View Full Version : Are Robinson's Saponi?

Mike Robinson
09-03-2001, 12:37 AM
I recently learned that I have native American heritage. My branch of the family had completely forgotten our Indian blood. I now have documentation that my gggg grandfather Elias Robinson (abt. 1790-aft. 1850) married an Indian woman named Christina (abt. 1790 - aft. 1860) probably in the 1820's (perhaps earlier) in either Grayson County, VA or Ashe County, NC. Elias is listed as white on the 1830 Ashe County Census, but his wife and children are listed as free persons of color. When this family moved to Clay County, KY, they are listed as white in census records. One son William, also married a possible Indian woman named Francis Moore, but this marriage took place in KY. One daughter of Elias and Christina, named Elizabeth married Levi Collins, and this entire family was listed as free persons of color in census records in both NC and KY. One question that is buring in my mind is if Elias himself was of European or Native American Origin? Also, is there any way to know what tribe Christina came from. I have been told that the Saponi people were found in Grayson Co. VA and Ashe County, NC at about that time. Thanks for any help or advice.

Brenda Collins Dillon
09-03-2001, 12:33 PM
Welcome to this forum. I don't know if I can be of any help or tend to confuse you even more. When you start talking about the Collins clan/tribe/or whatever you are talking about a mess that to this day I don't think anybody has been able to untangle.
I do have a Collins /Robinson connection and that is why I answered this post.

In 1838 my ggggrandfather , being the old cantancerous mixed blood that he was took his sons into Pike county court and accused them of stealing his lands on Shelby Creek and John's Creek...not sure the Tug Fork land belonged to him or if son, William, got it on his own. Anyway, the four sons mentioned in the records agreed to watch over and take care of their father for the rest of his life, however, old Meredith refused to have any part of it and was placed into the guardianship of Richard P. Robinson. Meredith is still living in the Robinson household on the 1840 census and he died in 1841.
I don't know if there was a relationship between the Collins and Robinson families or not. Meredith had two daughters that I have no information on. It is possible Robinson married one of Meredith's daughters.
You mention Clay Co. Kentucky. Meredith's eldest son, Bradley, had land in that county, also marrying three times in Clay Co. before getting involved in a murder and leaving the area for Missouri with some of the David Collins clan/tribe who were cousins.
I would be interested if you have any information on this Richard P. Robinson.

Brenda Collins Dillon

09-03-2001, 07:41 PM
Brenda, could that be the Saponi Nation of Missouri of which I posted some info? There is a problem in Missouri with "fake" Indian tribes which are nothing more than money-making scams. I am very hesitant to contact that Nation but I remember reading that they belonged to the family of David Collins and the miniscule amount of history indicated at that site seemed to include the region and time frame of the Saponi refugees. Any relation to you? Could you tell me more of the Missouri Saponi? Do you think any of them might have gone to Texas, Kansas or Oklahoma?


09-04-2001, 09:20 AM
Could you email privately with any info about fake Missouri tribes? I have been in contact with some people I find credible. One thing I've noticed pretty consistently is that just about every group that tries to reorganize and come out of the closet gets accused of running money-making scams. I've seen a number of these accusations to amount to little more than slander. So I take any such accounts with a large measure of salt.

09-04-2001, 12:13 PM
Hi Linda, I don't have any such info. I was stating that I am hesitant with contacting the tribe because of the number of "fake" ones reported in Missouri (with federal investigations concerning molest. etc.)[I am not pointing to the Mahenip]. Hope no one thinks I am trying to cause trouble...not my intent. I just don't know about the Mahenip and I had never even heard of the Saponi before joining the list[and I wouldn't ask them some questions I have out of respect for my elders]. I am seeking help [about the written and oral history on the origin of the clan].

[This message has been edited by troislangues (edited 09-07-2001).]

09-04-2001, 08:23 PM
I've been corresponding with the Chief of the Mahenip Band and my impression is that he is credible, knowledgeable and interesting. I have heard so many, many nonsensical stories about so many good people whose only "crime" is trying to resurrect their heritage.

I know of one group here in the east in which mutineers spread a rumor that thousands of dollars of tribal funds had been misappropriated. It turned out that the most money that had ever been in the tribe's coffers was $500, and much of that had been donated by the person accused of the embezzlement!

At this point, unless somebody does something mean to me personally, or they're convicted in a court of law with due process, I pay no heed to gossip.

If you have questions for the Mahenip I recommend asking them. I've always gotten good, thought provoking answers to my questions. I know you're not trying to cause trouble, you just stumbled onto a sore spot for me. I've had too many dear friends villified slanderously and am fed up.

Brenda Collins Dillon
09-04-2001, 08:47 PM
>>> Any relation to you? Could you tell me more of the Missouri Saponi? Do you think any of them might have gone to Texas, Kansas or Oklahoma?

As I stated, Bradley Collins was a son of Meredith. My line is John W. Collins half brother to Bradley. The document I take my information from states Bradley and descendants of David Collins 1750 were involved as witnesses to a murder in Clay co. Kentucky. The documents list them as cousins. This would mean that if David of 1750 was the son of John Collins of Bertie Co. NC and then if Bradley was a cousin of, then Meredith had to be related to John Collins of Bertie also. My problem being of all the John Collins I am not 100% sure that David 1750 belonged to that one or another.

The Missouri Group say they have proof. Maybe they do but I personally have not seen it. I was told about Chief Mahennip and I believe there was such a man and, I believe he lived at Fort Christanna and may have been one of the last to leave. I have spoke to Richard Haithcock,and a historian from NY....linda you will have to help me with name as I can't remember it and they both stated the information about Mahennip was located in the Archives and that was where Richard copied it and placed in in his book. { The name of historian was Dixon}

As far as which direction the Saponi migerated . I believe they scattered to the four winds much like fall leaves on a windy day. They gathered up their families and what little they had, and they went as far as their legs could travel. And when they got there they told nobody where they came from, or who they were. Many dropped what names they had and took up new ones. The stories told over the campfires were told no more and
to protect the children the elders put away the old ways and spoke of them only in whispers.
It is time to come out and be heard but like Linda said everytime we take a step forward we end up three steps behind. I am tired of being hushed...I want to know the truth and I believe there are those that knowes the history , that want to keep us quiet.

Hope this answers your question..Didn't mean to get carried away.


[This message has been edited by Brenda Collins Dillon (edited 09-05-2001).]

09-04-2001, 09:19 PM
To the Mahenip Saponi, the Moderators, and Members of Saponitown, I sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding as I never meant to imply the Saponi of MO were a false Nation.
I don't know how else I can get my meaning across other than I tread lightly when I don't know about specific information. Please know that I am NOT stating the Mahenip are fake. I was seeking the website containing their history page so I could figure out the family's names etc....since MO is right next door to my ancestor's whereabouts...thinking they might have stopped there first...don't know which exact route the Mahenip took...to Cape Girardeau etc. Other than my recent knowledge of the name Saponi, I had never known them to be documented elsewhere other than in the East. Most people go by the name Cherokee/Blackfoot here.

Concerning myself, I am also Cherokee and was getting pretty uptight about not finding my relatives on the Dawes since they remained in Arkansas...wanted to belong to the Cherokee Nation and considered a group in Missouri that I later found out is being investigated for serious fraud and a few other nasty incidences...many people have confirmed this for me as they first informed me of the problems which I knew nothing about...almost stopped into the Rez on the way back from vacation in Branson with my children ... people in that area that know of it scared the Jeez into me because of improprieties with children etc. on that REZ. That's all I am saying...I tread lightly until I know the facts. Since I am Estelusti mixed, I know about people not believing I am Native at all...about people being considered fake in trying to resurrect their clans. Can I say again, it was NEVER my intention to imply that the Mahenip are false...please believe me and delete this message as it is an apology to all. Don't know how else to apologize and clarify.


09-04-2001, 10:08 PM
Brenda, I am glad you asked because I didn't know exactly where to put this info I will list below. My Blackfoot ended up in Texas and Kansas. The curator of their local historical society says that before Texas Exodus, most had come from Kentucky and Mississippi. So I searched today and even called Texas State Historical Library and Archives Commission and some very dear soul found my ggrandfather's name...a strange one...in the time frame I was told!!!!! I am elated. It was San Augustine, TX...got the info from indexed old obituaries compiled from the local hist. soc....read about people not directly in family and am trying to put two and two together since I prac. know no family history. Note, some names are known to be other Nations but rang a bell with me:

Saponi common names in Texas..circa 1830-1900:

(Year) (County) (Birth)

1850 San Augustine Co.-
Robinson SC
Lumpkins VA KY
Huston PA NY
Wood TN
Igo KY

1850 Houston Co., Grayson Co., Tarrant Co., Cass Co., TX

Collins NC AL

(ote: Cass Co., large pop. of Creek Indians)

1836-1909 Washington Co. Marriage Index

1850 Atascosa Co., TX
Goings TN NC

1870 Atascosa Co., TX, Grayson Co., TX

This info was found on USGENWEB, State Search. I don't yet know if my ancestors' surnames incloude the core Saponi names yet.


09-04-2001, 10:33 PM
It has been brought to my attention...and again I reiterate...no malicious intent against the Mahenip whatsoever...

"my post should have read that I am hesitant about contacting any Tribe I have had no prior knowledge of...as there are fake organizations existing within that region with ongoing criminal investigations that well-serving Native people have alerted me about ...." Whew! Now let's get me off that hook...ouch.


Brenda Collins Dillon
09-05-2001, 06:10 AM

You were never on a hook as far as I am concerned. I have also contacted persons seeking out the truth only to have words put in my mouth that I didn't say so I try to be very careful what I do post. I think we here on this forum are in the same boat. We all would like to learn the truth and be able to stand there and say "this is from where I came" but we also have to be honest with ourselves and know that the documented proof may never surface. In our heart we know who we are.

All my research points to a Southeast Indian (very possibly Saponi) connection and Collins is documented as a core name but there are so many Collins and only God knowes the truth.

The books try to tell us that there was no Indian tribes in what is now West Virginia or Kentucky that that was used by all tribes as hunting grounds.yet you read how much blood was spilled in those mountains and if you look closely into the family oral history and stories then you realize that the Indians were there but in hiding. As I grew up I was labeled a "Hillbilly" ...a "Guinea" and I seen the hurt in my folks eyes when people used these words but today I am a hillbilly and proud of it. I believe this hillbilly has a certain amount of Indian blood but I can't prove it and I certainly can prove the Hillbilly. I wanted to leave to my children and my grandchildren the truth of their heritage, but I have to realize that was my wish and perhaps wasn't meant for me to give.

As for Texas, something crossed my mind the other day. The Saponi formed a little settlement called "Little Texas" this was long before Texas ever became a state so where did the Saponi get that name? Yes, I believe it is very possible that some migerated down that way. Remember the Alamo.
There were many good men gave their lives in that battle and most of them were from the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee.

I have to run. School starts today here in New England and I still have one here at home. Have a good day and I go in peace.

09-05-2001, 12:45 PM
I wondered about the Little Texas settlement myself. I can't remember exactly what Tejas means but it originates with the Comanche or Kiowa...I think...read it somewhere.

I am also wondering even more about the Cherokee/Blackfoot connections and what exactly was the difference. Saponi were in the northeastern part of N.Carolina and Cherokee in the southwestern most part..right?