Gow

from: William Brackett at:

brackettwilliam@yahoo.com

In Scotland there was a clan by the name of Gow. This clan can be traced to Perthshire in the 1700s and back to Nithsdale Scotland to the Macgowan clann. Gow is derived from the Gaelic work “Gobha” meaning a blacksmith or armoire and may be a shortened form of Mc Gowan which means son of the blacksmith. This clan was under the jurisdiction of Clann Chattan and the Clan MacPhearson and can be traced to about 1390 in Perthshire. There is an established Gow Family Tartan and a Gow Hunting Tartan. The tartan can be seen at the web site

http://www.house-of-tartans.scotland.net/clan/connect.htm

In a book by James Fairbairn, Fairbairn's Book Of Crests Of The Families Of Great Britain And Ireland published in Baltimore in 1968 by the Heraldic Book Company, he describes the family crest for Gow in Scotland. He said it is a "hand holding an escallop". He shows a diagram of it on plate 216, diagram # 2. It is a wrist and hand stretched strait up holding a large scallop shell by its scalloped edge.

W. G. Stewart wrote a book called Lectures On The Mountains or The Highlands and Highlanders As They Were and As They Are published by Saunders, Otley and Co. London England 1860. In chapter VII he deals with the origin of the name of Gow. He relates the story of a "judicial combat" which took place on the "North Inch of Perth" Scotland in the year 1396. This combat was between the clan MacPherson "properly the clan Chattan" and the clan Dai, a branch of the Clann Chattan known as the Davidsons of Invernahaven. He relates "a diminutive and crooked, but fierce man, named Henry Wynd, a burgher of Perth, and an armourer by trade, sprung within the barricades, exclaiming ' Here am I, will any one fee me to engage with these hirelings, in this stage-play. For half a merk ... I will play the game.' The demand of the Gwon Crom or crooked smith, according to Bower, the historian, was readily granted by the king and nobles, and the awful drama proceeded. The armourer, bending his bow, by an arrow killed one of the opposite part, on which he drew aside, which being observed by Clan Chattan's captain, he asked him his reason for thus stopping. 'Because,' says Wynd, 'I have killed my man, and earned my wages.' The captain exclaimed, 'the man who keeps no reconing of his good deeds, without reckoning, he shall be paid.' ' amfear nach cuntash vum cha chunda mirish' on which the Gown Crom (crooked smith), in the multiplied deaths of his opponents, earned a sum exceeding, by many times, the original stipulation." The battle continued and the Macphersons were finally victorious "but not until twenty-nine of the Davidsons had yeilded up the ghost." There were also nineteen of the Macpherson Clan killed and "the remaining eleven, with the exception of Gown Crom, who was excellent as a swordsman, mainly contributed to the result were grievously wounded." Perth being a civilized community disapproved of Gown Crom's actions. It became "expedient for him 'to flit and remove himself, his wife, bairns, goods, and gear' to another scene of operations." It is believed he settle between the "wilds of Strathavon" to a place known as "Lecht Ghown" and had a "smithy, in the shape of a largeflat stone." He repaired arms for the adjacent counties. "Ultimately, he removed to a locality situted about a mile north of Tomintoul, still called Croft Gown." Stewart says "it is believed he was the progenitor of numerous descendants, who fulfilled the primitive command, and under the cognomers of Gow, in Gaelic, and Smith in English have waxed a numerous, infuential, and wealthy sept in the countries of Strathavon, Glenlivat, Glerinnes and neighbouring localities." I have seen this Henry Wynd referenced as Henry Gow known as "Hal o' the Wynd".

In chapter IX Stewart gives an account of Thomas Gow. "Thomas Gow, a native of Tomintoul or its immediate neighbourhood, born about the year 1780, and who departed this life in the course of the last year (1859), claims our notice as a remarkable man, both as a warrior and as a man of genius." He goes on to describe, Thomas Gow, "His face, of an oval, somewhat Milesian or Irish cast, with bushy black hair and swarthy complexion, was by no means an index to the genius which burned within the unimpassioned exterior. His person, short and squat, also possessed nothing to attract the attention or interest the feelings or fancies of his fellows, male or female. Born in the locality where the Gown Crom and his progeny, the ancestor it is said of the Gows of the country, multiplied and replenished the earth" ... . Stewart says "he contracted a matrimonial engagement with a Lowland lassie, which however Thomas considered as only binding on one of the parties; for leaving his spouse in her native place, he spared her the trouble of following a military life, consenting to receive from her periodical visits of such duration as might be convenient, both while in the army and after he returned to the plough,".

Stewart relates a story Thomas Gow told him, "I can tell you a better story than that in what happened to myself a good many years ago. Since I was a boy I had a propensity for catching fish, from the minnow to the salmon, and though I should not say it, I was as expert an angler and fisher as most folks. But of all fishing sports there is none equal to the spearing of salmon, either in day-time or at night with the blaze or torch-light. It is a sport of which the grouse-shooting or deer-stalking Saxons have not as yet tasted the glories. Well I got a very proper spear of five prongs and barbs, made for myself, set in a shaft of rowan tree, fourteen feet in length, for day fishing in the Avon. Well, it is an odd thing in natural history, that when nature is dying and Autum fruits and leaves strew every field, the fishes choose it as the season sow their seeds, no doubt for good and sufficient reasons, known to the though not to us; and the sear and yellow season of the year was, in olden times, a happy season of the spearsman and night-fisher in every river and brook. For which of us has not enjoyed, more or less the exciting joys of following the flaring torch, reflecting its beams on the crystal stream, and seeing the fish gently sidling towards the ignis fatuus, till under the shadow of the spear...and then the stroke, the splash, and the capture. Well, I was alive and on the scent. A freshet had occured, I knew that the fish, leaping over the wires and cruives of the Spey, would be on their way to their native stream to deposit their ova, and I was on the watch. Taking a step down the way of Craigchalky one day, with spear on shoulder, I espied in the pool below a very large fish. Stealing gentley along the margin if the pool, trailing my insrument behind me, I came within stroke of my prey. Raising my spear, I extended my bending shaft till the instrument covered the shoulder of the fish, when I struck with all my might and main, and by the soft sound of the spear I knew I had hit my mark; but the force of my blow and the uncertainty of my footing played me a 'pilsky.' Obeying the laws of gravitation, I found myself in a grave situation, soused over head and ears in the deep pool, with the shaft of my spear broken in twain. On recovery of my feet and emerging from the pool, great was my mortification to see my expected prize scudding down the stream, at least I saw a stump of the shaft sticking out of the water, and I had no doubt the fish and spear were on their way to the sea, for which all sea fishes always make as for a great hospital when wounded, and I had no doubt my friend if Craigchalky did not much relish the keepsake I had given him. But quits we could not be, though I wished, as the song says, 'we never had met.' From the nature of the ground it was vain for me attempt a pursuit, and while the fish pursued his way to his home in the deep, I pursued mine to my own, neither of us, I take it, very well pleased with our adventure. Well another year glided on, and another year was numbered with the past and another spawning season had arrived which found me in possession of another spear, not less ponderous and effective than the lost one. One day while taking observations at my old stance of Craigchalky, what was my surprise to see a stick with a red tassel appended to the top, pursuing a zig-zag course of progression up the river, contrary to the practice of sticks in general, which take an opposite direction. I had no doubt resting on my mind that the stick was the appendage of a living agent of some sort, and I was resolved to be at the bottom of the mystery. Waiting my opportunity till the stick was in a convenient situation, I raised my spear, striking home with all my might I heard a grating sound, as if one iron had come contact with another; and immediately a large fish splashed violently under my spear. Learning wisdom from experience, I dropped my spear, having a strong, stout shaft attached to it, and making my way to the tail of the pool I watched the fish, no doubt on his way to the sea to undergo a second sure, and seizing both shafts I trailed a fish of some thirty pounds weight to the bank, having transfixed in his body both my spears, the lost one not much the worse for tear and wear. But what was most extraordinary was the fact, that the broken shaft had formed new sprouts at the top, on which had grown a tuft of ripe, red rowan berries! Such are the wonders of the world, and such are the facts of my fishing story, showing the truth of the old adage, that 'facts are sometimes more strange than fiction.' "

In the book titled Early Records Of The University of St. Andrews, transcribed and edited by James Maitland Anderson and published by Edinburgh University Press for the Scottish History Society in 1926 there is a reference to a Christopher Gow. He is listed in the "Matriculation Rolls" of the University in 1579. The record is for the College of Leonardo. His Rector was "Magistri Jacobi Wilkie, Primarii Collegii Leonardini, anno 1578". Since these records cover the years 1413-1579 it is not known if he graduated or not as he is only listed on that one year. Being in a University during this time period is amazing in itself whether he graduated or not.

In the book Genealogical Collections Concerning Families in Scotland, Made by Walter MacFarlane 1750-1751 edited by James Clark and published by University Pree, Edinburgh in 1900 there is a reference to Thomas Gow who was a notary public in a case of bond of Alexander MacRonald of Garrochy, Scotland on 25 Feb 1588.

In the book Highland Papers, Volume I, edited by J. R. N. MacPhail and published by University Press, Edinburgh in 1914 there are references to a Rorie Gow. “The names of Soldiers Schipped be the laird of M’nachtane in george massones Schip at Lochkilcherane, beginning the 11th day of december 1627 Rorie gow” amongst others.

In the book, Records Of The Presbyteries Of Inverness and Dingwall 1643-1688 by William Mackay, published by the University Press in Edinburgh in 1896 for the Scottish History Society one can find the reference to a divorce of John and Isabell (Gow) McCurchie on Sept. 2, 1679. The record reads; That day “compeired” before the Presbetery John McCurchie in the Parish of Dingwall, “regrateing” the undutiful and unchristian carriage of Isobell Gow his married wife, and representing that not withstanding of the frequent endeavors used by the session on Dingwall for making the said Isabell Gow adhere to and “cohabite” with him, she did willfully insist to desert his company and refused to cohabit with him. And in regard that Mr. John McCra, Minister at Dingwall, declared that they were referred from the Session to the Presbetery, the foresaid Isabell being summonded was cited, and compeired, and being asked why she refused to live with her husband, she answered that she had conceived such an aversion for him ever since the time of the soleminization of that marriage that she could not obtain of herself to love him or live with him. And being further asked (after the sinfullness of her said confessed aversion was represented to her) if she has resolved and would promise for the future to cohabit and live with her husband, she would never make any satisfactory declaration of her intentions nor give any assurance or promise (as the Presbytery required of her) that she would in aftertimes behave according to her duty, and live with her husband. And therefore the Presbytery judged it “meet” that the foresaid John McCurchie request to recommend him to the Judge ordinary for obtaining a divorce, and appointed your clerk to give the extract of this your act to the said John McCurchie after ten days were expired if he should be advertised by Mr. John McCra that the foresaid Isabell Gow would not (within that time) condescend to live with her husband, as the Presbytery exhorted her to do.


One of the more infamous members of this clan was a John Gow born about 1698, the son of a wealthy merchant from Wick in Caithness, Scotland. John Gow grew up in the Orkney town of Stromness and as soon as he was old enough he ran away to the sea. Orkney is a group of islands in the north of Scotland. In 1725 John Gow lead a mutiny on board the ship "George". John Gow apparently murdered Captain Ferneau while some of his men dispatched other members of the crew. After taking command of this vessel they sailed about pirating others. After a few months they sailed for the Orkneys in Scotland. Some of the captive crew escaped and reported the whole affair. Gow and his men were arrested and taken to England for trial. On Wednesday 26 May 1725 they were found guilty. The sentence of death was imposed and they were to be "pressed to death". On 11 June (1725) (John) Gow the Captain; (James) Williams the Lieutenant; (Peter) Rawlings the Gunner; (James) Belvin the Boatswain; Daniel MacCawly; John Peterson; John Winter; and William Melvin were executed at Execution Dock in Wapping, England. A few days later Alexander Rob was also executed for this crime as he was found guilty of accepting "one of their prizes". The way the account reads it appears that after being pressed to death John Gow and James Williams were "hanged in chains". John Gow became known as "The Pirate of Orkney". His reputation was such the Daniel Defoe wrote his biography. It is also said he was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's novel The Pirate.

Note: John Gow was also known as John Smith, Smith being the English version of the Gaelic name Gow.

In 1707, the Scottish and English parliaments passed an Act of Union. The act joined Scotland, England and Wales as one kingdom, the United Kingdom of Great Britian. After the union many Highland Scots remained loyal to the House of Stuart. They were called Jacobites. In 1715 the Jacobites rebelled against English rule. This rebellion was crushed. In 1745 the Highlanders revolted again. The Highlanders were lead by "Bonnie Prince Charlie", Charles Edward Stuart. They easily defeated the English troops in Scotland and then marched into England. In 1746 they were defeated at the battle on Culloden Moore. As a result of this rebellion the English executed many clan chiefs. They also disarmed the Highlanders and outlawed kilts and bagpipes. These restrictions were removed in 1782.

In the book, A List Of Persons Concerned In The Rebellion 1745-46 with preface by The Earl Of Rosebery, published by the University Press in Edinburgh in 1890 for the Scottish History Society one can find five persons by the name of Gow. The "lists of rebells transmitted to the Commissioners of Excise by several Supervisors of Excise in Scotland in obedience to a general letter of the 7th May 1746" contains:

From the "Aberdeen District", William Gow a "Salmond Fisher" residing in "Don Bridge" in the parish of "Old Machar" and his act of rebellion was that he "Carried Arms at Culloden" and his whereabouts were "unknown".

From the "Elgine District", Alexander Gow residing in "Ruthven" and his act of rebellion was that he "also a private man in the said Army & Insulted the country people" and he was living "at home".

From the "Dundee District", Donald Gow a "Workman" residing in "Petewan" in the parish of "Lintrethen" in the county of "Angus" and his act of rebellion was " Being pressed carried Arms with the Rebels, deserted at Carlisle & has submitted to mercy" and he was living "at home".

From the "Dundee District", John Gow a "Servant to Aldie" residing at "Auchter Gaven" in the parish of "Auchtergaven" in the county of "Angus" and his act of rebellion was "Carried Arms as a volunteer in the Rebel Army during the whole Rebellion" and he was living "near home".

From "Edinburgh and Precincts", Thomas Gow a "Shoemaker" residing at "Potteraw" in the parish of "Canongate Edinburgh" in the county of "Mid Lothian" and his act of rebellion was "Carried Arms as a Rebel Hussar" and his whereabouts were "unknown".

In the book A Selection of Scottish Forfeited Estates Papers 1715; 1745 edited by A. H. Millar and published by University Press, Edinburgh in 1909 there is a reference to Donald Gow. Donald Gow is referred to as “smith in Kunloch Rannoch” in Scotland. He had settled at “Whit. 1770”. He made this petition as he was not making a living by what he charged and wanted to raise his rates to “two pecks bear out of every plough” so he could then make a living.

In the book Highland Papers, Volume II edited by J. R. N. MacPhail and published by University Press, Edinburgh in 1916 there are references to a few by the Gow name. These references have to do with the rental of the Seaforth Estates and is dated “ye Twenty-sixth day of Aprile 1726, att Stornoway.” In Shabost in the parish of Cladach there was a Kennith Gow. In Swanibose in the parish of Ness there was a Neil Gow and also a William McNiel-Ghow. In Erobie in the parish of Ness there was a Donald McNeil-Ghow. In Plock in the parish of Lochalsh there was a John Gow. In Inerchorain in the parish of Contine there was a Donald Gow.

The History of Crieff Scotland by Alexander Porteous, published by Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier in Edinburgh in 1912 has mentions of the following by the Gow name. There was in Crieff a "famed green field called 'Gow's Meadow'. A family of the name of Gow had for many years been in possession of this field rent free, and an old hunch-back cow belonging to them had for long had monopoly of the grazing. One of the last owners of this field was James Gow, who in youth had driven cattle to Smithfield Market. He returned to Scotland by sea, but before reaching his native land he was wrecked on the coast of Holland. When he did return to Crieff this adventure furnished him with material for tales during the remainder of his life, and from it he obtained the nickname of 'Coasts'".

A military discharge is also recorded for John Gow:

"G. (Royal Arms) R.

His Majesty's Western Regiament of Royal Perthshire Local Militia

Whereof Lieut. Col. Sir Patrick Murray is Commandant

These are to certify that the bearer hereof, John Gow, Privat in Captain Drummonds Company of the aforesaid Regiment, born in the Parish of Monivaird and county of Perth aged 30 years, and by trade a Shoemaker, hath served honestly and faithfully in the the said Regiment, for the space of Four years; but having completed his Four Years Service for which he was Enrolled, he is hereby discharged, having first received all just demands of Pay, Cloathing, etc. from his entry into the said Regiments, to the date of this Discharge, as appears by his Receipt on the back hereof.

Given under my hand, and the Seal of the

Regiment, at Head Quarters Crieff, this

9 day of January 1813.

Pat Murray

Lt. Col. C dt


The following appears on the back of the above:

I, John Gow, do acknowledge that I have received all my Cloathing, Pay, Arrears of Pay, and all demands whatever, from the time of my Enrollment in the Regiment and Company mentioned on the other side, to the Present day of my Discharge, as Witness my hand, this 9 day of Januaery 1813.

John Gow"

In this same book there is also mention of the fact that Neil Gow (the renowned fiddle player) played in a "large hall in the old Drummond Arms Inn". It says he "Neil Gow for long was the leading musician, and several of his most popular reels and strathspeys such as 'Miss Dummond of Perth' were written for these assemblies and played at them by him with great vigour and enthusiasm."

Also mentioned is Peter Gow who "was born in King Street about 1820. His father being a shoemaker, he at first learned that trade, but afterwards entered the employment of Mr. Muir, coal agent at Stirling; and when the Crieff Junction Railway was opened, Mr. Muir appointed him his agent at Crieff. He conducted this business for many years, finally retiring on a pension about 1892. For twenty-seven years he was a member of the Town Council, being latterly twice elected a Bailie. He was also a J. P. (Justice of the Peace). He was one of the original members of the Crieff Debating Society in 1848. When he retired from Town Council in 1898 he was presented with his portrait, while Mrs, Gow was made the recipient of a gold brooch. At the Disruption he threw in his lot with the Free Church, of which he was an elder for many years. He died on 12th February 1903, aged eighty-two."


Two notable members of this clan were Neil Gow (1727-1809) the "Prince of Scottish Fiddlers" and his son Nathaniel Gow (1766-1831) also a fiddler. Neil Gow was born at Inver, Dunkeld, Scotland on 22 Mar 1727 where he died on 01 Mar 1809. He had four sons, all of whom were violinists and composers: William Gow who died in 1791, Andrew Gow who died in 1803, John Gow who died in London on 22 Nov 1826 and the youngest Nathaniel Gow who was born at Inver on 28 May 1766 and died at Edinburgh on 19 Jan 1831. Nathaniel was the most distinguished musician of the family.

Included in the 98th Argyllshire Higlanders, 1794, were a William Gow and a John Gow. There is a Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Stirling Castle in Stirling, Scotland.

There was a Peter Gow who was born in Abberuchal,Parish of Comrie, Perthshire Scotland on 03 Dec 1775. He married Helen Gow? on 26 Mar 1803. Peter Gow was the son of Daniel Gow and Catherine McEwen. Peter and Helen Gow had children:

Helen Gow christened 01 May 1804

Peter Gow christened 18 Mar 1810

James Gow christened 08 Mar 1812

Catherine Gow christened 02 Mar 1816

There was a Robert Gow who married Margaret Wilson on 04 Jul 1788 in Abbey (Paisley), Renfrew, Scotland. Their children were:

John Gow b 24 May 1789 in Renfrew

Margaret Gow b. 21 Nov 1790 in Renfrew

Jean Gow b. 19 Aug 1792 in Renfrew

George Gow b 14 Sep 1794 in Renfrew

Robert Gow b. 23 Oct 1796 in Renfrew

*Alexander Gow b. 20 Jan 1799 Renfrew

Elizabeth Gow b. 29 Nov 1801 in Renfrew

Andrew Gow b. 06 May 1804 in Renfrew

James Gow b. 13 Apr 1806 in Renfrew

Mary Gow b. 14 Aug 1808 in Renfrew


Note: There is a notation that Alexander’s mother was Margaret Nilson someone must have mis-spelled Wilson ? *This is the Alexander Gow who was in New York by about 1830.

Robert Gow's father was Walter Gow who was born 03 Oct 1734. Walter Gow married Isobell Hutchinson. I have not found a listing of their children other than Robert.

Walter Gow's father was Robert Gow who married Margaret Buchanan. Their children were:

Walter Gow b. 1734 in Drymen, Stirling, Scotland

Alexander Gow b. 1737 in Barony, Lanark?

Robert Gow b. 15 Aug 1739 in Drymen

Margaret Gow b. 05 Jul 1742 in Drymen

Isobel Gow b. 02 Apr 1745 in Drymen

Jean Gow b. 25 Apr 1746 in Drymen

John Gow b. 28 jul 1748 in Drymen

James Gow b. 16 Jun 1754 in Drymen

There was an Alexander Gow who married Margaret Neilson. They lived in Glasgow. Their children were:

John Gow b. 10 Sep 1792 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland

Robert Gow b. 1794 in Glasgow

John Gow b.1796 in Glasgow (twin with Walter)

Walter Gow b. 1796 in Glasgow (twin with John) d. before 1799

Alexander Gow b. 12 Sep 1797 Glasgow

Walter Gow b. 17 Jul 1799 Glasgow

William Gow b. 1802 in Glasgow

Alexander Gow b. 1804 in Glasgow

Ann Gow b. 1806 in Glasgow

Archibald Gow b. 1807 in Glasgow



There was a George Gow who married Janet Campbell. Their child was:

George Gowe b. 03 Jun 1795 Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland

There was a Walter Gow who married Marion McFarlane on 02 Jun 1800 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. Their children were:

Jean Gow b. 1801 in Glasgow

William Gow b. 1802 in Glasgow

James Gow b. 1807 in Glasgow

Robert Gow b. 30 Dec 1809 Glasgow

Mary Gow b. 1812 in Glasgow

John Gow b. 1815 in Glasgow

Archibald Gow b. 1820 in Glasgow

Alexander Gow b. 1824 in Glasgow

There was a John Gow who married Mary Currie. Their children were:

James Gow b. 1796 in Renfrew, Scotland

Jean Gow b. 1797 in Renfrew

Mary Gow b. 1799 in Renfrew

John Gow b. 1801 in Renfrew

Janet Gow b. 1803 in Renfrew

Peter Gow b. 06 Oct 1805 Port Glasgow, Renfrew, Scotland

Agnes Gow b. 1809 in Renfrew

David Gow b. 1811 in Renfrew

There was a Robert Gow who married Jean Buchanan on 04 Feb 1786 in Drymen, Stirling, Scotland. Their children were:

Ann Gow b. 1786 in Drymen

Walter Gow b. 1787 in Drymen d. before 1797

Robert Gow b. 1789 in Drymen

William Gow b. 1790 in Drymen

John Gow b. 18 Aug 1792 Drymen

James Gow b. 03 Jul 1794 Drymen

Alexander Gow b. 13 Sep 1796 Drymen

Walter Gow b. 1797in Drymen

There was an Alexander Gow who married Janet Steven. Their children were:

Mary Gow b. 18 Sep 1811 in Drymen, Stirling, Scotland

*Moses Gow b. 10 May 1816 in Drymen

Alexander Gow b 17 Apr 1818 in Drymen

James Gow b. 17 Oct 1827 in Drymen

George Duncan Gow b. 14 Jun 1829 in Drymen

*The name Moses Gow appears later in Berrien County, Michigan.

There was an Archibald Gow who married Jean Walker in Glasgow, Scotland. Their children were:

Alexander Gow b 1830 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland

James Gow b. 1833

Margaret Gow b. 1836

Jean Gow b. 1838

Archibald Gow b. 1840

John Gow b. 1845


These seem to have been the ancestors of the New York and Ontario Gow families. These Gow families use the same names over and over. It is apparent they are related. They may all be descendants of Robert Gow and Margaret Buchanan of Drymen, Stirling, Scotland. Robert and Margaret Gow were having children in the 1730s. These families spread out into Glasgow, Paisley and Port of Glasgow prior to immigrating to New York and Ontario.

A search was made through Scots Origins a web site that maintains the old parish records, birth, death and marriage records for Scotland. This is the official government site. It can be reached by going to http://www.origins.net/GRO. This is a pay for view site. I searched for Elizabeth Gow and found nothing that gets me any closer than what I had found on the LDS site http://famliysearch.org. This is a free site. I did however find some possibilities for Elizabeth Gow's father. The records indicate his first name began with the letter "M.". These are possibilities:

Martin Charles Gow who was christened 04 Jul 1812 in Little Dunkeld, Perth, Scotland. Martin was the son of James Gow and Margaret (Murray) Gow.

Moses Gow who was born 10 May 1816 in Drymen, Stirling, Scotland. Moses was the son of Alexander Gow and Janet (Steven) Gow. There was a Moses Gow in Berrien County, Michigan in 1870 but he claimed to have been born in New York about 1811.

Malcolm Gow who was born 25 Sep 1804 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. Malcolm was the son of John and Marion (McDonald) Gow.

Malcolm Gow married 13 Dec 1833 Catherine Syme in Comri, Perth, Scotland. This may be the same as Malcolm above. They had a son named Malcolm Gow in Glendevon, Scotland on 11 Dec 1842.

Mungo Gow who died in 1869 in Auchterarder, Perth, Scotland at the age of 80 years old. He would have been born about 1790.

Mangus Gow who died in Perth, Perth, Scotland in 1887 at the age of 62 years old. He would have been born about 1824.

A search of the Scottish Church records at a LDS reading room revealed:

There was an Elisabeth Gow christened in Letlendy & Kinloch, Perth, Scotland on 05 Mar 1837. She was the daughter of William Gow and Elisabeth Peddie. Their children were: Marjorie Gow b. 1833, William Gow b. 1834, Elisabeth Gow b. 1837, John Gow b. 1840 and Thomas Gow b. 1842.

There was an Elizabeth Thompson Gow who was christened in Dundee, Angus, Scotland on 26 Aug 1838. She was the daughter of John Gow and Jean Ferrier. Their children were: Ann Gow b. 1820, James Gow b. 1822, Barbara Gow b. 1826, Euphemia Gow b. 1828, John Walker Gow b. 1830, Alexander Gow b. 1835 and Elizabeth Gow b. 1838.

There was an Elizabeth Gow who was born in 1839 in Auchterarder, Perth, Scotland. She was the daughter of John Gow and Ann McAinsh.

There was an Elisabeth Gow christened in Dunipace, Stirling, Scotland on 21 Aug 1840. She was the daughter of James Gow and Elisabeth Henderson. Their children were: James Gow b. 1836, Janet McLeod Gow b. 1838, Elisabeth Gow b. 1840, Emma Allen Gow b. 1849, George Joseph Wilson Gow b. 1852 and Louis Niel Gow b. 1854.

There was an Elizabeth (Betsy) Gow christened in Auchtergaven, Perth, Scotland on 06 Jul 1840. She was the daughter of William Gow and Jean Gorrie. Their children were: Margaret Gow b. 1838, Elizabeth Gow b. 1840, John Gow b, 1842 and Jean Gow b. 1844.

There was an Elspit Gow who was christened 14 Dec 1840 in Tongue, Sutherland, Scotland. She was the daughter of William Gow and Henny Gunn.

There was an Elizabeth Gow who was christened in Scone, Perth, Scotland on 10 Mar 1844. She was the daughter of William Gow and Jean Fiskin. Their children were: John Gow b. 1839, Christian Gow b. 1841 and Elizabeth Gow b. 1844.

There was an Elizabeth Gow who was christened on 10 Nov 1844 in South Lieth, Midlothian, Scotland. She was the daughter of James Gow and Caroline Jameson.

There was a Malcolm Gow who was christned on 25 Sep 1804 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. He was the son of John Gow and Marion McDonald. Malcolm Gow died in Muthill, Scotland at the age of 74 years in 1879. This is possibly the Malcolm Gow that married Catherine Syme in 1833. Malcolm and Catherine Gow had a son Malcom Gow who was born 11 Dec 1842 in Glendevon, Perth, Scotland.

There was a Martin Charles Gow who was christened 04 Jul 1812 in Little Dunkeld, Perth, Scotland. He was the son of James Gow and Margaret Murray.

There was a Moses Gow who was born in 1816 in Drymen, Stirling, Scotland was the son of Alexander Gow and Janet Steven. Their children were: Mary Gow b. 1811, Moses Gow b. 1816, Alexander Gow b. 1818, James Gow b. 1827, George Duncan Gow b. 1829.

There was a Malcolm Gow who was born in 1822. His parents were: John Gow who married Isobel McLaren in Perth, Scotland. Their children were: James Gow b. 1818, Catherine Gow b. 1820, Malcolm Gow b. 1822, Christian Gow b. 1824 and Margaret Gow b. 1826.

There was a Marshall Gow who was christened 06 Mar 1840 was the son of James Gow and Janet Croom (Cram/Cramb). Their children were: James Gow b. 1833, Alexander Gow b. 1835, John Gow b. 1838 and Marsall Gow b. 1840.

There was a Murray Gow who was born in 1827 was the son of John Gow and Murray Taylor. Their children were: Alexander Lockwood Gow b. 1815, Norman Gow b. 1817, John Gow b. 1818, Alexander Gow b. 1819, John Wardrop Gow b. 1825, Murray Gow b. 1827 and Janet Gow b. 1829.

This may have been the Murray Gow who married Adelaide Anderson on 20 Nov 1855 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland. They had a son, Murray Taylor Gow who was born on 17 May 1858 in Blythswood, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

There was a Magnus Gow who was born in 1851 in the Orkney Island, Scotland was the son of Gordon Gow and Jane Tait. Their children were: Elizabeth Gow b. 1845, Gordon Gow b. 1847, James Gow b. 1849, Magnus Gow b. 1851 and John Gow b. 1853.

There was a Mungo Gow who was born about 1786. Mungo Gow married Christian McGregor in Monzievaird & Strowan, Perth, Scotland. Their children were: Christian Gow, b. 1830, Janet Gow b. 1833, Mungo Gow b. 1836. Mungo Gow died in Auchterarder, Perth, Scotland at the age of 80 years in 1869.

It is clear that the clan Gow has been in the Highlands of Perthshire, Scotland for over six hundred years. There was also a reference in Stewart's book that Thomas Gow had a "Mormon namesake in the regions of California" by 1860. On a "Clan Map" of Scotland one can find the Gow name right next to the Stewart name in Perthshire. Gow families were found around Perth and Inverness and throughout central Scotland.

I have read that nearly 30% of the birth, christenings and/or deaths were not registered with the church in Scotland. I can find no Elizabeth Gow whose father's first name began with the letter "M." and or who was born in 1839/40. Her birth may not have been registered. Her mother may have died giving birth to her and her father may have remarried. She may have came to the U.S. with family members or perhaps alone. There is a family story, which indicates she arrived in Canada and that her papers were lost in a “big storm” there after her arrival. Elizabeth (Gow) Upson indicates she came to the United States in 1866 and her children state she was born in Dundee.

Those "M." Gows that I have found of child bearing age at the time Elizabeth was born (1839) is first: Mungo Gow. This Mungo Gow was born about 1786 in Monzievaird & Stowan, Perth, Scotland. Mungo Gow would have been about 53 years of age in the year Elizabeth would have been born. The second possibility is Malcolm Gow who was born in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland in 1804. Malcolm Gow would have been about 35 years of age when Elizabeth was born. This is possibly the Malcolm Gow that married Catherine Syme in 1833. The third possiblity is Moses Gow who was born in 1816 in Dryman, Stirling, Scotland. Moses Gow would have been about 23 years of age in 1839. The fourth possibility is Martin Charles Gow who was born 04 Jul 1812 in Little Dunkeld, Perth, Scotland.

T. M. Devine in his book Clanship to Crofters' War-The Social Transformation of The Scottish Highlands, published in 1994 by Manchester Press in Manchester, England and New York gives the reasons for the emigration from Scotland. There were multiple reason for these people leaving the country. One of which is referred to as 'the clearances". This was an effort by landlords to reduce the populations on their estates to make way for large-scale cattle and sheep production. Many tenants were renting small farms on these estates known as "crofts" and they as "crofters". As these people were dispossessed they went some went overseas.


DUNDEE SCOTLAND:


1841 Census

Parish of

Dundee, County of

Fofarshire, Scotland

Gow families


Note: This county is now know as Angus

______________________________________________________________________________

Location Name age Occupation Born E.D. pg.#

sex in Co.

________________________________________________________________________

Constable Street Alexander Gow 30/M Carter No 6 5

Ann Gow 30/F No

Alexander Gow 6/M No

Permilla Gow 4/F No

James Gow 1/M No

________________________________________________________________________

Cowgate William Gow 17/M Plasterer No 10 4

________________________________________________________________________

Ogilvies Close James Miller 45 Tailor Yes 21 13

Grace Miller 35 No

John Gow 9/M No

James Gow 7/M Yes

Jean Gow 4/F Yes


James Miller married Grace Stewart in Dundee in 1840. This is probably Grace Stewart

who was the former wife of John Gow. James Gow’s middle name was Stewart. These children appear to be those of John and Grace (Stewart) Gow.

________________________________________________________________________

West Loch Street Jannet Gow 40/F Female Servant Yes 24 12

________________________________________________________________________

Perth Road May Gow 25/F Starcher Yes 31 2

________________________________________________________________________

130 Hawkhill Mrs. Gow 40/F Sp. Dealer Yes 34 9

James Gow 18/M Ship CarpenterYes

Barbara Gow 14/F Yes

Edward Gow 7/M Yes

Alexander Gow 4/M Yes

Bettsy Gow 2/F Yes


This appears to be Jean (Ferrier) Gow. She was married to John Gow. Where he was at this time is unknown. A spirits dealer could have been a pub owner or a person who manufactured alcoholic beverages. James appears to have been serving an apprenticeship to be a ship carpenter as “apr” follows the designation

________________________________________________________________________

Watt Street Ann Gow 30/F Yes 34 18

Janet Gow 25/F Yes

Ann Gow 10/F Yes

Janet Gow 1/F Yes


No occupations were listed. They were living with John and Ann Robertson who were both 45 years of age and were both born in Angus County. John Robertson was a hand loom weaver. Robert Gow below married a Robertson.

________________________________________________________________________

S. Plesano Street James Gow 35/M Coachman Yes 46 17

Ann Gow 40/F Yes

Ann Gow 11/F Yes

Euphemia Gow 7/F Yes


This may be the James Gow who married Ann Grant.

________________________________________________________________________

Ryehill Park “Jhos” Lim or Linn 20/M LHLWI No 55 12

Jessie Gow 2/F No


Mr. Lim was a Linen Hand Loom Weaver and I am not sure what the “I” stands for in the abbreviation. The abbreviation in his first name may have stood for Joseph?

________________________________________________________________________

Ryehill Park Janet Gow 63/F Yes 55 13

Margaret Gow 28/F LHLWI Yes


This is probably some relation to the Jessie Gow listed above. Perhaps Margaret was her mother?

________________________________________________________________________

Gardeners Lane James Gow 35/M Loom Weaver Yes 56 18&19

Catherine Gow 30/F Yes

John Gow 6/M Yes

James Gow 4/M Yes

________________________________________________________________________

Overgate Edward Gow 40/M Sp. Dealer Yes 61 13

Elizabeth Gow 40/F No

James Thomson 15/M Tinsmith apr. Yes


This may be the Edward Gow that married Elizabeth Thomson in Dundee? Edward was also a spirits dealer. He may have been a pub owner or brewer. James Thomson was serving an apprenticeship to be a tinsmith.

________________________________________________________________________

Midd Street John Gow 80/M gnd No 66 16

Mary Gow 70/F gnd No


This name may also be Low as it is difficult to read. There were families named Low in Dundee at this time. I do not know what “gnd” stands for.

________________________________________________________________________

Dudhope Wynd Catherine Gow 40/F Laborer Yes 67 23

________________________________________________________________________

Dalfield Walk Robert Gow 30/M J. Joiner No 71 1

Hannah Gow 35/F No

John Gow 11/M No

James Gow 9/M No

Peter Gow 7/M No

Hannah Gow 3/F Yes

Lilles Gow 1/F Yes


This appears to be Robert and Hannah (Robertson) Gow from Pertshire County. A joiner is a woodworker or carpenter. The J. probably stood for journeyman.

________________________________________________________________________

Dalfield Walk George Gow 1/M Yes 72 17


He was living with Charlotte Ramsey who was 35 years of age and was listed as “Ind.” Which means she was of independent means. Also living with them were three Ramsey children: Margaret, 8 years of age, Charles, 5 years of age and Charlot, 2 years of age.

________________________________________________________________________

Constitution Street John Gow 45/M Linen HLW Yes 73 4

Jean Gow 45/F No

________________________________________________________________________

Hilltown George Gow 22/M Shoemaker No 76 17


There is an ink stain near theis surname on the census record. It appears thaere is the letter “y” under that stain. This name may have been Gowy or Gowdy?

________________________________________________________________________

Cresent Lane John Gow 40/M Joiner J. No 94 13

Isabella Gow 35/F No

Ann Gow 10/F No

Isabella Gow 8/F No

Jessie Gow 7/F No

Jean Gow 2/F Yes


This appears to be John and Isabella (Wallace) Gow of Perthshire County. John was a journeyman woodworker.

________________________________________________________________________

Argyle Close William Gow 22/M Baker No 103 7

Jess Gow 19/F Fish Curer No

Hanny Gow 17/F Flax Spinner No

Margaret Gow 15/F Fish Dealer No

Catherine Gow 11/F Yes

Ann Gow 1/F Yes

________________________________________________________________________

Fentons Close Jannett Gow 30/F Ind. No 106 4

James Gow 7/M No

Alexander Gow 5/M Yes

Murchall Gow 1/M Yes


This appears to be Jannett (Cramb) Gow. Her husband was James Gow. She is listed as being independent so apparently he was no longer in the picture. Murchall is also seen in records as Marshall Gow. Cramb is also seen spelled as Cram and Croom.

________________________________________________________________________

Youngs Close Agnes Gow 60/F Yes 112 10

James Gow 25/M HLW Yes

Peter Gow 22/M Flaxdresser Yes

Robert Gow 20/M Ju. Wright Yes


James was a hand loom weaver. Robert may have been a jute wright or a junior wright but would have also worked in the weaving mills.

________________________________________________________________________

Smalls Wynd Alexander Gow 50/M Laborer No 115 1

Christian Gow 35/F No

Christian Gow 15/F No

Magaret Gow 6/F No

William Gow 7 weeks/M No


This appears to be Alexander and Christian (Robertson) Gow of Perthshire County.

________________________________________________________________________

Dyers Entry Mary Gow 45/F LHLW Yes 117 17

at Scouring Burn Mason Adosen 3/M Yes

John Gow 13/M Laborer Yes

David Gow 4/M Yes


Mason was probably a grand child or nephew?

_______________________________________________________________________

In the Public Institution labeled as the Police Establishment & City was a:


James Gow 30/M Weaver No

It appears he was in the City jail. This may have been the husband of Jannett Gow of Fentons Close as her husband’s name was James Gow and the age is right?

________________________________________________________________________

The ages of the adults in this census were rounded off to the nearest 5 years and those of the children seem exact.


The 1851 census of Dundee, Scotland was searched and the following Gow family members were found:

Enumeration Where living Name Age Occupation Born in County

District

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. #12 Commercial Agnes Gow 16 Servant Fofarshire/Dundee

Street

She was recorded in the household of Helen Rubchart.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 23 Westfield Jane Gow 40 Fofarshire/Dundee

Lane

She was recorded as a “visitor from Leeds” in the household of Catherine Jobson.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 25 Watt Street Jannet Gow 42 Widow Perthshire/Perth

James Gow 17 Blackmaker Perthshire/Perth

Alexr Gow 16 Weaver Fofarshire/Dundee

Marchale 11 Scholar Fofarshire/Dundee

Alexr is assumed to be short for Alexander. Marchale is an unusual named but was definitely not Michael maybe it was Marshall? I am not sure what a blackmaker was.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 25 Watt Street Jean Gow 54 Widow Fofarshire/Dundee

Barbara Gow 24 Fofarshire/Dundee

Alexr Gow 15 Starcher Fofarshire/Dundee

Elizabeth Gow 12 Fofarshire/Dundee

This is Jean (Ferrier) Gow widow of John Gow and this Elizabeth is Elizabeth Thompson Gow.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 29 West Port James Gow 31 Rope Maker Perthshire/Perth

Georgiana Gow 30

Georgiana Gow 8 Scholar Perthshire/Perth

Helen Gow 1 Fifeshire/Kirkaldy

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 30 St. Davids Peter Gow 30 Flax Dresser Fofarshire/Dundee

Lane

He was living with Agnes Key and was her brother-in-law.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 31 Overgate James Gow 55 Showmaker Newcastle/Lyne

Lyne is a Parish in the county Pebbles.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 31 Overgate James Gow 70 Pensioner Fofarshire/Dundee

Robt Gow 35 Hawker Longbow?

The last name of Robert may also have been Low. A loosely written capital “G” looks a lot like a capital “L” in these records.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 39 Dallfield Robert Gow 43 House Carpenter Perthshire/Cargile

Walk Jane Gow 36 Wife “Blanssowne”?

John Gow 21 Boot Closer Perth

Peter Gow 16 Boot Closer Perth

Lilley Gow 11 Scholar Fofarshire/Dundee

What I read as Cargile is probably Cargill and what I read as Blanssowne is probably Blairgowrie both Parishes in the county of Perthsire.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 40 Kids Lane John Gow 57 Weave Coupar-Angus/Perthshire

Perthshire

Jean Fife 59 Wife Alyth/Perthshire

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 59 Cresent St. Ann Gow 54 Housekeeper Perthshire

Donald Gow 28 Moulder Fofarshire/Liff

Ann Gow 20 Powerloom Weaver Fofarshire/Liff

Euphemia Gow 16 Powerloom Weaver Fofarshire/Liff

Liff is a Parish in the county of Perthshire

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 59 Princes St. John Gow 57 Tanner Perthshire

Isabella Gow 48 Wife Perthshire/Lithow?

Ann Gow 20 Dressmaker Perthshire/Lithow

Jean Gow 12 Fofarshire

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 63 Hobswell Alexander Gow 64 Laborer Perthshire/Blair Atholl

Road Christina Gow 46 Perthshire

Margaret Gow 16 Perthshire

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 65 Cables Close Margaret Gow 1 Fofarshire/Dundee

Wellgate

She was living in the household of “Margaret McKenzie or Smith” and their relationship was not stated. Smith is the English form of Gow.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 72 B. Meadowside Hannah Gow 13 Servant Fofarshire/Dundee

She was living in the household of John Sharp.

________________________________________________________________________E.D. # 73 Longwynd Alexander Gow 42 Carter Perthshire/Little Dunkeld

Ann Gow 38 Perthshire/ “Gark”?

Alexander 16 “Pupal Leacher” Fofarshire/Dundee

James Gow 11 at School Fofarshire/Dundee

I have not been able to find any reference to what I read as Gark or Lark. I believe a pupal leacher work in the cloth mills as leaching was part of that process and Alexander must have been apprenticed there.

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 73 South Tay Lelias Gow 21 Servant Perthshire/Scone

Street

She was living in the household of Helen Fender

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 80 Overgate James Gow 10 Scholar Fofarshire/Dundee

Street

He was living in the household of Isabella Low and was her grandson. All others in this household were of the name Low but James’s last name looks like Gow

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 80 Overgate John Gow 19 “Bootcloser” Perthshire/Dunkeld

Street

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 88 Hawkhill Katherine Gow 43 Fofarshire/Dundee

Locks Lane John Gow 16 “Hascke” Fofarshire/Dundee

James Gow 14 Weaver Fofarshire/Dundee

Janet Gow 10 Scholar Fofarshire/Dundee

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 89 Bellfield James Gow 29 Mill worker Fofarshire/Dundee

Lane Catherine Gow 29 Fofarshire/Dundee

Barbara Gow 4 Scholar Fofarshire/Dundee

Jean Gow 2 Fofarshire/Dundee

John Gow 1 month Fofarshire/Dundee

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 92 Wilkies Lane Clememtian Gow 25 Weaver Fofarshire/Dundee

Wisharts Land

She was recorded as being “unmarried” but she was living in her mothers’ household. Her mother was Jannet Allen. It is not clear if Jannet had been married to a Gow or if Clememtian had been married but was no longer?

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 96 Mills West Annabel Gow 20 Factory Worker Flax Ireland

Wynd

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 102 Yeamans Law David Gow 60 Quary Laborer Perthshire/Tibbermuir

Village of

Lochee

The Village of Lochee was partly in the Parish of Dundee. What probably was Tibbermuir was hard to read and appeared to read Tipperruie?

________________________________________________________________________

E.D. # 103 Turnpike James Gow 32 Coachman Coupar

Road Ellen Gow 29 Fofarshire/Dundee

Village of James Gow 9 Scholar Fofarshire/Kettins

Lochee

There are two villages by the name of Coupar or Cupar one in partly in Fofarshire and partly in Perthshire and the other in Fifeshire. Since this record did not say Fifeshire I assume it was the one in Fofarshire today known as Coupar-Angus. Fofarshire is today the county of Angus. Kettins is only one mile south east of Coupar-Angus.

________________________________________________________________________

In the Dundee Royal Infirmary there was a patient by the last name of Gow who was 30 years of age, a Flax dresser and was born in Kirkaldy in Fifeshire county. The first name cannot be read as it has been smudged. This census was taken in April of 1851.

________________________________________________________________________


Elizabeth Gow, of Berrien County, Michigan claimed to have been born in Dundee. In some records the date appears to have been August of 1841, but her death record places the date at 22 Aug 1839. The closest match in the 1841 census of Dundee would be Bettsy Gow the daughter of John and Jean (Ferrier) Gow living at 130 Hawkhill. This is Elizabeth Thomson Gow who was christened on 26 Aug 1838 and was born on 22 Aug 1838. This is a year earlier than the earliest birth date for Elizabeth Gow of Berrien County but the day and month match. If Elizabeth was not born until August of 1841 she would not appear in this 1841 census, but she would probably have been the daughter of one of the Gow families in the 1841 census.


John Gow married Jean Ferrier on 22 Nov 1818 in Longforgan, Perthshire, Scotland. John and Jean (Ferrier) Gow had children:

Ann Gow c. 16 May 1820 in Longforgan

James Gow c. 10 Feb 1822 in Dundee

Barbara Gow c. 30 Jul 1826 in Dundee

Euphemia Gow c. 09 Nov 1828 in Dundee

John Walker Gow c. 19 Dec 1830 in Dundee

Edward Gow c. 26 May 1833 in Dundee

Alexander Gow c. 08 Nov 1835 in Dundee Elizabeth Gow c. 26 Aug 1838 in Dundee


Jean Ferrier appears to have been born on 27 Jan 1797 in Dundee to John and Ann (Ogilvy) Ferrier. John and Ann (Ogilvy) Ferrier had children born in Dundee:

John Ferrier b. 29 Jan 1791

Ann Ferrier b. 23 Aug 1793

Jean Ferrier b. 27 Jan 1797

Mary Ferrier b. 07 dec 1799

James Ferrier c. 26 Jan 1802


The Gow families in this census appear to be related to John Gow who married Eupham Abernethie on 12 Feb 1788 in Alyth, Scotland. Eupham Gow is also seen as Elsepth or John remarried an Elsepth Abernethy? Alyth is a parish, partly in the county of Fofar (Angus) but chiefly in the county of Perth. This parish contained about 2600 people. The counties in Scotland were known as Fofarshire, Perthshire, etc. John and Eupham (Abernethy) Gow had children:

Marjory Gow c. 09 Nov 1788

Elizabeth Gow c. 28 Feb 1790

Alexander Gow c. 20 May 1792

Thomas Gow c. 12 Jan 1794

John Gow c. 22 Nov 1795

James Gow c. 09 Jul 1797

Edward Gow c. 12 May 1799

Euphemia Gow c. 20 June 1801

David Gow c. 15 May 1803

William Gow c. 28 Oct 1804

Ann Gow c. 17 May 1807

All these children were born in Alyth. The “c” stands for christened.


Alyth a town in the parish of Altyh is located 17 miles north west of Dundee. Most of the population of this parish were employed in weaving coarse linen for the manufacturers in Dundee. The Gow families in the 1841 census of Dundee were also working in the weaving industry. It is logical that those Gow families of Alyth would have also visited and settled in Dundee. The similarity between the Dundee Gow families christian names and those of John and Eupham (Abernethy) Gow are striking. If this is not Elizabeth Gow’s direct line it is very close. The given name Edward was not very common amongst Gow families and helps narrow down the relationships.

There was emigration before 1700 but it became most pronounced after the "potato famine" about 1848. Prior to the American Revolution emigrants went to establish "Highland" communities in North Carolina, Georgia and New York. Devine says "Between 1846 and 1857 at least 16, 533 people were assisted to emigrate to Canada and Australia and this figure does not include an unknown further number who were supported by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commission. Many more paid their own way or were helped by relatives in the colonies ... ". Devine explains another reason for the emigration as "The landlord role was often crucial in translating the social crisis into high levels of emigration ... After 1848 the volume of summonses of removal granted to landlords in west Highland sheriff courts dramatically increased." The forced clearance of the land continued. Devine says; "5,000 had emigrated " to Australia with the help of the Highland and Islands Emigration Society during the 1850s. Devine also explains that not all these immigrants were destitute and many were only looking to better their circumstances.

There was a group with the Gow family name in Ireland by 1710:

Nathaniel Gow was born in August of 1711 in Dublin, Ireland

Mary Gow was born about 1720 in Belfast, Ireland

Ann Gou was christened on 12 Jul 1732 in Dublin, Ireland

James Gow was born in Ballymurry, Roscommon, Ireland about 1742. James Gow married Prudence Fairbrother on 31 Mar 1768 in Mountrath, Laoighis, Ireland. Their children were:

William Gow born 02 Jun 1769

Mary Gow born 27 Jul 1772

John Gow born 17 Jul 1776

Elizabeth Gow born Apr 1777

Margaret Gow born 15 Jun 1778

These children were born in Ballymurry, Roscommon, Ireland.

The name of Gow can also be found in England. A Reverend John Gow sailed from Scotland and arrived in New Zeland in 1865. He took over the Presbyterian Ministerial duties in Lyttelton, New Zealnd. The Reverend John Gow was succeeded by the Reverend J. McIntosh in 1868.

Daniel Gow-Campbell left Perthshire, Scotland 30 Sep 1865 aboard the ship "mermaid" and arrived in New Zeland 01 Jan 1866. Daniel Gow-Campbell was the son of Jessie Gow and John Campbell.

By 1871 there was a group of the Gow name in Ontario, Canada. They appear to be the descendants of Alexander Gow who married Margaret Neilson and possibly Andrew Gow who married Janet Scott. Alexander Gow may have married second Elspith Mc Donald. These families were from Perth, Kinnettles and Glasgow, Scotland.

Gow families in Ontario, Canada census of 1871:

Alexander Gow b. 1824 Scotland Brant County, Burford Twsp.

Jessie Gow (female) b. 1852 Scotland Brant County, Paris Twsp.

John Gow b. 1844 Ontario Bruce County, Saugeen Twsp.

John Gow b. 1809 Scotland Carleton County, Ottawa City

Alexander Gow b. 1814 Scotland Carleton County, March Twsp.

Alexander Gow b. 1870 Ontario Carleton County, Ottawa City

John Gow b. 1839 Quebec Carleton County, Ottawa City

Alexander Gow b. 1846 Scotland Durham County, Whitby Town

Robert Gow b. 1814 Scotland Elgin County, Dunwich Twsp.

John Gow b. 1820 New Brunswick Elgin County, Dunwhich Twsp.

Archibald Gow b. 1848 Ontario Elgin County, Dunwich Twsp.

Alexander Gow b. 1853 Scotland Elgin County, Dunwich Twsp.

Walter Gow b. 1800 Scotland Frontenac County, Kingston Twsp.

Alexander Gow b. 1833 Scotland Frontenac County, Kinsington City

William Gow b. 1805 Ireland Grey County, Oxford on Rideau Twsp.

Robert Gow b. 1823 Scotland Hastings County, Sidney Twsp.

John Gow b. 1798 Scotland Lanark County, Dalhousie Twsp.

George Gow b. 1829 Scotland Middlesex County, Ekfrid Twsp.

George Gow b. 1836 England Muskoka District, Macaulay Twsp.

Ellen Gow b. 1854 Sctoland Perth County, Caledon Twsp.

Jennet Gow b. 1808 Scotland Peterborough County, Ashburnham Village

James Gow b. 1807 Scotland Simcoe County, Orillia Village

James Gow b. 1820 Scotland Simcoe County, Notawasaga Twsp.

Agnes Gow b. 1854 Scotland Simcoe County, Orillia Twsp.

Agnes Gow b. 1854 Scotland Simcoe County, Oro Twsp.

Andrew Gow b. 1856 Ontario Simcoe County, Oro Twsp.

William Gow b. 1857 Ontario Simcoe County, Oro Twsp.

Alexander Gow b. 1826 Scotland Wellington County, Guelph Twsp.

James Gow b. 1827 Scotland Wellington County, Guelph Twsp.

Alexander Gow b. 1826 Scotland Wellington County, Guelph Twsp.

Peter Gow b. 1831 Scotland Wellington County, Guelph Twsp.

Alex Gow b 1833 Scotland Wellington County, Mount Forest Village

Robert Gow b. 1833 Scotland Wellington county, Fergus Village

William Gow b. 1841 Ontario Wellington County, Garafraxa West Twsp.

James Gow b. 1843 Ontario Wellington County, Garafraxa West Twsp.

John Gow b. 1848 Ontario Wellington County, Fergus Village

William Gow b. 1827 Scotland Wentworth County, Hamilton City

Samuel Gow b. 1832 England York County, Toronto City

Thomas Gow b. 1828 Scotland York County, Toronto City

Note: Many of these names are the same as those in the Alexander Gow famliy of New York 1830-1860 and they are believed to be closely related.

Gow families in America:

A check of Passenger and Immigrations Lists Index shows:

David Gow in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1844

George Gow in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1854

James Gow in America in 1792

John Gow in New York 1820

Walter Gow in New York 1820

William Gow in New Orleans 1823

There was a Hans (John) Nichell Gouw who arrived at Philadephia, Pennsylvania on 03 Sep 1739 aboard the ship “Judith” which was from the Palatinate in Germany.

There was a David Gow who was naturalized as a citizen in New York on 06 Oct 1840. He was listed as a subject of Great Britian. Great Britain included Scotland at that time.

There was a William Gow and his wife Mary living in DePere, Wisconsin in 1860. He was 38 years of age and she was 34 years of age. They were both born in Scotland. DePere is near Green Bay and is in Brown County, Wisconsin.

New York families by the name of Gow:

The first time the name of Gow appears in the New York census indexes is 1810:

Archibald Gow was living in Washington County, New York

Neil Gow was living in Saratoga County, New York

The 1820 census index of New York includes:

Archibald Gow living in Washington County, New York

Cornelius Gow living in Saratoga County, New York (Neil ?)

The 1830 census index of New York includes:

Alexander Gow living in Homer in Courtland County, New York

Archibald Gow living in Argyle in Washington, County, New York

Benjamin Gow living in Fulton in Schoharie County, New York

Eben Gow living in Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York

James Gow living in the 9th Precinct of New York City

The 1840 census index of New York includes:

Alexander Gow living in New York City

Alexander Gow living in Hartland in Niagara County, New York

Alexander Gow living in Wilton in Saratoga County, New York

Andrew Gow living in Newberg in Orange County, New York

David Gow living in New York City

Ellen Gow living in New York City

Ellen Gow living in New York City (another Ellen)

James Gow living in New York City

John Gow living in New York City

John Gow living in Newberg in Orange County, New York

Robert Gow living in New York City


The 1840 census only gives numbers and approximate ages and does not included names of others in the household.

The 1850 Census for Niagara County, New York includes in Hartland:

Alexander Gow who was 51 years of age and his wife Agnes who was 47 years of age. They were both born in Scotland. Alexander would have been born about 1798/99. Their children were:

Robert Gow who was 23 years of age and was born in Scotland (about 1827)

John Gow who was 18 years of age and was born in New York (about 1832)

George Gow who was 10 years of age and was born in New York (about 1840)

Walter Gow who was 10 years of age and was born in New York (about 1840)

Isabel Gow who was 25 years of age and was born in Scotland (about 1825)

Margaret Gow who was 14 years of age and was born in New York (about 1836)


Since Isabel and Margaret are out of numerical order they are most likely not Alexander's children.

The 1860 census for Niagara County, New York includes in Hartland:

Alexander Gow who was 61 years of age and his wife Agnes who was 57 years of age. They are both recorded as being born in Scotland. Their children were:

John Gow who was 26 years of age and was born in New York

George Gow who was 19 years of age and was born in New York

Peter Gow who was 8 years of age and was born in New York

Walter Gow who was 19 years of age who was born in Scotland (about 1841)

Margaret Gow who was 21 years of age and was born in Scotland (about 1839)


Since Margaret and Walter are listed in this manner it appears neither of them were Alexander's children. Alexander Gow would have immigrated about 1830.

Alexander Gow married Agnes Carlaw or Carlow 0n 10 May 1823 in Abbey (Paisley), Renfrew, Scotland. Alexander was born on 20 Jan 1799 in Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland and was the son of Robert and Margaret (Nelson or Nielson) Gow. Robert Gow appears to have been born on 22 Sep 1755 in Eastwood, Renfrew, Scotland and was the son of Walter and Isobell (Hutchison) Gow. Walter Gow was the son of another Robert Gow of Drymen, Stirling, Scotland (1730s).

I ordered a copy of the will of Alexander Gow of Hartland of Niagara County, New York. It was ordered from SAMPUBCO at www.sampubco.com also of the address P.O. Box 11874 of Salt Lake City, Utah 84147. If you visit this website you will find lists of will from parts of New York State, which can be ordered. I transcribed it as follows:

“Pg. 235, Niagara County Surrogate’s Court. Last will and testament of Alexander Gow, Deceased. Be it remembered that heretofore, to wit: On the 9th day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five-John Gow the Executor named in the Last Will and Testament of Alexander Gow late of the Town of Hartland in the County of Niagara deceased, appeared in open Court, before the Surrogate of the County of Niagara, and made application to have said Last Will and Testament which relates to both Real and Personal Estate, proved: and on such application the said Surrogate did ascertain by satisfactory evidence who were the heirs at law and next of kin of the said Testat and their respective residences; and said Surrogate did thereupon issue Citation in due form of law, directed to the heirs at law and next of kin of said deceased, by their respective names, stating their respective places of residence, requiring them to appear before said Surrogate, at his office in the City of Lockport, in said County, on the 12th day of July, A.D. 1875 to attend the probate of said Will, and on said 12th day of July 1875 said petitioner appeared and filed due proof of the service of the Citation heretofore issued in this matter and it appearing that Robert Melvin and Agnes Melvin are minors who have been duly served with the Citation Archibald Melvin on his consenting thereto was duly appointed the Special Guardian for said minors to appear for them and take care of their interests in this matter. And it also appearing that William Dewhirst named in the petition in this matter Elon Sherwood on his consenting thereto was duly appointed the Special Guardian for said minor to appear for him and take care of his interests in this matter and no one opposing matter was adjourned until the 17th day of July 1875 and on said 17th day of July 1875 said executor appeared in person and no one appearing to oppose the Probate of such Will, such proceedings were thereupon had in said Court, afterwards, that said Surrogate too the proofs of said, Will, hereafter set forth, upon this 17th day of July 1875, and he thereupon adjudged the said Will to be a valid Will of Real and Personal Estate, and the proofs thereof to be sufficient, which said Last Will and Testament and proofs are as follows, that is to say “WILL.”

“Pg. 236, I Alexander Gow of the Town of Hartland County of Niagara and State of New York being of sound mind and memory do make publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say:

First. I give, bequeath and devise to my wife Agness Gow one third of all my Estate both Real and Personal to be accepted and received by her in lieu of dower which said one third of my Estate both Real and Personal so bequeath to my said wife she is to have and hold and Enjoy the rents issues and profits thereof during her natural life and at her decease to go to my son John Gow.

Second. I give bequeath and devise to my daughter Isabella Woods wife of William K. Woods of the Town of Hartland the sum of Eight hundred dollars to be paid within two years after my decease as hereinafter provided I also give bequeath and devise to my said daughter Isabella Woods wife of said William K. Woods Eighteen acres of land off of the south side of the land that was conveyed to my by Jonathan E. Robinson President of the Lockport Bank and Trust Company by Deed dated November Ninth 1855 and recorded in Niagara County Clerks Office in Book of Deeds number Sixtysix on page 297 on the 8th day of November 1855 at 12 o’clock M.

Third. I give bequeath and devise to my daughter Margaret Cleghorn wife of Robert Cleghorn of the Town of Lewiston in the County of Niagara the sum of One Thousand Dollars, to be paid within two years after my decease as hereinafter provided.

Fourth. I give bequeath and devise to my daughter Mary Melvin wife of Archibald Melvin of the Town of Hartland the sum of One Thousand Dollars to be paid to her within two years after my decease as hereinafter provided.

Fifth. I give, bequeath and devise to my son John Gow all the rest and remainder of my property both Real and Personal of Every description or kind soever including the remainder in the property hereinbefore willed to my said wife to have and to hold the same to himself and his heirs forever. The above devise and bequest to my said son John Gow is upon and subject to the following conditions Viz: My said son John Gow is to pay off and discharge the legacys hereinbefore given to my said daughter Isabella Woods of Eight hundred dollars Also the legacy of One Thousand Dollars to my daughter Margaret Cleghorn. Also the legacy of One Thousand Dollars to my said daughter Mary Melvin and all of them within two years from my decease and the said

Pg 237. Legacys to be paid in money to my said daughters as hereinbefore provided are to be and remain as liens on all of the Real Estate which my said son John Gow shall take under this will which is the land conveyed to my by Norman A. Barrett by Deed dated February 4th 1854 Recorded in Niagara County Clerks Office in Book of Deeds No. 59 at page 448. Also the land conveyed to me by Charles E Dudley & wife dated the 25th day of May 1831 and recorded in Niagara County Clerks Office in Book of Deeds No. 6 on pages 27 & 28. And the remainder of the land described in the Deed from said Jonathan E. Robinson hereinbefore referred to. And I hereby nominate and appoint my said son John Gow to be sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament. In Witness Whereof I have hereinto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and sixty six.

Alexander Gow (Seal)

The foregoing instrument consisting of one sheet and one half sheet was at the date thereof signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Alexander Gow as and for his last Will and Teatament and in presents of us who at his request and in his presents and in the presents of each other have subscribed our names as witness thereto.

Don A. Porter, Lockport Niagara County Wt.

Rort Heosby ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘”

“Pg 239

Surrogate’s Court.

In the matter of Proving the Last Will and Testament of

Alexander Gow

Deceased.

Niagara County, ss.

Don A. Porter being duly sworn, in open Court upon his corporal oath for himself doth depose and say, that he is a subscribing witness to the last Will and Testament of Alexander Gow late of the Town of Hartland in the County of Niagara and State of New York deceased. And this deponent further says that the said deceased, did, in the presence of each of the subscribing witnesses subscribe his name at the end of the instrument in writing which is now here shown to this deponent; and which purports to be the last Will and Testament of the said deceased, and which bears the date of the 13th day of November one thousand eight hundred and sixty six. That the said deceased did, at the time of subscribing his name to the said instrument aforesaid, declare the same to be his last Will and Testament: and this deponent did thereupon subscribe his own respective name at the end of said instrument, as an attesting witness to the execution thereof at the request of said deceased, and in his presence, and in the presence of the other subscribing witness That the said deceased, at the time of so subscribing his name to said instrument as aforesaid, and publishing said instrument as aforesaid, was upwards of twenty-one years of age, and a citizen of the United States; that he appeared to be, and deponent believes he was of sound mind, memory and understanding, and not under any restraint, and, as deponent verily believes in all respects competent to devise real estate; that each of the subscribing witnesses as the other sign his name to the said instrument in the presence of the said deceased That deponent saw Robert Heosbury the other subscribing witness to said will subscribe the same as a witness thereto in the presence of testator & of this deponent.

Taken, subscribed and sworn to before me, this 17th day

Of July 1875

Joshua Gaskill, Surrogate. D. A. Porter”

“Pg. 240

State of New York

County of Niagara Stephen Bird of the City of Lockport in said County being duly sworn says that he was acquainted with Robert Heosbury whose name appears as one of the subscribing witnesses to the last Will and Testament of Alexander Gow deceased in his life time and has seen him write & is acquainted with his hand writing. Deponent is here shown Will in question and says the signature Robert Heosby appearing at the bottom of the attestation clause of this instrument is genuine as he verily believes. Deponent further says that said Robert Heosbury is now deceased

Taken subscribed sworn before Stephen Bird

Me this 17th day of July 1875

Joshua Gaskill

Surrogate

State of New York

County of Niagara Seelye Cook of the Town of Hartland in said County being duly sworn says that he was acquainted with Alexander Gow deceased, in his life time and has seen him write and is acquainted with his hand writing. Deponent is here shown will In question, and says the signature Alexander Gow appearing to said instrument now shown to him is genuine as he verily believes

Taken subscribed sworn before Seelye Cook

Me this 17th day of July 1875

Joshua Gaskill

Surrogate

Niagara Couty, ss.

It appearing upon the proofs duly taken in respect to the Last Will and Testament of Alexander Gow late of the Town of Hartland in the County of Niagara, and State of New York, deceased, that the said Will was duly executed, and that the said deceased, at the time he executed the same was in all respects competent to devise real estate, and not under restraint, the said Last Will and Testament and the proofs and examinations, are hereby recorded, signed and certified by me, pursuant to the provisions of the Revised Statutes, this 17th day of July 1875

Joshua Gaskill Surrogate”

In Volume two of Niagara County New York, A Concise Record of Her Progress And People, 1821-1921, by Edward T. Williams and published by J. H. Beers & Company, Chicago, there is a biography for J. Ried Gow.

“J. REID GOW, who is one of the best known men of the town of Hartland, successful farmer and heavy fruit grower, was born on the farm on which he resides, in the town of Hartland, Niagara county, N. Y., April 18, 1876. His parents were John and Janet (Reid) Gow, who for many years were known and esteemed throughout this section of the county. Mr. Gow’s ancestry leads back to Scotland, in which land his mother was born and from which came his paternal grandparents, Alexander and Agnes (Carlaw) Gow, to the United States about 1827. They settled first at Albany, N. Y., moved from there to Cortland county, and in 1830 they bought the farm in the town of Hartland, now owned by their grandson, J. Reid Gow, but did not settle on it until three years afterward. Here the grandfather died on June 2, 1875, and the grandmother, March 20, 1874. Their six children are deceased.

John Gow, father of J. Reid Gow, was born at Lockport, N. Y., Nov. 10, 1831, and was about three years old when brought to the town of Hartland, where his life passed. He was a man of sterling character, industries, upright and provident, and in his death, which occurred March 4, 1909, Niagara county lost one of her worthiest citizens. The mother of Mr. Gow survived the father for ten years, passing away on Feb., 21, 1919. Their children were seven in number, six of whom grew to maturity, one dying in infancy. The others were: Jessie, who is the wife of George Waring, lives near Newfane; Alexander, who lives in Canada; Agnes C., who died Aug. 27, 1905; Margaret, who lives at Niagara Falls; J. Ried; and Oscar, who resides at Newfane.

J. Ried Gow obtained a public school education in the town of Hartland and at Lockport. For about five years in early manhood, he taught school at Pendleton, Newfane and Lewiston, but his natural inclination has always been in the direction of agricultural pursuits. In 1900 he bought the old homestead and has occupied it ever since and is counted with the extensive raisers of wheat and potatoes in this section, and large growers of fruit, devoting twenty acres to the production of apples, peaches and pears. His farm comprises 110 acres and under his progressive methods, not a foot of his land is unremunerative. He is greatly interested in scientific farm development and is a member of the Niagara County Farmers Club.

On Dec. 7, 1904, Mr. Gow was married to Myra Branch, who was born in the town of Newfane, Niagara county, a daughter of Andrew and Sarah (Ferris) Branch, old residents of that section. Mr. and Mrs. Gow have had children as follows: Gladys A., Helen R., John Walter, Robert Melvin, George Andrew and Myra Belle, all surviving except the eldest.

As a good citizen ever mindful of his town’s good name and best interests, Mr. Gow takes part in public matters but has never accepted any political office except in connection with the public schools. He is serving as a school director and as school trustee in School District No. 2, town of Hartland. He is a trustee also of the Methodist Episcopal Church at North Hartland, of which he is a member and in which he is superintendent of the Sunday school. He is a member of Newfane Lodge No. 947, F. & A. M. One might go far without finding a more honorable, straight-forward man than J. Ried Gow and his fellow citizens appreciate, respect and esteem him.”

This book does not include a publishing date but it must have been around 1921.

In 1840 there was a Horatio Upson living in Hartland in Niagara County, New York. This is believed to be a close relative of Gates Upson. Gates Upson was living in Porter in Niagara County, New York in 1840 and 1850. Hartland and Porter, New York are only a few miles from each other in Niagara County. It was Gates Upson's son Nelson Upson who married Elizabeth Gow in Berrien County, Michigan in 1866. It is possible that Elizabeth Gow was a sister to Isabel, Walter and Margaret Gow above. Their father may have been "M. Gaiw"? He was likely Alexander's brother. It is possible this Margaret Gow is actually Elizabeth Gow as the birth year is identical. Perhaps her middle name was Elizabeth and that is what she went by later? Anyway it is obvious that she was closely related to Alexander Gow, possibly his niece. Nelson Upson and Elizabeth Gow probably knew each other as children in Niagara County, New York. Elizabeth Gow may have been working as a servant for Gates and Elizabeth J. Upson or their associated family. Elizabeth (Gow) Upson remained close to Elizabeth J. Upson until Elizabeth J. Upson died about 1903.

The 1850 Census of New York also includes:

Alexander Gow in Clinton in Saratoga County

Daniel Gow in Walkill in Orange County

John Gow in Albany in Albany County

Robert Gow in Delhi in Deleware County

A search was made for these individuals and the census records for Saratoga and Albany County could not be located. Daniel Gow of Walkill was listed as a baker. His age was not noted nor his place of birth. Robert Gow was listed as a carpenter; he was 22 years of age and was living with William and Ann Murray all were born in Scotland. Ann may have been his sister?

The 1850 census index for Illinois revealed a Peter Gow who was living in Pampas in De Kalb County. This census sheet could not be located.

There is a record of a William Gow who made declaration of intent to become a citizen of the United States in Pease in Belmont County, Ohio in 1833. William Gow was living in Pease in 1850 but the census records could not be located.

There is a record of David Gow who left for America in 1832 in the "Old Parochial Registers of Scotland. Where he went is not clear but there was a David Gow in New York in 1840 and Philadelphia in 1844.

The 1850 census of Fairfield Township in Jefferson County in Iowa revealed:

Peter Gow who was 45 years of age and his wife Jeanett who was 30 years of age. Both were born in Scotland. Their children were:

Frances Gow who was 11 years of age and was born in Scotland (about 1839)

James Gow who was 10 years of age and was born on the "Ocean" (about 1840)

Christian C. Gow who was 9 years of age and was born in Ohio

Janett Gow who was 8 years of age and was born in Ohio

Isabel Gow who was 4 years of age and was born in Iowa

Margaret Gow who was 1/6 ? and was born in Iowa (usually this would be 1/12)


This family would have been on the “seas” in1839/ 1840 when James was born.

The 1860 census index for Wisconsin revealed:

Jacob Gow living in Lancaster in Grant County

James Gow living in Boscobel in Grant County

Lyman Gow living in West Point in Columbia County

William Gow living in DePere in Brown County

The census sheets for Grant County, Wisconsin could not be located. William Gow has been mentioned earlier with his wife Mary. No others were living in this household.

The 1860 census of West Point in Columbia County, Wisconsin includes:

Lyman Gow who was 32 years of age and his wife Elizabeth who was 26 years of age. Lyman was born in New York and Elizabeth was born in England. Their children were:

Charles Gow who was 6 years of age and was born in Ohio

Hattie Gow who was 3 years of age and was born in Wisconsin

George Gow who was 1 year old and was born in Wisconsin

Albert Gow who was 1/12 and was born in Wisconsin

Hattie Gough who was 26 years of age and was born in New York.

Note: Hattie Gough was possibly his or her sister? Gough is pronounced "guff" not "gow"?

Michigan families by the name of Gow.

The 1850 census of Waterford in Oakland County, Michigan includes:

James Gow who was 30 years of age, a wagon maker, and his wife Lucy who was 27 years of age and their daughter Elizabeth who was 9 years of age. This may appear to be the Elizabeth Gow of Berrien County (1866, as the age is right, but both James and Lucy were born in New York and Elizabeth was recorded as being born in Michigan. Elizabeth Gow of Berrien County and her parents were born in Scotland.

Alex Gow who was 28 years of age, a miller, and his wife Mary who was 20 years of age. Also living in this household was Susan Wright who was 23 years of age and her son Ralph who was 3 years of age. Alex, Mary and Susan were born in New York and Ralph is recorded as being born in Michigan.

Note: Alex Gow and James Gow were probably brothers?

The 1870 census of Sherman in St. Joseph County, Michigan includes:

John Gow who was 38 years of age and his wife May who was 39 years of age and their two children, Emma who was 8 years of age and George who was one month old. John was born in Mecklenburg (Germany) and May was born in Prussia (Germany) and both children are recorded as being born in Michigan.

The 1870 census of Berrien County, Michigan included in Galien Township:

Moses S. Gow 59 years of age and his wife Jane Gow 57 years of age. Moses Gow is listed as a farmer. Since we know Elizabeth Gow’s father’s first initial was “M” it would be logical to think Moses Gow was her father. The ages would also support this idea. A problem arises though as Moses and Jane Gow stated they were both born in New York. We know Elizabeth Gow was born in Scotland about 1842 so if these notations are correct this is probably not her parents. It is possible they had said New York to avoid the question of being aliens, in which case they could have been Elizabeth’s parents.

A check was made of the census indexes for 1830-1860 in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and New York for Moses Gow and he could not be found prior to 1870.

The 1870 census of St. Joseph County, Michigan includes a James Gow/Gau who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany. This name appears to be spelled Gau?

In Berrien County in the 1920s-30s there was a family named Gow that was Chinese and came here from California.

On 15 Oct 1929 there was a Jeanette Gow killed in an automobile accident in Berrien County. She was 67 years, 3 months and 13 days old at the time of her death. She would have been born 02 Jul 1862. The record says she was married. Her husband's name was not recorded. She was born in Scotland and was the daughter of David McArthur and Mary White both of who were born in Scotland.

The 1920 census of Berrien County revealed:

Peter Gow, 59 years of age and his wife,

Janet, who was 57 years of age

Hugh L. who was 24 years of age

Robert J. who was 16 years of age


Both Peter and Janet are recorded as being born in Scotland. The census also indicates that Peter Gow arrived in the United States in 1883 and was naturalized in 1894. It also indicates he was a plumber and his son Hugh was a metal worker. A check of the Berrien County Directory for 1920 shows this family was living in Benton Harbor at 3 South Territorial. This Janet is likely the same person as the Jeanette Gow that was killed in the automobile accident in 1929. Their relationship, if any, to Elizabeth Gow has not been determined.

There seems to be three groups who use the Gow name in America. One group is from China, another from Scotland and the third is from Germany. I have read that some Scottish immigrants were in Germany as early as 1700. The German Gow families may have originated in Scotland? In the German group the name is also spelled Gau and Gouw or Gauw.

Elizabeth Gow married Nelson Upson in Berrien County, Michigan in 1866. On the marriage record Elizabeth reported being 24 years of age. She would have been born in 1841/42. On other documents she reports being born in Scotland. Her father is recorded as “M. Gaiw”. The “M.” may have stood for Mr.?

Liber “D” of the Berrien County, Marriages records the marriage of Nelson Upson and Elizabeth Gow, on page 35. “State of Michigan” “Berrien County” “I certify that on the 4th day of April 1866 at my office in the county aforesaid I Gotliob Heller a Justice Of The Peace joined in marriage Nelson Upson of St. Joseph in the state of Michigan 24 years of age and Elizabeth Gew of St. Joseph in the state of Michigan age 24 years. That the parties did then and there solemly declare that they took each other as husband and wife and that they there were present as witnesses John Roe and Elizabeth Roe of St. Joseph … at Royalton this 5th day of April A D 1866”

“Gotliob Heller Justice of the Peace”

“Received April 16 1866”

“Gleyn Murdock Clerk”

Note: Eizabeth’s name is spelled Gew Gau and or Gow in these early records It is most commonly spelled Gow.

Note: Elizabeth Roe is believed to be Elizabeth Upson the wife of Gates Upson, Nelson’s mother. She may have married 2nd John Roe.

Liber "D" of the Berrien County Death records on page 205 lists the death of Elizabeth (Gow) Upson. It reads " Feb. 19, 1917 Upson, Elizabeth 77 years 5 months and 28 days in Berrien Township, born in Scotland, father M. Gaiw born in Scotland , Mother unknown born in Scotland, recorded 13 Aug 1917" Her place of burial is not mentioned. Using this age she would have been born on 22 Aug 1839 in Scotland. The "M" in this record may have been for Mr.. Often when a first name was not known they used Mr. or Mrs.. Her death certificate gives her place of birth as Scotland, her father as M. Gow, her mother as “unknown” and her burial place as St. Joseph. It is presumed that Elizabeth was buried in the City Cemetery in St. Joseph. She died “at home” in Eau Claire. Her son nelson reported her death.

Elizabeth (Gow) Upson has a probate file # 6012 in Berrien County, Michigan. Her son William Upson initiated this probate of her estate on 22 Feb 1917. It lists her children as: Nora McAllister 48 years of age living in Eau Claire, Michigan, Carrie J. Lucker 45 years of age living in Fountain, Mason Co., Michigan, Nelson Upson living in Eau Claire, Michigan and Willam Upson living on RFD # 1 in Buchanan, Michigan. Her estate was valued at $ 2,000 in land (40acres) and $ 500 in personal property. The land was listed as: the south east quarter of the north west quarter section eight, town six south range seventeen west being in Berrien Township, Berrien County, Michigan.

I reviewed the microfilmed Ship Passenger lists for the Port of New York from Dec. 9, 1865 through April 20, 1866 looking for Elizabeth Gow. She was not found but some of these are illegible. These microfilms are available from the LDS. Elizabeth may have entered through another port or she may have come through Canada?

Nelson Upson was born in Ohio in 1841/42. On 04 Apr 1866, in Berrien County he married Elizabeth Gow. Elizabeth was born in Scotland in 1841/42 and was the daughter of M. Gow. On the marriage record they both stated they were 24 years of age. Their children were:

Ella Nora Upson born in Illinois on 26 Jan 1869

Carrie J. Upson born in Seneca, Illinois 0n 30 Sep 1871

Nelson H. Upson born 0n 15 Jan 1874 in Berrien County

William Edward Upson born on 03 Nov 1876 in Berrien County

In 1880 Elizabeth Upson, Nelson’s widow, is living in St. Joseph. She is 37 years of age

and has the four children with her. She is listed as a “washer woman”. Nelson Upson apparently died 21 Apr 1876 according to the Civil War records. It is believed that his death occurred in Berrien County and probably in Lincoln Township. On the very same census page, in fact the very next listing is Elizabeth J. Roe. She is living as the head of the household and has with her is her son William Upson. She is listed as being 65 years of age and her son as being 25 years of age. This was the widow of Gates Upson. Both the widows Upson were living next to each other in 1880.

The 1890 census is nonexistent. There was however a special census taken, in 1890, of “Surviving Soldier, Sailors, Marines and Widows, etc.” These person were involved in the Civil War. On this listing there appears in St. Joseph Village “Elizabeth Upson widow of Upson, Nelson”. This would have been Elizabeth (Gow) Upson. she states that Nelson Upson served in “Company I of Regiment 7 Mo Infantry” She states he enlisted in “ 1861” and was discharged in “1865” having served “4 yrs.”. It is believed that “Mo” stands for the state of Missouri. It is possible the 1860 census of Missouri would reveal the whereabouts of Gates Upson and his family. Gates Upson was not in New York nor Michigan in 1860. I thought Gates Upson might be found in Illinois as William was born there in 1855? On June 3rd 1861 Company “I” of the 7th Missouri Infantry was “enrolled at Chicago, Illinois by Captain (Joseph)S. C. Rowland and marched from thence by rail to Saint Louis Arsenal, Missouri in the beginning of June, where it was mustered into service (by) Lieutenant (Adelbert Rinaldo) Buffington on June 26 and marched from thence by rail and river to Boonville, Missouri, where it arrived on July 4.” It was common for men from other states to join infantries from other states. Company “I” of the 7th Missouri Infantry was formed from mainly Illinois men.

In 1900 the census records both the Upson widows as living in Berrien County. Living in Sodus Township with Elizabeth (Gow) Upson is her daughter Nora E.” McCalaster” who is 31 years of age, her son Nelson Upson who is 26 years of age and two granddaughters, Elizabeth and Grace “Upson”. These were Nora’s children and should have been listed with the last name of McAllister? Elizabeth J. “Upson” is listed as living in St. Joseph, on Niles Avenue with her son William Upson and she is 85 years of age. In 1880 she was listed as Elizabeth Roe? It was found that Elizabeth McAllister married Edwin Simpson. Her father was Albertus McAllister and her mother was Elinor (Nora Upson) McAllister, the daughter of Nelson and Elizabeth (Gow) Upson. The 1900 census of Sodus Township of Berrien County indicates that Elizabeth (Gow) Upson came to America in 1866 and had been here 34 years. In this census Elizabeth Upson indicates she had given birth to four children and that all four were living in that year.

In 1903 Mrs. E. Upson owned 10 acres of land in section 15 of Sodus Township, just east of Sodus. She may have been here as early as 1897 as when her son (William Upson) got married he was listed as being from Sodus Township. In 1911 Elizabeth Upson owned 40 acres of land just south of Eau Claire, Michigan.

The 1900 census of Berrien County includes a William Upson family living on Lake Boulevard in St. Joseph, Michigan. The ages reported in the census are very inaccurate and would prove misleading to any researcher. They appear to be living in the household of Lucy Huxley perhaps as renters. William is recorded as being 48 years of age, having been born in 1852 in New York. Jennie, his wife, is recorded as being 45 years of age, having been born in 1855 in Ohio. Clyde, their son is recorded as being 17 years of age and having been born in Michigan. Cora, their daughter is recorded as being 11 years of age and having been born in Michigan. William Upson was not born until 1876 and he was not married until 1896. His children Clyde and Cora were born in 1896 and 1898 respectively. These ages are very misleading. Whoever reported or recorded these ages was incorrect.

The 1910 census shows a William Upson family living in Oronoko Township of Berrien County. This is William Upson the son of Nelson and Elizabeth (Gow) Upson. His wife is Jennie Upson. Jennie’s maiden name was Harner. He was 33 years of age and she was 32 years of age. Their children were, Clyde W. Upson age 14 years, Cora E. Upson age 12 years, Johnie D. Upson age 9 years, Vernon N. Upson age 7 years and David W. Upson age 5 years. * This is the Cora Upson who married Walter Brackett in 1915.

The 1910 census also shows the Nelson Upson household. This is the brother of the William Upson. Nelson is listed as head of the house in Sodus Township of Berrien County. Living with him were, his sister Nora McCallister, Elizabeth and Grace Upson (actually McAllister) who were then 22 and 18 years of age and are listed as Nelson’s nieces. William Upson his uncle who was than 54 years of age and his mother Elizabeth (Gow) Upson who was then 70 years of age. Elizabeth Upson/Roe had since passed away and her son William lived with Nelson. No death record has been found for Elizabeth J. Upson/Roe under the name Upson nor under the name Roe? No wife is listed for Nelson Upson. It has been found that Nelson never married. Elizabeth and Grace Upson were the daughters of Elinor (Nora Upson) McAllister and her husband Alburtus McAllister.

In an effort to locate the birthplace of Elizabeth (Gow) Upson I have looked at every available record on her in Berrien County. They all indicate her birthplace was Scotland. I have not been able to locate the date, passenger lists or immigration records for her. She may have come to Michigan through Canada. William Upson, her son may have given us the clue to her origins. He named his first son Clyde and his first daughter Cora. While reading about Scotland I found that on the Clyde River there is a waterfall named Corra linn (falls). The Clyde River flows out to sea past Glasgow. The Corra falls are near the town of Lanark and not far from a small village called Clydeville. All these are located in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Lanarkshire would be like a county in the U.S. This is also the county that the city of Glasgow is located in.

In reviewing the 1920 census of Berrien Township I found that Nelson Upson and his sister Nora McAllister were renting the former farm of Elizabeth (Gow) Upson. This proved to be the clue I had been searching for. When asked where their parents were born the reply was noted that their father was born in New York and their mother was born in Dundee. Someone had written above Dundee the word Scotland. So it appears Elizabeth Gow was born 22 Aug 1839 in Dundee, Scotland. This date is derived from her death record. In the 1900 census she indicated she was born in Aug of 1841, she immigrated in 1866 and had been in America for 34 years. It is recorded that Elizabeth (Gow) Upson spoke “Gaelic” and could read English but not write it. It is believe she entered Canada and then came to the United States.

Elinor (Nora) McAllister died at 119 Bond Street in Benton, Harbor, Michigan on 19 Jul 1941. She was born 26 Jan 1869 in Seneca, Illinois. Her husband who was deceased was Albertus J. McAllister. Her mother was listed as Elizabeth Gow who was born in Scotland and her father as Nelson Upson who was born in New York. She was buried in the City cemetery in St. Joseph, Michigan. There is an A. J. McAlister b. 1865 d. 1937 buried in this cemetery. This must have been Nora’s husband and presumably she is buried next to him.

William Edward Upson married Jennie Harner in 1897.

Their daughter Cora Upson married Walter Brackett in 1915.

Their son Harold Brackett married Arvena Daniel (nee Hambrick) in 1947.

Their son William Brackett married Jane Hauch in 1970.

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