1999 – 03 March Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Dr. Thomas Going Overcame Prejudice To Practice Medicine in Mississippi;
2) John Fellows Gowen Recorded Ancestor’s Battles in Scotland;
3) Kennedy & Mira Set to Speak In Berea Melungeon Conference;
4) Dear Cousins.

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


1)  Dr. Thomas Going Overcame Prejudice To Practice Medicine in Mississippi

Thomas Going, Melungeon/mulatto son of Moses Going and Agnes [Ailstock?] Going, was born about 1775 in Louisa County, Virginia. She is regarded as the daughter of Michael Ailstock and Rebecca Ailstock of Louisa County who sold 353 acres to Moses Going January 13, 1777. Thomas Going was brought to Georgia about 1789 by his parents.

On February 13, 1796, the Georgia State Legislature established that two brothers of Thomas Going, “Reuben Going and John Going, men of color of Greene County . . . are hereby authorized and enabled to take, hold and enjoy property, both real and personal,” according to “Ambiguous Lives” by Adele Logan Alexander.

Thomas Going began an medical practice there about that time, perhaps as an understudy of Dr. Samuel Going, his uncle. Three years later, on February 18, 1799, Thomas Going also gained his limited rights through a private legislative act, according to “Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia, 1735-1800.”


“Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act, that the aforesaid Thomas Going, of the County of Wilkes, be and is hereby vested with and entitled to all the rights and privileges and immunities belonging to a free citizen of this state; Provided nevertheless, nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to entitle the said Thomas Going, to serve in the capacity of a juror in any cause whatever nor to render him a competent witness in any cause or case where the personal rights or property of any white person are or is concerned; nor to entitle the said Thomas Going to vote at elections, nor to have or hold directly or indirectly any office of trust or emolument, civil or military, within this state.

David Meriwether, Speaker of the House of Representatives Robert Walton, President of the Senate Attested to February 18, 1799 James Jackson Governor”

In 1798, Thomas Going appeared in the Wilkes County tax records for the first time, paying a poll tax. “Thomas Going, free mulatto” was recorded in 1799 in Capt. Thornton’s District where he paid 50c tax. In 1801 and 1802, Thomas Going was recorded as a “tax defaulter” in Capt. Coats District.

Thomas Going “received payment for Moses Going” of $36 from Joseph Boren June 9, 1802 in the settlement of a suit, according to Wilkes County court records. During the decade, he removed to Claiborne County, Mississippi Territory, probably settling in the town of Gallatin which is no longer found on modern maps. He was enumerated there in the 1810 census in the “Names of the Heads of Families in the Counties of Claiborne and Warren, Mississippi, Territory.” The household was composed of “1 Free Person of Color and 4 slaves.”

By 1816, Dr. Thomas Going had influenced his uncle Dr. Samuel Going to join him as a partner in his medical practice in Claiborne County. They appeared in consecutive entries in the Mississippi Territorial Census of that year. Dr. Thomas Going was the head of a household composed of “1 Free Person of Color and 3 slaves.” Dr. Samuel Going was the head of a household composed of “10 Free Persons of Color.”

On February 9, 1820 Thomas Going and C. Warring, his bondsman, posted a bond of $200 for a marriage license. On the following day, Thomas Going obtained a license to marry Sally Allen, a white woman:

“State of Mississippi } Claiborne County }

To any judge, justice of the peace or minister of the gospel duly qualified to celebrate the rites of matrimony, Greeting:
You are hereby authorized and licensed to join in the Holy State of Matrimony Thomas Going and Sally Allen, both of said county, you making due return hereof to the Register of the Court of Claiborne County in the time prescribed by law with Certificate of said marriage.

Given under my hand and office this Tenth day of February, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty.
P. A. Vandover, Clerk by George Winchester”

Apparently Sally Allen was a widow with two daughters. The family appeared in the 1820 census of Claiborne County, page 7:

“Going, Thomas free colored white female 26-45 white female 16-26 white female 10-16 7 slaves”
Three members of the household were engaged in agriculture.
Nearby on page 9A of the 1820 census appeared:
“Going, Samuel free colored white female 26-45 9 other free colored 2 slaves”

Five members of the household were engaged in agriculture.

An obituary notice appeared in the Saturday, August 22, 1840 edition of “The Southern Star” of Gallatin, Mississippi: “Died on Saturday last, after a short illness, Mr. Thomas[?] Going for a long time a citizen of this county. Aged 65 years.” The deceased died on August 15, 1840, accordingly. If the subject were Dr. Thomas Going, then he may have succumbed to yellow fever which frequently reached epidemic proportions during hot weather periods in towns along the Mississippi River. Cities as far north as St. Louis were affected by this scourge.

Since he died without heirs it is believed that his wife and her children also died before the death of Dr. Thomas Going. Children born to Dr. Thomas Going and Sally Allen Going are unknown.

The estate of Dr. Thomas Going remained unclaimed for seven years, and finally a brother volunteered to go to Mississippi to claim it for the family. It took a little courage for a Melungeon/mulatto, even though freeborn, to go into a courthouse in slave-holding Mississippi and claim property there.

John H. Going, son of Moses Going and Agnes [Ailstock] Going, was born about 1787, probably in Louisa County, Virginia. However, he, at the age of 63 stated to the censustaker in 1850 that he was born in Georgia.

John H. Going, “mulatto” appeared as a taxpayer in Livingston County, Kentucky in 1830. He was recorded in the 1840 census as “free colored,” as the head of a household of five, according to the research of Jaymie Friedman Frederick of Scobey, Montana.

On May 26, 1847 John H. Going applied to the Crittenden Circuit Court for manumission papers in order that he might travel to Claiborne County, Mississippi to claim his portion of the estate of his brother, Thomas Going “who has been dead for some years and died without children.” John H. Going stated that he understood that he was “one of his heirs,” according to the research of Anna J. Going Friedman of Somerset, Kentucky.

In his petition, John Going stated that because of his dark skin, he might be mistaken for a runaway slave. He added that he was a free man of color and had been from his birth. He declared that he had lived, “where he now lives” in Crittenden County for nearly 35 years and is well and favorably known by the residents. He also stated that his father had always been a free man of color and that his mother Agnes was “an Indian by blood.”

John H. Going presented an affidavit from Thomas S. Phillips who declared that he had known John H. Going for 30 years and that he is well known in the community as a free man of color and was of African and Indian blood. He further declared that the brother of John Going, Thomas Going and their uncle, Samuel Going were well-known physicians in partnership in Claiborne County, Mississippi and that Thomas Going has died, leaving an inheritance to John H. Going, thus making it necessary for him to travel to Mississippi.

A second affiant, Ira Nunn also presented a declaration to the court. Nunn was a well-known, prominent and successful man in Crittenden County, according to “Nunns of the South.” He stated that both he and the applicant were raised in Greene County, Georgia.

The Crittenden County Court approved the application May 29, 1847 and provided a document to John H. Going stating that he was a free man of color and had been since birth and was therefore entitled to all rights thereof.


The degree of success that John H. Going obtained in the probate process in Mississippi is forever lost in antiquity, unless some Foundation researcher chooses to dig in the Claiborne County courthouse for the will and estate papers of Dr. Thomas Going. It is possible that these documents when found in Port Gibson, Mississippi [or Salt Lake City?] might reveal much more of this family’s history.

2)  John Fellows Gowen Recorded Ancestor’s Battles in Scotland

John Fellows Gowen, son of Charles Sewell Gowen and Alice Jerusha Fellows Gowen, was born September 1, 1889 at Ossining, New York. He and each of his four siblings, Robert Fellows Gowen [Newsletter, 11/98], Mary Fellows Gowen, Alice Fellows Gowen I and Alice Fellows Gowen II, all had Fellows as a middle name.

John Fellows Gowen was a student at Harvard University in the class of 1907 and was graduated in the class of 1909, according to Harvard Alumni Directory of 1910. He was a happy-go-lucky collegiate, according to his daughter, Faith Wallace Gowen Magoun of Manchester, Massachusetts. He spent as much time writing poetry and appearing in drama plays as he did in studying engineering.

After graduation, he lived with his widowed mother in Ossining. He was married September 22, 1915 at Dobbs Ferry, New York to Caroline Goldsborough Wallace, daughter of Benjamin Lawrence Wallace and Ellen Douglass Hoff Wallace.

He was soon employed as civil engineer on the construction of the New York subway. Excavation for the subway had begun in 1904, and it was being expanded to 237 miles of track to connect Manhattan with all the burroughs of New York city.

He had so much fun in digging up the city, that he turned it into a treasure hunt. “John F. Gowen” wrote “Treasure Hunting–A Game for Everybody” which was published by Putman’s Sons in 1925.

John Fellows Gowen developed an interest in genealogy. He was a descendant of William Alexander Gowen [Newsletter, 4/90] who was captured in the Battle of Dunbar and deported by Oliver Cromwell to New England in 1650. The engineer made a study of the military campaign of James Graham, Fifth Earl and First Marquis of Montrose, against the English leading up to the Battle of Dunbar. He wrote a 35-page booklet in April 1942 on his Scottish ancestor and his military service under Alexander Leslie, first Earl of Leven.

John Fellows Gowen concluded that his ancestor was a Scottish Highlander. He cited the statement of fellow prisoner John Stewart who accompanied William Alexander Gowen in the “Unity” on the voyage to New England. Stewart addressed a petition to Sir Edmund Andros, the governor:

” . . . your poor petitioner was in service in five battles under the noble Marquis of Montrose in Scotland for His Majesty King Charles the First & thereby suffered & received many dangerous wounds, having escaped with his life through mercy . . . was afterward taken by Lord Cromwell in the fight at Dunbar and sent to this land where I was sold for eight years future service to purchase my future freedom . . . ”

Research of the accounts of the military campaign leading up to the Battle of Dunbar convinced John Fellows Gowen that
“none but the Highlanders would follow the banner of Marquis of Montrose.”

John Fellows Gowen directed the preparation of “Modern Application of Sheet Copper in Building Construction,” a hand book for the Copper and Brass Research Association by whom he was then employed. The volume was published in New York in 1948.

In the November 12, 1949 edition of “New York Times,” was reported the death of John Fellows Gowen who died November 10, 1949 at Doctors Hospital. He was mentioned as the father of Mrs. William Richard Russell Hay and Faith Wallace Gowen of Dobbs Ferry. Funeral services were held at Zion Church, Dobbs Ferry and interment was at Lowell Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts.

Children born to John Fellows Gowen and Caroline Goldsborough Wallace Gowen include:

Janet Wallace Gowen born September 14, 1918
Faith Wallace Gowen born March 18, 1930

3)  Kennedy & Mira Set to Speak In Berea Melungeon Conference

Dr. N. Brent Kennedy, Vice-Chancellor of Clinch Valley College and Manuel Mira, a director of the Portuguese-American Historical Research Foundation, have been named to headline “Melungeon Roots,” a Melungeon research conference at Berea College, Berea, Kentucky June 26. The two Foundation members have been in the forefront of Melungeon research, and each has published a book on the mystery of the Melungeons. Gowen individuals and spelling variations were in The Melungeons are a multiracial and multi-ethnic people who were first documented in the Appalachian mountains at the end of the 18th century. Since that time, they have become a part of Appalachian folklore. Prior to the Civil War, some were classified as “free persons of color.”

More recently, they have been identified by anthropologists and historians as “triracial isolates,” regarded as an amalgam of European, Native American, and African-American ancestry. They faced discrimination, both legal and social and tended to settle in isolated communities such as Newman’s Ridge in Hancock County, Tennessee, or Stone Mountain, Virginia.

Dr. N. Brent Kennedy, author of the 1994 book “The Melungeons: The Resurrection of A Proud People” in researching his own family background, concludes that the Melungeons were descended from groups of Spaniards, Portuguese, Turks, Berbers, Moors, Jews and other early emigrants to America. Manuel Mira concentrates on the probable Portuguese ancestry of the Melungeons in his book, “The Forgotten Portuguese, Melungeons and Others.”

The Melungeon Heritage Association, sponsor of the event, will host a preconference mixer on Friday night at the Berea Alumni Building from 7 to 9 pm. Presentations will begin Saturday morning at 9:00 in Phelps-Stokes Hall with welcoming remarks by Audie Kennedy, president of the association.

Participants may preregister for the event before June 1 by sending payment to: Melungeon Roots, Box 4042, Wise, VA 24293. Admission to the event is $5 for those who register before June 1 and $10 for those who register afterwards.

4)  Dear Cousins

I am in the process of trying to get the Goin families of Hamilton Co, Tennessee assembled into their correct family branch. All are descended from old Shadrack Goin of Hanover Co, VA and Patrick Co, VA. Five of his sons wound up in this area–Laborn/Laban Goin [my ancestor,] David Smith Goin, the Revolutionary soldier, Shadrack Goin [Jr.], Daniel Goin of Campbell Co, TN and Solomon Goin of Bradley Co, TN.

My problem is this: I have a cousin who was married to Grace Goan, daughter of Frank & Bessie Goan. His parents were Orville Rice Goan & Mary Elizabeth Hollen Goan. The father of Orville Rice Goan was Daniel Goan bc1816 in Jefferson Co, TN & Elizabeth Graham Goan. The father of Daniel Goan is Shadrack Goan of Jefferson Co, TN. I have found all of these in the census records in their respective families. No problem so far.

There are so many Shadracks that I am having a hard time separating them. Does anyone know which Shadrack this could be.? I know my ancestor Laborn Goin named one of his sons Shadrack. His brother Daniel had one named Shadrack also. His brother Solomon had one named Shadrack also. His brother, Shadrack, Jr. also had one named Shadrack. So there are at least 6 individuals with the name of Shadrack Goin in North Tennessee in the early 1800s.

I know that a lot of people think that the Goans in Jefferson Co, TN are from another family and do not stem from old Shadrack. But I am persuaded that they are just another branch of my family. The given names of every branch are identical and are repeated generation after generation. Does anyone have anything that would be helpful to a confused cousin? Louise Goins Dunn, 790 Dr. Johnson Road, Crandall, GA, 30711, 706/695-3679, Ggma105593@aol.com

==Dear Cousins==

I have created a Gowin Website hosted by Genweb, with the help of my computer buddies at the Family History Center here in Lincoln. Anyone who wishes may access it at: http://www.genweb.net/gedcom/Gowin/Gowin.html. The website contains most of my Gowin ancestors, thanks to the Foundation, and particularly to Arlee Gowen who provided three generations in one exciting letter. Additionally James Crates of Kansas City and others have also helped immensely. This posting may help someone else as much as you have helped me. Francis Lloyd Gowin, 1742 Pepper Ave, Lincoln, NE, 68134, fg71015@navix.net.

==Dear Cousins==

I was directed to your Foundation today; what a terrific find!!! I found information about both my maternal and paternal families. Enclosed is my membership application!

The Gowen link provided me with very useful information. Quite by accident, I found myself looking at the word “Melungeon.” I had been looking at the Kentucky Web, trying to locate the Gowens. No luck with that, but “Melungeon” piqued my curiosity. The rest is history.

I am descended from Charles Gowens b.1763, VA and Elizabeth Blair, mc1785. I am seek-ing info on David Gowens whom I regard as the father of Charles. I haven’t been able to locate anything on Charles’ parents and siblings; would appreciate any help.
I will furnish my research as a contribution to the Foundation files soon. I have a g-grandmother, Clara Romana who died at age 103 in Mills County, IA. The Foundation Website has answered several questions, which are sensitive to Clara’s 94-year-old daughter. There were some things that were not open to discussion about Clara’s heritage. Now when I speak to her about family, I will tread carefully. I find our heritage extremely interesting, thanks to the Foundation!!! Viola L. Lawrence, 43827 27th St, W, Lancaster, CA, 93536-5851, 661/945-2812, Flawr84722@aol.com.

==Dear Cousins==

The Portuguese Angolans [Newsletter, January 1999] who arrived at Jamestown in 1619 [not 1719, typo] are very interesting. I have a book that I bought in Jamestown which indicates that the 20-some-odd Angolans who arrived from the West Indies were not slaves. They were sold as indentured servants and were free to do as they pleased after their service. Evelyn McKinley Orr, 8310 Emmet St, Omaha, NE, 68134, jorre@juno.com.

==Dear Cousins==

I am looking for the parents of Edward Goins b1843 KY. He fled to Nebraska with two of his sisters, Ophelia Goins b1867 KY and Francis Goins b1875 KY, for their safety, sometime before 1880. They were enumerated in the 1880 census as mulattos living with his mother-in-law, Hannah Ford b1836 MO and his wife, Katie Ford Goins b1855 MO.

His father was white and had several children with his white wife. He also had many children with Edward’s black mother. Edward was a barber. Only two of his children lived past childhood, Anna Mae Goins b1884 and Edward K. Goins b1885. Family legend has it that the two sets of children disliked each other, and there was attempted murder and murder between them. Thanks for any information you can share with me. Shelley Bush-Goins, 710 N. 800 W, #8, Salt Lake City, UT, 84116-2387, shelleybush@webtv.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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