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Below is a family biography included in The History of Switzerland County, Indiana published by Weakley, Harraman & Co. in 1885.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JAMES COWAN, farmer, Craig Township, was born in this township in 1818, and is a son of Donald Cowan. His boyhood was passed in a manner common with farmers’ sons, and in the district schools he obtained a practical education. His first wife, Lucy, daughter of Lewis Golay, he married in 1851, by whom he had three children; one living — Emma — Lewis and James deceased. Mrs. Cowan died in 1858. He married Olive, daughter of David Trowbridge, for his second wife in 1861, by whom he has had three children: David, Malcolm and Lillie. Mr. C. has acceptably served as trustee of Craig Township ten consecutive years. He has been a member of the Christian Church for twenty years. His wife for a longer period of time.

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This family biography is one of 215 biographies included in The History of Switzerland County, Indiana published in 1885 by Weakley, Harraman & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Switzerland County, Indiana History and Genealogy

View additional Switzerland County, Indiana family biographies here: Switzerland County, Indiana Biographies

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