1762 Thomas Going of Attakapas Parish, Louisiana

THOMAS GOING of ATTAKAPAS, LA:  born abt 1762, died abt 1828 probate date

Nancy Gowens – wife of Thomas Going of Attakapas, LA.

1) Stephen Gowens – son adult – per 1826 will
2) Aramintha Gowens – daughter adult – per 1826 will
3) Anny Gowens – daughter adult, of Texas – per 1826 will
4) Sally Gowens – daughter per 1826 will
5) Thomas Gowens Jr – son minor but emancipated per 1826 will.   Thomas Going Jr had wife Lucinda Griffin, and had a son b. Oct 1, 1830 named Edward J Going

Thomas Going appears to be born abt. 1762 per his Oct 6, 1812 deposition.  In that same deposition, he confirmed he had lived in Attakapas 7 years – making his arrival to that parish about 1805.  

1804, No. 401-282 Jesse White claims 640 superficial acres of land, situated on the left bank of bayou Vermilion, in the county [parish] of Attakapas*, (Louisiana), bounded above by land of the heirs of John White, and below by land of John Dummon’s heirs. A certificate deed of sale from Gibson Johnson to Thomas Goin and by him transferred to the claimant, dated the 25 of November 1812, accompanies the notice. The evidence of James Dunman taken the 15th October 1812, states that in the fall of 1803, Gibson Johnson settled on the land, but did not cultivate; and, having sold his right to Thomas Goin, in the spring of 1804, he removed, and Goin took possession, cleared about four acres, and cultivated that year, since when it has been cultivated ever since, and is now inhabited by the deponent, the claimant being on an adjoining tract above.

1810. No. 402‑283. Thomas Goin claims 640 superficial acres of land, situated on the right bank of Bayou Vermilion, in the county [parish] of Attakapas, bounded on all sides by vacant land. The evidence of James Dunman, taken the 15th October, 1812, states that John Chavers built a camp on the land about 14 years ago, where he continued three months; that it remained unoccupied from that time until 1810, when the claimant having purchased, deponent believes, of Chavers, took possession, and has occupied and cultivated ever since.”

1812 Oct 6: Thomas Going gives testimony.
American State Papers – Public Lands Volume III.
No. 377. 168.
Shadrack Porter claims 640 superficial acres of land, situated on the right bank of Bayou Vermillion, in the county, of Attakapas, bounded on the north by Little bayou. The evidence of Thomas Going, a free man of color, aged fifty years, taken the 6th October, 1812, states that he has known the land for seven years, and that for the last three years it has been inhabited and cultivated by Littlepage Robertson and the claimant: Robertson was the first settler known to this deponent; and the evidence of John Brown, aged thirty-four years, taken the 27th November, 1812, states that, in the year 1799, he, in company with two families, two of the name of Brown and one Robinson, ascended the Bayou Vermillion for the purpose of making an establishment; that Robinson did at that time settle on the tract of land now claimed, and at present occupied by S. Porter; that Robinson continued to inhabit and cultivate the same until 1804, at which time deponent removed, and did not return till 1811, when he found the claimant residing on and cultivating said land. The evidence of Theodore Broussard and Michel Pevoto, taken January, 1803, the first of whom states, that he believes no establishment was made below Little bayou until, about four years ago, one Resin Bowie settled sixty or seventy arpens below said bayou; and that no persons, to his knowledge, by the name of Brown or Robinson settled on said land in 1799 or 1800. The second states, that he knows of no families ever having settled in that quarter until about four or five years ago, one Robinson settled about one league and a half above Little bayou. https://books.google.com/books?id=vRJFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180&dq=%22Thomas+Going%22,+Attakapas&source=bl&ots=sSJMvlbFzg&sig=uLW_koZHsqi5lWACLCE9KC_PUMo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiE37ihsOzZAhUqwlQKHVYuCaQQ6AEIQTAI#v=onepage&q=%22Thomas%20Going%22%2C%20Attakapas&f=false   (Note: if 50 years old, then Thomas Going’s birth year is abt 1762).

1825 May 22 – Thomas D. Gowen wrote his will May 22, 1825 and in it mentioned that “I give and bequeath to my daughter Anny Gowens the Negro girl, Clarinda, aged about six years.”
Anne Gowens of the Province of Texas and duly represented in these presents by her curatrix and mother, Nancy Gowens,” was mentioned in the probate proceedings of her father’s estate in Lafayette Parish in 1828.

1826 May 13 – The succession of “Thomas Goin,” dated May 13, 1826, was probated in Lafayette Parish, according to “Southwest Louisiana Records” by Rev. Donald J. Hebert.
“State of Louisiana }
Lafayette Parish }
Be it remembered that on this eighteenth Day of May Anno Domini One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-six Before me, Thomas B. Brashear, Judge of the Parish of Lafayette and Ex-officio Notary Public within and for said Parish personally came and appeared James Taylor White, one of the Testamentary executors of the last will and testament of Thomas Gowens late of said parish, deceased and also appeared Nancy Gowens, widow of said deceased and Stephen Gowens, Aramintha Gowens and Sally Gowens of full age, Thomas Gowens, nineteen years of age, duly emancipated and aided and assisted in these presents by Lancelot Porter, his special curator, also Anne Gowens of the Province of Texas and duly represented in these presents by her curatrix and mother, Nancy Gowens, all the legal heirs and descendants of the said deceased who have declared and confessed that on the 22nd day of May 1825 the said Thomas Gowens Sen. did execute his last will and testament by which he bequeathed and divided his title property as follows, viz:
Item 1st of said will: He gave to Nancy Gowens, his widow the following slaves, to wit: the Negro woman named Plians, aged about thirty-five years, the Negro boy named Abraham, about fourteen years of age, and the Negro girl named Violet, aged about eleven years, all slaves for life, also the household and kitchen furniture.
Item 2nd: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter, Anny Gowens, the Negro girl named Clarinda, aged about six years,
Item 3rd: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter, Aramintha Gowens one Negro boy named Aury, aged five years.
Item 4th: He gave and bequeathed to his son Stephen Gowens one Negro boy named Roger, aged ten years.
Item 5th: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter Sally Gowens a Negro girl named Kitty, aged seven years.
Item 6th: He gave and bequeathed to his son, Thomas Gowens a Negro boy named Riley, aged four years which concluded all the property of the Testator aforesaid.
And the aforesaid affirm in their different rights and capacities, that each of them for themselves and others, Viz: Represent that they received the foregoing portion of the property aforesaid. Confirmed is the will of said Testator and do by these presents make the same irrevocable and unalterable. This done on motion of an order of the Court of Probate dated this ___ day of May instant and signed by all the aforesaid parties in the presence of the Two Subscribing Witnesses and the said Notary after said due reading.
Witnessed: Nancy [X] Gowens
John Merriman Sally [X] Gowens
James T. White Aramintha [X] Gowens
Stephen [X] Gowens
Samuel W. Pond Thomas [X] Gowens”

1826 May 18 – Aramintha Gowen, daughter of Thomas D. Gowen and Nancy Johnson Gowen, was born about 1805, place unknown. She received “one Negro boy named Aury, aged five years” under the terms of her father’s will. On May 18, 1826, she joined other members of her family in signing an acceptance of the provisions of her father’s will. She signed with an “X” suggesting that she was illiterate.

1827 Jan 16 – “Thomas D. Gowen,” Aaron Drake, John Drake and James Drake were included in the 30-man militia of Atascosita mustered into service January 16, 1827 under the command of Capt. Hugh B. Johnston. They marched with the militia of Austin Colony against the Fredonians. As the militia approached Nacogdoches on January 31, the out-numbered rebels fled across the Sabine River into Louisiana, ending the insurrection, according to “Liberty, Liberty County and Atascosita District” by Miriam Partlow.”

1827 Nov – In November 1827 the frustrated settlers in Atascosito filed a petition with Don Anastacio Bustamente, Commander General of the Internal Eastern States, regarding their land applications.
Seventy-three signatures were affixed to the petition from “the inhabitants who are settled on the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers.” Included were “Tomas D. Gewen [Jr.], Aaron Drak, John Drak, Hugh H. Johnston and Tomas Nash.” Some of the applicants received their land grants during the years 1831-1835. Thomas D. Gowen, Jr. and the Drakes did not receive land grants which may have influenced some of them to return to Louisiana.

1830 Oct 1 – Edward J. Going, son of Thomas Going and Lucinda Griffin Going, was born October 1, 1830 in St. Landry Parish, accord­ing to “Southwest Louisiana Records.”

From GRF Newsletter Feb 1995:

Nancy Johnson Goins Received
A Big Slice of Texas

By Sherry Louise Martin Chitty
Seventh-generation granddaughter
Box 262, Imlay, Nevada, 89418

When the widow Nancy Johnson Goins and her family arrived in Texas shortly after Mexico had obtained its independence from Spain in 1821, the country was still in political turmoil. There were millions of acres of land in the province of Coahuila y Tejas, and Mexico needed settlers to develop it. But the Mexicans were cautious about admitting Americans who might want to add Texas to the westward expansion of the United States.

Additionally, it was hard for the settlers to know just who was in charge. Some presidential administrations lasted only one week in Mexico City, before they were toppled by a new revolution.

During the first 55 years of Mexican history. it had two emperors, two regencies, several dictators and enough presidents to have had no fewer that 74 different governments.

Added to the political instability, was the problem of communications. Eight hundred trackless miles lay between Mexico City and the settlements in Texas. Regulations which the settlers attempted to comply with were already superseded by newer decisions in Mexico City before they could be implemented in Texas. The alcaldes of San Antonio, Nacogdoches and Goliad, the three settlements in Texas at that time, attempted to improvise.

In 1821, the total white population of Texas was 7,000 and declining.

Nancy Johnson was born about 1780 in South Carolina of parents unknown. She was married there about 1799 Thomas D. Goins.

They lived in Alabama Territory for a few years and then removed to Louisiana Territory, settling in St. Martin Parish. When Lafayette Parish was organized in 1823 from St. Martin, they found themselves in the new parish. Thomas D. Goins had heard that Texas had “land to burn” and dreamed of obtaining a Mexican land grant there, but his dream was denied to him. His health declined rapidly, and soon he was unable to work or to travel. He wrote his will on May 22, 1825 and died shortly afterward.

The succession of “Thomas Goin,” dated May 13, 1826, was probated in Lafayette Parish, according to “Southwest Louisiana Records” by Rev. Donald J. Hebert.

“State of Louisiana }
Lafayette Parish }

Be it remembered that on this eighteenth Day of May Anno Domini One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-six Before me, Thomas B. Brashear, Judge of the Parish of Lafayette and Ex-officio Notary Public within and for said Parish personally came and appeared James Taylor White, one of the Testamentary executors of the last will and testament of Thomas Gowens, late of said parish, deceased and also appeared Nancy Gowens, widow of said deceased and Stephen Gowens, Aramintha Gowens and Sally Gowens of full age, Thomas Gowens, nineteen years of age, duly emancipated and aided and assisted in these presents by Lancelot Porter, his special curator, also Anne Gowensof the Province of Texas and duly represented in these presents by her curatrix and mother, Nancy Gowens, all the legal heirs and descendants of the said deceased who have declared and confessed that on the 22nd day of May 1825 the said Thomas Gowens Sen. did execute his last will and testament by which he bequeathed and divided his title property as follows, viz:

Item 1st of said will: He gave to Nancy Gowens, his widow the following slaves, to wit: the Negro woman named Plians, aged about thirty-five years, the Negro boy named Abraham, about fourteen years of age, and the Negro girl named Violet, aged about eleven years, all slaves for life, also the household and kitchen furniture.

Item 2nd: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter, Anny Gowens, the Negro girl named Clarinda, aged about six years.

Item 3rd: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter, Aramintha Gowens one Negro boy named Aury, aged five years.

Item 4th: He gave and bequeathed to his son Stephen Gowens one Negro boy named Roger, aged ten years.

Item 5th: He gave and bequeathed to his daughter Sally Gowens a Negro girl named Kitty, aged seven years.

Item 6th: He gave and bequeathed to his son, Thomas Gowens a Negro boy named Riley, aged four years which concluded all the property of the Testator aforesaid.

And the aforesaid affirm in their different rights and capacities, that each of them for themselves and others, Viz:

Represent that they received the foregoing portion of the property aforesaid. Confirmed is the will of said Testator and do by these presents make the same irrevocable and unalterable.  This done on motion of an order of the Court of Probate dated this ___ day of May instant and signed by all the aforesaid parties in the presence of the Two Subscribing Witnesses and the said Notary after said due reading.

Witnessed: Nancy [X] Gowens
John Merriman Sally [X] Gowens
James T. White Aramintha [X] Gowens
Stephen [X] Gowens
Samuel W. Pond Thomas [X] Gowens”

Nancy Johnson Goins and her children arrived in Atascosita District shortly afterward, hoping to fulfill the dream of her deceased husband. However, their experience with a democratic government in the United States had not prepared them to deal with the capricious, unpredictable Mexican authorities. Women did not have same rights under Mexican law as they enjoyed in the United States. Even when Thomas D. Goins, Jr. posed as the head of the household, he was ignored as well.

Finally, Mexico adopted an empresario system to handle the entrance of colonists into Texas. Thomas D. Goins, Jr. was instructed to apply for land to Empresario Lorenzo de Zavala in Atascosita District. Earlier Stephen F. Austin, a 28-year-old lawyer from New Orleans had been authorized to establish in Austin Colony 300 American families at Columbus on the Colorado River and at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Much frustration developed between the Mexican authorities and the settlers. Cultural differences, language barriers and race suspicions complicated the negotiations. Additionally the church required the settlers to convert to Catholicism to become land
owners. Despite the exasperating circumstances, the Goins family and their neighbors attempted to be good citizens. Most of the settlers in the Atascosita District had emigrated together from Louisiana.

There the Goins had associated in Calcasieu Parish with members of the Nash family, the Drake family and a Goins family with ties to Choctaw Nation in Mississippi.

Tempers first reached the boiling point in Nacogdoches. There Empresario Hayden Edwards, over land grant discrimination against the Anglos, mustered his militia and declared an end to Mexican persecution. He captured the Old Stone Fort built by the
Spanish Army there in 1779 and declared the formation of the Republic of Fredonia, free of Mexican domination.

Austin regarded this impulsive revolutionary action as rash and certain to disrupt the orderly process of land grants to his colonists.

He quickly dispatched his militia during the first week of January 1827 from Columbus to put down the rebellion at Nacogdoches.  As the force moved northeastward, it was joined by the Atascosita Militia.

“Thomas D. Gowen [Jr.],” Aaron Drake, John Drake and James Drake were included in the 30-man militia of Atascosita mustered into service January 16, 1827 under the command of Capt. Hugh B. Johnston. They marched with the militia of Austin Colony against the Fredonians. As the militia approached Nacogdoches on January 31, the out-numbered rebels fled across the Sabine River into Louisiana, ending the insurrection, according to “Liberty, Liberty County and Atascosita District” by Miriam Partlow.”

The Atascosita colonists felt that their service on behalf of Mexico would be helpful in obtaining approval of their land grant applications. But again the Mexicans did nothing but promise “mañana.”

In November 1827 the frustrated settlers in Atascosita filed a petition with Don Anastacio Bustamente, Commander General of the Internal Eastern States, regarding their land applications.

Seventy-three signatures were affixed to the petition from “the inhabitants who are settled on the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers” Included were “Tomas D. Gewen [Jr.], Aaron Drak, John Drak, Hugh H. Johnston and Tomas Nash.”

Some of the applicants received their land grants during the years 1831-1835. Thomas D. Goins, Jr. and the Drakes did not receive land grants which may have influenced some of them to return to Louisiana.

Nancy Johnson Goins reapplied for a Mexican land grant about 1829, but died without receiving it in 1832. Since she was an early settler in Texas, prior to the Revolution, the Texas government upon winning its freedom from Mexico in 1836 honored her request. The Republic of Texas approved her application with a First Class Headright of “a league and a labor,” 4,606 acres which was patented to her heirs January 28, 1846 by President Sam Houston.

Atascosita District was renamed Liberty County in 1836, and the land grant of “Nancy Gowin” lay “32 miles north of Liberty, Texas and seven miles east of the Trinity River.” Isaiah L. Fields, a soninlaw, was appointed administrator of her estate.

The land was patented to the heirs of Nancy Johnson Goins Patent No. 777 issued January 18, 1842. When Hardin County was created, part of the land grant was located in the new county.

For the next 50 years the estate of Nancy Johnson Goins was in dispute by the heirs. Finally on May 18, 1891, John G. Gates of Trinity County, Texas, “attorney in fact for the heirs of Nancy Gowens” was able to free up one fourth of the land, 1,151½ acres located in Hardin County. Heirs represented by John G. Gates included “H. S. Gowens, T. J. Gowens, C. Gowens, W. Gowens, Mitchell Gowens, Joseph Gowens and S. B. Gowens.” John G. Gates received $1,500 in compensation from “W. C. Gowens and S. B. Gowens,” according to Liberty County Deed Book 9, page 574.

The family was back in court February 28, 1907, again wrangling over the 1,151½ acres. Attorney for the plaintiff represented 54 heirs, the attorney for the defendants represented eight heirs, and the attorney for the intervener represented 11 individuals. A
default judgement was rendered in the case, and the plaintiffs received 600 acres of land, the defendants received 551½ acres, and the interveners received “one-seventh of the east half of the SW quarter,” according to Liberty County Deed Book 9, page 400. In the next round in the Liberty County District Court 70 litigants participated.

A generation later the family was still going at it over the Nancy Johnson Goins Survey, and the list of heirs had grown to over 300 wrangling people.

Children born to Thomas D. Goins, Sr. and Nancy Johnson Goins include:

Sarah “Sally” Goins born about 1800
Anne Goins born about 1802
Stephen Breckenridge Goins born about 1804
Arminta Goins born about 1805
Thomas D. Goins, Jr. born about 1807

From Poverty in Cornish Mines . . .

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