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The following biography on Mary Grant is from a funeral notice from Waukon Standard, November 29, 1900 as listed in "And Then There Was You" by Marjorie Eilene Wells-Cook (1979); p.32.  Note that Mary's parents names are currently unknown.

Mary Portiss Grant was born April 27, 1804 on the estate of the Right Hon. Lord Lyndock, Perthshire, Scotland. At the age of 25 years she came with her parents to Lower Canada. Here she was married May 20, 1837 to Hugh Cowan. To them were born two sons and seven daughters.  Mr. Cowan with his family came to Lansing, Iowa August 1852, where he died June 4, 1854. Thus the care of their nine children fell upon the subject of this sketch. Since 1876, she has resided in Waukon and vicinity.

She was a member of the Presbyterian church of Scotland in early life, joined the Presbyterian church at Lansing when she went there, and in February 1885, removed her membership to the C.P. church of Waukon. For some time here strength had been failing on account of age. On November 26, 1900, the Sands of Time ran out, the Silver Cord was loosed and she went to her rest.
  She loved her church; her family and her friends, and had always a kindly smile for everyone.

Two of her children, Mrs. Lizzie Raymond and James had preceeded her to the better land. Those still living are Anna Jacobus and Mrs. Flora Cooley of Retreat, Wisconsin. Mrs. Nettie Hagemeier of Decorah, and Mrs. may Raymond and W.B. Cowan of Waukon.  The funeral servies were held at the Presbyterian church yesterday at 2 O'Clock p.m. conducted by Rev. R.L. vannice, and her remains found a resting place in Oakland cemetery.

Mary Portis Grant married Hugh Cowan who was born about 1800 near Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland according to family belief.  He died at Lansing, Iowa on June 4, 1854.  They married at the church of Scotland at Georgetown, P.Q. Canada on May 18, 1834.  Source: "And Then There Was You" by Marjorie Eilene Wells-Cook (1979); p.25.  Their marriage record is here as provided in Marjorie's book, page 27.  Hugh is listed on the 1854 Census.  After Hugh's death, Mary and family can be found on the Waukon, Allamakee County, Iowa 1856 Census, 1860 Census, 1870 Census and 1885 Census.  The William Cowan listed here by be related to Hugh.

Marquerite (Margaret) Bertha Cowan, daughter of Mary and Hugh was born Feb 15, 1835 in Beauharnois, Canada, died Nov 24, 1906 in Miller, Nebraska.  She married Darius Benjamin Jones on Nov 29, 1857.  She is my 3rd great grandmother.  See the Cowan surname page for information on their children.



Who were Mary's parents ?

Marjorie Eilene Wells-Cook, author of the book "And Then There Was You" published in 1979 attempted over the years to research Mary's ancestry.  On November 9th, 1962 she received a letter from the Scots Ancestry Research Society in reply to her letter sent 7 months prior on the research they did on her behalf.  This is what it said:

"Prior to 1855 registrations of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Scotland were voluntarily recorded in the old parochial registers (unindexed) of each parish.  As the estates of Lord Lyndoch were in the parishes of Redgorton and Methven, the old parochial registers of these parishes were accordingly searched for the birth of Mary Grant circa 1804, and the two following entries were found: -

In REDGORTON:  Andrew Grant, soldier in the Perthshire Militia and Betty Fyfe his spouse had a daughter born and baptized the 27th August 1808 called Mary.  Also:  Betty, baptised 18: 1:1810.

in METHVEN:  Mary Grant, daughter to James Grant at Drumcairn, 26th April 1807."
No other children werer found to have been recorded to James Grant in these old parochial registers from 1799-1812."

Neither record appeared to match as the correct Mary Grant and apparently the birth was never recorded in the register.  It is unknown whether Marjorie attempted further research after the publication of her book in 1979.  


Mary Grant - 2nd Cousin of Ulysses S. Grant ???

Several close relatives of Mary including her granddaughter Ethel Dayton mention in letters that Mary was the 2nd cousin of Ulysses S. Grant.  I have found nothing to date that shows this connection.  I have also determined that Ulysses Grant's direct ancestors came from England to the United States in the 1600's and did not live in Scotland.


Surnames that married into my Grant family


Grant information on the internet
blueball.gif (111 bytes) Grant family Genforum


My Descent From The Grant Line

Generation Father Mother
6 Hugh Cowan (1800-1854) Mary Portiss Grant (1804-1900)
6 Darius Benjamin Jones (1834-1918) Marquerite Cowan (1835-1906)
5 Nathaniel Henry Hawk (1858-1944) Anna Irene Jones (1868-1936)
4 Ernest August Schwiening (1873-1944) Grace Myrtle Hawk (1885-1984)
3 William Edward Marshall (1901-1981) Irene Sophia Schwiening (1908-1992)
2 William Edward Marshall
1 Tod Howard Marshall

This page was last updated on  09/29/16 

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