Wednesday, December 26, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart,

Indians hung out with Indians -- Redbone people hung out with Redbone peoplke. Did Indians and Redbones hang out together? Seems so! "I am convinced that the Glue for the Redbone enclaves in Louisiana, opposed to the Redbones of the Carolina's, was more 'social, economic status' than it was Ethnic.' They simply sought out people of their own ilk, they were the advance party, the Redbone pioneers of Nation builders."

The Indian families I was exposed to, my families, were the Goins (Choctaw); Thomas (Pushshukke), (Chickasaw); and Gabehart's likely (Cherokee) -- these were all family surnames. My family members were not wild Indians in the likeness of Hollywood imaging, they were all assimilated Indians and although they often wore outlander clothing, they dressed like everyone else of the day.

My families worked in Law-enforcement, Civil Service, Farming, Ranching, Oil Fields, Ship building, Automotive, yet many of their families had been divested of their homes and forced West by society-- with of course, the exception of the ones who took off on their own to Mississippi and Louisiana (we are talking early 1800's). Even though they were Indians and were often looked down on by some societies, they were able to avoid the stigma of Redbone, Free People of Color or that of an Indian and make a life for themselves and their families.

Some of my family members were known slavers [Goins and Drakes] in Louisiana and contrary to Frank Sweet, A Legal History of the Color Line, they were not Creole slaveholders (1). Also, the Goins, more so than the Drakes, were of another seldom mentioned race, and I take the liberty of using the term race -- they were North American Indians. Could they have had other blood in their veins as well? It was likely they did.

It is these North American Indians in Louisiana, who mingled with "Redbones," and who were ignored by society of the day that Frank Sweet and just about everyone else seems to miss. We know they were there, we know they were not Black nor White or Creole -- shades of gray, we just don't have an answer even today of who they were.

Albert Rigmaiden, with his 1892 letter to Donald Furman, is the fly in the ointment, as he states that the family names of Redbones were Drake and Goins among many others and they were neither White or Black and were from the Carolina's. Some of the Drakes lived up on Bearhead Creek (not a Creole enclave, but a Redbone redoubt), and the Goins appeared to have migrated to around St. Martin Parish before migrating further West and North.

The Drakes were known to have Indian blood from Virginia and the Goins were known Choctaw and they were living around or with Redbones. Were Redbones Indians? I think Redbones were every race of people who did not fit into society very well, and -- they were ignored then, as they are today.

My close family line, left Mississippi and migrated into Louisiana and later Texas [Stephen, Philip, Jeremiah Goins line]. Another line left Mississippi and migrated to Louisiana and later Oklahoma [James Goins, Martha Patsy Goins]. Still another group [Black River Band] containing more Goins left Mississippi/ Louisiana area and migrated to Oklahoma. All these folks were Choctaw Indians without a doubt, and related. All these folks were migrating Redbones.

Let me tell you how Indians were mixed up between tribes and tell you from a first hand perspective -- about my own family. Remember, Indians hung out with Indians.

Beginning with Jeremiah Goins, Sr. and Sharafina Drake [my third grandparents], we find Jeremiah the Choctaw marrying into a family with Eastern Indian ties. The tribal affiliation of the Drakes are unknown or uncertain, but we can say they were from Virginia stock and according to family lore, there seems to be a Powhatan connection.

Adaline Goins [my second great Aunt], Choctaw daughter of Jemeriah M. Goins, Sr. and Sharafina Drake Goins, married Lewis Mulkey, nephew of Cherokee Chief John Ross. Her children were enrolled in the Cherokee Nation.

Rueben Calvin Goins [my second great Uncle], Choctaw son of Jeremiah M. Goins, Sr. and Sharafina Drake Goins, married Susan "Sookie" Thomas, neice of Cyrus Harris, first Governor of the Chickasaw Nation and also the niece of Nelson Chigley, Chickasaw Senator. Her children were enrolled in the Chickasaw Nation.

Ransom Goins' [son of Jeremiah Goins] daughter Nancy Azenia Goins [my Great Grandmother], a Choctaw, married Charley Thomas a Chickasaw Indian. Their children were all registered as Chickasaw Indians and Nancy became Chickasaw by marriage.

These family Indian connections in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma lead me to believe that there is more Indian blood among Redbones than might be thought. Certainly the view of the white guy in Louisiana was Indians and Africans were classed as being alike [during the 1800's]. In fact, Indians were often purchased at Natchitoches as slave labor as a cheaper alternative to African slaves.

Of course, if you were living West of the Mississippi in the 1800's -- Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, it would be quite logical to find "mixed Indian blood" families as well as an Anglo mix, but more importantly, Indians sought out people of their own likeness -- Indians hung out with Indians.

Gary J Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Depending on your thought processes, you can view Redbones as Redbones or Melungeons as Melungeons -- no matter what you call them, they were still a group of mysterious people in any ones book. It did not matter then, and it does not matter now whether the words were derogatory or not. It was a label that stuck!

Reclusive, clannish, standoffish, not friendly, minded their own business and just did not associate with other societies yet took offense to anyone sticking their noses into their business. Sounds like the neighborhood I lived in opposing the nearby hoods of similar folks yet those who were just a little bit apart.

With the Redbones, it was those folks down the road who lived in the Piney Woods next to the swamps. For the Melungeon's, it was the folks up there on the ridge, or over the ridge, who we know nothing about. In either case, society was left wondering what was happening and rumors likely flew hot and heavy.

It was a clash of developing cultures aside under-developing cultures as perceived by usually the White guy in control. Of course, it did take a good many years of "whose mo better." This attitude likely began before Jamestown and was ingrained in every White generation there after. The White guy had guns, big boats with sails, gadgets and some technology, why shouldn't he have all the control? He likely had the best land, more wealth and the grand house.

None of this is new, it's always been the folks on the other side of the tracks, the ones living in the shanties surrounded by dead and dying grass who took the cultural beating -- the have not's against those who had the most.

So why wouldn't these concepts apply to the Redbone or the Melungeon cultures, isolates or groups. It did not matter what you called them, they were still those people.

The question now is just who were those people? And that is for the folks who study and do the genealogy work in the trenches to discover. Where did they come from, what was their ethnicity's, what was in the apparent mix if anything -- what were their roots?

In the course of those investigations come the question of who (the people) were the real Redbones or the Melungeons? They have to be sorted from the half- Redbone or the half-Melungeon from marriage or association, and sorted again from the wannabe Redbone/ Melungeon who just wants a place to fit in.

Same things happen with the wannabe Indians. They pick a fashionable tribe, give themselves an Indian sounding name like "little wren" or some such "little" something and run around with a feather in their hair while mixing Indian cultures, regalia and hang out at Pow Wows -- usually picking up women. But that's how it goes!

So aside from doing real research on who was a real Redbone or a real Melungeon, you have to deal with the kooks and nut cases who want to be. And then there are the Trolls who create counter sites to dispel valid research, but those folks, you have to ask the question why? There is never an answer to why -- they never have a good reason.

The work done by the RHF and the MHA are leaps and bounds ahead of the lazy bunch who would constantly dispute these findings by whining about the definition of a Redbone or Melungeon and where they came from. Ask to see "their research" relevant to what they are talking about, and don't accept quotes from other people whose research is suspect.

Redbones and Melungeons were mixed race people. They were mixed race Indians. They were likely mixed race Europeans and other mixed races -- as a whole, you'll never put a pedigree on all of them.


Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

# 64 -- PINHEADS?

By Gary J. Gabehart

Funny, there are some folks out there who have expounded on Redbones only living on Bearhead Creek, and have claimed that Bearhead Creek only contains Redbones, but probe further, and you find that's not exactly the way it happened!

These comments are a bad thing to run into by a new researcher intent on quickly discovering their family history only to be given directions down the wrong hallway or incorrect highway. Be aware and be on your guard for the nutty stuff.

The same bunch says that Redbones lived at Starks! When pushed, or when it has suited their purpose, they will tell you that Redbones lived at Pitkin, DeQuincy, Singer, Westlake, Oakdale and Sulphur -- and, maybe all of Calcasieu Parish, except Lake Charles. Except Lake Charles?

Now, Ray Bridges, the California absentee Redbone, says there was no such thing as a Redbone -- at least I think that is what he is saying. Kind of like saying there was no such thing as a possum. Really, makes about as much sense.

But wait, Redbones are referenced in all those place names, and it is in print that Ashworth ranchers were known in early Texas, prior to 1835, as Redbones. Redbones could be found at Orange Texas in fact, in the form of the Ashworth's, Droddy's, Hayes and others. Orange, Texas? Now, we are out of Louisiana to the West.

Now I know there are possums, I had one on my front porch last night, I saw it with my own eyes. When confronted, he/she curled up in a ball, grinned at me and died -- no possum. Then, when I turned my back, he/she rose from the dead and split. Some times, things are not exactly what they appear to be.

Since the Redbone Heritage Foundation began their research, the term Redbone is rising from the dead all over the country. Does it not make sense that if there were Redbones in the Carolina's, where all these Louisiana Redbone's originated, that the name originated in the Carolina's as well?

What about Black Lake and Black River Redbones in Mississippi and Louisiana? Oh, that's right, those folks are brushed off as "just being Indians." Now we're in Mississippi?

Then what about the Redbones at Jackson, Mississippi? The ones they also call the VanCleave Choctaw? Some of these folks were Bass' from the Carolina's.

Hmmm .... Redbones popping up everywhere and mostly on the migration trail from the Carolina's to Louisiana and beyond into Texas and Oklahoma. Plot it out, get off this clix exclaiming Redbones were swamp Indians who crawled out of the soft Louisiana soil around Bearhead Creek.

Now I'm not saying that Redbones were Choctaw alone or wholly mixed blood Indians. I think this was only part of their makeup. In the majority, there were other mixes in the pot; in addition, not all had the same mix. But, if you did not know what these people were, you likely threw up your hands and brushed them off as Indians, Redbones, Free People of Color, them or others.

Redbones were a lot like Indians in the pecking order, you knew what they were called, but you just ignored them. They both lived off in their own enclaves, so they really didn't count to many people living in or near 1800 society.

Those FPC folks started showing up in the 1810 Louisiana census' as FPC. But of course, besides Louisiana Census', some of them, my family, were showing up in other earlier records in Texas, Virginia, Carolina's and Mississippi.

Defies logic to try and state the radical version by excluding all these other place names where the word Redbones were used. What is the definition you say? I don't think there is one, at the moment that is. But I do suspect strongly that it had something to do with Indians. That still does not erase other ethnicity's as I also think there were many. Indians, as well as other ethnicity's, were not liked any better than African classes when it came to dominant White Society.

When I say African classes, it must be understood that there were Africans in Spain, and Portugal also had many colonies in Western Africa, so being a Spaniard or Portuguese gave you no pass from an African admixture. The closer you lived to the African Continent, the easier it was to have a recent admixture of African.

What did that possum have to do with anything? Nothing, Nada, unless you want to look for the hidden meaning. It may have been just an interesting story, like the snake last year that kept invading my four season room. Threw that mother out four times before he/she finally left.

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Monday, November 12, 2007


Oct. 2007

By Gary J Gabehart

Discussed here is my Drake family and what I know to be accurate and known concerning their Virginia Mulatto/ Indian connection. There also is a final note on Free People of Color in Louisiana; however, it is not about Black or White, Colored People or groups of persons “in transition.” It has nothing to do with the official, legal aspects of the colorline. It is about the people known as Redbone’s and the many ethnicities involved, the same people who were ignored by the legal description of the colorline.

I recently began to compile a kinship report of my family to get a better view as to who and how I was related to in Redbone Country. This record is 35-40 pages long and reads like an alphabet soup of Redbones and related families – Abshire (Abcher), Ashworth, Bass, Braneff, Buxton, Doyle, Dial, Goins, Gwaltney, Hargrave, Jackson, Johnson, Morris, Nash, O’Jetty, Ozenne, Padier, Perkins, Rigmaiden, Ryan, Vincent and others. I think you will agree that I am well related in this part of the world. Ryan Street (Isaac Ryan died in the battle for the Alamo in 1836) crosses downtown Lake Charles, and Albert Rigmaiden operated a well known hotel there. I hope this puts a face on who I am with regard to the people listed.

Rather than to just say you are related to someone, you need to be able to know just what they are to you, and it will help you to track out these lines. It puts a face on everything when it comes to comprehensive genealogy reports. I urge everyone to print these reports on the data you might have in an electronic genealogy program. If you do not have a program, get one.

I also want to impress upon you that all genealogy is under construction at all times. For me to say that these reports and those trees are the final word would be absurd. I once attempted to involve some of my family in putting these records down on paper, and they looked at my work and said “oh wow, can I have a copy of this, and can I have a copy of that and when you get finished writing all this information into a book, can we have a copy.” However, as you can expect, that was the end of it, you are really on your own and your work will forever be a work in progress.

When I began my research into the Goins/Drake family, I had two families to research, and I had never heard the name Redbones. That was about 1990.

I found out quickly that the Drakes were from Louisiana and that Sharofina Drake b. abt 1804, d. 31 May 1881 (daughter of John Aaron Drake, Jr., b. abt. 1776, d. 1828 and Rosalie Abshire, b. 15 Jan 1782, d. abt. 1871), had married Jeremiah Goins in Louisiana. You will hear that they were married in this City and that City, but she was married in Louisiana – quite possibly Attakapas Post.

Jeremiah Goins father was Philip Goings – note the one “L” in Philip and the difference in the Goin[g]s spelling. It is known that Philip came out of Mississippi to Louisiana but not when or where he was born or died, I use 1750 for an about date of birth. Philip married Thomas Nash’s daughter Keziah in 1816 at Natchitoches.

About the time I began genealogy research, I involved myself in Indian Heritage groups. If you think things are tough over here, try running two Inter-Tribal groups at the same time where it is “my tribe is better than your tribe” or “I am a big Indian and you are but a minor Indian.” I guess that is common in many families, even in Redbone families.

I had dinner one night with an Indian from Louisiana who spoke of the Choctaw, and the “Redbones.” I had never heard the word Redbone except for a Black Blues or Jazz Singer, and now I was hearing it in conjunction with Indians. His take was that it had something to do with Choctaw Indians and White folks in Louisiana. I was interested in the term, but I put it in the back of my mind.

I continued my search into the migration of the Drake family into Louisiana and discovered that John Aaron Drake, Jr. was considered a Mulatto. At the time, I guess I was like everyone else with the big “M” word. Later, I began to realize that John Aaron Drake, Sr. kept African Slaves as did the son John Aaron Jr. If John Aaron Drake, Sr. was not considered to be Black, but White and his wife Charity Chrieves an Indian, then how was John Aaron Jr. a Mulatto. Apparently I thought, Mulatto did not mean what I thought it did in 1800.

A piece of family lore here and a piece there led me to understand that there was an Indian connection with John Aaron Drake, Jr. and his mother Elizabeth Charity Smith (son of John Aaron Drake, Sr. b. abt 1750 Elizabeth, Va., d. 1813 La. – Elizabeth Charity Smith (Chevis/Chavis) Chrieves b. abt 1750 Elizabeth, Va., d. 10 Apr 1815. La.). The original story as it was told, was John Aaron, Jr. was a descendent of a male relative of Pocahontas. However, the story now appears to be that his mother was a member of a Powhatan Confederacy tribe, which made more sense. Whether there is a connection there with Pocahontas is unknown, but doubtful. At least not a direct connection but the relationship could be indirect from a sibling of Pocahontas.

I thought that I knew that a Black or Mulatto could not marry a White in Louisiana in 1800 and certainly not in a Catholic Church of the French/Spanish culture and yet, this marriage was performed at St. Martins de Tours Church in St. Martinsville, La. However, I was to discover that a Mulatto could marry in the church under certain circumstances.

Further research was to bring me to the transcription records of Father Don Her’bert and his Church Records of Southwestern Louisiana that stated there had been an investigation by the Church prior to the marriage. Additional research of James Johnson and his book Drake Cousins led me to find that John Aaron Drake, Jr. was not a Catholic prior to his marriage to Rosalie Abshire/Abcher. In fact, James Johnson had obtained a Baptismal Certificate from St. Martins Church for John Aaron Drake, Jr. dated 1800.

James Johnson states; “Nothing was found in the records to indicate that the Drake family was Catholic prior to this time. It is believed that this event was precipitated by Drake’s desire to marry a Catholic lady whom he had met in the area.”

Although there are some folk’s who will tell you otherwise, with some convoluted reason why the marriage was handled in one way or another, the mystery of why Rosalie Abshire had filed for a marriage Certificate is quite simple. Rosalie Abshire was Catholic and a member of St Martins Church -- John Aaron Drake, Jr. was not even Catholic. I would expect it was understood that the application was conditioned on John Aaron Drake, Jr. completing certain requirements.

In the Catholic Church, a non-Catholic, in order to marry a Catholic in the Church must submit to certain agreements such as Catholic Baptism, agreeing to raise any children born from that union in the Catholic Church, etc. Prior to and after the formal Baptism, Aaron was likely given some instruction in the religion and the rest was a part of the verbal vows at the wedding.

The business of John Aaron Drake, Jr. being a “Mulatto Libre” was mentioned in the marriage documents and the decision as to whether John Aaron was a Black Mulatto or an Indian Mulatto was up to the Church to decide. Apparently, he was determined to be a North American Indian Mulatto.

Now, if we look back in time to a Virginia Law of 1705 (Remember that John Aaron Drake, Jr. was born either in Virginia or North Carolina) that clarifies the definition of a Mulatto, we will find that this law change stated “the offspring of an Indian was also to be considered a Mulatto.”

These Virginia Laws rubbed off on other forming Southern States and began to create a basis for their laws as well, and in time, were adopted by those States or Territories.

The other thing I want to draw your attention to is the term “Free People of Color” (FPC). In the 1800’s, many of our people were accounted for not as White, not as Black, not as Indian, not as Mulatto's and not as Redbones – they were called Free People of Color. I do not believe that Free People of Color were one Ethnicity, they could not have been – they had to be many Ethnicities -- they were grouped, and the possibilities were staggering. You can answer that question by asking what other Ethnicities other than White or Black were present and how would they be viewed in a “Black or White” world?

Let us start with Middle Eastern people of all types (we are not talking Chinese), where did they list those? Ask yourself about Turks, Afghans, East Indians, Russians, Greeks, Italians, Persians, where did they list those? Where did all the American Indians go? What I want to bring forth is, if you think there were either Whites or Blacks in Louisiana or the South and you only fit one category or the other, you are mistaken. Even today, the ratio of American-Europeans, with an African Admixture in their genes, is only about 30%. Ask what other ethnicities might be involved? I am only talking in general, and then in only the last 800 to 1,000 years. It would be up to you to hunt out those connections -- family by family. Keep in mind, Redbone core families really only amounted to a hand full of people by today’s measure, I do not believe they were imported by White Society into Louisiana to fill a void and were not considered even “colored people.”

Of course, some of these FPC families may have been knowingly in transition and crossing the color line but with a twist when confronted by some modern day thinking – any ethnicity could have qualified not just Africans alone. Some families simply wanted to be left alone and never gave it a thought.

Some Ashworth family members report that their DNA tests for the Ashworth/Droddy’s were coming back with a recent percentage of Haplogroup E3a, but that does not mean all Ashworth lines will carry those same genes. Some of these members reporting Western African also carry a high percentage of DNA material common to the area around Guam on the Pacific Rim.

Finally, the dates and deaths I have given you are, in some cases, an “about” date. If you have further information about the Drakes, feel free to speak with me about it.

References: James Johnson, Drake Cousins; Rev. Don Her’bert, SWLR; Laws of Virginia; Various 1810 Louisiana Census’; Drake Marriage records, LSU; Drake Records, Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish Library.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Recently, Harvey Morris, descendent of Spencer Morris ca. 1830's (husband of Caroline Goins), sent me an interesting interview by one of Henry Goins (son of Jeremiah Goins) daughters -- Callie Goins Edwards.

Her interview evolves around her "rearing" in Texas prior to the Civil War and her subsequent migration to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1878 to visit with her mother Sarah Simmons Goins. Callie, also known as Catherine, born 1856 would have been about 22 years of age at the time of this trip.

Henry died in 1870 in Plesanton, Texas and it would appear that Callie remained in Texas after his death.

There are a number of points in this interview that are extremely important to the family and others that should be noted. First, the interview was taken in Oklahoma in 1937. Callie lived around Henryetta and was listed as a Choctaw Indian. The investigator lists her Grandfather as Jerry Goien. You will remember that in the Bevil Census, in Texas, Jeremiah was listed as Jerry.

Two things here, put them in the back of your mind, first Jeremiah seems to use the name Jerry quite often and second, his surname was recorded as GOIEN.

In her interview, Callie speaks of having a conversation with Patsy Hall of Mississippi where she was told that her Great Great Uncle, Jeremiah's uncle, "was with one of the first loads of Indians to come to this country (Oklahoma Indian Territory). She also mentions that they were driven like stock by the soldiers and when one of the old folks fell out, they left them where they fell.

Further, Callie states that, "My grandfather, was a Choctaw Indian but he didn't come with the soldiers. He came to Texas on his own accord so didn't suffer the hardships that the others who waited did."

Here, it is very plain that two groups of Goins came from Mississippi. One via Louisiana (Jerry Goins) and one from Mississippi to Indian Territory -- both families were directly related.

Callie stayed a year in Indian Territory and talked her mother into moving back to Texas, but after a year, abt. 1880-81, Callie, her mother Sarah Simmons Goins, and other family members left Texas again for Indian Territory.


Gary J Gabehart, Mishiho

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

First in a series on Ruben Goins.

Rueben Calvin Goins b. 08 Aug 1837 Newton, Texas, d. 17 Jul 1930 Ardmore Oklahoma. Rueben/Ruben was the seventh son of Jeremiah M. Goins of Lawrence Mississippi and Sharafina Drake (Goins) of St. Martinsville, Louisiana.

I sometimes find it amazing the amount of mis-information on the web concerning whether the Texas Goins family were or were not Indians, and if they were Indians, what kind? And, why were they deleted from the Choctaw Rolls?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bum information out there on the Goins family for the unwary to stumble upon. The Gowen Manuscript itself is rife with supposition without citation and much of it proven, ancient mis-information (my opinion). However, the following commentary on Rueben/Ruben Calvin Goins will be the first on various Goins family members and should provide a more comprehensive insight to this Texas Pioneer -- Choctaw family.

The father of Ruben Goins was Jeremiah Goins/Goings who was born the son of Philip Goings & Ooti Montro, Grandson of Stephen Goings, in Lawrence Mississippi. It is believed that the family originated in Tennessee prior to Mississippi, but those references are vague as to just where.

I wouldn't make too much out of the surname spellings as they bounce back and forth throughout history. The elder Goins/Goings/Gowen/Goen/Goien/Gohens/Goyens and others likely could not read or write and were at the mercy of the scribe making the record -- had nothing to do with anyone being ashamed of the name -- just an urban legend.

So the story goes, Jeremiah Goins migrated to Louisiana from Mississippi where he met and married Sharafina Drake about 1820. But keep in mind, that migration is a big word, and it is likely, considering the distance, Jeremiah, I expect, was making the trip back and forth between the two areas routinely. Territory or later State lines, meant little to these folks, and it's not like there was a barrier here.

The Jeremiah Goins family left the Calcasieu, Louisiana area in the early 1830's, apparently bound for Texas. We know for instance, that Caroline Goins was born in Louisiana about 1830. Caroline again shows up on the Jasper, Texas or what is referred to as the Bevil District census in 1835 as a five year old child. Jeremiah is listed as 35 years and Sharafina age 28 years in this 1835 census. These ages agree pretty much with other estimated ages based on previous records of Sharafina Drake.
Droddy age 45 and his wife Elizabeth Hays 53, along with four children were also listed on this census. These were Redbone relations of Raymond Alexander "Houston" Bridges who were moving West into Texas. Other members of Raymond's Ashworth Family (quasi-Redbones by some accounts, as they had left Louisiana) previously moved into Texas (1820's and 1830's) from Louisiana.

(Fact of the matter is, Ray Bridges is a Texas Redbone by his own admission and had not returned to Louisiana for nearly 50 years. Prior to that, it was short summer visits, I'm just saying, you know).

These Ashworth's were the basis for the Texas Ashworth Act; however, some of this family was later driven out of Texas during the Orange County, Texas War of 1856, as being Murderers and Thieves, but -- some of it may have been political. This is another story for a later blog.

The next time we find the Goins family is in the 1850 Limestone, Texas census.

163 25 Goins Jeremiah 58 M I Farmer MS
163 26 Goins Charity 58 F I LA
163 27 Goins Ransom 24 M I LA
163 28 Goins Sebern 22 M I LA
163 29 Goins Caroline 20 F I LA
163 30 Goins Robert 19 M I LA
163 31 Goins James 16 M I TX
163 32 Goins Robert 14 M I TX
163 33 Goins Reuben 13 M I TX
163 34 Goins Adaline 15 F I TX
163 35 Goins Emaly 9 F I TX
163 36 Goins Jerimiah 5 M I TX
163 37 Goins Mary 2 F I TX

* person # 30 was incorrectly listed as Robert Goins in this census and should have been listed as Rayborn Goins b. 1829 in Louisiana. During the enumeration process, it is unlikely that all members of the family were present and information was taken from any member who would give it -- correct or incorrect. As an enumeration supervisor, I've seen this first hand.

You will also note that Jeremiah has gained 8 years between the 1835 Bevil Census and the Limestone Census. Sharafina has gained 15 years in listed age since the Bevil Census. The squiggle marks in the race column mean only that the enumerator was confused.

Sebern/Seaborn/CB Goins was killed at San Saba in May of 1861 in a nighttime Indian attack. Henry Goins was listed in his own household in this 1850 census.

I had made a comment to a translator about the race thing as what appeared in that column prior to transcription was what resembled a small cursive "z." Some folks call it a small "y," but the truth of the matter is, in that year, neither was used. The transcriptionist changed it to Indian "I" and made a note at the top of the page.

First in a series on Ruben Calvin Goins -- More to follow.

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Monday, October 1, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

The search for the truth about "Free People of Color" (FPC) continues.

If you have a problem with an idea and attack it, and if you are serious in your beliefs, you should have a legitimate answer to the problem -- a fix so to speak. But enough, back to the discussion.

I think we can agree from Blog #52, that there is way more to "Free People of Color;" they certainly were not Black, and they were treated differently than Whites. This separation accounts for the word colored -- many colors in the case of FPC.

Now throw out the thought of Louisiana/FPC and start looking at the term Redbone as having started in the Carolina's -- maybe, even in Virginia. What did "Redbone" mean on the East Coast? You tell me!

Folks who I have spoken with, among them Dr. James Nickens, are adamant that the term back East referred to an Indian connection by blood [or by association-writers note]. Certainly, if not a slur, the term Redbone would have at least been considered a slang term of that era to describe a group of people. It likely could have been used to describe an area as well.

Now I do not have a citation for what I have described, but does everything have to have an exotic or mysterious explanation? What about an uncomplicated and simple answer? You tell me!

The FPC coffee can was the coffee can where Blacks and Whites did not go. Indians, Redbones, Cajuns, you name it went in the FPC coffee can. So if you are looking for a Moor connection or a Black Dutch connection or a Middle East connection, you're going to find those folks in the FPC file.


Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

So, after reading the last blog, tell me, where did all the Indians go? Were they indeed wiped off the face of the earth by the White guy? Did the White guy kick ass and ride on?

You really have to take a hard look at the color line within the entire United States, not just Louisiana. Louisiana, Mississippi and in general the entire South was just the fall guy in all this Black and White crap.

It broke down this way, if you were educated, had money, power and were light skinned, you could be White even if you were not White. But the latter was a given in most societies. If you were dark skinned and did not have African features, sans money, power etc. you were likely placed in the "Free People of Color" category -- "the I don't really know category, but we're being politically correct category." Most civilized and assimilated Indians were placed in this category, but -- there were others!

Ever notice how the "Other" is used even today when you just can't make a decision and need to move on?

So, if we look at the record (what, thought I was going to do all your research?) we can easily see Black and White, and if you look further, you'll see "Free People of Color," now there where three, but where are all the Indians? Not to change the subject, but back in the late 1900's, the King and Queen of Spain visited San Antonio and were a guest of then Mayor Henry Cisneros. They asked the same question, "where are all the Indians?" With a sweep of his hand, Henry responded, "why they are all around us." Were Indians included in "Free People of Color." What do you do with an Indian in bib coverall's, put a watermelon under his arm and call him Black? Outlaw bib overalls for "Free People of Color?" Strange that the words Slaves, Blacks and Negro is often used, but the African word in these old records seldom was.

So this Indian problem has been going on in some peoples minds right into the 20 Th century and beyond. Where......did all ....... the Indians go?

But wait, what about the others? Were Creoles and Cajuns Black.....or White,.......or just not mentioned, or -- "Free People of Color?" You see, there were not too many choices.

I can hear the curses from the past wafering on the breeze from the dank dark swamps; "Dammit, I told you I was from Turkey!" So where did the Turks, near East -- far East Indians, Moors, Portuguese, Brazilian Indians, Chinese and Afghan's go? "Dammit, I said Moor, not more!" And, the list goes on; it would be silly to list them all here, and besides, we don't have the space.

But, aside from LV Hayes, in his racist posts, he lives in Disney Land with his jar of Metamucil, the world has never just been Black and White and Moors lived other places besides Delaware.

At this point, I will speak to the so called clannish Redbone People? Clannish? Well, who wouldn't be clannish when they wouldn't call it like it was. Granted, as I said before, Redbones, when it came to national origin, and I bet there were some Aggies in there, were as diverse as they come -- like the strips on a Zebra -- they were "Free People of Color."

"So why wouldn't people of like color seek their own?" That was a question which Jim Serra of KPLC-TV posed even though he knew the answer, and it is a good question. Why did the Italians of St. Louis claim "the hill" (known Italian area of St Louis). They obviously wanted to be among like people and people of their social economic status (SES).

More Later

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

If you think that Louisiana was without a doubt Black and White, you're missing everything in between and may be taking a racist attitude without realizing it. What I mean is this, if Black and White is all you see, then you are likely jumping to a final conclusion of African and White without accounting for the many other nationalities in Louisiana or anywhere else.

It's just as bad to skip off down the Turkish hallway as it would be to focus on an African relation when it comes to genealogy. So you can't jump to conclusions.

If you are basing your African conclusion on the fact that your relative was a slave, guess again, slaves came in all nationalities and the fact was, many Indian slaves were used in place of Africans -- so much so, that at one point, Indian slaves out numbered Africans.

Now we haven't even scratched the surface if you are including indentured servants in your Black assumptions, as -- indentured servants came from all over. It was only a media presentation that these folks were all Black. Anyone could sign on for something in return -- it was a contract. Some signed on for the trip to the Americas and a place to live and new cloths, some even received a parcel of land or maybe a horse and freeman papers when their service expired.

Perhaps this quote from Steven Pony Hill's "Patriot Chiefs and Loyal Braves" will add to what I am saying.

"As has been discussed by many scholars, the ‘Indian’ stereotype was already prevalent among eastern whites as early as the 1850’s. The typical understanding among southern whites was that all Indians had long hair, did not speak English, and, most importantly, all lived out west. Eastern Indian descendants were known to have varying hair colors and textures, varying eye colors, and a wide range of skin complexions, even as early as the 1700’s, most probably due to intermarriage with early Spanish, French, and English traders. Most officials were at a loss when trying to categorize these people into a social structure that allowed for only two races, black and white."

So how do we account for Eastern Indians? What about the so called Five Civilized Tribes?" What about the hundreds of lesser known "Civilized Tribes?" What about the Saponi, Nasamond, Powhatan Confederacy Tribes, and the list goes on.

When it comes to the word Mulatto, bear in mind that the Spanish influence in this country considered it a mix of anything including French and Indian. The French felt the same way and the Virginia Government defined, in 1705, that the definition of Mulatto would include the offspring of an Indian and included the offspring of a Negro as Mulatto.

Down through the years, after the 1900's, the word mulatto began to socially mean the offspring of a White and a Black, a Black and an Indian or any other color combination. Still, it was never a legal thing in that sense, it was more how you were perceived in the local society and what culture you practiced.

If you were a person of color and hung out with Africans, you likely picked up those cultural traits, but -- if you hung out with other groups, you likely picked up those cultural traits as well. So Mulatto, as well as, Free People of Color, Melungeon and Redbone could also be an association thing by hanging out together or by marriage.

So being called a Mulatto depended on the place, time and language. Even then, Mulatto might not have meant what you thought it was. After all, the word did not mean you were automatically colored Green with a wart on the end of your nose.

DNA testing can give up some answers, but if the question is in your mothers family line, you won't answer the question by following your Father's line.

More later.

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Check out KPLC-TV (Lake Charles, Louisiana) blog page by Jim Serra, Vice President and General Manager, on Don Marler and The Redbones of Louisiana. Yep, we run with the Big Dogs -- rest of you get back on the porch.

Jim Serra is the Vice President and General Manager for KPLC-TV, the NBC affiliate serving Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana. Jim Serra
, even if I am accused of being somewhat biased, is far from an ordinary blog writer. I think you will agree when you read his very fine commentary. It flows gently from the fragrance of a small glass of Syrah into a torrent of cascading white water twisting and turning over the jagged rocks as it tumbles through the canyons leaving the reader breathless and gasping for more, or -- was it hurry up and get to the point! "Kick your ass huh? Paybacks are hell!"

But we have seemed to become close friends at a speed of at least warp factor five and with so much in common, I hesitate to enumerate them all, you just would not believe it.

Did you know Jim is an Aviator -- my kind of bud.

Jim tells a compelling story of his journey into the world of the Redbone, sprinkled with great graphics, photographs of local Redbone folk, and a very fine presentation of the author Don Marler and his book Redbones of Louisiana.

This is the beginning of conference coverage by Jim Serra, John Bridges and the team at Television Station KPLC-TV.

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Friday, September 7, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Some People's Kids?

Latest discussion on the RanD site concerns something I said on the Redbone site (Blog #47), about the Drakes concerning a 1705 Virginia law or ruling on the definition of the term Mulatto (according to a 1705 Virginia Law). Remember to dot all "i" and cross every "T," or she will attempt to spin something.

Now it seems pretty clear to me, and others, what the law states. But to "one" individual it just can't be so, even -- when supplied with overwhelming data, laws and references, and -- don't forget the important time of the RanD group. Of course, you can be charitable and write it off to good will or some such. Some People's kids, jeez.

But, let's do this, go to Blog #47 and read it over -- make notes and then tippy toe back over to Blog #48 and we will continue. Seen enough?

Let me first explain that the thrust of the article was two-fold in concept, but I guess you could read more into it. First, I thought it might be helpful to get some stuff on the record about the John Aaron Drake, Sr. family, as well as, the John Aaron Drake, Jr. family and some of their children. Note, that in Blog # 47 I even stated that all this stuff was under construction, and if you didn't like it, "let's talk."

Secondly, I was attempting to explain my concept of the color line and how really complex it was with "People of Color," in this country in the 1700's and 1800's, and perhaps even today. It was not a Black, White issue -- it never was! Even Indians were monkeyed around with when it came to the terms FPC and Mulatto.

What was offensive to this person was the term "Mulatto," and perhaps as it was applied to John Aaron Drake, Jr. -- the latter was never clear to me. But, his marriage bond was clear, it stated he was a Mulatto. What could be clearer than that?

Now John Aaron Drake, Sr., and his wife Elizabeth Charity Smith Chrieves (Chavis or Chevis)(better get it all on here so I don't get jumped on again) were born about 1750 -- both in Elizabeth, Virginia.

John Aaron Drake, Jr. was born about 1776 in the Carolina's. It was here, that he was known as a Mulatto, the offspring of an Indian. The family was Catholic or they could have been converted Anglicans, hard to know. We do know that the family attended St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in Louisiana and their children were baptised there.

Since John Aaron Drake, Jr. was known as a Mulatto, he could not be married in the Catholic Church, to Rosalie Abshire, without the Church investigating his background -- it was Louisiana Law -- Negro's, Blacks could not marry a White. But, the offspring of an Indian or Indian Mulatto could.

So, the way it would break down would be White only were married in the Church. Indian/Black could not be, Black/White could not. White/Indian or Indian Mulatto could be. I expect that other cases were FPC and White "but a Church investigation had to be performed," and I expect there were many. As I said in Blog # 47, it's a complicated situation, but the one thing that "did not happen," by law, any where in Louisiana, was to officially allow a White/Black marriage.

Now, either Barbara Ellison is blind or she sees what she wants to see.

Here is the actual statue and citation from Virginia law:
ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- OCT. 1705 (Acts IV-XI) page 252

"And for clearing all manner of doubts which hereafter may happen to arise upon the construction of this act, or any other act, who shall be accounted a mulatto,

Be it enacted and declared, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That the child of >an Indian< and the child, grand child, or great grand child, >of a negro< shall be deemed, accounted, held and taken to be a mulatto."

Now you read the actual language -- child of >an Indian< ("and" the connector) and the child, grand child, or great grand child, >of a Negro<. Can you see the word White in that? Can you see the words "Offspring of an Indian and a Negro" in there? The law is written so the "Indian" could be Male or Female. Certainly another twist.

The problem with Barbara Ellison is she includes or excludes the term White -- hard to tell what she is doing, and -- she connects Negro with Indian.

Now this is what Barbara Ellison wrote:

The *new* law was to ***include*** offspring of an Indian and a Negro, an Indian and the child of a Negro, an Indian and the grandchild of a Negro, and an Indian and the great grandchild of a Negro. Is she rewritting the law? If she keeps putting it in print, some folks will begin to believe it.

Now is that what the law stated or is this what Barbara Ellison is trying to palm off on you? She does not even understand what she is writing. She is the corrupter of fact!

Pony hill writes: I could refer you to about 50 census pages from 1850 of Indian reservation areas here in the southeast where it lists the Indian people there as "Mulatto"...even the ones who had very famous Indian-White ancestors (absolutely no African ancestors at all)!!!

Or how about in the historic compilation "Woodward's Reminences" written in the 1830's by a military officer who took part in the Creek and Seminole Wars....Woodward made reference to Jack McGee (if I remember the name right) "McGee that old Mulatto" and then goes on to talk about McGee's Indian mother and white Polish trader father.

Another private email gave me this link.

Barbara Ellison admitted in one of her emails:

In a message dated 9/7/2007 9:39:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

As for our particular family, I can only go on circumstantial evidence and intuition that our Goins and Drakes do have African ancestry..everything I have seen thus far points heavily to that...(Not to mention my obviously African heritaged living Goins relatives) I DO care about the racial make-up of the family partly BECAUSE other people seem to want to negate part of the family...They want to double-talk any African ancestry into oblivion, and I SEE that
...and it does bug me as well....

So now you can see what kind of researcher she is, "circumstantial?"
"Intuition?" "Shall we play let's suppose or make believe?"

The problem with this kind of research is that it leads the unwary down false genealogy paths. It takes time to research the phony stuff and separate it from the real deal.

Hopefully we have opened some eyes to the other people, the ones who did not exist, the "Free People of Color," the "Hombre Mulatto Libre de Carolinas," my fourth Great Grandfather.

I told her I was offended by her personal attacks. If you think I'm too hard on her, wake up and ask yourself if you want someone misrepresenting your family?

Ask her to put her pedigree in print.

Jeez, some people's kid's! There is more to come to clear the air!

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

Thursday, August 30, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Get well soon Nick!

One Redbone Family.

From a recent discussion, with William Gomez, aka "Fruitloop" I began to realize issues I had slaved over years ago were now the issues of other folks, who now slaved over the same documents and family members.

With that said, it is often critical to others that we again address some of the interesting members of our families for the benefit of the masses who come behind us -- get it on the record!

For example, the older father and son Drake's, were referenced in records as John Drake, Aaron Drake, John Aaron Drake, John Aaron Drake, Sr. (abt.1750 - 1813) and John Aaron Drake, Jr. (abt. 1776 -- 1828). Confusing to say the least when you are dealing with just two people. But, if you are concerned as to whether there was a junior or senior, I direct your attention to the Camp Orcoquisac census of 1807 that indicate both a junior and senior with wives and children although they are listed (both) as Juan Erondraque by the Spanish Officer Geronimo (Her-ron-nimo) Herrera.

Also, to compound the problem of whose on first, John Aaron Drake, Jr. and his wife [1] Rosalie Abshire (15 Jan 1872) name two of their sons, Aaron Drake (abt. 1802 -- 25, Aug 1857) and John Drake (abt. 1805). The only thing that saves you from further confusion are the birth date's, Camp Orcoquisac [2] records and Father Don Her'bert's record translations, both Church and Civil, for Southwest Louisiana (the work is attributed to him, but he had help doing it). However, with these three records, the four Drakes can easily be accounted for.

Still later, Aaron Drake, Sr., son of John Aaron Drake, Jr., names a child Aaron Drake, Jr. (3 mar 1847--23 Oct 1939). There is confusion in this generation however, as Aaron Drake was married to Caroline Bass (1811-1860) and Sarah Ashworth. And, Caroline Bass was also married to Elisha Jacobs (b.1790) who was married twice as well (Martha Calvit).

It is this Aaron Drake, Sr., who seems to be associated with Bearhead Creek, Louisiana (Singer) near Lake Charles (Redbone Country).

Of course, this is always information that is constantly under construction, so if you see something curious, let's talk.

Another bone of contention concerns the term "Mulatto." In present day, the term Mulatto, in many peoples mind, means "Negro or African White mixture," but that is far from being a true statement.

The fact is, it meant then, and now, a number of things but "primarily the mix." Here it becomes complex. I've said before the term essentially meant White/Indian, Indian/Black or Black/White, according to various laws of the land, but it does not. You have to dig deeper. It is far more complex.

If you are thinking White, Black and American Indian in Louisiana or anywhere (the entire US), I ask you, what happened to the other ethnicity's other than White, African? Did those other groups only come in through Ellis Island in the late 1800's? Wrong!

The answer is that Mulatto meant White/Free People of Color (including American Indians), FPC (including American Indians)/Blacks or White/Black (Negro or African). The trick is, American Indians were included in Free People of Color by White Society. Some American Indians were light in color and others were quite Black.

John Aaron Drake, Jr. was known as a Mulatto. The simplest way to explain the following is to say if you were the wrong kind of Mulatto, you could not be married in the Church. When it came time for John Aaron and Rosalie Abshire to marry, the Church performed an investigation of his status and concluded he was the right kind of Mulatto. I might add, those original marriage documents are held by LSU in Louisiana, and I expect a copy at McNeese University in Lake Charles as well.

So what kind of Mulatto? He could have been a FPC or FPC/White mix, but -- not African or Negro. We know, from Don Her'bert records, that John Aaron, Sr. stated in marriage records he was from Virginia, right in the middle of the Powhatan Confederacy. Family lore of the John Aaron, Jr. family indicates a connection to the Powhatan Confederation. Also, it is speculated the Drakes could have been either English Drakes or Irish Drakes; however, very few Irish Drakes were known to be in New England prior to 1775. Beyond this, we can only speculate for now, but I expect there was an American Indian heritage from the Virginia Drakes [3].

I'm not knocking Africans or Negro's here, I'm just stating that Mulatto meant much more than Black/White. If you are tracking your family, it is important to know this -- your FPC family could have been any ethnicity other than White/African -- Turk, Asian, Pakistan, India, Middle East, Portuguese, American Indian and it goes on. If you want to be tri-racial, bi-racial, multi-racial or what ever you might believe, so be it, but -- it would be a good idea to shake out these other groups if in any doubt. I might add that "some" of these so-called Black/White Mulatto issues are now turning out to be, White and "other than Black" -- through DNA research.

One argument we hear is the Drake's at Bearhead were only Redbone by virtue of a marriage into the Ashworth family, and that could certainly be so. This is a good case for Redbone by marriage or guilt by association.

(1) Rosalie Abshire was First Cousin to Isaac Ryan (Alamo) and Elisha Ryan Rigmaiden of Lake Charles, Louisiana; and, Grandmother to Jeremiah Goins and Sharafina Drake's children. Rosalie Abshire was also the 4th Great-Grandmother of this writer, Gary J. Gabehart.

(2) November 1, 1807 Elizabeth Shown Mills, transcription. - Lost Spanish Towns, Jean L. Epperson, p.38;; Bexar County Archives, Reel 37, frames

(3) In 1705 the Virginia Legislature passed into law that “the offspring of an Indian is a Mulatto.” Ponyhill.

Bless LVH and WAG for their latest temper tantrums.

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)