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)

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