1995 – 03 March Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Persistence Pays Off in Gowen Cemetery Search;
2) Three Gowens Sisters Became Brides of Three Turner Brothers in Iowa;
3) Dear Cousins.

All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters:   https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/

Volume 6, No. 7 March 1995

1)  Persistence Pays Off in Gowen Cemetery Search

By Don Lee Gowen
Editorial Boardmember, 1310 Cantwell Ave. SW, Decatur, Alabama, 35601

My wife thinks I was born lightheaded because l frequent
graveyards, wherever I am, rain or shine. For the past 30 years
I have traced my family tree, met some interesting folks, and
learned a lot about life. Old graveyards provide a lot of
insight into life and history about the people who have gone
before. I have reverence for these places, for there too shall I
be one of these days.

In tracing the life of my fifth-generation grandfather, James
Burns Gowen of Tennessee, I came across a tribute to him at
his death published in the “Lynchburg Sentinel” dated May
21, 1880. It was an excellent article written by the Rev.
George Gowen, a grandson and friend of old Jack Daniels of
nearby Lynchburg. What was striking in the tribute was the
reference to his final resting place:

“His once iron but now lifeless form, gently rests
beneath the boughs of a giant cedar, on his farm where
he and David Crockett hunted, the tender plant of
which he nourished in its infancy, and has carefully
watched it for the last seventy years, looking forward
to the time when it should shelter his last resting place”.

I had to find his grave and the giant cedar tree that sheltered it!
For the next seven years, I came up empty. My search of the
records in records of the surrounding county seats and libraries
revealed nothing of the Gowen Cemetery. The State of
Tennessee had no records that would help.

My decision was to hit the road and search every piece of land
in the general area. My weekends were spent contacting
residents in the hollows and farms north of Lynchburg. On a
cold, dark, dreary Sunday afternoon, I had reached the end of
a hollow and contacted the last household on the road. The
owner knew nothing of the century-old cemetery.

A tremendous storm came up, and the deluge prevented my
leaving. For two hours we discussed the area, but no clue
about the graveyard and the giant cedar tree emerged. The
lady, true to Tennessee hospitality, provided a fine dinner
during the storm. Finally when it abated, I took my leave of
the friendly household and started back out of the hollow,
defeated again. On the way out I passed an unlikely
homestead which previously had no one home. As I passed I
notice a young man walking to the barn in the light rain. “No,”
I said to myself, “It is too late, go on home; he is not old
enough to know anything about the people who lived and died
here over 100 years ago.”

But, the Gowens have this thing about persistence–even in
lost causes. I stopped the car and caught up with him and
without any optimism asked, “You wouldn’t know anything
about an old Gowen Cemetery around here, would you?”

“Sure,” he said, “It’s up there on top of that hill behind the
barn. But it’s too muddy to climb up after all this rain.”

The hallowed ground for which I had searched, for so long
was right there–and I had come too far to stop now. I insisted
that I had to go up, and he produced a couple of slickers from
the barn and accompanied me slipping and sliding to the crest.

As dark set in, we ascended to the top of the hill in the rain
with the lighting continuing to crackle. As we reached the
summit, a rainbow suddenly appeared. It seemed to end just at
the top of the rise where the graveyard was situated in some
cedar trees. The cemetery had been neglected for years and
was completely tangled with undergrowth, but I had to begin
the search. I found Gowen markers, lots of them, but where
was the cedar tree of James Burns Gowen.. Finally I found a
stump about 30″ across, and at its foot was the marker of

“James Gowen, Pvt. Tennessee Vols, War of 1812, Died: May
14, 1880.”

Hello, great-grandfather! You have not been
forgotten! I never give up! Your great-grandson is here!

The giant cedar tree? It was a victim of crass commercialism.

The tree had been cut many years before to make cedar pencils
at the factory in Shelbyville, Tennessee. In addition to James
Burns Gowen there are many other graves, some marked and
some unmarked. The location is 4½ miles north of
Lynchburg, Tennessee on the Wiseman Road between
Anderson Hollow and Bedford Hollow–in God’s Country.

Other family members resting on the Gowen Family Cemetery
whose graves are marked include:

Individual                     Birth                Death
James J. Gowen          Dec 29, 1847    Feb 4, 1922 Son of James Burns Gowen
Permelia E. Gowen    Jul 24, 1843     Jun 15, 1934 Wife
Albert Parks Gowen  Nov 26, 1879   Aug 17, 1956 Son
Eleanor M. Wiseman Nov. 1790       Mar 3, 1891 1000
James Stone                 Sep 5, 1799      June 27, 1876
Margaret Stone           Nov 19, 1804   Oct 8, 1882
Sarah Gowen Baxter  Sept 20, 1849    Nov 28, 1882 Dau. of William P. Gowen
Mattie Baxter               Jan 24, 1874      Jun 7, 1875 daughter
Billie Gowan                Apr 6, 1872       May 12, 1874 Son of L. Watson Gowan
L. Watson Gowan       Oct 30, 1847     Nov 12, 1923 Son of William P. Gowen
Rebecca N. Gowan      Mar 25, 1846    Feb 29, 1876 Wife of L. Watson Gowan
Earnest L. Driver        May 2, 1878      Mar 12, 1882 Son of T. N. Driver
Ora Gowen [twin]       Apr 29, 1890     Apr 6, 1892
Ola Gowen [twin]        Apr 29, 1890     Jun 29, 1990
B. F. Bedford                Mar 10, 1828      Oct 25, 1902 Husband of Nancy G. Bedford
Nancy Bedford             Oct -, 1839         Aug 22, 1885 Dau. of Matthew P. Gowen
Lucy Beatrice Bedford Aug 26, 1874    Oct 17, 1878
Sydney Pauline            Dec 12, 1887      Feb 20, 1870 [dates reversed?]
Jane Bedford
T. R. Cunningham       Jul 3, 1858            Feb. 14, 1880
William Floyd               Feb. 13, 1820       Jul 11, 1905
Sallie Gowen Floyd     May 22, 1823       Oct. 25, 1889 Dau. of James Burns Gowen

Many unmarked graves also occupy the Gowen Cemetery.

Miss Grace Mullins who occupied the old home of James
Burns Gowen in 1960 wrote that Matthew Price Gowen, son
of James Burns Gowen who was born May 14, 1814. died
May 2, 1861 at the age of 46 and was buried in an unmarked
grave in the Gowen Family Cemetery. Matthew Price Gowen
was married in Lincoln County October 27, 1850 to Laoma
Mullins, his second wife. The assistance of all researchers and
family members is requested in the identification of other
individuals buried here in unmarked graves.

Editor’s Note: Don Lee Gowen is currently arranging to
secure access rights to the Gowen Family Cemetery with the
current owners of the property. At the same time, he is
making plans for the establishment of the James Burns Gowen
Association which will undertake the continual care of the
cemetery. All descendants and interested parties wishing to
participate in this preservation effort are invited to contact him
at 1310 Cantwell Ave. SW, Decatur, AL, 35601, 205/350-

2)  Three Gowens Sisters Became Brides
of Three Turner Brothers in Iowa

The home of James Burns Gowen [1785-1880] was built in 1816 in the south edge of Bedford County, Tennessee where he settled in 1809. Pictured in front of the house is Maud Mullins and Grace Mullins, the builder’s granddaughters who inherited the home. They were living there in 1948 when the photo was taken. The Gowen Family Cemetery was situated on the hill in the background.

Three Gowens Sisters Brides
Of Three Turner Brothers

By Walter Earl Turner
Editorial Boardmember
611 East 1600 South, Orem, Utah, 84058

Destiny decreed that the Gowens family of Gallatin County, Kentucky and the Turner family of Lincolnshire, England would be forever linked together. Fate drew both families to Mills County, Iowa where three Turner brothers chose three Gowens sisters to be their brides.

Elizabeth Ellen Gowens, third daughter of James Blair Gowens and Mary An Livinia Jackson Gowens [Newsletter, February 1993], was born in Gallatin County March 17, 1838. She was married, at age 15, standing in her parents’ parlor, to Freelove Turner November 19, 1853 in Mills County. Her older sister, Susannah “Susan” Gowens and his older brother, Daniel Turner had repeated the same vows there a short time earlier. Their siblings, Serenah Gowens and Albert Wright Turner [Newsletter, December 1994], were destined to follow in their matrimonial steps a few years later.

Freelove Turner was born November 10 1839 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire to George Freelove Turner and Elizabeth Neal Turner. He came with his mother and siblings in March 1853 aboard the S. S. Indian to the United States, entering at New Orleans.

His father had preceded them to America three years earlier. The family took passage on a steamboat up the Mississippi River, then up the Missouri River to St. Marys, Iowa where his father awaited them.

The young couple settled on a farm in Mills County urrounded by other members of their two large families. Their story was first written by Greg A. Bennatt, U. S. Coast Guard, Seattle, Washington. It is through his courtesy that much of the Turner-Gowens material is included in this article.

Later Freelove Turner sold out and removed to Plattsmouth, Nebraska where they were liv- ing when the Civil War commenced.

There he volunteered November 3, 1862 to serve in Company H, Nebraska Second Cavalry Regiment. He was discharged December 8, 1863. His wife’s family, from Kentucky, were Southerners.

After his tour of duty, he took his family and moved back to Iowa. There he purchased land in 1869 in Mills County Section 33, Township 73, Range 43, and settled down to continue his life with his wife and family. A few years after their return, Elizabeth Ellen Gowens Turner died of typhoid fever September 27, 1880 at the age of 42. Her 12-year-old son, George William Turner also died in the same epidemic. Only one photograph of Elizabeth Ellen survives. Both were buried in the Gowens-Turner Cemetery. During their 20-year marriage it seems they had a good life together and enjoyed happiness.

Freelove was married a second time to his sister-in-law Mary Rebecca Baker Gowens, widow of George James Gowens. Freelove Turner died Dec 28, 1922 in Pottawattamie County, Iowa and was buried at Glenwood. His widow survived him for many years and married for a third time, husband’s name Tally. She died Jan 1, 1944 in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Children of the first marriage, all born in Mills County, include:

Freelove Turner born about 1856
Mary Frances Turner born March 8, 1861
Henry Turner born in 1863
Dora Luvica Turner born October 29, 1866
George William Turner born April 10, 1868
Clara Ramona Turner born September 21, 1870
Alice Suanna Turner born February 20, 1873
Carl James Turner born November 2, 1875
Eva Loreign Turner born August 23, 1878

Four sons and a daughter were born, also in Mills County to Freelove Turner and Mary Rebecca Baker Gowens Turner:

Minnie Minerva Turner born March 29, 1883
John Earl Turner born August 23, 1885
Benjamin Franklin Turner born April 21, 1887
Luther Daniel Turner born January 2, 1889
Curtiss Turner born in 1891

I have a story written by another descendent of Freelove Turner and titled “Yellow Violets.” It is her life as she lived it, growing up in Mills County. I have seen some of Mills County, especially Glenwood, Iowa where my Grandfather George Walter Turner was born.

His generation was the first born of my Turners in this country.

Greg A. Bennatt is a direct descendant of Freelove and Elizabeth. His direct ancestor is Mary Frances Turner Dosh who was born to them March 8, 1861. Mary Frances was married to Ebenezer Netherton Dosh February 7, 1881 in Glenwood. He was born August 10, 1859 in Cass County, Nebraska to Joseph and Lucy Ann Dosh. Joseph was born April 14, 1816 at Strausburg, Germany while Lucy was born April 6. 1825 in Clark County, Indiana. Their children were born in Nebraska and Iowa.

Grace Turner Dosh, daughter of Ebenezer Netherton Dosh and great-grandmother of Greg A. Bennatt, was born June 20, 1885 in Coleman County, Texas. She was married to Chester Hogan Brooks who was born September 11, 1879. They both died in Washington state.

Mary Alice Brooks, daughter of Chester Hogan Brooks and Grace Turner Dosh Brooks, was born August 16, 1907 in Coleman County. She was married November 29, 1920 in Yakima, Washington, husband’s name Webster. Valery Nan Webster was born to them October 22, 1941 in Seattle. She was married August 18, 1960 to William Lee Bennatt. He was born July 10, 1938 at Tacoma, Washington. Greg A. Bennatt was born April 2, 1962 in Seattle.

3)  Dear Cousins

We need to add another child to the family of William Gowan and Anastasia Sullivan Gowan of Goochland and Bedford Counties, Virginia and Madison County, Kentucky. Insert Sally Gowan, born about 1792, as their umpteenth child. Please see photostats of Madison County marriage bond record dated January 22, 1808 enclosed.

Anastasia Sullivan Gowan wrote a note on that date to the Madison county clerk requesting that he “please issue a marriage license to Thomas Sanders and my daughter, Sally Goan.” A bond of £50 was posted by Thomas Sanders and Joseph Gowan/Going, brother of Sally Gowan. “Joseph [X] Goan,” the Revolutionary soldier and his son, Francis [X] Goan” witnessed the signature of “Annaster Goan, widow.”

When I visited the courthouse there, I found these misfiled documents without realizing that they had been so badly kept. They were all in neat little boxes like they had spent the whole time there. As in any old depository, we know that they change containers and locations many times. June A. Smith, Box 85, Belfair, WA, 98528.

==Dear Cousins==

The Mormons have just opened a Family History Centre here, but much of the research material I need now is found only in the major libraries. I am searching for a compatible researcher in Cornwall where my Goyen/Gowen lineage has stalled. Any suggestions?

I have had a couple of letters from Evelyn McKinley Orr of Omaha who shares my interest in the mysterious Melungeons. There seems to be a gene for a dark skin even in my family with Cornish ancestors. It is probably so diluted with white ancestry that it is difficult to evaluate. It must be dominant. DNA testing is progressing so rapidly that we will probably have some answers one day soon. Future genealogists will probably use real genes in genealogy.

It is interesting to read about the Turkish influence. The Turks were raiding the Cornish coast during the 1400s, plundering and stealing church items, plus women and children. Maybe that’s how we arrived there.

Have any of the American Gowens traced their ancestry out of America yet? If so, I would like to contact them to compare their discoveries with mine. Robert J. Goyen, 523 Sutton St, Sebastopol 3356, Victoria, Australia.

==Dear Cousins==

We were glad to learn that you have arranged with Jack Greene of Hilton Head, SC to research our Gowen/Greene ancestors of Beaufort and Colleton Districts, SC and also the mystery of the Gowrie Conspiracy/Gowrie Tract in Camden Co, GA. I am enclosing some additional Gowen family information for the manuscript along with sustaining Memberships for our children in Switzerland and Hong Kong to add to the Foundation mailing list. Maybe the genealogy bug will bite, and you will soon have three new Gowen researchers. Although I don’t seem to be travelling as much as I once did, I hope to see my American cousins again soon. Miller Abbott “Bud” Gowen, P.O. Box 2389, 1211 Geneva [2], Switzerland.

==Dear Cousins==

Thanks so much for remembering me and my struggle against atomic poisoning. I am still struggling for myself and all of the atomic veterans of World War II who entered the Japanese contaminated areas of radiation without any warning from our government.

My body has steadily weakened since that fateful day in 1945 when we entered Hiroshima, and my voice has become much weaker.

But it is good to know that someone still cares and that “my cousins” will add their strong voices to continue to carry my plea to our government. I hope that that someone in our government will eventually admit its abandonment of its loyal soldiers. It exposed them to radiation poisoning 50 years ago and then denied any responsibility for sentencing them to a slow death. Thank you, my cousins, for your kind consideration of us and our plight. James M. Gowin, First Atomic Veteran and son of a Civil War Veteran, 1075 Lovers Leap Road, Kingston Springs, TN, 37082

==Dear Cousins==

I am interested in corresponding with anyone related to Wiley Williamson Goynes/Goings, b1799 GA, and his wife Martha Brister Goynes/Goings, b1804/05 KY. I have a document from a newspaper listing his father as James Goynes/Gaynes/Goings. Margaret F. Goynes Olson, 303 E. Hoffman Ave, Kingsville, TX, 78363.

==Dear Cousins==

Henri and I have just completed an intensive Spanish course at the University of Guadalajara, and it was almost too much for an “old lady.” We had to get up at 5:30 a.m. every day, leave at 7:15 and be in our classroom at 8:00. With all that now behind us, I can resume my family research and gladly undertake the Editorial Board assignment.

Soon I will send to you the Goins material I gathered on our research trip thrugh the southern states in October and November.

Family researchers will be interested to know that Jane Parker McManus has moved back to Alexandria, LA to be closer to her research work. She is presently working on a book on cemetery listings of Louisiana.

Enclosed is my Sustaining Membership for 1995. Sandra M. Loridans, Apartado Postal 844, 45900 Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.

==Dear Cousins==

I am looking for information regarding my g-gf James G. Goins, bc1867 AL, d1949 in Butler County, AL. He lived most of his life in Crenshaw Co, AL. He was married to Laura Crysell, and they had nine or ten children. I believe his mother was a Harrison.

Any information would be appreciated. Kenneth R. Jones, 8590 Lakeshore Drive, Southaven, MS, 38671, 601/342-1577.

==Dear Cousins==

Thank you so much for sending the very first edition of the Newsletter. My collection is now complete with every issue published.

It is an honor for me to be named to the Foundation Editorial Board, and I will do everything I can to assist. I have been interested in the Foundation from its inception in 1989. You are doing a great job and rendering a valuable service to the family. Sara A. Goins, Box 333, Dunlap, TN, 37327.

==Dear Cousins==

Sometime aga our Pensacola newspaper genealogical column carried a news article about your Foundation, and I wa delighted to learn about it. I would like to know if any of your researchers are investigating the history of Revolutionary Soldier Charles Gowens/Goings of Henry County, VA and Gallatin County, KY. He was enumerated there from 1820 to 1850. His daughter, Sally is my g-g-g-g-grandmother. If you have any information on this family or can direct me to sonemone who does, I would be grateful. I have collected information on other Gowens/Goings in this area and will share with anyone who writes. Last year I inserted a query in “Bluegrass Roots” and received a reply which stated that the Goings, etc and their Melungeon connections had been well researched by you. What can your organization tell me about them? Bernice S. Ridgeway, 1314 Hound Chase Circle, Pensacola, FL, 32514

Gowen Research Foundation 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Electronic Library/BBS 806/795-2005


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s