Thursday, November 12, 2015

Open Letter to Jack Goins


I have been on many lists over the years with Jack Goins from Rootsweb to the Facebook pages. For some reason he refuses to deal with me on a personal level but prefers to bash me on his blog.  This is an open letter regarding his latest attack on me, I surely hope he reads this and will refrain from personal attacks in the future.

From his latest blog regarding the Stony Creek Church records 1813 and the importance of the whether the word Melungin was used.

"Book 2 transcribed by Bobbie Baldwin became an issue with one person on her Melungeon blog and website, simply because it no longer fit her new agenda, while in the past she praised the find. Only The part involving the word Melungin simply because she did not want the oldest written record to be involved with the Newman Ridge, Blackwater, settlement who were recorded in these minutes as some of the first members beginning 1801.  The word Melungin was recorded in 1813 book 2 by Emory Hamilton who placed a copy in the library at Clinch Valley College in Wise Virginia, which is now the University of Virginia at Wise.
Note he writes 'Book 2 transcribed by Bobbie Baldwin' - The originals have not been found.  Emory L. Hamilton transcribed from the original record, Bobbie Baldwin transcribed from Emory L. Hamilton and Jack Goins apparently transcribed from Bobbie Baldwin, making this a 3rd or 4th transcription.

Yes Jack, in the past I did "praise the find" as I, like so many others,  were under the impression you looked at the ORIGINAL CHURCH RECORDS.

When Penny posted to the Melungeon list on September 21, 2001 
Jack is the one who found the word Melungeon in the Stoney Creek Baptist Church records, no one else had ever noticed it. WHAT A FIND. "  

Did you correct her? Did you tell her no, I wasn't the first to find it, in fact I only looked at a transcription? No you didn't. In fact you went into a diatribe about where your GOINS came from and insinuated they were at the Stony Creek Church when in fact they were not.

In the reply to her your wrote;
" I searched several old church records for his name including Stony Creek where I notice the word Melungin written in the 1813 minutes. "

Again insinuating you had searched the records, not a transcription in a book. Big difference isn't it. Why did you not tell Penny and the entire Melungeon list, including myself,  that you had only seen a transcription and Emory Hamilton was in fact the one that had 'noticed it first'. How are you going to spin this one? You deliberately let people think YOU had found that word in the Stony Creek Church records instead of in the transcription by Emory Hamilton until January of 2004. And that Jack, was when I quit PRAISING YOUR FIND.  

Ernie Hurst posted to the Rootsweb Melungeon list; 
 Mon, 19 Apr 2004
Just trying to make it simple. Forty plus years of troubleshooting, problem solving & managing projects, people & resourses taught me to look for the simplest solution, when there is no clear "best" choice.
Couple of points about what you wrote:
1. The use of the word in church minutes probably wouldn't meet any "genealogical proof" standards, since, as near as I can tell only a transcription exists, or that's all anyone has seen. Even if the original does exist, it's second or maybe third hand information. There's no way to know what the person who used the word really meant, or even what she really said - pretty much same goes for the person who heard the conversation & the person who wrote it down. This is enhanced by the fact that lots of people in southwest VA & East TN at that time, especially the women, were, at best, marginally literate. I sure wouldn't bet my life on the accuracy of a document that nobody has seen.
Then Nancy Morrison wrote;
"I think there IS proof of the word Melungeon found in the Stony Creek Minutes!! That is as close to primary source as you can get. It was written WHILE it was happening from a person who had been listening to it as it was SAID."

And "Frank" alias "John T" alias ... I think most of us know who the alias was -- wrote;
Howdy; Nancy if this IS your source we may be in a world of HURT. Has anyone seen this original book , or page of the Stony Creek Church minutes?.  This is book two and here is what Emory L. Hamiliton wrote about book two; 
"Book 1, ends with July 1811. Book Number 2, is a few faded pages with no covers. Book 2 starts with what seems to be part of the Minutes of the November meeting 1811. These minutes between July 1811 and November 1811 have apparently been torn off and lost. Book 2, is in a very faded condition and very difficult to read.
I think it is very odd that no one has come forward with a
copy from this original page, I am not sure someone who had never heard about the Melungeons would have come up with Melungins, Maybe housing those "mulattoes". or Mullikins. How about it folks. Have any of you seen this original Stony Creek book, or page. I will lay odds you haven't and will never seen it. Frank 
I believe whoever got the transcripts from Boatright KNOWS it does NOT say Melungin.   Emory L Hamilton copied that record from the original in 1966 from the book in possession of Scott Boatright. Why would that original record disappear after 1966 when just a few years later the big stage production Walk Toward the Sunset was in the works?

This is what Emory L. Hamilton wrote regarding the book this 'original record' was transcribed from;
BOOK NUMBER 2 of the STONY CREEK PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
Book Number 1, ends with July, 1811. Book Number 2, has a few faded pages with no cover. Book 2 , starts with what seems to be part of the Minutes of the November meeting 1811. These minutes between July 1811 and November 1811 have apparently been torn off and lost. Book No. 2, is in a very faded condition and very difficult to read.
In response to Nancy Morrison's post Dennis Maggared wrote;
I don't know where the idea got started that no one has seen this document. Jack Goins has seen the original and is the one who noticed the word Melungeon, with a different spelling, and has been rightly praised for this important discovery.
And then you replied;
'' Hi Dennis; in regard to the Stony Creek Church Minutes, these minutes were copied from the original Minutes August 1966, by Emory L. Hamilton, of Wise, VA(The original minutes used by Hamilton at that time were in the possession of Mr. Scott Boatright of Coeburn, Virginia, whose grandfather was a Minister of this Church) a copy was filed in the Archives of the Southwest Virginia Historical Society at Clinch Valley College, Wise Virginia and a copy sent to the Virginia State Library, Richmond Virginia. Several copies have been made from Hamilton's copy, including one on the internet.''
Clear as mud!  You seen the original.
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The 'agenda' you are referring to, I assume, is the Pee Dee River families that you call the "Invisible Melungeons" Although you have placed their names in the CORE Melungeon families they are NOT represented in YOUR CORE Melungeon DNA Study. Why not? Because you believe they were invisible? No, that can't be it because you KNOW that they are still the only families identified as Melungeons in court records and they were called Melungeons as early as 1850.

We also KNOW these Pee Dee River families came over the mountains to Hancock County, Tennessee according to Judge Lewis Shepherd, so your comment  I "did not want the oldest written record to be involved with the Newman Ridge, Blackwater, settlement is ridiculous. We know the Melungeons were on Newmans Ridge in 1848, we just don't know WHO the Melungeons were residing there.

You know this is a problem, your email to me shows this court case changed the direction of OUR research.  The fact that no where in the 13 years of records was anyone ever called a Melungeon, gambling, drunkeness,  etc., they never called them a Melungeon until 1813 - The fact that we KNOW the people on the Pee Dee River came over the mountain close to 1813 tells us we cannot even determine that IF the word was used in the records we have no idea who they were referring to.

In a message sent to me dated 9/22/2005 11:32:36 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, jgoins@usit.net writes:

"This court case has changed my view on the originator of the word Melungeons as beginning on Newman Ridge as per Jarvis. This testimony in SC and 1874, before Dromgoole and appears from this case the word Melungeon may have been widely known during this period. Jack"

In a message  dated 10/2/2005 9:43:35 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jgoins@usit.net writes: 

"All of this aside I believe this case changes some of our arguments, such as they were not called or known as Melungeons in other places where they migrated. In fact it may yet show they were called Melugeons in SC. .......

Jack this email shows that in 2005 this became an issue with not just myself but with you as well as Penny Ferugson.  It is disingenuous for you to write that I had an issue with the church record because I didn't want it tied to Newmans Ridge.  When the emails above and the excerpts from the Melungeon Rootsweb List clearly showed you let people [myself included]  believe you had seen the original transcription.  You can not walk that back and you know it. You know the problem with transcriptions as you clearly point out in the article "John Graweere or Geaween?"  written when Tim Hashaw claimed Paul Heinegg had seen the 'orignial' and Heinegg swore to it, only to find out he merely copied a transcription.

Bottom line Jack,  when you find yourself in a hole -   it's time to quit digging.

Why not blog about the PROOF you have that the Melungeons descended from African men and European women. Or PROOF  the word was first used at Stony Creek  Church.  Or the Pee Dee River families weren't called Melungeons or PROOF the people in Lebanon, Wilson County, were not known as Portuguese Melungeons in 1850, same time frame as the Pee Dee River families and the Newman's Ridge settlement.

Your argument that the DNA is the be all - end all is ridiculous. You tested the Y DNA of these men, only representing the male side and did NOT even attempt to include the female lines in your study, or the Pee Dee River families.

Please stop suggesting I 'changed' my agenda or some other excuse you can think of in order to answer some of the very obvious questions you cannot answer.

You know why I changed my agenda, it was the same time you and Penny recognized the court transcripts of the Melungeon trial in Hamilton County changed OUR agenda.  The idea the Melungeons were only found on Newmans Ridge and only called Melungeons on Newmans Ridge became the fork in the road in which we split.  You simply took the wrong fork. 


You can find these excerpts from the Archived Melungeon list here

Melungeon Archives