William Cowen was a native of Co.Durham, England and lived most of his life on Gateshead Fell. He was a potter and in the early to mid 1800s he and his family lived on the infamous Sodhouse Bank in Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, where the dwellings were literally made of mud and roofed with sods of earth. In these harsh conditions William and his wife Anne had many children and this site is intended as a vehicle to help build up some of the history behind the names. At this point in time we know, for example that one of William's sons, John, left the area for Lincolnshire. His present day descendants have been the Mayors of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.
There must be many more stories to fill in the outlines and I want this site to grow to reflect these. As his great, great grandson my interest is to find out where William himself came from. But I hope all of the Cowan clan can help to develop this as a living history site, however long that will take.