Albert Goins

Photo added by Christopher Walker

Albert Goins

Grayson County, Virginia, USA
Death unknown
Grayson County, Virginia, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 139034370 · View Source
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ALBERT GOINS was the son of Nancy Goins/Gowen/Going (1784-Unknown) of Grayson County, Virginia. In an 1813 listing found in the 1794-1827 Grayson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Book obtained from The Library of Virginia, Richmond Virginia (Reel #139), "Nancy Going" is first identified as a "free mulatto". Then in the 1820, 1830 and 1840 US Census reports, "Nancy Gawen/Gains/Goins" is identified as a "free colored person".1 A Virginia Slave Code law passed in December of 1662 stated that:

"Whereas some doubts have arisen whether children got by any Englishman upon a Negro woman should be slave or free, be it therefore enacted and declared by this present Grand Assembly, that all children born in this country shall be held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother; and that if any Christian shall commit fornication with a Negro man or woman, he or she so offending shall pay double the fines imposed by the former act." (Source: William Waller Hening, Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia (Richmond, Va, 1809-23), Vol. 11, pp. 170, 260, 266, 270).

Thus, Albert Goins was considered a "free colored person" based upon the status of his mother. Around 1836, however, he chose as his wife, Dianah Dickerson Goins (1818-Unknown), a slave.2 For the next thirty years, Albert Goins would live and work along side Dianah Goins' slave masters, a father-son duo named Isaac Garrison (1771-1860), and David Garrison (1797-1887).3

Isaac Garrison was an early pioneer settler of Grayson County, Virginia. But the Garrisons had a rather contentious relationship. In 1855 the son hauled the father into a Grayson County court over some trivial money matter. Isaac Garrison, the father won the case, but David Garrison, the son appealed, and the court in 1861, several months after Isaac Garrison had already died, ordered the initial judgement be reversed, “and that the appellant recover against the appellee his costs by him about his appeal on this behalf expended.” This amounted to $13.55--or about $400.00 in today's money. (From

I suspect Albert Goins worked for the Garrisons in order to eventually set his wife, Dianah, and their children free. This was the custom of the day. And I believe this was the case with Albert Goins. There is, however, some controversy as to the real status of Dianah Dickerson Goins. Was she "free" or was she a "slave"? The short answer is: yes, she was a slave, but the public record before 1840 also suggests that Dianah Goins may have once been considered free by the Garrisons--for whatever reason.

Albert Goins first appears by name in the public record, in the 1835 Grayson County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List, Reel #140, obtained at The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. He is listed along side his mother, Nancy Goins, as "Albert Goan" and "Nancy Goan". He also appears with his mother, in the 1839 and 1840 "Grayson County, Virginia List of Free Negroes & Mulattoes" found in the Documents Room, at The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

--Christopher Walker, 03-04-2017

1. See 1820 US Census, “Nancy Gawen” [Nancy Goins], Grayson County, Virginia; 1830 US Census, “Nancy Gains” [Nancy Goins], Grayson County, Virginia; and 1840 US Census, “Albert Geier” or “Albert Gains” [Albert Goins], Grayson County, Virginia found at

2. I obtained the maiden name of Dianah Goins (Dickerson) from the 1931 Virginia Death Certificate for her daughter, Minerva Goins Pugh.

3. See 1865 Census Returns for the Colored Population of Grayson County, Virginia located in the "Virginia Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872), Digital Folder #4152454, Images 395, 396, 399 & 410.

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  • Maintained by: Christopher Walker
  • Originally Created by: Carole Conrad
  • Added: 20 Nov 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 139034370
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Albert Goins (1815–unknown), Find A Grave Memorial no. 139034370, ; Maintained by Christopher Walker (contributor 48377626) Unknown.