Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Collins line and the Melungeon connection

My mother's paternal grandmother was Nellie Lucinda Collins. She was born February 2, 1872 to Aaron and Elizabeth (Vandergriff) Collins, who are pictured here. Aaron served the Union during the Civil War in Company B of the 2nd Tennessee cavalry.

Aaron Collins' parents were Freeling and Hannah (Stephens) Collins. Freeling was born on March 16, 1816, in Tennessee and died May 19, 1888. Oral family history tells that Hannah (born August 18, 1821; died August 19 1896) was tortured during the Civil War to learn where someone was hiding. Aaron and Hannah are buried in Clapps Cemetery, Cracker's Neck, Grainger County, TN.

Freeling's parents were Amos and Muriel (also spelled Meriel, Mariel, Marie, Mayvilla) Collins, who moved from Tennessee and lived in Kentucky near Big Creek in Clay County. Amos' children and their families were sometimes variously listed in the census records as Free Persons of Color or Mulatto, as so many of the Melungeons were often listed.


busterbrown said...

I am researching my Collins line and would like to discuss it with you.

SuperWoman said...

I would love to discuss with you as well. According to my research Muriel or Mayvilla is my great-great-great-great grandmother.I just hear for the first time today that she may have been Melungeon (hope I spelled that correctly). Thanks

skitts said...

I love your site. My grandfather was Joseph Roosevelt
Kitts, brother of your George Washington Kitts. my father
Hal Kitts, resembles Your picture of George. I found your site by typing in Lucinda's name! I never thought I would
See a picture of her, . . Saponitown mentions Freelin and Hannah were both of Indian descent Freelin- Saponi and Hannah was Cherokee-not an easy trail to find though
Your branch of the family definitely has more pictures from the past than mine! originally I had been researching my Grandmother(Maude Brooks) side for Melungeon roots-never realizing that the Kitts side had it as well_I'm reading
RichardCarlson's history of the Collins-a dissertation he did for Michigan St U- very interesting-hopefully I'll get to Knoxville in the spring-Areyou nearby? I'd love to meet you
Stephanie Kitts

Stephanie Kitts said...

I found your site through my great grandmothers name
Nellie. My grandfather Joseph Roosevelt was a brother
of George Washington! I was so surprised to see that
photograph of Nellie and her family ,as my family(kitts)
Never knew anything about their ancestry.
Would love to see and talk with you further,Esp if I make it
To TN in the spring.
Stephanie Kitts

Janni said...

I would be happy to meet with you! I have several other photos that might interest you. Please contact me at jloveday(at)

I'm always glad to meet kin!

Janni said...

Interesting related DNA research: