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Seeking more information on Wapo Indians and tribal names

The Wappo/Wapo Indian are said to have occupied lands in the mountainous area of northern California. It is said that they have been here of 3 or 4 thousand years. Their territory included the Russian River valleys and part of the Napa Valley. Their language, together with Yuki Indians form the Penutian family, which is related to a large group of central and northern California languages. Those Wappo's left are said to live in the Alexander Valley of California. Information about this tribe is very sketchy, in part because the government will not recognize certain tribes that were not as cooperative with them in the taking of Indian land, and possibly because of the HUE of their skin.

My great-great and great grandfathers are said to be Wapo/Wappo Indians. My greatgrandfather D.C Goings wrote two books on faith healing; he began faith healing at a very early age. He and my family are featured in a book called "The History of Grover Hill". I am searching for the surname of Goings. D.C as mentioned was a faith healer. I know that he lived in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio according to his writings.

If anyone has knowledge or information about the Wapo/Wappo's and their origin or any information about tribal names I would be so thankful. I have heard that Goings could have once been Goingsnake.


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All the Goings are in The first slave to be freed in the country was John Gowen Geaween and his wife was Margaret Cornish. The geneology is easy to track from there.

J.P., 2/6/2015

I am also a descendant of DC Goings and have been trying to find out for sure what a Wapo indian is. I read in a book, a few years ago, that the Wapo name is a shortened version of the Potawatomi. I have not seen any other reference to this but when trying to find an actual tribe that bears the Wapo name in the history of this country, which leads me to believe that it could very well be true. My Grandmother, Rennie, is the descendant of Lavinia Goings. My Mother's older siblings were not allowed to attend school because of their "mixed" race. As my Mom explained it to me, back then you were either "white" or "other". "Other "usually meant Black and if you have seen a picture of Rebecca Fox you can see why that wouldn't have been a far stretch of the imagination. A court case was brought and my Aunt and Uncle's were allowed back in school. On or before October 11, 1934, Judge Frank L. Covert of Pontiac, Washtenaw Circuit Court, found that the schoolboard's reason to keep the children out of school was "arbitrary and unauthoritive and actuated by motives not of the highest character..."

H., Jan 2010

When I began researching my family history I had no idea how interesting the journey would turn out to be. One surprise in particular was finding how much work had been done on the Goings family. It seems that much of this was motivated by the prominence of Doctor Craig Goings as a faith healer and speaker, and partly because of his descent from Hannah Findley, who successfully sued in court to win her freedom from slavery.

The following family tree shows some of DC Going's ancestry. The earliest ancestors I can find are John Geaween, born in 1615 in Angola Africa, and Margaret Cornish. I could find nothing about Margaret's roots, but it appears that after John's death she married an Englishman named William Sweat, and had at least three children with him.

family tree

John's grandson Jason married Hannah Findley. She had been a slave in Virginia, but apparently Virginia law forbade holding in slavery anyone who was not of purely African ancestry. Of Hannah's antecedents, James and Chance were Indians of the Choctaw nation, while presumably Findley was African. She took her case to court in Virginia, was able to prove her Choctaw roots, and was freed.

Their grandson, Doctor Craig Goings, is fascinating. It is not clear whether "Doctor" was his first name or a title, especially in view of the fact that one of his sons was definitely named "Doctor". However, Going's book "The Faith Cure to the Invalids" is authored by "Dr. DC Goings" - which either makes him Doctor Doctor Goings, or suggests that he had another first name. There is also no indication as to whether he formally earned the title or simply assumed it. In either case, he appears to have been an important faith healer and public speaker, at least in northeastern Ohio.

One of the questions here has been about his ties to the Wapoo or Wappo Indians. As can be seen in the family tree, I have not been able to discover much about his mother's ancestry, so it is entirely possible there is some kind of link. However, the Wappo were a California tribe, and a link with them before 1808 seems very unlikely. There is also evidence that some of the Cusabo people of the Carolinas were called "Wapoo", and geographically there is a better chance of a connection, but again, it is very tentative. My own speculation is that his Native American roots were primarily Choctaw, and that "Wapoo" was an invention. But it is clear that he had strong Native American ties - his wife Rebecca was from the Sac and Fox tribe.

Here is a picture of them:

DC and Rebecca Goings

The ties with Native Americans continued - for example, descendents of DC's father Jacob and his first wife Jemima moved west and married into the Oglala Sioux. But so far I cannot find anything that links the Goings line to the Wapoo.

It might be of interest that one of DC and Rebecca's grandchildren is still living, and turns 104 this fall.

K.W., 8/17/2009

I am also a descendant of D. C. Goings. He and Rebecca had a daughter named Luella; who married Charles Williams. One of their daughters, Eula is my grandmother. I am just curious to know if you have any clue about how I can obtain a copy of the book he wrote: "The Faith Cure." I have been researching my family for quite some time and I really want a copy of his book. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

C., 10/3/2004

My grandmother is a Wapo Indian. Our families last name is Goings. She is from Paulding.

G.V., 5/12/2004

The name Wappo is said to come from the Americanization of the Spanish word "Guapo" which means brave, due to their resistance to the missionaries.

H.B., 5/18/2004

From what I understand, D.C. Goings( Mercer County Ohio to Paulding County, Ohio) was descended from a tribe called Wapoo or Wappoo, not the Wapo or Wappo of California/West Coast. These Native Americans(Wappoo) are said to be a Cusabo Tribe from South Carolina. I hope this helps.

6up, 8/12/2002

Though one anthropologist incorrectly listed the Yuki as a Penutian language, linguistic evidence proves that the Yuki have their own language base, which is related to no other, Yukian. As the oldest culture of California (with rock art dated over 15,000 years old), the Yuki have many other unique characteristics.

D.H., 3/6/2002