Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The First Gibsons

I have decided to do some spring cleaning and post some of my research.  Most of what will be posted can easily be sourced by googling it. Since this will take me pretty much into summer I want to get as much out there as I can, later I will go back and add sources.   If you can't find a source just send me an email  --  Joanne.

Those who started out as neighbors in Surry County and went to the Carolinas as well as west into Western Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and beyond will be discussed.  Chippoakes Creek seems to be the home to many of these families known as Melungeons, Redbones, Lumbee, Brass Ankles, Carmel Indians, etc.. in the beginning, and their secondary home  on the Pee Dee.

For a detailed view of the map Click Here


We first find Edward at Weynoke (1) and up the river at Falling Creek (1) in 1623, as a physician he would have been born around 1580-1590 a candidate for father of Indian Jane and her brother George Gibson. 

Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary
On March 7, 1624 it was reported to the General Court that Edward Gibson or Giften had administered physic to the sick at Falling Creek. He also had treated the sick at Weyanoke.  Thus, he probably was a surgeon or an apothecary.  

 Edward Gibson was apparently a physician , for in 1622, just before the massacre , he made a professional trip to Falling Creek:
”Capt . Nicholas Martin sworne and examined saith that Ed: Gibson camm upp to the fallinge Creeke, administered Phisick to ev'y of the p'sons specified, then went & did that Cure uppon Fossett who was farre spent with the droppsie and not one of these his patients misc(arried)."

Edward Gibson, 1652 Transported by Mr. James Warradine unknown Co. 
 Col William Hill 980 acs in Charles City County, Westover Parish on S side of James River 1683, part bounded in a patente to JAMES WARRADINE 13 Oct 1652 who deserted. 
Edward Gibson appears to be the earliest Gibson found living in the area of Charles City County.  Thomas Gibson was an early carpenter brought over to build a home for Powhatan but left no records, perhaps he returned to England or was one of the 400 plus colonists who perished during the 'Starving Time' 1608-1609. Contrary to what you read on the Internet there is nothing to connect this Thomas Gibson to any of the later Gibsons.

It would be rare, I think, to find a family in wills, deeds, etc., that did not name a son after their father and/or grandfather.  Gibby and Hubbard both named sons Edward, Gibby named  sons George and Gilbert, Hubbard named his sons John and Hubbard Jr.   John, Thomas and George Gibson are found in early records of Henrico and Charles City County. Thomas may have been Gibby's father but these men were certainly related. 


Francis Gibson came in the Seaflower with the Elizabeth Clements and son Jeremiah, Elizabeth was widow of Geoffrey Clements and married Ralph Hamor. In 1624 the Hamor, Clements and Francis Gibson were living at Hog Island by Warrasqueak (9).  Jeremiah Clements would later remove to Upper Chippoakes Creek where he was a neighbor of George Gibson. 

From the above map we can see Weyanoke (1) just under Westover (5) where Gibby Gibson resided in the 1720s and just above Westover is Shirley (4) where Jane died in the 1720s.  

Across the river from Weyanoke is Ward's Creek (6) where we find Hubbard Gibson in the 1690s and just below that is Upper Chippoakes Creek (11) where George and wife Mary Gibson lived.  Across the James is the Lightfoot Cemetery at Sandy Point, the old Paspageh Indian town, where Thomas, Gibby, and Francis are buried. 

Going downriver to Lower Chippoakes Creek you see Warrasqueak (9) and Lyons Creek  [also called Lawnes] (10) where we find Thomas and John Collins who will figure in later.  Their descendants are found on the Pee Dee River with the Gibsons and also very close to the Collins in Georgia who shares DNA with the Newmans Ridge line. Also on the 1624 Living and Dead census at Warrasqueak is William Denham.

Christopher Branche, 250 acs. in Henrico Co., Dec. 8, 1635, Page 326. At Kings land [2]  over against Arroe Hattocks, [3]  E. upon the main river, Southerly upon land granted John Griffin & now in the occupation of sd. Branch & running Northerly towards Thomas Sheffeild. Due for his own per. adv. & for the trans, of: John Gibson, John Macham, William Butler & Wm. Possell. 

In 1637 Humphrey Higgenson,  Gent., received 700 acs. called by the name of Tutteys neck, adj. to Harrop, 6 Feb. 1637, p. 519. E. S. E. upon a gr. swamp parting it from Harrop land, W. S. W. upon a br. of Archers hope [8] Cr. parting it from Kingsmells neck, W. N. W. upon an- other br. of sd. Cr. for transporting 14 people including Edward Gibson.

1639 John Osborne received 300 acs. James Citty County at the upper Chippokes Cr., [11] adj. N. E. for transportation of his wife, son, and four others including Walter Gibson. 

In 1640 Jane Gibson was born, according to testimony of Richard Willis in 1790, Jane had a brother George who apparently died without heirs. Is her brother George Gibson on Upper Chippoakes Creek or is George, wife Mary Goodwife, her parents? 


Virginia Immigrants

Gibson John 1635 by Christopher Branch Henrico
Gibson John 1637 by William Farrar Henrico
Gibson John 1638 by Christopher Branch Henrico 
Thomas Gibson 1639 by John Howell Henrico
Gibson John 1643 by John Freeme Charles City

WILLIAM FARRAR, sonne & heire to William Farrar, late of Henrico, deed., 2000 acs. Henrico Co., 11 June 1637, p. 436. Abutting Ely. upon the Gleab land of Varina, extending Wly. to the bottome of Island, Sly. upon the maine river & Nly. into the woods. Trans, at his owne costs of 40 pers including; Jon. Frame, Jon. Gibson, Henry Howell

JOHN FREEME, [Frame]  received 1,198 acs. in Charles, Co., Sept. 1, 1643, Near Flowerdy Hundred Cr.  transporting his wife Ann, and 24 people including Jno Gibson and Wm Major.

April 26, 1656: William Justice, 1198 acres Charles City, County, near Flower De Hundred Cr., 26 April, 1656. Adj land of Cheney Boice., Granted Captain John Frame, 1 September, 1643, and due said Justice as marriage the daughter and heyer of said Frame. Also for the transfer of 24 persons.

William Farrar transported John Frame, John Gibson and Henry Howell to Henrico County in 1637. John Frame then receives land in Charles City County and transports John Gibson and William Major [is this ancestry of MAJOR GIBSON] in 1643 and William Justice marries John Frame's daughter.

John Justice, born 1696 at Weyanoke, [Weyanoke later added to Westover Parish, home of Gibby Gibson] Charles City County, removed to Harping Creek, Halifax County, Virginia, Major Gibson also has land on Harping Creek. Descendants of John Justice have male DNA that matches the Gibson family of Charles City County. 

Major Gibson is first found in Orange County, North Carolina tax with Thomas and George Gibson in 1750s. He then has land in Pittsylvania County in 1767 at Harping Creek on the Pigg River. Major Gibson is next found in 1779 on Back Creek, Randolph County, North Carolina with David Gibson, son of Gilbert Gibson, grandson of Gibby Gibson. If this is the same Major Gibson it seems he ties all these families together. 

Thomas Gibson transported to Henrico by John Howell in 1639. He seems the most likely candidate for the father of Gibby Gibson and the father of Thomas Jr., born in 1647 however Gibby did not name a son Thomas.  Thomas is buried at Sandy Point with Gibby, possibly Gibby did name a son Thomas who died young.  There is only one Thomas Gibson on the 1668 Tax, Thomas, born in 1647. It seems more probable the elder Thomas is Gibby's father bound out to learn a trade in 1672 as Thomas Junior would appear to have been too young to be the father. More on this later. 

Thomas Gibson born 1647 lived on Sunken Marsh, Upper Chippoakes Creek, surely a relative of George Gibson, likely on the land of his father Thomas Gibson Sr.  Thomas Jr was living on Sunken Marsh in 1668 then moved to Soutwark Parish from 1669-to 1683 when he is found at Sunken Marsh. In 1668 Thomas Gibson and wife Mary sell their land to Thomas Tyas and disappear from record.  

There is record at Christ Church in Middlesex County, Virginia of a Thomas and Mary; 

  Thomas Gibson dyed Jan'y. y" 18 & was buried Jan'y y" 19 1721
Mary Gibson dyed Septem' y"' 27. & was buried Septem' y° 29. 1726.

Did Thomas and Mary go to Middlesex in 1688 after they sold their land? Thomas would have been 40-41 - of age to be father of John Gibson married Elizabeth Wilcox 1707 Christ Church Middlesex County - father of Gideon/Gibeon Gibson of Marrs Bluff?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Melungeon Indians


Last year my doctor told me I had to quit reading the post on James Nickens page or I was going to have a stroke.  Every once in awhile someone will send me one of his ridiculous post, I laugh and throw it away, however this last one cannot be ignored.

This man is supposed to be some sort of authority on Indians, and for him to make a remark that the Melungeons, especially the Melungeons of East Tennessee "are not Portuguese" and the Melungeons of Middle Tennesee are heavily descended from Indians but East Tennesee 'not so much' -- shows this man has done little or no research into the genealogy and ancestry of these families. 

In the first place the Middle Tennessee counties of Wilson, Sumner, Jackson, and Davidson, Franklin, and Humphries [ also Marion and Hamilton]  are of the same core families of the Melungeons of East Tennessee.  

In the second place the Indians these families 'heavily descend from' mixed with Portuguese explorers, which apparently pre-dates Nickens research.

It is unquestionable there were 450 men and women, Spanish, Africans, South Americans, etc., and who knows what other ethnicity, were left behind on the Pee Dee river in 1526 when the remaining 150 returned to Spain.  Some certainly died, but if even 10-20 Portuguese and/or Africans survived and lived amongst the Natives in Carolina, how many descendants of these Portuguese/African/Spanish, etc., would have left their DNA with the Carolina tribes by mid 1700s?  

"Just as with De Soto's expedition, African slaves had accompanied de Ayllon's settlement colony on the Pee dee River in 1526. When there was a crisis over leadership, the colony fell into disarray. In the midst of this crisis, a slave revolt further ripped the settlement apart. With the colony in shambles, many of the African slaves fled to live among the nearby native people. According to De Soto, these refugees must have lived among the Cofitachiqui and taught them the craftwork of the Europeans."  (Slavery in the Cherokee Nation By Patrick Neal Minges)

It is also unquestionable that  a shipload of Portuguese sailors came with deSoto in 1540. 

"In the month of April, of the year 1538, the adelantado (deSoto) delivered the ships over to the captains who were to go in them. He took a new and good sailing ship for himself and gave one to Andre de Vasconcelos, in which the Portuguese went ---->[HERE]

I wonder how many Portuguese sailors were on the sailing ship?  The Portuguese definitely mixed with the Indians, just as Vardy Collins told the journalist in 1848.  

  • They captured a hundred head, among Indian men and women. Of the latter, (the women) there, as well as in any other part where forays were made, the captain selected one or two for the governor and the others were divided among themselves and those who went with them.
  • As soon as the governor had crossed the stream, he found a village called Achese a short distance on. Although the Indians had never heard of Christians they plunged into a river. A few Indians, men and women, were seized,
  • At the time of his departure, because of the importunity of some who wished more than was proper, he asked the cacique for thirty Indian women as slaves.....The Indians gave the governor thirty Indian women and the necessary tamemes [for DeSoto's men to wed then populate his planned settlement at Mobile Bay].


"In the months after Pardo’s departure in November 1567, however, relations between Fort San Juan and the people of Joara took a calamitous turn for the worse. By May 1568, news reached Santa Elena that Indians had attacked all of Pardo's forts and that all were destroyed. Several factors may have played a role in the aggressive action, but two stand out: the soldiers' demands for food and their improprieties with native women. At Fort Santiago, for example, Pardo ordered “that no one should dare bring any woman into the fort at night...under pain of being severely punished.”  ---> HERE

 It is a documented fact at least one of deSoto's men ran off and was last seen living as the husband to the "Lady of Cofitachequi."  When deSoto visited this Indian town with one of the gentleman who had accompanied deAyllon some years earlier it was recorded he recognized items from deAyllon's settlement. 
Ylasi/Ilapi on the Pee Dee River is a mere stones throw from the Portuguese/Indian settlement of Melungeons. 

These are not 'opinions' or 'hypotheticals' of Joanne Pezzullo.  These are real facts, documented hundreds of years ago.  

The Indians had mixed with the Portuguese/Spanish/Africans etc., long before Jamestown was even in a twinkle in someone's eye!


Here we have two Tennessee Historians with their 'eyewitness to history' account  of the MELUNGEONS of Wilson County, who were known to be PORTUGUESE in 1850. But we are to believe JAMES NICKENS that the Melungeons were NOT Portuguese and he knows that by osmosis. 

In the AMERICAN of Sept. 15, 1890  Dan W. Baird wrote of the Malungeons, in part, as follows:"Several families are still to be found in Smith, Wilson, Rutherford, and Davidson Counties. There is nothing in their family names to give the student of ethnology a clue to their origin. In a locality in Wilson County known forty years ago as 'Malungeon Town', the most common names were Richardson, Nickens, and Collins. In Rutherford County not far from Lavergne, the principal Malungeons were Archers, Lanterns, and Blackmans. One of the latter family has sold fish in the north end of the market house in this city (Nashville) for many years, and some of the same family reside a few miles out on the Nolensville Turnpike. "A pretty fair speciman of the Malungeon tribe is a young fellow named Bernice Richardson, now serving a life sentence in the state prison for self-confessed complicity in the murder of M.T. Bennet of Lebanon.From Saundra Keyes Ivey;''Baird expresses surprise that writers of recent article on the Melungeons had not 'referred to the state records or called on any of the many old citizens still living who are familiar with all that is known of the history of the people called Malungeons......

........... And it is then that Baird writes of the Sevier letter and cites the speech of McKinney:
He goes on to write; "All they seem to know of themselves is that they are 'Malungeons' and of Portuguese descent. These two points have been agreed upon for more than three-fourths of a century, and it appears that any one who undertakes to investigate the matter will be forced to accept them as established facts. "

Dan Baird was founder of the  SOUTHERN LUMBERMAN in 1881 in Lebanon, Tennessee and later moved to Nashville,  in connection with publishing the magazine. 

In a later exchange  written by R. M. Ewing to the Editor;
DAILY AMERICAN Sept 21, 1890 p. 4.R. M. Ewing, wrote that when he attended law school at Lebanon Tennessee, in 1851: 

" there was a colony of people residing within a few miles of Lebanon who were locally, and so far as I know generally, called Malungeons. They seemed to be a hard working, harmless, inoffensive people, a dark red or copper color, and jet black, straight hair... these people claimed to be of Portuguese descent.The  1850 census shows R. M. Ewing in the  Ninth Civil District of Williamson County, Tennessee -- Student at Law. The Cumberland University School of Law was located in Lebanon, Tennessee.

In 1830 Wilson County census  James and Permelia Nickens, John Brown, George and Elisha  Collins, Gideon Goins,  Jacob and Hezekiah Archy or Achy family appear as  Free Colored Persons.   Shadrack Goins and members of the Gibson family are also residing in Wilson County but their families are listed as white for that census. 

There can be no doubt there were Portuguese people on the the Pee Dee River, as well as Africans and Spaniards in the 1500s.  There is also no doubt the Ivey, Gibsons, etc., and those associated with them were Trappers and Indian Traders 1600-1700s.   There is no doubt in late 1800 early 1900, according to most ethnologist, anthropologists, and historians, the Melungeons were a branch of the Croatan/Lumbee Tribe.  For someone to say the Melungeons were NOT Portuguese OR heavily descended from Indians clearly shows they have not researched these families of Gibson, Bunch, Ivey, Collins, Sweat, Chavis etc., who lived on Chippoakes Creek, Virginia, one branch going  to Bertie Co., North Carolina, to the Pee Dee River, and another branch  to Louisa Co., Virginia, to Orange and Wilkes County, North Carolina to East Tennesee.  

Each of these settlements were either on the Trading Paths, Old Indian Villages, Indian lands, etc... 

Someone please tell James Nickens he need not look far to find court records and historical documents that declare Ivey, Bolton, Perkins, Shoemake, Goins, Ashworth, Collins, Gibson, Mitchell, Chavis, etc., were Portuguese. 

On Newman's Ridge in East Tennessee were Sizemore, Lawson, Freeman, and Hiltons with the Native American Q DNA. The "head'' of the Melungeons, the Gibsons, kinsmen freed from slavery as they proved they descended from an Indian woman, Jane Gibson, born 1640 in Charles City County. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Ohio's Lost Indian Tribe Part II

They Were Indians 
The ancestors of the families in the article on the 'Lost Tribe of Indians in Ohio' were the Cole, Perkins, Gibson, Collins, Nichols etc., there were known as 'the Brown People of Magoffin County' before migrating to Ohio.  On Newman's Ridge in East Tennessee they were known as Melungeons and their kinfolk retained that name there.  

This article followed the string of articles published by Will Allen Dromgoole; 

The Melungeons
A Peculiar Race of People Living Hancock County
The Knoxville Journal
Special Correspondence of The Journal
Rogersville, Tenn., September 25
The newspapers of the country are again wrangling with the 'Melungeons' or 'lungens' a peculiar race of people living along Newman's Ridge in Hancock county.  They are also scattered along Clinch mountain in Hawkins and Grainger in isolated settlements.  Even that bright and fascinating young writer, Miss Will Allen Dromgoole has taken it upon herself to journey all the way from Nashville to the wilds of Hancock for the evident purpose of settling once and for all the much disp... (?) question of their origin.  Unfortunately she gleamed little information other than that already published.....
..........As to their origin--- well that is where the mystery comes in.  While they have the appearance of Mulatto, Portuguese, and Indian all mixed in different and various proportions, they bear names evident of English origin, such as Gibson, Collins, Singleton, Goins, and Mallett.  The Gibson and Collins are the most numerous......
...........In Magoffin county, Kentucky, one of the wildest of the eastern subdivisions of the commonwealth there is a community or settlement of people, who claim to be descendants of Portuguese, and the resemblance is said to be striking and complete.....
While Dromgoole has been credited with bringing the Melungeon people to the headlines of newspapers it was in fact Dr. Swan Burnett and Hamilton McMillan a year earlier.

If you want to find information on the United States Census you can go to https://www.census.gov/-- yes that is correct it is a dot gov.  In 1890 the U. S. Census Printing Office published a "Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed in the United States (except. Alaska) at the Eleventh Census: 1890. 

In the State of Tennessee Indians, taxed and not taxed;

In a number of states small groups of people, preferring the freedom of the woods or the seashore to the confinement of regular labor in civilization, have become in some degree distinct from their neighbors, perpetuating their qualities and absorbing into their number those of like disposition, without preserving very clear racial lines. Such are the remnants called Indians in some states where a pure-blooded Indian can hardly longer be found. In Tennessee such a group, popularly known as Melungeans, in addition to those still known as Cherokee.

Exhibit B7.
The Croatan Tribe lives principally in Robeson County, N. C., though there are quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter County, S. C., there is a branch of the tribe and also in East Tennessee. In Lincoln County, N. C., there is another branch, settled there long ago. Those living in East Tennessee are called "Melungeans," a name also retained  by them here,


                    Magoffin County, Kentucky 1900 UNITED STATES CENSUS

                                           INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILLING THIS SCHEDULE

This modified form of Schedule No 1 is to be used in making the enumeration of Indians, both those on the reservations and those living in family groups outside of reservations.

Detached Indians living either in white or negro families outside of reservations should be enumerated on the general population schedule (Form 7-224) as members of the families in which they are found:  but detached whites or negroes living in Indian families should be enumerated on this schedule as members of the Indian families in which they are found.  In other words,every family composed mainly of Indians should be reported entirely on this schedule  and every family composed mainly of person not Indian should be reported entirely on the general population schedule.





Weekly Courier Journal

A Tribe of Indians Which Continues
to Flourish In Floyd County

(Bill Cole - Cherokee Indian Chief)
Hazard, Perry County April 15 --


''A woman with a very yellow face came to the door and after piling her
youngsters into a box sardine -style informed us that she was Bet -
the great-granddaughter of old Bill Cole, the aged Cherokee Indian
chief who died on the same hill ten years before. Cole the head of a
tribe of half-breeds and about a hundred and fifty of his people
still live on the same ridge. He was 110 years old when he died and
his grave is on the highest spur of the mountain where his house
still stands. ''

To Be Continued

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 ...