Sections in this issue:
1) Huguenot Society to Celebrate 300 Years of Freedom in Virginia;
2) David Douglas Gowan Regarded As Discoverer of Tonto Bridge;
3) Jason Goen, Nonegenarian, Regarded as Melungeon By Some Descendants 240 Years Later;
4) Dear Cousins.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
Gowen Research Foundation
Volume 3 No. 8
1) Huguenot Society to Celebrate 300 Years of Freedom in Virginia
Three hundred years of religious freedom will be cele-
brated October 21, 2000 by The Huguenot Society of the
Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia. In 1700,
three ships carrying the Huguenot refugees arrived from
England at the mouth of the James River.
The English King William and the Virginia colonists gave
them every consideration to make their journey and their
new home pleasant. Three Huguenot regiments had served
in the British army in its opposition to France, and had
gained the Crown’s unlimited gratitude.
King William asked the Huguenots, especially those who
had fought so valiantly for him how he could best help
them. They soon decided that many would be agreeable to
going to an American colony.
The grateful king offered to pay their passage to Amer-
ica, give them land and exempt them from all taxes for
seven years. He directed the captains of the ships that
were dedicated to transporting the Huguenots to give
them allowances as follows:
“To every passenger above the age of six years, seven
pounds of bread each week and to a mess [8 passengers]
two pieces of pork at two pounds each piece, five days a
week with peas. And two days in the week to have two
pound pieces of beef with peas, or one four-pound piece
of beef with a pudding and with peas. In case of bad
weather [when fires could not be built], every passen-
ger shall have one pound of cheese every such day.
And such children as under six years of age are to
have allowances of flour, oatmeal, fruit, butter and
sugar as their overseers shall judge convenient for
The colonists gave them 10,000 acres of land, gifts of
household articles and money. Gov. Francis Nicholson
ordered a company of Virginia militia to escort them to
their new home up the James River from Richmond and to
help them get settled.
The Huguenots responded to the English generosity by
naming their settlement King William Parish. On Decem-
ber 5, 1700 the Virginia House of Burgesses established
King William Parish and the church which became Manakin
Episcopal Church. Manakin Church remains today as the
only congregation in King William Parish.
The Virginians were delighted to have the Huguenots to
settle upstream on the James River to act as a buffer
against the Indians who continued to display occasional
hostility. Jamestown had been burned for the third time
and had been abandoned as the capital. The Monacan In-
dians, a branch of the Catawbas, once a tribe of about
9,000, had begun to move out of the area as the English
pressed against them. When the Huguenots arrived, the
Monacan town, Manakin had been abandoned, and the colon-
ists were glad to present it to the French Calvinists.
Among the Huguenots was one man of interest to Founda-
tion members by the name of Louis Guion who had arrived
aboard the “Mary and Anne.” There is no evidence that he
survived the first winter in the primitive conditions of
Manakin-Town. By the following spring, only 120 Hugue-
nots remained. Nevertheless, one branch of the Goyne
family who claim Huguenot descent fastened upon him as
their progenitor. No documentation has been turned up
to support the claim, and some researchers feel that a
few of the Melungeons seized upon the “French Connec-
tion” to explain away their dark complexion.
The Huguenots had King Louis XIV of France to thank for
their being in Virginia. In 1685 he revoked the Edict
of Nantes, outlawing the French protestants and launch-
ing a blood bath against all French Calvinists. It is es-
timated that more than 250,000 French fled to Holland,
Prussia and England. Perhaps that many more were killed
in France before they could flee. The holocaust contin-
ued until the French Revolution, and in 1789 the French
National Assembly affirmed religious freedom and restor-
ed the rights of the Protestants.
The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the
Colony of Virginia was organized April 17, 1922 in memory
of the French Protestant Refugees who settled at Manakin
Town and in the Colony of Virginia prior to 1786. The
purposes of the Society are:
To promote interest in the study of the Huguenots who
settled Manakin and the lines descended therefrom.
To erect a lasting memorial at Manakin in memory of
the valiant settlers.
To collect all existing documents relating to Manakin
and the Manakin Huguenots to be placed in a library
for the use of the Society.
To encourage the preparation of fully documented pa-
pers and essays on the Manakin Huguenots and their an-
To sponsor Huguenot Memorials for the training of
young people in intellectual and spiritual growth and
The Society owns over 400 acres of the original grant to
the Huguenots located in Powhatan County. The Huguenot
Room, located in the Parish House houses the Library and
offers assistance to Foundation Members who want to ex-
plore the possibility of Huguenot ancestors.
Other memorials of the Huguenots at Manakin Town include
the Huguenot Bridge erected by the Virginia Highway Com-
mission over the James River on Route 147 [named the Hu-
goenot Road in Chesterfield County] and the Huguenot
Trail that runs in front of Manakin Church and Manakin
On Saturday, October 1, 2000 the Society will celebrate
with an Open House at the Society’s headquarters from 2
until 5 pm. Visitors may use the research library, talk
to living history interpreters and tour the 1895 church
which contains elements of the very first church. A
special tour of “Huguenot Silversmiths and Goldsmiths”
will be conducted at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
at 4 pm.
At 7 pm, the 300th Anniversary Banquet will be held at
the Virginia Historical Society building on the Boule-
vard in Richmond. For details and reservations contact:
Huguenot Society, 981 Huguenot Trail, Midlothian, VA,
23113. Website: http://www.huguenot-manakin.org.
2) David Douglas Gowan Regarded As Discoverer of Tonto Bridge
David Douglas Gowan, born into a fisherman’s family in
Kincardineshire, Scotland in 1843, would be the last man
you would expect to find living in the wilderness of Ari-
zona Territory. The adventurous wanderer ran the risk of
co-existing with the treacherous Apache to mine silver in
the Tonto region. He is credited by some as the discov-
erer of the Tonto Natural Bridge early in his Arizona res-
idence which lasted for 49 years before his death in 1926.
Marjorie A. Templeton, Foundation member of Payson, Ari-
zona became interested in his colorful exploits and pro-
vided the research for this article. She found separat-
ing fact from fiction about Gowan somewhat difficult, as
did Jerrell G. Johnson who in 1970 traced his life in
“The Arizona Scotsman” and Alan Thurber who wrote about
him in “The Arizona Republic” February 21, 1988.
Early in his manhood David Douglas Gowan sailed out of
Bervie Harbor destined for London and the excitement of
the hub of the empire. On the waterfront of the Thames
he became intoxicated with tales of exotic ports of call
of the British Navy and signed on as a seaman aboard an
English man-of-war. On the cruise past Spain into the
South Atlantic, Gowan became bored with the tedium of
the British navy at sea and jumped ship at a port in west
Africa. Knowing the penalty for desertion, Gowan signed
on with the first outbound ship to sail. This happened
be a stench-ridden slave ship on its way to the Carolinas
with its unfortunate human cargo. Upon arrival, in its
first day in port, Gowen again jumped ship and began to
sample life in America.
After a brief period of service on coastal vessels, the
Civil War broke out, and David Douglas Gowan enlisted in
the U.S. Navy, according to “The Arizona Scotsman.” Af-
ter the war, he returned to being a merchant mariner and
signed on for a voyage around Cape Horn to California.
Upon arrival, he again left the ship and employed him-
self up and down the California coast. In time he owned
his own boat and returned to fishing, the profession of
his fathers back in Scotland. It all ended quickly when
his boat capsized in a Pacific storm, and he barely es-
caped with his life.
Having had his fill of the sea, he left it, never to re-
turn. Venturing inland, he arrived in Arizona in 1874 at
age 31. Observing its wide-open expanse with land for
the taking and hearing reports of men becoming rich with
its gold and silver and its cattle and sheep, Gowan de-
termined to settle in the Territory. He returned to Cal-
ifornia, obtained a herd of sheep and with a companion
drove them back to Arizona.
When he learned, the hard way, that sheep were not suited
to that area, he turned to prospecting for silver. It
was then that he ran into the Apaches. He related that
it was in 1877, once while the Indians were pursuing him,
intent on removing his scalp that he discovered the Tonto
Natural Bridge. While fleeing from the Apaches down Pine
Creek Canyon, he came upon a vast stone arch towering
over a tunnel. He climbed up the vertical rocky wall of
the canyon and hid on a ledge just below the crest of the
arch. After three days, the Indians gave up the search,
and Gowan began to survey his safe haven.
What he had stumbled onto was the world’s largest natural
travertine arch with five acres of fertile soil on its
top. The bridge was 183 feet above the canyon floor; the
tunnel underneath was 400 feet long and 150 feet wide.
Thus was the bridge discovered, according to the legend.
David Douglas Gowan recognized the value of the vicinity
and homesteaded there. He built a shack on top of the
arch and claimed the land below as well. Additionally he
filed mining claims up and down the canyon and took
enough silver from them to keep him in beans and bacon.
He also recognized the potential of the arch to be devel-
oped as an attraction. With this in mind, he contacted
his nephew and namesake, David Gowan Goodfellow in Eng-
land and interested him in removing his family to Arizona
to undertake the development of the arch. Goodfellow ar-
rived in 1893 with his wife and three children. They
came by ship to New York and then by train to Flagstaff.
Gowan met them at the depot with a wagon, and six days
later had them on the site of their new home.
Little by little, they developed the site. They built a
house, hauling the lumber in on pack mules. Six years
were spent in building a road with picks and shovels.
Later they began to add tourist cabins.
As the visitors began to come, David Douglas Gowan began
to spend more and more time working his mining claim and
prospecting in the wilderness. Finally, when civiliza-
tion began to encroach upon his solitude, he withdrew
completely. He gave the Tonto Natural Bridge to his ne-
phew and moved up the canyon to the seclusion of a cabin.
Goodfellow began the construction of a four-story lodge
with wide porches and a tremendous diningroom. They dug
out a swimming pool with “four horses and a Fresno.”
With all the building activity, the Goodfellow family did
not maintain close contact with their uncle. On a cold
December night, a passerby looked in on Gowan’s cabin and
found no fire in the fireplace and no sign of the occu-
pant. He alerted the family and neighbors. The next
morning, they found the body of David Douglas Gowan on
the trail, seated in the snow and leaning against a
boulder. It was obvious that his heart had just given
out, and that he died quietly January 1, 1926 in his
The Goodfellow family went on to complete their uncle’s
dream. The lodge was completed the following year, and
the resort began to operate in earnest. It has enjoyed
success intermittently from that time to the present.
From the time David Douglas Gowan staked his claim there,
the arch and the resort have been on private property.
On summer weekends 1,200 to 1,500 people come down the
steep road to view the arch, but few use the lodge. A
quarter million dollars have been spent recently to re-
build the lodge and tourist accomodations. Now, Tonto
Lodge is again open for business. As for Tonto Natural
Bridge, it’s been there all along.
3) Jason Goen, Nonegenarian, Regarded as Melungeon By Some Descendants 240 Years Later.
Although he lived outside of the area known as Melungia
in the juxtaposition of Virginia, North Carolina, Ken-
tucky amd Tennessee, Jason Goen is regarded as a Melun-
geon by some of his descendants.
Jason Goen, “free colored” was born about 1760 in Vir-
ginia, according to his 1850 census enumeration. “Jason
Gowings” was listed as the head of a household in the
1810 census of Jefferson County, Virginia [later West
Virginia], according to “Index to 1810 census of Vir-
ginia” by Madeline W. Crickard.
He appeared in the tax records of nearby Monongalia
County from 1816 to 1828. A daughter, Sophia Goen was
married there in 1816. Other Monongalia taxpayers dur-
ing this time included “Joel W. Goens,” “John Wesley
Goens” and “George W. Goens,” according to Bernard
Mayhle, a descendant of Spokane, Washington. Jason
Goen appeared in the 1820 census of Monongalia County,
page 87, as the head of a household.
About 1827 “Jason Goings and his son, Joel W. Goings”
removed to Ohio, locating in Guernsey County, accord-
ing to the research of Rosemary Dunne, a descendant
and Foundation Member of Amherst, Virginia.
Before 1850, the family removed to Shelby County, Ohio
and lived in the Rumley Settlement there, according to
the research of Douglas S. Harger.
“Jason Goens” appeared in the 1850 census of Guernsey
County at age 90, living the household of his son-in-
law and daughter, Benjamin Simpson and Mary Goens Simp-
son. Benjamin Simpson was her second husband.
Generally the children of Jason Goen adopted the sur-
name Goens. His children are regarded as:
Harriett Goens born about 1789
Sarah Goens born about 1790
Edward Goens born about 1792
George W. “Samuels” Goens born about 1795
John Wesley Goens born about 1796
Sophia Goens born about 1798
Joel Weslin Goens born March 16, 1799
Mary “Molly” Goens born about 1804
Salathel Goens born about 1807
4) Dear Cousins
We visited Tonto Natural Bridge when my nephew William
A. Gowan of New York came for a visit. The bridge is
located about 17 miles northwest of here. I do not
have a Gowan ancestry, but mv sister married George B.
Gowan of Sayre, PA. That’s where I first saw the Gowen
Newsletter and learned of the Foundation. I had read
about the Melungeons at our local genealogy library and
the Gowen connection to them fascinated me. I am en-
joying very much my membership in the Foundation.
Thanks for adopting me.
Marjorie A. Templeton
204 S. Bentley St,
Payson, AZ, 85541
The Massachusetts Society Of Genealogists, Inc. will hold
its 25th annual meeting on October 14, 2000 in Spring-
field, Massachusetts. Speakers include Peter H. Viles
speaking on “Religion, Pilgrims, and Early Settlements,”
Jean Nudd, Director, Pittsfield office, National Archives
and Records Administration, speaking on “Resources at the
Pittsfield National Archives” and Marcia D. Melnyk on
“Twentieth Century Records.” Details are available from
My interest in the Goinses and like families dates back
to my early years, when I worked as a professional gene-
alogist in Halifax Co., Va. While doing research on other
families at the courthouse I came across the Goins, Wil-
son, Epps, Stewart, and other “mulatto” families. I was
fascinated to discover–as we all were, at one time or
another–the existence of folks who were neither black
nor white in a society like the antebellum South. Who
were they? How did they survive? What became of their
descendants? Certainly their very existence challenged
the rigid black/white racial views with which I had been
My present project involves a rather large handful of
families and communities in the NC/VA border counties,
including their diaspora in TN, KY, OH, IN, IL, and else-
where. I am interested in how mixed-race families maneu-
vered in different times and places and under various
circumstances as American society [and American racism]
moved forward. My hope is that studying families like
the Goinses can shed light not only on how racial atti-
tudes evolved in America, but also on other, forgotten,
perhaps even alternative “racial scripts.”
In addition to Goinstown and the Patrick Co. Goinses, I’m
working on a congeries of families [25 or so] in Surry,
Yadkin and Stokes Cos.; three separate mixed-race commun-
ities in Wake Co., NC; the so-called “Person County Indi-
an” group in Person Co., NC, and Halifax Co., VA; and a
number of other “stray” families in southside Virginia
and central NC.
My genealogical research is odd in that I’m trying to
move forward in time rather than backward–hence my need
to contact as many descendants as I can. What I’m look-
ing for are “racial narratives”–accounts of family ori-
gin, racial makeup, etc., such as abound in the 1907-08
Cherokee applications. To me, such stories are in and of
themselves fascinating, whatever the “proof” of ancestry
As soon as I have a chance to fully peruse these areas of
the in Foundation Manuscript, I’ll start forwarding up-
dates. I’m especially pleased with my work on the Goins-
town “outreach” community at Benville, Indiana.
G. C. Waldrep III, PhD.
Yanceyville, NC, 27379
I am searching for information on Lawson Goen(s). He was
born in 1807, somewhere in Virginia. He was married to
Sarah Hart c1830. They lived in Jefferson County, West
Va, in the Kabletown area [formerly Virginia].
They had 11 children:
Martha Elizabeth b1831, died 1834.
John Francis b1832.
William b1834 married Martha Johnson, dau. of Kitty.
Stephen b1836, died 1890.
Frances Virginia “Fanny” b1837, married James D. Roper.
Mary Catherine b1840, married George Marsh [a slave].
Charles Henry b1844, married Louisa Victoria Roper.
Joseph b1846, married Lucy Sims.
Nancy Elizabeth b1848, married Emmanuel Johnson.
Sarah Ann “Sally” b1849 married William Henry Roper.
Richard Peyton b1852.
All this information above came out of Sarah Hart Goen’s
bible, which we were lucky to obtain last year. The bible
shows the spelling of Goen without the “s”. Sarah and
Lawson are my gggg-grandparents. If you can help, please
email me any information.
My 5th great-grandparents, Clayburn Goen and Betsy Goen,
were residents of Grainger County, TN when their daughter
Sallie Goen was bc1810. Sallie Goen was the mother of
Levi Sterling Goen who was born there March 5, 1834. Some
documents say that he was illegitimate. Any information
I’m new & searching for information on my GGG-parents,
William G McKelvey and Annie Gowen, b1840-42 Bedford Co,
TN. They were possibly married c1858 in TN, Bedford or
Franklin Co. Their daughter, Lucy Frances McKelvey, born
Sept. 16, 1858 is my gg-grandmother. Any & all help ap-
preciated. Thanking all in advance.
Fredia Eastep Slack
The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2001 will be held
January 8-12, 2001 at the Wyndham Hotel, Salt Lake City,
UT. The following courses will be held:
1) American Records and Research: Focusing on Localities;
2) Tracing Immigrant Origins;
3) Scottish Research;
4) Scandinavian Research;
5) Preparing a Family History in the New Millennium;
6) US Military records;
7) Research Methodology: Problem Solving I and Advanced
Methodology: Problem Solving II;
8) Making the Most of Your Computer As a Serious Genea-
9) The Internet: A Tool for Genealogical Research.
For more information: http://www.infouga.org/institut.htm
Looking for the parents of Elizabeth “Bettie” Goins born
in Mercer County, KY in 1869. She was married to Daniel
S. Fulkerson Oct. 12, 1891 as her second husband. At the
time of her marriage to Daniel she lived in Henderson Co,
Marilyn K. Morris
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.