McGowins lived in Covington, surrounding counties

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ancestors of the local McGowin family moved the family from Georgia to South Alabama. Their arrival date is not known, but the family became quite influential in the settlement of the area and the development of the timber industry. It appears they settled first in Escambia County, Ala.

James McGowin who was born circa 1770 was an early ancestor who was married to Mary Lewis before 1796. They reared the following children: Sara Ann, b. 1796; Alexander, b. 1798; Jacob, b. 1800; Anthony, b. 1802; Samuel, b. 1805, d. 1892, m. Martha Mason; and James, b. 1807, d. ca 1874, m. (1) Eliza Straughn (1) Virginia Sanks; and John b. ca 1817.

Their son, Samuel, was married to Martha Mason (1810-1892), daughter of Peter and Rachel Mason. They reared the following 11 children: Mary Ann, b. 1832, d. 1874, m. 1849 William Stewart Foshee (1828-1882); Peter, b. 1833, d. 1863, m. Nancy Floyd (1831-1903); Alexander, b. 1836, d. 1914, m. (1) Elmira Lucinda Stone (1) Nancy (Floyd) McGowin (widow of Peter); Samuel James, b. 1836, d. 1862, single; James, b. 1838, d. 1897, m. 1861 Martha Ghent (1845-1916); Joseph, b. 1839, d. 1862, single; Anthony Lewis, b. 1840, d. 1864, single; Thomas, b. 1842, d. 1890, m. Amanda Bryant (1852-1905); John Charnic, b. 1843, d. 1862, single; Sarah Jane, b. 1845, d. 1906, m. Reubin Sylvester Hart (1844-1928); Martha Elizabeth, b. 1847, d. 1898, m. Uriah Blacksher (1848-1899); Ann Eliza, b. 1848, d. 1903, m. Elbert J. Blow (1847-1938); and Matilda Catherine, b. 1851, d. 1908, m. 1869 Stewart Joseph Foshee (1851-1907).

Seven of the above sons rendered service in the Confederate Army, and all were assigned to the same unit. They enlisted on April 6 or 7, 1862, as privates in Company D of the 16th Alabama Infantry Regiment. James Thomas McGowin, ancestor of local Francis McGowin, and Alexander McGowin were the only two of the seven to survive the war and return home. Peter died December 19, 1863, at Camp Canty near Mobile. Samuel James died July 12, 1862 in Okolona, Mississippi. Joseph C. died December 31, 1862, at Murphreesboro, Tennessee. Anthony Lewis died in 1864 at Tunnel Hill, Georgia. John Charnic died July 29, 1862, at Gainsville, Alabama. Therefore, this family sacrificed five of eight sons to the Confederate cause.

The oldest daughter, Mary Ann McGowin, was married in 1849 to William Stewart Foshee (1828-1882), son of James Stewart and Martha Nancy (Parker) Foshee. The reared the following 10 children: Virginia, b. 1851, d. 1904, m. William D. Hart (1846-1919); Martha, b. 1852, d. 1911, m. J.W. Bradley (1852-1911); David Alexander, b. 1858, d. 1889; George James, b. 1860, d. 1935, m. Gatsey E. Barrow; Alabama, b. 1862, d. 1928, m. 1886 Jonathon B. Brewton; John William, b. 1864, d. 1886; Sarah, b. 1866, d. 1930, m. 1882 Walt William Moore (1859-1938); Nancy, b.&d. 1869; Samuel, b.&d. 1869; and Mary Ann, b. 1864, d. 1960, m. William Augustus Robinson. They were both buried in the Foshee Cemetery in Escambia County, Alabama.

The oldest son, Peter McGowin, was married to Nancy Floyd (1832-1903), daughter of Thomas M. and Elizabeth Ann (Bryant) Floyd. Before his tragic death, they had the following three children: Thomas Jackson, b. 1858, d. 1925, m. Ida Pickens; Samuel Lewis, b. 1859, d. 1928, m. (1) 1881 Ada Bethea (1861-1894) (2) Madge Parker (1875-1910) (3) Penny William Gray (4) Mary Hogan; and Alexander, b. 1862, d. 1907, m. 1892 Emma Rankin (1863-1938). At his death, Peter was buried in the Foshee Cemetery, and Nancy, in the Union Cemetery in Escambia County.

The second son, Alexander McGowin, was first married to Elmira Lucinda Stone, daughter of John Benjamin Stone. They had one son, Alexander Jr., b. 1914. Alexander was married second to Nancy Floyd, daughter of Thomas M. and Elizabeth Ann (Bryant) Floyd. They had the following six children: Joseph J., b. 1856, d. 1937, m. 1889 Minnie Olive Leonard; Everett, b. 1868, d. 1893, single; Martha Elizabeth, b. 1871, d. 1953 m. 1895 James I. Robbins (1864-1944); James Greeley, b. 1871, d. 1934, m. Essie Stallworth (1877-1960); Jessie, b. 1873, d. 1942, m. 1896 William Edward Foshee (1873-1935); and Bruce, b. 1875, d. 1898, single. Alexander and Nancy were buried in the Union Cemetery and Elmira Lucinda, in the Damascus Cemetery.

James McGowin, the fourth son, and his wife, Martha Ghent (1845-1916), reared the following six children: Addie Belle, b. 1863, d. 1936, m. Evander B. White; Mary Agnes, b. 1866, d. 1954, m. 1884 Napoleon Bonepart Dixon (1846-1930); John Charnic, b. 1868, d. 1962, m. Leila M. Earle; Fielding Taylor, b. 1871, d. 1899, m. Bette Reynolds; Nancy Josephine, b. 1873, d. 194, m. Samuel Walker; and Samuel Walker, b. 1873, d. 1914, m. 1892 Nannie Josephine McGowin (1877-1951).

Thomas McGowin, the seventh son, and his wife, Amanda Bryant (1852-1905), reared the following 10 children: John Thomas, b. 1869, d. 1958, m. Jewell Stone; Mary, b. 1869, d. 1958, m. John E. Evans (1870-1944); Alex Boge, b. 1872; Peter, b. 1872, d. 1874; Sara Jane, b. 1876, d. 1948, m. Allen Parker (1874-1948); Samuel Scranton, b. 1878, d. 1920; Martha Elizabeth, b. 1881, d. 1967, m. Dennis Hart (1868-1950); James Crossly, b. 1882, d. 1968, m. Agnes Moore (1891-1968); Joseph, b. 1885, d. 1940, m. Ila Batson; and Lewis, b. 1888, d. 1954.

The next daughter, Sarah Jane McGowin, was married to Reubin Sylvester Hart (1844-1928), son of Isaac and Mary (McArthur) Hart. They reared the following children: Andrew Jackson, b. 1871, d. 1938, m. Lillian T. Kinlaw (1872-1972); Ruby, b. 1877, d. 1892; Infant female; Ursie, b. 1884, d. 1934; and Dennis, b. 1868, d 1950. They were both buried in the McGowin Cemetery.

The next daughter, Martha Elizabeth McGowin, was married to Uriah Blacksher (1848-1899), son of Jeptha A. and Martha Blacksher. They reared the following children: Margaret Elizabeth; Mattie Idell, b. 1870, d. 1875; Erasmus Manford, b. 1878, d. 1957, m. Mary Cockrell; and infant twins. They were both buried in the Union Cemetery in Escambia County, Ala.

The next daughter, Ann Eliza McGowin, was married to Elbert J. Blow (1847-1938), son of Cullin and Celia Blow. They reared two children, Elbert J., b. 1881, d. 1948; and Alabama. They were both buried in the McGowin Cemetery.

The youngest daughter, Matilda Catherine McGowin, was married in 1869 to Stewart Joseph Foshee (1851-1907), son of James Stewart and Amanda Cassaline (Clements) Foshee. They reared the following 13 children: Georgia; Lawrence Ber; Lewis James; Oscar Henry Bruce; William Edward, b. 1873, d. 1935; Peter Mason, b. 1875, d. 1914; Martha, b. 1877, d. 1953; Samuel Stewart, b. 1879, d. 1922; John David, b. 1880, d. 1922; Mary, b. 1882, d. 1937; Clyde, b. 1884, d. 1905; Eugene, b.&d. 1888; and Erasmus Manford, b.& d. 1891. They were buried in the Union Cemetery.

Many of the McGowin relatives were buried in the McGowin Cemetery, which is located near the McGowin Bridge on US Highway 29 south of Andalusia. A census of those buried there has been made and is available. An additional column on the McGowin family will follow this one.

The sources of this genealogy were a book located in the Andalusia Public Library entitled McGowan Family with no stated author and family records of Wade McMillan of Van, Texas.

Anyone who might have any correction to the above or additional information on the McGowin family is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467; or e-mail: