Thursday, May 15, 2008


By Gary J. Gabehart

The following is a transcript of a letter written by Researcher McDonald Furman in 1897. The letter mentioned as being received by him in 1893 was from the Treasurer of Calcasieu Parish, Albert Rigmaiden. This transcribed letter was provided by Stacy Webb.

Ramsey, Privateer Township, April 29,1897

A Family Name Found about in the United States and Borne by Mixed Race People.

To the editor of the News and Courier:

Among that isolated and mixed breed people of Privateer Township who are classed as colored but who should properly be known as "Redbones" is found the name Goins. The founder of this family, so I have been told, was a "yellow man" whose wife was a mixed breed Indian.

Vicey Goins, the daughter-in-law of this couple lived to a great age, and died in 1887. Her son, Wade Goins is one of the people among the Privateer Redbones, and his features are copper-colored skin show the presence of Indian blood in his veins.

Another descendant of the Goins couple is Tom Gibbes, pastor of the little church in Southeastern Privateer, which is attended by the Redbone people, and which, I might remark, is a member of the Colored Wateree Baptist Association. lower division. I think Gibbes, shows his Indian blood. He and "Uncle Wade" are both honest, and worthy men. While it would greatly puzzle an ethnologist to determine what per cent of white, negro and Indian blood flows through in their veins I think they are at least a sixth part Indian, if not more.

It is interesting to see over what a large area the name Goins is found. This name is (or was) found among that peculiar people, the Croatans of North Carolins, which unique race is believed by historical investigators to be the descendants of Sir Walter Raleigh's famous "lost colony." Henry Berry Lowrie, so celebrated in the post bellum annals of North Carolina as a bold and daring outlaw, was of the Croatan race. It is evident the the "old issues" or, properly speaking, "Redbones" who are found in South Carolina, are in part a branch of the Croatans.

"Redbones" are found in Louisiana. In the spring of 1893 I wrote to one of the parish officials inquiring about them, and I received an interesting letter in reply. Among the Redbone family names mentioned it was that of Goins.

In a short magazine article last summer Mr James Mooney, one of the leading ethnological writers in the United States, gave an account of two Goins brothers he formerly knew in Indiana, "who, although associating by necessity with Negroes, always insisted that they were not of that race or of slave ancestry. They had the physical appearance of half-blood Indians." There are Goins in Georgia, who are a branch of the Privateer Stock.

McDonald Furman

The reference to Goins may or my not refer to the Goins of Louisiana as they referred to themseves as Goings in the mid to late 1700's. However, my family seems to be mostly copper colored. Not all Smith's and Jones' are related.


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

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