Saturday, October 18, 2014

Johnnie Rhea Collection Hawkins County Archives

                                              Johnnie Rhea top of Newman Ridge March 2003

                                        Johnnie Rhea Collection

     Over the years Johnnie Rhea stored  an incredible amount  of genealogy records and books in her home. Including 32 large notebooks and rolls of microfilm, most likely all of William P. Grohse collection. Part of these books and genealogy information was authored by Johnnie.  
      This collection also includes 66 folders in large boxes on Rack # 6. 802 books and notebooks, the location of these records are listed on the index.
The following 62 records are in the Chancery Court filing cabinet.

              Hawkins County Chancery Court by Plaintiff 1795-1810
                       (Most of these are partial court records)
13 (Daughters, Docie Miser, Carrie Goins wife vs sons cont- Monroe, Dan sons, Munless
47 1934 Alder, Willie vs Alder, Jesse divorce
3 1919 Anderson, W. P. vs Collins, Ardella, C. C. Collins & wife  Elizabeth Collins, Mack Collins, John Collins, Rilla Collins children and heirs of Lucus Collins dec'd
54 1953 Annual Stats Report  Hancock Schools
64 1929 Bales, Robert-Guardian for Collins, Varda, Conley, Mary & Edith Deed of conveyance
40 1944 Bell, Etta Lawson vs Bell, Joe et al land dispute
39 1922 Bivik, ? Anderson, Alice marriage license
33 1858 Bloomer, Joseph vs Herd, John & George
15 1858 Bloomer, Joseph vs Roberts, Claiborne & others Debt for land
58 1843 Braley, James & Others vs Dicks, Alexander & Others Debts on Settlement
1 1866 Collins, Allen vs Gibson, Jesse
21 B 1940 Collins, Atsie vs Collins, Hagan Divorce
38 1858 Collins, Benjamin vs Collins, Elizabeth Divorce
64 1903 Collins, Baty & wife Cyntha to Miser, Logan Deed
34 1889 Collins, Bud vs Collins, Clarinda Divorce
9 1891 Collins, Bud vs Collins, Clisuida
12 1883 Collins, Burton vs Collins, Mary Jane Divorce
30         Collins, Claude vs     Collins, Minnie Divorce
31         Collins, Claude     vs     Collins, Minnie Divorce
17 1893 Collins, Conway vs Gibson, Arthur
43         Collins, Conway  vs     Seal, John
52 1962 Collins, Flora          vs     Collins, Joseph Alimony
16 1899 Collins, George  Adm vs Collins, Emily  etal Will dispute
40 1898 Collins, George  Adm vs Collins, Emily  etal Will dispute
21 1944 Collins, Guy          vs       Collins, Elsie Mae               Divorce
13 1906 Collins, Howard  (died 16 Feb 1906) vs Collins, Munless Executor Will children named
12 1960 Collins, Isabelle vs Collins, Mathias Divorce
23         Collins, Joe         vs            Johnson, Flora
20 1913 Collins, Lewis vs Collins, Hannah Divorce
38 1949 Collins, Mabel Seal vs Collins, Reuben Divorce
64 1905 Collins, Maletea to More, Elizabeth Deed
3 1883 Collins, Mary Jane vs Collins, Burton
8 1920 Collins, Mattie vs Collins, Sage
64 1906 Collins, Monroe & wife Elizabeth to Collins, Dasley & others Deed
12 1860 Collins, Nancy vs Collins, Elby Divorce
64 1912 Collins, Noah & wife Alice to Mizer, Logan Deed
2 1889 Collins, Orpha vs Collins, Simeon Divorce (reconciled
46 1891 Collins, Patsy vs Collins, Hilny divorce
35 1870 Collins, Rubern vs Collins, Elizabeth Divorce
5 1897 Collins, Vardy  (son of old Vardy) vs Will
18 1943 Collins, Walter vs Davidson, Marshall
10 1882 Collins, Zelpha vs Collins, Enoch also, Mathis Family
41 1866 Depew, John adm et al  vs Dalton, Colby Et Al 
48         Depew, John adm et al   vs Dalton, Colby et al
64 1802 Dunlap, Hugh & Miller, Robert to Mizer, George 25 acres
51         Ferguson, Alice    vs  Ferguson, Lee Divorce
40 1886 Fletcher, Henry vs Baker, Andrew dispute
39         Fox, Beatrice Collins vs Fox, Thurman Jacob divorce
39         Gibson, Able et al vs Gibson, Ransom et al land dispute Hancock Co
44 1917 Gibson, Andy  vs Collins, Grant
12 1843 Gibson, Charles to Nichols, William Deed, certified copy
22 1843 Gibson, Charles  (same as folder 12) vs Nichols, William Deed, certified copy
12 1948 Gibson, Fanny vs Gibson, Hugh   *Guardian
24 1934 Gibson, Flora Mae vs Gibson, Horase Divorce
38 1858 Gibson, Hillary vs Gibson, Mary Jane Divorce
30         Gibson, Jennie vs Seal, Henry Divorce
61         Gibson, Jordan N.C. County Court Case
12 1947 Gibson, Julia vs Gibson, William Divorce
12 1943 Gibson, Lewis vs Gibson, Mollie Divorce
23         Gibson, Marie vs Cornwell, Frank
23         Gibson, Richard vs Stewart, Mary
45 1889 Gibson, Sarah E. vs Gibson, Kelly
2 1876 Gibson, Thomas vs Lawson, George Land dispute
36 1875 Gibson, Thomas vs Lawson, George H.  Etal Land dispute
23         Goins, Ciele vs Seal, Mary Mable
59 1853 Goins, Elijah vs Mayes, Sterling lawsuit
23         Goins, Helen vs Burchet, Floyd
26 1890 Goins, John vs Goins, Martha Divorce
44 1906 Goins, John & Mahala to Gibson, Andrew & wife Emily 
60         Goins, John Archivy
49 1914 Goins, Maud vs Goins, Brownlow Divorce
12 1959 Green, Opal Bloomer vs Green, Coy Divorce
65 1957 Groshe, W. P. Jr-- land  top of Powells Mt-appraisalarket value $ 2
23          Hatfield, Louise vs Harris, Owen Divorce
42 1938 Horton, S. S. & J. M. vs Gibson, Ida et al land dispute
62          Index of Obituaries Primitive Baptist by Garner, Hallie
11 1940-42 Jarvis M Jarvis 11  vs Certified copy Will
40 1962 Jarvis, Lawton  vs Jarvis, Valeria Seal Divorce
22 1955 Johnson, Betty Lee vs Johnson, Glen Divorce
28         Johnson, Burley vs Johnson, Dorothy Divorce
23         Johnson, Hester vs Seal, Jack
7 1934 Johnson, Mattie vs Johnson, Jack Divorce
40 1963 Lamb, Willie G. vs Lamb, Lizzie divorce
40 1958 Lawson, Gladys Trent vs Lawson, Vance Contempt
56         Lawson, Jack folder
41 1945 Lawson, Martha Gibson vs Carroll, Lowell Ray & Carroll, Paralee Deanna
7 1883 Lawson, Minta vs Lawson, Emanuel
57          Lawson, Mormon Slanton History Gibson, Johnnie Rhea, Brewer, Norrie Bell
14 1880 Long, Patsy vs Long, Joseph Divorce
28         Mahan, Ollie vs   Mahan , Chester Divorce
44 1906 Makey, Frank to Goins, Mahaly & John Deed for Land
65 1926 Mancuro, Phillip & Groshe, W. P. 2 letters
56 1847 Manis, Jane widow of Manis, Riley to Lawson,Peter Deed
65 1926 Margraves, C.W. &  Eidson, Eva L to Margraves, S. A.
65 1893 Margraves, S. A to Margraves, C. W. Deed
64 1923 Margraves, Sallie to Fleener, Grant Deed
22         Maxey, Charles vs Maxey, Flora Divorce
22         Mills, Bonnie  vs Mills, Clyde Divorce
65 1912 Miser, Logan & wife to Miser, Mealey
65 1931 Miser, Logan & wife to Miser, Walter and Dora
64 1809 Mizer, George to Morrow, John 2 tracts land on 2nd creek
64 1794 Moore, Arthur to Collins, Charles 200 acres Tuckhoo Creek
40 1955 Mullins, Bonnie vs Mullins, Ellis divorce
22 1956 Mullins, Connie vs Mullins, Ellie Divorce
32 1884 Mullins, Ellis vs Mullins, Phoeba Divorce (Pictures John Mull
38 1902 Mullins, Hattie vs Mullins, Thomas Divorce
53         Mullins, John         vs Mullins, Sarah Divorce
40 1960 Mullins, William vs Mullins, Lucille divorce
1 1861 Muncey, James   vs Collins., Allen
43         Muncy, James vs Collins, Allen
56 1839 Muray, Nancy   vs Murray, Chrisopher Divorce
40 1964 Myers, Martha Mullins vs Myers, Tommy Divorce
33 1891 Nicholson, Sarah to Roberts, Thomas Land Grant
40 1962 Odom, Charlie vs Cody, Ernest Guardianship 
13         Tennessee Goins, vs  Laura mar. a Stewart  
40 1963 Olson, Jean Cantwell vs Olson, Fayne Lee Divorce
40 1957 Purkey, Barbara vs Purkey, Hugh Divorce
12 1927 Ratliff, Ola vs Rarliff, Carl Divorce
64 1800 Rawlings, Asahel to Mizer, George Deed
12 1955 Redwine, Nina vs Redwine, Olan Divorce
65 1960 Reece, Carroll Western Union telegram to Groshe, William P.
39         Rhea, Louis J. Jr vs Rhea, Martha divorce
40 1946 Rhea, Mary Lamb vs Rhea, George
37 1940 Ringley, Gracie vs Ringley, Joe Divorce
29 1894 Roberts, Francis vs Roberts, George Divorce
50 1894 Roberts, Francis vs Roberts, George Divorce
52 1894 Roberts, Francis vs Rogers, George
57         Roberts, Joseph, Gibson, John; Cloud. Mary Ruth; Bolden-Bell, Bertha; Bunch-Estep, Betty
27 1890 Roberts, Margaret vs Seals, W. G. Land dispute
39 1957 Roberts, Ray vs Roberts, Ruth Divorce
12 1958 Russell, George vs Russell, Gladys Divorce
12 1929 Seal, Elber & wife Theodocia vs Warranty Deed
31 1915 Seal, Jennie vs Seal, Henry Divorce
4 1945 Seal, Myrtle vs Seal, Hord Child support
55 1907 Seal, Oliver  to Seal Jane Deed of Conveyance
28 1960 Seal, Ruby  vs Seal, Kyle Divorce
7 1979 Sexton, Isaac  vs Sexton, Malinda
65 1937 Sizemore, Lloyd & Julia to Groshe, William P.
25         Solomon, Collins; Silas Collins(Pictures) , Sem Goins, John, Collins, Semion pension request
63         Stamps Library Microfilm List
19 1905 State of Tenn vs Jaynes, W. S.  Etal
65 1906 Stewart, Cora to Collins, Nora Deed
31 1950 Trent John Tyler vs Trent, Viola Wilburn Divorce
22 195? Trent, Clara vs Trent, Carl Divorce
30         Trent, John vs Trent, Viola Wilburn Divorce
23         Trent, Lena vs Depew, Porter
40 1967 Trent, Sarah Rhea vs Trent, jimmie Contempt
6 1959 Waddell, Faris vs Waddell, Ruth Divorce
22 1962 Waddell, George Ray vs Waddell, Lorene Johnson Divorce
22 1956 Waddell, William Farris vs Waddell, Ruth Collins Divorce
23 1868 Walker, Henry  etal vs Walker, William  etal Sale of property
6 1960 Wells, Collins,Evelyn vs Wells, Clyde Divorce 
43         Willis, Johnny vs Willis, Mae
52 1934 Wilmeth, Taft alias Wilmeth, Pat  vs State
38         Wm. Robert vs Roberts will
22 1963 Wolfe, Jean Long vs Wolfe, Ophair Divorce

* Located Chancery file cabinet 11, top drawer  *

William P. Grohse Microfilmo09-7y/.'/.

774 Microfilm 1910 census Hamilton, Hancock & Haywood Counties roll T624 film cabinet
773 Microfilm 1920 census Hamblen-Hamilton                   roll T 625 film cabinet
765 Microfilm Hancock County Grohse papers                  roll 501-1 film cabinet
767 Microfilm Hancock County Grohse papers                  roll 501-3 film cabinet
766 Microfilm Hancock County Grohse papers                 roll 501-2 film cabinet
768 Microfilm Hancock County Grohse papers                 roll 501-4 film cabinet
769 Microfilm Hancock County marriages Jan 1960-Sept 1964 roll A-2349 film cabinet
771 Microfilm Hancock, Hamilton Census 1870-                   roll 593 film cabinet
770 Microfilm, Census 1790 NY, NC, Pa, Md,Conn, Maine,Mass, SC, Va roll T-498 film cabinet

Friday, September 12, 2014


        the act or an instance of diverting from a course, activity, or use : deviation

The Core Melungeon DNA program was formed with FamilyTreeDNA July 25, 2005. Our goal was to test proven descendants of the historical Melungeons using the Y & mtDNA tests to find the origin of their common ancestors and also to find relationships within the group. Those with European and Sub-Saharan African haplogroups had one thing in common, both groups were listed mulatto and free persons of color on several old tax, land, court and census records as they migrated from Virginia to North Carolina, to the New River area of NC and VA, then to Fort Blackmore and Tennessee .

. “Just not possible to make an R1a or R1b baby out of an E-3 man and a white woman”. I must have seen this question a hundred times on the internet, and on someone blog, today I will answer it.

Here is a simple example that shows the people who make this statement needs to take a course in Y- and mtDNA:
Example #1-an African E-3a male marries a European woman, they have 1 son and 2 daughters, this son who would be E-3a . Daughter #1 marries a male R1a, male children from this marriages will be haplogroup R1a. Daughter #2 marries a R1b male, their male children will be R1b. All these children will be mulatto.

Anyone who has any knowledge of DNA knows If an African E-3a male marries a white European woman and daughters from this union marry European men with R1b and R1a haplogroups their male children will be R1b and R1a.

If a woman from a European mother and an African father, who is a mulatto with a European mitochondrial haplogroup, marries an R1b or R1a male, their male children will be one fourth African, and carry a European mitochondrial DNA from their mother and a European R1b or R1a haplogroup from their father.

Excerpt; from the first press release of the DNA results, and the AP Article both agree. First release was aired on
WETS 89.5 FM - East Tennessee State University

New Genetic Study Sheds Light on the “Mysterious” Melungeons of Appalachia

A study published in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy answers many questions about the mixed-ethnic population known as Melungeons. Most researchers have asserted that the Melungeons were tri-racial; that is, a mix of European, African, and Native American ancestry. Legend, folklore, and more modern theories have speculated that the Melungeons descended from Portuguese sailors, ancient Phoenecians, Middle Eastern explorers, or survivors of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. However, the Core Melungeon DNA Project, involving the descendants of documented Melungeons from the early 19th century found no evidence of shipwrecked sailors or lost colonists – or, for that matter, Native Americans. The Melungeons of the early 19th century appear to have been the offspring of African-American men and European-American women.

Excerpts from: Associated Press article Friday May 25, 2012 from Pensacola News-Journal, mailed to me by a friend.

“DNA study seeks Melungeons’ origin”
Travis Loller Associated Press A new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishfull thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the off-spring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin. Soon after the results of the Core Melungeon DNA project was released, it appears that some did not grasp the word ORIGIN, from the AP article and the review. The descendants who arrived in Tennessee in 1795-1815 were at least 3 to 4 generations removed from their African foreparent. Those results brought about several diversions and a hate campaign, mostly against the administrators and the review board etc. All of this came as no surprise to me, this was a diversion created to ignore what they all knew!!, those individual results was undisputed science. Several prisoners, some from death row have been set free using this same type of DNA to prove they were not quilty.

This diversion was and is being instigated by some authors of books, magazines, documentaries, blogs and websites. Almost all of these write, or have written that the Melungeons were an exotic group of Indians, Turks, Jews, Portuguese. Who are the Melungeons? You don’t need to buy a book with this title, let the documented Melungeon descendants tell you with their own DNA.

Most researchers have asserted that the Melungeons were tri-racial; that is, a mix of European, African, and Native American ancestry. Legend has speculated that the Melungeons descended from Portuguese explorers, which may have been a cover story to explain their dark skin.

A special thanks to all the participants whose test results proved beyond any reasonable doubt the ORIGIN of the Historical Melungeons. The DNA projects continued after the peer review, mainly because of the Family Finder Test and the Melungeon related group, which includes those who can document they are Melungeon related-

The mystery of the Melungeons origin has been solved.
Anyone who has read our peer review, or been involved with the Core Melungeon Y-DNA project knows we list the surnames and the migration location required for those surnames who are eligible to join our project. We have no idea what their test results will be when they are approved to join our project. This fact is what makes these actuation so ridiculous, one surname that several adversaries have mentioned is Freeman, click on the link to our project and you can see this name is not included in our surname list. We have some in the project whose birth surname was later changed, but their Y-DNA follows their birth parents. Most of the internet bashing of our review concerns the African Haplogroups, it’s ugly, which this lady writes in her own words, her blog is a witness to why she hates the core Melungeon DNA project, see below.

"OK, it has been two years and all the ugly things that were written about the "People called Melungeons" have been printed, and for the most part buried out there on the internet wherever it is they dump their trash. "

"I might add that I quit this project in total disgust. As early as 2006 when this project was barely into it's first year there was talk of writing a book on the 'African ancestors of the Melungeons." This was first introduced in October of 2006 on a research trip to North Carolina with Penny Ferguson and Jack Goins, later promoted by Jill Lackey"

She was never in our DNA project and as the reader can see her major problem is her views about the African Haplogroups, She is upset with the African because as she has announced several times the following makeup for the Melungeons, with no Africans.

“From my research I hope to be able to show that the Malungeons were in fact Portuguese Adventurers who intermixed with the local Indians in the Carolinas, I believe I can.”

Where is her DNA project and who will she test? There is no Portuguese haplogroup, Portugal like American was settled by people with many different nationalities.

Another issue raised on the internet is why don’t the administrators of the core Melungeon DNA project debate some of the issue I have. This would be an inless useless debate, we presented our DNA findings to a peer review board and those results were approved and   published  here.

Some of the surnames listed in our project and tested were from descendants of the patriarch and others named by Capt. Lewis Jarvis who referred to them as the “friendly Indians” who helped build Fort Blackmore. if we were eliminating the ones we thought were Indians, I’m sure we would not have taking those friendly Indians named by Jarvis who wrote “ John Bolen was near full blooded”, a documented descendant from John Bolen DNA was E1b1a African.

When the Melungeons arrived on Newman Ridge and Blackwater beginning 1800, they had one thing in common, they were sometimes listed mulatto and or free colored on old land, tax and census records.

The first known Melungeons were Vardy Collins and Shepherd “Buck” Gibson, Valentine Collins, Solomon Collins, Benjamin Collins, Zachariah Minor, Joseph Goins, just to name a few. For this example we have 2 with European haplogroups Vardy Collins and Shep Gibson and 4 African haplogroups, Valentine and Benjamin Collins, Zachariah Minor and Joseph Goins.

When I first published tax lists of the Core Melungeons as they migrated from Virginia to NC and to Tennessee. I was told by a publisher who printed those lists. “The mystery of the Melungeons is what sells books and makes movies, that the mystery of the mulattoes will never get of the ground.”

The origin of the Melungeons is not the exotic story that some authors and some descendants prefer, but someday it could become the greatest story ever told. How they hid their identity by claiming some exotic heritage because their life depended on it, they were one slipup away from slavery. My GG Grandfather Zachariah Minor was tried in Hawkins County for illegal voting along with Vardy Collins, Solomon Collins, Levi Collins, Lewis Minor, Ezekial Collins, Andrew Collins, and Wiatt Collins. The free colored charges were from voting in an election held in 1845, they ended by 2 separate Jury trials Jan 1848 found not guilty, but when you think about what these families had to endure for almost 3 years, if found guilty they could have lost their homes.   These trials paints a very sad picture in the history of the Melungeons, most of the records from these trials are stored at the Hawkins County Archives and on microfilm Tennessee State Library and Archive. Rogersville attorney John Netherland defended them.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


In the April Newsletter I wrote about our need to research some areas where our
ancestors lived prior to migrating to the Clinch River Valley beginning in 1795.
When a large group of our Melungeon Progenitors left The Pamunkey River area
of Louisa and Hanover County, Virginia they migrated to the Flat River which at
that time was Granville County, North Carolina. This research is about the Flat
River area and the people who lived here and the ones who stayed. Person
County, North Carolina is bounded on the north by Virginia, on the south by
Durham and Orange counties, on the west by Caswell, and on the east by

My wife and I visited the Flat River area in Person County, North
Carolina in 1997 and took the pictures that are in my books of the Flat River and
the Flat River Primitive Baptist Church established in 1750. This area in Person
County was then Granville County, became Orange in 1752. This was the
location of the Melungeon Progenitors after selling their land in Louisa County,
Virginia they migrated to this area and lived here for at least 17 years (1749-
1767), they were sometimes enumerated as mulatto on land records and also on
a 1755 tax list.

In this area there is a tribe of Indians and I wrote about them in the first chapter
of my book, Melungeons Footprints From the Past. In the Person County Indian
Group, a school census taken in November 1936, listed 346 persons in the
community representing 76 families and the families averaged 6 to 8 children.
(2-May 1937 Louise V. Nunn-A comparison of the social situation of two Isolated Indian
Groups in Northern North Carolina. Submitted in partial requirements for a degree of
Master of Arts, Columbia University, New York, New York-.80 pages.)

Who were the 76 families of Person County Indians and who are they today ?
By Tom MacCaughelty
Durham Morning Herald, March 21, 1948

“As Indians, they never have been positively identified. Can they be, as their tradition
holds, the long sought descendants of the friendly Indians who received the colonists of
John White? Strangely enough, among the approximately 350 people in the scattered
farming community, only six family names are represented: Johnson, Martin, Coleman,
Epps, Stewart (also spelled Stuart), and Shepherd. Stranger still, three of these names
correspond closely with those among the list of Lost Colonists: Johnson, Coleman, and
Martyn. But theirs are common English names long familiar in North Carolina, and
intermarriage with the proximity to whites would be expected to extend such names
among them. (A seventh prominent name among this group is Tally.) As far back as
anyone knows, these people have displayed the manners and customs of white settlers,
but in this they don't differ from identified Indians.”

29 March 2003 – Courier-Times
State House OKs request from
Indians of Person County to change official name to ‘Sappony’
The Indians of Person County has been recognized under North Carolina law as
the "Sappony" tribe. after the House passed a bill effecting a formal name
change for the Indians of Person County, who have been officially known by that
name for the past 90 years.

Caswell County was formed from the Northern part of Orange County, North
Carolina in 1777 it included part of the Flat River, it was bounded on the North
by Pittsylvania & Halifax Counties, Virginia. From looking at land and tax records
John Collins whose land was on the Rocky Branch of the Flat River was not part
of the Collins who later became known as Melungeons. He remained in the new
1777 list
Paul Collins 1
Martin Collins 1
Middleston Collins 1,
Obadiah Collins 1,
John Collins 1
Most of the Flat River Collins began migrated to the New River area in 1767,
both John Collins Sr. & Jr. were on the 1771 tax list of Fincastle County, Virginia.
Person County was formed from Caswell County in 1791 and the Flat River was
in the new county. I didn’t find any Collins on the 1800 census of Person County
but did find an old Thomas Gibson, Edward Goin a family of 4 free colored,
Enoch? Goin 7 free colored, Allen Goan 7 free colored. Johnson is the most
popular surname on the census and is also a name among the Person County

A Startling Discovery
I received some valuable information from Sappony tribesman Stuart who told
me there was a Rolen Collins who hung out with the Person County Indians at
Woodsdale, late 1800s. Stuart also told me several from their group migrated to
Hawkins County, Tennessee, including his great grandfather Thomas Stewart
who married Eliza Epps daughter of Peter Epps, others in this group with the
Stewarts were Johnson,Shepherds, Epps and Martin. He also told me many from
this group are buried in the Jaynes/Shepherd Cemetery near Rogersville. I found
it listed in our cemetery books at the archive. It is located off Hwy 66 on the
Webb Road in the Choptack Community near Rogersville, Tennessee. I found
the cemetery Tuesday September 7, 2010.
Thirty nine people are buried there, five in unmarked graves. 5 Shephard, 7 Stuart, 3
Martin. They migrated to Hawkins County area in 1800s, their headstones are their
witness that they died in Hawkins County: John H. Stuart b 7 April 1865, died 11 June
1898; Eliza R. Stuart born 16 March 1826, died 21 May 1893.

In my conversation with the caretaker of this cemetery, a Martin, was not aware of the
Indian connection, but he did tell me years ago when the cemetery began, the land was
owned by a Shephard family. I need to find someone in this area who knows about their
ancient Person County Indian Ancestors.

Like their website reads the Person County Indians now Sappony have never
been positively identified. And their school was equally financed by Virginia and
North Carolina. The first school was built on Green Martins land in 1888 and the
cemetery in Hawkins County is run by a Martin 122 years later. I don’t find a
connection or association between this mysterious group and the Melungeons
except for the fact they lived on the same land around the Flat River in 1750.
Maybe the answer to some of this will come from the Hawkins County
descendants as this research continues.
Jack Goins

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


One self identified as an “avid Melungeon researcher” continues to distort Melungeon History on her blog and website, especially when it comes to the history of the Goins family. Making false claims the Goins didn’t live on Newman Ridge, which is the lie that originated with Will Allen Dromgoole in 1890’s.

“The African Branch was introduced by one Goins who emigrated from North Carolina after the formation of Tennessee”.(Dromgoole)

All of this nonsense is easily disputed by the land, marriage, census, church and tax records which show the Goins, Collins and Gibson lived near each other and intermarried. They also show the most famous Melungeon Mahala “Big Haley” Mullins mother was a Goins.

Lets us describe the area and examine those records. This area was in Hawkins County, Tennessee until 1844 when Hancock County was formed. On the North side of Newman Ridge is Mulberry Gap, Powell Mountain the valley between Newman Ridge and Powell Mountain, was named Vardy, for Vardy Collins who had a hotel and mineral springs resort. Blackwater Creek, beginning from a spring in Snake Hollow and flowing through Vardy Valley into Lee County, Virginia, where it makes a u-turn back to Hancock County and empties into the Clinch River, about 3 miles below Kyles Ford Tennessee, where Indian Ridge ends. On the south side of Newman Ridge is Greasy Rock, Panther Creek (old name Buffalo) flows along the south side and empties into the Clinch River a few miles west from the entrance of Blackwater Creek. Newman Ridge extends several miles east of Kyles Ford, past the Blackwater Church. This area was correctly described in 1848 as a gorge between Powell Mountain and the Copper Ridge.

Micajer Bunch was described by historian Bill Groshe as the first Melungeon on Newman Ridge. Micajer was one of the signers of the 1792 petition to form Lee County, Virginia. Tax records from the Virginia State Library and Archive show- 1795 Lee County, Virginia tax list records Micajer Bunch, Drury Bunch, Israel Bunch, Clem Bunch, Julius Bunch and Jeremiah Boling- 1797 Lee County tax list shows others who arrived which includes Zachariah Goins, he was the son of this authors 7th generation grandparents John and Elizabeth Goins of Henry County, Virginia. At this date most of the Collins, including Vardy was in Ashe County, North Carolina. Micajer Bunch land entry joined Joseph Wallen’s near Kyles Ford. Although Micajer was one of the first settlers he did not stay, Micajer is listed on the 1799 tax list of Cumberland County, Kentucky. Zachariah Goins is on the 1836 Tax list of Hawkins County, Tennessee living near Jesse Goodman and Fountain Goins.

Beginning in 1830 The David Allison Grant was transferred to Walter Sims who lost it to the state from back taxes. This land was located on both sides of the Clinch River and a large part of Newman Ridge, When the land was surveyed it contained over 1000,000 acres and many Melungeon families along with the white settlers made purchases recorded in Entry books B & C located in the Hawkins County Register of Deeds Office and on microfilm at the Hawkins County, Archives.

George Goins 300 acres along cliff of Newman Ridge Book B page 145. George Goins et al 5,000 acres on Newman Ridge Book B page 147.
The 1830 census lists 4 free colored in George Goen household.

George Goins sister Jincie Jane Goins married Soloman Collins, their daughter Mahala (Big Haley) Collins married John Mullins, their son Ruben Mullins application 2946, Married Elizabeth Gibson and they both filed Cherokee Indian Application.– Remarks in Ruben application “Solomon Collins is said to crossed into Tennessee and married Jincy Goins and settled there because He was afraid the chief would kill him if he returned to the tribe”.
Elizabeth application # 2947 and Reuben #2946 were both rejected June 26, 1909. According to family genealogy George and Jincie Goins parents were Joseph and Millie Lovin Goins, Y DNA from descendants show these Goins were Sub-Saharan African and Mullins was European.

Vardy Collins 200 acres on Newman Ridge Book B page 51
Elijah Goins 400 acres on Indian Ridge Book B page 98
Shepherd Gibson 300 acres on Blackwater Creek Book B page 138
Jordan Gibson 300 acres on Newman Ridge Book B page 165
Jordan Gibson 100 acres on Newman Ridge Book C page 10
Jordan Gibson 180 acres on Newman Ridge Book C page 84
Andrew Gibson 50 acres on Newman Ridge Book C page 56
Soloman D. Collins 100 acres on Newman Ridge Book C page 10
Benjamin Collins 100 acres on Newman Ridge Book c page 11
Andrew Collins 100 acres on Newman Ridge page 97
Chrispen Goan 100 on Blackwater Creek Book c page 21
James Mullins 40 acres on Newman Ridge Book c page 24
Vardy Collins 80 acres on Blackwater Creek book c page 26
Vardy Collins 100 acres on Blackwater Creek book c page 54.
Zachariah Minor 25 acres on Newman Ridge book c page 78
William Goodman 50 acres on south side of Newman Ridge page 82
Wyatt Collins 100 acres on Newman Ridge page 87
James Moore 100 acres on Newman Ridge page 87

Alexander Goins was born ca 1815 son of Elijah and Sally Goins. Elijah Goins purchased 400 acres on Indian Ridge from the big Walter Sims survey Book B page 98. Indian Ridge lays on the North side of Clinch River west of Kyles Ford and on the South side of Big Ridge. Alexander Goins married Etta Collins born 1812 daughter of Vardemon “Vardy” and Margaret Gibson Collins. Alexander and Etta had two known children John Goins born 1833 died before 1900. Married Lucinda Sexton they had 9 children. The largest Cemetery on Big Ridge was named for Johnny Goins who has a veterans tombstone in this Cemetery.

The Johnnie Goins Cemetery on Big Ridge, behind Goins Chapel is where most of the filming of Melungeon documentaries began. Following the old road east from this Cemetery you would come to Mahala Mullins home before it was moved to Vardy, by the Vardy Historical Society. Traveling east on the Ridge from Mahala house was where the Solomon D. Collins home was located, There is a,picture of old Solomon Collins log house where Mahala was born in Jim Callahan Book, Lest We Forget page 162. .The 1830 census lists 9 free colored in Solomon D. Collins household, the large two story log house was still standing on Newman Ridge in 1990.

Alfred D. Goins son of Alexander and Etta Collins Goins was born 1837 died Sept 4, 1907. Married Hanna Gibson in 1860, they were the parents of 3 sons. Alfred and Hanna are buried in the Johnny Goins Cemetery. (part of this information is from 1994 Families of Hancock County and Johnnie Gibson Rhea research)

Lies told to Will Allen Dromgoole, or made up stories by Will Allen “The Melungeon Tree and its 4 branches, May 1991” (Tennessee State Library & Archives).

“From Old Vardy Collins the first tribe took its name Collinses, others who followed Vardy took the name Collins also. Old Benjamin Collins one of the Pioneers was older than Vardy Collins, but came to Tennessee a trifle later. He had quiet a large family of children, among them Edmund, Milton, Marler, Harry, Andrew, Zeke, Jordan. From Jordan descended Calloway Collins and from him I obtained some valuable information. Benjamin Collins was known as old Ben and became the head of the Ben Tribe, Old Solomon Collins Sol Tribe. It appears that no tribe was ever called the Vardy tribe, although as long as he lived he was the recognized head and leader of the entire people. For many years they occupied the ridge without disturbance. Moreover these strange people were called the Ridgemanites and the Black-Waterites because of a stream called Black Water which flowed through their territory”. “The tree began to put forth branches, the English or white, Portuguese and African. The English branch began with the Mullins tribe a very powerful tribe. Jim Mullins the father of the branch took up with one of their women, a descendant of old Sol Collins. (*Solomon D. Collins wife was Jencie Jane Goins). “The African Branch was introduced by one Goins who emigrated from North Carolina after the formation of Tennessee. Goins was a Negro and did not settle on the Ridge, but lower down on Big Sycamore In Powell Valley he took a Melungeon wife. The Melungeons repudiate the idea of Negro blood, yet some of the shiftless stragglers among them have married among the Goins people . They evade slights and snubs by claiming to have married Portuguese. There really being a Portuguese branch traced to one Denham, a Portuguese who married a Collins”. [ If Calloway Collins was the source of this information, he surely knew and concealed the fact that Solomon Collins married a Goins. According to Dromgoole Calloway personally knew Vardy Collins. And he did know the Goins were at least part Negro, and as a grandson of Benjamin the Y- DNA on descendants of Benjamin was African. .

Hezekiah Minor and Zephaniah Goins were brother-in-laws and members of the old Blackwater Baptist Church, Hezekiah was married to Zephaniah Goins sister Elizabeth. Known children were John, Zachariah and Lewis Minor. Both Zachariah and Lewis Minor were tried for illegal voting in 1845-48 along with Vardy Collins, Solomon Collins, also Ezekiel, Levi, Andrew and Wyatt Collins sons of Benjamin. All were related because when Wyatt was found not quilty by a Jury the state dropped the charges on Solomon, Ezekiel, Levi and Andrew Collins.

Zachariah Goins a brother to Zephaniah was one of the first settlers to arrive in the Newman River area 1797 Lee County, Virginia tax list lower district on the same list was Micajer Bunch. They were sons of John and Elizabeth Going of Henry County, Virginia. During John Going lifetime 1735-1801 there were no records that indicated he was African, He was the first person granted permission to build a Grist Mill in Henry County, Virginia. John Going owned a plantation that lay astride Blackberry Creek and extended into Patrick County, John Going wrote his will in 1801 naming all his children and dividing the household furniture. Y-DNA test from several descendants of John Going prove he was Sub-Saharan African. All Tax, land and court records indicate he was regarded as white, his wife Elizabeth and son John Going Jr. were enumerated on an 1813 free colored tax list of Henry County, Virginia. Elizabeth may have been full blood African which may be the reason most of their sons were sometimes listed free colored on tax records.

Thomas Goin a Rev. War soldier in 1788 sold his land, 225 acres in Washington County,and moved 90 miles west to newly created Hawkins County, Tennessee from which Claiborne County was later created.