Re: GOING – Listed as Free Persons of Color,GA, 1819
For some reason Jack Goins DNA site seems to be completely down now. It was a great resource so hope it returns. You can also view the results directly on the Family Tree DNA website here (as well as many other Goings/Goins/Goin/etc):
Look for kit #159133 (William Goings b. 1768, Virginia- William was a son of moses and brother of John H. of Kentucky. He's my line from Moses).
So far I have no exact Goings matches. I have had a series of other matches including two 67-marker matches to people with different last names not present in the Goings surname project (FTDNA emails you when one of their customers produces a matching test which is how I found these two). There’s no modern paper genealogical connection I can find so both are almost certainly related via pre-emigration African ancestors. I corresponded with one and his paper genealogy took him only a few generations back to the Caribbean where his ancestors were likely transported as slaves. A computer crash a few years ago caused me to loose contact but I hope to reengage in an attempt to find whether their genealogies may help lead a path back to a specific African origin. Given the difficulty in researching slave records, this may be difficult but worth a try.
The reason for finding no direct Goings-surname matches probably corresponds with suggestions of matrilineal descent of the surname at some point. This may have occurred with the mother of Moses Going(s) of Virginia (the progenitor of the Columbia, Georgia Goings mentioned earlier in this thread). Paul Heinegg’s book identifies a Moses Going(b. 1743) who was probably the illegitimate son of an Agnes Going of Louisa County. While he attributes the “grist mill” Moses Goings we know to be the man who later came to Georgia to different parents (Edward Going), I believe they were probably the same person. An Agnes Going is mentioned in a deed related to the Louisa County Moses Goings. We know that was the name of Moses Going(s) of Georgia’s wife. Unless there were two individuals named Moses Going, born about the same time and place and both with wives named Agnes (the same name as his mother), these are the same men.
Back to Moses’ mother Agnes: Heinegg points out that she was brought before court in Louisa County in 1743 to answer for an illegitimate child (presumably Moses). There’s no mention of a father. It’s possible given the time and place that the father was in bondage and therefore unable to legally marry, hence the “illegitimacy” of her child. Agnes’ children were all passed her Going(s) surname. This would explain the break in the paternal DNA chain as the Y DNA results would follow that unknown father and differ from other non-directly related Goings results.
As far as race, the Y DNA results for this family are clearly Sub-Saharan African. As you’ll see, that’s also the case for many other Goings lines listed on the Family Tree DNA site. But as the earlier post in this thread points out, Moses’ presumed son John H. Going of Kentucky testified that his mother (“Agnis”) was “Indian by blood”. Sadly, there were many good reasons for persons of African ancestry to lie about their race at this time in the South.But having already stated that he was partially of “negro blood”, I don’t see the benefit in lying about his mother’s race. She was probably, as he stated, at least part Native American. As slavery took hold in Virginia and race-based started creeping in, many mixed-race families moved West into less-restrictive frontier areas of Virginia where they would have encountered what remained of the once-thriving Native population that had been pushed out by war, treaty, and disease. “Melungeon” families like the Goings were known to have intermarried with some of these people and were considered tri-racial. This is a frontier story that’s been lost, maybe buried. It lives on in the blood of millions of Southerners who share this origin with no clue other than maybe having been told by grandma that they were “part Indian” (more likely, part African).
I’ve heard speculation that about 20-30% of Southern families share a similar ancestry. Race mixing occurred all across the frontier where raw survival and having neighbors you could count on in times of famine or attack superseded race.The Goings were a fairly prosperous pioneer family, undoubtedly well acclimated to frontier life by virtue of the many generations forced to live on the edge of civilization to escape the scrutiny of the established coastal society. They owned at least one mill on the Ogeechee River and this seems to have been a trade passed down from Virginia. They bought and sold land from prominent families in the area of Georgia where they settled and we know at least two family members became doctors. Not a bad family to align with given the harshness of frontier life and I suppose that, along with the more pragmatic attitudes regarding race on the edge of the civilization, aided their assimilation with neighboring “white” families (who may have not been 100% “white” themselves). Once institutional slavery and “King Cotton” took hold across the South, it became necessary to draw hard distinctions between the races. When “One Drop” laws were enacted, persons of mixed race origin simply buried their past (or became “part Cherokee”).History has never really recovered. It’s hard for us to look back past the Antebellum South and see a different pre-plantation world where things were less “black and white”. But that world did exist and thankfully, we have the DNA to prove it.