1989 – 10 Oct. Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue: 

1) Foundation Moves for Stability in 1990
2) Whence came the name . . ? Gowensville, South Carolina
(John Buck Gowen info)
3) Robert Gowing Noses Out Thomas Gowen by a Year
(Robert Gowing b. 1618 living in Massachusetts)
4) Hardware and Software
5) Dear Cousins
(Letters received from readers with questions and info about “Gowen” families)

All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters:   https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/

Volume 1, No. 2 October 1989

1) Foundation Moves for
Stability in 1990

Encouraged by the heavier-than-expected response, the Foundation feels that it has been welcomed into the family!

Response to the announcement of the Foundation in genealogical columns across the United States and to the GRF newsletter has been surprising and indicates the organization has been accorded a place in the clan. The amount of mail received was a little overwhelming, but in time all of your letters will receive acknowledgement or reply.

Letters received from family members from all across the United States and from foreign countries have expressed high hopes for the success of the Foundation’s purposes. All have pledged their cooperation in sharing the data they have gathered through the years on their branch of the family, regardless of the spelling of the surname. In addition, some have offered financial assistance as further approval.

This endorsement, so vital to the future of the Foundation, should not have come as a surprise, considering our Scotch heritage of self-reliance. After all, it was the Scots who stopped the Roman Legions and forced the building of Hadrian’s Wall at the border, and it was the Scots who successfully maintained their independence by repelling William the Conqueror and his Normans.

Although our founder, Miller A. Gowen of Geneva, Switzerland, has placed no limitations on his generosity, the board feels that the Foundation needs to move toward
self-sufficiency. He has provided the initial motivation and necessary financing throughout 1989, and we cousins should provide the continuing momentum. Failure to utilize this rare opportunity would be most regrettable.

Accordingly, Foundation membership, starting in 1990, will be offered to every family member who would like to have a part in honoring our forebears. An order for Foundation membership cards has been placed with the printer. These Memberships will be offered immediately to family members and researchers on a calendar-year basis, good through 1990. Annual fees begin at $10.

Under the oversight of the board of directors, the fees will be used to fulfill the purposes of the Foundation:

1. To preserve and publish the heritage of the family, not in just a study of the “begats,” but in recording its culture, its achievements–and its foibles.

2 To assist individual family members to find their “place” in the lineage and to understand the nature of their ancestors and their sacrifices for the family.

3. To unite the family in toto and to undo the divisive damage done by careless recorders who have brought about the 30-plus spelling variations of our surname.

4. To instill in the younger generation an appreciation of their heritage and a knowledge of the effort expended to bring the family to its present position.

5. To make certain that young and old alike will manifest a family pride that will be handed down for generations to come.

If you concur in the objectives of the Foundation, you’re invited to clip [or reproduce] the membership coupon below and drop it in the mail. Indicate the type of membership you prefer, and Linda McNiel, Foundation Secretary will issue your 1990 Membership Card immediately.

2) Whence came the name . . ?
Gowensville, South Carolina

Gowensville, a 200-year-old community in the apex of the state, was named for Capt. [later Major] John “Buck” Gowen. The community had to fight on two fronts during the Revolutionary War. Militia companies were raised in the northwestern corner of South Carolina–to face the Cherokees on the northwest and the British on the southeast.

Captain Gowen, in charge of Gowen’s Fort near the north end of the Indian line, commanded a militia company. The fort was located near the captain’s home on the South Pacolet River, a short distance from Gowensville.

War swirled into the Gowensville area from the northwest in 1776 with Cherokee and Tory attacks. The Tories were led by “Bloody Bill” Bates and “Bloody Bill” Cunningham who cut a gory trail of destruction across the area. Whenever the Tories were victorious, the result was a massacre. No quarter was given to men, women or children who were surrendered to them. All were killed and scalped.

While the colonists were holding out in the west against the Tories and the Cherokees in 1780, the British advanced from the southeast, rolling up the defenses. They defeated the forces of Gen. Tuck on July 12, obliterated the troops of Col. John Thomas, Jr. on July 13 and captured Gowen’s Fort.

While they were relaxing and enjoying their victory, the colonists came roaring back under the command of Col. Jones on the following day and recaptured Gowen’s Fort. Capt. Gowen, whose company was part of the forces of Col. Jones, resumed command of the fort.

The Redcoats withdrew from the apex area completely after their defeat, but the Tories returned with their guerilla warfare. They made their first attack on Gowen’s Fort in September 1781. In November, while part of the militia under Capt. Gowen was away on orders, “Bloody Bill” Bates struck again and swept up the defenders. Men, women and children who were in the surrendered fort were slaughtered and scalped. Mrs. Abner
Thompson and her family had fled to the fort for safety. When the fort fell, she lay on the ground feigning death. Suddenly she felt a scalper’s knife circling her crown, and she held back her screams as her hair was jerked from her skull. Mrs. Thompson survived her wounds and lived in Greenville, South Carolina for many years afterward, according to “Southern Lineages” by Adeline Evans Winn.

Again Capt. Gowen’s forces recaptured the fort, but Bates was able to slip away during the battle to continue his harassment of the colonists. During the war Gowen’s Fort changed hands five times as the winds of war swept back and forth. “Bloody Bill” Bates also survived the war, only to be arrested shortly afterward for horse-stealing. He was lodged in the Greenville jail. A deputy employed at the jail had managed to escape one of Bates’ massacres during the war. At an unguarded moment the deputy escorted Bates from his cell to a vacant lot next door, gave him a minute to make peace with his maker and shot him dead. Bates was unceremoniously buried where he fell, and the Greenville post office was built over his grave.

Maj. Gowen died in November 1809. Frank Maxwell Gowen who made a study of the area in 1971 concluded that the major was buried in a pioneer cemetery located in the Earle’s Mill
community nearby. The Rev. Thomas Jefferson Earle, a Baptist minister founded Gowensville Seminary there in 1856.

Gowen’s Fort and its blockhouse was occupied during the Civil War, some 80 years later, by Confederate deserters. To halt their foraging on the farms of local citizens, Col. J. D. Ashmore was ordered to capture the deserters. Col. Ashmore positioned a cannon before the gates of the fort. After a demonstration of cannonpower, 502 deserters filed out of the fort, on their way to courts martial.

The old fort remained quiet until World War I, and then cannons boomed again on the site. The U. S. Army had chosen the site for artillery training. Today no sign of the old fort remains, and no one can locate the site for certain.

Gowensville today has a population of 200 people–about the same number that were recorded there in the federal census of 1790–and none of them are named “Gowen.”

3) Robert Gowing Noses Out
Thomas Gowen by a Year

From Massachusetts comes documentation showing Robert Gowing of Watertown rather than Thomas Gowen of Virginia as the first member of familia nostra to set foot on American soil. 

Robert Gowing was born in Scotland in 1618, according to “American Ancestry.” He emigrated from Edinburgh to Massachusetts Bay Colony as a “man servant” in 1634 and settled in Watertown. In 1636 he removed to Dedham. In July 1639 “Robert Gowing, man servant, joined the church in full communion,” according to “Dedham Town Records.”

He was granted land prior to 1642 and became a freeman in 1644, according to “Genealogical Guide to Early Settlers in America” by Henry Whittemore. He was married to Elizabeth Brock, daughter of Henro Brock “31st, 10th month, 1644,” according
to “Pioneers of Massachusetts.” The bride was born in Stradbrook, England.

Robert Gowing was a resident of Wenham in 1650 when he was required to appear in court to answer for the sale of a gun to the Indians.

“Records of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England” reveal, “23 May 1650, Robert Gowen of Wenham, havinge sould a gunne to the Indians & in so doeinge havinge
forfeited by law ten pounds, vppon a petition proferred to their court, hath the one halfe of his fine remitted, vizt, five pounds, P. Curia.”

A week later the following entry was made in the court records, “30 May 1650, In answer to the petition of Robert Gowing for remittment of the fine of tenne pounds for selling a gunne to the Indians, the court remitts the one half thereof.”

It is believed that Thomas Gowen died in Virginia in 1676, at age 60, perhaps in the Battle of Bloody Run. Robert Gowing outlived him as well as preceding him to America. “Roberd
Gowing” died at Lynn, Massachusetts June 7, 1698, at age 80, according to Lynn church records.

If an earlier-documented ancestor is turned up by a family researcher, please forward the data to the Foundation for inclusion in a future edition.

4) Hardware and Software

Many questions have been received by the Foundation requesting information about the computer hardware and software in use in the Foundation office.

The equipment is an Alloy network of IBM XT-compatible computers, 3 hard disks with 60 megabyte storage capacity, 5.25′ and 3.5″ drives, Hughes modem generally operating at
2400 baud on dedicated phone line 806/795-9694, Archive XL tape backup system and Hewlett-Packard Deskjet printer.

Generally composition is done with Microsoft Word, version 5.0, word processing program, however with its import and conversion features, the program can be used to transcribe from many other programs. Spreadsheet program is Lotus 12-3,however it will convert D-Base and other programs. Genealogy programs in use include “Family Roots,” “Roots III,” “PAF,” release 2.1 written in C and “Genemaster.” Thus far we have been able to transcribe from every computer disk received, and with two “built-in” computer  programmers on the staff, the Foundation should be able to cope.


Your first newsletter is undoubtedly the most exciting piece of mail I have received in years. I hereby offer up blessings and thanksgiving for such a man as Miller A. Gowen who has done such a marvelous thing. Please be assured that I want to help in every way possible. I came into contact with Phillip A. Gowan a few years ago while doing some research through correspondence.

Additionally, I came across the name of Arlee Gowen in an exchange with some Georgia researchers, and I am wondering if it is the same as the one serving as President of the Foundation.

[Si, lo mismo, senor.]
In the newsletter you write of the early arrival of Thomas Gowen and the fact that the term transported had tainted derivation.

“Original Lists of Persons of Quality” published by Genealogical Publishing Company states these were “emigrants, religious exiles, political rebels, serving men sold for a number of years, apprentices, children stolen, maidens pressed and others who went from Great Britain to the American plantations.” Therefore it does not necessarily follow that he was a criminal.

I am a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and have always been hopeful of finding a Gowen in my direct lineage who also served in the Rev. War. I have found where three men with the Gowen surname were well known to George Washington, and he mentioned them in his manuscripts. They were Daniel, Jacob and Zadock Gowen.

While visiting in Scotland and northern England I found the gowan blooming in the meadows. They are similar to the marguerite, and Robert Burns immortalized them in his “Auld Lang Syne” when he wrote, “We twa ha’es run aboot the braes and picked the gowan fine.” It might be a very appropriate thing for an artist to incorporate the “gowan’ in a logo for the Foundation.

Just a suggestion. I am very interested in taking my line back further. My William Gowen married Susannah Bruce in Pittsylvania County, Virginia in 1821, and his mother Ann Gowen gave her consent which probably means that his father was dead. I cannot locate
them in Pittsylvania County which means that William traveled there to claim his bride and then returned to his home. But where? Olen Ross Gowens, Ashby Place, Ladoga, IN, 47954

==Dear Cousins==

I am very excited! The Newsletter was forwarded to me from a cousin in Denton, TX. I am in England until March 1990. I have been twice to Cornwall where my ancestor, Richard Goyn was born in 1822. My main roots come from St. Agnes, a tin mining village there on the ocean. I plan to return there in December. Can I do anything there for the Foundation,
copies, records, pictures, books?

I also belong to the Cornwall Genealogical Society and will forward the Newsletter for their quarterly bulletin. There are many here searching for our family. Enclosed is my pedigree
chart. I will be happy to help any Foundation member while here. I have found a cousin in Cornwall, and there are many Gowen families throughout England. I am in contact with another cousin in New Zealand who is in contact with others in  Australia. Billie June Salmond, London Temple, New Chapel, Nr. Lingfield, Surrey, England, RH7 6HW

==Dear Cousins==

Everyone at our Gowen reunion in Lawrenceburg, TN was very excited about the announcement of the Foundation. We had 126 cousins attend, and the addresses of all attendees are enclosed with the request that they be put on the mailing list.

We will all be very glad to share all our research with the Foundation. After all, your previous work provided the start for where I am today. Don Gowen, 1310 Cantwell, Decatur, AL, 35601

==Dear Cousins==

Several weeks ago a Gowen passed through Asheville and called me to get acquainted. He promised to send me some information about the Foundation, and this led to your sending the Newsletter to me. We are delighted to get such interesting information concerning the Gowen family, and we would like to participate. I am including the information on our ancestors. I am 72 years old, was a naval officer in WWII, the Korean war, and the Vietnam War, retired in 1971 in the rank of captain after 30 years service. George A. Gowen, 694 New Haw Creek Rd, Asheville, NC, 28805

==Dear Cousins==

I just heard the good news about the Foundation from my father and grandmother. I am a descendant of William Gowen, the Scotch prisoner-of-war who settled in Maine. My branch of the family originates with the Hon. James Gowen of Westbrook who moved here from Kittery in the late 1700s. In fact, myself and many members of my family live on the same road where James Gowen settled. His house still stands very near my home.

My family is listed in “Gowen Family Genealogy,” 15015-91 “A” Avenue, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, V3R 1B8. David Gowen, 804 Duck Pond Road, Westbrook, ME, 04092,

==Dear Cousins==

A friend sent me a column from the “Daily Oklahoman” announcing the Foundation. My Goyne lineage is shown on the enclosed chart as far as it is proved. However, I have a good bit of other Goyne (various spellings) information. Additionally I correspond with a network of “cousins” in the U.S, Great Britain and Australia.

I was in Scotland in May of this year and discovered the Goyne name in the geography of that country. There is a Glengoyne Parish south of Aberdeen, a Glengoyne Distillery in
Sterlingshire which gets its water from Dumgoyne Hill. A friend in Scotland contacted the owners of the distillery and was informed that the name meant “blacksmith,” according to their authority at the University of Edinburgh. A correspondent in Kent, England informed me that the name was clustered in Cornwall in the 1700s. My contact in Australia has a large collection of Goyen etc. marriages and christenings from England dating back into the 1500s. Also, some deeds and tax records into the 1300s. He has sent me computer print-outs of all this.

Let me know the type of information you are seeking, type of computer, genealogy software that you use and any other useful information. I will pass that along to my “cousins” network who I am sure will contact you direct. Carroll H. Goyne, Jr, 10019 Canterbury Drive, Shreveport, LA, 71106

==Dear Cousins==

I had heard of Arlee Gowen earlier though your correspondence with my Aunt Helen Gowen almost 40 years ago. I am delighted to learn that others are searching as arduously,
industriously and enthusiastically as we have been in our small way. The prospect of sufficient resources and coordination of efforts is exciting! This week I was excited to discover the connection between the Gowens of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and our ancestor, William Gowen, the Scottish prisoner-of-war transported to Maine after the Battle of Dunbar.

I shall be very interested in how this project proceeds, and I eagerly await the newsletters. I remember on my first trip to Scotland in 1946 as soon as people heard my name, I would be told, “Oh, you’re one of us.” I sincerely thank you. I wish my Aunt Helen were alive to share this excitement–though she would now be nearing 113! Mary Ellen Gowen Waugh, 6401 Auburn Avenue, Riverdale, MD, 20737

==Dear Cousins==

I will be pleased to help the Foundation. It may be a while before I can make a meaningful contribution. I am heavily looked right now and have only until next April to complete the
requirements for Certified Genealogist. What computer programs do you hope to use? I use Family Roots for genealogy, but am familiar with Roots III and PAF. My own Goin families were in TX, MO, TN and NC, however I am currently researching for clients in OH, PA, NJ and VA. Your press release will be posted at Clayton Library for Genealogical Research here in Houston. Mary Stark, 239 Deerfield Street, Houston, TX, 77022

==Dear Cousins==

Thanks so much for a great family newsletter. Please add to your mailing list Bryan-Lang Historical Library, Woodbine, GA. The newsletter will receive a prominent place on our
shelves. Eloise Bailey, Box 398, St. Marys, GA, 31569 

==Dear Cousins==

I received the newsletter, and I will do what I can to assist. The enclosed computer diskette contains all the information that I have entered in my files on Daniel Goans of Grainger County, TN and 824 of his descendants. Sam K. Goans, 8751 Wimbledon Drive, Knoxville, TN, 37923

==Dear Cousins==

I saw the article about Gowen Research Foundation in Regina Hines column in the Gulfport, MS newspaper, and I am very excited about the possibility of finally identifying a Gowen ancestor. My great-great-grandfather had a son named Gowen Harris who was born in Spartanburg County, S.C. Brent Holcomb, certified genealogist, located him there in 1803 on the South Tyger, near the location of John Gowen.

I believe I may well have a Gowen in my early ancestry as it is extremely rare to have “Gowen” for a given name. In the autobiography written by my great-grandfather, Rev. Henry J. Harris, it is mentioned that Gowen Harris married into a wealthy, aristocratic family in 1801. His wife was named Fannie. They didn’t get along and were divorced in Mississippi in 1826. Gowen Harris served in the first Mississippi legislature as a representative from Covington County.

By all means, keep me on your mailing list. It would be very exciting to hear from a Gowen researcher who can connect my Harrises to the Gowens. Rubie Harris, 4817 York, ~226,
Metairie, LA, 70001

==Dear Cousins==

Will exchange Goyne data. Need info on John Goyne who d1819 Jefferson, AL and his son John R. Goyne b1809 GA, and his grandson George Washington Goyne b1849 Kemper, MS,
m1872 Elizabeth Byers, Lamar Co, TX, d1907 Hamilton Co, TX Charlie Blakley, 211 Gatewood Circle W, Burleson, TX 76028

==Dear Cousins==

I am Lois Gowen Collins, daughter of William Loyd Gowen who was born January 23, 1897 in Eddyville, IL. His parents were Wiley Fletcher Gowen and Dora Ann Evans Gowen who
had 11 children. Wiley Fletcher Gowen was born September 16, 1875 near Dorisville or Harrisburg, IL and died September 3, 1897. He had two sisters, Mary Gowen and Martha Gowen.

Grateful for any help on this line. Lois Collins, 9713 Echo Lane, Overland, MO, 63114.

==Dear Cousins==

Need information on John & Elizabeth Denham[?] Gowen/Goins/Gowens mc1835 Cumberland Co. [now Monroe Co.], KY. Son John b1837 KY. Elizabeth Gowen bc1839
Bailey Elder in Benton Co, MO, cs185O Carroll Co, MO. Need everything, glad to exchange data with anyone. Theron D. Elder, 3156 N.W. 25th St, Oklahoma City, Ok, 73107

==Dear Cousins==

Searching for parents of James Goyne/Goynes/Guynes b1755 Mecklenburg Co VA. Rev. soldier, Camden Dist, SC: v St. Helena Pa, LA, Copiah Co, MS, Lawrence Co, MS; v1836
Kempner Co, MS. Virginia R. Kerr, Rt. 1, Box 208-A, McComb, MS, 39648.

==Dear Cousins==

Will exchange data on Matilda Gowen b1800 KY, m1831 John William Miller, Lawrence Co, IL: d1900 Crawford Co, KS. She had brother, Thomas Gowen. Leva Joy Brantley, Rt. 1, Box 1440, Fletcher, OK, 405/365-4381.

==Dear Cousins==

Interested in corresponding with anyone who is researching the Goyne surname. They were in the following counties and states: Georgia–Warren, Taliferro, Wilkes, Houston. Alabama–Jefferson, Coffee; Louisiana–Union & Morehead Pa. Arkansas–Union, Ashley & Drew. Texas-Fannin, Gregg & Hunt. Sammy Duncan, 2107 Division, Greenville. TX,  75401.

==Dear Cousins==

Need parents and siblings of Pleasant Goins/Gowen/Gowan/Goens/Gooing bc1799 TN or VA: he m1821 Temperance Cooper in Dallas Co, AL. They had Andrew Martin b1823, David, William, Martha and a daughter who dy: m2 Louisa Alice “Ally” Webb 1846 Shelby Co, AL.
Had ch, Matilda Jane, Margarette G, Martin B, Pheoby, Allie/Alice, and Susan. Pleasant dc1863 Shelby Co, about the same time as his father who d in TN. Will gladly exchange
data. Fay B. Kitchens, 101 Jolly Roger, Monroe, LA, 71203.

Gowen Research Foundation
Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue
Lubbock, Texas, 79413
Fax: 806/795-9694
Internet: http://www.llano.net/gowen


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.

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