Genealogists vs. the historians

Texas history. Genealogy. Goins, Goyens, Goings, Harmon, Petty, Sinclair, Jackson, Stark, Mize, Gibson, Simmons, Cofer, Haddock, Hooker, Jordan, Murchison, Talbot/Talbert, Melungeon, Lumbee, Croatan, Redbone, Brass Ankles, Black Ankle, Native American heritage.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monument to A Cherokee Indian

Fourth Generation great-nephew Clarence Leon Goins with property owner Mr. Christian and Mr. Able (neighbor) on Goyens Hill, Nacogdoches, TX in 1998.  This is where the original centennial marker to Indian Agent William Goyens, Jr once stood.  It was one of 13,000 monuments placed on the grave of the heroes they honored.  The grave is now unmarked, since the monument was restored and moved.  Although the committee was not aware of it at the time, but this centennial marker honors a Cherokee/Native American citizen of the Republic of Texas. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Trying to sort the Goins family Out

My dad once asked his Uncle, Farley Benjamin Goins about our family history. Great Uncle Farley laughed and said "You'll never figure it out." Hence this article on a soon-to-be published book about a former slave who changed his name to Henry Goings after escaping via the Underground Railroad. The memoirs were published by a small Canadian Press, not far from where Goings lived. I can't wait to read it!

2011 was a difficult year

This has been an extremely difficult year for the Goins family of Randolph County, North Carolina.  Uncle Wade McLendon Goins passed away from lung cancer at the age of 69 in Corpus Christi, Texas in August 2010.  He was surrounded by his loving sister, Janice Marion Goins Bell (Asheboro, Randolph County, NC) and his older brother, Clarence Leon Goins(Corpus Christi, Texas).  He had visits from his nephew and niece, Robert Steve Goins II and Pam Cranford Goins from Asheboro, Randolph County, NC.  Caring for my uncle during his last days gave me a deep sense of peace.

The younger brother, Curtis Ray Goins, passed away in February 2011 in Athens, Tennessee.  It was difficult to get to him because an ice-storm persisted in Tennessee and travel was difficult.  Curtis was born on February 29, 1957 in Randolph County, North Carolina.  He died from intestinal disease.

Then, on October 4, 2011, we lost my beautiful mother, Evelyn Marie Jackson Goins.  She was the daughter of Harris McLoy Jackson and Edna Caroline Roth Jackson of Corpus Christi, Texas.  She was born January 6, 1942 in Alice, Jim Wells, Texas. 

Southern Writers Suite T button

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Never to be forgotten

Never to be forgotten: "ADABELLE, Ga. — In September 1975, Barbara Braveboy-Locklear stood next to her husband’s grandfather in Adabelle, Ga., as he wept over his mother’s toppled gravestone.
“I s..."

Monday, June 21, 2010

People Known as Other

When I first began researching the marginal people known as "Other' in society, I was a freshman at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. The focus of my research was worthy of the history books, but the story had been recorded falsely as Free People of Color were anonymously lumped together with all non-White cultures in history. African-Americans, Portuguese-Americans, Spanish-Americans, Native Americans, Egyptian-Americans, Turkish-Americans, Arabian-Americans, Indian-Americans and most Mediterranean descent Americans were considered Negroes even though each of these proud peoples are unique in their culture, history and geographies. The history books still read this way, with no differentiation between the diverse populations that make up the beautiful tapestry of America.  In many ways, it is still a Black and White world in our history books.  So what began as misrepresentations in history evolved into an effort to record history more accurately.  As a novice in history in 1990, I focused on primary documents and books. From my little desk in South Texas,  I couldn't relate to the torments, the suffering and loss of human dignity of Free Persons of Color in history. Those shames were hidden from me and I didn't bother to look beyond until years later when  I began interacting with the elders of these clans in Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.  They related their histories (which is my history too) and for the first time, I truly witnessed the facts from the survivors and the descendants of those who endured.  As a Ronald McNair Scholar at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, I was mentored by Dr. Leslie Hunter who taught methodology. Despite my determination that someone had to write the history correctly, I encountered frustration in 1990 that the previous authors of Texas history, including a member of Texas legislature, considered the story written in stone. It was unthinkable to change what has been written before. It was better to 'not make waves'. But we have to make waves because the books are not correct and too many people are accepting myths as history. . Then, I discovered a community of historians at the Redbone Heritage Foundation and the Melungeon Heritage Association who were just as passionate about the complex, yet true, multi-ethnic heritage which is a vital vein in US history. My own experience has revealed the truth about the history of people known as Redbones, Brass Ankles, Lumbees, Croatans, Melungeons and all such mixed communities. Their suffering due to violence directed toward these clans silenced some of the elders.  They stopped passing their stories down and the heritage was almost lost. Almost. We have found this new release of Carolina Genesis: Beyond the Color Line to be profoundly significant because this history impacts many Americans who have ancestors from the Colonial Period in USA. We insist that multi-ethnic heritage and culture is meaningful and lessons of human dignity endure despite efforts in the past to extinguish the people and the history. Carolina Genesis: Beyond the Colorline could be viewed as a travesty in American history, but the true message is of endurance and preserverence. Victor E Frankl wrote in his Mans Search for Meaning, " I had wanted simply to convey to the reader by way of a concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones." Those powerful words echo the sentiments of the authors of Carolina Genesis: Beyond the Color Line and we offer these histories in an effort to recognize the ostracization, separatism, denial of rights, violence and even murder of people known as "Other" in American history.  Families known as other in our research:  Ashworth, Bass, Brown, Chavins, Collins, Goings, Goins, Goyens, Hall, Harmon, Lowery, Nash, Oxendine, Perksins, Sweatt, Walden, Willis . . to name a few.  Our mission is to continue to correct the errors in publications so truth and accuracy remains.  My humble contribution to this book is the most accurate biography of William Goyens, Jr of Nacogdoches, TX  to date.  After 20 years of studying the Moore County, North Carolina community, politics, economics, Native American history and migrations to Texas, there is more . . . . much,. much more to come.. And are the things written in stone going to change?  Diligent historians have been working toward that goal..  Since my first meeting with Dr. Archie McDonald of Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas in 1992, great strides have been made to correct a Texas Centennial Marker commemorating William Goyens, Jr of Nacogdoches.  Mr. Charles Bright,a generous conservator of Nacodgoches history, oversaw the preservation of the marker which was one of 13,000 such markers actually placed on the grave of the Republic of Texas hero.  When previous biographers pondered why Goyens could speak Cherokee, I provided them with the history of the family and their proud Lumbee Indian connections along with the fact that William Goyens fought with the Cherokee as a Cherokee in the Battle of the Horseshoe in 1814.   That is when the stars aligned and Goyens forged a relationship with Sam Houston who would later use Goyens' kinship with the Cherokees to secure the Houston-Forbes Treaty guaranteeing the Cherokees would not side with the Mexican Army during the Texas Revolution.  Now Nacogdoches can celebrate a Portuguese/Native American hero in Republic of Texas history and William Goyens, Jr. will be more accurately portrayed in Texas history.  Sadly, our Spanish/Portuguese and  Native American heroes often do not make the history textbooks either.    
Carolina Genesis: Beyond the Color Line

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Slavery in Virginia

Our history books neglect to fully educate on the issue of slavery. All non-white individuals, including our Native American ancestors, were subjected to the slave block. One only has to take a cursory look over the slave lists at New Orleans to see the descriptions and origins of the slaves up for sale as evidence.

"Soon after, [Jamestown], in 1676, Virginia colonists legalized the enslavement of Native people by enacting that 'soldiers who had captured Indians should 'reteyne and keepe all such Indian slaves or other Indian good as they either have taken or hereafter shall take.'" . . ."From this point on, Virginians did not take care to distinguish between Africans and Indians. Indeed, as historian Edmund Morgan notes. . . 'Indians and Negroes were henceforth lumped together in Virginia legislation, and White Virginians treated black, red and intermediate shades of brown as interchangeable . . . Non-white people of any variety were seen as suitable for enslavement because their color was the mark of their difference and, in the view of Whites, their inferiority.'" (page 141, Confounding the Color Line : The Indian Black Experience in North America. ed. James F. Brooks. U of Nebraska Press, Lincoln:2002)

The fact that Virginia refused to distinguish between people of color makes the search for John Harmon more difficult. The affidavit clearly states that John Harmon was a 'native of Portugal' and that he and his sons and grandsons were free men. But in 1750, there wouldn't be an ethnic checkbox for Portuguese. There was only White or Black. It makes the search for this elusive Goings/Goyens/Goins ancestor very difficult.

His grandson, William Goyens, Jr. did know the dangers of being a Free Person of Color as there were two attempts to enslave him. Although he was born free of free parents and free grandparents, there was always the danger from greedy White bondsmen to capture a person of color and send them to auction.

Friday, June 04, 2010

John Harmon, a Portyghee

For over 25 years, my father and I have been researching the William Goings family of Moore County, North Carolina. It has been an adventure because most of the clues we found were not in indexed census records or published books. Instead, they were in abandoned townships and cemeteries deep in the woods or in oral histories from our elders. It would have been difficult to figure things out from a desk at home, so the adventure began as we spent decades visiting every homeplace, every neighborhood, every church our family lived at. With that knowledge and through DNA, we can say we have an accurate record of this family. Still, the trail vanishes with John Harmon, the portuguese progenitor. Some of the Nansemond Indians of the Chesapeake area have prominent Harmon surnames and claim to be mixed descendents of Portuguese sailors and Native American. Will we find the answers to our colonial ancestry there?


The following is the true genealogy of Daniel GOINS & family. His greate grand Mother Elisabeth GOINS was white. His grand father William Goings was mixt his grand mother Patsey PETTY was white his father Sandy MURCHISON was white his mother Leah GOINS slitly mixt making Daniel GOINS verry Slitly mixt past into the whit(e) race to the 3rd generation at least and to all probability to the 4th or 5th.

The following is the true genealogy of Margaret GOINS & her family, her great grandfather Edward GOINS Slitly mixed about an eight her grand mother Celia COFER white her father William GOINS verry slitly mixt her mother Kisiah SINCLARE white making her (Margret GOINS) past into the white race to the 5th generation. The above mentioned Margret GOINS is the wife of Daniel GOINS of Randolph County, N.C.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Moore County Goings family tree

Leah Goins, born c.a. 1790, was the daughter of William Goings, Sr (1749-1835) and Patsy Petty.  William Goings Sr. was the illigitimate son of John Harmon, a Portuguese in documents, and Elizabeth Goings (1740-?)

Daniel Goins, (1824-1907) was the illigitimate son of Alexander Murchison (b.c.a. 1804) and Leah Goins, a Croatan of NC.  Daniel married Margaret Goins (double Goins line)

Many of these Goinses remained in North Carolina after a mass emigration to Tennessee and Texas in the 1820's-1830's.  The ones who remained clung to their cultural identity.  They have represented the Croatan/Lumbee Indian tribe on the tribal council for many generations and Jimmy Goins former  Chairman of the Tribal Council.

William Goyens, Jr, (1794-1856) is the brother to Leah Goins.  He served as a Cherokee fighting side by side with the Cherokee at the Battle of the Horseshoe in Alabama, 1814 as muster rolls reveal.  It is by no accident that he was tapped as Indian Agent by Sam Houston for negotiation of the Houston-Forbes Treaty.  They had already fought one battle together under Andrew Jackson and knew of each other prior to arriving in Texas. These events were set in motion before any of these people arrived in the Republic of Texas.