|Battle:||Battle of Dunbar in Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland|
|Ship/Arrival:||Unity, Dec 1650|
|Prisoner and List:||William Gowen (alias Smith), #38 on George S. Stewart’s Captured at Dunbar list|
|Name Variations:||Gowen, Gowan, Gowin, alias Smith, “Elexander Gowing”|
|Residences:||Oyster River and Dover New Hampshire; Kittery, Maine|
|Other SPOW Associations:|
Published: 15 Dec 2014, Updated: 21 Aug 2018
Page contributors: Dr. Andrew Millard, Teresa Rust
IMPORTANT UPDATE! (Jul 2018)
According to, Christopher Gerrard, Pam Graves, Andrew Millard, Richard Annis, and Anwen Caffell, Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers at the Battle of Dunbar 1650, (England: Oxbow Books, 2018).
On page 249, William is categorized as:
Probable [that he is a Dunbar prisoner transported on the Unity]
Appears: 1659. B.c.1634. D.1686. Clearly a Scot and acquires land in Kittery at about the same time as Scots likely to have been prisoners. [Exiles; Banks; DR; BCS; SPOWS; Ch.7 & 8]
For explanations of the category, abbreviations and references see List of Dunbar prisoners from Lost lives, New Voices.
Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948. The Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin Meaning and History, (New York : New York Public Library & Readex Books, 1962), First published in 1946. Page 505.: Gowan or MacGowan, MacGoun, MacGown, MacGoune in Scotland.
First Generation in the New World
1. WILLIAM¹ GOWEN* (alias SMITH*), “a Scot*,” and “carpenter*,” born in Scotland* before June 1634* and died at Berwick on 2 Apr 1686. He married at Kittery*, Maine, on 14 May 1667*, ELIZABETH¹ FROST*, the daughter of NICHOLAS FROST and BERTHA CADWALLA. She was born at Kittery on 10 May 1640.
1. From Andrew Millard: “It seems William Gowen was initially convicted of fathering Elizabeth Frost’s child, and he subsequently married her. See Rapaport, D. 2004 Scottish Slaves in Colonial New England Part II. The Highlander 42:6 10-17.“
2. William was 51 years old in June 1685, so that means he was born before June of 1634.
Children of William and Elizabeth (Frost) Gowen:
2. i. NICHOLAS² GOWEN, (William¹), b. at Kittery in 1667; married at Kittery in 1694, ABIGAIL HODSDON. (Was he born in Kittery?)
2. ii. JOHN² GOWEN, (William¹), b. 1668; d. 1733; married at Kittery on 3 Oct 1693, MERCY HAMMOND.
2. iii. WILLIAM GOWEN, (William¹), b. about 1672; killed by Indians on 12 Oct 1691.
2. iv. ELIZABETH GOWEN, (William¹), b. in 1673; m., ALEX FERGUSON.
2. v. JAMES² GOWEN, (William¹), b. 1675 m. at Kittery by 1701, MARY WHEELWRIGHT.
2. vi. MARGARET GOWEN, (William¹), 15 Nov 1678; m., DANIEL EMERY.
2. vii. LEMUEL GOWEN, (William¹), shopkeeper, b. 9 Feb 1680; m., SARAH MOUNTFORT.
2. viii. SARAH GOWEN, (William¹), b 30 Mar 1684; m., WILLIAM SMITH.
2. NICHOLAS² GOWEN, (William¹), (Indian scout, attorney, surveyor, farmer), was born at Kittery in 1667. He married, ABIGAIL HODSON.
Nicholas led a very adventurous and stimulating life! He was an Indian scout, attorney, surveyor, and farmer. He was admitted to the York County, Maine bar in April 1703. He left a will. SEE: Legislators of Massachusetts General Court, 1691-1780 (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002), (Orig. Pub. by Northeastern University Press , Boston, MA. John A. Schutz, Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court 1691–1780 A Biographical Dictionary, 1997.) Bibliography 1904 Hodsdon g 28; OE 2:55 ff, “Born in Kittery in 1667. Kittery, Me. HR 1701, 09, 10; M Abigail Hodsdon (1664-a1747) in c1694, 9 ch; Indian scout, attorney, surveyor, farmer; will. Admitted to bar in 1703.”
Children of Nicholas and Abigail (Hodson) Gowen: (Nine Children)
3. i. ABIGAIL³ GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), b. 12 April 1695; m. on 14 Feb 1712/3, MILES THOMPSON.
4. MIRIAM THOMPSON, (Abigail³, Nicholas², William¹), m., JOHN BRACKETT.
3. ii. ELIZABETH GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), b. at Kittery, 5 July 1697; m. 8 Dec 1718, JOSEPH HART.
3. iii. MARGARET GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), b. at Kittery, 19 Mar 1699; m. 10 Apr 1717, ABRAHAM LORD.
3. iv. HESTER GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), b.at Kittery, 20 Nov 1701; m. on 19 Feb 1726/7, HUGH ROSS.
3. v. NICHOLAS GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), b.at Kittery, 12 Nov 1703
3. vi. WILLIAM GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹),at Kittery, 4 Apr 1705; d. 1748; m. 26 Jun 1724, JANE GOWEN.
3. vii. PATRICK GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹),at Kittery, 30 March 1707; m., MIRIAM SHACKLEY.
3. viii. ANNE³ “ANNA” GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), b.at Kittery, 29 June 1709; m.9 Dec 1724, RICHARD THURLOW/THURLO.
4. JAMES D. THURLOW, (Anna³, Nicholas², William¹), m. , JUDITH CREDIFORD.
5. DAVIS THURLOW, m., ABIGAIL MANCHESTER.
3. ix. JAMES³ GOWEN, (Nicholas², William¹), (Esquire and Captain), was born at Kittery on 14 Feb 1715. He married, first, on 29 Nov 1738, ANNA SMITH. He married, second, LOIS WOODBRIDGE. He had SEVEN daughters.
4. i. ABIGAIL GOWEN, (James³, Nicholas², William¹)
2. ii. JOHN² GOWEN, (William¹), (selectman), was born at Kittery about 1668-1670 and died at Kittery on 9 Jan 1733. He married at Kittery on 3 Oct 1693, MERCY HAMMOND, the daughter of JOSEPH HAMMOND and CATHERINE FROST. [OE]
Children of John and Mercy (Hammond) Gowen: (Nine Children)
2. iii. WILLIAM² GOWEN, (William¹), was born about 1672 and was killed, by Indians, on 12 Oct 1691.
2. iv. ELIZABETH² GOWEN, (William¹), was born at Kittery about 1673. She married at Kittery on 11 Feb 1694, ALEXANDER FERGUSON.
Children of Alexander and Elizabeth (Gowen) Ferguson: (Seven Children)
2. v. JAMES² GOWEN, (William¹), (blacksmith), was born at Kittery on 29 March 1675. He married at Kittery by 1701, MARY WHEELWRIGHT.
He moved to Wells.
2. vi. MARGARET² GOWEN, (William¹), was born at Kittery on 15 Nov 1678/9 and died on 21 Nov 1751. She married at Kittery on 17 March 1695, DANIEL EMERY.
Children of Daniel and Margaret (Gowen) Emery: (Ten Children?)
3. i. DANIEL³ EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 25 Jun 1697
3. ii. NOAH EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 11 Dec 1699
3. iii. SIMON EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 6 Jan 1702; m., MARTHA LORD.
3. iv. ZECHARIAH EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 12 Mar 1703/4
3. v. MARGARET EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 3 Mar 1706
3. vi. CALEB EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 17 Oct 1710
3. vii. ANNA EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 19 Mar 1712/3
3. viii. JOSHUA EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), b. at Kittery on 30 Jun 1715
3. ix. TIRZAH EMERY, (Margaret², William¹), daughter, b. at Kittery on 19 Sep 1717
2. vii. LEMUEL² GOWEN, (William¹), (shopkeeper), was born at Kittery on 9 Feb 1680. He married, SARAH MOUNTFORT.
Moved to Boston by 1715. Built a brick block on King State Street.
2. viii. SARAH GOWEN, (William¹), was born at Kittery on 30 Mar 1684. She married in 1698, WILLIAM SMITH, of Berwick.
SOURCES and NOTES:
From Heidi Thibodeau on 8 Oct 2016:
“Following is my line to SPOW William Gowen:
Margaret Gowen m. Daniel Emery
Simon Emery m. Martha Lord
Martha Emery m. Ebenezer Lord
Noah Lord m. Keziah Brackett
Keziah Lord m. Benjamin Lord
Noah Bracket(t) Lord m. Anna Morley
Mary Anna Lord m. Albert William Hodgdon
Ella Frances Hodgdon m. Benjamin Nichols Tibbetts
Frances Elna Tibbetts was my grandmother.
~ Heidi –
Scots at Oyster River
William Gowen (abt. 1634 – 1686)
B. Craig Stinson – 15 August 2016
Born about 1634, William Gowen may have been one of the younger prisoners of war. Like other of the Unity Scots, he relocated to Kittery, Maine, soon after completing his indenture at Oyster River. The English often called him “Smith.” While “Gowan” means “smith”, William Gowen was a carpenter by trade. He died at about the age of 52, leaving eight grown children to carry on his name.
William Gowen, aka William Smith, William Gowin, Elexander Gowing
#38 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” list
born about 1634 (about age 51 in 1685) [GDMNH 280]
“Gowan” means a “smith” but William Gowen was a carpenter [OKAHF 468]
1659 – taxed as William Smith at Oyster River [HTDNH 79]
30 June 1659 – convicted of “frequenting the taverns and being in a Quarrell with [fellow Scot] James Middleton.”
11 November 1659 – was on James Murray’s jury of inquest as “William Smith”. Murray was killed by a tree limb that fell on him.
27 June 1660 – was on Thomas Canyda’s jury of inquest. Canyda was found dead, crushed by a large tree.
1661 – “Elexander Gowing” taxed Oyster River [HTDNH 79]
1666 – first appeared at Kittery, now Eliot [HTDNH 79]
14 May 1667 – married Elizabeth Frost, sister of Major Charles Frost [HTDNH 79]
30 June 1668 – William Smith alias Gowin fined “for fighting and bloodshed on ye Lord’s day after ye afternoone meeting”
New Hampshire Court Records, p. 242
1670 – granted a house lot [HTDNH 79]
1674 – constable [GDMNH 280]
1676 – bought land from James Middleton on the Kennebec River, including Small Point [GDMNH 280]
1679 – was in court for idling away time and drinking [GDMNH 280]
1684 – was sued by Peter White over land ownership [GDMNH 280]
2 Apr 1686 – William Gowen died; will administered 21 May 1686 [GDMNH 280]
HTDNH History of the Town of Durham, New Hampshire, vol. 1, Everett S. Stackpole and Lucien Thompson, 1913, p. 79.
GDMNH Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Noyes, Libby, and Davis, Portland, Maine: The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1928-1939, p. 280.
OKAHF Old Kittery and Her Families, Everett S. Stackpole, Lewiston, Maine, Press of the Lewiston Journal Company, 1903, p. 468.
New Hampshire Court Records 1640-1692, vol. 40, Ed. Otis G. Hammond, The State of New Hampshire, 1943, pp. 139, 242, 465, 469.
B. Craig Stinson
August 15, 2016
Old Eliot: A Monthly Magazine of the History and Biography of the Upper Parish of Kittery, now Eliot (Eliot, Maine: Augustin Caldwell, 1897) Search for: Gowen and Gowan
Legislators of Massachusetts General Court, 1691-1780 (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002), (Orig. Pub. by Northeastern University Press , Boston, MA. John A. Schutz, Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court 1691–1780 A Biographical Dictionary, 1997.) Bibliography 1904 Hodsdon g 28; OE 2:55 ff, “Born in Kittery in 1667. Kittery, Me. HR 1701, 09, 10; M Abigail Hodsdon (1664-a1747) in c1694, 9 ch; Indian scout, attorney, surveyor, farmer; will. Admitted to bar in 1703.”
Be Not Forgot – 1667: Marriage of Elizabeth Frost and William Gowen.
“My 9th great-grandpa is William Gowen (alias Smith) . . . who married Elizabeth Frost . . .and they had a son, Nicholas Gowen, who married Abigail Hodsdon . . .and they had a daughter, Abigail Gowen, who married Miles Thompson . . .and they had a daughter, Miriam Thompson, who married John Brackett . . .etc. . . .” ~ Vickie Everhart
Submitted by Granville Wayne Mitchell:
“My family line from William is 12 generations inclusive. That might be
a bit long, but you can use it if it fits. Or just let it trail off,
the way Jackie did.:
“William Gowen m. Elizabeth Frost
Nicholas Gowen m. Abigail Hodsdon
Anna Gowen m. Richard Thurlow
James D. Thurlow m. Judith Crediford
Davis Thurlow m. Abigail Manchester
Richard Thurlow m. Eunice Tripp
Moses Thurlow m. Alice “Elsie” Strout
John W. Thurlow m. Dorcas Verrill
Frances Thurlow m. George E. Benson
Mabel Benson m. Frederick E. Mitchell,…etc…”
Alternatively, you could mention that I have a large public tree on
Ancestry.com: “Mitchell/Small/Benson/Dustin under the ID