Sections in this issue:
1) Researchers Tackle Mystery Of the Melungeons;
2) William Goyens, Melungeon Becomes Texas Millionaire;
3) From Debtors’ Prison . . . John Gowan Emerges Patriarch Of Family Growing Worldwide;
(John Gowan b. 1780 son of John and Nancy Gowan, of Ashpole Swamp in Marion Co, SC);
4) DEAR COUSINS
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Volume 1, No. 4 December 1989
1) Researchers Tackle Mystery
Of the Melungeons
A yellowing document addressed to the governor of North Carolina locked in a box in the state archives there is believed to contain the first official notice taken of the Melungeons. The report, written with a quill on now-brittle foolscap by John Sevier, later the first governor of Tennessee, described the large, mysterious colony of bronze-skinned people he found in northeastern Tennessee.
Sevier had been dispatched by Gov. John Murray Dunmore of Virginia to rid the west of the Indian menace. In the ensuing engagement known as Lord Dunmore’s War, the colonial forces in 1774 crossed the Appalachians into Tennessee in pursuit of the Indians. Five years earlier, a few intrepid settlers had crossed the mountains and discovered the Melungeons who had already been there for years, according to the estimate of Mary
Sue Going of the Watauga Association of Genealogists of Jonesborough, Tennessee.
The settlers directed Sevier to the Melungeons’ location near present-day Harrogate, Tennessee. In his report to the governor, written about 1775, he described some of the mysterious dark-skinned people as having “straight black hair and dark blue eyes.”
Today, after another two centuries, researchers know very little more about the Melungeons than did Sevier, but a team of Gowen Research Foundation members is now being assembled to probe the mystery.
When the first federal census was taken in 1790, the enumerators found hundreds of Melungeon households in southern Appalachia, the area where Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia conjoin. In that year Tennessee was recorded as
part of Salisbury District of North Carolina. In the first census the enumerators was instructed to record the population as “white, free men of color, slaves, mulattos and Indians.” They were completely frustrated by the Melungeons who were “none
of the above!”
In succeeding enumerations there, individuals who were once recorded as “free colored” were in the following decade recorded as “white” or “mulatto.” Color then, like beauty, was in the eye of the beholder when the enumerator had no definitive criteria to follow.
Various writers have divergent views about the origin of the Melungeons. Louise Littleton Davis in “The Mystery of the Melungeons” refers to them as a “mystery race tucked away between the ridges of East Tennessee mountains long before Daniel Boone and the long hunters arrived.” She suggests that they were descendants of Portuguese sailors shipwrecked off Cape Hatteras in the mid-1500s. “Melungo” means “shipmate” in Portuguese.
Mary Sue Going suggests that they are descendants of deserters from an expedition of 100 Spanish soldiers who were once camped at the present-day location of Newport, Tennessee.
This theory is plausible because Emperor Charles V of Spain had made a star-crossed decision to attach the Netherlands to the Spanish monarchy and consequently involved himself and his successor son in a rebellion that they were unable to quell despite 54 years of continuous warfare. A Dutch revolt against the Spanish monarch began in 1555 and continued until its successful conclusion in 1609. The nation could not field enough
soldiers to protect its empire, and as a consequence, Spain subjected neighboring Portugal and impressed Portuguese men into Spanish regiments throughout the empire. It is more than credible that conscripted Portuguese soldiers would desert in Tennessee if the opportunity presented itself. As a sidelight, a genealogical anomaly resulted from this war. A new race was created in the southern part of Holland during the six decades that
Spanish and Portuguese soldiers were stationed there.
Their “fraternization” with the Dutch girls produced darkskinned children which were the beginning of the “Black Dutch.”
Henry R. Price in “Melungeons: The Vanishing Colony of Newman’s Ridge” offers a theory that the mysterious people were descendants of Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colony of Roanoke, Virginia established July 23, 1687. Another expedition arriving three years later found no trace of the vanished colonists. John Fetterman in “The Melungeons” suggests that they are descendants of Carthagenian sailors who fled to Portugal when Carthage fell to the Arabs in A.D. 698.
Genealogists researching the Gowen family have discovered a rare genetic “skeleton key.”
It is interesting to note that Melungeon characteristics are found today in several branches of the family–Goan, Goen, Goin, Going, Gowan, Gowen, Gowing, Goyne and other Soundex versions and plurals. Thus, it becomes evident that all of the above carry some common genes. It has also forced researchers interested in any of the above to take notes on all of the above.
To undertake the Melungeon challenge the Foundation research team will begin gathering and interpreting all of the available data. An invitation is being extended to other Melungeon researchers to join in the Foundation effort through the assistance of genealogical newspaper columnists nationwide.
Foundation members, some of whom are Melungeon descendants, who have been asked to serve on the research team include:
Evelyn L. Orr, Omaha, NE, chairman; Jean Fry, Cave City, KY; Sam K. Goans, Knoxville, TN; Mrs. Dixon Goen, San Diego, CA; Hoyt L. Goin, Russellville, AR; Martha Gowen Herbert, Ekron, KY; Col. Sam Kretzschmar, San Angelo, TX; Louise Goins Richardson, Paragould, AR; Brenda Wood, Chandler, IN; Hazel M. Wood, San Diego, CA and Betty J. Robertson, Jacksonville, FL. Mary Sue Going, Jonesborough, TN is assisting as a consultant.
2) William Goyens, Melungeon
Becomes Texas Millionaire
William Goyens, believed to be a son of William Goings and Elizabeth Goings, was born in 1794 in North Carolina of a “free colored” father and a “white” mother. He rose above the
constrictions imposed by his dark skin to become an adventurer, a soldier, a pirate, an interpreter, a diplomat and a Texas millionaire and philanthropist.
Early in his life, he became aware of the stigma of a dark-colored skin in slave-holding North Carolina, and he went to the district judge and requested a certificate from the court establishing that he was “free colored,” the best he could do in North Carolina. He carefully guarded this treasured document and carried it with him wherever he went for the rest of his life, presenting it upon occasions to prove that he was not a runaway slave.
William Goyens learned in his early years in North Carolina that slavery was forbidden in the Spanish province of Coahuila y Tejas and concluded that his destiny lay there. He was aware that making his way across several slave states from North Carolina to Texas would be hazardous with his dark complexion, so he “became a Cherokee” and moved freely with the tribesmen toward the southwest. In 1814, “William Goyens of the Cherokee Nation” gave power of attorney to John Lowery to collect money due him.
When the British Navy showed up at the mouth of the Mississippi in December 1814 with 50 ships and 10,000 men under Maj.-Gen. Edward Packinham, William Goyens answered the call for volunteers.
When Gen. Andrew Jackson assembled his forces, William Goyens served in three different units in the Battle of New Orleans, according to “War of 1812 Veterans in Texas” by Mary Smith Foy. He was a private in the company commanded by Capt. James B. Moore. When his fellow soldiers resented “serving with a nigger,” he transferred to Capt. Jacob Short’s
company of U.S. Mounted Rangers. When that became intolerable, he was became a member of Capt. Samuel Judy’s company of Mounted Illinois Militia.
After the British withdrew following the death of Packinham and their defeat in the Battle of Chalmette, William Goyen affiliated with Jean Lafitte and his Barataria Bay pirates to avoid the threat of slavery, according to historian R. B. Blake. He jumped ship in Galveston Bay and made his way in 1821 to Nacogdoches, his original destination, according to
“Monument to a Black Man” by Daniel James Kubiak.
There his color proved to be an asset. When the Mexicans and Anglos there staged an uprising in the Guiterrez-Magee-Long revolt, the Spanish army came down hard. Nacogdoches had been nearly obliterated by the Spanish reaction, according to
“People and Places in Texas Past” by June Rayfield Welch.
Stephen F. Austin wrote that when he passed through the town in 1821, Nacogdoches had only five houses and a church left standing. The home of William Goyens whom the Spanish commander regarded as neither Mexican nor Anglo was preserved.
William Goyens who fluently spoke Spanish, Cherokee and several Indian dialects was used by the Spanish, the Mexicans and later the Texans to maintain peace with the Indians who trusted him as well. Goyens became a negotiator as well as an interpreter.
He became a large property owner in Nacogdoches, opened an inn, a blacksmith shop, a gunsmith shop, a wagon factory and operated a freight line, hauling goods from Natchitoches, Louisiana to Nacogdoches. On a trip to Natchitoches in 1826, he was seized as a runaway slave by William English who planned to sell him in the Louisiana slave auction. He offered William English more money for his freedom than he would bring in the slave market and posted bond to guarantee payment.
Upon return to Texas he retained attorney [later senator] Thomas Jefferson Rusk to represent him in court. When his North Carolina certificate was produced as evidence, he won the case and was successful in getting his obligations to English declared null and void. Having had a taste of victory in the courtroom, he became a constant litigant, being involved in over three dozens lawsuits during the next decade.
On May 7, 1826 he bought a lot in Nacogdoches from Pierre Mayniel for 70 pesos, and this became the first in a long string of real estate transactions recorded in his name in Nacogdoches.
He was recorded as a blacksmith in the 1828 census of Nacogdoches. He was appointed by the Mexican government as an Indian agent to deal with the Cherokees, and upon occasions he negotiated with other tribes. He was trusted by the Indians and the Mexicans and Anglo-Americans in East Texas, as well.
A flood of Anglos from the southern states began to flow into Mexican Texas, many bringing their slaves with them, and the practice was gradually tolerated by the government. As further protection against being again labelled as a runaway slave,
Goyens became a slave owner himself. On January 3, 1829, he bought Jerry, 26-year-old slave from John Durst for 700 pesos.
In the Mexican census of 1828 the household of William Goyens was recorded:
“Goyens, William 43, single blacksmith
Linse, Jususa 20, agreg. single
Linse, Maria 26, widow
Manuel 10, her son”
On June 1, 1829, he was enumerated in the district “from Attoyac to Nacogdoches:”
“Goyens, William 44, single, blacksmith
Lindsey, Jesus 21, single
Lindsey, Mary, 27, widow
Manuel 11, her son [Henry]”
On June 30, 1830, he was recorded in the district “from Attoyac to Trinity River” and reported three slaves:
“Goyens, William 34, single, blacksmith, Catholic”
Maria Petra, 32, Catholic
Henry, her son 11
Sallie, slave 30
Luiza, her daughter 6
Juliana, her daughter 3″
In that year he was recorded as a Catholic, a requirement of every land owner in Texas. On January 18, 1831, William Goyens appeared on a “List of Foreigners living in Nacogdoches.”
On June 30, 1831, the enumerator recorded him “in the district from Attoyac to the Trinity:
“Goyens, William 36, single, blacksmith, Catholic
Ma. Polly 35, with him, Catholic
Henry 13, child of hers
Sexo, slave 32
Luisa 7, her child
Juliana 4, her child
Eli 1, her child”
In 1832 William Goyens, at age 38, proposed marriage to Mary “Polly” Pate Sibley, a white widow who was born in Georgia in 1795, also age 38. Her brothers came from Georgia to block her marriage to a black man, but then consented when they learned that she was marrying a “Melungeon” rather than a Negro, according to Benjamin Lundy. She had one son, Henry Sibley, by her first marriage who visited Nacogdoches frequently from
Louisiana. In the Mexican census, married women were listed by their maiden names. In 1832, the household was recorded as:
“Goyens, William 38, single, blacksmith, Catholic
Maria Mose 37, single, aggreg.
Henry 14, her son
Ma. Lera 34, slave
Ma. Luisa 7, her daughter
Ma. Juliana 5, her daughter
Ma. Ylalla 3, her daughter
Jose Juan 6/12, her son
In 1833, the family remained static:
“Goyens, William 39, single, blacksmith, Catholic
Maria Mose 38, single, aggreg.
Henry 15, her son
Ma. Sarah 35, slave
Ma. Luisa 8, her daughter
Ma. Juliana 6, her daughter
Ma. Ylalla 4, her daughter
Jose Juan 1, her son”
In 1833, “Leonardo Goyens, blacksmith” [unidentified] was enumerated, according to “Nacogdoches–Gateway to Texas, a Biographical Directory, 1773-1849” by Carolyn Reeves
Ericson. His enumeration read:
“Goyens, Leonardo 31 blacksmith, single
Ranu 31, aggregated
Maria 16, her daughter
Sally 14, her daughter
Thomas 12, her son
Priscilla 10, her daughter
Pole [Polly?] 8
Leonardo, 4, her son
Malinda 2, her daughter”
In 1834, the household of William Goyens was recorded as:
“Goyens, William 40, single, blacksmith, Catholic
Mose, Maria 39, single
Henry 16, her son
Ma. Laura 35, slave
Ma. Luisa 9, her daughter
Ma. Juliana 7, her daughter
Ma. Ellala 5, her daughter
Jose Juan 2, her son”
In 1835, in the last Mexican census, the enumeration read:
“Goyens, William 40, married, blacksmith
Pate, Marie 39, married
Goyens, Henry 16, her son
Calare, Robert 5,
Sallie 30, negro slave
James 30, negro”
Jose Juan 2, her son”
In 1836, during the Texas Revolution, William Goyens was given the important task of keeping the Cherokees on friendly terms with the Texans. And a friend of his, Sam Houston, who also had lived with the Cherokees earlier, became general of the Texas Army. On May 10, 1837 he was referred to as an Indian agent in official Texas records.
Following the Revolution, Williams Goyens purchased land with a large promontory located four miles west of Nacogdoches which became known as Goyens’ Hill. There he constructed a large, two-story mansion, with a sawmill and a gristmill located on Moral Creek, just west of his home.
He appeared in the 1837 Nacogdoches County tax roll as the owner of 1,270 acres of land valued at $7,247. He bought a quarter league December 20, 1838 from William Gann, according to “Nacogdoches County Families.”
In the 1840 tax assessment of Nacogdoches County he paid a poll tax and an advalorem tax on 5,000 acres of land, city property in Nacogdoches, nine slaves, 30 head of cattle and a silver watch. The Republic of Texas made no allowance for a free Negro to vote nor to own land, producing additional evidence that William Goyens was not regarded as a Negro.
On April 12, 1845, William Goyens “of Nacogdoches County” gave a deed to Charles Chevalier for 1,107 acres [1/4 league] out of the John Walker League, according to adjoining
Cherokee County Deed Book I, page 36. Consideration was $1 per acre for the land which lay east of the Neches River.
On August 4, 1845, he deeded 100 acres to Mary Comb for $100, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book I, page 76.
On November 19, 1845, he deeded 1/4 league to Thomas Jefferson Rusk, his attorney, upon payment of 1,000, according to Deed Book I, page 103.
He appeared on the advalorem tax list of Nacogdoches County in 1845. Although his skin was dark, he appeared on the 1846 polltax list of the county. The polltax of $1 applied to every white male resident of Texas over 21 and to women who were heads of households within the state, according to “Poll Lists for 1846, Republic of Texas” by Marion Day Mullins. Thirtyseven of the state’s 254 counties had been organized by 1846.
William Goyens deeded a house and lot in Nacogdoches to Alexander Toost “for $100 and compliance with bond,” as evidenced in Deed Book I, page 308. He made a deed to Matthew Mosely August 24, 1848 for 100 acres of land according to Deed Book K, page 45.
In December 12, 1848, he deeded land to Joseph Campbell at a price of $1.50 per acre, according to Deed Book K, page 45.
He was enumerated in the 1850 U.S. federal census, page 158 as the head of Household 344-344:
“Goyan, William 55, born in North Carolina, farmer, 12,000 real estate
Polly 55, born in Georgia, illiterate
Collier, Robert 31, born in Texas, farmer, $320 real estate
Darlin,Lewis 47, born in Delaware, farmer”
On October 4, 1851, William Goyens deeded 50 acres to Harrison Morrow for $75, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book M, page 259. His charitable nature was revealed in his
gift of “two cows and calves” to Arena Paasche and children,” widow of D. R. Paasche in 1852, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book K, page 690.
On March 15, 1853, he deeded to Jesse P. Bruton a tract of land for $1,712, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book L, page 71. On June 24, 1854 he gave a deed to Jose Mariano
Acosta, Jr. to 50 acres for $50, according to Deed Book L, page 199. Upon payment of $500, he transferred land to Eli Willingham May 24, 1855, according to Deed Book L, page 634.
Arnold Barrett received from William Goyens a “labor and 20 acres” for $500 on November 12, 1855, according to Deed Book M, page 32. On January 1, 1856, he sold 100 acres to
Alexander Moyers for $150, according to Deed Book M, page 256. On January 17, 1856, he deeded to Thomas Collins 100 acres of land for $150, according to Deed Book M, page 357.
This land came from the original grant to Juan I. Acosta.
William Goyens sold 100 acres located eight miles southwest of Nacogdoches near Alazan Creek to Alexander Myers at $1.50 per acre on January 17, 1856. On the same day, he sold 100 acres to Thomas J. Collins at the same price.
Shortly before his death, William Goyens owned 3,818 acres in Nacogdoches County and 9,056 acres in neighboring Houston, Cherokee and Angelina counties. He died June 20, 1856, soon after the death of his wife. They were buried in a cemetery near the junction of the Aylitos Creek with the Moral.
In 1967, the value of his real estate was estimated at $1,863,450, according to Diane Elizabeth Prince who documented his life as her thesis at Stephen F. Austin University.
No children were born to William Goyens and Mary “Polly” Pate Sibley Goyens. Henry Sibley had died in March 1849. His two daughters, Henrietta S. Sibley and Martha S. Sibley became the heirs to the estate of William Goyens and Mary “Polly” Pate Sibley Goyens.
Henry C. Hancock, a Nacogdoches lawyer was appointed administrator of the estate at the time of the death of William Goyens.
On August 6, 1857, the heirs of Matthew Moseley received 120 acres of land from the estate in compliance with a title bond, as recorded in Deed Book M, page 53. On September 2, 1857, Jesse P. Bruboul received 1,071 acres of land located three miles west of Nacogdoches upon payment of $2.34 per acre, according to Deed Book M, page 598. This land was part of the headright of Henry Sibley.
Additional data on this outstanding man is provided in “Diary of Adolphus Sterne,” “Memoirs” by Benjamin Lunday and “Writings of Sam Houston.”
Historians have recorded his exploits for over 150 years, always crediting his accomplishments to a Negro. The Texas Historical Commission sought to honor him in 1936 by erecting a monument at his gravesite. On it was inscribed:
“William Goyens, born a slave [error] in South Carolina [error], escaped [error] to Texas in 1821. Rendered valuable assistance to the Army of Texas, 1836; interpreter for the Houston-Forbes Treaty with the Cherokees, 1836. Acquired wealth and was noted for his charity.
Died in his home on Goyen’s Hill, 1856. His skin was black; his heart true blue.”
3) From Debtors’ Prison . . .
John Gowan Emerges Patriarch
Of Family Growing Worldwide
By Phillip Alan Gowan
John Gowan was born about 1780 near Ashpole Swamp in Marion County, South Carolina and was a son of John and Nancy Gowan. When the border between South and North Carolina was altered, the Gowans found themselves living in Columbus County, North Carolina. They had not moved to North Carolina—North Carolina had moved to them.
Little is known of John Gowan, Sr. other than the fact that he made his will at the turn of the century and probably died about 1800. His wife survived him, but nothing more is known of her.
At a very young age John Gowan, Jr. was married to Edith Faulk, the daughter of Richard Faulk and Sarah Hinnant Faulk.
They remained in Columbus County for most of their lives. The family owned a farm near the present town of Cerro Gordo.
John Gowan, Jr. was not a prosperous man nor was he a good provider for his family, and early records of Columbus County indicate that he was in “Debtor’s Jail” on more than one
occasion. When his wealthy father-in-law died about 1808, he left Edith Faulk Gowan’s share of his estate to her children with the stipulation that they not receive their shares until after their parents were deceased. One presumes that this was done to prevent their father from squandering the legacy of Richard Faulk.
John and Edith Faulk Gowan were parents of eight sons and a daughter. These were, in order of birth, Elias, Garrett, Meredith, William, Ada, Jesse, John M, Richard and Alexander. All lived to maturity, and living descendants of all but Garrett, William
and Jesse have been located to date. In the 1820s the children began to scatter. Elias Gowan went to Decatur County, Georgia where he was successful in the Georgia gold lottery.
Garrett Gowan went to Horry County, South Carolina where he was elected sheriff in the 1840s. Ada Gowan was married, husband’s name Hill, and removed to Georgia. But it was Meredith Gowan’s move which would most significantly influence the future of the family.
About 1826 he set out alone for Mississippi and made his way to the settlement of Westville in Simpson County. There he married Nancy Powell, and they lived most of
their life in Copiah County, Mississippi. During the 1830s and 1840s most of the Gowans followed Meredith to Mississippi. At one time or another, all except Garrett Gowan and Elias Gowan lived in Simpson or Smith Counties.
In the late 1830s John and Edith Faulk Gowan also left North Carolina and made their way to what would be their final home–Sylvarena, Mississippi. John apparently died about 1841, and Edith died in 1842. Later that year her children began to lay claim to the estate of their Grandfather Faulk in North Carolina.
All in Mississippi sold their inheritance and none returned to their native state. Elias Gowan had become a widower about the time of his parents’ deaths, and he made the decision to return to Columbus County where he lived the rest of his life. He has an
enormous list of descendants still living on and near the ancestral homeplace. Garrett Gowan died in Horry County about 1845, after which his family returned to Columbus County.
Meredith Gowan died in 1838 in Copiah County, Mississippi.
William Gowan and Jesse Gowan were both enumerated in central Mississippi in 1840, but disappear after that census.
When Ada Gowan Hill’s husband died in Georgia, she brought her family to Sylvarena, Mississippi. Later she moved to Sallis, Mississippi and finally to Nacogdoches, Texas where she died in the 1860s. John M. Gowan changed his name to “Gowin,” and his descendants continue to use this spelling to this day. He died in Sylvarena in 1864. Richard Gowan left Mississippi after the Civil War and became a prosperous cattleman in Navarro
County, Texas where he died in 1890. Alexander Gowan settled near Sallis in Attala County, Mississippi.
Today, descendants of this family live in at least 40 states and several foreign countries with the largest numbers of descendants in North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas. On the first Saturday of even numbered years, descendants of all branches of this family gather in reunion in Kosciusko, Mississippi.
When I first met Phillip Alan Gowan in the Genealogy Section of the Dallas Public Library in the fall of 1971, I was impressed that a Corsicana High School senior would be such a capable family historian. You don’t see many 19-year-old genealogists as you look around your historical library reading room. [Most of us wait until it’s “too late” to get started.] While a senior at Howard Payne University, he published his first volume of family history and has continued his research unto the present. He is now a telephone company executive in Nashville, a director of Gowen Research Foundation and the chronicler-catalyst for the thousands of descendants of his seventh-generation grandparents.–Arlee
The Foundation would like to carry in future newsletters similar accounts of the earliest progenitors of your branch of the family.
Please consider yourself “next” . . . to prepare a similar manuscript [of 600-800 words] for the Foundation.
4) DEAR COUSINS
I was absolutely thrilled to receive your letter and the monograph on my ancestor, Frederick Gowen and his descendants.
Other than a cousin living in a nearby town, I have never had even so much as a name of another descendant of Frederick Gowen of Patrick County, VA. Enclosed is some material about the more recent generations which I thought you might like to add to your files.
I was fascinated by your article on the Melungeon connection.
It was the first time I have encountered the term, and I am eager to know more about it. I have seen my Grandmother Gowen and all of her siblings as I was growing up, and none
had the Melungeon characteristics.
I have a photo of my great-grandfather Fredrick Dempsey Gowen, and he is light complexioned and looks somewhat like a Prussian. There are no stories on my side of the family of people with the chocolate complexion, [but then genes, genetics and genealogists do strange things.]
What is really strange is that a few years ago I secured a copy of the papers relating to Frederick Gowen’s Revolutionary service. I was hoping that he was the father of my Fredrick Dempsey Gowen, but when I began reading the papers I was shocked to learn that he was a “free man of color.” He was born in Brunswick County, Virginia and after the war lived in Lawrence County, Alabama. Later he lived out his life in White County, Illinois about 50 miles west of here. Brenda Wood, 6700 Gardner Road, Chandler, IN, 47610.
Congratulations on a superb organizational job. You’ve answered many “unknowns’ for me already. I look forward to every newsletter. I will send you a listing of “our side” of the
family–four children, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren– after 60 years of marriage, happy ones, to the same partners. Gladys Gowen Fendig, 204 Cater St, St. Simons Island,
I received your September and October publications, and I am glad to support your efforts and have enclosed my 1990 dues. I am particularly interested in research of the Melungeons and your plans to continue the research of the origin of this early group of settlers.
While in Tennessee last month researching my Goings family, I first learned of the Melungeons who used this surname. In the McClung Historical Collection in the Lawson McGee Library, Knoxville I found several books and articles about Melungeons.
I hope you will publish frequent articles regarding the Melungeons and their origin. I plan to continue researching my Goings ancestors and the connection to the Melungeons. There may be other readers interested in the same endeavor, and an exchange of information would be desirable. Evelyn L. Orr, 8310 Emmet St, Omaha, NE, 68134.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for pointing me to Madge Howard of Montana. Today l received from her a large envelope full of wonderful information about my Hester Salina Goin [she spells it Gowin.] and I’ll Xerox copies for the Foundation files.
Madge Howard must be an amazing woman. [Going strong at 83] still employed, not a quiver to her penmanship. Would that I could . . .
A couple of months ago, I never dreamed I’d ever find out about Hester. Thanks to you, today it’s different. Words can’t express my gratitude. Martha Rand Hix, 13531 Norland Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78232.
Seeking information about the parents of David Goings/Goins/Goans bc1783 mc1805 Susannah Williams, daughter of George Henry Williams and Margaret Harless Williams,
German settlers in New River area of Giles County [later Montgomery] County] VA. They had 11 children. Most, including some married daughters, moved to Liberty Twp, Delaware
County, IN by mid 1830s. In IN and IA the Goings spelling predominated. Was he a Melungeon or French as previously guessed. Evelyn L. Orr, 8310 Emmet, Omaha, NE, 68134, 402/571-3422.
Family tradition states that “Miss Burns, cousin to Robert Burns, the Scotch poet,” was married to the father [name unknown] of James Burns Gowen, my ancestor. Does anyone
know the details of how Robert Burns and “Miss Burns” were related? Linda Lou McDowell, No. 31 Broadmoor, Texarkana, AR, 75502.
Who were the parents of my ancestor, James Gowin, born 1844 IL, m1864 Sarah Parker, daughter of Arthasia Parker in Rutherford County, TN? They were enumerated in cs1880 in
Rutherford County. Lela Gowin Buster, 230 Willowwood Rd, Levelland, TX, 79336.
Members who have Melungeon data or who are interested in assisting in the research are requested to contact Evelyn L. Orr, 8310 Emmet St, Omaha, NE, 68134, 402/571-3422 or the Foundation office.
Additionally the Foundation seeks an ancestor chart and a biography from each member of the family along with whatever research he is willing to share for publication by the Foundation.
In the new year additional research projects will be announced, and it is hoped that hundreds of family members will participate.
Beginning with the January issue, the Foundation newsletter will be mailed only to members. If you concur with the objectives of the Foundation, you are invited to clip [or
reproduce] the coupon below and drop it in the mail. Indicate the type of membership you prefer, and Linda McNiel, Foundation Secretary will acknowledge your participation and
issue your 1990 membership card.
Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Arlee Gowen, Editor
Linda McNiel, Circulation
Gowen Research Foundation
Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue
Lubbock, Texas, 79413
NOTE: The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing. It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic. I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes. So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct. Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.
Their website is: Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf
There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors. The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.
Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.