Friday, September 23, 2016

Melungeons and Redbones - Are they Lumbee Indians?

Below are some of the articles written on the research of the Redbones, Croatan and Melungeons in the latter part of the 1800s into the 1900s. Written by men working with the Smithsonian, historians, doctors etc., they make it clear these three groups were related. The Lumbee and Redbones can be traced to the Lumber - Pee Dee Rivers to 1754.

On Tuesday I listed by deeds and records men living there when the Militia reported to the Governor there were '50 mixt families.' The Gibson, Collins, Ivey, Bolton, Oxendine, Perkins, Sweat, & Chavis
families are documented there, some who came there from Chippoakes Creek.

The Robesonian - Jul 13, 1933
Identity of Robeson County Indians Traced By Scientist
Dr. Swanton started on his quest of the actual origin of a racial group, which now number about 8,000 persons of mixed Indians and white blood at the request of a delegation of the Indians themselves.
A colonial census in 1754 was found which told of a lawless people (50 mixt families jp) living at the headwater of the Little Peedee who had possesed themselves of land without patent and without paying any quit rents.

"They presumably were recognized as whites at that time, but there is little doubt that they really were the ancestors of the present day Croatans," was the statement of the findings. (Rest of the Story)

The Pee Dee River, also known as the Great Pee Dee River, is a river in North Carolina and South Carolina. It originates in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, where its upper course, above the mouth of the Uwharrie River is known as the Yadkin River. The lower part of the river is named Pee Dee (in colonial times written Pedee) after the Native American Pee Dee tribe. The Pee Dee region of South Carolina, composed of the northeastern counties of the state, was named after the tribe and/or river. The first Europeans believed to have navigated part of the river was a party sent by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526.
July 17, 1890
Red Springs, North Carolina
Hamilton McMillan
The Croatan tribe lives principaly in Robeson county, North Carolina, though there is quite a number of them settle in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter county, South Carolina, there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. In Macon county, North Carolina, there is another branch, settled there long ago. those living in east Tennessee are called "Melungeons", a name also retained by them here

The tribe (Croatan) once stretched from Cape Fear to Pee Dee and the Redbones of your section are a part of the tribe as are the "Melungeons" of East Tennessee. The French immigrants callled the half breeds Melange or Mixed and the term evidently has been changed to "Melungeons". ........... I am yours truly Hamilton McMillan
"A hundred years ago a colony of Croatans settled in eastern Tennessee, on Newman's Ridge, in Hancock county. They can't tell today where they came from, for tradition over 50 years isn't worth anything. These are the people called Melungeons. They are similar in racial characteristics to the Croatans, and Dr. Swan M. Burnett, a distinguished scholar and scientitst (Burnett was working with the doctor in Hawkins County, likely on his research into eye diseases of the races) - the husband, by the way, of Mrs. Francis Hodgson Burnett, the novelist - has traced by family names the connection between the Melungeons and the Croatans.
"Question by the court to McMillan: Do these people here call themselves
Answer: No sir, they call themselves malungeans.
Question: Were they ever called Croatans until this Act (1885) was introduced in
Answer: No sir.

Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology - Ethnology - 1907
page 365

Croatan Indians. The legal designation in North Carolina for a people evidently of mixed Indian and white blood, found in various e. sections of the state, but chiefly in Robeson co., and numbering approximately 5,000 Across the line in South Carolina are found a people, evidently of similar origin, designated "Red bones." In portions of w. N. C. and E. Temn. are found the so-called "Melungeons"
(Reprinted from Papers Am. Hist. Asso., Vol. iv., No. 4., 1891.)
By Professor Stephen B. Weeks, Ph.D., Trinity College, North Carolina. Page 28-29

" The Croatan applied for recognition by the United States as Cherokee, but it was denied and the Cherokee acknowledge no relationship, having visited the Croatan country on a tour of inspection. There is a queer offshoot of the Croatan known as  Malungeons," in South Carolina, who went there from this state ; another the "Redbones," of Tennessee. Mr. Mooney has made a careful study of both of these branches also.
At one time the Croatans were known as 'Redbones,' and there is a street in Fayetteville so called because some of them once lived on it. They are known by this name in Sumpter County, S. C., where they are quiet and peaceable, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very strong among them.
There is in Hancock county, Tennessee, a tribe of people known by the local name of Malungeons or Melungeons. Some say they are a branch of the Croatan tribe, others that they are of Portuguese stock. 

” In 1897, Mr. Mooney wrote to Charles McDonald Furman that, "He felt that the Croatans, Redbones, Melungeons, Moors, and Portuguese were all local names for mixed Indian races along the Atlantic seaboard, with westward drift into the mountains." And stated, "It would be worth while of local investigators to go into the subject systematically. I think possibly the Indian remnants may have married with the convict apprentice importation of early colony days as well as with the free Negro element." Mr. Furman was considered by Mooney and other officials as the most informed person on the Redbones and Catawba Indians in Privateer Township, Sumter County, South Carolina.
The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries
Volume XXV
Page 258 

THE TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY held an interesting meeting on the 9th of December last (1890) , at Nashville, Judge John M. Lea presiding.
After the reports of various committees had been read, and other business transacted, Judge Lea addressed the society on the subject of the Melungeons. He outlined the early history of the settlement of North Carolina. A party under the protection of a friendly Indian chief had gone into the interior when the first settlers came to that coast and had been lost. No other settlers came till a century afterward, and they were told of a tribe who claimed a white ancestry, and among whom gray eyes were frequent. This people were traced to Buncomb and Robeson counties, where the same family and personal names were found as in the lost colonies. are now called Croatans, on account of a sign they made on the trees to keep their way.

Judge Lewis Shepherd, attorney for descendants of the Melungeon, Solomon Bolton,  of Hamilton County, Tennessee whose father was born in 1725 on the Pee Dee River. Judge Shepherd wrote what he learned of the Melungeons from this trial;

"About the time of our Revolutionary war, a considerable body of these people crossed the Atlantic and settled on the coast of South Carolina, near the North Carolina line, and they lived among the people of Carolina for a number of years. At length the people of Carolina began to suspect that they were mulattoes or free Negroes and denied them the privileges usually accorded to white people. They refused to associate with them on equal terms and would not allow them to send their children to school with white children, and would only admit them to join their churches on the footing of Negroes....
South Carolina had a law taxing free Negroes so much per capita, and a determined effort was made to collect this of them. But it was shown in evidence on the trial of this case that they always successfully resisted the payment of this tax, as they proved that they were not Negroes. Because of their treatment, they left South Carolina at an early day and wandered across the mountains to Hancock county, East Tennessee; in fact, the majority of the people of that country are “Melungeons,:” or allied to them in some way. A few families of them drifted away from Hancock into the other counties of east Tennessee and now and then into the mountainous section of Middle Tennessee.

This 1794 petition lists some of these people mentioned by Judge Shepherd; 

Spencer Bolton [his mark] [born 1725 on Pee Dee River] William Swett [his mark] Solomon Bolton [his mark] [Called Portuguese/Melungeon 1874 trial]James Shewmake [his mark] DittoSolomon Shewmake [his mark] DittoSampson Shewmake [his mark] DittoThomas Shewmake Jun [his mark] Ditto Thomas Shewmake Sen [his mark] Ditto John Shewmake [his mark] Ditto  James Shewmake [his mark]   DittoDavid Collins  [possibly to Wilkes County, NC]Thomas Collins [Ditto]George Collins  [Ditto] Delley Gibson  [on Trail of Tears with Oxendine, Shoemake etc.,]Drusilla GibsonIsaac Linager   [Linegar on Hawkins County CensusCudworth Oxendine [Charles Oxendine on Hawkins County Census]Archmack Ocendine [Also named Portuguese/Melungeons in the 1874 trial; Perkins, Goins, Manley, Mourning]   Petition, Trial, Bolton Family and article found here 

Still not convinced?  Consider the Melungeon DNA Project and the Lumbee DNA Project.  You will find these Melungeons on the Lumbee DNA Project; 

Kit#200939 Goins John Goins 1843
B1007 Roark Lawson, 1815-1880 Unknown Origin
147255 Goin Thomas Goin
11280 Valentine Collins Unknown Origin
B2464 SHOEMAKE Blakely Shoemake, b.abt 1791 and d. bef 1860
218793 Perkins Esther Perkins 1710-1748
177132 Elijah Freeman b c 1802-1875, NC,TN,Ala United States (Native American) Q-M3109170 Freeman, Cogdill, Tye, Huddleston United States (Native American) Q-M3
301270 Elijah Goodman Unknown Origin
N114697 Bowling Benjamin Bolling b. 1734
62645 Gibson Martin Gibson 1776-1833243201 Gibson Joseph Fisher Gibson, B. 1790-1799 R-DF21-152435 Gibson Champane Gibson 1746 VA-1820 Rockingham NC
65026 William Nichols 1830 FPC Hawkins County TN United States (Native American)

Lumbee DNA Project
Melungeon DNA Project 

Part Three   The Indian Traders.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Eastern Shore? Gingaskins? Gibson aren't Melungeons?

I have received so many emails on the Gypsies, Gingaskins, etc., I have to respond.  Below this you will find the families who lived on Chippoakes Creek in Virginia who went to Louisa Co., Va., and the Pee Dee River.  They are the Ancestors of the Melungeons.

In the past the Melungeons were Turkish Sailors dropped off by Drake, or they were the first African slaves that came over on the White Lion, or maybe Jews from Scotland, African slaves that mixed with the Indians. Now they are Gypsies, Gingaskin Indians, from the Eastern Shore of Maryland blah blah blah.  Most amazing of all is this new theory being put forth.

"I hereby respectfully submit that the “friendly Indians” [who built For Blackmore ] were Gingaskin, possibly Baker, Bishop, Collins, or Shepherd, not Cherokee and not named Collins or Gibson."

Seriously, are they kidding?  They cannot connect the Gibson and Collins to the Gingaskin or the Eastern Shore of Maryland, well let's fix that, let's just say 'the Gibson and Collins weren't Melungeons'.  

They suggest the Collins and Gibson can't be the 'friendly Indians' who built Fort Blackmore they were the Gingaskins; Bakers [?] , Shepherd [?] Bishop [?]. Incredible!  Everyone wants to 'solve the mystery' -- well folks -- hate to tell you this, there is and never was a mystery.  They are exactly who THEY and THEIR NEIGHBORS said they were!  Portuguese who mixed with the Indians, likely Indians from many tribes but not the Gingaskins. They were not from Maryland!  

They suggest these are the Melungens being harbored in the Stony Creek Records. This is what the author, Emory Hamilton wrote of these records when he transcribed them.

"Book Number 1, ends with July, 1811. Book Number 2, has a few faded pages with no cover. Book 2 , starts with what seems to be part of the Minutes of the November meeting 1811. These minutes between July 1811 and November 1811 have apparently been torn off and lost. Book No. 2, is in a very faded condition and very difficult to read.
Hamilton's transcription was transcribed by someone else and then Jack Goins then transcribed yet a third transcription.  Folks you just don't rewrite someone's history on a transcription of a transcription.  One of the biggest mistakes in genealogy. It does not make sense that from the beginning of the church records these Gibsons and Collins were never called anything, not Melungeons.  It is most likely someone was 'harboring' the two surveyors from Pennsylvania by the name of Mcclung - drop of ink at the end you got a 'melungen'. At any rate there is NO PROOF the word was used in those church records unless/until someone finds those original records the first time it is used is in 1840 by Parson Brownlow. 

Who Built  Fort Blackmore?

"July 13, 1774, Captain Russell again wrote to Colonel Preston the following letter showing that his people had changed their minds about the number of forts to be built and states that the forts had already been erected. ""Since I wrote you last, the inhabitants of this river have altered the plan for two forts only, on this river, below Elk Garden, and have erected three; one in Cassells Woods which I call Fort Preston; a second ten miles above which I call Fort Christian; the third, five miles below the first, which I call Fort Byrd, and there are four families at John Blackmores near the mouth of Stony Creek, that will never be able to stand it alone without a company of men. Therefore, request you, if you think it can be done, to order them a supply sufficient to enable them to continue the small fortification they have begun.

Daniel Boone and his family lived at Fort Blackmore in present Scott County, Virginia from October of 1773 until March of 1775 and was in command of Fort Blackmore and other forts on the Clinch River in 1774 while the militiamen were engaged in the Point Pleasant campaign of Dunmore's war.  Some of these men did not fight at Point Pleasant but were detached and were with Boone guarding the clinch frontier. Osbornes, Roberts, Rogers, Wallins, Bunch, Collins, Roark etc. [See Biographies of Herbert's men at Jeff Weaver's New River Notes.
 (Lord Dunmore's War): Micajah Bunch [King of the Melungeons] was among those diverted to Capt. Looney's company on the Clinch and did not fight at Point Pleasant. Instead he was with Capt Looney, Lieut. Daniel Boone and Lieut. John Cox guarding the Clinch frontier.

John Collins was listed as living on Indian lands in Fincastle County, was among those diverted to Capt. Looney's company on the Clinch and did not fight at Point Pleasant. Instead he was with Capt Looney, Lieut. Daniel Boone and Lieut. John Cox guarding the Clinch frontier.  

Charles Roark married Abigail (by tradition a Cherokee Indian) about 1775 in Fincastle Co., VA. She died before 1820 in Ashe Co., NC. (Lord Dunmore's War): Charles was among those diverted to Capt. Looney's company on the Clinch and did not fight at Point Pleasant. Instead he was with Capt Looney, Lieut. Daniel Boone and Lieut. John Cox guarding the Clinch frontier .

No Bishops, no Bakers, no Shepherds. No connections to Gingaskins. 

These records below show these families who were called Croatan/Lumbee, Redbones, Brass Ankles, Melungeons, & others show their roots in Virginia by the mid 1600s. They are easily traced from there, to Louisa County, Virginia to the Pee Dee River. To date we have only the Gibson DNA to show both settlements can be traced back to Charles City County and others we have to rely on records so far.

Chippoakes Creek Families

The red dot is Upper Chippoakes Creek.  Note the the Quiyoughcohannocks on one side of the James and the  Paspahegh on the other side.  The first Gibsons lived on or very near to the Quiyoughcohannocks and were buried on the lands that belonged to the Paspahegh Tribe.

The records below will show that George Gibson, Thomas Gibson, Thomas Chivers/Chavis, 'Peter' Gibson, Thomas Busby, John Collins, Robert Sweat and Adam and Gilbert Ivey are all found on Chippoakes Creek. Thomas Busby was Indian Interpreter for the Crown [In 1712 “Gilbert Ivy and Adam 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] and at least one Ivey has DNA results that match the Busby. The Busby, Gibson, Collins, Caufields and Ivey were neighbors on Chippoakes Creek. 

Indians on the Upper Chippokes Creek:

William Knott, 312 Acres, Surry Co 28 Mar 1666, p. 482 (land patents). 112 acres on south side of James River on south side of Upper Chipoake Creek, bounded NW on land of Edward Oliver, N upon Wm. Thomas, E on George Gibson [See Indian Jane Gibson of Charles City County]  SE on Mr. Fisher; 200 acres on south side of said River, Wly. on Jeremiah Clements, NW on Edward Oliver, Nly on Wm. Thomas, George Gibson & Edward Minter, Ely. on Wm. Gapins land & Mr. Thomas Busbie and SE on Mr. Richard Hill

The Quiyoughcohannock were one of the first Virginia Indian groups the English encountered in 1607 after landing at Jamestown. Situated primarily in present-day Surry County, the Quiyoughcohannocks had four villages in the region likely east of Upper Chippokes Creek. The Quiyoughcohannocks in 1608/09 escorted Nathaniel Powell and Anas Todkill southward in an unsuccessful attempt to locate survivors of the Roanoke Colony. The English observed a part of a ritual initiation into manhood, the huskanaw, at a Quiyoughcohannock village in 1608.

Claremont Manor is in Surry County, Virginia, on the south shore of James River at its confluence with Upper Chippokes Creek. It was in the area occupied by the Quiyoughcohannock Indians when George Harrison received a grant of land there is 1621.

Southwark Parish was created in 1647 and described as encompassing all the territory extending from "the colledge" [College Creek] to (and including) the Upper Chipoaks [Upper Chippokes Creek]

A List of ye Tythables from ye Colledge to Smiths forte taken ye 10th of June 1668 by Mr. Thos. Warren:
Tho. Hurle   Joh. Shipp  Tho Gibson & 1 negro, 04
Edmond Howel l 01

Elizabeth Chavis on 28 March 1672 made a successful petition to the General Court of Virginia to release her son, Gibson Gibson, who had been unlawfully bound by Berr. Mercer to Thomas Barber who had gone to England leaving the boy with Samuel Austin [McIlwaine, Minutes of the Council, 302-3].  While it has been published to somehow show the Gibson and Chavis must have been of African descent by Paul Heinegg I suspect Mr., Heinegg was not aware of this law on the book, or chose to ignore it.  

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
It certainly appears that Gibson Gibson would fall under this law when he was turned over to Samuel Austin, the recent find of "Indian Jane Gibson" court documents show the Gibson in Charles City County were known as Indians as early as 1640.

1676 List of the Names and some of the Residences of the Rebel Participants in Bacon's Rebellion of 1676 in Colonial Virginia [Bacon's Castle - home of Arthur Allen - Claremont] 

Edmund Howell - Surry - Southwark Parish
Thomas Gibson - Surry - Southwark Parish

Edmund Howell -- 23 Dec. 1679
To my only son, William Howell my whole estate with some exceptions. to my godson Gibson, son of Thomas Gibson To godson Henry Baker. Makes George Foster Exec. and gives him the care of son until he is 21 years old, If son die, his inheritance to Henry Baker, GeorgeFoster Thomas Ironmonger his children.
Wit: Thos Pittan, Sr., John Moring. Prob. 9 Oct. 1679.(2:240)

Gibby Gibson
In the Sandy Point Cemetery, Charles City County; (Home of the Paspahegh Indians) - (See map above)

Here Lyes the Body of FRANCIS GIBSON

Here Lyes the Body of GIBBY GIBSON
Here Lyes the Body of THOMAS GIBSON

Will of Gibby Gibson of Charles City Co. , "very weak'

My riding horse to be sold to pay Col. Lightfoot.
To Hannah Dennam, my negro boy Jack, for life, and then to my son Gibby Gibson.

To wife Francis: my negro girl Vicky, for life, and then to my daughter Fran: Smith ( Francis would later marry and move from Bertie County with second husband William Chavis and is found on the lands of William Eaton - Saponi? in 1754)

To my son in law George Smith, 2 negroes - Sovilaty and Jin.

To Hannah Dennam, my negro boy Peter for life and then to my daughter Fran Smith

To my son Edward Gibson, my negro Judey, my wearing clothes, carpenters tools, and coopers tools

To George Smith, 2 sheets, 2 blankets and a rugg

To Tabitha Rollinson, negro girl Nanny. [ Also moved to the lands of William Eaton from Bertie County]

George Smith to take care of my cattle and they are to be divided equally between my wife and granddaughter Sarah Smith.

To wife my two working Horses and hoggs.

Rest of my estate to George Smith and he to be executor , Dated 2 March 1726/7
Witt: Benja. Moody, Robert Cade,(*) James Blankes
Signed: Gibby(G) Gibson
Codicil: Negro boy Peter given in will to Hannah Dennam and then to Frances Smith, is to go to my son George Gibson
3 March 1726/27 Wit: by above Moody and Cade
Recorded 3 May 1727 Presented by George Smith and proved by above Blanks and Cade. Col. Fran's Lightfoot, Security.

After Gibby died some of the family started leaving Virginia. Frances who had married George Smith and later William Chavis, Tabitha who married George Rollinson, John Gibson and Gideon Gibson are in Bertie County, Hubbard Gibson and his family also moved to Bertie County before they all seemed to have moved on. Some in Granville and Orange Co., N.C and others to the Pee Dee. 
November 1741 the court presented George Gibson and George Gibson, Jr., for not going to church. In July 1745 Phillis Goeing (Gowen) petitioned him concerning her children, but he failed to answer the petition so the court ordered the churchwardens to bind them out. (It is likely this George Gibson Sr., is the son of Gibby Gibson who left the 1727 will in Charles City County.

(*) Robert Cade was the witness on will of Gibby Gibson 1727 in Charles City County, Virginia. This is likely Robert Cade who married Susannah Crump, son Stephen Crump Cade born September 17, 1715 St Peters Parish, New Kent County, Virginia. Stephen Crump Cade resided in lived in Edgecombe, Dobbs, and was Sheriff of Johnston Co. in 1757, married to Mary Wadill and Mary Gibson and died in Robeson Co., North Carolina in 1783. His son John Cade married to Elizabeth Adair, daughter of the Indian trader and author Doctor James Adair of Robeson County, North Carolina. Elizabeth's sister, Agnes married to John Gibson who is said to have been killed by Indians near Nashville in 1790.

15 Sep 1769 James IVEY of Bladen Co to James Adair, doctor, 200 acres in the fork of the Little Pedee River, on the east side of Mitchells Creek being land granted to Jordan Gibson on 1 July 1758, conveyed to John Wootan on 25 September 1761 then to Ben Davis on 16 July 1762 then to James Ivey on 26 July 1766. (See Ivey below)

The Gibsons of Louisa County, later called Melungeons, and the Gibsons of Pee Dee share a common ancestor proven by DNA match.


Thomas Chivers was appointed to a jury of twelve men in Isle of Wight County on 28 July 1658 to determine whether 900 acres belonged to Major Nicholas Hill or to John Snollock [VMHB V:406]. He purchased 1,100 acres of land at the head of Sunken Marsh near Chipoakes Creek in Surry County, Virginia, on 20 May 1659 for two cows, payment of 4,000 pounds of tobacco in October that year, and payment of 4,000 pounds of tobacco in October 1660. He died sometime before 13 April 1664 when his daughter Elizabeth was bound out until she came of age [DW 1:151; Haun, Surry County Court Records, I:149; II:232].

Thomas CheversChavis purchased 1,100 acres of land at the head of Sunken Marsh near Chippoakes in Surry Co. Virginia - 1659  These Chavis descendants also went to Bertie Co., NC and then to Granville where they were apparently one of the 15 Saponi Indians living on William Eaton's land.



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.

History of the Adam Ivey Family

The DNA evidence shows that the Ivys, Iveys and Ivies are related to the Busbices/Busbys/Buzbees in the male line. The Ivy male line's "Busby" DNA could have resulted from an Ivy adoption of a male Buzbee, or a Busby male could have been the father of a male Ivy. Ivey and Busby

“After seeing the latest Y-DNA results, it appears that it's highly probable that the Benjamin Busby line and one of the Ivey/Ivie/Ivy lines are entangled, most likely in very early Colonial Virginia. One of the Busby/Busbice/Buzbee male descendants is matching 66/67 markers with what we believe to be the Adam Ivie line of Charles City/Prince George Co, VA" - Jerry Ivey - Here

Thomas Busby (born about 1674) was an “Indyan boy” servant to Mr. Robert Caufield of Surry Co. VA in July of 1684 when his age was adjudged at 10 years (Haun, Surry County Records 1682-91, 444) - This Thomas Busby is likely named after Thomas Busby the interpreter for the crown mentioned in records of George Gibson in 1666. Could this Thomas Busby "Indyan boy" be the Ivey DNA match?

Surry County - 5 Mar 1688/89 Book 4 p108 Robert Caufield 680a where I lately lived and known as Sunken Marsh. ( Thomas Chavis land was also on Sunken Marsh -see above)

Will of Capt. Robert Caufield, of Lawne's Creek parish, Surry county: Names niece Elizabeth, wife of William Holt, niece Mary, wife of James Bruton, nephew John Seward; legacy to Mary, dau. of Charles Williams; to Mrs. Mary Holt 15L Page 311. sterl.; legacies to Frances, dau. of Francis Mason, Elizabeth, dau. of Arthur Allen, to Katherine and James, children of Arthur Allen, (Arthur Allen was owner of Bacon's Castle) to Mrs. Elizabeth Holt, Wm. Hancocke and his wife, to Samuel Newton and John Collins, wife Elizabeth. Dated Jan. 2, 1691; proved Jan. 19, 1691. [Capt. Robert Caufield was son of William Caufield, of the parish of Chippoakes, Surry county, and Doreas, his wife.

22 Jul 1743 Jno. Collins enters 200 acres in Craven County on south side of Contentnea Creek bordering Thomas Ivi’s line and runs up the creek… [North Carolina Land Entries 1735-1752, A. B. Pruitt, p44]

This may refer to the land granted to Thomas Ivey the following year. Thus, this may be the first sighting of the Thomas Ivey who was in Bladen County later this year. The name on the warrant at the Archives is very difficult to read and may be “Ive” or “Ivi” or “Ives” or something else entirely.

1 Dec 1744 Grant: Thomas Ivey, 300 acres in Craven County on the south side Great Contentnea Creek on the Mirey branch. [Colony of NC 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Margaret M. Hofman, Vol. 1, p11, Grant #2721]

23 Oct 1754 Granville Grant: Adam Ivey, 285 acres in Edgecombe County on Contentnea Creek joining Ivey’s Meadow and John Haywood. Survey for Adam Ivey dated 4 September 1753, chain carriers: Joshua Lee, Peter Bass. [Patent Book 11, p211]

This is actually on Little Contentnea Creek. “Ivey’s Meadow” clearly implies that he already owned adjoining land.


Leift. Robert Sheppard due 650 acres of land in James City Co., 26 July 1638, for transporting 13 persons ... the list includes Robert Swett. The land granted to Robert Sheppard at this time was on the south bank of the James River at Chippokes Creek. [Nugent, p. 584] [Nugen t, Nell Marion, "Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Paten ts and Grants 1623-1666" (1934, Genealogical Publishing Company reprint 19 69), p. 94] .

17 October 1640: James City Court: "Whereas Robert Sweat hath begotten with child a negro woman servant (not slave) belonging unto Lieutenant Sheppard, the court hath therefore ordered that the said negro woman shall be whipt at the whipping post and the said Sweat shall tomorrow in the forenoon do public penance for his offence at James City church in the time of divine service according to the laws of England in that case provided." [Virginia Council and General Court Records 1640-1641, in "Virginia Magazine of History" Vol. II, p. 281] This was a general law against fornication that applied to all members of the colony.


1754 Governor Dobbs requested reports from the militia commanders of North Carolina’s counties. The Bladen militia submitted the following: “Col. Rutherford’s Regimt. of Foot in Bladen County 441, a Troop of horse 36... Drowning Creek on the Head of Little Peedee, 50 families, a mixt Crew, a lawless People, filleth the Lands without patent or paying quit rents. Shot a surveyor for coming to view vacant lands being inclosed in great swamps. Quakers to attend musters or pay as in the Northern Counties. Fines not high enough to oblige the militia to attend musters. No arms stores or Indians in the county.” [Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. V, p161

A number of ethnologists, archeologists, historians, etc., have identified these 50 mixt families living on Drowning Creek as the ancestors of the Lumbee Indians. So who was living in Bladen County in 1754? The records show that these families who would later be called Lumbee, Melungeons, etc., were, in fact, living on Drowning Creek - Pee Dee River area in 1754.

27 August 1753, John Johnson Jr. entered 100 acres in Bladen County, North Carolina on the north side of Pugh's marsh whereon John Oxendine was then living. (Bladen County Land Entries #805). In 1759 , he and two of his sons, John and Benjamin, lived in the Drowning Creek area of Bladen County, North Carolina which is the upper part of the Lumbee River area. The Oxendine, Ivey and Linegar are found on Newman's Ridge. 

Moses Bass was living near "the drains of Drowning Creek" on 1 February 1754 when Robert Carver entered 100 acres there [Philbeck, Bladen County Land Entries, nos. 677, 934]

Thomas Ivey 300 acres on Drowning Creek where James Roberts formerly lived on 26 September 1755 [Philbeck, Bladen County Land Entries, nos. 974, 1048].

Robert Sweat was granted 100 acres on Wilkerson Swamp near the Little Pee Dee River on 23 Dec 1754. This land adjoined the land of Joshua Perkins and was sold to Phillip Chavis.

Gilbert Sweat Case…21 Aug. 1829…St. Landry’s Parish LA… Testimony of Joshua Perkins – Gilbert Sweat was born about 1756 in what was then Marion Co. SC on the Pee Dee River. About the year 1777, Perkins helped Sweat run away with Frances Smith, the wife of J.B. Taylor. Sweat moved from SC to Tenn, to NC to Big Black River, Miss. And arrived in LA in 1804.

31 Mar 1753 Grant: To Daniel Willis, 300 acres in Bladen County on Saddletree Swamp adjacent Thomas Ivey [Colony of NC 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Margaret M. Hofman, Vol. 1, p10, grant #111]

17 November 1753 Bladen County land which had been surveyed for Gideon Gibson in North Carolina on the north side of the Little Pee Dee River was mentioned in a Bladen County land entry [Philbeck, Land Entries: Bladen County, no. 904].

20 Feb 1754 Land Entry: Thomas Ivey enters 150 acres including his own improvements, on the 5 Mile Branch in Bladen County. [North Carolina Land Entries 1753-1756, A. B. Pruitt, Vol. 2, p127] (From BOB'S FILING CABINET)

Fayetteville, North Carolina --- Dec. 2, 1845 -- Extreme Old Age -- A writer in the Highland Messenger says he had just visited Spencer Bolton, a resident of Buncombe county, who is now almost one hundred and ten years of age! He was born (1735) on Big Pee Dee River, in South Carolina, and is still sound in mind and body. He was in several skirmishes under Marion in the Rebolutionary war. Has been for 65 years a member of the Methodist Church. Health generally good. In early life, principal diet bread, rice, potatoes, and milk; slept on straw beds; generally up before day-light; and much accustomed to bathe in cold water. To the influence of these habits he ascribes his long life. Spencer Bolton is father of Solomon Bolton who was identified as a Portuguese/Melungeon in 1874 court case.

These are the families first found on Chippoakes Creek, as they spread out into the Carolinas, Kentucky, Tennessee etc.

TBC  Part Two Melungeons and Redbones - Are they Lumbee Indians?

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 ...