my family tree – cowie

Old Family Photos 023.jpgflowerIreland, England, Seoraksan 086.jpgOld Family Photos 022.jpg

I have researched the following families in regard to my own family:

Cow, Cowie, Cowe, Cowper, Blake, Davis, Davies, Fitzgerald, Hogan, Horan, Kelly, Keogh, Ledger, McKay, Murray, Paxtone, Sands, Ker, Billington, Glyde, Fenton, Callanan

Please contact me if you are interested at

My thanks to all those who helped me in my research, especially and my family members. and kind friends

O U R  C O W I E  F A M I L Y

T H E  C O W I E   F A M I LY

has its origins in Bannf Aberdeenshire,Scotland. They are known to have intermarried for 100 years with the Ogilvie Clan of Forglen, before migrating South to the Border, and are said to have been Pictish in origin and related to one of seven Pictish Kings.

The name Coo is Gaelic in origin and is sometimes spelt this way. Other forms are Cow, Cowe, Cowan, Cowie, Cuy, Cohy. The name has vowel sounds and was used even in New Zealand by Harry Talbot Cowie (my grandfather) as a call in the bush to locate people.

During the reign of Robert the Good, (probably Robert the Bruce), an Earl of the family was attained, and his lands given to a widow who accused him of cruelty. Bruce had the earl of Mearns executed.

According to another source the name Cowie derives from the fief of Cuy or Cohy in Normandy. Sources register a Robert de Cui of Normandy in 1180 but whether or not they came with William the Conqueror is not clear. The Clan Fraser is mentioned also.

Mearns as an area reaches from Aberdeen to Kincardinshire to Loch Leven.

The five sons of the executed earl fled to the Border, and so our STORY OF COWIE begins as we know it today.

We have a CREST: A Falcon with outstretched wings standing on the stump of an Oak tree. A fresh green shoot grows from the stump.

Motto is: “Disgrace is worse Then Death.”

Or another version is
“Forget not a Kindness, Forgive not an injury.”

Yet Another version is “By the Favour of Heaven”
This last Motto sounds kindly and under God’s protection as I like to think we all are.


WILLIAM COW married AGNES OGILVY 27th Jul 1619 @ Fossoway And Tulliebole Kinross, Scotland

Their Children:

Son WILLIAM COWE christened 18th June 1620 @ Fossoway And Tulliebole, Kinross

Son JAMES COW christened 26th April 1626 Fossoway And Tulliebole Kinross, Scotland …..our ancestor.

Son ……George Cow

Son……Thomas Cow

Son……Henry Cow

Our COW, COWIE LINE now continues in a straight line of descent:

(First Marriage) JAMES COW (above) aged 17 years married MARGARET LISTER 1-6-1643 Cockburnspath Parish (near Berwick-on-Tweed)

(Second Marriage) JAMES COW aged 21 years married AGNES JAMIESON at Cocksburnspath.

Daughter ALISON COW christened 11-4-1647 @ Old Cambus Cockburnspath Parish (presume child died)

(Third Marriage) JAMES COW aged 23 years married JONET NISBET 30-10-1649 Cockburnspath Parish

(1) *ALISON COW christened 19-9-1650 @ Old Cambus Cockburnspath Parish

(2) *GEORGE COW christened 22-3-1653 same place and parish. GEORGE COW married ELIZABETH MILLAR 5-10-1683 Cocksburnspath Parish.
Their children:
JOHN COW….christened 28-10-1684 Old Cambus C.Parish
GEORGE COW……christened 13-3-1687 same parish etc.
ROBERT COW …..christened 29-7-1694 same parish etc

(3) *WILLIAM COW christened 27-1-1656 Old Cambus Cockburnspath Parish. WILLIAM COW married LILIAS or GRISSELL VERTIE or VERTY 6-1679 Cockburnspath Parish

Their children:

JAMES COW christened 1-10-1680 Old Cambus C.Parish
GEORGE COW christened 12-8-1683 same parish
ELIZABETH COW christened 18-1-1691 same parish

(Fourth Marriage) JAMES COW aged 36 years married AGNES CLERK 19-1-1662 (James of Cockburnspath Parish and Agnes of Chirnside her home parish)

Their Children:

JAMES COWE christened 27-1-1663 Cocksburnspath Parish….** (our forebear). Married AGNES JOHNSTONE 30-10-1691 Cockburnspath parish, daughter of Patrick Johnstoun and Marie Graham his wife

Their Children:

JOHN COW christened 30-12-1694 C. Parish

GEORGE COW Christened 1696, married MARY ROBERTSON 1714

JAMES COW christened 1699

WILLIAM COW christened 1700 (this child died)

WILLIAM COW (our forbear) christened 1702. WILLIAM COW married HELEN KER 9-10-1730, Helen Ker christened 12-8-1705 at Coldingham, Berwick area, daughter of Robert Ker and Margaret Watson his wife

Their children:

COW Female christened 2-10-1730 Cocksburnspath Parish

WILLIAM COWE christened 12-8-1731 at Head Chesters, Cockburnspath (the brother in the Retour Papers) Parents: William Cowe and Helen Ker (name changes to Cowe). WILLIAM COWE married MARGARET LAWSON 8-12-1786 at Dunbar, ELN, Scotland. Margaret Lawson born abt. 1757.

Their Children:
CATHERINE COWE born abt 1796 JOHN COWE born abt. 1798

ROBERT COWE son William Cowe and Helen Ker christened 2-9-1733 at Head Chesters, Cockburnspath

JAMES COWE (our forbear) son of William Cowe and Helen Ker christened 7-12-1736 at Headchesters, Cockburnspath. JAMES COWE married ISOBEL PAXTONE 28-12-1749 at Coldingham, Berwick. Isobel Paxtone daughter of THOMAS PAXTONE was christened 15-7-1722, at Edrom, Berwick

MARGARET COWE daughter of William Cowe and Helen Ker christened 17-6-1737 Cock Head, Cockburnspath Parish

JAMES COW and ISOBEL PAXTONE had the following children:

(1) JOHN COWE christened 4-3-1751 at Coldingham Parish. Married Jean or Jane Murray 1779 at Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland. Daughter of William Murray and Magdallen Sands, born 14-5-1752 Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian. (see Sands, Murray Page)

(2) WILLIAM COWE born 1755. William went to America

(3) ISOBEL COWE born 1760

(4) THOMAS COWE born 1762.

Thomas Cowe celebrated his Marriage

to Isabel Mack 19th June 1789 at Chirnside.

(a possibility that his brother John and his young son James attended this wedding. An old legal document states that James visited Chirnside as a lad).

(1) JAMES COWE…. (eldest) son of John and Jane (Jean) Cowe (above), born 23-3-1781, Christened 22-4-1781 Saint Luke Old Street, Finsbury, London. Surname becomes Cowie after this date.

JOHN COWIE died at Lea Bridge, Hackney January 1818

JEAN or JANE COWIE died at Lea Bridge, Hackney, March 1818

JAMES COWE (COWIE name changes on marriage) son of John Cowe Cowie and Jean or Jane Murray married CATHERINE LEDGIER or LEDGER at St Luke Old Street London, 13-8-1803. Catherine Ledgier, Ledger was the daughter of James Ledgier and Jane Billimore born 30-11-1783 at Purley, Berkshire, England.

Their Children are as follows:

HENRY CHARLES COWIE born 19-5-1804, Married 26-10-1850 JANE READ BLAKE, born 10-10-1818, daughter of John Alkin Blake and Elizabeth Stanley. Jane Read Blake Cowie. Died in Babbicombe Devon 31-12-1889. (my great grandfather or further details see below***). (ref. also Davis, Blake Family).

CHARLOTTE JANE FRANCES COWIE born 6-10-1805. Died 8-1-1864 aged 59 years.

CAROLINE or CATHERINE COWIE born 1807, died 21st November 1816

SARAH COWIE born 16-9-1808 died at 6 months

LOUSIA COWIE born 25-2-1810 baptised 19-3-1810. Died 18th May 1860 aged 50 years.

RICHARD VANDOME COWIE born 5-6-1812 baptised 7-7-1812. Married in 1831, Ann Alkin Blake born 31st August 1813, daughter of John Alkin Blake and Elizabeth Stanley. Died 4-3-1873 aged 60 years. (ref: also Davis, Blake Family)

ELIZA MURRAY COWIE born 9-5-1816 married John Jones 12-1-1848.
Died 8-1-1904 aged 89 years.

MARGARET COWIE born 18-5-1817 married 6-1-1844 Reginald George Hamblyn Mootham, died 19-10-1861 aged 44 years.

EDWARD COWIE born 28-11-1818 baptised 10-1-1819, married about 1850, believed to have died abroad.

UN-NAMED CHILD born 1819 lived a few hours only

GEORGE COWIE born 5-9-1820 died aged 9 years

STILLBORN born 1822

FREDERICK COWIE born 8-9-1823 baptised 5-10-1823 married Amelia Head 29-4-1861 died 28-12-1898 aged 73 years

ELLEN or HELEN COWIE born 30-12-1826 baptised 31-1-1827 married William Holmes Longman (his 2nd wife) 13-2-1866, died 15-5-1884 aged 58 years


DAVID MURRAY COWIE born 9-4-1829 baptised 6-5-1829, died 15-9-1849 aged 20 years

(Noted above*** continued)

HENRY CHARLES COWIE and JANE READ BLAKE his wife had the following children:

(1) Catherine Jane Cowie born 23rd Sept 1851. died 1938. Married 1876… Roger Cunliffe Fenton, died 2nd March 1919:

Their Children:
(1) (1) Infant lived a few hours
(1) (2) Joseph Handel Fenton born 26th Feb 1877
(1) (3) John born 1878
(1) (4) Katherine Maud born 1880, married Harold Fisher… (Children) …..(1).. Katherine,… ( married Laurie Richardson), (2)..Dorothy, … (married John Ellis),… (3)…Richard,…. married……?
(1) (5) Florence… born at Stoke in Teignhead, Newton Abbot, Devon, on 4th October 1881. After becoming a Catholic; Florence entered the convent. She joined the Daughters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy a Dutch order of Nuns,… on 10th August 1912. Her religious name was Sister M. St. Francis of Assisi,
She is buried at St. Clare’s Convent, Pantasaph, Flintshire, North Wales, where she died in 1949.
(1) (6) Sarah born 1884. Mrs Styan? daughter ……Suzanne Styan, educated at St Clare’s Convent Pantasaph, Nth Wales. (last known in Hong Kong)
(1) (7) Rose born 1891

(1) (8) Christine …….married Francis de Blois Rowe. They lived at Dartmoor. Christine and Francis had three daughters. I used to write to Joan de Blois Rowe a schoolteacher who lived at Tavistock. Her two sisters were married and living in Germany. Joan’s neices used often to visit her. Hope someone may make contact with me again!

(2) Harriet Cowie born St. Pancras 1852 died 1855

(3) Florence Margaret Cowie born 9th June 1853 Married1882 Edwin Edsall Glyde born 1849

Their Children:

Edwin Glyde born 1883 died 1883
David Gerard Glyde born 1885 died 1919
Charles Talbot Glyde born 1887 died 1936
Janet Katherine Glyde born 1888 died 1958 wife of Henry Stelfox Rocky Mountain House Alberta Canada.
Agnes Mary Glyde born 1890 died 1947
Hilda Elizabeth Glyde born 1892 died 1967
Kenneth Edwin Glyde born 1894 died 1982
The only child who married was Janet who married Henry Stelfox.

(4) HENRY TALBOT COWIE son of Henry Charles Cowie and his wife Jane Read Blake born 26th May 1855 at Highgate, London. Married 20-5-1892 at Upokongaro, Wanganui, New Zealand to
born 15-4-1858 at Kooringa South Australia, daughter of CHARLES WILLIAM Cowper and his wife ANNIE ELIZA KELLY. (see ref: Cowper Family)

Their children:
(1) ADELAIDE JANE COWIE (aunty Della) born 21-7-1894, died at Christchurch, 1969. Married ALBERT JOHN STEWART son of William Francis Stewart, Master Mariner and Mary Wilson his wife

Their children:

Gladys Hazel Marguerite Stewart born 1921, died 14th March 1961. Gladys Married Norman Murdoch. Gladys also Married William Lloyd George Marshall No children

Douglas Charles Stewart born 1-1-1923 at Nelson. Doug married Faith Anne Davidson, daughter of James Davidson and his wife Alice Gertrude Forster, at Christchurch,……10-1-1959. Doug served in the Airforce Squad 490 NZ Sunderland. Doug died at Christchurch NZ. 3-4-2003. Living descendants.

William Stewart born September 1926 at Nelson. Bill married Aurelia Hutchings in Nelson. Bill died in Christchurch March 2006. Living descendants.

(2) CHARLES TALBOT COWIE born at Harrison Street, Wanganui, New Zealand 14-1-1896. Died 1-10-1984 at Hokitika. Married 19-9-1934 at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Greymouth. MARY HOGAN born at Awatuna Hokitika 19-1-1898 daughter of Kieran Hogan and his wife Margaret Callanan. (see ref: Hogan, Horan Families)

Their Children: Living Descendants.

(3) FLORENCE ANNIE COWIE (aunty Nancy) born Wanganui 19-1-1901

Married 18-4-1942 at Christchurch


and his wife Edith Jane Garner. No children.

Aunty Nancy died July 2002 and is buried with Bill in the old Stafford Cemetery, Hokitika area. She was 99 years of age.


11 Responses to my family tree – cowie

  1. Carole O'Hare says:

    Hello, I am researching a Frank St John Mootham, whom I believeto be an ancestor of yours.
    The reason for my interest is due to the fact, that Frank married the sister of my GGrandfather, her name was Eliza Preston, born approx 1840 married for the 1st time to a Joseph Knowlden, she then married Frank in 1892.
    Have you any info on the mootham family you could share with me, i would be most grateful if you have as I would like to know all about this family. Best Wishes Carole

  2. Mary Dawson says:

    Yes Frank St John Mootham was the son of Margaret Cowie and Reginald George Hamlyn Mootham. Margaret Cowie was my gt. grandfather’s sister. I have other details if you like to email me Carole.

  3. George Richardson says:

    There is a story in the Daily Mail (11th March 2011) about a young girl aged 11 called Victoria Cowie.

    ‘Girl aged 11 who id brighter than Einstein and Hawkins’ is the headline.

    Hope this is of some use.


    George Richardson

  4. Mary says:

    Thanks George for the interesting story.
    Love and best wishes to Victoria Cowie and her remarkable gifts.
    Proud to be a Cowie too!!

  5. Peter Howat says:

    Very interesting family tree Mary.

    I believe Nancy Merewether was related to my family via Amy Godfrey (Jamison) my grandmother?
    I met Nancy in 1979 when I was in Hokitika for a few months whilst staying with my parents (Olga and Alan – I think they knew you) when I returned from the USA.

    I am also very interested in our family history and am trying to find out more about our family on the West Coast from 1866. Keith and Judith Ross have compiled the Howat family tree from this time.

  6. David Cowe says:

    My name is David Cowe, I live in Peterhead , North East Scotland I found your site very interesting
    I have also done a lot of research into the name Cow/Cowe/Cowie I tried to send an email to but it came back unsent………….if I could get the email set up I can forward email to you……….thanks David Cowe

  7. Caroline Cowie says:

    Hi there. My grandfather was John Desmond Cowie. Do you know his name and family history?

  8. S.R.Nason Canada says:

    My grandmother was Elizabeth ann Cowie,the second daughter of David Cowie. His parents we r James Cowie and Isabel Donaldson. I am lost after that. David was born in New Brunswick Canada. S.R. Nason

  9. shelley webster says:

    hi, my gmother was rose mabel cowie 1890-1960 d of geo wm cowie and rebecca duncan; am looking for any info on them? related? thanks in advance, shelley

  10. Hank Nason says:

    Hi I an Hank Nason from New Brunswick Canada. In my line there is a David B Cowie apparently born in Scotland in 1836. He had a daughter here in New Brunswick Canada born in 1868 who married my Grandfather Everett Nason on my mothers side. David had a big family. I have Davids parents as James Cowie (1803) and Isabel Donaldson both of Scotland. Maybe you can make some connections. Thanks, HankNason

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