1921 England and Wales Census records are now available!

On 6 January 2022 the 1921 England and Wales Census records were made available online via the FindMyPast website. The records have been indexed and are searchable via the usual methods. These records are only viewable on a pay-per-view basis and are not included in any of FindMyPast's existing subscriptions with the exception of the 12 month premium subscription.

Cowan records on Ancestry

Ancestry is a major source of information if you are filling out your Cowan family tree. Many large databases are available to search covering from births, deaths and marriages, military records, census records and immigration records with many other smaller collections too. Free trials are normally available and are a good way to fill out a lot of your tree quickly.

Country Collection
Globe Ancestry.com Global records search results for the Cowan family.
USA Ancestry.com US records search results for the Cowan family.
UK Ancestry.co.uk UK records search results for the Cowan family.
Canada Ancestry.ca Canadian records search results for the Cowan family.
Australia Ancestry.com.au Australian records search results for the Cowan family.

Ask a Question

Looking for information on a Cowan in your family tree? Why not post a question here -

Historical References

"COWAN, COWANS, COWEN. Common surnames in Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, and other Lowland counties. (1) Sometimes explained as from Scots cowan, a dry-stone-diker, but I doubt this explanation. (2) It may be a corruption of Colquhoun, the common pronunciation of which is Cohoon. Mr. Alexander Cowan, father of Sir John Cowan of Beeslack is said to have left on record that many of his grandfather's books bore the name of Colquhoun. (3) In the south Highlands the 'Mac' of Macittechomhghain disappears from the name and in Argyllshire, e.g. Iain MacCdmhain becomes Iain C6mhan in Gaelic while the English equivalent is Cowan. Couen 1687. The name of James Cowhen, chaplain in North Berwick, 1560 (CMN.) is most likely from another source. There was an old family of Cowane in Stirling (The Stirling antiquary, v. 2, p. 168-178). Cowan's Hospital in Stirling was founded in 1639 by John Cowan, a merchant there, for the support of twelve decayed Guild Brethren (Nimmo, History of Stirlingshire, 2. ed., i, p. 346). "(The surnames of Scotland. George Fraser Black, 1866-1948)


Sometimes you can run into a brick wall in your tree and you just don't have enough evidence to make that next step back in time. If you are lucky then you may find some previously undiscovered Cowan ancestors. Additionally, the modern DNA test can give you a breakdown of your ethnic mix - you may be surprised at the results!

Unlock your DNAHave you reached a brick wall in your Cowan Tree?

Visit our Cowan DNA page to find out more.

Birth, Death and Marriage Records for the Cowan Family Tree

Birth, Death and Marriage records are often the best method of making the links to the Cowan Genealogy that will form part of your family tree. Although records vary from country to country, they are normally the most formal record of a person's relations. From the sources listed below it will be possible to locate a birth record and, from that record, a birth certificate may be obtainable which is likely to list the names of the parents, therefore taking you back another generation. A marriage certificate may also list the names of the respective fathers of the bride and groom which may then help you to find them earlier in life on a census record enabling you to fill out more detail in the Cowan family tree.

Check out Cowan Parish Records at Find My Past.

Study the UK registered births, marriages and deaths for the Cowan family name using the FreeBMD database.

Search Genealogy BankGenealogy Bank for Cowan family records.

Check out MyHeritage for Cowan family data.

Study the LDS Database for records of the Cowan family.

Research the Cowan surname using fold3 Military Archives and view images of original Cowan Military records.

ukDid you know that there are currently 10542 people with the Cowan surname in the UK? Cowan is now ranked number 547 for popularity in the UK.

Cowan Family Tree Databases

Study WikiTree for user contributed Cowan family records. Collaboration is encouraged so that accuracy of Cowan data can be verified or corrected by other users.

Explore MyTrees for information on the Cowan family and people looking to contact living Cowan relations.

Search GENi for Cowan family records.

Find your Irish Cowan relatives on findmypast.ie

Cowan Forums

Research the Cowan surname using Genealogy.com forums .

ukDid you know that there are currently 36459 people with the Cowan surname in the USA? Cowan is ranked number 145 for popularity in the USA.

Miscellaneous Cowan Databases

Study the Ellis Island Database for information on the Cowan family. This database contains over 25 million immigration records detailing passengers arriving in the United States of America.

Use the Surname Map project to look at the current distribution of the Cowan surname in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Romania.