1750 Thomas Goin b. in Brunswick Co, Va – d. in Claiborne Co, TN – ydna match

Thomas Goin b. 1750 in Brunswick Co, Va – d. 1838 in Claiborne Co, TN – ydna match – see: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/ydna-matches/


Thomas Gowen b. 1729 (not confirmed – just a guess at this point)


Edwina Goin b. 1774 m. Jacob Cupp
Levi “Old Levi” Goin b. Nov 2, 1779 – d. June 19, 1865 m. Elizabeth Stallions
Sarah Goin b. 1782 m. Bullard
Uriah “Old Uriah” Goin b. Dec 25, 1785 m. Nancy Dickson Goin
Isaac Abraham Goin b. 1783-93 – d. 1875 m. Temperance Alice Gray

Siblings:  (siblings not confirmed – just a guess at this point)

Thomas Goin b. 1729 married first wife in 1748 and had the following children:

1. Thomas Goin b. 1750 probably Greensville Co., VA died July 19, 1838 Big Barren, Claiborne Co., TN.  (same Y-DNA – but not confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729 – could be a nephew or cousin).
2. William Goin b. between 1752 and 1756, prob. Greensville Co., VA. died between 1828 and 1830 Claiborne Co., TN (not confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)
3. Vini Goin b. about 1758 NC married Mr. Hardister (confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)
4. Edward Goin b. about 1760 NC (not confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)
5. John Goin b. abt. 1763 NC (not confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)
6. Hali Goin b. about 2764 NC (confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)
7. Elizabeth Goin b. abt. 1768 NC (confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)

Thomas Goin b. 1729 married Overton and had the following two children:

1. Burgess Goin b. abt. 1776 NC; died 1849 Randolph Co., NC married Elizabeth (confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729) 
2. Burton Goin, born about 1778 NC; died after 1840, Claiborne Co., TN, was
married in NC (confirmed child of Thomas Goin b. 1729)


Y-DNA:  See the following page for Y-DNA results for this line:

Y-DNA information for Goyen:  https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/y-dna-for-goyen/

Y-DNA matches (most distant known ancestors of people we match – have common paternal ancestor with these people):  https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/ydna-matches/

Early Life to Adulthood:

About Thomas Goin

DAR Ancestor #: A046110

1779 June 29 – The first proven official record for Thomas Goin is the North Carolina Land Grant No. 657 issued for 225 acres in Washington County, Tennessee “upon the waters of Cherokee Creek. joining Tiptons line,” entered June 29, 1779 and issued October 26, 1786. The Tipton Farm, now a tourist attraction, still exists near Jonesborough, Tennesse, according to Carol Anne Ledford, family researcher.  1779 entered, 1786 issued, Thomas Goin recd warrant No. 1468, TN Washington Co, TN. 225 acres joining Tipton’s line upon the waters of Cherokee Cr file 657.

1784 Nov 1 – In the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions held November 1, 1784 in Washington County, North Carolina [which later became Washington County, Tennessee] Thomas Goin was appointed constable.  1784 Nov 1 – Thomas Going is appointed constable in Washington Co, TN p. 257, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3Z4-R?i=180&cat=304772

1786 Oct 26 – Thomas Goin was granted 225 acres, described as Grant No. 751, on Cherokee Creek in Washington County October 26, 1786. The grant was signed by I. Glasgone Lee and R. C. Caswell.

1786 – In 1786 Thomas Goin received grant, No. 756, according to “North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee, 1778-1791.” The land was described as 225 acres “on the waters of the Nolachucky, adjoining a bank of rocks.” This transaction was actually a purchase grant, paid for by cash or certificate.  1786 Oct 26 – Thomas Goin fr State of North Carolina bk 4, p 48

He served on several jury panels there, according to the county court records and was in court in Jonesborough, the county seat, on the day that Andrew Jackson was admitted to the bar.

1787 Aug – In the August term of 1787 Alex Moffatt had sworn “That he had lost a bond, the property of Thomas Goan, concerning 200 acres on Middle Creek. It was given by Isaac Taylor to Ralph Hedgepath who assigned it to John Cassady who assigned it to Goan,” according to “Washington County, Tennessee Deeds, 1775-1800.”

1787, “Thomas Gooin” received Grant No. 2015 for 300 acres of land on Licking Creek, “including his improvements” in Greene County, Tennessee. This grant was paid for in cash. Greene County had been formed in 1783 with land taken from Washington County.

In 1788, “Thomas Goin” applied to the County Court of Greene County for the administration of the estate of Elizabeth Bass, according to “Bulletin of the Watauga Association,” Volume 10:

“August 1788. On motion of W. Avery, Esqr. atto. for Thomas Going for obtaining letter of administration on the Estate of Elizabeth Bass, decd. ordered that the same be laid over until next term, for proof of sanguinity [kinship, blood relationship] & that a dedimus potestatem [a commission to take testimony] issue in favour of said Thomas Going to Anson & Richmond Counties & to the State of South Carolina by giving fifteen days notice to Jeremiah Bass of the time & place where such testimony will be taken, ditto for Levi Bass to South Carolina giving Thos. Going fifteen days notice at least.”

Edward Gowen of Granville County, North Carolina, regarded as a kinsman of Thomas Goin, was also named an heir of Elizabeth Bass. On October 14, 1788 he conveyed his interest in her estate to “his nephew, Thomas Gowen,” according to Granville County Will Book 2, page 79.

“October 14, 1788. Know all men by these presents that I Edward Gowen of the County of Granville for divers good causes and considerations thereunto [me] moving more especially for the sum of A25 to me in hand paid, the receipt of which I do hereby acknowledge, hath bar? gained, sold & made over, and by 10 Feb 2004 The Descendants of William GOING Page 17 these presents, do bargain, sell and make over to my nephew, Thomas Gowen all the estate, right and interest I have or hereafter may have to the estate of Elizabeth Bass, deceased, or any part thereof, and do hereby make over the same to the said Thomas Gowin, his heirs and assigns from the claim of me, the said Edward Gowen or any other person whatever claiming under me. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the 15th day of October, 1786.

Edward Going


Henry Meghe

Allin Hudson

Jhn. [X] Simmons”

(See also: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/south-carolina-georgetown-district/  Moses Bass’ will and admin).

By 1786 Thomas had established himself in Washington County, and his name is included among those who voted in the election in August 1786 at the Courthouse in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In 1788, 1789, and 1790, Thomas Goin was No. 26 on the tax list of Washington County, North Carolina with “1 white poll,” indicating that he had located on his grant. In 1789 shown as No. 33 was Jonathan Tipton whose political problems had erupted in gunfire. “Thomas Goin, Pvt,” assigned this land in 1792 to Lardner Clark, later a prominent attorney in Nashville, Tennessee.

1788 Feb – Alex Moffett Esq v Thomas Goan – The following Jury viz. 1) John Trotter, 2) Jesse Humphries . . . 12) etc. Found for Plt. pg 315, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 May 12 – Thomas Goan to Charles Young bill of sale. p. 323, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 May 12 – a deed of mortgage from Thomas Goan to Charles Young. 324, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1788 Aug – State v Thomas Goan – Petit larceny – jury finds Deft Not Guilty. p. 337, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 May – John Hannah v. William Nelson, has Thomas Goin as juror no. 4 in that case. Mistrial both sides to pay their own costs. p. 404 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3ZZ-N?i=254&cat=304772

1789 May – James Lewis v. John Tipton Esq, case – not guilty … Thomas Going was juror no. 9, found for the Deft. p. 406 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3C1-3?i=255&cat=304772

1789 May – The State v John Trotter – Thomas Goan is appt on jury p. 386, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809 https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS4Y-L3C1-8?i=245&cat=304772

1789 May – William Dale v Francis Baker, case no. 14, Thomas Goan is on the jury. p. 387, WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 May – Thomas Goar – is juror – p. 388 WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1789 Aug – Thomas Goan is a juror in State v Samuel Tate – found not guilty of assault and battery. p. 401. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1790 May – Thomas Goan is a juror in Robert Palmer v. William J Hall. Found for Plt 5 pounds plus costs. p. 445. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

1790 Aug – Thomas Goan v John Cassady – jury trial – found for Deft. p. 458. WASHINGTON Co, TN Minute Books 1778-1809

The land of Thomas Goin on Cherokee Creek was levied on by the sheriff and was sold at auction January 4, 1795, according to Washington County Deed Book 7, page 209?12. The entry read: “Edmund Williams. Late sheriff of Washington County to Alexander Moffett against Thomas Goins, defendant, in 1788 levied against 275 acres on Cherokee Creek. Bid: A40, 1 shilling, 8 pence. Adjoining Jonathan Tipton, R Bayley, Bailey’s land not sold at first sale because of no bidders; second sale Feb. 1788,. Alex Moffatt. highest bidder. Signed: Edmund Williams. Witnesses: Waighstill Avery, Andrew Greer, Amos Ball. Court Term: Sept 1795.”

(* – confirmed correct Thomas Going below here):

In 1788, Thomas Goin sold his land in Greene County and moved westward to newly created Hawkins County, Tennessee from which Claiborne would be created in 1801. Thomas Goin didn’t come to Claiborne County; the county came to him. He appeared there as a taxpayer, along with his sons, Levi Goin and Uriah Goin on Big Barren Creek in 1799 in “Capt. Coxes company.” The postoffice of Goin, Tennessee would be named for this pioneer’s family in 1884. Goin still exists today, but the postoffice was discontinued in 1965.

1799 – Thomas Goen 1 white poll in Grainger Co, Tenn

In 1802, he and his sons helped to build the road to Tazewell, Tennessee, and were appointed its overseers. On Saturday, November 1, 1803, he was instrumental in establishing the Big Barren Primitive Baptist Church. “Thomas Going” was recorded as No. 3 on the church roster of the men. No. 3 on the women’s roster was “Elizabeth Going,” possibly the wife of Thomas Goin.

1803 – Thomas Goin on tax list for Grainger Co, Tenn

1807 Aug 1 – bk A, p 74 – Claiborne Co, TN –
… John Vanbebber of Claiborne Co, TN in conisderation of 525 dollars paid by George Yokum of the state and county aforesaid …. convey unto said George Yokum a tract of land containing 160 acres and one quarter … in Powels Valley in Henderson and Company’s survey in lot B which by division fell to Col. Thos Hart and from him conveyed to John and Peter Vanbebber .. Signed: John Vanbebber. Wits: George Rector, Thomas Going.

1807 Aug 20 – bk A, p 95 – Claiborne Co, TN –
… John Vanbebbers of Claiborne Co, TN in consideration of 525 dollars paid by Isaac Yokum …. release unto Isaac Yokum a tract of land containing 212 acres and 2 quarters and 36 poles …. in Claiborne Co, TN in Powels Valley in Henderson and Comany’s survey in lot B – which by sub division fell to Col Thos Hart and by him conveyed to John and Peter Vanbebber… Signed: John Vanbebber. Wits: Geo. Rector, Thomas Goenhttps://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQQ-FQ5V-S?i=59&cat=90641

1833 – Thomas Goin served on Claiborne County jury panels and in 1833 was listed as a “white male” taxpayer.

Thomas Goin died in 1838, according to Big Barren Primitive Baptist Church Record Book 2, and was buried in Old Big Barren Church Cemetery which adjoined the church. The site is now at the bottom of Norris Lake, and it is unknown if the graves were moved before the lake was created. His will was recorded in the Claiborne County courthouse.

Fifteen years after his death, his descendants were tormented in the community by accusations that they were descended from “niggers and mulattos.” The family had distinct Melungeon features, but attributed the mixed-blood characteristics to Indian and/or Portuguese ancestry. For a detailed account of this incident, see Record # 117 in this data base for James Smith Falkner (family notes).

Name: Thomas GOIN 1

Sex: M

Birth: ABT. 1750 in Virginia, USA 1

Death: 1838 in Claiborne County, Tennessee, USA 1

Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown


Levi GOIN b: 2 NOV 1779 in Washington County, North Carolina, USA
Uriah GOIN b: BET. 1785 - 1786 in Tennessee, USA
Isaac Abraham GOIN b: BET. 1793 - 1794 in Tennessee, USA


Title: Gowen Research Foundation Database


Media: Electronic

Page: http://www.llano.net/gowen//manuscript/asc/gowenms.132.txt

Thomas served as a private in the Revolutionary War.PVT IN CAPT. TURNERS BYNUM’S CO. N.C. MALITIA REV WAR

Thomas ‘marker was proudly placed by Todd Williams of the General Joseph Martin S.A.R. Chapter. A memorial service honoring Thomas was held in the cemetery on October 15, 2009. Hosted by Marsha Bratton, Regent, Middlesboro Chapter D.A.R. & Todd, both of Middlesboro, KY.

The following should be noted which was received from Thomas’ descendant, Betty George:

“Old Big Barren Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Book 2, Page 4 listing #3 Thomas Goin 1755-1838, buried in the Church cemetery.”

The Old Big Barren Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery was covered by water in 1935 after the completion of Norris Dam & the formation of Norris Lake. Records have never been found verifying if Thomas’ remains were relocated by the T.V.A. or if he was left behind.

See:  https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE202166


The following section was written by Bev Nelson, a lifelong researcher of the Goin family:

Thomas Goin, Jr., was born about 1755 based on the 1830 census and his listing in the militia list of 1771 for Granville County, N.C.  The census for 1830 shows Thomas Goin living alone at age 70 to 80 (1830-70 = 1760) which indicates a birth date between 1750 and 1760.[1]  To serve in the North Carolina militia in 1771 he had to have been at least sixteen years of age (1771-16 = 1755).[2]

Over the years, devoted Goin researchers, including this one as well as Anna Lee and Varion Goin, William H. Goin, III, Dianne Thurman, Carol Ledford, and Arlee Gowen have waffled over which Thomas Goin in the North Carolina records was the Claiborne County Thomas.  One Thomas Goin was born and living in Greensville County, Virginia.  Another Thomas was listed on the 1754 muster roll of the Granville County regiment of Col. William Easton with Michael and Edward Goin as mulattos.  This last Granville Thomas is eliminated because not one descendant with three generations of Thomas and his presumed brothers, William, James, John, and Burton, ever named a son Edward or Michael.  The Greensville Thomas was eliminated because he was still on the records there in 1783 after this Thomas was clearly established in Washington County, North Carolina/Tennessee.

This researcher confidently links this Thomas to the Thomas Going, Sr., of Granville and Randolph Counties, North Carolina, because:

1) He appears as Thomas, Jr., on the militia list of Granville County in 1771 with Thomas, Sr., John, and Moses Going.

2)  William Going’s name appears on the 1786 Granville, North Carolina census in the same section with Thomas, Sr.  Then William appears in Claiborne County,  Tennessee, with Thomas, Jr.  Family members told Varion Goin that Thomas and William were brothers.   The Y-DNA of a probable descendant of William born in 1771, another William, matches to that of a descendant of Thomas.

3)  Burton Goin who was named as a son in the will of Thomas Sr. in 1797 in  Randolph County, North Carolina, is on the records there and then moved to Claiborne County where his children married into the other Goin families.

P.G. Fulkerson in his Early Settlers of Claiborne County  maintained that Burton was a brother to William Goin.

4)  Both Thomas and William were on the early records in Washington County, Tennessee, North Carolina, State of Franklin.

5)  John Goin, listed by Heinegg as a son of Thomas, Sr., also appears with James and Thomas in the early records of Grainger County, Tennessee, and then Claiborne County.  None of these men – Thomas, William, John, James, or Burton – are connected to the Goins family of Hancock County, Tennessee.  (The classic Melungeon family of East Tennessee fame.)  Because of the wording of the  1797 will of Thomas Going, Sr.,  referring to his younger children, this researcher feels that he did not list his older children, probably by  a first wife since they were already well established in their lives.

The misidentifying of the wife of Thomas Goin has created some credibility problems.  In an application for Daughters of the American Revolution membership, an applicant named Thomas’ wife as Rebecca Clark.  This name has since been removed by the DAR.  The Gowen Research Foundation also initially accepted the DAR as a source for this name but has since corrected the error.  In the meantime this misidentification has spread over the internet.

Shortly after publishing her book Goin & Variants on Old Tommy Goin and his descendants, Dianne Stark Thurman and descendant Wanda Castoe pooled their resources.  Wanda Castoe had the documents that Mrs. Jestern Castoe presented when she petitioned for membership in the Cherokee Nation based on her descendancy from Thomas Goin and his Cherokee wife, Jemima Sinnes.   In her petition Jestern claimed to be the daughter of Jacob Coots and Polly (Mary) Goin and the granddaughter of Thomas Goin and Jemima Sinnes, a daughter of Benjamin Sinnes who was listed on the 1835 rolls of the Cherokee Nation.  The following statements and documents are in the files of the Dawes Commission, dated 1896.


“No. 2791, Before Dawes Com.   Mrs. Jestern Castoe  vs  Cherokee Nation,  Filed Sept 8, 1896,  Rejected 24 Feb 1897, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Certified True Copy

“This deponent therefore now comes and makes application to and before this Hon. Commission for citizenship in the Cherokee Indian Nation, and asks to be duly enrolled as a member of such Indian Tribe because of her lineage, parentage and family history as above described and set forth.

This applicant also states that she is entitled to all benefits, privileges, advantages and property rights of the Cherokee Indian citizen, and for proof of her Indian citizenship and family lineage as above mentioned she refers in this her application to the affidavits of Andrew J. Smith and Thomas L. Taylor; copies of which affidavits are made and filed herewith, made parts thereof and marked respectively “Exhibits A, and B.”

This applicant also shows that her claim to Cherokee Indian citizenship as here made and presented to this Hon. Commission is bona-fide and is made for the purpose of establishing and maintaining her just and lawful rights, tribal relations and property interests as they now exist and have for a long time existed in the past.

This deponent and applicant further says that she refers for further evidence of this her claim to the application of Malinda J.Truskett filed and pending before this commission and to the affidavit of her husband John G. Castoe herewith annexed, made part hereof and marked “Exhibit C.” and which affidavit was made in this County and State, to-wit, Pope County, State of Arkansas, on this 10th day of August, 1896; And also to the affidavit of her said husband made in the State of Missouri, Lawrence County, the 10 day of March 1893; a copy of which last mentioned affidavit is also herewith attached, made part hereof and marked Exhibit D which last mentioned affidavit and Exhibits A & B as this applicant is informed and believes, were made and filed with the Cherokee Indian Chief and Council at Tahlequah, Indian Territory, for the purpose of establishing the rights  to Cherokee Indian citizenship before said Council and Chief of this applicant’s daughter, Mrs. Mary L. Sears, formerly Mary L. Castoe, and the children of other relations of this applicant and her said daughter.

In the matter of the application of Mrs. Jestern Castoe for citizenship in the Cherokee Indian Nation


State of Arkansas                    APPLICATION FOR CITIZENSHIP

Pope County

Mrs. Jestern Castoe being duly sworn deposes and says, that she is 80 years of age; That her maiden name was Jestern Coots; that her father’s name was Jacob Coots; that her mother’s maiden name was Polly Goins; that said Polly Goins was a daughter of Jemima Sinnes, and that Jemima Sinnes was a daughter of Benjamin Sinnes; that said Benjamin Sinnes was Cherokee Indian by blood and was on the Cherokee Indian roll of 1835, according to the treaty of that year; and said Benjamin Sinnes came West in 1837, and that said Benjamin Sinnes formerly lived in Alabama.

Deponent further says that she married her present husband, John G. Castoe, in the year 1837; that about the year 1838 deponent and her said husband came to the State of Missouri where they lived continuously until about two years ago she and her said husband moved to Pope County, Arkansas, where they now reside.

Deponent further says that the names of her children are as follows: Mrs. Mary L. Sears, wife of George D. Sears, George W. Castoe, now dead, Robert Castoe now dead, David Castoe, William Castoe, John Castoe, James C. Castoe, Sarah Castoe now dead who married James Wells, and Virginia Castoe who married James Russell.

Deponent further says that she has always claimed to be a Cherokee Indian by blood, tracing her lineage from Benjamin Sinnes a Cherokee Indian aforesaid.


Cherokee Nation

Tahlequah Dist.

day of December, 1894, personally appeared before me the     Deputy Clerk for Tahlequah District, Cherokee Nation, Andrew J. Smith who, after being duly sworn according to law, says his age is 76 years, resident of Tahlequah Dist., C. N. Post Office address Tahlequah I. T.

Deponent says that he was well acquainted with Benjamin Sinnes who lived at Jackson City in the state of Alabama, and knows that he was a Cherokee Indian by blood; and was enrolled under the Treaty of 1835 and came west, and I was also acquainted with Jemima Sinnes who lived back in the old nation and know that she was a Cherokee Indian by blood.

Since meeting with applicant Melinda Truskett (nee Castoe) and David Castoe, and from the conversation had, and from the general favorance of the Castoes to the above referred to Benjamin, I am satisfied the applicant are lineal descendants of Jemima Sinnes referred to on the rolls, and they are Cherokee Indians by blood.

Deponent further states that he has no interest either directly or indirectly in prosecution of the claimed referred to.

Andrew J. Smith

Sworn and subscribed to before me December 5, 1894.

R.M. Donnenberg

Dept. Clk. Tah. Dist. C. N.

Cherokee Nation

Tahlequah Dist.                                               EX B

On this 5th day of December, 1894, personally appeared before me the undersigned Deputy Clerk for Tahlequah District, Thomas J. Taylor well known to me to be creditable before the Court of Cherokee Nation, after being by me duly sworn according to law, says; My age is 76 years, residence citizen of Tahlequah Dist., C. N., Post office address Tahlequah, I. T.

Deponent says he was well acquainted with Benjamin Sinnes who was a Cherokee Indian by blood and lived at Jackson City in the State of Alabama, and was enrolled by the United States census takers, and came west under the Treaty of 1835.

He further says that he knew the Goins family back in the old Nation, and knew that they were Cherokee Indians by blood.  Since meeting the applicant Melinda Triskett (nee Castoe) and David Castoe, and from the conversation had, and their general favorance to the above referred to Benjamin Sinnes I am satisfied that they are the parties they represent themselves to be in their application for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Indians by blood.

He further states that he is not interested in the persecution of the claims of the Castoe family either directly or indirectly for readmission to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation.

Thomas J. Taylor

Sworn and subscribed to before me R. M. Dennerberg,

Dec. 5th, 1894                                                  Dept. Clk. Tah. Dist. C. N.


State of Arkansas

Pope County

John G. Castoe, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is 80 years of age, and is the husband of Jestern Castoe; that he has heard read the affidavit made by his said wife as to her family history, the names of their children, etc., and that the statements and allegations in said affidavit are true as deponent verily believed.

John G. Castoe

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 10 day of Aug 1896

John Robinson Notary Public


State of Missouri

Lawrence County

Personally appeared before the undersigned, a Justice of Peace within and for Trembock township, County and State aforesaid, John G. Castoe age 76 years, a resident of Lawrence County, Missouri, and whose post office address is Cherokee, Lawrence County, Missouri, and who being duly sworn testified as follows:

I have resided in the State of Missouri 59 years; Was married to Jestern Coots in the year 1837; Jestern Coots foresaid was the daughter (sic) of Thomas Goins and Jemima Sinnes.  The Sinnes were part Cherokee Indians and lived among the Cherokees in Alabama.

Now as to the Sinnes being Cherokee Indians is a tradition of the Goins, Coots and Castoe families, and have never heard anything else to the contrary, but have always heard that the Sinnes’s were part Cherokees and that they lived among the Cherokees.  Of my personal knowledge of course I know nothing except the traditions in the families aforesaid.  I firmly believe these traditions to be the truth.

John G. Castoe

Subscribed and sworn to before me the 26 December, 1892, and I further certify I have been personally made acquainted with the affiant John G. Castoe for 22 years and his standing for credibility is good.  Witness my signature this the 26 day of Nov 1892.

  1. S. Breeman,

Justice of the Peace”[3]

The petition was rejected by the Cherokee Nation because Jestern Castoe did not fulfill the blood requirements established for Cherokee Tribal membership.  With Benjamin Sinnes at 100%, Jemima would have been 50%, Mary 25%, and Jestern only 12.5%.


The records of Claiborne County support Jestern Coots Castoe’s family data. In the Claiborne County Quarter Sessions Court of Monday, October 8, 1810, are records of the case of the State vs Jemima Gowing, petit larceny.  Her securities were John and Michael Holt.  This confirms the existence and presence of Jemima Goin in Claiborne County.  The only other known Jemima Goin was her granddaughter, daughter of Levi who was not born until 1813.[4]

Jestern’s father, Jacob Coots, appears in the court records of Claiborne County at the time of Jestern’s birth in 1814.  In September 1804 his name appears on the jury list immediately followed by that of his father-in-law, Thomas Goin.[5]   On May 18th, 1821, he was again empanelled for jury duty.[6]   The family is further stitched together by the letter of Eli Goin to his brother written in 1855.  In the letter Eli relates the local news about the extended family stating that, “John Harper lives on the Coots place.”[7]

From the birth date and place of Tommy and Jemima’s oldest son, Levi, they are placed in North Carolina in 1780.  On the 1850 census Levi’s age is shown as 70 and his birth place is North Carolina.[8]  Since Thomas was not listed on any of the discovered records of Randolph County, it is unlikely that he went there with Thomas, Sr., and the younger sons.

North Carolina’s Revolutionary War Records list Thomas Goin and James Going on the roll of Captain Turner Bynum’s Company of Militia on April 7, 1781.  The Daughters of the American Revolution have accepted as members several descendants of Thomas Goin on this record.  Even in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Negros and mulattos could not serve as soldiers.  A few were utilized in non-combatant roles as cooks and teamsters.  However, when a good soldier volunteered, regardless of color, he served at the option of his commanding officer.[9]

On October 26, 1786, Grant No. 758 was issued to Thomas Goin.  The survey papers reveal that the entry was made on June 29, 1779, by Isham Talbot and assigned to Thomas Goin  for 225 acres “joining on Tipton’s Lines upon the waters of Cherokee Creek.”    His grant states that:

“State of North Carolina

No. 758  Know ye that we have Granted unto Thomas Going two hundred twenty five Acres of Land in Washington County joining Tiptons lines upon the waters of Cherokee Creek.  beginning Between a marked Black Oak and white oak sapling thence West fifty poles to a white oak and Sugar Tree a corner to said Tiptons on a Bluff of Rocks, thence south said Tiptons line South forty seven degrees West three hundred and twenty four poles to two dogwood saplings on Robert Boyles line thence with said Boyles line South Seventy three degrees East fifty six poles to Boyles corner on a Red oak then East one hundred and Eighty poles to a Chestnut then North then degrees East Two hundred and fifty poles to the Beginning Corner.  To hold unto the said Thomas Goin his Heirs and Assigns forever

Dated the Twenty sixth Day of October 1786.

Glasgore Lee               R.P. Caswell” [10]

Thomas selected one of the most historically exciting spots of the period in Tennessee for his land grant.  The Tipton mentioned in his land description was John Tipton, one of the leading opponents for forming the new State of Franklin.  North Carolina which claimed most of the area which became the State of Tennessee did not provide effective law enforcement or a local court system for the frontier settlers.  Although the counties of Washington, Greene and Sullivan sent representatives to the North Carolina legislature, their local problems were effectively ignored.  National politics, Revolutionary War debts, the formation of the state government were problems of more importance to the new state than those of the frontier.  The elite easterners considered the Franklin citizens low lives and outlaws.  Finally, in response to pressure from the United States Congress, North Carolina passed its first cession act in April 1784, ceding her western lands to the federal government.

Coupled with the inattention from North Carolina, this transfer provided the frontier residents their opportunity.   The residents of Washington County led the efforts to form the first new state, the 14th, in the new nation.  They called their new state Franklin after the patriot Benjamin Franklin and proceeded to set up courts, clerks, and a representative government.

Just as they had in 1772 when they formed their Watauga Association, and as they would again in 1861,  the far flung frontiersmen responded.  Washington, Sullivan, and Greene counties sent representatives to Jonesborough on August 23, 1784.  In the meantime, North Carolina repealed the cessation act since Congress had failed to act upon it.  When the delegates met at Jonesborough in December 1784 to set up their new government, they did not know about the repeal.

Shortly after future Tennessee Governor John Sevier presided over the organizing convention, he received notice about the repeal of the cessation.  When the first Franklin assembly met in March of 1785, Sevier was elected governor.  The new state included parts of eighteen of today’s upper east Tennessee counties: Johnson, Carter, Sullivan, Hawkins, Washington, Unicoi, Greene, Hancock, Claiborne, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Cocke, Sevier, Knox, Blount, Anderson, and Union.

A three way struggle commenced between North Carolina, the United States Congress, and the newly forming State of Franklin.  Franklin started recording wills and deeds and even made a treaty with the Cherokees.  Bickering over a proposed state constitution by Samuel Huston led to the formation of opposing factions that helped bring about the downfall of the new state.  Both North Carolina and Franklin claimed the right of taxation in the area.  Easterners ridiculed the frontiersmen for setting up a payment system for their officials based upon the produce of the area.

Political maneuvering between the national, state, and local officials moved the area into conflict.  Unarmed groups from each side of the government raided each other’s records.  Fist fights and brawls broke out.  Then on February 27, 1788, Col. John Tipton, leader of the pro-North Carolina group, stored on his property items seized by Sheriff Jonathan Pugh from John Sevier’s home for unpaid North Carolina taxes.  Sevier recruited 150 men from Green, Sevier and Caswell counties.  With his small army, he marched to the farm of Col. Tipton on Sinking Creek.  This same Tipton and the same Sinking Creek adjoined Thomas Goin’s land grant.  Thus began the Battle of Franklin.

For two days in the fog and rain both sides gathered men and issued each other ultimatums.  Six of the pro-North Carolina men were wounded and two men died including Sheriff Pugh.  The Franklin group had three wounded.  Among these fighters  were the famed over-the-mountain-men, the noted sharp shooters who killed Ferguson at Kings Mountain in the Revolution and made monkeys out of the British.  Now they were now battling each other.  Either side could have wiped the other out at will.  Instead, they chose to fire into the air.  This reluctance of neighbors to slay each other combined with the horrible weather resulted in an end of the Battle of Franklin.[11]

Where was Tommy Goin while the bullets were flying in the air?  Whose side was he on?  His land grant bordered on Tiptons so whether or not he like it, he most likely was involved even if only to dig a deep hole and crawl into it  for protection.  It is known that William Goings’ name is on the petition by the inhabitants of Franklin in 1787/8.[12]

At the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, November 1, 1784, Thomas Goin was appointed constable. This was right during the formation of Franklin.  Then in 1787 he was in court at Jonesville on the same day that Andrew Jackson was accepted by the court.[13]   A deed record indicates that Thomas probably had problems in 1788.  “4/1/1795 Edmund Williams, late sheriff of Washington Co.  To Alexander Moffett, against Thomas Goins/Goin, defendant in 1788 – levied against 275 acres on Cherokee Creek.  Bid: 40 lbs, 1 shilling, 8 pence.  Adj: Jonathan Tipton.  R Bayley/Bailey. Land not sold at first sale because of no bidders; second sale Feb 1788, Alex Moffatt highest Bidder.  Sig: Edmund Williams.  Wit: Waightsill Avery, Andrew Greer, Amos Ball. CT (Court Term proven): Sept 1795.[14]

Before 1799, Thomas moved north to that part of Grainger County that would become Claiborne.  Appearing on the tax list of 1799 are Thomas with his sons Levi and Uriah Goin along with his  probable brothers, James and John.  Also present was Daniel Goen.[15]  Although Thomas’ name appeared on the early tax lists, no land purchases or sales for him are recorded in the Claiborne County deed books.  He probably acquired his Sand Lick land when it was still in Grainger County.   Unfortunately, time and destruction have assaulted the Grainger records.

Thomas’ name does appear regularly in the Court records of Claiborne County.  On May 1813, serving on jury duty were Levi Goin and Thomas Goin, page 156.  At the August term, 1813, page 168, Thomas received 10.50 for the low bid to support the poor, Dinah Harp.  Then he won a case against Joshua Jackson and received 21.75, page 176.  In 1814 at the May term he served on jury duty twice, pages 252 and 255.[16]

During his years in Claiborne County, Thomas regularly served on juries as he did on May 11, 1820, along with Fielding Lewis and William Stallings, brother of his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Stallings Goin, wife of Levi. He fully participated in civil life without racial challenges or discrimination.[17]

Thomas was one of the original organizing members in 1803 of the Big Barren Baptist Church with his name listed as the third on the men’s list.  His death is noted on that record as 1838.[18]   When the Norris Dam was built and the lake flooded as a part of the TVA project, the Big Barren Church site was inundated.   Although graves from the church yards were removed throughout the area, there is no record of the graves of Thomas, Jemima, or of their children having been moved.  If their graves were marked with field stones, as so many graves were in those early days, any markings of their graves may have disappeared with time even before the grave removals in the 1930’s.

When the East Tennessee Historical Society announced their First Families of Tennessee program in 1995, this researcher submitted the Thomas Goin family.  Certificate #3823 for Thomas Goin was issued on March 11, 1996.  Then in 2000 The East Tennessee Historical Society published a register of the First Families.  Thomas Goin is listed there on page 159.[19]

Two major questions about Thomas and his descendants are answered in the infamous slander suit filed in the Claiborne Circuit Court in 1858.

  1. Was Thomas a man of mixed blood?
  2. Was Thomas the patriarch of this branch of the Goin family?

Even after Elijah Goin, son of Levi Goin and grandson of Thomas, filed the case defending himself against the accusation of being a “mulatto”, the case continued for years.  Even though the case exposed him to the widespread examination of the charge, Elijah continued.  In those pre-civil war days, persons of mixed blood could lose their civil liberties, the right to vote, hold office, travel freely, own real estate, marry who one chose, etc.  The following is a transcription of the record of the slander trial made from a photocopy of the record.

The cover sheet reads:

“12th Circuit, Claiborne County

Transcript of the Record

Elijah Goin


Sterling Mayse                                    Slander

Filed July 16, 1858

  1. D. Nelson Clerk

Reversed and Remanded

(Page 1)

Be it remembered that at a regular term of the circuit court began and held for the County of Claiborne at the Courthouse in Tazewell in the 12th Judicial Circuit of the State of Tennessee, on the second Monday of January (being the 10th day of said Month) in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight, when was present and presiding the Hon. James M. Walker, one of the Judges of the Circuit Court of the State of Tennessee, and by interchange presiding in the room of the Hon. T W Turley Judge elect for the 12th Judicial Circuit, when the following proceedings were had to wit

And upon the 15th day of September 1853, the following summons in said cause was issued, to wit

Elijah Goins


Sterling Mayse

State of Tennessee

To, the Sheriff of Claiborne County – Greetings

You are hereby commanded to Summon, Sterling Mayse to appear before the Judge of the Circuit Court, to be held for the County of Claiborne at the courthouse in Tazewell on the 2nd Monday of January, next, to answer Elijah Goin of a plea of Trespass on the case for false, malicious, slanderous and defamatory words spoken of and concerning, the said plaintiff to the damage of the said plff, five thousand dollars.  Herein fail not, and have for then and there this summons.  Witness C.Y. Rice, clerk of our said court and office in Tazewell, the 2nd Monday of Sept, 1853          C. Y. Rice, Clerk

Executed and returned this 6th day of December 1853.

  1. H. Moore, D Sheriff

Bond:  Know all men by these presents that we Elijah Goin, Wm H. Mayse are jointly and severally held and firmly bound unto Sterling Mayse in the sum of two hundred

(Page 2)

and fifty dollars to be void on condition that the said Elijah Goin doth with affect prosecute an action of Trespass on the case this day commenced against the said Sterling Mayse in the Circuit Court for Claiborne County, otherwise to pay and satisfy all costs that may be awarded for failure.

Witness our hands and seals, this 15th day of Sept 1853

Elijah Goin      Seal

  1. D. MayseSeal


State of Tennessee

Claiborne County – Circuit Court January Term 1854

Elijah Goin by attorney complains of Sterling Mayse who has been summoned by the Sheriff of aplia of trespass on the case, to the plaintiff’s damage

For this, that heretofore and until the committing of the several grievances herein after mentioned, the plaintiff was a free white citizen of the State of Tennessee, and esteemed and reputed as such, and was entitled to all the privileges of Citizens of the State of Tennessee to wit, said county, and being so privileged, the said Defendant well knowing the premises, and contriving and intending to subject the plaintiff to the disgrace and disabilities attached by law to the state and condition of a free negro or person of mixed blood, heretofore to wit on the first day of September in the year Eighteen Hundred and fifty three, to sit in said County of Claiborne, in a certain discourse, which he the said defendant had and held of and concerning the plaintiff in the presence of divers citizens of the state of Tennessee, falsely & maliciously spoke, published of and concerning the plaintiff this false, malicious, scandalous and defamatory words following, that is to say, Elijah Going, meaning the plaintiff is a mulatto, meaning a person of mixed blood, one degree removed from a full blooded negro and these other false, scandalous and defamatory words

(page 3)

that is to say the grandfather of Elijah Goin (meaning the defendant) was a damned negro and I (meaning the defendant) can prove it.  Meaning that the plaintiff was a person of mixed blood within the fourth degree.  Elijah Going (meaning the plaintiff) is a damned Mulatto (meaning that the plaintiff) is a damned Mulatto (meaning that the plaintiff was a mulatto within the fourth degree.)

By reason of which said several grievances the plaintiff hath been greatly damaged and subjected to the suspicion, disgrace and infamy of a person of mixed blood, whereby the plaintiff is injured and has sustained damages to the sum of five thousand dollars, wherefore he sues.

Netherland & Huskell Attys

Elijah Goin

vs                            Circuit Court January Term 1854

Sterling Mayse

And the defendant by attorney comes and says that the matters alleged in the plaintiffs declaration are not sufficient in law to maintain his aforesaid action, and the defendant is not bound to answer the same.

Evans & McKinney Atts for Def.

And the plaintiff for replication says that the matters alleged in the declaration are sufficient in law to maintain that action

Netherland & Huskell Attys

Elijah Goin


Sterling Mayse            And the said deft. by atty  comes & defends the anny & injury and says that he is not guilt of speaking and  publishing the slanderous words in the declaration mentioned in manner and form as the said plff hath alleged against him of the said deft put himself upon

(page 4)

said county.                             Evans & McKenney atts for deft

and the plaintiff also

Netherland & Huskill atts

Monday 11th September 1854

Elijah Goin

vs                                        Case

Sterling Mayse            An affidavit of Defendant, and a motion by attorney a rule is granted him upon the plaintiff to give other and better security for the prosecution of this suit or justify his present security on or before the second day of the next term of this court or the same will be dismissed.

Tuesday 12th day of September 1854

Elijah Goin

vs                 Slander

Sterling Mayse

A rule having been entered on the plaintiff in this case to give other and better security, or to justify his present Security, on or before the second day of the next term, thereupon came into open court W. H. Mayse and justifies and thereupon said rule is discharged.

Friday 15th 1857

Elijah Goin

vs                  Slander

Sterling Mayse

This day came for argument, the defendants demurrer to the plaintiffs declaration, and the same being heard by the court its considered by the court, that said Demurrer be overruled, and on motion of deft, he is allowed to plea to the plffs declaration.

Plea     And for further plea in this behalf the said deft says that the plaintiff against him his action out not have and maintain because he says that he the said defendant was not guilty of speaking

(page 5)

and publishing the slanderous words imputed to him in manner and form as the same and set forth in the declaration or either six months most before the commencement of this suit and this the deft is ready to verify.  Wherefore he prays judgment.

Evans & McKenney for deft

reply Due the plaintiff for replication says that the deft is guilty of speaking and publishing the words in the declaration within six months next before the commencement of this suit, and this he say may be required of by the county

And deft doth                         Wilheit and Huskell Attys

Evans & McKenney

Monday           18th September 1854

Elijah Goin

vs                Slander

Sterling Mayse

An affett of the defendant is allowed to take the deposition of Israel McBee, Wm Cocke of Grainger County Tennessee upon giving two days

Wednesday 20th September 1854

Elijah Goin

vs                             Slander

Sterling Mayse

This day came on to be argued the demurrer of the plaintiff to the 3rd plea of the deft an argument having been heard and the premise seen and understood, it is considered by the court that the demurrer to the 3rd plea be and the same is hereby sustained, and the defendant is allowed to plead on or before the first Monday of December next

Tuesday 9th January 1855

Elijah Goin

vs                               Case

Sterling Mayse

(page 6)

This cause is continued by consent of parties until Tuesday next until which time the witnesses in this cause is discharged.

Monday 10th September 1855

Elijah Goin

vs                             Slander

Sterling Mayse

By consent this cause is continued until the next term of the court.

Wednesday 16th day of January 1856

Elijah Goin

vs                            Tnspass on the case

Sterling Mayse

This day came the parties by their attorneys, and thereupon this cause by consent is continued until the next term of this court

Tuesday 13th May 1856

Elijah Goin


Sterling Mayse                        By consent of the parties this cause is continued until Tuesday of the second week of this present term of the court

Wednesday 21st May 1856

Elijah Goin

vs                            Case

Sterling Mayse

By consent of the parties this cause is continued until the next term of the court

Monday 12th January 1857

Elijah Goin

vs                 Slander

Sterling Mayse

By consent of parties this cause is set for trial on Monday next

(page 7)

Tuesday 20th January 1857

Elijah Goin


Sterling Mayse            By consent this cause is continued until the next term of this court

Monday 14th September 1857

Elijah Goin


Sterling Mayse            By consent this cause is set for Tuesday next and the witnesses are discharged until that time

Friday Sept 18th 1857

Elijah Goin

vs                             Slander

Sterling Mayse

By consent of parties this cause is continued until the next term of this court

Monday 10th January 1858

Elijah Goin

vs                Slander

Sterling Mayse            An affidavit of the defendant a rule is granted him upon the plaintiff for other and better security or to justify his present security on or before the second day of the next term of this court.  Whereupon came into court W. H. Mayse the present security and justifies whereupon the rule is discharged

Monday 18th January 1858

Elijah Goin

vs                 Slander

Sterling Mayse

Came the plaintiff and enters a motion to strike out the plea of the deft filed in this cause

(page 8)

Wednesday 20th January 1858

Elijah Goin

vs                            Slander

  1. Mayse This day came the parties by their attorneys and thereupon came a jury to wit 1 W. Simmons2, C Neeley, 3, J.B. Smith 4 Wm. Teague, 5, J. A. Littrell, 6, Isaac Comack, 7. George Allen, 8, Wm. Lambert, 9, Joseph Branscomb, 10, George Byant, 11, R. H. Lynch, 12, John Caylor, all good and lawful men of the county of Claiborne, who being duly elected, empanelled & sworn and charged, well and truly to try the issue joined between the parties upon their oaths were respited from rendering their verdict until tomorrow.

Thursday 21st January 1858

Elijah Goin

vs                              Slander

Sterling Mayse

This day came the parties by their attorneys and thereupon came the same jury who were respited on yesterday from rending their verdict in this cause upon yesterday until today, to wit 1. W. Simmons, 2, Charles Nealy, 3, J.B. Smith, 4, Wm Teague, 5, J. A. Littrell, 6, Isaac Comack, 7, George Allen, 8, Joseph Branscomb, 9, George Bryant, 10, R. H. Lynch, 11, John Cazlor, & 12, Wm Lambert who upon their oaths do say that the defendant is guilty of speaking and publishing the slanderous words & he plaintiffs declaration mentioned as that he did say & speak and publish them within six months next before the commencement of this suit and that they assess the plaintiff damage to fifty dollars and thereupon the defendant by his attorneys enters a rule to show cause why the verdict of

(page 9)

the jury should be set aside and a new trial granted which rule after argument being heard by the court is discharged.

It is therefore considered by this court that the plaintiff receives of the defendant the said sum of fifty dollars the damages aforesaid by the jury assessed, together with all the costs of this cause for which an Execution is awarded.

From which action of the Court in refusing to grant a new trial and proceeding to enter up judgment in the finding of the jury, the defendant excepts and enters an appeal in the nature of a writ of error to the next term of the Supreme Court to be held at Knoxville in the State of  Tennessee on the second Monday of September next and the defendant having entered into bond and given security as required by Law said is granted, and the defendant presents a Bill of Exception, signed and sealed by the court and ordered to be made part of the record And upon the 23rd day of January 1858, the following Bill of Exception was filed in said cause which is as follows to wit

Elijah Going

vs                          Slander

Sterling Mayse

Be it remembered that his cause came on to be tried before a jury of Claiborne at the January term of the Circuit Court 1838 And at the trial plff introduced  John Stone who testified that at a camp meeting in the month of September 1853, during the circuit court at Tazewell, and he thinks in the latter part of the month, he heard deft say, that plff was a mulatto- that a Mr. Lewis asked deft, to repeat what had been said in a song in verses, that had been found, in which Elijah Goin was called a mulatto – does not remember

(page 10)

that deff said plff was a mulatto, after repeating the verse, witness understood the deft to mean that plff was a mulattoo half Negro- understood deff to input the condition of a mulatto – said that the verse had something about plff being a mulatto, Deff, repeated two or three of the verses from memory, witness say no writing.

Stephen Ousley proved that in June 1853 he heard Deff say that the supposed Billy Mayse the brother of Deft had married a daughter of Plff – that he had married a mulatto – that they were all mulattoes and negroes, witness had understood him to mean Elijah Goin & his family, Witness upon Examination proves that it was generally repeated, and believed at the time of speaking the words that plaintiff was mixed blooded – that all the Goin family were reputed, and not believed to be clear blooded.

John Brogan proves that he was at the house of defendant in July 1853 and heard Deft say that he had a negro “ditty” which he had sung to Elijah Goin on the streets of Tazewell – that part of the ditty was “Elijah Goin being a little blacker He ran up and down the creek like a damn mulatto – that deft sung this “ditty” to a tune that witness had heard called “Old Dan Tucker.”  Witness said he heard him that night frequently call him a negro & mulatto, and said his children should call them so & he would protect them in it.  Witness said the camp meeting spoken of by Stone, commenced on Friday preceding the Circuit Court at Tazewell in Sept 1853.

Wm. M. Robinson proved that in July 1853 he heard defendant say that report, said that plff was a mulatto, that he was mixed blooded, had frequently

(page 11)

heard Deft say so – that deft said that was the rumor and report of the country.

Witness proved that at this time it was reported and believed that plff was mixed blooded, that old Tommy Goin the grandfather of plff was reputed to be mixed blooded.

The Defendant by his counsel asked the witness what was the common meaning attached to the word mulatto in the neighborhood and Community, and how the term was understood by others who used the term in reference to the plff and others who were called mixed blooded which question was objected to by the plff and he objection sustained by the court, and the witness not allowed to answer the question, but the witness was allowed to State in answer to the question of Defts counsel how he understood the word, and what he understood the deft to mean, who said he understood the deft to mean that plff was a man of mixed blood, and a mulatto.  Witness heard the defendant use the words between March and June 1853.

The Defendant then introduced James Carr as a witness who said that it was generally reported and believed that plaintiff was a man of mixed blood – that he had heard him called a mulatto – that this was the reputation of the community.  Witness understood the word mulatto to mean the same thing as mixed blooded – that old Thomas Goin the grandfather of plff, was considered mixed blooded – a large family of the Goins and reputed mixed in blood.  Peter Marcum & William Murphy both stated that they are well acquainted with old Tommy Goin the grandfather of Plff, new him in 1800, he was reputed to be distantly mixed blooded that he voted, served on jurys, and was examined a  witness between white men never heard him questioned or denied.

(page 12)

Isaac Van Bibber knew old Tommy Goin the grandfather of plaintiff and he was reputed to be a man of mixed blood. that at the time of the speaking of the words it was generally reported and believed in the community that plff was mixed blooded –

Daniel Kelly proved – stated plff was reputed and considered a man of mixed blood – that the Goins family were so considered in the community.

  1. H. Moore– proved that it was generally reported and believed that plff was a man of mixed blood – did not know how much the plff was mixed with negro blood.

N I Seals – proved that it is generally reported and believed that plff was mixed blooded – the plff called his own cousin a damned negro hog thief – did not know who wrote the ditty.

Defendant introduced several other witnesses who proved the same facts – all the witnesses in the case who were asked the question, proved that plff was reputed and believed to be mixed blooded – Plf that as rebutting evidence introduced various witnesses who proved that plff had also       the father and grandfather exercised the right of voting, serving on juries and being a witness in courts of justice – that plff had held office in the county such as constable.

The Deft of his counsel asked a witness if he had heard deft speak the words before suit brought and at different times than those named if plffs witnesses for the purpose of showing the defendant did not intend to charge and impute the legal disabilities of a mulatto but only the reputation of the country – and to show a want of malice in the speaking of the words, but the question was objected to by plff and the objection sustained by the court, and the witness not allowed to answer.  The jury found a verdict for the plff and assessed the

(page 13)

damage to fifty dollars, a rule was entered for a new trial but refused by the court, to all of which action of the court the defendant except in law and tendered this his Bill of Exceptions, which is signed sealed and made a part of the record, the charge of the court was not excepted to by the defendant

  1. M. WeeckerSeal


Bond   We Sterling Mayes & Andrew Davis, Johnson Mayse & Wm Houston are held and firmly bound unto Elijah Goin in the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars which sum we bind ourselves by these presents sealed with our seals to say.

The condition of the above obligations is as follows whereas the said Sterling Mayse is about to prosecute an appeal from the Circuit Court of Claiborne County Tennessee to the Supreme Court of said State at Knoxville upon a judgment obtained of said Goins against him in said Circuit Court at the January Term 1857.

Now if the said Sterling Mayse should with effect prosecute his said appeal, or upon failure should satisfy all costs accruing in the said Supreme Court then this obligation to be void otherwise to be in full force

Johnson Mayse

Benj Houston (his mark)

And Davis (his mark)

Bradford Davis

Elijah Goin

vs                             Bill of Costs

  1. Mayse

(Pages 14 and 15 list the names of the Sheriff, Sheriff deputies, and witnesses who appeared in the case and received reimbursement:

Sheriff N. Moore, Greer, Wm H. Moyers; Deputies E. E. Simmons, W. B. Shoemaker, P. L. Lanham, Th. Henderson; and witnesses, J. C. Dykes, William Cox, Jesse Wagoner, John Stone, N. H. Moore, John Keck, Wm Bunch, David Collins, J. B. England, Benj. Houston, John Brogan, Isaac McBee, S. M. Robinson, Wm. Murphey, David Brewer, Peter Marcum, Reuben Rose, Lewis Carr, Bradford Davis, Marion Davis, Wm Needham, Tillman Owsley, George Ford, Levi Goin, George Lewis, Ja. M. Carr, Isaac Vanbibber, Isaac Goin, Andw. Davis, Johnson Mayse, Wm. Lewis, Neal Seal, Wm. Whitted, James Ferrel, Stephen Ousley, John Sharp, Jesse Wagoner, Israel McBee, V. Myers, Wm. Whitted, John Sharpe, Wm. Needham, David Collins, Th. W. Large, Wm. Bunch, Mill Bunch, Wm. H. Moyers, N. H. Moore, John Keck, Sarah Dykes.

Total costs = $720

Judgt for plff 20 January 1858           $50.00)

(page 16)

State of Tennessee

Claiborne County

  1. C M RiceClerk of the Circuit Court of said County do certify the foregoing to be a full true and perfect copy of the record and proceeding had in said cause, as appears  of record and papers in file in my office

Witness my hand and Seal of office

At office in Tazewell the 17th day of June 1858

  1. M. Rice Clerk [20]

The evidence presented in the testimony indicates that Thomas was a man of dark complexion.  Since he was identified as the grandfather of Elijah, who was a son of Levi, the lineage is established.  Although Elijah won his case with an award of $50.00 in damages by a jury of his peers who had no wish to deprive him of his civil rights, when Sterling Mayse appealed the case to the Tennessee Supreme Court, the case was reversed and remanded.  The reasoning for the reversal was that it was common knowledge in the community that the Goin family was of mixed blood and that the forfeiture of the civil rights of Elijah Goin were not sought.

Until recently only the slander case provided hints to the family about their origins from some darker skinned ancestor.  The legend of Portuguese ancestry was easily accepted.  Guesses about the origins included Turks, gypsies, Phoenicians, and Moors.  An ongoing Y-DNA project now offers a more definitive proof.  Two descendants of old Tommy Goin have submitted DNA samples for testing.  Both of them plus another man who descends from a William Goin born c1771 in North Carolina have close matches indicating a common descent.  All three share the same haplotype: E3a which indicates an African lineage.  It is the most common haplotype among African Americans.  This haplotype lends creditability to those who argue for a descent  from John Gaween of Generation 1.   When combined with the oral tradition of Portuguese ancestry, it adds to Jim Hashaw’s studies of the Angolans of Africa who were also citizens of Portugal.   With greater development of DNA research analysis, eventually the descent may have more conclusive definition.  The results of the Y-DNA testing may be viewed at: http://www.jgoins.com/going_Y_results.htm  The man from this family is #67719 who is descended from Old Tommy by his son Old Uriah and grandson Nelson.

Proven children of Thomas and Jemima Sinnes Goin:

+28.  Levi Goin

+29.  Uriah Goin

+30.  Isaac Goin

  1.   Polly (Mary) Goin, born about 1790 married Jacob Coots
  2. Catherine Coots, born c1809, probably Claiborne County, Tennessee.
  3. John Coots, born c1811, probably Claiborne County; married Susanna.

Children: Elizabeth, George, Catherine, Susanna, Lucinda, Andrew,

George, Catherine, Susanna.

iii. Abe Coots, born 1814.

  1. Jestern Coots born March 10, 1816, married in 1837 John G. Castoe;                            died 1898, Witt Springs, Searcy, Arkansas.  Children: Mary Louisa                               Castoe,            George W. Castoe Robert Castoe, Sarah Castoe, David Castoe,                                     Virginia Castoe, William Riley Castoe, John George Castoe,  James Calip                           Castoe.
  2. Andrew Coots, born August 11, 1820; died January 3, 1868; married

Mary Ann Reynolds.  Children: Isaac Coots, John Coots, Anna Coots,                               Uriah Coots, Jestine Coots, Polly Coots, and Evan Coots.

  1. Jacob Coots, born c1810, probably Claiborne County; died before

1860; married Mary Stoneman before 1848.

vii.  Levi Coots, born c1825, Indiana.

vii.  Uriah Coots, born c1825.

  1. Thomas Coots, born 1836.
  2. William Goingborn about 1759 was on the 1786 North Carolina census in Granville  County. [21] There also was a William Gowen listed on the land warrants of Randolph County in 1779.[22]  By 1805 a William Goin purchased land in Claiborne County from James Glasgow.[23]    In his Early Settlers of Claiborne County, Tennessee, P. G. Fulkerson stated that William Goin was a brother of  Burton Goin.[24]   (Burton was named in the will of his father, Thomas Going, Sr., as noted in the previous generation.)  Long time Goin family researchers, Varian and Anna Lee Goin, interviewed noted Melungeon historian, Mr. Groshe.  They told this writer that Mr. Groshe told them that old William and old Thomas Goin were brothers from North Carolina.  He also stated that both were Melungeons.  (#20).

This William was most likely the William Goings whose name was on the “Petition by the Inhabitants of the State of Franklin to the State of North Carolina” in 1787/8.[25]  This is the same area in which old Tommy Goin was recorded in 1784 as constable in Washington County which was then North Carolina but became Tennessee.

Although William Gowen sold land in 1808 in Claiborne County to Mayes and Bridges, the first record of purchase by him in Claiborne County deed books is in 1809 from James Glasgow.  His first purchase was probably made when the area was still within the parent county, Grainger.  He also had transactions in 1814 and 1823.[26]  Both Thomas Goin and William Goin served together on a jury at the May 1814 Quarter Session Court.[27]

There has been confusion and the mixing together of records of the two men of the same generation both named William Goin.

1)  One William lived in Hawkins County, had a wife named Elizabeth, was born in Virginia in 1764 and joined the Revolutionary Army in 1780.  He had a Revolutionary War Pension.  In an affidavit of 1818, he said that he had a wife aged 48 (born in 1770), one boy 11 (born in 1807), one girl 10 years (born 1808), one girl 5 (born in 1813), one boy 2 (born in 1816).  The widow’s subsequent pension stated that he died in August 21, 1827.

2) The William who is the presumed brother of Thomas Goin lived in Claiborne  County; had a wife named Elizabeth; was age 70-79 on the 1830 census, indicating a birth in 1750-1760[28]; signed his will on September 17, 1828. This is one year and one month AFTER the death of the other William.  Children:

Levi Goin (born c1777), Pleasant Goin (born c1785), William Goin (born c1778),   daughters, Sophia Goin (born c1780) and Elizabeth Goin (born c1782).

In 1828 William signed his will:

“I, William Goin, in the county of Claiborne, being in the State of Tennessee, being in good health and in my perfect mind, and memory, but advanced in life, do make and publish this my last will and testament.  Hereby revoking all other and formal wills.  First:  It is my will and desire that all the just debts I may owe, shall be first paid out of my estate by my executor.  Secondly: I give and bequeath to my loving wife Elizabeth, the mare she usually rides called Lili, two sows, and pigs to be a good quality, two cows and calves to be set apart to her by my executor, and it is my wish and desire that my wife have possession and enjoy the plantation or cleared land where I now live and have sufficient timber for firewood, and timber to keep up the farm and grainnery and said plantation as long as she may live, and remain my widow but no longer.  And it is my will that she also have the negro woman, and all the property left her by her former husband Christopher Dameron.  Thirdly: I give and bequeath to my two sons, Levi and Pleasant Goin the tract of land whence where I now live containing two hundred and sixty acres conveyed to me by three separate deeds.  I also give to my two sons a part of the tract of land that I purchased from Adam Peck to be bordered by Big Spring Branch to the head of the same to include ½ of the brand and spring then to run eastwardly to the line of the tract of two hundred and sixty acres, above given.  Then run with the lines of the Peck tract, until it strikes the said tract.  I also give to my son Pleasant Goin, a negro woman named Nell and her three children named David, Casamay and Louisa Jane and their increase forever, one set of blacksmith tools, and a sorrel horse colt, one year old last June, also one ax and hoe, one handsaw and mattock.  Fourthly: I give and bequeath to my son, William Going one negro man named George, one negro woman named Eliza, one negro boy named Jim and one part of the residence of the land I purchased from Adam Peck, also one plow, hoe, and a pair of iron chains and one cow.  I also give to my three sons, Levi, William and Pleasant  each one their part of the money I have in my hand at the time of my death.  Fifthly: I give and bequeath to my daughter Sophia Dameron, one negro woman named Delia and her two children Sue and Nell and her increases and also one third part of the tract of land purchased of Peck and not given to my two sons, Pleasant and Levi, the chestnut sorrel mare, she now has in her possession.

Sixthly: I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Murphy one negro boy named Philip, a negro girl named Linda, a negro boy named Abraham, a negro girl named Nance, a negro girl named Tilda, one wagon and gears, a feather bed, and furniture, a horse bridle, and saddle, one bay horse colt, one year old last June, two cows and calves, all the stock of hogs not given to my wife, two ewes and lambs, all the household and kitchen furniture not given to ay of my children and the balance of my farming tools not previously given.

Eighthly: it is my will and desire that my executors use the lawful means to emancipate and forever set free my negro woman Nance after the date and before my death that such child or children be equally divided among all my children, but in making such division the child or children not be sold out of my family.  Ninthly: It is my will and desire that all the money or other debts that shall be owing to me be collected and equally divided among all my children.

Lastly, I appoint my two sons Levi and William executors in this my last will and testament in testimony where of thereunto set my hand and sealed this the 17th day of September, 1828.

Signed sealed and published and declared in the presence of I. A. Howard, John Cocke, Will Reece, John M. Brabston

William Goin (His mark) [29]

The children of William Goin.  His wife was the widow of Christopher Dameron and it is unknown if she was the mother of any of the children.

  1. Levi Goin married Etha Goin.
  2. Pleasant Goin married ___Hamiltonand moved to Kentucky.

iii. William Goin

  1. Elizabeth Goin married William Murphy.[30]
  2. Burton Going/Goin born about 1782 was named as one of the five youngest children in the will of Thomas Going, Sr.  He was on the 1810 census of Randolph County as were Burgess, his brother, and Elizabeth, who may have been the sister named also in the will or his mother.  Burton was listed as over 45 years indicating a birth date of between 1765 and 1784 as well as another male aged 10 to 16.  Listed with him was a female in the same age bracket plus two females between 10 and 16.[31]  His name is not on the 1830 lists in Randolph County or in Claiborne County.

By 1836 Burton Goin was recorded buying land from Pleasant Goin, probably a nephew either the son Pleasant, son of Levi, or Pleasant, son of William. He also purchased land in 1840 from Samuel Moore.[32]  According to P. G. Fulkerson’s information, Burton came to Claiborne County from North Carolina about 1835 and settled in Lonesome Valley.  Fulkerson stated that Burton was a brother to William.[33]

Burton’s children were listed by Fulkerson.

  1. Wilson Goin, born about 1813, North Carolina, died July 5, 1889, Tazewell; married Matilda Dyer.  Their children were: Elender Goin, born 1837; John Burton Goin, born 1839; Mary J. Goin, born 1841; Thomas J. Goin, born 1843; Andrew Jackson Goin, born 1846; Turley Goin, born c1847; Mariah Emeline Goin, born 1848; William Goin, born 1851.

On January 15, 1857, Wilson married secondly Mildred Killion, daughter or James Killion and Annie Peck. (See Killion family in McVey section).  Their children were: James R. Goin, born 1863; Lucy Ann Goin, born December 26, 1865; Henry Edward Goin, born January 13, 1871; Charles Columbus Goin, born November 16, 1876.[34]

  1. Thomas Goin married Suffia Goins.

iii. Polly Goin married John Hall and moved to Missouri.

  1. Ella Goinmarried Levi Goin.
  2. Cassie Goin married John Goin as his second wife.[35]


[1]   1830 census, Claiborne County, Tennessee, p. 134.

[2]   Op. cit., Clark, pg 160-161.

[3]  Photocopy of the original  Application No. 2791 Before the Dawes Commission, Mrs. Jestern Castoe, February 24, 1897; Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee, Oklahoma.

[4]   Photocopy of original page from Claiborne County, Tennessee, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October 8, 1810, Claiborne County Courthouse, Tazewell, Tennessee.

[5]   Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, Tennessee Records of Claiborne County, Minutes of Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1803-1806, Mountain Press, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, 1939, p. 57

[6]   Mrs. John Trotwood Moore, Tennessee Records of Claiborne County, Minutes of Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1819-1821, Mountain Press, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, 1939, p. 171.

[7]   Letter of Eli Goin to his brother Isaac Goin, dated 1855, photocopy of original and transcription from Claiborne County (TN) Historical Society’s Reflections, Vol. 15, no. 4 (Fall 1997), p. 5.

[8]   1850 census, Claiborne County, Tennessee, Roll 874, pg. 299.

[9]   Phillip Edwin Roberts, “Census of 1830,” Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 8, April 1997, p. 4.

[10]   Photocopies of original records, North Carolina Secretary of State, Land Office Records S 108.392, File No. 657, Thos. Goin

[11]   For details on the formation of the State of Franklin and the Battle of Franklin see Pat Alderman, The Overmountain Men, The Overmountain Press, Johnson City, Tennessee, 1986, pg. 181-227.

[12]   Ibid., p. 248.

[13]   Op. cit., Ledford, p. 1.

[14]   Loraine Rae, Washington County, Tennessee Deeds, 1775-1800, Southern Historical Press, Greenville, South Carolina, 1991, p. 162.

[15]   Tennessee Ancestors, Vol. 5, No. 2, August 1989, pg. 39, 80, 93.

[16]   LDS Film #18, Claiborne County, TN, Deeds, 1801-1810; microfilmed by Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.

[17]   Op. cit., Moore, p. 57.

[18]   Photocopy of page one of church clerk’s record, Big Barren Primitive Baptist Church, Record Book No. 2.

[19]    East Tennessee Historical Society, First Families of Tennessee: a Register of Early Settlers and Their Present-Day Descendants, published 2000, Knoxville, p 159.

[20]   Photocopy of the record, “2nd Circuit, Claiborne County, Tennessee, Transcript of the Record, Elijah Goin vs. Sterling Mayes, Filed July 26, 1858; Reversed & Remanded.”  Transcribed by BJN.

[21]   Op. cit., Kenan, p. 56.

[22]   Dr. A. B. Pruitt, Abstracts of Land Warrants, Randolph County, NC, 1778-1948, Part I, 2001, p. 14.

[23]   Op. cit., Fletcher, p. 173.

[24]   P. G. Fulkerson, Early Settlers of Claiborne County, Tennessee, Tazewell, Tennessee, p. 50.

[25]   Op. cit., Alderman, p. 248.

[26]   Op. cit., Fletcher, pg. 52 & 173.

[27]   LDS film, Roll #18, “Microfilm of Claiborne County, Tennessee, Deeds, 1801-1810; Tennessee State Library & Archives, Nashville, TN”

[28]   Op. cit., 1830 census, p. 124.

[29]   Op. cit., Ledford, p. 19.

[30]  Op. cit., Fulkerson, p. 50.

[31]   1810 census, Randolph County, NC, Roll 38, p. 194.

[32]   Op. cit., Fletcher, p. 173.

[33]   Op. cit., Fulkerson, p. 50.

[34]   Eddie Goins, “Wilson Goin,” The People’s History of Claiborne County, Tennessee, 1801-2005, Vol. II, Claiborne County Historical Society, 2005, pg. 277-8.

[35]   Op. cit., Fulkerson, p. 50.