Sections in this issue:
1) ORIGIN OF THE MELUNGEONS Part V;
2) GEORGE WASHINGTON GOWING DEFIED THE KANSAS JAYHAWKERS WITH A HATCHET;
3) A DISSENTING VIEW OF THE MELUNGEONS’ ORIGIN;
4) Dear Cousins.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
Gowen Research Foundation
Volume 4 No. 2
1) ORIGIN OF THE MELUNGEONS Part V
By Tim Hashaw
1937 Huge Oaks Houston, Texas, 77065
CARRIED AWAY IN THE NIGHT
On April 10, 1778, the following ad was placed in the
“North Carolina Gazette” by Johnson Driggers, a des-
perate Melungeon father:
“On Saturday night, April the 4th, broke into the house
of the subscriber at the head of Green’s Creek, where I
had some small property under the care of Ann Driggers, a
free negro woman, two men in disguise, with marks on
their faces and clubs in their hands, beat and wounded
her terribly and carried away four of her children, three
girls and a boy, the biggest of said girls got off in the
dark and made her escape, one of the girls name is Becca,
and the other is Charita, the boy is named Shadrack…”
The advertisement described a common horror inflicted on
free Melungeons in the 18th and 19th centuries. The lu-
crative American slave market tempted manstealers into
preying on many communities of mixed-race people. Anyone
with the slightest amount of Negro blood might be stolen
in the middle of the night regardless of their free
In 1834, free-born mulatto Drury Tann of the Melungeon
Tann family of North Carolina, applied for his Revolu-
tionary War pension. In his application is an account of
“He [Tann] was stolen from his parents when a small boy
by persons unknown to him, who were carrying him to sell
him into Slavery, and had gotten with him and other sto-
len property as far as the mountains on their way…his
parents made a complaint to a Mr. Tanner Alford who was
then a magistrate in the county of Wake, State of North
Carolina, to get me back from those who had stolen me and
he did pursue the rogues and overtook them at the moun-
tains and took me from them.”
An affadavit filed by John Scott, a “free Negro” of Berk-
eley County, South Carolina was found by genealogist Paul
Heinegg. It notified authorities in Orange County, North
Carolina of the following on March 12, 1754:
“Joseph Deevit, Wm. Deevit, and Zachariah Martin, entered
by force the house of his daughter, Amy Hawley, and car-
ried her off by force with her six children, and he
thinks they are taking them north to sell as slaves.”
Records show only one child, “a mulatto boy Busby, alias
John Scott” was rescued and returned home from the ordeal.
By 1750, these and other free Melungeons lived in con-
stant fear of abduction and the loss of liberty during
the long night of American slavery. The slightest trace
of African blood in a person who was essentially white,
had become a subpeona into slavery by this time. For this
and other reasons the light-skinned children of the orig-
inal Angolans of the 1600s, began claiming non-African
descent. Some Melungeons argued strongly that they were
of Spanish, Portuguese or East Indian blood. They could
claim Portuguese nationality on the technicality that An-
gola was considered a state of Portugal. Others resorted
to other claims.
William Dowry, a grandson of Mary Dove, was detained as a
slave in Maryland in 1791 when he claimed in court of be-
ing held illegally. Witnesses on his behalf testified
that Dowry’s grandmother was a granddaughter of a woman
brought into the country by the “Thomas” family, as a
“Yellow Woman”, said to be either a Spanish woman named
“Malaga Moll” or an East Indian. However, records indi-
cate the Dove family descended from John Dove, a mulatto
slave of Dr. Gustavus Brown of Charles County, Maryland.
The Perkins family of Accomack County descended from Es-
ther Perkins who had an illegitimate child in 1730. Jos-
hua Perkins was taxed as a “free Negro”, but in 1858 in
Tennessee, his great grandson, Jacob F. Perkins brought a
lawsuit against a man for slandering him as a “Negro”.
By then, the Perkins family, after three generations of
intermarriage, was white-skinned and claimed to be of
“Portuguese” descent. Witnesses were called to testify
for both parties in the lawsuit.
John E. Cossen said of the Perkins ancestors:
“Can’t say whether…full blooded. The nose is African.
Believe they were Africans…always claimed to be Portu-
guese. All married white women.”
Reuben Brooks stated of the first Perkins patriarch:
“He was a very black and reverend negro…”
John Nave, age 88, testified:
“…black man, hair nappy…Some called Jacob [his son] a
Portuguese and some a negro…”
Larkin L. White swore on the stand:
“…as black as any common mulatto. Hair short and curl-
ed and kinky…”
On behalf of the Perkins, several witnesses presented
sometimes conflicting testimonty of the family, but gen-
erally agreed that the Perkins were “Portuguese” who had
lived as equals among whites and who had married whites.
However, the Johnson County court ruled that Jacob F.
Perkins was indeed a “free Negro” as his neighbor had al-
Thomas Hagans was not trying to escape slavery or sland-
er, but taxes on “free Negroes, Mulatoes, and Mestizos”
in 1809 South Carolina, when he sued in court claiming
Portuguese ancestry. But Hagans was the great-grandson
of Thomas Ivey whose children were identified as “free
Negroes and Mulattoes” in a 1773 county census. His an-
cestor George Ivey had even publicly protested against
the colonial ban on black and white intermarriage after
it was passed by the legislature in the 1720s.
Melungeon ancestors with Portuguese and Spanish surnames
such as Pedro, Cumbo, Rodriggues, Manuel, Fernando, Fran-
cisco, Dial and Cottulo were described as “Negroes” in
the 17th century. Their black skin and their Iberian
names indicate they were Portuguese Angolans who had vol-
untarily converted to Christianity in their native land.
Many have argued that some colonial slaves described gen-
erically as colored, mulatto, and dark-skinned, did not
arrive in Virginia directly from Africa and therefore
could have been of non-African descent. Indeed there was
an Armenian in Virginia as early as 1615, Turks by 1690
and other Mediterrenean ethnics present in the 17th cen-
tury colonies. But we know about these exceptions pre-
cisely because they were distinguished from “Negroes” in
colonial records. No doubt some Mediterrenean non-African
“coloreds” joined African, white and Indian mixed groups
like the Melungeons, and non-African “coloreds” may have
been classed as “Negro”. But the largest and most domi-
nant “colored” group described as “Negro” were by far the
Angolan-Africans. Their surnames appear today in mixed
communities such as the Melungeons.
Angolans were found up and down the North American sea-
board in the 1600s. Sebastian Cane was a free “Negro”
who came to Virginia from Dorchester, New England. In
1656, he purchased the freedom of a slave, [believed by
some to be his sister] from Ann Keane of New England.
The freed slave’s name was “Angola”.
During the 1600s, thousands of Africans from Angola were
turning up in England, France, the West Indies, and in
Central and South America. By the 1640s there was a dis-
cernable Angolan-Dutch population in Manhattan, New Am-
sterdam [New York]. During the developing period of Eng-
lish-American colonies from 1610-1660, central Angola was
bleeding several tens of thousands of Africans to trans-
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MELUNGEON COMMUNITY IN AMERICA
There is ample evidence that the community known as Mel-
ungeon, formed much earlier than previously thought.
Records show that many descendants of 17th century Ango-
lan-Americans had intermarried with descendants of fellow
Angolan countrymen before 1700. Melungeon communities ex-
isted in Virginia, Maryland, Carolina and Delaware 100
hundred years before the American Revolution.
THE ANGOLAN FOUNDING FAMILIES OF MELUNGIA
The Angolan who became known as John Gowen of Virginia,
was born about 1615. Before 1775, his descendants had
married into the Angolan and mixed families of Ailstock,
Bass, Chavis, Corn, Cumbo, Dungill, Findley, Hill, Jones,
Locklear, Lucas, Matthews, Mason, Miner, Mills, Patter-
son, Pompey, Stewart, Simmons, Singleton, Tyre, Webb and
Wilson; most of whom can also be traced to the 17th cen-
Thomas Chivers/Chavis was born in 1630. Before 1775 his
Angolan descendants had married into the families of
Bass, Gowen, Locklear, Singleton, Stewart, Cumbo, Mat-
Thews, and Wilson along with descendants of John Gowen.
In addition the Chivers/Chavis group intermarried with
Bird, Blair, Blythe, Brandon, Bunch, Cannady, Carter,
Cypress, Drew, Earl, Evans, Francis, Gibson, Gillet,
Haithcock, Harris, Hawley, Hull, Kersey, Lowry, Manly,
Manning, Mitchell, McLin, Scott, Silvey, Smith, Snell-
ing, Silver, Sweat, Thaxton, Tyner, Thomerson, Taborn,
Valentine, Watts and Walden; many of whom were 17th cen-
tury Africans in the British-American colonies.
The family of Eleanor Evans, born 1660, shares with the
Gowen and Chavis families the following names: Bird,
Brandon, Chavis, Dunghill, Harris, Kersey, McLinn, Mit-
chell, Snelling, Scott, Stewart, Sweat, Taborn and Wal-
den. In adition the Evans were early related to the
families of Anderson, Boyd, Bee, Blundon, Doyal, Green,
Hudnall, Hunt, Jeffries, Jones, Lantern, Ledbetter, Penn,
Pettiford, Redcross, Richardson, Rowe, Sorrell, Spriddle,
Tate, Thomas, Toney and Young.
The Gibson/Gipson family descended from Elizabeth Chavis,
born in 1672, also shares with 17th century African-Amer-
icans Gowen, Chavis, and Evans, the surnames of Bass,
Bunch, Chavis, Cumbo, and Sweat. They add Driggers,
Deas, Collins and Ridley.
The family of the Portuguese-Angolan named Emmanuel Drig-
gers, [Roddriggus] born in 1620, also has several fami-
lies in common with the Gowen, Chavis, Evans and Gibson
clans: Carter, Collins, Sweat, Gibson and Mitchell. In
addition the Driggers intermarried with Beckett, Beavens,
Bingham, Bruinton, Copes, Fernando, Francisco, George,
Gussal, Harman, Hodgeskin, Jeffrey, Johnson, King, Kelly
Lindsey, Landrum, Liverpool, Moore, Payne, Reed and Sam-
From Margarett Cornish, born about 1610, comes the Corn-
ish family with ties to Gowen and Sweat in addition to
Shaw and Thorn.
With the Cumbo family dating back to 1644, we have links
to Gibson, Gowen, Jeffries, Matthews, Newsom, Wilson and
Young in addition to Hammond, Maskill, Potter and Skipper.
The Bass family originates in 1638 America and shares
several intermarriages from that period with Gowen, Cha-
vis, Evans, Cornish, Driggers, Cumbos and Gibsons which
are: Anderson, Byrd, Bunch, Cannady, Chavis, Day, Mitch-
ell, Gowen, Pettiford, Richardson, Snelling, Valentine
and Walden. In addition they have the names of Farmer,
Hall, Lovina, Nickens, Perkins, Pone, Price, Roe and Rob-
If given the space, we could find complex scores of in-
termarriages of Melungeon and other tri-racial surnames
beginning in the 17th century of colonial America. These
common kinships of cousins show the Melungeon society was
becoming cohesive and distinctively apart in colonial Am-
erica at least 100 years before the American Revolution.
The Melungeon community began before 1700.
For example: The Banks family originates in 1665 colonial
America with related families of Adam, Brown, Day, How-
ell, Isaacs, Johnson, Lynch, Martin, Walden, Wilson and
Valentine and other Melungeon surnames.
The Archer family begins in 1647 America with related
families; Archie, Bass, Bunch, Heathcock, Manly, Murray,
Milton, Newsom, Roberts and Weaver.
The Bunch clan traces back to 1675 colonial America with
kinship to: Bass, Chavis, Chavers, Collins, Gibson, Grif-
fin, Hammons, Pritchard and Summerlin.
The Beckett family of 1655 ties to Bibbins, Beavens, Col-
lins, Driggers, Drighouse, Liverpool, Mongon, Morris, Mo-
ses, Nutt, Stevens and Thompson.
The family of Carter begins in 1620 America with the re-
lated families of: Best, Blizzard, Braveboy, Bush, Cane,
Copes, Dove, Driggus, Fernando, Fenner, Godett, George,
Harmon, Howard, Jacobs, Jones, Kelly, Lowery, Moore, Nor-
wood, Nicken, Perkins, Rawlinson, and Spellman.
In addition to the above, other mixed families from Amer-
ica in the 1600s are: Artis, Berry, Cane, Causey, Char-
ity, Collins, Cuttilo, Dial/Dale, Hall, Harris, Hammond,
Hawley, Hilliard, Holman, Howell, Ivey, Jacobs, Jeffires,
Johnson, Jones, Mongom, Payne, Reed, Roberts, Shoecraft,
Sisco, Francisco, Stephens, Stewart, Sweat, Tann, Webb,
Williams, Wilson and Young.
These 17th century mixed families are each related to a
dozen or more later Melungeon surnames with links to al-
most all mixed communities in America. It might be said
convincingly that there are more early 17th century Amer-
ican “blue-bloods” to be found in the shanties of Appala-
chia than in all of Boston.
Groups like Melungeons, Brass Ankles, Redbones, Lumbees,
and many others are all connected by common blood to each
other from the first two centuries of English-American
colonization. Mixed red, white, and black Melungeons can
be found in Virginia and Maryland to within one or two
generations of the first Angolan Ndongo appearance in
Jamestown in 1619. The general Melungeon community is
decisively shown to be more than 350 years old in North
All of these families descended from 17th century Ango-
lans in Virginia, who began building the Melungeon com-
munity long before it appeared in Tennessee in the 19th
THE FIRST WOMEN OF MELUNGIA
The greatest price for Melungeon freedom from chattel
slavery was usually paid by women; white European women
of English, Scottish and Irish ancestry, who married or
cohabitated with newly arrived black West African slaves.
From 1660-1720, most English-American colonies forbade
black and white marriages.
Refused the protection of legal unions, interracial coup-
les were hauled into court on morals-related charges. In
such cases the man sometimes disappeared, leaving the wo-
man holding the interracial child alone. Often the woman
would refuse to name the father. Faced with the prospect
of a single parent child dependant upon the welfare of
the county, the colonial legislators imposed severe pen-
alties upon mother and child hoping to send a message.
Fatherless mulattos were often bound out in slavery for
up to 30 years, and the mother usually had additional
years added to her original term of servitude.
In other cases, the man would finally get his freedom
with the opportunity to move away and purchase new fron-
tier land. However, his wife might still be bound for
several years. The man would take his freeborn children
and abandon his indentured wife. These were the trage-
dies facing the early ancestors of Melungeons.
Before the restrictions against interracial unions in Am-
erica, there were many legitimate black and white marria-
ges sanctioned by the church. Paul Heinegg cites the
1681 case of Elizabeth Shorter who married a “negro man”
named Little Robin in nuptials administered by Nicholas
Geulick, a priest. They had three mulatto daughters in
St. Mary’s County. But gradually, colonial society
turned on the mixed unions it had previously allowed.
After 1720 in Northampton County, Virginia, Tamar Smith
had to serve half a year in prison and pay a ten pound
fine to marry Major Hitchens.
On August 16, 1705, a “Mulatto” named John Bunch and a
white woman named Sarah Slayden, appealed to the Council
of Virginia to permit them to be married after such a re-
quest had been denied by the Blisland Parish minister.
The Council countered that the “intent of the Law [was]
to prevent Negroes and White Persons intermarrying”.
The matriarch of the Welch family was Mary. In 1728 in
Maryland, she testified that she had born a mulatto
child. Her original term of servitude to Thomas Har-
wood was lengthened by seven years and her two-month
old son Henry was bound to Harwood for 31 years.
Mary Wise, the servant of a man named Wells admitted in
1732 to having a mulatto child in Prince George County.
The court sold her nine-week-old daughter Becky into 31
years servitude for 1,500 pounds of tobacco.
In Delaware, Mary Plowman was charged in 1704 of giving
birth to a child by a “Negro” slave named Frank. The
court gave her 21 lashes and an additional term of servi-
tude to her master. Her mulatto daughter Rose was bound
until the age of twenty-one.
In Kent County, Delaware, 17-year-old Eleanor Price ad-
mitted to “Fornication with a Negro Man named Peter” in
1703. She received twenty-one lashes and an extended
period of 18 months servitude. Her daughter was bound
to the children of her master until the age of 21.
In Accomack County, Virginia in 1721, Ann Shepherd, a
“Christian white woman” was presented for having an ille-
gitimate child. Pressured to name the father, she first
indicated one “Indian Edmund”, but later admitted the fa-
ther was a mulatto, Henry Jackson. Ann was sold for a
five year term.
In Virginia in 1716, Elizabeth Bartlett was ordered to
pay 1,200 pounds of tobacco to her mistress Mary Bailey,
for eloping with the mistress’ Negro slave James.
Sarah Dawson was a white servant girl who endured twenty-
one lashes in Virginia in 1784 for having three illegiti-
mate children by her master’s servant Peter Beckett whom
she later married.
In Lancaster County in 1703, Elizabeth Bell ran away from
her master and was lashed twenty times at the county
whipping post. A year later she was indentured to ano-
ther master during which time she had a child by a black
man. Five years were added to her sentence.
The case of Alice Bryan is also cited by Heinegg. Alice
confessed to bearing a “bastard Molattoe Child” by a “Ne-
gro man Called Jack.” Thirty-nine lashes and an extra
two years indenture was the sentence of the court. Her
mulatto son Peter was bound out for 31 years and her
daughter Elizabeth was enslaved for 18 years.
Color-conscious American society tried to overturn stub-
born customs previously practiced by earlier settlers who
had lived in a time when frontier life was hard and the
skin color of a helpful neighbor was irrelevent. The new
laws against people of color were not always respected by
old-time whites. In the words of one old white man, Dan-
iel Stout of Tennessee, who, when called to testify in
court in 1858 as to the race of a grandfather of a free
“Never heard him called a Negro. People in those days
said nothing about such things.”
[To Be Continued]
Biography: Tim Hashaw is an investigate reporter working
from East Texas. He has filed stories for CBS, ABC and
NBC from network affiliates. Tim has reported for radio,
television, and print. Awards for Best Investigative Re-
porting from: The Radio and Television News Directors As-
sociation [RTNDA], Associated Press, United Press Inter-
national, the National Headliners Club and others.
You can download free charts and forms, including pedi-
gree charts, research logs, and family group sheets, at
Ancestry.com. Just go to:
2) GEORGE WASHINGTON GOWING DEFIED THE KANSAS JAYHAWKERS WITH A HATCHET
George Washington Gowens, son of Charles Gowens and Eliz-
abeth “Betsy” Blair Gowens, was born in June 2, 1802 in
Kentucky or in Claiborne County, Tennessee. His father
was a Revolutionary soldier of Henry County, Virginia.
He was married about 1823 to Nancy Webb who was born Aug-
ust 29, 1805 to Hall Webb and Elizabeth Webb, according
to Harold Frank Gowing, a descendant of Eugene, Oregon.
He and his wife, Mary Ruth Marsh Gowing, Foundation mem-
bers did extensive research into this branch of the fam-
George Washington Gowens, shortly after marriage, adopted
“Gowing” as his surname, and his descendants continue to
use that spelling today.
It is believed that the young couple accompanied his par-
ents in a move to Gallatin County shortly after they were
married. By 1825, they moved westwardly again, to Wash-
ington County, Indiana. They were enumerated there in
the 1830 census, page 341:
“Going, George white male 20-30
white female 20-30
white male 5-10
white female 0-5
white female 0-5″
About 1838, he removed to Washington County, Arkansas.
He was enumerated there in the 1840 census in Providence
township, page 61:
Gowen, George W. white male 30-40
white female 30-40
white male 15-20
white female 15-20
white female 10-15
white male 5-10
white female 5-10
white male 0-5
white male 0-5
white male 0-5”
Three members of the household were engaged in “agricul-
ture.” One of the parents was “illiterate.” No slaves
It is believed that they removed to Cass County, Missouri
about 1841. He and his son, William Pleasant Gowing ap-
peared in the 1848 tax list of the county, page 16. He
paid 71 cents tax on “2 horses, value $80; 5 cows, value
$74 and 1 timepiece, value $15,” and his son paid 53
cents tax on “1 horse, value $60, 1 cow, value $8 and
military tax, $25.”
He was enumerated there in District 16 September 19, 1850
in the federal census as the head of Household 394-394:
“Going, George W. 48, born in Kentucky, farmer,
$1,000 real estate
Nancy 43, born in Virginia
Pleasant 25, born in Indiana
George W. 18, born in Indiana
Susannah 20, born in Indiana
Patsey 16, born in Indiana
Francis M. 14, born in Indiana
Jerome 12, born in Arkansas
Chauncy 11, born in Arkansas
Nancy 8, born in Missouri
Clarinda 6, born in Missouri
Thomas 4, born in Missouri
Lafayette 2, born in Missouri”
Shortly after 1850 moved across the state line to Brook-
lin, Kansas, now extinct. On October 5, 1855 he moved to
La Cygne, Kansas in extreme eastern Linn County, Kansas
very near the Missouri border. He was frequently involv-
ed in the border disputes that flared in “bleeding Kan-
sas” in the 1850s and 1860s.
Some events illustrating the adversities the family of
George Washington Gowing endured during that period were
recorded in the March 22, 1895 edition of “La Cygne Week-
ly Journal.” The account was later published in “Kansas
Historical Collection, 1923-1925” printed by Kansas His-
torical Society. The account reads:
“In collecting memoranda for these articles there has
been found a very high regard for the Gowing family who
came here in 1855. The head of the family was George
Washington Gowing, Sr. who had been born and raised in
Kentucky and not opposed to slavery, though he took no
part in helping to establish it in Kansas. The family
consisted of himself and wife and five sons–George W.
Jr, Pleasant, Lafayette, Drury and Thomas. Lafayette be-
came a soldier in Company L, Sixth Kansas Cavalry and was
killed in action April 5, 1864 in the Battle of Stone’s
Farm, Arkansas. Wash, the younger, still lives in La
Cygne, and Thomas recently moved to Missouri.
On coming west, the family lived for a while in Cass
County, Missouri and then decided to come to Kansas, and
as they were traveling in wagons, Wash, the son, came on
in advance to find some old neighbors who had settled
here, among them Skillman Fleming. On October 5, 1855,
Wash crossed at the ford where the fair grounds at La
Cygne are now located and continued west till he found
Brooklin, when he returned to pilot his people. At that
time all that is Lincoln township, and to a line north
and south along the John Calvin farm three miles west in
Scott township, was an Indian reservation held by the
Miamis and Pottawatomies.
The Miamis were wearing clothing, but the Pottawatomies
were still in blankets. Wash says that none of them were
troublesome. The Miamis nearly all lived in houses, but
the Pottawatomies traveled around in bands.
When the Gowings located at Brooklin they were among old
acquaintances, and as the family had originally come from
the slave state of Kentucky they were received as an ac-
cession to the pro-slavery forces. In the condition of
society then, they did not find it convenient to assert
that they had come to make homes and wanted no politics,
so they went along their way and trusted to luck to avoid
Young Wash was not regarded with favor by old Skillman,
and was frequently asked to declare himself, but he would
only say that he had come to get a home and wanted no
part in politics. This made it particularly uncongenial
for him, and after he had taken his wife and located a
farm on the ridge north of Brooklin, he would sleep out
in some friendly straw stack or fence corner. Neutrality
then seemed impossible. He was distrusted among his fa-
ther’s friends and unknown to the other side, and he felt
uncomfortable, but as all he had was there, he stayed.
One night he ventured to stay within his house, and had a
peaceful night till daybreak, when the sound of horsemen
was heard. He was called and ordered to come out, with
which he complied, expecting trouble. There were 15
mounted men at his door, whom he recognized at once as
free-state men, who had evidently been out all night.
They asked him for feed for themselves and horses. He
replied that he did not want to give it to them as it
would give him the reputation of harboring them and get
him into trouble. He was assured that his principles
were well known to them, and that they would see no
trouble come to him and then dismounted.
Mrs. Gowing got breakfast for them with much misgiving as
to what the result would be when the pro-slavery people
heard of it. But beyond severe criticism they were never
disturbed, as by that time the free-state men were begin-
ning to get control, and they did not forget to protect
Once, in 1856, when there were rumors of an invasion by
marauders, they all went over into Missouri to camp until
the trouble should blow over. At West Point, Missouri
they saw a big camp of men living in a half-military
style, but without any authority other than assumed. Old
man Clarke was in command of it. Clarke tried to take a
team from the elder Gowing, and the old man said they
could not have it, that he would not part with it. They
then took possession of horses and man, and the next
morning the 400 ruffians of Clarke started to raid
through Linn County, and took Gowing with them to haul
There was also a young man named Smith, a son of Elisha
Smith of Twin Springs impressed into their service, and
when at Linnville Mr. Gowing took a hatchet and defied
the mob, as related last week, he also released young
Smith from their bondage.”
The incident “as related last week” referred to an ac-
count in the March 15, 1895 edition of the “La Cygne
Weekly Journal” which described the atrocities the mob
committed and the courage of George Washington Gowing in
a confrontation with the mob. The account read:
“The crimes which followed are too foul for record. Old
man Gowing witnessed them, and climbing into his wagon he
threw all the plunder out on the ground, and with a hat-
chet to defend himself, denounced the fiends and told
them he would die before he would obey their orders fur-
ther, and drove away unmolested. On his way home he met
Sheek and told him the details of the affair. Mr. Sheek
was a close friend of Pat Devlin, the originator of the
famous ‘Jayhawker’ patronymic, and had several adventures
George Washington Gowing was enumerated in the 1860 cen-
sus of Linn County in Scott township, page 12, Household
“Gowins, George 59, born in Kentucky, farmer
Nancy 53, born in Virginia
Lafayette 19, born in Missouri, farmer
Nancy, Jr. 16, born in Missouri
Clarinda 14, born in Missouri
Thomas 13, born in Missouri
Moore, Marion 20, born in Illinois, laborer”
During the Civil War, he enlisted in Company K, Sixth
Kansas Militia and appeared on the muster roll of that
organization, along with Drury Gowing and Lafayette Gow-
ing, his sons.
George Washington Gowing wrote his will March 10, 1870:
“State of Kansas
Linn County, Lincoln Township
I, George W. Gowing, considering the uncertainty of this
life and being of sound mind and memory do make this,
my last will and testament in manner and form following,
First. I give and bequeath to my grandchildren, heirs of
my son Pleasant Gowing, the sum of One Hundred Dollars.
I give and bequeath to the heirs of my son Jerome Gowing
the sum of One Hundred Dollars to be paid to them within
six months after they becum of  age legaly to do Bus-
ness for them selves and to be equaly divided between
I farther give and bequeath to my wife Nancy Gowing all
of the residue of my Estate that may be left after the
payment of the foregoing bequests and the payment of all
of my Debts both real estate and personal property, to
have and to hold for her own use and benefit during her
life and at her death to be equally between all of my
I also appoint my Beloved Wife sole executrix of this my
last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills
made by me in witness of which I have hereunto set my
hand and seal this the 10th day of March AD 1870.
G. W. [X] Gowing”
He died shortly after the will was written. Nancy Webb
Gowing, a widow was recorded as the head of Household
365-352 in Lincoln township, page 49:
“Gowing, Nancy 66, born in Virginia
Nancy, Jr. 25, born in Missouri
Clarinda 23, born in Missouri
Thomas 22, born in Missouri, farmer
Gowing, Francis M. 16, born in Missouri, works on
George C. 14, born in Kansas, works on
Sarrah J. 10, born in Kansas, attends
Clarinda 8, born in Kansas, attends
William P. 5, born in Kansas, grandson
Gowing, Jane 12, granddaughter
James 10, grandson”
Nancy Webb Gowin died there in 1873 and was buried beside
her husband in Star Valley Cemetery, east of La Cygne.
Children born to George Washington Gowing and Nancy Webb
William Pleasant Gowing born in 1825
Sarah Ann Gowing born about 1826
Susannah Gowing born in 1829
George Washington Gowing, Jr. born August 14, 1830
Patsey Gowing born in 1834
Francis M. Gowing born in 1836
Jerome Gowing born about 1837
Chauncy Drury Gowing born about 1838
Lafayette Gowing born about 1841
Nancy Gowing born Nov. 25, 1844
Clarinda Gowing born in 1845
Thomas Benton Gowing born March 23, 1847
Another Voice . . .
3) A DISSENTING VIEW OF THE MELUNGEONS’ ORIGIN
By Jack Harold Goins
270 Holston View Drive, Rogers, Tennessee, 37857
I wish to express a dissenting view to those expressed in
the current series of articles by Tim Hashaw which show
another origin of the Melungeons.
As a member of the old Melungeon Research Team of Gowen
Research Foundation, I along with other team members re-
searched diligently and shared stories and records on the
history of the Melungeons. Evelyn McKinley Orr wrote of
some of these findings in the Foundation Newsletter. All
of the articles by Evelyn were presented as theories, or
perhaps, maybe, etc.
The recent series of articles written by Tim Hashaw for
the Electronic Newsletter were written as factual, or at
least that is the impression I got from reading them, but
like all others, his story has no documentation linking
the Melungeon people to his group.
The Melungeons were real people. In fact, they were part
of the original pioneer settlers, and some of them are
recorded on old Fincastle County, Virginia tax records as
“Living on Indian Land.” Researching Melungeon families
is like all other family genealogy; you start at home and
work your way up, not with a theory of an ancient point
I have been researching my family which includes the Me-
lungeons for over 20 years and have published a book,
“Melungeons and Other Pioneer Families.” In my research
I back-track the head Melungeons [using tax, land, church
and military records] from the Clinch River to the New
River areas of Montgomery County, Virginia and Wilkes and
Ashe Counties, North Carolina. They moved to that area
beginning in 1767 from the Flat River in Orange County,
North Carolina. The are of the Flat and Haw Rivers was
in Granville County, North Carolina when the Melungeons
began settling there in the 1740s. They had migrated
from the Pamunkey River area of Louisa County, Virginia.
Wherever the Melungeons settled, they always left a few
behind, some moved into South Carolina, others to West
Virginia, Kentucky and middle Tennessee, but the vast ma-
jority moved to the Clinch River Valley of Blackwater
Creek and Newman Ridge in then [1787-90s] Hawkins County,
Tennessee and Lee County, Virginia.
I don’t claim to know their nationality, but unil proven
wrong I will believe their report. It seems that many
folks who are not connected to the Tennessee Melungeons
know exactly who they were. This begs the question: who
did they say they were? On old records our Melungeon an-
cestors claimed to be descendants of Indians. Calloway
Collins told a reporter in 1890 that the Collins and the
Gibsons were living as Indians in Virginia before they
migrated to North Carolina.
A Tennessee bible record of a Minor family of Virginia
dated in 1867, states “Tradition in the Minor family is
that they are descendants of Pocahontas. This same tra-
dition is in the Melungeon Bolling and Bunch families.
And factual research places these people on the land of
Pocahontas. Some of the Melungeon Bunch, Collins, Gib-
son, Goins and Minors filed Cherokee Indian applica-
tions beginning in 1905.
This action suggests that they must have believed that
they were originally Indians, and probably the only
Indians they knew at this time were the Cherokee.
Their neighbors sent in sworn affidavits that they were
known in the community as Indians. These applications
were all rejected by the government, like the vast major-
ity of applications because their descendants, named in
the applications, were not included in the 1835 census
enumerations of the Cherokee Indians. It is my belief
that their actual tribal name was lost in their family
history because many could not read and write.
This age-old question is “What does the term Melungon
mean?” My answer is cimple and to the poinot, nobody
really knows what the term Melungeon means, neither do
they know their nationality. Everything presented to
date is a theory, plain and simple. It does not and
cannot connect the original Tennessee Melungeons to said
Another question: Is the nationality they claimed to be
also a theory?
There are at least two DNA programs in progress as I
write. See “U.S. News & World Report,” July 24, 2000
issue. The story begins on page 78 and includes a group
photo which includes myself. Many of the descendants of
the original Newman Ridge Melungeons have given samples
to the University of Virginia at Wise. Others have dona-
ted blood samples to the Brigham Young University gene
study to connect families. Another gene study was done
in 1990 by Dr. James L. Guthrie using blood taken in 1950
by a Sneedville, Tennessee doctor. These tests point to
Tripoli [Libya] and Cyprus as the closest matches. The
Canary Islands of Spain was next, a complete table and
this test is recorded on page 80 in “The Spanish Pioneers
in U.S. History, The Melungeons” by Eloy Gallegos, 1997.
If Tim Hashaw is correct in the articles he wrote for the
recent GRF Electronic Newsletters, Angola should have
been a match. Also, the older Melungeon Bunch, Collins,
Gibson, Goins and Minor families should show a statistic-
ally significant number of descendants with the sickle-
cell gene. I don’t know of any in my research of these
families which includes many death records.
Modern science may eventually answer the age-old question
“Who were the Melungeons,” and it may prove they lied
about their nationality, but it may also prove the Melun-
geons were telling the truth about their nationality.
They were not claiming to be full-blooded Indians at this
time in history [late 1860-1905]. Only that they were
originally Indians. One of the most famous Melungeons,
Micajer Bunch can be documented to an indentured servant
from England named John Bunch who was born in 1630. He
later moved to New Kent County, Virginia and owned land
on the Pamunkey River by 1670.
I am convinced that the mystery to the Melungeon nation-
ality is hidden in their wives, the ones we cannot trace
using normal genealogy procedures. It may be possible
using mitrochrondria DNA, which traces the maternal line.
According to some, this is the most advanced and factual
type of DNA to match a distant relative who’s nationality
4) Dear Cousins
Looking for information on Sarah Goins/Goin/Goings born I
was told in Claiborne County, TN married John Wilburn.
Later moved to Kentucky. I do not have any dates or
other information. I wish I had more.
Sonya Rister Allison
The Workshop on Technology for Family History and Genea-
logical Research will be held at Brigham Young University
in Provo, Utah on March 29, 2001. The Workshop provides a
forum for presenting and discussing current and emerging
research work on technology to support family history and
genealogy. Topics covered will include:
Digitized Images of Historical Data, Digital Historical
Data Sources, Information Integration, Human Interfaces
and Delivery systems as well as other, similar topics.
Full details can be found at:
Looking for information on my Goen and Johnson ancestors.
It appears they stayed in Hawkins County for awhile be-
fore ending up in Indiana.
My GGgrandfather was Elisha G. Johnson, born in 1835 in
Tennessee. His parents were James Johnson and Happy Goen,
who left Tennessee in 1849 and went to Indiana. Happy’s
father was probably William Goen, who was living with
James and Happy in the 1850 Jackson County, Indiana Cen-
My GGgrandmother, Elisha’s wife, was Louisa Goen, born in
1845 in Jackson County. Her parents were Crispen S. Goen
and Lucinda. Crispen is probably a son of William Goen
and brother to Happy Goen. Crispen left Tennesse for In-
diana between 1840 and 1843.
Living nearby in Jackson County are also John Waller
Goen, Shadrack Goen and Stephen P. Goen. Hasting Goen
and Thomas Goen are living in neighboring Washington
County, Indiana. Thomas Goen is given guardianship of
two of the sons of Crispen after his death. I believe
these to be brothers to Crispen and Happy.
The 1850 Jackson and Washington County Census indicate
William, Crispen, Stephen, Shadrack, Hasting, Thomas,
Happy, and a Malinda Goen [who was also living with James
and Happy], were all born in North Carolina.
James Johnson was born in Tennessee, according to Census
records. He may have had brothers Solomon and Jessie, who
were also from Tennessee and living in Jackson and neigh-
boring Lawrence County, Indiana.
According to Sims Survey, Books B and C, Hasting Goan had
land on Shelby’s Creek, and Crispen Goan had land on
Blackwater Creek. Others listed are Elisha Goin, Haston
Goin and Elijah Goins,
Any help or further information on identifying the ances-
try of these families?
The Sonoma County Genealogical Society in Santa Rosa, CA,
will feature Helen F. M. Leary at their meeting on March
24, 2001. Details are available at:
Richard Pinckney Free was born April 17,1846 at Mount
Hope, AL. He died Feb. 26,1896 at Iowa Park, TX. his
second wife was Mary Eudora Goins They had a son, Lewis
Would like to know where Richard Free is buried. Any des-
cendants out there?
Kay in Colorado
When I was a child my grandmother said she didn’t remem-
ber much about the family of my grandfather, Elgin Dean
Hudson. Though she was very fond of his mother Susannah
Goyne Hudson who she called Sue Ann.
Elgin died before I was born but, my grandmother and mo-
ther would tell wonderful stories of how he helped build
the [New] Ouachita River Bridge and how he and my grand-
mother Emma Coates Hudson planted the bushes and flowers
at each end.
When, my mom died in 1996 I grew hungry for more informa-
tion about this family and begain to search. How lucky I
was to find Tim Hudson. He is my cousin and has shown
and shared with me so much about our family. We have a
Perhaps you would like to join us.
Looking for information about Edna B. Gowen. She may have
lived in Cando, North Dakota in June 1901. May have been
a rancher or cowgirl.
I am searching for distant cousins who had roots in An-
derson County, KS. Namely descendents of Edna Kramer who
was married to William Hubert Goins. They were married
in 1931 in Garnett, KS. They had four children, Anna Lo-
ree Goins, Richard Earl Goins, Thelma Ruth Goins and Tes-
sye Alice Goins.
It is possible that Richard Earl Goins lived/lives in To-
peka still. I know that Edna and W. Hubert had grand-
children but do not know where they may have moved to.
The following web page address will take you to my gene-
aology web page:
My son hosts the page on a machine at his home in Kansas
City. Occasionally it will be down for a few days if his
“router” or the server goes down. He works 12-hour
shifts and waits till he has been off a day or two to get
things back up. So if it is not available when someone
tryies to access it, they should try again every two or
Jerry Lee Goen
13107 Coker Road
Shawnee, OK, 74801-9209
A Reminder . . .
When you wish to respond to a message on the Forum [or
originate a message to the Forum] you must send your re-
ply [or message] to:
This goes to the Foundation Forum [several hundred re-
searchers on the Gowen list] and is public mail.
When you want to communicate only with the Foundation of-
fice, address your mail to:
This will wind up in the hands of only the person who
handles your type of message. It is private mail.
So, to avoid the delay of having the Foundation office
forwarding your public messages back to the Forum, please
pick the right address. There are only two; only one is
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.