I haven’t done much genealogy lately, because I’ve gone back to college. I’m on fall break this week and conveniently a genealogy project has fallen into my lap.
My mom died 6 years ago today, and she was a big fan of all things Hollywood. She’d get a kick out of the possibility that she was related to Lana Turner.
I received the following comment on one of my blog posts:
“Hello, I saw your post, and would like to ask you, are you related to “Henry Arthur Cowan”, whom was married to “Julia Ann (Cullum) Cowan, as Julia was my Great Grandmother, she was born march 24, 1885, and died in July 1904, at her age of (19) yrs. old, her death was due to complications with her “RH factor blood type, and her Pregnancy, her baby girl “Mildred Frances Cowan” was born on Feb. 12, 1904, she was 4 months old when her Mother died, they lived in Arkansas. I know we were also related to some people named “Reece”, “Minnie Reece”, (her married name), and she had a son, named Oran Reece, we were also related to some people named Hinson,”
First, I checked my tree. I knew there was a Mildred Cowan, because she was my grandfather’s cousin and I have an amazing (sad, and yet also hilarious) letter she wrote to him. But, unfortunately the commenter wasn’t referring to that Mildred Cowan. My Cowans were definitely in Arkansas (and as it turns out, in the same county) and my great grandmother Cowan’s maiden name was Hinson, so I thought it was possible that we intersected somehow.
Through a quick Google search I learned that Mildred Frances Cowan, born February 12, 1904, the daughter of Julia Ann Cullum Cowan, was the mother of the famous Lana Turner. Her father’s name, however, appears to have been William Arthur Cowan or Willis Arthur Cowan, not Henry Arthur Cowan as the commenter said. Through further Googling I discovered that Mildred Frances Cowan was the only child of both parents, since her father didn’t remarry. Mildred had only one child, Julia Jean Turner, who became known as Lana Turner. It appears that Lana had only one child too, Cheryl Crane, who is still living and has no children.
I found a tree online and followed it back from William/Willis Arthur Cowan to my 5x Great Grandparents William Cowan (1750-1809) and Jane Walker (1755-1806). It seems possible that Lana Turner descends from William and Jane’s son Samuel, while I descend from their son Robert.
Soon, maybe this week even, I will work on pushing my Cowan line back two more generations, documenting back to William Cowan and Jane Walker, and see if it all connects.