Cherokee Tribe

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Cherokee Indians. A powerful detached tribe of the Iroquoian family, formerly holding the whole mountain region of the south Alleghenies, in southwest Virginia, western North Carolina and South Carolina, north Georgia, east Tennessee, and northeast Alabama, and claiming even to the Ohio River.

The tribal name is a corruption of Tsálăgĭ or Tsărăgĭ, the name by which they commonly called themselves, and which may be derived from the Choctaw chiluk-ki ‘cave people’, in allusion to the numerous caves in their mountain country. They sometimes also call themselves Ani´-Yûñ´-wiyá, ‘real people,’ or Ani´-Kĭtu´hwagĭ, ‘people of Kituhwa,’ one of their most important ancient settlements. Their northern kinsmen, the Iroquois, called them Oyata’ge‘ronoñ, ‘inhabitants of the cave country’ (Hewitt), and the Delawares and connected tribes called them Kittuwa, from the settlement already noted. They seem to be identical with the Rickohockans, who invaded central Virginia in 1658, and with the ancient Talligewi, of Delaware tradition, who were represented to have been driven southward from the upper Ohio River region by the combined forces of the Iroquois and Delawares.

Cherokee Language

The language has three principal dialects:

  1. Elatĭ, or Lower, spoken on the heads of Savannah River, in South Carolina and Georgia;
  2. Middle, spoken chiefly on the waters of Tuckasegee River, in western North Carolina, and now the prevailing dialect on the East Cherokee reservation;
  3. A´tăli, Mountain or Upper, spoken throughout most of upper Georgia, east Tennessee, and extreme western North Carolina. The lower dialect was the only one which had the r sound, and is now extinct. The upper dialect is that which has been exclusively used in the native literature of the tribe.

Cherokee Tribe History

Traditional, linguistic, and archeological evidence shows that the Cherokee originated in the north, but they were found in possession of the south Allegheny region when first encountered by De Soto in 1540. Their relations with the Carolina colonies began 150 years later. In 1736 the Jesuit (?) Priber started the first mission among them, and attempted to organize their government on a civilized basis. In 1759, under the leadership of A´ganstâ´ta (Oconostota), they began war with the English of Carolina. In the Revolution they took sides against the Americans, and continued the struggle almost without interval until 1794. During this period parties of the Cherokee pushed down Tennessee River and formed new settlements at Chickamauga and other points about the Tennessee-Alabama line. Shortly after 1800, missionary and educational work was established among theme, and in 1820 they adopted a regular form of government modeled on that of the United States. In the meantime large numbers of the more conservative Cherokee, wearied by the encroachments of the whites, had crossed the Mississippi and made new homes in the wilderness in what is now Arkansas. A year or two later Sequoya, a mixed-blood, invented the alphabet, which at once raised them to the rank of a literary people.

At the height of their prosperity gold was discovered near the present Dahlonega, Georgia, within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, and at once a powerful agitation was begun for the removal of the Indians. After years of hopeless struggle under the leadership of their great chief, John Ross, they were compelled to submit to the inevitable, and by the treaty of New Echota, Dec. 29, 1835, the Cherokee sold their entire remaining territory and agreed to remove beyond the Mississippi to a country there to be set apart for them-the present (1890) Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. The removal was accomplished in the winter of 1838-39, after considerable hardship and the loss of nearly one-fourth of their number, the unwilling Indians being driven out by military force and making the long journey on foot. On reaching their destination they reorganized their national government, with their capital at Tahlequah, admitting to equal privileges the earlier emigrants, known as “old settlers.” A part of the Arkansas Cherokee had previously gone down into Texas, where they had obtained a grant of land in the east part of the state from the Mexican government. The later Texan revolutionists refused to recognize their rights, and in spite of the efforts of Gen. Sam Houston, who defended the Indian claim, a conflict was precipitated, resulting, in 1839, in the killing of the Cherokee chief, Bowl, with a large number of his men, by the Texan troops, and the expulsion of the Cherokee from Texas.

When the main body of the tribe was removed to the west, several hundred fugitives escaped to the mountains, where they lived as refugees for a time, until, in 1842, through the efforts of William H. Thomas, an influential trader, they received permission to remain on lands set apart for their use in western North Carolina.

They constitute the present eastern band of Cherokee, residing chiefly on the Qualla reservation in Swain and Jackson counties, with several outlying settlements.

The Cherokee in the Cherokee Nation were for years divided into two hostile factions, those who had favored and those who had opposed the treaty of removal. Hardly had these differences they been adjusted when the civil war burst upon them. Being slave owners and surrounded by southern influences, a large part of each of the Five Civilized Tribes of the territory enlisted in the service of the Confederacy, while others adhered to the National Government. The territory of the Cherokee was overrun in turn by both armies, and the close of the war found them prostrated. By treaty in 1866 they were readmitted to the protection of the United States, but obliged to liberate their Negro slaves and admit them to equal citizenship. In 1867 and 1870 the Delawares and Shawnee, respectively, numbering together about 1,750, were admitted from Kansas and incorporated with the Nation. In 1889 Cherokee Commission was created for the purpose of abolishing the tribal governments and opening the territories to white settlement, with the result that after 15 years of negotiation an agreement was made by which the government of the Cherokee Nation came to a final end Mar. 3, 1906: the Indian lands were divided, and the Cherokee Indians, native adopted, became citizens of the United States.

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee have 7 clans, viz:

  1. Ani’-wa’`ya (Wolf)
  2. Ani’-Kawĭ‘ (Deer)
  3. Ani’-Tsi’skwa (Bird)
  4. Ani’-wi’dĭ (Paint)
  5. Ani’-Sah’a’ni
  6. Ani’-Ga’tagewĭ
  7. Ani’-Gi-lâ’hĭ

The names of the last 3 cannot be translated with certainty. There is evidence that there were anciently 14, which by extinction or absorption have been reduced to their present number. The Wolf clan is the largest and most important. The “seven clans” are frequently mentioned in the ritual prayers and even in the printed laws of the tribe. They seem to have had a connection with the “seven mother towns” of the Cherokee, described by Cuming in 1730 as having each a chief, whose office was hereditary in the female line.

The Cherokee are probably about as numerous now (1905) as at any period in their history. With the exception of an estimate in 1730, which placed them at about  20,000, most of those up to a recent period gave them 12,000 or 14,000, and in 1758 they were computed at only 7,500.  The majority of the earlier estimates are probably too low, as the Cherokee occupied so extensive a territory that only a part of them came in contact with the whites. In 1708 Gov. Johnson estimated them at 60 villages and “at least 500 men”[1]. In 1715 they were officially reported to number 11,210 (Upper, 2,760; Middle, 6,350; Lower, 2,100), including 4,000 warriors, and living in 60 villages (Upper, 19; Middle, 30; Lower, 11). In 1720 were estimated to have been reduced to about 10,000, and again in the same year reported at about 11,500, including about 3,800 warriors[2]. In 1729 they were estimated at 20,000, with at least 6,000 warriors and 64 towns and villages[3].

They are said to have lost 1,000 warriors in 1739 from smallpox and rum, and they suffered a steady decrease during their wars with the whites, extending from 1760 until after the close of the Revolution. Those in their original homes had again increased to 16,542 at the time of their forced removal to the west in 1838, but lost nearly one-fourth on the journey, 311 perishing in a steamboat accident on the Mississippi. Those already in the west, before the removal, were estimated at about 6,000. The civil war in 1861-65 again checked their progress, but they recovered from its effects in a remarkably short time, and in 1885 numbered about 19,000, of whom about 17,000 were in Indian Territory, together with about 6,000 adopted whites, Negroes, Delawares, and Shawnee, while the remaining 2,000 were still in their ancient homes in the east.

Of this eastern band, 1,376 were on Qualla reservation, in Swain and Jackson Counties, North Carolina; about 300 are on Cheowah River, in Graham County, North Carolina, while the remainder, all of mixed blood, are scattered over east Tennessee, north Georgia, and Alabama. The eastern band lost about 300 by smallpox at the close of the civil war. In 1902 there were officially reported 28,016 persons of Cherokee blood, including all degrees of admixture, in the Cherokee Nation in the Territory, but this includes several thousand individuals formerly repudiated by the tribal courts.

There were also living in the nation about 3,000 adopted Negro freedmen, more than 2,000 adopted whites, and about 1700 adopted Delaware, Shawnee, and other Indians. The tribe has a larger proportion of white admixture than any other of the Five Civilized Tribes.

For Further Study

The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Cherokee as both an ethnological study, and as a people.

Footnotes

   (↵ returns to text)

  1. Rivers, So. Car., 238, 1856
  2. Gov. Johnson’s Rep. in Rivers, So. Car., 93, 94, 103, 1874
  3. Stevens, History of Georgia, I, 48, 1847



MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 April 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/cherokee-tribe.htm - Last updated on Jul 19th, 2012

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45 Responses to “Cherokee Tribe”

    1. Lynn Sharitz
      5:50 pm on April 19th, 2014

    Sorry but I left out a very important fact. The state is Virginia

    1. Lynn Sharitz
      5:46 pm on April 19th, 2014

    Have nowhere to start. I know that my family in Floyd County married people of the Cherokee tribe, but they left no records of Native American names. My family name is McPeak. Lived on Buffalo Mountain in Floyd. I can’t start a search because I have no names. Is there an easier way to research this? Many members of my family share traits with them. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    1. lollong20000
      4:59 pm on April 16th, 2014

    My great grandpa was full blooded Cherokee Indian. I don’t know much about him, but he and my great grandma had 4 children, Monte, Elmer, Clayton, and Rebecca. My great grandmother went by Ruth, but her real name was Hattie May. Its there a way for me to find out more about them? I have tried every ancestry site and cant find any connections. My great grandmother was born around 1911, and was married to my great grand father young. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. My family is from California, but my mother was born in Port Authur Texas, and her dad is still there, so there may be a connection to Texas. “white” EAGLE is the family name. Thanks.

    1. sharee100
      2:19 am on April 14th, 2014

    I am looking for information about Elizabeth “Betsy” Leek Boggs Sevier (aka Ar No Wa Kee or “Watty”). She was born in 1811 in the Cherokee Nation settlement near what is now Chattanooga, TN. She died in 1898 in Buckhorn, Oklahoma in the general area of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. I believe she was married to Joseph Eugene Sevier of the Tennessee Sevier’s. She is listed on the Old Settlers Roll (pgs 103, 419, 420). She was my 3rd gr grandmother.

    Her daughter, Rachael, married Mark “A C” Edward Thornberry. He was born in 1837 in Virginia and died about 1891 in Onapa, Oklahoma. During the Civil war he served in Company B of the First Creek Mounted Volunteers (Confederate). I have not been able to verify if he was Creek or not and cannot find anything about his parents.

    Their son, William Washington Thornberry, married my great grandmother, Norma Lucas. She was born in 1880 in Indian Territory, Oklahoma and we thought she had died giving birth to twins, Vance and Ethel in 1904. But I have since come across their marriage certificate dated 9 months after the twins were born. I found an old newspaper article that says “Mrs. Will Thornberry died in 1907.” I don’t know how to verify if this was her. I did find her on the 1900 Census and she is listed as part Cherokee; her mother was living with her (Emma Sawyer Lucas) and is also listed as part Cherokee.

    I am looking for anything that will help officially document my Cherokee ancestry. DNA test dis say I am about 2% Native American Indian.

    I just found a note from my mother that my grandfather, Vance Thornberry, worked on a government project in Tennessee and had to have a delayed birth certificate created for the job. Until then he was known as “The Indian” (yep, the one mentioned in the Pretty Boy Floyd movies). Does anyone know anything about delayed birth certificates?

    1. Brandee Philbrick
      4:44 pm on March 30th, 2014

    Hi! I have been digging through my genealogy. My father has Cherokee blood. I don’t have any other stories! I have info on his mom-Her name is Janice Dean Williams, Sherrill is her maiden name, 1933-2009, Otlie Sherrill is her father, Gladys H Snyder is her Mother. All of her family is from the East coast. I have a I’m losing some information about 1800′s with some name changes- Mary Polly Maulin…Sallie Short, Emily C. Sherrill, Rebecca Brown, Ashael Asa Elliot, Elizabeth Nugent aren’t going anywhere for me.

    1. Jennifer McDonald
      11:04 pm on March 26th, 2014

    Hey Dennis.

    I’m trying to find my closest relative in the Cherokee tribe. My great great grandmother’s name is Jeannibel DuBose. Can you help me?

    Jennifer

    1. dave mondy
      12:14 am on March 21st, 2014

    Hello. I have been working on my family tree for some time now, and my relatives tell me that we have quarter Cherokee in our blood. they say it was a member named James Monday,(Mondy), about 1852 or 1884.. I have been looking everywhere that people have told me, but nothing ..Where can I go now?

    1. Amanda Mask
      5:33 pm on March 18th, 2014

    I have more info on Ethel D Rice she is actually Ethel D Moss born 1897 in North Carolina her mother was Matilda Jane Davis born 1867 Buncombe County, North Carolina and her mother is Catherine Davis I don’t have anything on her,can you please help me find out if this maybe my Native American line or any info that will help

    1. x3CKSx
      3:24 am on March 14th, 2014

    I have an update on the Martha Lou Kinnel post.
    Her mother’s name was Martha Bryant and it has been passed down through another granddaughter of Martha Lou Kinnel that her mother, Martha Bryant, was Cherokee and was on the Trail of Tears as a young girl and that she had a younger sister that died on the journey.
    Martha Bryant was born @1833. I have not yet found out where but her daughter, Martha Lou was born in Missouri in 1859. I also found an 1880 census that I believe may be Martha Bryant, widowed and living with 4 of her children, all under the name of Kinnell, in Van Buren, Newton, Missouri.
    I know there are some Tennessee Bryant Cherokee’s on the rolls but I do not know if Martha ever made it all the way to Oklahoma.

    1. brucetbauer
      8:50 pm on March 12th, 2014

    I am looking for connection to our Cherokee heritage for a Mary Ellen [Gossett] Harris (1884-1972) who lived in Oklahoma. We are having trouble establishing her Cherokee heritage although she clear was such.

    1. bubbyzdr123
      6:16 pm on March 2nd, 2014

    Hey BSULLY there are a few places you can start.
    On the 1870 Census it has the following dupont families that might tie to your search!!
    Father Ambrose Dupont b. 1820 Canada
    Mother Amy Dupont b. 1820 Newyork
    Children:
    1) Charlotte Dupont b. 1846 NewYork
    2) Joseph Dupont b. 1852-1853
    3)Alva Dupont b. 1854-1855
    Second Family on the 1870 Census is:
    Father, or head Solomon Dupont b. 1804 Canada
    Mother Margaret Dupont b. 1833-1834 Canada
    Children
    1) Freddie Dupont b. 1852 NY
    2) Joseph Dupont b. 1855 NY
    3) Edward Dupont b. 1868 NY
    There are 2 Joseph Duponts listed in NY during the tine that would fit Josephs birth during latter years; one in Lockport City Ward 02.e.d.02 Niagra NewYork born 1855, and Plattsburgh Clinton New York Ward 05.e.d.05 born 1857 Hope this help!!! HDR

    1. bubbyzdr123
      1:04 pm on March 2nd, 2014

    Hey there Huaracho I believe I have the information you want!!! Ludie Jane Johnson was born in Eureka Springs Carroll Arkansas 1897. She married William George Wood born Berryville Carroll Arkansas; the date of marriage 4/22/1917.
    Her parents, and siblings were as the following by the 1910 Census:
    Father Shed Johnson b. 1871 Mississippi
    Mother Elvery Johnson b. 1875 Mississippi
    Children:
    1) Lottie, or (Luttie) Jane Johnson b. 1897 Arkansas
    2) Louisese Johnson b. 1899 Arkansas
    3) Mable Johnson b. 1900 Arkansas
    4) Obbie Johnson b. 1905 Arkansas
    5) Laucycell Johnson b. 1908 Arkansas
    Each name was spelled as the following, and race was listed as Black. Hope this helps you!!! HDR

    1. mamalion1974
      2:22 pm on February 26th, 2014

    I am looking for information of my great-great grandparents. My great-great grandfather, Martin Lee Johnson, was full-blood Cherokee. He was born in North Carolina around 1860, he died 12 SEP 1895 in Mansfield, Wright County, MO and is buried in an unmarked grave in Baker Cemetery in Wright County, MO. I have been told his Cherokee name was “Good Eagle”, and the story told is that after his birth, his father stepped outside and saw an Eagle flying overhead with its wings spread wide and he said it was a good eagle. Martin took on the white name of Jorge sometime after he moved to Missouri. Page 9, # 85 of the 1880 census has him living in Watauga, Watauga, North Carolina, USA, age 20, married with one child, listed as a farm laborer, and he is listed a mulatto. I have no their information on his parents other than reading on the 1880 Census that they were both born in North Carolina.

    My great-great grandmother, Amanda Elizabeth Sink, was full-blood Delaware. I have found her listed as Manda on the 1880 census and Amanda on the 1900 & 1910 census. On the 1880 census she is listed as being a year older than Martin. She was born in North Carolina, she died 31 OCT 1918 in Mansfield, Wright, Missouri, United States, and she is buried in an unmarked grave in Prairie Hollow Cemetery in Douglas County, MO. Her father is WIley Sink born in North Carolina and no information on her mother except that she was born in North Carolina.

    I have been told that both Martin and Amanda are listed on the Dawes rolls but I am unable to locate them. I would like to be able to extend my family tree beyond the five tiers I have, and to be able to give them both proper headstones with correct information.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Linda Barr
      9:35 pm on February 13th, 2014

    Looking for information on family of John and Amanda(Mur) Volner.

    1. huarachon1
      12:00 am on February 3rd, 2014

    My great grandmothers name was Ludie Jane Johnson and she was born in 1897 and died in 1991. She married William George Wood in 1917 in Carroll County Arkansas. I am trying to find her parents names and am at a dead end. I know her mother, who would be my gg grandmother was Cherokee Indian. I have exhausted all means I can think of!! Thanks for any help.

    1. Amanda Mask
      7:07 pm on January 22nd, 2014

    I was wondering if you can get info on Juanita Bonada Wyatt she was born in North Carolina around 1928 or 1930 its said she was born in the Appellation mountains and that she was part Native American,have pics of her that would suggest she looks like she does. I can not find anything on her except a document that suggest that her mother was D Ethel Rice,I know for a fact her father is Benjamin Franklin Wyatt
    thank you

    1. Jackie Odunn
      11:51 am on January 21st, 2014

    I am looking for information on my fathers family. His grandfather was full Cherokee . He is descendant of the Mclemore Cove group. His grandfather was George McLemore birth 12/25/1860 death 1/17/1950. His daughter Edna Elizabeth Mclemore birth 4/26/1914 death 1/18/2003. My father Loyce Joe Lovvorn birth 6/9/1944 death 12/26/2003. He asked me to find our roll numbers. I have searched for ten years. I can not find help from family. I have a Dawes roll number 3 2451 that I found for George. Can you please help me fulfill my Dad’s wishes. I just don’t know where to look.

      1. Dennis
        3:28 pm on January 21st, 2014

      Hi Jackie,
      Indeed if your father can prove descent from the George W. McLemore in the Dawes Roll then you can make a case for enrollment. But you’ll need the actual records to show descent from this specific George, and that’s an important step in the process. Since your grandmother, Edna Elizabeth was born after the Dawes Roll was developed, she won’t appear on any of the Dawes records to prove she was a child of George. To help you get to George Mclemore in the roll that you have been told you descend from use the following link, it’ll take you directly to George’s family. The number you have is 3 2451, in actuality George is 2451, with no #3 at the beginning.

      http://www.accessgenealogy.com/data/dawescard.php?s_tribe=Cherokee&s_card=903

      I emphasized from the beginning that you have to prove descent from THIS George Mclemore because it’s his line that has been accepted by the tribe as Native American. Unfortunately, this George clearly testifies in his application that he was born on September 20, 1867 “Q. How old are you? A. I will be thirty-three next September the 20th.” The date of his interview in which he testified was 31 July 1900. He also goes on to assert that he was born in Flint District Indian Territory, and had lived there all his life. We are talking about a family who resided in Oklahoma their entire life.

      I found what I believe to be your family tree online at Ancestry via somebody else creation. In that family tree, some of their information differs with yours, and may help you prove your heritage, regardless of whether you can prove descent from a Cherokee or not.

      George Franklin Mclemore, b. 12 Dec 1864, d. 17 Jan. 1950. Their birth date disagrees with yours, but the death date concurs. Note his middle name is listed as Franklin, whereas the Cherokee George listed his middle initial as W. George is shown as the son of William A. Mclemore and Jemina Nichols. I find this George Franklin Mclemore living in Bear Creek, Marion County, Alabama in 1920. In 1910 he was living in Granite, Greer, Oklahoma. If one were to follow his travels you would find him as born in Alabama, moving to Texas before or soon after his marriage to Lou Myra Osborn where the birth of his oldest child, William occurs; thence to Arkansas between the years of 1898 and 1902, as in 1901 his child, James, was supposedly born there; he then relocated his family to Oklahoma between 1904 and 1906, finally relocating back to Alabama between 1914 and 1916, probably on or near the old family property. In all the census records he lists his family as white. Sometimes Native Americans hid behind the identity of white in order to own property in the south, but this is not as common as family legends assume. I will stop the trail backwards from here, and simply provide the link to the family tree online. They’ve done a better job then other family trees of identifying John Franklin Mclemore and his father William Mclemore. Their family tree claims William as the son of Robert Mclemore. They claim Robert was residing in township 15, Cherokee nation, but that Robert was only 15 at the time, putting him as born in 1885. He certainly isn’t the same Robert who was the father of William who himself was born between 1819 and 1821. I would struggle to believe Robert was even alive in 1900.

      http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/7258323/person/-1132163581

      Before the onset of the digital age, retrieving the packet of information for a family on the rolls was a difficult task. Most people could only access the index, which indeed would have showed a George Mclemore with roll #2451. It appears that somebody within the family then co-related this with your George, likely on a family tradition of being Cherokee, especially considering the name. I find Mclemore’s in both Cherokee tribes, Western (Oklahoma) and Eastern (North Carolina).

      There are multiple families of Mclemore’s who can absolutely claim an official Cherokee heritage, as their ancestors were registered. It is also possible that others could have, but chose not to, or accepted an earlier payment for their lands and began to assume the white culture. These last were ineligible to register, but their descendants can absolutely still claim a Cherokee heritage, just not officially. I’m going to leave the rest of the research up to you.

      Best luck in your research, Dennis

    1. hmckin
      5:56 am on January 15th, 2014

    My GGG-grandmother Mary Spradlin was full blood Cherokee. She married Johnson McKinney 1819 Lawrence county, AL. They lived in Franklin county where I grew up. Any help would be appreciated.

      1. Dennis
        4:44 pm on January 21st, 2014

      Hi,

      There were no Cherokee’s of the last name Spradlin in either the East or Western Cherokee rolls.

      It appears from online family trees that Mary’s maiden name came from the record of marriage between her and Johnson which occurred in Lawrence County, AL in 1819. I would look at the following three families as possible parents of Mary, and at the least, exclude them before searching further for a Cherokee connection:

      David Spradlin of Warren County, TN
      James Spradlin of Maury County, TN
      Obadiah Spradlin of Wilson County, TN

      There was a large family of Spradlins who eventually settled in Randolph County Alabama by 1850, but that’s quite a bit south of Lawrence County. There is no doubt that Johnson was early into the Northern Alabama area, but his timing better reflects a white incursion onto Cherokee-Chickasaw lands. What interests me is the lack of any other Spradlin records for Lawrence County AL. almost directly north of Lawrence County are Warren County and Maury County Tennessee, Maury, is only 75 miles away, while Warren is a little more then 100. These are the most likely choices. Perhaps Johnson conducted some sort of trade business that had him travel into Tennessee?

      Best luck researching, Dennis

    1. x3CKSx
      11:52 pm on January 12th, 2014

    Hi Dennis,
    I am looking for information on the surname Kinnel (the spelling may be incorrect). It is known that my GG Grandmother, Martha Lou Kinnel, was 1/2 Cherokee. No family information, past her, has survived and her husband, Samuel Monroe Haggard, did not allow her to register with the government. As a result, I have been told by other genealogists that since she didn’t register, I would probably not be able to find any information on her. I was hoping, however, that perhaps her father may have registered and that I might get some leads through the surname itself.
    All the information I have on her, including census data, is on her page on my genealogy site here: genealogy.stewart-clan.com/getperson.php?personID=I000083&tree=tree1

    I actually had given up a while ago, after an exhaustive search, but other, recent, Cherokee family links have sparked me to give it another try.

    Thank you,
    Michael Stewart

    1. martinmc10
      2:07 pm on January 6th, 2014

    I’m in need of some assistance please. I’m researching my family history on my father’s side and from what I’ve found, my great-great grandfather & great-great-great grandparents were said to have been full-blooded Cherokee. My great-great grandfather’s name is William W. King (Oct. 15, 1824- Mar. 11, 1903). From what I have learned from other family members is that William’s parents were from South Carolina and it’s been said that William’s father was a tribal chief. The problem is that we cannot find any record of William’s father. No name, DOB, anything. All I have is William’s mother … Sophia King (1830 Hall Co. Census, Glade District) she was said to have been widowed but all of her children were full blooded Cherokee. I would really like to know more about Sophia and her husband, if they were in fact full Cherokee and what tribe/clan they were from. Any information would be helpful. Thank you!

    1. bsully
      12:12 pm on January 1st, 2014

    I am looking to my great, great grandfather. He is Indian and his white name is Jpseph Dupont. He was born in New York in 1855. I am lost at where to start. Is there anyone that can help me get started. I did find him in the 1870 and 1880 census.

    1. yesterdaysmom
      5:10 am on December 29th, 2013

    Glad to have found this website. I am hitting road blocks trying to find out how much Cherokee blood I have. I know that I have Cherokee blood because my dad told me that his mom was part Cherokee. We have one picture of her that was taken shortly before she died in 1942. You can tell from this photo that she is of Indian blood. I believe she may be 1/8th to 1/4th. Her name was Mary Bell Ratliff and she married Lewis Wetzel Blankenship. She was born in March 1900 probably in Buchanan County in Virginia. She died in 1942 I believe in Blackey, VA. I know that her dad’s name was Thomas C Ratliff/Ratcliff (1872 – ?) and her mom was named Nancy “Nan”. I believe her mom Nancy was Nancy Jane Cooper (1871 – 1919 McDowell WV). If that is so then Nancy’s parents were Isabelle Rowe (1845 – 1910) and James M Cooper (1846 – 1909). James was born in North Carolina. His dad was David Cooper (1824 – 1900) and Sarah Gardner (1824 – 1914). I believe David and Sarah Cooper were from Yancey, North Carolina. My biggest problems are trying to verify that my great-grandma Nancy Ratliff was indeed Nancy Jane Cooper and if so then how much Cherokee did her grandpa James Cooper have. Also, having a hard time researching my grandpa Tom Ratliff. Thanks!

    1. Dee Woodard
      4:39 pm on December 26th, 2013

    Hi Dennis!
    I am trying to find additional information about my ggggmother.

    Betsy Applegate Te las sha ske
    She was born in Ooltewah Creek, Polk County, TN in 1762.
    Her married name was Sutton and she was married to John Sutton.
    My understanding is she is listed on the 1835 Henderson roll. I do not know who her parents but would love to have that information and any other information you can find.
    She died in Tenn. on The Trail of Tears. She starved and froze to death. She was not allowed to be buried. Her name name was little grashopper., and she was living near Chattenooga with her married daughter with the last name of Stricklin.They were marched in the late fall of 1838. She is listed in several documents and books.
    Thanks,
    Dee Woodard

    1. Jennifer Reed
      1:27 am on December 26th, 2013

    I would love more information on my father and his side of the family. I grew up with my mom and all I knew about my dad was that he and his family were full Cherokee. He has since passed as well as his mother and father. I have tried to locate his family on social media but have had no luck. All I know is that his name was Austin George Reed,born August 1947 died April 1997. His father’s name was Charles. I do not know the name of his mother. His parents had 10 children,4 girls and 6 boys. They lived in New Jersey. I have tried searching on my own but have not had any luck and would like to know if they were in fact Cherokee or Native American at all. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

    1. malisawade
      4:57 pm on December 13th, 2013

    Andrew Benjamin Smith born Dec 3 1866 dies March 21, 1918, buried at Macey Cemetery, Craighead County, northwest of Monette, AR. Mary Arb Lunsford born Jan 1, 1874 in R|TN, died Oct 5, 1925 Monette Craighead County, AR, buried at Macey Cemetery Craighead County, northwest of Monette, AR.
    Marriage record for Mary Arb Lunsford and Andrew benjamin Smith is at Lake City Craighead County, AR court house Book 1 page 264
    Marriage for Mary Arb (M.A.) and R. Ussery is in Craighead county marriages western district Groom book U-X 1921-1925 Brides book U-X 1921-1924…Ussery, R.—Smith, M. A. 1921 U-0053.
    Children of Andwer Benjamin & Mary Arb Lunsford Smith are:
    Eddie O. Smith, Ora Pearl Smith, Edgar Smith, Elmer Smith, Walter Smith, Coran Smith and Lola Jewel Smith that was his family including him thank you

    1. Samanthaa Leigh
      10:27 pm on December 6th, 2013

    I am having the worst luck finding info on my family.. My Great Grandpa Ernest Llyod was born January 2nd 1931 and he passed away on September 12th of 2012, he was full blooded Cherokee Indian and was born In Tennessee.

    I can’t find his parents, siblings or anyone for that matter, I will forever regret not learning more information from him prior to his passing. If anyone can help point me in the right direction I would appreciate it. One thing my grandpa did tell me is there was a book in Tennessee written about my family but that too I can’t located.

    Thank you in advance!

      1. Dennis
        12:35 pm on December 17th, 2013

      Hi Samantha,

      I’m sorry to hear of the recent passing of your great-grandfather. When researching your family tree, even a Native American tree, it’s best to start with what you know, and search from there. I was unable to locate your grandfather in the 1940 census records. It could be that his name is abbreviated or that it is misspelled in the census index I used. Is your great-grandmother still alive? It appears so by the obituary online – if so you should ask her (Susan) what she remembers of him, it’s possible she may have some old family records on hand which can shed additional light. Once you have a little better picture of your great-grandfather, come back by and post the information and we’ll try and help you from there.

    1. malisawade
      12:23 am on December 3rd, 2013

    I’m not wanting any funding I just want to know about my greatgrandpa his name was Andrew Benjamin Smith he was born in Macey, Arkansas on Dec. 3, 1866 died Mar. 21, 1918 in Monette, Arkansas, 14 days after his son was killed – it was said he grieved himself to death. My grandmas mother died 5 years later. Said they were Cherokee.

    On census his parents were listed as born in Tennessee.

    1. Jasmine Molina
      11:21 am on December 1st, 2013

    Hi, I am trying to research my grandfathers family. He once told me that my great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee. My family and I have been doing research for years and we can’t find any paper trails leading to her being Cherokee. I don’t know where or how else to look for this. If you can help me in any way possible I would greatly apprechiate it!

      1. Dennis
        10:55 am on December 17th, 2013

      Jasmine, In order for somebody to assist you we’d have to know specific information about your great grandmother, name, birth date, birth location, where she grew up, etc. If she was full-blooded then there would be documents to show that.

    1. Amanda Mask
      5:27 pm on November 27th, 2013

    thanks on the info Dennis, what about my fathers side his mothers name was Juanita (Bonnada) Wyatt and I was told her mother was fool blooded, cant find info on her as well,they came from North Carolina! I really appreciate you looking into this. my family has always talked about them being Cherokee but no one has been able to find out!thanks again

    1. Traci
      3:28 pm on November 25th, 2013

    I am tracing my family heritage on my Paternal grandmother’s side and looking for any information on Samuel Sceina Blackwell and family. I have a copy of his and America Jane’s death certs. Her lineage is more difficult to find. His leads me Nancy Bushyhead and back. I have information leading back to Amatoya Moytoy and Quatsy Of Tellico, my 9th Great Grandparents. Now proving it…that is where I need help

      1. Dennis
        10:51 am on December 17th, 2013

      Hi Traci,

      I am aware of the unproven line of descent claimed by many through Amatoya Moytoy. I like you, have never seen that line proven, and speculate it would be difficult without specific written evidence showing a marriage/adoption to one of his proven descendants or the fact that an ancestor of yours was enrolled in one of the many Cherokee rolls and census taken.

      In making any claim to Nancy Bushyhead it is important that you have the right Nancy Bushyhead. Apparently there were several of them in the same vicinity, some successfully made claims to the Cherokee tribe, others did not. There is a Nancy Bushyhead (Se-gar-we), born in 1887, and married to Ben Bushyhead who placed a claim in 1907 through her father’s father (grandfather) of the name Ja-gee Chris-too or Jack Rabbit. Note that Bushyhead is her married name, not her maiden name. Her application is # 15834. There is another Nancy Bushyhead, born in 1856, who was the wife of George Bushyhead who placed a claim in 1907 through multiple ancestors. Her maiden name was Beaver. Her application is # 11499.

      As a final thought, death certificates are great for death records, they become less reliable for the birth information they provide, since that information is given verbally by the person submitting the information, and not from official records. It is apparently an issue in at least one attempt to prove descent through the Blackwell family and those descendants were denied citizenship.

      Without further information on your specific line back to Nancy, it would be difficult for me to assist you in your search.

    1. Tadpoe62
      8:28 pm on November 24th, 2013

    Hi Dennis, I just discovered we have a little more information on Ms. Ida Mae. She married George Carathers (record showed Carothers) on 6/13/31. Also, her father’s name was Alvin H Jones, born 5/22/1885, died 2/25/1954. Hope that helps!

    Thanks again!

      1. Dennis
        10:58 pm on November 24th, 2013

      The 1924 Baker Roll fails to list Ida or any member of her family. This is the roll which was used as the base roll for membership into the Eastern Cherokee Tribe. Here’s what I can find on Alvin H. Jones from census records:

      Alvin Hawkins Jones, b. 1885 m. ? 1st and had:

      James Jones, b. 1905. It is possible James is adopted.

      Alvin Hawkins Jones m. Bertha ? 2nd. Bertha would have been too young to have had James.

      Ida M. Jones, b. 1915
      Carrie L. Jones, b. 1916. Not listed in the family census of 1930.
      Alvin H. Jones, Jr., b. .
      Hobert Hawkins Jones, b. abt May 1926
      Bobbie Joe Jones, b. 1934

      I find in the records that Alvin and Bertha rotated between Jefferson and Hamblen County… Jefferson City resides directly over the county line in Jefferson County, and I found them there in 1920.

      In the 1910 census I believe Alvin is listed with his brothers William and James in Jefferson County, TN, working as a miller. Since he maintained the occupation of Miller through 1940, this would backup my supposition. Unfortunately, I cannot find evidence of his first wife, or the son James, which should have been listed with him.

      By the Tennessee Death Index I can ascertain Alvin’s father’s name as Zack Jones.

      Once I ascertained Alvin’s father’s name I was able to connect him to a tree at Ancestry that takes the line back to James Jones born abt 1806, and possibly a Joshua Jones born about 1786. Let’s focus a minute on James. James wife is listed as Mahala “Anna” Fortner. Mahala is further listed as the daughter of a Sugar or “Shug” Forkner.

      Many descendants of this Sugar Fortner claim Native American heritage through the Cherokee tribe.

      Wyandotte Okla. 8/7/09 Clerk Court of Claims
      Washington D.C.
      Sir:
      In the matter of my claim for Eastern cherokee Indian funds will say that I cannot give the Indian name of Sugar Fortner the ancestor through whom I claim Indian blood. and I can not give his age in 1835 or 1851 but there is an affidavit of my oldest Brother (who is not dead) Sent by my son David L. Fortner, in support of his claim that is on file in your office which ought to help me some as well as all who claim through him. The no. of my claim is 42320 I am 81 years old.
      Yours Jacob L. Fortner

      From Jacob Lee Fortner’s application: A letter included in his Guion-Miller Roll application #42320 states:
      Wyandotte, OK. 4/17/08
      Special Commissioner Court of Claims
      Washington D.C.
      Sir,
      Your letter received and will say that I was only about 7 years old in 1835 and did not have the chance to be enrolled in 1851 as I then lived in Tennessee, My father and Grandfather had wandered from the Tribe and had taken no interest in tribal affairs for a long time which is the only reason I can give why their names are not on the rolls. I do not claim any Indian blood through my Mother. None of us were ever held as slaves.
      We never participated in any pay/way (?).
      I have not been enrolled by the Daws Commission I never made application for enrollment.
      Sugar Fortner. (my grandfather) certainly lived with the Cherokee tribe at some time in North Carolina as he spoke Cherokee, as to whether he took part in Tribal Councils I cannot say.
      Yours. Jacob L. Fortner

      Application 42320 was rejected. Reason was listed as “Grandfather of 42312.”
      Application 42312 was submitted by Robert B. Fortner, and 2 children. That application’s explanation for rejection is listed as: Ancestors not on rolls. Applicant does not show genuine connection with Cherokee tribe. Misc. test p. 2231.

      It would be difficult to show that Sugar Fortner was indeed Native American. What we do know is that your ancestors were poor – frequently moved about – that descendants claimed Sugar could speak Cherokee. It is possible that Sugar merely traded with the Cherokee’s and that would have required his knowledge of the Cherokee language, so that in itself isn’t proof. Additional family trees show Sugar’s ancestry back to a Thomas Faulkner born in East Sutton England, and another has him descended from John Falconer born in Wales. Regardless, if either is true then Sugar wasn’t part of the Cherokee tribe though he may have lived and traded with them for a time in North Carolina as his descendants claimed.

      http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/10520227/person/289281423 – Zack Jones – Does not list Alvin as a son, but does list his brothers William and James. 1910 Census confirms them as brothers.
      http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/13131591/person/179034877 – Shugar Faulkner back to John Falconer of Wales.

    1. Tadpoe62
      7:43 pm on November 24th, 2013

    Hi Dennis, I wonder if you may have some information I can utilize. I am helping my wife research her family. We are told her paternal grandmother was full Cherokee. We aren’t sure where she was born although we are told she’s lived in Jefferson County, Tennessee her entire life. Her name is Ida Mae Jones and we’re told she was born about 1913. She married a man named George Holly Carathers and had at least one male child named Frank Leslie Carathers. Frank was born in Jefferson County, Tn. We have just requested his birth certificate in order to obtain more exact information. I thought I would see if you may have anything on Ms. Ida Mae.

    Thank you!

    1. ASoldiersLuckyCharm
      3:43 pm on November 24th, 2013

    Hi,
    I’m trying to find out information on my grandmother on my mothers side she was full blooded Cherokee. I remember her face vividly before I was adopted so I’ve always been curious to learn more. We are currently living in Fort Sill so I’m use to seeing Native Americans more than I did growing up in Memphis. So it has peaked my curiosity more so than ever . I just know her date of birth and when she died. I’ve spoken with my birth mother but she isn’t the best when it comes to ask important information.
    Judy May Mae her date of birth was 2-16-1945 she died 2-9-1994 in Memphis,Tn. I’m not 100% sure where she was born at all. Her daughters are Treasa Ramsey , Joyce Ramsey and Lisa Ramsey and I want to say two sons but I don’t really remember their names.
    Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read my post.
    Judy Kelley

      1. Dennis
        5:59 pm on November 24th, 2013

      Judy, Unfortunately you’ll need more information to conduct a search. Since your grandmother was born after the 1940 census, and she is the oldest person you know the name of in her family, then it’s extremely difficult to find her parents using the normal methods (census). I did find her in the Social Security Death Index and highly suggest, if you wish to further your search for her parents, that you request an SS-5 from the Social Security Administration. The application should (is not guaranteed) show the names of her parents and her birth location. The computer printout is not sufficient for your needs as the parents names is what you’re trying to gather, and it will not include them. You could also try talking to siblings of your birth mother if you’re in contact with them (since that’s free). To get the SS-5 from the Social Security Administration download the following form and remit it along with payment to the federal government address on the form. I had to order my wife’s grandfather (who coincidentally also died in Memphis) SS-5 in order to get his parents names as well.

      http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-711.pdf

      Here’s the information that came up for your grandmother in the SSI:

      Judy M. Bedwell
      16 February 1945
      Social Security Number: 413-96-2114
      State: Tennessee
      Last Place of Residence: Shelby, Tennessee
      Previous Residence Postal Code: 38127
      Event Date: 9 August 1994

    1. Amanda Mask
      8:45 pm on November 23rd, 2013

    Hi I am trying to find out about my 2nd greatgrand mother Maude Ethel Lasley or even her mother Sara( I dont have a last name)I was told that Ethel either was full blooded Cherokee or half now this is on my mothers side and on my fathers side I was told my great grand mother was full blooded as well the name I have on her is Ethel D Rice cant find nothing on both these lady’s if any one has info please let me know!
    Maude Ethel Lasley

    Birth September 17,1887 in Illinois, USA
    Death August 8,1957 in Illinois, USA
    Ethel D Rice born 1902 that’s all I have on her

      1. Dennis
        1:40 pm on November 24th, 2013

      Hi Amanda, I found three people who have Maude Ethel Lasley’s heritage back further then you. One has improperly identified your Sara as Sarah Ann Baggott, but Baggott was actually a name from her first marriage. That person lists Sarah’s father’s name as William Price Glasco and her mother as Elizabeth Caraker/Karaker. That would make Sarah’s actual name as Sarah Glasco. The second tree confirm this. Glasco is not a Cherokee name, but there was a family of Glasgow married into the Ross Cherokee family at a much later date. However, Price is a common Cherokee surname, it’s also the surname of William Price Glasco’s mother. Price is also a common surname irregardless, so don’t assume it makes you Cherokee.

      If you use these researchers tree as a “template” and find the actual sources which confirm the identities of each person going back, then you may be able to better know for sure. Do not use them as gospel, I see numerous errors in both of the first two trees that make their information appear to be poorly researched (such is the problem with Ancestry’s “leaf” system, it perpetuates mistakes). Unfortunately both researchers lose the Glasco and Price lines in North Carolina / Tennessee in the 1700′s.

      http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/9145503/person/-836939929
      http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/14747856/person/156502002

      The third tree doesn’t trace the Lasley family down to your Maude, but does get as far as William Isaac Lasley, William Price’s father:

      http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/947954/person/-812198070

      This tree shows the Lasley line going back into England. If that be true, then of course, you can surmise that your Maude, is certainly not full-blooded.

    1. Martha Lavelle
      1:08 pm on November 8th, 2013

    I would like an application for my Native American id card.

    1. DeLana Steele
      4:36 am on October 22nd, 2013

    Ijust found out that my grandmother greatone . She lived on reservation in Alabama. For years. And am thankful you have put all this info in . Cause I never really wouldof known about her life style and in generalabout the tribe . Am very thankful to you

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