Sections in this issue:
1) Gowen Family Receives Research Bonanza in Tennessee;
2) Dear Cousins (J. Bazzil Goins, John Going of Henry Co, Va).
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Vol. 3, No. 1 September 1991
1) Gowen Family Receives Research
Bonanza in Tennessee
When William Gowen homesteaded in Davidson County,
Tennessee in 1780, little did he know that two centuries later
his farm would be part of a metropolitan airport with constant
arrival and departure of jetliners. Or that archaeologists would
be digging on his homesite to turn up artifacts such as the implements
he employed or the bone buttons he might have lost
from his coat.
When it became apparent that a runway expansion at the
Metropolitan Nashville Airport might require the removal of
the Gowen family cemetery there, Steve Rogers, Tennessee
Historical Commission preservation specialist contacted the
Foundation. Thus was begun a series of consultations with
Dirk Calvin of nearby Brentwood, the Foundation’s Preservation
Committee chairman and direct descendant of William
The result is that Gowen family researchers are receiving unprecedented
assistance in their effort to learn about their ancestors
who lived there. The powerful resources of the State
of Tennessee, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the Tennessee
Division of Archaeology, the Tennessee State Library
and Archives, the County of Davidson, the Metropolitan
Nashville Airport Authority and the City of Nashville, are
being combined to unearth every possible piece of evidence of
the lives of the family members who lived there. Additionally
the Gowen homestead will become eligible for the National
Register as a historic site.
Complementing the effort marshaled by these agencies, worth
thousands of dollars, a professional archaeological research
firm is being employed by the state to do extensive excavation
on the Gowen farm.
Gowen Research Foundation and Gowen family researchers
are receiving this priceless windfall because of the far-sighted
policies of the State of Tennessee, federal guidelines and the
fact that Wilford Burleson Gowen had the foresight to
“reserve forever” the Gowen cemetery plot of “five poles
square” [6,800 square feet] in the deed when he sold the farm.
The Tennessee Historical Commission and the Tennessee Division
of Archaeology made a preliminary survey of the 640-
acre site which William Gowen had received for his Revolutionary
services from the State of North Carolina before the
State of Tennessee came into existence. Over 1,200 artifacts
were turned up in the sweep; enough to prompt the state to
contract with Garrow & Associates, a professional archaeological
firm of Memphis, to do a thorough exploration. Two
homesteads with intact limestone foundations, chimney falls
and a root cellar were found by the archaeologists. One of the
most promising discoveries was the location of a blacksmith
shop. The roof and walls had collapsed on the shop, encasing
and preserving the blacksmith tools and equipment which
remain just as the smith left them. A shallow accumulation of
soil then covered all evidence of the blacksmith shop.
The family cemetery was found, and a low stone wall which
was installed in accordance with the will of John Jones Gowen
written in 1829, was discovered as the enclosure for three
graves. Immediately outside the wall was found at least eight
Unexcavated areas within the cemetery boundaries are believed
to contain 15-20 more graves. The archaeologists speculate
that the additional graves might contain bodies of family
members, slaves and inmates from the mental hospital which
was built nearby about 1858. Archival research has shown
that from nine to 15 slaves were employed on the property, at
least from 1820 to 1850. Recovery of several Civil War artifacts
suggests “a minor military component at the site,” according
to the archaeology report.
Upon completion of the survey by the archaeological contractor,
all artifacts, field notes, records and photographs will
be catalogued and delivered to the Tennessee Division of Archaeology.
Policy of the Division of Archaeology specifies, “Any human
burials, historic or prehistoric, encountered during the course
of the investigation shall not be removed or disturbed without
a court order. If human remains are encountered, all work in
the immediate area should cease, the exposed remains covered
and protected and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport
Authority and the Tennessee Division of Archaeology notified
At the same time, Rogers began a historical study of the
homestead using public records at the Davidson County
Courthouse and the Tennessee State Archives and genealogical
records furnished by the Foundation to trace the ownership
of the land. He confirmed that four generations of the
family lived there before descendants sold out and removed.
William Gowen was one of 255 men who signed the Cumberland
Compact on May 1, 1780 in which the signors established
a government and pledged to come to the aid of each other in
the event of Indian attack.
David Gowen, an 18-year-old, suggested as a nephew or
grandson, accompanied William Gowen to Ft. Nashborough,
He was killed in the first year in an attack by the Chickasaw
on Mansker’s Station.
Sons of William Gowen—John Gowen, James H. Gowen and
William Gowen, inherited his land when he died in 1790. A
part of William Gowen’s original land grant was offered for
sale by his sons, John Gowen and James H. Gowen in the
Nashville newspaper December 13, 1806. They described the
land as containing 240 acres “and lying on the main road from
Nashville to Jefferson,” according to Steve Rogers.
James H. Gowen conveyed the land to Daniel Vaulx June 2,
1807. On March 20, 1818 John Gowen purchased “200 acres
on Mill Creek” from his brother, William Gowen which was
probably his share of the inheritance.
John Gowen died about 1810 and was probably buried in the
Gowen cemetery with his father. Two sons were born to him:
John Jones Gowen born February 13, 1775
William Gowen born about 1777
John Jones Gowen was born February 13, 1775, probably in
Fairfield County, South Carolina. A marriage license was issued
October 30, 1801 for the marriage of John Jones Gowen
to Lydia Shute. Lydia Shute Gowen died October 26, 1811 at
age 30 and was buried in the Gowen Cemetery.
On March 12, 1818 John Jones Gowen paid $2,300 for 200
acres of the original preemption to his uncle William Gowen
for his inheritance.
John Jones Gowen was enumerated there in the 1820 census
with 15 slaves and reappeared in the 1830 census with 10
This same tract, less 25 acres, was given to John Jones
Gowen, Jr. January 21, 1824 “for the natural love and
affection I have for my son.” This deed may have been a
wedding gift for John Jones Gowen, Jr. who, shortly before,
was married to Tabitha Hays, daughter of Charles Hays.
John Jones Gowen died at age 60 March 26, 1835. His will
written May 31, 1829 gave exacting instructions to his sons,
John Jones Gowen, Jr. and Wilford Burleson Gowen:
“I wish my remains interred in the space between the
graves of my father and my wife and the three graves to be
enclosed with a stone fence or wall to be done at the expense
of my two sons John J. Gowen and Wilford B.
Gowen as soon as they can conveniently do the same.
I will and bequeath the farm I am now residing on to my
two sons, John J. Gowen and Wilford B. Gowen to be
equally divided between them, including the 175 acres that
I have heretofore given to my son John J. Gowen.”
Tabitha Hays Gowen died about 1836 after one son was born
to them, and John Jones Gowen, Jr. was remarried to
September 25, 1838 to Amanda Malvina East, age 18, daughter
of Edward H. East, Sr.
Shortly after he was enumerated in the 1840 census of
Davidson County, John Jones Gowen, Jr. bought land in
Holmes County, Mississippi. In the following year he moved
there, becoming a plantation owner at West, Mississippi. He
died there August 6, 1843.
Wilford Burleson Gowen had received 200 acres in the western
third of the original 640 acres upon his father’s death. It is
this area that contains the family cemetery that will be affected
by the airport runway extension. Wilford Burleson Gowen
had been influenced to Mississippi by his brother. On July 18,
1842 he sold his 200 acres to Jesse Collins for $6,000, according
to Davidson County Deed Book 5, page 153. It was
in this deed that he “reserved in me and my representatives
forever” the family cemetery plot.
He had been married July 26, 1826 to Ursula Rains, granddaughter
of Capt. John Rains, pioneer settler of Nashville.
Ursula Rains Gowen died July 18, 1844. After her death, the
widower made plans to remove to Holmes County. He sold
25 acres, the southwest corner of his land, to Charles Hays for
$1,000, according to Deed Book 7, page 82.
Jesse Collins operated the Gowen farm for the next 10 years
and then sold it to Thomas B. Johnson for $10,300 January 1,
1852, according to Deed Book 15, page 567. On June 4, 1856
Johnson transferred the farm to his son, James P. Johnson,
according to Deed Book 26, page 234.
Eight months after he received the land, James P. Johnson sold
the farm for $20,000 to the State of Tennessee for the Central
State Hospital for the Insane which is now known as middle
Tennessee Mental Health Institute.
2) Dear Cousins (J. Bazzil Goins, John Going of Henry Co, Va)
I am researching Basil Goins, bc1780 VA, m1 Betsy[?].
Their children: Albert bc1805, William bc1806, John bc1808,
J. Bazzil bc1810, Washington Joshua bc1813 and Jefferson
J. Bazzil Goins m1829 Sarah “Sally” Downs, Hall Co, GA.
They were enumerated cs1840 Cass Co, GA; cs1850 Murray
Co, GA. Where were they in 1860 census? J. Bazzil Goins
d1862, and Sally Downs Goins moved along with their 10
children to Franklin Co, AL [later Colbert Co.] where she
d1892. I have information on this family and also the family
of Washington Joshua Goins to share. Please let me know if
anyone has “seen” J. Bazzil and Sally Goins in cs1860.
Carrie M. McGee, 1303 6th Ave, Jasper, AL, 35501
I wanted to suggest that Foundation members be on the
lookout for “The Diary of Clarissa Adger Gowen of
Ashtabula Plantation,” 1865. This diary was retained by her
granddaughter, Clarissa Walton Taylor who collected other
accounts of life in the Pendleton-Clemson area of South Carolina
from 1776 to 1889. The book was compiled by Mary
Stevenson Adger [1852-1900] of Pendleton and was published
by Foundation for Historic Preservation, Box 444, Pendleton,
SC, 29670, according to “Genealogical Books in Print”
edited by Nettie Schreiner-Yantis.
I am presently researching the James Gowen who was
overseer of the plantation of the famous and tragic Maj. Pierce
Butler at Darien and St. Simons Island, Georgia. His wife, the
famous English actress, Fannie Kemble made the plantation
well known in her book, “Journal of a Georgia Plantation.”
I regard this James Gowen as a brother to my g-g-grandfather,
William W. Gowen [1803-1895].
I believe Mr. John Christian, Woodbine librarian has additional
information on the activities of James Gowen. He recently
sent me a map of Camden County which has the illusive
and mysterious Gowrie Island marked on it. I’ll keep you
posted if I learn anything of interest on these Gowens. Hazel
Dean Overstreet, Rt. 1, Box 938, Odum, GA, 31555.
John Going, c1735-1801 and his wife Elizabeth Going,
c1738-1816, of Henry County, Virginia are my 6th grandparents
through my Goins line and also my 6th grandparents
through my Minor line. He owned a plantation that lay astride
the Henry-Patrick county line. I have made two recent trips to
Henry County and have found the general location of his land.
According to the deeds, it lay on both sides of Blackberry
Creek in Henry County and on Polecat Creek in Patrick
County. In 1792, John Going was granted permission in
Henry County Chancery Court to built a gristmill on Blackberry
Creek, and I am hunting for this millsite.
The land of Shadrack Goins lay very close to that of John
Going in Patrick County, suggesting a relationship.
Eleven children were born to John Going and Elizabeth
Going: Elizabeth Going, Zephaniah Going, John Going, Jr,
Simeon Going, Littleberry Going, Claiborne Going, Isaiah
Going, Zachariah Going, Nancy Going, Zedekiah Going and
Elizabeth Going was married to Hezekiah Minor September
19, 1795. Their son, Zachariah Minor, who was married
to Agnes Sizemore, was my 4th grandfather. They removed to
Rockingham County, North Carolina before coming to
Hawkins County, Tennessee where they died
Zephaniah Going, my 5th grandfather, was a Revolutionary
soldier and was at Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered
in October 1781. He was married June 10, 1790 to Elizabeth
Thompson. They lived in Henry County, Rockingham
County, Roane County, Tennessee and Hawkins County
where they also died. They had 13 children, 10 daughters and
three sons. Their son, Isaiah Going who married Arminta
Lindsay, was my 4th grandfather also.
I know very little about the other nine children of John Going
and Elizabeth Going. I need help from other cousins to
finish this puzzle. If you have information, please write.
Jack H. Goins, Rt. 2, Box 275, Rogersville, TN, 37857.
While I was in the library at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, I met
Chan Edmondson of the Foundation who told me you might
be able to help me with my Gowan research. My g-g-grandparents
were James C. Gowan, b1795 in VA and Lucinda
Margaret True [?], b1806 in VA. I found them on the 1850
census of Harrison County, IN with ch: Jahue b1830, Mary A.
b1832, John b1834, James E. b1836, Lucinda b1838, Levina
b1841, Rezin b1843 and Miriam b1845.
James C. Gowan d1874, and Lucinda Margaret Gowan
d1880. Both were buried in Gowan Cemetery in Jefferson Co,
Mo. The sons of James C. and Lucinda were said to be
stonemasons, carpenters and farmers and were all in Harrison
County in 1850.
My g-grandparents were James E. Gowan, b1836 in IN
and Susan Robertson who m1864 in Jefferson Co, MO. Their
children were Jane, Carrie, Sopha, Leonard, Eugene [twin
died], Margaret and Irene Anna who m1899 John Ruff.
I would be very appreciative of any help the Foundation
researchers can give. I am interested in finding when and
from whence my Gowan family came into the U.S. Mary Alice
Fritch, 708 W. Main St, Flat River, MO, 63601.
We just learned of the Foundation and are happy to enclose
our check for membership in the organization. Our Ida
Bell Goins was born in Stokes County, NC [about 1900]. Her
father was John Goins and her grandfather was Frederick
Goins. Can anyone help us to make a connection to the mainstream
of the family? We would like to correspond with
Cherokee or Catawba Indian members of the family. Dr.
Wayne & Victoria Allgaier, 515 West C St, Brunswick,
I am searching for Alexander Goines, my grandfather. He
was born in January 1854 in TN [or KY] to John Goines and
Mary J. Thompson Goines. “Alexander Goyens” was m2 to
Emeline F. Hankins February 13, 1878 in Massac County, IL.
She was born in January 1856 in Illinois to Irvin B. Hankins
and Mary J. Cartwright Hankins.
Alexander Goines, reportedly a Cherokee, was enumerated
in 1990 in Scott County, MO. Children born to them include:
Frank Goines, b1883; Arrie Goines, b1889; Alice Ida Mae
Goines, b1893, my mother who was m1914 to John Campbell
in Scott County. Help is sincerely appreciated. Catherine L.
Short, 13722 Suntan Avenue, Corpus Christi, TX, 78414,
Many thanks for your letter and the information on the
Goins of Hall County, Georgia. Should you uncover the
ancestors of Basil Goins, please let me know. Having roots
for 14 generations in the little French settlement of Natchitoches,
Louisiana, I am very accustomed to finding people of
mulatto descent. Julia H. Callihan, 12236 Lake Sherwood
Ave, N, Baton Rouge, LA, 70816.
Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Arlee Gowen, Editor
Linda McNiel, Circulation
Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: email@example.com
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.