A Confusion of Daniels

A Confusion of Daniels

Many COWGILLs in the United States are pleased to be able to trace their ancestry back to early Quaker arrivals in William Penn's colony. The story of these emigrees and their descendants in America is told in Beatrice Cowgill's book: Cowgill History; genealogical research, Baltimore, Gateway Publishers, 1986.

Her compilation includes my ggggf Daniel Cowgill (1755-1843) born in Burlington NJ, died in Grant County, KY. He appears on page 439 at the head of a large group of descendants, one of several groups gathered in an "appendix" of "other Cowgills" because Beatrice could not determine Daniel's connection to the main Cowgill lines. Beatrice didn't know who Daniel's parents were -- and for a long time neither did I.

Of course my cousins and I didn't really like being back in the appendix; we wanted to be connected to the main lines going back to colonial Pennsylvania. Thus when someone innocently confused our unconnected Daniel Cowgill with a different but very connected Daniel Cowgill (1754-1818), it was understandably a confusion that attracted attention and tempted acceptance as fact.

This second Daniel Cowgill (1754-1818), born and died in Kent County, DE clearly has known parents but is just as clearly childless! No matter; some of my cousins are claiming this latter Daniel's parents as their own ancestors. This Daniel appears on p 9 of Beatrice's book. The error is regretable, not least because it distracts attention from the very worthy problem of finding the parents of our Daniel.

I'm pleased to be able to report here that Perry Cowgill, Beatrice Cowgill's son, in carrying forward his mother's genealogical project has recently concluded that we can now place our Daniel in the main line. Based upon evidence brought to light by Marilyn Wolever, Daniel is found to be a son of George Cowgill (b 1731, NJ), grandson of Isaac Cowgill (b 1703, NJ), greatgrandson of Ralph Cowgill (b 1667, England) one of the founding emigrees to America.. In terms of Beatrice's book, we move from p439 to p374, from an appendix to the main text. It's good to have found our place in the Cowgill story.

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