African-Native American Genealogy Forum
Re: Surname Portee
In Response To: Re: Surname Portee ()
Hi all, Portee is neither Cherokee nor French. The name is Portuguese and in this country its as old as this country. Portees date back to the mid 1600s in Va. They were initially endentured servants and a mix of Portuguese, Angloan Afr, Canary Indian and East Indian but they were labeled black. They were never slaves as they were endentured, just like Captain John Smith. You can find there beginnings in Va around Southampton I believe - don't quote me I forget the exact county but I'm quite sure they stayed near the eastern seaboard as they were fisherman folk. The earliest docuumented was John Portee in that area - he amassed a lot of land in Va and Nc, where his descendants and other Portees migrated to. He's in Granville in William Eaton documentation and in a tithables list under Phil Pryor - he and his son John Portee (spelled Porter), Rachael Portee, Uriah Portee and Sarah Portee. Others listed are the Goins, Wilson, Jacobs, Chavis, Jeffries, Bass, Pettiford, Sweat, etc. He bought 1000s more acres in Northampton or Craven county I believe. Sarah and Rachael Portee along with Sarah Jacobs and the Wilsons show up migrating to Richland SC (Columbia) but around the Wateree - Garners Ferry area and 1806 the petitioned the state against the black taxes imposed on them. The tax was imposed on blacks, not natives and they petitioned because they weren't black. The only one who won her case to be noted as native was Sarah Jacobs. These folks along with the Chavis, Bolton, Sweat, Simon, Rawlinson and a few others didn't give up their but went on to found freedom corner to deal with these issues.
Of course the Portee had native blood. They mixed a long time ago with the Gingaskin of Southampton and Powhatan tribes around Sandy Creek in Charles City. I am a Portee descendant as well and know who we are, what we look like and our history both orally and written - what little there is.
The Cherokee theory... I don't know why that keeps coming up but Portee are not Cherokee. Some still have their mixed roots while many others are now black or mixed Saponi. Richland and Kershaw - the counites around the Wateree produced more than 300 Portee. I have the family tree and can look up anyone out of the Wateree. If you are from there, nice to meet you and you can connect to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. BTW, the Goins, Jeffries, Rawlinson, Harris, Jones, Portee, Bennett, Chavis, Griffin, Gibson, Clark, Wilson, Nacobs, Grooms, Thomas, Sweat, Brown, Anderson, Scott, Canty, Goodwyn, Lowery, Locklear, Oxendine, Richardson, Ivey and a few other Saponi, Lumbee and Catawba/Wateree folks have lived in Richland and Kershaw as one clan that DID NOT marry outside these tribal names for more than 170 years. It was my mothers generation who did so. I apologize for spelling errors; typing by blackberry.
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