1997 – 01 Jan Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Melungeons;
2) Psalmist David Goin Sued School When Son Expelled on Color;
3) An Open Letter to . . .;
4) Dear Cousins.

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

Volume 8, No. 5 January 1997

1)  Melungeons 

By Twanda E. Buckreis
1256 Devonport, Lexington, Kentucky, 40504, 606/259-1832

Relatively few people know the Melungeons. A few more have seen Melungeon individuals. But the elements of the legend are widely known, even to those who may not seriously entertain the possibility of its reality. The persistent folk tale, however insists that the Melungeons are unusual racially; it identifies them as a dark-skinned people whose center is on Newmans Ridge in Hancock County, Tennessee. An oriental appearance is occasionally attributed to them, but they are commonly thought to be of at least partly Portuguese descent.

Louise Davis, wrote in the “Nashville Tennesseean:”

“When the first Scotch-Irish settlers from Virginia and North Carolina came pushing over the mountains into the fecund wilderness the Indians called Tenase, they found scattered clots of settlements of shy, mysterious people. They were not Indians nor did they resemble the Indians except in the red-bronze coloration. When asked who they were, they said they were Portuguese.”

Jean Patterson Bible in “Melungeons Yesterday and Today” wrote:

“The term “Melungeon” is an East Tennessee provincial-ism; it was coined by the people of that country to apply to these people and is derived from the French word, melange, meaning a mixture or medley and has gotten into modern dictionaries. It was first supposed that they were a mixed-blood, part white and part Negro.”

Edward Price in “The Melungeons, a Mixed-Blood Strain of the Southern Appalachians” wrote:

“The Croatan Indians of Robeson County, North Car-olina form the largest of these mixed blood groups in the country. They have been linked by some writers with the Melungeons, but no evidence is at hand to make this connection more than a plausible suggestion. Goins is the only Melungeon name reported among the Croatans, and it is not important with them. I take that to mean that the Goins individuals have not held the position of Chief, or other high office within the group.

As to the origin of the Lumbees and Croatans, they are thought by a number of historians including Samuel Morison, Angus McLean, Dr. Stephen B. Weeks and Prof. Brewton Berry to be descended from the Croatans [the early spelling was “Croatoan”], the Indian tribe on Hatteras Island that befriended Capt. John White’s set-tlers when they arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587.

When White returned after an enforced absence in England, no trace remained of the entire colony except the word ‘Croatoan’ carved on a nearby tree.”

After extensive reading, one comes to the conclusion that when the Powhattans pushed south along the coastal regions of Virginia and attacked the “Croatoans,” most of the survivors were either driven into the wilderness or taken prisoner by the Powhattans.

The Goins family can be traced down through Virginia, through Halifax into North Carolina, South Carolina and on into Tennessee. The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina have been classified as the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. It would be interesting to find that the “Croatoans,” “Lumbee” and “Cherokee” were one and the same people. They were very adept farmers and were able to survive even in the wilderness through farming.

When the push of settlers arrived in the areas where the “Melungeons” were living, much of the time they were discriminated against and pushed from their rich farmland and into the mountains, thus the settlement of places such as Newmans Ridge in Hancock County, Tennessee.

The Gowin/Goins family which arrived early in what later became Hancock County may not have had a Melungeon appearance when they arrived. William P. Grohse, Hancock County historian, reports that the older generation of the family was light complexioned
Elijah Gowin, regarded as a son of Joseph Gowin and Nettie Gowin, was born about 1797 in Virginia. He was married about 1813, wife’s name Sarah. She was born in Virginia about 1794. In 1815 they lived in North Carolina, and about 1816 they returned to Virginia.

“Elijah Gowin, white male, 40-50” and a “white female” appeared in the 1840 census of Hawkins County, Tennessee, page 232, as the head of a household composed of two people. Both were illiterate. He was a farmer.

“Eliga Gowins” was shown in the 1850 census of Hancock County as the head of Household No. 83-83, also composed of two people, both illiterate. They were enumerated November 19, 1850 in the 33rd subdivision, east part, Hancock County, which had been carved from Hawkins County in 1844. The enumeration read:

“Gowins, Eliga 53, born in Virginia, chair maker
Sarah 56, born in Virginia”

Children born to Elijah Gowin and Sarah Gowin are believed to include:

Alexander Gowin born about 1815
John “Hammer John” Gowin born about 1816

Alexander Gowin, regarded as a son of Elijah Gowin and Sarah Gowin, was born about 1815 in North Carolina. He was married about 1832 in Hawkins County to Ethel “Ethie” Collins, daughter of Vardeman “Vardy” Collins and Peggy Gibson Collins, both of pioneer Melungeon families. She was born in 1810.

The household of Alexander Gowin was adjoining that of Elijah Gowin in the 1840 census of Hawkins County, page 232 One of the men was engaged in farming and one in trade. All three adults were illiterate. The family consisted of:

“Gowin, Alexander white male 20-30
white female 30-40
white male 20-30
white male 0-5
white male 0-5”

Hancock County was formed from Hawkins County and Claiborne County in 1844, and “Alexandria Gowins,” regarded as Alexander Gowin, above was listed as the head of Household 123-123 in the 1850 census of Hancock County, 33rd subdivision, east part, as:

“Gowins, Alexandria 35, born in North Carolina, $300
real estate, illiterate, farmer,
Ethel 40, born in Tennessee
John 17, born in Tennessee, farmer
Alfred 15, born in Tennessee, farmer”

This family was located in the middle of the Melungeon community. Many Gibson and Collins families were listed in adjacent entries.

Children born to Alexander Gowins and Ethel “Ethie” Collins Gowins include:

John Goins born about 1832
Alfred Goins born in November 1833

(To be Continued)

2)  Psalmist David Goin Sued School When Son Expelled on Color

Dodson Goin was listed as the head of a household in the 1880 census of Cannon County, Enumeration District 24, page 25, Civil District 9, enumerated as:

“Goin, Dodson 36, born in TN
Erilday 35, born in TN
Noah 15, born in TN
William 13, born in TN
Psalmist 9, born in TN, son
Mahala 7, born in TN
Lotta 6. born in TN
De A. 1, born in TN, son”

The full name of the third son of Dodson Goin and Erilday Goin was “Psalmist David Goin.” Later he would be known as “Sam D. Goin.” He was born in Tennessee in January 1870. Sam D. Goin was married about 1897 to Mary Clark, described as a “Caucasian.” He filed suit in 1905 in Franklin County, Tennessee seeking to have his son Harry E. Goins reinstated in school from which he had been expelled for “being a Negro.”

In a deposition taken December 22, 1905 in Winchester, Tennessee Sam D. Goin advised that he would be “35 next month” and that he was the father of Harry E. Goin who was born July 19, 1898. He stated that Harry E. Goin, his “oldest living child” was enrolled in school in the Ninth Civil District of Franklin County in July 1904 at age six. He was dismissed by the teacher, J. B. Smith on the suspicion of being a Negro.

Sam D. Goin testified that he was “Cherokee and Irish” and had no Negro blood. He stated that he went to white schools in Cannon and Wilson Counties. In the hearing Mary Clark Goin deposed that she was “born and raised” in Franklin County and that she did not know if her husband had any Negro blood.”

Mrs. Erilday Goin, mother of Sam D. Goin, “age 73 [most likely 60], testified that her son was a “little darker than white people.” The deposition gives no hint as to the final result of the hearing.


3)  An Open Letter to . . .

Mr. Charley Camp
President, LlanoNet, Inc.
1220 Broadway, 10th Floor
Lubbock, Texas, 79401

Dear Charley,

It was gratifying to learn that our Website on your provider facilities continues to be No. 1 in “hits.” However, it came as no surprise to the Foundation. We were well aware of the heavy Internet traffic being generated during the last few weeks and have been doing “double time” trying to keep up.

Since the announcement of our Foundation files going online in September, our membership has increased 10% per month, and the growth is accelerating. This is a new experience for our organization which has perennially experienced slow growth. Since it was chartered in 1989, we have struggled to grow. And during the first seven years, we learned a lot about loss-carry-forward and deficit financing.

We always regarded the Internet as a growth hormone for any organization. In fact, at our convention in Nashville last spring, I stood up and recklessly predicted that going on the Internet would double the size of our organization. I underestimated it. It appears that our growth in the eighth year will exceed every-thing we have done in the previous seven years.

We attribute a lot of this success to LlanoNet. Your staff has “gone the second mile” in assisting us when we needed guidance and training. We are grateful to Mark Hamilton for developing a search engine that allows any genealogist on his first visit to make a lightning-quick search of all of our files. Thus a researcher can determine how many files relate to his ancestors before he plunks down his money for a membership with us. Mark has come to our offices repeatedly to provide guidance and training for four members of our staff. We appreciate James Pricer and Matt Ferrell for tailoring a file transfer protocol program to our specific needs. Their work allows us to update daily any page of the 10,000 pages that compose our online Foundation Manuscript.

Our success story is not a single narrative. You may log onto the “Dear Cousins” section of our Website and find dozens of little success stories. These are arriving daily from members who are telling, in their own words, about family break-throughs they are finding on the Website–thanks to your service.

I understand that “Melungia–Land of the Melungeons” is the most popular spot on our homepage. This section is devoted to the mystery people who, it is claimed, arrived in the Carolinas before Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. These are the ancestors of some of our members. Heretofore, American history books have ignored them; LlanoNet is helping them receive the recognition they deserve.

Having online all of the Foundation Newsletters published since 1989 is also a valuable service rendered by your organization. Many of these issues are now out of print, and the complete files exist only in a few historical libraries and private collections. LlanoNet makes it possible for every member–new or old–to have his own private collection.

I have seen many developments in genealogy and family history research in the 55 years that I have been engaged in it. I began in 1941 while a junior journalism student at Texas Tech with a penny lead pencil, a nickel Big Chief tablet and a 25¢ green eye-shade. Since then, I have seen the advent of everything in be-tween, from the ballpoint pencil to the Internet. Yet I have not seen any development that has had as much positive impact on our research as LlanoNet. It is for all the foregoing that we ex-press our appreciation to you and your staff.

Sincerely, Arlee Gowen

4)  Dear Cousins

I have underway another volume on the Goyens of Cornwall who emigrated to Australia. It will stem from Nicholas Goyen, my grandfather’s brother who seems to have been born two years before their parents married. I will keep you posted on its progress and hope in the new year to have it ready to join its companion on the shelves of the Foundation Library. Robert J. Goyen, 523 Sutton St, Sebastopol 3356, Victoria, Australia.

==Dear Cousins==

Greetings from Alaska! I was truly overwhelmed with joy to receive from the Foundation the large E-mail packet on my ggf Madry Goins and his ancestors. I had just about given up hope on ever finding his ancestry, and suddenly you added two more generations to my family records. My family from Greenville, SC refused to talk about him–and now I know why–he was a Melungeon! And I don’t know what else, but now I have a place to start to unravel the “rest of the story.” I have a great deal of research to add to the Foundation Manuscript, and I will E-mail it to you shortly. I would like to hear from some of my newfound cousins who have worked on my branch of the family so that I may thank them personally for the wonderful breakthrough. Jim Eden, 5336 W. 82nd Ave, Anchorage, AK, 99502, ili@alaska.net

==Dear Cousins==

I am seeking the identify of the father of William Gowen who was born about 1802 in Pittsylvania County, VA. When William Gowen applied for a marriage license there in 1821 to marry Susannah Bruce, his mother “Anna Goin” wrote a note to the county clerk giving her consent. The bride’s father, Thomas Bruce, also wrote a note to the clerk giving his consent, suggesting that Susannah was also underage. William Abston was security for the marriage. William Gowen and Susannah Bruce Gowen were the parents of William Henry Gowen, my g-gf, born in 1822. I am ready to pay any research person for his time in working specifically for my benefit. Olen R. Gowens, Ashby Place, Ladoga, IN, 47954, 317/942-2088.

==Dear Cousins==

I am searching for the parents of Jesse Robert Goans, born March 3, 1856 [per bible records], 1860 MO census report; died March 24, 1942, Willow Springs, MO; mc1890 Melissa Jane Arledge [1865-1941]. Death records did not reveal names of parents. According to 1900 Benton Co, MO census, Jesse’s par-ents were born in TN.”

Jesse Robert Goans and Melissa Jane Arledge Goans were the parents of Edna [1892-1895, Fannie [1894-1895], Toney [1897-1968], Manuel [1898-1921], William Henry [1904-1978], Paul Francis [1906-1982]. William Henry Goans was married to Rosa Buchanan, and they were the parents of: Henry Dean, John Wilford, Barbara Ella, Robert Hershel, Wanda Violet and Newell Goans. Any help appreciated. Mary Lou Hudson-Goans, 8276S 600W, Claypool, IN, 46510. 219/491-2382.

==Dear Cousins==

I am seeking data on Burton Goins and family from NC who settled in Claiborne Co, TN about 1835. His children were: Wil-son who married Matilda Dyer, Thomas who married Suffiah Goins, Polly who married John Hall, Etta who married Levi Goins, Cassie who married John Goins, Betsy who was married to John Goins as his second wife.

Burton Goins had a brother, William Goins who settled on Straight Creek. His children were Pleasant who married Miss Hamilton, William, Levi who married his cousin Etta [above] and Betsy who married William Murphy. Troy A. Goins, 3022 W. Water, Springfield, MO, 65802, TAG2382@aol.com

==Dear Cousins==

Dr. Brent Kennedy will teach “The Melungeons” a one-credit course on Monday nights from 7-9:30 p.m. from February 24 through March 31 at Bristol, TN Middle School. The class will examine the history and the culture of the Melungeon peo-ple of Appalachia.

The historical, linguistic, medical genetic and other forms of evidence supporting the various theories of origin for the mysterious Melungeons will be considered. Cost is $96 for in-state residents and $286 for out-of-state students. Tamyra M. Kennedy, Box 2712, Wise, VA, 24293, 540/328-6337, tmk3k@pluto.clinch.edu.

==Dear Cousins==

The check is in the mail! I just learned about the exciting new things the Foundation is doing online and am E-mailing my Gowen research herewith. My gggm, Draxey C. Gowen was born in 1842 in Bradford, ME to Moses P. Gowen & Orilla [Laurilla?] Gowen. Draxey was married December 2, 1866 in Charleston, ME to Elijah S. Smith, son of John Smith & Harriet Mansell Smith. I would like to correspond with other re-searchers who have data on the Gowen family of Maine.

Debbie Krupke, 6 Strawberry Hill Rd, Bar Harbor, ME, 04609, 207/288-2304, krupke@acadia.net, Homepage: http://home.acadia.net/userpages/krupke.

==Dear Cousins==

I never ceased to be amazed at how much material has been gathered on the Gowens/Goins etc. You have done a marvelous job of putting it all together. I would venture that the Founda-tion now has more information than any other surname organi-zation. Without it, I would never have gotten beyond my mater- nal g-g-gm Margaret Gowens who married Louis W. Bryant. Good work! Rex Addison, Rt. 2, Box 277D, Altha, FL, 32421, 904/762-3325, raddison@digitalexp.com

==Dear Cousins==

My husband recalls that his grandfather, Jesse Harrison Gowin, Jr, related that his father, Jesse Harrison Gowin, Sr. was born c1840 in Knox County [later Loudon Co.], TN. The senior Gowin continued in Loudon County July 28, 1862 when Jesse Harrison Gowin, Jr. was born. The senior Gowin, a schoolteacher, was killed in his classroom during the Civil War, probably in TN. Jesse Harrison Gowin, Jr. named his first son Charles Dottson Gowin. I have a record of “Dotson Gowing” who was married to Nancy Moore October 24, 1856 in adjoining Monroe Co, TN. “Dodson G. Gowen” served in the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry Regt, Co. C, during the Civil War. “Dotson Goen” served as a private in the Forty-third Tennessee Infantry Regt, Co. 3, during the Civil War. Can anyone tie all this together? Jo Reeves, 621 SW 32nd, Oklahoma City, OK, 73109, 405/634-8977.

==Dear Cousins==

Wow, I have just received the two research packets you sent on my York County, Maine Gowen family, and I am impressed! However much fun we amateur genealogists have doing whatever it is we do, it is always a delight to find someone who has done a lot of your work for you. My Contributing Membership is enclosed. I am looking forward to learning more about the remarkable Manuscript and look forward to being a member of the Foundation. Victor G. Jackson, 7728 W. 85th St, Playa del Rey, CA, 90293.

Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: gowen@llano.net
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Fax: 806/795-9694
Internet: http://www.llano.net/gowen


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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