Collection: People of One Fire

The Native American History of Levy County Florida

An overview of the Native American History of Levy County Florida from the earliest cultural periods: looking at the Levy County area during each of the Native American cultural periods up until the final Seminole surrender. Richard also discusses the Cedar Key Shell Mounds, found within Levy County, providing a brief view of the archeological findings.

Read More

Native American History of Autauga County, Alabama

It is not known for certain which ethnic group built the many towns with mounds in Autauga County. One possibility is that a branch of the Choctaws lived there, since a swamp in the western part of the county had a Choctaw name, Conchapita. Alternatively, they may have been related to the Alabama Indians who occupied the region in the late 1600s and most of the 18th century. Most of the Alabama’s left with the French in 1763 after France lost the Seven Years War with Great Britain. Members of the Creek Confederacy then moved into the region and absorbed the remaining Alabamas.

Read More

Old Stone Fort

Old Stone Fort is one of the most beautiful Native American archaeological sites. When the Scottish, Ulster Scots and English settlers first arrived in eastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, they discovered a continuous chain composed of hundreds of fieldstone structures on the mountain and hill tops between Manchester, TN and Stone Mountain, GA. Some were merely piles of stones that archaeologists call cairns. Others formed small cylinders. Others were small rings. Still others were complex combinations of concentric rings with some perpendicular walls. At least two appeared to be walled villages. The Cherokees, who had moved into the region during the late 1700s, told the settlers that they didn’t build these structures. Some Cherokees told the Europeans that they had been built by the Creeks. Other Cherokees told of a legend that these mysterious sites had been built by “Mooneyes,” which the Europeans interpreted as being gray-eyed Europeans. The stories were elaborated to the point that most Whites assumed that the stone cairns and enclosures were built by Celts, specifically a colony of Welsh led by a Prince Madoc. There are several surviving enigmatic sites in the northern Georgia and western North Carolina that consist of dozens or hundreds of fieldstone cairns. The two largest are located in the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield in Cobb County, GA and in Ball Ground, GA near the Etowah River. When in the...

Read More

Mysterious Fort Mountain, Georgia

When the Scottish, Ulster Scots and English settlers first arrived in eastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, they discovered a continuous chain composed of hundreds of fieldstone structures on the mountain and hill tops between Manchester, TN and Stone Mountain, GA. Some were merely piles of stones that archaeologists call cairns. Others formed small cylinders. Others were small rings. Still others were complex combinations of concentric rings with some perpendicular walls. At least two appeared to be walled villages. The Cherokees, who had moved into the region during the late 1700s, told the settlers that they didn’t build these structures. Some Cherokees told the Europeans that they had been built by the Creeks. Supposedly, a temple had once stood inside the fortification which contained a giant stone snake with ruby eyes. Other Cherokees told of a legend that these mysterious sites had been built by “Mooneyes,” which the Europeans interpreted as being gray-eyed Europeans. The stories were elaborated to the point that most Whites assumed that the stone cairns and enclosures were built by Celts, specifically a colony of Welsh led by a Prince Madoc. There are several surviving enigmatic sites in the northern Georgia and western North Carolina that consist of dozens or hundreds of fieldstone cairns. The two largest are located in the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield and in Ball Ground, GA near the Etowah River. When in...

Read More

The Trail to Yupaha

An AccessGenealogy Exclusive: The Trail to Yupaha – Is Yupaha the Mayan connection to the Indians of the United States? This is a highly contentious look by Richard Thornton at the possibility of a trail he found in the Track Rock Gap area of Georgia being the connection to the Mayan of South America… The History Channel premiered it’s new show “American Unearthed” investigating this very issue. One of the people they interviewed on the show, now tells you in his own words, how this discovery all came about.

Read More

Native American History of Bibb County, Georgia

Bibb County is located in central Georgia and is part of the Macon, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA.) It is named after William Wyatt Bibb (1781 -1820.) Its county seat is Macon. Bibb County contains one of the most important and largest archaeological zones in the United States, the Ocmulgee Bottoms. It is one to two miles (1.6-3.2 km) wide and approximately 12 miles (19.2 km) wide. The Ocmulgee Bottoms was the location of one of the earliest centers of advanced Native American culture north of Mexico and the traditional location where the Creek Indian Confederacy was born. Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon contains the core cluster of ruins and village of the Ocmulgee Bottoms. The site of Fort Hawkins, the center of Federal government activities in the Southeast during the early 1800s, is also located in Macon. Bibb County is bounded on the northeast by Jones County and the northwest by Monroe County. To the south is Houston County. It is bordered by Peach County to the south-southwest and Crawford County on the southwest side. Twiggs County is located to the east of Bibb. William W. Bibb was born in Amelia County, VA. While a child, his family moved to Elbert County, GA along with many other Virginians. Elbert is located in the northeastern part of that state. He attended William & Mary College, and then the University...

Read More

Native American History of Wilcox County, Georgia

Wilcox County is located in south-central Georgia. It is named after Major General Mark Willcox (1799 – 1852) – a general in the Georgia Militia, legislator and Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. The second “l” was dropped from General Willcox’s name when it was applied to Wilcox County. Its county seat is Abbeville. In 1818, Willcox was badly wounded in the head during the Battle of Breakfast Branch, which occurred in the future Wilcox County near the west bank of the Ocmulgee River. He was a Major General of the Georgia Militia during the Creek and Seminole Wars of 1836. His troops saw considerable combat in both southwestern Georgia and northern Florida. At that time, Creeks in Georgia who were members of the Muskogee-Creek Confederacy were called Creek Indians, while those Creeks who were not members of the confederacy were called Seminoles. Most of the autonomous Creek towns in Georgia were either Itsate-speaking groups (Hitchiti) or else were actually Yuchi’s. Few were closely connected with the Seminole alliance in Florida. The 1818 Creek War is discussed in the section on dispersed farmsteads. Much of Wilcox County’s eastern boundary is defined by the Ocmulgee River. The county is bordered on the north by Pulaski County. Both Dodge County and Telfair Counties form portions of its eastern boundary. Ben Hill County is located to the south of Wilcox. Turner County...

Read More

Native American History of White County, Georgia

White County is located in the northeastern tip of Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountain Range runs along its northwestern corner. The famous poem by Sydney Lanier, “The Song of the Chattahoochee” opens with the phrase, “Out of the hills of Habersham, down through the valleys of Hall,” the river actually begins at Unicoi Gap, at the northern tip of the county. It then flows eastward through Helen, GA and the Nacoochee Valley before forming the boundary with Habersham County. The Soque River begins on Tray Mountain in northern White County then flows eastward to the vicinity of Clarkesville, GA, where it joins the Chattahoochee River. The Soque River Basin is considered an extension of the Nacoochee Valley, since the rivers run in parallel, divided by Soque Mountain. Although most popular literature describes the aboriginal occupants of White as being Cherokee, they were not. The Cherokee Alliance did not claim the northeastern tip of present day Georgia until after 1715. After then, the mountain ranges in the northwestern part of the county marked the western boundary of the Lower Cherokees until around 1784. Until that time, the southern 2/3 of White County was occupied by Chickasaw and Catawba villages. There were relatively few Cherokees living in Georgia until after the Revolution. Alpine conditions and volcanic activity No fossils of dinosaurs or early mammals have been discovered in the White County...

Read More

Native American History of Union County, Georgia

Union County is located in the north-central edge of Georgia. It northern boundary is Cherokee County, NC. On the east is Rabun County, GA. Its southern boundary is defined by Lumpkin and White Counties. On the west is Fannin County, GA. The county seat is Blairsville. Until the mid-20th century, Union County was very isolated from the remainder of Georgia, when a highway was improved over Neels Gap on Blood Mountain. Road access was greatly improved in the 1990s by the construction of the I-575-GA 515 controlled access highway that directly connected the county with the northwestern suburbs of metropolitan Atlanta. Background Union County, GA has a very rich Native American heritage. However because of the lack of large mounds, tourism promotion has included this heritage as peripheral to outdoor recreation attractions. As typical of many areas of the Southeast, tourist brochures . . . and even state historical markers . . . have include stories originating among early Anglo-American pioneers that can not be verified by archaeologists. Some of Union County’s archaeological sites were covered by Lake Nottely in 1942. It was a rushed, private sector, war-time project. Village sites were destroyed without professional archaeological study. Prior to public improvements being constructed in the Brasstown Valley, the Georgia DOT and DNR did contract with private archaeological consultants during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Copies of these reports...

Read More

Native American History of Washington County, Florida

Washington County is located in northwestern Florida. It is named after President George Washington. Its northern boundary is the Holmes County, FL. Its northeastern boundary is Jackson County, FL. To the west is Walton County, FL and the south, is Bay County, FL. The Choctawhatchee River flows through the center of Washington County and flows southward into Bay County. Much of Washington County is in its drainage basin. The original Creek name of the Choctawhatchee River was probably, Chakato-hachi (=Chatot River,) but was misinterpreted by English-speaking settlers to be Choctawhatchee. Another major stream is Holmes Creek, which also flows out of Holmes County. Washington County contains well over a hundred natural freshwater lakes. They are concentrated in the north central and southeast section of the county. The Gulf Coastal Plain stretching from Mobile, AL to Cedar Key, FL was known as Am-Ixchel by Native Americans, when first explored by the Spaniards in the 1500s. The word was written as Amichel in Castilian and means “Place of the Moon Goddess” in Chontal Maya. This evidence along with many surviving Itza and Chontal Maya place names in Georgia and the Southern Highlands, suggests that the sea-going Chontal Maya merchants were familiar with present day northwestern Florida. Although most popular literature describes the aboriginal occupants of Washington as being Muskogee-Creeks, these Native peoples were immigrants, who entered Florida along with other branches...

Read More

Native American History of Liberty County, Florida

Liberty County is in a region of Florida with a rich Native American heritage. Due to the sandy soil and periodic floods on the Apalachicola River, most mounds built by its original inhabitants have disappeared. However, several known village sites remain intact. Most are near the banks of the Apalachicola River and therefore, partially protected from development by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The inhabitants of Liberty County when the region was first entered by Europeans were the Apalachicola. They were Muskogeans, and early members of the Creek Confederacy, but originally spoke an entirely different language than Muskogee. In English, Apalachicola means “torch bearing people.” It is derived from the Itsati word for torch or lamp – apala – and Gulf Coast dialect word for people – kola. Location and Geography Liberty County is located in the southeast corner of Florida, immediately west of the Apalachicola River. To the east, it adjoins Wakulla and Leon Counties. To the south, it adjoins Franklin and Gulf Counties. On the west is Pike County, AL. It also adjoins Gadsden County on the northeast and Jackson County on the northwest. The entire county is in Florida’s Gulf Coastal Plain. This region is underlain by relatively young sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The county drains eastward into the Apalachicola River. The terrain is characterized by low rolling clay hills and sandy loam along...

Read More

Native American History of Holmes County, Florida

Holmes County is located in northwestern Florida. It is named after a Creek mikko (chief) named Holmes, who settled in the region, but was killed by Andrew Jackson’s army in 1818. Its northern boundary is the Geneva County, AL line. Its eastern boundary is Jackson County, FL. To the west is Holmes County, FL and the south, is Calhoun County, FL. Its southern boundary is Washington County, FL, while its western boundary is Walton County Florida. Its county seat is Bonafay. The Choctawhatchee River flows through the center of Holmes County and flows southward into Washington County. Much of Holmes County is in its drainage basin. The original Creek name of the Choctawhatchee River was probably, Chakato-hachi (=Chatot River,) but was misinterpreted by English-speaking settlers to be Choctawhatchee. Holmes Creek and Ecofina Creek are other major streams in the county. The Gulf Coastal Plain stretching from Mobile, AL to Cedar Key, FL was known as Am-Ixchel by Native Americans, when first explored by the Spaniards in the 1500s. The word was written as Amichel in Castilian and means “Place of the Moon Goddess” in Chontal Maya. This evidence along with many surviving Itza and Chontal Maya place names in Georgia and the Southern Highlands, suggests that the sea-going Chontal Maya merchants were familiar with present day northwestern Florida. Although most popular literature describes the aboriginal occupants of Holmes as...

Read More

Native American History of Bay County, Florida

Bay County is located in northwestern Florida. It was named after St. Andrews Bay, when the county was created in 1913. The county seat and largest city in the county is Panama City. Its northern boundary is Washington County, FL. Its northeastern boundary is Jackson County, FL. To the east is Calhoun County, FL; to the west is Walton County, FL and the southeast, is Gulf County, FL. The Gulf of Mexico forms its southwestern boundary. Much of Bay County is characterized by bays, bayous, tidal creeks, tidal marshes, freshwater lakes and freshwater swamps. The Choctawhatchee River flows through the northwest corner of Bay County and then into Gulf of Mexico in Walton County. Another major stream is Econfina Creek, which flows southward from Jackson County and joins with Bayou George before entering St. Andrews Bay. The Gulf Coastal Plain stretching from Mobile, AL to Cedar Key, FL was known as Am-Ixchel by Native Americans, when first explored by the Spaniards in the 1500s. The word was written as Amichel in Castilian and means “Place of the Moon Goddess” in Chontal Maya. This evidence along with many surviving Itza and Chontal Maya place names in Georgia and the Southern Highlands, suggests that the sea-going Chontal Maya merchants were familiar with present day northwestern Florida. The St. Andrews Bay area was intensely inhabited by Native Americans because of the abundance...

Read More

Native American History of Troup County, Georgia

Troup County is located in west central Georgia. It was named after George M. Troup, who was the 35th governor of Georgia, a member of the House of Representatives and a United States Senator. Troup and his first cousin, Creek Mekko (town leader) William McIntosh, played a critical role in the removal of Creeks Indians from western Georgia. Troup County is bounded on the northeast by Coweta County, GA. On the east, it adjoins Meriwether County, GA. On the south, it is bordered by Harris County, GA. The county’s western boundaries are formed by Chambers County, AL and Randolph County, AL. Heard County, GA forms its north-northwestern boundary. Geology and hydrology Troup County is located in the Lower Piedmont geological region, which is characterized by underlying rock strata of igneous and metamorphicized igneous rock. The terrain consists of rolling hills, stream valleys and some relatively level plateaus in the area around Newnan. Seasonal or permanent wetlands parallel many of its streams. These are relatively narrow bands of soggy terrain that provide ecological diversity for animal and plant life. The top soils are thin over most hills and steep slopes, while much deeper near streams. Short-sighted cultivation techniques in the 19th and early 20th century caused much of the best top soil to be eroded; thus exposing red clay sub-soil. Sandy loam can still be found near All of Troup...

Read More

Native American History of Towns County, Georgia

The Hiwassee River Valley of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee played very important roles in both Native American history and the Early Colonial Era. In 1562, Captain René Goulaine de Laudonnière led a party of French Huguenots up the Savannah River and then westward on the Unicoi Trail to the Nacoochee Valley and what is now, Towns County. The Frenchmen developed friendly relations with the Apalachee and Itsati Natives, who then occupied the region. He named the Appalachian Mountains after them. For the next 200 years, the majestic scene of the Nantahala Mountains overlooking the Hiwassee River graced French maps, adjoining France’s claim to the Southern Highlands. Although most tourist-oriented literature describes the aboriginal occupants of Towns County as being Cherokee, the Cherokee Alliance did not even claim the northeastern tip of present day Georgia until 1717. However, the Cherokee tribe occupied what is now Towns County longer than any other county in Georgia; roughly 1715-1838. Until 1793, what is now the western boundary of Towns County was the official western boundary of the Cherokee Nation in Georgia. After 1793, the eastern edge of the county was the eastern edge of Cherokee territory in Georgia. Most of Towns County’s archaeological sites were covered by Lake Chatuge in 1942. It was a rushed, private sector, war-time project. Village sites and mounds were destroyed without professional archaeological study. Prior to public...

Read More

Search

Free Genealogy Archives


It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest