Monday, August 19, 2013

Kinfolks left behind

In a 1950 Georgraphic Analysis of White-Negro-Indian Racial Mixtures in the United States by Edward T. Price  From the Available records and census schedules, it is estimated there was between 50,000 and 100,000 persons. Individually recognized groups may run from fewer than 100 to as many as 18,000 persons in the case of the Croatans of North Carolina. Yet each is essentially a local phenomenon, a unique demographic body, defined only his own terms and only by its own neighbors. Price goes on to name and locate all the Clans, 23 in number. (Price)

Most of these Clans named by Price shared some surnames such as Goins, Gowen etc.,As for Croatan "Locklear and Oxedine@, are the two most common names, covering nearly a`third of the Croatans" footnote 12 page 141 Price -"list of students at Pemboke State College, taken from Catalog 11, No 4, June, 1949 give the following percentage frequencies for the most common names;Locklear 17, Oxedine 13, Lowie 9, Sampson 6, Chavis 5, Dial 4, Hunt 4."

I match the Goin Croatans on a YDNA test. "Speaking of the upper Piedmont it is understood that the settlement of these Counties was mostly from Virginia; This is in keeping with the above observation on southward spread of the Gowen family. The oldest Goinses recorded in the North Carolina portion of this district in the 1850 census were born in Virginia.(Edward T. Price-Racial mixtures in Eastern United States page 151.)

                                   Edward T. Price correctly separated these Clans.

Pedee River clans in SC, were called the Mestizos, Brass Ankles, etc,
Lawrence Johnsons 1889 letter to the editor, in the Atlanta Constitution March 11, 1889.Meridian, Miss., March 11BB Editors Constitution Johnson does not name anyone and he bought into the idea they were Moslems, he wrote "their physical structure, their hair, their teeth, and general features, though every trace of their Moslem religion and north African dialect may have long been lost." Johnson does not say they were Melungeons, in fact he says they were Moors, Arabs and Negroes who claimed to be Portuguese.

The use of the term Moors by Johnson sends  a red flag that he was well aware of the Newman Ridge Melungeon traditions, the John Sevier encounter, which was spread by word of mouth. And printed in another newspapers before it was printed in the Nashville Daily American, September 15 1890,by Dan W. Baird, "A Backward Glance, which is the identical account as written by Will Allen Dromgoole, neither writer gives a reference, so the question is where did they get the story of Sevier encounter with the Melungeons in the mountains of Tennessee?

The PeeDee River settlement, from the Santee River: Several free colored men with their white wives had immigrated from Virginia with the intention of settling on the Santee River Governor Robert Johnson of South Carolina summoned Gideon Gibson and his family to explain their presence there and after meeting them reported:"On Examination find that they are not Negroes nor slaves, but free people, that the father of them here is named Gideon Gibson and his farther was also free. I have in consideration his wife's being white women and several white women capable of working and being servitude in the county permitted him to settle in this county. (Parish Trans.,SC, Box 1,Folder 4, pp 24-5 by Jordan- Paul Heinegg p 272 )

Both Gideon Gibson and Gideon Bunch were in South Carolina when they sold their adjoining Halifax County land to Montefort Eelbeck of Halifax County.
In South Carolina he recorded a plat of 200 acres on the Northwest side of Peedee River in Craven County 13 April 1736. He recorded a plat for 200 acres on the southwest side of Pee Dee River adjoining Jordan Gibson (His brother?)

On 25 July 1767 as a leader of the Regulators, Gideon was involved in a skirmish with a constables party near Marr's Bluff on the Pedee River . The incident brought matters between the Governor and the Regulators to a head. The South Carolina Gazette, which like the government was far removed from the location, reported in the 15 August 1768 Edition that there was two parties of Regulators. One made up of People with good principles and property, and the other made up of ;
gang of banditti, a numerous collection of outcast Mulattoes, Mustees, free Negroes, etc. all horse thieves from the borders of Virginia and other Northern Collies..headed by one Gideon Gibson.. ( Free African Americans of Colonial Virginia and NC. pp272-273 Paul Heinegg)

These Gibson's originated in Louisa County, Virginia. Descendants of Gideon Y-DNA was R1b1b2 and matched the Newman Ridge Melungeon Shep “Buck” Gibsons on 29 of 30 markers, which proves they share a common ancestor.

Gideon Bunch was the son of John, son of Paul who was son of John Bunch b 1630, A descendants from him in our DNA project was E1b1a

The Kinfolks left behind
Where ever these families lived on their way to Newman Ridge, Blackwater area, they always left a few behind and they escaped the label Melungeon according to the old witnesses. Vardy Collins and most of the Collins, Gibson and Bunch left Ashe County on the New River shortly after 1800.

1810 tax list of Ashe County enumerates:
1-Ambrose Collins, was 48 + 1 male 5, and 6 females the oldest female 48+, was probably his wife

2- Thomas Collins 48, 4 males under 5, and one female 48.probably his wife. Both families were listed white.

1820 Ashe County, NC Census, list these family as black
Elisha Collins (Free Black)
Thomas Collins (Free Black family
Tom Tomson   (Free Black family)
Andrew Williams (Free Black family)
Mathias Williams (Free Black family)

1830-census of Ashe County, NC enumerates 70 free persons of color, included are: 5 Collins families, 2 Goin families, 1 Bass family, one Freeman family, one Thomalson family; one Anderson family, one Robinson family, one Teague family and one Drew family.
District 13
# 12 was Thomas Collins fpc 36 to 50-his household shows 5 free colored males and 2 free colored females total 7 fpc
13-Larkin Collins 3 fpc males, one 36 to 50 and 4 fpc females
14-Robert Collins-fpc, 1, 5 to 10, 1 to 10 to 24, 1 36 to 50 and 4 females total 7 fpc
15- Edward Thomalson fpc -males 3 5 to 10; 1 36 to 50- Females 2, 5 to 10, 136 to 55.
District 5
#4-Hutchil Freeman fpc, 1 male 24 to 36 ; 1 females 10 to 24; 1, 24 to 36 -
#8-William Anderson fpc males 2, 5 to 10; 1, 10 to 24; 1, 24 to 36; 1, 36 to 55- Females 2,5 to 10, 1, 10 to 24; 1, 24 to 36.
Dist 31
# 18- William Goins Jr. fpc.Males 1, 10 to 24; 2, 24 to 36; 1 36 to 50; Females 2, 10 to 24; 1, 36 to 50

#18-William Goin Sr. fpc- 1 male 24 to 36 1 50 to 100; Females 1 10 to 24; 1, 24 to 36; 55 to 100
#27- Elisha Collins fpc- males 2 10 to 24, 36 to 50. Females, 1 36 to 55

#27- Elisha Collins 2 males 10 to 24, 1 36 to 50- Females 1 36 to 55

35-Elias Robinson 50 to 60, white, with a free colored household- fpc Males 1, 5 to 10- fpc  Females 5, 5 to 10, 2 10 to 24, 1, 36 to 55.

#7, Joab Teague, 1 free colored male 24 to 36-fpc Females 1, 10 to 24

#8-Anderson Drew 1fpc  male 10 to 24- 1 fpc females 10 to 24 .

1830 Total number of free person of color in Ashe County, North Carolina was 70.
5 Collins families, 2 Goin families; 1 Bass family; 1 Freeman family; 1 Tomalson family, 1 Anderson family, 1 Robinson family, 1 Teague family and 1 Drew family.

     We owe a debt of gratitude to the old tax and census enumerators for sometimes  labeling our people mulatto, or free colored, even though they were most likely racist who did not have the best interest of our people at heart. This label helps some family researcher to identify them as their ancestors.   According to Attorney Lewis Jarvis they were derisively dubbed Melungeon by the whites who lived here with  them. If this was not true then the name Melungeon should be in records where they lived prior to moving to Blackwater around 1800. Especially the area of Wilkes County,NC., that became Ashe in 1799, several from the Collins and Williams family stayed in this area. Another area is Grayson County, Virginia formed from from Wythe in 1793. George Collins testified in a land dispute in 1808 in Grayson County that he settled on the land known as Peach Bottom Creek, in 1767.  Wythe County formed 1790 from Montgomery formed in 1777 from the lands of Fincastle, which came out of Bontetourt County, Virginia. This land George Collins settled on was in Bontetourt County in 1767 and he is still on it in 1808. Most of these old records survived, so if they were called Melungeons before they migrating to Hawkins County it should be in the above named counties in North Carolina and  Virginia.   Jack Goins


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