William Gowdy was born April 1, 1810, in Abbeville, South Carolina. William Gowdy married Julia Ann Carnal (born August 1, 1819 in North Carolina; died April 6, 1900 in Blue Mountain, Mississippi in Blue Mountain Cemetery, Tippah County) around 1838. They had six children: John F. Gowdy (born 1839, Abbeville, SC), William Joe Gowdy (born Feb. 1841, Abbeville, SC), Elizabeth Ann Gowdy (born 1845 in Abbeville, SC), Robert S. Gowdy (born March 1847, Tippah County, Mississippi), James K. Gowdy (born Nov. 1848, Tippah, Mississippi) and Mary J.M. Gowdy (born 1852, Tippah County, Mississippi).
After William's father John Gowdy died April 27, 1846 the Gowdy family decided to move to Blue Mountain, Mississippi in Tippah County, late 1846. Jane Gowdy (William's mom) and William's brother and sisters (Eliza, Jane and Robert M. Gowdy) stayed in Abbeville, South Carolina for a few more years before moving next to William Gowdy and family in Blue Mountain, Mississippi. The 1860 census records shows them finally in Mississippi.
William Gowdy passed away January 20, 1885. Two of the local newspapers had the following: SOUTHERN SENTINEL, January 29, 1885, We are pained to note the death of Mr. Wm. Goudy, father of our townsman, Mr. W.J. Goudy, which occurred at his old homestead, about five miles south of here, on the 19th last. In his death Tippah county loses one of her oldest and best citizens. RIPLEY ADVERTISER, January 31, 1885, Mr. Sam White and Mr. Wm. Goudy, residing near Blue Mountain in this county are no more. The former died on Monday last and the latter on the 19th last. In their death Tippah County loses two of it eldest and best citizens. To the bereaved families and friends of the deceased we extend our heartfelt sympathies.
One fact that stands out is John Gowdy's will whichdoes not mention his oldest son William Gowdy. After reading the will there is no doubt this is William Gowdy's father which makes one wonder if there was a falling out between father and son. It has been rumored that William Gowdy and John Gowdy did not get along and William Gowdy changed the spelling of his name to GOUDY. This is noted on the tombstone of William and his wife Julia Ann. The tombstone reads GOUDY. However, Jane's tombstone reads Jane (Wife of John Goudy). Also interesting is the 1820 Census which shows John Gowdy as John Goude. Though misspellings were quite common in the early years perhaps our family changed the spelling of our last name after a couple generations. James K. Gowdy's tombstone shows GOUDY spelling also. The GOUDY spelling changed to GOWDY with some of James K. Gowdy's children. We may never know exactly the differences of the GOWDY spelling, but it is interesting to ponder!
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