Melungeons & Lumbees on Chippoakes Creek

 


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''The legend of their history, which they carefully preserve, is this. A great many years ago, these mountains were settled by a society of Portuguese Adventurers, men and women--who came from the long-shore parts of Virginia, that they might be freed from the restraints and drawbacks imposed on them by any form of government. These people made themselves friendly with the Indians.
These intermixed with the Indians, and subsequently their descendants (after the advances of the whites into this part of the state) with the negros and the whites, thus forming the present race of Melungens.''

 

The records below will show that George Gibson, Thomas Gibson, Thomas Chivers/Chavis,  'Peter' Gibson, Thomas Busby, Robert Sweat and Adam Ivey  are all found on Chippoakes Creek.

Indians on the Upper Chippokes Creek:


John Utie, Jr.  born about 1619 London. He was baptized in St. Andrew's Holborn Parish. He repatented his fathers 1250 acres in 1638. In 1639 he assigned 100 acres of land to Thomas Gibson, land which Utie acquired in 1624 and named "Utopia" located at the head of Chippoakes Creek. York Co. VA records show John Utie, Jr. was deceased by 1647

William Knott, 312 Acres, Surry Co 28 Mar 1666, p. 482 (land patents). 112 acres on south side of James River on south side of Upper Chipoake Creek, bounded NW on land of Edward Oliver, N upon Wm. Thomas, E on George Gibson & SE on Mr. Fisher; 200 acres on south side of said River, Wly. on Jeremiah Clements, NW on Edward Oliver, Nly on Wm. Thomas, George Gibson & Edward Minter, Ely. on Wm. Gapins land & Mr. Thomas Busbie and SE on Mr. Richard Hill

Southwark Parish was created in 1647 and described as encompassing all the territory extending from "the colledge" [College Creek] to (and including) the Upper Chipoaks [Upper Chippokes Creek

In the Sandy Point Cemetery, Charles City County;  (Home of the Paspahegh Indians) - (See map above)

Here Lyes the Body of FRANCIS GIBSON
Here Lyes the Body of GIBBY GIBSON
Here Lyes the Body of THOMAS GIBSON

Will of Gibby Gibson of Charles City Co. , "very weak'.

My riding horse to be sold to pay Col. Lightfoot.
To Hannah Dennam, my negro boy Jack, for life, and then to my son Gibby Gibson.
To wife Francis: my negro girl Vicky, for life, and then to my daughter Fran: Smith ( Francis would later marry and move from Bertie County with second husband William Chavis and is found on the lands of William Eaton - Saponi? in 1754]
To my son in law George Smith, 2 negroes - Sovilaty and Jin.
To Hannah Dennam, my negro boy Peter for life and then to my daughter Fran Smith
To my son Edward Gibson, my negro Judey, my wearing clothes, carpenters tools, and coopers tools
To George Smith, 2 sheets, 2 blankets and a rugg
To Tabitha Rollinson, negro girl Nanny. [ Also moved to the lands of William Eaton from Bertie County]
George Smith to take care of my cattle and they are to be divided equally between my wife and granddaughter Sarah Smith.
To wife my two working Horses and hoggs.
Rest of my estate to George Smith and he to be executor , Dated 2 March 1726/7
Witt: Benja. Moody, Robert Cade,(*) James Blankes
Signed: Gibby(G) Gibson
Codicil: Negro boy Peter given in will to Hannah Dennam and then to Frances Smith, is to go to my son George Gibson
3 March 1726/27 Wit: by above Moody and Cade
Recorded 3 May 1727 Presented by George Smith and proved by above Blanks and Cade. Col. Fran's Lightfoot, Security.

 

November 1741 the court presented George Gibson and George Gibson, Jr., for not going to church.  In July 1745 Phillis Goeing (Gowen) petitioned him concerning her children, but he failed to answer the petition so the court ordered the churchwardens to bind them out. (It is likely this George Gibson Sr., is the son of Gibby Gibson who left the 1727 will in Charles City County.



(*)
Robert Cade was the witness on will of Gibby Gibson 1727 in Charles City County, Virginia.  This is likely Robert Cade who married Susannah Crump, son Stephen Crump Cade born September 17, 1715 St Peters Parish, New Kent County, Virginia.  Stephen Crump Cade resided in lived  in Edgecombe, Dobbs, and was Sheriff of Johnston Co. in 1757, married to Mary Wadill and  Mary Gibson and died in Robeson Co., North Carolina in 1783.  His son John Cade married to Elizabeth Adair, daughter of the Indian trader and author Doctor James Adair of Robeson County, North Carolina.  Elizabeth's sister, Agnes married to John Gibson who is said to have been killed by Indians near Nashville in 1790.

15 Sep 1769 James IVEY of Bladen Co to James Adair, doctor, 200 acres in the fork of the Little Pedee River, on the east side of Mitchells Creek being land granted to Jordan Gibson on 1 July 1758, conveyed to John Wootan on 25 September 1761 then to Ben Davis on 16 July 1762 then to James Ivey on 26 July 1766. (See Ivey below)

The Gibsons of Louisa County, later called Melungeons,  and the Gibsons of Pee Dee share a common ancestor proven by DNA match.





CHAVIS


Thomas  Chivers  was appointed to a jury of twelve men in Isle of Wight County on 28 July 1658 to determine whether 900 acres belonged to Major Nicholas Hill or to John Snollock [VMHB V:406]. He purchased 1,100 acres of land at the head of Sunken Marsh near Chipoakes Creek in Surry County, Virginia, on 20 May 1659 for two cows, payment of 4,000 pounds of tobacco in October that year, and payment of 4,000 pounds of tobacco in October 1660. He died sometime before 13 April 1664 when his daughter Elizabeth was bound out until she came of age [DW 1:151; Haun, Surry County Court Records, I:149; II:232].

Thomas Chevers purchased 1,100 acres of land at the head of Sunken Marsh near Chippoakes in Surry Co. Virginia - 1659

CHEVERS/SHIVERS FAMILY - CHRONICLES AND CONNECTIONS  - By Thom Montgomery, PhD



IVEY


Adam Ivey was a small-scale tenant farmer, almost certainly growing tobacco. Fifty acres was a small landholding, but a single field worker was capable of managing only three or four acres of tobacco in those days. Fifty acres was a typical holding for a planter with only himself to work the fields.[5] His location can be approximated, since nearly all the persons mentioned in these records lived south of the James River in the neck of land bounded by Upper Chippoakes Creek and Wards Creek. This neck included what was later the parish of Martins Brandon, in which Adam Ivey apparently lived at his death, in what would later become Prince George County. It was quite close to Surry County, Upper Chippoakes Creek being the later boundary between Prince George and Surry.

History of the Adam Ivey Family


The DNA evidence shows that the Ivys, Iveys and Ivies are related to the Busbices/Busbys/Buzbees in the male line. The Ivy male line's "Busby" DNA could have resulted from an Ivy adoption of a male Buzbee, or a Busby male could have been the father of a male Ivy.  Ivey and Busby

“After seeing the latest Y-DNA results, it appears that it's highly probable that the Benjamin Busby line and one of the Ivey/Ivie/Ivy lines are entangled, most likely in very early Colonial Virginia. One of the Busby/Busbice/Buzbee male descendants is matching 66/67 markers with what we believe to be the Adam Ivie line of Charles City/Prince George Co, VA"  - Jerry Ivey - Here


Thomas Busby (born about 1674) was an “Indyan boy” servant to Mr. Robert Caufield of Surry Co. VA in July of 1684 when his age was adjudged at 10 years (Haun, Surry County Records 1682-91, 444)  - This Thomas Busby is likely named after Thomas Busby the interpreter for the crown mentioned in records of George Gibson in 1666. Could this Thomas Busby "Indyan boy" be the Ivey DNA match?

Surry County -  5 Mar 1688/89 Book 4 p108 Robert Caufield 680a where I lately lived and known as Sunken Marsh. ( Thomas Chavis land was also on Sunken Marsh -see above)

Will of Capt. Robert Caufield, of Lawne's Creek parish, Surry county: Names niece Elizabeth, wife of William Holt, niece Mary, wife of James Bruton, nephew John Seward; legacy to Mary, dau. of Charles Williams; to Mrs. Mary Holt 15L Page 311. sterl.; legacies to Frances, dau. of Francis Mason, Elizabeth, dau. of Arthur Allen, to Katherine and James, children of Arthur Allen, (Arthur Allen was owner of Bacon's Castle) to Mrs. Elizabeth Holt, Wm. Hancocke and his wife, to Samuel Newton and John Collins, wife Elizabeth. Dated Jan. 2, 1691; proved Jan. 19, 1691. [Capt. Robert Caufield was son of William Caufield, of the parish of Chippoakes, Surry county, and Doreas, his wife.


22 Jul 1743 Jno. Collins enters 200 acres in Craven County on south side of Contentnea Creek bordering Thomas Ivi’s line and runs up the creek… [North Carolina Land Entries 1735-1752, A. B. Pruitt, p44]

This may refer to the land granted to Thomas Ivey the following year. Thus, this may be the first sighting of the Thomas Ivey who was in Bladen County later this year. The name on the warrant at the Archives is very difficult to read and may be “Ive” or “Ivi” or “Ives” or something else entirely.


1 Dec 1744 Grant: Thomas Ivey, 300 acres in Craven County on the south side Great Contentnea Creek on the Mirey branch. [Colony of NC 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Margaret M. Hofman, Vol. 1, p11, Grant #2721]

23 Oct 1754 Granville Grant: Adam Ivey, 285 acres in Edgecombe County on Contentnea Creek joining Ivey’s Meadow and John Haywood. Survey for Adam Ivey dated 4 September 1753, chain carriers: Joshua Lee, Peter Bass. [Patent Book 11, p211]

This is actually on Little Contentnea Creek. “Ivey’s Meadow” clearly implies that he already owned adjoining land.

 


 

SWEAT

Leift. Robert Sheppard due 650 acres of land in James City Co., 26 July 16 38, for transporting 13 persons ... the list includes Robert Swett. The land granted to Robert Sheppard at this time was on the south bank of the James River at Chippokes Creek. [Nugent, p. 584] [Nugen t, Nell Marion, "Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Paten ts and Grants 1623-1666" (1934, Genealogical Publishing Company reprint 19 69), p. 94] .

17 October 1640: James City Court: "Whereas Robert Sweat hath begotten with child a negro woman servant (not slave) belonging unto Lieutenant Sheppard, the court hath therefore ordered that the said negro woman shall be whipt at the whipping post and the said Sweat shall tomorrow in the forenoon do public penance for his offence at James City church in the time of divine service according to the laws of England in that case provided." [Virginia Council and General Court Records 1640-1641, in "Virginia Magazine of History" Vol. II, p. 281] This was a general law against fornication that applied to all members of the colony.

 


 

CHIPPOAKES CREEK TO BLADEN COUNTY

1754 Governor Dobbs requested reports from the militia commanders of North Carolina’s counties. The Bladen militia submitted the following: “Col. Rutherford’s Regimt. of Foot in Bladen County 441, a Troop of horse 36... Drowning Creek on the Head of Little Peedee, 50 families, a mixt Crew, a lawless People, filleth the Lands without patent or paying quit rents. Shot a surveyor for coming to view vacant lands being inclosed in great swamps. Quakers to attend musters or pay as in the Northern Counties. Fines not high enough to oblige the militia to attend musters. No arms stores or Indians in the county.” [Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. V, p161

 

A number of ethnologists, archeologists, historians, etc., have identified these 50 mixt families living on Drowning Creek as the ancestors of the Lumbee Indians. So who was living in Bladen County in 1754?  The records show that these families who would later be called Lumbee, Melungeons, etc., were, in fact, living on Drowning Creek - Pee Dee River area in 1754.

27 August 1753, John Johnson Jr. entered 100 acres in Bladen County, North Carolina on the north side of Pugh's marsh whereon John Oxendine was then living. (Bladen County Land Entries #805). In 1759 , he and two of his sons, John and Benjamin, lived in the Drowning Creek area of Bladen County, North Carolina which is the upper part of the Lumbee River area.

Moses Bass was living near "the drains of Drowning Creek" on 1 February 1754 when Robert Carver entered 100 acres there [Philbeck, Bladen County Land Entries, nos. 677, 934]

Thomas Ivey 300 acres on Drowning Creek where James Roberts formerly lived on 26 September 1755 [Philbeck, Bladen County Land Entries, nos. 974, 1048].

Robert Sweat was granted 100 acres on Wilkerson Swamp near the Little Pee Dee River on 23 Dec 1754. This land adjoined the land of Joshua Perkins and was sold to Phillip Chavis.

Gilbert Sweat Case…21 Aug. 1829…St. Landry’s Parish LA… Testimony of Joshua Perkins Gilbert Sweat was born about 1756 in what was then Marion Co. SC on the Pee Dee River. About the year 1777, Perkins helped Sweat run away with Francis Smith, the wife of J.B. Taylor. Sweat moved from SC to Tenn, to NC to Big Black River, Miss. And arrived in LA in 1804.

31 Mar 1753 Grant: To Daniel Willis, 300 acres in Bladen County on Saddletree Swamp adjacent Thomas Ivey [Colony of NC 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Margaret M. Hofman, Vol. 1, p10, grant #111]

17 November 1753 Bladen County land which had been surveyed for Gideon Gibson in North Carolina on the north side of the Little Pee Dee River was mentioned in a Bladen County land entry [Philbeck, Land Entries: Bladen County, no. 904].

20 Feb 1754 Land Entry: Thomas Ivey enters 150 acres including his own improvements, on the 5 Mile Branch in Bladen County. [North Carolina Land Entries 1753-1756, A. B. Pruitt, Vol. 2, p127]   (From BOB'S FILING CABINET)

Fayetteville, North Carolina --- Dec. 2, 1845 -- Extreme Old Age -- A writer in the Highland Messenger says he had just visited Spencer Bolton, a resident of Buncombe county, who is now almost one hundred and ten years of age! He was born (1735) on Big Pee Dee River, in South Carolina, and is still sound in mind and body. He was in several skirmishes under Marion in the Rebolutionary war. Has been for 65 years a member of the Methodist Church. Health generally good. In early life, principal diet bread, rice, potatoes, and milk; slept on straw beds; generally up before day-light; and much accustomed to bathe in cold water. To the influence of these habits he ascribes his long life.  Spencer Bolton is father of Solomon Bolton who was identified as a Portuguese/Melungeon in 1874 court case.


To Be Continued - From the Pee Dee & Drowning Creek to Newmans' Ridge and Beyond

 





DOCUMENTING THE MELUNGEONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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