Monday, May 11, 2015

Carrie Coats Killion Interview

Carrie Coats Killion Interview

My first cousin once removed, Carrie Mayes Coats Killion , was interviewed by Juanita Cherry in June 26, 1981. Juanita Cherry is a correspondent for the The Daily Times, Pryor, Oklahoma. 

The spirit of the early Oklahoma pioneers has seen Carrie Coats Killion through the years and keeps her going today.
This diminutive lady, aged 82, and weighing slightly more than a pound for each year, isn’t as fragile as she looks. Only the snapping black eyes reveal her inner strength and determination.
Carrie Coats Killion was the wife of the late Ansel Killion. She was born before the turn of the century, about a mile south of Strang. She was later allotted land for a farm located in the Grand River Valley on the east side.
Her maternal grandparents were the Jim Craig’s, early pioneers. Her father was postmaster at Strang for many years. Her mother was Brazilla Melissa Craig.
Although the family Bible and records burned in a house fire, Carrie recalls Brazilla Mellissa marrying Henry Lee Coats in the early 1890’s.
Their older children were placed on the Cherokee tribal rolls. Son Bill and daughter Carrie received allotments lying along the east bank of the Grand River between Spavinaw Creek and Strang. Henry Lee and his daughter, Lillie, drew land allotments in Craig County.
On the paternal side, Henry Lee’s father was James McKenzie Coats, an Irish man. He married Anna Scott, a full blooded Cherokee. They died within 17 days of each other from la grippe (influenza).
Henry Lee and his sister, Jennie Coats, were placed in the Cherokee Orphanage. Henry Lee ran away and was taken in by Sam and Martha Mayes. Mayes was a rancher and a U.S. Marshall. They had a daughter named Carrie.
Years later, Henry Lee would name his first daughter Carrie for his benefactors.
With the assignment of the land allotments, the Craigs found themselves in a land controversy of Old Settlers vs. Too Laters. In a court case, the Too Laters won. Family wounds and scars were slow in healing.
The M.O. & G. Railroad was completed with the Golden Spike ceremony in Strang in 1913. Previous to the completion of that railroad, Strang residents used the “Katy” and caught the train to Pryor.
“Yes, I remember the Pryor depot,” explained Carrie. “But it was the first depot. It looked like the one in Vinita and other towns. The construction crews built them all alike. My mother and I had so much trouble with hay fever, asthma and allergies we caught the train in Pryor to ride to Muskogee for medical treatment.
“One time when we got back to Pryor it was dark and raining very hard. Mama wanted to spend the night in Pryor, but I knew the family would worry. We drove on home and got there safely. Everyone was asleep but Granville (Craig).”
“When it rained,” Carrie explained, “the prairie roads became bottomless ruts, but that night the mud was just on the surface. We really didn’t have any trouble.”
Carrie and Ansel Killion were married on Christmas Eve 1915.
“There was no ferry across the Grand River then,” she recalled. “The river was up. We almost turned the buggy over and we did get our feet wet. We were married by the justice of the peace in Vinita and went to Ansel’s aunt’s house for dinner. I ate the sweet potatoes, but I couldn’t eat the ‘possum.”
The young couple moved to Carrie’s allotment where the Coats family had been living. Trouble was now invading the community.
M.O. & G. construction workers had left low, dug out places along the right-of-way. These filled with water which soon became stagnant. Typhoid and malaria were rampant. Accoding to Carrie, there were 23 local cases of typhoid the summer of 1916.
Carrie was one of the 23. “I was in bed for four months. I finally pulled through, but was so weak it took me a long time to get over it.”
As soon as possible, the young couple rented out the farm and moved to Craig County. Both had relatives living there. The Killions’ only child, Leonard, was born in October.
Later the railroad cleaned up the stagnant water holes. Strang became a more healthful place to live and the Killions moved back to their farm.
In 1924, a series of events began that led to a number of homeless children finding refuge with the Killions.
Ansel had used his truck to take the body of his older sister near Timber Hill, north of Vinita, for burial. After the service, a perplexed, stunned father and four small children were confused as to what would become of them.
The Killions put the children in their truck and took them to their home. They and Ansel’s sister, the Curry family, shared responsibilities for the next two years. Then the father took the two children living at the Killions’ to his own relatives in Missouri.
The next year, 1925, death began taking its toll of the Craig family. Jim’s wife and a daughter, Nellie Goins, passed away.
Three years later, 1928, Jim died.
In 1929, Carrie’s mother, Brazilla Melissa, died. Brazilla’s husband, Henry Coats, was in very poor health. The younger boys, Virgil, Kenneth, Ed and H.L., were left homeless. Again, the Killions opened their home and the boys found refuge with other sisters, Lillie Garrison and Beatrice Killion.
The late Nellie Craig’s husband was Straley Goins, also a Strang postmaster. When Nellie passed away, Straley kept the family together. Eventually, he remarried and had a second family.
He and the second Mrs. Goins died within a short time. This left other homeless children--Lawrence and Margaret--who found a home with their cousin, Carrie.
The Killions’ own child, Leonard, married. His wife, the former Dorothy Lumpkin, passed away in 1941, when their second son was only three weeks old. The Killions took their grandsons, Norval and Marion, and raised them as their own.
In the mid-1950’s, the Killions sold their Strang farm and moved to Vinita, then to Tulsa. Before too long, Ansel passed away following an injury caused by a neighbor’s milk cow he was tending.
For many years, Carrie has lived alone in her small house in Tulsa. Allergies and breathing problems have plagued her all of her life. A ruptured appendix left her lying in a coma in a hospital for 11 days before the problem was discovered. A fractured hip was repaired by inserting metal pins that remain painful to this day. The bad hip and arthritis confine her to walker.
Glaucoma has robbed the sight in her right eye. Extensive pain resulting from the diseased eye has finally abated after the nerve was severed.
A limited diet and poor food assimilation keeps Carrie grossly underweight and robs her of stamina. She is homebound, but her unquenchable optimism and exuberance for life send visitors away cheered and lighthearted.
“My family has never gone to bed to die. They all passed away in their sleep. I hope I can, too, or better still, live to see Christ’s second coming. According to the scriptures, I feel it will be soon. I want to live to see that day,” and the penetrating black eyes were very serious.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My paternal grandmother Nellie Jane Craig Goins

My Grandmother Nellie Goins died at a young age from tuberculosis. In the photo above the Thomas Straley Goins family is heading to Colorado. I don’t know when she contracted the disease. Nellie died at the age of 29 from the disease. In the early 1900’s there were tubercular sanatoriums that treated patients with TB. From photos and what my relatives said, Thomas Straley Goins and family made a trip to Colorado Springs to see if the dry, mild climate would help improve Nellie’s health. I think that some of the Walker family also went with them. In the photos of the trip to Colorado it appears my father, Thomas Craig Goins, is around 4 or 5 years old. That would make the year that they traveled to Colorado around 1925. A year before Nellie’s death.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Patterson Goins Connection

   My great great grandfather’s uncle was Daniel Goins. In some family trees his middle name is Patterson. Daniel’s second marriage was to Susan Harman and they had two children Laura and Daniel Patterson Goins Jr. In the 1880 census Daniel Patterson Goins Jr. is enumerated as Paterson Geowens. In his death certificate he is Daniel Patterson Goins.  Paterson/Daniel Patterson Goins married Bell Peck March 11, 1894 in Bradley County, Tennessee. One of their children was named D. P.  Goins born 4 Aug 1913 and died at the age of 5 on 21 Dec 1918 in Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennesssee. Both Paterson/Daniel Patterson and D.P. Goins died of influenza in 1918.

   So the question is where did the Patterson name come from?

   Maybe Patterson comes from Catherine Patterson who married William Goins in about 1704.  William Goins was born about 1683 in James City County, Virginia. William died about 1725 and Catherine died in 1739. In Catherine Patterson's will she mentions her children John, Alexander, Susannah Goins. Some researchers think that after William Goins died, Catherine remarried and her husband’s surname was Patterson.

   Because my yDNA closely matches Hollis yDNA I would like to think that there is a connection with the Hollis family. John Hollis comes up in a July 23, 1739 probate record naming John Goins as the sole administrator of Catherine Pattersons’ estate. Fast forward  to the 1790 census in Camden District, Fairfield County, South Carolina. Living in the same general area are Daniel, Alexander and Henry Goins; James, William, Elijah, and Moses Hollis; and Peter Patterson.

   So maybe the name Patterson can be used to make the connection to William Goins. Also that Alexander Goins was living in South Carolina in the 1790 census with the Hollis families.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mysteries of my DNA

   I had my yDNA analyzed by Family Tree DNA to identify my direct paternal line. My yDNA was tested for 67 STR markers.  Each marker having its own value. I am then matched with other individuals who have the same values or nearly the same values for those markers tested. What I find interesting is that besides matches with other Goins surnames there are individuals with the surnames of Cook, Gibbs, Grimes, Bowling, Renfro, Wilson, Adams, Wallace, and Hollis who closely match my yDNA.
   In regards to the surname Hollis, researchers have found that there is a close association with the Gowens and Hollis families who in the late 1700‘s to the early 1800‘s moved together from Virginia through North Carolina to South Carolina.
   My yDNA has been associated with haplogroup E1b1a. This haplogroup is the main haplogroup in sub-Saharan Africa (West Africa). In many Goins/Gowens family trees and The Gowen Manuscript, an African slave named Mihill “Michael” Gowen/Guynes is our ancestor that links us to West Africa.
    I had the remaining 22 pairs of chromosomes (my autosomal DNA) tested by DNA Tribes. My autosomal DNA contains random bits of DNA from my parents and my grandparents, great grandparents, etc. According to DNA Tribes my top five closest genetic relatives today and peoples whose blend of geographical ancestry is most similar to my own are as follows in descending order : Armenian (Gardman, Azerbaijan); Sweden; Caucasian (Florida); Mainland Croatia; Zemplin, Eastern Slovakia; and Vis, Croatia. 
   My mother’s side of the family has the surnames, Taylor, Conrow, Minton, Arnett, Beagle, Fox, Thompson and Ward. It would appear that most of my mother’s side of the family came from the British Isles. This was confirmed when I had my mitochondrial DNA tested by Family Tree DNA. Human mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from my mother. Her haplogroup is H which includes the British Isles and Europe.
   I also had my autosomal DNA tested by the Ancestry website. Their genetic ethnicity results were British Isles 87%, Southern Europe 7% and Uncertain 6%.
   Family Tree DNA and Ancestry are matching my yDNA and autosomal DNA to other individuals. I hope matches in the future will add new ancestors/relatives to my family tree.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Julius Caesar Goins

   My great grandfather Julius Caesar Goins was the third son of James Durham Goins and Polly Johnson. Julius was born February 13, 1866 in Bradley County, Tennessee. On September 18, 1887 Julius married Caldona Cowden in Bradley County, Tennessee. They had five children: My grandfather, Thomas Straley Goins;  Alvin Camel Goins; Polly Ann Goins; Erasmus Guy Goins; and Edith Orlena Goins.
   Robert P. Goins wrote that Julius C Goins was the first to move to Oklahoma in the summer of 1900. The rest followed but not all at once.Julius and Ernest Walker bought a store in Old Spavinaw in 1904. Each put up $250. In 1906 Julius bought out Ernest Walker's part. When the City of Tulsa built the dam in 1922 they traded him three lots and cash for his property. Besides owning a store, Julius was a Methodist Minister.

In the photo below, Julius is seated, left to right are William "Bill" Walker, Ernest Walker, and Thomas Straley Goins.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Edmond Goins Clan in the Civil War

Records show that my great great grandfather James Goins served in the Confederate Army in the 36th regiment of the Tennessee Infantry.  The 36th regiment was formed in February 1862 and disbanded in June of the same year. I haven't found any records that would show that James Goins enlisted in another regiment after the 36th disbanded.

Sons of the Edmond Goins and the closely related Thomas Cowden families are listed as members of the Confederate Army.

Then there is a book written in 1866 by J. S. Hurlburt titled “History of the Rebellion in Bradley County, East Tennessee." The sons of the Edmond Goins clan of Bradley County, Tennessee appear to be on opposite sides in the Civil War. This book was “enthusiastically dedicated to the Union people of Tennessee and their posterity”. In the books appendix, men of the Goins and Cowden clans are listed as Union persons/soldiers or Rebel persons/soldiers. The following are excerpts from this appendix:
Leading Union persons in the second district: Thomas Cowden has a son in the U.S.Army., John Gowans, James Gowin.
Medium men of the second district: Daniel Gowan. I have not found out what “Medium men” are.
Union soldiers from the second district: Wm Crowden and George Crowden dead.
Leading rebels in the second district: Wm Gowan, Hugh Gowan.
Rebel soldiers from the second district: Hugh Gowen, Wm Gowen.
Leading Union persons in the third district: John Cowden died near Atlanta.

Another Leading Union person in the second district was Joel Johnson Sr. This is my great great grandmother Polly Johnson Goins father.

I believe that the sons of the Goins and Cowden families served in the Confederate Army. In the 1870 Bradley County census the families were still living near each other.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Strang, Oklahoma and Thomas Straley Goins grocery store

    A street in Strang, Oklahoma, circa 1923.  My grandfather’s store is to the left. Thomas Straley Goins moved from the area around Spavinaw to Strang between 1910 and 1920. Strang became a town where the railroad from Neosho, Missouri met the railroad from Muskogee, Oklahoma. 
    The president of the MO&G (Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf) railroad, William Kenefic,  named Strang after his wife, Clarita Strang Kenefic. Kenefic and Clarita are towns in Oklahoma that are also named after William and his wife. When the MO&G railroad met at Strang, they celebrated on February 12, 1913 with a golden spike ceremony.

Strang, Oklahoma in 1923. My Dad, age 2, Thomas Craig Goins in front of his Dad's store.