Surname Asquith-Gowan, maybe from Leeds?

+3 votes
Emily Murdoch nee Gowan or Gawan migrated to Australia in 1875 from Leeds, Yorkshire. According to a newspaper article, her parents were John and Mary Asquith Gowan, but this name is not turning up anything on Google. Has anyone in the UK ever heard of this surname?
WikiTree profile: Emily Murdoch
in Genealogy Help by A. T. G2G6 Mach 3 (37.4k points)
Thanks everyone who's contributed information. You're amazing! I wasn't able to check sources on or familysearch because I dfon't have accounts, but you've given me clues as to what to search for in other, more open records. Much appreciated.
I haven't selected a best answer, as they're all very much appreciated.

4 Answers

+6 votes
FreeBMD has marriages in 2nd qtr 1866 in Hunslet (south Leeds) for Emily Gawan and James C Murdock, on the same page, so presumably to each other.
by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (554k points)
Thanks. It's her grandparents that I'm after.
St Mary (the Virgin), Hunslet

April 2nd 1866, by Banns

James Campbell Murdock, 24, Bachelor, Pemberton Street, Riveter, father Colin Campbell Murdock, Silk Dresser

Emily Gawan, 21, Spinster, Pemberton Street, [occupation blank], father John Cook Gawan, Boot Finisher

Witnesses William Smith, Clara Andrews.  All signed.

(Church marriage register on Ancestry UK)
PS Vicar wrote Murdock (son and father) but signature is Murdoch.
Thanks so much RJ! Much appreciated.
+5 votes

This is Emily's marriage entry for 2 April 1866. Her father is given as John Cook Gawan, whose occupation was listed as Boot Finisher.

Name Emily Gawan
Marriage Age 21
Event Type Marriage
Birth Year abt 1845
Marriage Date 2 Apr 1866
Marriage Place Hunslet, St Mary the Virgin, Yorkshire, England
Parish Hunslet, St Mary the Virgin
Search Photos Hunslet, St Mary the Virgin, Yorkshire, England
Father John Cook Gawan
Spouse James Campbell Murdoch
Household Members
Name Age
James Campbell Murdoch  
Colin Campbell Murdoch  
Emily Gawan  
John Cook Gawan  


by R W G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
+5 votes
Emily's birth was registered in 1844, as Emily Gawan (Sculcoates 22/522 q September 1844) and Baptised Emely Gawan on 9 August 1844, Kingston upon Hull, West Street Chapel, Yorkshire the daughter of John Cook Gawan & Mary Askwith Gawan. (
by R W G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
John Cook Gawan married Mary Askwith, 2nd qtr 1839, Hull reg dist, FreeBMD.

"Mary Askwith Gawan" will be an artefact of the FamilySearch indexing.  People didn't normally double up surnames then.
Thanks Ron, this is very helpful.
+5 votes

John Cook Gawan married Mary Askwith in 1839. (Hull 22/270 q June 1839). He death is recorded in Leeds in 1876 age 58 (Leeds 9b/54 q March).

The family was living at 197 Marsh Lane, Leeds in 1861 Census. John's place of birth is listed as Beverley, Yorkshire & Mary, Great Osburn ??, Yorkshire, I believe.

Name:John Gowan


Estimated birth year:1819


Spouse's Name:Mary Gowan


Where born:Beverley, Yorkshire, England

Civil Parish:LeedsTown:Leeds



Street address:
Occupation: Master shoemaker
Condition as to marriage:


View image

Registration district:LeedsSub-registration district:South East LeedsED, institution, or vessel:16Neighbors:View others on pageHousehold schedule number:49Piece:3372Folio:75Page Number:11Household Members:

Name Age
John Gowan 42
Mary Gowan 45
Emily Gowan 16
Charlotte Harrison 17

John though was baptised John Cook Gower on 28 November 1817  Beverley, St. John & St. Martin, (Beverley Minster) Yorkshire the son of Jane Gower. (

I believe it likely that Mary was born 17 January 1812 & baptised 11 February 1812, Kingston upon Hull, Holy Trinity, Yorkshire the daughter of Joseph Askwith. (

by R W G2G6 Pilot (258k points)

There were Gawans in Beverley at the time, though not that many considering it was a densely populated town.  So maybe the vicar wasn't familiar with the name.

I take it Cook is a hint as to who the father was.

There were Askwiths in Great Ouseburn, though there isn't a Mary actually listed



Confirms Mary's birthplace

It's a small village in the West Riding a few miles south-east of Boroughbridge and very few people in Hull or Leeds would have ever heard of it.


Apparently at this particular chapel it was the custom to record mothers' maiden surnames (most churches in England didn't)

and the LDS have turned all the maiden names into middle names.

Actually they don't have much provision to do anything else, except possibly "Mary Askwith or Gawan".


Thanks Ron. Much appreciated.

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