1998 – 02 Feb Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Sherwood Going Fought the British at Charlottesville;
2) Melungeon-like Mystery Solved Using Ancient Sino Mummies;
3) Lloyd D. “Lou” Minor Finishes Minor-Going History Volume;
4) Dear Cousins;
5) Melungeon-like Mystery Solved in China Using 3,000-Year-Old Mummies;
6) Whence came the name . . ? Gowensville, South Carolina;
7) Lloyd D. “Lou” Minor Announces Publication of Minor-Going Book.

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

GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 8, No. 6 February 1998

1)  Sherwood Going Fought the British at Charlottesville

Army life was better than farm life for Sherwood Going, Mulatto/Melungeon Revolutionary soldier from Louisa County, Virginia. To escape an unhappy apprenticeship, he had enlisted in the Fourteenth Virginia Regiment in neighboring Albemarle County in 1777. Col. Charles Lews had led his militiamen against the British at Chesterfield Courthouse where they were soundly defeated.
The Fourteenth was pulled back to Charlottesville in Albemarle County and assigned to guard duty. Gen. John Burgoyne and 4,000 of his British troops which were captured at Saratoga were marched to Charlottesville and placed in the custody of Col. Lews and his regiment.

Life was hard for Sherwood Going growing up in colonial Louisa County, Virginia. He was born about 1756 to Agnes Going, a “free colored” single woman struggling to care for eight children. On January 9, 1743, the Louisa County Court ordered that “she receive 25 lashes on her bare back for having a bastard child.”

On April 10, 1770, the church wardens of Trinity Parish were ordered to bind out all her children under 21 years, except the youngest” [David Going]. David Going was later enumerated as “white” in the Virginia census, suggesting to some researchers that the family was Melungeon.

Sherwood Going was bound out to William Phillips. On February 12, 1776 Agnes Going appeared in court to file a complaint about the ill-treatment “Sherrod Going was receiving from his master, William Phillips.”

That’s when Sherwood Going enlisted for three years service in the Fourteenth Virginia. He re-enlisted in 1780 for an additional 18 months, according to statements in his pension application dated October 9, 1828 in Albemarle County.

“Sharod Going” endorsed the Revolutionary pension applica-tion of Charles Barnett, “mulatto” who was born about 1764 in Albemarle County. Charles Barnett declared that he had “enlisted in the Seventh Virginia Regiment at Charlottesville.” “Sharod Going” corroborated his statement, and in his en-dorsement mentioned, “I was with him at Chesterfield Court House.”

Three miles east of Charlottesville was located Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, and two miles farther was Ash Lawn, the home of James Monroe. Sir Banastre Tarleton, British commander in Louisa County, devised a plan to raid into Albemarle County to capture Jefferson. Jack Jouett, one of the militiamen, overheard the plan of the raid in a tavern and rode all night. He arrived at Monticello ahead of Tarleton’s forces and alerted Jefferson in time to make his escape. The Fourteenth was unable to check the British, and the marauders laid waste to the countryside and burned the Charlottesville Courthouse and its public records.

After the war, “Sherard Gowen” received a grant September 30, 1783 of 196 acres “on the waters of Buck Mountain Creek,” according to “Virginia Land Grants, 1782-1783,” page 575. Sherrod Going was a resident of Albemarle County in 1787 when he appeared on the tax list there, taxable on “one tithe, two horses and four cattle.”

“Sherod Gowin” received a land warrant in the Military District of Ohio, however he sold the warrant rather than move to the new area.

“Sherwood Gowing” was married June 5, 1791 to Susannah Simmons in Stokes County, North Carolina, according to “Stokes County, North Carolina Marriages, 1783-1850.” “Sherod Going” was married to Susannah Simmons June 5, 1791 in Albemarle County by Parson William Woods, according to her pension application. A copy of their marriage certificate certified by the Albemarle County Clerk was attached in substantiation. No explanation is found for the two different marriage records.

The pension application of “Sherard Going” and that of his wife “Susannah Simmons Going” were abstracted in “Virginia Pension Abstracts of Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Indian Wars,” Volume 19 by Lucy Kate McGhee.

In the application given to the court at Charlottesville, he stated, “I am a colored man and very illiterate” and that he had lost his discharge. He stated that he had a wife and two boys, “a boy about the age of 8 or 9 and another about the age of 10 or 12.” He reported that he owned 200 acres of mountainous land with 30 or 40 acres cleared. He was a day laborer and owned one cow. His application was endorsed by an affidavit signed by A. C. Nanis.

“Sherrod Going” was enumerated as the head of a household of 12 “other free” people in the census of 1810 of Albemarle County. “Sherod Gowing” appeared as the head of a nine-member household in a cluster of 12 Gowing households of “free colored” in the 1820 census of Albemarle County, page 8A. Three members of his family were engaged in agriculture. The household was rendered as:

“Gowing, Sherod free colored male over 45
free colored female over 45
free colored male 14-26
free colored male 14-26
free colored female 0-14
free colored male 0-14
free colored female 0-14
free colored male 0-14
free colored male 0-14”

He reappeared in the 1830 census of Albemarle County, page 252 as the head of a household composed of 10 free colored individuals:

“Gowen, Sherwood free colored male 55-100
free colored female 36-55
free colored male 36-55
free colored male 24-36
free colored male 24-36
free colored female 24-36
free colored male 24-36
free colored male 0-10
free colored male 0-10
free colored male 0-10”

Sherwood Going died September 4, 1837, about age 81. “Susannah Simmons Gowin” made an application for a rein-statement of a widow’s pension November 27, 1841. In it she stated that her age was “about 70,” that she had lived in Albe-marle County all of her life and she was the “widow of Sherod Gowin, deceased.” She declared that she had received a widow’s pension from the date of her husband’s death Septem-ber 4, 1837 through November 23, 1837. An endorsement at-tached to her application read, “She is a coloured woman of high respectability and her declaration is entitled to full credit.”

Names of children born to Sherwood Going and Susannah Simmons Going are unknown, but the unique given names “Sherwood” and “Sherrod” were perpetuated in Brunswick and Greensville Counties, Virginia; in Hawkins and Roane Counties, Tennessee and in Wilkes County, Georgia where Moses Going, older brother of Sherwood, had located.

2)  Melungeon-like Mystery Solved Using Ancient Sino Mummies

By Evelyn McKinley Orr
8310 Emmet, Omaha, NE, 68134, E-mail: jorre@juno.com

A determined group of scientists have managed to solve the mystery of 3,300 year old Caucasian mummies buried in China. In January, this fascinating story was first revealed to the world on ETV. Some of the same scientific disciplines used to solve this mystery are also required to solve the mys-tery of the first Melungeons in America. Like our early Melun-geons, they had no documented written heritage. Like the Melungeons, they had different physical looks, cultural traits, and left historical clues to show they were different from people believed to live in their area. And, in both cases their existence was unknown, ignored, or denied by their society.

As with the Melungeons, racial bias entered their story. The Chinese society preferred not to acknowledge that any Cau-casian race ever lived in China. Some heads had been removed from graves to hide obvious Caucasian features. When America’s so called “mixed bloods” were first acknowledged as existing in late 1800s, their society believed that no one other than Negro, Indian, or European had settled in America.

Since some mixing of these races did occur, confusion and controversy over nationalities would surface. Identifying them, after 100 years of inaccurate or no written records, is more difficult than defining clear Caucasian features of 3000-year old mummies.

As genealogists, using only American records, it is difficult to identify Gowen ancestors of Portuguese, Spanish, Moorish, Turkish, American Indian heritage, or any heritage other than Northern European, Anglo or Black. That may remain so as long as professional genealogists tell lay researchers that “Melungeons” or the above nationalities did not exist. Or, that the individual being researched cannot be proven a Melun-geon, or otherwise, if you can’t find that individual named as such in a written record.

Scientists unraveling the Chinese mummy mystery had to use a combination of sciences, including archaeology, linguistics, anthropology etc. to determine that these people were Cau-casians of possible ancient Celtic heritage, and then trace their migration pattern back 3,000 years to China from Western Europe. There were no written records. The family researcher needs to be open to disciplines other than genealogy when looking for nationalities of a possible Melungeon ancestor. For more information regarding this exciting discovery in China, call 1-800/255-9424 for a copy of “Ancient Mummies of China,” NOVA program or see web site at http://www.pps.org.

3)  Lloyd D. “Lou” Minor Finishes Minor-Going History Volume

Culminating 22 years of research, Lloyd D. “Lou” Minor, Foundation Member of Newcastle, California, announces that his new book, “The Life and Descendants of Hezekiah Minor and Elizabeth Going Minor” “or something like that” will go to press March 1. Elizabeth Going Minor is identified as the youngest daughter of John Gowen, Jr. and Elizabeth Gowen of Lunenburg County, Virginia.

Hezekiah Minor and Elizabeth Going, both coming from Melungeon families were married shortly before 1800 and lived in Rockingham County, North Carolina, Lee County, Virginia and Hawkins County [later Hancock County,] Ten-nessee. The descendants of their three sons scattered to the four corners of the United States, and the author records every generation down to the present day–documenting over 200 years of family history.

“The book will focus on family history, folklore and genealo-gies, and will include more than 120 rare photos. The book will be about 200 pages, professionally bound, and fully in-dexed. I’m excited about the aerial photos which are to be in-cluded. The actual old houses belonging to Zachariah and also Gilford Minor can be seen in one of the aerials!

A real personal difficulty has beset me in how to present what I have learned about the truth of our family’s roots. I am anx-ious about how the cousins will receive the mixture of happy, poignant and sad truth about several of our ‘characters.’ Some of the material is apt to sadden some readers, and because of this I have suffered emotionally during the compiling of the book. Not everyone is ready for the facts I’m afraid, so I’m still trying to figure out if there are ways to convey them with-out upsetting the readers.”

The book can be purchased from the author; cost is estimated at $34. To reserve a copy, address the author at 3260 Hector Road, Newcastle, CA, 95658-9720, 916/663-3921, E-mail: lminor@psyber.com.

4)  Dear Cousins

Just want to let everyone know how much I appreciate this Melungeon Forum. It is unique in its scope. Let us never be sidetracked. At the risk of “preaching,” may I say what is be-ing done here is historic. We are not about the business of creating history, but of discovering it. Kathleen Dotson Mazil, 9105 NE 74th St, Vancouver, WA, 98662, jmazil@ix.netcom.com

==Dear Cousins==

I am winding down the job of editing four books for Daughters of the American Revolution. As of this date, I have finished nine books since summer. When I get these last four done, I will have some free time [hopefully] and can resume working on Foundation material in the new year. June A. Smith, 5307 Hwy. 303 NE, #22, Bremerton, WA, 98311, BoJu2325@ix.netcom.com.

==Dear Cousins==

I have found the Newsletter most interesting and more in-formative than I would have ever imagined. It contains so much information on so many early ancestors with the name of “Goins.” It has shed more light on the Goins family and those who have this name. Keep the good work! Elsie T. Goins, 112 Olde Springs Rd, Columbia, SC, 29223-6022, taygoinres@aol.com

==Dear Cousins==

I am anxious to become acquainted with the Foundation’s online services. I do not have a computer, but my daughter, Martha Heinrichs [ichs@earthlink.net] of San Jose, California does. I would like to designate her to send and receive E-mail messages online so that we can continue our research on Nathaniel Gowin. Jessie Madge Howard [age 91], 717 4th Ave. North, Great Falls, MT, 59401.

==Dear Cousins==

I finally got connected on the Internet over here in Eng-land, and it is a pleasure now to be in touch again with the Foundation and the friends I met in Nashville at the Research Conference. Sam Kretzschmar, Col. USAF, PSC41, Box 3398, APO AEO9464-3398, sam@squige.astra.co.uk

 

5)  Melungeon-like Mystery Solved in China
Using 3,000-Year-Old Mummies

By Evelyn McKinley Orr
8310 Emmet, Omaha, NE, 68134, E-mail: jorre@juno.com

A determined group of scientists have managed to solve the
mystery of 3,300 year old Caucasian mummies buried in China.
In January, this facinating story was first revealed to the
world on ETV. Some of the same scientific disciplines used
to solve this mystery are also required to solve the mystery
of the first Melungeons in America. Like our early Melun-
geons, they had no documented written heritage. Like the
Melungeons, they had different physical looks, cultural
traits, and left historical clues to show they were differ-
ent from people believed to live in their area. And, in
both cases their existence was unknown, ignored, or denied
by their society.

As with the Melungeons, racial bias entered their story.
The Chinese society preferred not to acknowledge that any
Caucasian race ever lived in China. Some heads had been
removed from graves to hide obvious Caucasian features.
When America’s so called “mixed bloods” were first ac-
knowledged as existing in late 1800s, their society believed
that no one other than Negro, Indian, or European had set-
tled America.

Since some mixing of these races did occur, confusion and
controversy over nationalities would surface. Identifying
them, after 100 years of inaccurate or no written records,
is more difficult than defining clear Caucasian features of
3000-year old mummies.

As genealogists, using only American records, it is diffi-
cult to identify Gowen ancestors of Portuguese, Spanish,
Moorish, Turkish, American Indian heritage, or any heritage
other than Northern European, Anglo or Black. That may re-
main so as long as professional genealogists tell lay re-
searchers that “Melungeons” or the above nationalities did
not exist. Or, that the individual being researched cannot
be proven a Melungeon, or otherwise, if you can’t find that
individual named as such in a written record.

Scientists unraveling the Chinese mummy mystery had to use a
combination of sciences, including archeology, linguistics,
anthropology etc. to determine that these people were Cau-
casians of possible ancient Celtic heritage, and then trace
their migration pattern back 3,000 years to China from West-
ern Europe. There were no written records. The family re-
searcher needs to be open to disciplines other than genea-
logy when looking for nationalities of a possible Melungeon
ancestor. For more information regarding this exciting dis-
covery in China, call 1-800-255-9424 for a copy of “Ancient
Mummies of China,” NOVA program or see web site at
http://www.pps.org.

6)  Whence came the name . . ?
Gowensville, South Carolina

Gowensville, a 200-year-old community in the apex of the
state, was named for Capt. [later Major] John “Buck” Gowen.
The community had to fight on two fronts during the Revolu-
ionary War. Militia companies were raised in the northwest-
ern corner of South Carolina–to face the Cherokees on the
northwest and the British on the southeast.

Captain Gowen, in charge of Gowen’s Fort near the north end
of the Indian line, commanded a militia company. The fort
was located near the captain’s home on the South Pacolet
River, a short distance from Gowensville.

War swirled into the Gowensville area from the northwest in
1776 with Cherokee and Tory attacks. The Tories were led by
“Bloody Bill” Bates and “Bloody Bill” Cunningham who cut a
gory trail of destruction across the area. Whenever the
Tories were victorious, the result was a massacre. No
quarter was given to men, women or children who were
surrendered to them. All were killed and scalped.

While the colonists were holding out in the west against the
Tories and the Cherokees in 1780, the British advanced from
the southeast, rolling up the defenses. They defeated the
forces of Gen. Tuck on July 12, obliterated the troops of
Col. John Thomas, Jr. on July 13 and captured Gowen’s Fort.

While they were relaxing and enjoying their victory, the
colonists came roaring back under the command of Col. Jones
on the following day and recaptured Gowen’s Fort. Capt.
Gowen, whose company was part of the forces of Col. Jones,
resumed command of the fort.

The Redcoats withdrew from the apex area completely after
their defeat, but the Tories returned with their guerilla
warfare. They made their first attack on Gowen’s Fort in
September 1781. In November, while part of the militia under
Capt. Gowen was away on orders, “Bloody Bill” Bates struck
again and swept up the defenders. Men, women and children
who were in the surrendered fort were slaughtered and
scalped. Mrs. Abner Thompson and her family had fled to the
fort for safety. When the fort fell, she lay on the ground
feigning death. Suddenly she felt a scalper’s knife circling
her crown, and she held back her screams as her hair was
jerked from her skull. Mrs. Thompson survived her wounds
and lived in Greenville, South Carolina for many years
afterward, according to “Southern Lineages” by Adeline Evans
Winn.

Again Capt. Gowen’s forces recaptured the fort, but Bates
was able to slip away during the battle to continue his
harassment of the colonists. During the war Gowen’s Fort
changed hands five times as the winds of war swept back
and forth. “Bloody Bill” Bates also survived the war, only
to be arrested shortly afterward for horse-stealing. He was
lodged in the Greenville jail. A deputy employed at the
jail had managed to escape one of Bates’ massacres during
the war. At an unguarded moment the deputy escorted Bates
from his cell to a vacant lot next door, gave him a minute
to make peace with his maker and shot him dead. Bates was
unceremoniously buried where he fell, and the Greenville
post office was built over his grave.

Maj. Gowen died in November 1809. Frank Maxwell Gowen
who made a study of the area in 1971 concluded that the
major was buried in a pioneer cemetery located in the
Earle’s Mill community nearby. The Rev. Thomas Jefferson
Earle, a Baptist minister founded Gowensville Seminary
there in 1856.

Gowen’s Fort and its blockhouse was occupied during the
Civil War, some 80 years later, by Confederate deserters. To
halt their foraging on the farms of local citizens, Col.
J. D. Ashmore was ordered to capture the deserters. Col.
Ashmore positioned a cannon before the gates of the fort.
After a demonstration of cannonpower, 502 deserters filed
out of the fort, on their way to courts martial.

The old fort remained quiet until World War I, and then can-
nons boomed again on the site. The U. S. Army had chosen
the site for artillery training. Today no sign of the old
fort remains, and no one can locate the site for certain.

Gowensville in 1990 had a population of 200 people–about
the same number that were recorded there in the federal
census of 1790–and none of them were named “Gowen” 200
years later.

7)  Lloyd D. “Lou” Minor Announces
Publication of Minor-Going Book

Culminating 22 years of research, Lloyd D. “Lou” Minor,
Foundation Member of Newcastle, California, announces that
his new book, “The Life and Descendants of Hezekiah Minor
and Elizabeth Going Minor” “or something like that” will go
to press March 1. Elizabeth Going Minor is identified as
the youngest daughter of John Gowen, Jr. and Elizabeth Gowen
of Lunenburg County, Virginia.

Hezekiah Minor and Elizabeth Going, both coming from
Melungeon families were married shortly before 1800 and
lived in Rockingham County, North Carolina, Lee County,
Virginia and Hawkins County [later Hancock County,]
Tennessee. The descendants of their three sons scattered to
the four corners of the United States, and the author
records every generation down to the present day–
documenting over 200 years of family history.

“The book will focus on family history, folklore and
genealogies, and will include more than 120 rare photos.
The book will be about 200 pages, professionally bound, and
fully indexed. I’m excited about the aerial photos which
are to be included. The actual old houses belonging to
Zachariah and also Gilford Minor can be seen in one of the
aerials!

A real personal difficulty has beset me in how to present
what I have learned about the truth of our family’s roots.
I am anxious about how the cousins will receive the mixture
of happy, poignant and sad truth about several of our
‘characters.’ Some of the material is apt to sadden some
readers, and because of this I have suffered emotionally
during the compiling of the book. Not everyone is ready for
the facts I’m afraid, so I’m still trying to figure out if
there are ways to convey them without upsetting the
readers.”

The book can be purchased from the author; cost is estimated
at $34. To reserve a copy, address the author at 3260
Hector Road, Newcastle, CA, 95658-9720, 916/663-3921,
E-mail: lminor@psyber.com.

 

___________________________________________________________

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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