Daniel Gow was born in Launceston on 1 Jun 1863, the seventh child of James Gow (1825-1890) and his wife Elizabeth Blamey (1826-1916). James and Elizabeth emigrated from Scotland in Apr 1855 aboard the Commodore Perry. They travelled with two of their children, John aged three, and one-year-old Elizabeth who died en route. The family settled in Launceston, where James Gow found work as a plasterer. They had eight children in Tasmania: James, 1856-1910; Amelia, 1859; William Alexander, 1860; Margaret, 1861; Daniel, 1863-1904; twins Jessie 1865 and Cecilia, 1865-1905 and Richard, 1868-1900.
Daniel and his younger brother Richard were champion sportsmen, winning trophies for rowing, shooting and cycling. A number of these trophies are now held in the collection of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, where they are known as the Gow Collection. In 1891 Richard, a student at the Launceston Technical School, displayed a model mantlepiece of original design, a plaque and an altar at the Exhibition. Both Daniel and Richard were members of the Launceston Artillery. Some time in the late 1890s they travelled to South Africa where Daniel won the Transvaal Bisley Cup for shooting in 1903. Daniel and Richard died in South Africa, Richard on 17 Apr 1900 and Daniel on 21 Nov 1904 at Middelburg. There was a memorial to them on the family grave in the Scotch Cemetery, Launceston.