COWAN GENETICS
by Michael S. Cole, M.D.
13 October 2003

Somewhat of an interpretation of the data found at
Cowan DNA Project Results
http://www.webspawner.com/users/lauracowancooper/
Thank you Laura Cowan Cooper.


Simplistic Scientific Overview:

The diversity seen in our genetic inheritance is the result of receiving half of our genes from our father and half from our mother. Every physical trait we possess was passed down from our ancestors through DNA. DNA serves as a blueprint (in code) for every physical and biological part and function of every life form.

Every cell in the human body (except reproductive cells) contains an identical set of 46 chromosomes (23 pairs). Each chromosome is one giant molecule of double-stranded DNA.

A gene is the smallest element of hereditary material. It is a small portion of a chromosome. There are over two million genes contained in the 46 human chromosomes. Many human genes are identical from person to person. Those that are different determine eye color, blood type, etc.

human karyotype
chromosome pairs
Think of your chromosomes as 23 pairs of socks. Each pair is different from every other pair and no 2 socks are a perfect match. One sock from each pair came from your father. The other sock in each pair came from your mother. Since your parents each had 23 pairs of socks and you randomly received one from each pair, you do not have the same 46 chromosomes as a sibling.

The pair of chromosomes that determine sex are the X and Y chromosomes. Women always have a pair of XX chromosomes and men always have a pair that is XY. If you are male, then your Y-chromosome is identical to your father's Y-chromosome and your X-chromosome is identical to one of your mother's. (If you are a female, then one of your X-chromosomes came from your mother and the other X-chromosome from your father. There is no pattern regarding which X-chromosome you will pass on to your children.)


Male Y-Chromosome DNA Tests:

Y-DNA 12 Marker Test is the world standard to verify the Y chromosome for gene matches between males. When 2 men show the same identical results, then it is proof that they are descended from a common male ancestor in their paternal line.

A perfect match of 25 markers between men's Y-chromosomes means a lesser number of generations to their most common recent ancestor.

Over time, subtle mutations may occur on the Y-chromosome. As one's paternal line is extended generationally, there is a greater chance that a change in a particular gene will occur (as is evident in the tables below).


Specific COWAN findings:

EARLIEST KNOWN ANCESTOR(S)
GENETIC MARKERS
Clan #1a (exact matches)
Samuel and Sarah (KEITH) COWAN 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Andrew COWAN (b. June 5, 1812, TN; d. Nov 25, 1884, AR) m. Matilda DRISKELL (b. 1817-1818, KY; d. bef 1867) 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
William COWAN (c.1801-1865, Marion Co, TN) m. Cynthia MORGAN 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
William COWAN (b. c.1730) m. Sarah STEWART 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Jonathan COWAN (b. c.1803) of Dandridge, Jefferson Co., TN; m. Elizabeth SWANN 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Samuel Franklin COWAN (1833, AR? - 1882, Blanco Co., TX) m. Candace COLBREATH 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Joseph C. COWAN (b. c.1825, TN) of 1850 Walker Co., TX, and 1880 Fulton Co., AR 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Clan #1b (close kin of Clan #1a)
7 COWAN Brothers (Andrew, David, James, John, Matthew, Samuel, & William), 1726 Immigrant Group 13 25 14 12 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Clan #1c (close kin of Clan #1a)
James COWAN, Sr; VA>SC in 1765; m. 1767 Hannah WOODS 14 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Clan #1d (close kin of Clan #1a)
J. L. COWAN of Smith Co., TN 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 13 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 17
Clan #2 (distant kin of Clan #1)
William and Jane (WALKER) COWAN of Blount Co, TN 13 25 14 11 12 13 12 12 12 13 14 29
  17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 31 15 16 16 16
Clan #3 (questionable kin of Clan #1)
James COWAN of Selkirkshire, Scotland (b. c.1735) 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 12 13 28
4 COWAN Brothers (David, Hugh, John, & William), 1720 Immigrant 13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 12 13 28
  16 9 10 11 11 27 15 20 28 15 15 16 18
Clan #4 (unrelated to Clans 1, 2, or 3)
James and Margaret Chrystie (RUSSELL) COWAN of Knoxville, TN 13 26 16 10 11 14 12 12 10 13 11 30
John COWAN of Cowan's Ford, NC 13 26 16 10 11 14 12 12 10 13 11 30
  15 9 10 11 11 25 14 20 30 12 15 15 16
COWAN family from Alabama 13 26 16 10 11 14 12 12 10 13 11 30
  15 9 10 11 11 26 14 20 30 12 15 15 16
David COWAN of SC>AL>TX>OK 13 26 16 10 11 14 12 12 10 13 11 30
  15 9 10 11 11 26 14 20 30 12 15 15 16


Comments:

Highlighted genes in the table illustrate variations on the Y-chromosomes between or within clan groupings. (Please note that the "clans" are merely my own system, invented for comparison. As more data becomes available, the groupings may change.) These DNA studies provide a remarkable opportunity for us to sort out the various COWAN branches and focus genealogical research on finding our common ancestors.

Since I'm a descendant of Samuel & Sarah (KEITH) COWAN, I have labeled their descendants to fit in "Clan #1." The attention of my COWAN cousins will undoubtedly be focused on determining how these different branches in Clan #1 are connected. Finding the ancestor of any one of them is a significant find for the others in the same Clan. (I will leave the genealogical research of the other Clans for their own descendants to sort out.)

To learn more about the COWAN DNA Project, be sure to visit:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~cowandnagenealogy/


 Related Link:   more Cowan DNA results showing 12 genealogically independent groups





 You may contact Michael S. Cole, M.D., at   MColeMD@theColeFamily.com



Pride in the Past - Faith in the Future
link to Genealogy Home Page





link to West-Ark Church of Christ