Sections in this issue:
1) Capt. John B. H. Gowen Defended Hopkinsvilles;
2) Wilson Walter Gowin Received LLB from Harvard Law School;
3) Kentucky Antiquarians Request Smithsonian Aid In DNA Probe;
4) DEAR COUSINS.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 4, No. 4 December 1992
1) Capt. John B. H. Gowen
Prepared from research developed
By Peggy A. White
Editorial Board Member
109 Underwood Drive, Hopkinsville, KY, 42240
John B. H. Gowen, regarded as a son of John B. Gowen and
Mary Benson Gowen and grandson of Maj. John “Buck”
Gowen of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, was born
there July 16, 1812, according to his tombstone.
On February 10, 1841, at age 29, he was married to Fannie
Williamson Ellis at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, according to
Christian County, Kentucky marriage records. She was born
in Pittsylvania County, Virginia July 23, 1822 the second child
[of eight] of Nicholas Mason Ellis and Mary “Polly” Gunn
Ellis, according to “Ancestors and Descendants of Nicholas
Mason Ellis” by Thomas Ellis of Miami, Florida.
Nicholas Mason Ellis removed from Pittsylvania County to
Christian County in 1831 and died there in 1848. He was a
son of Ira Ellis who wrote his will August 5, 1838, according
to Christian County Will Book L, page 81. Mary “Polly”
Gunn Ellis who was born in 1800 in North Carolina continued
to live in Christian County in 1874.
John B. H. Gowen is credited in “Christian County History”
by William Henry Perrin of Louisville for reorganizing in
1844 the Methodist Sunday school in Hopkinsville. The
Sunday school had been originally organized in Hopkinsville
about 1825, but had died out. “Mr. Gowen was perhaps at that
time the most prominent, zealous and active layman in the
county,” according to Perrin.
In the 1850 census of Christian County, District 2, he was
enumerated as the head of Household No. 992-992:
“Gowen, John B. 38, born in SC, merchant, $1,300 real estate
Fanny W. 27, born in Virginia
Emma Elizabeth 9, born in Kentucky
Mary L. 7, born in Kentucky”
In May 1851 he was named a grand juror in Christian County.
A Republican, he was elected sheriff of the county and served
from 1857 through 1860. On January 5, 1857 he came into
Christian County Court, took the oath of office and posted
bond. He appointed his brother-in-law Joseph McCarroll as
one of his three deputies. The sheriff of the county also served
as county tax collector at that time.
Joseph McCarroll who was married to Elvira Ann Ellis, sister
to Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen, served as Christian County
Sheriff in 1864, 1865 and 1866. Another brother-in-law,
Democrat James O. Ellis who served as John B. H. Gowen’s
deputy, was elected sheriff in 1868 and county judge in 1870
for a four-year tenure.
John B. H. Gowen was marshall of the Christian County Fair
in 1858 which had been organized in 1856 under a charter
granted by the Kentucky State Legislature. “Family Histories,
Christian County, Kentucky, 1797-1986” recognizes him as
one of the early merchants of Hopkinsville and “one of the
most popular men who ever lived here.”
He was enumerated as the head of Household 286-286 in the
1860 census of Christian County:
“Gowan, John B. 48, sheriff, born in SC
Fanny 38, born in VA
Emma 18, born in KY
Lou 16, born in KY
James 3, born in KY”
Although he was 49 years old when the Civil War broke out,
he joined the militia and was elected a captain in the home
guard. His forces were active in the defense of Hopkinsville
against the raids of Confederate Gen. Adam Johnson. Late in
the war, Johnson’s cavalry had knifed through western
Kentucky and threatened the Ohio River valley.
John B. H. Gowen wrote a letter to Maj-Gen. Burbridge,
commander of Western Kentucky which was reproduced in
“The War of the Rebellion” series:
“Hopkinsville, Kentucky, August 27, 1864
To: Major General Burbridge:
Your order to the 52nd Kentucky to go to Lexington is
received. Adam Johnson’s force is scattered, but there are still
hundreds of them all around us. We beg you to reconsider
your order and allow them [the 52nd Kentucky] to remain.
The citizens have aided in repelling the rebels and will now be
left to their mercy.
S. M. Starling, John P. Potter, John B. Gowen”
Of John B. H. Gowen Perrin wrote in 1884, “During the war
he withdrew from the church and has not since rejoined it.”
When the City of Hopkinsville was chartered March 5, 1870,
the city limits line “passed through the lands of John B.
Gowan,” on the south side of the town, according to the city
charter. John B. H. Gowen was postmaster of Hopkinsville in
his later years, according to “Ancestors and Descendants of
Nicholas Mason Ellis.”
His household, No. 127-131, was enumerated in the 1880
census of Christian County, Enumeration District 10, page 15
“Gowan, J. B. 67, born in SC
Fanny W. 57, born in VA, wife
Coleman, Emma 39, born in KY, daughter
Fanny 16, born in KY, granddaughter
Robert 10, born in MO, grandson
Emma M. 6, born in MO, granddaughter
Milton 8/12, born in KY, grandson
Foster, Alice 17, born in KY, [boarder?]
Harry 11/12, born in KY, [boarder?]
Gowen, J. E. 22, born in KY, son”
In 1882 John B. H. Gowen was elected a county
commissioner. Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen died
December 10, 1886 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery in
Hopkinsville. He died one month later, January 8, 1887 and
was buried beside his wife.
Four children were born to John B. H. Gowen and Fannie
Williamson Ellis Gowen:
Emma Elizabeth Gowen born November 11, 1841
Mary Louise Gowen born October 4, 1843
William B. Gowen born January 11, 1856
James Ellis Gowen born August 20, 1857
Emma Elizabeth Gowen, daughter of John B. H. Gowen and
Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born in Kentucky
November 11, 1841. She was married at her father’s home
July 27, 1863 to Lt. Milton Jones Coleman, U.S. Army,
according to “Marriage Records, 1851-90, Christian County,
Kentucky” by Cordelia C. Gary. Lt. Coleman died about
1879, and in 1880 she, a widow and her children were living
in the household of her father.
Mary Louise Gowen, daughter of John B. H. Gowen and
Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born October 4, 1843.
She was married June 9, 1868 to Walter Evans. He was born
in Barren County, Kentucky September 18, 1842. During the
Civil War he served in the Twenty-fifth Kentucky Infantry
Regiment and rose to the rank of colonel. In 1871 he was
elected as a state representative and in 1873 to the Kentucky
State Senate from Christian County on the Republican ticket.
In 1895 he was elected to Congress and served in Washington
in that capacity until 1899 when he became a district judge.
William B. Gowen, son of John B. H. Gowen and Fannie
Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born in Hopkinsville January
11, 1856. He died October 17, 1857 and was buried in
Riverside Cemetery at Hopkinsville
James Ellis Gowen, son of John B. H. Gowen and Fannie
Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born August 20, 1857 in
Hopkinsville. In 1930, Thomas Ellis wrote of him, “He was
never married, but has been a valued employee of a large
manufacturing establishment at Columbus, Indiana for many
2) Wilson Walter Gowin Received
LLB from Harvard Law School
Wilson Walter Gowin seventh child of John M. Gowan and
Mariah J. Peacock Gowan, was born in March 1853, probably
in Smith County, Mississippi. Descendants state that he was
born on a plantation located between Vicksburg and Jackson,
Mississippi. He and his siblings changed the spelling of their
surname while in school.
His daughter, Cornelia Elizabeth Gowin Allison stated that he
was graduated from Harvard Law School, the first law school
to be established in the United States. He was a great admirer
of Charles William Eliot who served as the university’s
president from 1869 to 1909. Following the Civil War,
Wilson Walter Gowin removed to Hillsboro, Texas.
On July 29, 1889 he received a quit claim deed to 640 acres of
land located four miles east of Amarillo, Texas, from J. W.
Davidson, according to Potter County Deed Book 5, page 509.
Consideration for the section of land in the county which had
been organized in 1887 was $400.
Wilson Walter Gowin was a taxpayer in Potter County from
1890 to 1895 and was listed as a notary public March 3, 1890.
On January 16, 1900 Wilson Walter Gowin was married, at
age 46, to Lillie May Klahr, age 22, who was born near
Columbus, Ohio. She became the first bride in Potter County
in the 20th century.
Wilson Walter Gowin was enumerated as the head of a
household in the 1900 census of Potter County, Enumeration
District 80, page 3, Precinct 1:
“Gowan, W. W. 47, born in Mississippi in March 1853
Lillie M. 22, born in Ohio in March 1878”
Wilson Walter Gowin wrote the charter for the City of
Amarillo when it was incorporated and in 1907 ran for Potter
County Judge. Among his friends and legal clients was Col.
Charles Goodnight who owned a large cattle ranch in Palo
Duro Canyon. This pioneer rancher and Indian-fighter was
well known and respected throughout the county, and when he
threw his influence behind his friend, his election was assured.
In the 1908 city directory of Amarillo Wilson Walter Gowin
was listed as an attorney with “office in the courthouse,
residence at 505 Filmore.”
His residence was located across the street from the Potter
County courthouse. In the city directory of 1909 and 1910
Wilson Walter Gowin was listed as “attorney and notary” with
his office in his residence at 505 Filmore.
Wilson Walter Gowin died January 6, 1911 “of Brights
disease,” at age 57. He was buried in Llano Cemetery, Hays
Avenue and East 27th Street in Amarillo. Lillie May Klahr
Gowin continued to live at 505 Filmore, according to the
Amarillo city directory. In 1921 Lillie Mae Klahr Gowin was
listed in the city directory offering “furnished rooms” at 505
In September 1921 Lillie May Klahr Gowin was remarried to
Thomas Jefferson Scott, a traveling salesman. They continued
to live at 505 Filmore, according to the 1924, 1925 and 1926
Lillie May Klahr Gowin Scott died July 1, 1957, after 58 years
of residence in Amarillo. Children born to them include:
Wilson Wilks Gowin born November 6, 1900
Cornelia Elizabeth Gowin born September 4, 1904
Wilson Wilks Gowin, first child of Wilson Walter Gowin and
Lillie May Klahr Gowin, was born November 1, 1900,
according to Potter County Probate Birth Book 3, page 307.
Wilson Wilks Gowin was listed in the Amarillo City Directory
for the first time in its edition of 1916, living at the home of
his mother. In 1917 he was shown as a clerk for City Light &
Water Company. In the 1927, 1928 and 1929 edition of the
directory he was shown as an engineer with Southwestern
Public Service Company, still residing at 505 Filmore. He
was soon transferred by his company to Roswell, New
On June 19, 1932 Wilson Wilks Gowin, “age 31, Roswell,
New Mexico,” filed in the Potter County Clerk’s office a
“Notice of Intention to Marry” with Louise Emily Townes of
Amarillo. She was born June 24, 1911. They were later
married in Amarillo, according to Potter County Marriage
Book 9, page 415. Louise Emily Townes Gowin died October
25, 1940 and was buried beside her fatherÄinÄlaw in Llano
Children born to Wilson Wilks Gowin and Louise Emily
Townes Gowin include:
Wilson Wilks “Pat” Gowin, Jr. born about 1934
Charles Gowin born about 1936
Cornelia Elizabeth Gowin, second child of Wilson Walter
Gowin and Lillie May Klahr Gowin, was born in Amarillo
September 4, 1904. She recalled, in an interview with Arlee
Claud Gowen in July 1974, running errands for her mother on
Taylor Street in Amarillo as a child and seeing Indians from
the nearby reservation sitting crosslegged on the Taylor Street
boardwalk wrapped in their blankets.
In July 1974 Cornelia Elizabeth Gowin Allison, a widow,
lived at 2301 South Austin, Amarillo. Later she lived at 2004
South Lipscomb. She, a member of Gowen Research
Foundation, died there February 7, 1991.
Children born to James Elmer Allison and Cornelia Elizabeth
Gowin Allison include:
Ada Cornelia Allison born April 17, 1922
James Wilson Allison born March 27, 1925
Betty Jean Allison born January 11, 1928
Frances Lillian Allison born February 12, 1930
3) Kentucky Antiquarians Request
Smithsonian Aid In DNA Probe
The Ancient Kentucke Historical Society is seeking to prove
the existence of British settlers in the Ohio Valley as early as
the sixth century, according to James B. Michael, president of
La Grange, KY. This information was provided in an article
written by Byron Crawford in the September 16, 1992 edition
of the “Louisville Courier-Journal” which was forwarded to
the Foundation by Louise Goins Richardson, Editorial
Boardmember of Paragould, AR:
“Despite opinions to the contrary, among many respected
archaeologists and historians, Michael says there is mounting
evidence to suggest that the Ohio Valley was inhabited by
white Christians in the 6th century following a disastrous
comet strike in Britain around 562. A.D.
We are going to prove it scientifically through DNA analysis,
carbon dating and metallurgy, said Michael whose 30-member
organization is composed largely of medical doctors,
professors and other professionals. Through thermal
luminescence we can now date when brass found in Kentucky
Michael’s organizatioin cites numerous pieces of evidence to
support its claim, including the reported matching blood
factors of a group of people known as Melungeons in eastern
Tennessee with those of current inhabitants of Wales and the
As added proof that the Brits preceded Columbus, he cites
discoveries of numerous artifacts bearings symbols of Maltese
and Celtic crosses and other traceable markings; smeltered
bracelets that have been carbon dated to the 6th century;
ancient Coelbren alphabet markings in stone; and hundreds of
‘non-Indian’ prehistoric burial crypts in the Ohio Valley,
preserved in the same manner as those in early Britain.
The Ancient Kentucke Historical Association is now working
thrugh the Smithsonian Institution for permission to conduct
DNA tests comparing some ancient bones from this area
housed in the Smithsonian with bones entombed in Wales,
The Foundation will be in contact with the Kentucky
organization to monitor the progress of its search, for future
reports in the Newsletter.
4) DEAR COUSINS
I have really enjoyed the Foundation Newsletter and
look forward to it every month. I never did know much about
my Gowen family, but you have assembled more material on
the Kentucky Gowen people from Patrick County, Virginia in
three years than most people gather in a lifetime.
I have found out where several of the Goin family
live in this community, and I plan to go get acquainted with
them. They came in here from Indiana, and it appears that we
have some common ancestors.
Enclosed is my membership for 1993. Also please
add my son Raymond E. Gowen and my daughter Kimberly
Kay Gowen Terry, both of Louisville to the Foundation
mailing list. Raymond D. Gowen, Star Rt. 1, Box 84, Hudson,
I want to apologize for not responding to letters from
several “cousins” lately. Jack had heart by-pass surgery and is
doing fine, but in the meantime, the mail stacked up, and I
have several unanswered letters.
I would like to explain that our Gowan lineage is
from Randolph and Montgomery Counties, NC, migrating to
Buncombe County, NC, only arriving in Alabama by way of
Atlanta, GA in the 20th century.
The information I send to the Foundation on
Alabama families is incidental data that I chance upon. We
are not directly related, and when you write me, I can only
refer you to the State Archives, etc. I will certainly send any
new information that I find to the Foundation. LaFay E.
Gowan, 2157 Shadybrook Lane, Birmingham, AL, 35226.
Thank you for the sample copy of the November
Newsletter. The timing is perfect as I am of the same line as
Sherry Goin of Illinois [in Dear Cousins]. This is my first
connection with this line, so you can imagine my excitement.
My 1993 membership is enclosed! Joyce Locke, Box 474,
Portales, NM, 88130.
Thanks for carrying my appeal for help in locating
my biological Gowan family in the November Newsletter. I
now have some very good news to share with you . . . just a
few days ago I made phone contact with one of father’s
brothers, Jim Gowan.
When I reached Jim Gowan, I asked if he had a
brother by the name of Robert Alexander Gowan. When he
answered “yes,” I went on to explain that I am Robert’s
daughter. Needless to say, Jim was very surprised to hear
from me, but within a few minutes he was telling me about all
of my sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles and cousins!
It was wonderful to discover that I have six siblings
on my father’s side of the family. Along with three siblings on
my mother’s side, that makes a total of nine brothers and
sisters. For an adoptee who grew up as an only child, this is a
dream come true!
Jim said that he will soon send me a picture of my
father and a list of all my relatives addresses so that I can
begin to contact everyone. He also invited me to the
upcoming Gowan family reunion to be held in June 1993 in
At the reunion I will be sure to tell everyone about
the Foundation and let people know that they, too may be able
to discover other family members.
This is the first time I have felt part of a family.
Thank you so very much for your help in the search for my
family. Cherie Welling, 2005 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento,
I was amazed and delighted at the wealth of
information you sent me on my g-grandfather J. Lafayette
Gowin. Thank you so much! We do plan to attend the 1994
Conference and Family Reunion. Please put us on the list.
Celia Scott Boswell, 413 N. Pacific, Mineola, TX, 75773.
I am looking forward with great anticipation to the
Houston Conference in 1994. Please add us to the list, as we
plan to be there. I have decided that our Choctaw Goins
people were “whatever was expedient at the time.” They
knew how to be resilient, and it was very clever of them to
survive the hardships as they did, and in the end, thrive.
Thanks again for all your help and for the great
Newsletter. Enclosed is some material for the Foundation
Library. Della Ford Nash, 2515 NW 26th, Oklahoma City,
Whilst searching the IGI Index of Spain for Luque,
the district from which John Goyne gave as his hometown
when he was given “Letters of Denization” [naturalization] at
Westminster, England January 17, 1461, I came across the
interesting entry in the Spanish county of Navar of a town
I have checked in the IGI [we now have a Mormon
centre here], and there is a good mention of the name Goyen,
but the dates are all in 1800s. My thought is that this explains
the appearance of the name Goyen/ne in England in the 1400s
as the activities of Spanish Goyens, but my belief remains that
the Gowen/Goyen families in Cornwall remain as descendants
of a [Celtic] Gowen ancestor. Robert J. Goyen, 523 Sutton St,
Sebastopol 3356, Victoria, Australia.
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.