James espoused, and in consequence
the king’s project was defeated. He accordingly became very much incensed against all of the name Ruthven.
It is suggested that the king had an even more serious grievance against the Ruthvens. It was whispered that there was an estrangement between the king and his wife due to the discovery of an affair between the queen and the earl’s brother, Alexander Ruthven.
On the morning of August 5, 1600 the king left his palace of Falkland on a hunting expedition, accompanied by some 20 of his retinue. Later in the day he rode with his attendants toward Perth and drew up at the Gowrie castle. No preparations had been made for entertaining the king and his party, but after some delay, a dinner was prepared and served. After the meal was finished, the king and Alexander Ruthven had some whispered conversation and then withdrew to an upper chamber. Some of the courtiers, accompanied by the Earl, stepped out into the courtyard.
Suddenly the king was seen at a turret window shouting, “Treason, treason, help me!” The knights of the king rushed into the castle and up the stairs. The servants heard sounds of a
fierce struggle overhead. When it ceased, they went up to find the Earl of Gowrie dead in the gallery, having been stabbed in the back. His brother Alexander Ruthven lay dead on the stairs, his sword unsheathed.
Two younger brothers, Patrick Ruthven and William Ruthven escaped the massacre, being away with their mother at the time.
When King James declared that he would kill every male of the family, the younger brothers fled to England where Queen Elizabeth gave them her protection. When King James assumed the English throne, his first act in England was to arrest Patrick Ruthven and place him in the Tower of London where he languished for 22 years. After the death of King James, he was released, had his title restored and married a wealthy widow.
Their daughter, Lady Mary Ruthven was married in 1639 to the Flemish painter, Sir Anthony Van Dyck. Eight days before his death December 9, 1641, a daughter, Justiniana Anna Van Dyck was born to them. She was married at age 12 to Sir John Stepney of Prendergast and died about 1690.
William Ruthven, the fourth son, made good his escape “to overseas,” according to the legend. “Scotlands Rimur,” a collection of Icelandic ballads dealing with the Gowrie Conspiracy transcribed by W. A. Cragie, seems to confirm the legend. It is suggested that William Gowen, who had taken the first three letters of “Gowrie” and the last two letters of “Ruthven” for his alias, spent some time there. William Gowen [or his son William Gowen] later came to the colonies and received a large land grant in Georgia. The grant seems to have preceded Oglethorpe’s arrival in 1733. Barney Alexander Gowen, researcher
in Woodbine, Georgia suggests that such a land grant has been located. He points to a 2,700-acre estate shown on early maps as the Gowrie Tract which lies astride the Camden Glynn County line and includes Gowrie Island.
Gowen researchers of Maine have also suggested their ancestor, William Gowen, Scotch prisoner of war from the Battle of Dunbar, as a possible son of William Ruthven.
When Catherine “Katie” Gowen Casey, postmistress of Kingsland, Georgia, in 1925 wrote to the Lord Mayor of Perth asking for details of the Gowrie Conspiracy and of the life of William Ruthven [Gowen] after the king’s edict. Their exchange of correspondence will be incorporated in a monolith on the conspiracy in preparation by a research team under the supervision of Landa Beth Sloan, GRF Editorial Board member of Ft. Worth, TX. If the legend is confirmed, the material will be published by the Foundation. If the legend proves false, we’ll quietly drop the subject.
4) Copyright Assistance Offered
To Writers by Foundation
It is known that many family genealogical manuscripts are in various stages of preparation across the United States and Canada. It is not intended that the proposed set of Gowenana
volumes supplant or displace the publishing of these individual works. Neither is it intended that the Foundation hold the copyright to a manuscript which the author chooses to register.
The Foundation will use its good offices to assist any member to obtain copyrights in his individual name.
When an article is submitted for publication, the Foundation will specify that permission to publish a particular article has been received from the author, thus strengthening his protection under the U.S. Copyright Law of 1976.
The law reads, “Copyright in each separate article in a publication or other collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests with the author of the
contribution.” Thus when an author’s work is included in an anthology, he receives the added protection of the registration of the bound book, but gives up none of his ownership rights to his article.
In an effort to emphasize originality, the Register of Copyrights for the past 30 months has intensified its efforts to restrict the types of compilations that can be copyrighted. Complaints about the new policy resulted in the scheduling of Congressional hearings
on the matter which remains unsettled.
A writer who is about to file for a copyright on a factual compilation might be well advised to wait until the dust settles. Under the terms of the Copyright Law of 1976, a writer’s protection begins the minute he lifts his pen from the paper. Copyright is inherent in the creative process, and protection begins when the writing is finished, not when it is registered with the Copyright Office. Registration gives an author nothing he does not already have, however registration must be obtained before initiating litigation in case someone violates an author’s rights.
No compelling reason exists for registering a copyright when a work is first created because it can be easily filed later, and with the present adversarial attitude being displayed by the Copyright office, filing now could be dangerous. Once an application is rejected, there appears to be no chance for reconsideration. In the future it may be more important to secure an International Standard Book Number from R. P. Bowker Co, 205 E. 42nd St, New York, NY, 10017.
“No man is himself–he is the sum of his past. There is no such thing as “was” because the past “is.” It is a part of every man and every moment. All of his ancestry is a part of him at any moment.” –William Faulkner, 1957.
5) Was Thomas Gowen the First
Of the Name in America?
Was Thomas Gowen the first member of familia nostra to set foot on American soil? On the “7th, 8th month, 1635” the 18-year-old was listed as a passenger for Virginia out of London.
New England Historical & Genealogical Register includes his name in “These underwritten names are to be transported to Virginia in the ‘Globe’ of London, Jeremy Blackman, Master, have been examined by the Minister of Gravesend, of their conformitie and have taken the oaths of allegeance and supremacie.”
The term transported was usually reserved for convicts who were to be banished to the colonies by the Crown because of criminality or heresy. John Camden Hotten in “Our Early Emigrant Ancestors” mentions Thomas Gowen as bound for Virginia.
The term bound was usually reserved for endentured servants.
In any event, the departure of our namesake with Capt. Blackman for Virginia was not an auspicious event. The captain apparently made a career of sailing the trans-Atlantic route. On the “26th, 3rd month, 1639 Jeremy Blackman, mariner and Thomas Stegg, merchant,” contracted with the Virginia Council “to import horses and export neate cattle,” according to “Acts of the Privy Council.”
Very likely Thomas Gowen first set foot on American soil at Jamestown, a settlement destined to be burned and destroyed by marauding Indians a few years later. Apparently he found land in Gloucester County, across the York River from Jamestown, probably in Abingdon Parish, 35 miles east of present-day Richmond.
It is believed that Thomas Gowen died there at age 60, in 1676, the year that the colonists under Nathaniel Bacon repulsed the Indians in the Battle of Bloody Run. Does the coincidental date suggest that Thomas Gowen might have died in the battle?
If an earlier-documented ancestor is turned up by a Gowen researcher, please forward the data to the Foundation for inclusion in a future edition.
6) Dear Cousins
Would like to have the ancestry of my g-g-grandfather James Burns Gowen, b1785 Bedford Co, VA, m1808 Annie Price, d1880 Bedford Co, TN. Mildred R. Ayres, 904 St. Lukes Dr, Richardson, TX, 75080.
Need data on Wade Hampton Gowan, b1856 SC, mc1876 Emmeline Frances Amos cs1880 Spartanburg Co, SC. Dennis Amos, 604 Ferndale, Rock Hill, SC.
Seeking information on my great-grandmother Josephine Goin(s) who m1 Josiah Taylor in Bexar County, TX: m2 Mr. Priest, removed to White Deer, TX. Pamela N. Dillard 1109 Van Horn, College Station, TX, 77940.
Seeking data on Etta Alma Goins/Goynes, my grandmother who b1870 to William Goins and Julia Spell Goins ln Tyler Co, TX, m1893 to Joseph Alexander “Zan” Gassiot; d1974
Coleman, TX. Betty Gassiot Brown, 116 Brush, Coleman, TX, 76834.
Will exchange data on James Goyne/Guynes bc1755 VA. d1834 MS and his son, John Goyne b1776, m1800 Matilda Hall GA, d1840 MS. Evelyn Sandifer Hall, 4319 Colonial Drive, Shreveport, LA, 71119.
Tracking Dillard Gowen/Goen bc1791 SC, mc1818 Nancy, cs1830 Jackson County, GA and their daughter Jane Goins who mc1849 John D. Tuck. Seems that Jane Goins Tuck was a
Cherokee, and the Tuck family disinherited John D. Tuck and his children. They were “shunned by the Tuck family and their names marked out of the family bible.” Fact or fiction? Carolyn Tuck Sanders, 2108 Princeton Drive, Ennis, Texas, 75119.
In pursuit of James L. Gowens/Gynes m1848 Rebecca Trulock, d1853 Worth County, GA and their son William Thomas Gwines b1851, m1878 Mary Jane Thornhill, d1926 Worth County, GA. Gowens name spelled five different ways in Old Trulock family bible. Carl C. Gwines, Rt. 1, Box 4650 Sylvester, GA, 51791.
Searching for Amos Goyen/Goin who mc1778 Mary Ann Baxter in NC: vc1780 Fairfield Co, SC, sdc1784 in Revolution.
Mary Ann Baxter Goyen m2c1785 John Byrns, v1789 Charleston, SC. Two sons, Amos Goyen bc1780 and Jeremiah Goyen bc1783. Lucile H. Sanders, Box 53, Buffalo, TX, 75831.
The annual reunion of the descendants of Marcus Burns Gowen was videotaped August 6 in Lawrenceburg, TN. Copies of the tape may be obtained from Don Lee Gowen, GRF Editorial Board Member, 1310 Cantwell Ave. SW, Decatur, AL, 35610.
Margaret Pearson Tate, GRF Editorial Board Member of Exeter, NH reports that the 27th annual reunion of the descendants of George Edward Gowen and Mary Anne Smith
Gowen was attended by 70 people “from age two weeks to 87 years” July 8 in Stratham, NH. Descendants from New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York attended. The group
presented a flag to the town on Memorial Day in memory of Ralph Gowen, a veteran of World War II.
INDIVIDUALS ASKED TO SERVE ON FOUNDATION EDITORIAL BOARD LAST, FIRST NAME MAILING ADDRESS CITY ST ZIP
AMOS, DENNIS R. 604 Ferndale Drive ROCK HILL SC 29730
AYRES, MILDRED E. ROYAL 804 St. Lukes Drive RICHARDSON TX 75080
BAKER, MRS. L. L. 1310 Avenue I, NW CHILDRESS TX 79201
BRANTLEY, LEVA JOY Route 1, Box 1440 FLETCHER OK 73541
CLEMENTS, BARBARA 38 Pine Road NORTH HAMPTON NH 03862
COUCH, MARIE GOWEN Route 7, Box 222 JONESBORO AR 72401
DE MARCELLUS, JUNE GOWEN 151 Riviera Drive RIVIERA BEACH FL 33404
DENDY, MIRIAM 1800 Ballard SE HUNTSVILLE AL 35801
DENNY, CAROL A. 7112 Calumet AMARILLO TX 79106
DRISCOLL, MARY RFD 1, Box 69-A SPRINGVALE ME 04083
EDMONDSON, CHAN 6909 LaVista Dr. DALLAS TX 75214
FENDIG, GLADYS H. GOWEN 204 Cater Street ST. SIMONS IS. GA 31522
FRANKLIN, MRS. D. B. 502 Copano Ridge Rd ROCKPORT TX 78382
FRY, JEAN GRIDER Route 2, Box 510 CAVE CITY KY 42127
GARDNER, MYRA F. 220 6th Avenue LEWISBURG TN 37041
GLOVER, J. A. “ABE” 4207 11th Street ST. SIMONS GA 31522
GOANS, SAM K. 8751 Wimbledon Dr. KNOXVILLE TN 37923
GOIN, HOYT L. 2506 W. 2nd Street RUSSELLVILLE AR 72801
GOIN III, WILLIAM H. 12813 Superior Blvd. WYANDOTTE MI 48195
GOSNELL, RICHARD Rt. 6, Big Spring Rd SPARTANBURG SC 29303
GOWAN, GEORGE T. 906 Wandering Way ALLEN TX 75002
GOWAN, JACK LA FAY 2157 Shadybrook Lane BIRMINGHAM AL 35226
GOWAN, PHILLIP ALLEN 5510 Country Club,90 NASHVILLE TN 37211
GOWAN, TOM 8513 Basil Court EL PASO TX 79925
GOWEN, ANNA 5719 E. Aster Dr SCOTTSDALE AZ 85254
GOWEN, ARLEE 5708 Gary Avenue LUBBOCK TX 79413
GOWEN, BARNEY ALEXANDER Box 387 WOODBINE GA 31569
GOWEN, CHARLES LATIMER 1327 Peachtree St NE ATLANTA GA 30904
GOWEN, DON LEE 1310 Cantwell Av DECATUR AL 35601
GOWEN, GARY E. 2819 Canon,SV Margar SAN DIEGO CA 92106
GOWEN, HAROLD O. 619 River Village TARPON SPRINGS FL 33589
GOWEN, LEVA JOY Route 1, Box 1440 FLETCHER OK 73541
GOWEN, MILLER ABBOTT 9 rue Beauregard GENEVA SW
GOWEN, PATRICK WILLIAM 1422 Tuterbough St. SAN DIEGO CA 92103
GOWEN, RAYMOND DOYLE Route 1, Box 84 HUDSON KY 40145
GOWEN, RICHARD MILLER 126 Juniper Circle SAVANNAH GA 31406
GOWEN, THOMAS MASON Route One MANCHESTER TN 37355
GOWEN, WILLIAM R. 4004 89th Ave SE MERCER ISLAND WA 98040
GOWENS, NORMAN 7025 Harvey Drive WACO TX 76710
HALL, EVELYN SANDIFER 4319 Colonial Drive SHREVEPORT LA 71119
HARGESHEIMER, NANCY Box 1901 LUBBOCK TX 79408
HERBERT, MARTHA GOWEN Rt. 1, Box 50 EKRON KY 40117
HOUCK, JR., MRS. HOYT 1421 Reid St CLOVIS NM 88101
JOHNSON, CHARLES C. Route 3, Box 474 FLOYDS KNOBS IN 47119
JOHNSTON, SALLIE GENTRY Box 892 JACKSONVILLE AL 36265
LAND, HELEN L. 2980 Arizona LOS ALAMOS NM 87544
LYNCH, CYRELLA FISH 8556 Valley Crst WACO TX 76705
MC NIEL, LINDA S. 3702 43rd Street LUBBOCK TX 79413
NEWMAN, KENNETH 906 Second St. JACKSONVILLE AL 36265
NICHOLS, J. C. 9629 E. Camino Real ARCADIA CA 91006
OVERSTREET, HAZEL DEAN Rt. 1, T. Box 841 ODUM GA 31555
PARKER, LAVERNE 3415 6th Avenue HUNTSVILLE AL 35805
PETRUCILLI, KATHY 20 Stanwyck Road SALISBURY NC 28144
PIERCE, ANN 1913 19th Ave S NASHVILLE TN 37212
POE, MRS. PHYLLIS 15406 Ashburton HOUSTON TX 77040
SANDERS, CAROLYN TUCK 2108 Princeton Drive ENNIS TX 75119
SCHERMERHORN, MONA 9854 Oakdale W’ds Ct VIENNA VA 22180
SLOAN, LANDA BETH 4320 Bellaire Dr, S. FT. WORTH TX 76109
SOUTHARD, SHARI LYNN 5240 W.LasPalmaritas GLENDALE AZ 85302
SPAULDING, ANN GOWEN 350 Cross Tree Lane ATLANTA GA 30328
STARK, MARY BURNS 239 Deerfield Street HOUSTON TX 77022
TATE, MARGARET 34 Washington St EXETER NH 03833
TROSTLE, MARY GOWIN 4515 48th Street LUBBOCK TX 79414
UNDERDAHL, HARVEY & JANE Box 4792 FT. LAUDERDALE FL 33338
WADDLE, NANCY 4617 NW 32nd Place OKLAHOMA CITY OK 73122
WHITE, MARY POPE Route 2, Box 158 CAVE SPRINGS GA 30124
WILHELM, MAE Route 2, Box 523 ESTILL SPRINGS,TN 37330
WILLIAMS, ANNE GOWEN Box Section WOODBINE GA 31569
WILSON, DELMON 7982 Forrest Hill Rd ABILENE TX 79605
WRIGHT, MARJORIE 9022 Southwood Shreveport LA 71118
Gowen Research Foundation Phone:
806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail:
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Fax: 806/795-9694
NOTE: The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing. It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic. I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes. So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct. Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.
Their website is: Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf
There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors. The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.
Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.