Friday, February 27, 2015

Don't Believe Everything You Read, Unless You 'Vet' it Yourself

I originally posted this article here on the 'Historical Melungeons' blog back in September of 2013. I'm still holding my ground on this subject

Research everything you find, the Internet is full of genealogical misinformation. Heck, I even 'vetted' my original article, just to make sure I didn't make a mistake.

From September of 2013.........

Recently this 'letter' was brought to my attention, with all due respect to Mr. Thomas , who appears to be a well respected academic, with a little research I found the following:

"Also the following from a very prominent field ethnographer Robert K. Thomas:"

1. "All the Collins of Northeastern Tennessee, Southeastern Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky are descendants of one household of Collins who resided in Orange County, N.C. in 1760"

I think DNA Testing and genealogical research has proven this statement to be incorrect.

2. "By 1840, the situation became intolerable for some Indians in Southwest Virginia, and they began to head for Kentucky, a less repressive social and legal atmosphere. In the 1840’s, three Collins families moved into Kentucky, into Letcher County.

Facts: The first of the mixed blood Collins' to move into SE Kentucky was Meredith Collins, who appears on the 1810 Floyd Co Kentucky US Census.

In 1820 the following Collins' show on the US census of Floyd Co. :
William COLLINS, Edward COLLINS, Reuben COLINS, Bradley COLLINS, George COLLINS, James COLLINS, Jeremiah COLLINS, Meridith COLLINS and Valentine COLLINS.
Letcher County was formed in 1842 from portions of Harlan and Perry Counties.

3. "In the 1850’s, two Collins families moved to Johnson County, just south of Paintsville (Grandpap William Collins and brother). {Frankie’s note here: This is where my 2nd great grandparents Griffin and Rachael Collins went also, and were listed as Mulatto on Johnson County census records}

Fact: On the 1850 Johnson Co. Kentucky US census (The first for this county) there are 48 Collins' listed. This "Grandpap William Collins" is NOT one of them.

Here are the 3 William COLLINS listed:
383 William COLLINS age 20, son of Joshua COLLINS and Elizabeth COLLINS nee DALE
330 William H. COLLINS new born, son of Issac COLLINS and Nancy COLLINS nee BLACK
502 William W. COLLINS age 17 son of Christopher COLLINS and Cynthia COLLINS nee SPEARS

On the 1860 Johnson Co. Kentucky US census, the same 3 William COLLINS' are still on the Census, with the addition of a 4th:
435 William H COLLINS age 5 son of Elijah COLLINS and Nancy J COLLINS nee RATLIFF

1870 Johnson Co. Kentucky US census:

45 William P COLLINS age 7 son of Wiley M COLLINS and Eilza Jane COLLINS nee MUSIC
110 William COLLINS age 42 ( son of Joshua COLLINS and Elizabeth COLLINS nee DALE )
35 William H COLLINS age 15 ( son of Elijah COLLINS and Nancy J COLLINS nee RATLIFF)

Griiffin COLLINS doesn't appear on the Census of Johnson Co KY until 1880 and is this Griffin COLLINS:

"Griffin COLLINS was born 1835 in Grainger Co Tennessee. He married (1) Rachel Ann COLLINS March 17, 1858. He married (2) Margaret MILAM 1878."

But he is not with Rachel Ann COLLINS, but with his second wife Margaret MILAM

376 Griffin COLLINS age 44, Margaret (MILUM) age 28 ( m 11 Feb 1880)

They are not marked as Mulatto, but as white. The only Collins' marked as Mulatto are descendants of Valentine COLLINS in 1880 Johnson Co. KY US census.

Back to 'Grandpa William Collins', could he be this William Collins, Son of Griffin and Rachel COLLINS ? :

William Sherman COLLINS was born January 30, 1868 in Wise Co Va, and died April 11, 1951 in Floyd County, Kentucky. He married Louisa Bowlin December 15, 1888 in Floyd County, Kentucky, daughter of Daniel BOWLIN and Fanny HALBERT.

If so, he never is shown to have lived in Johnson County , Kentucky, for sure not in 1850 as he wasn't born until 1868.

Moral of the story ? As my Father used to tell me "Don't believe everything you read". Just because a person is labeled 'prominent' whether a field Ethnographer or Anthropologist, or what ever, doesn't mean they haven't done poor research. I guess it's up to the individual researcher to check out all 'facts' for themselves. 

That's my 2 cents....

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