Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Melungeons ~ Portuguese ~ Indians & Gibsons

The only mystery that remains to be answered regarding 
the people called Melungeons is why researchers 
refuse to accept the fact they were Portuguese,
 and with the mountain of evidence that has been 
uncovered in the last ten years these same researchers 
 refuse to acknowledge the 
Portuguese families living along the 
Pee Dee River as the CORE Melungeons. 

 It is well documented in the records of the Spanish - Portuguese
 being in Colonial America dating back to 1492. 
There are records of slaves, Portuguese, Moors, Africans, etc.,
 with deAyllon in South Carolina back to 1527.  
These Portuguese-Spanish and "Moorish slaves' are 
documented as mixing with the Native Tribes in the 1500s.

Edited to Include:

These are a list of Surnames Jack Goins has included as CORE families;

Surnames  [Found Here]

Bolin, Bolling, Boltons, Breedlove, Bunch, Collins, Denham, Gibson, Goins, Goodman, Hopkins, Mallett, Melungeon, Menleys, Minor, Moore, Mornings, Mullins, Perkins, Shumake, Williams

Those Highlighted are found in the Hamilton County Court Case 
Testimony showed they came from the Pee Dee River NOT Virginia. In the paper co-authored by Jack Goins it says;

"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.
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."

NONE of the above highlighted names are proven to be from EASTERN VIRGINIA but from the Pee Dee River.  Last year before I was banned from the Rootsweb Melungeon list by the co-author of this JoGG article, for asking to many questions about their report, Jack Goins wrote; 
"Joanne would you please tell us why!!! this 1848 visitor to Vardy Valley came to this place and announced it was the Homeland of the Malungeons, instead of going to your imaginary Melungeons on the Pee Dee River?"  [Found Here]
Now I ask you why Jack Goins would call them 'my imaginary Melungeons on the Pee Dee River' last year when he has had them listed as CORE families since 2005?  Why would he suggest they couldn't have been Portuguese because the CORE families came from Eastern Virginia when he has had the trial transcripts of the Hamilton County families that showed they were known as Portuguese and came from the Pee Dee River on his website since 2005?


The Portuguese and the Indians

The Expedition of Batts and Fallam:
A Journey from Virginia to beyond the Appalachian Mountains, September, 1671

''Sept. 5. Just as we were ready to take horse and march from the Sapiny’s about seven of the clock in the Morning we heard some guns go off from the other side of the River. They were seven Apomatack Indians sent by Major General Wood to accompany us in our voyage. We hence sent back a horse belonging to Mr. Thomas Wood, which was hired, by a Portugal, belonging to Major General Wood, whom we here found. About eleven of the clock we set forward and that night came to the town of the Hanathaskies which we judge to be twenty five miles from the Sapenys, they are lying west and by north in an island on the Sapony River rich land. ''( Read more here
This does not prove the Melungeons were Portuguese Indians but clearly we have a Portuguese man living at the Saponi town in 1671. 

In 1668 Surry County, Virginia Tax List at Sunken Marsh we find George - no last name- but with the notation; "he is a Spaniard."  So if you have read 'they weren't Portuguese because they had English names' this is why they had English names, the same reason the other brown people such as Indians, Africans, Armenians, etc., did .... they didn't have surnames.

The Indians

The Gibson family which originated in Colonial Virginia is a large family, connected by "maybe, possibly and may have beens" over the years and now by  records and  DNA. 

It has been written and quoted and copied and pasted all over the internet that the Gibson family [may have] originated with Elizabeth Chavis yet records show Thomas Gibson, Jane Gibson [the Indian] and George Gibson were here before the Chavis family arrived. It was recorded that Thomas Chavis came to Virginia from Ireland in 1656 where he bought land that bordered the Gibson family. 

We know that he died and left two minor children that were bound out but we know nothing of his wife, the mother of Elizabeth and William Chavis. Although it cannot be proven at this point it is likely that Elizabeth, the mother of Gibeon/Gibson Gibson, was the  Widow Gibson who married William Chavis before his death, which would account for her 'Indian' son being bound out. 
In 1655 provision was made that Indian children could become indentured servants only by consent of their parents and for specified terms agreed upon and such children were to be educated in the Christian religion.  
 In Virginia, 1656, it was provided that Indian children brought into the colony as hostages should be assigned to masters by choice of their parents, but should not be made slaves. Again, in 1658, it was decreed that any Indian children disposed of by their parents to a white man for “education and instruction in the Christian religion”, or for any other purpose, were not to be turned over to any other person upon any pretext whatever, and any such child was to be free at the age of twenty-five.
 And on the 28th of March 1672 Elizabeth Chavis  made a successful petition to the General Court of Virginia to release her son Gibson [Gibeon?] Gibson who had been unlawfully bound by Berr. Mercer to Thomas Barber who had gone to England leaving the boy with Samuel Austin [Minutes of the Council 1670-76, 106, Virginia Historical Society Mss 4V81935a2; McIlwaine, Minutes of the Council, 302-3]. 

Depositions entered into the court cases over the years document Jane Gibson [born 1640], an Indian woman, and her two children Jane and George.  We know some of Jane's descendants were enslaved, some won their freedom and some were simply sold off into oblivion.
See Chancery Court Records for more information and Descendants Chart. Not included in the charts but in the Court Records are; "SCOTTs, BRADBYs, SMITHs, REDCROSSes alias EVANS, MORRISSes alias EVANS, and in Henrico the BOWMANs, all descendants from the original stock of the GIBSON, to wit, Jane EVANS Daughter of Jane GIBSON.

Perhaps DNA will be the key to connecting all these families but at the present we will have to be content with the few records we do have.

This clipping from the Biography of General Randall Lee Gibson appeared in 1892.  At that time Randall was survived by three of his siblings and one would presume they were consulted about his family history. Randall Gibson's great-grandfather was Gibeon/Gideon Gibson of the Pee Dee River, born in 1720 and died in 1792. From the article it would appear he descends from John and Elizabeth Wilcox/Wilcocks Gibson married 1707 in Middlesex County, Virginia.

Thomas Gibson, a carpenter,  came with Christopher Newport on the Second Suppy in 1608 and immediately went with John Smith to build a home for Powhatan.   In 1612 letters were sent to the King of Spain;

Marquess of Flores to Philip III, King of Spain Letter 1 Aug. 1612
 "Some of the people who have gone there, think now some of them should marry the women of the savages of that country; and he tells me that there are already 40 or 50 thus married." 
Don Pedro de Cunega to Philip III, King of Spain Letter 22 7br 1612 
"The other Englishmen, after being put among them, have become savages themselves while the women, whom they took out, also have gone among the savages where they have been received & treated well" -
From the above letter it is documented  by 1612 40-50 men had already intermixed with Native Tribes,  and there were women also who apparently went to live among the Natives - many of those Natives would be carrying the Y-DNA of the Europeans and Africans DNA left behind from explorers; deAyllon, deSoto, and Pardo, etc. 

The Portuguese

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): 
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 acquisiton of the English language and their quick acculturaton in Virginia."

Washington Post 1902
Mr. James Mooney Investigates Early Portuguese Settlements.
"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 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.
Moreover, there are records of Portuguese ships having sailed into Jamestown Bay as early as 1655, and since then there has been more or less settlement of Portuguese fishermen and sailors from Maine to Florida. Now it has been the history of the Portuguese race that wherever they settled they mixed in with the darker peoples forming the aboriginal populations of the countries occupied by Portuguese settlers, and this is the reason and cause of the Portuguese admixture among the tribes along the coast of the United States."
There are dozens and dozens of court cases, testimonies, local histories, etc., of the people with Portuguese ancestors., you merely need to look for them.  I have posted a few to my website THE MELUNGEON INDIANS, here are a few of the articles, you can do a search on that website or this blog for the word Portuguese to find other mentions;

Joanne Pezzullo

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