Sections in this issue:
1) Dr. William Davis Gowen Was a Medical Pioneer In Middle Tennessee;
2) In a Sheet . . . Impoverished “Marcy” Lamberd Was Married to Daniel Gowing;
3) DEAR COUSINS.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 3, No. 8 April 1992
1) Dr. William Davis Gowen
Was a Medical Pioneer
In Middle Tennessee
William Davis Gowen, son of William Gowen, Jr. and “Miss
Burns,” was born in 1788, according to his 1850 census enumeration.
“Miss Burns” was a cousin of the Scotch poet, Robert
Burns, according to a letter written August 26, 1959 by Thomas
Kenneth Gowen, Jr. of Fullerton, California. Her sister, “Anne
Burnes” was married February 14, 1785 to “Isham Going,”
brother to William Gowen, Jr, according to “Marriage Bonds
of Bedford County, Virginia, 1755-1800” by Earle S. Dennis.
William Davis Gowen was orphaned at about age eight when
his father was killed by an axe “in the hands of a crazy man,” in
Bedford County, Virginia, according to an interview by Charles
E. Gowen, a nephew, in 1904 with William Floyd, then in his
84th year. William Floyd was a pioneer of Bedford County,
Tennessee who was married to a niece of William Davis
Gowen. The assailant apparently regarded William Gowen, Jr.
as a Tory and “slew him in the field.” The widow joined the
household of a brother, believed to be Samuel A. Burns, and
William Davis Gowen and his brother, James Burns Gowen
were “bound out” to their uncle.
William Going, Sr. and Anester Going, regarded as their paternal
grandparents, were experiencing financial difficulties at
that time and were unable to help their widowed daughter-inlaw.
Some of their own children were bound out during this
time and additionally they were having trouble in the community.
On June 25, 1798, “Bedford County, Virginia Court
Records,” Book 1, page 273, reveals:
“Armester Going appeared in discharge of her recognizance
and it appears to the court by oath of Catherine Burks that
she is afraid that the sd. Armester Going will injure her
either in her person or property & the said Armester Going
being here present in court, it is ordered that she give
security for her good behavior for the space of one year.
Whereupon the sd. Armester Going acknowledged herself
indebted to his Excellency the Governor in the sum of $20 &
Wm. Going, Sr. & Isham Going, her securities in the sum of
$10 each to be levied.”
On September 23, 1800, “It is ordered that the Overseers of the
Poor bind Christopher Goin, son of Anister Goin, to Enos
Mitchell, according to law,” according to “Bedford County,
Virginia Court Records,” Book 2, page 120.
At that time William Going, Sr. removed to Madison County,
Kentucky. He appeared in the tax records of Madison County
August 12, 1800, according to the research of Christine S. Agee,
a descendant of Richmond, Kentucky, county seat of Madison
County. He was shown as “one male above 21, three horses and
no land.” In the tax list of 1801 he was recorded as “one male
above 21, four horses and no land.”
In 1803 he was exempted from paying tax “because of infirmities
and old age,” according to Madison County Court Order
Book, Volume C. Anester Going appeared as the head of a
household of six in the 1810 census of Madison County.
Samuel A. Burns also elected to remove, going to Tennessee.
William Davis Gowen grew up in Middle Tennessee where he
had several Gowen and Burns cousins.
He was married about 1812 to Elizabeth “Betty” Moore, described
as a “most handsome woman” by descendants of James
Burns Gowen. In that year the groom was 24, and the bride 17.
He became one of the first doctors in Rutherford County,
It is suggested by Linda Sue Kelley O’Niel a descendant of
Lubbock that William Davis Gowen received medical training
at Nashville, perhaps under the tutelage of an older physician.
The vast majority of doctors in the early nineteenth century
were products of the apprentice system. As of 1800, only four
medical schools existed in the United States.
Medical training began to expand rapidly after 1810. In the following
three decades 26 medical schools were founded. In 1824
Nashville, with 4,000 population, was to receive a new president
for Cumberland College. Philip Lindsley, acting president of
Princeton College of Princeton, New Jersey was induced to
move to Tennessee, according to “Philip Lindsley and
Education” by John F. Woolverton.
Lindsley arranged for great educational advances for Tennessee,
although he was not enthusiastic about the state. According to
“Works of Philip Lindsley,” he wrote:
“You find nothing but cotton, tobacco, corn, whiskey and
negroes in Tennessee, and they’re not worth the growing.
Doctors are made by guess, lawyers by magic, parsons by
inspiration, legislators by grog, merchants by mammon,
farmers by necessity and editors and schoolmasters by St.
In his occasional articles in the Nashville newspapers Lindsley
inveighed also, with much humor and a touch of snobbery,
against tobacco chewing, the wearing of hats in church and the
city’s propensity for committee meetings. He took over the
helm of Cumberland College which had been chartered as
Davidson Academy in 1785.
Cumberland College reopened in 1807 and granted its first
degrees in 1813. Poorly funded, it closed in 1816, was a
grammar school in 1819 and reopened in 1820 with “moral
philosophy, rhetoric & languages,” according to a letter written
August 25, 1988 by Carol Kaplan of Nashville Public Library.
Lindsley saw the school renamed the University of Nashville
shortly after his arrival. Under his guidance the university was
expanded to provide a wide academic range, and medical
lectures were added to the curriculum. By the time of his
resignation in 1850 the University of Nashville Medical
College, forerunner of Vanderbilt University, was the fourth
largest in the nation.
Carol Kaplan wrote, “It is possible that Dr. Gowen attended the
University of Nashville, however the list of graduates, 1813-
1848, does not include him.”
“Dr. Gowens” was mentioned in the settlement of the estate of
James Y. Laughlin who was deceased January 12, 1826 in
Rutherford County. He deeded some land in that year to
Richard Vinson, according to Rutherford County deed records.
He bought a geography book from the estate of G. L. Rucker for
$1.50 May 19, 1827, according to Rutherford County probate
Dr. William Davis Gowen was enumerated as the head of a
household of five people in the 1830 census of Rutherford
County. In 1833, he deeded land to Jacob Wright, according to
Rutherford County Deed Book T, page 622.
In 1836, Cannon County was organized from the eastern side of
Rutherford County, and Dr. Gowen found himself in the new
county. In 1838, he deeded land there to Susannah Bell,
according to Cannon County Deed Book A, page 452.
Dr. William Davis Gowen appeared as the head of a household
of six in the 1840 census of Cannon County.
Dr. Gowen “of Cannon County” witnessed the will of Edmund
Taylor at Woodbury, Tennessee May 5, 1847. He deeded a plot
of land to John Hays in 1849, according to Cannon County
Deed Book E, page 237.
On August 27, 1850, he was enumerated as the head of
Household 13-13, Sixth Civil District in Cannon County:
“Gowen, W. E. 62, born in VA, doctor, 1,500 real estate
Elizabeth 55, born in TN
James J. 22, born in TN, student at medicine
Matilda B. 20, born in TN, attending school”
Dr. Isaac M. Gowen, oldest son, does not appear in the
enumeration. He had married and established his own
household in Cannon County by this time. The fifth child, a
daughter listed in the 1840 census, did not reappear in 1850. It
is assumed that she had died during the decade. Alvin Estill
Lowe, an octogenarian of Rutherford County, related in
December 1971 the story of a Gowen daughter who was killed
in a bizarre childhood accident. He stated that many years ago
the youngster was racing down the steep slope of “Gowen Hill”
on Bradyville Pike in east central Rutherford County at
In her uncontrolable descent she collided with a tree. The
resulting impact produced a concussion, and she died shortly
afterward. In 1851, Dr. William Davis Gowen deeded land to
Henry Hays. In the same year, he purchased a house in
Woodbury, the county seat, from Adam Elrod, according to
Cannon County Deed Book 5, page 385.
On June 8, 1852, Dr. William Davis Gowen wrote his will:
“I, William D. Gowen, of the County of Cannon and
State of Tennessee, being weak in body, but of sound
mind and memory, do make and publish this, my last
will and testament, hereby revoking all others by me at
any time made.
Item 1st. I desire that my body after my death be decently
buried and my funeral expenses be paid and also
that all my just debts be paid out of any moneys that I
may die possessed of or that may first come into the hand
of my executors as soon as possible.
Item 2nd. I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Julian
Tilford, wife of N. C. Tilford the yellow negro girl
named Louisa with all her future increase now in the
possession of my said daughter Julian to her and the
heirs of her body forever, and the said negro girl Louisa
is bequeathed to my said daughter Julian Tilford
expressly for her own separate use and maintenance and
the heirs of her body and that she is not to be subject to
or liable for the debts of her said husband, N. C. Tilford.
Item 3rd. I give and bequeath to my daughter, Matilda
B. Barry, wife of John Barry the negro girl Mary now in
her possession and to the heirs of her body and to be for
my said daughter’s own separate use and maintainance
free from all liabilities of her said contracting.
Item 4th. I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth
Gowen the house and lote in the town of Woodbury
which I purchased from Adam Elrod and formly
occupied by John —— and upon which I now reside and
all other properties not otherwise disposed of, of which I
may die possessed of boath real and personal including
my nots and accounts to be hers during her natural life
and to be disposed of before or at her death as she may
And lastly, I nominate and appoint Isaac M. Gowen my
executor to this my last will and testament, no bond required.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my
hand and seal on this the 8th day of May 1852.
William D. Gowen
Certified by Cannon County Court, August 12, 1852.
William D. Gowen, deceased.”
Elizabeth “Betty” Moore Gowen appeared as the head of a
household in the 1860 census of adjoining Dekalb County,
“Gowen, Elizabeth 65, born in TN, domestic
Barry, Matilda 28, born in TN, domestic
William 6, born in TN
Fannie 4, born in TN”
Elizabeth “Betty” Moore Gowen died May 21, 1867, according
to the research of a descendant, Nancy Ann Kelly Hargesheimer
of Lubbock. Her obituary was published June 12, 1867 in “The
Gospel Advocate,” publication of the Church of Christ:
“Gowen, Sister Elizabeth. On Tuesday, May 21st, 1867
Sister Elizabeth, wife of the late Dr. W. D. Gowen of
Cannon County at the residence of her son, Dr. James
Gowen in Nashville, Tennessee, closed her pilgrimage
on earth, in full hope of a much better state beyond the
grave. In 1830, if we recollect, we had the pleasure of
immersing her into the name of the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit upon a confession of her faith, and for the past
thirty-seven years our departed sister led a quiet and
peaceable life as a member of the family of the Lord; and
when seventy-eight years old, she left her friends without
a murmur, and with a hope, as to the future, unmingled
with doubt or fear. ‘Blessed are the dead that die in the
Lord.’ May her children and grandchildren still lingering
on the shores of mortality, be prepared to meet our
beloved sister in heaven.
Tolbert Fanning, Editor”
Children born to Dr. William Davis Gowen and Elizabeth
“Betty” Moore Gowen include:
Cynthia M. Gowen born about 1814
Isaac M. Gowen born about 1824
Julian Gowen born about 1826
James J. Gowen born in 1828
Matilda B. Gowen born in 1832
[daughter] born about 1835
2) In a Sheet . . .
Impoverished “Marcy” Lamberd
Was Married to Daniel Gowing
Daniel Gowing and Martha “Marcy” Lamberd declared their
marriage intent at their church in Lynn, Massachusetts June 9,
1754, according to “Lynn Records,” Volume II. The marriage
was opposed by her parents who declared that she should have
no dowry. Apparently all parties remained firmly resolved.
After waiting almost seven months for her parents to relent, the
couple went ahead with their marriage plans the following
On December 25, 1754, they were married. “Said Daniel
Gowing took the said Marcy naked; except a sheet and a shift
[chemise] that she borrowed,” according to the church records.
Children born to Daniel Gowing and Martha “Marcy” Lamberd
Gowing include Ezra Gowing. He was born November 4, 1765
in Lynn, according to the town’s birth records. He appeared as
the head of a household of eight people in the 1790 census of
Lynfield, Massachusetts, according to “Heads of Families,
Margaret Pearson Tate, Editorial Board Member of Exeter, NH,
has requested that proper credit be given Old York Historical
Society of York, Maine and to John F. La Branche, Curator and
Virginia Spiller, Librarian. Valuable assistance was given to the
Foundation through the use of the OYHS files in the preparation
of the March article on Angevine Wesley Gowen of Cider Hill.
3) DEAR COUSINS
Enclosed for the Library is “Verry Slitly Mixt,” the latest article
regarding the Goins/Gowen family from the March
“National Genealogical Society Quarterly” in case you don’t
already have a copy. This powerful essay was written by Dr.
Virginia Easley DeMarce of Arlington, VA [GRF Editorial
Board Member] whose name is familiar to Newsletter readers.
It is well written and shows great research of extraordinary
depth. But, where are the Indian laws that should have been
Dr. DeMarce referred to a subsequent article that she will
prepare on related themes. I hope that she will deal with those
laws that pertained to and/or discriminated against our Indian
ancestors–the bans on marriages with whites, against owning
land, etc. Where are the laws that led to Indians hiding their
heritage and identity. They aren’t discussed at all.
Where is the discussion on the census columns and the
choices the enumerators had? Who made the decision about
how a family would be listed and why the same family changed
columns from one census to the next. They didn’t change color.
I think there is a lot of truth in the article–more than most
people are going to accept or want to hear. Maybe this is the
reason for the many stories about the origin of some of the
Goins/Gowen branches. When there is going to be discrimination,
you don’t have to go looking for it–even if it is history.
By 1900 in Indian Territory [OK], 90% of the residents were
of Indian descent. Most of that is lost because people just didn’t
want to talk about it. My grandmother told us never to admit
our Indian heritage because “Everyone knows the Choctaws
slept with their slaves.” She would not discuss it, and she was
On a personal level, I find the article very interesting and
admire those strong-minded, strong-willed people who fought to
make a better life for their families under worse-than-adverse
conditions. I intend to keep on looking and reading and
researching, but I don’t think we should come on too strong and
invite more discrimination. I would be interested in the
opinions of other Foundation members. Della J. Ford Nash,
2515 NW 26th, Oklahoma City, OK, 73107
Thanks for publishing the write-up of Angevine Wesley
Gowen in the Newsletter. I was quite overcome to see my name
in print, however most of the credit is due to Old York
Historical Society Library of York, Maine which has carefully
preserved Angevine’s Annals through the years.
So much interest has been expressed in Angevine and his
interesting life that my cousin, Barbara Clements of
Northampton and I plan to return to the library to copy additional
material from his records. I expect to be in Lubbock May
5-7, and I will bring a set of these copies for the Foundation
Library when I come.
Thanks for your enclosure about the Texas State Genealogical
Society’s Electronic Library & Bulletin Board also
operating in the Foundation office. I have made copies of the
announcement and forwarded them to the Exeter, the Stratham
and the Rockingham County genealogical societies. These
organizations have some members who are proficient with
computers and modems. I’m sure you will be hearing from
them, especially on the Gowen Foundation Electronic Library.
I am enclosing for the Library an obituary from the “Exeter
News Letter” on my cousin, Florence Chase Sanborn who died
March 20. She was the daughter of Marshall S. and Bertha
Gowen Chase who was also descended from George Edward
Gowen and Mary Anne Smith Gowen. Margaret P. Tate, 34
Washington St, Exeter, NH, 03833.
Enclosed in my 1992 Overseas Membership Renewal. I
would also like to inform you for record purposes that my
mother, Flora Irene Gowen McBride passed away 10 April 1992
in Sheffield, AL. She was buried in the Gowen family plot in
Mimosa Cemetery at Lawrenceburg, TN. She was a daughter of
Otey M. Gowen and the granddaughter of Marcus Burns Gowen
and Martha U. McCall Gowen.
It is interesting that the Lord of the Manor who owned most
of this Dale had descendants who went to America also. One of
them assisted in founding the Church of Christ in Alabama and
Tennessee, having left the Presbyterians because of his belief in
total immersion baptism. After a brief spell with the Baptists,
he assisted in the Reformation Movement and in establishing the
church that I grew up in while living in America until coming
here in 1969. Providence took a hand in my destiny and led me
back here to do a biography of the internationally renowned
Victorian artist, Atkinson Grimshaw in 1987 in collaboration
with his grandson. Sandra K. Wood, Swale View, Low Row,
Richmond, N. Yorks, DL11 6NE, England.
I am seeking assistance with my gggm Ruth Gowen/Gowan
who was born in Vermont December 24, 1814. She was
mc1834 to Hezekiah E. Mason of Moriah, NY. They removed
from there to Scott County, IA about 1845. In 1863 they moved
to Worth County, Missouri. She died there August 22, 1866.
Children born to them include: Otis, Jonathan, Hezekiah, Sarah
[my ggm], Sophia, Eliza, Jane, Julia, Martha, Carrie and Laura.
Help on this family would be greatly appreciated. Janet Reid,
16237 Patricia Way, Grass Valley, CA, 95949.
It’s good to still be receiving the Foundation Newsletter.
We’re in the process of renovating a house in Irapuato, Mexico
for the last years of my career before retirement. It’s progressing
slowly with 13 workers at $1 per hour. The labor is
cheap, but all by hand. We’re refinishing all floors, cabinets and
woodwork down to raw wood–with small pieces of sandpaper!
Please continue to send my mail to San Francisco.
I have finished “Hail Melungo,” and my daughter with a
degree in journalism is busy trying to make arrangements with a
publisher. Perhaps I will have finished another on my psychopathic
uncle by retirement time. We plan to retire in East
Tennessee in 2-3 years for the beauty of the place and for
further family history research. Jim Callahan, %Del Monte,
Box 193575, San Francisco, CA, 94119.
What a good time I have had reading each word of the
printout of the manuscript section on my ancestors you sent me.
Thank you seems much too little for all the work you and many
others have done to make this possible, but I do indeed say “T
H A N K Y O U.” I am enclosing some revisions and some
additional data on my branch of the family.
Along with these I am enclosing for the Foundation Library
a copy of “The Family Tree of Robert Burns” by Tom
McCrorie which we obtained when we visited his birthplace in
Scotland. I do not know the birth dates of Ann or her sister,
“Miss Burns” who married William Gowen, Jr. By using the
chronology of the Burns Family Tree and dates from the
information you sent, it seems that our link to this Burns family
would be the uncles of Robert Burns. James Burns [1717-1761]
or Robert Burns [1719-1789] are the two candidates. James
Burns seems to be a likely forebear to James Burns Gowen.
What do you think? Mildred R. Ayres, 804 St. Luke’s Drive,
Richardson, TX, 75080.
Hello to all my many cousins everywhere. I had no idea I
had so many nor how I would be blessed by knowing all of you
through the Newsletter. I am 81, crippled with rheumatoid
arthritis and eagerly look forward to hearing from all. I am
moving soon from Jacksonville to be with my daughter. New
address: Anne Pippin Hadley, %Dorothy P. Vaughan, 2205
Brownsville Rd, Greers Ferry, AR, 72067.
Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Arlee Gowen, Editor
Linda McNiel, Circulation
Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 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.