Sections in this issue:
1) Christiana Gowen Rains and her Husband . . . Capt. John Rains Challenged the Creek Indians;
2) Dear Cousins;
3) Electronic Library Completes 2nd Year of Research Service.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 4, No. 9 May 1993
1) Christiana Gowen Rains and her Husband . . .
Capt. John Rains Challenged the Creek Indians
Prepared from research developed
By Joy Jean Quimby Stearns
Editorial Board Member
618 Greenwood Circle, Mt. Olive, Alabama, 35117
Christiana Gowen, regarded as a daughter of William and
Sarah Gowen, was born about 1746 in Granville County,
North Carolina, according to the DAR membership application
of Mary Hamilton Haile, a descendant who lived in Savannah,
Georgia in 1952. She was married about 1765 to John
Rains who was born in 1743 in Culpepper County, Virginia
[originally Orange County]. He was one of the “long hunters”
in Kentucky and Tennessee as early as 1769, according to
“Draper Collection of Manuscripts. Several descendants have
made successful DAR applications, citing his supposed
military service as a North Carolina Revolutionary soldier.
Mary Hamilton Haile stated that Capt. John Rains came to the
Watauga area of Eastern Tennessee [then North Carolina] in
1775 with his wife and children. He built Rains Station and
continued there for four years.
A. W. Putnam writing in “History of Middle Tennessee” states
that John Rains was present at the signing of the Treaty of
Long Island of Holston near Ft. Patrick Henry July 20, 1777.
He mentions other patriots who were present at that event,
“Col. William Christian, Col. William Preston, Col. Evan
Shelby, John Sevier, Valentine Sevier, Daniel Boone, Isaac
Bledsoe, Anthony Bledsoe, Isaac Shelby, Richard Henderson,
Thomas Hart, James Robertson, James Eaton, and Robert
John Rains had made a trip to Kentucky during which he met
Capt. James Robertson, founder of Nashville who persuaded
him to go to Tennessee with him. John Rains who had hunted
on the Cumberland River for many years, led a group of settlers
to Ft. Nashborough in 1779.
It is suggested that his father-in-law William Gowen, brothersin-
law John Gowen and James H. Gowen and their nephew
David Gowen were influenced to accompany him on the trek
to Tennessee. A. W. Putnam, wrote:
“There were some women and children with the Rains
company of emigrants. The winter of 1779-80 has ever been
mentioned as ‘the cold winter,’ one of extraordinary severity.
The cold commenced early, and the emigrants by land encountered
much difficulty in their route, yet they arrived at the
place appointed for rendezvous in safety, no deaths having
occurred among them and without any attack by the Indians.
On their way the Robertson party was overtaken by the Rains
party. The overland route the settlers followed from
Cumberland Gap to Nashville followed a circuitous path
through what is now Kentucky.
They reached the [Cumberland] River in December 1779 and .
. . crossed the river to where Nashville is now situated. The
ice in the river was sufficiently solid to allow Capt. Rains’
cattle to pass over upon it. It is believed that the first day they
passed at the lick was Christmas day 1779. When they were
all assembled, there were more than 200 people, and many of
them young men without families.
Some of the Nashville settlers, particularly those with women
and children floated down the Tennessee River as far as
Muscle Shoals, Alabama and then trekked overland the remaining
75 miles to Nashville.”
Rains immediately selected his body of land and built pens for
his 19 cows, 2 steers and 17 horses near the spring on Brown’s
Creek then about two and one-half miles south of Ft. Nashborough.
Presently his property is the location of Tennessee
State Fairgrounds and Cumberland Park. William Gowen, his
father-in-law who had accompanied him to Nashville, was
granted a North Carolina Pre-emption Certificate for 640 acres
located on Mill Creek, about four miles east of Rains Station.
This land later was the site of the Metropolitan Nashville
Airport and the Tennessee State Hospital.
“Capt. Rains had occupied his home on Brown’s Creek for
three months and three days when he learned that the Indians
had killed John Milliken on Richland Creek and Joseph Hay
near Sulphur Spring. The propriety and necessity of removal
to the protection of Ft. Nashborough soon became evident. He
lived there for four years before it was safe to return to his
home. During that period of time he took his family and
slaves to safety in Kentucky. When he attempted to return to
Ft. Nashborough he encountered a large party of Indians, and
his companion, Zachariah Stull was killed on the spot. Rains
fled, was pursued, but escaped; two bullet holes through his
clothes and a slight wound to his horse. He wandered through
the woods, was out in a great sleet storm and with much
difficulty reached Carpenter’s Station. While tarrying there
Col. Robertson arrived from a Kentucky visit. In a few days
four other men joined them, and they came safely home.”
The Indian threat intensified, and many settlers elected to retreat
to the safety of Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee. Some
were killed and scalped as they attempted to escape. Col.
James Robertson went from station to station to rally the
spirits of the settlers. The spies [scouts] and hunters reported
signs of Indians almost daily. The horses had been stolen, and
the cattle and hogs at every station driven off or killed. They
had no teams wherewith to break up ground for planting.
A conference was called to determine whether to go or stay.
Col. Robertson spoke eloquently to the stationers, “There is
danger attendant on the attempt to stay, as there is in the effort
to go, and in the attempt to do either, we may be destroyed.
We have to fight it out here or fight our way out of here.”
Rains caught up the sententious remark and declared, “Fight it
out here!” which soon became a rallying cry for the settlers.
On January 9, 1783 John Rains received confirmation of
North Carolina Land Grant No. 5 in the Nashville area “for
640 acres on Brown’s Creek of the Cumberland” for services
rendered as a North Carolina soldier of the Continental Line,
according to descendants who were admitted to the DAR on
this claim of service. The Mount Olivet Cemetery office received
a letter in March 1885 from Susan M. Gilbert, Route 3,
Box 196, Warrenton, Virginia, 22186 in which she stated,
“Capt. John Rains was a Revolutionary War Soldier and received
a pension from Prince George [County, Virginia?]
John Rains was fined “for swearing in the presence of the
Court” in July 1784, according to “Davidson County, Tennessee
County Court Minutes, 1783-1792” by Carol Wells.
John Rains was summoned by the court to answer to a charge
of assault and battery by John Boyd, tavern keeper and distiller
of Nashville in the April 1785 term. The charge specified
that on January 3, 1785 Rains was indebted to Boyd “for
merchandise.” Additionally Rains “broke and entered Boyd’s
house and assaulted him. He picked up a chair and knocked
the plaintiff down. He also bit the plaintiff’s thumb.” The
case was continued until the July term when the jury awarded
the plaintiff “5 shillings damages.”
In 1787 Capt. John Rains commanded a company of spies at
Nashville. In that same year, his son, John Rains, Jr. captured
an Indian about 19 years old in a battle near Nashville. The
Indian youth was turned over to Capt. Samuel Shannon who
“domesticated” him and allowed him to live in his home for
some time. At his departure back to his nation, Shannon
provided him with a horse, clothing, a gun and ammunition.
The young Indian took the name of John Rains by which he
was ever afterward known..
The Indian attacks intensified in 1787, and the marauders became
intensely vicious, given to mutilating the dead. In that
year Col. Robertson, having learned the location of the base of
the Creek, Chickamauga and Cherokee raiders, organized the
Coldwater Expedition to destroy their town. With a force of
120 men going overland and up the Tennessee River, they
surprised the Indians, routed them completely and burned their
town. They returned after a 19-day campaign with no
casualties among the settlers. Capt. John Rains participated in
this campaign as well as the subsequent Nickajack campaign.
The Indian attacks intensified in October 1788. Southerland
Mayfield had a station upon the west fork of Mill Creek, a
mile above Brown’s Station. A party of 10 or 12 Creek Indians
attacked Mayfield’s Station. Mayfield and one of his sons,
along with a soldier were killed. George Mayfield, another
son, was captured and held prisoner for ten years in the Creek
Nation. The station was abandoned, and the survivors retreated
to Rains Station. Brown’s Station was also overrun,
and its survivors also fled to Rains Station.
Sometime before July 1790 William Gowen, the father of
Christiana Gowen Rains, “was killed,” according to “The
Flowering of the Cumberland” by Harriette Simpson Arnow.
The conclusion is that he, too was a victim of the Creeks, at
about age 70.
In the January 1791 session of Davidson County Court the
minutes read, “Davidson County, Territory of the United
States South of the River Ohio.” On January 15, 1791 Capt.
Rains was given permission by the court “to build a grist mill
on Brown’s Creek on land whereon he now lives, agreeable to
the petition of a number of inhabitants of this county.” On
July 11, 1791 the grand jury “presented John Rains for profane
swearing.” He was fined “four shillings.”
On October 10, 1796 Capt. Rains was recommissioned as a
captain in the defense of Nashville against the marauding Indians.
On September 1, 1797 William Gowen, nephew [and
later to be son-in-law] of Capt. Rains, was elected a lieutenant
in his militia company. Lt. William Gowen was married to
Martha “Patsy” Rains three months later, December 3, 1797,
according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 28. Research
indicates him to be her first cousin.
She once had a narrow escape from the Indians when she and
her friend, Betsy Williams, were fired upon by Indians while
out riding. Martha “Patsy” Rains, riding a fast horse, escaped,
but her friend Betsy Williams was killed and scalped. A. W.
Putnam stated “Indians shot and killed Betsy Williams who
was riding on the same horse behind Martha “Patsy” Rains.”
The household of Capt. John Rains appeared in the 1820 census
of Davidson County as:
“Rains, John white male over 45
white female over 45
white female 16-26
white female 16-26
white male 10-16
white female 10-16”
Christiana Gowen Rains died in 1826 and was buried in Mt.
Olivet Cemetery in Nashville, according to the “Nashville
National Banner” in its March 24, 1826 edition.
Capt. John Rains “lived to a ripe old age and grew loquacious
and vainglorious,” according to Felix Robertson, son of Capt.
James Robertson. He died March 26, 1834 at the age of 91 and
was also buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. His death was
reported in the “Nashville National Banner” and the
“Nashville Daily Advertiser.”
The estate of Capt. John Rains was presented to the Davidson
County Court for partition in its October 1834 session. Administration
of the estate was given to Alfred P. Gowen,
grandson of Capt. John Rains and a member of the Tennessee
State Legislature and John Rains, Jr. Alfred P. Gowen, son of
Lt. William Gowen, was shown as the only heir of Martha
“Patsy” Rains Gowen.
Children born to Capt. John Rains and Christiana Gowen
Rains are believed to include:
William Rains born about 1769
John Rains, Jr. born about 1770
Martha “Patsy” Rains born about 1773
Barbara Rains born about 1778
Elizabeth Rains born about 1781
Mary “Polly” Rains born about 1784
Susannah Rains born about 1786
Christiana Rains born January 20, 1787
Nancy Rains born about 1791
Sarah Rains born about 1793
Jonathan Hance Rains born about 1796
2) Dear Cousins
Thanks very much for the print-out on William and
Anastasia Sullivan Gowen of Goochland County, Virginia.
This material was of much interest to me because it agrees
with a “gut feeling” I had after my initial research into the
amcestry of my ancestor James Burns Gowen who is now
regarded as their grandson.
I appreciate the fact that “outsider objectivity” of both
you and Dr. DeMarce independently arrived at this same
conclusion. I have also found some common threads from the
Stuart and McDonald families which carried over into the
Gowen family. Watch how often the name “Iona” turns up
among the Gowen, Stuart and McDonald women. Thanks for
all your good efforts. Sandra K. Wood, ‘Swale View,’ Low
Row, NR Richmond, N. Yorks, England, DL11-6NE.
I am especially interested in the archaeological work
being done on the Gowen farm at the Nashville Airport. My
grandfather Frank Maxwell Gowen made trips to Nashville
during his lifetime and searched diligently for the graves of
our ancestors. I accompanied him on a trip in 1980 and took
photographs. I became the custodian of all his records upon
his death. It was his wish that I carry on with the work he
I was glad to hear that Dr. Guy Weaver who was the
archaeologist in charge has accepted an invitation to appear on
our Conference program in Houston in 1994. I am enclosing
my Conference reserveration and am looking forward to this
important event. I am enclosing my Sustaining Membership
and an additional check to be used as a memorial to Frank
Maxwell Gowen and his research. I’ll be making a serious
effort to devote more time to the Gowen research. Thank you
for your continued outstanding efforts. Shari Lynn Southard,
5240 W. Las Palmaritas, Glendale, AZ, 85302
I have every issue of your publication since its first
edition, and I have recommend the Newsletter to other
Going/Gowen family researchers.
The article in the March issue entitled, “Horrible
Gowan Family Event Recorded in Salem, Kentucky” was a
real surprise. This kind of nonsense has no place in a
genealogical publication. I wonder how many other
subscribers were as disappointed as I in your lack of
consideration for the family surname and in your general lack
of good taste.
If the piece had been true, it would have been
acceptable; because it is fiction, it degrades your publication
with its one line “surprise” ending; a total insult to the reader.
Many of your readers send in material that would be
more interesting reading. They mention sending in accounts
of their family histories in “Dear Cousins.” My suggestion is
that you print more of these and that you use a byline with
each article. We wish to read about real people and to contact
real people in our mutual family research. Rosemary Dunne,
Box 687, Amherst, VA, 24521.
Upon reflection, we concur. Apologies to the very
large and respected Gowan family. We wish now that the
author had chosen the surname McGillicuddy rather than
Gowan “to protect the innocent.”
I am enjoying the Foundation Newsletter very much.
When you have space, I’d appreciate it if you could print this
query. I am descended from Richard D. Goin[s] who moved
to Laurel County, KY from Claiborne County, TN about 1850.
He was born in 1801 or 1802 and married Elizabeth Ferguson.
I believe he is the son of Levi Goin of Claiborne County.
Anyone who might know something about this family is
requested to write to Wayne Onkst, 3855 Laura Lane,
Erlanger, KY, 41018.
Rev. Richard Goins and Marietta Lafoon Goins of Ottumwa,
Iowa, center were pictured at their Golden Wedding
celebration June 21, 1992. Rev. Goins, a member of the
Foundation Editorial Board of Directors and his high school
sweetheart were married June 14, 1942 in Trenton, Iowa.
Rev. Goins recently published “Recollections of a Reverend”
which incorporates the genealogy of his Goins family. Also
pictured, l-r, are daughter, Nancy Goins Ottey and husband,
Gary Ottey; daughter, Kathy Goins Engel and husband, Randy
Engel and grandchildren, Joe and Jackie Engel.
3) Electronic Library Completes
2nd Year of Research Service
Seven thousand calls to the Electronic Library were logged
during the first 24 months of its operation in the Foundation
office. The Foundation manuscript, totalling 7,500 pages
compiled by 350 different genealogists have been fed into the
computer and are now online for any member to utilize. It is
estimated that another 3,000 pages of data will be fed into the
manuscript during the next 12 months.
In addition to the manuscript files, the Electronic Library
carries the 45 editions of the Newsletter published to date,
ancestor charts, queries, announcements and genealogical
shareware. All of this, and more, can be accessed by dialing
the Electronic Library number–806/795-2005.
The only “closed stack” section of the GRF Electronic Library
continues to be the Foundation manuscript. It will be limited
to “Members Only.” For technical assistance in logging on to
the Electronic Library, call the SysOp at 806/796-0456.
Additionally 8,000 calls were received by the Texas State
Genealogical Society Electronic Library & Bulletin Board also
operating in the Foundation office.
Because of the experience gained by the Foundation in the
operation of the electronic facility and because of some
commonality between the two boards, the TSGS Board of
Directors elected to have its equipment operated in the
Foundation office in Lubbock.
Foundation members interested in Texas history and
genealogical research can now log-on to the TSGS Library by
dialing 806/791-4822. The TSGS Electronic Library is
affiliated with National Genealogical Society’s FidoNet
Genealogical Conference for worldwide electronic mail exchange.
This service is available free to every researcher.
One thousand genealogy bulletin boards in the United States,
Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany,
Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Botswana, Denmark, Hong
Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand
are affiliated in the network for daily E-mail exchange.
There are thousands of queries and messages on hundreds of
surnames on the TSGS Bulletin Board at all times–and many
of them are yours. Your modem-equipped computer can make
a lighting-fast search for any surname that holds interest for
you, and you may download the data to your equipment at no
charge. The price of the phone call, about 16 cents per minute
for long distance calls, is the only expense to the researcher.
Additionally the researcher can upload data to either of the
Libraries, and the SysOp will route it to the proper destination.
The two Electronic Libraries will be “open” 24 hours a day,
365 days a year . . . and nobody will ever turn the lights out on
you! All three will use the same protocol: Baud, 2400; Parity,
none; Data Bits, 8; Stop Bits, 1; Duplex, full; Protocol,
ZModem; Terminal, ANSI.
The name “Gowen” which means “Smith” in Gaelic, appears
in at least 24 different spellings in American and European
records. To make the search as complete as possible, the Library
will hold data on at least 24 different spellings of the
surname. Family lore will be indexed on Gawan, Gawen,
Gawne, Goan, Goeing, Goen, Goin, Goines, Going, Gooing,
Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, Gowine, Gowing, Goun, Gouwen,
Goyen, Goyn, Goyne, Guynes, plus plurals, prefixes and other
Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: email@example.com
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.