Country – Scotland

054 Scotland


Glimpses of Old World Scotland
By Col. Cliff H. MacLean-Hansen, Retired

Of the 25 staff officers of a Highland Chief, these two were the most important: Am Seanachaidh [the Sennachie or Genealo­gist of the Chief’s House] he was solely responsible for the clan register, records, genealogies and family history. The other, Am Marischal Tighe [the Seneschal composed of two men] were both well versed in the genealogies and precedents of all the clans.

Within the croft families of the Western Isles, the children be­came the family Sennachie. They mentally stored the family genealogy. The Sabbath, greatly revered, permitted few house­hold chores. Children were not on the Sabbath permitted to play outdoors.

To eleviate boredom, the children, standing abreast before the hearth, would in unison recite their family tree. This was an oral presentation; no written notes. Everyone knew Ihe family kinship. However, with the gradual passing of the olden ways and immigration to distant lands, all this oral family history was lost.

Information about landed gentry, royal and semi‑royal lineage is plentiful. Judicial and county records reveal Rent Rolls and also inventories of household plenishing afford a glimpse of those who tilled the soil. The kirk records may be lost. If a crofter was charged with assault, violation of Game Laws, sheep stealing or a political uprising, he will appear in judicial records. Any of these activities would warrant an arrest record.

In more recent times, in Scotland, compulsory registration of birth was required. Yet, when you research in Edinburgh, you will discover records of many areas have been lost. Families could record the current birth of a child or record it whenever they happened to be near a registration office ‑ a year or so later.

Most likely, a crofter’s name will be found in estate and farm account books. A few of these record books exist today. Re­member tenants changed their names and their children’s name lo that of Ihe Laird whenever it was to their advantage ‑ to gain a better rental fee or a cottage. This can be vexing.

If you are fortunate enough to tie your family to one of these ac­count books, you are “home free” at least for a generation or two. For once, with complete exactness, you may stand on an earthen area once tilled by your ancestry. The recorded details reveal much about daily life.

If you visit the recorded area today it might be quite different. During the famine times, which I shall discuss later, the landed proprietors would destroy cottages and even small estate com­munitlies to eliminate a refuge for desperate people. When the sheep era became popular, destruction of living abodes swung into high gear.

When planning a researching trip to Scotland allow ample time to visit the Dumfries museum. They have amassed more arti­facts which portray life from early times to the present than you will find elsewere. To aid researchers, the museum has pub­lished many fact sheets pertaining to the area and its people. Usually, they are readiiy available. To defray printing costs, you should make a cash donation into a collection box. The material’s value to you determines the amount.
Myra Vanderpool Gormley wrote:

“Scottish place names are of various origins, mainly Celtic, but somehave Norse, English or Norman roots. There are some common habitation surnames in Scotland, such as Lindsay, which some name experts say may have been derived fromplaces in England that were taken to Scotland in the Middle Ages. Like many of our surnames, the origins of Lindsay may never be known. Some claim it is of Norman origin, from De Limeway [near Pavilly, north of Rouen, France], but it also may have been derived from a place of that name, which was a division of Lincolnshire in England.

Our ancestors may have acquired a place name as a surname by living at or near some place. This is particularly true of topographical features. Dwelling at or near a lake, a brook or a river distinguished one man of the same given name from others who lived elsewhere. Some Scottish topographical names include:

Blair [field or plain]; Brodie [at the muddy place]; Burn [stream or brook]; Cameron [crooked hill]; Chisholm [a waterside meadow where cheese was made]; Craig [rock or crag]; Douglas [dark stream]; Drummond [ridge]; Forbes [field]; and Glendinning [glen of the fair hill].

Others referring to descriptive places are:

“Gordon [spacious hill]; Keith [wood]; Leslie [garden of hollies]; Logan, [a little hollow]; Muir [moor]; Ramsey [ram’s isle or wild garlic island], Ross [dweller at the promontory or peninsula]; Skene [bush]; Sutherland [south land] and Urquhart [woodside].”
Gowan, a meadow daisy in Scotland, was mentioned in “Annie Laurie,” the traditional Scottish ballad:

Annie Laurie
“Maxwelton’s braes are bonnie
Where early fa’s the dew,
And it’s there that Annie Laurie
Gi’ed me her promise true;
Gi’ed me her promise true,
Which ne’er forgot shall be,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I’d lay me doun an’ dee.

Her brow is like the snawdrift,
her neck is like the swan,
Her face it is the fairest
That e’er the sun shone on;
That e’er the sun shone on,
And dark blue is her e’e,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I’d lay me doun an’ dee.

Like dew on the gowan lying
Is the fa’ o’ her fairy feet;
And like winds in summer sighing
Her voice is low and sweet;
Her voice is low and sweet,
She’s a’ the world to me,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I’d lay me doun an’ dee.”

Verses and melody by Lady John Scott
“Mr. Gowen, captein of the skowts, received consideration of his debt” for his services to Queen Mary in quelling a rebelion about 1553, according to “Camden Society Publications.”
Charles Gowans was a “foremastman aboard the Lyon” April 16, 1694, according to “The Old Scots Navy.”


David Douglas Gowan, born into a fisherman’s family in Kin­cardineshire, Scotland in 1843, would be the last man you would expect to find living in the wilderness of Arizona Ter­ritory. The adventurous wanderer ran the risk of co-existing with the treacherous Apache to mine silver in the Tonto re­gion. He is credited by some as the discoverer of the Tonto Natural Bridge early in his Arizona residence which lasted for 49 years before his death in 1926.

Marjorie A. Templeton, Foundation member of Payson, Ari­zona became interested in his colorful exploits and provided the research for this article. She found separating fact from fiction about Gowan somewhat difficult, as did Jerrell G. Johnson who in 1970 traced his life in “The Arizona Scots­man” and Alan Thurber who wrote about him in “The Ari­zona Republic” February 21, 1988.

Early in his manhood David Douglas Gowan sailed out of Bervie Harbor destined for London and the excitement of the hub of the empire. On the waterfront of the Thames he be­came intoxicated with tales of exotic ports of call of the British Navy and signed on as a seaman aboard an English man-of-war. On the cruise past Spain into the South At­lantic, Gowan became bored with the tedium of the British navy at sea and jumped ship at a port in west Africa. Know­ing the penalty for desertion, Gowan signed on with the first out­bound ship to sail. This happened be a stench-ridden slave ship on its way to the Carolinas with its unfortunate human cargo. Upon arrival, in its first day in port, Gowen again jumped ship and began to sample life in America.

After a brief period of service on coastal vessels, the Civil War broke out, and David Douglas Gowan enlisted in the U.S. Navy, according to “The Arizona Scotsman.” After the war, he returned to being a merchant mariner and signed on for a voyage around Cape Horn to California. Upon arrival, he again left the ship and employed himself up and down the California coast. In time he owned his own boat and re­turned to fishing, the profession of his fathers back in Scot­land. It all ended quickly when his boat capsized in a Pacific storm, and he barely escaped with his life.

Having had his fill of the sea, he left it, never to return. Ven­turing inland he arrived in Arizona in 1874 at age 31. Ob­serving its wide-open expanse with land for the taking and hearing reports of men becoming rich with its gold and silver and its cattle and sheep, Gowan determined to settle in the Territory. He returned to California, obtained a herd of sheep and with a companion drove them back to Arizona.

When he learned, the hard way, that sheep were not suited to that area, he turned to prospecting for silver. It was then that he ran into the Apaches. He related that it was in 1877, once while the Indians were pursuing him, intent on removing his scalp that he discovered the Tonto Natural Bridge. While fleeing from the Apaches down Pine Creek Canyon, he came upon a vast stone arch towering over a tunnel. He climbed up the vertical rocky wall of the canyon and hid on a ledge just below the crest of the arch. After three days, the Indians gave up the search, and Gowan began to survey his safe haven.

What he had stumbled onto was the world’s largest natural travertine arch with five acres of fertile soil on its top. The bridge was 183 feet above the canyon floor; the tunnel under­neath was 400 feet long and 150 feet wide. Thus was the bridge discovered, according to the legend.

David Douglas Gowan recognized the value of the vicinity and homesteaded there. He built a shack on top of the arch and claimed the land below as well. Additionally he filed mining claims up and down the canyon and took enough sil­ver from them to keep him in beans and bacon.

He also recognized the potential of the arch to be developed as an attraction. With this in mind, he contacted his nephew and namesake, David Gowan Goodfellow in England and in­terested him in removing his family to Arizona to undertake the development of the arch. Goodfellow arrived in 1893 with his wife and three children. They came by ship to New York and then by train to Flagstaff. Gowan met them at the depot with a wagon, and six days later had them on the site of their new home.

Little by little, they developed the site. They built a house, hauling the lumber in on pack mules. Six years were spent in building a road with picks and shovels. Later they began to add tourist cabins.

As the visitors began to come, David Douglas Gowan began to spend more and more time working his mining claim and prospecting in the wilderness. Finally, when civilization be­gan to encroach upon his solitude, he withdrew completely. He gave the Tonto Natural Bridge to his nephew and moved up the canyon to the seclusion of a cabin.

Goodfellow began the construction of a four-story lodge with wide porches and a tremendous diningroom. They dug out a swimming pool with “four horses and a Fresno.” With all the building activity, the Goodfellow family did not maintain close contact with their uncle. On a cold December night, a passerby looked in on Gowan’s cabin and found no fire in the fireplace and no sign of the occupant. He alerted the family and neighbors. The next morning, they found the body of David Douglas Gowan on the trail, seated in the snow and leaning against a boulder. It was obvious that his heart had just given out, and that he died quietly January 1, 1926 in his 83rd year.

The Goodfellow family went on to complete their uncle’s dream. The lodge was completed the following year, and the resort began to operate in earnest. It has enjoyed success in­termittently from that time to the present. From the time David Douglas Gowan staked his claim there, the arch and the resort have been on private property. On summer week­ends 1,200 to 1,500 people come down the steep road to view the arch, but few use the lodge. A quarter million dollars have been spent recently to rebuild the lodge and tourist ac­comodations. Now, Tonto Lodge is again open for business. As for Tonto Natural Bridge, it’s been there all along.


William Gowans, bibliophile and publisher, was born March 29, 1803 in Lanarkshire. He was a product of vigorous Scotch peasantry and lived on a farm near the Falls of the Clyde, where he attended school. His family emigrated to the United States in 1821, according to “Scottish Emigrants to the U.S.A.” by Donald Whyte. A short residence in Philadelphia was followed by some five years in Crawford County Indiana.

When William Gowans was about 25 years old he went to New York City and tried his hand at various occu­pations, in­cluding gardening, news vending and stone cutting. In 1830 he played a minor part with Edwin Forrest at the Bowery Theatre.

Later he set up a bookstall on Chatham Street, consisting sim­ply of a row of shelves, protected with wooden shutters, an iron bar, and a padlock. He also recounted that he was a boarder for several months about 1837 in the household of Edgar Allen Poe, according to the “New York Evening Mail,” December 10, 1870. For the rest of his life he was ever identified with books. He was not much concerned with books with uncut pages and luxurious bindings as he was with second-hand and rare volumes, and “unconsidered trifles and remnants.” His locations were many, and for a brief period he sat up shop as a book auctioneer. From 1863 to the end of his life he was the “Antiquarian of Nassau Street” with his shop at No. 115 on that thoroughfare. He was more a book collector than a book salesman. When a customer com­plained that a book was “too high,” he would reply, “Well, we’ll make it higher,” at the same time placing it on a tall shelf out of reach.

His books filled the store, floor, basement and sub-cellar, the treasures in the depths discovered only with the aid of a small tin sperm-oil lamp. “Books lay everywhere in seemingly dire confusion, piled upon tables and on the floor, until they fi­nally toppled over, and the few narrow aisles which had originally been left between the rows became well-nigh im­passable,” according to the “New York Post.” His executors sold at auction some 250,000 bound volumes after eight tons of pamphlets had been sold as waste paper.

William Gowans did some publishing from time to time, his earliest production being a reprint of the English edition (1701) of Dacier’s translation of “Plato’s Phacedo” in 1833. Between 1842 and 1870 he issued 28 catalogues of his books. These catalogues are full of “his antiquarian reminiscences, his quaint and shrewd opinions, and curious specu­lations.” Other worthwhile publications were the historical reprints known as “Gowans’ Bibliotheca Americana” (5 vol­umes, 1845-1860). Additional self-revelation is included in a sketch he wrote of a fellow bibliophile, “Reminiscences of Hon. Gabriel Furman,” [Gabriel Furman, “Notes, Geo­graphical and Historical, Relating to the Town of Brooklyn on Long Island, 1865”]. He married in middle age Susan Bradley of New York who died in 1866, leaving no chil­dren to William Gowans and Susan Bradley Gowans. William Gowans died November 27, 1870 in New York City, according to Scrib­ner’s “Dictionary of “American Biography,” Volume VII, page 459.

Additional information on the life of William Gowans is con­tained in W. L. Andrews’ “The Old Booksellers of New York,” obituaries in the “New York Evening Mail,” De­cember 1, 1870, “New York Evening Post,” November 29,1870, “Nation,” December 1, 1870 and “Catalogue of the Books Belonging to the Estate of the late William Gowans”. His portrait appears in Gowans’ “Bibliotheca Americana.”
James Gowan was married to Margaret Cunningham August 16, 1630 at Glasgow, according to parish records. Children born to James Gowan ans Margaret Cunningham Gowan are unknown.
William Gowan was married July 28, 1618 at Glasgow to Marion Ross, according to parish records. Children born to William Gowan and Marion Ross Gowen are unknown.
William Gowan was married to Janet Paul June 24, 1630 at Glasgow, according to parish records. Children born to William Gowan and Janet Paul Gowan are unknown.
William Gowan was married July 11, 1639 to Bessie Wilson at Glasgow, according to parish records. Children born to William and Beessie Wilson Gowan are unknown.
Andrew Gowans, son of James Gowans who was born in Bute, Rothesay, was born about 1850. He was married about 1875 to Hannah MacDougall, according to Fred Cohen, a descendant of Brisbane, Australia who wrote November 16, 1999.

Andrew Gowans was enumerated in 1881 as the head of a household in Govan, Lanarkshire:

“Gowans, Andrew 36, Blacksmith,
Hannah ??,
Isabella 5, born in 1876
Andrew 2, born in 1879
James McDougall 1, born in 1880”

Isabella Gowans, regarded as a kinsman, was married November 26, 1845 in Bute, Rothesay to James McDougall. Children born to them include:

Isabella McDougall born in 1847
Hannah McDougall born in 1850
Dugald McDougall born in 1853
Walter Gowans was born of parents unknown Janury 8, 1797 at Leshmagow in Lanarkshire, according to Laura Beauchamp, a descendant of Littleton, Colorado, who wrote April 24, 1998. He was married to Ann Orr in Shotts, Lanarkshire January 3, 1830.

Children born to Walter Gowans and Ann Orr Gowans include:

Walter Gowans born in 1831
Alexander Gowans born about 1836
James Gowans born in 1842
William Gowans born in 1843

William Gowans, son of Walter Gowans and Ann Orr Gowans, was born in 1831 in Bothwell, Lanarkshire. He was married to Martha Barrie January 21, 1870 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

Children born to William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans include:

Walter Gowans born in 1870
David Barrie Gowans born in 1872
Mary Smith Gowans born in 1875
Ann Orr Gowans born in 1876
William Barrie Gowans born in 1879
Thomas Baxter Gowans born in 1881

Walter Gowans, son of William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans, was born in 1870 in Hamilton. He became a mason and worked in various construction projects in Lanarkshire. In the early 1900s he emigrated to Detroit, Michigan, according to Laura Beauchamp, his great-granddaughter.

David Barrie Gowans, son of William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans, was born in 1872. He emigrated to Detroit along with his brothers and sister. He became a greengrocer there.

Mary Smith Gowans, daughter of William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans, was born in 1875 in Hamilton. She did not remove to the United States and continued to live in Scotland in 1928.

Ann Orr Gowans, daughter of William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans, was born in 1876 in Hamilton. She emigrated to Detroit along with other members of her family.

William Barrie Gowans, son of William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans, was born in 1879 in Hamilton. He emigrated to Detroit where he became a travel agent.

Thomas Baxter Gowans, son of William Gowans and Martha Barrie Gowans, was born in 1881 in Hamilton. He came to Detroit. He and his brothers were members there of “Clan Campbell,” a fraternal organization.
Christian, widow of Symon de Govane, held lands in Govan in 1293. Adam of Govan was one of an inquest at Peebles, Scotland in 1304. William de Gouane witnessed a charter William, laird of Douglas, between 1306 and 1329. Sir John Gowen was rector of the church of Maxtoun in 1326, and in 1325 John de Govan made a grant in Brummelaw to the Friar Preachers of Glasgow. Laurence de Govan was sheriff of Pe­blys in 1359. William Govan or Guvane was canon of Glas­gow, from 1425 to 1445. John de Govane was prior of the Predicant Friars of Glasgow in 1451. John Gowan was a ten­ant under the bishop of Glasgow in 1511. William Gu­vane of Cardno appears as a Peebleshire laird in 1530. David Gowane was listed as a portioner of Schettilstoun in 1606. Margaret Gooven was a resident of Edinburgh in 1634.

From a study of the old records it is evident that the Govans of Peebleshire were a family of same importance in the four­teenth century. They retained possession of Cardrona, their ancestral estate, until 1685. After that time they ap­pear only as burgesses of Peebles and owners of certain patches of land in its neighborhood.
William Govan of Hawkshaw died in Edinburgh in 1819.
George Gow and Henry Gow were burgesses of Dysart in 1580. Michael Gow and Robert Gow of Culcoly were among the fellowers of Stewart of Kinnaird in a raid in 1595.

“The tradition that the Gows are descended from ‘Hal o’ the Wynd’ who took part in the clan battle on the Inch of Perth, in 1396, is merely a piece of folklore,” according to Black.
The name Gowans was recorded in Linlithgow and Perth, and four of the name are in the “Commisariot Record of Dun­blane” in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

James Gowans, son of Alexander Gowans and Elizabeth Gilmore Gowans, was a collier of Shettleston, Lanarkshire in 1856. He was married about 1852 to Janet Robertson. They came to America in 1883 and settled at Amesville, Pennsylvania.

Children born to them include:

Elizabeth Gilmore Gowans born about 1853
Margaret Robertson Gowans born November 24, 1856
Alexander Gowans born in May 1861

Elizabeth Gilmore Gowans, daughter of James Gowans and Janet Robertson Gowans, was born about 1853. She was married about 1871 to John Cousins.

Margaret Robertson Gowans, daughter of James Gowans and Janet Robertson Gowans, was born at Middlequarter, Shettleston in Lanarkshire November 24, 1856, according to a letter written November 22, 1994 by Joseph Shirley, a great-grandson of Myersdale, Pennsylvania.

Margaret Robertson Gowans was married June 25, 1880 to John Cross, a coalminer who brought his wife and children to the United States in 1888.

John Cross was enumerted as the head of a household June 14, 1900 census of Clearfield County, Byler township, Enumeration District 49, page 13:

“Cross, John 45, born February 1855 in Scotland
Margaret 42, born November 1857 in Scotland
John 17, born December 1880 in Scotland
Alexander 15, born December 1884 in Scotland
James 14, born November 1885 in Scotland
Jessie 13, born January 1887 in Scotland,
Matthew 9, born August 1890 in PA
George 8, born April 1892 in PA
Nellie 6, born May 1894 in PA

Margaret Robertson Gowans Cross died October 3, 1907 at age 50 at Bunton, Maryland in Allegheny County.

Eight children, five sons and three daughters were born to John Cross and Margaret Robertson Gowans Cross including:

John Cross born December 26, 1882
Nellie Laird Cross Casteel born about 1884s

Alexander Gowans, son of James Gowans and Janet Robertson Gowans, was born in May 1861. He was married to Mary Lees in 1885. They came to the Pennsylvania coal mines, but returned to Scotland when the mines were shut down by strikes.

Children born to Alexander Gowans and Mary Lees Gowans include:

James Gowans born May 17, 1886
Jean Gowens born in July 1889
Janet Gowans born March 7, 1891

James Gowans, son of Alexander Gowans and Mary Lees Gowans, was born May 17, 1886 in Shettlestone. When he was 23, he accompanied his father to Fernie, British Columbia to work in the coal mines. When the Canadian mines were shut down by labor strikes, his father returned to Rutherglen, Scotland to his wife and children. James Gowans remained at Fernie until 1913 and then removed to Edmondton, Alberta. He worked in the mines there until 1915. At that time he joined the Canadian Army at the outset of World War I. He was married to Alice Elizabeth Wright February 9, 1915.

He embarked for Europe in April 1916 and landed in Liverpool in May 1916 and had an opportunity to visit with his parents and family in Rutherglen. He arrived in France June 10, 1916 and was posted to the Seventh Canadian Battalion. He was wounded in the Battle of the Somme River on September 16 and wounded again on April 9, 1917 in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

He was returned to England and stationed at Seaford on the English Channel until the Armistice, November 11, 1918. He returned to Vancouver, British Columbia in December and was joined by his wife and daughter who was born April 14, 1916. In April 1920 he purchased a home at 5853 Joyce Road in South Vancouver and lived there the remainder of his live.

Four children were born to them:

Elizabeth “Betty” Gowans born April 13, 1916
Jean Gowans born September 9, 1919
Mary Lees Gowans born March 2, 1921
James Arthur Alexander Gowans born October 15, 1926

Elizabeth “Betty” Gowans, daughter of James Gowans and Alice Elizabeth Wright Gowans, was born April 13, 1916 at Fernie while her father was overseas. She was married about 1934 to Michael Collins. They were later divorced. Later she was remarried to Michael Dean Burbridge.

Jean Gowans, daughter of James Gowans and Alice Elizabeth Wright Gowans, was born born September 9, 1919 in Vancouver. She died March 21, 1922.

Mary Lees Gowans, daughter of James Gowans and Alice Elizabeth Wright Gowans, was born March 2, 1921. She was married about 1940 to Robert Cecil Scott.

James Arthur Alexander Gowans, son of James Gowans and Alice Elizabeth Wright Gowans, was born October 15, 1926 in Vancouver. He was married in August 1956 to Rita Beckmeyer. Six children were born to James Arthur Alexander Gowans and Rita Beckmeyer Gowans.

Janet Gowans, daughter of Alexander Gowans and Mary Lees Gowans, was born at Amesville, Pennsylvania March 7, 1891. Her family returned to Scotland and then later emigranted to Canada, settling at Red Deer, Alberta. She was married about 1910 to Rev. Thomas Sneddon. He was 90 years old in September 1975. Four children were born to them.
Colin Gowin of Kenvay was denounced as a rebel in Tiree in 1675.

Family Researchers:

Joseph Shirley, RD3, Box 31, Meyersdale, PA, 15552.


Thomas Gowan was born in 1631 at Caldermuir. About 1658 he went to Ireland and became a minister in Glasslough, County Monaghan, according to “Dictionary of National Bi­ography.”

Being a Presbyterian, he was among the 61 Ulster ministers ejected in 1661 for non-conformity. In 1667 he removed to Conner, County Antrim where he was the preacher. In 1674 he founded a school of philosophy and religion. He died September 13, 1683 and was buried in Antrim churchyard where a monument was erected to him.
John Govan, a Scotch prisoner in Edinburgh’s Tolbooth Prison was “transported from Leith” in November 1679, ac­cording to “Directory of Scots Banished to the Planta­tions, 1650-1775.”
Thomas Govan, “servant to John Bell in Craigprie, held in Coventer Prison” in Edinburgh was banished to the planta­tions December 12, 1678, according to “Directory of Scots Banished to Plantations, 1650-1775.” William Govan, pris­oner, was “banished to the plantations” on the same date.


Hugh Sidney Gowans, a native of Scotland, was the subject of a biographical sketch which was published in “Latter-Day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia,” written by Andrew Jen­son and published in 1901.

The account read:

“Hugh Sydney Gowans, third president of the Tooele Stake of Zion, is the son of Robert Gowans and Grace McKay Gowans and was born February 23, 1832 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. While quite young his parents removed to the city of Aberdeen in the north­east part of Scotland, where he lived until he was about ten years of age.

Then he removed with them to the town of Arboath in Fosforshire, Scotland, in which place he he first heard and re­ceived the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by the Elders of the Church of Jesus Chrsit of Latter-Day Saints. He was baptized in his eighteenth year, August 1, 1840 by Elder Joseph Booth, in conse­quence of which he had to contend with much opposi­tion from his parents and other relatives.

In the following July, in response to a call made by Elder James Marsden, president of the Edinburgh con­ference, for volunteers to go out and preach the gospel, Brother Gowans offered his service. He was accord­ingly ordained a priest and started from Dundee, in company with Robert Bain to labor in Fifeshire, under the direction of Elder John Duncan. After some six months he was called to go to the north part of Scot­land, where he travelled and preached in Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Banff, and other places.

In the meantime he was ordained an Elder. Having la­bored in the ministry for some eighteen months, he returned home and was appointed to preside over the Arbroath branch of the Dundee conference, which po­sition he occupied until he emigrated to Utah with his wife and her father and mother in 1855. He sailed from Liverpool April 22, 1855 with a company of 581 saints, on board the ship “Samuel Curling.” He ar­rived safely in New York, the journey was continued via Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atchison and Mormon Grove. He crossed the plains in Capt. Milo Andrus’ emigrant train, arrived in Salt Lake City October 24 in the same year.

He spent the following winter on the government Reservation in Rush Valley, Tooele County.

In consequence of Indian hostilities, in the spring of 1856, he located in Tooele City, where he has resided ever since. He was ordained a Seventy in Salt Lake City under the hands of Joseph Young April 20, 1857 and set apart as one of the presidents of the 43rd quo­rum of Seventy at its organization in Tooele City, May 9, 1857.

He was appointed assessor and collector for Tooele County in 1865, and held the office for six years. In August of the same year he was elected mayor of Tooele City, in which office he was three times suc­cessively re-elected. May 16, 1868 he was elected ad­jutant of Company A, First Cavalry Battalion, Nauvoo Legion, and commissioned as such with the rank of first lieutenant by Gov. Durkee.

In 1872 he was called to go on a mission to Europe. He left Salt lake City October 25th, and sailed from New York November 6 on board the steamer “Minnesota” of the Guion Line, which arrived in Liver­pool November 19. During this mission Elder Gowans presided successively in the Bedford, Durham and Newcastle and Manchester confer­ences, and was re­lease to return home.

As the leader of a company of emigrating saints he sailed from Liverpool on the steamship “Wyoming” May 12, 1875 and arrived in New York May 24th, and in Salt Lake City June 3.

On August 7, 1876 he was elected prosecuting attor­ney for Tooele County and on the 27th of September fol­lowing he was elected chairman of the central and ex­ecutive committees of the People’s Party in Tooele County, and took a prominent part in recovering the county from the Liberal rule.

At the organization of the Tooele Stake in June 1877 he was ordained a High Priest and set apart as a mem­ber of the High Council.

In August 1878 he was elected probate judge of Tooele County and re-elected to the same office in August 1880. At the quarterly conference of the Tooele Stake held in Grantsville in January, 1881, he was sustained as first counselor to Heber J. Grant, president of Tooele Stake.

In October 1882, he was sustained and set apart by Pres. John Taylor to preside over the Tooele Stake, succeeding Heber J. Grant, who was called to be one of the Twelve Apostles.

On July 16, 1885, he was arrested at his home in Tooele City on the charge of unlawful cohabitation with his wives. He was taken before Commissioner McKay in Salt Lake City and by him bound over in the sum of $1,500 to answer to the findings of the grand jury. On the 23rd of September he was arraigned to plead to three indictments for the same offense, being the first man in the Territory on whom Prosecuting Attorney W. H. Dickson and the grand jury com­menced their illegal business of segregation, to all of which he pleaded not guilty and was placed under $3,000 bonds–$1,000 on each indictment.

On February 11, 1886 he was brought into court, but was only tried on one of the indictments under the plea of not guilty (the other two indictments were held over for future use), on the express condition that he would go on the witness stand and give evidence for the pros­ecution, which he did. No other witnesses were called. Judge Zane charged the jury, who found a ver­dict of guilty without leaving their seats.

At his request, sentence was deferred until the 26th, when, in answering the question in the negative, if he had any promises to make in regard to the future, he was sentenced to six months in the penitentiary and to pay a fine of $300 and costs–in all $520.

The same day he was taken to the penitentiary, where he served out his sentence, less the deduction allowed by the Cooper Act. He also served thirty days in lieu of the fine, being discharged August 30, 1886.”


Duncan Gowan [also shown as Donald Gowan], a farmer from the parish of Aich, was captured in battle in 1745, ac­cording to “Prisoners of the ’45.” He was a soldier in Cro­marty’s Regiment serving under Sir Bruce Gordon Seton, a Scotch leader in support of Prince Charles. In June 1746, Duncan Gowan was a prisoner aboard the “Alexander & James,” docked at Tilbury Fort near London. Later he was confined aboard the “Liberty & Property,” a hospital ship an­chored on the Medway River between Kent and Sussex. He was “transported to America, March 31, 1747.” “Donald Gowan, prisoner was transported to Barbados or Jamaica, March 31, 1747,” according to “Directory of Scots Banished to Plantations, 1650-1775.”


John Gowans, son of Peter Gowans and Jean Clark Gowans emigrated from Crieff, Stirlingshire to Tennessee before 1829, according to “Scottish Emigrants to the U.S.A.” by Donald Whyte.
The name Goyne is an ancient and widely cast name in Stirlingshire, according to Col. Carroll Heard Goyne, Jr. of Shreveport, Louisiana. It is found in the geography of Scotland in the name of Dumgoyne [Fort Goyne] Hill in Stirlingshire. At the base of Dumgoyne Hill is Glengoyne [Goyne Valley), and situated therein is the village of Dumgoyne. Also, there is a parish be­tween Forfar and Aberdeen, Scotland by the name of Glengoyne. The Sunday Mail of Glasgow, in its “Discover Scotland” series, reports that Dumgoyne Hill derives its name from an Iron Age fort that sat atop the hill.


William Gowans was born March 19, 1835 at Bathgate in West Lothian, according to correspondence from Colleen Slater, a descendant of Vaughn, Washington September 4, 1898. He was married about 1854 to Isabelle Dick who was also born at Bathgate January 11, 1836. Shortly afterward, they removed to Selkirk where all of their children were born. In 1901 they accompanied a son-in-law in removing to Washington state. William Gowans died there in 1918, and Isabelle Dick Gowans died there in 1923.

Children born to them include:

Isabelle Gowans born about 1856
John Gowans born about 1859
Annie Jane Aurther Gowans born March 3, 1862

Isabelle Gowans, daughter of William Gowans and Isabelle Dick Gowans, was born about 1856 at Selkirk. She was married about 1872 to William Stewart.

John Gowans, son of William Gowans and Isabelle Dick Gowans, was born about 1859 at Selkirk.

Annie Jane Aurther Gowans, daughter of William Gowans and Isabelle Dick Gowans, was born March 3, 1862 at Selkirk. She was married about 1879 to James Donaldson who was born at Selkirk in 1854. They emigrated to the United States in 1901 and settled in Washington State, accompanied by her parents.