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The Cowells of Burma

Updated June 12, 2004

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James Henry Cowell I, Born in Wales, England About 1814. He arrived in Burma in about 1845 at Moulmein, a year or so before his marriage to Mary Blackenberg Of Rangoon, Burma, on August 20, 1846. This was a period after the First Burmese War ( (Bandula's last war ) of 1816 in which the British forces of the British East India Company conquered the Burmese and took over the Arakan and Tenesserim coastal areas of Burma. Moulmein was established as the Company's garrison town and trading port although, for trade, Rangoon still flourished.

Burma was completely occupied and taken over by the British after the third and final Burmese war in 1985.
At a later date, Burma and India became part of the British Commonwealth of Nations And both countries were ruled and governed by the British. Up until World War II in 1939,British influence was predominant in all areas of the Country.Then,after World War II broke out in Europe, Japan invaded and occupied all British territories in the Far East. Many British descendants and their families fled Burma. Some womenfolk of the Cowell descendants evacuated by air to India.The rest of us stayed on till the last moment and were eventually forced to flee on foot. We trekked out to India by two main routes. The Hukong Valley in northern Burma and the Sittong Valley in central Burma.Both routes eventually ended in Imphal, Assam, India,from where, the evacuees were transported by railroad freight cars to Calcutta,India . They then dispersed to various locations to continue with their lives.

After World War II ended many of the Cowells returned to their homes in Burma. In 1947, Burma was granted independance as a separate Country A government made up of Burmese Nationalists took over. The mood in Burma at that time was Burma for the Burmans and all non Burmese were not welcome in the higher echelons of influence. The Cowell descendants gradually emigrated to other parts of the world to start new lives. They are now spread out all over the world. The descendants of James Henry Cowell III have held frequent reunions in England,the United States, Australia and New Zealand over the years

Peter James Cowell, a great grandson of James Henry Cowell I, and currently residing in Fillmore, California, USA,is currently in the process of gathering and recording information of all of the Cowells and their descendants now residing in various parts of the globe. The information I have submitted so far, in many instances,is tentative and constantly being revised as various facts are being sent to me by members of the extended family.

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