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What Happened to the Sephardic Jewish Colonists?

There has never been a scientific study to determine the post-colonial history of the Sephardic communities in the Southern Piedmont and Appalachians. Anything that can be said must be in the realm of speculation, based on the known cultural history of the Southeast during the Colonial and Antebellum Eras. The only significant religious-based persecution in the Lower Southeast was between the Sephardic Jews and the Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe. A Protestant minister in Savannah wrote, “Some Jews in Savannah complain that the Spanish and Portuguese Jews should persecute the German Jews in a way no Christian would persecute another Christian.” One of the biggest obstacles to tracing early Sephardic Jewish colonists in the Appalachians is the general acceptance that Jewish citizens received in the Southeast. Unlike the situation in Spanish and French colonies, they were not forbidden entry. Unlike in the North, Jewish settlers were not pressured into the ghettos of large cities. However, for many decades the only Southern synagogues were in old colonial cities such as Savannah, Charleston, Wilmington and Richmond.1 Most of the Jewish immigrants were dispersed as individual families across the landscape of the Southeast’s towns and plantations. The earliest Jewish settlers were Sephardim. German and Eastern European Jews followed. There was apparently little social stigma in the Old South toward marriage between affluent Jews and Christians. Several prominent Christian and Jewish leaders of that era embarked on happy marriages with spouses of the other religion.2 Some of their children became Christian. Some became Jewish. All carried forward a general tolerance for both faiths. Many, if not most, early Jewish settlers, who were isolated...

The Spaniards in Alabama and Mississippi

England, having lost her West Florida provinces by the victories of Galvez, and having the American Whigs, as well as the natives of France, Spain and Holland, arrayed against her, was finally forced to retire from the unequal contest. A preliminary treaty of peace was signed at Paris. England there acknowledged our independence, and admitted our southern boundary to be as follows: A line beginning at the Mississippi, at 31° north of the equator, and extending due east to the Chattahoochie River; down that river to the mouth of the Flint, and thence to the St. Mary’s, and along that river to the sea. Great Britain also expressly stipulated, in that treaty, our right to the navigation of the Mississippi River, from its mouth to its source. Jan. 20 1783: Great Britain and Spain entered into a treaty. The former warranted and confirmed to the latter the province of West Florida, and ceded to her East Florida.1 But although England, by the treaty of 1782, assigned to the United States all the territory between the Mississippi and the Chattahoochie, lying between the parallels of latitude 31° and 32° 28′, embracing the same portion of the territory of Alabama and Mississippi, which lay in the British province of West Florida, yet it was not surrendered to us by Spain for years afterwards. Spain occupied it, contending that Great Britain, in the treaty with her, in 1783, warranted the province of West Florida to her, not defining its northern limits, and that England had no right to restrict her limits, even if she had attempted it, for Spain had, before the...

Biographical Sketch of William Penn Sevier

William Penn, Son of John and Eliza (Potts) Sevier, born Aug. 1874, educated at the Orphan Asylum. Married at Tahlequah, Ida E., daughter of Robin and Darky Emily Penn, born May 1, 1875. They are the parents of Alma E. Sevier, born March 25, 1903. Mr. Sevier, who is at present a salesman, is one of the best interpreters among the Cherokees and is one of the few Cherokee typesetters. It is thought that there are not more than three in the tribe, if that many. His ancestors, his great grandfather was of Scotch descent who came to America in early days. In his line of chronology runs that of Seviers, Morgans and...

Biography of Colonel John Sevier

Colonel John Sevier was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, in 1734. His father descended from an ancient family in France, the name being originally spelled Xavier. About 1769 young Sevier joined an exploring and emigrating party to the Holston river, in East Tennessee, then a part of North Carolina. He assisted in erecting the first fort on the Watauga river, where he, his father, his brother Valentine, and others settled. Whilst engaged in the defence of the Watauga fort, in conjunction with Captain James Robertson, so known and distinguished in the early history of Middle Tennessee, he espied a young lady, of tall and erect stature, running rapidly towards the fort, closely pursued by Indians, and her approach to the gate cut off by the savage enemy. Her cruel pursuers were doubtless confident of securing a captive or a victim to their blood-thirty purposes; but, turning suddenly, she eluded the savages, leaped the palisades of the fort at another point, and gracefully fell into the arms of Captain John Sevier. This remarkably active and resolute woman was Miss Catharine Sherrill, who, in a few years after this sudden leap and rescue, became the devoted and heroic wife of the gallant Captain and future Colonel, General, Governor and people’s friend, John Sevier. She became the mother of ten children, who could gratefully rise up and call her blessed. During Sevier’s visit to his family in Virginia in 1773, Governor Dunmore gave him a Captain’s commission. Through his own exertions he raised a company and was in the sanguinary battle of Point Pleasant, on the Kenhawa, in which James Robertson and...

Muhlenberg County, Kentucky Wills

Muhlenberg County, Kentucky Wills Hosted at Muhlenberg County USGenWeb Archives Project Abbott, John , 1814 Allcocke, Richard Nelson , 1803, probated 1807 Allison, William , 1814 Anderson, Robert , 1812 Armstrong, John , 1808, probated 1818 Bates, Simeon , 1849 Bilbrew, Thomas , 1827 Boggess, Anne , 1819 Boggess, Nancy or Ann , part 2, 1819 Buckley (or Buckles), William , 1825 Byrd, John , 1808 Campbell, Alexander , 1827 Campbell, Charles , 1821 Campbell, Mary , 1810, probated 1823 Campbell, Patrick , 1799 Campbell, William , 1800 Cash, Richard , 1823, probated 1824 Cooly, Susanna , 1807 Craig, James 1811, probated 1816 Davis, Henry , probated 1805 Davis, Margaret , 1816 Dobyns, Batten , 1804 Downing, Elisha , 1823 Dukes, Samuel , 1821 Durelle, John , 1808 Durval or Duvall, (sp) Skinner , 1809 Forrester, Sarah , 1816 Gish, Christian II , 1814 Gish, John , 1817 Grepo(?), John , 1817 Groves, Jonathan , 1810 Groves, Joseph , 1821 Harp, Samuel , 1815 Hunsaker, Isaac , 1819 Hynes, John , 1827 Irvin, Thomas , Sr., 1823 Jarvis, Edward Jr , 1823 Landis, Jacob , 1823 Lewis, Charles 1806, probated 1808 Littlepage, Eppes , 1812, probated 1816 Lott, Bartholomew , 1819 McCartney, James , 1814 McKinney, John , 1801 Miller, James , 1837, proved 1851 Morgan, Charles ,1822 Naught, George , 1808 Oates, Jesse , 1831 Parks, Andrew , probated 1821 Parks, Andrew , 1824, probated 1826 Perril, Mathis , 1805 Poag, Jane , 1858, proved 1860 Reno, Lewis , 1799 Rhoads, Daniel or David , 1811, proved 1813 Rhoads, Henry , 1812, proved 1813 Rice, Ezekial , 1846...

Biographies of the Cherokee Indians

Whatever may be their origins in antiquity, the Cherokees are generally thought to be a Southeastern tribe, with roots in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, among other states, though many Cherokees are identified today with Oklahoma, to which they had been forcibly removed by treaty in the 1830s, or with the lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokees in western North Carolina. The largest of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes, which also included Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles, the Cherokees were the first tribe to have a written language, and by 1820 they had even adopted a form of government resembling that of the United States. It is a lesser known fact that there was considerably more intermarriage between Cherokees and Whites than any other tribe, so they have a genealogical significance far out of proportion to their historical numbers. There is also a great deal of genealogical data on the Cherokees, mostly in the form of census records and enrollment records. All of which is to point out the abundance of sources available to Emmet Starr when he came to pen his classic History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folklore. Not to diminish Mr. Starr’s contribution in writing about the early Cherokees, their constitution, treaties with the federal government, land transactions, school system, migration and resettlement, committees, councils, and officials, religion, language, and culture, and a host of other topics upon which he writes eloquently, but his stated purpose in writing the History was “to make it as near a personal history and biography of as many Cherokees as possible.” And in fact more than...

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