1996 – 06 June Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Goins searches – By Sandra M. Loridans, Editorial Boardmember;
2) Edward Gowen Lost Homestead During Revolutionary War;
3) Capt. Joao Pardo Set Santa Elena On Site of Huguenot Settlement;
5) Eight-Day Tour Through Turkey Announced for October 10-18 .

All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters:   https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/

Volume 7, No. 10 June 1996

1)  Goins searches – By Sandra M. Loridans, Editorial Boardmember

Apartado Postal 844, 45900 Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico I began my “journey into genealogy,” in a serious way, only six years ago. In this short period of time, I have probably encountered every hurdle one might expect and a few you might never have to deal with, like living in a foreign country. In the beginning, I knew the names of only 12 of my grandparents and great-grandparents. As of today, I now know the names of 65 of my grandparents, tracing one line back to the 1600s in Germany, with appropriate documentation.

With other lines, I have not been as successful, but I will be. At the end of every year, I count my successes and this spurs me on. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that my 4th great-grandfather, Isaac Best, was one of the Old 300 Colony which went to Old Mexico with Stephen F. Austin and to actually see a copy of his Spanish land grant signed by “Estevan F. Austin”.

I began my research on my maternal side because I knew less about my mother’s side of the family, although we had attended a couple of family reunions in Trinity County, Texas. My maternal grandmother, Mary Emily Perkins Maricle, had always lived in our home because my grandfather had died prior to my birth. I attribute my interest in my ancestors to this grandmother, at whose knees I sat while she told stories of her birth in 1877, at which time her Indian mother died in Mississippi; her father’s trip with her back to his mother’s home in Texas by covered wagon; and the subsequent death of her father when she was three years old.

What she never told me, nor did it occur to me to ask, was the name of her grandmother who reared her. Thank goodness for census records. I found her in Texas with her grandparents, Jacob Perkins and Mary Jane Maricle Perkins. From there, it was easy to find the parents of Jacob who were Jordan and Virginia Jane “Jenny” Goins Perkins, both of whom were born in South Carolina.

The parents of Jenny Goins were John Goins and Nancy Johnson Goins. Jenny’s siblings were Benjamin; James; Stephen, who was married to Edith Perkins; Jeremiah “Jerry” who was married to Sarafina Drake; John who was married to Frances “Fanny” Nash and William who was married to Charlotte Elizabeth Nelson. This information came from the bible of William Goins which is a part of the Jacobs Collection housed in the library of Beauregard Parish, Louisiana.

I learned early in my research that you need to know what was happening in the area around your ancestors. In my particular case, my native state is Louisiana, an area which has lived under the flags and legal systems of six different nations, three of them within 20 days. By the late 1700s, Louisiana was under Spanish rule; however, it was still heavily populated by the French. As a result of the Revolutionary War, pioneers from Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Carolinas began to settle in what are now the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. Most of these settlers were farmers and sent their produce down the Mississippi River by flatboats to New Orleans to meet seagoing vessels to Europe.

At this time the American government was not very strong, and the Revolutionary War had left it with an empty treasury. The Constitution had not been adopted, and there was no president. There was a Congress in Pennsylvania, but it possessed little power. I can only imagine that my ancestors felt they were the only ones who could help themselves.

It was during this time that Spain very selectively allowed “friends only” to move their produce-laden boats by the Mississippi.

After the American government was strengthened by the Constitution and George Washington was elected president, the new nation became more respected. As a result, citizens of the United States were able to navigate the Mississippi and were able to place their goods in the warehouses of New Orleans prior to shipping them, without paying duty.

The Louisiana Territory progressively became a bigger burden to Spain and by 1800, a secret treaty was made with France to change owners. By this time, Thomas Jefferson was President and realized that the United States needed to own this valuable piece of real estate. It was into this turmoil that my earliest Louisiana ancestors entered.

Joshua Perkins, father-in-law of my Jenny Goins Perkins, was born in November 1759 in the Little Pee Dee River area in South Carolina [Marion District]. He was still in South Carolina in 1777, living near Gilbert Sweat and John Bass. Joshua Perkins lived in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

He accompanied Gilbert Sweat when he left Tennessee and came to the Big Black River in Mississippi, moving to Opelousas, Louisiana in 1804, one year after Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States. How do I know these things? In 1830, this grandfather gave a deposition which was read in the trial of John Bass & Wife vs. Gilbert Sweat, No. 1533 in the District Court of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.

It was fortunate for me that Spain required so much documentation of the inhabitants. In addition, early settlers who lived under the Spanish rule were forced to marry in the Catholic Church, where many records have been preserved. In St. Landry Parish, Louisiana all of the early marriages were recorded by Father Hebert, a Catholic Priest.

Joshua Perkins caused me some concern. I first found him referred to as a “free man of color.” This, at first, had a very unsettling affect on this white Southern Anglo-Saxon. To begin with, I was born in Shreveport in the extreme northwest part of the state. Below the middle part of the State, we had the French Acadians and the “Redbones.” Although I never gave them much thought, I knew that I certainly was not related to any of them. My father was born in Arkansas, and my mother was born in Texas. Little did I know at the time, but my deepest roots were within the area of Louisiana which was referred to as the “Rio Hondo” or “Neutral Territory”. It was also known in those days as “no man’s land”.

At the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, there was no boundary established between the Province of Texas and the Louisiana Territory. The Spanish Governor of Texas attempted to claim this small strip along the Sabine River. Because the Spanish wished to avoid an altercation, an agreement was reached to recognize this territory as a Neutral Strip which it remained until 1819. However, in 1812, in order to establish the ownership of the land and because the original Spanish land grants were missing, claimants had to appear before a committee in Natchitoches, Louisiana and file notice as to how long they had owned the land and from whom it had been purchased. Jordan Perkins, husband of Jenny Goins Perkins, is one of those referred to as an original claimant, along with Reese Perkins. Also, James Going, James Ashworth, Sr. & Jr, Moses Ashworth and Thomas Nash are also listed as claimants or former claimants.

Jordan & Jenny Goins Perkins are both found on Louisiana census records as “mulattos” and later on Texas census records as “Indian”. Again, turning to Louisiana history, I learned that census takers, because of the vast number of French, Spanish, Indians and other nationalities located within its borders, were instructed to list all persons of “any” color as “mulatto” or “free persons of color”. By this time, I really did not care what color my ancestors had been, I only wanted to know more about them.

I wanted to know more about Joshua Perkins. Because he came to Louisiana so early, his descendants were many; however, no one knew anything about his parents. He came to Louisiana with an Isaac Perkins, assumed to be a brother, and a George Perkins, who was either his or Isaac’s son. A noted Louisiana historian, Erbon Wise, is also related to this line and had tried for years to determine the parentage of Joshua Perkins.

By researching and eliminating almost every Perkins who was born about that time and who lived in the areas described in my grandfather’s deposition, I kept going back to a rather well-known and researched Jacob or Joshua (known by both names) but referred to as “Old Jock” Perkins, husband of Polly Black. Their children bore almost identical names to those of my grandfather and they lived and moved throughout the same areas.

The only problem was the “Joshua” noted as being the son was married to a Sally Baker and their children seemed to be well-documented. What was not documented was the correct date of birth for this Joshua who actually turned out to be a grandson, the son of Joshua, Sr.’s eldest son, Jacob. This would have been a relatively easy error to correct if the researcher had bothered to document the date of birth of the Joshua who married Sally Baker. “The History of Johnson County, Tennessee” records the Joshua Perkins family erroneously.

I was able to solve this puzzle with the help of a book found in the East Tennessee State University library entitled “The War Trails of the Blue Ridge” by Shepherd M. Dugger, written in 1932. In the book, Dugger relates the story of the Perkins who in 1826, discovered the Cranberry Iron Mine, along with the very folksy tale of John Kite’s logrolling on the Watauga. One of his neighbors, Elick Baker, had a daughter, Sally, and all were invited to attend the log-rolling. To make a long story short, this was where Josh Perkins met Sally Baker and they were later married. The story goes on to relate tales and name their children. Another interesting fact gleaned from this book refers to the “Perkins Boys” as having a wealthy father who they knew was dark-skinned and claimed to be of Portuguese descent.

Further evidence of the Old Jock Perkins’ personality, wealth and dark-skin, was presented in an 1858 Knoxville, Tennessee trial when his grandson, Jacob F. Perkins, a school teacher, sued John R. White over Jacob’s right to be an election official. White had filed an objection due to the color of Jacob’s skin.

They called 18 elderly witnesses, many who had known this family in Pee Dee, South Carolina.

Transcripts from the trial state that these witnesses knew Old Jock and he was “tall, dark-skinned, mixed-blood and looked half-white.” Many considered him “Portuguese” since his hair was described as bushy or curly, not kinky, resembling an Indian more than a “Negro”. He kept race horses and a ferry by Roan’s Creek and associated with “decent, respectable” white people like Landon Carter.” [Carter was a wealthy man owning 3,716 acres in Washington County, Tennessee in 1795].

The witnesses for the defense said Old Jock was a “Negro” or “Mulatto” with kinky hair who was treated as a white. One witness said he had known Joshua in North Carolina about 1798, and most of his children married whites. Jacob F. Perkins lost his case in the lower Court, won it in the Court of Appeals and lost it in the Supreme Court.

Further evidence of my grandfather, Joshua’s, connection to this family was obtaining the Revolutionary War record of a brother, George Perkins, and learning that he was born in the same place and had moved and lived in the same areas, prior to moving to Kentucky.

As to what led Joshua Perkins into Louisiana in the first place, I could only guess but Louisiana’s history is somewhat an indicator, along with what was happening in other parts of the country following the end of the Revolutionary War. I suspect that the Perkins and Goins families, along with the Drakes, Ashworths, Nashes and Johnsons, may have been following another one of my 5th great-grandfathers, Joseph Willis, Sr, the first protestant minister west of the Mississippi River. Joseph Willis, Sr. was born to an Englishman and an Indian maiden, thus was born a slave under the laws of the state of North Carolina in 1758. It is known that he served as a militiaman in Georgia and was later found in the church records of Greenville, South Carolina.

It is believed that he left there with Richard Curtis, founder of the Baptist churches of Mississippi and is found in Mississippi Baptist records for a brief time. This Baptist preacher first preached in Louisiana while Spain still ruled, thus in peril of his life. Spain had already threatened to send Richard Curtis to work in the silver mines of Mexico if he did not stop preaching..

Joseph Willis, Sr. spent much of his lifetime in the “no man’s land” preaching and establishing churches in the area, including a ministry to the Indians where he was also known as the “Apostle to the Opelousas”.

It appears that many of his followers were of Indian, mixed-blood, and/or Melungeon descent, namely the Sweats.

Ashworths, Cokers, Gibsons, Johnsons and, of course, the Goins.

2)  Edward Gowen Lost Homestead During Revolutionary War

Edward Gowen, son of Edward Gowen, Jr, was born about 1727, probably in Charles City County, Virginia. He was probably brought to Brunswick County, Virginia by his father about 1744. He was married about this time, wife’s name unknown. He appeared in the 1753 tax list of adjoining Granville County, North Carolina in the list of Osborn Jeffreys.

“Edward Gowen, mulatto” appeared on the October 8, 1754 muster roll of the Granville County militia under Capt. Osborn Jeffreys.

“Edward Gowen and wife, black” were taxable in the 1771 tax list of Philemon Hawkins in Bute County, along with his brother, Michael Gowen. Bute County was organized in 1764 with land from Granville County, and Edward Gowen found himself in the new county.

By June 3, 1778 Michael Gowen had removed to Craven County, North Carolina and had permitted Edward Gowen to move to his land in Bute County on Taylor’s Creek. On that date Michael Gowen deeded 80 acres on Taylor’s Creek to Jenkins Gowen with the provision that Edward Gowen and his wife be permitted to live there as long as they lived. Jenkins Gowen left for Revolutionary service about this time, and the sheriff sold the land for unpaid taxes August 3, 1779, according to Deed Book M, page 179.

By 1782 Edward Gowen was back in Granville County where he was taxed on 90 acres on Ford Creek District. Edward Gowen on October 14, 1788 conveyed his interest in the estate of Elizabeth Bass to his nephew, Thomas Gowen for £25, according to Granville County Will Book 2, page 79.

Edward Gowen was enumerated in 1786 state census of Granville County as the head of a household composed of “2 free colored males and three free colored females.” He reappeared there in the 1810 census as the head of an “other free” household composed of five people.

Children born to Edward Gowen are regarded as:

Edward Gowen born about 1745
Reeps Gowen born about 1749
Jenkins Gowen born about 1761
Jesse Gowen born about 1762
Goodrich Gowen born about 1764
David Gowen born about 1766
Isham Gowen born about 1770
Patsy Gowen born about 1772

3)  Capt. Joao Pardo Set Santa Elena On Site of Huguenot Settlement

By John Noble Wilfor
The New York Times

In an attempt to establish a refuge for French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution and to challenge Spanish power in what is now the Southeastern United States, France in 1562 dispatched an expedition of two ships and 150 men under Jean Ribaut.

Somewhere along the coast of present-day South Carolina, Ribaut decided to build a fort overlooking a harbor he called “one of the greatest and fayrest in the world.”

This was the first attempt by the French to plant a colony on land that is now part of the United States. It came three years before the founding of St. Augustine by Spain in what is now Florida, North America’s first permanent European settlement outside Mexico. It would be more than two decades before the English attempted to settle at Roanoke Island in North Carolina and 45 years before the first successful English settlement at Jamestown. Virginia in 1607.

Ribaut named the garrison Charlesfort, for the 12-year-old French king, Charles IX, but the colony foundered in less than a year. The fort was abandoned and disappeared, seemingly without a trace. Over the centuries, historians have speculated on the fort’s location, and explorers and archaeologists have searched the coast in vain. But late last year, just as they were running out of places to look, archaeologists from the University of South Carolina in Columbia said they have uncovered the site of Charlesfort. It is under the edge of a golf course on the Marine Corps training base at Parris Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina and across Port Royal Sound from Hilton Head. The French fort had escaped detection because the Spanish, moving in 1566 to restore control over the region, had built the town of Santa Elena and a fort, San Felipe over the ruins.

Courtesy of Beverly J. Nelson


The Gowen Family Reunion will be held Saturday July 6, 1996 at the Dairy Barn of Stratham Hill Park, Stratham, NH from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m. All Gowen family members and descendants are welcome. Bring picnic goodies and lawn chairs for comfort. For additional information: Margaret Tate, 603/772-3278 or Barbara Clements, 38 Pine Rd, No. Hampton,
NH, 03862, 603/964-8892.

==Dear Cousins==

The Foundation Conference in Nashville was spectacular, and the speakers were outstanding. This was our first conference, so we met lots of new cousins. Robert gave a talk to our genealogical society about the Conference and the work the Melungeon Research Team is doing. He gave each family a copy of Evelyn Orr’s speech and Brent Kennedy’s presentation. Madge Philbeck, 716 Georgia Ave, Statesville, NC, 28677.

==Dear Cousins==

I simply cannot find the proper words to tell you how much I enjoyed the Conference and meeting all the cousins. It put me on a continuing “high.” The program was outstanding. Dr. Brent Kennedy’s enthusiasm is contagious. Dr. Will Goins is great, and he has given me some ideas that are still incubating.

Comparing the Foundation Conference to others we have attended, is like placing a plowhorse alongside a thoroughbred.

Pat yourselves on the back at least 10 times.

As planned, on our trip, we made forays in a couple of libraries and the North Carolina State Archives. I transcribed all of the Goin marriages from the state marriage index [copy enclosed for the Foundation Library]. The big disappointment there is in what’s missing. They have original wills boxed with individual surnames by file. The Goin file is totally missing from its box. The librarian was informed and has so noted on her “problems” list. With their security, I find it hard to understand how an entire file could be stolen.

Also enclosed is a clipping from the “Denver Post” of June 6 dealing with a French Huguenot colony planted in South Carolina in 1562 on the same site where Capt. Joao Pardo built the Santa Elena settlement in 1566. Maybe we should add French to the Melungeon mixture as well. One has to wonder what happened to these French Huguenots. Beverly J. Nelson, 3391 W. Aksarben Ave, Littleton, CO, 80123.

==Dear Cousins==

There are no words to adequately express the joy I felt when at last we could get together at the Conference in Nashville and connect faces to voices on the phones and to all those letters in past years. It makes all those long hours of digging out old records worth the effort. Dianne Thurman, 4201 Wildflower Circle, Wichita, KS, 67210, 316/529-0436.

5)  Eight-Day Tour Through Turkey Announced for October 10-18

Dr. Brent Kennedy, author of “The Melungeons–the Resurrection of a Proud People” announced plans to host an excursion to Turkey October 10-18. Turkish governmental officials were intrigued by the research of Dr. Kennedy and Evelyn McKinley Orr, chairman of the Melungeon Research Team, suggesting a historical connection between the Ottoman Empire and the Melungeons. This interest resulted in a grant by the Turkish government for filming trips to Anatolia last year.

Ottoman scholars at the University of Istanbul and Marmara University are assisting with research for the film. The tour will depart from Charlotte, North Carolina in a midday flight to New York. There the party will board an overnight flight to Izmir, Turkey. Two days will be spent touring the city with the Grand Efes Hotel as base. Next stop is Ephesus with a visit to the Ephesian Museum.

Sunday, October 13 will be spent in Cesme in consultation with Turkish Melungeon scholars at the Golden Dolphin Hotel. The cities of Bursa and Sardis are scheduled on Monday. The next three days will be spent in Istanbul at the Kalyon Hotel. There the group will attend a Turkish dinner show at the Orient House, visit the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Bosphorus, St. Sophia and Dolmabahce Palace before returning home.

Fares are $2,250 for singles and $1,990 each for doubles.

Gowen Research Foundation 806/795-8758
or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Electronic
Library/BBS 806/795-2005
Sandra Loridans Documents 65 Grandparents in Six Years 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.

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