Tennessee – Giles County

From Gowen Manuscript:  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gowenrf/Gowenms110.htm


Giles County was organized in 1809 with land from adjoining Maury County, Tennessee. A great many settlers came into the area, only to learn that they were “Intruders” on land that the Chickasaw Indians claimed by treaty.

U. S. Army soldiers from Ft. Hampton were ordered to re-move the settlers. Between the years 1809 and 1811 federal soldiers made numerous forays onto the Chickasaw reserva-tion in order to remove illegal settlers and destroy their im-provements, including crops and homes.

The settlers appealed to Pres. James Madison. In 1810 they addressed a petition to Washington:

“The 1810 Elk River Intruders Petition

Although commonly referred to as the “Simms’ Settlement Petition, many of the 450 men and women [Intruders] who signed the following document were residing elsewhere within the untreated Chickasaw lands, including Giles County, al-though Simms Settlement [on the Elk River in present-day Limestone County, Alabama, just south of Giles] does appear to have been where the settlers’ returned to re-group following the 1809 Intruder Removals.

Many of these names and those on the 1809 Elk River Intruder List are also on the 1812 Giles county tax list, and a sampling has been indicated by the use of the symbol after the name.

Excerpted from The Territorial Papers of the United States, The Territory of Mississippi, 1809-1817, Volume VI, com-piled and edited by Clarence Edwin Carter, published by the United States Government Printing Office,
Washington, 1928, pp. 106-113:

Page 106–108] Mississippi Territory


Mississippi Territory, Elk River, Sims’es Settlement

September 5th 1810–

To his Excellency James Maddison President of the United States of America and the honourable Congress assembled:

We your petitioners humbly sheweth that a great many of your fellow citizens have unfortunately settled on what is now called Chickasaw land- which has led us into difficultys that tongue cannot express if the orders from the ware department are executed in removeing us off of said land.

However in a government like ours founded on the will of the people, we have reason to hope and expect that we shall be treated with as much lennity as the duty you owe to Justice will permit.

We therefore wish, Without the shade or colour of falshood, to leve to your consideration the main object of our setling of this country. In the first Place, we understood that all the land on the north side of Tennessee river was purchased of the Indians which was certainly the Case, and further we understood that this was congress land as we call it and by paying of two Dol-lars per acre we should obtain An undoubted title to our lands and avoide the endless law suits that arise in our neighboring states in the landed property under these and many other im-pressions of minde that appeared inviteing to us to setle here a great many of us solde our possessions and Came and settled here in the winter and spring of 1807 without any knoledg or intention of violating the laws of government or Infringing on the right of another nation and we remained in this peacefull situation untill the fall of 1807 when General Robertson Came on runing the Chickasaw boundary line and he informed us that, though the Cherokees had sold this land, yet the Chicka-saws held a clame to it as their right.

And now as booth nations |had| set up a clame to this land and Government having extingushed the Cherokee clame; and we who are well acquainted with the boundarys of this country do think in Justice that the Cherokees had undoubtedly the best right to this land we could state our reasons for thinking so, in many cases, but we shall only refurr you to one particular, that is when Zacheriah Cocks (1) made a purchase of parte of this country and came in order to settle it, he landed on an island in the Mussell Shoals, and was making preparations to ingarrison himself, but when the Cherokees Understood his intentions, they got themselves together and sent in messingers to him tell-ing him if he did not desist and remove his men out of their country they would certainly imbody themselves and cut him off. And Cocks took the alarme And left the Island in the night. And if the cherokees had not defended this country at that time it may be persumed that it would have been taken from the Chickasaws without asking of them anything about their right to it. For the Cherokees do say that they have held an antiant clame to it which they never lost by sword or treaty untill extinguished by government.

And should this be the case and appeare to your satisfaction that the cherokees had at least as good a right as the Chicka-saw and you haveing that right invested in you-and you are allso willing to pay the Chickasaw for their clame and they refuse to sell it, where then can there remain a single doubt In the publick Minde of doing the Chickasaws any kind of unjus-tice in makeing use of the Cherokee clame and saying: if they will not take a reasonable price for their clame we will not re-move our fellow citizens off which will bring many women and children to a state of starvation mearly to gratify a heathan nation Who have no better right to this land than we have ourselves.

And they have by estemation nearly 100000 acres of land to each man Of their nation and of no more use to government or society than to saunter about upon like so many wolves or bares whilst they who would be a supporte to government and Improve the country must be forsed even to rent poore stony ridges to make a support to rase their famelies on whist there is fine fertile countrys lying uncultivated and we must be de-bared even from inJoying a small Corner of this land, but we look to your boddy of government as a friendly father to us and believe it Compleatley within your power Whilst you are administering Justice between us and the Chickasaws to say with the greatest propriety that we have once purchased this land and we will not remove our fellow citizens off but let them remain as tennants at will untill the Chickasaws may feell a disposition to sell us their clame.

Therefore we your humble petitioners wish you to take our standing duely into consideration and not say they are a set of dishoneste people who have fled from the lawes of their country and it is no matter what is done With them.

For we can support our carractors to be other ways and it is our wish and desire to protect and supporte our own native Government we must informe you that in the settling of this country men was obliged to expose themselves very much and the Climate not helthy a number of respectable men have de-ceased and left their widows with families Of alphan [orphan] children to rase in the best way they can.

And you might allmost as well send the sword amongst us as the fammin the time being short that our orders permits us to stay on. We wish you to send us an answer to our petition as soon as posable and, for heavens Sake, Pause to think what is to become of these poore alphan families who have more need of the help of some friendly parish than to have the strictest orders executed on them who has not a friend in this unfeeling world that is able to asist them Either in geting off of said land or supporting when they are off. We are certain in our own minds that if you could have A true representation of our carractor the industry we have made and the purity of our in-tentions in settling here together with the justice of our cause you would say in the name of God let them stay on and eat their well earned bread.

Perhaps our number may be fare more than you are apprised of from the best calculation that we can make, there is Ex-clusive of Doublehead’s reserv (2) 2250 souls on what is called Chickasaw land and all of us could live tollerabie com-fortable if we Could remain on our improvements, but the dis-tance is so great if we are removed off that we cannot take our produce with Us and a great many not in a circumstance to purchase more will in consequence of this be brought to a de-plorable situation.

We shall therefore conclude in hopes that on a due considera-tion we shall find favour in the sight of your most honourable Body which will in duty binde your petitioners to ever Pray &c.

Wm. Sims (3)
James Sims
Michael Odaniell
Thomas Skagg
Wiliam Payne
Berry Matlock
George Brown
James Reynolds
Larkin Webb

Isaac Crowson
Benjimen osbourn
Robert Cravens
Andrew Arnett
Jonathan Cochron
Hoseph Bradley
James Wooley
Henry Lysby
Isaac Gibson

Samuel Easely
David Simon
John Hoddge
John Coward
Charles Skaggs Sen
Charles Skaggs Jur
Charles Williams
William Adams
Wm Bowling Sen
Wm Bowling Jr
Wm Cooper
Wm Conway
Charles Easely
John Scaggs
John Eppler
Jonathan Eppler
James Neill
Isham Brown
James Brown
Abraham Brown
Edward Davis
Rawleigh Dodson
Aaron Luisley
Simon Foy
Benj. Murrell
Calvin Wittey
Caleb Juett
Isaac Murrell
George Arbuthnot
Francis Daugherty
Bejman Carrel
Asa Magge
Sammell Preed Jun
Sammul Preed
James Preed
Christopher Baylor
Marckel Stockdon
Thomas Redus
Abraham Sims
Richard Murrell
John Daugherty
James Hodge
James Hood
William Mayer
William Hodge
William Hoodser
Edmond Fears
William Hood Jr
Ely Robertson
Samuel Robertson
Michel Robertson
John Allon
James Ball
[MS illegible]
John McCutchen
David McCutchen
John Calwell
John Bidell
John Rosson
Simon Rosson
Richard Linville
Wm. Nelson
John Nelson
James Ford
James Caldwell
Wm. Kile
Samuel Bradley
William Adams
Roland McKenny
James McKenny
John McKenny
Ruben McKenny
Robert McKenny
William McKenny
John Lynn
Elijah Price
John Hogges
John Sessoms
Amos Moor
William Ellis
John Thomas
Joshua Perkins
Issac Fraey
Lovill Coffman
Cornelius Gatliff
James Redey
John Panton
Jesse Panton
William Hooker
Thomas Pool
Philmer Green Senr
Jere. McKellins
Reuben Riggs
William Candon
James Riggs
Robert Tayler
Enoch Tayler
John Tayler
Jas Wilder
Fracis Ascaugh
Joab Arbagh
Jas. Wherrey
John Bell
Benjamin Russell
Edward Frost
Jas. Anderson
Joseph Evans
Henry Evans
John Scallern
Jacob Scallern
John Wainwright
John Myers
James Green
John Mowery
Alexander Dutton
George Fergel
John Sauls
Reel Matcok
John Bartell
John Kim
Andr Jackson
Henry Miller
Abraham Miller
Robert Foury
Joseph Calvert
James Mossy
James McMahhan
Jessy Cooper
David Miller
Levi Cummins
Mark Mitchell
Allen Cotton
John Cotton
William Cox
Thomas Hardy
George Loften
John Tayler
John Reed
Elkin Tayler
Lennard Lofton
Joseph Foster
Abraham Kirkelot
John Kirkendall
Jos. Jones
Levi Cooper
John Cooper
John Paine
Fuller Cox
Sami Cox
Joseph Looker
William Riggs
Bridges Freeman
Charles Hulsey
Beverly Philips
Shaderick Cross
Benjamin Ishmal
Benjn. Cross
Henry Cross
Jonathan Adams
Thos. Adams
Robt. Wallis
James Isaac
Hardin Hulsey
William Hill
Jas Miller
John Hamlin
Samuel Smith
Ellexander Smith
Felps Smith
Wm. Smith
Bryan Smith
Jonathon Greenhow
Wm. Greenhow
Greenbery Greenhow
John Croslin
Benjamin French
Henry Croslin
Jessey Richardson
Joseph England
David Dudden
John Crage
Michal Trimble
Elisha Rainbolt
Jas Craig
John Mitchell Snr
Elisha Garritt
John Mitchell Jnr
George Mitchell
Wm. Smith
Jno. Sanders
Reuben Sanders
Joseph Carnes
Wm Carnes
Redden Crisp
Wm. Black
Levi Black
Jos. Keen
John Allman
Walter Tremble
Elye Hornback
Wm. McGowen
Robt. Hodges Jnr.
Robert Stenson
John Smith
John Runnels
Francis Bird
Thos. Henderson
Shadrach Morres
Lewis Tacket
William Kellett
Joseph Kellett
James Kellett
James Humphrs [Humphreys?]
William Humphrs
Charles Smith
William Stephens
Samuel Nelson
George Honbre
Joel James
Henry McGuin
Wm Mullin
Thomas Mullin
John Toliver
Matt Smith
James Mullens
Jaret Brandon
James Smith
John Miller
Elijah Major
James Major
John Trimble
Joshua Brunson
David Parker
John Ray
John Carnham
Jacob Pyeatt
James Pyeatt
Aron Gibson
Cabot Turner
Isack Shipman
John Hakins
George S. Wilson
Josha Bruntson
James Slaughter
Jesop Luster
John Luster
James Luster
Robert McGowen
DanI McIntyre
Alexr Masky (or Marky)
John Chambers
Thos Price
Joel Philips
Wm. Stinson
George Hauge
Ezek. Smith
Wm Smith
Andrew Smith
Jame McConel (or McCarrel)
Sami McConell
Jams M. McConell William Chambers
Jno. Webb
George Bankhead
Jno Bankhead
Michael Shaly
George Shaly
Fredrich Shaly
Moses Crosen [Crowson?]
Moses Chot
John Vans
Duncan McAntire
William Voss
Alex Miller
William Cochran
John Welch
William Welch Senr
Beverly Luster
David Luster
Jas Bevers
Jonathan Burleson
John Burleson
Mathew Brunston
William Slaughter
Jonathan Blair
John Billinsly
Johnathan Greenhow
Clouds Greenhow
Alexander Moor
Robert Moor
John Umphres [Humphreys?]
Archable Tremble
James Garner
John Bell
James Burlston
Robert Thresher
David Thompson
John Roguey(?)
David Capshaw
Malachi Reeves
Robert Gresham
Amos French
William W. Capshaw
George Ogel
George McCown
David Allerd
William Magers(?)
Harda Allerd
Georg Cooper
David Water
John Wager
Harmon Horn
Banra Devon
John Gebbens
Robt Gebbins
Saml Gibbons
James Gibbons
Jos. Gibbons
Clemen Arman(?)
Mathew Brewer
James Norman
Aaron Shote
John Shote
John Wynn
M. Armstrong
Thos. Dodd
Isaac Perrett
Jeremiah Rowlen
Mitchell O’Neel
Jessy Dillion
Tiery O’Neel
Hirram O’Neel
Joseph Brunson
John Parmerly
Richard Robertson
George Taylour
Ellken Taylor
John Taylour Junr.
Robert Taylour
Hanum Taylour
John Taylour Sen.
Thomas Read
John Read
Wm. Taylour
Nathanniel Hannet [Hamet?]
James Dunahoo
James Long
John Cooper
Leire Cooper
James Dunham
Alexr Dunham
Thomas Brighton
Names of the Widows
Damarias Bowling
Amerida Hatton
Betsey Williams
Mahaley Robertson
Gilly Crowson
Milly Hogwood
Drankey(?) Medders
Patsey Carter
Caty Lawrence
Joan Black
Ann Johnstons
Susan Wigges
Betsey Cooper
Ann Grin(?)
Elizebeth Sims
Grizell Sims
Polly Prigman
Sally Williams
Any Taylour
Christiana McRavey
Men’s Names
Abner Camnon (or Camron)
Jessey Beavers
John Hoaton
Robert Hoaton
Nicholess Boren
James Boren
Abner Boren
Henry Davis
Benjamin Land
Andrew Blithe
Jacob Blithe
Wm. Lilly
Obediah Martin
Wm. Martin
Henson Day
Andrew Pickins
Joseph L. Jones
Hugh Bradon
Adam Burney
James Burney
Wm. Ferrell
Owen Shannon
William Cooper
Jas. Braden
James Steward
John Cooper
Levi Cooper
Chale Dever
John Black Junr
Prier Kile
Reuben Smith
Isac Lann (or Lanse)
Eli Tidwell
Millin Tidwell
Eli Tidwell
Daniel Kinny
Owin Shannon Se.
James Renn
H. T. Hendry
Jos L. Hendry
William Cramer
William Murrell
William Smith
John Smith
John Black Senr
Gabriel Tayour [Taylour?]
Natheniell Harbin(?)
Jessee Harbin
James Harbin
Robert Wood Millenton Tidwell
James Leath
Edward Shoat
Vantenten [Valentin?] Shoat
John Taylour
Benjamin Tutt
Thomas Kile
James Pickins

[Endorsed] Petition (addressed to James Madison, Pres: U.S. by 450 of the Intruders upon the Chickasaw Territory:

Reced Octo. 1st 1810.

Simon Foy and Thomas Dodd are not on the 1812 Giles tax list, but are mentioned by McCallum as early Elk River settlers. Both are also on the 1809 Intruders List (1) According to McCallum’s History of Giles…, “The treaties of 1805 and 1806 extinguished the Indian title to a considerable portion of what is now Madison County, in Alabama, a scope of country in the shape of a “V,” some thirty miles wide on the South boundary of the Tennessee with a point on the Tennes-see River at Ditto’s landing, with about eight miles front on the river.

Soon after the treaty, Zachariah Cox and his associates, the “Tennessee Yazoo Company”, claimed this scope of country as against the US Government. Under their purchase from the State of Georgia in 1795, they commenced settling it and hav-ing it settled up. They were resisted by the Government and those claiming under said purchase were driven off.”

(2) Fort Hampton at the Doublehead Reserve became home to the soldiers’ whose duty it was to rid the reservation lands of “intruders.” A list dated (3) The original transcription included numbers which were commonly referred to as “Sims Numbers.” Those were not included in this edition.
William Goins was married to Frances Bunch July 6, 1865 in Giles County according to Tennessee Marriage records (1851-1900). Nothing more is known of William Goins and Frances Bunch Goins.
The family of Ernest B. Gowan was involved in an automobile accident June 20, 1983 six miles west of Columbia on SH99, according to the “Columbia State.” The newspaper identified the dead as Ernest B. Gowan, Pulaski; his wife, Brenda Gowan, 35, their daughter Lisa 11; Rayburn S. Cooper, 57 of Etheridge, Tennessee and his wife, Mildred Cooper, 53. Another Gowan daughter, seven-year-old Tina Gowan was hospitalized with a cut across her face.
Margaret C. Gowen who was born in South Carolina in 1840, was listed as the head of a household in the 1880 census of Giles County. The household, enumerated in Enumera­tion District 101, page 15, Civil District 3 in the Manuel Roberts household included:

“Gowen, Margaret C. 40, born in South Carolina
John W. 18, born in Alabama
Thomas 10, born in TN”
John William Gowan was born in West Tennessee February 3, 1852 of parents unknown. He was married about 1870, wife’s name Malinda. “J. W. Gown” was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1880 census of Giles County, Enumeration District 114, page 2, Civil District 16:

“Gown, J. W. 28, born in TN
Malinda 26, born in TN
L. A. 9, born in TN, daughter
D. H. 4, born in TN, son”

It is believed that Malinda Gowan died about 1878. John William Gowan was remarried February 3, 1881 to Martha Miles, according to a great-granddaughter, Tjuana Mc-Callister. She was born in January 1857 to Henry Miles.

“John Gowen” was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1900 census of Giles County, Enumeration District 3, page 5:

“Gowen, John 44, born in TN in February 1856
Martha M. 43, born in TN in January 1857
Laticia 21, born in TN May 1879,
Joe 19, born in TN in Jan. 1881, son
Mary E. 16, born in TN Oct. 1883,
Willis 14, born in TN in July 1885, son
Sallie 13, born in TN in Feb. 1887,
Mattie 11, born in TN in March 1889,
Stanly 6, born in TN in June 1894, son
Fayette 4, born in TN in Aug. 1895, son
John M. 9/12, born in TN in Jan. 1900, son”

In 1915 John William Gowan was a farmer in Giles County.

“Mrs. Martha Miles Gowan, daughter of Henry Miles,” was was living in Giles County in Civil District 11 in 1917. She died there April 24, 1917, “age about 82, [actually age 60] of valvular heart lesion and senility,” according to Tennessee DVS Death Certificate No. 11208. She was buried in Providence Cemetery, according to her son, Joseph Milton Gowan, informant of Providence, Tennessee.

John William Gowan died there December 25, 1932, at age 67 in Giles County of “pneumonia following pulmonary T.B,” according to Tennessee BVS Death Certificate No. 28269. He was buried in Providence Cemetery, according to his son Joseph Milton Gowan, informant, of Pulaski, Tennessee.

Children born to John William Gowan and Malinda Gowan include:

Laticia A. Gowan born in May 1871
D. H. Gowan born about 1876

Children born to John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan include:

Joseph Milton Gowan born in January 1881
Mary E. Gowan born in October 1883
Willis Dee Gowan born in July 1885
Sallie Lee Gowan born in February 1887
Stanley Vestal Gowan born in June 1894
Fayette Gowan born in August 1895
John M. Gowan born in January 1900

Laticia A. Gowan, daughter of John William Gowan and Malinda Gowan, was born in May 1871, according to her enumeration in the 1880 census. Her age was reported as “21” [actually 29] in the 1900 census when she was living in her father’s household.

D. H. Gowan, son of John William Gowan and Malinda Gowan was born about 1876 in Tennessee. He appeared as a four-year-old in the 1880 census of his father’s household.

Joseph Milton Gowan, son of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in January 1881 in Tennessee. He was enumerated as “Joe Gowen” in the 1900 census of his father’s household in Giles County.

He was married about 1901 to Virgie Pearl Warden who was born March 3, 1878 to Moses Warden and Sara Jane Dickson Warden of Moore County, Tennessee.

Joseph Milton Gowan and Virgie Pearl Warden Gowan were residents of Goodsprings, Tennessee in Civil District 6, about 1916. Their family consisted of three sons and four daughters.

He was the informant on the death certificate of his mother who died in 1917 when he lived at Providence and on the death certificate of his father who died in 1932 when he lived at Pulaski, Tennessee.

Virgie Pearl Warden Gowan died there May 12, 1945 of paralysis, according to Tennessee Death Certificate 42806. Her husband, the informant, was age 68 at the time. She was buried in Providence Cemetery, near Pulaski, Tennessee.

Children born to them include four daughters and:

Ernest Gowan born about 1916
Wallace Hill Gowan born about 1918
Carl Gowan born about 1920

Ernest Gowan, son of Joe M. Gowan and Virgie Pearl Warden Gowan, was born about 1916. In 1983 he lived in Pulaski.

Wallace Hill Gowan, son of Joe M. Gowan and Virgie Pearl Warden Gowan, was born about 1918. He was married about 1941 to Mattie Richardson. He became a dairy farmer at Pulaski. He died April 10, 1983 in Giles County Hospital and was buried in Giles Memory Gardens. His obituary mentioned that he was survived by three daughters: Mrs. Don Gilbert of Memphis, Mrs. Alvin Kimbrough of Chattanooga and Mrs. Robert Jacoby of Columbia and four sisters: Mrs. Oscar Surles, Mrs. Aymett Hamlett, Mrs. Virgil Pierce and Mrs. Grady Boone, all of Pulaski.

Children born to Wallace Hill Gowan and Mattie Richardson Gowan include:

Joe F. Gowan born about 1943
Thomas Perry Gowan born about 1946

Joe F. Gowan, son of Wallace Hill Gowan and Mattie Richardson Gowan, was born about 1943. In 1983 he lived in Knoxville.

Thomas Perry Gowan, son of Wallace Hill Gowan and Mattie Richardson Gowan, was born about 1946. In 1983 he lived in Pulaski.

Mary E. Gowan, daughter of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in October, 1883.

Willis Dee Gowan, son of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in Giles County in February 1887.

Sallie Lee Gowan, daughter of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in February 1887.

Stanley Vestal Gowan, son of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in June 1894 in Giles County.

Fayette Gowan, son of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in August 1895.

“Fate Gowan” died in Pulaski in 1953.

Children born to him include:

Fred Gowan born about 1920
William Gowan born about 1922
Charles Gowan born about 1925

Fred Gowan, son of Fayette Gowan, was born about 1920.

William Gowan, son of Fayette Gowan, was born about 1922.

Charles Gowan, son of Fayette Gowan, was born about 1925. He was married about 1948, wife’s name Doris. In 1972 Charles Gowan and Doris Gowan lived at 1018 School Street, Columbia, Tennessee.

John M. Gowan, son of John William Gowan and Martha Miles Gowan, was born in January 1900.


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