1997 – 11 Nov Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) James Gowen Elected Representative To General Court of Massachusetts;
2) Abundance of Melungeon Books Follow Early Research Efforts;
3) Dear Cousins.

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

Volume 9, No. 3 November 1997

1)  James Gowen Elected Representative To General Court of Massachusetts

James Gowen, [William3, Nicholas2, William Alexander1] son of William Gowen and Mary Davis Chick Gowen, was born in Kittery, Maine February 18, 1754. He was a great-grandson of William Alexander Gowen, Scottish soldier who was deported to New England in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell.

He was married in Falmouth, Massachusetts [later called Portland, Maine] May 5, 1778 to Edna Knight, daughter of Moses Knight and Hannah Akers Knight. She was born there January 7, 1756. Her grandson, Nathan Goold described her as “a smart and capable woman.” James Gowen was a big man physically and a “gentleman of character and influence,” according to “The History of Cumberland County, Maine.”

James Gowen was a member of the Society of Friends when he arrived in Falmouth, but changed churches after his marriage. On November 10, 1778 he received a deed to 20 acres on the north side of Falmouth from Joshua Lowell for oe50. Four years later he purchased 42 adjoining acres from James Merrill for oe133:6:8. The home which he built on this property was still standing two centuries later. At the rear of his residence he constructed a barn, a carriage house, a blacksmith shop, a summer kitchen, a woodshed and an icehouse. In connection with his residence he built a tavern with sleeping accommodations for teamsters and travellers.

In 1810 he was chosen as Falmouth’s representative to the General Court of Massachusetts. In 1814 Westbrook, Maine was incorporated with land taken from Falmouth, and James Gowen found himself in the new town. Edna Knight Gowen died August 17, 1814 at the age of 58, and James Gowen was remarried in 1815 to Mrs. Lucy Staples Leighton, widow of Hatevil Leighton of Falmouth. She was born November 3, 1760.

She, a very congenial woman, was well-respected by her step-children, according to Nathan Goold.

James Gowen died in Westbrook, Maine July 26, 1822. He was the central subject in “Ancestors and Descendants of James Gowen” written by Edna Marion Marion Nye Gowen of Westbrook, Maine. Lucy Staples Leighton Gowen survived him for another 16 years. She died December 10, 1838 and was also buried in the Gowen family cemetery.

Children born to James Gowen and Edna Knight Gowen include:

Mary “Molly” Gowen born March 22, 1779
Betsey Gowen born May 15, 1781
William Gowen born March 24, 1783
James Gowen, Jr. born June 2, 1785
Hannah Gowen born October 24, 1787
Levi Gowen born June 28, 1790
Moses Gowen born May 29, 1792
Stephen Gowen born April 15, 1794
[daughter] born May 29, 1795
Peter Gowen born January 3, 1802

2)  Abundance of Melungeon Books Follow Early Research Efforts

By Evelyn McKinley Orr
Editorial Boardmember
8310 Emmet, Omaha, Nebraska, 68134-4940

In December of 1989, the Foundation Melungeon Research Team was formed with the challenging goal of finding a key to unlock the mystery of the Melungeons. The Foundation would become a major pioneer of our times, as many Gowens/Goins, etc. share the mystery gene. The Melungeons have been of interest since the late 1800s.

Interest among Foundation members varied from a majority showing excitement and support, to those believing it is a fad that comes along about every 20 years, to those who feel they have no Melungeon connection and wish to concentrate on their own research material, to others who believe it will never be solved, to those who believe all mixed bloods are triracial, to those who hold that these theories were created as myths just to deny Negroid genes. Every view conceivable has emerged in this research, along with some strong emotions.

There is a reason that ethnologists and anthropologists of 100 years ago were mystified. Documents show they guessed at the heritages of the Appalachian Melungeons, Croatan/Lum-bees and Redbones. By the late 1800s, they knew of no one here but North Europeans, Indians, Negroes, and other free people. The Mediterranean areas of the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe have emerged as valid theories of Melungeon homeland.

Heritages from these areas, plus some Native Americans, were likely erased by racial laws. As early as 1705 and into the 20th century, laws were passed to create negative thinking toward “fringe” people of off-color. That fact still affects our attitudes today. Anyone not considered white could be recorded as mu-latto, or free persons of color. Laws concerning racial heritage can be found in most law school libraries.

Old nationality records are not always accurate, and this confirms that the descendants of all the other free peoples cannot be solidly proven using only American racial records.

To believe the proof must come from written records only is to be doomed to never accept scientific findings from other dis-ciplines. All of the early nationalities that came to America can never be proven to everyone’s satisfaction. And, careful researched documents show that no one theory of origin can be presented as fact for all of these people.

Since 1776, Americans have known that Northern Europeans, Indians, and African Negroes, made up the bulk of the popula-tion in colonial America. Yet, people from Spain, France, and Portugal, came to the New World beginning in the 1580s. Many of them were likely of Moorish descent. Morocco was the first country to recognize the new independent United States in December 20, 1777, and they opened trade by grant-ing free passage to all American ships. Moroccans were the direct descendants of the dark-skinned Moors who were thrown out of Spain between 1492 and 1614.

Shortly after the first census of 1790, a fourth group of people surfaced. They were the Other Free People, of unknown her-itages. They would become known as Free People of Color.

Some amazing positive things have developed from this re-search that would fill several books. Though not with open arms, the present social climate in America has allowed more open debate than in any decade before us. The Melungeon Newsletter articles informed hundreds of Melungeon Gowen family researchers. The Internet is now producing more inter-est. The Foundation began to publicize the research of Dr. Brent Kennedy in 1992. His sincerity and abilities brought pride to Melungeon heritage.

The descendants of people derogatorily called Redbones for decades in Louisiana are now showing an open pride of their heritage. A group was formed recently to promote pride in that Redbone heritage. Contact for this group is Don Marlar, Rt. 2, Box 23270, Woodville, TX 75979. Ties are being sought to the Carolina Redbones.

For the first time ever, two authors with Melungeon heritage have simultaneously written books about their heritage. Dr. Kennedy, in his 1994 and 1996 editions of “The Melungeons: Resurrection of a Proud People,” and Mattie Ruth Johnson in her recently-published “My Melungeon Heritage, A Story of Life on Newman’s Ridge” added great insight to the Melungeon narrative.

Although not of direct Melungeon heritage, two more Melun-geon researchers offer interesting reading for us. Some theo-ries on origins are presented, including excellent history. Eloy Gallegos’ “The Melungeons: Pioneers of the Interior South-eastern United States 1526Ä1997,” Vallagra Press, 2301 Clinch Ave, Knoxville, TN 37916, $13.50. Manuel Mira’s hardback, “The Forgotten Portuguese, Melungeons and Others: The Portuguese Making Of America,” Portuguese-American Historical & Research Foundation, 227 Industrial Park, Franklin, NC 28734, $25.00 until November 30, later $29.50. All profits go to Portuguese studies in America.

These and other current books are adding to Melungeon lore. Many people are discovering Melungeons via the Internet, and some misunderstandings of this complicated research contin-ues for all of us. The Foundation Team and Kennedy research goal developed into determining if the Mediterranean area people did come to our shores, and to create a positive attitude toward these people whoever they were. Finding Mediter-ranean area heritage in the Appalachians will not create a new race or nationality or ignore any other heritage.

All the descendants of all mixed blood groups do not have the same nationalities. Individuals, families, and/or groups share different genes just as the descendants of all American families do today. Some Anglos and Native Americans share Negroid genes. And, according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 70% of those who claim Black African-American ancestry have some white ancestors. We are all more of an omelet than originally envisioned.

Every American today should be free to claim his desired her-itage and still accept a possible Mediterranean area gene. We should not proclaim specific color or nationalities for all Melungeon type peoples. Descendants of the very early “Melunjun” can be Black African-American, Native American, white Anglos, and/or “other.” They cannot be an ethnic group as such. The original “Melunjuns” were likely castaway people from several countries who came here for some yet unknown reasons.

The term is no longer believed to be just a derogatory name given the group in Appalachia by their Northern European neighbors. There are documents that prove early people in the Carolinas called themselves Melungeons before it became a derogatory term. This term now appears to be connected to the early Carolina Croatans/Lumbees, Redbones, and a few other mystery groups. The term’s origins is likely Arabic that developed into similar variations in Portuguese, Turkish, and Spanish languages. In all cases it refers to early people disenfranchised from their normal populations. Some may have come to America independent of others.

The research has grown beyond the abilities of a family ge-nealogy organization, especially as a formal Melungeon Team.

Researchers in disciplines other than genealogy, including anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, genetics, linguistics, history, and medicine are now involved.

I believe that the Foundation Melungeon Research Team has served its purpose in stimulating interest in the Melungeon mystery and pioneering such research. Perhaps the Team is no longer needed since the majority of Melungeon related mate-rial now goes to Dr. Kennedy. He heads the major research organization today. As a member of his committee, I support his continued study to determine if people with Middle Eastern, Southern European, North African, and Asian descent did come. Perhaps some came before Columbus.

This theory is at odds with those who oppose any study of theories other than all being an 18th century triÄracial mix. The Foundation remains open to the consideration of all view-points.

I will continue to share new findings, and I encourage other members to do the same. Thanks again to the many members who supported the 1989 original goals. You may be a part of making history, as this study may go on for decades. A special thanks to Arlee Gowen, Brent Kennedy, Ruth Johnson, Louise Richardson, Dianne Thurman and Jack Harold Goins.

3)  Dear Cousins

I refer to the article “Capt. James Gowen Fought the French at Ft. Ticonderoga.” The author of the article may have known the date of the attack, [1758, first battle of Ft. Ticonderoga] but the rest of us don’t, so why didn’t he put it in. Also, further on, Jeffrey Lord Amherst returned with 11,000 troops to besiege Ft. Carillon “on July 26”–in what year? [1759] Lt. Col. Alfred J. Spiry, Sr, USAF [ret] and Margaret Cotton Spiry, Genealogists & Columnists, 2729 Arbor Ave, Cincinnati, OH, 45209, 513/351-8639. Thanks for the reminder that there are three parts to history–dates as well as places and people.]

==Dear Cousins==

I am enclosing an article from the “Beauregard Daily News” [DeRidder, LA] regarding the election of “Cousin” Ottis Goins as mayor of Rosepine, LA. [Vernon Parish]. Both Vernon and Beauregard Parishes are “Goins” parishes. My ancestors are Thomas Nash and Anna Going.

I value my Foundation membership very highly; I received numerous letters with reference to the Winston DeVille article, “No such thing as a Melungeon.

Ottis Goins has spent a large part of his life in public service. Our cousins may wish to congratulate him. Bill Nash, Box 70, Turkey Creek, LA, 70585.

==Dear Cousins==

Cousin Joe Lorenz of San Antonio mailed to me copies of the Foundation Manuscript dealing with Jeremiah Goins and Sarafina Drake Goins and their descendants which he downloaded from the Website. I have, for many years researched this family, and I am enclosing 14 pages of corrections, revisions, expansions, etc. that I have turned up.

You will perhaps be interested in the enclosed death certificate of “Rubin Goins, Indian,” son of Jeremiah and Sara-fina, who died July 17, 1930 in the Confederate Hospital at Ardmore, OK “at the age of 111!” Mary Harmon Wallace, Box 237, Ratliff City, OK, 73081.

==Dear Cousins==

I have researched the military records of the members of my Claiborne County, TN family who served in the Second Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, U.S.A. during the Civil War.

Houston H. “Hugh” Goin, Pvt, Co. E, age, 21, enlisted in Claiborne County October 25, 1861, captured at Rogersville, TN November 6, 1863, died September 1864 in prisoner-of-war Camp, Andersonville, GA.

Fielding Lewis Goin, Cpl, Co. E, age 18, younger brother of Hugh, enlisted in Claiborne County November 18, 1861, also captured at Rogersville November 6, 1863. Confined at Richmond, VA, admitted there to Hospital 21 February 27, 1864, returned to prison March 9, paroled at City Point, VA April 15, admitted to Jarvis Hospital at Annapolis, MD, ordered to Nashville June 20, died shortly after returning home.

Isaac Goin, Pvt, Co. F, age 45, cousin of above brothers, enlisted in Claiborne County October 26, 1861, recorded as “permanent deserter” December 4, 1862. Warren Tyndale Faulkner, 13620 SW Rawhide Pl, Beaverton, OR, 97008, Wtynf@aol.com

==Dear Cousins==

My father, Vernon Elwyn Gowen, Jr. was born April 10, 1939 in Sanford, ME to Vernon Elwyn Gowen and Isabelle Theresa Lewis Gowen. My grandfather, Vernone Elwyn Gowen was born in Sanford June 13, 1883 to Chester Winfield Gowen and Idelle L. Wakefield Gowen. Other children born to the Chester Winfield Gowens include: Wilfred, b1904; Earl, b1906;, Arlene b1910;, Fred b1912 and Roland, b1914. Can anyone help me go back in time? Theresa Gowen Snow, 233 Mariposa Way, Henderson, NV. TMSNOW@aol.com.

==Dear Cousins==

I have just finished reading Eloy Gallegos’ new book, “The Spanish Pioneers in the United States–The Melungeons.” This book has great documentation from the Spanish Archives in Mexico City of the Spanish-Portuguese soldiers left here by Capt. Joao Pardo. These men married Indian women and formed a new race of people called Melungeons.

I can only praise his book because my g-g-gf Zachariah Minor told the censustaker in 1830 that he was a Portuguese Indian. Also when Gov. John Sevier first encountered the Melungeons, they told him, as well, that they were Portuguese. For this to become a reality for us, we need to document our descent from these soldiers. This theory does fit with who the Melungeons claimed to be. Jack Harold Goins, 270 Holston View Dr, Rogersville, TN, 37857, 615/272-7297, jgoins@usit.net

==Dear Cousins==

I am searching for info on Edmond Goins, bc1800 in NC, wife’s name Sarah. They lived in Bradley Co. TN. Their son, James Goins was b1837 TN, mc1860 Polly Johnson who was b1839. Their children were: Joel, Jackson, Mary, Julius, Angeline, James, William Frank, Doctor Garner, Ellis Alex and Luther. Who were Edmond’s parents? What was Sarah’s maiden name? When and where was she born? Your help ap-preciated. Jody Fisher, 4215 Pine Ave, NE, Bremerton, WA, 98310, casper10@prodigy.net.



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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