Sections in this issue:
1) Nicholas Gowen Dealt with Controversy;
2) William G. Going Wrote Family Of Civil War Conditions In VA;
3) Dear Cousins;
4) Sara A. Goins Recognized As “Pride of Tennessee”.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 4, No. 11 July 1993
1) Nicholas Gowen Dealt with Controversy
Nicholas Gowen, son of William Alexander Gowen and Elizabeth
Frost Gowen, was born in Kittery, Maine in the latter part
of 1667 and was a namesake of his grandfather, Nicholas
Frost. The birth of Nicholas Gowen “set some tongues
a’waggin'” on the speculation that he may have arrived a little
prematurely after marriage of his parents on May 14, 1667.
William Alexander Gowen was captured in the Battle of
Dunbar fought September 3, 1650 between the Scots supporting
King Charles II and the Parliamentarians under Oliver
Cromwell. Cromwell was victorious, killing 3,000 Scots and
capturing 10,000. The English put their casualties at only 20
men killed. The Scotch prisoners were marched to London
and deported to colonies throughout the empire.
William Alexander Gowen was included in a group of 150
that was sent aboard the “Unity” November 11, 1650, bound
for New England. Landing at Boston, they were put to work
in the ironworks. A group of the prisoners were chosen to
work in the sawmill at Berwick, Maine, and William
Alexander Gowen was included. After completing his
endenture, he was released and was married to Elizabeth Frost,
daughter of Nicholas Frost who had come to New England in
Nicholas Gowen was a witness to a deed at Kittery November
10, 1685 according to “York Deeds” Volume 4, page 81. He
received a land grant at Kittery in 1685. Nicholas Gowen was
19 years old when his father died in 1686. Ten years later, he
and his brother had an agreement about the division of his
Nicholas Gowen was married about 1694 to Abigail Hodsdon,
daughter of Benoni and Abigail Curtis Hodsdon of Berwick.
Benoni Hodsdon was the son of Nicholas Hodsdon and Esther
Wines Hodsdon who were residents of Hingham, Massachusetts
Nicholas Gowen on December 23, 1695, was plaintiff in an
action of trespass against Sarah Cahbourn, defendant, for unlawfully
cutting hay from a marsh that he had rented. The
court found in favor of the defendant.
On February 7, 1696-97 he and his brother John Gowen had
an agreement made between them regarding property they had
jointly inherited from their father. Their signatures read,
“Nicholas Gowen alias Smith” and “John Gowen alias Smith.”
Frequently they, as well as their father, used the alias “Smith”
in legal documents. It may have been because “Gowen”
means “Smith” in the Gaelic language, or it may have been
that they sought to avoid the continuing discrimination of the
English against the Scots. Witnesses to the agreement were
Daniel Emery and Alexander Forguson, their brothers-in-law.
Nicholas Gowen was mentioned as “town surveyor” March 2,
1699-1700, according “York Court Records.”
On July 10, 1700 Nicholas Gowen “alias Smith” and John
Gowen “alias Smith” “both of Berwick in Kittery,” requested
their neighbors to partition between them the land they had
inherited from their father and from Tristram Harris, according
to “Province and Court Records of Maine.” Their request, was
to provide “allowance to our mother her thirds and to our
brethern & sister their portions.”
Tristram Harris was a bachelor neighbor and a fellow militiaman
with William Alexander Gowen. Young Nicholas
Gowen had been a favorite of Harris who declared that the boy
would become his heir, since he had no family in the colony.
Harris was killed in 1677 in an engagement with the Indians,
and Nicholas Gowen was named his heir and his father
administrator of the estate. As soon as relatives in England
and in other colonies heard of Harris’ death, counter claims to
the estate were filed. Thus began a legal controversy that
swirled around the Gowens for the next 20 years, and William
Alexander Gowen, Elizabeth Frost Gowen and Nicholas
Gowen were frequently in court during that period.
Nicholas Gowen was a witness to the will of James Warren
December 9, 1700 in Berwick. On June 28, 1701 Nicholas
Gowen was joined by James Plaisteed in sending a petition to
the General Court requesting financial assistance to rebuild the
garrisons at Wells, York and Berwick against Indian attacks.
They received 20 pounds to use for repairs on the fortifications.
On October 26, 1702 Nicholas Gowen purchased 21 acres of
land from Richard Rogers for 13 shillings, according to “York
Court Records.” He purchased 20 acres of land from Thomas
Butler January 13, 1702-03. Lemuel Gowen, his brother,
witnessed the transaction.
Nicholas Gowen, Continued
Nicholas Gowen became prominent in the affairs of Kittery.
He was admitted as an attorney to the Court of Common Pleas
April 6, 1703. William Whitmore writing in “Massachusetts
Civil List” mentioned Nicholas Gowen:
“In April 1703, another local person, Nicholas Gowen, was
sworn as an attorney. Gowen was the son of that William
Smith, alias Gowen, to whom the unfortunate Tristram Harris
wished to leave his property in 1677.
His mother was Elizabeth, sister of Maj. Charles Frost, Sr. and
one of his sons, James, born in 1714, was destined to sit on the
bench of the Inferior Court in the years just prior to the
Revolution. Nicholas Gowen was primarily a man of practical
bent; he was a surveyor, scout and deputy to the General
He was not held in universal esteem, however, for Col.
Pepperrell and Gowen’s uncle, Charles Frost, both testified in
January 1695-96 that they heard Maj. Hooke call Nicholas a
‘busy body’ who concerned himself with that which did not
belong to him.’ His appearances as an attorney were not frequent.”
Nicholas Gowen was in involved in a dispute over a land title
October 20, 1703, according to “York Court Records” Volume
7, page 12. His brother John Gowen was a witness to the
settlement of the dispute.
Nicholas Gowen received nine shillings from tax money from
the General Court in 1704. Nicholas Gowen appeared on the
York County jury list in October, 1706, July 1, 1707 and April
He appeared on the other side of the bench April 2, 1706, according
to “Province and Court Records:”
“Nicholas Gowen appeared in court to answer a presentment
exhibited against him by the grand jury for being drunk and
being legally convicted for his said offense fined 5s to the use
of the town Kittery and pay fees of court 5s & to stand
committed till his sentence be performed.”
He represented Kittery at the General Court of Massachusetts
On March 5, 1711-12 Nicholas Gowen purchased from his
brother John Gowen, his half of the land inherited from Tristram
Harris, for 15 pounds, according to “York Deeds.” The
“Twenty five Acres Scituate in ye township of Kittery being
ye one halfe of Fifty acres of land known by ye Name of
Trustram Harris out lot it being the westernmost part of said
Fifty Acres According as ye Same is Set forth And bounded in
A Certain Agreement or Instrument in writing under ye hands
and Seals of us ye said John & Nicholas Gowen baring date ye
Nineteenth day of January one thousand Seven hundred &
On the same day Nicholas Gowen witnessed a payment to
John Gowen and Mercy Hammond Gowen in the settlement of
the estate of her father Joseph Hammond.
Nicholas Gowen was a witness to the will of Daniel Emery his
brother-in-law April 5, 1722 in York County.
Nicholas Gowen was one of the appraisers of the estate of
Gabriel Hambleton September 22, 1729 in York County.
Nicholas Gowen wrote his will January 8, 1733. It was published
in 1898 at Eliot, Maine in a volume entitled “In Old
Eliot” Volume 2, No. 3, dated March 1898. The will, which
was also published in “Maine Wills, 1640-1760” by William
Sargent bequeathed his real estate to his wife and his three
sons. One son, Nicholas Gowen, had died in childhood. He
specified that “my honored mother, Elizabeth Gowen, widow
shall be maintained & comfortably.” He directed that his five
daughters, Abigail Thompson, Elizabeth Hart, Margaret Lord,
Ester Ross and Anne Thurla were each to receive 20 pounds
from the inheritance of his sons. His wife and three sons were
named executors of his estate.
Nicholas Gowen lived 19 years after he wrote his will, dying
in December 1752 at age 85. The will was probated January
Children born to Nicholas Gowen and Abigail Hodsdon
Abigail Gowen born about 1698
Margaret Gowen born about 1699
Elizabeth Gowen born about 1700
Nicholas Gowen, Jr. born about 1702
Hester Gowen born about 1704
William Gowen born April 14, 1705
Patrick Gowen born about 1707
Anne Gowen born about 1709
James Gowen born in 1714
2) William G. Going Wrote Family
Of Civil War Conditions In VA
William George Washington Going, son of Isaac Going and
Rebecca Palmer Going, was born July 17, 1824 at Kelton,
South Carolina in Union District, according to his family
bible. He was married September 16, 1847 in Union County
to Nancy Manerva Jane Dupree who was born in South Carolina
June 3, 1827, the first of 19 children of William Griffin
DuPree and Julia Ann Fields Shaw DuPree.
William George Washington Going served in Company C,
Seventh South Carolina Cavalry Regiment in the Civil War.
He wrote his family July 11, 1863:
Henrico County, Virginia
I take my pen in hand this morning to let you know and the
childrens that I am well at this time. Hopeing when you get
this it may be fine with you and all the childrens well. I
received your letter the other day which was dated 22nd of
June. I want you to take care of your self and not grieve your
self two much, and try to keep up for you are all of my
dependent in this world to raise my dear little children.
I hope to God that you and all of my dear little children may
have good health, that I may see you and all of my dear little
children once more. Of course, I see a hard time of it, but no
more than any other soldier does. I have had my health as I
ever did in my life, but about two weeks which I had the
dysentery. I have got stout again, and I weigh more than I
ever did in my life. I weigh 178 pounds.
Well, the yankeys are all gone from the white houses near this
place, we have been taking several yankeys as prisoners.
They say we are gaining down to York Town and to
Washington City. I understand that the yankeys are got to
Vicksburg. I am sorry to hear that. I heard last night that the
yankeys had attacked Charleston. I understand that Lee is
falling back from Tennessee. A week ago we all thought we
had the yankeys whipped, but our men are low down now. I
am in hopes that we will hear some good news in a few days
again to help our feelings. Lee has captured a great many
yankeys in Maryland and Penn. He has done a great deal of
good there on our side.
I have been over several battle grounds. The yankeys bones
are laying like old horses bones all over the ground. I have
seen several where they were shot down. All of the bones
were like a horse or any beast. Dead at Gains Mill beats any
place. I saw in some square pits where they threw them in,
arm bones are sticking out of the ground and threw a little dirt
over them. I have seen as many as three in one grave of our
men. It is no more to see a dead man here than to see a dead
dog at home.
Tell all of the boys that it does me good that they are working
so well this summer, and I am glad to hear that you have got
everything growing to live on. I wish I had some of your Irish
potatoes and beans and greens. Nancy, I went out yesterday to
buy some vegetables for our mess. I gave for butter $2 per lb.
I gave $1 per quart for Irish potatoes and $1 for one dozen
cucumbers and $1 per dozen squashes, and 50 cents for a quart
of butter milk, and was glad to get it at that. We get plenty of
bacon. We drawed out rashings yesterday. We got crackers in
place of meal. We got some rice and salt.
We are looking to hear of a march somewhere in a day or two.
I want you to write to me whether you have got any salt or not.
And how your corn are holding out and try to get out your
wheat and have all your straw taken care of. If you haven’t got
no shoat in the pen, put you one in the pen, and it will make
you a good hog.
I don’t want you to be uneasy about me not having something
to eat, for if it is to be had, I intend to have it. I don’t believe
in dieing hungry, for I don’t know how soon it may be. I have
got some cloth[e]s to send home. If I ever get a chance. I
have got a nice cap to send Elijah Vernon [his third son, age
10]. I have got plenty of coats. I need a pair of cotton pants
and a hat. Be sure and send my hat by Doctor Little.
I understand the old regt. South Carolina are going to North
Carolina. E. P. Going promised me that he would write to me
before he went home. I don’t know whether he has gone home
or not. I am looking for a letter from him every day now. I
haven’t heard from any of your brothers in some time, or Mary
Ann Page or Willis Page.
From W. G. W. Going
To Nancy Going and Family”
3) Dear Cousins
I am sure you have been “covered up” with
newspaper clippings of the Associated Press story headed
“Men Say Melungeon Mystery Solved,” but I am enclosing
two more. I was in Asheville, NC for a meeting and found the
article datelined “Sneedville, TN” in the “Asheville Citizen-
Times.” Then when I returned home to Idaho Falls and
opened the “Shelbyville [TN] Times-Gazette,” my hometown
newspaper, there it was again.
It is good to see the Melungeons getting such
widespread attention, but is the mystery really solved?
Elizabeth H. Morfitt, 353 Westmoreland Drive, Idaho Falls,
ID, 83402. Elizabeth, the jury is still out on the Melungeons.
Confirmation from the academicians will be required.
Congratulations for the satellite transmission of our
Electronic Library. Under your guidance and leadership the
Foundation is a recognized leader in genealogical research.
You are to be commended for your foresight in getting genealogy
into space. Larry A. May, 1548 Manor Drive, Salem, OH, 44460.
I found mention of the Foundation in Everton
Genealogical Helper and hope that one of your members
might assist me with my Gowen family. I have searched for
years for my Gowen ancestors with no success.
My g-gf James C. Gowen was born in 1854 in
Vermillion County, IL. He was married in 1875 in Henry
County, Missouri to Margaret Catherine Beinroth. James C.
Gowen was the son of Jackson and Martha Gowen. Jackson
Gowen was born in Illinois in 1823 to Isaac and Delilah
Gowen. Isaac Gowen was born in 1797 in Virginia. Any help
will be appreciated. Helen Ledford, Route 1, Novinger, MO,
To answer your question about the Red Sticks, the
name Baton Rouge is French, and its application as a place
name can be traced back to 1686, with the first recorded
contact between Europeans and the Houma Indian tribe. In
that year the French explorers LaSalle and Tonti descended
the Mississippi and met the Houma at their ancestral
homelands on the high ground of present-day West Feliciana
Parish and Wilkinson County, Mississippi.
At another village located on the site of our present
state capital, the Houma had erected a cypress pole to mark
the boundary with their neighbors to the south, the
Bayougoulas Indians. This pole was stained red by the blood
of sacrificial animals, and the French called the Houma village
and the later white settlement Baton Rouge [literally, “Red
Stick.” Kevin P. Scrantz, Vermilionville, Box 2266,
Lafayette, LA, 70502. 800/992-2968
We are looking forward to the Research Conference
& Family Reunion in Houston. There will be three of us in
our party from Paragould [so far], my daughter, sister Lois and I.
I think it is wonderful that the Smithsonian has
become interested in the Melungeons and in exhuming the
Gowen graves at the Nashville Airport.
The documentary film that is planned of the
archaeological work and the DNA analysis is very exciting.
This must be shown in Houston.
We are very proud of our Foundation. It never ceases
to amaze me the way things get done when we work together.
This is the way our ancestors did quilting bees and barn raisings.
There’s no telling what all will come of this! Louise
Goins Richardson, 2207 E. Lake St, Paragould, AR, 72450.
Congratulations upon your accomplishments with the
Electronic Library. I would like to discuss with you the possibility
of your transmitting our magazine on the Satellite.
James Pylant, Editor, American Genealogy Magazine, Box
1587, Stephenville, Texas, 76401.
After 63 years, I have recently visited with my
Gowan relatives in Jackson, Tennessee. There I learned from
Forrest Gowan about the Foundation. And, on my return to
Memphis, Texas, I went to the library for a book on
Switzerland, and the librarian surprised me by producing a file
of the Foundation Newsletters. I was fascinated by the story
of Martha Angeline Gowan who at age 13 assisted a Civil War
soldier amputate his leg. She was my great aunt! Her father,
Pleasant Andrew Gowan was my great-grandfather; Landon
R. Gowan was my grandfather; and Charles Ernest Gowan
was my father.
I was very excited to read about the 1994 reunion in
Houston I have a very special nephew, Brian Gowan who is
chaplain of Methodist Hospital there. He should be involved
in some way.
I am enclosing two memberships, one for my sisterin-
law, Una Gowan in Spokane, Washington and one for
myself. She is the mother of four Gowan boys and two
daughters. She was born in Ireland, so she hopes the Gowans
turn out to be Irish.
I lost my husband of 52 years in December, and now
I live alone four miles west of Memphis on a ranch. It seems
ironic that I thought I would have to go back to Tennessee to
learn about my ancestors when you, in nearby Lubbock, had
the whole story all the time!. I will be glad to add everything I
can about the family to the Foundation manuscript. Louise
Gowan Fisher, Box 387, Memphis, TX, 79245, 806/259-2059.
I was so pleased to read the April edition of the
Newsletter which featured Daniel Goins my g-g-g-ggrandfather.
My line includes Isham Goins and Granville
Goin. My sister, Jeraldine Webb is active in family history
research and was mentioned in the article. She is now busy
preparing research on Daniel Goins and Elizabeth Pebley
Goins. Her research includes the Civil War service and
pension records of four of their five sons which she will be
sending to the Foundation. I am looking forward to upcoming
editions. My membership is enclosed. Roberta Young 14614
McGee Drive, Whittier, CA, 90604.
4) Sara A. Goins Recognized
As “Pride of Tennessee”
Sara A. Goins, Foundation member and long-time county
official of Dunlap, Tennessee was recognized April 16 in a
presentation in the Sequatchie County Courthouse for her
many years of service to the county and the community.
Mrs. Goins, widow of John L. Goins, recently retired from the
county office which is now being held by her son, Tommy
Mrs. Goins was presented with a plaque which read “In
recognition of your dedication and service to your neighbors
and to the Great State of Tennessee and your tireless efforts
for your community, it is proclaimed that you are now and
forever more “The Pride of Tennessee.”
The recognition came in conjunction with the beginning of
Bicentennial ’96, the celebration of Tennessee’s 200th
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.