Entry in Black's

COWAN, Cowans,Cowen. Common surnames in Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, and other lowland counties.

Couen in 1687. The name 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 Anyiquary, v.2,p 168-178) Cowan's hospital in Sirling was founded in 1639 by John Cowan, a merchant there, for the support of twelve decayed Guild Brethern (Nimmo, History of Stirlingshire, 2 ed. 1 p.346).

For a different view :

Entry in The Scottish Nation

Eminent Cowan Families

Tom Paterson - Last updated 25 Jan 2019