Melungeon-L ArchivesArchiver > Melungeon > 2003-03 > 1047772146
Subject: [Melungeon] Melungeon Origins Part 2 Introduction A:
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 18:49:06 EST
The following introductory lays the historic background for the tri-racial
Melungeon theory, and additionally my "Angolan" or sub-Saharan West African
subtext to the tri-racial theory, by presenting the surnames of the first
Africans in tidewater American, and their relationship to the later families
known as fpc, many of whom are to be found in several tri-racial communities.
While Melungeons and each of these tri-racial communities are unique in some
ways, they are similar in others. The Melungeon history is best presented
with that of those groups with which it shares certain characteristics.
Starting in the 1600s Virginia and North Carolina, beginning during the
generation of Pocahontas, John Smith and others at the founding of Jamestown,
the first permanent English settlement in North America-1607. Compiled from
records found in Paul Heinegg's Free African Americans in Virginia and North
This list reflects the decades in which certain ancestors either appeared in
Virginia or were projected to have been born shortly before appearing in
North America. These surnames are of Africans, Native Americans and Whites
who arrived in the tidewater English colonies in the 17th century and
intermarried before, and as, White Americans began to change their lenient
attitudes to arriving Africans. Many of these surnames can be found in
several historic tri-racial communities throughout the South, and as fpc,
mulattos and others. Some scholars have noted that many of these groups,
despite having different designations, such as "Lumbee" or "Melungeons", and
despite being found in different states and counties, share some of the
surnames; surnames noted among early free African Americans and the white and
Indian families in which they mixed. Most of them are names of 17th century
people who produced the 19th centuries free persons of color, most of whom
were born of black male ancestors to white female ancestors long before.
1620s (and earlier)
Carter, Cornish, Dale/Dial, Driggers, Gowen/Goins, John-
son, Longo, Mongom/Mongon, Payne,
Cane, Davis, George, Hartman, Sisco, Tann, Wansey
Archer, Kersey, Mozingo, Webb
Cuttillo, Jacobs, James,
Beckett, Bell, Charity, Cumbo, Evans, Francis, Guy, Har-
ris, Jones, Landum/Landrum, Lovina/Leviner, Moore, Nick-
ens, Powell, Shorter, Tate, Warrick/Warwick
In the above lists of surnames there is found other docu-
mentation that these Africans arriving from 1620-1660
were Angolan. Anthony Johnson's grandson named his Mary-
land plantation "Angola". The sister of Sebastian Cane
was also named "Angola". Places in Virginia, Delaware and
North Carolina where they were taken had early place names with
the word "Angola."
Some families such as Banks, Bass, Berry, Chavis, Sweat,
Davis, Hanser, Lang, Lawrence, Fisher, Hammond, Lucas,
Matthews began with white ancestors from which certain
branches initially intermarried with Indians. These white and
Indian families intermarried with Africans in America when most of
the blacks would have been native Angolans as shall be shown.
After the 1660s, more African intermarriages added other
surnames also found today among modern tri-racial groups.
Anderson, Atkins, Barton, Boarman, Bowser, Brown, Bunch,
Buss, Butcher, Butler, Carney, Case, Church, Combess,
Combs, Consellor, Day, Farrell/Ferrell, Fountain, Game,
Gibson/Gipson, Gregory, Grimes, Grinnage, Hobson, Howell,
Jeffries, Lee, Manuel, Morris, Mullakin, Nelson, Osborne,
Pendarvis, Quander, Redman, Reed, Rhoads, Rustin, Skipper,
Sparrow, Stephens, Stinger, Swann, Waters, Wilson.
Artis, Booth, Britt, Brooks, Bryant, Burkett, Cambridge,
Cassidy, Collins, Copes, Cox, Dogan, Donathan, Forten/
Fortune, Gwinn, Hilliard, Hubbard, Impey, Ivey, Jackson,
MacDonald, MacGee, Mahoney, Mallory, Okey, Oliver, Penny,
Plowman, Press/Priss, Price, Proctor, Robins, Salmons/
Sammons, Shoecraft, Walden, Walker, Wiggins, Wilkens,
Annis, Banneker, Bazmore, Beddo, Bond, Cannedy/Kennedy,
Chambers, Conner, Cuffee, Dawson, Durham, Ford, Gannon,
Gates, Graham, Hall, Harrison, Hawkins, Heath, Holt,
Horner, Knight, Lansford, Lewis, Malavery, Nichols, Nor-
man, Oxendine, Plummer, Pratt, Prichard, Rawlinson, Ray,
Ridley, Roberts, Russell, Sample, Savoy, Shaw, Smith,
Stewart, Taylor, Thompson, Toney, Turner, Weaver, Welsh,
Whistler, Willis, Young
These free mixed black, white and red families of the 17th cen-
tury, and many more of the early 18th century, intermar-
ried to produce tri-racial groups such as Melungeons.
ANGOLANS ELSEWHERE IN NORTH AMERICA
As further evidence of the great influx of Angolan-Africans com-
ing into America in the 17th century there are records of
the Angolan Dutch of New Amsterdam, [today's New York] of
that period. The lists of baptisms show several Africans
surnamed "Angola" in the Reformed Dutch Church of New Am-
sterdam from 1639-1730. This period compares with the
time frame of Angolans arriving in Virginia. At one time
Dutch farmers of New York's Hudson River Valley were the
largest importer of African slaves in North America.
While names of the Virginia Africans were frequently
changed to English, the names of Dutch Africans often di-
rectly reflected their African past.
1639-1649 NEW YORK BAPTISMAL RECORDS OF ANGOLANS
[includes parents, witnesses]
1640-Samuel Angola, Isabel D'Angola, Emanuel van Angola,
Lucie Van Angola
1641-Susanna Van Angola, Jacom Anthoney Van Angola, Cleyn
Anthony Van Angola
1642-Susanna Simons Van Angola, Andrie Van Angola, Isabel
Van Angola, Maria Van Angola, Emanuel Swager Van Angola,
Andries Van Angola, Marie Van Angola
1643-Pallas-Negrinne Van Angola, Catharina Van Angola,
Anthony Van Angola,
1644-Anthony Van Angola-Negers, Lucretie d'Angola-
1645-Andries Van Angola, Mayken Van Angola
1646-Paulus Van Angola
1647-Marie Van Angola, Jan Van Angola-Neger
1649-Christyn Van Angola
Dutch New York Angolans and British Virginia Angolans ar-
rived by the same conveyance in the 17th century; priva-
teering men-o-war specializing in robbing Portuguese mer-
John Gowen of Virginia, an African who appeared in Virginia
most Africans in Virginia were documented as coming from Angola
and Kongo (northern Angola)was projected as born about 1615
according to Heinegg.
Before 1775, John Geaween, or Gowen's, descendants had
married into the Angolan and mixed families of Ailstock,
Bass, Chavis, Corn, Cumbo, Dungill, Findley, Hill, Jones,
Locklear, Lucas, Matthews, Mason, Miner, Mills, Patter-
son, Pompey, Stewart, Simmons, Singleton, Tyre, Webb and
Wilson; many of whom can also be traced to the 17th cen-
tury Virginia before perpetual slavery became the rule and
before indentured servitude was forbidden to Africans. Most
became fpc later.
Thomas Chivers/Chavis was born in 1630. Before 1775 his
descendants had married into the black, Indian and mixed
families including Bass, Gowen, Locklear, Singleton, Stewart,
Cumbo, MatThews, and Wilson along with descendants of
John Gowen. In addition the Chivers/Chavis group intermarried with
Bird, Blair, Blythe, Brandon, Bunch, Cannady, Carter,
Cypress, Drew, Earl, Evans, Francis, Gibson, Gillet,
Haithcock, Harris, Hawley, Hull, Kersey, Lowry, Manly,
Manning, Mitchell, McLin, Scott, Silvey, Smith, Snell-
ing, Silver, Sweat, Thaxton, Tyner, Thomerson, Taborn,
Valentine, Watts and Walden; many of whom were 17th cen-
tury Africans in the British-American colonies. Most became
The family of Eleanor Evans, born 1660, shares with the
Gowen and Chavis families the following names: Bird,
Brandon, Chavis, Dunghill, Harris, Kersey, McLinn, Mit-
chell, Snelling, Scott, Stewart, Sweat, Taborn and Wal-
den. In adition the Evans were early related to the
families of Anderson, Boyd, Bee, Blundon, Doyal, Green,
Hudnall, Hunt, Jeffries, Jones, Lantern, Ledbetter, Penn,
Pettiford, Redcross, Richardson, Rowe, Sorrell, Spriddle,
Tate, Thomas, Toney and Young. Most became fpc later.
The Gibson/Gipson family descended from Elizabeth Chavis,
born in 1672, also shares with 17th century African-Amer-
icans Gowen, Chavis, and Evans, the surnames of Bass,
Bunch, Chavis, Cumbo, and Sweat. They add Driggers,
Deas, Collins and Ridley. Most became fpc later.
The family of the Angolan named Emmanuel Drig-
gers, [Roddriggus] born about 1620, also has several fami-
lies in common with the Gowen, Chavis, Evans and Gibson
clans: Carter, Collins, Sweat, Gibson and Mitchell. In
addition the Driggers intermarried with Beckett, Beavens,
Bingham, Bruinton, Copes, Fernando, Francisco, George,
Gussal, Harman, Hodgeskin, Jeffrey, Johnson, King, Kelly
Lindsey, Landrum, Liverpool, Moore, Payne, Reed and Sam-
ple...most of whom became fpc later.
>From Margarett Cornish, born about 1610, comes the Corn-
ish family with ties to Gowen and Sweat in addition to
Shaw and Thorn.
With the Cumbo family dating back to 1644, we have links
to Gibson, Gowen, Jeffries, Matthews, Newsom, Wilson and
Young in addition to Hammond, Maskill, Potter and Skipper.
Most became fpc later.
The Bass family originates in 1638 America and shares
several intermarriages from that period with Gowen, Cha-
vis, Evans, Cornish, Driggers, Cumbos and Gibsons which
are: Anderson, Byrd, Bunch, Cannady, Chavis, Day, Mitch-
ell, Gowen, Pettiford, Richardson, Snelling, Valentine
and Walden. In addition they have the names of Farmer,
Hall, Lovina, Nickens, Perkins, Pone, Price, Roe and Rob-
erts. Most became fpc later.
Further study of shared tri-racial surnames
beginning in the 17th century of colonial America shows
how extensively free Issues, and free persons of color dating
from the 17th century would contribute to the many tri-racial
communities found in American as late as the 20th century.
For example: The Banks family originates in 1665 colonial
America with related families of Adam, Brown, Day, How-
ell, Isaacs, Johnson, Lynch, Martin, Walden, Wilson and
Valentine. The Archer family begins in 1647 America with related
families; Archie, Bass, Bunch, Heathcock, Manly, Murray,
Milton, Newsom, Roberts and Weaver. The Bunch clan traces
back to 1675 colonial America with kinship to: Bass, Chavis, Chavers,
Collins, Gibson, Griffin, Hammons, Pritchard and Summerlin.
The Beckett family of 1655 ties to Bibbins, Beavens, Col-
lins, Driggers, Drighouse, Liverpool, Mongon, Morris, Mo-
ses, Nutt, Stevens and Thompson. Most became fpc.
The family of Carter begins in 1620 America with the re-
lated families of: Best, Blizzard, Braveboy, Bush, Cane,
Copes, Dove, Driggus, Fernando, Fenner, Godett, George,
Harmon, Howard, Jacobs, Jones, Kelly, Lowery, Moore, Nor-
wood, Nicken, Perkins, Rawlinson, and Spellman. Most became
In addition to the above, other mixed families from Amer-
ica in the 1600s are: Artis, Berry, Cane, Causey, Char-
ity, Collins, Cuttilo, Dial/Dale, Hall, Harris, Hammond,
Hawley, Hilliard, Holman, Howell, Ivey, Jacobs, Jeffires,
Johnson, Jones, Mongom, Payne, Reed, Roberts, Shoecraft,
Sisco, Francisco, Stephens, Stewart, Sweat, Tann, Webb,
Williams, Wilson and Young. Most became fpc.
Names of FPC Communities in America
In the early 1960s, before the battles of desegregation were fought, a
named Brewton Berry traveled throughout the United States researching
scattered communities and villages of people who were not like their White,
Black and Native American neighbors. Scholars gave inhabitants of these
small ethnic islands such names as mestizos, isolates, tri-racial isolates
and mixed bloods. Berry was intrigued by his findings and eventually
presented his own theories about their remarkable isolation from mainstream
America. Not all of these groups show a relationship of shared surnames, but
many, especially those listed in the South do. Among the communities he
described were the Melungeons of Appalachia and the Pea Ridge community in
Cumberland and Monroe counties in Kentucky. He found a community called the
Guineas in Taylor and Barbour counties in West Virginia. Virginia had the
Ramps in Wise County, the "Cubans", the "Brown People" of Rockbridge County,
and the Free Issues of Amherst County. In North Carolina one could find
communities known as the Smilings, the Laster Tribe, the "Portuguese" and the
Person County people.
He found mixed groups in the North; the Van Guilders of Rensselaer County
Albany, the Bushwhackers (or Pondshiners) of Columbia County, New York, the
"Honies", the Slaughters of Slaughter Hill, the Clappers of Clapper Hollow,
"Arabs" of Summit in Schoharie County. Berry reported that in the shadows of
Manhattan's skyscrapers lived a community of people of clouded origin who
themselves as Tuscarora Indians.
In Pennsylvania's Burlington County across the river from Philadelphia lived
Pineys. He described them as an indigent people who picked cranberries, wove
baskets and worked as day laborers. Also in Pennsylvania lived the Keating
Mountain Group. People known as "Moors" lived in Cumberland County after
having moved from the early Gouldtown settlement.
In New Jersey dwelt the Sand Hill people of Monmouth County. Another group
living in the New Jersey counties of Passaic, Morris and Bergen were the
Mountain people who also originated in colonial times. They can also be found
in New York. He also identified a mixed group of people called the Carmel
Indians populating Highland County, Ohio.
Up in New England dwelt isolated communities such as the Narrangansetts in
Island. In Massachusetts lived the Gay Head people of Martha's Vineyard. The
Mashpee community lived in Cape Cod. The Wesorts called Maryland home.
In 1948 William Gilbert finished a Smithsonian study of these mixed groups.
He was struck by the frequent occurrence of names in one mixed group in
Virginia appearing in another group in Louisiana and in still
another group in South Carolina. Gilbert noted this oddity in his "Surviving
Groups of the Eastern United States," published in the Annual Report of the
Regents of The Smithsonian Institution in 1948.
"Curiously enough a number of these families are found in more than one group
and this would point to a possibility of some degree of intermarriage between
at various times in the past. The Croatans for example, share names with the
Cubans, Issues, Melungeons, Brass Ankles, Cajuns and Nanticokes. Not
only do such nearby groups as the Nanticokes and Moors share names, but we
find such sharing rather remote from each other, as for example, Cajans and
Moors, Brass Ankles and Nanticokes, or Melungeons and Brass Ankles."
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