Friday, August 30, 2013

Yellow Store Historical & Genealogical Record

“Out in the country, about 12 miles from this city, there is a store which for 126 years has held its trade, despite the disadvantage of its location, by a type of advertising it has followed since long before advertising developed into a science. Its color and the capitalization of that color in its name have made the "Old Yellow Store" a historic landmark throughout Eastern Tennessee. For 126 years, every time this store has been repainted, it has been repainted yellow.

Captain De Wolfe Miller, an old merchant of the place, tells how his grandfather built a raft of logs and floated them down the river with his family to the present site of the Yellow Store. Impressed with the country, he decided to locate, ad entered twenty acres of government land. Soon he made larger entries until he owned a large body of land and the Yellow Store was built.

But in those days, he says, "there were but few things kept in a store. The people tanned the leather, and made their own shoes, and then got the raw cotton, spinning and weaving their own clothes. I was a grown man before I ever wore a suit of "store clothes". In those days the people led the simple life and their wants were nothing compared with what people these days feel they just must have. My grandfather ran a tanyard and a shoemaker was a part of the store force.

My father succeeded his father, and later I came on and took charge of the farm and business. I can remember when we used to haul our merchandise from Baltimore. A wagon train was made up, consisting of half a dozen or a dozen teams, carrying country produce to that city and exchanging it for such commodities as couldn't be had in our country. We paid $6 in silver for every hundred pounds of freight brought back. These wagons were loaded with feathers, beeswax, tallow, hides, beans, dried fruits, ginseng, etc. The wagons would be started, and in a day or two a trusted man would follow on horseback to take care of the caravan and exchange the country products when the market was reached. This man in charge was for many years Wiley Woods, an uncle of Roy Woods, a member of the firm of Woods& Taylor, of Knoxville.

When the old East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad came through that, of course, did away with hauling our goods by wagons from Baltimore and we bought many goods in Knoxville as soon as this began to be a jobbing market.
I volunteered in the Confederate Army and fought hard until the close of the Civil War, when in 1868, I began business in the Yellow Store, which had never been vacant since it was built until two years ago, during the war, when the federal forces closed it. It was about the time I began business that the "drummers' as we called them then, started to visit the trade. They rode horseback and carried saddlebags. At first they had nothing but memorandum books, and while urging us to visit their firms would take down a few items. Gradually they got to carrying samples, which continued until now a merchant can stay at home and buy everything he wants, seeing the goods nearly as well as if in the jobber's house." (Rogersville Review 26, November 1936. Sesqui-centennial Edition, short History of Old Yellow Store)
After state Hwy 11 W was completed, circa 1921, the Yellow Store was turned around to face the new highway. We lived on the Old Stage road just west of the Yellow Store on Neil Miller’s farm from 1941 until 1946. My parents, McKinley and Ona Goins, saved a few items from that time period which included my first grade card and my ration stamp book # 876491. Food was rationed and families were supplied with ration stamps during World War 11.

Our family used them and traded at the Yellow Store. My first grade teacher at Magnolia (1944) was Edna Simmons Davidson, the principal was Miss Ethel Hodge, and the Superintendent of Schools was E. A. Cope. 

Jim Thurman operated the Yellow Store during this time and I can remember all the stories he told about the history of the old store. He showed us kids several holes in the walls that was caused by gunfire during the Civil War. Most of these were patched with corncobs. I can still see Mr. Thurman smoking his pipe and rocking in his ole rocking chair. He seemed to really like us kids and we trusted him. We took a few eggs from one of mom’s hens and traded them for a pack of Old North State smoking tobacco. Joining me in this event was my brother William, cousin Hugh Arrington, and a neighbor Echol Klepper, son of Orbin who also lived on Neil Millers farm. There was an old spring house down near Sinking Creek in front of the Smith home just below 11 W. This was where we smoked most of that pouch of tobacco. I am sure Jim Thurman was sitting on the porch of the store watching smoke coming from the spring house and probably laughing his head off, because he told our parents and mom grounded us.
At 11:00 AM on April 11,1944 a windstorm swept through this area. Neil Miller remembered the date and time probably because it almost took his life. Neil saw the storm approaching and drove his truck to a field where Jay W. Klepper was working and brought him back to the tool shed. Neil started toward the house but the wind would pick him off the ground, after being tossed in the air twice by this storm he crawled to the back porch when his sister told others in the house there was a man at the back door. Neil was so dirty from the storm they did not recognize him until they drug him inside of the house and he washed his face. My grandpa Harrison and Jay W. Kleeper stayed in the shed and saw all the trouble Neil had getting to the house, grandpa told that a piece of tin from the barn came near Neil’s head. My father McKinley Goins, Orbin Klepper and Jesse Goode crawled in a potato hole near the sheds. This was a large hole Neil dug to keep sweet Potatoes at harvest time which kept them from rotting and freezing during the winter months. I can remember our outhouse passing by the window before I was put in a closet and told to stay there. This storm blew a large cedar tree into the Magnolia School House, but no one was seriously injured.
The Yellow Store survived this 1943 storm and probably several others, but on Saturday night March 5, 1955 a tornado scattered the old store over the hillsides. I thought that was the end of the store except for memories, but I was wrong. Thanks to the Miller family they kept many of the old charge account ledgers, etc. These records have been microfilmed and are available for viewing at H.B. Stamps Memorial Library. They can be viewed in: Yellow Store Journals Volume 1, 1848-1849; Volume II 1850-1857; Volume III 1859-1860; and Yellow Store Ledgers Volume l, 1851-1857; Volume II 1855-1858.

While viewing this microfilm I was surprised at how many of my kinfolks traded at the Yellow Store, plus several foreparents traded with Jacob and his son C. C. (Cornelius Carmack) Miller. Most of my blood related families lived along the Clinch River in 1800's and came by wagons through Looneys Gap to the Yellow Store.

C.C. Miller owner of the Yellow Store joined the confederate Army in 1861 and in July 1865 he was charged with treason:

“State Of Tennessee Hawkins County to the Sheriff of Hawkins County, You are hereby commanded to take the body of C.C. Miller and have him here before the Judge of our Circuit Court, to be held for the County of Hawkins in the Court House at Rogersville, on first Monday after the fourth Monday of September next, to answer a charge of the State exibited against him by presentment for Treason and have you then and there this writ. Witness Wm M. Pifren Clerk of our said court July Special term 1865.”

Hawkins County, Tennessee Circuit Court, July Special Term 1865:
"The Grand Jurors for the County and State aforesaid, having been duly summoned, elected, panneled, sworn and charged, to inquire the body of C.C Miller being an inhabit of, and residing within the limits of the State aforesaid and under the protection of it’s laws, and owing allegiance and fidelity to the State aforesaid, not regarding the duty of his said allegiance, nor having the fear of God in his heart, and being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, wickedly and traitorously devising and intending the peace and tranquility of the said state to disturb, and to stir, move excite Insurrection, Rebellion and War against the said State Of Tennessee on the 20th day of July in the year of our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and sixty one with force and arms the county and State aforesaid, falsely, maliciously and traitorously did imagine and intend to raise and levy war insurection and rebellion against the said State Of Tennessee, and in order to fulfill and bring to affect the said traitorous imaginations and intentions of him the said C. C. Miller he the said C.C. Miller afterwards to-wit: On the day and year aforesaid with force and arms in the County and State aforesaid, with a great multitude of persons, whose names to the Jurors aforesaid are unknown, to-wit: Thirty person and upwards, armed and arrayed in a warlike manner, that is to say with guns, pistols, swords and other warlike weapons as well as offensive and defensive, did falsely and traitorously join and assemble themselves together against the State of Tennessee.” 

1853 Yellow Store Ledger records Lewis Minor. Also, page 120, 1860 is Lewis’ brother Zachariah Minor who paid William Goen’s bill. ( Zachariah and Aggy Sizemore Minor’s daughter Susan married William Goins this authors G,G, Grandparents. William Goins was hung in Jan., 1865 during the Civil War, near his home on Big Ridge, now Fishers Valley, Hancock County, TN.) Zachariah Minor account through Jan 6, 1860, total bill was $46.99 and marked paid. It stated, “Gilford Minor, Zack’s son. Lewis Minor, Scott Co., VA., Jan. 1855.” John Minor, Lewis Minor and Zack Minor were brothers, and all had charge accounts at the Yellow Store.

On Yellow Store ledger page 105, starting Jan 15, 1851, “Andrew England Scott Co.” was written by Mr. Miller. Andrew England owned a Grist Mill in Indicut Valley, Scott County, Virginia. He married Catherine Fisher, daughter of Henry and Happy Riddle Fisher, their daughter Mary married Samuel J. Arrington, this author’s fifth generation grandparents. Andrew was the son of John and Mary Parsons
 England. John England was present during the siege and surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Yellow Store Ledger page 388, “William C. Bateman, April 22, 1854 paid $10.00 for painting a Stable and Crib.” On June 20, 1855 he was paid “50c for painting a Buggy.” Yellow Store ledger page 115, Oct 28, 1848 “William C. Bateman was paid $6.00 for painting the store and Bateman's dwelling.” According to this record William Bateman lived in one of Millers houses, which also agrees with his location on the 1860 Hawkins County, Tennessee federal census enumerations for the William and Ellen Bateman family, profession listed on the census was “ painter.” William C. Bateman may have put the first coat of yellow Paint on the store. William and Ellen Bateman’s daughter Janis Virginia born 1855 married Haze Mayo in Rogersville 15 Sept., 1877. Five children were born to Haze and Virginia Bateman Mayo, they were: James H. Mayo b. April 4, 1878, Leroy "Roy" Mayo b. 25 Sept 1880, d. Feb 13, 1947. Bart S. Mayo, born 13 April 1885 died Dec 1, 1955, Effie Mayo b. July 11, 1890 d. 1980's, Charlie Mayo, b. Dec. 31, 1882 d. Feb 13, 1947.

1850's-Yellow Store Ledger, page 181, “Cornelius Grose,” his account balance due $18.97 for several items purchased beginning March 1, 1853, through Feb 25, 1858. Cornelius Grose lived below the present day old Shanks Store in Stanley Valley, Hawkins County, Tennessee. Isabelle Gross wife of Thomas Anderson was the daughter of Henry Gross b 1823 and Mary b 1824. Henry Gross was the son of Cornelius and Isabelle Simmons Gross. Margaret Anderson daughter of Isabelle Gross and Thomas Anderson married William Franklin “Billy” McCullough 5 Jan. 1902. Married by Justice of Peace J. E. Lane, bondsman was R.G. Johnson. Another member of this McCullough family is recorded on Yellow Store Ledger page 168, “Samuel McCullouch shoe leather,” recorded Jan 26, 1849.

1854-Mr. Miller also tells us on another Ledger that John Minor Sr. was dead by 1854. On three separate Ledgers Mr. Miller identifies his wife as a “Widow.” Example: “John Minor (Widows son) also Wilson Minor (Widow’s son) and Joseph Miner (Widow’s son.)” John Minor Sr. was the son of Hezekiah and Elizabeth Going Minor, his wife described by Mr. Miller as “Widow Minor” was Susanna Going Minor, daughter of Zephaniah and Elizabeth Thompson Going. John and Susan
 Minor’s grandson Joseph Miner established the Joseph Minor and Son Monument Company in Rogersville.

Mr. Miller also gives the address of James Madison Sisemore (now spelled Sizemore) as Big Poor Valley, he refers to a son James as “ Matt’s son” on ledger sheet page 502. Miller sold Sisemore leather and he also bought shoes from Sisemore. Matt’s son William O. Sizemore (Wild Bill) is listed as a shoe maker in Civil War Records, this trade was probably handed down from James Madison’s father Owen Sizemore Jr., who was also listed as a shoe maker on the mortuary notice of his death May 1860, murdered at a still house, Hancock County, Tennessee.

1850 Yellow Store Ledger page 331 was “Nancy Sizemore and Thomas Sizemore Jr.” and on page 63 is “Andrew Stapleton.”

The children of Elijah Hurd who lived on the Clinch River are identified and separated from other “over the mountain Hurds” as Jacob Miller described them. After their names he wrote in small letters whose son this was on his charge Ledger, not only for the Hurds but many other families. Most of these Hurds complicated things by giving
their children the same names of their brothers, etc. Several Hurds with the same names are on the old Yellow Store Ledger as they came across Looney’s Gap and traded with Jacob and C.C. Miller.

No other record, to my knowledge, exists that identifies the following Hurds: “John D. Hurd, Elijah son, August 1, 1854.” His charge account for this date was $9.29. “Joseph E. Hurd, Elijah son 1 lb Sugar Aug 1, 1848.” “Elijah Hurd, son of Elijah 1853”. On page 258 “Jesse Hurd, Elijah son.” “George G. Hurd, Elijah son,” on August 31, 1835 he charged a pair of boots. “ Elijah Hurd Sr. your note on Jan 15, 1855 paid June 10 by son Elijah.” “Carter Hurd, Elijah son.” Also the following over the mountain Hurds as described by Mr. Miller are: “Elem Hurd John’s son, Elem Hurd, George’s son, John A. Hurd, Jesse son, Hiram Hurd, John’s son.” “ Dec 16, 1853 John Herd, Jame’s son.” “1859 James Hurd, John’s son, Jacob Hurd, Jame’s son. William W. Hurd, Jesse son.” “1855 George Hurd, Jesse son, Thomas E. Hurd, Jesse son.”

Elijah Hurd/Herd on the Yellow Store Ledger with several sons was born 1779, died
1866, he married Mary Walling circa 1804, she was the daughter of William Walling.

James Hurd/ Herd b. 1782, died 1840, married 1st Elizabeth Swain, married 2nd Nancy Fisher, his sons listed on the ledger were John and Jacob. James and Nancy Fisher Hurd are this authors 6th generation grandparents.

Other over the mountain traders were “Jesse R. Wallen, son of John, date 1850 $3.75, Clinton Bledsoe and Isaac Bledsoe, son of Clinton.”

“1854 Henry Fisher Jr. $2.00,” also “Jackson Fisher for Henry Fisher”. They were sons of Henry and Happy Riddle Fisher who are this authors 6th generation grandparents.

Page 395, “1854 Joel Winstead.” Page 428, “James England, Andrew’s son.” Joel Winstead was son of Ezekial Winstead, he married Mahalia England born 1831, daughter of Andrew and Catherine Fisher England. 

Page 396 “William Fisher over mountain.” He was also a son of Henry and Happy Fisher.
Page 337 August 1854, “George Sizemore $14.22.” He married Lydia Sizemore d/o of Owen Sizemore Sr., George and Lydia are this authors 6th generation grandparents.

Page 358 “August 4, 1854 $1.58 for leather, Gilford Minor, Zack’s son.”

Aug 28, 1856 “Henry Payne Sr., Enoch Roller Elias son.” “Andy Roller Elias son, James England Andrews son “.

Other names taken in order as entered on the old Yellow Store Journal dated 1848

Robert Johnson
William H Green, Andrew Campbell
H.M. Shields
A.J. Jenkins
John Charles
C.C. Carmack
Daniel Chambers
John Richards
William L Chambers
William H. Grey
William C. Carmack
Charles C. Watterson
John Carmack Sr.
James C. Miller

Thomas Wilhems
Henry B. Evans
John Simmons
Lucen Brice
James R. Coldwell
George A. Simmons
Lewis Davis
John Jenkins
John Charles
Wesley Biggs
O.C. Miller
Absolem Burem
John Shanks
John Price
William Phipps
Stephen Wilson

Samuel Wilson
George Parker
William Armstrong
Crockett Chambers
Thomas Stanley
James Looney
William P. Owens
James R. Fogery
Jackson Jenkins
Daniel Shanks,
John Young
David Chambers
James Gross
Jacob Miller
A. J. Camp
John L. Gose
Preston Williams
C.E. Carmack
George Felkner
Stephen Hagood
Thomas Richards
John Shields
Ansel Campbell
George R. Powell
Benjamin W. Vaughn
Edward Watterson
Alexander Shelton
Earnest Mitchell
Nancy Derrick
Terrell Gillenwater
William D. Thurman
Thomas R. Coldwell
Alexander Shelton
David Laughmiller
Alexander McBrown
George Waganer
Jesse Brown
Jossiah Delp
Jacob Simmons
Elijah Edens
David Shanks
William Evans
William Francisco
Andrew Campbell
William Cock
William Powell
John Richards
Labourn Williams
Isom Edens
David D. Anderson
William McBroom
John Brice
F. E. Watterson
William W. Johnson
James Johnson
James Crawford
George Bradley
Nancy Kensinger
Benjamin N. Thurman
Nancy Hagood
John Phepps
John Herd per son Jesse
Elias Roler (across mnt.) 

Williams Kinkade
Mary Ann Kinkade
Enoch Horton Sr.
Thomas Barrette Jr.
James B. McBride
John Smith
John Tate Jr.
William Church,& Ollie Church (mother)
Margaret Young
George A. Gibson
Polly Bray
Elijah Hurd per Joseph C.Hurd.

Thanks to the Miller family for the great old Yellow Store and for doing a good job recording, identifying, separating and preserving family history and thanks for the memories.

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Rogersville, TN: "Back Where I Come From"

Some real good photos of Rogersville, TN. © History Chasers Click here to view all recent Historical Melungeons Blog posts Bookmark and Share

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Appalachian Houses © History Chasers Click here to view all recent Historical Melungeons Blog posts Bookmark and Share

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Becoming Melungeon: A Review

I am really impressed with this Melungeon book. At first I thought it would be very different as I misunderstood the title and I thought it would be the manifesto of one more self identified modern day construct; a person with all the ailments, physical traits and mystic connections to Portuguese,  Turks, Moors, Sephardic Jews,  Gypsies, Lost Colonists, and American Indians. 

But Ms. Schrift is a calm dispassionate professor of Anthropology who has consulted some 70 resources. She seems to have read every non-fiction  publication ever published about the Melungeon people. Thankfully, she spares the reader the foolishness found in some of the fiction books using Melungeon characters.

I highly recommend this book and only wish it had been available earlier. 


Appalachian legend describes a mysterious, multiethnic population of exotic, dark-skinned rogues called Melungeons who rejected the outside world and lived in the remote, rugged mountains in the farthest corner of northeast Tennessee. The allegedly unknown origins of these Melungeons are part of what drove this legend and generated myriad exotic origin theories. Though nobody self-identified as Melungeon before the 1960s, by the 1990s “Melungeonness” had become a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, resulting in a zealous online community and annual meetings where self-identified Melungeons gathered to discuss shared genealogy and history. Although today Melungeons are commonly identified as the descendants of underclass whites, freed African Americans, and Native Americans,this ethnic identity is still largely a social construction based on local tradition, myth, and media.
In Becoming Melungeon, Melissa Schrift examines the ways in which the Melungeon ethnic identity has been socially constructed over time by various regional and national media, plays, and other forms of popular culture. Schrift explores how the social construction of this legend evolved into a fervent movement of a self-identified ethnicity in the 1990s. This illuminating and insightful work examines these shifting social constructions of race, ethnicity, and identity both in the local context of the Melungeons and more broadly in an attempt to understand the formation of ethnic groups and identity in the modern world.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Jack Goins Melungeon and Appalachian Research Blog

A great new blog has just come online. Jack Goins will be publishing some of the articles from his years of research and publishing new articles also. 

This will be of great benefit to Melungeon researchers. Jack has written two Melungeon books; Melungeons: Footprints from the Past and Melungeons and other Pioneer Families and has served as Hawkins County Tennessee Archivist some 11 years. He has also presented many programs about the discoveries he has made during his research. Additionally; Jack Goins was a co-author of the study; Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population

Jack Goins Melungeon and Appalachian Research Blog

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

“Did My White Ancestor Become Black?”

Hat Tip to DNA Explained 
henry finding your roots
The Root recently published the article, “Did My White Ancestor Become Black?”, written by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Eileen Pironti.  We all know who Henry is from his PBS Series, Finding Your Roots.
America is the great mixing bowl of the world, with Native American, European and African people living in very close proximity for the past 400 years.  Needless to say, on the subject of admixture and race, things are not always what they seem.
Henry Gates sums it up quite well in his article, regardless of what your ancestor looked like, or your family looks like today, “the only way to ascertain the ethnic mixture of your own ancestry is to take an admixture test from Family Tree DNA23andMe or”
Continued here:

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Melungeon Myth of Drake Dropping off Passengers on Roanoke

Melungeon Myth of Drake Dropping off Passengers on Roanoke

 By Janet Crain

A myth exists on the Internet that the Melungeons, a group of dark skinned persons of mysterious origins found living in East Tennessee two hundred  years ago descend from Turkish prisoners and sundry other non-English persons said to have been rescued by Sir Francis Drake during the sacking of Cartagena and then deserted on Roanoke Island in 1586. In truth, there is NO evidence there were any left behind there, much less several hundred. This myth was introduced in a book published in the 1990's by Brent Kennedy titled The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People : An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing in America. 
This book might have lanquished in obscurity on the shelves of a few Libraries and book stores had it not been for the Internet and the new found surge of interest in genealogy. Suddenly everyone fancied him or herself a Melungeon. Several Unions were held of people from various mailing lists and persons attending were happily discovering knots on the back of their head, thought to indicate Turkish ancestry. Having someone in your Family tree who possessed six fingers was a definite plus. These traits were all described in the a fore mentioned book. No one ever looked too closely into the incident said to have occurred in 1586. But that is precisely what this paper intends to do. 
 In the sixteenth century, Sir Francis Drake was one of the most famous men in England, indeed the English speaking world and beyond. He could do no wrong in his Queen's eyes. He had brought her an enormous return on her personal investment in an earlier voyage. A brilliant man in many ways, Drake was ruthless, but highly admired by the captives he had freed and the Maroons who came to his aid to help him fight and share in the rewards.  Drake was returning home from the sacking of Cartagena when he decided to visit Roanoke and dispose of some of the freed prisoners and Maroons he had acquired during his adventures. He was carrying a human cargo of some several hundred. Ivor Noel Hume in "Virginia Adventures" contends Drake highly inflated the numbers. The voyage had not been financially successful in spite of his daring and flamboyant actions. It is quite likely he was advancing his case by sending back reports of greater exploits than actually had occurred. There were reports of many nationalities released from the Spanish prisons as well as Maroons who had come in from their strongholds in the surrounding areas to help Drake as he was known to be generous with the spoils of his marauding. Alas this voyage would not compare to previous ones.
This voyage is of great interest to Melungeon researchers because this voyage in 1586 is the basis of the Turkish connection first started by statements in Brent Kennedy's book; Melungeons; an Untold Story of EthnicCleansing. It is, in fact, the keystone of the Turkish Connection Theory. Remove it and the rest crumbles. That is what I propose to do.
It is known that many of the people with him never reached Roanoke. Many died of strange fevers in Florida. These fevers were the scourge of sea travel at that time. Caused in part by the crowding together of humans in the cargo holds of ships where the fetid air trapped and spread any contagious disease like wildfire, and probably acerbated by nutritional deficiencies. In any case, reports contend that anywhere between 350 and 750 people died of these fevers. Apparently Drake intended to leave the rest of the freed Africans and South American Indians to furnish labor for the new Colony on Roanoke which he expected to have grown to some 600 English by then. In truth there were only about 100 men, badly in need of food and suffering the ill effects of their bad treatment of the local Indians. Ralph Lane was in charge at Roanoke and he accepted Drake's offer of minimal food supplies(Drake had been out a long time and was running low himself) and a ship, the Francis, capable of navigation into the bay plus other pinnaces, etc. and armament. All the supplies were loaded onto the Francis along with Lane's best naval officers. Lane wanted to stay a few more weeks exploring the Chesapeake.
Hume states:
When on June 11, the two men (Francis Drake and Ralph Lane) exchanged their unsettling news, several truths became evident; Drake was not there (as the Roanoke settlers had first hoped) to resupply the Colony; he was short of food himself and so was better able to supply guns than butter. Futhermore, Lane could not have had any desire or ability to house 250 blacks who would out number his white settlers two to one.
They came to an agreement whereby Drake would leave skilled workers, artisans, two pinnaces, several small boats and a large ship, the Francis. All the supplies were loaded onto the Francis along with the skilled mariners needed to sail such a ship. Immediately a terrible hurricano struck and it was every man for himself. The ships standing out in the roadway cut and ran, scurrying out to the deep ocean to get away from the treacherous shoals and currents, dangerous enough in good weather. The Francis was among those who sailed on to England.
Ralph Lane then accepted Drake's offer to transport the first colonists back To England. Most of the small pinnaces carrying the extra passengers had been dashed to pieces on the shoals during the storms. The Turks, known to have been with Drake, were apparently better safeguarded. They were valuable as trade for English prisoners lanquishing in Ottoman prisons. Some 100Turks were, in fact, ransomed to their homeland.
So, just who might have gone ashore before the storm hit? Many people have a hard time visualizing the scene at Roanoke. Roanoke is surrounded by very shallow waters, hence the name; Shallowbag Bay. The only way to get there was by laborious offloading of men and supplies to shore boats and threading through the one pass, Fernando Pass, and the treacherous shoals and currents made worse at times by Northwestern winds blowing directly into the Bay. The shore boats were large by our standards and equipped with a mast and sail. They required a skilled pilot and several strong sailors to row. People didn't just hop on one and go sight seeing. Only those with important business such as Sir Francis Drake and Ralph Lane who negotiated several times were transported back and forth. The rest of the fleet with the passengers on board stood out in the Roadway, the navigable waters off the Outer Banks,which wrap around this area like protecting arms.
I am saying this to lay to rest the idea of a huge number of the passengers dis-embarking and perhaps being caught off guard by the storms and staying behind. Hume and David Beers Quinn are the authorities on this period and both say there were no Turks left. Hume says no one else, Quinn, at most avery few. Left with no supplies on the Outer Banks what would they have found to eat? If the Indians had not killed them, they would have starved.
It should be noted that the Native Americans communicated by a"grapevine" so efficient that Indians in Canada knew of happenings in the Virginias. No mention of any dumped off passengers was ever made.
Additionally, there was plenty of room for these passengers to sail with Drake. Hundreds had died in the battles in Florida, from fevers, and in the hurricane. Drake was returning with more ships than he left with, having captured many. And they would have furnished badly needed labor to sail these ships back to England.
Add to this the extreme difficulty of unloading these passengers in addition to loading the Roanoke settlers, which the crew deeply resented for the delay and extra work and danger this imposed and it is highly unlikely Drake would have taken such actions in the middle of a three day hurricane.
Ivor Noel Hume says:
Thus the hurricane of June 1586 may have ripped away the first page from the history of blacks in English America.
A cruel and terrible fate for these forgotten people that historians of the time did not consider important enough to even record their fate.
Two weeks later an emergency supply ship sent by Sir Richard Grenville arrived and found no one although they searched diligently. They left to return to England. About one or two weeks later a big supply ship arrived with Grenville onboard. They were as mystified at the deserted condition of the island as the men on the earlier supply ship. They searched even further "into the main" (mainland) and as far as Chesapeake. Grenville was heavily invested in this first effort, having sold an entire estate (consisting at this time as a manor house and every type of supporting industry needed to run the estate; mills, stables, barns, houses, dairies, animals, tools, even small villages) to finance the settlement of over 100 men for over a year. It was a requirement of Raleigh's patent from Queen Elizabeth that the area be occupied continuously by English people. Finding no one and not knowing where they had gone, he left some 15 soldiers to hold the fort. Based upon later interviews with Indians, they all perished.
It is quite clear they found no one who could have been the passengers Drake was previously carrying.
As previously stated the Indians had a very effective rumor mill which carried news far and wide. It is just inconceivable that these people could have survived unnoticed when their appearance would have been a matter of great curiosity among people who had never seen African natives.
Thus it seems there is no evidence that any people were left behind in the Colony and documented evidence that 100 turks were returned to their homeland. 
The Virginia Adventurers by Ivor Noel Hume Copyright 1994 p. 53Corbett, Spanish War. Refers to the return of 100 ex-galley slaves to theTurkish dominions.
William S. Powell, North Carolina through Four Centuries, p. 42. Refers toQueen Elizabeth's reason for returning the Turks. David Beers Quinn, Roanoke Voyages. Cites Wright in footnote regarding Turks
Wright, Further English Voyages. Source of Quinn's information about Turks.
Hakluyt Society for 1975, Second Series, No. 148, p. 202, Note 3. Sir Francis Drake's West Indian Voyage, 1585-1586. A detailed and authorative account.
Acts of the Privey Council, 1586-87, PP. 205-206. (Public Record Office[London]), PC 2/14:169) Contains a letter from the Queen's Privey Council addressed to a merchant in London, who traded with Turkey, that asks him to make arrangements for the return of 200 Turks to Turkey.
Document 10, The Primrose Journal (British Library Royal MS.7C,xvi, folders166-173. Capt. Frobisher's journal of the 1586 Drake-led voyage. MentionsTurks being aboard his ship.
David Beers Quinn Set Fair for Roanoke David Beers Quinn The Roanoke Voyages 1584-1590

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Shepherds and Sizemore's of Eastern Kentucky

The Shepherds and Sizemore's of Eastern Kentucky

When people discuss the early history of our state, they often mention early explorers like Thomas Walker and Daniel Boone. These men forged into Native American hunting grounds to create what is now known as the Daniel Boone Trail, or Wilderness Trail. Yes, many people of Scottish and Irish decent followed this trail, but there were a few families with a more diverse heritage that came into this state. Some followed the Wilderness Trail, others came through Pound Gap. These Tri Racial families moved from the area of Hawkins County Tennessee and Wise Virginia in the early 1800s. Some, like the Sizemore's, had Native American ancestry through the Cherokee and Creek tribes, while the Shepherd's had this plus African American ancestry. 

Let's look at the Shepherds. The earliest picture I have of this family is Henderson Shepherd and his wife Louisa. Henderson was born in Wise Virginia in 1821. Both he and his wife have ancestors that came from the New River area, primarily through the maternal side. This is where we find women with no last names or history. Through the Paternal Lines, we find these families came to America in in early 1700s, possibly as Indentured Servants from England and Ireland. 

What is interesting about Henderson is the picture of him and his family. When we look at Henderson, we can see obvious European and African lineage, and his wife Louisa is said to have been part Native American. The child Henderson holds appears to be a Native American girl, while Louisa holds a little boy that is more Caucasian in appearance. In this picture, we get a glimpse of what a truly Tri Racial family would have looked like. Henderson is my 3 X Great Grandfather.

Henderson's son Clem Shepherd married Rutha Musselwhite. Rutha has ties to Wilkes County through her mother Tamar Allen. We have no evidence of what race she was or who her parents are. Her father, Worley Musselwhite, was born in Roberson North Carolina with no listed parents. My thought would be that both of her parents could be of possible Lumbee origin. And by the picture of Clem and Rutha, I think that would be a fair assumption. 

Clem would have a son named Elijah Shepherd, who would later marry Ann Jones. Their daughter, Oddie Shepherd, was my grandmother through my father.

So, let's talk about Ann Jones. Ann was the daughter of Bige Jones and Sallie Woods. Bige was the son of Civil War soldier Edward Jones and a Native American lady named Mary Polly Asher Jones. Sallie was the daughter of Mahala Sizemore-Woods and Lilburn Woods. Mahala is the daughter of Ann Pruitt and Russell Sizemore. Russell's mother was Rhoda Sizemore, daughter of George All Sizemore and Agnes Shepherd. His father is unknown. We know by pictures that the Sizemore's indeed have some degree of Native American, but so does the Woods and Jones. When we research these families, we find the same information, with ties back to areas like Wilkes County NC, Wise VA, and Roberson County NC.

 Yes, this has taken many years to put together and document with evidence. Lucky, I also have a cousin that had pictures of these people. When we put a face to the name, the story starts to unfold. Our Tri Racial ancestry is revealed before our eyes.

Mike Fields

Abijah Shepherd center. Grandson of Henderson Shepherd and great great grandson of Russell Sizemore.

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