Sections in this issue:
1) William Alexander Gowens Drawn By Georgia Land Lottery;
2) Don Lee Gowen Establishes GRF Branch Library in Alabama;
3) Child Bride Nancy Powell Gowan Fast-Forwarded Through Life;
4) Dear Cousins.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 5, No. 12 August 1994
1) William Alexander Gowens Drawn By Georgia Land Lottery
William Alexander Gowens was born about 1784 in Virginia,
according to his enumeration in the 1850 census of DeKalb
County, Georgia. He was married about 1814, perhaps in
South Carolina where a son was born in 1815.
Neighboring Georgia had begun giving away land in 1803 to
induce more white settlers. Until that time the Indians
predominated in the state, and the whites held only a slender
slice of the state along the Savannah River. Just prior to the
third lottery held in 1819, William Alexander Gowens
succumbed to the overtures and became a citizen of Georgia.
The state fathers, with British oppression and the
Revolutionary War still fresh in their memory, set some
regulations for the new Georgians. To hold office a man had
to be a white protestant, own property worth oe25 and be 25
Each voter took an oath that he had never held a title of
nobility. No military uniform was to be worn while exercising
the right to vote. If a person were eligible to vote and did not
appear at the polling place, he was liable for a oe5 fine. A
voter had to be a white male taxpayer owning property worth
oe10 and a resident of the state for six months.
Despite the other constraints, Georgia was generous with its
land, and eager settlers swarmed into the state. At the end of
the Revolution, Georgia had population of 75,000 whites.
Forty years later when the Indians were being pushed out,
500,000 people had arrived, many attracted by the land
White male inhabitants of the state who had reached the age of
21 and who were citizens of the United States and residents of
Georgia were entitled to one draw. A man with wife and
children was entitled to two draws, as well as widows who
were heads of households. The lottery system was used to
distribute more than 30,000,000 acres west of the Oconee
River. More than 100,000 fortunate individuals and families
benefited from the seven lotteries held between 1803 and
1832. By that time, the state’s population had quadrupled; a
tremendous buffer against the Indians had been created.
“Alexander Gowen” was listed as a non-slave owner in
Walton County in 1819, according to “Wayfarers of Walton
He appeared in the 1820 census of Walton County as the head
of a household composed of five people. “Alexander Going’s
was enumerated as the head of a household of eight in the
1830 census of adjoining Newton County, Georgia, page 28.
Newton County had been created partly with land from
Walton County in 1821, and it possible that William
Alexander Gowens found himself in the new county without
He reappeared in the 1840 census of the county as a “white
male, 50-60.” A “white female, 90-100” was also a member
of the family. His wife died about 1845, and William
Alexander Gowens was remarried August 2, 1847 to Mrs.
Mary Wright, according to Newton County marriage records.
She was born about 1815.
He reappeared in the 1850 census of adjoining DeKalb County
in an adjacent location with his son, Solomon Gowens, page
144 as Household 14-14:
“Gowens, Alexander 66, born in Virginia, farmer
Mary 34, born in Georgia
Walter 30, born in Georgia
Wright, Lucinda J. 21, born in Georgia
Joshua 15, born in Georgia”
“Alexander Gowins” was recorded in the 1860 census of
nearby Polk County, Household 259:
“Gowins, Alexander 74, born in Virginia
Mary 60, born in Georgia
Wright, Elizabeth 26,female,born in Georgia
Jesse A. 4,male,born in Alabama”
It is believed that he died during the decade. Children born to
William Alexander Gowens include:
Solomon Gowens born June 8, 1815
Mariah Gowens born September 2, 1817
William Walter Gowens born in 1818
Rhoda Anna Gowens born August 25, 1822
Sterling Capers Gowens born about 1824
Sarah Gowens born in 1825
Martha Caroline Gowens born June 9, 1826
James D. S. Gowens born about 1830
Elizabeth Gowens born about 1834
2) Don Lee Gowen Establishes GRF
Branch Library in Alabama
By Arlee Gowen
Credit Don Lee Gowen, one of Foundation Editorial
Boardmembers of Decatur, Alabama for the smartest research
idea of the summer.
When he figured up the cost of a modem, the operator time
and the telephone time to download 60 megabytes, he
suggested opening a Foundation branch library in Decatur!
We put an external drive together for him here and loaded it
up with all of the files on the Electronic Library.
The files include all of the Foundation manuscript, the
genealogy shareware programs and the Newsletters—about
10,000 pages. When he received it, all he had to do was to
plug it in and “Restore” the data to his hard drive.
He can also use the drive to make backups of the other files on
his hard disk and put the tapes up for safekeeping.
Now, if the Foundation gets struck by lightning in Texas, the
Gowenana collection is alive and well in Alabama.
I learned a painful lesson in heritage preservation in 1980
when I assisted my Aunt Nora Cox Drennan sift through the
ashes of her home after it had been totally destroyed by fire. I
witnessed the agony of a dedicated researcher who lost a
collection of family history gathered over a 30-year period and
all of her priceless, irreplaceable photographs. I helped her
reassemble the collection; it took years!
With her experience in mind, today we have a tape backup
system. We wouldn’t leave home without it.
We backup the entire Electronic Library in one fell swoop and
place the tape in our lockbox in the bank vault. We replace
that tape with a second one and then rotate them, with the
newest backup in the vault at all times. The files in the
Electronic Library are like your city streets—they are always
If you would like a Branch Library in your town, you won’t
need a Carnegie grant–just let us know. We’ll mail you a
tape, and it can shuttle back and forth bringing you updates as
needed. If you need help with the hardware, we can get our
Systems Operator to assemble one for you.
Thomas Jefferson said it best, “The most profitable thing we
can do with knowledge is to distribute it.” Today he would
add, “and make lots of backups!”
3) Child Bride Nancy Powell Gowan
Fast-Forwarded Through Life
When Meredith Gowan came calling on Nancy Powell, her
family disapproved. When he asked for her hand in marriage,
James and Patience Powell were appalled—she was only 14!
But true love won out, and they were married in 1825 in North
Carolina. Shortly afterward, Meredith Gowan announced
plans to move to Mississippi—more consternation for the
Meredith Gowan moved his family to Copiah County,
Mississippi where they were enumerated in the 1830 census.
Nancy Powell Gowen was listed as the mother of five and still
had not reached her 20th birthday!
Meredith Gowan died there in March 1838, according to
Phillip Alan Gowan of Nashville, GRF boardmember, and
Nancy Powell Gowan became the head of a household of eight
people—at the age of 27! She died in Simpson County,
Mississippi in 1855 at the age of 44.
Children born to Meredith Gowan and Nancy Powell Gowan
[daughter] born about 1825
James A. Gowan born January 26, 1826
Rose Gowan born about 1827
John C. Gowan born about 1828
Ann Gowan born about 1830
Ebenezer Jahue Gowan born about 1833
Henry Gowan born about 1834J
Thomas Robert Gowan born about 1836
Revolutionary Sherwood Going Served in 14th Virginia Regt.
Sherwood Going, “free colored” was born about 1756,
probably in Louisa County, Virginia. He was identified as the
son of Agnes Going in “Free African Americans in North
Carolina and Virginia” written by Paul Heinegg. The Louisa
County Court on April 10, 1770 ordered that the church
wardens of Trinity Parish “bind out all her children under 21
years except the youngest.” “Sherrod Going” was bound out
to William Phillips.
On February 12, 1776, Agnes Going appeared in court to file a
complaint about the ill-treatment “Sherrod Going was
receiving from his master, William Phillips.”
He enlisted for three years service in 1777 in the Fourteenth
Virginia Regiment under command of Col. Charles Lews and
re-enlisted in 1780 for an additional 18 months, according to
statements in his pension application dated October 9, 1828 in
Albemarle County, Virginia..
“Sharod Going” endorsed the Revolutionary pension
application of Charles Barnett, “mulatto” who was born about
1764 in Albemarle County. Charles Barnett declared that he
had “enlisted in the Seventh Virginia Regiment at
Charlottesville.” “Sharod Going” corroborated his statement,
and in his endorsement mentioned, “I was with him at
Chesterfield Court House.”
Sherwood Going was a resident of Albemarle County in 1787
when he appeared on the tax list there, taxable on “one tithe,
two horses and four cattle.”
“Sherod Gowin” received a land warrant in the Military
District of Ohio, however it is believed that he sold the
warrant rather than move to the new area.
The pension application of “Sherard Going” and that of his
wife “Susannah Simmons Going” were abstracted in “Virginia
Pension Abstracts of Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Indian
Wars,” Volume 19 by Lucy Kate McGhee. “Sherod Going”
was married to Susannah Simmons June 5, 1791 in Albemarle
County by Parson William Woods, according to the
pension application. A copy of their marriage certificate
certified by the Albemarle County Clerk was attached in
In the application given to the court at Charlottesville, he
stated, “I am a colored man and very illiterate” and that he had
lost his discharge. He stated that he had a wife and two boys,
“a boy about the age of 8 or 9 and another about the age of 10
or 12.” He reported that he owned 200 acres of mountainous
land with 30 or 40 acres cleared. He was a day laborer and
owned one cow. His application was endorsed by an affidavit
signed by A. C. Nanis.
Sherwood Going was enumerated as the head of a household
of 12 “other free” people in the census of 1810 of Albemarle
County. “Sherod Gowing” appeared as the head of a ninemember
household in a cluster of 12 Gowing households of
“free colored” in the 1820 census of Albemarle County, page
8A. Three members of his family were engaged in
agriculture. The household was rendered as:
“Sherwood Gowen, free colored male, 55-100” reappeared in
the 1830 census of Albemarle County, page 252 as the head of
a household composed of 10 free colored individuals.
Sherwood Going died September 4, 1837, about age 81.
Susannah Simmons Gowin made an application for a
reinstatement of a widow’s pension November 27, 1841. In it
she stated that her age was “about 70,” that she had lived in
Albemarle County all of her life and she was the “widow of
Sherod Gowin, deceased.” She declared that she had received
a widow’s pension from the date of her husband’s death
September 4, 1837 through November 23, 1837. An
endorsement attached to her application read, “She is a
coloured woman of high respectability and her declaration is
entitled to full credit.”
4) Dear Cousins
I am excited to find that there is a research
organization devoted to our name in all the various spellings
and look forward to reading the Newsletter. I am enclosing
my check for membership and would like to receive any back
issues and information on the family that is available.
I would also like to ask for help in locating the
parents of my g-g-grandfather John Henry Gowan, bc1870 in
GA or TN, d1951. He had a brother, Willie Gowan and a
sister Margaret who married Charlie Birch/Burch. His parents
moved away when he was 13, and he was left with “Granny
Green.” He was married to Tecoa Vaughn May 21, 1900.
Their children were Charles Eugene [my g-grandfather],
Abbie, Monnie, Burton, Robert and William Gowan. I am a
new family tracker and have hit a wall already. Angela
Gowan, Box 221, Mason, TN, 38049, 901/294-2334.
My g-g-grandmother, Martha “Patsy” Goings/Goins
was born in Choctaw Nation [Mississippi] about 1812. She
was married there about 1832 to Eli Crowder. Sometime after
1845 they removed to Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. Two
brothers, Jim Going and Gibson Going accompanied them,
and all settled near the present-day Boswell, Oklahoma in
She was a Choctaw by blood, and her husband was
not. She and all her children went on the Choctaw rolls. I’m
enclosing a print-out of her chart for the Foundation Library. I
would like to correspond with any Choctaw researcher who
can tell me more about my g-g-grandmother’s family. My
Foundation membership is enclosed. Carlotta Earlene Hollis
Bates, 301 Berkeley Park Blvd, Kensington, CA, 94707
We invite you to come and join us, the James Blair
Gowens descendants in the fun and fellowship of this Fourth
Annual Gowens Family Reunion. The festivities will take
place in Graham, Texas on Saturday, September 10 at the
Agricultural Activities Center. The Activities center is located
next to the Baseball Park, so tell the kids [big and little] they
may bring their ball and glove.
There will be covered dish lunch beginning at 12:30
p.m. and at 5:00 p.m. we’ll have sandwiches, chips and dips.
Bring your favorite recipes and coldcuts. Kitchen and
bathroom facilities are available.
Motel reservations can be made at Gateway Inn,
817/549-0222 and the Plantation Inn, 817/549-8320. Both are
located on Highway 16 South. Please feel free to call or drop
a note to me. Jo Ann Gowens Davis, 610 Whitewing Rd,
Dayton, TX, 77535, 409/258-3527.
I’m sure you have heard this before, but WOW, what
a wonderful surprise when I received all those back issues of
the Newsletter! In my lifetime I could never duplicate the
hours of research that the Foundation is doing.
I live in the foothills of Virginia and have access to
several counties only a short distance away. I would be
willing to help anyone with their Virginia research. Just let
My search for Goins [as we currently spell our
surname] is the line of William Gowens who was married to
Rebecca Jones December 12, 1850 in Surry County, NC. The
1860 census of Stokes County, NC reflects one child, W. A,
age 10 [William Albert Gowen.] He was married to Elizabeth
Johnson October 29, 1868 in Surry County. Can anyone help
with this line? Cindy Goins Young, Box 3791, Martinsville,
In addition to the Gowens family, we have researched
the families of Harlan, Polk, Pollock, Dee and Stewart. If any
members of the Foundation are in pursuit of any of these lines,
we’ll be glad to donate a copy of our research to them.
Additionally we have recently installed a CDROM
and have disks on VA, TN, NC, SC, AL, GA, IL, IN, OH and
MD. These are primarily marriage records and other county
records. We’ll be glad to do searches for GRF members at no
charge. A SASE and two 29c stamps is requested with each
name search. Walt & Margaret Turner, 611 East 600 South,
Orem, UT, 84058
I seek information on James [Samuel] Going, bc1820
Amherst County or Albemarle County, VA. He was married
in 1843 in Amherst County to Gabriella Skinner, daughter of
Taliferro Skinner. They were enumerated in the 1850 census
of Nelson County, Virginia adjoining the households of his
father, Samuel Going and his brother, Robert A. Going.
Gabriella continued to bear children until 1867, but in
the 1860, 1870 and 1880 enumerations, she appeared as the
head of a household, and no husband was recorded. Surely
nineteenth century rural Virginia mores prevented the
conclusion we would draw today. Can anyone help with this
family? Rozier Dedwylder, 198 Newgate Rd, Hamilton, GA,
I am hoping to get further information on a family I
believe I am connected to–Shadrack Going/Gowen in Patrick
County, Virginia. He possibly may lead back to Thomas
Going/Gowen who came to Virginia in the 1600s. My
ancestor is Isaac Gowen in Vermillion County, IL 1840, 1850,
1860. Any information on either or all three will be
appreciated. Helen Ledford, Rt. 1, Novinger, MO, 63559.
I’m researching the family history of Joel W. Goings
and George W. Goings, sons of Jason Goings of Jefferson
County, Virginia [later West Virginia]. The two brothers and
their father moved into Ohio in in the late 1820s, locating in
Guernsey County. Joel W. Goings was married there to
Elizabeth Cole November 15, 1831.
Joel W. Goings and Elizabeth Cole Gowens had 11
children, 10 were born in Guernsey County and one was born
in Shelby County, Ohio where they moved about 1850. Any
further information you may have on this Goings line would
be deeply appreciated. Rosemary Dunne, Box 687, Amherst,
I am a descendant of Jinny [Jane] Goen/Goin/Goings
of St. Landry Parish, LA. Jinny Goen was my g-g-ggrandmother,
and I believe she was born c1795 in SC. She
was married March 12, 1814 in St. Landry Parish to Jordan
Perkins who was, born c1793 in Aiken, SC.
I do not know who her parents were, but Louisiana
census records show them living near Phillip Goen/Goins.
There was also a Thomas Goins who was included in my
They were enumerated in 1840 in Calcasieu Parish,
LA, in 1850 in Houston Co, TX and in 1860 in Bee Co, TX.
Their children were: Jacob, bc1815; Carlotta, bc1816; Jesse,
bc1817; Hader, bc1827; Joshua, bc1828; Washington, bc1835
and Olive bc1839.
I have been told that your Foundation has been very
active in assisting Choctaw descendants in all spelling
versions of the surname. I would welcome correspondence
from other researchers of this family, and I would like to join
your Foundation. Sandra M. Loridans, Apartado 844, 45900,
Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
We were glad to learn of the Foundation and the
great work you are doing. We our enclosing $100 for our
Sustaining Membership. We are seeking information about
our great-grandmother, Julia Ann Goins Tabler whose death
certificate is enclosed. She was the daughter of Joshua Goins
and was born February 24, 1859 in Albemarle County or
Augusta County Virginia. She died September 7, 1920 in
Athens County, Ohio on the West Virginia line.
Her oldest granddaughter is still alive and says that
Julia Ann claimed Indian ancestry. She always wore her hair
in a long braid in the back and had an olive complexion. Her
family was closely associated the Ailstock family. We would
like to learn her mother’s maiden name and any additional
information about her ancestry that the Foundation and your
researchers might have. Gary & Okeema Traugh, 1400
Staunton Ave, Parkersburg, WV, 26101, 304/428-3842 or
Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: email@example.com
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Internet:
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.