Sections in this issue:
1) Melungeons Face the Dilemma Of Finding Accurate Records;
2) James Knox Polk Goin Veteran Of CW Pioneered in Nebraska;
3) Milton F. Gowen Donates Models To Maine Maritime Museum;
4) DEAR COUSINS.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 7, No. 1 September 1995
1) Melungeons Face the Dilemma
Of Finding Accurate Records
By Evelyn McKinley Orr
Chairman, Melungeon Research Team
8310 Emmet, Omaha, Nebraska, 68134
Dr. Brent Kennedy’s article about Melungeon research in
Turkey continues to add credence to the possibility of
Melungeon heritage from the Mediterranean Middle East. It
may be that foreign archives and old sea charts will eventually
reveal more than American records.
Finding accurate documented evidence in American archives
is difficult. The traumatic history of the mixed bloods of the
Southeast developed because of the world-wide social and political
standards of early time periods. In the Colonies many
laws developed which placed a social stigma on individuals
not considered to be Anglo-European. We now know some
heritages were lost, and this presents a dilemma for today’s
genealogists seeking records for documentation of their
genealogy. A good example of how this practice affected
some nationalities from pre-Columbian days is outlined in the
book, “Black Africans and Native Americans” by Jack D.
According to Forbes, Virginia passed a law as early as 1705
requiring all Indians to be called mulatto. Also, see the
December, 1990, issue of National Genealogical Society
Quarterly, “Tracing Free People of Color in Antebellum
South,” by Gary B. Mills. Mills states that, “the term
‘mulatto’ is routinely being revised to read ‘black.’
Consequently, Indians and part Indians who left the tribal
environment to live in the Euro-American society, families
whose skin appeared to have shades of brown to census takers,
and early transplants from Asia and the Middle East are now
being identified by researchers as African-American.”
Dr. James L. Guthrie’s genetic test on the Hancock County,
Tennessee Melungeons produced the following results: “A
gene value closest to these Melungeons was found in people
now living in Coastal Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean
Islands, the Levant, and certain populations of Arabia, India,
Africa, Eastern Europe.” See, “Tennessee Anthropologist,”
Vol. XV, #1, 1990.
Foundation Editorial Boardmember, Robert J. Goyen, of
Australia, a very perceptive historian, wrote in the March 1995
newsletter, that the ‘Turks’ were raiding the Cornish coast as
early as the 1400s, and perhaps that is how his Goyens arrived
there. He also suggests that we look at books telling of the development
of ships and sea routes world wide.
The Spanish and English were competing for control of North
America. The English won, so why would early American
historians be interested in the possible survival of the
Spanish/Portuguese Pardo 1569-1586 Colony. They certainly
would not be interested in what happened to Sir Francis
Drake’s galley slaves in 1586. In today’s social climate,
historians and archaeologists are becoming more interested.
And, hopefully they will envision a possible world-wide
connection to our Melungeons.
After Jamestown, a mix of nationalities were brought to
America as servants. The class caste system was strong in
English society, and the American work ethic had not yet
developed. So, prior to American slave laws, any of these
people, our early ‘Melungeons’ included, could marry and mix
socially. By the time laws were passed against people with
dark skin, it was far to late for many of the early inhabitants of
the colonies. People whose skin was shades of brown in the
eyes of the social power structure were considered inferior.
They often became known as free colored, mulatto or negro in
the records. This could include the Negro, Turk, Moor,
Portuguese, Native American and even the Chinese.
I feel compelled to comment on the similarities Dr. Kennedy
found between the citizens of Turkey and the early Lumbee
Indians of North Carolina. The Lumbees, who have always
claimed heritage to the 1587 English Roanoke Island Lost
Colony, did not have a tribal name until 1885. At that time
State Senator Hamilton McMillan acquired the name Croatan
Indian for them. Testimony in a 1915 court case revealed that
the Lumbee Indians called themselves “Melungeans” before
they were given the tribal name of Croatan. [See The North
Carolina 1915 Supreme Court case of W. B. Goins vs the
Board of Trustees, of the Indian Normal School.] It is not
likely that all the ancestors of these early Croatans remained in
North Carolina to become todays Lumbees.
As a result of massive discrimination, it became common for
many people with shades of brown skin to claim to be white,
or Portuguese or Turkish. People who were part negro would
also claim this, and why not, they hoped to be more accepted.
Given the social attitudes of the times, that claim may not
have been of much help. It is also understandable why those
in power would not believe the Appalachian Melungeons
when they claimed to be “Portygee.” And, it is understandable
why we have confusion sorting out their heritage today. The
search will go on for accurate nationalities.
It is just as wrong today to continue to ignore possible Turk,
Moor or Portuguese heritage, or to record them erroneously, as
it is for those who have Negro genes to deny their Negro
heritage. And, it is wrong to classify the Native American as
mulattos or blacks, and erase their Indian heritage. Most
important is that today we are ALL Americans first, in one
large melting pot, and we should all be proud of that.
2) James Knox Polk Goin Veteran
Of CW Pioneered in Nebraska
By Beverly J. Ellison Nelson
3391 W. Aksarben Avenue
Littleton, Colorado 80123
Part 4, Continued from August
Still surviving is one known grandson of James Knox Polk
Goin and his wife, Elizabeth Ann. Lester Conover of
Denver, now 88 years old is an uncle of this writer. Only
about 5’6″, Lester is fine boned, a charmingly handsome man
with dark olive skin and dark flashing eyes. His straight black
hair is only faintly streaked with gray. A few years ago, when
asked if Polk had ever related to him any stories of the
family’s origins, Les could remember some mention of a tale
about a pirate. Polk had told this writer’s oldest brother,
Vernon Ellison, who lived with him the final years of Polk’s
life, that there was some Indian in the family’s background.
Some years after Elizabeth Ann’s death in 1915, Polk sold his
farm at Liberty, Nebraska and moved to Beatrice where his
house still stands. His last three years were spent under the
care of his redhaired granddaughter, Hazel Conover Ellison,
this writer’s mother. Among the treasured mementos of the
family are three mini-balls from the Civil War. The location
of Polk’s family bible is not known. As late as 1950, it was
with a daughter in Colorado Springs when Hazel Ellison
copied a record of his Civil War service from it. Hopefully, it
still exists and all data will be preserved.
Children born to James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth Ann
McVey Goin include:
Josephine Goin born December 11. 1867
Levi Goin born April 28, 1870
William Louis Goin born February 19, 1872
Phillip Goin born November 4, 1873
Margaret Ann Goin born October 27, 1875
Eli Goin born October 10, 1877
Etta Della Goin born December 22, 1879
Eleanor “Nellie” Goin born June 28, 1882
Maud Goin born April 10, 1885
Lula Bell Goin born February 6, 1889
Ethel Eldora Goin born November 10, 1891
Josephine Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth
Ann McVey Goin, was born December 11, 1867 at
Tazewell. She was married to Harry Saddler.
Levi Goin, son of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth Ann
McVey Goin, was born April 28, 1870 at Liberty, Nebraska.
He died there July 24, 1871.
William Louis Goin, son of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth
Ann McVey Goin, was born February 19, 1872 at
Liberty. He was married to Ada Mitchell. He died about
1950 at St. Helens, Oregon.
Phillip Goin, son of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth Ann
McVey Goin, was born November 4, 1873 at Liberty. He was
married October 21, 1900 to Silby Norris. He died September
6, 1925 and was buried in Liberty Cemetery.
Margaret Ann Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and
Elizabeth Ann McVey Goin, was born October 27, 1875 at
Liberty. She was married there September 25, 1892 to John
Frank Heaston. She died April 25, 1971 at Colorado Springs,
Eli Goin, son of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth Ann
McVey Goin, was born October 10, 1877 at Liberty. He was
married to Cora Heath.
Etta Della Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth
Ann McVey Goin, was born December 22, 1879 at
Liberty. She was married January 16, 1897 at Marysville,
Kansas to Virgil Moses Conover. Later she was remarried to
Lee Dickerson of Sterling, Colorado. She died December 29,
Eleanor “Nellie” Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and
Elizabeth Ann McVey Goin, was born June 28, 1882 at
Liberty. She was married to Robert Gregory. She died
August 16, 1978.
Maud Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth
Ann McVey Goin, was born at Liberty April 10, 1885. She
died two years later March 1, 1887.
Lula Bell Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and Elizabeth
Ann McVey Goin, was born February 6, 1889 at Liberty.
She was married to George Kiechel. She died March 3, 1926.
Ethel Eldora Goin, daughter of James Knox Polk Goin and
Elizabeth Ann McVey Goin, was born November 10, 1891 at
Liberty. She died May 5, 1923 unmarried at Denver,
Goin family researchers who have generously shared their
knowledge include William Goin, Dr. Clair Calavan, Fielding
“Bob” Goin, Anna Lee and Varion Goin, Carol Ledford and
Dianne Stark Thurman.
3) Milton F. Gowen Donates Models
To Maine Maritime Museum
Milton F. Gowen, a resident of Westbrook, Maine and a member
of Gowen Research Foundation, was featured in a fullpage
spread recently in the “Westbrook American-Journal.”
Ten photographs of Milton F. Gowen and his maritime models
were carried in the newspaper on the occasion of his donation
of the models to the Maine Maritime Museum of Bath. Maine.
Robert Webb, curator of the museum stated that the models
would form an educational display at the museum. Included
in the collection were models of the SS Portland, U.S.S.
Wisconsin, SS Robert E. Lee, SS Bowdoin, Christopher
Columbus’ Santa Maria, a whale boat, U.S.S. Constitution,
“Old Ironsides,” a Maine lobsterboat, and the Portland Head
(Continued on Page 3)
4) DEAR COUSINS
Brent Kennedy’s Melungeon article gave me goose bumps!
Isn’t he an exciting person, and aren’t we lucky that he took an
interest in his ancestry! I am really looking forward to the
next installment! Donna Gowin Johnston, 1513 Westridge
Terrace, Casper, WY, 82604.
As new members of the Foundation, we are finding the
Newsletters fascinating and are looking forward to each one.
We believe that the Foundation will be of help in tracing our
Goin line, and we enjoy the rewarding feeling of being a part
of the larger family. Harold & Eileen Wasson, 104
Lochleven Rd, Severna Park, MD.
I just learned of the Foundation through America Online.
Please send me some information about the Foundation and a
recent Newsletter. I would be interested in knowing what you
might have online about my Gowan ancestors. Jenny
Pennick Garner, 204 Superior Ave, Decatur, GA, 30030
Can anyone assist me with information on the
Goins/Goings/Gowens of Lincoln County, North Carolina. I
am seeking details on:
Wiley Goins who was m1829 to Elizabeth Clippard and
m2-1839 to Anna Gooldman.
John M. Goins who was m1833 to Mary “Polly” Clippard.
James Goins who was m1837 to Mary A. Kincaid.
Sally Goings who was m1825 to Jeremiah Smith.
Aaron Goings who was m1837 to Ann Leonard.
I regard Wiley Goins as a brother of John M. Goins and
Elizabeth Clippard as a sister to Mary “Polly” Clippard. I am
interested in corresponding with anyone who has any data
relating to these individuals. Madge W. Philbeck, 716
Georgia, Statesville, NC, 28677.
I am in pursuit of John Going who removed from Georgia
and died in Livingston County, KY c1820. His sons, all born
in Georgia c1800, John L, Hirum B, Abner A and Absalom
Jefferson Going, were farming their father’s land in Livingston
and Crittenden counties, KY until 1848 when they suddenly
skedaddled to Missouri and Arkansas. The sheriff had
discovered that they were counterfeiting. Help anyone?
Jaymie Frederick, Box 361, Scobey, MT, 59263.
I am seeking information on my gggm Elizabeth Ann
Gowan/Gowen who was born in TN in 1844. She appeared as
a five-year-old in the household of her parents John &
Elizabeth Gowen in the 1850 census of Coffee County, TN.
She was mc1870 to Phillip Roland. They were living at
Honey Grove, TX in 1872. Later she was remarried to James
K. McGregory. She died in 1951 in Electra, TX. Diana
Grant, 736 South 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT, 84102, 801/328-
I am enclosing membership fees and a pedigree chart for my
husband. After 34 years of marriage and 33 years of my
ge¬nealogical excursions, meetings and hours at the computer,
he still does not have the “obsession to discover.” However,
he does take a keen interest in hearing the recap of events. His
grandmother was Caldona Goins, daughter of John F. Goins
and Julia Ann T. Williams [m1860 Nashville, TN]
In 1964, I traveled to Bridgeport, Texas and interviewed
Uncle John Goins, Caldona’s brother. He was 96 years of age
and blind, but his hearing was still good and his memory,
outstanding. [Uncle John died at 102]. I have checked all the
information he gave me and found it to be as he had said, at
least, what I could find was a match.
John F. Gowens/Goins was five, and his sister, Martha was
eight when their parents, James and Mary [Kincaid] Goins and
three siblings died of cholera in Lincoln Co, NC in 1847/8.
The children were sent west by wagon train with two
aunts, each aunt taking one child. While on the wagon train,
one of the aunts received a marriage proposal, if she “got rid
of the kid.” John was promptly put off the wagon by the side
of the road, and the next aunt, Harriet, picked him up.
We find the children living with aunt Harriet Kincaid
Smith and her husband John Smith and daughter Mary, age 2
in the 1850 Nashville, TN, census along with other Kincaids.
Martha Goins was married to Morris Powell January 8, in
Nashville. It is believed Martha was named for her grandmother;
is her grandmother the Martha Goins, age 79 in the
1850 Lincoln Co. Census? John Goins, who worked to help
support his aunt Harriet Kincaid Smith did not marry until
November of 1860 in Nashville. Is Jeremiah Smith of Lincoln
Co. who married Sarah Goins, a relative of John Smith,
husband of Harriet?
John Smith was tall, slender, fair skinned, light blue eyed,
with chiseled features. Unfortunately, for Melungeon clues,
he was married to a Cherokee girl, Julia Ann T. Williams, the
daughter of “Cherokee Tom” Williams and his wife, Mary. As
it turns out, half the children look “Indian” and half do not.
He was a laborer, farmer and finally a prosperous grocer.
One of John F. Goins, granddaughters, Flossie Hibdon
Brown, widow of W. O. Brown of Ft. Worth, Texas, will be
98 soon. She is hard of hearing, but sharp and witty and writes
me notes several times a year inquiring about the family; she
is the only one I know of who is left of that generation. E.
Carla Davenport, 767 W. Terrace Park St, Tulare, CA,
I read and reread with enthusiasm of the recent adventures
in Turkey of our own Brent Kennedy. I don’t believe we have
ever had one of our people attack the age old problem of our
origin with such charm and vigor.
I watched Brent’s presentation at the National Genealogical
Society Conference last year in Houston and was convinced of
his skills to obtain grants and promote our people with dignity.
This is the way fictional history becomes fact, and, who
knows, he and his staff may just find some actual materials
that can be or will be proven as factual.
I speak to small local groups about the theories of our past.
Usually near the beginning of each presentation, I enquire as
to the listeners’ knowledge of Melungeons. No knowledge is
my cue to expound with great authority. Brent does not use
this approach, but he is so skilled and charismatic that he can
overwhelm the best of scholars in his audience.
When I first read of Brent’s new discovery of Melungeons,
he was writing convincingly of their connection to the Sta.
Elena complex. This was not a new theory, but I suspicion
one of his early advisors, Eloy Gallegos, apparently of Spanish
descent, was in favor of this as a primary possibility.
His latest article in the Foundation Newsletter seems to tie
some of the Sta. Elena survivors with a boatload of Turks
dumped in North America by Sir Francis Drake. I also use
this idea, but with little or no basis of fact. His discovery of
the Piri Reis map is interesting for I have used this map in my
presentations for many years, although I have no evidence of
Piri Reis having any connection to our search.
I do wish Brent would mention Melungeon names such as
Mullins, Collins, and Goings along with Nash more in his presentations
for we all want to share in the immortality. Some
Melungeons also had dark brown to black eyes and not just
blue as common with Berbers and Nashs.
We proudly await the next chapter in his promotional skills
to find our authentic historical origin. Jim Callahan, g-ggrandson
of Mahala Mullins, 696 E. Freeman Ridge Rd, Nashville, IN, 47448
Gowen Research Foundation 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Electronic Library/BBS 806/795-
Sixteen Months of Membership
For the Price of Twelve
See Page 1 . . .
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.