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The Gullah/Geechees came together to declare themselves as a nation on July 2, 2000 with international observers and media present.

De Gullah/Geechee Nation Map

The Gullah/Geechee Nation exist from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  It encompasses all of the Sea Islands and thirty to thirty-five miles inland to the St. John’s River.  On these islands, people from numerous African ethnic groups linked with indigenous Americans and created the unique Gullah language and traditions from which later came “Geechee.”   The Gullah/Geechee people have been considered “a nation within a nation” from the time of chattel enslavement in the United States until they officially became an internationally recognized nation on July 2, 2000.   At the time of their declaration as a nation, they confirmed the election of their first “head pun de boddee”-head of state and official spokesperson and queen mother.  They elected Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com).


Queen Quet is the first elected Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

The Gullah/Geechee Nation can be reached at

Gullah/Geechee Nation Headquarters

Post Office Box 1109

St. Helena Island SC 29920

(843) 838-1171 or email GullGeeCo@aol.com

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Declaration states:


To preserve, protect, and promote our history, culture, language, and homeland and to institute and demand official recognition of the governance (minority) rights necessary to accomplish our mission to take care of our community through collective efforts which will provide a healthy environment, care for the well beings of each person, and economic empowerment.


As we are the authentic original Gullah/Geechee Nation with direct linkage to our ancestral legacy, we stand as custodians of Gullah/Geechee culture and protectors of our human rights. Henceforth, being the ONLY and TRUE keepers of the Gullah/ Geechee cultural legacy, upon us falls the responsibility to promote in an accurate and positive manner all aspects of Gullah/ Geechee culture by emanating knowledge and healing souls. This process is guided through the release of the full story of the foreparents of Gullah and Geechee ancestral souls and the wisdom of our elders.

WE intend to protect the development and construction of Gullah/Geechee culture through the establishment of appropriate institutions and law by the exercise of our human rights. Presently this is being achieved through and during conferences, workshops, festivals, and other celebrations of culture and the continuation of oral traditions, living history, crafts, skills, and reconnection to the soil. The establishment of this Constitution will guarantee the continuation by the exercise of our minority right to self-determination.

WE will link with organizations, other nations, and institutions that are contributing positively to the cultivation of our nation.insuring that those connections are carried out with dignity and honor.

In the tradition of our foreparents we will record in written form OURSTORY as a living testament to our Gullah/Geechee legacy. We will also broaden our continuum through the use of electronic and video and audio means of documentation. Through the exercise of our human rights, we will be the keepers of this material as we accept the responsibilities of defining ourselves and our ancestors.

WE will preserve, maintain, and reclaim ALL elements of our homeland which will FOREVER be our base of existence as we carry out these goals. With these goals in mind, Gullah/Geechee people take formal recognition of their nation and their human right to self-determination within the context of their minority governance rights, and thereby, the Gullah/Geechee Nation Wisdom Circle Council of Elders, by its hands, spirit and soul undertakes the task of creating and ratifying the first Constitution of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.


The Gullah/Geechee Nation Constitution is 21 pages long.  It is the document of governing principles by which the Wisdom Circle Council of Elders and the Assembly of Representatives operated as the right and left hands of the Head-of-State.

Official flag of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation educates about the meaning of the national flag of the Gullah/Geechee Nation:

In order to keep up with the latest information regarding the Gullah/Geechee Nation, please subscribe to our Gullah/Geechee Nation blog or click on the link below to access it, subscribe to our monthly international ezine “De Conch” by emailing the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition at GullGeeCo@aol.com, watch Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews and subscribe for FREE on YouTube, and tune in to Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio and subscribe for FREE on iTunes.  All a disya gwine le hunnuh kno who webe fa tru an fa sho!  Ef hunnuh wan buy Gullah/Geechee tings, den gwine ta de Gullah/Geechee Nation’s online store: www.gullahgeechee.ecwid.com or at www.gullahgeechee.biz fa support we!


  1. Hello, I am very new to this. My oldest known ancestor has the surname Hassell and was born in Columbia, NC. Is Hassell a common name in the Gullah Nation?

    • No, it isn’t. They may be from an inland point of NC.

      • Shandria Hall

        Is Hall or Haynes a surname

      • Yes. Hall is on the Georgia Coast.

    • Torri

      I was told my great grandmother was geech she was born on south carolina is Davis a surname?

      • Peace!

        Some people simply used “Geechee” in a derogatory way about all people in the south or South Carolina. However, Gullah/Geechees are a specific ethnic group which is not the same throughout the entire state of South Carolina.

        Also, Davis is not a common surname in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

    • Lanette Mattison

      Is Tileden or White a surname?

      • White is a surname that we have here on the coast.

  2. Hello I would like to know if Miller, Adams or Hassell are common names in the Gullah nation. My great grandfather was Hassell born in Columbia, NC. Thank you!

  3. Ikeya Harol

    Hello, I’m curious to know if any of the following surnames Pitts, Young, Jones, Holeman/Hallmon/Hollman/Holman are prevalent in the Gullah/Geechee Nation? My Great Grand Father Tommy Lee Pitts Jr was born in Macon Georgia and he was Geechee and spoke Gullah.
    Thank you for all that you do..

    • Peace!

      Those names are not common as written previously. We do know some Jones on the coast. The exact counties and states are critical.

  4. Ikeya Harol

    Hi I am interested in learning if the surnames Pitts, Young, Jones and Holeman/Hollman/Hallmon/Holman are prevalent names in the GullahGeechee Nation. My Great Grandfather was born in Macon Georgia and is Geechee and spoke Gullah.
    Thanks for all you do.

  5. Julia F Kelly

    I just visited Hilton Head and learned so much history. My family last name is Kelly , Hollingsworth and Jones.my family is from Augusta, Statesboro,Macon and Porta, GA. Do any of those last names have any connection to the Gullah/Geechee.

    • All of the locations that you mentioned are not part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. They are inland. The surnames aren’t generally here either.

      • Jaquan g jones


  6. Julia F Kelly

    Is pierce a common name.

  7. Benjamin


    I will be coming down this July 4th weekend. I am hoping to get in touch with distant family that I have never met. Does anyone know Ms Gardenias Simmons-White. She is my great aunt on my fathers side. I have never met any of my Gullah family, I feel like a piece of who i am is missing and I may find it on St Helena Island.

  8. Angel Goodwine Batts

    I will try to get there for Famlee Day on the 30th. My father John Goodwine,Jr. visited there and found many members of our family about 20 years ago before his death. It has been a goal to come since then, but never had enough notice to make it down. Thanks for posting the flyer, I may be able to make it. ♥️

  9. Nesha

    Hello, my mother says we are geechee. My late grandma was born in Clarendon County, SC with the surname Richburg. Great-grandma’s maiden name was Wilder. Do either of those sound familiar?

    • The Wilders are in Charleston County. Is she related to them?


    Hi Queen
    My Ancestry show last names Earle, Boozer, Rowe, Gantt, and Lucas. Can you lead me in the direction of finding Gullah Geechee connection. I was told about Geechee when I was 8-11 years old. Thank you

    • Gantt is a name from Reconstruction that we generally do not hear on the coast now. What counties and in what states do you believe your family roots stem from? That is where we begin and not with surnames.

  11. Jamya

    Hi, I’m from Memphis,TN and I’m very interested in researching my family’s history. Could you please tell me if Echols is a name amongst your people? My grandad is rumored to be apart of your nation but I’m unsure.

    • We’ve seen that name but it is not a common one on our coast.

  12. Kalunga Coaxum

    im gullah on my ma and dads side of the family. My ma’s family is from kingstree south carolina with the last names Cooper and Fleming. My Dad side is from beaufort sc with the last name coaxum and Mobley. Any famlee on here?

  13. oliver wade


    Greetings, I am asking this question for clarity….. I have noticed that there is another flag representing the Gullah Geehee presence. I would like to know if this is correct or update?….. Thank you, Oliver

    • There is only ONE flag for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Someone created a fraudulent banner that some people have confused for a flag. There is ONE Gullah/Geechee Nation and ONE flag that represents us.

  14. Taeryes

    Peace and Blessings,

    When I saw Queen Quet’s Vice interview years ago I was intrigued as I saw so much of my family in her. We mainly live in the metro Detroit area now. My maternal grandmother was born in Barnwell county SC is there connection with Gullah Geechee people and that county?

    My family surnames are Trolly/Trolley, Davis, and Garrett. The knowledge I have of my grand mother’s mother is more broad. She was from Florida.

    Hoping to hear from you.

    • Peace!

      Yes, there are Gullah/Geechee connections to Barnwell also. Some folks migrated from the islands there. However, the surnames that you mentioned we are not familiar with.

      • Matt Maddox

        How about the surname “Whaley”?

      • Not that one either.

  15. Neequa

    Shalom sis! I was told i had family from the sea islands. I have family in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina. Are you familiar with any of these surnames Jenkins, McCray, Richardson, Engle,Barnes?

    • Peace!

      There are a tremendous amount of Jenkins and there was a Jenkins plantation here as well. McCray is a name found in the Charleston, SC area so is Richardson. The latter is on James Island in particular. The other names we have heard of but not on the coast usually.

  16. Ikeya Harol

    Hi Queen Quet, I love what you are doing to Educate and raise awareness of the truth of the Geechee Nation. I am seeking to learn if any of the following surnames Pitts, Young, Jones, Holeman/Hallmon/Hollman/Holman are prevalent in the Gullah/Geechee Nation? My Great Grand Father Tommy Lee Pitts Jr was born in Macon Georgia and he was Geechee and spoke Gullah.
    Thank you for all that you do..

    Ikeya Kismet

    • Peace!

      Macon is inland and not part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. The surnames that you mention are usually also names in NC and inland parts of the south and not prevalent on the coast unless the families migrated. We do know folks with the surnames Young and Jones, but those are not extremely common names.

  17. Mrs. McRae

    Hi. My husbands grandmother is 90+ years old and claims ties to Gullah Grechee tribe. Is there a roll or list of the tribe vs birth certificate? Or a How are we to confirm the history? Maiden name: Christian

    • We are a nation and an ethnic group, but not a tribe. We do not keep rolls, but generally can verify based on where the person was born and their family lineage.

  18. Dana Singleton

    Peace and Love, I’m from Georgetown, SC and my mothers maiden name is Dozier and my fathers last name in Singleton. I traced their grand parents back to the late 1800s and they were also from SC. Are those last names familiar?

    • Yes, they are.

    • Umi El

      Peace and Love,
      My great grandmother’s maiden name was Dozier. Her name was Evetta Dozier Cook. She lived in the Batesburg,/Newberry SC area. We maybe related..

      • Dana

        Peace to you love! I’m going to ask my mother because she knows a lot of people in SC. Once I do, I’ll get back right at you 😊

  19. Tosh Wright

    My family is from Edisto Island. I was born at North Charleston Naval Base. My last name is Wright. If possible, how do I go about joining the Gullah-Geechee nation? Thank you!

    • You can’t join the Gullah/Geechee Nation. We are born Gullah/Geechee. You can support us by joining the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition via http://www.GullahGeechee.biz. That is an organization that takes members. Tenki Tenki!

  20. Daniele

    Hampton County, born and raised. I was put in soeech classes as a child to “fix my speech.” Alassa tea cured our colds and a sure place to find the older generation when I was a child was fishing at Boggy Creek Bridge. Family last names: White, Housey/Housie, Heyward, Bennett, Whitney, Ling. We lived right by the Savannah River. All of our creeks ran to there. Garnett/Shirley/Robertsville, SC. I know Hampton County is a part of the nation but my mother doesn’t think we are Gullah/Geechee despite similarities in speech amd customs. I have managed to trace our ties back to the area to the 1830s (paternal side Heywards, 1850s for Whitney) before written documents disappeared.

    • Descendancy and traditions are part of the cultural legacy. Many people lack the ability to speak our language fluently due to forced interactions with English speakers. That has no bearing on whether or not you are Gullah/Geechee if your family is of African descent and your ancestors where here since the 1700 and 1800s though.

  21. Rich

    Gods help your people keep your land

  22. Leigh Samuel

    Happy New Year! Glad to have found this site. I have family in SC and GA. We originally are from West Africa. Does the surname Golliday (Golladay) sound familiar? Thank you in advance.

    • Peace!

      That surname is not familiar in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

  23. Shoun

    Hi Queen, I am curious if I could possibly have Gullah roots? I currently live in North Carolina. I was told that my family comes from Cheraw, Sc and they eventually migrated up towards raeford/Fayetteville NC where they currently reside now. And they said they’ve always stayed in the Carolinas. My family surnames are sturdivant, quick, galberth, Johnson, jackson, harris, and mcgregor.

    • Peace!

      Cheraw has its own culture. The folks are African American and not Gullah/Geechee there. If you have folks that migrated from the coast there, then there is a possibility.

  24. Happy New Year to you all. I am doing my ancestry and I know we have family in South Carolina. Are there any Bowers or Subers in the Gullah Geechee Nation?

    • Happy New Year!

      Those surnames are not common. However, there are Bowers in the Charleston County, SC area of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

  25. Jennifer

    Hello, I just found out my grandmother’s father and his parents were from South Carolina. He spoke what we believe to be Gullah Geechee. His last name was McKenney or Mckinney. Is that a known name in the Gullah nation? Thank you.

    • Peace!

      Do you know the area in SC? That is crucial since only the Lowcountry counties are where Gullah/Geechee culture evolved and has been sustained.

      We are not familiar with that surname on the coast specifically, but there are some names that are similar to it.

  26. William

    Hello! My great grandfather was a highland Geechee not familiar with the term, but his last name was Webster and he is from Georgia. I was wonder if that last name is common?

    • Peace!

      That is not a common name. He may have been from inland Georgia which is a different cultural group.

  27. Torri

    Greetings, is Davis, Salters, or Benyard a common surname?

    • Peace!

      Those are not common names in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

  28. Tiffany Renee

    Hello! My maternal line are all from different parts of SC, mostly inland in Clarendon & York counties, but I wonder if any of their names came from the Gullah Geechee Nation: Caldwell, Funches, Neely, Murray, Sanders? Thank you!

    • Peace!

      Most of the surnames that you mentioned are inland names and we know folks that migrated to Charleston from inland counties with those names. However, Sanders or Saunders is a surname that we are aware of in Charleston County and on Johns Island specifically.

      • Tiffany Renee

        Thank you! I believe it was my 3rd great grandparents Janie and William Sanders…their daughter, Dorenda Sanders (later married Cicero Neely) was born in York County in 1886 . I’m a little stuck in where Janie and William were before that but I’ll keep looking. Thank you for your response!

  29. Waya

    So the Gullah Geechee are Descendants of the Guale Indians who mixed with the Africans brought. Do the you all have native tribal engagement with the Yamasee Indians nearby y’all?

  30. Kyree

    Hey my grandma is from My Pleasant, are you familiar with the last names, Wilson, and Robinson?

    • We are familiar with those last names throughout the South Carolina coast.

  31. Kyree

    Hey my grandma is from Mt Pleasant SC. Are you familiar with the surnames Wilson and Robinson?

  32. Omoro Pleas

    Is Wilkes a common surname in GeeChee culture?

    • Peace!

      That is not a common surname on the coast. We have met folks inland with that surname.

  33. Bilal Smalls

    Peace, are we able to govern ourselves as a recognized nation? Do we receive the same rights and benefits as all Native American nations?

    • Peace!

      You are on the site of our government. Did you read through the entire page?

      We have additional rights. We are not a reservation. We are a nation.

  34. Michele thomas

    Grand afternoon my name is michele and my grandmother maiden name is helen james she was born in SC IN 1935 to free / American Indian parents . I would love to know if any surnames with the name james still resides or have connections . I would like to make sure I learn and pass down all of our traditions to my sons and daughters

    • Peace!

      That is not a common surname on the coast. We have met people inland with that surname though.

  35. Are Brown or Hall familiar names?

  36. james

    I was doing my family geneaology and they came from northern and northeast georgia until i got to my 5th great grandparents they all came from south carolina. they surname is Easley. Do you know how ppl from south carolina got to georgia. would they be gullah geechee?

    • Peace!

      That is not a surname we are familiar with. You need to find out the county in SC which may be inland.

  37. Delphinia Elliott

    Dear Queen Quet,
    My daddy Cleveland Smith, who was born in 1909, used to talk about life in a Frogmore community. Is there a Gullah/Geechee connection to that surname?

    • Peace!

      We don’t necessarily have a direct connection with that name, but there are Smiths still in Frogmore.

  38. Brandy Jones

    Grand afternoon.
    Not sure if my question actually posted. Hope your day is blessed. I have NC Lumbee and Haliwa-Saponi dna as well as allegedly Geechee/Gullah dna. My maternal grandmother was born a Luke and my maternal grandfather a Walton, is buried on James Island. Would love to meet family and learn as much as possible about my people. Thanks in advance. Love n light.

  39. Ti-Rocka Burris

    Are Burris or Miles common surnames? My dad’s side is from SC & NC

    • Peace!

      These names are not common in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. You need to locate the exact counties in those states. They are likely inland counties. The culture is not the same on the coast as in the inland areas.

  40. Loretta Thomas

    Blessings, I am searching for my ancestry. My parents last names were Davis on my father’s side. My mother’s side are Dicker and Anderson or Andersen. I was told by my mom we are Geechee. Please, help me to get some clarity on where I came from.

    • Peace!

      These names are not common in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. You need to locate the exact counties in those states. They are likely inland counties. The culture is not the same on the coast as in the inland areas.

  41. Valerie Tate

    Although I’m familiar with some of the history of the Gullah/Geechee Nation there is always so much more for me to learn. As I’ve done research on my family history and I was wondering if Hadley and Parker are common names within the nations?
    Thanks in advance for your time.

  42. Brandy B

    Hi! I’m doing some research on my grandmother’s family – the Waites and the Fraziers (sometimes spelling varies) of Johns Island. I’ll be in Charleston for the first time ever this Saturday, and it would be amazing to connect with folks who might know my family. They were on Johns Island for at least a few generations, but I’m not sure if they were Gullah/Geechee

    • The Fraziers are Gullah/Geechee and are still on Johns Island. Some are also on James Island. We hope you made the connection with them.

  43. Stephanie Handy

    Good afternoon, I’m a little familiar with with the saying Geechie as my mom was born and raised on St. Helena Island with the last name Coles, however I was wondering because of the mixture of indigenious native living there do we have any information on the tribes that were located there?

  44. Krystal

    Hello, my grandmother was from lady’s Island SC and she was a Heyward, is this a surname and is that area apart of the Gullah Geechee Nation? We also have Jenkins from the Charleston area as well.

    • Both of those names are very common in the Gullah/Geechee Nation due to the fact that there were enslavers with those surnames especially in Beaufort County.

      • Krystal

        Are they any Jenkins or Heyward that currently reside in the Geechie Nation? If so, where?

  45. Cynthia K. Murray

    I have A question is McKenzie apart of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

    • We can’t say for sure. That is not a common surname here. Do you know where exactly they are from i.e. county and state?


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