Monday, November 5, 2018

Genealogical History of the Melungeon Families by Mark French Jr.

Genealogical History of the Melungeon Families by Mark French Jr. November 22, 1947.
By Mark French Jr. Of Clintwood, Virginia Paper Originally Written, November 22, 1947. Corrected Edition Written, February 20, 1964. 
Uncle Wash Osborne of Copper Ridge near Dungannon in Scott County gave me more information about the Melungeons than anyone else. Uncle Wash's full name is George Washington Osborne. From what I gathered from Uncle Wash, the Melungeons started coming to Wise and Scott Counties about 1820. These people came in about equal numbers from Kentucky from Newmans' Ridge and lower end of Lee County. 
A few came from North Carolina. The first Collins family, who came to Scott County from Newmans Ridge were white. From Kentucky came the following families; Collins, Gibsons, and Sextons. From Newman's Ridge; Collins, Littons and Bollings. Very few people with these names came from Newman's Ridge. From Blackwater, Tennessee came the Sweeneys, Adkins, Lucas, Bollings, Goins and Baldwins. Also the Melungeons came to Scott County from Letcher County, Kentucky near Whitesburg at a place called Lick Rock. These people lived in large numbers. Uncle Poke Gibson came to Scott from Letcher about 1820. He claimed to be Portuguese Indian. A few Littons came from Newman's Ridge who are member of the Melango Tribe. There are two groups of Littons members of the Melango Tribe who live in Scott County and the Littons of Wise County who are not members. The Littons of Wise are no relation to the Littons of Scott. The Bollings, who are numerous in Scott and Wise Counties, came from Newman's Ridge. 
The have all the features of the Indian race. Old Jack Bolling, the originator of this family, is believed to have come from a low life grade of Indian. He married a melungeon by the name of Collins or Sexton but this is the first and last crossbreed in the family. His people were strong and spoke half-broken English. He was pure bred Melango and had no other blood in him. In this case word Melango pertains to Indian blood only. The Baldwins came to Scott County from Blackwater, Tennessee. They came from an Indian tribe there and the first Baldwins here were full-blooded Indian but in this region mixed with Negro slaves and Gibson and Sextons which leaves a variously diluted blood. 
Most of this set of Baldwins live in Scott County. The present members of this name are one-third Indian, one-third Portuguese and one-third colored. Another group, the Coins, who are very near full Indian came from Blackwater, Tennessee. The Goins, a high-minded group of people, are believed to be mixed with white people. They settled among the white people of Scott County in the last one hundred and forty ears. The Sweeneys who came from Blackwater, are a fighting tribe when in anger; other wise, they are a peaceful group. They are not as dark as some of the other members from Blackwater. Nerve is one of their outstanding traits not being afraid of anything. Years ago Old man Nichols gave several of them a good beating and thence they scattered. A few settled in Russell, a few in Lee, a few in Wise, a few in the lower end of Scott, a few at Newman's Ridge and others went down to the home of their forebears Blackwater Swamp, Tennessee. The Adkins family of Indian origin came from Blackwater, Tennessee. Some of them have migrated from Scott County to Letcher and Pike County. A Kentucky family name which belongs to the Melango tribe is the "Lucas' facial features are large and massive with ruddy cheeks. It is believed they are descended from Portuguese Indians and Irish. The name Lucas is of Irish origin. 
Another family which originated from the melungeons is the Moores. The Moores came in to this county from Newman's Ridge about 1807. The originator of the Moores here was old Eth Moore. The family name of this forebears had the Irish prefix O and was spelled O'Moore. Eth Moore always said he was one-third Portuguese Indian. Of course the other two-thirds consisted of Irish and don't know what. The Moores of Wise County are descendants of Eth Moore. Eth Moore had tolerable dark skin, broad cheek bones, broad face, very pretty eyes black as a cat, a nose three inches long, very flat and wide as a opossums. He spoke with an indistinct tone since his words came through his nose. Eth Moore, a school teacher, a man of knowledge and brilliant mind, lived during the slave days but kept no slaves as he considered them too irresponsible to have onthe place. The name Eth was a shortening of the name Ethan. 
The Moore set of Scott County, who are descendants of old Eth Moore, are people oF good business sense. Usually the men and women are very good looking. Another name of the Melango tribe of this region is the Frenches. The Melungeons migrated to the Southern sections of this country such as Newman's Ridge and Wise and Scott Counties from the North. They migrated to Scott County in about equal numbers from Newman's Ridge and Letcher County, Kentucky. To Newman's Ridge the Indian tribe came from Blackwater Swamp, Tennessee and the Portuguese Indian element came from someplace in the North. They migrated down here from the North in all probability because it was very cold up there and were in need of blankets and warm houses and had not money to buy the blankets nor the industry to build warm houses. Therefore they migrated further south where no blankets and warm houses were needed. Of course, blankets and warm houses were needed during winter season of the year but winter season was of short duration.
 I have separated the Melango families into the different groups as follows: 1. Purebred Indian groups from Blackwater, Tennessee a. Coins b. Bollings c. Sweeneys d. Adkins e. Minor 2. Indian group from Blackwater who married in other Melango Tribes a. Baldwins 3. Melango groups from Kentucky a. Collins b. Sextons 4. Indians and whites from Newman's Ridge a. Bollings b. Collins 5. Portuguese Indian and white from Newman's Ridge a. Collins From Newman's Ridge a. Moore's—married Sextons and Gibson during first generation 6. Portuguese Indian from Kentucky a. Gibson Under the column Portuguese Indian and white are the few people who came from Newman's Ridge called Collins. In Scott County they married among the Sextons and Gibsons. By intermarrying among these other people their blood became variously diluted. We know definitely that the blood of the descendants of Collins of Newman's Ridge consists of Portuguese Indians and white. 
The first Collins from Newman's Ridge were reported to be white. Now the descendants of old Eth Moore in the generations since 1835 who married in families other than Melango have very little Melango blood in their veins. Of course, blood of the descendants of those who married the Melangoes in the last one hundred and twenty years in Scott County is variously diluted. Under the column Purebred Indian group from Blackwater are the Minors. The Minors, a fighting people, show more of the Indian than any other Indian group in Scott County. They claim to be Portuguese Indian stock. They are of large stature, tall of black complexion and very strong. 
I believe the Minors are of three-quarters Indian and on-quarter Portuguese. The are of the type of people whose word is their bond. In Scott County some of them own large stock farms and have prospered. The story of the Spanish ship wreck was verified by Samuel Sexton. It was repeated to him by Aunt Caroline Collins who heard it from her father, Johnny Sexton, who came to America on a ship which carried Spanish bullion. Johnny Sexton came to Stone Mountain from Eastern Virginia. His family was of Spanish descent. I do not have the Spanish shipwreck story readily was available to insert in this paper. I read an interesting article in the October 18 issue of the SATURDAY EVENING POST called "The Legend" written by Elizabeth Worden of Washington D.C. It gives different theories advanced by different people about the origin of the Melungeons of Blackwater Swamp and Newman's Ridge, Tennessee. I do not have a copy but gave it to Hamp Osborne who writes an article called "Hillbilly" in a Scott County newspaper.
 I meant to go down to Slant and talk to John Sallings about the Indians from Blackwater but failed to do so. Of course, I doubt if he could tell me anything about the mixed group of Melungeons. John Sallings is now deceased, dying two or three years ago. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Thomas Collins: grandfather of Carter W. Collins of Blair's Mills, Morgan co Ky.

3.  Thomas2 Collins (???) was born Abt. 1780 in Wilkes Co., NC, and died March 15, 1846 in Knott Co., KY.  He married Nancy Williams Abt. 1800 in , NC.  She was born Abt. 1780 in , NC, and died in Letcher Co., KY.

Notes for Thomas Collins:
BIRTH: Based on the 1810 census, male 26-45, with 4 children under 10; if Thomas was 20 when married and had 4 children, figure about 2 years apart, a reasonable date of birth would be about 1780.
DEATH:  Wilson Collins made an affidavit on 9/21/1886, for Thomas Collins, Jr. wherein he stated his grandfather was deceased on 3/15/1846.  However, his daughter, Margaret, and her husband inherited 50 acres of land at his death and this is listed in 1844.
MARRIAGE:  name found in census records.

In a book on the Caudills of Wilkes County and Eastern Kentucky by Samuel E. Sebastian Sr., he states that James Caudill and Stephen migrated to eastern KY with the Adams, Crafts, Williamses, Hammonds, Collinses, Webbs, Holbrooks, and others, about the year 1803.  That the Caudills left part of their children in Wilkes Co.   Since we know that Thomas did not leave until about 1835, one might conclude that his father's brothers or other family members left and Thomas' side of the family stayed for whatever reasons they may have had.

{Thomas and Nancy moved with their adult children. All but the youngest, Thomas J, were married when they arrived in Perry now Letcher Co Ky.abt 1835.  Likewise, Carter (son of Briant) and Maryann did not leave Letcher co until their children were grown}

Children of Thomas and Nancy Williams Collins

Even though these many Collins families are listed below as living in the same counties, there has never been any proof as to how they may have been related. Only guess work.
Following Census are Wilkes County:

In 1796, 4th David, Valentine and Griffin Collins each have 1 poll, David has 100 acres; In 11th John Banks has 1 poll, in 13th Vardie, Merida and Lewis have 1 poll each, Verdie has 100 acres.

In 1797 11th Nathaniel Banks and John  each have 1 poll, Nathaniel has 100 acres; In 13th Vardy, Valentine and Aaron Collins have 1 poll each, Valentine has 50 acres.

None found in 1798.

In 1799, 13th Dist, Ambrose and Elisha Collins each have 1 poll, Elisha has 50 acres; 4th Dist. Capt. Johnson's, Lewis, Griffin and Aaron Collins have 1 poll each, Griffin has 50 acres.  Dist. 4, Thomas Collins, 70 acres, 1 poll.


Jan. 9, 1779, John Livingston enters 140 acres, headwaters Beaver Creek, joining Thomas Collins land and Thomas Collens line including his improvements., Wilkes Co.

In 1782, tax, list, John Dist., was Samuel Collins with 100 acres.

In 1784, Nat Banks, John Banks each 1 poll, Nat had 50 acres, John had 100 acres.  George and Ambrose Collins each had 1 poll.

In 1785, #10,  Nat. and Wm. Banks each had 1 poll and 50 acres.  In #4, Samuel and Ambrose Collins each had 1 poll and 0 acres.  George had 1 poll, 0 acres;

In 1786, Nall Dist, the following are listed:  George Collins, Ambrose Collins, Samuel Collins, all with 1 poll.  In #10, Browns Dist. William, Nat and John Banks, Jr. each have 1 poll, William and Nat. both have 50 acres.

In 1787 Ambrose, Samuel and George Collins were found with 1 poll. John, William and Nat. Banks found 1 poll, John and Wm. with 50 acres, Nat. with 100.

In 1788, Ambrose, Valentine, George, Martin, Martin Collins 1 poll. William, John and Nat Banks, 1 poll.  Wm. had 50 acres, Nat 150 acres.

In 1789, 4th Dist. Valentine, Samuel and Benjamin Collins have 1 poll each, Samuel has 100 acres.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

CAUTION: Dangerous Invasive Plants in your neighborhood

CBS LOCAL) — A noxious, alien and invasive plant that looks like Queen Anne’s lace on steroids – giant hogweed — is causing some concerns after being found in multiple states, including Michigan.
 In addition to Pennsylvania, giant hogweed can be found in New York, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Hogweed is in the carrot family and can grow 14 feet or taller. The toxic plant has thick leaves stretching five feet wide and large clusters of white flowers on the top in an umbrella pattern. Its stems are green with purple blotches and white hairs.
Giant hogweed originates from the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas by Russia – but it made its way to the U.S. by the early 20th century.


                                                  wild parsnip 

Beware of the wild parsnipDon't be tempted to pick these pretty yellow flowers. Contact with the plant, which is found throughout North America, can cause a painful light-sensitve rash similar to that of the Wild Hogweed. 

Wild parsnip is most irritating while flowering.