Robert J NEAL John J COWART Essie M DILLARD Mini tree diagram
Effie Laura NEAL

Effie Laura NEAL1,8,2,9,8,3,4,5,6,7

1st Sep 19051,2,3,4,5,6,7 - 23rd Nov 19911,3,4

Life History

1st Sep 1905

Born in Georgia.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

before 1940

Married John J COWART in Polk County, Tennessee.7

19th Feb 1986

Death of John J COWART in Fannin County, Georgia.4,10,1

23rd Nov 1991

Died in Ducktown, Polk, Tennessee.1,3,4

after 23rd Nov 1991

Buried in Bethel Church Cemetery, Fannin County, Georgia.1


  • A couple of genealogies provide some identification of the wife ofJohn J Cowart by variations of her name and other details.  One hasher name as Effie Laurie, another has Effie N.  Most have no maidenname, but one has the maiden name as Neal.  There is a burial and amemorial on Find a Grave for an Effie Cowart in the same cemetery asJohn J Cowart and other Cowarts.  The memorial reports simply thatEffie was the wife of John J Cowart, with no further detail orbiography notes.

    Searching on the name Effie Laurie in locations around theGeorgia-Tennessee border of Florida where they also lived brought uprecords for a matching Effie with marriage and divorce records inFlorida.  The gathered records form a composite picture that indicatesafter a divorce and three later marriages, Effie was finally buriedunder her original married name with her first husband.  This seemedodd, but factors continued to fit together to confirm this was thesituation.

    These genealogies or records have her name as Effie L or the full nameEffie Laura, while one genealogy has Effie N Neal.  Records of threedivorces and a couple of matching marriage records seem to fit theoverall portrait for Effie Laura Neal Cowart.  No marriage record hasyet been found for Effie and John J Cowart.  One genealogies, however,reports the husband of Effie N Neal as Jay Cowart.  This Jay Cowarthas the matching birth and death information of our John J Cowart,seeming to confirm that records for Effie Neal are for the sameindividual found in the other records.

    1910 Federal Census, Polk County, Tennessee, 28 April, Civil District10, Enumeration District 165, Page 15A, Hse #251, Fam #256
    Neal, Robert Head M W 48 Marriage 2 Married 7 yrs AR KY AR LaborerRents [b abt 1862]
    Neal, Essie Head F W 26 Marriage 1 Married 7 yrs 3 Children/2 LivingGA GA GA [b abt 1884]
    Neal, Earnest Dau F W 16 Single GA GA GA [b abt 1894]
    Neal, Bertie Dau F W 14 Single GA GA GA [b abt 1896]
    Neal, Effie F W 5 Single TN GA GA [b abt 1905]
    Neal, Lettie F W 3 Single TN GA GA [b abt 1907]
    Neal, Bonnie F W 1 Single TN GA GA [b abt 1909]

    1920 Federal Census, Polk County, Tennessee, 31 January, CivilDistrict 3, Enumeration District 112, page 6B, Copperhill Rd, Hse/Fam#105
    Neal, Robert P Head Owns Free & Clear M W 55 Married GA GA GA RailroadLaborer [b abt 1864]
    Neal, Essie L Wife F W 34 Married GA GA GA [b abt 1885]
    Neal, Effey N Dau F W 17 Single TN GA GA [b abt 1902]
    Neal, Hattey Dau F W 13 Single TN GA GA [b abt 1906]
    Neal, Bonney A Dau F W 10 Single TN GA GA [b abt 1909]
    Neal, Walter E Son M W 7 Single TN GA GA [b abt Dec 1914]

    Two genealogies have one or two children of Effie with John J Cowart.No marriage record or birth record for the chidlren has been found.The 1940 census in Staffordtown, Polk County, Tennessee, reported Johnand Effie as married with no children.  The census reported they wereliving in the same house in 1935.

    1940 Federal Census, Polk County, Tennessee, 8 April, Staffordtown,District 70-12 Page 8B, Hse #112, Rents $300
    Cowart, J J Head M W 40 Married Grade 4 b Georgia Rural same house in1935 Coal Truck Driver [b abt 1900]
    Cowart, Effie Wife F W 33 Married Grade 7 b Tennessee same house in1935 [b abt 1907]

    Social Security records in a similar name correlate with the Floridacensus and marriage or divorce records.  These provide a maiden nameof Effie Mae Neal.  We known form the other sources however, that ourEffie Cowart's middle name was Laura.  So the middle name Mae isdisconcerting.  There are similar errors, however, on other SocialSecurity records.  So we will note this discrepancy and watch forother clues that might change our identification.  For now this lookslike the same individual, and one or two matches genealogies thatidentify her the wife of John Cowart as Effie Neal.

    More worrisome is a slight discrepancy in the birth date.  SocialSecurity has the death date only as the month and year, which matchthe exact date of death on her grave, 23 Nov 1991.  But the date ofbirth in Social Security records is 10 September 1904, while the gravesays 1 September 1905.  Again, this is similar to other discrepanciesfound on gravestones or in SS records.

    U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
    Effie Cowart [Effie Mae Neal]
    Birth 10 Sep 1904 Copperhill, Tennessee
    Father Name Robert L Neal
    Mother Name Essie M Dillard
    Death Date Nov 1991
    16 Aug 1967 Duplicate SSN - change or replacement.
    Birth record established before age of 5.
    SSN 411684752
    28 Sep 1981 Name listed as EFFIE COWART

    U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
    Effie Cowart
    Born 10 Sep 1904
    Died Nov 1991
    Last Residence Ducktown, Polk, Tennessee  37326
    SSN 411-68-4752 issued Tennessee (1959)

    Effie Laura Neal Cowart
    Birth Sep 1, 1905 Georgia
    Death Nov 23, 1991 Ducktown, Polk County, Tennessee
    Wife of John J. Cowart
    Spouse John J. Cowart (1899 - 1986)
    Burial Bethel Church Cemetery, Fannin County, Georgia
    Created by Chuck Garland Feb 05, 2009
    --  Find A Grave Memorial #33565475,

    Several genealogies  include records for a similar female individualnamed Effie, including several marriages and divorces in Florida.However, when we run down the related censuses, we find this Effie andher first husband J R Dowling in the 1930 census, as well as later inthe 1945 Florida state census.  This Effie and J R Dowling marriedabout 1923, according to the 1930 census.

    1930 Federal Census, Brantley County, Georgia, 1 May, Militia District1768, Enumeration District 11, page 7A, Hickox to Hoboken Rd, Hse/Fam#114
    Dowling, Randol  Head M W 47 Married at age 20 GA GA GA Farmer
    Dowling, Effie Wife F W 24 Married at age 17 [abt 1923] GA GA GA GenFarm Laborer
    Dowling, Louise Dau F W 5 GA GA GA
    Dowling, Dorothy Dau F W 3yrs2mos GA GA GA
    Dowling, Kathleen Dau F W 1yr1m0 GA GA GA

    In the 1930 census in Georgia, the youngest child is Kathleen,reported age 1 months and some months.  In the 1945 census, thisKathleen is reported as the oldest child in the household, at age 16.Since we find  an indisputable record of Effie with her known hsubandJohn J Cowart, in the place where they and both their families arefound living over the years, this Effie Dowling of southern Georgiaand Florida is not the same individual as Effie Neal who was the wifeof John Cowart.

    1945 Florida State Census, Volusia County, Precinct 16, City ofDeland, Stetson, Page 7, Line 44
    Dowling, Kathleen F 16 [b abt 1929] born Georgia Grade 8 Student
    Dowling, Eroy M 13 [b abt 1932] born Georgia Grade 7 Student
    Dowling, J R M 36 [b abt 1909] born Georgia Grade 7 Farmer
    Dowling, Effie F 38 [b abt 1907] born Georgia Grade 7 housewife
    Dowling, Jr M 4 [b abt 1941] born Florida Grade 0

    No date is given on the census.  Some time after that census, Effieand J R divorced in 1945.  Only the year of divorce is reported in therecord transcription.

    Florida, Divorce Index, 1927-2001
    John Randol Dowling
    Effie Laura Dowling
    Divorce 1945 Brevard, Florida
    Certificate #18337

    Effie married John C Pratt in 1952.  But then they also divorced in1959.

    Florida Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001
    Effie L Dowling
    Spouse John C Pratt
    1952 Volusia County
    Volume #1400, Certificate #22042, Florida Department of Health

    Florida, Divorce Index, 1927-2001
    Effie L Pratt
    Spouse's Name John C Pratt
    Divorce Nov 1959 Volusia, Florida
    Certificate #17556

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    J R Dowling's death information is included here.

    Florida Death Index, 1877-1998
    Johnnie Randol Dowling
    Age at Death 63
    Birth Date 19 Apr 1909
    Death 9 Sep 1972 Alachua, Florida

    U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
    John Dowling
    Born 19 Apr 1909
    Died Sep 1972
    SSN 252-18-6392 issued Georgia - Before 1951

    Johnnie Randol Dowling
    Birth Apr. 19, 1909
    Death Sep. 9, 1972 Alachua County, Florida
    John Randol Dowling (1870 - 1942)
    Vandelia Hickox Dowling (1876 - 1956)
    James Newton Dowling (1891 - 1974)
    Jabez Layton Dowling (1896 - 1982)
    Loney Bell Dowling DuBose (1898 - 1973)
    Sophroney Dowling Carter (1900 - 1929)
    Ida Darling Dowling Altman (1902 - 1983)
    Rosella "Ella" Dowling Griffin (1906 - 1924)
    Walter Everett Dowling (1907 - 1972)
    Mary Viola Dowling Griffin (1912 - 1988)
    Lonnie Dowling (1918 - 2004)
    Sarah Luverne Dowling Hall (1922 - 2010)
    Burial Windsor Methodist Cemetery, Windsor, Alachua County, Florida
    Created by Glenda Sheffield Jan 15, 2010
    --  Find A Grave Memorial #46716477,


  • 1. Find a Grave Memorial Registry
  • 2. 1945 Florida State Census, Volusia County
    • Precinct 16, City of Deland, Stetson, Page 7, Line 44
  • 3. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
  • 4. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
  • 5. 1910 Federal Census, Polk County, Tennessee
    • 28 April, Civil District 10, Enumeration District 165, Page 15A, Hse
  • 6. 1920 Federal Census, Polk County, Tennessee
    • 31 January, Civil District 3, Enumeration District 112, page 6B,
  • 7. 1940 Federal Census, Polk County, Tennessee
    • 8 April, Staffordtown, District 70-12 Page 8B, Hse #112, Rents $300
  • 8. Florida, Divorce Index, 1927-2001
  • 9. Florida Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001
  • 10. Georgia, Death Index, 1919 - 1998

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