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THE AFRICAN ORIGIN OF THE MELUNGEONS

 

By Tim Hashaw

Editorial Boardmember

1937 Huge Oaks    Houston, Texas, 77065

E-mail: wildwestgifts4u@aol.com

 

Part VII:

CONCLUSION

 

They first settled in Virginia one year before the Pil-

grims landed at Plymouth Rock.  They were free Americans

150 years before George Washington fought the British.

Some of their descendants are world famous: Abraham Lin-

coln through his mother Nancy Hanks, actor Tom Hanks, El-

vis Presley, Heather Locklear, Ava Gardner, comedian

Steve Martin, singer-writer Rich Mullins and many others.

 

Yet the African-American ancestors of mixed groups like

the Melungeons and their brothers, the Lumbees, Red Bones

Brass Ankles and others, are only now beginning to emerge

from the dim mists of early American history.

 

The greatest misunderstanding about Melungeon origins

concerns the status of the African-Americans who, along

with whites and Indians, gave birth to this mixed commun-

ity. It is commonly believed in scholarly circles that

the African heritage of Melungeons comes from the off-

spring of 18th and 19th century white plantation owners

and black female chattel slaves.

 

Wrong on two counts.

 

The very first black ancestors of Melungeons appeared,

not in the 18th century, but as early as 1619 in the tide

water colonies.  By the time they joined with the first

settlers in Tennessee, the Melungeon community was al-

ready more than a hundred years old.

 

Secondly, not one Melungeon family can be traced to a

white plantation owner and his black female slave.

 

For purposes of determining the origin of the name "Mel-

ungeon", this bears repeating.

 

Melungeons are not the offspring of white plantation own-

ers and helpless black females slaves.  Most of the Afri-

can ancestors of Melungeons were never slaves. They were

former black servants freed from indentured servitude

just like white servants, usually before 1720. Other Af-

rican ancestors of the Melungeons either purchased their

freedom from slavery or were freed upon the deaths of

their white owners. But the great majority of the black

ancestors of Melugia were free by 1720. Most often, they

married white women in Virginia and other southern colon-

ies.  Understanding the status of the African ancestors

of Melungeons is critical to understanding their history.

 

THE AFRICAN CONTROVERSY

 

The issue of African blood in Melungeons was controver-

sial as early as the first recorded written use of the

name "Melungeon." The name appeared in the September

26th, 1813 minutes of the Stoney Creek church of Virgin-

ia.  Sister Susanna Kitchen brought a complaint to the

church against Sister Susanna "Sookie" Stallard for "har-

boring them Melungins." Stoney Creek had a membership

which included whites, free Negroes, slaves and Melun-

geons. Each group was segregated within the church and

the color bar was strictly enforced. Melungeons were a

threat to that color bar.

 

By 1813, some 150 years after the origin of the Melun-

geons in America, their ancient ancestry was already be-

coming obscured in different areas of the country. The

younger southern states, had a tradition in the early

1800s that Melungeons were not African, but rather were

Mediterrenean or South Seas people. For example: William

Goyens was born in North Carolina in 1794 to a "free Ne-

gro" father and a white mother.  In 1821 he came to Texas

and became a prosperous millionaire [by today's standards

businessman in Nacogdoches. In 1832 he proposed marriage

to a white woman named Polly Sibley. Her brothers came

from Georgia to block the marriage, but consented when

they heard that William Goyens was not African, but "Me-

lungeon".

 

However during this same period, the original tidewater

colonies-turned-states, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and

the Carolinas knew otherwise.  Virginia grandfathers

from the colonial era could remember the Negro ancestors

of the Melungeons even though the issue of black and

white intermarriage never scandalized the earlier genera-

tion as it did their grandchildren.  To the Stoney Creek

church, the possibility of sexual attraction between the

children of white members and the mixed children of Me-

lungeon members was alarming. When Stoney Creek's Melun-

geons members began to move away into Kyle's Ford, Ten-

nessee, the white church members of Virginia breathed a

sigh of relief.

 

From time to time these Melungeons would return to visit

Stoney Creek, a 40-mile trip which required a one night

stop-over.  Sister "Sookie" came under suspicion from

other white church members for allegedly "harboring them

Melungins" overnight.

 

In the Stoney Creek case in the early 1800s, the presence

of just a little African blood in Melungeons raised ten-

sions because Melungeons were otherwise white.  Blacks,

free and slave, were welcome to worship with whites at

the Stoney Creek church. Melungeons were not.

 

But this was not always the case in the history of Vir-

ginia.  Once upon an earlier time in America, mixed Me-

lungeons and indeed many full-blooded Africans, were

strangers to prejudice.

 

THE KIMBUNDU-ANGOLAN ORIGIN OF THE NAME "MELUNGEON"

 

The Stoney Creek mention of "Melungeons" reveals the name

was a common word familiar to Virginians at least as ear-

ly as the beginning of the 19th century. Free Melungeons

of mixed red, white and black ancestry originated within

one generation of the first Angolans who arrived in Vir-

ginia in 1619 and who continued coming to the southern

tidewater colonies through 1720.  These early Africans

were Kimbundu-speaking Angolans who, like Angolans in

Brazil, described themselves as "malungu".  Within a dec-

ade of arriving in Virginia, after serving about 7-10

years of indentured servitude, these Angolan ancestors of

the Melungeons were free to move from county to county.

They were free as early as 1640 to own property and to

name their community in their native Kimbundu language.

 

The name "Melungeon" was not applied to these first Afri-

cans by white outsiders or slave owners.  It was a name

they called themselves. Stoney Creek church records show

the name "Melungeon" was known in Virginia before it ap-

peared in Tennessee. Mixed Melungeons had lived in Vir-

ginia from 1660.  At that time, their native Angolan fa-

thers still spoke Kimbundu along with English. The origin

of the name "Melungeon" in Virginia and not Tennesseee,

and the presence of Kimbundu-speaking Angolans in Virgin-

ia by 1660, strongly support a Kimbundu-African etymology

for the name "Melungeon".

 

The name "Melungeon" comes directly from the Kimbundu-An-

golan word "malungu", which originally meant "watercraft"

Kimbundu was the language of the Mbundu nation which in-

cluded the Ndongo kingdom. The first Africans coming to

Virginia in 1619, and for many years afterward, were

Mbundu.  This Kimbundu word came to mean "shipmates from

a common country" among Mbundu people in America.  John

Thornton of Millersville University of Pennsylvania, and

Linda Heywood of Howard University have found evidence of

the name elsewhere.

 

"In Brazil, which had a heavily Kimbundu-speaking African

population, the term "malungu" was used to mean anyone

who had traveled on the same ship together, and gradually

extended [by definition] to other close companions or

friends. Since the word derives from Kimbundu [the same

word is also used in Kikongo] and not Portuguese, there

is no reason that it can't also be used in areas outside

Brazil where the Angolans went."

 

The Mbundu in Virginia, as in Brazil, used "malungu" to

describe their fellow countrymen shipped west to the New

World across the Atlantic. Prof. Robert Slene wrote an

article entitled, "Malunga, ngoma vem! Africa encoberta

e descoberta no Brasil" [Malungu, ngoma comes! Africa un-

covered and discovered in Brazil].  Slene notes that in

Brazil, the word was borrowed into Portuguese as "melun-

go" [shipmate] from the Kimbundu and Kikongo languages.

He cites the philologist Macedo Soares as giving a defi-

nition of "malungo" in 1880 [in Portuguese]:

 

"companheiro, patricio, da mesma regiao, que veio no mes-

mo comboio parceiro da mesma laia, camarada, parente."

 

[Translation: companion, fellow countryman, from the same

region, who travels on the same conveyance, from the same

background, comrade, relative.]

 

Soares cites a 1779 Portuguese dictionary with the exam-

ple, "Malungo, meu malungo" . . . chama o preto a outro

cativo que veio com ele na mesma embaracao . . . "

 

[Translation: "Malungo, my malungo" . . . the black calls

another captive who came with him on the same ship)"

 

Slene finds the etymology of the later Portuguese word

"melungo" in the earlier Angolan "malungu" from the lan-

guages of Kimbundu, Kikongo, and Umbundu [spoken in cen-

tral Angola).  In the modern languages, the definition of

"malungu" can mean "companion".

 

Thornton and Heywood write:

 

" . . . the idea that the term means "shipmate" and could

be extended to "countryman" or "close friend" and "rela-

tive" makes great sense to us and gives the term "Melun-

geon" great significance."

 

The name "Melungeon" is an English corruption of the Kim-

bundu "malungu", used by newly-arrived Angolans in colon-

ial Virginia to describe their new community in America

as companions, shipmates, fellow passengers from a common

homeland who had endured the great Atlantic crossing to-

gether.  Seventeenth century Kimbundu-speaking Mbundu

people in America took anglicized surnames which are

still found among Melungeon descendants today.

 

Scenarios for a French, or Portuguese origin for the name

"Melungeon" are highly speculative.  Angolans, who were

without question among the ancestors of American Melun-

geons, called themselves "malungu" at the same time Me-

lungeons originated in 17th century Virginia.  At this

time in history, French adventurers and traders were re-

garded as spies and barred from Virginia.  The French

"malange" meaning "mixed" is an unlikely source of the

name "Melungeon". Only the vaguest of scenarios have been

proposed to explain the French "malange" theory, and

those have been outside of historical context.

 

There is only a remote possibility that these Angolans

called themselves after the Portuguese "melungo" since we

have no evidence of the Kimbundu word being adapted into

Portuguese as early as the 17th century. The word "Melun-

geon" did not derive from the Portuguese "melungo". Rath-

er, both the English "Melungeon" and the Portuguese "me-

lungo" came directly from the Kimbundu "malungu"

.

FIVE EVIDENCES FOR AN ANGOLAN ORIGIN OF "MELUNGEON"

 

1. American Melungeons formed as a community by 1660,

within the lifetimes of the first Kimbundu-speaking Ango-

lans to arrive in Virginia in the 17th century. "Melungu"

is a Kimbundu word. There is no doubt these Angolans had

Melungeon descendants.

 

2. The Melungeon community began in the era during which

Virginia started passing laws which restricted and isola-

ted these free Angolan African-Americans.  This ethnic

isolation, beginning about 1670, further set them apart

as a distinct community even while many whites were join-

ing them.  These whites suffered legal punishment for do-

ing so.

 

3. The wary xenophobic vigil of the British-American col-

ony of Virginia in the 17th century seriously undermines

a possible French or Portuguese influence on the origin

of the name "Melungeon".  European trespassers who were

not British, were either strung up or expelled from Vir-

ginia.  Any white found in Virginia in the 17th century

who was not British, nor a British ally, was typically

arrested as a suspected spy. This would exclude any theo-

rized French fur trappers alleged to have discovered the

Melungeons, and all "lost" or abandoned Portuguese or

Spanish colonies. A "blue-eyed Indian" would have been

viewed suspiciously by the British in Virginia who habit-

ually destroyed any French, Spanish, or Portuguese set-

tlements they found, after first executing or deporting

their inhabitants. France, Spain, Portugal and England

were all embroiled in a fierce fight to the death over

the territory between New Amsterdam [modern New York])

and Florida.

 

4. Melungeons are descendants of northern Europeans, nat-

ive Americans, and Kimbundu-speaking Angolan-Africans. It

is reasonable to assume that their name came from one of

the languages of these three people.  No English, Gaelic,

German, Dutch or Indian etymology for "Melungeon" is ser-

iously considered at present.  However, Angolans referred

to their community as "Malungu."  It is likely that this

Kimbundu name became the source of the anglicized word

"Melungeon" in America.

 

5. The Melungeons were not the descendants of helpless

African-American slaves. They were free descendants of

free African-Americans who had the liberty to move from

place to place and the liberty to identify themselves.

The name fits them. They were people who had all come

from a common homeland [Angola] by ship to a new country.

They were "malungu".  They were never slaves. They were

never chained to the plantations.

 

OTHER ANGOLANS IN VIRGINIA

 

The first "20 and odd" Mbundu who came to Virginia in

1619 were not the only Angolans coming to the British-

American colonies in the 17th century, nor were they the

only Angolan ancestors of the Melungeons. Dozens of other

privateers brought Mbundu and other Bantu peoples for de-

cades after 1619. While some blacks also came from Kon-

go, most were from Angola. These later Angolan arrivals

also had children who can be identified as early Virginia

Melungeons.

 

Records of the activities of the West India Company show

that during the absence of any substantial English slave

trading directly with Africa, privateers, exclusively

robbing only Portuguese slavers out of Angola, accounted

for the overwhelming majority of Africans arriving in

Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Amsterdam, and North

and South Carolina for the good part of the century.

Thornton and Heywood have documented colonial America's

reliance on privateers who exclusively targetted Angolan

slaveships from a Bermuda-based operation with:

 

  " . . . half a dozen privateering commissions issued

  by this company that include specific provisions about

  taking slave ships and delivering them to Bermuda,

  Virginia and even New England . . . virtually all, if

  not all, Africans arriving in Virginia [or any other

  colony of England or the Netherlands] prior to 1640,

  and perhaps even after that for some years, origina-

  ted in Angola [either Kimbundu or Kikongo speaking

  regions].

 

Over 200 surnames of free 17th century African-Americans

who intermarried with white settlers have been found by

researchers like Paul Heinegg and J. Douglas Deal.  Ac-

cording to the records obtained by Thornton and Heywood,

these African-Americans were mostly native Angolans.  The

following names of some 50 African-Americans, appeared in

the colonies when English and Dutch privateers were con-

centrating exclusively on merchant-slavers from Angola.

Many of these African-American surnames can be found

among Melungeon descendants today.  The dates represent

either the time of an individual's appearance or date of

birth.

 

ANGOLAN ANCESTORS OF MELUNGEONS IN EARLY 17TH CENTURY

VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, DELAWARE AND THE CAROLINAS:

 

1620s

Carter, Cornish, Dale/Dial, Driggers, Gowen/Goins, John-

son, Longo, Mongom/Mongon, Payne,

 

1630s

Cane, Davis, George, Hartman, Sisco, Tann, Wansey

 

1640s

Archer, Kersey, Mozingo, Webb

 

1650s

Cuttillo, Jacobs, James,

 

1660s

Beckett, Bell, Charity, Cumbo, Evans, Francis, Guy, Har-

ris, Jones, Landum/Landrum, Lovina/Leviner, Moore, Nick-

ens, Powell, Shorter, Tate, Warrick/Warwick

 

In the above lists of surnames there is found other docu-

mentation that these Africans arriving from 1620-1660

were Angolan. Anthony Johnson's grandson named his Mary-

land plantation "Angola".  The sister of Sebastian Cane

was also named "Angola".

 

Some families such as Banks, Bass, Berry, Chavis, Sweat,

Davis, Hanser, Lang, Lawrence, Fisher, Hammond, Lucas,

Matthews began with white ancestors from which certain

branches initially intermarried with Indians. However all

of these these white and Indian families intermarried

with Africans in America, often before 1700 when most of

the blacks would have been native Angolans.

 

The original term "Malungu" used by early Kimbundu and

Kikongo-speaking Africans from Angola, was extended to

include all mixed red, white and black family members in

America.  The idea of malungu as "shipmates" gradually

came to mean "countrymen", "close friends" and "rela-

tives" later in the 18th century freeborn Melungeon com-

munity. This terminology would not have extended to black

chattel slaves who were separated from the free black

community by plantation bondage.

 

After the 1660s, more Angolan intermarriages added other

surnames also found today among modern Melungeons.  Many

of the late 17th century African arrivals held a connec-

tion to Angola through in-laws or ancestors.  Some of the

following who were not outright Angolan by ancestry,

would have been influenced by the dominant 1620-1660 An-

golan-American community by marriage or other social

bonds.

 

LATER 17TH CENTURY AMERICAN FAMILIES

ASSOCIATED WITH ANGOLANS

 

1670s

Anderson, Atkins, Barton, Boarman, Bowser, Brown, Bunch,

Buss, Butcher, Butler, Carney, Case, Church, Combess,

Combs, Consellor, Day, Farrell/Ferrell, Fountain, Game,

Gibson/Gipson, Gregory, Grimes, Grinnage, Hobson, Howell,

Jeffries, Lee, Manuel, Morris, Mullakin, Nelson, Osborne,

Pendarvis, Quander, Redman, Reed, Rhoads, Rustin, Skipper,

Sparrow, Stephens, Stinger, Swann, Waters, Wilson.

 

1680s

Artis, Booth, Britt, Brooks, Bryant, Burkett, Cambridge,

Cassidy, Collins, Copes, Cox, Dogan, Donathan, Forten/

Fortune, Gwinn, Hilliard, Hubbard, Impey, Ivey, Jackson,

MacDonald, MacGee, Mahoney, Mallory, Okey, Oliver, Penny,

Plowman, Press/Priss, Price, Proctor, Robins, Salmons/

Sammons, Shoecraft, Walden, Walker, Wiggins, Wilkens,

Williams

 

1690s

Annis, Banneker, Bazmore, Beddo, Bond, Cannedy/Kennedy,

Chambers, Conner, Cuffee, Dawson, Durham, Ford, Gannon,

Gates, Graham, Hall, Harrison, Hawkins, Heath, Holt,

Horner, Knight, Lansford, Lewis, Malavery, Nichols, Nor-

man, Oxendine, Plummer, Pratt, Prichard, Rawlinson, Ray,

Ridley, Roberts, Russell, Sample, Savoy, Shaw, Smith,

Stewart, Taylor, Thompson, Toney, Turner, Weaver, Welsh,

Whistler, Willis, Young

 

These free black, white and red families of the 17th cen-

tury, and many more of the early 18th century, intermar-

ried to produce the Melungeons. The original African

identity and background was Angolan from kingdoms like

Ndongo of the Mbundu nation.

 

ANGOLANS ELSEWHERE IN NORTH AMERICA

 

To corroborate the great influx of Angolan-Africans com-

ing into Virginia in the 17th century we have records of

the Angolan Dutch of New Amsterdam, [today's New York] of

that period. The lists of baptisms show several Africans

surnamed "Angola" in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Am-

sterdam from 1639-1730. This period compares with the

time frame of Angolans arriving in Virginia.  At one time

Dutch farmers of New York's Hudson River Valley were the

largest importer of African slaves in North America.

 

While names of the Virginia Africans were frequently

changed to English, the names of Dutch Africans often di-

rectly reflected their African past.

 

1639-1649 NEW YORK BAPTISMAL RECORDS OF ANGOLANS

[includes parents, witnesses]

 

1639-Susanna D'Angola

 

1640-Samuel Angola, Isabel D'Angola, Emanuel van Angola,

Lucie Van Angola

 

1641-Susanna Van Angola, Jacom Anthoney Van Angola, Cleyn

Anthony Van Angola

 

1642-Susanna Simons Van Angola, Andrie Van Angola, Isabel

Van Angola, Maria Van Angola, Emanuel Swager Van Angola,

Andries Van Angola, Marie Van Angola

 

1643-Pallas-Negrinne Van Angola, Catharina Van Angola,

Anthony Van Angola,

 

1644-Anthony Van Angola-Negers, Lucretie d'Angola-

Negrinne

 

1645-Andries Van Angola, Mayken Van Angola

 

1646-Paulus Van Angola

 

1647-Marie Van Angola, Jan Van Angola-Neger

 

1648-Emanuel Angola

 

1649-Christyn Van Angola

 

Dutch New York Angolans and British Virginia Angolans ar-

rived by the same conveyance in the 17th century; priva-

teering men-o-war specializing in robbing Portuguese mer-

chant slavers.  The New York and later the Pennsylvania

mixed community became known as "Black Dutch".  The sou-

thern mixed groups became known as "Melungeon", and "Lum-

bee" among other names.

 

THE MALUNGU STORY IN A NUTSHELL

 

The original Melungeon community began with the arrival

of Mbundu-Angolans in Virginia in the early 1600s. These

African-Americans called themselves "malungu" from 1620

through 1700 during which time the first native African

generation of Kimbundu-speaking Angolans in Virginia were

still alive.  By the 1660s, the exclusive Angolan "malun-

gu" community had begun extending to include the mixed

descendants of whites and Indians who were intermarrying

into their families.

 

Then, in the 1670s, the Virginia legislature started ena-

cting a series of laws restricting certain rights of free

Angolans. Previously, many African-Americans had enjoyed

full civil liberties as freemen.  For example free blacks

could purchase white servants to work their growing

farms.  But in 1670 the Virginia legislature forbade free

African-Americans from owning white servants.  In 1691

Virginia outlawed the manumission of slaves and also for-

bade black and white intermarriages. In 1705 Virginia de-

nied slaves the ability to pay for their freedom when it

seized their farm stock which certain slave owners had

allowed them to raise.

 

The existance of these laws argue that virtually all non-

chattel African-Americans in Virginia born after 1720,

were born of free black ancestors; the original Angolan-

Americans of the 1600s. Those original Angolans repre-

sent the only significant cohesive free black group able

to intermarry with free whites and move from place to

place beyond plantation bondage.

 

The colonial legislative restrictions on the freedom of

these black ancestors of Melungeons began to isolate

their mixed descendants as early as 1670.  Not entirely

white, not slave, and not Indian, these Melungeons be-

longed to a fourth class of America; free coloreds. They

are often found as frontiersmen who were forced by their

isolation to live between the "wilderness" and "civili-

zation."  In time, as Melungeons became whiter through

intermarriage, they were accepted as equals among fron-

tier whites, especially in the southern Gulf Coast

states carved from the Louisiana Territory.  From Florida

to Texas, Melungeons were thought to have only some "In-

dian" blood mixed with white blood.

 

By the time the frontier had vanished in the East with

the removal of the five Indian nations to Oklahoma in the

1830s, many Melungeons, like John and Matilda Hall Guynes

of Copiah County, Mississippi, were themselves becoming

wealthy slave owners in white society. Their descendants

merged into white society with hardly a ripple.  Those

Melungeons who remained in the original tidewater domin-

ions like Virginia, and especially in the Carolinas, con-

tinued to meet with prejudice because their black ances-

try was ancient knowledge there.  Old French-Spanish Lou-

isiana also held bitter, divisive memories in the bayous

and canebrakes.  The older American settlements knew Me-

lungeons were part African, the younger settlements only

suspected they had some Indian blood.

 

The Melungeons were constantly re-defining themselves de-

cade after decade from the 17th century through the 20th

century.  Old origin tales were forgotten, replaced by

newer legends.

 

The institution of chattel slavery had erased much of the

African ancestry of Melungeons before 1864. When slavery

was abolished after the Civil War, the next great shock

to the Melungeon body came with Virginia's so-called Rac-

ial Integrity Law of 1924. Melungeons had escaped the

threat of slavery only to meet Jim Crow prejudice in the

South.  The registrar of the Virginia Breau of Vital Sta-

tistics in 1912 was a man named Walter Plecker.  Plecker

was influential in the enforcement of Virginia's notori-

ous "one-drop" law which was aimed at separating "pure

whites" from all other ethnics.  Plecker's state-wide

policies were studied by Adolph Hitler and his master

planners of ethnic murder in Nazi Germany. The scheme to

deny Melungeons full citizenship in America became the

blueprint for the greatest genocide in history.

 

The controversy over the African origin of the American

Melungeons fed into World War II; the world's most savage

war to date and a war which claimed the lives of many

thousands of white Americans.

 

The Melungeons, including the Gowens and all their name-

sakes, are a quiet, shy people, who have endured much per-

secution in America for nearly four hundred years. Their

survival is a miracle, much like the miraculous delivery

of another persecuted people.

 

  "And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy

  seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs,

  and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four

  hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall

  serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out

  with great substance.".

 

THE END

 

Biography:  Tim Hashaw is an investigative reporter work-

ing from East Texas. He has filed stories for CBS, ABC

and NBC from network affiliates.  Tim has reported for

radio, television, and print.  Awards for Best Investiga-

tive Reporting from: The Radio and Television News Direc-

tors' Association (RTNDA), Associated Press, United Press

International, the National Headliners Club and others.

 

 

CLARENCE BLAIN GOWEN MUST HAVE BEEN A GYPSEY

 

By Charles Latimer Gowen

The dazzling opportunities in America at the turn of the

century caused many an adventurous young man to try his

hand at several professions.  My father, Clarence Blain

Gowen was such a man. He was successively a steamship

owner, a pharmacist, a photographer, a newspaper editor,

a wholesale druggist, a Ford dealer, a ship chandler--

and for one day, he was an airmail pilot--at the age of

67.

 

Clarence Blain Gowen was born at Monticello ont Carteret

Point in Glynn County, Georgia January 29, 1871.  He was

the son of William Harrison Gowen [1842-1890] and Anne

Elizabeth Wright Gowen [1849-1934].  His paternal grand-

parents were James Gowen and Anna Abbott Gowen.

 

My father told me how he learned to swim.  At Easter his

mother bought a new straw hat for him at about age seven. 

After church, as he was walking by the millpond, a gust

of wind blew his new hat into the pond.  Knowing that if

he returned home without it, a whipping was in order.

 

Without hesitating he jumped into the water and dog-pad-

dled to the floating hat. He seized it with his teeth

and paddled back to the bank--where he realized that he

was now a swimmer.

 

William Harrison Gowen owned an interest in a steamship

which made ports of call along the seaboard.  Clarence

Blain Gowen was taken along on several voyages and immed-

iately developed his gypsy wanderlust.  He recalled a

particularly impressive trip when he and his mother re-

mained in New York City for an extended visit.

 

My father was sent to Moreland Park Military Academy in

Atlanta.  I recall seeing his cadet uniform which Dixie

Ma [as we called my grandmother] had preserved, all in

Confederate gray with large brass buttons and a swallow

tail.  Father told me that one of the most pleasant memo-

ries of cadet life was being invited to the home of Gen.

John Brown Gordon near the Academy for syllabub.  The

Confederate general was governor of Georgia after the war. 

The Battle of Atlanta was fought nearby, and the cadets

searched for minnie balls on the battlefield.

 

After graduation, father studied pharmacy in a school in

Philadelphia which later became part of the University of

Pennsylvania.  In 1897, he went to Sumner, Iowa to visit

Dr. W. L. Whitmire, the brother of his step-father.  He

liked the country and decided to open a drugstore in

Westgate, a nearby town of 300 population on the Chicago

& Great Western Railway.

 

Drugstores were not too profitable in Iowa at the turn of

the century.  The doctors rolled their own pills and

filled their own prescriptions.  To augment the pharmacy,

father set up a photography studio.  Shortly afterward,

he launched the "Westgate Gazette," a weekly newspaper. 

I remember seeing the hand press on which the Gazette was

printed, the cases of type which was set by hand and old

issues of the paper on the floor.

 

About 1899, a telephone was installed, and my mother, Ed-

na Latimer came into Westgate to see this new wonder.  On

that occasion she met the new druggist.  A courtship de-

veloped, and father's horse and buggy afterward was often

seen traversing the four miles out to the Latimer farm.

 

They were married on Valentine's Day, 1900.  After a wed-

ding trip to Georgia on St. Simons Island, they returned

to Iowa and lived in the flat above the drugstore.  After

a short time, they returned to Brunswick, Georgia where

my father organized a wholesale firm, Dixie Drug Company. 

Uncle Mansie, Dixie Ma and several friends invested in

the firm, only to see their investments vanish when the

firm failed.

 

My parents headed back to Iowa.  I was born there on the

Latimer farm January 31, 1904.  About the same time, on a

return visit to Georgia father bought one of the new-fan-

gled automobiles--a second-hand American.  I remember it

well.  It had one seat for the driver and one for a pass-

enger, no windshield, a two-cylinder motor and was crank-

ed on the left side. He left Brunswick with the inten-

tion of driving it back to Iowa.  With no pavement, few

bridges and almost impassible roads, he, in some fashion,

made it as far as Chattanooga.

 

When the crank broke his wrist in an attempt to start the

car there, he gave up and put the vehicle on a riverboat. 

Via the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers the car

made it to Dubuque, and father drove it the rest of the

way.

 

Mother wanted to remain in Iowa, and father was agree-

able, but the Gowen family back in Brunswick had expanded

its ship chandlery business and had bought the Steamer

"Hessie." The steamer was a great success on the Bruns-

wick-Darien run, paying dividends as high as 200 percent

per year, and the family insisted that Clarence Blain

Gowen return to Georgia to assist in the operation, of-

ering him a salary of $125 per month.  Iowa could not

compete with the big money in Georgia.  Father made the

decision to return, and thereafter there was no indeci-

ion about where we should live.

 

Shortly after arrival, father also got the Brunswick Ford

agency.  He predicted great success for the company head-

ed by the eccentric Henry Ford.  Once he took a Peerless

in trade on a Ford. We all took a ride in the Peerless

which seemed huge compared to the Ford.  Access to the

rear seat was through a door which was in the middle of

the back of the car.

 

About 1920, the Brunswick Steam Laundry & Coca-Cola Bot-

tling Company came up for sale.  Father wanted to buy the

company, but mother vetoed the idea.  She didn't think

that Coca-Cola had a future.  By this time, father was

president of the chandlery. Mother founded the Parent-

Teachers Association in Brunswick and helped to organize

the Daughters of the American Revolution.

 

After I graduated from Glynn Academy, my parents made the

sacrifice to send me to the University of Georgia.  I

knew how much the $50 per month took out of the family

budget.  Father was very generous and never turned me

down on anything that I really needed.  Once in my junior

year I was facing desperate straits and needed some extra

money.  I wrote father about what I needed, and to add

extra emphasis I closed by saying, "In fact my last two

cents goes to buy the stamp for this letter."  By return

mail I received a check for the $15 I had asked for with

a note from my father reading, "I don't know what you did

with the rest of your money, but you made a damned good

investment with your last two cents."

 

When I finished law school, was admitted to the bar and

fortunate enough to be offered a junior partnership with

Judge C. B. Conyers, father offered to help me get a bet-

ter car.  He thought my Model T Ford was not up to the

standard for a Brunswick lawyer and located a second-hand

Hudson Speedster in Vidalia.  He endorsed my note at the

First National Bank for $1,000 to pay for the car. Father

always said I might not have successfully courted Evelyn

with the old Ford, so the Hudson was a good investment.

 

After the death of my mother July 15, 1933, my father be-

gan to take flying lessons and received his pilot's li-

cense when he was 65 and purchased a Piper Cub.  In 1938

the Post Office was anxious to promote air mail and an-

nounced Air Mail Week. Private pilots were asked to fly

air mail between points where there was no regular ser-

vice.  Father flew his route from St. Simons to Macon

with three stops in between and returned later that af-

ternoon.  His great-grandson, John Spalding researched

in the National Archives years later and found father's

flight log of the trip bearing the signatures of the five

postmasters.  My sister, Jean Randolph retained the

plaque the Post Office presented to my father to commemo-

rate the day that father "flew the mail."  I recall that

father took along a five-gallon can of gasoline that he

had strained himself. He didn't trust the fuel at McRae

Field.

 

In 1941, father began to fly for Civil Air Patrol off the

Georgia coast where German submarines sank some ships.

He flew with a bomb attached to each wing, and his ground

crew breathed a sigh of relief each time the 70-year-old

dive bomber pilot landed and the bombs safely removed.

 

From the beginning Father had great faith in the future

of the American automobile industry and believed that the

nation would build the roads essential to its success.

He certainly did his part. He took his family to every

cultural and historic point accessible by automobile.

 

I remember the battlefields at Chickamauga and Missionary

Ridge, Lincoln's birthplace in Kentucky, Mammouth Cave,

Field Museum and the Art Institute in Chicago, the Capi-

tol, Washington Monument, National Archives and the Smith

sonian Museum in Washington, Mt. Vernon and Manassas Bat-

tlefield in Virginia, the Museum of Natural History, the

Hippodrome Theatre, the Flatiron Building and Coney Is-

land in New York.

 

Each trip was a high adventure.  There were no road maps;

father bought a Blue Book which described landmarks we

were to look for en route. There were no service sta-

tions; fuel was bought at bulk stations, hardware stores,

coalyards, etc. Rivers were crossed by ferries.

 

From these early days I also remember Toledo, Cleveland,

Erie, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Albany and

Poughkeepsie.  We had a collision in Poughkeepsie.  Fath-

er hit a dray.  The drayman, a foreigner, began to shout

intelligibly.  My sister Gladys began screaming.  A crowd

began gathering to marvel at a car with Georgia plates

that had made it all the way to Poughkeepsie.  When a po-

liceman arrived, Father produced a $10 bill, everything

subsided immediately and we drove on.

 

In retrospect, my father was an excellent, loving family

man in the sense that his family always came first.  He

was at his best in traveling and showing the world to his

family.  Certainly I can't say that I ever called on my

father for something of importance that was denied.  I

should have shown more gratitude.

 

Clarence Blain Gowen died in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Jan-

uary 6, 1956.  He is buried in Christ Church Cemetery,

St. Simons Island beside my mother.  May he rest in peace

in this beautiful spot.

==O==

The author, now 97, lives in Presbyterian Village in Aus-

tell, Georgia.  In 1994, at age 92, he addressed the

Foundation Research Conference at the Nashville Sheraton.

 

 

MELUNGEON DNA STUDY TO BE COMPLETED

IN THE SUMMER OF 2001

 

An Announcement from Dr. N. Brent Kennedy

Author, "The Melungeons: Resurrection of a Proud People"

 

For decades, critics have pointed to the lack of DNA evi-

dence to support the centuries old Melungeon claim to

possess at least partial Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/

East Indian heritage. While respected gene frequency

studies [e.g, Dr.James Guthrie’s 1990 study published in

"Tennessee Anthropologist"] have supported the Mediter-

ranean hypothesis, skeptics have generally dismissed such

studies as “inconclusive.” All this is about to change.

 

In the summer of 2001, a comprehensive genetics study on

the origins of the Melungeons should be concluded. Dr.

Kevin Jones, a molecular biologist and professor at the

University of Virginia at Wise, is coordinating the study

with several other genetics labs and local area physic-

ians.

 

For the past year, we have been systematically collecting

Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA samples [maternal and

paternal lines, respectively] in an effort to determine

the general origins of the Melungeons.  For the maternal

lines we are utilizing hair samples and for the paternal

lines, buccal cheek cells. In each case, the resultant

DNA sequences will represent the DNA passed from mother

to daughter to daughter or father to son to son. In other

words, the DNA sequences obtained in this study should

provide strong evidence of the original geographic [and

thus, ethnic] origins of each of the lines being tested.

 

Approximately 150 samples have been collected, and repre-

sent nearly all of the earliest known Melungeon lines,

including, among others, Vardy Collins, Buck Gibson, and

Mahala Mullins. Other well established Melungeon lines

represented in the study include Goins, Mullins, Moore,

Hall, Bennett, Bell, Osborne, Sexton, and Bowling/Boll-

ing.

 

One focus of the study will be an attempt to differenti-

ate between the Melungeons of Southwest Virginia and

those of east Tennessee [for example, are the Melungeon

Collinses of Stone Mountain in Wise County, Virginia

closely related to the Melungeon Collinses of Hancock

County, Tennessee, and so forth.]  The report will pre-

sent data and draw conclusions based on the broader

population sampling, but just as importantly on the sub-

groups within this sampling [e.g, the approximately 25

Hancock County samples, the approximately 30 Wise County

samples, and the approximately 15 Lee County samples).

 

A second focus will be to conduct this study in such a

way that it can be verified and reproduced by subsequent

researchers.  While those individuals who have participa-

ted in the study may certainly identify themselves, their

names will not be released in the study report itself. It

is worth reiterating that this is a serious scientific

investigation, where stringent regulations concerning an-

onymity and access to DNA data have, and will continue to

be, adhered to. Still, nearly all those involved have

volunteered to participate in future projects for valida-

tion purposes or more specialized studies.  I do plan on

releasing my own DNA data, at least in terms of likely or-

igins, for the various maternal and paternal lines.

 

I will leave it to others in the study to make their own

decisions.  While exceedingly important, this study will

not be the end-all for Melungeon genetic research. There

are several dozen Melungeon related populations in the

Southeastern United States and Ohio River Valley that

could provide equally important data.  But this study

should provide benchmark information in our understand-

ing of the likeliest origins of Appalachia’s Melungeon

people.

 

Spin-off benefits to medical research and healthcare

should also materialize over time and should prove to be

of immense value, especially in improved diagnosis of

genetically related diseases.

 

I hope all those who are sincerely interested in better

understanding our heritage will join with me in both

welcoming this study and supporting its eventual find-

ings, regardless of the nature of those findings. There

is no room for racism in what many refer to as the “Me-

lungeon Movement.” Remove any single ancestor from any

of our lines, and you and I are not here.  I embrace each

and every one of my forebears and anticipate with great

joy the opportunity of better knowing them through the

miracle of DNA analysis.

 

White, Black, Red, or Yellow, they are part of me and I

am eager for this chance to reach backward in time to

make their acquaintance.

 

Finally, whatever the results of the study, the real work

of historians has only begun. Once we know with some cer-

tainty the likely genetic origins of the Melungeons, the

truly exciting research into just how, and from where,

some of these early settlers came can begin in earnest.

 

As an example, if we discover that Romany Gypsy, East In-

dian, Semitic, or East African genes are represented in

the early Melungeon population, then that discovery begs

the question of precisely how those genes arrived. Exiles

from England, Barbados, or Trinidad?  Surviving 16th-cen-

tury Portuguese or Spanish Conversos? Turkish and/or Ar-

menian indentured servants or abandoned sailors?  Only

time and further research will tell.

 

And on the flip side, we may also find that the long-

standing claims of Mediterranean and/or Turkic/East Ind-

ian heritages have no genetic basis whatsoever, and that

the Melungeons are indeed, as some have steadfastly main-

tained, a simple conglomeration of Native Americans, West

Africans, and northern Europeans.  But either way, we’ll

be enriched by the truth. And whatever the results, the

Melungeons, and Melungeon dignity, are here to stay.

 

I appreciate your support as we continue to seek the

truth regarding our ancestors, while understanding the

undeniable kinship of ALL human beings. The Melungeons

are truly One People, All Colors and our hope is that the

rest of America will learn from us and adopt the same

mantra.

 

Note: Although Dr. Jones and the others will likely pub-

lish their findings in a refereed journal, a synopsis of

the study results will be made available at an appropri-

ate time on the Melungeon Heritage Association website:

 

      http://www.melungeon.org

 

 

ATTORNEY CLEVE WEATHERS OF NASHVILLE

ANALYZES GOYEN POWER OF ATTORNEY

 

  Comments on the 1792 Power of Attorney by Levi Goyen

      and the Supporting Affidavit by Becky Elliot

by Cleve Weathers -- March 2001

 

My comments are followed by the copies of the documents

that I have transcribed as carefully as possible.  In E-

mail some of the formatting will be off.  However, I

think the substance of data will remain.  Where you see

words abbreviated, the last character of the word was in

superscript in the original document with the period di-

rectly under the superscripted letter.  I do not know how

to duplicate that "directly underneath period" in my word

processor.

 

After studying the following power of attorney executed

by Levi Goyen and the supporting affidavit if Becky Elli-

ot in 1792, I think it is clear that both instruments

were drawn either by a lawyer or by good court clerk.  My

perception is that although the Fairfield County area of

South Carolina may no longer have been frontier territory

in 1792, it was still more or less backwoods country.

Considering this, I think both documents were well craft-

ed for their place and era.

 

My guess is that Levi and Becky came to either the attor-

ney or clerk and told a rather long rambling story of

their son and brother going to Davidson County, Tennessee

many years earlier and that as a result of David being

killed that his heirs had inherited his rights to a cheap

preemption grant of 640 acres from the State of North

Carolina.  [The original pioneers who did not flee else-

where, even temporarily because of the Indian attacks,

were also entitled to the same preemption grants.]  The

attorney or clerk then reduced the long rambling story to

its essentials either composing it in their presence or

asking them to come back later.

 

I think that neither Becky nor Levi would have had any

effective control over the specific wording of the docu-

ments even if they had been literate.  I think there

should be little doubt that it was the drafter of the

documents who decided that David and Levi should be iden-

tified as Mulatto and John Gowen [John Goyen in the power

of attorney] as "gentleman."  I have seen enough Tennes-

see and Virginia early legal documents using the termin-

ology "well beloved friend" and "trusty friend" to sus-

pect these may have been boilerplate language.

 

No doubt powers of attorney were not granted to enemies

or to those one knew to be frequently unfair in his deal-

ings.  However, I think it is inappropriate to assume

that those terms necessarily were entirely accurate in

describing a personal relationship between the grantor

and grantee of the power. One of several possibilities

is that John Gowen was the only person that Levi Goyen

knew in Davidson County, Tennessee or the entire region. 

It is also possible that he only knew him by reputation,

rather than personally.

 

In Davidson County, the use the term "gentleman" was used

somewhat sparingly to refer to persons who had both achi-

eved considerable material success and had a reputation

for gentlemanly behavior. My ancestor Capt. John Rains,

for instance, achieved quite a bit of material success,

and was a highly respected, even legendary, Longhunter

and militia leader. He appears to have been honest, but

was a bit of a ruffian. [Actually he may have been the

baddest ruffian in a frontier town that had many ruffians

including Andrew Jackson, who served as private under

Capt. John.]

 

Capt. John's usual defense to assault and battery charges

was that the victim deserved it.  Although quite a bit

has been written about Capt. John Rains, I have never

seen him referred to as a "gentleman" even though he had

a son who was also a captain in the militia, one son-in-

law who was sheriff of the county and another who was an

early Mayor of Nashville. Unlike Capt. John Rains, I

really do not have sufficient information to have an o-

pinion about John Gowen's character, but he was reason-

ably successful in his material affairs.

 

However, knowing generally how the white power structure

in South Carolina worked in this era and its more harsh

racial code, as opposed to say Virginia, it crosses my

mind that we cannot assume the same sparing use of the

term occurred in this instance.  It is possible that

drafter would require a mulatto to refer to pretty much

any white person as a "gentleman."  I suspect that if

Levi Goyen had suggested that to the clerk or attorney

that John Gowen of Davidson County was of mixed race des-

cent, then the drafter would not only have avoided the

use of the term "gentleman," he would have refused to

have used it even if requested.

 

I do not think we can draw any conclusions from the vari-

able spellings of surnames found in these documents.

 

Finally, I have learned one new interesting tidbit of

genealogical history from these documents, which is that

David Goyen, Sr. and wife Becky were presumably living in

Fairfield County at least by 1774 since Levi was report-

edly born there.  I am assuming he was at least 18 years

old when this power of attorney was granted.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~


Fairfield County, South Carolina Deeds

Book A, pp. 162-164

  Power of Attorney granted by Levi Goyen to John Goyen

followed by Affidavit of Becky Elliot

 

Know all Men by these presents, that I Levi Goyen of the

State of South Carolina Fairfield County and for divers

and good causes & considerations me herewith ____ing [re-

ceiving?], have made[,] ordained[,] Constituted and ap-

pointed and by these presents for me, my heirs Extr ____

and any of them do make and ordain Constitute and appoint

my trusty and well beloved friend, John Goyen of the

state of North Carolina Daverson County, Gentm. my true

and lawful attorney for me to take out the rights in him,

the said John Goyen's own name to sell, make over, convey

and confirm at his pleasure unto whoever may or shall a-

gree with & purchase of him the said John Goyen a certain

tract or parcel of land lying & being on Mill Creek of

the east side of Daverson County aforesaid, the said land

being first in the name of David Goyen, decd.

 

Four Mullato went to Cumberland River in the year 1779,

and were killed by the Indians in the year 1780, and left

the said Mulatto Levi Goyen, his proper heir in law[,]

the said parcel of land contg six hundred and forty acres

and I do hereby grant unto my said Attorney, my sole and

full power & authority to take, persue and follow such

legal course for transferring the Right of sd land unto

himself as I myself might or could do were I personally

present[,] Ratifying & Confirming whatsoever my said at-

torney shall lawfully do or cause to be Done in & about

the Execution of the foresaid by virtue of these pres-

ents.   In witness whereof I have herewith set my hand &

seal the 17th September in the year of our Lord, one

thousand, seven hundred and ninety two.

Signed, sealed in the presence aforesd McMinn Easley.

 

his

Levi X Gowen  (LG)

mark

 

Levi Gowen made his mark as his Signature to the above

Instrument of writing in my presence.

Benjm. Boyd

 

Fairfield

County     Before me personally appeared Becky Elliot

formerly Becky Gowen by a former Husband David Gowen &

after be[ing] duly sworn Deposeth and saith that she had

a son by the afsd. David named David Goyen who about

fourteen years ago left this county and as she was in-

formed went to Cumberland River in N Carolina was there

killed by the Indians sd. deponent further saith on oath

that Levi Gowen who now appoints John Gowen as his atty

is the full & oldest Brother of the afsd. David Gowen

her

Sworn & subscribed this        Becky X Elcot

17 day of Sept. 1792.               mark

before me

 

Benjm. Boyd  JFC

 

Fairfield

County      I do hereby certify that the above named Levi

Gowen passeth in this County aford. as free Mulatto and

it is said was Born here.

 

Given under my hand this 17th day

of Septemr. 1792.

Benjm. Boyd   J.F.C.

 

Fairfield County, South Carolina

 

I do hereby certify that Benjamin Boyd Esqr. is one of

the Judges of this our County Court & that full faith and

credit is to be given to the above and to his signature

the being his proper handwriting.

 

Given under my hand & seal of office

this 18th day of September the year

of our Lord 1792. & the 16th of American

Independence.

 

Recorded 18th Sept:92           D. C. Evans C.F.C.

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

This is the first time that I have responded to this

site, but I have been reading the mail in the last week.

I am a member of this site and intend always to be one.

My mother was a GOEN. Her father was a GOEN and her moth-

er was a ROBERTS [a very wise woman], and when I decided

to start looking up the family I went over and was talk-

ing to my grandmother [GOEN] about it before she passed

away she told me one thing that has always stuck with me

thru all my searches.

 

She said, "Honey, in all your searches you'll run across

a wide variety of mixed blood, but just remember one

thing you will never know where your going until you un-

derstand where you come from."  I believe she was right!

Just to know that my decendents accepted people as people

and weren't prudes about it would be great.  Now that

would be a legacy to leave. That would be hard to live

up to even during these days.  I haven't been doing this

as long as a lot of y'all, but I do understand one thing

about this type of research, and that is that you can't

be thin skinned and/or have a close mind.

 

If you have this problem then you shouldn't be doing this

type of research. Everything is possible, maybe not pro-

bable, but possible!

 

I have read a lot about how it was against the law to

marry an Indian, so the Indian's changed their names.

And when it was unpopular to be Irish, they would prac-

tice not sounding Irish. The Melungons mixed with others

so they wouldn't be detected, etc.

 

We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It just so happens that some of our ancestors were braver

than others, and if they hadn't been we wouldn't be so

free today.

 

I thank God everyday for my ancestors whoever? whatever?

they were, because if it weren't for them I wouldn't be

here and neither would my kids or my grandkids.

 

Sandy Beard

lilbeaver@hotmail.com

Route 3, Box 157A1

Whitewright, TX, 75491

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

I'm looking for information regarding American Indians in

Pittsylvania County and their descendents.   Pittsylvania

County was bordered by several American Indian tribes at

one time: the Tutelo, Occaneechi, Saponi, Monacan and the

Cherokee.  Many of the Indians left the area in the late

1700's, and it is speculated that some may have joined

other tribes in North Carolina and many may have stayed

behind, assimilating into the local populations.

 

I am looking for descendents of Moses Riddle, Indian

listed on the first tithables 1767 for Pittsylvania

County.

 

I would also like to know the names of the children, if

any of Suffiah/Sythe Goings who married William Carter

in Pittsylvania County, January 27, 1792, according to

"Pittsylvania County Marriages 1706-1850," William Wil-

liams Surety.

 

Do you have information on any of the following?

 

Burwell Going married Martha Carter, August 9, 1833,

bondsman Frederick Bruce, married by Ebin Angel.

 

William Going married Susan Bruce, August 1821, signer of

certificate Anna Going [mother of groom] Thomas Bruce

[father of bride], surety Shadrack Mustain.

 

Claiborn Going married Elizabeth Bird, 1833 [Rockingham

Co, NC] listed in Henry County 1840-Pittsylvania County

1850.  I believe Claiborn is the brother of Burwell Going.

 

The will of Sharack Going page 80-81 dated June 4,1805

lists five sons: John Going, David Smith Going, Claiborn

Going, Solomon Going, Shadrack Going and Caleb Going.

Daughters: daughter of Edmund Bowlin? Hannah Beazley.

Executor Willam Carter, Wm Berger. December 1805.

 

Any  leads to the Pittsylvania County Goings/Goins/Gowing

/Gowen/Gowans would be very appreciated, I believe they

were American Indian/Melungeon with connections to Pat-

rick, Henry Counties, VA and Rockingham County, NC.

Many of the individuals above were enumerated as Free

Persons of Color/Mulatto etc as were most American Indi-

ans in the state of VA.

 

Sincerely,

 

Emma E. Kelsey

301 Sir Knight Court

Chesapeake, VA, 23320-5490

757/402-0797

kels@infi.net

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

Not all Goins/Goings/etc. were Melungeons, and it would

be more helpful to your readers to make that statement in

the Newsletters because not to say so is confusing people

who are looking for their ancestors and don't know any

better than to assume they "must be" Melungeon due to the

content of your newsletters.

 

Even worse, that their Choctaw ancestors weren't Choctaw,

but were lying [to obtain Indian land grants].  One

cannot go back very many generations in Indian ancestry

research before the lines become blurred and unverifiable

because of the forced adoption of European names or the

faulty translation and/or pronunciation of Indian names

by non-Indians as well as the inter-marriages with whites

or blacks.

 

To be honest, these things should be made clear in the

Newsletter. Otherwise, people are being mislead.

 

Barbara Ellison

Choctaw Goins

767 Crooked Road

Dale, TX, 78616

greybird@angelfire.com

>>-->CHATA SIA HOKE<--<<

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

It has been suggested to me that I contact you since my

research is different from most peoples'.  I am the re-

searcher for the Saline County Kansas Sheriff's Depart-

ment.  I am currently researching all our former Sher-

iff's in a attempt to locate decendants so that the de-

partment can locate a photo of the former Sheriff and

give our men who served our county honor and recogni-

tion for their service.

 

I have a Going brick wall. Thomas J. Going came to Sa-

line County in March of 1866 with his wife Sarah.  He

was Sheriff here from 1872 to 1875. His oldest son,

George was killed in 1872, his second son James married

Georgia Elgin Goodwin on Jan. 1, 1884.  I show a daughter

born to them, Bessie, in 1885, and a son Thomas who died

in 1890 at the age of 2.

 

In 1888 Thomas J. Going had moved to Kansas City.  After

the death of the son of James and Sarah in 1890, they too

left, but I have not found out when or where.

 

Can any of your members help us with this quest?

 

Keely Denning

Saline County, KS Sheriff's Dept.

keely@tri.net

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

We're quite interested in the name Mihil Gowen.  It cer-

tainly sounds like an Anglicization of the Spanish "Mi-

guel", which is pronounced in many Spanish dialects more

or less like that. We've been wondering if we could also

make it into the pronunciation of Portuguese or more spe-

cifically Angolan/Kimbundu or Kikongo versions of Miguel. 

 

What's interesting is that it is a second generation name

with an Iberian ring. It is not impossbible that John

[Geaween] was actually a free person from the Spanish In-

dies who ended up in English service.  Privateers often

did pick up free Africans or even Creoles from Spanish

ships, shore positions and the like who joined them.

 

Since they were not visibly slaves they might well be

treated as indentured, even more so than an African would

be.  They might also be sufficiently aware and proud of a

Spanish background that they would push it for the next

generation--obviously the same would be true of an Ango-

lan with a Portuguese name or alternatively even one who

came without a Portuguese name, but decided to take one

from the influence of other Angolans who bore such names

while in Virginia.

 

We recall hearing somewhere that Mihil can be an English

name, or rather than the name was given out in England by

people with no Spanish connection.

Do you know if this is true?

 

Prof. John Thornton

Prof. Linda Heywood

beepsie@worldnet.att.net

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

I'm not sure if I'm the one that can unravel the mystery

behind the arrival of William Alexander Gowen in Massa-

chusetts Bay Colony in 1651, but I am going to keep hunt-

for the place of his origin in Scotland.  "The Scots in

Unity" is having a reunion on April 7th at the Saugus

Iron Works National Historic Site.  Anyone interested in

the genealogy or researching the vessel and it's passen-

ers are invited.  I am hoping to arrange a trip up there.

 

I'm not sure if there will be any information available

on William Alexander Gowen, but since he was listed as a

member of the Scots that were deported aboard that ship,

I am in high hopes of finding something to get started

with.

 

On the Scottish History Web site, [www.scotwar.ndirect.co

.uk/17thcent/battles/battle_of_dunbar_html] there is in-

formation regarding "possible" areas that the young re-

cruits were from. Since 3,000 professional soldiers were

sent home, just before the Battle of Dunbar due to unruly

behavior, Leslie was forced to use young inexperienced

"nothing but useless clerks and minister's sons who have

never seen a sword" as recruits in the battle.

 

Areas the recuits [including the 16-year-old William Al-

exander Gowen] might have been from are listed as Glasgow,

Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Fife.

 

It's a place to start. I hope others will help in this

search.  I'll let you know if I am able to arrange the

trip to the reunion, and I am sending my membership ap-

plication today!

 

Lacey June Hill

laceyjh@worldnet.att.net

 

==Dear Cousins==

 

We are looking for verification on Lenen Goins.  This in-

dividual appears in my wife's family information, but we

have been unable to verify it or find any record of birth

or parents.

 

He was married to Mary Ann Lockhart.  James Franklin Go-

ins was born to them in Crittenden County, Kentucky in

1865.  Lenen returned home from Army [which unknown] at

the close of the Civil War, but died before the birth of

James Franklin Goins.

 

Lenen Goins was buried in Kentucky, place unknown, and

then the family moved to Hardin County, IL, where his

descendants, including my wife, still live.

 

Danny D. Stanford

jaj3198@webtv.net

618/285-3403

 

 

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arlee Gowen, Editor

Gowen Research Foundation

A non-profit heritage society

5708 Gary Avenue

Lubbock, Texas, 79413-4822, 806/795-8758 or 806/795-9694

E-mail: gowen@sbcglobal.net

Website:

      http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf

 

The Foundation Website offers:

 

Foundation Newsletters--All editions published since 1989

Foundation Electronic Newsletters

"Melungia" Home of the Melungeons-Articles published by

    our Melungeon writers

"Dear Cousins" Letters from Foundation Researchers

Foundation Manuscript--10,000+ pages of research on the

    following Families:

 

Gawan,    Gawans,     Gawen, Gawens,    Gawin,

Gawins,   Gawn,       Gawne,    Gawnes,    Goain,

Goains,   Goan,       Goane,    Goans,     Goen,

Goene,    Goens,      Goin,     Goines,    Going,

Goings,   Goins,      Gorin     Gouen,     Gouens,

Gowain,   Gowan,      Gowane,   Gowanes,   Gowan,

Gowans,   Gowen,      Gowene,   Gowens,    Gowin,

Gowine, Gowing,     Gowins,   Gown, Gowne,

Gownes,   Gowyn,      Goyen,    Goyens,    Goyne,

Goynes, Goynne,     McGowan,  McGowen, McGowin,

O'Gowan, O'Gowen     O'Gowin."

 

=========================================================

Membership Application

 

Gowen Research Foundation      806/795-8758 or 795-9694

5708 Gary Avenue               E-mail: gowen@sbcglobal.net

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