Attala County, Mississippi


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Alexander Gowan Family
Attala County, Mississippi


Garrett Crawford Gowan and Martha 'Mattie' Lurania Trousdale
4th son of Alexander & Martha Gowan with his wife, Mattie



Alexander Gowan was born in 1816 in North Carolina. He relocated with other family members to Attala County, Mississippi in the early 1830's in an area generally known as the McAdams Community. Shortly after his arrival in Attala County, he met and married Martha Samantha Nichols (about 1834). Martha was born in Georgia in 1817 and is believed to be the daughter of Hymerick Nichols who also settled in the McAdams area with his family in the early 1830's. Alexander and Martha Gowan would have ten chilren, all born in Attala County, as follows:

  1. Edith Elizabeth Gowan   born 20 June 1835
  2. Lott Gowan   born about 1837
  3. Sarah 'Sally' Gowan   born 20 May 1839
  4. Garrett Crawford Gowan   born 2 July 1841
  5. Isacc Gowan   born 10 January 1844
  6. Jesse Cledy Gowan   born 24 September 1846
  7. Mary 'Polly' Gowan   born 4 August 1849
  8. Richard Gowan   born 24 May 1852
  9. Martha Ann Gowan   born 2 July 1854
  10. Alexander Gowan, Jr.   born 28 September 1859

Alexander Gowan died on 28 April 1869. Martha Samantha Nichols Gowan died on 5 March 1891. They are buried in the Ellington Cemetery, not far from Sallis, Attala, Mississippi.

Garrett Crawford Gowan was the fourth child of Alexander and Martha Gowan; he was born in Attala County on 2 July 1841. The Civil War broke out in April 1861 when Garrett was but nineteen years of age. Garrett's response to the outbreak of war was to be mustered into the service of the Confederate States Army and he served gallantly as a Private in Company A' of the 15th Regiment Mississippi Infantry. Company A' was known as the "Long Creek Rifles", a unit that honored itself repeatedly throughout the War between the states.

Garrett survived the hostilities and returned to Attala County where he was engaged in farming, living alone on his acreage in Beat 4, not far from the homestead of his parents. He was in Attala County at the time of his father's death in 1869. Sometime after 1870, Garrett got the wanderlust and he relocated to the Oklahoma Terrritory. It is not known what possessed him to move westward, but it is believed that about 1875 Garrett married Martha 'Mattie' Lurania Trousdale, probably in Pottawatomie county in the Oklahoma Territory. In 1880 Garrett, his wife Mattie and young son Allen Alexander were living in Grayson county, Texas. Garrett and Mattie would, all total, have five children as shown below:

  1. Allen Alexander Gowan   born 7 December 1877
  2. Robert Isaac Gowan   born 26 June 1880
  3. Lillie May Gowan   born 3 February 1883
  4. Nellie Samantha Gowan   born 26 September 1886
  5. William Garrett Gowan   born 7 May 1888

It is certain that Allen and Robert were born in Texas. At some point after 1880 the family may have removed back to Oklahoma. Most of Garrett's children, later in life, believed that they were born in Oklahoma, so it is possible that some of them were born in Oklahoma and all of them were, most likely, raised in Oklahoma.

In 1888 Garrett C. Gowan, returned to Attala County for a visit and there passed away from pneumonia on October 20 , 1888, just a few short months after the birth of his fifth child, leaving his widow with five children, ranging in age from 5 months to 10 years of age, to raise alone. Garrett was buried in a grave near his parents in the Ellington Cemetery, Attala County, Mississippi. Garrett's brothers, Richard and Alex are also buried in the family plot.

Martha 'Mattie' Lurania Trousdale Gowan died in 1895. Mattie's whereabouts at the time of her death are unknown. Oklahoma would be a good place to look for additional information.

Allen Alexander was enumerated in 1900 living in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma and in 1930 he was in Norman, Oklahoma with his family. Allen Gowan died on 29 January 1954. Robert Isaac Gowan was an engineer for the KATY railroad and lived in Mokane, Missouri where all of his children were born. Robert Isaac Gowan died on 16 December 1945 in Missouri.

View photographs of Robert Isaac and Dovie Pearl Hudson Gowan.

A brief overview of Martha 'Mattie' Trousdale's family, the Trousdales' of Oklahoma Territory.

A photograph of a new head stone for Garrett Crawford Gowan recently erected on the site of Garrett's grave in Ellington Cemetery near McAdams in Attala County, Mississippi.

A photograph of Clarence Griffen Gowan, grandson of Garrett Crawford Gowan taken on his 91st Birthday can be found by clicking on this link:


The above photograph of Garrett and Mattie Gowan was taken in the 1880's and was submitted by Garrett and Mattie's great grandson, Robert D. Gowan of Kona, Hawaii in June, 2005. The photographs of Robert Isaac and Dovie Pearl Hudson Gowan were also submitted by Robert D. Gowan. Robert Isaac and Dovie are Robert's grand parents.

E-mail contact for Robert D. Gowan.

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