Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Portuguese

The Portuguese

The Portuguese ancestry of the Melungeons took a 'big hit' this past April when the paper MelungeonsA Multiethnic Population by Roberta J. Estes, Jack H. Goins, Penny Ferguson, Janet Lewis Crain, was published. It wasn't so much what they wrote but what they didn't write.

They quoted? James Mooney 
In 1902, James Mooney addressed the issue of Portuguese oral history:
"Wherever these people are found, there always will be the traveler or investigator passing through their region, who will encounter their tradition of Portuguese descent, and in view of their ignorance, will wonder how these people ever came to know of the nation of Portugal.”[63]
What James Mooney actually wrote was;  
"Wherever these people are found there also will the traveler or investigator passing through their region encounter the tradition of Portuguese blood or descent, and many have often wondered how these people came to have such a tradition or, in view of their ignorance, how they came to even know of the name of Portugal or the Portuguese."
The next sentence of paragraph two which they completely omitted:  
"The explanation is, however, far simpler than one might imagine. In the first place, the Portuguese have always been a seagoing people, and according to Mr. Mooney, who has looked up the subject, the early records of Virginia and the Carolinas contain notices of Portuguese ships having gone to wreck on the coasts of these States and of the crews settling down and marrying in with Indians and mulattoes."
Mooney 'addressed' the oral history of the Portuguese ancestry. It certainly seems to me the way I read this that he explained there was no reason to doubt their oral history.

The Portuguese were a seagoing people, and apparently there are documented records in Virginia and the Carolinas of Portuguese shipwrecks and the crews intermixing with the Natives.  So why did these four authors choose to leave out this most important revelation by James Mooney?  Why is a quote not a "quote?" 

This paper uses Virginia DeMarce as a source twenty one times  but you will not find this quote included either.... but then again I don't think they were attempting to prove the Melungeon families  may  have been telling the truth about their heritage.  

Virginia Easley DeMarce

Looking at Legends-Lumbee and Melungeon: Applied genealogy and the Origins of Tri-racial Isolate Settlements, National Genealogical Society Quarterly 81 (March 1993): 24-45. Page 37
"The fact that the Portuguese were noted seafarers for centuries. Portuguese laborers--particularly sailors, fisherman, and tradesmen such as net menders and sail menders--were common in towns and harbors throughout the western world, including England and her colonies; and English ships used some Portuguese sailors. In early America, references to them appear in colonial records from New France [Canada] to New England, to the Gulf. There is no reason to doubt that they also sailed into Virginia's ports, and their extensive contact with the English shipping trade might well explain their apparently rapid acquisition of the English language and their quick acculturation in Virginia."
Documented Sources

The authors of this paper writes there is one documented source as a possible link to the Melungeons Portuguese ancestry. The men who came with Juan Pardo.
"One possible documented source of Portuguese ancestry may be from Juan Pardo’s men who were abandoned at various forts in present day North Carolina, one perhaps as far north and west as Morgantown, North Carolina.[206]  Some of Pardo's men may have been Portuguese. These men, if they survived, would have had to have assimilated into the Native population and have taken Native wives, as there were no European women available in 1566.  However, the core Melungeon family group is not originally found in western North Carolina, but in eastern Virginia."
The authors  would like you to believe it is impossible for these sources to have been ancestors of the CORE  Melungeons because the CORE Melungeons have their roots in Virginia? This paper and the CORE Melungeon DNA project includes the families of Bolton, Perkins, Shoemake etc., that were NOT originally found in eastern Virginia but in North and South Carolina. 
Thomas Collins appears in Louisa County in 1743, where did he come from? By 1743 we already have Paul Bunch, John Bunch (1718), Gideon, Hubbard and John Gibson living in the Carolinas and we know as fact Gideon Gibson's DNA matches that of the Louisa County, Gibsons.

How do they KNOW that Thomas and George Gibson were not part of the Indian trader families that had moved to the Carolinas and mixed with these "Portuguese Indians?"

They write; 
"A significant amount of oral history regarding Portuguese heritage exists, but no historical, genealogical or genetic evidence has been discovered to corroborate the oral history.  Some historical information refutes the oral history."
No historical evidence?  Court records are not historical?  These authors have included the Perkins, Shoemake, and Bolton families in the CORE group and the trial transcripts of the Perkins and Bolton contain testimonials they were Portuguese. I believe Wayne Winkler made a statement in one of his radio interviews that court records aren't really evidence.

It seems a hundred and some years after the fact these researchers have decided to play JUDGE AND JURY. The outcome of the Perkins trial does not exist but the Bolton case was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Giles Leitch, Senator from Robeson County, testified, under oath,  before the Joint Senate and House Committe in 1871.

In this paper these four authors, quoting Ariela Gross, writes; Giles Leitch was the "Attorney who had defended militia members who killed several Lumbee in Robeson Co."

Then they go on to write there is no 'historical' evidence that has been discovered?  Are they suggesting because Leitch defended the men who killed the father of the Lowerys he lied under oath and instead of testifying they were 'Negroes' he said he thought they were Portguguese Indians?  Seriously?

Senate: What are they; are they Negroes? 
Leitch: Well sir, I desire to tell you the truth as near as I can; but I really do not know what they are; I think they are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and Indian 
Senate: You think they are mixed Negroes and Indians? 
Leitch: I do not think that in that class of population there is much Negro blood at all; of that half of the colored population that I have attempted to describe all have always been free…They are called ‘mulattoes’ that is the name they are known by, as contradistinguished from Negroes…I think they are of Indian origin
Senate: I understand you to say that these seven or eight hundred persons that you designate as mulattoes are not Negroes but are a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, white blood and Indian blood, you think they are not generally Negroes? 
Leitch: I do not think the Negro blood predominates.

Early the next year Leitch is quoted in the New York Herald:
"I think they are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, and Indian; about half of them have straight black hair, and many of the characteristics of the Cherokee Indians in our State; then, as they amalgamate and mix, the hair becomes curly and kinky, and from that down to real woollen hair; I think they are mixed Portuguese, Spaniard and Indians; I mean to class the Spaniards and Portuguese as one class, and the Indians as another class; I do not think that in class of population there is much negro blood at all; of that half of the colored population that I have attempted to describe all have been always free; I was born among them, and I reckon that I know them perfectly well."

The Ivey, Graham, Chavis, Lowery, Oxendine and Gibsons, all reported to be Portuguese. There is overwhelming evidence these families living along the Pee Dee River were thought to be Portuguese. Court cases, local histories etc., are evidence of Portuguese ancestry.

Court records in Indiana reports the REEDS in Wilkes County, North Carolina who married into the Collins family were Portuguese. The Dickey Diaries of the 1890s say the ROARKS who intermarried into the Melungeon families were Portuguese.

The Second Documented Portuguese Case

This 'slave' whether African or Portuguese (or both) --- went to live with the Natives in 1540. 

A Gentleman of Elvas Account - The Cacica of Cutifachiqui
"The governor, in order not to cause her unhappiness in everything, left them, intending to ask them from her at Guaxule, when he should give her leave to return. She took it and went to stop at Xualla  with three slaves who bad escaped from the camp and with a horseman who remained behind, for being sick with fever he wandered from the road and was lost. This man, named Alimamos tried to have the slaves abandon their evil intention and go with him to the Christians - which two of them did. Alimamos and they overtook the governor fifty leagues from there in a province called Chiaha . They related how the cacica had remained in Xualla  with a slave of Andre de Vasconcellos (from Portugal) who refused to come with them; and it was very certain that they held communication as husband and wife, and that both had made up their minds to go to Cutifachiqui .  

These four authors have done a fine job however of discrediting the Portuguese ancestry, simply because they refuse to acknowledge the Pee Dee Families as CORE Melungeons.

Wayne Winkler thinks the Portuguese ancestry is a 'cover story' and is quoted in the AP article by Travis Loller as saying; "It's sometimes embarrassing to see the lengths your ancestors went to hide their African heritage" which led to his radio interview;  "For centuries the Melungeon people of Appalachia believed they were of Portuguese descent. Turns out, their direct lineage is more African than anything else." 

In my opinion Wayne Winkler, Roberta Estes, Jack Goins, Janet Crain, and Penny Ferguson are directly responisble for the numerous derisive comments and articles circulating the internet now as a result of their inaccurate and misleading research and comments.

A Few Examples

Melungeons Take a Hit
 "In their new communities they were still referred to as “free people of color” but by then they had invented a cover story that they were descendants of early Portuguese explorers who had come to Appalachia and settled long before other whites did."
This ridiculous post made on
"I was just happy these tests didn't confirm those idiotic notions tha Melungeons were Portuguese, Turks, or Gypsies, or some other crazy notion. That's all I meant to be agreeing to. Many of those Portuguese origin people were ashamed of having a little African blood, and that is why I was happy about proof of a little African blood. I know they will say they weren't trying to discover an alternative to sub-Sahara African blood -- BUT THEY WERE! If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'll sell you for pennies on the dollar . . . :)

Anything BUT African! Applachia’s Melungeon People Upset To Learn Their Real Roots Aren’t Portuguese, Turkish Or Gypsy - Read the Ugly Story Here
“There were a whole lot of people upset by this study,” lead researcher Roberta Estes said. “They just knew they were Portuguese, or Native American.”

And if you think this DNA project ruled out Portuguese ancestry than you should check out the Portuguese DNA project - very similar to the Melungeons - lots of E1ba, R1b, like Buck Gibson, some I's, like the Denhams,  and even some R1a like Vardy Collins! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Christian Priber ~ Cherokees & Traders

The Melungeons, Christian Priber and the Traders

I hope you will follow the many links, I think you will find them fascinating.

Christian Priber left London in June of 1735 and by December was selling all of his worldly goods besides books, papers, pen and ink. He had a land grant along the Santee River in Amelia Twp., close to John Bunch and Mary Gibson, daughter of Hubbard Gibson. In 1731 when Gideon Gibson was called before Governor Johnson it was reported his intentions were to settle on the Santee River also.

The Cherokee Path headed for St. Matthews in Calhoun County. An old map of Amelia Township, later St. Matthews, shows the Cherokee Path running right through the middle of town. More Here

The above map shows the Cherokee Path running through Amelia Twp., and Saxe Gotha, where the Bunch, Gibsons, Cherokee Traders and Christian Priber lived. 

The map at this link shows where Daniel Gibson [yet unidentified] John Gibson, and his son Gilbert lived amongst the early South Carolina Cherokee traders.

Christian Priber witnessed the will of Charles Russell, the Indian trader who was in charge of the old garrison on the Cherokee Trading path.  Edward Hall was transported by Allenson Clarke and Charles Russell, Henrico Co., 2 May, 1705 - This record shows Gilbert Gibson, was in Henrico County, Va., in 1710 with Allenson Clarke.

September 1710  Gilbert Gibson sued  in Henrico County by Allenson Clarke for a 4 pound currency debt [Allenson Clarke son of William Clarke and Mary Gibson-  William Clarke, a planter and early citizen of Henrico County, was born about 1634 according to a Henrico County deposition--In the June Court 1683, the justices judged Robin, an Indian boy belonging to William Clarke, to be ten years of age. [Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, vol. 30, page 113] 

22nd March 1744/5
pages 145-146
Read the Petition of Thomas Wallexelleson humbly shewing That the Petit'r having settled himself and Family in Craven County on Santee River with a design to obtain from the Government a Title to the Rights of his family, according  to law, but that contrary to law and the intent of unhospitable neighbour, Gilbert Gibson now residing on the River, above said has fraudulently obtain'd certain Quantity of Rights for land, as appears by a Warrant lately granted to him in hte behalf of himself, his mother and his sister &C who have had their Rights of land taken up and dispos'd of some years past by the s'd Gilbert's Father, John Gibson, deceased, as also some part by himself and notwithstanding the illegal Acquisition of the land, the said Gilbert Gibson now possessor hath depriv'd the Petitioner of the chiefest part of its Timber by running the line of his land, contrary to the intent of a Lawful Division of the same & deceiv'd the Surveyor by a false Information from the Petit'r of his Concession to the same, who otherwise would not have run the line in such form, the Petit'r therefor humbly prays for redress.  On considering the above Petition the same was referred to the Surve6or General that h do enquire in to theh allegations fo the same and report to his board.

p 147-148
The Surveyor General according to an Order in the minutes of this morning laid before the Board the follow'g Report, upon the Petiton to him referred, viz't that upon perusal of Tho's Wallexelleson's Petiton, to  His Excell'cy and Honours complaining of the useage of Gilbert Gibson, &c I find that the said Gibson did obtain a Warrant of Survey from from Your Excellency on the 6th day of October last, on a Copy thereof I gave a Precept of the same dated, if any Survey has been made by virtue thereof, no platt has been returned into this office.  With submission I htink that if our Excellency grants the said Wallexelleson a Special warrant fo r the lands by him settle dand improved according to His Family Right, I sahll recomment it to Mr. Haig to remove his Grievance who I doubt not is both capable and willing if he has been imposed on by s'd Gibson &C. Signed George Hunter.
The Petitioner appear before His Excellency in Council and declaring that he had not obtained any Warrant or Grant for the s'd land prayed for in his Petition, he was directed to prepr another Petition setting forth His family Right, so as that the said land may be legally assigned him.

See this map  showing Patrick and Thomas Brown, also Cherokee traders, for location of the Fort/Garrison. This Cherokee path continued along until it met the famous Occaneechi Path. There is much more information on the path and old garrison found HERE

Within months Priber would be found in the Cherokee town of Tellico where he would spend the next years building his Utopia.

Is it possible the first mixed blood community was born at that Cherokee capital in 1736 at 
Christian Priber's 'Utopia - Kingdom of Paradise'?  It is to my knowledge the earliest documented 'tri racial' community.  Established in 1736 by Christian Priber it was a refugee town of not only Cherokee but remnant tribes, fugitive slaves, both African and Indian, 'disaffected' Germans, French and English, this community existed some seven or eight years before Priber was captured. 

Many histories describe Priber as a French 'Jesuit' but there is no doubt he was from Germany and that he was not a 'Jesuit.' He spoke French fluently and it seems logical that it was Christian Priber that gave the name Melungeons, a French word meaning 'mixture', to the Indian and African slaves, remnant Indians, Germans, etc., that joined his community. It was reported that he had 100 English traders belonging to his society. 

James Adair the Cherokee - Chickasaw trader and author who wrote "The history of the American Indians" in 1775 was an associate/friend/enemy. This same James Adair was the good friend of Gideon Gibson who's son John Gibson was married to Agnes Adair, daughter of James, in the 1760s. The history of James Adair, Gideon Gibson and John and Agnes Adair Gibson can be found HERE.

Vernon W. Crane wrote in "The Lost Utopia on the American Frontier."

After a few years of imprisonment, Priber died. The verdict upon his career has followed too closely the opinion of his enemy, Ludovick Grant: "Thus ended the famous Pryber .... a most Notorious Rogue & inniquitous fellow who if he had been permitted to have lived much longer in that Country would undoubtedly have drawn that nation over to the French Interest." More generous in his judgment was Adair, who likewise regarded Priber as a menace to English dominion in southern America, but who nevertheless affirmed that "he deserved a much better fate."
In 1743 he was arrested and jailed at Frederica -- it is said he married to a daughter of 'the Emporer' Moytoy and left at least one daughter who married to Doublehead. While this is entirely possible there is no evidence he left any children in America. It was reported in the early records by 'eyewitnesses to history' that he did take a Cherokee wife and we could certainly presume he left children by both his German and Indian wife.

Shortly after his arrest in 1743 a treaty was signed at Charleston with Chief Attacullaculla. The Cherokee agreed to trade only with the British, return runaway slaves and expel Non-English whites from their territory, the Cherokee would receive substantial amounts of guns, ammunition, and red paint. It was reported he died shortly after he was captured but some researchers believe he was released and went to live with his beloved Cherokee after Oglethorpe returned to England.

Nine years later the militia of North Carolina would report that while there were 'no Indians' in Bladen County there were living on Drowning Creek 'fifty mixt families' --

The Melungens - The legend of their history which they carefully preserve; ".........that they might be freed from the restraints and drawbacks imposed on them by any form of government. These people made themselves friendly with the Indians and freed, as they were from every kind of social government, they uprooted all conventional forms of society and lived in a delightful 'Utopia' of their own creation.  Is this merely coincidental this 'mixed race' community in East Tennessee who had came over the mountains, neighbors and possibly kin to James Adair, associated with the many Indian traders in Virginia from it's earliest times, report their legend as living in a 'Utopia' of their own creation?

A History of Georgia: From Its First Discovery by Europeans to the Adoption ...‎ - Page 164 by William Bacon Stevens - 1847

While Oglethorpe was thus engaged in Florida, a plot was discovered among the Indians, which threatened serious consequences to all the southern colonies. This was occasioned by the artful intrigues of a German Jesuit named Christian Priber, who was employed by the French to spy out the condition of the English provinces, and to seduce the Cherokees from their allegiance to the English. 

He went up into the nation in 1736, and conforming at once to all their manners and customs, made himself master of their language, and gradually insinuated into their minds a distrust of their allies, a love for the French, and such notions of independence and importance as made them fit to assert rights never before claimed, and which he knew would not be conceded; and upon this anticipated refusal, he based his scheme of bringing them to an open rupture with the English. 

Acting upon their vanity, he got up what in the eyes of the savages was a splendid coronation scene, in which he crowned the chief as king of the confederated towns, and bestowed upon the other head-men and warriors such pompous titles as flattered their pride and stimulated their ambition.

Priber was appointed royal secretary to the King of the Cherokees, and under this official title corresponded with the English Indian agents and the colonial governments. An attempt was made by South Carolina to secure him, and Colonel Fox was sent up as a commissioner to demand him of the Indian authorities; but he had so ingratiated himself with them that they refused, and with such a spirit and resentment that the commissioner was compelled to return without securing his prey. 
His ascendency over the nation was great. He used the Indians as the tools of his machinations, and they looked upon him with feelings of profound veneration, and professed subservience to his scheme of linking their interest to that of the French on the Mississippi and- the Gulf of Mexico. His plans, however, were defeated by his capture at the Tallipoose town, when within a day's journey of the French garrison, to which he was hastening.

This book was published in 1847, a year before the Knoxville paper reprinted the article on the Melungeons - their legend - their Utopia, from the Louisville paper. It is unknown when the Louisville journalist visited Newmans Ridge or when the Kentucky paper actually printed the story. Could this Louisville journalist been involved in the research of William Bacon Stevens, or is this just another mere coincidence? 

Read more about Priber
Verner F. Crane "The Lost Utopia on the American Frontier."
 Sewanee Review, XXVII  (1919)

Boston Evening Post 1763

Monday, August 20, 2012

Indian Traders Part II

Everything has a beginning and the mixed race families who would later be called Melungeons, Redbones, Lumbee, etc., began on the Chippoakes Creek in Virginia. On the map found here  the red dot shows the land where the Gibsons and Chavis lived on the Upper Chippoakes Creek near the town of the Quiyoughcohannock Indians. Gibby Gibson, along with Thomas and Francis are buried across the river at Sandy Point [Lightfoot Cemetery] original capital of the Paspahegh Indians. Living there in the early 1600s were the Gibson, Chavis, Sweat, Ivey, and Collins, found quietly living among the great Indian traders.

Captain Robert Hix of the Saponi Fort and his father in law were Indian traders and some of the earliest Quakers in Virginia. The Quakers were always friendly to the Indians and it seems natural that where the Quakers went the Indians might follow. John Collins who is found in the area of the Gibson, Ivey, Bass, Sweat, etc., along the James early on married [and/or his son]  into the Quaker Tooke and Crew families, both would later be found in the Quaker records in New Kent County.  In the will of John Collins 1694 Surry County, he mentions his sisters Rebecca Goodman, wife of William and Jean/Jane Newby, also found in the Quaker records.

Quaker records of Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting, Virginia, 1739-1793
author: Brewer, Mary Marshall

Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting was started before 1722 in Hanover County. "It soon encompassed Friends living in the counties of Albemarle, Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Caroline, Charles City (part), Goochland, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa and Orange counties and Richmond City."--Introd.
These Quaker families are reported to have removed to New Kent/ Hanover County where they started the Quaker Meeting house there. One Joseph Newby, possibly related to John Collins was part of the 'great revival' of the 1740s, coming from North Carolina to New Kent County MM  to preach. It is around this same time the people of New Kent became worrisome over the large amount of Quakers in the county and began fining, jailing and harassing them for not taking oaths, paying tithes, etc.  

It is at this same time Samuel Bunch along with the Gibson, Collins, etc., were charged with concealing tithes. Thomas Gibson also fined for not paying tithes is the brother of Valentine Gibson, Valentine's three sons also married Quakers. We know the Gibsons and Bunch, and possibly Collins through the Tooke and Crew families, were Quakers. 

Louisa County
28 May 1745, "Ordered that William Hall, Samuel Collins, Thomas Collins, William Collins, Samuel Bunch, George Gibson, Benjamin Branham, Thomas Gibson, and William Donathan be summoned to appear at the next Court to answer the presentment of the Grandjury this day made against them for concealing tithables within twelve months past." They pled not guilty. On 27 August 1745 the jurors failed to agree on a verdict, and at the next court some of the jurors failed to appear. On 28 May 1746 the defendants argued that some of the jurors were from the same parish as they, so they would be gainers by a guilty verdict but the court rejected their argument. The jury brought in a special veridct which was referred for argument the next court, but the result was not recorded [Orders 1742-8, 152, 157, 166-7, 172, 175, 183, 193].
It appears this case dragged on almost a year or more, jury couldn't reach a verdict, then some didn't show up, and then they brought in a 'special verdict' and referred to the next court? Does this sound like 'mulatto men concealing their mulatto wives'?  

Here we find the Quakers William Echols and his son in law Moses Hendrick with the Melungeon families of Shadrach Goins and Champ Gibson, living alongside the Indian  Sizemores. Some researchers have bent over backwards to prove these families from Louisa County were African because they were associated with the Goins and other 'Sub Saharan' families. By the same standards then would they pronounce these families all Melungeons?  All Quakers?  All Indians?
16 Apr 1761     Halifax Co., VA. William and wife Mary Russell of Raleigh Parish (also spelled Royley),  Amelia Co., for £200 conveyed to Daniel Easley of King William Parish, Cumberland Co., two tracts of land: 691 acres on the south side of Banister River and another tract on the same river, other tract beginning at Alexander Nelson’s corner, to lines of Echols and Sizemore. Wit: Ezekiel Slaughter, James Daniel, Thomas Lacy, Jr. Signed by mark “X.” Mary, wife of sd Russell relinquished her right of dower. [43] Note: This land was granted 12 May 1759 to him next or near William Eckhols. They lived on Polecat Creek. Note: Polecat Creek was part of the Bannister River.
Halifax County Road Orders
21 Mar 1771 Road Order: George Combs appointed Surveyor of the Road leading from Boyd’s Road to Roberts’ Road...ordered that he, with male tithables belonging to Moses Hendrick, William Echols, Sr., John Anderson, Mead Anderson, Shadrach Gowing, Harry Hereford, John Chapman, John Hood, Nipper Adams, William Donathan, Thomas Spencer, William Mays, Nathan Sullins, Charles Henderson, George Wood, George Stubblefield, Daniel Easely, Stephen Easely, Joshua Adams, Thomas Lovelace, Samuel Wilson, George Brown, Champ Gibson, and William Chandler, do forthwith lay open and clear the said Road, and they then return to their former road.  (Halifax County, VA, Court Orders, 7:80) 
William Echols daughter Hannah married to Vardrey McBee.  Rhoda, daughter of Hannah Nichols and Vardrey McBee married or at least had children with Jordan Gibson who resided at Thickety Creek, Spartanburg, South Carolina. 
Spartanburg Co., S.C. Minutes of the County Court 1785-1799 : Ordered that the child Durrel McBee which was pretended to be bound to Vardry McBee be delivered to the care of its mother Rhoda McBee , alias Gibson & Jordan Gibson her Husband"
Gibson, Collins Bunch., had moved to Haw and Eno Rivers in Orange County and lived along the Trading Path.  Gibsons, Goins, Bass, etc., went from Bertie County, home of Tuscarora and Saponi, to the Pee Dee River area where Saura town is on 1725 map. George Gibson son of John Gibson of Bertie County is found in Orange County with Thomas Gibson of Louisa.  Walter Gibson is documented as a 'Chieftan' of the Tuscarora in Bertie County.

As the mixed Indian families left Charles City County moving into New Kent/Hanover and the Carolinas they are still found amongst the Indian traders.  In 1751 Edward Nicks, son in law of Thomas Gibson who died 1734 in Hanover, and Thomas' son John, are found on the Dan River in Granville County the area that would become Rockingham and Caswell, Besides a second John Gibson we find Christopher Gist and his son Nathaniel, said to be father of 'Sequoyah' and 'husband' of Wurteh,  also living there.

Christopher Gist had just returned from his trip to the Ohio Indians and returning to his home on the Yadkin River found they had removed. The Jefferson-Fry map surveyed by William Churton in 1749 shows at Mulberry Fields 'Gyst Jr', probably one of the first settlers in Wilkes County. Christopher reported his son,  Nathaniel,  was living with 'his people' in the Cherokee Village after his Ohio trip.  A William Lawson also residing on the Dan River may be related to the Lawsons on Newmans Ridge.

One story has William Lawson having children with "Wurteh."  A David Lawson is supposedly the son of one Hooker out of Surry/Stokes County, North Carolina where many of the Melungeon/Indian families had roots. Samuel Hooker married Elizabeth Gibson who may have been the daughter of Valentine Gibson.  Samuel Hooker and George Sizemore are found in the Bowman DNA project  and the Hooker and Lawson are found in the Lawson project.  The daughter of William Hooker married Samuel Sizemore.  The Lawson family living in Hawkins County in 1845 also have Native American DNA as does the Freeman family.

Orange County, North Carolina

In Orange County, North Carolina we find records of Moses Riddle, later identified as an Indian in the tax records. The Collins of Orange County were residing on Indian lands by 1773. Peter Helton, a Cherokee, with Q DNA is also in Orange County, North Carolina.  From Jeff Weaver's New River Notes
William Austin was Born in the 1750s in Halifax Co., VA; Parents John Austin Jr. (abt 1720-abt 1795 Washington Co., TN) and Mary Mc Bee; His father John was the son of John Austin Sr. (d. about 1759 Cornwall Parish, Lunenburg Co., VA) and a Saponi Indian woman.
John Austin , Jr. along with she and Marry a Susquohanah Indian and Thomas Cattaba applied for a pass to the Cataba Nation being now on their journey to conclude a general peace with the Cattabas in behalf of the said nations and also presented three belts of Wampum to said Court by which the said Treaty was of be concluded. (Recording in the Rowan/Orange County (North Carolina) book, page 72 dated 19 April 1755.
The above Mary McBee is said to be the sister of Vardry McBee who married Hannah Echols. Jordan Gibson who married their daughter is said to be son of Gilbert Gibson of Louisa County and later went to Logan County, Kentucky from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Austins are in Orange County, North Carolina and serve in the Virginia Militia alongside the Melungeon families. 

And so we find these Quaker and Indian families closely associated with the early Melungeon families. Is it merely coincidental we find these Melungeon families associated with the Quaker Tooke, Crew, Goodmans, Hix, Echols, Hendricks, etc., and the proven Native American families of Sizemore, Riddle, Austin, Helton, Lawson, Freeeman etc?  Is it merely coincidental as they relocate from the 1650s through 1800 they are found along the Indian trading paths or in the Indian trading towns? 

Is it merely coincidental they are found in Wilkes County near the old Cherokee town Mulberry Fields. Or that they left there and are found next along the old Indian lands along Panther Creek on Newman's Ridge -- where coincidentally the Cherokee boundary was drawn in 1785 - straight through Sneedville?  Is it coincidental the Melungeon families left the Pee Dee River area, moving over the mountains to join the other Indian families on Newman's Ridge and then settling on the Cherokee town of 'Sale Creek' in Hamilton County?

These are just a few of the notes in my files, much more research needs to be done on these families and in these counties. 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Traders

By 1612 it was reported there were 40-50 men who had taken Native wives, some had went to live among them, as well as a few women. These men would no doubt become some of the first 'Indian traders' and interpreters. 

Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting and It's Meeting House
by Mrs. Douglas Summers Brown
"Virginia historians generally concede that Hanover county and its adjacent territry was settled soon after the landing of the first colonists, though prior to 1700 there were but few there besides trappers and traders and an occasional frontier family. It was not until 1720 that the actual permanent settlement of this area was begun, but from then until 1740 its development and progress was rapid.  These early settlers were in great part the sons of families from the lower counties along the banks of the James, particularly from New Kent and Henrico."

John Bunch received 450 acres from Phillip Freeman 1662 in New Kent County. The Freeman participant in the Melungeon DNA Project that has Native American DNA from Hancock County are related to the Gibson, Moore, and Sexton families and appears to descend from the Freeman family of New Kent also.  This John Bunch born about 1630-1640 is probably too old to be the John Bunch found in 1716 patent record below with Robert Hix but could be his brother, either a trapper or trader, who apparently had been in South Carolina with Robert Hix, David Crawley/Crawly etc. 

Chowanoke Descendants Community

"The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Second Series, Volume VII entitled RECORDS OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL on page 416 has a deposition given by Richard Booth in which he states that in the year 1667 he took a canoe with trade goods to the Meherrin Indian Town down the Blackwater River. On his right the Weyanoake River joined in about 13 miles north of the Meherrin River. Accompanying him on this journey was “a Certain Weyanoake Indian Called Tom Freeman.” Also accompanying him was a man named John Browne.  These Freeman are not documented ancestors of the Native Freeman found in the Melungeon DNA study but does need to be researched.See more on the Chowan Indian and Freemans HERE

Captain Robert Hicks/Hix, his father in law, John Evans, David Crawley, Richard and George Smith, William Byrd, George Reeves, Thomas Busby, Adam Ivey, Peter Poythress, etc., were all neighbors and associates of the Gibsons in Charles City/Surry Counties, and all known Indian traders.
Many of the early names associated with Melungeons, Lumbee, Redbones etc., were found living along Chippoakes Creek. 

The Line of Adam Ivey of Charles City County
"These citations tell us that Adam Ivey was a small-scale tenant farmer, almost certainly growing tobacco.  Fifty acres was a small landholding, but a single field worker was capable of managing only three or four acres of tobacco in those days.  Fifty acres was a typical holding for a planter with only himself to work the fields.[5]  His location can be approximated, since nearly all the persons mentioned in these records lived south of the James River in the neck of land bounded by Upper Chippoakes Creek and Wards Creek.  This neck included what was later the parish of Martins Brandon, in which Adam Ivey apparently lived at his death, in what would later become Prince George County.  It was quite close to Surry County, Upper Chippoakes Creek being the later boundary between Prince George and Surry."
1712 “Gilbert Ivy and Adatm Ivy being brought before this Board and examined on Suspition of trading with the Tuscaruro Indians contrary to the orders and proclamation prohibiting that Trade,” [sons of Adam and Elizabeth Ivey]

1713 “Capt Robert Hix Commander of the detachment sent out for discovery of the Indian Settlements on the Frontiers of this Collony…”

“Whereas Cap’ Robert Hix & Lieu* David Crawly who commanded the detachment of the Tributary Indians Sent out by the Governour to discover the settlements of the Tuscoruros have faithfully discharged the Trust reposed in them…”

“Whereas Robert Poythres of the County of Prince George being accused of Supplying the Tuscaruros with Ammunition during the prohibition of Trade with the sd Indians was this day brought before the Council, & there charged with the said Offence by the oath of Robert Lang…”

1716 Patent to Robert Hix, dated October 31, 1716, for 1070 acres, new land, Surry County; on North side of Maherin River; near Arthur Kavenaugh's house, for 3 Lbs., 15 Shillings, and Importation of 7 person: Saml. Bushel, Edward Evans, John Engles, Jno. Verrell, John Bunch, David Crawly, and Robert Hix. Virginia Patent Book 10, page 307. 

Robert Hix and David Crawly had been in Virginia prior to 1716, on 23 December 1714 Francis Lightfoot *imported* David Crawly. Frances Lightfoot is believed to be the wife of Gibby Gibson. Col Francis Lightfoot appeared as security on the will of Gibby Gibson and his executors sued the Gibson and associated families in Bertie County in 1730/31;

30 April 1727 George Rawlinson [son in law of Gibby Gibson] gives his promissory note to Francis Lightfoot - Witness Richard Grinselle.

9 June 1731 Order to the Provost Marshall to summon George Rawlinson planter of ----Precinct to appear in General Court at Edenton the last Tuesday in Jul next to answer Phillip Lightfoot & Benjamin Harrison executors of Francis Lightfoot dec'd

8 March 1730 -At a court held for James City County in Virginia. Philip Lightfoot one of the executors of Francis Lightfoot dec'd produced 2 accounts against John Gibson & John Smith of North Carolina & Richard Grinsell [who was storekeeper & bookkeeper to sd francis] testified that they were true accounts; that there were accounts against Miles Jackson, Edward Young, Philip Jackson, Francis Young & Gideon Gibson. Signed by R. Hickman, Cl Cur

9 August 1731 - Order to the Provost Marshall to summon Gideon Gibson planter of Bertie Precinct to appear in General Court at Edenton the las Tuesday in Oct next to answer Philip Lightfoot & Benja Harrison excrs of Francis Lightfoot dec'd n a action for 65 pounds. John Palin Chief Justice.

Oct General Court 1731 Philip Lightfoot & Benja Harrison executors of Francis Lightfoot dec'd complained against John Gibson [John is father of George Gibson of Orange Co., North Carolina] planter of Bertie Precinct. They stated that the defendant at Prince George County in Virginia did on Jan 24 1724 become indebted to the plaintiff; testator in the sum of 5 pounds 2 1/2 sh VA. Signed by David Oshel for the plaintiffs.

On 11 December 1721 Hubbard Gibson sold to Peter Poythress 200 acres on the Blackwater, part of a tract granted unto John Poythress, son of the deceased Francis Poythress, which 200 acres sd. John Poythress sold said Gibson 11 December 1704, sd. land borders on land sold to John Poythress by Hercules Flood.

Bertie County Deed Book M – 1777 - Various Abstracts
297-(315) Whitmell Tufdick, William Roberts, William Blount, Lewis Tufdick, John Randal, William Pugh, James Mitchel, Winoak Charles, William Basket, John Owens, Thomas Roberts, Walter Gibson, Billy Cane chieftans of the Tuscarora Indians in Bertie County to Thomas Pugh Sr. of same. 28 May 1777. The lease for 99 years @ 8 pounds per year of 100 acres, joining Black Gut Neck on Town Swamp, Roanoke River. Signed by: Billy (x) Blunt, Wineoak (x) Charles, Ben (x) Smith, Walter (X) Gibson, Thomas (X) Roberts, John (X) Ra nndel, Whitmell (x) Tuffdick, Billey (X) Cane, Lewis (x) Tufdick, Billey (x) Baskit, William (x) Pugh, Williams (x) Roberts, James (x) Mitchell. WITNESSES: Zedekiah Stone Jr., Thomas Whitmell Jr., May Ct 1777. John Johntston CJC



Gideon GIBSON had lived near the Occoneechee Neck adjacent to land owned by Arthur KAVANAUGH, Ralph MASON, and Richard TURBEVILLE before buying land on Quankey Creek from Robert LONG [LANG], a Chickasaw and Cherokee Indian trader. LONG also owned land at Elk Marsh and Plumbtree Island. LONG had received his land patents at Quankey Creek and Plumbtree Island on 1 March 1719/1720. (34)

When Richard TURBEVILLE and his family moved to North Carolina, they lived on the Occoneecheewith other Chickasaw traders and next to ANDERSON, COLSON, PACE, MASON, GIBSON, LANG(LONG), and Thomas WHITMELL.(47)

From the Early Clarks of Carolina By Doug Tucker

Edward Clark Jr’s immediate neighbors included many of the so called Chickasaw Indian Traders, e.g. Robert Lang, John Pace, Thomas Whitmell, etc. Who settled near Occoneechee Neck between 1713 and 1725. These traders would take Indian trail south in the late fall to the Chickasaw and Cherokee winter camps along the bluffs of the Broad River.

Both Gibsons were part of the small community of Indian traders known as the “Chickasaw Traders” who between 1710 and 1730, settled along the main north/south Indian trail near where if forded the Morattock (later Roanoke) River, and area the traders named Occoneechee Neck. Chowan and Bertie Precinct land records establish that Gideon Gibson acquired land from William Maule and Robert Lang (an Indian trader) in 1721 and 1722 along the south shore of the Roanoke River adjacent to Quankey Creek.

While these early Virginia families no doubt mixed with the Native tribes ruled by Powhatan there is overwhelming evidence to show they were part of the Fort Christianna tribes under Captain Robert Hix and David Crawley, and then began trading with the Tuscarora and eventually the Chickasaw and Cherokees. Stay tuned for Part II.

I have added a Melungeon Forum where you can ask questions, post corrections or comments. Here;  MELUNGEON FORUM

Monday, August 13, 2012

"We Wuz Robbed"

George Santayana wrote;
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
You might want to remember this next time you find yourself tempted to copy and paste something from the recent Melungeon paper, or the genealogy of President Barack Obama published by Or Paul Heinegg's "" website, or the hundreds and hundreds of websites that are now copy and pasting this information as if it is documented. 

No, there is no evidence John Punch left descendants, just as they said there is no evidence William Bunch of the 1665/66 record left descendants. They don't tell you who twenty year old Eliza Bunch was that came over in 1635 or what happened to her.  They don't tell you Jeremiah Bunch was imported to King William County in 1671 or what happened to him. Or John Bunch who was imported (probably from South Carolina)  by Robert Hix, Captain of the Saponi Fort,  in 1716, or the mulatto (Indian?) slave who 'went by' John Bunch in the 1719 deposition. 

And you will also find copy and pasted all over the internet now the Melungeons descend from Sub-Saharan men and white women. The authors, knowing this is in error, has done nothing to correct this, and so it will be copied as the Melungeons were Turks, the Melungeon diseases, the Melungeon squat and the hundreds and hundreds of other myths spread across the internet today. 

There is evidence, oral and historical documents that show the Melungeons had Native American ancestry. There are no records to prove the word was first used at the Stoney Creek Church, the original has never been seen and could read as 'harboring Mcclungs' as well as harboring Melungins.

George Gibson of Orange County, North Carolina is NOT the son of Gilbert Gibson of Louisa County.  Jack Goins has been given the documentation at least twice proving this is misleading Gibson researchers, and still they used it in their report, and it is being copied and pasted

Paul Bunch was NOT called before Governor Johnson with Gideon Gibson in 1735 and Vardy and Valentine Collins were not brothers no matter how many times they wrote it in their report or who said they were.  Their DNA proves they are not brothers. Valentine is NOT even a Collins, his DNA matches the Bunch family, yet these researchers instead of correcting the misinformation continue to spread it. 

Remember this next time you are tempted to copy and paste something from the internet. Check for sources and if you can't find them don't copy it. Speculation is fine, just note that it is speculation. 

Few if any names in genealogical circles draw the outrage that Anjou enjoys. He presented himself as a professional genealogist, and his services were employed by many East Coast families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Anjou initially earned a reputation for providing copious amounts of research to back up his findings, much to the delight of his clients. For his "findings," Anjou's services were expensive for the day and he became quite well off.
However, scholarly investigation of Anjou’s findings has revealed flawed research with the intent to defraud. A 1976 article by George E. McCracken[1] is one of the most widely quoted sources on the Internet about Anjou's fraudulent works. McCracken's article also names other authors of "suspect" genealogies, although none come close to Anjou and his activities.
In 1991, genealogists Robert Charles Anderson and Gordon L. Remington wrote companion articles on Anjou in the Genealogical Journal, a publication of the Utah Genealogical Association.Anderson's article. "We Wuz Robbed, The 'modus operandi' of Gustave Anjou"[2] discussed the manner in which Anjou fabricated his genealogies. Anderson wrote:
"A typical Anjou pedigree displays four recognizable features:
1. A dazzling range of connections between dozens of immigrants to New England; for example, connections far beyond what may be seen in pedigrees produced by anyone else.
2. Many wild geographical leaps, outside the normal range of migration patterns.
3. An overwhelming number of citations to documents that actually exist, and actually include what Anjou says they include and
4. Here and there an invented document, without citation, which appears to support the many connections noted under item 1 above."[3]
Remington's article, "Gustave We Hardly Knew Ye: A Portrait of Herr Anjou as a Jungberg,"[4] revealed Anjou's true identity through exposing who his biological father really was.
Anjou's fakery has also been well documented by the late Donald Lines Jacobus, founder of The American Genealogist.
As a result of this research, Anjou’s findings are not respected in professional genealogical circles.
Anjou died on March 2, 1942 at Tottenville, Staten Island, New York, and was buried in Fairview Cemetery (at West New Brighton, Castleton Corners, Richmond County, New York). He was predeceased by both his Swedish-born wife Anna Maria Anjou (Oct. 21, 1860–July 6, 1922) and by his only child. (Wikipedia)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Castles in the Sand

Once again we are being deluged with more propaganda from the Melungeon Historical Society, specifically Jack Goins, Roberta Estes, Wayne Winkler, and Janet Crain.  Penny Ferguson has been very quiet, hasn't had much to say on the subject, nothing at all publicly.

The article recently posted to their blog (apparently written by Roberta Estes) describing their recent event says the presentations were a culmination of decades of work and the icing on the cake was the DNA study which 'clarified the history of the Melungeon Core Families. They note later on they are continuing the study though, perhaps to further 'clarify' what they already wrote, but judging from their presentation it appears it will be just more of the old 'they were Sub Saharan men and white women.'

Even when the "Core" families they have identified, such as the Denham, Collins and Gibson, show European DNA, they continue to attempt to make these families 'African by Association.'  They have not one document to show their was any mixing of the Minor, Goins, or other 'Sub Saharan' men with the Denham, Collins or Gibson families but 'they know' their ancestry.  They can't even locate the female lines to test, so far they show six, and even though they protest they have REALLY, REALLY tried to find subjects, have you ever seen a post on a public board from any one of them they were looking?

They have no idea who the parents were of Vardy Collins or Buck Gibson, (the HEAD AND SOURCE of the Melungeons on Newman's Ridge), they don't know where they were born, they have no idea who their siblings were. All they have is R1a and R1b European DNA results that shows they had European ancestry. They also have the historical documents showing they were "friendly Indians" and Cherokee Indians."

Roberta writes that she is always caught up by Wayne Winkler's "spell that he weaves."  Interesting statement I think.  SPELL- definition; A form of words used as a magical charm or incantation. WEAVES - definition; Twist and turn from side to side while moving somewhere in order to avoid obstructions. 

Yesiree Bob, Winkler has been spinning and weaving for quite some time and Estes is right, he does have a magical charm he uses to convincingly 'weave' his stories. He spent close to ten years as President of the Melungeon Heritage Associtation weaving the tales of Turkish ancestors of the Melungeons.  There is a very nice picture of him on this page visiting 'Melungeon Mountain" in Turkey.

At the 5:20 point on this video Winkler talks about the 'majority of us who have ancestors from the old Ottoman Empire' -- long way from Africa. Here you can watch for yourself as Winkler uses his special powers to cast spells and weave his stories about the Melungeons Turkish ancesors. I think I hear strains of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody - annny waaay the wind blooows....

Goins presention gave this audience  the "core group" going back to Louisa county, funny it doesn't mention the "core group" that goes back to the Pee Dee River? As I posted here a few weeks ago back Jack Goins is well aware the 'core group' likely began on the Pee Dee River and while he listed their surnames in the Core Project he continues to ignore their history. 

Jack Goins must recognize that by not presenting the history of the Pee Dee Melungeon families he is not giving a 'true and honest' report of their history. His first book and many of his articles were written before 2005 when the Bolton trial transcripts were discovered. He knew this information shed a whole new light on the research but obviously he is not willing to admit he was wrong.

Roberta Estes presented the DNA, still harping that "there was no direct paternal or maternal Native American heritage found."  Seems like it would be impossible to find 'heritage' in the Y DNA samples but if they were looking for historical documents relating to the' Native American Heritage' when they found it they chose to ignore it.

Estes writes 'all the African lines except one are found in Louisa County, Virginia, but the Native lines weren't there.'  The Gibson family in Louisa County are from Charles City County, Virginia and the Gibsons in Charles City County are documented as Native Americans. All of these lines, the Bunch, Collins, Gibsons, Goodmans,  etc., are found in numerous historical documents as Cherokee/Indians.

Their DNA is European, not African, why does Estes call them 'African' when the DNA does not show 'African ancestry?'  They admit there are no documents that call these families Negro, African etc., no manumissions, runaway slave ads, nothing. Appears Winkler is not the only one that 'weaves' the tales.

Lastly Estes tops off this report with a quote from Jack Goins;
"Vardy Collins had paid the fine for illegal voting, instead of fighting the allegation, he knew in his heart that we would likely find African heritage." 
Why does Jack Goins desperately need to convince readers these families were African now when he has been convinced for the last 10 years or so they were not. There is no evidence Vardy was African, no oral history, no DNA and no eyewitnesses to history. 

Lewis Jarvis who knew him well said he was part of the 'friendly Indians' - a Chief!  Perhaps Vardy Collins knew in his heart they would prove he was Indian, after all the laws were the same for both the Native American and the African.  Maybe his color was reddish brown like that of the Cherokee?  Maybe Vardy had been called as a jurror in the past and been dismissed because of his Indianess? Or maybe like Jack wrote in his book it was dropped "probably due to sickness."

In 1897 Christopher Humble who was a relatively young man at the time described his trip to Newman's Ridge;
"On Friday forenoon, July 2, the writer and Rev. Joseph Hamilton, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, started in a hack from Cumberland Gap, Tenn., for Beatty Collins’, chief of the Melungeons, in Blackwater Valley, Hancock County, Tenn. The distance is thirty-five miles, but over such rough rocky mountain roads  that sundown found us still five miles away from our destination, without, however, any dislocated or broken bones, for which we were thankful. From either Lone Mountain or Rogersville, the road is shorter, being about thirty miles and not so rough. But by taking the longer route we passed a rare mountain cemetery, the sight of which paid us for our journey." 
 It is interesting that in MELUNGEONS AND OTHER PIONEER FAMILIES Jack Goins writes about the illegal voting trials. He writes on page 37;
"The nationality claimed by the Melungeons in the following court cases was probably their original race, before they mixed with the Indians, which should be examined by researchers as factual sworn evidence. The race the Melungeons claimed to be, always seemed to fall on deaf ears."
On page 42 Jack writes;
"This case was settled out of court by Vardy Collins son in law, probably due to sickness, the state dropped the charge against Vardy Collins.  Reading the small paragraph written by the court clerk, there is no mention of Vardy or an attorney being present on this day. The sentence reads: "On motion of the Attorney General a Nolli Prosequi is entered in this case......   ...... Vardy Collins was 83 years old in 1847. 
Throughout this book and for years afterwards Jack Goins has tried to prove the Melungeons, including his Goins and Minors, were Portuguese Indians. What documents have been discovered to doubt these claims now?  Did he find manumission papers? New documents uncovered? No, nothing more than DNA results. DNA is not going to prove they were Indians, it is not going to prove they were white and it is not going to prove they were African. Someone please tell Jack Goins DNA cannot prove race or ethnicity, tell him to ask Janet Crain, she knows it can't.

The very last sentence Estes writes;
"To want them to be something they were not is to dishonor who they were."
Really? Does that include the African along with the European and Native American? These four researchers have CREATED an ancestry, a heritage, for these families and like castles in the sand it will not stand.

Melungeons at Fort Blackmore

    THE MELUNGEONS  & FORT BLACKMORE SOME NOTES Attorney Lewis Jarvis was born 1829 in Scott County, Virginia and lived in the area and ...