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)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

I'm told by some folks that they do not know how to book for the Conference in Lake Charles, or how to get there. Sooooooo, here are some answers to the questions provided by RHF.

To pre-register: Stacy R. Webb, President, Treasurer/Webmaster 1341 Grapevine Rd. Crofton, Ky 42217 270. 985-8568

email: or Register at the door or on Thursday the 18th October.

To register by Pay/Pal:

Lake Charles Airport: Continental Airlines or Houston Inter-Continental Airport and car rental -- Lake Charles is about a two hour drive on IH 10.

Conference location downtown Lake Charles: Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library, 411 Pujo Street at Bilbo, Lake Charles Louisiana. Conference entrance on Bilbo.


Thursday: Noon -- 5pm, Registration
Friday: 10am-- 5pm -- nightly meal location to be announced
Saturday: 10am-- 5pm -- nightly meal location to be announced

Accommodations: Accommodations are open and there are a number of motels and BB's located in the Downtown Area. At the moment, RHF is working on casino motel discount rooms for those who wish them.

Golfing: Golfing is available at several Casino Hotels.

Cemeteries: A list of family and Historic Cemeteries will be provided in the Conference package.

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

Monday, August 20, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

"Buyer Beware!"

I wonder if a day goes by that the Melungeon, Redbone antagonist Larry Keels wonders who he is today -- what aka should he use, what bit of misinformation should he present? Who should he attack personally? If you are a member of his site, and you are attacked, and Larry does not step in, you can bet you were attacked by one of his alter ego's -- Lynda or Lucy Suder today, Lester tomorrow or his Indian alter ego cruzjohnnypass -- in short, it's all Larry and it's not even healthy.

It's not a serious site in any fashion. They do not discuss genealogy, it's a -- bogus Melungeon/Redbone site. How Campbell and Waters can support this tripe is beyond me, as they are frequent writers on Larry's Renegade site.

The information put forth by these folks, such as Larry, is always behind a smoke screen, layered in "he said, she said, they said" and put forth by an aka, a surrogate, an alter ego. Ever notice how he is quick to quote someone else as if it is the truth? Check out these quotes sometime, and see if the quote is indeed correct -- with no missing or added verbiage.

The sad part is the total lack of integrity for these folks, who, in a perverse way, consider their activities as just playing around. They are quick to say "who me?" Their defenders are just as lame, and some of them even lurk on valid research sites to pass on new and interesting research to the purveyors of hate and phony information. Larry has even posted on Wikipedia some nonsense about Redbones and Melungeons without citation -- fairytales from a warp five mind.

Those folks who are lurking, I might add, surround themselves in the guise of the elderly, who never have any opinions and never present any research at all, but who will jump on you in a heartbeat if they think you are poking fun at "their leader." Being elderly however, like me, does not mean you are stupid and can get away with anything.

One such site, Melungeon and Redbone Renegade Research, or some such moniker, continues to attract a replacement following which often lasts a few days before fading away in disgust. The ones who stay are mainly his alter ego's or the weak minded in his likeness. If you cannot attract a following, invent one!

This is a warning for all -- you can't believe everything you read, especially when it is prefaced with he, she, it, they, them. And, never trust anyone who is hung up on naked savages or conflicting verbiage inappropriate to the commentary or place published.

A good example is a piece written on the site for Goins Researchers by the Larry Keels, aka Lester K. Cummings (now removed by Ancestry), presenting an article negative to DNA Research and written (supposedly) by a third party. Smoke screen (because he has been booted by his real name), surrogate presented (which also appears to be booted), and written (maybe), by a third party.

Now, if you find negative comments out there in Cyber-space, about who or what Melungeons or Redbones were, the first thing you must ask yourself is do they know what they are talking about? The answer is always no! They have likely not done any meaningful research, have a hidden agenda, or devious and insane motives.

BTW, there is no definition for either people. The two groups, Melungeon and Redbone, are as diverse as the strips on a Zebra's back. They were and were not even multiracial people.

"Buyer beware," is a valid warning!

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

# 44 -- SON OF A .....WHO?

By Gary J. Gabehart

I'm asked to give an example of Redbone folks originating in the Carolina's, and it would seem to some folks that if they were born in Louisiana and their parents were born there, then the Carolina's don't count. Carolina's don't count?

Let me give you an example of a number of migration patterns by family names. It goes along with what I said in my last blog; "born in the Carolina's, children in Mississippi, died in Louisiana." Couldn't be simpler than that.

Now Albert Rigmaiden, 1890's Calcasieu Parish Treasurer, in a letter to McDonald Furman, dated May 6, 1893 states that the Redbone people were neither White nor Black and not well liked by the Negro's.

In his letter, he mentions the names of "some of the principal and oldest families that I know of, they are -- Ashworth -- Goins -- Perkins -- Drake -- Hoozer -- Sweat -- Buxton -- Doil or Dial -- Johnson -- Esclavant."

Albert Rigmaiden is as close as anyone to being the guy on the ground in 1893 -- this was his perception at the time, and his perception would hold far more validity than a modern day supposition.

Note that his commentary stated that the names he gave, were "some of the principal and oldest that he knew of." There are other names claimed of course. I'm not sure of on what basis, so I won't speculate.

Let's take the Bass family that I have information on.

Moses Bass b. 1778 and Elizabeth Terrell b. 1778 -- both in North Carolina. Moses married Elizabeth in Amite, Mississippi in 1804. Moses died in 1845 and Elizabeth in 1860. Both died in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

Now I know that some folks will argue that the Bass' were not Redbone, and they may not have been, but their children grew up in Redbone Country and lived around Redbones. In fact, their kids likely married into Redbone families, such as, the Drakes.

Now we have two Redbone names, were they Redbones?

Aaron Dial b. 1765 North Carolina & Leith Drake b. abt 1775 in North Carolina. Aaron died 1831, Leith in 1819, both around St. Landry, Louisiana.

Another Redbone name.

John Aaron Drake, Sr. b. 1750, Virginia & Elizabeth Chavis/Chevis b. 1750 in Virginia. Drake, Sr. d. 1813 and Elizabeth, 1815, both in St Martinsville, Louisiana.

Of course, none of these folks jumped on Southwest Airlines on the East Coast and deplaned in Louisiana. Most came by land and they did not drive down the Interstate. Some may have walked a good portion of the way, if not all the way.

We can do the same comparisons with Joshua Perkins and Mary Mixon, out of South Carolina and into Louisiana, and there are others too numerous to mention here.

So there are some examples. There are more, but these are some I'm related to.

The above picture is of Ruben Goins, his sister Mary Goins Southward and her husband William C. Southward.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Yeah, Redbones migrated to Southwestern Louisiana, and they did not all come at the same time, and -- they certainly did not crawl out of the Louisiana swamps as some idiots would have it.

More and more, my genealogy research on my Redbone family, the Ashworth, Bass, Goins, Drakes, Buxton, Doyle's (Dial), Nash, Clark, Gibson dating in the late 1700's all indicate leaving the Carolina's (Virginia, Etc.) and making the trek over time into Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana to continue Westward. For the most part, it reads like this; born in Virginia or the Carolina's, kids born in Tennessee or Mississippi, died in Louisiana or Texas.

Most all of these Redbone folks were the mixed bloods of the day. They started out from English, Gaelic, French, Portuguese, Turkish stock and more, and some, along the way married Indians and -- some even Africans. I ask you, who else were here in large numbers to marry but Indians? Chances were high that somewhere in your family from Father to Son, and to Grandson, an Indian wife would appear.

The old thought of a Tri-racial background of Anglo, Negro or Indian have gone out the window with DNA testing -- it has always been just too complicated all along to cast the tri-racial moniker on these diverse Redbone people -- they were like strips on a zebra.

And, along with being Redbone and mixed blood, they sought out members of similar classes if they were not able to find a place in the privileged class by guile or money.

My thoughts on the term REDBONE is that it was the same as saying Westsider in the case of nearby Lake Charles, they were the folks living in the Neutral Zone, some of who worked at Westlake. From Lake Charles to Westlake to Sulphur, on IH 10 today, is ten to fifteen minutes in a straight line. Check out a map for Sulphur, Starks, DeQuincy and Lake Charles, it's a small area by our standards today, yet it is some of those folks, within these communities, who claim to be the real Redbones -- it's hard not to look at your immediate family and feel we're the only one's.

But what about Pitkin, Oakdale and points North? Fact is it was Southwest Louisiana and not just the Parish of Calcasieu where some Redbones stopped. Redbones settled all over Southwest Louisiana with pockets here and pockets there, and they were mostly all related to Redbones in other settlements.

Why did they migrate in the first place? As much as I would like to say it was to the "Boiling Point Restaurant," in Sulphur, it was for the same reason that everyone else migrates -- they wanted a new deal and a new life with opportunity, and -- the setting sun beckoned them Westward.

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

Bless their little heart's, Lester and the old, old one are confused again -- ya gotta take your medicine on time!

Just to set the story straight, The Redbone Heritage Foundation (RHF) is holding a research Conference October 18, 19, 20 in Lake Charles, Louisiana -- some of the Conference will be held at the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library -- some of the Conference will be held at other nearby locations yet to be announced.

Got that!
For early registration, check out the following link:
Or Call Direct, Stacy R. Webb, President, 1341 Grapevine Rd., Crofton, Ky 42217 (270)-985-8568 email:

Now the Ray Bridges, Bearhead Creek Redbone meeting, "last I heard," was to be held at the VFW Hall in Starks, Louisiana. That's the last I heard, and you can get that information from Ray Bridges. It's printed on his web site, and he has all but dared members of the RHF to show up, so RHF would not be connected with that meeting. Get It? Two different meetings, by two different groups!
Ray Bridges Bearhead Creek Blog,
Now that is the real deal! Can't tell you anything else except, (although we are cousins through the Drakes which according to LV Hays he also connects), Ray Bridges has not informed anyone to the contrary that I am aware of -- not that it would affect my schedule anyway.

I truly do wish Ray Bridges well with the Bearhead Creek Redbone Meeting on October 27th at the Starks VFW. Seems he has many issues to work out at Starks involving him personally. Maybe he will send this blog some pictures of the event.
Call or write Ray Bridges at, Ray "Houston" Bridges, 195 Santa Clara Ave, Oakland, Ca 94610 email

As I understand it from RHF planners, they will be giving away DNA kits, providing dinning discount packets and Hotel/Motel packets. Do it yourself cemetery tours will also be planned.

There will not be a formal Conference Dinner, which I thought was great, as I hate Conference food. There will be some dinner gatherings at classic Cajun restaurants where you can roll your own taco's and eat your own poisons, so to speak.

So, ya'll come down to Lake Charles in October and have a great time on the beach, clubbing, and the Historical District, and --spend some time at the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library -- they have what you're looking for!

The above picture is my Great-Grandfather, Charley Thomas. This is the 1880, full blood, Chickasaw Indian in his everyday Indian regalia. What, no spear or loin cloth?

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

Monday, August 6, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

2007 Conference dates for Lake Charles, Louisiana were released today by Redbone Heritage Foundation President, Stacey Webb. The dates selected are 18th October, registration and book sales -- (place and times to be announced), and the 19th & 20th of October at the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Library at 411 Pujo Street at Bilbo, in the Lake Charles Historic District.

Conference hours at SWLGH Library will be 10 am sharp on Friday until 5 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Refreshments will be served, and a conference package of discounts and maps will be provided to participants.

DNA kits will be furnished to qualified RHF member attendees (first come basis, but others can be ordered) at the conference, with a presentation on how best to use them. Have at least four generations of Grand parents in your back pocket.

It's going to be a bang up conference this year with lots of surprises there and more surprises to be announced in the next few weeks.

Ya'll attend, ya'll hear?

For Conference booking and information, Contact:

Stacy R. Webb, President/Treasurer
1341 Grapevine Rd., Crofton, Ky. 42217

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

Friday, August 3, 2007


By Gary J. Gabehart

When it comes to collecting genealogy data, there is nothing like hard data records -- raw data records, you have to write it down when you collect it.

Now that it is a written record, it can be retained for posterity. But wait, as it grows it becomes unwieldy and hard to sort. Binders grow and become thick with data. How do you solve the problem of looking up certain data? How do you find it at a moments notice and how is it related to other pieces of data.

Years ago, I was a Data Management Specialist with a major University System. We collected data -- human subject data, enumerations and personal data. These records were numbered and were placed in a file cabinet to be reviewed or edited by hand. Later, this data was placed, one by one, into a computer for electronic sorting. Although these systems, by today's standards, were archaic, without these systems we would still be sorting this data today.

The point I'm making is that we still need the family group sheets to back up our research, but without a computerised record -- a sorting program to put this data in, it is flat. Without electronic storage for sorting, it is tough to have ready access to connected material. With electronic storage, your data is no longer flat, but comes alive.

These programs have been difficult to find until the past three or four years, but can now be found most anywhere. One of the most popular programs is Family Tree Maker (FTM is only used here as an example) that can be found at every Sam's, Wal-Mart, Office Max or Office Depot for as little as $50.00 or less.

As data is entered into these genealogy programs, a family group sheet is created and connected to other family group sheets which can easily be printed, updated and added to. Now, you have a way to sort data, and -- a way to print reports.

One real and slow process of sharing data on genealogy sites is not knowing what kind of data the other folks need and who and how they are related -- to you.

Recently, with the help of Family Tree Maker, I was able to connect my self as a cousin to Ray Bridges and Terry Jackson -- Bearhead Creek Redbones. Also, I have now connected my self as a blood kin, cousin, to Stacy Webb (connecting an East Texas Redbone family with my own Goins family out of Southwest Louisiana). What is amazing is that the Stacy Webb connection was all done in a matter of :20 minutes of data provided over the phone by her and determined in a Kinship Report in less than :60 seconds.

It was a matter of connecting dots. Now she knows exactly how she is connected to everyone in my database, and I know how I am connected to the East Texas Redbones, and the folks around Starks, Pitkin and Oakdale.

This lack of being unable to connect the dots electronically is a problem that has plagued research e-sites for years. In addition, another person, who will remain unknown here, also found exact blood relationships she had only guessed at before and found Ray Bridges to be a blood relative cousin.

Moreover, I have found a blood relationship from myself to Bill Farris of the RB Board, and I expect to see a blood relationship soon to the Buxton's, Gibson's, Bass', Doyle's and Clark's. It's all a matter of entering data, connecting the dots and printing a kinship report.

The point here is being able to know the exact relationships to you of everyone in your database and who "their kinship reports" connect to others in your database. With that information, everyone's family tree grows.

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