The following is a list of “core” surnames from the Native American community in Granville County that are most frequently discussed in this blog. This list is not all inclusive and I will occasionally cover surnames not listed here. Please note that all of these families were “free people of color”, meaning people who were documented as non-white and free well before the Civil War. In fact the vast majority of these families have been documented as “free people of color” since the 1600s. Because these families were not enslaved, you will find them in census, tax, land, court, and other official records going back to early colonial times. There are many unrelated families with the same surnames, sometimes even living in the exact location as these families, so before making any connections, please be sure you are researching the correct family.





























37 thoughts on “Surnames

  1. I was wondering how, if, the Boswell and Braswell families tie together? I am descended from both. My Rebecca Boswell in Granville married Thomas Sherman and both are from the Greene family. Then my Braswells were more Isle of Wight married into the Strickland/Bass who married Boone and ended up marrying King and had family on Indian Woods.


    1. I have been on this path of ancestry discovery in The Eastern, Coastal Plains & Piedmont areas of NC/VA/SC for yrs. I applaud all of those who are also on this discovery path. It is a labor of love for me. It is also like solving a huge puzzle as Native/Indigenous people are seemingly suffering from settlers encroachment, diseases, enslavement, rape, murder etc. There, seems to be a lot of migrating to join other tribes in other areas or nearby States. Then, it appears others remain in their native areas but renounce their Indigenousness and assimilate as White/Portuguese/Mullato/Creole/People of Color in order to remain on the East Coast Woodlands. I have ancestors who are apparently descend from several of these NC/VA/SC tribes. One great ancestor is a “Scott”…One great ancestor is ‘”Chavis/Walden”….One great ancestor is “Guy” And one great ancestor is Manly/Manley. I acknowledge from discovery that the “Guy/Chavis” people are close and live next to each other in the Occaneechi Tribe in Granville/Orange/Persons Counties in NC. The “Manley/Manlys” are part of the Meherrin Tribe in Hertford/Gates/Northampton Counties NC. The :”Scotts” are a part of the Hali-Wa Tribe in or near Warren/Halifax Counties NC. Some Scotts appear to have migrated around the I-20 & I-95 corridor areas spilling over into SC/South Georgia Catawba Tribal areas, Southern Mississippi, North Florida etc. I feel we/those who are on this quest are slowly/surely putting this puzzle together, and hopefully we can come together and do good by our ancestors, no matter our percentage of Indigenous blood quantum. “One Drop Rule” handed down by Europeans should be adopted as our Rule Too!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am interested in your “Saponi Indian Cabins” in 1737 and contemporary Tribal communities article. I have being trying to trace my Native American ancestors and one of them is a Nellie Byrd from Petersburg, VA. I wondered if she is related to the Bird/Byrd listed in the article. Is there any other information about them?


  3. I’m a “Goins/Gowen” descendant. My ancestor was Moses Going who lived in Granville County and then Henry County before moving to Georgia just after the Revolution. Tax and other records show his relationship with and/or close proximity to others of the same name in Granville County including Michael, Edward and Thomas. a few years ago I conducted a 67-marker Y-DNA test. Moses Going is a direct paternal ancestor so my Y results should be about the same as for others related to this family group. My results came back unambiguously sub-Saharan African (E1B1A). I later took the Family Finder test which finds and matches segments of DNA and can be used to trace origin and relationships across male and female lines. It came back overwhelmingly European, followed by African. There were no Native American markers present.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brian,

      Your Y-DNA results are consistent with the genealogical record that the earliest Goins male ancestor was of African descent. As you know, Y-DNA only reveals your direct paternal ancestry.
      As for autosomal, DNA is not passed down consistently over time. After receiving 50% of your DNA from each parent, as you go further back into time, it is not consistent at all. You don’t inherit 25% of your DNA from each grandparent, 12.5% from each great-grandparent, and so on. So if your particular direct lineage from the Goins, married mostly people of European descent to the present, DNA segments that are marked “African” or “Native American”, can wash out over time. In addition, all of the commercial DNA companies do not have good databases for Native American DNA. They use very small sample sizes of indigenous populations from Central and South America. No Native North American DNA and no East Coast Native North American DNA. Most people upload their raw data from Family Finder, 23andme, and AncestryDNA to a free site called Gedmatch. There a user has access to dozens of autosomal tools and can see just how widely their results can vary depending upon the samples used. Gedmatch also has a couple of Native North American DNA samples (very small amount), and most people I know who have used Gedmatch’s autosomal tools come back with a higher percentage of Native American DNA because the Gedmatch tools have more Native American markers to test.
      This is a really good, informative, and well researched article about Native American DNA not showing up in autosomal tests:


      Liked by 2 people

      1. How do you discover your NA DNA on GEDMatch? My ancestors include Branhams and a Cheeapoke Harris, a Cheraw Indian. Ancestry does not show any NA DNA. Of course my Harris ancestor goes back to 1750 or so. The Branhams are later, but have not found proof of NA in that line.


  4. Hi im Jason Floyd was wondering about this Robert Davis, and the Floyds name here. We have a Robert that was my 7th g grandfather said to be of the Pamunkey, by his mom Mary Hughes, that was said daughter of A Nickitti. I seen the Floyd name on the Plecker page and was wondering ty…


    1. He was Robert Davis, we have his records and his moms, and 100 percent proof from me to him, and for his mom, but her mom is only talked about by the Museum s in VA, they say she was a Nickitti. Can you help?


  5. I was wondering if I could get some information about a lucy proctor or an aggie proctor. Lucy born around 1795 and aggie born around 1810. I think that lucy married a jones thomason in grandville county Nc. But I think his name was supposed to read james thomason and known later as james thomas. Thanks in advance.


  6. I am the daughter of James Joseph Tyler and Mimi Lynch Tyler. I am the granddaughter of Bessie and George Tyler. This is amazing stuff.


  7. I want to say thank you for researching the Native American families of Granville County. I’m a direct descendant of the Parker, Evans, Brandon, Howell, Anderson, Taborn, Chavis, Bass, and Richardson families. My moms family is from Granville County. Also my dads mother family is from Granville County too. My mom is a Parker and her mothers mother was a Parker. So my grandparents are second cousins lol. My dads mother is a Anderson/Taborn. My grandmothers father was Alfred Anderson and her mother was Artilla Taborn Anderson. I have learned so much about my family from your research. So again I want to say thank you. I would like to know if you have any information about the Taborns. I also want to find out if my grandmothers parent were relatived because her dads mother was a Taborn. But his wife was also a Taborn too.


  8. This is the most Amazing blog. Thank you so much for your laborious research… what a labor of love.
    Would you be kind enough to steer me a bit regarding the Cousins family, if you can? I’m unsure if/how the Saponi “Cousins” relate to what I’d thought was the Creek “Cousins” families–
    i’ve been researching a “George Cousins (Eufallie Creek?) to Wm. Cousins to Billy Cousins” line in GA, AL, & NW FL– (it’s said, in1820’s, a Billy Cousins married Catherine “Kate” McIntosh, dau/o Eliza Grierson & Lower Creek Chief William McIntosh (killed by Upper Creeks in 1825 for ceding Creek lands in Treaty of Indian Springs). Supposedly, in early 1840’s, Billy Cousins & Kate McIntosh Cousins were still in the old Creek homelands in SE AL, but avoided removal by crossing the border down into Walton Co, FL.
    So I’ve been looking at Creek records– but then found Steven Pony Hill’s research on the Saponi/Tuscarora/Lumbee migration– down to the same NW FL panhandle area (Walton, Holmes, Baker Co’s)– at around the same time frame. Which then led me to you, & your incredibly detailed blog!! So am wondering, do you know of any connections between the Saponi “Cousins” & the Creek “Cousins” families?–or are these just 2 separate NA families with “Cousins” (also Cossins, Cossans) surname?
    Thank you so much for any info you may kindly share, & again, thank you for this fascinating blog!


  9. I came to this blog via Lisa Henderson’s blog and a post of yours regarding Bartlet Tyler from Granville NC. I descend from a Bartet Tyler, born ca 1795, who can be found on the 1830 and 1840 Sullivan County as FPC and the 1850 Washington County TN as white. There is an earlier Bartlet Tyler who appears on the 1810 and 1820 Warren County NC censuses. If you can assist or point me to someone who can assist in the lineage of the Bartlett Tylers, I would be most appreciative of your assistance.

    Thanks much (in advance)



  10. I was pointed in the direction of this blog by Lisa Henderson after a question about a Tyler line. I descend from a Bartlet Tyler who is listed on the 1830 and 1840 Sullivan County censuses as a FPC. I am trying to find out if he may be related to two earlier Bartlet Tylers, one who lived in Granville County in the 1760s and another (possibly same?) who is on the 1800 and 1810 Warren County NC censuses. Can someone provide a lineage for the Granville County Bartlet? Knowing where he lived, and when, would be a big help. Also, if anybody knows anything about the younger Bartlet Tyler, that would be helpful. I last found him on the 1850 Washington County TN census.


    1. Hi Scott,

      I saw you left two comments, so I’ll respond under this one.

      You can read about the Bartlet Tyler of Granville Co (and later Warren Co) in Paul Heinegg’s sketch on the Tyler family. He’s #2.

      And you will read, Bartlet was the son of a Barbara Tyler whose children were bound out in Granville Co. Heinegg believes this same Barbara Tyler moved to Goochland Co, Va and is responsible for all the FPC Tylers in the Goochland area. As you can see, there needs to be more research and documentation to see if and how these various Tylers are related to one another.

      And then to complicate matters even more, there is the Tyler family from Priss Tyler, a Catawba slave of Captain Robert Hicks/Hix. Priss Tyler also had a son named Bartlet Tyler. This one lived in VA though. It’s possible Priss and Barbara could be related, but I have no proof to back that up other than they both had sons named Bartlet.

      Our Granville Co Bartlet Tyler was an important person in the community and having looked through the Granville archives, I can tell you his name appears on many documents, often times as a bondsman or surety. However without an estate record or will it’s been challenging to verify who all of his children were. Presumably, the Tylers who appear in the Granville records as FCP in the following generations are assumed to be his children: Pink Tyler, Anderson Tyler, Lemuel Tyler, and William Buck Tyler. Bartlet also had a child out of wedlock with Lovey Bass, named Dicey Bass. Bartlet Tyler’s wife was Sarah Anderson, d/o Lewis Anderson and Sarah Bass.

      I did locate your Bartlet Tyler in the 1830 and 1840 census as a FCP in TN. And he’s also the same Bartlet Tyler who appears in the Washington Co, TN 1850 census as white. Washington and Sullivan Cos are right by each other. Bartlet according to the 1830 and 1840 censuses, was born around 1800. This 1850 Bartlet Tyler is listed as being in 1795 and born in VA (Ancestry has it incorrectly transcribed as Missouri) so it looks to match. In 1850, he’s listed with an apparent wife named Sarah and a son named Smith Tyler. According to this Smith Tyler’s death record, his father Bartlet Tyler was born in VA and his mother Sarah Davis, born in TN.

      I looked at the neighbors of Bartlet Tyler in the 1830 and 1840 censuses, and I don’t recognize any neighboring families as coming from Granville Co. When these families made the trek out to Appalachia, they usually moved in groups.

      So I’m unable to say for certain where this Bartlet Tyler of TN came from. I think we can assume the info that he was born around 1795 in VA is correct. It’s possible he may be from the Goochland Co Tylers or even the Tylers from Priss Tyler or another Tyler family.
      Identifying exactly where in VA he was from will be paramount in correctly identifying his parents.



      1. Thanks for the response, Kianga – much appreciated. I’m sorry for the double post but I wasn’t sure if I didn’t see the first one posted so I thought I had messed up. I had read years ago about the two Bartlet Tylers but wasn’t sure if I reading about two different guys or whether it was the same one. You’ve answered my question about the 1800 and 1810 Warren County Bartlet Tyler – thanks for clarifying that. My line goes Barlet, Smith (went by his middle name “Merrill”), William, and my grandmother, Easter Tyler. William was almost certainly born in Tennessee but his son, Bryan’s, death certificate says his father was born in “Old Virginia”.

        My other FPC line is that of William Nichols Sr., again born sometime around 1795. Not sure where he was born but he was part of the so-called Melungeon settlement in Newman’s Ridge settlement in present-day Hawkins County. This group migrated from Louisa County VA to Wilkes County NC to Hancock County TN. Rereading Paul Heinegg’s work for the first time in quite some time, and with your clarifying help, things seem a bit clearer.

        I don’t have any more answers but your answer has been helpful.

        Thank you again,


  11. On 23 and Me, I matched to many Anderson’s and a few on Gedmatch. But I do not know for sure if it is my paternal side or maternal side. My paternal side always claimed Sioux. My maternal side always knew there was Native American on my grandmother side. They thought Cherokee & Choctaw. We also knew my grandfather’s side had native American too. We want to find out more. I seek your guidance to find out how I match to the Anderson’s.

    Thank You,



  12. Looking for native info on goin/ going/ gowen, etc . I descend from john going and hannah beazley going from patrick , stokes, surry counties


  13. My great grand father’s mother was from Granville N.C. said to be native american? Something about the slave marrying the owner was hard to believe. Found she was something of mix race. They moved to VA. And the husband married in the Cobb family. My gggrand used Johnson, original name was Margitti. Her given name was Polly and original first name was Boiti. Should I leave nc. And search va. For native Americans/free people. Rumor they at some point was free.


  14. Hi, I am the 6th granddaughter of Needham Bryan that had Snowfield Plantation in the middle of Indian Woods Reservation. I have DNA matches to some of these surnames and many more in pedigrees of my matches. My question is…did any of these Bryan’s intermarry with the Tuscarora or other Native tribes in these areas. One of my DNA matches is listed as Boon(e) descendant. I also have full matches with Bullards of Bertie County, NC. Have been told they are Lumber. Can you confirm this? I am having trouble trying to figure out if they are paternal or maternal relatives. My great grandmother was Native, and her parents appear and disappear in 1900 census. Can you tell me if there are any Greenes or Wells associated with these tribes? Thank you very much Renee.


  15. Hello, I was wondering if you come across the surname Marksberry/Marksbury in your search? My 7th great grandfather, Samuel Marksbury I, was believed to have married an unknown Native American. They had a 400 acre farm in Prince William County. I also think my 6th great grandfather Samuel Marksberry Jr. (II) married a Hannah Mumford? I think Hannah’s parents were a Major Robert Mumford and Elizabeth Bolling. Elizabeth from your reseach in descended through the second marriage with Anne Stith? I need to confirm that Hannah Mumford indeed married a Samuel Marksberry. Please contact me if you can appreciate any info.


  16. has anyone come across the surnames of Beverly , Vann, enoch and quite possibly the name ” sapo davis ” ? my email is daviscraig1971 at geemail


  17. Hi. Thank you for this amazing post and your labor of love to this research. Freeman Howell is my 4th great grand father via John Hedgepeth and Judith Howell. I have been trying to find information on John Hedgepeth (who is the brother of William and Dennis Hedgepeth) such as a death date or burial location, etc., but have not been able to find such information. Would anyone have any info on him? Thank you.


  18. I am searching for my tribe My Grand Father’s name was Tom Scott I believe from the Scotland Neck area.Don’t know his date of birth but it was in the 1800’s. Don’t know anything else except my Grandmother Ada Harris was his second wife . You are very knowledgeable it seems. Can you help me?


  19. Hello , thank you for all of this information . My family are the Bass, Silver, Green , Harris and Lynch from Halifax , Warren NC area. I am just starting to research my family and ties to Native Americans Tribes


  20. I am trying to find information on the parents of Mourning or Morning Green born in 1715. I have information stating her father was born in 1680 and her mother was born in 1695. I know her father was Chowan and her mother was Native American as well. Any information out there would be greatly appreciated as I am learning more about my heritage daily!


  21. I am sooo bewildered, trying to find my ancestors tribe is wearing me down. Seems as though I’m spinning around getting no where, but I can’t give up,no….I won’t give up.


  22. I am researching the Richardson/Collie family They are my direct ancestors. Elijah Richardson married Lucy Collie in the 1800s. They had Julia Ann Richardson who had Julia Irvine Richardson who married John Dodson. They had Julia Irvine Dodson Lester who had Herman Andrew Lester who had Sarah Lester Atkinson. She was my mother. My name is Also a Julia. Julia Atkinson Gatewood. My mother has passed away. I know I am direct descendant of Tupelo/Saponi/Ocheneechi. I’ve been researching for sooo long. I know my distant native Americans came up from North Carolina to Clarksville Va then to Halifax County Va then Pittsylvania County. I’m in Pittsylvania County. Please let me know if it was the Richardson or Collie that were the native Americans. If you can give me names it wd be great. If you have any other resources I would appreciate it I have a photo of the Collie and Richardson old relatives. They are on if you wish to look up. Thank you for your time and answers.


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