Thursday, February 2, 2017



There is another great Catawban warrior mentioned in the paperwork. The stories I got ahold of were contradictory and confusing. One record while saying he was born about 1740 also says he earned his name of “General New River” because he killed a famous Shawnee Chief during a battle in 1732 on New River in southwestern Virginia. Since he wasn't born until 1740 that would have been quite an achievement. Piecing bits and pieces together I suspect it went more like the following scenario. The Catawba WERE FIGHTING the Shawnee, but during the French and Indian War between 1754-1763, and not in 1732. One of the records I found said the Indians, both Cherokee and Catawba, were to be stationed at three points. One up around Winchester, the location of a second was not mentioned, and a third group it said was to be stationed to the west of Roanoke. I looked for Roanoke on a map, and to its west there was a town of Catawba. Now that old Virginia map is over 50 years old, and it say the population of the small town of Catawba was “25” in the 1960s. So it might have grown, or it may be a ghost town, today – I don't know. According to the key to the map and eye-balling it, it appears the small town of Catawba is about 35 miles from the New River. Did New River and his warriors surprize a band of Shawnee trying to sneak up on them? I don't know, but it is an interesting conjecture. Within twenty years several of the Melungeon families would be living along the New River, at the same streatch of river bank. (1)

His status as a warrior made him an ideal choice as war chief, as well as his blood line.
I found the following at the website above:

King Hagler was murdered by the Shawnee near Waxhaw in 1763. His successors, King Prow and later Gen. New River, perpetuated the close bond with the South Carolina government and the settlers on the frontier in the generations after his passing. When the winds of revolution began to blow in the Backcountry of South Carolina, the Catawba were at first understandably confused. They had aligned with South Carolina’s British government for years. When they saw the settlers readying for trouble by “cleaning their guns and putting on their shot pouches,” they sent Young Warrior and another Catawba to Col. William Moultrie in Charles Town for answers on July 4, 1775. They brought a letter from King Prow asking the South Carolina Council for an explanation in the form of “a letter to carry back to their nation, to let them know everything.”

“Councilman William Henty Drayton wrote that letter in terms they could relate to. In it he stated that the King wanted the colonists to pay four deerskins for trade goods which had always cost two deerskins, thereby stealing the colonists’ money. Drayton asked for their help against “the Redcoats” should there be war. By July 26, the Catawba visited Joseph Kershaw in Camden to declare their support in the colonists’ cause. Kershaw thought that 40 or 50 warriors would enlist. That was a significant percentage of their men at that time since the Catawba Nations had been decimated by small pox and the Indian Wars over the years.”

Remember it was the Shawnee that killed King Haigler in 1763. You can understand why, if you realize the Shawnee and the Catawba were at war during that time, near the end of the French and Indian War.” Continuing;

Council instructed Kershaw to let them know when the Catawba were ready to march, as they would join the Rangers at that time. Samuel Boykin of Camden was chosen to be their commander. After a delay while the Catawba were weathering another outbreak of small pox, they regrouped and reported to service in 1775. Twenty-five Catawba were in Boykin’s initial company. The numbers in the Catawba troops fluctuated from year to year, but they were a constant presence in the war. Later, from 1780 until 1783, Capt. Thomas Drennan led the Catawba troops. The Catawba helped fight a two-edged sword during their service in the Revolution. They faced British troops in the settled areas of South Carolina as well as Cherokee warriors fighting for the British on the sparsely settled frontier. They were known as excellent scouts, but they were also renowned as fierce warriors, even among other Indian nations.

The following Revolutionary War soldiers were of the Catawba Nation:
Billy Ayers, Jacob Ayers, James Ayers, John Ayers, Indian Bobb, John Brown,,Patrick Brown, George Cantor, John Connar, Tom Cook, Tom Cross, Indian George, Peter George, Pintree George Indian Gilbert, George Harris, Peter Harris, Big James, Suggar Jamey, Chuckeface Jemmey, Doctor John, Young John, Indian John, Billy Kegg, John Kegg, John Kelliah, Alack Little, Charle Little,Stephen Little, John Nettles, General New River, Billey Otter, Cpt.Indian Petter, Chunckey Pipe, Indian Quash, Billy Readhead, Billey Scott, Jacob Scott, John Scott, John Tompson, Jack Simmons, George White,   Henry White, Billey Williams. (3) 

It is difficult to discover where the Catawba Warriors served. But here is a little information that can be gleaned here and there. From the website below we have;
“General Thomas Sumter actively recruited Catawbas to join his army. He specifically used them to find Loyalist hideouts in the South Carolina backcountry.382 Some Catawbas served under Sumter throughout his southern campaign. Others led by Catawba General New River, joined Colonel William Richardson Davie and [Andrew] Jackson’s cousin, Major Robert Crawford. It was nothing new for Jackson’s family to interact with the Catawbas as his older brother, Hugh, had “fought Cherokees in the Waxhaws and hunted with the docile Catawba” while Andrew was a young boy. The Catawbas during the Revolution normally fought under White leadership, but had a separate company of forty-one men under Captain Thomas Drennan from 1780 to 1782. (4)

During the summer of 1780 Davie, led South Carolina Continental Army troops under Jackson’s cousin Robert Crawford, volunteers, and militia from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where many residents of the Waxhaws had sought refuge during the British invasion, and a band of Catawbas under General New River fought to “prevent the enemy from foraging on the borders of [North Carolina]” and “check the depredations of the Loyalists who infested that part of the country.” Throughout the summer of 1780, the Americans found whatever food they could as British soldiers foraged the crops of the Waxhaws, depleting Jackson’s community of provisions and turning his community into a ghost town, with residents scattered into North Carolina. (5)

“See Gordon's History. I must here Mention the Catawba Ind[ian]s. At the Commencement of the Revolutionary War the Catawbas . . . Appointed a Native Indian by the Name of New River to be their General. When we took the field after the fall of Charleston we often Encamped on their land for days together those friendly Indians drove to us Beef from their Own Stocks, and Several times brought Out their whole force and Encamped near us & After the Def[ea]ts of Genls. Gates and Sumter those Indians was so [a]fraid of the British that they Deserted their Nation, Men Women & Children with a few Exceptions & Moved on towards Virginia, and as we begun to make heat ag[ains]t the Enemy they Returned with Joy to their own land.

“The Catawba met much action during the Revolutionary War. Because of incomplete records, we will never know all of the battles and skirmishes they were involved in. But we can ascertain they fought/scouted in the following events: In 1776, they fought at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island; they supplied provisions for Col. Thomas Sumter while he enlisted recruits in the Upcountry; and battled with the Cherokee at Coweecho River (N.C.) and Keowee (S.C.) during the Cherokee Expedition.

During 1779, they were involved in the defense of Charlestown. From 1780 until 1783, they fought at the Battle of Hanging Rock, the Battle of Rocky Mount, the Battle of Fishing Creek, and the Battle of Kings Mountain. In 1781, they were involved in the Battle of Haw River. They were with Greene’s army at the Battle of Guilford’s Courthouse. In September of that year, they fought at the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

“After the Revolutionary War, the Catawba population was a small portion of what it had been before small pox epidemics and the fighting during the war. They returned to live on their ancestral lands but struggled for survival until well into the 20th century. That struggle is another story. Peter Harris was one of the few Catawba who were included in the enlisted men eligible for a government pension after the war. He wrote in 1822 at the age of 69:

“I am one of the few stalks that still remain in the field; where the tempest of the revolution passed, I fought against the British for your sake, The British have Disappeared, and you are free, Yet from me the British took nothing, nor have I gained anything by their defeat … the hand which fought for your liberties is now open for your relief. In my Youth I bled in battle, that you might be independent, let not my heart in my old age, bleed, for the want of your Commiseration.

The Catawba Nation helped establish our American nation. We need to remember their sacrifices just as we remember our American patriots.” (6)

I found this curious comment online.In 1738, the Pee Dee moved from “Pee Dee Indian Old Town” in Marion County, SC to a reservation set up for them by the colonial government on the lands of James Coachman in Indian Field Swamp on the Edisto River in what is now Dorchester County. They soon began moving upriver, to the forks of the Edisto, to better serve as trading liaisons between the colonists and neighboring tribes. Many members of the tribe received land grants in that area for service in Capt. John Alston's "Raccoon Company," a company of 50 Pee Dee Indian riflemen, during the Revolutionary War. In 1813, Chief Lewis Jones moved from the Pee Dee River and received grants totalling 2,000 acres. Many of our people still reside on those original grants. ''

That is interesting information, but there is no mention of the Pedee Indians in the earlier colonial record. There is a lot of mention, however, of Indian paples who are called “Settlement Indians”, Indian peoples who descend from members of “Wasted” tribes, tribes almost extinct, just a few survivors. This Raccoon Company is also interesting. These land grants tell us a lot. Many members of the Melungeon families also received land grants in that same area, including my Gibson's. I know I have more about this “Raccoon Company”, but I need to find it again. “I think” it's in the middle of 1,000 pages of paperwork, if it's where I think it is. It'll take a while, but I'll find it. :) Remember the Virginia Governor and his company of Tuscarora, Saponey, Nottaway's and Meherins who served in the French and Indian War? It looks like they raised a small unit made up as similar nationalities for the Revolutionary War as well. It isn't easy to trace these units down. A lot of people are looking for this materal. If it's there, we'll find it.

On another document William Guy and Simor Jeffries are listed as “Catawba Indians,” and both are recorded as veterans of the Revolutionary War. I have that entire document transcribed later in this book. Remember the families who will give birth to the Melungeons live along the Virginia/North Carolina border, and in a few specific communities – only locations where American Indians lived.
And please remember the Small Pox again. During the Revolutionary War, there was another vast Spall Pox epidemic, and many more died. There were such a pitiful few Catawba left alive in the two Catawba towns by this point, that travellers might pass through and not know thre was an Indian tribe nearby.

(3) Source: "African American And American Indian Patriots Of The Revolutionary War" by National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D. C. 
Page 181 - 183 Minority Revolutionary War Service South Carolina 

Lewis Jarvis Article
Most Melungeon researchers know about the Lewis Jarvis writing.
About 1903 there was a discussion about just what was a Melungeon. People were tell all kind of stories. These were hucksters, selling the equivalent of Snake Oil, in the form of fake history. ALWAYS use the “Occam's Ruler” test. This is what scientists do. We'd be wise to use they methods. Occam's rule states basically to never use more than is required to explain a thing. Had people followed that rule these non-existent Jews, Turks, Welshmen, and escaped East African slave stories would have never gotton off the ground. So Lewis Jarvis wrote an short article that was locally published on April 17th 1903, in Sneedyville, Hancock County, in Tennessee, in an attempt to explain just who the Melungeons were. Please note Mr. Jarvis had lived amongst the Melungeons all his life.William Grohse transcribed the article and copyrighted it (c) 2005. 

Here's what it says;

Much has been said and written about the inhabitants of Newman’s Ridge and Blackwater in Hancock County, Tenn. They have been derisively dubbed with the name “Melungeons” by the local white people who have lived here with them. It is not a traditional name or tribe of Indians. [NOTE: He is saying the word “Melungeons” is not the name of a tribe of Indians]

“Some have said these people were here when the white people first explored this country. Others say they are a lost tribe of the Indians having no date of their existence here, traditionally or otherwise.

“All of this however, is erroneous and cannot be sustained. These people, not any of them were here at the time the first white hunting party came from Virginia and North Carolina in the year 1761-- the noted Daniel Boone was at the head of one of these hunting parties and went on through Cumberland Gap. Wallen was at the head of another hunting party from Cumberland County, Virginia and called the river beyond North Cumberland Wallen’s Ridge and Wallen’s Creek for himself. In fact these hunting parties gave all the historic names to the mountain ridges and valleys and streams and these names are now historical names. Wallen pitched his first camp on Wallen’s Creek near Hunter’s Gap in Powell’s mountain, now Lee County, Virginia. Here they found the name of Ambrose Powell carved in the bark of a beech tree; from this name they named the mountain, river and valley for Powell, Newman’s Ridge was named for a man of the party called Newman. Clinch River and Clinch valley--these names came at the expense of an Irish man of the party in crossing the Clinch River, he fell off the raft they were crossing on and cried aloud for his companions to “Clench me", "clench me", and from this incident the name has become a historic name. About the time the first white settlement west of the Blue Ridge was made at Watauga River in Carter County, Tennessee, another white party was then working the lead mines in part of Virginia west of the Blue Ridge. In the year 1762 these hunters turned, coming through Elk Garden, now Russell County, Virginia. They then headed down a valley north of Clinch River and named it Hunter’s Valley and buy this name it goes today. These hunters pitched their tent near Hunter’s Gap in Powell’s Mountain, nineteen mile from Rogersville, Tenn. on the Jonesville, Va. road. Some of the party of hunters went on down the country to where Sneedyville, Hancock County, now stands and hunted there during that season. Bear were plentiful here and they killed many, their clothing became greasy and near the camp was a projecting rock on which they would lie down and drink and the rock became very greasy and they called it Greasy Rock and named the creek Greasy Rock Creek, a name by which it has ever since been known and called since, and here is the very place where these Melungeons settled, long after this, on Newman’s Ridge and Blackwater. Vardy Collins, Shepherd Gibson, Benjamin Collins, Solomon Collins, Paul Bunch and the Goodmans, chiefs and the rest of them settled here about the year 1804, possibly about the year 1795, but all these men above named, who are called Melungeons, obtained land grants and muniments of title to the land they settled on and they were the friendly Indians who came with the whites as they moved west. They came from the Cumberland County and New River, Va., stopping at various points west of the Blue Ridge. Some of them stopped on Stony Creek, Scott County, and Virginia, where Stony Creek runs into Clinch river. [NOTE: My Wayland's lived on Stony Creek in Scott County in 1796 or 7.]

“The white emigrants with the friendly Indians erected a fort on the bank of the river and called it Fort Blackmore and here yet many of these friendly “Indians” live in the mountains of Stony Creek, but they have married among the whites until the race has almost become extinct. [NOTE: My Gist's lived right there. One of the Blackmore brothers was asignee to property my Nathaniel Gist owned abt. 1770.] A few of the half-bloods may be found - none darker - but they still retain the name of Collins and Gibson, etc. From here they came to Newman’s ridge and Blackwater and many of them are here yet; but the amalgamations of the whites and Indians has about washed the red tawny from their appearance, the white faces predominating, so now you scarcely find one of the original Indians; a few half-bloods and quarter-bloods-balance white or past the third generation. The old pure blood were finer featured, straight and erect in form, more so than the whites and when mixed with whites made beautiful women and the men very fair looking men. These Indians came to Newman’s Ridge and Blackwater. Some of them went into the War of 1812-1814 whose names are here given; James Collins, John Bolin and Mike Bolin and some others not remembered; those were quite full blooded. These were like the white people; there were good and bad among them, but the great majority were upright, good citizens and accumulated good property and many of them are among our best property owners and as good as Hancock County, Tenn. affords. Their word is their bond and most of them that ever came to Hancock county, Tennessee, then Hawkins County and Claiborne, are well remembered by some of the present generation here and now and they have left records to show these facts.

“They all came here simultaneously with the whites from the State of Virginia, between the years 1795 and 1812 and about this there is no mistake, except in the dates these Indians came here from Stoney Creek.

“Jarvis recollections exactly fits the scenario Dr. Carson proved through land records.”

New River Families
Also Carlson mentions some families in North Carloina and others in Virginia, on New River. I can't help but recall an earlier map showing Upper and Lower Saura Towns along the nearby Dan River. Were some of these people just moving back to their old haunts? Early on I suspected the Melungeons might have some of these Saura returning home. I have ended up rejecting that scenario, though. They do seem to come straight out of Fort Christanna.

Other families Carlson associates with the Christian Saponi living on/near the New River (p. 144) are the Bunches, Colins, Gibson’s, Sexton’s, Bowlings, Aicee/Sicee, Anglicized to “Thomas” Other surnames are Cole, Clonch, Minor, and Sizemore. One Sizemore descendant, surnamed Blevins, in his application for Miller-Guion acceptance on the Cherokee Rolls, was rejected. But he stated on his application; “Old Ned” Sizemore came from the Catawba River, or the Catawba Reservation as he called it.” I think it is a mistake to say the Catawba and Saponi and Saura are different tribes, but rather they are different bands of the same tribe loosely confederated together. On pages 144-145 Carlson adds the surnames Williams, Nickells, and Moore. The land description of the Moore brothres shows their lands next door to my Gist's near Castle's Woods. By page 146 Carlson mentions some families in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He covers the 1790s. To confirm these are the descendants of the Indians at Fort Christanna, there is a “Griffen” Collins mentioned on page 147. Rev. Charles Griffin, a white man, was the name of the old school master at Fort Christanna about 1715. A younger “Charles Griffen” in listed as a Saponi Indian in the 1740s. Now ew have a “Griffen Collins. Mentioned by 1790.”So Carlson has masterfully followed the same families on a migration from Fort Christanna to New River.

The fact these families were said to have settled on “Indian Lands” ↔ find this and read it again ↔ find out what Carlson is talking about here ↔ has cause some comments by Carlson’s. He says; “It might be assumed that the Indians had settled beyond the 1763 Proclamation Line. This would be in error, for the Cherokee boundary was reset in 1767-1768, and then again in 1770, placing the Cherokee boundary west of the entire New River watershed.[100] Additionally, if the Christian Saponi were being considered squatters on non-ceded Cherokee territories, then Colonial law would have mandated that they be removed back into ceded lands, and thus they would not be openly taxed on Cherokee lands. [100] Yet neither the Virginians nor the Cherokees ever accuse the Christian Saponi of establishing a squatter settlement in any document I have found so far. . . . taxable Whites were living much further west . . . than were the people of the New River Indian Community. And none [of the taxable Whites] are noted in 1773 as living on “Indian lands”, like John Collins and the rest. Carlson speculates as to whether the Virginia government might have given some sort of land grant to these Christian Saponi. Maybe it later reverted into private property and thus to a taxable status. Carlson concludes on this topic; “Regardless of the 1771 status of these Indian lands, no list after 1774 shows the Christian Saponi as residing on “Indian Lands”, although the community remained right where it was.” ↔ read this again to uderstand it better ↔

Carlson says however, . . . in 1764, a large contingent of Catawba who could muster 150 warriors were reported to be found wondering on the frontiers of North Carolina and they too had made peace with the Cherokee and the colonists. Back to those Carlson refers to as the“Christian Saponi’s”. He says; By the end of the 1760s, the old Christian Saponi families from the Flatt River Community and the old Louisa-Cumberland areas of Virginia began to bring their old tribal relations back together again. With the threat of the Iroquois now gone (p. 130) and new friendly ties existing between the Cherokee and the Catawba and the colonists, the Christian Saponi strategically accommodated the situation by removing to the western fringes of colonial settlement. They would consolidate into a new community right at the New River boundary between Virginia and North Carolina and the lands of the Cherokee Nation, technically beyond the settler zone. Carlson states families from both Louisa County, and the Flatt River Community, came to live on New River, and are recorded as living there in 1770 and 1771. My own ancestor, Nathaniel Gist (b 1736, son of Nathaniel b. 1707. Nathaniel b. 1707 was brother to Christopher who died of Small Pox in 1759.). My Nathaniel, b. 1736, also moved to what was then called Washington County, Virginia, and settled at what is now Coeburn, Wise Co., Va. Gist’s River and Gist’s Mountain are nearby. Coeburn was first known as Gist’s Station long before it was called Coeburn. A document exists saying Joseph Blackmore (brother to John Blackmore who created Fort Blackmore), when he obtained lands at Castlewood, he was assignee of Nathaniel Gist. That’s MY Nathaniel. The Dorsey’s agree on this point. We, my Gist’s, showed up there the same time these Christian Saponi did, about 1770. My Gist’s arrived from Cumberland County, North Carolina. In the 1750s my Gist’s had been next to the Moravians in the Winston-Salem area, at a place called Mulberry Fields. They moved east to Cumberland County, shortly thereafter where they remained until about 1770, when they moved to what was then Washington County, but is now Virginia.. One more thing. MY Nathaniel Gist b. 1736 is NOT the same Nathaniel many believe was Sequoyah’s father. The claim is made that Sequoyah’s father was Nathaniel, son of Christopher – the same Christopher that died of Small Pox in 1759, whom the Catawba called “father”. My Nathaniel was son of Christopher’s brother, also named Nathaniel.

By page 133, Carlson is talking about Forts in southwestern Virginia, from 1770 on. These forts were manned by local farmer/hunter/militiamen. Some of these were the Christian Saponi. He mentions 1773-1774 “Delinquent Tax List” of Boteourt and Montgomery Counties, saying; “These lists show the names of over a dozen adult males of the Christian Saponi and families residing primarily on “Indian Lands” off the New River and Reed’s Creek.” Of these forts, Carlson also discusses those that would be locations associated with Nathaniel Gist. He says; “Some of these early fromtier forts and the people who occupied them would later enter into the history of the Christian Saponi of New River. These would include the fort that of the Moore brothers of Castlewood, not far to the northwest of the New River in 1769. In 1772, Mathias, Jacob, and Henry Harmon emigrated from near Salisbury in North Carolina and established a defensive family compound on Carr’s Creek off the Clinch River. The most significant of such forts to later Saponi history however, would be Blackmore’s Fort, which was also established in 1772. This fort was constructed on the lands acquired by Captain John Blackmore located at the mouth of Stoney Creek on the Clinch River.

Small Pox
On page 129 Carlson says; “Compared to the Cherokee, the Catawba and their confederates were a relatively small population to start, and the war and recent small pox epidemics had taken their toll on adult Catawba males.”

The war referred to was called in Europe The Seven Years War, but in America it was referred to as the French and Indian War. Chistopher Gist played a prominent role in that war. I am also a Gist descended from the same line of Maryland Gist’s. The best book documenting them is Christopher Gist of Maryland and Some of His Descendants 1679-1957; by Jean Muir Dorsey and Maxwell Jay Dorsey. There is a more recent four volume set, “A Face to My Name”, by Sheri McNeil Savory that is also excellent. Christopher and Nathaniel Sr (whom I descend from) are recorded as being brothers.

My Family
Notice Carlson mentions that this Moore family lived at“Castlewoods”. Well in earlier times this was called “Cassal's Wood”. I had run into them in researching my own family. I have the following; We the Commissioners, certify that John Dickerson, heir-at-law to Humphrey Dickerson, who was assignee of Joseph Blackmore, who was assignee of Nathaniel Gist is entitled to 310 acres of land lying in Washington county on the north side of Clynch River in Cassell's Woods, to include his improvement. Surveyed the 28th day of May, 1774. [Vance’s note: when discussing the Melungeons, recall Jarvis words, where he said the whites “with the friendly Indians” built Fort Blackmore.]

The Nathaniel Gist it mentions is OUR Nathaniel Gist – my direct ancestor – not the famous Nathaniel Gist, but his first cousin — and he KNEW Joseph Blackmore. At the above link we have “The above writer is referring to the children of Joseph Blackmore, for Captain John Blackmore, builder of Blackmore’s Fort, had in the year 1779, left for the area for settlement on the Cumberland in Tennessee. Joseph Blackmore was a brother of Captain John, and owned the adjoining farm to the old Fort tract to the south and down Clinch River.” Joseph and John Blackmore were brothers, and John built Fort Blackmore, famous in the history of the Melungeons as having been built by the Whites with the help of the “friendly Indians.” And the ajacent farm to the fort had previously been Nathaniel Gist's. Those friendly Indians were from bands of the Catawba, NOT the Cherokee. They were destined however, to become known to history as the “Melungeons”.

Page 149 - Richard Moor...390ac...Commissioners Certificate...on the waters of Beaver Creek, north branch of Holston River...Beginning on the north side of the big ridge...corner to Cornelius Carmacks land he now lives on...corner to Carmack & Nathaniel Gist...June 6, 1782 - Richard Moore...390 ac on a branch of Beaver Creek, surveyed on January 12, 1775, includes improvements, actual settlement made in 1774...August 17, 1781 Page 151 - Nathaniel Gist...200 [NOTE: THIS is the son of Nathaniel Gist b. 1736-d.1780] ac...Preemption Warrant #1972...on the waters of Beaver Creek, north branch of Holstein River...Beginning corner to Cornelius Carmacks land he now lives on...corner to Richard Moors land he now lives on...June 5, 1782. From this we see MY direct ancestor, Nathaniel Gist, lived next to the Moore's. They wre neighbors. Read above a few paragraphs, and we see they were next to Fort Blackmoore, as well. So Fort Blackmore was on one side of Nathaniel Gist's former lands, and the Moore brothers ere on the otherside. The Moore's are known Melungeon families, and it was said Fort Blackmore was built by “the friendly Indians” and the Whites.

When my Wayland's moved up that way, they were surrounded by Melungeon surnames – Gibson's, Moore's, Nichols, George and others lived only a stones throw away. The two closest names mentioned are John and James Gibson.

Lord Dunsmore's War
Dunsmore’s War broke out shortly after the New River Indians were said to be living on “Indian Lands”. Carlson says (p. 135-136), “A list from the Draper Manuscripts, thought to reflect Captain Herbert’s Company, reveals one of the militia units comprised of the New River Indians, their mixed blood relations, and numerous Virginia backwoodsmen mustered into duty that summer [the summer of 1774]”.

Carlson says this unit originally had plans to fight the Shawnee, but attacks by the Cherokee warriors on Virginians living in the Clinch and Powell River valleys made them change their plans. He states that. “Men from Herbert’s company were quickly ordered to the Chinch River and Powell’s Valley forts to deflect any further attacks from hostile Cherokee-Shawnee alliances, and were among the reinforcements noted as being placed at Fort Blackmore late that summer when Daniel Boone would serve briefly as captain upon his return from Kentucky in 1774.” Christian Saponi also served in the Revolutionary War, but they did so as individuals, and not as an Indian Unit. Carlson states th Flatt River Indian Community was 130 miles from the New River Community. Carlson says (p 138); “In late 1776, Old Goerge Gibson passed on. Apparently he was the last link holding the fading remnants of the Flatt River Community for, within a few years following George’s death, most of his relations would join with Tom Gibson in the Mountains, while others scattered into Caswell and Guilford Counties in North Carolina.” Carlson discusses (pp. 139-140) divided loyalties during the Revolutionary War of some of these families. They mentions Osborn’s Company of Militia, saying many New River Christian Saponi men were mustered into it. They were mostly on the Western frontier to guard against Shawnee-Cherokee attacks. He mentions the Bowlings, Riddle’s, and Sexton’s.

Page 148 brings us to the Battle of Fallen Timbers, and the last battle between settlers and Indians in the area. With the Cherokee finally subdued, settlers came streaming through Cumberland Gap into Tennessee and Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, at a quickened pace. Carlson comes to the conclusion; “As early as the mid 1790s, a few of the New River Indians and mixed bloods were frequenting the Cumberland Gap and Clinch Valley region . . . as a new generation attained adulthood, most of the New River Indians would eventually migrate to this region.”

To Magoffin County, Kentucky
In the next chapter Carlson discusses the movement of certain families to Magoffin County, Kentucky. He says, as early as the 1790s some families made seasonal hunting trips into Eastern Kentucky. By 1840, these people had become know as the “Salyersville Indians”. He mentions some family surnames for some of these families. These surnames include Nickels, Perkins, Sizemore, Brown, Hale, and he says “others”. In all other entries and genealogical information, Dr. Carlson is meticulous in providing them. I can understand as I have done that in the past without proof as well. We want to believe so strongly that our family stories are true, but we cannot prove them. In mentioning some surnames in Eastern Kentucky, he mentions on p. 239-240 the surnames Mosley, Allen, Nickolls, Howard, Castile (note: now that IS a Spanish surname! However it is NOT, repeat NOT -- a Portuguese surname -- sorry folks, good try though.) Castile is a province in Spain, not Portugal. Moore, Steele, Perkins, and Cole are also mentioned. On page242 he adds Sizemore, Grant, and White. Of course we have Gibson and Collins. They are everywhere! Carlson mentions that these families were all mixed-bloods, and were in Floyd County, Kentucky. Some of these families, the same families designated “W” for white in Tennessee, were designated “M” for mulotto, in Kentucky. On p. 259 he mentions the Dale surname. He says by the 1860s most of the families were in the newly created Magoffin County, and says they were, for the most part, classified as “M” on census records.. Page 263 mentions 2 new surnmaes – Auxier and Musgrove.As the years pass, he continues to add more and more surnames, presumably Whites who have married into these families.

On page 288, he mentions some families moving to Ohio, 125 miles north of Saylersville, to Highland County, Ohio, to the town of Carmel.

Chapter 8 starts on page 292,and describes the migrations of more and more families from Magoffin County, Kentucky to Carmel, Highland County, Ohio. These people are now often called “Carmel Indians”. Census records of these people do exist and they are easily discovered through mundane genealogical methods. It is the earlier lines that Carlson so skillfully pieced together. I simply think this material needs to be out there for Melungeon researchers to discover their roots, that they DO go back to the Saponi and Fort Christanna, back to the Catawba and Associated bands, and they should be proud of their ancestry.

Ohio and the Carmel Indians [105.]
Per Forest Hazel, An out-migration of Indians from the Texas community occurred from the 1820s to 1840s, when a number of families moved to Greene County, Ohio (with some later moving on to Rush and Whitley counties, Indiana). It is clear that when the Indians arrived in Greene County, Ohio, there was some degree of uncertainty among the Whites as to their ethnic background. This was also true when some of them moved on to Indiana. Their uncertain racial status resulted in 13 separate court cases involving members of the Jeffries or related families. What is interesting to recound, is that what Mr. Hazel calls “The Texas Commnuity” is what Dr. Collins calls “The Flatt River Community”.

The first, an Ohio Supreme Court case, occurred in 1842 in Greene County, Ohio, when Parker Jeffries was refused the right to vote by the officials of Xenia Township because "they were of the opinion, as they said, that he was a person of color and not entitled to vote" (Greene County Clerk of Courts 1842). The jury, however, found "that the plaintiff (Jeffries) is of the Indian race, the illegitimate son of a White man and a woman of the Indian race, and that he has not more than one fourth of the Indian blood in his veins." On this basis, Jeffries was awarded six cents and allowed to vote thereafter. Few other details are given in the court records concerning evidence presented or information about Parker Jeffries's mother.

The second case occurred in 1866 in Whitley County, Indiana, and is referred to as Jeffries vs. Smith et al. In substance, it was similar to the Parker Jeffries case. The facts were that Mortimer Jeffries had attempted to vote in 1864 and that the defendants "with knowledge of all the facts concerning the plaintiff's pedigree and blood, willfully refused to receive his vote on account of his color" (Kaler and Maring 1907). According to court records, Mortimer Jeffries was the son of a quarter-blood Indian father and a white mother, making him white within the scope of the law. The Indiana Supreme Court found in favor of Jeffries. A history of Whitley County, Indiana, gives some additional information about the trial and about Mortimer Jeffries. His father, Herbert Jeffries, was a native of Greensville County, Virginia, who married a woman, supposedly of French descent [NOTE: There were many thousands of French Hugeunots in the Carolina's and Viginia. I keep reminding the reader that the word “melungeon” is of French origin and means “we mix”], in North Carolina. It further states that "Herbert was of French and Indian extraction and his children in this township have always claimed to be free from African blood, which their stature and physiognomy does not belie." During the trial, an alleged expert witness was called by the defense to examine a lock of Jeffries's hair, the witness supposedly being able to determine African ancestry by examination of a person's hair. Unbeknownst to the witness, however, Jeffries's lawyer submitted a lock of hair from the presiding judge, which was duly found to be from an individual of African ancestry. The judge was not amused, and Jeffries won his case "and was granted suffrage for himself and brothers, which they afterwards exercised undisputed under the scornful eyes of some of their neighbors."

The third and final case, Jeffries vs. O'Brien Guinn et al. (Rush County Clerk of Courts 1869), is the most detailed of the three, and provides more information about the situation of the Indian people while they were living in the Greensville County, Virginia, area. This information is contained in the depositions of four witnesses called by William M. Jeffries to give evidence as to the race and background of his parents. Four persons gave depositions; three of them appear to have been white while the fourth, Shadrack Jeffries, was an Indian and a relative of William Jeffries. All agreed that: (1) Jeffries mother was of Indian and white ancestry; (2) she was born in Northampton County, North Carolina, near the Virginia line; (3) she did not associate with blacks; (4) his father was Macklin Jeffries, of Greensville County, Virginia; and (5) Macklin Jeffries was a mixed-blood Indian. The testimony of Susan Wooten is particularly interesting in that she states that "Jeffries' mother associated with White people and those who had Indian blood with regard to her Indian blood. She descended from an old Indian settlement in that neighborhood." This indicates that: (1) there were a fair number of these Indian people in the area who had social (as well as kinship and marriage) ties; and (2) they stayed in some distinct geographic location. Jeffries's mother, who was named Mary Turner, could have been Nottoway, Saponi, Meherrin, or a member of some other tribe. All three of these tribes lived in that general area and, although the Turner name was found among the Nottoway prior to their absorption into the general population, the "settlement" may also have been that of the Saponi of Greensville County, Virginia, or the so-called Portuguese settlement near Gaston, in Northampton County, North Carolina, where the Turner name also occurs. It may also refer to another settlement entirely. Susan Wooten was born, by her reckoning, in 1799, so the settlement she refers to could have dated to the mid-1700s, if she thinks of it as an "old" settlement. It could conceivably even refer to Junkatapurse, which may have been inhabited until the 1740s.

Other local histories refer to the Indian blood of the Jeffrieses. R. F. Dill's History of Greene County, Ohio (Dill 1881) contains short biographies of prominent persons, and gives the following information about James Jeffries: "James Jeffries, Furniture Manufacturer . . . was born in Greenville County, Virginia, January 30, 1821 . . . son of Silas and Susan (Pruitt) Jeffries. Silas was a descendant of the Catawba tribe of Indians." Similar information is given for Mason Jeffries, son of Uriah Jeffries, of Greensville County, Virginia, who is also said to be a descendant of the Catawba tribe.
The Indian people who moved to Indiana and Ohio appear to have been absorbed into the general population, but as late as 1910, the U.S. Census listed some families of Jeffrieses in the Whitley County area as Indian (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1910), showing that the awareness of their heritage may still not have died out completely.

Map 26. Melungeons Move to Kentucky and Ohio.
On page 340-341, Carlson reveals that some of the Salyersville Indians were ‘astonished’ to discover that the U.S. Claims curt had ruled in favor of all the Eastern Cherokee in 1905. Carlson says, “In January, 1908, they were perturbed that the government had never informed them, and they were told that in less than a month the government would cut off all further enrollment of potential claimants, regardless of whether they were entitled or not. Evidence needed to be gathered and sent into the Special Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Guion Miller. . . . The court of claims decision stemmed from two decrees of the Court issued in May of 1905 and1906 which stated that the Eastern Cherokee had been wrongfully separated from their eastern lands under the treaty of 1835, and were subject to further wrongs under the Treaty of 1846. As a result, under the June 30, 1906 Act of Congress, a little more than a million dollars [was] appropriated as compensation . . . For participation in this fund it was first necessary for the clamant to ‘establish the fact that they are eastern Cherokee by blood. . . . Guion Miller . . .would ultimately receive nearly 90,000 applicants. In the end, only 30,820 would be allowed.” The Salyersville Indians, specifically the Coles, had maintained for years they had (p. 341) “been swindled of land held by them in the old Cherokee hunting reserve around the Cumberland Gap . . .Furthermore, Salyorsville Indians were unquestionably a long-standing community of Indian people despite the ambiguity of their historic ties to the Eastern Cherokee. . . . As with past Cherokee enrollment events, Kentucky was considered by Washington officials as out of the Cherokee Nation  Zone, that is, the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation as it existed in 1835.”

Early claimants from the Salyersville Indian community intrigued the Special Commissioners office enough to delay the cut off day of applicants for another year. Carlson says (p. 344); “Before the Summer was out, over 120 applicants representing over 400 individuals . . . were received by Miller from members of the Salyersville Indian community.”

Carlson says the Collins, Gibson, and Bolling families, known as Saponi, didn’t apply. A few Indians applied who said they came from Indian families of “Old Virginia” did apply. The large Sizemore family also applied. One applicant, Shep Cole, was asked when he left the Indian Nation to live in Kentucky. His reply said he went to Kentucky when he “left the Indian Nation” in 1845. Carlson says “The Indian Nation Shep was referring to was possibly the Greasy Rock Community itself.”

Carlson’s paper suggests some interesting details about the Sizemore family as well. For instance, Steven Sizemore says that originally, the Sizemores were Indians from Eastern Virginia. We have (p. 352) Carlson saying, “This history shows that, by the Revoutionary War, most Saponi, and over two dozen other tribes eventually subscribed to the label Catawba or Tutelo.” Other Sizemores stated, per Carlson; “that Old Ned Sizemore’s and his brothers originally came from ‘The cypress swamp, back in Cherokee country, Virginia.” They had confused ‘Indian Country’ with ‘Cherokee country’. 

Another replied ‘they spent time in the Cherokee Country on the Catawba Reservation.’Another said, according to Carlson; “Ned Sizemore was duly enrolled upon the rolls of the Cherokee Nation and made in that year . . .in the Catawba Reservation.” Carlson, in summing up several Sizemore respondents, says; “Most of Ned’s descendants claimed that Old Ned had come from ‘the Catawba River of the Catawba Reservation’ . . . before coming up to New River. . . they shared a collective memory of the Sizemore’s leaving their original habitation from ‘the great swamp’ in eastern Virginia even prior to that.”

So although through all the efforts of these families, they never proved successful in their attempts to explain their heritage, many facts made their way to the surface, anyhow. At least one branch, the Sizemores, look more and more like Catawba Indians, not Cherokee. We have found what was called an 'Old Indian Village' was in fact a settlement of the Melungeon Indians dating back only to the 1790s, and no earlier. We know that early Indian citizens of Southwestern Virginia, Northeastern Tennessee, and Magoffin County, Kentucky resented being called 'Portuguese'. But so much time has passed that parts of today's generation have forgotten that.

I hope these words are heplful to some people. It has take me many many hours to transcribe these things, and more hours yet to paraphrase it when I grew weary of transcribing it word for word. I know I have left out parts some readers might be interested in. But Carlson's work is just too many hundreds of pages long! Please forgive me – I can't transcribe it all! I hope to honor Dr. Carlson's work, as it was a great effort on his part.

Mr. Forest Hazel also spoke of some Catawba who tried to sign up as Cherokee on the Guion-Miller Rolls. Here is what he said [106.] –

Hazel Forest
Near the beginning of the Eastern Band of Cherokee won a settlement with the U.S. government based on violations of earlier treaties. This meant that thousands of persons of Eastern Cherokee ancestry were eligible for part of the settlement, and many of these people applied to the U.S. Court of Claims for a share (Jordan 1987-1990). It is interesting to read these applications, since a significant percentage of applicants were not Eastern Cherokee, but members of other tribes. These persons would now be identified as Lumbee, Alabama Creek, Meherrin, Haliwa, and Occaneechi (Saponi), along with a number of individuals who probably were of unmixed white or black ancestry.

At least 20 Occaneechi descendants also applied; all were rejected by the commission as not being of Eastern Cherokee ancestry. Among these were Aaron Thomas Guy, born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the son of Henry Guy and grandson of Henry Guy. Henry Guy, Sr., was the brother of Richard Guy, Buckner Guy, and others who moved to Macon County, North Carolina, from the Texas community in the 1820s. Aaron Guy stated that his mother was a free woman of color, born free and raised by the Quakers in Guilford County, North Carolina. There is also testimony from a former slave who knew Henry Guy, Jr., to the effect that he was an Indian, married to a colored woman. Aaron Guy was living in Indiana at the time of his application.

William C. Wilson, from Wichita, Kansas, also applied. He stated that he was born near Hendersonville, North Carolina, and was the son of Sam Wilson, a "half Cherokee," and Julian Guy. Julian Guy was the daughter of Richard Guy and Martha Whitmore, and Martha's mother was Lottie Jeffries. Wilson claimed that his grandfather, Richard Guy, was a white man, although the Macon County records list him as a "Free Colored head of Household." He also stated that his father, Sam Wilson, could speak the Indian language. Assuming he was not exaggerating to impress the government man, William Wilson's father may have spoken the old Saponi language, or he may have learned Cherokee from his neighbors in Macon County.

William and Joe Gibson, from Murphy, North Carolina, applied, and the note "Probably Negros" was written on their application. William Gibson stated that his parents "passed as part Indian. No Negro blood in them." He further stated that his father spoke the Indian language. On the bottom of his testimony is a note, presumably written by the agent, which says, "This applicant shows the Indian so does his brother now with him. However, their ancestors were never enrolled." These Gibsons, who lived at various times in Tennessee and North Carolina, probably were also related to the Gibsons found in the so-called Melungeon groups of eastern Tennessee and western Virginia, which appear to have originated in the early mixed-blood populations of the North Carolina Piedmont area.

Citations and Conclusions
Carlson shows us the path taken by the Saponi/Catawba remnant bands down to the present day. I remember as a child we’d visit a cousin's home in the country. They had 160 acres and a creek ran through it. There wasn’t much water in it, but there were trees meandering along the length of the creek. A cousin and I would walk down to the creek, and call his dog, named “Mister”. That dog was amazing. We’d try to fool him by going around one tree 3 times clockwise, go around another then come back to the first time and go around it twice counterclockwise, make wild variations in the path we took, and then sit on 100 feet away and just watch. That dog was amazing. He’d follow the EXACT path we took, going clockwise 3 times around that tree. Later come back to it and go counterclockwise the same number of times we did, and eventually, with his nose to the ground, walk right up to us. Had he looked up he could have seen us earlier I suppose, but I always thought it was ‘magic’ he found us at all. To me, Dr. Carlson’s work rivals the efforts of the nose of “Mister,” and I say this as a great compliment. Same for Mr. Hazel. He did a great job documenting the people. Both have sniffed out the faint remaining trail from the “Saponi Indians” of Fort Chrristanna of Eastern Virginia all the way to the “Carmel Indians” of Southern Ohio.

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