THE AFRICAN ORIGIN OF THE MELUNGEONS
By Tim Hashaw
1937 Huge Oaks Houston, Texas, 77065
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-
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
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
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-
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])
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
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
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
ANGOLAN ANCESTORS OF MELUNGEONS IN EARLY 17TH CENTURY
VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, DELAWARE AND THE CAROLINAS:
Carter, Cornish, Dale/Dial, Driggers, Gowen/Goins, John-
son, Longo, Mongom/Mongon, Payne,
Cane, Davis, George, Hartman, Sisco, Tann, Wansey
Archer, Kersey, Mozingo, Webb
Cuttillo, Jacobs, James,
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
LATER 17TH CENTURY AMERICAN FAMILIES
ASSOCIATED WITH ANGOLANS
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.
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,
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]
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-
1645-Andries Van Angola, Mayken Van Angola
1646-Paulus Van Angola
1647-Marie Van Angola, Jan Van Angola-Neger
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
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.".
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
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
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
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
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.
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-
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-
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
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
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:
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
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'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.
Levi X Gowen (LG)
Levi Gowen made his mark as his Signature to the above
Instrument of writing in my presence.
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
Sworn & subscribed this Becky X Elcot
17 day of Sept. 1792. mark
Benjm. Boyd JFC
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
Recorded 18th Sept:92 D. C. Evans C.F.C.
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
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.
Route 3, Box 157A1
Whitewright, TX, 75491
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
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-
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.
Emma E. Kelsey
301 Sir Knight Court
Chesapeake, VA, 23320-5490
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
To be honest, these things should be made clear in the
Newsletter. Otherwise, people are being mislead.
767 Crooked Road
Dale, TX, 78616
>>-->CHATA SIA HOKE<--<<
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?
Saline County, KS Sheriff's Dept.
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
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
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-
Lacey June Hill
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
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
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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
The Foundation Website offers:
Foundation Newsletters--All editions published since 1989
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our Melungeon writers
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Foundation Manuscript--10,000+ pages of research on the
Gawan, Gawans, Gawen, Gawens, Gawin,
Gawins, Gawn, Gawne, Gawnes, Goain,
Goains, Goan, Goane, Goans, Goen,
Goene, Goens, Goin, Goines, Going,
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Gownes, Gowyn, Goyen, Goyens, Goyne,
Goynes, Goynne, McGowan, McGowen, McGowin,
O'Gowan, O'Gowen O'Gowin."
Gowen Research Foundation 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: email@example.com
Lubbock, Texas, 79413
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