My Cowen/Cowing ThruLines

My Massachusetts genealogy has two sides. One side is my Pilgrim ancestors and the other side is my non-Pilgrim ancestors:

My great-grandmother Annie Louisa Snell was the source of my Massachusetts heritage. Her maternal side was the non-pilgrim ancestry and the bottom side or maternal side of the tree above was the Pilgrim ancestry lead off my Harvey Bradford.

DNA/Genealogy Trees

Looking through my files I see these Trees:

  • Snell
  • Parker
  • Hatch
  • Bradford
  • Hathaway

What I don’t see for trees:

  • Luther
  • Churchill
  • Cowing

I would like to update my old trees and add trees where necessary. The last time I started looking at this subject, I looked at Hathaway and realized I had a lot of people in that tree and more to add. This time, I would like to look at Luther, Churchill and Cowing.


I know this name from my home town as Cowen. However, the more historical spelling is Cowing or Cowin. I don’t recall writing about any ThruLines for Cowing. Here are some from Joyce, my father’s first cousin:

Joyce and my family are under Experience Cowing. Joyce has no additional ThruLines under Israel Cowing, but she has three ThruLines through Jonathan and Patience Cowing. First, I’ll loo at Christine:

This has happened before. When I choose Kristine from the ThruLines and then check her common ancestors, I come out with a different line. I am curious to see if the Cowen connection is correct.

Here is Kristen’s paternal side from her own tree:

Here is the family in Middleborough, MA in 1930:

Philip was a chauffer for the Town. Philip was born in Westport, but his birth record shows that his father was born in Mattapoisett:

Here is Philip and his father Sanford and family in Westport, MA in 1900:

Sandford was a farmer.

Here is my tree for Kristine:

Mattapoisett became a Town in 1857, the year before Sanford was born. I just need to show that the Ruth above was Ruth Cowen.

Here is the 1865 Census for Mattapoisett:

Findagrave shows this for Ruth:

My tree now suggests that Kristine does go back to Seth Cowen:

My understanding is that Kristine should be a 5th cousin to Joyce. So that is a little closer than the 5th cousin once removed on the Hathaway side. The DNA match would be either from the Cowen side or the Hathaway side. There is no easy way of knowing.

A First Cowen DNA/Genealogy Tree

That line was relatively easy to trace as the family stayed fairly local.

Helen and Joyce

The next family is fun because it involves a genealogy friend, Helen, who lives down the street from me:

If I can show that Helen matches  Joyce by DNA, it gives creedence to our genealogical research. I trust Helen’s research, so feel no need to evaluate it. Here is her tree:

Helen’s line goes to Seth Cowing Hiller, then to Patience Cowing and then to our most recents common ancestors, Seth Cowing and Penelope Crapo.

I’ll add Frances and Helen to the Tree:

A few interesting things about this tree:

  • These three lines represent three Cowing children born within about 4 years
  • These families mostly stayed in the same part of Massachusetts for about 300 years and if you look at the Mayflower ancestors, that would have our families here for 400 years, so we have deep roots in this part of SE Massachusetts.

Jon and Shaun

My sister Heidi and I have no Cowing ThruLines from Seth Cowing, but my brother Jon has one:

Shaun has a modest tree, but has more on his maternal side. I don’t have a tree for Shaun, so I will create one. Shaun does show that his maternal great-grandfather was from New Bedford:

This obituary ties Stacey Smith to Francis Swift:

Francis was born in Utah and wed in Wyoming:

Here is the 1930 Census for Salt Lake City:

Here is my tree so far:

I forgot to mention, that when I look at the specific match for Jon and Shaun, a Hathaway connection shows up. It is likely that Jon and Shaun are connected on both lines:

This comes up now because there is a Hathaway in Shaun’s Line.

The marriage record for Francis and Amanda has a lot of information:

This has Francis born in Sandwich rather than New Bedford. It also has their parents’ names.  Here is a tree update:

Where Hattaway is likely a transcription error for Hathaway.

Here is the book transcription of the marriage of Nathan Swift and Pamelia Cowing:

And here is her birth record:

So it is pretty clear where this is going as Israel is the son of Seth Cowing.

Here I have the connection between my brother Jon and Shaun:

I did not check out the Hathaway connection, but that one is likely also. That means, that it is unclear as to whether the actual DNA that Jon and Shaun share are from the Hathaway side or Cowing side.

Lori and Gretchen

I see that my sister Lori has a potential Cowing connection with Gretchen:

The good news is that I already have Matthew Hiller in my tree, so I just need to get Gretchen back to Matthew instead of to the colonial Seth Cowing. I am having trouble finding Seth from the information that Gretchen has:

Gretchen has that Seth died in New York City. I found this draft card:

The only problem is that the tree I got this from has Seth’s wife as Grace Appel:

Gretchen’s tree suggests a Webster as the wife.

Looking at Helen’s ThruLines

I thought of another way to substantiate Gretchen. I have access to Helen’s ThruLines:

Clearly, Gretchen has a large match to Helen and is related. Here is Helen’s tree:

The other three that show as children of Matthew Hiller could not be from Beuretta Webster Hammon if Helen’s tree is right as Beuretta dies in 1880.

Here is the family in 1900:

Charles is apparently out of the house, but George, David and Jennie from Helen’s ThruLines are there. This seems to be a good enough of a connection for me.

I’ll add Gretchen to the tree:

Gretchen and my brother Jon are 5th cousins once removed.

My sister Lori also matches Gretchen. Also my sister Sharon matches Shaun.

Cousin Maury’s ThruLines

My father’s cousin Maury has also tested at Ancestry. He has these ThruLines to Cowing:

Maury and my family are under Experience Cowing. The Hiller family is under Patience Cowing. Here are Maury’s ThruLines on the Hiller side:

Maury and P.S.

Since I last wrote, I see another ThruLine for Maury. It is on a different Cowing Line that I would like to investigate:

Mary is the oldest child of Seth Cowing on the ThruLines. Mary is on my tree. She must have married Philipp Briggs:

We are trying to go from the Wing back to the Nye family:

Here is Addie’s birth record from 1864 in Sandwich:

Addie’s father, George B. was a butcher.

Here is the family in 1870:

Next, I just need to find George’s mother. George’s death record gives his mother’s name and birthplace:

Here the Cowing Tree is filling out:


This is not as far as I could go, but it is as far as I would like to go for now.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was able, with not too much difficulty, to pretty good Cowing DNA/Genealogy Tree thanks to my father’s cousins Joyce and Maury and my brother Jon
  • In some cases the common ancestors also came up as Hathaway. That is probably partly because my ancestor Experience Cowing married Joseph Hathaway. However, the matches would have had to have had Hathaways in their ancestry also
  • In other cases where Hathawy did not show up in the ThruLine matches, I assume that Hathaway ancestry was not there in the DNA match – at least during the time period that we are looking at.
  • I am ready to move on to more DNA/Genealogy Trees



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