Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lumbee Surnames: Who Knew There Were So Many?

Category: 29. Genealogical materials

BRIT004. Britt, Morris F. "Appendix T. List of Lumbee surnames with dates of appearance in the greater Lumbee Settlement (N=523 surnames) 1740-2007." 107 pages. Key source

Publication type: Unpublished manuscript (appendix to forthcoming book)

Full text: PDF files of sections of the manuscript can be downloaded from the table below.

Morris F. Britt has been compiling Lumbee surnames since 1986 (see his "Indian names in Robeson County," Robeson County Register 1.3 (August 1986): 113; item 1027). He began thinking there were about a dozen names; then, in examining the 1990 federal census for Robeson County, he found that there were 120. He went on to study the 1910 federal census for Robeson County (see his "Robeson County Indian names: An analysis based upon the Census of 1910," Robeson County Register 6.3 (1991): 120-122; item 1039). He continued compiling surnames as part of his research for a forthcoming book on Lumbee origins. Once he recorded additional names discovered by Jane Blanks Barnhill for her book of Lumbee cemetery records, Sacred Grounds: "Gone but Not Forgotten" (see item BARN002), his list had grown to 523 documented surnames and—with his detailed recounting of the sources in which he found each name—107 pages.

In his preface to this list, Britt explains that he has included "not only the most frequent, prominent 'core' Lumbee surnames but all such names, however infrequent, ever identified in the Settlement from the 1740s to the present" (p. 3). He also lists the sources from which he derived the names: "land and tax records, cemetery records, death certificates, census reports, wills, deeds, petitions for acknowledgment, military and church records, and newspaper notices" (p. 3).

Britt offers important advice to researchers in his preface. To summarize: (1) many names in Robeson County can be Lumbee, White, African American, or all three; thus, a surname alone does not guarantee Lumbee ancestry. (2) Lumbee ancestors have been listed with a wide range of designations in historical records, including Mulatto, free persons not White, and free persons of color. In early Robeson and Bladen County census records and tax lists, the designation Indian appeared only once (in a 1768 Bladen tax list). Therefore, Britt says, "As a cautionary note, you cannot take any single-entry racial designation, White, African-American, or Indian, 'as gospel' " (p. 2).

Britt provides this list of surnames—in advance of the publication of his book—as an aid to researchers. It should prove especially valuable to those seeking enrollment in the Lumbee Tribe. In his documentation of the sources in which he found each Lumbee surname, Britt notes whenever the surname was "self-identified as Indian in the 1900 federal census of Robeson County." He also notes whenever a surname is included in Carol Smith Oxendine's 1982 document, 1900 Federal Census information of Indians of Robeson County (see item 1023). Smith's document lists both people self-identified as Indian in the census and those verified as Indian through research. When referring to this document, Britt uses these phrases: "1900 Robeson County Indian Census schedule," "1900 Indian Census Schedule," or "1900 Indian Census Schedule of Robeson County." One of the Lumbee Tribe's requirements for enrollment is tracing ancestry back to people listed as Indian in the 1900 federal census of Robeson County.

Because of the length of this document, it has been divided into ten parts. All researchers should download and read Part 1, which includes Britt's preface explaining how the list was compiled and offering advice to researchers. The table below shows the first and last surname included in each part of the document.

List of Lumbee surnames with dates of appearance in the greater Lumbee Settlement (N=523 surnames) 1740-2007

Part 1 Title page, introduction, Adams—Alford
Part 2 Alford —Braveboy/Braboy / Brayboy / Braceboy
Part 3 Braveboy / Braboy / Brayboy / Braceboy—Carsey
Part 4 Carter—Davis
Part 5 Davis—Groom
Part 6 Groom—Knights
Part 7 Kober—Mitchell
Part 8 Mitchell—Quick
Part 9 Quinto—Sweat / Sweet
Part 10 Sweeting—Young (end)

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This page was updated on May 7, 2008 1:18 PM

Copyright © 2007, Glenn Ellen Starr Stilling. This document may be reproduced only if this copyright notice is reproduced with it.


  1. Hey my name is Pamela Anderson and I'm searching for informaton on Florence Goins. My Granfathers name is Lonnie Anderson and on his S.S. application Florence Goins is his maother and I can't really read fathers name clearly, but I think it says Thom Anderson. Lonnie Tarso Anderson was born Oct. 19, 1913 and had another brother and sister, but after the roits everyone went separate ways. It was told to me that Florence may have come from the Carolina's area and was thought to be Lumbee Indian.
    If you have any info I would cerainly appreciate any. I can be reached by email:

    Thank you,

  2. pamela again, i typed my email address wrong


  4. I am seeking information on the Thacker/Thatcher family.I can be reached at

  5. I am seeking information on my great grandparents, Thomas Ivey and Edgenora McPhatter. They moved from Robeson county to Wayne County, Georgia.

  6. I am looking for information about my great grandmother Cora C. Brooks. She was born in the late 1800's in Lancaster County S.C. She married Hayward Mcmanus. She was native and we were told that it was Lumbee. Any information would be helpful. My e-mail is

  7. Can anyone tell me anything about neil smith he was married to Lucy Goins daughter of Ann Goins they had 10 children but I cant find any info on him only Ann Lucy and kids. They we in Little River Cumberland N.C. any info would be helpful thank you Angela Goins

  8. I would be grateful for any information on the John Hammons/Hammond history and descendants. He was married to Christian Norfleet and they had several children. My email is Thank you. Mitzi Hammond Perkins