The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO)

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Various Records on the Ancestry of Indian Families

Various American Indian Records  

By Steven Pony Hill


Note by FOC: I probably have duplicated much of Pony's information, and may have mixed it in time.  All such errors are mine alone, and do not reflect on the fascinating collection of records submitted by Pony.  I will try to straighten this out as time permits.  My primary interest was in getting this information on the web quickly.


Early Court Records of Jackson County Florida

All records located in basement level, Jackson Co, Courthouse, Marianna, Florida

Nov. 1857 STATE V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Giving Liquor to a Negro" -found guilty on two charges…verdict set aside…new trial

THOMAS J. PERKINS executor of the estate of JAMES M. WILLIAMS deceased V. ELI P. MOORE

BALTZELL & WIDGEN V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Debt"

STATE V. JAMES BUTTS: "Adultery & fornication with free mulatto" -indictment quashed on motion of Defendant…questioned applicability of   the law.

Dec. 1857 STATE V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Giving Liquor to a Negro" Grandison Hicks appeared to present bond…Horace Ely and Robert Dickson as sureties….state prosecutor refused to prosecute.

STATE V. ALFRED BAZZELL: "Giving Liquor to a person of color" State prosecutor refused to prosecute.

THOMAS W. GAUTIER in behalf of a man of color named DICK V. WILLIAM CLARK: "Debt"

Nov. 1858 HUGH RUSK V. SAMUEL H. IRELAND: "Debt"

STATE V. GRANDISON HICKS: "Giving Liquor to a slave" Found guilty….sentenced to 99 lashes on his full back.

STATE V. ALFRED BAZZELL: "Giving Liquor to person of color" Found guilty….sentenced to one month in prison.

STATE V. WASHINGTON, a slave: "assault with intent to kill a white Person"

STATE V. JOHN AMMONS: "murder" Transported to Calhoun County to hold till Court date.

STATE V. DAVID BUNCH: "carry arms secret"

July 1859 STATE V. CATO, a slave: "Rape"   Transported to Calhoun County to hold till Court date.

STATE V. MARY, a slave: "Arson"

May 1860 STATE V. JOHN BOGGS: "assault with intent to kill"

STATE V. SHURARD SCOTT: "carry arms secretly" Martha E. (Scott) Hill called as witness for defense….

STATE V. AARON DAVIS: "selling spirituous liquors to a person of Color"

April 1861 STATE V. ADAM, a slave: "burning a gin house"

THOMAS H. SCOTT V. JAMES W. PONDER: "debt"

ALDERMAN, MOORE & CO. V. SAMUEL H. IRELAND: "debt"

MARTHA J. PAGE V. ISAAC PERKINS: "debt"


RECORDS HELD BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPT. OF ARCHIVES & HISTORY

FOR COPIES CONTACT: Reference Services; South Carolina Dept. of Archives & History; 8301 Parklane Road; Columbia, SC 29223

Series:L10018 item:022A; Date:June 19, 1819

John Matthews and others (Indians and Free Blacks) Vs. Samuel Burger, tax collector and John Cleary, Sherrif both of Charleston District

Series:S213003 volume: 0JW page:604; Date:March 3, 1843

Ansley Davis, an Indian or the descendent of a Free Indian woman, to Joseph DeReef, bill of sale for a slave named Fanny and her children.

Series:S165005 item:67; Date:December 7, 1858

Committee on the Colored Population, report on a resolution of inquiry on imposing the capitation tax on Egyptians and Indians, as now on Free Blacks, mulattoes, and mestizoes. (4pages)

Series:S165015 item:12; Date:December 9, 1859 Edgefield District SC

Frederick Chavis and other free persons of color, petition inquiring if persons of Indian descent are considered to be free persons of color and liable for the poll tax. (2pages)

(mentions names of Frederick Chavis, Lewis Chavis, Durany Chavis, James Jones, Bartley Jones, Mary Jones, Jonathan Williams, Polly Dunn - - "Two among them, Polly Dunn and Bartley Jones, are free people of color, but their ages-sixteen and seventeen years-exclude them from being taxed. Six others do not qualify under the term "free person of color" as they are of Indian ancestry.")

Series:S165015 item:88; Date:November 20, 1828

Betty Hunter, a supposed mulatto, petition and supporting papers, since she has been compelled to pay double taxes as a free negro under a misconception, she requests a refund. (12 pages)

(mentions names of Betty Hunter, Robert Foster, Isaac Going, Rebekah Going, Absalam Bailey)

Series:S165015 item:12; Date:October 21, 1836

Sally Kelch, a supposed mulatto, petition to be refunded a double tax and questioning the applicability of the tax. (2pages)

Series:S213003 Vol:002H page:212; Date:1750

George Hunter, surveyor general of SC to Andrew Deveaux, surveyor of Indian lands in Granville County, appointment and instructions as deputy surveyor.

Series:S213003 Vol:021 page:551; Date:1753

Alexander Wood of St. James Goose Creek Parish, planter, to his half breed Indian slaves named Dukey Cox and George Cox, born of his Indian slave named Jenny, and Minerva Watkins, born of his Indian slave named Moll, manumission upon his death.

Series: S213197 Box:01 item:023; Date:1767

Robert Anderson, unrecorded plat for land not granted, 100 acres known as Indian springs, Craven County, between the Chawraws and pine tree hill, surveyed by John Wade.

Series:S165005 item:036; Date:December 17, 1791

Committee report on the petition of Simeon Spring, Thomas Brown, and George Sutusky, beloved men of the Chickasaw Nation, petitioning asking that their lands on the Savannah River, which were confiscated in 1783, may be returned.

Series:S165015 item:011; Date:1820

Sally Nicholson, native of the Cherokee Nation, petition asking to be allowed to possess a certain tract of land beside the Keowee River.

Series:S165015 item:032; Date:1821

Inhabitants of SC, petition and supporting papers asking that John McKenzie be allowed to practice his method of Choctaw Indian herbal medicine. (52 pages)

Series:S108092 reel:067 frame:0455; Date:1822

Peter Harris, a Catawba Warrior, petition and supporting papers requesting a compensation for Revolutionary service.

Series:S165015 item:26; Date:1855

Trustees of the Fishing Creek Seminary, petition and supporting papers, for the payment of the tuition of George Alexander, a Catawba Indian. (8 pages)


F.P.O.C. Petitions from several States

Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11085911; Location: Adams C. MS year:1859

Natchez free woman of color Agnes Eahart asks for a special license to remain in Mississippi. She is the mother of many children-Elizabeth, Andrew, Mary, Margaret, David, Napoleon, Emma, Elina, William, Almon, and Melvin-all born free; and she can post a $5,000 good behavior bond.

Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11285610; Location:Northampton Co. NC year:1856

Northampton Co. residents seek a law allowing three free black families to remain in the State. They assert that Anthony Copeland, Warren Boon, and Joshua Small, moved from Virginia to NC between 1840 and 1844, married colored women from the County. Copeland, a brick layer by trade, and the other men, are industrious, honest and law abiding. The free men of color were unaware of the NC law prohibiting free blacks from entering the State.

Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11279002; Location:Gates Co. NC year:1790

The petitioners request the legislature to pass a law validating acquisition of land by a group of descendants of Indians and blacks. In 1724 the Chowan Indians received 11,360 acres of land in Chowan County, later Gates Co. The Indians sold most of the land. The Indian men all died, and the women "mixed with negroes." The free blacks and their mixed-blood children served as soldiers for the colonials in the Revolution. Supported by William Lewis, Samuel Harrell, and other white men, they seek title to "small remnants of the aforesaid tract of land."

Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11484304; Location:McMinn Co. TN year:1843

George Sherman arrived in the state in 1839 and now asks permission to remain in Tennessee. A certificate signed by a notary public in New York states that he is of "mulatto" complexion with wooly hair and is "an Indian, one of the Narragansett tribe."

Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11678401; Location:Northampton Co, VA year:1784

A six-hundred acre Indian reservation has become "An asylum for free negro & other disorderly persons, who build huts thereon & pillage & destroy the timber without control." There are only five or six of the Gingaskin tribe left on the land. The petitioners request that the trustees be appointed to lay off "a convenient part of the said land" for the Indians while leasing out and taxing the remainder. The rents would be divided among the Gingaskin.

Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11684302; Location:King William C. VA year:1843

Free holders and other white inhabitants of King William County ask the legislature to sell fifteen hundred acres on the Pamunky River and other lands that were set apart during the colonial era for the Pamunky Indians. The lands were only "set apart," not "granted away." "Now the Pamunkys form only a small remnant of the population, having so largely mingled with the negro race as to have obliterated all striking features of Indian extraction." The lands, the petitioners state, are now inhabited by two "unincorporated bands of free mulattoes in the midst of a large slave holding community."


More f.p.o.c. Petitions from various States

1723 - Virginia

"That all free Negroes, mulattos, or Indians (except tributary Indians to this government) male and female, above the age of sixteen, and all wives of such Negroes, mulattos, or Indians shall be accounted tithables"

May 28, 1745 - Louisa Co. VA

"Ordered that William Hall, Samuel Collins, Thomas Collins, William Collins, Samuel Bunch, George Gibson, Benjamin Branham, Thomas Gibson, and William Donathan be summoned to appear at the next Court to answer the presentment of the Grand jury this day made against them for concealing tithables within twelve months past."

…pled not guilty…

November 6, 1752 - Henrico Co. VA

Grand Jury presentment against Thomas Moseley, David Going, James Matthews, and William Gwinn for not listing their wives as tithables, "being mulattos". Presentment against Jane Scott, Patt Scott, Lucy Scott, Betty Scott, Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Scott, and Hannah the wife of John Scott for not listing as tithables, "being mulattos."

May 1765 - Halifax Co. VA

Grand jury presentment against William Chandler, Shadrack Gowin, Peter Rickman and Phillip Dennum for concealing a tithable.

________________________________________________________________________

1738 - North Carolina

"every white person male of the age of sixteen years and upwards all Negroes Mulattoes Mustees male or female and all persons of mixt blood to the fourth generation male and female of the age of twelve years and upwards shall be tithables."

1749 - Granville Co. NC

Edward Harris refused to pay the tax on his wife (the daughter of William Chavis).

August 1756 - Edgecombe Co. NC

Edward Gowen was prosecuted for concealing tithables.

1761 - Granville Co. NC

Joseph Gowen, Thomas Gowen, and Michael Gowen refused to list their wives.

1765 - Granville Co. NC

Edward Gowen refused to list his wife.

1765 - Edgecombe Co. NC

Francis Jenkins, a Mustee, indicted for failing to list his wife.

1805 - Sampson Co. NC

Petition of Stephen Carrol for services while he pursued accused murderer Johnathan Chavers, a free man of color also called John White. He finally captured Chavers and placed him in jail at Fayetteville.

1794 - South Carolina

"seeking to repeal the Act for imposing a poll tax on all free Negroes, Mustees, and Mulattoes. They wish to support the Government, but the poll tax caused great hardship among free women of color, especially widows with large families. Tax collectors hunted them down and extorted payment." Petitioners: Isaac Linagear, Isaac Mitchell, Jonathan Price, Spencer Bolton, William N. Swett, and 29 other unnamed f.p.o.c.

1806 - Richland Dist. SC

"Sundry female persons of color" resident in Richland District petitioned the Senate concerning the discriminatory tax levied on them. Petitioners: Elizabeth Harris, Dicey Nelson, Lydady Harris, Keziah Harris, Clarissa Harris, Elenor Harris, Katherine Rawlinson, Elizabeth Wilson, Jerry Sweat, Sarah Jacobs, Sarah Wilson, Sarah Holley, Edey Welsch, Sarah Bolton, Nancy Grooms, Mary Jeffers, Sarah Jeffers, Mary Jacobs, Rachel Portee, and Sarah Portee.

1809 - South Carolina

Petition to the Senate to excuse "people of color and free Negroes" who paid property tax from also having to pay the capitation tax. Petitioners: Jehu Jones, Thomas Inglis, James Mitchell, Isaac Austin, William Clark, John Livingston, William Cooper, William Pinceel, Joseph Humphries, Phillip Manuel, Robert Hopton, Corlus Huger, James Wilson, C.G. Pinceel, George Logan, Peter Robertson, Henry Chatters, Richard Holloway, William Eden, John Martin, Morris Brown, Abraham Jacobs, Ed Chrighton, George Chrigton, John Francis, Jehu Jones jr., George H. Bedon, Moses Irving.

August 1809 - Marion Dist. SC

Thomas Hagans refused to pay the levy "upon all Free Negros, Mulatoes and Mestizos," claiming he was a white man. In October 1812 the Court ruled that he was of Portuguese descent and acquitted him.

1825 - South Carolina

Free man of color, John Chavis, submitted in 1823 a petition to secure a pension for Revoluntionary War service. Although it was denied, it was only because Chavis did not have a white guardian. Chavis was killed when a tree fell on him.

Jefferson Co. MS

Petition by 12 residents regarding Malachi Hagins, was married to a white woman and the couple had 10 children. Asked Legislature to extend to Hagins and his children "all the rights, privileges and immunities of a free white person of this state."

1859 - Warren Co. MS

Warren Co. whites petition that a 60 year old free man of color names Jordan Cheever, who fought as a soldier in the War of 1812, be permitted to remain in the state.

1859 - Franklin Co. MS

Ann, Caldwell, a free woman of color, asks for a special Act to allow her to remain in the state.

1860 - Carroll Co. MS

Citizens write on behalf of Wiley Wiggins, a 22 year old free person of color, who had lived in the area 6 years.

1867 - Pike Co. MO

James Gambol, L. Davis, Joseph Montgomery, Jerry Bell and Ralph Wheeler, petition as free persons of color ask that the State remove all legal restrictions "on account of race or color.

1819 - Green Co. TN

Free man of color, Joshua Hall, paid taxes, performed military duty, participated in the War with Britain.

1819 - Cooke Co. TN

Free man of color, Obadiah Going, seeks "the privileges of a citizen." He states that it is his misfortune to be the descendant of persons of mixed race.

1826 - Washington Co. TN

Free man of color, Phillip Bell, age about 22 years, complains of "many inconveniences & disadvantages" particularly his inability to "prove his accounts by his own oath." As a result he cannot collect debts owed to him by whites.

1832 - Madison Co. TN

Free man of color, Richard Matthews, seeks permission to marry a white woman. Matthews says he is "of the Portuguese Blood.


Library.uncg.edu Petition Analysis Record #11279002 - location: Gates County, North Carolina year: 1790

"The petitioners request the legislature to pass a law validating acquisition of land by a group of descendants of Indians and blacks. In 1724 the Chowan Indians recieved 11,360 acres of land in Chowan County, later Gates County. The Indians sold most of the land. The men all died, and the women mixed with negroes. The free blacks and their mixed-blood children served as soldiers for the colonials in the Revolution. Supported by William Lewis, Samuel Harrell, and other white men, they seek title to small remnants of the aforesaid tract of land."

This petition follows a pattern common among those from people attempting to acquire land set aside for Indians. Though it is obvious that the Indians still reside on the land, they infer that the remnant families have more black than Indian blood, and so, obviously do not deserve to retain title to Indian lands. This petition does go a little overboard, however, by stating that by some mysterious circumstance, all the Indian men suddenly died, and that the remaining women all mixed with negroes. Isn't it funny how they tried to make it appear they were trying to help these people by giving them title to a small piece of the land, and releasing the rest for them to grab up?

The families subject to this petition wre listed as "Other free people" in 1790 Gates Co. NC including: Abraham Reed, Benjamin Reed, Elisha Parker, George Bennett, Hardy Robbins, Hardy Reed, James Robbins, Joseph Bennett, John Cuff, Jane Reed, James Weaver, James Boon, Micajah Reed, Muney Mitchell, Rachel Reed, Seabrook Hunter, William Hunter, William Taylor, and William Jenkins.


On June 30, 1914, O.M. McPherson published the following "A Report on the Condition and Tribal Rights of the Indians of Robeson and Adjoining Counties of North Carolina" excerpts below:

- The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixe-blood people residing chiefly in Robeson County NC. A few of the class of people reside in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, and Hoke Counties, NC, and in Sumter, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties, SC.

- They further have had a tradition among them that their ancestors, or some of them, came from "Roanoke in Virginia"

- excerpt of letter of Hamilton McMillan of Fayetteville NC dated July 17, 1890: "The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, NC though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter County, SC there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. Whereas the Indians now living in Robeson County claim to be descendants of a friendly tribe who once resided in eastern North Carolina, on the Roanoke River."

- 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 Sumter County, SC, 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.

This stands as one of the earliest references to the mixed-blood settlement in Sumter County. McMillan presented himself as a person well acquainted with the Sumter Co. people, and he proposed them to be Indians, and closely related to the present-day Lumbees.


early 1700's journal of the German Graffenrield, who often traveled with John Lawson, mentions several times the names of King Taylor, and King Hantcock, who seemed to be the influential leaders of the hostile portion of the Tuscarorora allied with some of the other coastal groups (including the Eno and others) during the Tuscarora War of 1713.

King Tom Blount is mentioned as the leader of a friendly portion of the Tuscarora who were living north of the main body of Tuscarora (in the Roanoke area) and seemed to be a mixed alliance of Nansemond, Saponny, Occanechi, Hatteras, and others, who remained in the area of the Fort Christanna section and attempted to steer clear of the War.

"Recollections of Seventy Years"; Payne, Daniel Alexander (1811-1893) publishing house of the A.M.E. Sunday School Union, 1888 Nashville Tennessee:

"I was born of free parents in the city of Charleston, SC. on the 24th of February 1811....I remember my father was a man of brown complexion...it is said that he was born of free parents in the State of Virginia, but, when a mere lad, was decoyed on board a ship with cakes and amused in the cabin until the vessel was out to sea. He was taken into the port of Charleston and sold as a slave to a house and sign painter. His father was an Englishman by the name of Paine."

"As far as memory serves me my mother was of light-brown complexion...she told me that her grandmother was of the tribe of Indians known in the early history of the Carolinas as the Catawba Indians, The husband of her grandmother was a black man named Alexander Goings, who was remarkable for great bodily strength and activity."


Gideon Gibson: originally from the NC/VA border-Roanoke River area- names as administrator of the estate of Matthew Driggers on July 13, 1755. Gideon moved to SC in the 1730's and caused oncern among the white inhabitants because in 1731he came to the attention of the SC Commons House of Assembly when a member announced in chamber that several "free colored men with their white wives had immigrated from Virginia with the intention of settling on the Santee River." Gov. Robert Johnson of SC summoned Gideon and his family to explian their presence there and after meeting them reported:

"I have had them before me in council and upon examination find that they are not Negroes nor slaves but Free People, that the father of them here is named Gideon Gibson and his father was also free, I have been informed by a person who has lived in Virginia that this Gibson has lived there several years in good repute and by his papers that he produced before me that his transactions there have been very regular. That he has for several years paid taxes for two tracts of land and had seven Negroes of his own, That he is a carpenter by trade and is come hither for the support of his family...I have in consideration of his wifes being a white woman and several white women capable of working and being servicable in the country permitted him to settle in this country."

Gideon's son, Gideon Gibson (II) was living on the south side of the PeeDee River at a place called Duck Pond. On July 25, 1767 as a leader of the Regulators, Gideon was involved in a skirmish with a constable's party near Marr's Bluff on the Pee Dee River. The South Carolina Gazette reported in 15 Aug 1768 that Gibson's band of Regulator's was composed of;

"gang of banditi, a numerous collection of outcast Mulattos, Mustees, Free Negroes, etc. all horse theives from the borders of Virginia and other northern Colonies...headed by one Gideon Gibson..."

Henry Laurens, a prominent Charleston Merchant, described Gideon in this way;

"Reasoning from the colour carries no conviction...Gideon Gibson escaped the penalties of the Negro law by producing upon comparison more of the red and white in his face than can be discovered in the faces of half the descendants of the French refugees in our House of Assembly..."

Thomas Ivey; on 14 Aug 1809 in Marion District SC, Thomas Hagan refused to pay the tax on "all Free Negroes, Mulattoes and Mestizos" claiming that he was a white man. Two white men, Robert Coleman and John Regan testified that they were acquantied with with Thomas Hagans grandfather, Thomas Ivey when he had been living on Drowning Creek in NC. They stated that Ivey was "of Portuguese descent, that his complexion was swarthy, his hair black and strait - that his wife Elizabeth was a free white woman, very clear complexion." They testified that Thomas Ivey's daughter Kesiah Ivey married Zachariah Hagan and they were the parents of Thiomas Hagan.

for an excellent website which details the early history of the eastern Siouan peoples and some of their modern day descendants in the NC/VA border refer to:  http://www.ibiblio.org/dig/html  look under the history portion.... PONY HILL


The information I have gathered on the so-called "Turks" is due to an attempt to locate the original ancestors of my Indian community here in northwest florida. An Isham Scott (born 1790's) moved down here in 1828 from Sumter SC.

The true history of the "Turks", which can be verified by historical documentation, is that they are of American Indian ancestry from a group of Algonquin and Siouan speaking remnants who gathered at Fort Christianna on the Virginia/North Carolina border.

A group of these English speakin, Christianized Indian-White mixed-bloods was living in Halifax North Carolina at the time of the Revolutionary War, and also maintained a village among the Catawba at the NC/SC border (this village was called TURKEY TOWN). There were several families identified as Indian including Jacob Scott, Isham Scott etc.

When Thomas Sumter's home in Sumter was burned by British forces attempting to capture him, he headed NORTH (not to the coast as some have said) into the North Carolina frontier to muster men to form militias. IT was here that Sumter first linked up with these Indian mixed-bloods who readily joined his cause and caused much ruckus.

By 1810 Halifax county was begining to fill up with white people, and the Catawba tribe had leased off almost all of its land, and so, some of these Indians moved down to Sumter at the invitation of General Sumter. Scott, Benenhaley, Driggers, Oxendine, etc. Indian families first appear on the records of South Carolina in 1810.

The Benenhaley surname remains spelled almost exactly the same back to its roots among the Eastern Shore Algonquin speaking Indians of Maryland who joined the Fort Christianna Indians in the 1780's. The fictional story of the "Turks" descending from pirates, Arabs, Turkish sailors, etc. all appears to have begun with the 1930's publications of several ethnologists like Brewton Berry who interviewed local white people about their theories as to where the "Turk" label originated. These fancyful romanticized legends recounted by local townsfolk have since been recounted as fact by present-day historians.) The most plausable theory as to where the "Turk" label originated was from "Turkey Town Indians" shortened over time to "Turkey Indians" to "Turks".

These same family members who remained in Robeson, Warren, and Halifax counties NC are now known as "Lumbee" and "Haliwa-Saponi" Indians. Those of us who moved down here to Florida in 1828 are known as "Cheraw-Saponi" Indians. In 1857 several families from here (northwest Florida) joined a 'wagon train' for Louisianna and these families are now known as "RedBones". Though we have all been labeled differently by our white and black neighbors, we all descend from the same Indians.


The actual documentation does not directly disagree with the oral tradition (though the oral tradition should also be suspect unless it pre-dates 1900, as family members seperated from the Sumter core groups often read articles which "explained" their history - this was common among Melungen descendants who lived away from Tennessee, read newspaper articles about their relatives, then would "testify" that they descended from Portuguese, when the Tennessee group kept saying "We are Indians")

From what I can gather the Benehaleys of Sumter all descend from Jose Benenhaley who married Elizabeth Oxendine in Halifax (most Likely). I cannot support any serious connection between the Scott family and Benenhaley family prior to 1900, as both families lived on opposit ends of Providence district (there was never fewer that 100 households between them). IT was possible that after these families started attending the seperate "Turk" school, that a connection was assumed. The Scott family descended from Isham SCott who resided in Halifax NC and married Rebecca James.

I did find the following documentation that seems to support a Maryland origin for the Benenhaleys:

- In 1790 a "Sam Ben" (who is censused 10 years later as "Sam'l Benhnally") is censused as an "other free person" in Queen Annes, Maryland. (along with William Mahnor, George Sparks, Charles Stewart, etc.)

- IN 1800 a "John P. Benaley" is censused as a white family with 2 "other free persons" in Mid Neck-Cecil County-Maryland (along with John Stephens, Jason Ballard, Sam Lyons, James Mackey, Ben York, Will Atkin, etc.)

- In 1810 a "Joses Ben" is censused as exempt from the personal tax and taxed for 2 slaves, in Pasquotank, North Carolina.

- In 1820 a "Jose Benanhale" is censused as 4 white males, 8 white females, in Sumter District SC.

- In 1820 a "Jabez Benenhaley" is censused as 1 white male, 1 white female, in Worcester, Maryland

-In 1830 a "Elizabeth Benenhaly" is censused as 3 free colored males, 5 free colored females, in Sumter SC.

-IN 1840 a "Elizabeth, Jos, and Sylvander Benenhale" are censused as Free colored persons in Sumter SC.


12/30/2004

I would have to question the "oral tradition" about Joseph Benenhaley for several reasons. Is this oral tradition from a family who still remains in Sumter and "this is what the old people said", or is it from a removed family whose information stems from genealogy, books, and newspaper articles?

The grandson of General Sumter refererred to Benenhaly as "Joseph Benenhaly" and that the General had enlisted him as a scout after "finding him in the wilderness". I could not fathom why Sumter would have enlisted a supposed Arab sailor (pirate) to scout for his militia in the North/South Carolina interior forests and swamps. Many of these "Tories and Indians" continued their outlaw ways after the War and this may have sprung the notion that they were 'pirates' (my own g-g-g-grandfather had a bounty on his head in Bladen NC for his actions during and after the Rev War, and there is a strong oral tradition in my family of them being "Indian Outlaws"). Sumter, who grew up with Joe's children, never referred to him as "Yusef Ben Ali"

The name "Yusef Ben Ali" appears to have been a fairly recent invention. In all the pre 1900 documentation he appears as "Joseph" or "Joe" "Benenhale", "Benenhaile".

Brewton Berry referred to an incident prior to 1830 where local Sumter whites had tried to challenge wether "Joe Benenhaley" could legally register to vote. Berry mentions that General Sumter testified on Joe's behalf and explained that he was a "Mestizo" (white-Indian, possibly Spanish white-Indian". If someone could get ahold of the actual documentation of this incident, it would be the best evidence of the Benenhaley origin, as there would be many first-hand accounts, as Joseph himself gave testimony.

As I mentioned before, I would question anything written or said about the "Turks" after 1900. All the evidence that I have seen is that these families from Sumter always claimed Indian origins, and nothing else. It was always the white "historians" who tried to give them some exotic ancestry. It is my opinion that "Joe" or "Joseph" "Benenhaly" was always known by that name, and this "Yusef Ben-Ali" is a recent invention, a result of good intentioned ethnologists in the 1930's.

Side note: There are many local "historians" here who would gladly testify in court that they had grown up with my grandparents and give "oral testimony" that they were "Creek Indians who hid out in the swamps to avoid the trail of tears" though all our ancestors originate on the Virginia/North Carolina border (far from the CReeks). Even my own grandmother would testify with a tear in her eye that "my grandmother left on the trail of tears", when in reality, her grandmother (Nora Bass) was living in Thomas County Georgia in 1900 and died there at an early age.


Actually my whole legal name is "Steven Pony Hill", I was named after my grandmothers brother "Albert Pony Hill"...it is o.k. with me to be quoted.

The only 'oral tradition' that exists in my family is that we originated from Indians. No one ever mentions our white ancestors (though its obvious that we are far from full-bloods). I descend from the Isham Scott family and the James Moses family who lived in Sumter from 1810 to about 1820, after moving down from Halifax and then moving on to Florida. the Moses family lived about 10 households down from the Benenhaleys in Providence, Sumter.

As far as the "Yusef Ben Ali" reference, I can find no documentation of this earlier than Brewton Berry. I believe it originated with him, and even he said "Joseph Benenhaly...possibly Yusef Ben Ali" as he tried to make a case for possible arab ancstry to justify the Turk label. If his name had actually been "Yusef Ben Ali" I believe it would have appeared as such on some, if not all, of the documentation (census, court, land etc.) Brewton Berry also misrepresented that the 1790 petition of "Sundry Free Moors"came from the Turks (which it did not...I have also seen this falsehood recounted in other books, and on the net as truth) and Berry mentioned the old 1820's case invlolving the voting dispute and refered to him as "Joseph Benenhaley". I'm sure if those old records had mentioned Joseph claiming his name was originally "Yusef" and he was Arabic, that Berry would have surely quoted it. (someone needs to get a look at these old records and end this debate).

I live in Florida. The Bass side of my family (Alexander Bass) also lived in Thomas County GA prior to the Civil War, then moved down to the Ocala area (Marion Co.) then back up to Thomas Co. Ga by 1900, then back down to FL by 1920. Alexander was a documented descendant of the Nansemond (Bass) and Saponi (Goins) Indians and his wife (Nora Holly) was tradionally a full-blooded Indian as well.


5 Jan. 2005

From what I have seen, and I believe what you will find, is a reaccuring theme in regards to these descendants of mixed-blood christianized Indians from the Virginia/Carolina border:

Someone questions the ancestry of one of these people, families, groups, etc. and it starts up some kind of investigation (school enrollment, tax status, voting priviledges, etc.).

Local white people are brought in to testify and they say some variance of the same theme "I have known the insert name here family all my life. Their skin is dark like a colored person, though their hair is different. It is said that there is Negro in their blood, but they don't associate with Negroes."

The people in question themselves always testify to some variation of the same thing...."My grandfather insert name here was a white man and served in the (Revolutionary/Civil/etc) War...his wife was insert name here and she was a full blooded Indian. There is only White and Indian blood in my veins and no other."

Before long, some well-meaning historian, Professor, Anthropologist, etc. appears and says "You silly back woods country people, these people are not mullatoes...they are a tri-racial isolate...the reason they don't look like the stereotype of the Western Indian is because they are the grandchildren of Portuguese sailors/Moorish pirates/shipwrecked Italians/lost colony of Roanoke/etc."

Generations later, historians, book writers, genealogists, etc. look at these records to get information and recount any one of the above theories to explain the "proof" of the origins of this "mysterious group of people". Even the descendants of the people themselves gradually pick up the popular explanation and pass it on as "Oral tradition".

You can find a variation of the above with any remnant group in the south-east; Melungeons in Tennessee, RedBones in Louisianna, Lumbees, Issues, Red Legs, Brass Ankles, POnd Shiners, Domminickers, and yes, even Turks. The best advice a descendant of one of these groups can get is to not listen to the stories,legends, exotic origin theories, etc. that are thrown out by local people, historians, etc. Look for the actual documented evidence, census records, and when it all boils down listen to what your grandparents and their parents said that their roots were.


1/4/2005

The "Free Moor" petition was credited to the Turks by Brewton Berry in his book "Almost White" in the 1960's, where he quoted Anne King Gregorie in her 1950's book "History of Sumter County SC" and this misinformation has been repeated in countless newspaper, magazine, and of course internet accounts. As far as I can tell, no one has ever done the 'on the ground' hard core research on the "Turks" (actually going to Sumter and looking at old court cases, land records, interviewing elders, etc.)


4/28/2005

First off let me say this, I have no doubt that prior to the Civil War that the community of mixed-blood persons residing in Sumter County were probably referred to as "Turks". That this label was meant to define a Turkish origin for the group, I do not believe. In other areas at the same time, people of the same mixed-blood were called "Portugeuse" and "Moors" yet their ancestors are not from Portugal or the coast of Africa. 'Turk' was used the same way 'Melungeon' was used in Tennessee...not to explain the origin of a people, just to give a label to a mixed-blood community in order to differentiate it from the whites and blacks around them.

That your ancestor referred to himself as a "Turk" when he lived away from Sumter as a way of explaining his dark skin, is no surprise. In his mind, i suppose, it was a way to explain his racial origin, "I'm not full-blooded Indian, I'm not part Black, I'm a Turk from Sumter County" The fact that he applied for Indian land (it was not freely offered, an individual had to apply) but was turned down because he was a 'Turk' (which at the time was known to the Indian Office as mixed-blood persons of Indian descent but of unknown tribal origin-see below-) should be evident that he at least believed he had some Indian blood. However, at the time, persons called 'Turk' in Sumter were very offended by that label. When a class action suit was filed to allow 'Turk' children into white schools it was very clear that "you do not call them Turk to their face", and it was also noted by historians and ethnologists in the 1930's and 1940's that these people would get fighting mad if you called them Turk. I also have no doubt that there are probably people who now proudly claim to be 'Turk', there are people now who proudly claim to be 'Melungeon', but this is now a more racially tolerant South....prior to World War 2, a sure way to get a black eye was to go to Sumter and call someone a 'Turk' or go to Tennessee and call someone a 'Melungeon'.

Before his death in the early 1800's, Joe Benenhaley was the subject of a court case in Sumter where citizens were objecting to his right to vote. Dr. Brewton Berry made note of this incident in his 1940's book "Almost White". Berry notes that Benenhaley was called to testfiy as to his racial origin. (an important note here is that Berry recounts the testimony as that Benenahley was a 'mestizo' but no mention of 'Turk'..Tom Sumter, the General's grandson, also called Benenhaley a "mestizo" in his history book but made no mention of Turkish origin) While Benenhaley was testifying, General Sumter stormed into the Courtroom, walked up to the witness stand and firmly shook Benenhaley's hand. (it was well known in the South at that time that no respectful Southern gentleman would shake a Negroes hand) This was all the judge needed to see, and the case was promptly dismissed.

In the 1930's, a court case was pressed to allow 'Turk' children to attend white schools. Reports from this case reveal that all the children subject to the proceedings (including Benehaley, Scott, Ellison, Tidwell, Deas families) were presently attending a special 'Indian School' and all the grandparents claimed to be "of Indian ancestry".

Here are a few historical references as to the racial origin of the 'Turks':

-"The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixed-blood people residing chiefly in Robeson County, NC. A few of the same class of people reside in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, and Hoke Counties, NC, and in Sumter, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties, SC. 1914 letter from special Indian agent O.M. McPherson to Commissioner of Indian Affairs

-"The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, NC, though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter County, SC, there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee. Those living in east Tennessee are called "Melungeans", a name also retained by them here, which is a corruption of "Melange", a name given them by early settlers (French), which means mixed." 1888 pamphlet published by Mr. Hamilton McMillan of Fayetteville, NC.

-"At one time the Croatans were known as "Redbones," and there is still a street in Fayetteville so called because some of them once lived on it. They are known by this name in Sumter County, SC, where they are a quiet and peaceable people, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very strong among them."1891 article of Dr. William T. Harris, Papers American Historical Association.

-It is well known that for the majority of the War, General Sumter camped on the Indian lands which were inhabited by the confederated Cheraw and Catawba tribe. Every able-bodied male Indian of that group was enlisted as scouts and warriors under various captains who served under Sumter's command. Sumter never approached the coast, and there are almost entire libraries of writings about Sumter's campaigns which were written by people who witnessed the battles. I'm sure that if Sumter had a Turkish guide during the War, someone would have noted it (why would Gen. Sumter, a man familiar with the area, retain a 'guide' from Turkey?). The only written record states that Sumter used Indian guides, scouts, spys, and warriors extensively.


6/13/2005

A South Carolinian advertised in the North Carolina Central and Fayetteville Gazette on July 25th, 1795 for the return of his servant Nancy Oxendine;

"$10 reward to deliver to the subscriber in Georgetown, a mustie servant woman named Nancy Oxendine, she is a stout wench, of a light complexion about 30 years old. It is supposed she has been taken away by her brother and sister, the later lives in Fayetteville."

A "mustie" was a person with one white parent and one Indian parent.


6/15/2005

Joe Benehaley married a Miller woman born in NC who was recorded as a "free person of color"

On July 12, 1766...Isaac Miller, one of the chief men of the Tuscarora Indians, signed a lease of 8,000 acres of reservation land in Bertie Co. NC.


6/16/2005

Check out a new addition to Paul Heinegg's "free african americans" website ... a series of letters written in 1872 regarding the Lumbees of Robeson County ( called "The Swamp Outlaws") very fascinating stuff....PONY


6/17/2005

1766 & 1777 Bertie County, NC

Tuscarora Indians

Listed as Tuscarora Indians on deeds to lease over 8,000 acres in southwest corner of Bertie County, North Carolina between the Roanoke River and Roquist Poccosin:

James Allen Billie Owens

Sarah Basket John Owens

Thomas Basket Nane Owens

William Basket William Pugh

Betty Blount John Randel

Billy Blount Sr. Billy Roberts

Billy Blount Jr. Tom Roberts Jr.

Edward Blount John Rogers

George Blount Harry Samuel

Sarah Blount John Senicar

Thomas Blount Thomas Senicar

Samuel Bridgers Ben Smith

William Cain John Smith

John Cain Molly Smith

Molly Cain Thomas Smith

Wineoak Charles Sr. Billie Sockey

Wineoak Charles Jr. William Taylor

Billie Cornelius Bridges Thomas

Charles Cornelius Tom Thomas

Isaac Cornelius Lewis Tuffdick

Billy Dennis West Witmel Tuffdick

Sarah Dennis Whitmel Tuffdick

Billy George Isaac Wealer

Skipnose George James Wiggians

Watt Gibson John Wiggins

James Hicks Molly Wineoak

John Hicks Bette Yollone

Sarah Hicks

Senicar Thomas Howell

Tom Jack

Capt. Joe

John Litewood

Isaac Miller

James Mitchell

Billie Mitchell

Billie Netoff


6/17/2005

1735 to 1808 Southampton Co., VA Indians

Listed as Nottoway and Nansemond Indians on land deeds in Southampton, Virginia:

1735……………….King Edmunds, James Harrison, Ned, Peter, Robert Scoller Sam, Wanoke Robin, William Hines, Frank, Wanoke Robin Jr. Cockarons Tom, Cockarons Will.

1750……………….Sam, Frank, Jack Will, John Turner, Wat Bailey, George Skipper

1795……………….John Turner, Celia Rogers (a Nansemond), Suky Turner

1808 Special Census on Nottoway in Southampton:

adults: Litteton Scholar, Tom Turner, Jemmy Wineoak, Edy Turner, Nancy Turner, Betsy Step

Children: Tom Step, Henry Turner, Alexander Rogers, John Woodson, Winny Woodson, Anny Woodson, Polly Woodson, Fanny Bartlett, Solomon Bartlett, Billy Woodson,   Jenny Woodson


AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A "TRI-RACIAL ISOLATE" COMMUNITY IS CREATED

FOUNDING PERSONS:

John Smitt……a white trader born in England. He travels to Virginia, begins   a lucrative trade with the local Indians and marries Nottuck, an Indian maiden.

Thomas Larson…a white indentured servant working as a carpenter for William Thames, a wealthy plantation owner. While serving out his time, he meets and marries Jane, an African slave girl that Thames imported from the West Indies. Larson saves his money and purchases his wife and children from Thames.

Nattapuches…….an American Indian boy, one of a tribe that lived along the banks of the Roanoke River. While still a young man, Nattapuches attends a Missionary school, learns English, and is given the Christian name of Matthew John.

Missiayuk……….an American Indian girl, one of a tribe that lived along the banks of the Roanoke River. Missiayuk is captured by Shawnee raiding party and sold into slavery in Virginia.   eventually she learns English, accepts Christianity, is released from servitude by law, and returns to her former   home along the Roanoke.

Jean Louis………a French river boat captain operating on the Roanoke River. while in port at the coast he meets Manuella, a mixed-blood Portuguese girl from Brazil who was serving as a ship's cook.   Louis is so taken by the girl that he purchases her from the Captain, and takes her in-country to be his wife.

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A "TRI-RACIAL ISOLATE" COMMUNITY IS CREATED

IT TAKES SHAPE:

Jean and Manuella Louis settle at Tanner Landing on the Roanoke River, an area named so because it is an area the early fur traders would tan their skins. Here Jean and Manuella encounter a small band of Indians including Matthew John and Missiayuk. Because most of the Indians already speak English, and are "good Christians", the Louis family easily set down their roots and begin a successful ferry business. Jean and Manuella's son, Manuel Louis, soon succumbs to his father's prompting and marries Missiayuk.

John Smitt, in an attempt to keep his trading business afloat, now travels farther south to continue trade with the Indians. Smitt's travels bring him to the Roanoke, and he soon employs Jean Louis to ferry him up the river. Smitt finds the Indians at Tanner Landing to be especially hospitable, and he soon strikes up a deal to purchase 100 acres of prime riverfront land from them. The following fall, John Smitt brings his wife Nottuck (who now has assumed the English name "Nancy") and two children (John and Elizabeth) to live at "Smitts Pleasure", the name he has assumed for his plantation. As the years slowly pass, John Smitt Jr. marries Jeanette Louis, the only daughter of Jean and Manuella, and Elizabeth Smitt soon falls for the courting of Matthew John.

Unwilling to bear the new taxes ruled against his "free Negro" wife, Thomas Larson and his family leave Virginia and eventually settle at Tanner Landing. Jean Louis soon observes Thomas' skills as a carpenter and employs him to build a mill at the Landing. Within the next ten years, Thomas and Jane have four beautiful daughters, who are aggressively courted by the young men of Tanner Landing. The oldest daughter, Jane Larson, marries John Smitt III. Mary Larson marries John Louis. Nancy Larson marries Matthew Louis, and the youngest daughter, Christina Larson, marries Jacob Smitt.

Just before the Revolutionary War, James MacIntosh, a Scottish immigrant, settles at Tanner Landing. Much to the chagrin of his cousins at the coast, he soon marries Gabriella John, the granddaughter of Matthew John and Elizabeth Smitt. James and Gabriella have two children before James is mustered into service in the North Carolina Militia. Unfortunately, James does not survive the War, and Gabriella eventually never remarries.

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A "TRI-RACIAL ISOLATE" COMMUNITY IS CREATED

Now the fun part begins. In 1790 a federal census taker arrives at Tanner Landing. This is how he documents the community:

NORTHINGTON COUNTY - - WHITE'S DISTRICT

Jacob Johns……7 free persons of color

John Smitt…………2 free persons of color

Mark Lewis……..4 free persons of color

Alexander Lewis….2 free persons of color

Manuel Johns…….4 free persons of color

Jacob Smitt……..11 free persons of color

Lewis Smitt……..2 free persons of color

Jack Landers……2 free persons of color

Mark Landers…..4 free persons of color

Gabriella McIntosh….3 free persons of color

Matthew Smitt…..4 free persons of color

Lewis Johns………4 free persons of color

A century passes slowly and the people at Tanner Landing continue to intermarry among themselves and also with local Scottish descendants. After the Civil War, Tanner Landing gets renamed "McIntosh Landing" by petition of the "Sundry citizens of the County of Northington" to pay honor to the heroic defense of the Landing by "Deadshot" Lewis McIntosh, who legend says, fired a single shot at the approaching Union schooner "Valiant" which struck the Union boat captain in the head. The Union boat crew was so disarrayed by this event that they turned the boat around and headed back to the coast.

In 1900, a series of anthropologists visit the community at McIntosh Landing. They are mystified by this community of olive-skinned, black haired people who claim to descend from "the Roanoke tribe of Indians." White citizens living in the area derisively call them either Tanners or Northington Mulattoes, but never when any of them are around. One old timer even recounts to the visiting anthropologists that the real ancestor of these people was a Scottish pirate who had made a deal with the devil to trade his immortal soul for the devil's daughter's hand in marriage. The offspring of this pirate and his devilish wife traveled up the Roanoke on a black ship and soon intermarried with a band of wild Indians. The learned academics leave and soon publish endless articles and books where they proudly claim that the members of this quite settlement are "Tri-racial Isolates" and "the descendants of white settlers, Indians, and escaped slaves."

Though this is entirely a work of fiction, it does serve to show the natural tendency of humans to ignore the beautifully complex nature of history in favor of placing people and events into neat categories. Until we can truly study with an open mind, we will never understand the complexity of the story behind these communities.


19 Jun 2005

Greetings Mr. Hill, my name is Govind Sanyal. My father is from India and my mother is Native American descent. I am emailing you to thank you for your superb research and providing me with the missing link to my Native geneology. I had great difficulty in documenting my Reeds as Chowan Indian until Gene Snyder a fellow researcher and Chickasaw tribal member had emailed me the data you had provided on the Chowan Indians. Benjamin Reed was my fourth great grandfather who had married Sarah Ferris the daughter of Caesar Ferris and Naomi (George?). The Ferrit/Ferris family were Pawtucket Massachusett Indians who had ventured into South Carolina. These New England Indians I believe were part of a Diaspora out of New England and out of the New York Brotherton enclave because of the one drop rule. An indication of this type of Diaspora was George Sherman living in Tennessee in 1839 but had in his possession a certificate notarized in New York. George Sherman had a family member in South Carolina, James Sherman whose affidavit of Indian descent (Hicks, Theresa M. p305) stated that he was born in Redding Connecticut, the home of the Paugussett Indians.  Hicks(p319) also mentioned Samuel Edwards who assisted in the transportation of these New England Indians to Kentucky/ Tennessee area via Charleston S.C. was a Mashpee seaman.   Apparently some of these Indians had stayed in Charleston because in the early 1800s the city was a Mecca for free people of color. Subsisting in a piracy type culture. My Reed/Ferrit family had intermarried with those Seminoles who were bought into captivity with Osceola to Charleston for "safekeeping." They were bought to Sullivan Island off Charleston and imprisoned at Fort Moore. A few decades earlier before foreign slavery became illegal ca.1810, Sullivan Island was the place where newly arriving Africans were quarantined and prepped for the slave market. Now Sullivan Island was the place of transition for Seminoles held in captivity, to detribalize them by enslaving them by statistically changing them into Negroes.  Thank you again for your splendid and accessable research and information.  Govind Sanyal

These records are Copyright ©2005 Govind Sanyal, all rights reserved.


The Turks, 19 Jun 2005

Mr Hill,I read your information on the turks..  Me I am not a turk descentant but I have been married into the family for 34 years..never once have I heard the stories as you have told them...many in my family have passed down stories of the orgin and some of the story tellers are very old like 90 to 100..grant you the beginning came much earlier than that but this is a group of people that are proud of where they came from so they passed it down thur generations...I myself am sick and tired of the benenhaley's being put down..my kids are benenhaley's...they are good law abiding commiunty citizens..in the book, History of Sumter, they are they are deemed a poor class of people...well just check Shaw records and see how much land was purchased from the Benenhaley's...the Turks have had thier fill of all trying to explain them...they know who they are now so everyone should leave them alone..my son has reseached them also and his findings and yours appear to be different..just let me say this:

The turks are family loyal people that cause no problems in society and they would really like to be left alone.  They know how they got here so why is it posted on the internet..if there name was brown would there be all this attention?  No I don't think so...As far as you being in Fla kin to the Turks well thats hard to swallow cause they all stick together..every Turk I know of resides in the state of SC.....any response to this would be appreicated....

A true Turk in every sense of the word.

Phyllis Benenhaley


Phyllis, thanks so much for your mail, it is good to hear from people in your area so a balanced story will be known...since those 'mails' were printed by Dr. Clark, I have since seen documents which have convinced me that Joe Benehaley was indeed a man of Arab (Turk) descent...because of Joe's prominant position as a community leader and land owner, the rest of the community began to be called "Turk" as well, but make no mistake, The Benenhaley family was most likely the only family with a Turkish ancestor.....Joe married Elizabeth Miller, a woman descended from Isaac Miller of Bertie County, North Carolina. Isaac was included on the Tuscarora Indian census of 1777 Betie County. Others who moved down into Sumter at about the same time as Joe (1805) were the Lowry,Ivey, Johnson, Chavis, Locklear, Hathcock, Ammons, Oxendine and Scott families (see 1790 census of Halifax NC). All of these families were from Halifax County North Carolina, and they also had brothers and sisters who settled at Robeson County, and Marlboro County South Carolina.The ancestors of these families have many documents identifying them as Indians. It is my understanding that many of the Benenhaleys intermarried with these families (Joe Benehaley jr. married Catherine Scott..etc etc). If a member of the Benehaley family claims to be of Turkish descent, they would be telling the truth...however, many of the other families (Ellison, Scott, Oxendine, Tidwell) do not have a Turkish ancestor and primarily descend from white and Indian ancestors, as all of the 1860, 1880, and early 1900 documents attest.

Most of the information you observed on that site was taken from 1930's records from the Turk school board case and from reports of several ethnologists who visited Sumter in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's. I do not testify as to the accuracy of those records, I have only quoted them (which is why I state where the quote came from, not push it forward as my opinion). For example, a letter from Sumter County in 1861 which recorded that Isham Scott, the father of Fleming Thomas Scott, was descended from French and Catawba Indian parents, and that he had married Margaret, a white woman.

As to who I descend from......several of my ancestors had moved down from Halifax and settled briefly at Sumter just after 1805. (Isham Scott..1st cousin of the older Isham Scott mentioned above) and James Manning, were both listed on the 1810 Sumter Co. census, and I descend directly from them, as do many of the Indians in my community. In 1829, these Indians moved down into northwest Florida and served as "Friendly Indian" scouts in the local militia. We are not Turks, do not claim to be, or state that we are closely related...but we do all descend from the same Indian ancestors, and share common ancestors with the Lumbee Indians, the Hali-wa Saponi Indians, The Waccamaw Sioux Indians, etc. etc.

Pony Hill


6/20/2005

--from "INDIANs OF NORTH CAROLINA" in response to a senate resolution of June 30, 1914, a report on the condition and tribal rights of the Indians of robeson and adjoining counties of north carolina"..letter from the secretary of interior....by special Indian agent O.M. Mcpherson..."The Croatan Indians comprise a body of mixed-blood people residing chiefly in Robeson County, N.C, A few of the same class of people reside in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Scotland, and Hoke Counties N.C., and in Sumter, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties, S.C."

-- letter from Mr. Hamilton McMillan of Fayetteville NC addressed "RED SPRINGS NC, JUly 17, 1890"..."The Croatan tribe lives principally in Robeson County, NC, though there is quite a number of them settled in counties adjoining in North and South Carolina. In Sumter, SC, there is a branch of the tribe, and also in east Tennessee."

-- PETITION OF CROATAN INDIANS..To the honorable the Congress of the United States, December 1887...."The undersigned, your petitioners, a part of the Croatan Indians..." signed by James Oxendine, Ashbury Oxendine, Zackriors Oxendine, J.J. Oxendine, Billy Locklear, Malakiah Locklear, Preston Locklear, John Ballard, Crolly Locklear, G.W. Locklear, Patrick Locklear, Luther Deas, Marcus Dial, Joseph Loclear, Alex Locklear, Solomon Oxendine, A.J. Lowry, John A. Locklear, Silas Deas, James Lowry, Olline Oxendine, George Brayboy, William Sampson, Steven Carter, Peter Dial, Willy Jacobs, Quinn Gordan, Murdock Chavis."

-- The Lost Colony of Roanoke by stephen B. Weeks, 1891...."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 Sumter County SC, where they are quiet and peaceable, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very high among them."

1810 CENSUS OF SUMTER CO. SC...a list of "OTHER FREE PERSONS"

Jos Belanhaly...7, Sarah Camp...5, Fred Carter...6, John Chavis...3, Robert Chavis...3, Azana Clark...9, Mary Clark....4, William Driggers...5, Flaud Hagan...1, Obediah Hagan...6, Lucy Hathcock...3, Mary Locklear...1, John Manning...6, E. McMillan...4, Jesse Mitcham...6, Nelly Mitcham...4, Aaron Oxendine...5, David Scott...15, Fred Scott...3, Isaac Scott...7, Isham Scott...5, Isham Scott...5, Isham Scott...7, James Scott...8, Newman Scott...5, William Shorter...5, Cassiah Smith...2, Christo Smith...3, Jacob Yarberry...5


6/20/2005

from Lawson's "History of Carolina" 1718...."Chuwon Indians, Town 1, Bennets Creek, fighting men 15

Land purchase by settlers -1713- chief men of the Chowan Indians...."Thomas Hoytes, James Bennett, Carles Beasley, Jeremiah Purkins" (NC colonial records vol.IV p.33-5)

1734- "James Bennett, Thos Hoyter, Charles Beasley, Jeremiah Purkin, John Robins, John Reeding, and Nuce Will, Chief Men of the Chowan Indians..." sold land on Bennett's Creek in the part of Chowan County which later became Gates County.

12 April 1790- James Robins, Benjamin Robins, George Bennett, and Joseph Bennett sold to Samuel Lewis and Samuel Harrell for $100 the last remaining 400 acres of the original tract of 11,360 acres from Chowan Indian grant of 1724 near Bennett's Creek

1790 GATES COUNTY CENSUS- THOSE LISTED AS "OTHER FREE PERSONS"

Abraham Reed, Bashford Robins, Benjamin Reed, Elisha Parker, George Bennett, Hardy Robins, Hardy Reed, James Robins, Joseph Bennett, John Cuff, Jane Reed, James Weaver, James Boon, Micajah Reed, Seabrook Hunter, William Hunter.

1833 minute book 24, quarterly superior court of norfolk county, pp.27,28: "the Court doth certify upon satisfactory evidence of white persons produced before it, that Asa Price, Wright Perkins, Nathan Perkins, Pricilla Perkins, Nelson Bass, Willis Bass, Andrew Bass, William Bass son of Wiliiam Bass, Joseph Newton and Henry Newton, Allen Newton, Polly Newton, Sally Newton and Hestor Newton, are not free-Negroes or Mulattoes, but are of Indian descent..."

1833 same pp.43,44:"...that Andrew Bass and Lavina his wife, Elizabeth Bass wife of William Bass son of William Bass, Jemima Bass Sr, Peggy Bass, Jemima Bass Jr, Elizabeth Lidwin, Mary Anderson, Prisceilla Flury, Jerusha Bass, Frances the wife of James Newton, Lucy Trummell, Andrew Bass Jr, Patsy Bass, William Newton, Betsy Weaver, Nancy Weaver, and Sally Weaver, that they are not free-Negroes or Mulattoes, but are of Indian descent..."


6/20/2005

some Chowan cousins

an interesting note is the "MOWA CHOCTAWS" of Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama...the primary ancestors of this group were (1)Daniel Reed (born 1775 to 1780) and his wife Rose Goins.(2) David Weaver (born 1799 to 1802) and his wife Cecilia Edenfils (who later married Phillipe Chastang). (3) Lemuel Byrd who married a daughter of David Weaver. When the Mowa "Choctaws' petitioned for federal recognition, the B.I.A. rejected their application and stated that , though the group was consistantly identified as being Indian, they could not prove a connection to the historic Choctaw tribe, and their ancestors were documented as being from the NC/VA border. REED, WEAVER, and BYRD are surnames that appear among the Indian families of Gates County, NC, and the REED, WEAVER, BYRD, and GOINS surnames also appear in Halifax NC....


6/20/2005

Elisha Parker

Nyah-weh,

Thanks for the information on Polly Dunn, I don't know if she is in my lines or not but I will try and find out. Yes the 1790 census with Elisha Parker is my ggggrandfather. I am Tuscarora but as you say many Nations moved along this NC/VA. My ggggrandfather Elisha was born in Nansemond County Va as far as I know. But I also have Saponi,Nottoway and Meherrin blood, thats why I was wondering if we had blood of the Chowan Indians also since Elisha was on the petition. I appreciate any information that you might have.

Nyah-weh again, Mike Dunn

______________________

6/20/2005

The "positive" Chowan families from earliest records of at least 1730 were the Bennett, Perkins, Beasley, Hoyte/Hoyter/Hoytes, Reed & Robins. By 1800 they had also included the Martin and Weaver families. The head researcher of the Nansemond Nation, Fred Bright, is under the opinion that the Perkins, Weaver, Newton families were Chowan.

At about the time of the Tuscarora War, many remnant groups were wandering back and forth across south-eastern VA, eastern NC, and northern SC. When the War broke out a band of non-hostile Tuscarora under King Blount travelled north and settled with a group of Nansemond/Nottoway/Meherrin/Cheraw living in the area between the Nottoway and Roanoke Rivers (close to the Fort Christiana site). When the War ended, these Indian families could move more freely as the last hostile tribe had been eliminated. They were settleing anywhere they could safely remain, and were especially attracted to reservated lands. Christianized, acculturated mixed-blood families descended from the once powerful Powhatan and Eastern Sioaun Nations could be found spread from the Nanticoke reserve, the Pamunkey reserve, the Nottoway reserve, the Tuscarora reserve, all the way down to the Catawba reserve. These families bore such widespread "Free person of color" surnames as Bass, George, Gibson, Going, Collins, Scott, Hathcock, Reed, Archer, Stewart, Mitchell, Perkins, Weaver, etc. etc.

the 1777 land record of the tuscarora reservation of Bertie Co.NC included such family names as Allen, Basket, Blount, Cain, Cornelius, Dennis, George, Gibson, Hicks, Miller, Mitchell, Owens, Pugh, Roberts, Smith, Taylor, Thomas, Tufdick, Wheeler, Wigiins and Wineoak.

the 1808 special census of the Nottoway in Southampton Co. VA included such family names as Rogers, Turner, Step, Woodson, Bartlett, and Wineoak.

It would be very difficult to verify if a certain surname indicated descendancy from a specific nation....The eastern sioux (called by the group name "Cheraw" if you were in SC, "Tutelo" if you were north of VA, "Saponi" if you were in VA, or "Catawba" if you were in NC, but all referring to the same group of siouan speaking villages) were closely allied with the Chowan and a western band of the Nansemond (one historian has identified that the Nansemond were effectively broken in two by 1700, consisting of the more acculturated band around Norfolk, and a more traditional band called "Portuckee" that removed across the Meherrin)...even though the Siouan bands spoke a different language than the Algonquian Chowan and Nansemond, they intermarried and socialized extensively....


Florida seemed to be a favored destination for mixed-bloods until well after the civil-war....when Henry Berry Lowry vanished it was reported by many of his relatives that he had "gone to Florida"..observe the following quote from a W.P.A. interview of Louisa Davis in Winnsboro, South Carolina in the mid-1930's...

"I was born in de Catawba River section. My grandpappy was a full-blood Indian; my pappy a half-Indian; my mother, coal-black woman....They say I was a pretty gal, then, face shiny like a gingercake, and hair straight and black as a crow....After de War (Civil War), my pappy went to Florida. He look just like a Indian, hair and all, bushy head, straight and young lookin', wid no beard. We never heard from him since."


Jack Hitt wrote:

Mr. Hill,

I'm am working on a story about the resurgence of interest in what anthropologists call the little races (i.e., Melungeons, Redbones, etc.). I saw an online piece you wrote about the Turks of Sumter County.

Best regards,

Jack Hitt

Steven Pony Hill responds:

Its good to see that people are interested in this facinating story!

I can share what little I know....The Turks are one small branch of a number of related mixed-blood communities which include the Melungeons of Tennessee, the Lumbees of NC, Brass Ankles of SC, Cubans of NC, Portuguese of VA, and Red Bones of LA.

There are volumes of research written about the NC groups so I will not waste your time by going over them, but will share what I know about the Turks, Red Bones and my own relations here in Northwest Florida.

About the time of the Revolutionary War, mixed-blood families from the NC/VA border began moving south to such areas as Robeson and Sampson Counties. These persons were the descendants of mixed-blood Indians who had been living in such areas as the Bertie County Tuscarora reservation, Gates County Chowan reservation, and the old Fort Christanna site. In early 1800's branches of these families continued southward along the Pee Dee river into SC. By 1810 the "Turk" community had already spread roots in Sumter county under such individuals as Joseph Benehaley (a man of Arabic descent), Ridd Ammons, John Chavis, Robert Chavis, William Driggers, Obediah Hagan, David Ivy, Lucy Hathcock, Mary Locklear, Aaaron Oxendine and Isham Scott (who were all persons of Indian descent migrating in from the Robeson NC area)...because Joseph Benenhaley was such an influential man in this community, they all eventually were given the label of Joseph's nickname...."Turk".

At about the same time, in nearby Marlboro County, a community of families also migrated in from southern NC, who were closely related to the group in Sumter, including such individuals as Isham Scott (1st cousin to the Isham in Sumter), Abner Driggers, Lothlin Locklear, Joseph Ivy, etc.

In about 1828, pressured by oppresive new laws and tax regulations against "free-colored persons" (many of these same individuals attempted to have themselves held non-liable for such laws and taxes because they were "persons of Indian descent", but for the most part were unsuccesful)...numbers of the SC families migrated into southern GA and northern FL. The Florida branch (Scott, Chavis, Perkins, Hagan, Ammons, Goins, Mayo families) settled along the Appalachicola River (present-day Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty counties) and along the Choctawhatchee River (presnt-day Holmes, Washington counties) where many of their descendants still live today.

In 1857 a group of these FL families gathered up a "wagon train" and travelled to Rapides Parish to join the Perkins, Chavis, Goins, Nash, Sweat and Willis families which had already formed a community there. This community would eventually be given the label that had followed them from SC...."Red Bones"

This was only one of many migration patterns that the mixed-blood families used to spread out from NC, another was a route that took them through Tennessee (the early founders of the Louisiana branch used this route before they were joined by the Florida families)..The Tennessee Melungeons are the result of this migration route including such families as Gibson, Hathcock, Collins and Goins.

Another interesting note which has been ignored by researchers is the fact that one branch of these people have achieved recognition as an Indian nation by the B.I.A.....In the early 1800's groups of these same mixed-blood families traveled to southwestern Alabama and lived with a few remnant Creek families (Stedham, Moniac, Hollinger & Weatherford) who had a small parcel of reservation land there. By 1850 these immigrant families (Gibson, Deas, Taylor & Hathcock) had intermarried and become part of the community (side note...on 1850 census the Hathcock family which had come in from Sc were the only ones recorded as "Indian" the Creeks were recorded as "white")..the Creek bloodlines remained to some small degree, but the SC families were the largest and most predominant group. In the early 1900's these families applied for compensation as "Cherokees" and were censused as "mixed-blood Cherokee"...yet their descendants were given federal recognition in the 1980's as "The Poarch Band of Creeks"!!


From: Artie Martino;  Subject: Aaron Oxendine Jane Scott d. 1822; Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 13:46:38 -0400

Do you know of an event that could have caused the deaths of my gggrandparents: Aaron Oxendine b. 1781 Mill Branch, Robeson County, NC, and Jane Scott b. 1791? Both died in 1822--the same year their daughter Geanny Miranda was born in Stateburg, Sumter, SC.   Do you know anything about Charles Oxendine b? father of Aaron?  Understand the term "Molatoe" used to describe Indians.  

Colonial Tax Lists

[Byrd, William L., III, Bladen County Tax Lists, 1768-1774, Volume I]. (Robeson was formed from Bladen in 1797).

1770, pp.24-46

Molatoes: Isaac, Jno., Eliza & Hannah Hayes, John Combow, John Johnston & wife, Titus Overton & wife, John Bullard & Gutridge Lockelier, Benja. Lamb, Simon Cox, Gilbert Cox & James Percey, Cannon Cumbo, James Carter Senr. & Junr. & Isaac Carter, Frederick Goan & wife, John Waldon, Adam Ivey, John Phillips, Isaac & Needham Lamb, Arthur Lamb, Wm Wilkins, Charles Oxendine, Elisha Sweeting, Sarah & James Sweet, Daniel Wharton & wife, David Braveboy, Peter Causey & son David, Joseph Clark, Ishmael Cheeves, James Doyel & Wife, Thos. Groom, John Hammons, Richd. Jones & wife, Solomon James, Solomon Johnston & wife, Solomon Johnston Junr. & wife, Major Locklier, James Lowry & Wm Jones, Jacob Lockleer, John Lockleer & wife & son Wm.

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I'm not sure of any event in 1822...perhaps there was a disease epidemic that year?...Thanks for the info on the Robeson, Sumter connection..it has been my position that many of the families that came down into Sumter between 1805 and 1820 actually came from the Bladen area, but I have been met with resistance from persons who live in Sumter ("Turks"), who, for some reason, do not wish to have a connection to the Lumbees.

Please see attached for examples of Indians being described as "Mulattoe"....

I recognize the surnames in the tax list...the predominant number of these families entered the Bladen area in the 1740's to 1750's traveling south from the Halifax NC, Mecklenburg VA area. These are all mixed-blood Indian families who descend from the remnant bands of Nottoway, Nansemond, Saponi, Occaneechi, Woccon, Roanoke, and friendly Tuscarora under chief Blount. These varied tribes interrmarried in the early 1700's and their ancestors founded the "tri-racial" communities spread out from Delaware, VA, NC, SC, Louisianna and Florida.

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"The Bingham Family": Elizabeth Bingham was presented by The Northampton County VA Court on 13 NOV 1739 for bastard bearing...presentment dismissed on 11 DEC 1739 becuase she was "an Indian"

-Southy Bingham was sued on 13 DEC 1785 for 1 pound by John Evans, Ephraim Stevens placed his security...Southy was presnted on 14 March 1792 to the northampton Co. VA court for "tending crops on the Indians' land"

- Scarburgh Bingham a twelve-year-old "Indian" bound to Savage Cowdy by the Northampton Co. VA court on 12 JAN 1762. Scarburgh was sued on 8 JUN 1779 by Abraham Collins, and he was sued again on 11 JUL 1789 by Mary Jeffery.

- Elizabeth Bingham was bound to William Scott, Sr. on 9 SEP 1766 in Northampton Co VA. Elizabeth married Nathan Driggers on 23 Jan 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond.

William Scott, an "Indian" taxable on 2 horses in the lower district of Henrico Co VA in 1783, 1786 and from 1802 to 1804.

- Henry Bingham married Ritter Collins 13 June 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond, Ralph Collins security.

- Moses Bingham married Esther Collins, 25 year old daughter of Rafe Collins on 24 NOV 1819 by Northampton Co VA bond.

- Tinsey Bingham married William Gardner 25 NOV 1797 by Northampton Co VA bond, Issac Stevens security.

- Tamar Bingham married Ralph Collins 20 DEC 1799 Northampton CO VA bond.

- Betsy Bingham married Thomas Baker 5 DEC 1805 by Northampton Co bond, Nathan Driggers security.

- Polly Bingham married William Jeffery 26 Jan 1803 bond.

- John Collins married Betsy Jefferies 3 FEB 1803 by Northampton Co VA bond.

- Lighty Collins married Lear Driggers 3 FEB 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond.

From 1870 to 1930 I noticed the following surnames listed for the Pamunkey Indians: Lancaster, Bradby, Dungee, Collins, Sweat, Cook, Wynn, Miles, Allmond, Sampson, Major, Langston, Dennis & Page. here are some records I found pertaining to a few of these families....

18 OCT 1817..Petersburg VA...."John Sampson, a lad of Colour (son of Sally Major, a free woman) about nineteen years old, 5 feet 9 inches high, of light yellow brown complection. has stait hair, cow lick in his hair, born free in King William County, said to be of Indian descent & by trade a shoemaker. Registered by desire of his mother." (Register of Free Negroes 1794-1819. no. 877)

John Dungee, a pilot on the Chesapeake Bay who was "descended from the aborigines of this domain" according to the petition which he and his wife Lucy Ann made to the VA Legislature from King William County on 19 DEC 1825.

Billy Dennis & Sarah Dennis listed on Bertie County deeds as Indians of the Tuscarora tribe 1766 to 1777...I do not observe the 'Dennis' surname appearing among the Pamunkey until after 1870, likewise with the Castillo, or Custelow surname...both of these surnames appear to have migrated in from NC.

________________________________________________

In the mid-1800's General T.S. Woodward published a compilation of his letters entitled "Woodward's Reminences"...anyone who has done research on the Creek Indians, Creek Wars, or relating to the Creek Indians at Poarch Alabama I'm sure has used this book as a bible!

General Woodward mentions all the friendly Creek Indians, thier mixed ancestry, and the events surrounding the Red Stick War, and Jacksons foray into Florida. But, Woodward also makes several references that are of interest to persons researching the Algonquian and Siouan groups of the east....

(pardon my vagueness here, I dont have the book sitting in front of me)

- Woodward mentions how every dark-skinned person from Virginia he meets in the area (southern alabama, northern Florida) claims descendancy from the tribe of Pocahontas.

- Woodward mentions his own Indian ancestry, of how he descended from an Indian maiden of South Carolina with the surname of Silves who married a Stokes. Woodward often mentions how he was easily identified as being part Indian, and could pass for an Indian.

- It will interest all to note Woodward descended from Milly Chavis (born about 1749) who was living with her family at Marlboro, SC in the 1760's and married Edward Silves (the Silves family of SC was censused in 1790 SC as "other free persons" along with the Chavis family)

These records are Copyright ©2005 Steven Pony Hill, all rights reserved.

 

Various Genealogical Information on Cheraw Families

 

 

  1. Common Cheraw Surnames

The Ammons, Fennell, Bryant, Perkins, Gibson, Turner, Chavis, and others families share many surnames in common, especially since they originate among the same Indian communities of the Carolinas. These are the mixed-blood Indian families who settled into Rapides, LA. In 1828 several Indian families came down from SC and settled in along the Choctawhatchee River area in northern Florida’s panhandle. These families included Alfred Mayo (his white wife Catherine Youngblood), William Bryant, Bartram Butcher, Stephen Hagan, Rinchen Ammons, Dempsey Fennell, Major Stanley (his wife Elizabeth Perkins), William Chavis, Robert Knight, Robert Bartlett, Stephen Turner, Allen Gibson, Samuel Perkins, Anthony Burns, William Smith, and Roderick Chavis.     (1850 census Holmes & Washington Co. FL)
           Another group of families who travelled down with them settled nearer to the Apalachicola River. These were Jacob Scott (his wife Polly Harmon), Isham Scott, Joseph Scott,, Elizabeth "Betty" Perkins, Rebecca Goins, Absalom Scott (his wife Rose Bell), Richard Jeffries, John "Jack" Jones, Samuel Smith, Martin Brooks, and John Bunch.(1850 census Jackson & Calhoun Co. FL). In 1857 or 1858 most of the families living near the Choctawhatchee packed up and went to Louisiana.(1860 census Rapides Parish LA)  Some of the Hagan and Mayo family members stayed, and moved east closer to the Apalachicola group. (1860 census Jackson Co. FL).In 1870 there was a Charles Johnson (b. 1820 NC) living here with his family and grandson Bryant Davis (the late community leader Chief Buck Bryant of Blountstown’s great-grandfather)(1870 census Jackson Co. FL). In the late 1870's a man named Henry Johnson (b. 1838 TO 41 in LA)...he intermarried with the Cheraw Indians of North Florida group and founded the Johnson name in one of the Indian settlements. (1880 census Calhoun Co. FL)

 

 

  1. Haliwa-Saponi Indians World War I Diaspora

 

In one of their early petitions, the Haliwa-Saponi of NC documented that in the time period around WWI, some of their group had migrated to Buffalo, New York. Professor Heriberto Dixon was kind enough to provide some documentation regarding these people....most stated their birth state as either North Carolina, Virginia, or South Carolina. However, several stated "Florida" and "Alabama". On the 1920 census

 

  • the Florida group were: Musson BRYANT, Anderson HARRIS, William STEWART.
  • the Alabama group were: James COPELAND, Virginia JOHNSON, Bessie LOMAX, Walter SHANNON, Nathan ROSS, Nannie HAWKINS.
  • the North Carolina group were: Henry DURHAM, Addie MATTHEWS, Thomas COSBY, Octavia ALSTON
  • the South Carolina group were: William STEWART, Henrietta HEDGEPATH
  • the Tennessee group were: Smulla DURHAM, Charles DOUGLAS, Bernie RUDD, Harvey McBULLEN, George DICKSON, Eliza AUSTIN
  • the Virginia group were: Albert THOMAS, William BOYD, William VALLENTINE, Elijah BOYD, John BRIGHT, Mack MORRIS, Joseph RUSSELL, Clyde RICHARDSON, Joseph MITCHELL, Robert MATTHEWS, Mitchell HENDERSON, James MAYO, Virginia JOHNSON, Jesse CARTER, Ray THOMAS, Malvinia CYPRESS
  • the group from Kentucky were: Daniel TAYLOR, Laura COLLINS, William VALENTINE
  • one person form Louisiana: John RICHARDSON
  • one person from Texas: Paul RICHARDSON
  1. Silves and Chavis

Bottom of Form

In the mid-1800's General T.S. Woodward published a compilation of his letters entitled "Woodward's Reminisces"...anyone who has done research on the Creek Indians, Creek Wars, or relating to the Creek Indians at Poarch Alabama I'm sure has used this book as a bible. General Woodward mentions all the friendly Creek Indians, thier mixed ancestry, and the events surrounding the Red Stick War, and Jacksons foray into Florida. Woodward also makes several references that are of interest to persons researching the Algonquian and Siouan groups of the east....

 

- Woodward mentions how every dark-skinned person from Virginia he meets in the area (southern Alabama, northern Florida) claims descendancy  from the tribe of Pocahontas.

 

- Woodward mentions his own Indian ancestry, particularly how he descended from an Indian maiden of South Carolina with the surname of Silves who married a Stokes. Woodward often mentions how he was easily identified as being part Indian, and could pass for an Indian.

                                 

- It will interest all to note Woodward descended from Milly Chavis (born about 1749) who was living with her family at Marlboro, SC in the 1760's and married Edward Silves (the Silves family of SC was censused in 1790 SC as "other free persons" along with the Chavis family)

 

  1. Rev. Joseph Willis, Father of the Red Bones

 

             In the early 1800’s a number of small settlements were founded in western Louisiana near the border with Texas, which have perplexed researchers and historians. These isolated communities were called “Red Bones” by the local folk, and their social standing hovered somewhere between whites and blacks. The community members themselves claimed to be Indians, descendants of tribes of the Carolinas. One of the earliest persons to settle this area was the Reverend Joseph Willis, also known as the father of the Red Bones. Joseph Willis was born between 1755 and 1758 in New Hanover, North Carolina (not far from Robeson County home of the Lumbee Indians). Joseph was born to the Indian slave of Agerton Willis, and so, by law Joseph was also considered a slave. When Agerton died in 1776, his will provided for Joseph to receive his freedom and inherit the entire estate. Unfortunately, Joseph was still a minor and the estate was placed under the control of Agerton’s brother, who subsequently objected to a slave receiving any of the property. The will never became legal, and Joseph remained in slave status for another eleven years. In November 1787, a bill was introduced by Joseph’s white cousin, John Willis a member of the General Assembly of North Carolina, entitled “a bill to emancipate Joseph, a Mulatto Slave, the property of the Estate of Agerton Willis, late of Bladen, deceased.”1 The bill passed its third reading on December 6, 1787 and Joseph was free. Many years later in Louisiana, Joseph would tell his grandchildren who were tending to him in his last months, that he left North Carolina “with nothing but a horse, bridle and saddle.” Joseph Willis entered South Carolina at the time of the Revolutionary War and served under General Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox.” By 1790 Joseph was living with his wife, Rachel Bradford, in Cheraws County (now Marlboro, Chesterfield and Darlington Counties), South Carolina.2 It was also here that Rachel died about 1794. Joseph moved to Greenville County, remarried to Sarah an Irish woman, and purchased 174 acres.3

            In Greenville County, Joseph became more active in the church and joined the main Saluda Church. He attended the Bethel Association as a delegate from Main Saluda from 1794 to 1796. In late 1797 or 98, Joseph made his first trip to Mississippi to spread the Baptist faith. Records show that Joseph had first made the trip west of the Mississippi “in search of Willis Perkins,” a Baptist who had settled there earlier. Joseph Willis has been marked in the history books as the “First Baptist Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ West of the Mississippi River.” By 1833 the Reverend Joseph Willis became pastor of Occupy Baptist Church near Pitkin, Louisiana.

 This is less than a half-mile from Tenmile Creek. 4 He served as pastor there for 16 years. It was also there that he married his last wife Elvy Sweat, who was many years younger than he. During this time a man named John Phillips recorded an affidavit from Joseph stating that his mother was a Cherokee Indian and his father was English. This affidavit was registered at the courthouse in Alexandria, Louisiana.  The Reverend Joseph Willis died on September 14, 1854. He is buried at Occupy Baptist Church cemetery. Only three years after the death of Joseph, a wagon train from the east led by Alfred Mayo would arrive with more families of mixed-Indian blood. In South Carolina small settlements of mixed-Indian families had been commonly called “Red Bones”, and this label apparently followed them west of the Mississippi. These intermarried with the Willis, Sweat, and Perkins families who were already settled, and the ‘Red Bone’ community of today was founded. 6

 

Aimuel Willis, youngest son ofJoseph Willis

  1. At the time this Bill was passed, a “Mulatto” was legally described as “a person of Negro or Indian blood to the fourth degree.”
  2. Recorded on the 1790 federal census as a family of “All other free persons.”
  3. Again here recorded as “other free persons.”
  4. The areas of Pitkin and Tenmile are the home of the “Red Bone” settlements.
  5. In Luisianna records, the Willis family is recorded as “free persons of color” and “mulatto.”
  6. The histories of the Red Bones record that this wagon train “headed by Alfred Mayo left Georgia”, however, Alfred had been living in Holmes County, Florida since at least 1830, and was still present there on the 1850 federal census.

 

In late 1857 or early 1858 a large number of families left the Choctawhatchee River area of northwest Florida and journeyed west to Rapides Parish, Louisiana. These families, often described as “mixed-bloods” joined an older settlement of Willis, Goins, Perkins and Sweat families to produce what is known today as the “Red Bone” community. It appears that a smaller group of families left the same area of Florida in1853, but met with less success. The Taylor and Houser families “all of whom claimed to be Catawbas,” never made it further than Alabama. (1)  According to oral history the 1850’s migration was a “wagon train led by Alfred Mayo.” By comparing the 1850 Florida census and the 1860 Louisiana census a fairly accurate assessment can be made about the size and composition of this migration. (2) (3) The majority of families were originally from South Carolina and had settled in Florida in about 1828. Those persons on the “wagon train” were:

· William Bryant: (born 1810 NC), his wife, Mary (b. 1815 GA)

· Bartram Butcher: (born 1822 NC), his wife Elizabeth (b. 1826 GA)

· Benjamin F. Hagan: (born 1820 GA), his wife Elizabeth (b. 1830 FL)

· Stephen Hagan: (born 1825 GA), his wife Emilene (b. 1838 FL)

· Dempsey Fennell: (born 1817 GA), his wife Margaret Turner (b. 1828 FL)

· Major H. Stanley: (born 1825 NC), his wife Elizabeth Perkins (b. 1826 ALA)

· Robert Knight: (born 1833 GA)

 

· Jane Bartlett: (born 1824 GA)

· Stephen Turner: (born 1795 SC), his wife Margaret J. (b. 1814 NC)

· Alfred Mayo: (born 1792 SC), his wife Catherine (b. 1804 SC)

· Martin Mayo: (born 1820 FL), his wife Rebecca (b. 1820 SC)

· Samuel Mayo: (born 1830 FL), his wife Susan (b. 1840 GA)

· Simeon Martin: (born 1836 ALA), his wife Elizabeth (b. 1836 ALA)

· Anthony Burns: (born 1827 FL), his wife Ann (b. 1828 FL)

 

(1) R.B.I.A., National Archives, Letters Received, Miscellaneous, 1853, A-172, Brig.-Gen. G.B. Hall to

              Capt. I.C. Casey about Certain Indians in his County, November 12, 1853.

(2) 1850 Federal Census of Walton County, Florida households 265 & 266

      1850 Federal Census of Walton County, Florida households 11, 13, 43, 46, 60, 63, 112

      1850 Federal Census of Washington County, Florida household 257

(3) 1860 Federal Census of Rapides Parish, Louisiana households 95, 97, 106, 111, 112, 137, 138, 146,

              150, 151, 154, 165

  1. Hathcock, of the Poarch Creek band of Indians families’

origins in the Carolinas

The Hathcock family is definitely descended from the eastern Siouan group along the NC/VA border...many of the Hathcock were identified as Indian in the Halifax NC area and in the Marlboro SC area....some of the Hathcock came down to southern Alabama in the early 1800's and moved onto the Creek Reservation land in Baldwin County, where they were identified as Indian, along with the Gibson, Deas and Taylor families who were also eastern Siouan from NC. The descendants of these people were federally recognized as "Creek" Indian tribe in the late 1980's. Most of the persons in this family have no idea as to the origins of their family and since the federal acknowledgement of the Poarch band of Creek Indians in 1985; they have even less reason to want to know of the actual origins of their family. This is also true of several other “core” family lines among the Poarch Creeks.

 

  1. Barnwell and Perkins families

between 1910 and 1920 some Ash boys came down from SC with a man named Colonel Barnwell (Colonel was his first name, not a military title).In about 1880 the Matrilineal family leader Elizabeth "Betty" Perkins was living with the son of Toy Smallwood and these families intermarried with some of the Indians in the Cheraw Indians of North Florida settlements, and attended our separate Indian school.

 

- Master Indian trader Matthew SMALLWOOD was listed as having an Indian slave known as Jack Smallwood in South Carolina (South Carolina's Indian Traders 1670-1755, Barker, Eirlys Mair, 1993)

 

- In Bertie County NC (home of the Tuscarora Reservation) in 1785, Nancy ASH petitions for the release of herself and her children from slavery from John Gardner on the grounds that she was a free-born Indian woman. John Gardner counterclaims that "Jenny ASH is not an Indian nor is she free born but that she is a mustee, and a slave." Inference: among 1780's north carolinians, if you are not a full-blood, you are not an Indian.

 

  1.  ROSA BARNWELL (many students at Scotts Ferry School were from the Barnwell family) was born in South Carolina and endured slavery for twenty years, states that her mother was of Indian descent and a free woman, but that she, Rosa, was kidnapped by a man named Lee Edwards and doomed to a life of servitude. Rosa was one of 12 Indian children taken prisoners in the time of the last war (Tuscarora) and sold into slavery...her desire to purchase the freedom of the other Indians was too costly. (A Most Secret Identity: Native American Assimilation and Resistance in African America, Wellburn, Ron 2002)     note here: In the Tuscarora War of 1712, James Moore Jr. and COLONEL John BARNWELL carried off a thousand Tuscaroras into slavery.

 

VERY IMPORTANT FIND: 1719 South Carolina Assembly in determining who should be "indian" for tax purposes (Indian slaves were adjudged at a lower tax rate than negro slaves.so the idea is to get as much tax as possible...remember, censuses were also intended to assess the taxable citizens in any given area, so race was determined by what the census enumerator felt that the person should be taxed as.) The Act passed that year stated "And for preventing all doubts and scruples that may arise what ought to be rated on mustees, mulattoes, etc. all such slaves not entirely Indian should be accounted as negro." Inference: persons of Indian blood less than full-blood would be legally documented as "negro".

 

  1. Thomas Shelby (Scotts Ferry 1880); background information

McGoodwin V. Shelby

1918 Marion County Kentucky...Judge Sampson...."In May 1915 Miss Florrie Hood, a most eccentric and peculiar woman, died intestate, childless and unmarried, at her home in Lebanon Kentucky, she being about seventy years of age, and the owner by inheritance of several houses and lots and some acreage property in the city of Lebanon, and quite an amount of personal property...There were no close relatives living so far as known. Some very distant relatives...began to assert claim to the estate...It was known, however, that one Thomas C. Shelby, a nephew of Miss Florrie Hood, had many years before left Marion County on account of trouble and had gone to Florida...., and had not been heard from since his departure, so far as the public was advised." After dispatching investigators throughout Florida and mailing 1,500 postcards to different post offices in search of Thomas Shelby or his descendants, the estate administartors located Shelby's widow and two minor children - sole heirs to the Hood fortune.

(Thomas C. Shelby appears on the 1880 census of Scott's Ferry as a boarder in the home of Olive Scott Jones where he was employed in logging

The problem was that the widow "was the daughter of William Scott, and William Scott was the son of Joe Scott, and Joe Scott was thought to be a mulatto." This would make illegal the heirs' parents’ marriage and render the children bastards incapable of inheriting. The Court appointed investigator submitted that "The family (of the widow) claim to have no negro blood in their veins, but they have Indian, and that their forefathers lived among the Catawba Tribe of Indians. In the area she (the widow) is considered a negress." All of the claimants agreed that trying to settle such an issue by investigation would be unpredictable and risky to all. The late Miss Florrie had left enough to go around, so the claimants reached an out-of -court settlement to distribute the property among themselves. The case then wound its way through the Kentucky Court system for the next three years.

First, the original probate Court disallowed the agreement as being unconscionable since the children could not be considered anything but white, based on their great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents having always associated with white people. Then, the Kentucky Court of Appeals overruled the probate Court on the grounds that it was a valid choice by the children's attorney to accept the agreement, as they were unable to produce any "records attesting to their Indian descent."  Finally on December 6, 1918, the Kentucky Court of Appeals overruled itself, upholding the out-of-court settlement, but reducing the attorney's fees extracted from Miss Florrie's estate.

In the end, the Kentucky Court of Appeals, all justices sitting, ruled that: "Under section 233 of the Kentucky Constitution all laws in force in Virginia on June 1, 1792...are in force within (Kentucky) unless they have been altered or repealed by the general assembly (and that) the Virginia act of 1785 declared that a person having one-fourth part or more of negro blood shall be deemed a mulatto, is in force in Kentucky by virtue of section 233 of the constitution."  Since even if the children's ancestor, Joe Scott, was non-white, the children still undoubtedly possessed less than the specified fraction of non-white blood, and so, were legally white in Kentucky and could inherit.

  1. -Beasley Bullard Family Information

 

 

  1. -Letter from Professor Dixon concerning Canteys

a fellow researcher, Prof. Heriberto Dixon PHD, of New Palz NY mailed me a huge packet of research documents...he included a note which said "Can we, at this stage of our collective research, connect the dots between the Catawba Canteys and the "black" Creek Cantey's? It seems to me, that Cantey is such a Catawba surname marker." attached to this note is an excerpt from "Pvlvcekolv: An Overview 1979" by , Charles Randall-Daniels a.k.a Sakim.It states....

 

"...Black Creeks who have been associated with the community have largely chosen to abandon their ties with the Grounds. Sadly, a few Pvlvcekolv have developed prejudices against Black Creeks where their forefathers had little. The practicing membership of the Grounds, about fifty-three families, miss these old friends, especially the Proctors, Hills, Rollins, Canteys, Johnsons and Loves."

 

 

Then I settled down and analyzed what he wrote....remember, this was written back during the time in the mid 1970's when Sakim AKA (Charles Randall-Daniels) was hanging out around Blountstown, interviewing our grandparents, etc.

This was back when my grandmother's Aunt (Annie Bass LOVE) was still alive. Back when Sweetie Blanchard JOHNSON was living in Blountstown, etc. etc....it's all so clear now...the TRUE history was well known, even back then...its only been in the last generation that it has been warped, concealed, altered (the “Polly Parrot and Apalachicola Creeks, Pine Arbor Tribal Town mythology).....especially note his reference to the Cantey family, the Indian ancestor of the Conyers family of Liberty County (heavily intermarried with the Hills)...this was no accident...this family connection was remembered by our elders....and distorted by those wanting to appropriate our identity-letter from Pony Hill 1997

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1.  Habbard-Brown

“Indian” Tish Habbard’s descendents are found throughout Walton county and are proud of their Indian heritage, they are related to the Browns and had branches of their family in several Indian settlements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Willard Habbard, Son of John Habbard and Pollie Brown

 The Family of William Earnest Habbard (born 1900 in Freeport) and Carrie (?) of Walton County, Florida are shown above. His death cert. stated that his mother was Pollie Brown and father John Habbard. His grandmother was Tish Brown (born 1858 GA)..Documented on the 1900 Walton census it stated she could not read, write, or speak English. The 1910 Walton census showed Tish Habbard and all her grandchildren (including W.E. pictured here) as “mulatto.” (Pollie died during childbirth in 1906). All of the grandchildren of Tish Brown Habbard claimed that she was a “full-blooded Indian.” Tish worked and boarded at a popular hotel in Defuniak Springs (called the Florida House) where it was widely known of her race and she was called “Indian Tish”. Tish’s other grandson, Walker Habbard married Cora Stephens. The death certificate of “Tish Ann Habbard” showed her father as “Henry Brown.”

 

  1. Mixed-Blood Indians in Colonial Virginia and the Carolinas

 

Augusta County, VA (Orders 1773-1779)

19 AUG 1777….Nat, an Indian boy in the custody of Mary Greenlee who detains him as a slave complains that he is held in unlawful slavery. Commission to take depositions in Carolina or elsewhere.

17 SEP 1777….On the complaint of Nat an Indian or Mustee Boy who says he is to be set free from service of Mary Greenlee…nothing appeared to this Court but a bill of sale for ten pounds from one Sherwood Harris of Granville County, NC that through several assignments was made over to James Greenlee deceased, late husband to the said Mary….said Mulattoe or Indian Boy is a free man and no slave.

( Nat was most likely half-Indian, so therefore Mulatto or Mustee could be used interchangeably, use of these terms were influenced by the status of his servitude)

Charles City County, VA (Orders 1687-95)

DEC 1690….Thomas Mayo an Indian belonging to Jno. Evans is adjudged 14 years old.

Chesterfield County, VA (Orders 1767-71)

6 APR 1770…On motion of Sibbell, an Indian woman held in slavery by Joseph Ashbrooke, have leave to prosecute for her freedom in forma pauperis.

-         Sibbell an Indian wench V. Joseph Ashbrooke, for pltf. To take deposition of Elizabeth Blankenship and Thomas Womack.

-         Sybill a Mulatto V. Joseph Ashbrooke – dismissed.

(Sibell was most likely less than full blooded Indian…she was described as Indian up to the point it was determined that she was legally a slave, then she was described as mulatto…use of the term is influenced by the status of her servitude)

Dinwiddie County, VA

18 AUG 1794...registered free papers of “Nancy Coleman a dark brown, well made mulatto woman..freed by judgement of the Gen’l Court of John Hrdaway being a descendant of an Indian.”

10 FEB 1798…registered free papers of “Daniel Coleman a dark brown free Negro, or Indian…formerly held as a slave by Joseph Hardaway but obtained his freedom by a judgment of the Gen’l Court.”

14 AUG 1800…registered free papers of “Hagar Jumper a dark brown Mulatto or Indian woman short bushy hair, obtained her freedom from Stephen Dance as being a descendant of an Indian.”

27 MAY 1805…registered free papers of “Betty Coleman a dark brown Negro woman…formerly held as a slave by John Hardaway…liberated by judgment of the Gen’l Court as descended of an Indian.”

Goochland County, VA

7 MAR 1756…Elizabeth, daughter of Ruth Matthews, a free mulattoe, baptized by the Rev. William Douglas of St. James Northam Parish.

26 SEP 1757….Cumberland County Court to bind out the children of Ruth Matthews, an Indian woman, to William Fleming.

(Ruth is described as ‘a free mulatto’ at one time, ‘an Indian’ at another.)

 

Henrico County, VA

5 MAY 1712…..Thomas Chamberlayne brings before this Court his servant Mulatto man Robin and informed the Court that he hath several times run away. Ordered to serve one year from (release date).

-         Robin Indian (filed) against Major Chamberlayne…next Court.

FEB 1712….Robin Indian  ordered free from Thomas Chamberlayne’s service at end of year’s service.

MARCH 1713….Thomas Chamberlayne against his servant Robin Mulatto hath unlawfully absented himself for 16 weeks.

(Robin is described as Mulatto until he is determined to be illegally held as a slave, then he is described as Indian…use of the term is influenced by his servitude…his former master tactfully uses the term Mulatto to influence the Court to return him to slavery)

APR 1722…Peg an Indian woman servant belonging to Richard Ligon appeared…be adjudged free..he be summoned.

JUN 1722…Peg a Mulatto servant born in this County whose mother was an Indian intitled to freedom at the age of thirty years, having petitioned for her freedom against her master Richard Ligon. (Mulatto is used here to describe an Indian half-blood)

JAN 1737….petition of Tom a Mulatto or Mustee setting forth that he is the grandson of a white free woman and hast a just right to freedom but that his master Alexander Trent contrary to law or equity detains him in slavery.

(the terms Mulatto and Mustee are used here interchangeably)

JUL 1739…On the petition of Indian Jamey alias James Musttie is exempted from paying County Levyes.

NOV 1740…petition of Thomas Baugh it is ordered that the Church Wardens of Dale Parish do bind out Joe a Mulatto the son of Nan an Indian woman according to law.

(Mulatto is used here to describe an Indian half-blood)

18 NOV 1747….will of Richard Randolph…to my son John the third part of my slaves, he taking my two Negroes, Indian John and Essex as a part of his third which two Negroes I propose he should have.

(an Indian is described here as a ‘Negro’…the term is influenced by his servitude)

2 DEC 1754….Church wardens of Henrico Parish do bind out Ezekiel Scott and Sarah Scott, children of John Scott, Tommy son of Indian Nan, Henry Cockran son of John Cockran, and Isham Roughton an Indian according to Law.

5 MAR 1759….Ordered that the Church Wardens of Henrico Parish bind out Ben Scott and Roger an Indian Boy according to Law.

Lunenburg County, VA (Orders 1748-52)

JUL 1749…..Dublin an Indian of the Tugyebugg Nation came into Court and petitioned for her freedom, she being held in slavery.

Louisa County, VA

10 APR 1764…will of Patrick Belches…”to my wife Judy Belches all my land in Louisa..also the following Negroes to wit Indian Ben and wife Beck Kinney and their son Thom.”

1798…..Kinney family released from slavery based on testimony on William Denton that they descended from an Indian woman named Joan Kenny who was an elderly woman in 1729 and she came from the Indian town on Pamunkey.

(Indian Ben and Beck Kinney described as “Negroes’, later released based on being Indians...the term is based on their servitude)

 

Northumberland County, VA

OCT 1713…trial for examining George an Indian Mulatto criminal…inhabitant of Wiccomocoe Indian Town..for murdering Allen Dorrett…confesses he struck him with a stake…John Veazey carried him into the house of Indian John.

(use of the term Mulatto here to describe an Indian half-blood)

 

Stafford County, VA

Will Book Liber M, 1729-48….will of George Crosby…I bequeth unto George Crosby junior the son of my son George, one Indian mulatto woman Frank & her increase as also one Indian mulatto boy Jno Cooper.

(use of the term Mulatto here to describe an Indian half-blood)

 

Surry County, VA

2 JUL 1659…I Kinge of the Waineoaks doe firmely bargaine and make sale unto Elith Short her heires a boy of my Nacon named Weetoppin…until the full term of his life in consideration (of) a younge horse foale aged one yeare.

(not only did Indians sell their war captives into slavery, but they even sold their own)

20 MAR 1712….will of Francis Maybury…to wife Elizabeth, one Indian man named Robin and one Indian boy Jack and a mulatto girl.

20 AUG 1712…inventory of estate of Francis Maybury….two Indian slaves and one Indian Mulatto.

(girl first described as a mulatto later described as an Indian mulatto)

 

1741-1745…..Robin a Negro Man now in possession of Thomas Cocke, Gent., petitioning for leave to sue for his freedom.

-         Robin, an Indian Plt. Against Thomas Cocke Genbt. Deft. In Trespass Assault and false imprisonment…We find that James Jones late of Prince George County in the year of our Lord 1693 was in the possession of an Indian girl named Sarah as a slave and that we did find the said girl in the year aforesaid was 4 years old. We find that the parents and Native Country of the sd. girl were Heathens and Idolators. We find that the aforesaid girl did live and die in the service of the aforesaid James Jones as a slave. We find that the Plt. Robin is the issue of the aforesaid Indian Sarah.

(Robin is described as a Negro until he proves his Indian descent, then he is described as Indian…use of the term is influenced by his servitude)

Sussex County, VA

1818…..”James Hix, a free man of color, brown complexion 34 years old, born free of Indian mother per certificate from Sussex County.”

(non-white persons are held under suspicion of servitude, and thus Negro ancestry, until proven otherwise)

Westmoreland County, VA

29 JAN 1700…..James Loggin, an Indian Mulatto, bound to Henry Wharton until the age of 21 by the Court.

(use of the term Mulatto here to describe an Indian half-blood)

Coastal North Carolina

“In 1761, The Rev. Alex Stewart baptized 7 Indians and mixed-blood children of the Attamusket, Hatteras, and Roanoke tribes and 2 years later he baptized 21 more.” – Swanton

North Carolina

1857…..a William Chavers (Chavis) was arrested and charged as a “free person of color” with carrying a shotgun, a violation on NC state law. He was convicted, but promptly appealed, claiming that the law restricted free Negroes not persons of color. The appeals court reversed the lower Court finding that, “Free persons of color may be, then, for all we can see, persons colored by Indian blood, or persons descended from Negro ancestors beyond the fourth degree.”

( the desire of the legal system to lump all non-whites into one category still exists in mid-1800’s)

1871……The North Carolina Joint Senate and House Committee interviewed Robeson County Judge Giles Leitch about the “free persons of color” residing within his county:

               Senate: Half of the colored population?

                  Leitch: Yes sir; half of the colored population of Robeson County were never slaves at all…

                  Senate: What are they; are they Negroes?

                  Leitch: Well sir, I desire to tell you the truth as near as I can; but I do not know what they are; I think they are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and Indian….

                  Senate: You think they are mixed Negroes and Indians?

                  Leitch: I do not think that in that class of population there is much Negro blood at all: of that   half of the colored population that I have attempted to describe all have always been free…They are called ‘Mulattoes’ that is the name they are known by, as contradistinguished from NegroesI think they are of Indian origin.

                  Senate: I understand you to say that these seven or eight hundred persons that you designate as mulattoes are not Negroes but are a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, white, blood and Indian blood; you think they are not generally Negroes?

                  Leitch: I do not think the Negro blood predominates.

                  Senate: the word ‘mulatto’ means a cross between the white and the Negro?

                  Leitch: Yes sir.

                  Senate: You do not mean the word to be understood in that sense when applied to these people?

                  Leitch: I really do not know how to describe those people.

(Even person not considered to bear Negro ancestry could be called Mulattoes as late as the 1870’s….the term ‘Portuguese’ used here to infer Spanish and Indian ancestry….’Portuguese’ also used by persons of North Carolina origin residing in South Carolina, Tennessee, etc. to describe mixed Indian-white persons from the NC and VA border area during this same time period.)                            

“Virginia Gazette” Excerpts of Interest

17 APR 1752…Run away from the subscriber, living in Hanover County, about the middle of March last, a young Indian fellow, named Ned, about 20 years of age, pretends to pass as a freeman (Ned’s identity as Indian influenced by his servitude)

14 APR 1768….Isaac an Indian Slave aged about 40 years, run away from my plantation on George’s Creek in Buckingham. He was born and lived many years on the Brook of Chickahominy, and has some connexions in Goochland, where he may probably be at present. He wore long curled hair before his elopement, but his countenance and disposition are altogether Indian.

2 AUG 1770…..Committed to the prison of York, a Negro Boy, who says he is free and was born in the Indian Town on Pamunkee River. (his identity as Indian influenced by his servitude)

23 NOV 1770….Prince George County…Run away from the subscriber on Monday the 19th, a negro fellow named Frankof a yellow complexion. He has a wife among the Indians, at Indian Town on Pamunkey River.

24 SEP 1772….committed to the public jail, from James City prison, a runaway woman named Molly, she belongs to Charles Budd of Charles City County…about 40 years old, has a prominent nose and by her complexion would pass for one of the Indian Race.

26 NOV 1772…Run away from the subscriber in Cumberland a Mulatto Man named Jim who is a slave but pretends to have a right to his freedom. His father was an Indian of the name of Cheshire, and very likely will call himself James Cheshire, or Chink. He is a short well set fellow, about twenty seven years of age, with long black hair resembling an Indians. (Use of Mulatto to describe Indian half-blood….use of term influenced by his servitude)

3 DEC 1772…Committed to the jail of Surry County, a Negro Man who says his name is Tom, and that he belongs to Benjamin Clements of Sussex…appears to be of the Indian Breed.

(persons of obvious Indian ancestry described as a Negro)

 

13 JUL 1773….Run away from the subscriber a Mulatto Slave named David…says he is of the Indian Breed, and went down to the General Court, as I imagine to sue for his freedom, but has never returned.

(David’s identity as Indian influenced by his servitude)

11 NOV 1773…Run away from the subscriber, last month, a Negro Man of the name Tom…of a yellowish complexion, much the appearance of an Indian…His hair is a different kind from that of a Negro’s, rather more of an Indian’s, but partaking of both.

(person of obvious Indian ancestry described as a Negro)

11 MAR 1775….Run away from the subscriber…a very bright Mulatto Man named Stephen…his wife Phebe went away with him, a remarkable white Indian woman.

6 JAN 1776…Run way from the subcriber..Harry, Virginia Born, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, 30 years of age, a dark Mulatto, with long bushy hair, he is of the Indian Breed.

(person of obvious Indian ancestry described as Mulatto)

2 DEC 1775…Bute County, NC…Run away from William Tabb, a slave named Charles, of the Indian Breed, about 23 years of age, with straight black hair, light complexion, raised in George County, VA.

South Carolina

1731…Special meeting of the South Carolina House of Commons after a member had announced that “Free colored men with their white wives have immigrated from Virginia with the intention of settling on the Santee River.”, report of Governor Robert Johnson: “I have had them before me in council and upon examination find that they are not Negroes nor slaves but free people, that the father of them here is named Gideon Gibson and his father was also free…”

1753….. Will of Alexander Wood, of St. James Goose Creek Parish, Planter, to his half-breed Indian Slaves named Dukey Cox and George Cox, born of his Indian slave named Jenny, and Minerva Watkins, born of his Indian Slave named Moll, manumission upon his death

1794….Issac Linagear, Isaac Mitchell, Joanthan Price, Spencer Bolton, William N. Swett, and 29 other “free persons of color seek to repeal the Act for imposing a poll tax on all Free negroes, Mustees, and Mulattoes. They wish to support the government, but the poll tax caused great hardship among free women of color, especially widows with large families. Tax collectors hunted them down and extorted payments.”

(desire of legal system to lump all non-whites into one category)

25 JUL 1795…A South Carolinian advertised in the North Carolina Central and Fayetteville Gazette….”$10 Reward to deliver to the subscriber in Georgetown, a Mustie servant woman named Nancy Oxendine, she is a stout wench, of a light complexion about 30 years old. It is supposed she has been travels away by her brother and sister, the latter lives in Fayetteville.”

Tennessee

1832….Madison County….”free man of color, Richard Matthews, seeks permission to marry a white woman. Matthews says he is of the Portuguese blood.”

(see Goochland County, VA for the Matthews family.)

1843…..McMinn County…George Sherman arrived in the state in 1839 and now asks permission to remain. “A certificate signed by a notary public in New York states that he is of Mulatto complexion with wooly hair and is an Indian, one of the Narragansett tribe.(an Indian described as having a Mulatto complexion)

 

1853 to 1858 Claiborne County….suit pressed by school teacher Elijoh Goins, who alleged that his daughter’s husband “spoke false, malicious, scandalous and defamatory words saying the plaintiff was a mulatto, meaning a person of mixed blood one degree removed from a full blood Negro as reason of which several grievances the plaintiff hath been greatly damaged and subjected to the suspicion disgrace and insult to a family of a person of mixed blood.”

Legal Systems:

26 NOV 1722…residents of Northampton County, VA, petitioned the Court complaining “That a great number of Free Negroes Inhabiting within this County are great Grievances most particularly because the Negro Women pay no Taxes.” Virginia passed a law in May 1723 “That all free negros, mulattos, or Indians except tributary Indians to this government male and female, above the age of sixteen, and all wives of such Negroes, mulattos, or Indians shall be accounted tithables.”

1738…North Carolina “AN ACT to Prevent the concealment of the Tithables in the Several Countys within this Province” defines tithables as “every white Person Male of the age sixteen Years and upwards all Negroes Mulattoes Mustees Male or female and all Persons of Mixt Blood to the fourth Generation Male and Female of the Age of Twelve years and upwards.”

1749….North Carolina tithable law is amended to include “all White Persons intermarrying with any Negro, mulatto, or mustee, or other Person of Mixt Blood.”

(desire of legal system to lump all non-whites into one category)

1802….In the North Carolina case Gobu v. Gobu, the judge stated “I acquiesce in the rule laid down by the defendant’s counsel, with respect to the presumption of every black person being a slave. It is so, because Negroes originally brought to this country were slaves, and their descendants must continue slaves until manumitted by proper authority. If therefore a person of that description claims his freedom, he must establish his right to it by such evidence as will destroy the force of the presumption arising from his color.”

(all dark skinned persons are presumed to be descended from Negroes)

 

  1.  Cheraw Indians of North Florida connections to the Pamunkey Indian Reservation in Virginia

Note: I have placed names and locations with connections in bold, underlined and italics…it should be quite apparent the numerous connections between these groups.

 

-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)

-On March 12 1754 a “mulatto boy Busby alias John Scott” was recovered in Orange County NC after being stolen from his mother, Amey Hawley. He was the granson of John Scott of SC. The Orange County Court appointed Thomas Chavis to return the child to his family in SC. (Haun, Orange County Court Minutes, I. 70,71)

-John Jefferys and William Sweat produced accounts against the public for 50 pounds of tobacco in Surry County Court on 21 Oct 1713.

-Reuben Jeffries married Kissiah Hawley on 30 May 1808 Caswell County bond, Miles Scott bondsman (both Reuben and Miles were residents of Orange County NC in 1820)

-Elizabeth Jeffery, Indian, petitioned the Northampton County, VA Court on 12 Jan 1730 to order her former husband, Thomas Fisherman, Indian, to return a mare and horse, her property before the marriage. (Orders 1729-32, 68)

-Mary Jeffery died before 9 March 1773, estate divided up between Solomon Jeffery, Rachel Jeffery, Mary Jeffery, Thomas Fisherman, Mary Fisherman, Thomas Pool, and Abraham Lang.

-Soloman Jeffery married Tinsey Jacob(s) 16 Jan 1788 Northampton Co. VA.

-Littleton Jeffery married Nancy Collins 18 Sept. 1810 Northampton Co. VA. Littleton was an “Indian” taxable on a horse in the Indian Town in Northampton from 1811 to 1813.

-Polly Jeffery married Nathan Driggers 24 July 1810 Northampton Co. VA, Abraham Lang security.

-Elizabeth Lang was presented to the Accomack County, VA. Court in 1671 for having an illegitimate child by an Indian named Kitt. (Deal, Race and Class, 54-5)

-Elizabeth Lang presented to the Grand Jury of Northampton Co. VA for fornication on 11 May 1725. Her master, Thomas Dell, called her “an Indian servant bought the last of Oct.”

-Abraham Lang, a “Free Negro” accused of murdering Thomas Fisherman “Indian” in Northampton Co. VA on 10 May 1774. Abraham was tending crops on the Gingaskin Indian reservation, married to an Indian woman and also living with another woman off the reservation according to a report filed by the commissioners of the reservation in Jan 1785 (Rountree, Estern Shore Indians, 186, 299-300)

-William Francis married Polly Jacob(s) 30 Dec 1791 Northampton Co. VA, Abraham Lang security.

-Nancy Lang married Samuel Stevens 16 July 1779 Northampton VA.

-William Sweat married Margaret Jeffries (she remarried John Kicotank). William along with Anthony Cornish administered the estate of Robert Sweat who died before Sept. 1696 in Surry Co. VA.

-In 1694 an unnamed “mulatto” daughter of William Sweat was ruled by the Surry County Court to be not tithable.

-William Sweat taxed on self and 2 horses while living on Pamunkey Indian Resrevation from 1797 to 1800.

-Judy Sweat married Gideon Langston at the Pamunkey Reservation.

-Abraham Sweat purchased 246 acres in Halifax NC by deeds in 1782 and 1784. Abraham’s will dated 10 Dec 1819 in Halifax NC mentioned his grandchild John Langston of Virginia and the heirs of Lucy Cook.

-Margaret Jeffries Sweat living in Southampton Co. VA on 12 June 1755 when the Court exempted her from paying levys.

-The May 1788 Southampton Co. VA will of William Brooks mentioned his common law wife, Hannah Sweat and her son William Sweat. Bill Hunt and his wife Lucy were living on Hannah’s Southampton land in 1813.

-Will of James Brooks in Southampton Co. on 5 Feb 1798 gave ½ of his land to his grandson “John Chavis commonly called John Brooks.”

-William Sweat, Abram Sweat, Allen Sweat were among 28 Pamunkey Indians who signed a petition to the governor of VA in 1836.

-Thomas Sweat enlisted Oct 1759 to 1760 under Col. G. Powell’s Battalion in the expedition against the Cherokee…on the same enlistment roll as Winslow Driggers.

-Thomas Sweat taxed in household of Ann Perkins in Bladen Co. NC in 1771. Thomas Sweat was granted 150 acres on the north side of Pee Dee River on July 28 1775.

-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.

-Phillip Chavis had two illegitimate children by Hannah Francis in 1760.

-James Sweat was taxed in the household of John Francis in Southampton Co. in 1788 and in the household of Willie Francis in Southampton Co. 1794.

-Allen Sweat applied for a Revolutionary War pension in Wake Co. NC on June 7 1818..he stated that he had enlisted in Halifax Co. NC about 1782. Exum Scott testified that he had known Allen Sweat since his infancy while living on Scott’s plantation at Roanoke.

-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 Francis Smith, the wife of J.B. Taylor. Sweat moved from   to Tenn, to NC to Big Black River, Miss. arrived in LA in 1804.

 - Testimony of Aaron Dial -        remembered seeing Gilbert Sweat and his brother  Ephraim at the iron works in SC, moved with him toTenn.

-Ephraim Sweat married Olive Perkins in SC.

Note: given the Scott and Perkins family connections to the Sweat and Chavis families, and also the fact that a ‘wagon train’ of our community members went to LA in 1857 to join the Sweat, Chavis, Perkins families already settled there….I have no doubt about the solid connection between our Scott and Perkins ancestors here, the ‘Red Bones” in Louisiana, the old Gingaskin Reervation in Northampton, and The Pamunkey Indians.

 

16. Bingham Family

 Elizabeth Bingham was presented by The Northampton County VA Court on 13 NOV 1739 for bastard bearing...presentment dismissed on 11 DEC 1739 becuase she was "an Indian"

 

-Southy Bingham was sued on 13 DEC 1785 for 1 pound by John Evans, Ephraim Stevens placed his security...Southy was presnted on 14 March 1792 to the northampton Co. VA court for "tending crops on the Indians' land"

 

- Scarburgh Bingham a twelve-year-old "Indian" bound to Savage Cowdy by the Northampton Co. VA court on 12 JAN 1762. Scarburgh was sued on 8 JUN 1779 by Abraham Collins, and he was sued again on 11 JUL 1789 by Mary Jeffery.

 

- Elizabeth Bingham was bound to William Scott, Sr. on 9 SEP 1766 in Northampton Co VA. Elizabeth married Nathan Driggers on 23 Jan 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond.


 


, an "Indian" taxable on 2 horses in the lower district of Henrico Co VA in 1783, 1786 and from 1802 to 1804.

 

- Henry Bingham married Ritter Collins 13 June 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond, Ralph Collins security.

 

- Moses Bingham married Esther Collins, 25 year old daughter of Rafe Collins on 24 NOV 1819 by Northampton Co VA bond.

 

- Tinsey Bingham married William Gardner 25 NOV 1797 by Northampton Co VA bond, Issac Stevens security.

 

- Tamar Bingham married Ralph Collins 20 DEC 1799 Northampton CO VA bond.

 

- Betsy Bingham married Thomas Baker 5 DEC 1805 by Northampton Co bond, Nathan Driggers security.

 

- Polly Bingham married William Jeffery 26 Jan 1803  bond.

 

- John Collins married Betsy Jefferies 3 FEB 1803 by Northampton Co VA bond.

- Lighty Collins married Lear Driggers 3 FEB 1794 by Northampton Co VA bond.

 

From 1870 to 1930 I noticed the following surnames listed for the Pamunkey Indians: Lancaster, Bradby, Dungee, Collins, Sweat, Cook, Wynn, Miles, Allmond, Sampson, Major, Langston, Dennis & Page. here are some records I found pertaining to a few of these families....

 

-18 OCT 1817..Petersburg VA...."John Sampson, a lad of Colour (son of Sally Major, a free woman) about nineteen years old, 5 feet 9 inches high, of light yellow brown complection. has stait hair, cow lick in his hair, born free in King William County, said to be of Indian descent & by trade a shoemaker. Registered by desire of his mother." (Register of Free Negroes 1794-1819. no. 877)

 

-John Dungee, a pilot on the Chesapeake Bay who was "descended from the aborigines of this domain" according to the petition which he and his wife Lucy Ann made to the VA Legislature from King William County on 19 DEC 1825.

Billy Dennis & Sarah Dennis listed on Bertie County deeds as Indians of the Tuscarora tribe 1766 to 1777...I do not observe the 'Dennis' surname appearing among the Pamunkey until after 1870, likewise with the Castillo, or Custelow surname...both of these surnames appear to have migrated in from NC

 

  1. Ward, Lovett, Doyle Information

John Ward was an interpreter for General Floyd when he moved his troops to the Flint River and remained with the army until it reached the Chattahoochee River, and commenced building Fort Mitchell. He was dispatched as a spy with Nimrod Doyle, a citizen of Che-lako Ni-nee, (Horse Path town) a sub settlement of Thlekatchka (Broken Arrow) and an ancestor of the Hill family. Both of these half-blood men met with Shawnee Chief Tecumseh at the Tallahassee Square, opposite Tuckabatchee. Nimrod Doyle knew Tecumseh from earlier times

James Ward was employed by Major Patterson as a spy on December 22 1814 at Fort Mitchell. The “respectable half-breed” Colonel David Lovett was a blacksmith stationed at Fort Mitchell.  His son, “Chief” George Lovett, a citizen of Thlekatchka as well, fought with Christian Limbo, a close compatriot of Nimrod Doyle and John Ward. George Lovett accompanied Woodward when he volunteered to run an express at Fort Mitchell. Paddy Carr, a famous half-breed was born near Fort Mitchell, and eventually married the daughter of Colonel Lovett.