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So your family is from Alabama, Georgia or South Carolina and think you are Cherokee?

So your family is from Alabama, Georgia or South Carolina and think you are Cherokee?

As commercial DNA labs are becoming more skilled in mass testing genetic samples, a lot of folks in the Southeast, whose great-grandmother was a Cherokee Princess, are finding out that she was more likely a daughter of Zion or the descendants of Spanish grandees.   There is an answer in history . . . at least in the factual history that POOF researchers are developing.

The drawing above portrays a Sephardic Jewish or Spanish gold mining village on Dukes Creek in White County, GA, which was discovered in 1828, mentioned in the first archaeological book on the Southeast in 1873, then erased from Georgia’s history books.

This past Thursday, a lovely lady with jet black hair stalked me for awhile then approached me at the cheese counter of the Dahlonega, GA Walmart.  She whispered,  “Excuse me sir.” 

I was not accustomed to having attractive female strangers speak to me. I looked around to see if she was actually talking to someone else.   She smiled directly at me  . . . “Are you the guy on the History Channel program about the Mayas?” 

Still surprised, I answered, “Yep, that’s me.  You are one of the few people in Dahlonega, I’ve met that even knew about the program.  For some reason,  everybody at the Fresh ‘N Frugal Supermarket watched it, though.

She smiled, “Wow, that’s weird.  I thought you were famous.  I just subscribed to y’all’s newsletter, The People of One Fire. It’s great!  What are you doing in Dahlonega ?  Have you found a Maya city here?”

I answered, “Oh, I live here.  The premier of “America Unearthed” was filmed here.  For reasons, I still can’t figure out,  the Dahlonega Nugget (local newspaper)  decided to censure out anything to do with the film crew being here, the Mayas in Georgia program on the History Channel, the Creek Indians or me individually.  

She laughed and said, “I’d believe that.  Unless you have a kid playing sports at Lumpkin High School, there is not a whole lot in the Nugget these days, but ads.

Hey, I’m glad I ran into you, because I have been wanting to write y’all.  Both my mama’s and my daddy’s family always thought that they were Cherokees.  In fact, they were members of a Cherokee Tribe when I was little, but I am not sure if it still exists.”

I sent off DNA samples of me and my kids to “23 and Me” in hope that we could be made members of the Cherokee Tribe in North Carolina.  The tests came back that we were Jewish, Scottish . . . uh-h-h . . . Iberian, North African and  uh-h-h . . . Northern Germanic.  We had absolutely no Indian blood.  So my great-great-great-grandmother that we always said was a full-blooded Cherokee princess who married a gold miner, wasn’t a Cherokee at all.”

What’s really weird is that back in the 1990s, one of my best friends was a gal here in Dahlonega, whose family was from Nazareth in Israel.  They were Christian Palestinians and could have been descended from Jesus.  She is really pretty and almost looks oriental.”

“Boy did she tell a different story than what the newspapers and Muslims are saying.  She said that most of the people calling themselves Palestinians today are Arabs.  The real Palestinians are either Christians or Jewish.  First, the Muslim Arabs stole their land in the 1800s and then after Israel became a separate country, the European Jews stole their businesses.

Well, anyway . . . everyone always said that she and I could be twin sisters.   We do look alike.  I always joked that maybe the Mormons were right.  The Ten Tribes of Israel did settle here and become Cherokee Indians.  But then, after I read your article about New Jerusalem, it all made sense.  We could have been twin sisters . . . well, distant cousins.  Why don’t my kids’ history textbooks talk about that?”

The only answer that I could give her was, “I don’t know”, but added, “Hey, this will blow your mind.  You know the (censored) Museum down on (censored) Street?    (Censored)  is a Creek word, not Cherokee.  It is still the official title of the Speaker of the Muscogee-Creek National Council.”

*On February 10, 2016. a white couple, living about a mile to the northwest and wearing Indian “thangs” drove up to my house in a jeep, festooned with Injun thangs.  The man delivered a letter from a lawyer in Gainesville, GA  that said if I mentioned name of their tribe or the name of the museum in this article they would sue me for libel.  We removed the words, but they have a big surprise coming.  As the white man wearing the bear claws drove away from my cabin, he announced, “We know who we are. Do you know what you are?”   He displayed a demonic smile and walked back to his jeep. I didn’t even know the name of the tribe, until they threatened to sue me.  That’s why I never mentioned the name of a local Cherokee tribe in the article.  Even the lady, who talked to me, didn’t know it still existed.

She looked dumbfounded.  “You’re kidding.  My children’s father and I  gave money to that museum in honor of my Cherokee ancestor, who we now know was not even Cherokee!”

Yep . . . welcome to the world of Southeastern non-history.

Native descendants in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina

There were definitely hundreds or thousands of people from the Old World living in the Southern Highlands in the 1600s.  Where they went or what happened to their descendants has always been an enigma.  Maybe they never left the Southeast.

There is a gross misconception of where the Cherokees lived in South Carolina and Georgia.  Cherokee villages were never located anywhere but in the extreme northwestern tip of South Carolina.  Their maximum population was about 1200, but declined steadily to a handful by 1776.  Yet half the white people in Piedmont and Up Country of South Carolina claim to be the descendant of a Cherokee Princess.

In recent years, several Chambers of Commerce in North Georgia have adopted the motto, “Home of the Cherokee Indians for at least 10,000 years.”  Of course, the $1000 a year that they get from the North Carolina Cherokees encourages that belief.  The first Cherokee village appeared in what is now Georgia in the 1720s. However, until the American Revolution, the Cherokees were never located anywhere in Georgia, but the extreme northeastern tip.  In 1776, the British government estimated the entire Cherokee population of Georgia to be about 100 persons.

The boundary line between the Creeks and the Cherokees ran through the middle of Stephens, Habersham and White Counties.  Clarkesville, GA originated as a trading post that mainly served the Georgia Creeks in the southern half of the county and the Soque from South Carolina, who had been settled in the northern half of the county.  The Soque were NOT Cherokees, but a Muskogean people assigned to Cherokee territory.   You can check the official history of Habersham County, if you don’t believe me.

All of the village and stream names in the Nacoochee Valley of White County are Creek words.   Mt. Yonah had a Creek name of Nocasee until after the Indians were gone. The Chickasaw were the aboriginal occupants of the Nacoochee Valley and continued to live in the southern half of White County, plus parts of Banks County, as members of the Creek Confederacy. These days White County is one of those counties that call themselves the home of the Cherokee Indians for 10,000 years.

Let’s just tell like it is.  The State of Georgia did a far more efficient job of a  “Final Solution” for the Cherokees than the Gestapo’s rounding up of the Jews during World War II.  Between 1828 and 1832, every square foot of Cherokee territory was surveyed. The surveys included every building, every fruit tree and every Cherokee located on that farm.

By the time of the Trail of Tears, Georgia officials also knew the names of virtually every Cherokee, who had earlier moved west, or  were from the wealthy Cherokee slave-owning class, that had sold their property and moved to Tennessee.  All Cherokees and Free Blacks in Georgia were required to have the equivalent of passports to travel through the state, outside the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.

Creeks, Uchees and Caucasians inside the Cherokee Nation were not usually listed in the surveys.  In fact, over 3,000 Creeks were living in the Cherokee Nation, when the roundup began in 1838.   About 800 were seized by federal troops anyway, but the majority hid out in the rugged Cohutta, Brasstown and Nantahala Mountain Ranges to avoid capture. With them were a few hundred Cherokees, who became the nucleus of the Qualla Cherokees in North Carolina.  Most Towns County, GA Indians were living at such remote locations that they avoided detection.  The mountain Creeks just became invisible and assimilated with the arriving white settlers.

A vast area of northern Alabama was first settled in the 1700s by people of Sephardic Jewish ancestry or mixed Jewish, Northern European and indigenous ancestry, who had been driven out of eastern Tennessee by the invading Cherokees.  In the hill country around Jasper, Alabama, the local families acknowledge their Jewish ancestry.  However, to the north, in an area of Northwest Alabama that was always Chickasaw, quite a few of these Sephardic descendants have organized “Cherokee” tribes and given themselves Cherokee names and Cherokee clan membership.  They can’t understand why their DNA tests show up with “zip” or only minuscule Asiatic ancestry.

Native America descendants in  North Georgia

The only location in North Georgia where authentic Cherokee ancestry can easily be documented is Bartow and Gordon Counties.  This area is where wealthy members of the Vann, Ross, Hicks, Thomas, Saunders, Adair, Ralston and Hughes families resettled from Tennessee after the troops had left.

The only other locations of legitimate Cherokee ancestry would be a Cherokee woman, who was married to a white man.   Such families were allowed to stay in Georgia, but not at the same location as where they lived in the Cherokee Nation.  The chance of any of you having a “full blooded Cherokee” female ancestor is almost zero.  White men by the late 1700s preferred light skinned mixed bloods to insure that they were not part African.  At any rate,  the term, full blood, is an oxymoron when applied to Cherokees.  Almost none of the important leaders of the Cherokees were ethnic Cherokees in the 1700s and early 1800s.  They were either from some other tribe or of predominantly European ancestry.

Most of the Native American descendants in Murray, Fannin, western Gilmer and Union Counties call themselves Cherokees.  However, many wonder why their physical appearance is of tall, gracile eagle-like people, and very different than the Cherokees up in North Carolina.

These raptor-like people are the descendants of the aboriginal Kusa Creeks and Uchee.   in the late 1780s, the  Overhill Cherokees were not particularly interested in locating within rugged mountains and so let the indigenous peoples remain, if they submitted to Cherokee authority.  That is why the Creek place names of Coosa and Nottely, plus the Uchee place name of Choestoe still exist in Union County.

Choestoe is the Anglicization for the Uchee word for their Rabbit Clan.  There were originally a chain of villages with that name along the Hiwassee River in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

If your  “Native ancestry” is from White, Stephens, Habersham, Banks, Jackson, Hart or Elbert Counties in Georgia, plus all points south, your Native ancestry is most likely either Creek, Chickasaw, Uchee, Sephardic Jewish or Middle Eastern . . . no matter what your family tradition says you are.

Very few of the Native American place names in North Georgia are actually Cherokee words.  Most that are Cherokee words were added after the Cherokees left.    The general assumption among most North Georgians is that if it is an Indian word, it must be Cherokee.   The creator of the premier web site for translating Cherokee place names gave himself a Cherokee name.  It was a mountain in his county.  He has always been frustrated, though, because he couldn’t translate his official Cherokee name with a Cherokee dictionary.  Good reason, the mountain’s name is straight out of a modern Muskogee-Creek dictionary.

If your “Native Ancestry” is from Gwinnett, Lumpkin, Dawson, Pickens or Gilmer County Counties in Georgia,  it is most likely a mixture of Spanish, Sephardic Jewish, Dutch and Middle Eastern. For example,  the Perry Family of Ellijay-Gilmer County are considered scions of Georgia Cherokees.  However, they look like people of Spanish-British ancestry.  There is a good reason.  Their original name was Perez.

The ethnic origins of the Mestizo peoples of Northern Alabama and Northern Georgia will have to remain in the realm of speculation, until there is comprehensive genetic study on the scale of those being done in the British Isles and Scandinavia to determine ethnic history.   My guess is, however, that the geneticists will find a much higher percentage of ancestry from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and Middle East among these “Native American descendants” than anyone has ever thought possible.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

176 Comments

  1. solanacrystal@hotmail.com'

    Hooboy…. this means my cousins married my cousins even more than we already knew!! Explains a lot about my DNA results too. My mother’s family is from Fayette county, Alabama, near Jasper where my uncle lives. My father’s family is from St Augustine and we’ve learned the first Solana to arrive married into the Peres or Perez family that was part of the colony at Santa Elena, in fact two of my 9x great grandmothers were Peres sisters on that side. My mother’s family was one of many with a legend about a Cherokee ancestor. So now I likely descend from the Peres line on both sides. The hidden Spanish history of the now U.S. really needs to be taught. Bartolome Peres and Maria Rica or Arica, their descendants find each other even when they’re trying to not marry cousins!
    Los Floridanos Society held a 450th Family Reunion last year and participated in the National Geographic’s Genographic Project.

    Reply
  2. jrbii2@hotmail.com'

    I am from Union County GA, and have recently been working on my family tree. Most of my ancestors filtered through Western NC after arriving from Europe. I, like so many others, grew up hearing about some Indian ancestors. So far, I can’t really find anything concerning native Americans. Are there any clues as far as dates, places and names that I should be looking for? I was also told that there is a list of those that were sent away on the Trail of Tears, is that true, and where would I find it? Thank you for the enlightening article.

    Reply
    • Yes, there are lists of those members in all five tribes, who went on the Trail of Tears. However, in Union County, you have a special problem. There were very few real Cherokees in what is now Union and Fannin Counties. Most of the Native American in Union County were Creeks and Uchees and they were not on the federal soldiers “pickup list.” For that reason, many Upper Creeks were able to hide in the mountains and their descendants still live in Union County. Coosa (as in Coosa Creek in Union County) is another name for Upper Creek. If you had ancestors living in the Coosa Creek area right after the Trail of Tears, there is a good chance of Upper Creek ancestry.

      Reply
  3. majormtnchick@windstream.net'

    Wow….just couldn’t stop reading this article. Amazing.

    Reply
  4. kelly_rae22@hotmail.com'

    Richard, do you know much about the Catawba? I’ve seen several people say they and the Cherokee were close in this area. MY husband is a descendant of the Catawba tribe. His great-great-grandfather fought in the civil war, his photograph is the oldest known photograph of a Catawba Native. I’m doing a bunch of digging and research right now, I love all of this his to Rica information!

    Reply
    • kelly_rae22@hotmail.com'

      *historical

      Reply
    • Hey Kelly,

      This is what we know so far . . . it is quite a bit more than what the academicians know. LOL Catawba is an Anglicized word. The original word is Katawpa. It is a Maya word that means “Crown – Place of”. The original Katawpa occupied the region between Atlanta and Gainesville, GA. Those in Georgia became members of the Creek Confederacy. Some migrated to northern South Carolina and became the elite of a province that mostly included Southern Siouan tribes. During the 1700s, the Katawpa Alliance in South Carolina lost about 95% of its population due to epidemics and war. Those who survived, were Commoners, who ended up speaking a hybrid Siouan language. So today, despite their Maya-Creek name, the surviving Catawba should be considered Southern Siouans. Their name for themselves is Issi.

      Reply
      • Dwwmc@mac.com'

        My 9th great grandparents were killed by a group of Catawba raiders in 1694 near Hiawasee Georgia or Running Water Tennessee. The children were left alive. They were Shawnee and the children were raised by a Cherokee chief.
        I love learning about my history.

        Reply
  5. Leoleroi37@yahoo.com'

    I have family from Alabama who are Creek. They endured the Indian Removal & live in Oklahoma now. My grandfather was “full blood” Creek & Seminole. I searched for his family history & found a lot of native/ceeek names (fixico/Harjo/tiger etc) . I was wondering if you may have a clue about 2 names I had trouble tracing 1 is cosar. I’m not sure if this is originally kusa/coosa? I couldn’t find much on this side of my family pre- the Dawes rolls And the other being Warledo which was the original native name of a family member that enrolled in the Dawes roll & also went by 2 English names. I got stuck on Warledo aswell & couldn’t find anything prior to the Dawes roll on him either. I was wondering if Warledo may have been a Spanish name for Walter? I’m not sure. I was curious if you knew anything about these names.

    Reply
    • 1. Cosar could well be derived from Kusa. I couldn’t find a similar Muskogee word in the Creek dictionary.

      2. The Spanish equivalent of Walter is Gualtierre. Warledo sounds like Pigeon English for War Leader.

      Reply
  6. leoleroi37@yahoo.com'

    Mvto for the reply!

    Reply
  7. hippyadan@aol.com'

    I NEED SOME HELP/I’M FROM CUBA AND MY FATHER AND GRAMP,. HOWEVER MY GRAMPA EXPLAINT TO ME THAT WE ARE SEMINOLE/CAN THAT BE TRUE

    Reply
    • Yes, it can be true. Your last name is the actual name of the tribe that became the Miccosukee-Seminole. Many Seminoles moved to Cuba . . . especially after it became independent from Spain. There is a Soque River in northern Georgia.

      Reply
  8. cherocreek1@gmail.com'

    Hello. I am originally from SC but have
    resided in Montana for ten years.
    My mother had a pottery piece, best I can describe it is a vase/ jug of
    some sort. Would love to send you photos.
    After having it many years, my mother looked at bottom. It seems to
    have etched in it when made the name Selocta.
    During researching my Creek ancestors, I saw their was a Chief
    Selocta. Naturally I began looking for info on Creek pottery. Even
    though this piece has a rough texture, I do not think it could be as
    old as Selocta’s time and looks Asian to me, but I’ no expert. I was wondering if any pieces were made in his
    honor, or if there is a way I can email you photos and you can help me find its origin. I have
    researched for several years and cannot find any information.
    Thank you for any help you can offer.
    Many Blessings,

    Reply
    • Hey Anita
      As soon as the Southeastern Indians had access to cast iron and copper cooking ware, they stopped making very much pottery. If the piece has a rough outside texture, it is probably earthenware from the late 1700s or 1800s. Originally, Native Americans did not autograph their pottery. Most likely the name on the bottom is a more recent piece of pottery . . . signed by a Native American named Selocta. You can contact us at PeopleOfOneFire@aol.com

      Reply
      • cherocreek1@gmail.com'

        Thank you! I sent you an email with photos and texture description.

        Reply
  9. Shari.wilder@yahoo.com'

    Hello, I’m in Oklahoma and my ancestors were on the trail of tears although one was Scottish ancestry, the others were cherokee and a little Spaniard. I am a cherokee citizen. All the birth places of them on ancestry.com days Cherokee Georgia. Can you tell me what that means? Last names are Miller, Hogg, and McAlexander which was the Scottish man. There was also Hawkens surname but idk where they were born. I found this article quite interesting as on the other side of my family there have been stories of marrying Cherokee’s.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Cherokee – Georgia means that your ancestors were from the part of the Cherokee Nation that was within the State of Georgia. The books Cherokee Footprints (Two Volume Set: Vol I. The Principal People and Vol.II Home and Hearth) by Charles O. Walker will probably tell you exactly where your ancestors lived. They are hard to find, because the author died several years ago, but there may be some still for sale in the Museum of the Cherokees in Tallequah, OK or perhaps, the museum shop at New Echota State Historic Site in Georgia.

      Reply
      • shari.wilder@yahoo.com'

        Thank you very much! Maybe I can find the books.

        Reply
  10. p_lafayette@hotmail.com'

    Halito nakini. I continue to learn so much from your research and writings. It has been very difficult to find my ancestors that lived in Georgia and in Alabama. I was always told that we came from Creek people. I found some relatives on the Dawes Roll and our surnames on the 1832 Henderson Roll but I can not find where they are buried. My GGG grandma Rhody Moore (Creek) and Grandpa Jerry Moore (Choctaw) walked on about 1889 but were citizens in their tribes. When their son Zeke came before the Dawes commission they made him and the rest of the family into freedmen in spite of the fact that his parents were enrolled citizens and Zeke was drawing the $29.00 allotment. There is a letter in his packet saying that someone should write the Creek or Choctaw on his behalf to let them know that Zeke was seeking enrollment but they decided to “demote” us instead. After that I lose all contact with whatever happened to them. But later some of the Moore family appear in Macon Alabama where they remain for some time until 1930’s. Then my GG grandfathers brother Dan Moore was said to have his 150 acre farm which is where my grandmother was born and raised. Can you tell me anything about the Moore and Chappell family. My G Grandmother was Laura Chappell (a mulatto) married to Dub Moore (a Creek). I think they died in Alabama but I can not find their resting places. As a family I do know that we migrated consistently to and fro from Leesburg Lake Florida, Georgia, Tuskegee Alabama and Cleveland Ohio. Also my mother and aunt were given aboriginal names of Arrissia and Flutchie which I have been unable to trace. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Wado!

    Reply
    • Hey Patricia

      I am not a genealogist, but everything you said sound like your family is legitimately Creek . . . You are even in the right part of Alabama. You might try contacting the Muskogee Creek Nation’s citizenship committee. They are listed on the tribe’s web site.

      Reply
      • plafayette6417@gmail.com'

        Thank you for your reply. I will continue to learn and grow at pow wow’s and other gatherings before making a formal contact. Many have been very rude at gathering events assuming that I am another culture vulture and they do let me know that I am an outsider. I will one day soon but I am not ready to deal with opposition & rejection from my own people right now. I truly value and appreciate your work because you examine and verify before accepting the status quo no matter who is standing by these false doctrines. Hoke!

        Reply
  11. DavidLJ48@hotmail.com'

    I had my DNA Tests done by Viagurad, they went out and too DNA Samples from the Tribes; most there DNA labs only say what percent of Native American you are. I have native American on both sides but only my Dads side shows up; 12 % Cherokee and 2% Comanche My Dad looks like a full blooded Cherokee, with both of his parents being part Cherokee

    Reply
    • You got ripped off by that lab. There are NO DNA test markers for either the Cherokee or the Comanche. In fact, some of the most famous Cherokee families are showing up with ZERO Native American DNA. Oklahoma Cherokees average 0-2% Native American.

      Reply
      • crittendenmarsh@gmail.com'

        Hi Richard!
        Are you familiar with the Crittenden name in Georgia Cherokee history? There are Crittenden on the dawes rolls. My Crittenden family can be traced back to elbert co., which I noticed you said could have an area occupied by the Creek? All the Crittenden were enrolled as Cherokee. Also, what area would have been considered Cherokee nation east? Thanks richard!

        Reply
        • Hey Mike,
          Elbert, Hart, Madison and Wilkes Counties were always Creek. During the peak of their power, the Cherokees claimed Northeast Georgia, but only lived in the extreme northeastern corner. In 1776, the British Army estimated that there were only 25 Cherokee men of military age in the entire Province of Georgia, which then stretched to the Mississippi River. If you recall the account of Patriot Nancy Hart, her CREEK neighbors and friends gave her the name, War Woman. There is still the remnants of a Creek Community between Elberton and Ruckers Bottom, but almost all of the Creek descendants born in the late 20th century have left the county because of the drug-related crime and the lack of economic activity.

          Crittenden is an English name! Almost all Southeastern Indians obtained an English name, when a white trader married an Indian woman. There are also Crittendens on the rolls of the Muscogee Creek Nation. However, very few Northeast Georgia Creeks will be eligible for Muscogee-Creek enrollment because their ancestors broke off from the Creek Nation when the Upper Creeks attacked them during the American Revolution and Chickamauga Wars.

          Reply
      • Cbrook@andycable.com'

        Are you saying that if I get my DNA checked, it will not tell me the percentage of Native American that I am? My fathers people descended from Creek and my mothers were from the Cherokee. I really would like to know but I don’t want to waste my money.

        Reply
        • There are no DNA test markers for the Southeastern Tribes. What many of the commercial labs do with DNA samples from the Southeast is compare them with Canadian Algonquian DNA samples. Since the ancestors of the Creeks came from several parts of Mesoamerica and South America, it going to be very difficult of an inexpensive “consumer” DNA test to accurately measure their DNA. So don’t expect any inexpensive DNA test to accurately measure your Creek and Cherokee heritage.

          Reply
  12. levionejordan@comcast.net'

    What a Great READ. I have learned a lot just reading this. Is there more. I was told that I had Indian ancestry in my family too. Our family names are Perry from where I’m not sure, Wright out of North Carolina possibly, was told they FPOC and Smith out of Florence South Carolina. I DNA tested my mom and her results are 95% African and 2% Iberian among a few other things. My question is where do start to look for more information on the Smith name, oh and she was 0% non European. I don’t get that mine was 9% European. HELP

    Reply
  13. holidaytowing@msn.com'

    Richard do you have any info on what tribes may have been present in South Carolina?

    Reply
    • Yes – many articles – Google People of One Fire – South Carolina

      Reply
  14. gentlygenli@gmail.com'

    Rather than there being a “family legend” about being part Indian (a Cherokee princess or otherwise!), I turned up our Indian ancestors quite by accident. Instead of being celebrated, they were apparently a deep, dark secret that my grandmother, who was probably about a quarter to an eighth Indian, had no clue about. (There was mixed blood in both her parents’ families.) Her father mentioned bigotry and ridicule as a child in the late 1800s, but I’d just thought it was because he was poor. Then I realized, from a number of clues, that his mother was almost certainly Indian in identity and appearance, if not unmixed already. To be honest, it never even crossed my mind why her father looked so, well, brown in old photographs even though he had a strictly indoor occupation and why all of his children had jet black hair and broad jaws. Her family’s name is now on both the Creek and the Cherokee roles, and both were found in the area. Another line, I traced back to a (part) Cherokee woman (from contemporary sources), but from there…nothing! No clue about her parents. It’s very frustrating. And there’s a third one who was always a brick wall to me with a VERY unusual first name…and then I discovered that this strange first name was extremely common where she lived among Indian women related to a certain family in the same county, as apparently they were all named after one woman who once had this name. That makes me suspect that she was either Indian or named after a relative by marriage who was Indian…which should narrow it down but doesn’t seem to.

    I have also tracked down a final woman to a different tribe, but that was from much, much earlier in the family’s history–and a different side entirely! The sons of that marriage went to the Indian side, culturally, and their descendants are there to this day, though the tribe slowly assimilated to the point that all language and almost all culture was lost, and all the daughters married other white men–from one of whom I’m descended. There’s no record or her parents, either, or even much certainty about her name, but at least there’s an excuse as it’s from the late 1600s.

    I’m extremely frustrated with trying to do any genealogy on the rest of the Indian connections. I’m not interested and pretending that I’m culturally Indian. Obviously, I’m not. I just like the story of my family to be clarified. I may end up hiring a genealogist who specializes in Indian genealogies, but I’m not holding my breath about it. THREE different women with THREE loose connections, all from the 19th century, is very frustrating when I can trace practically every one else back to the 1700s or far earlier than that!

    Reply
  15. CMccarthy0817@gmail.com'

    My grandfather, Mat Rose (that is how it is spelled on his tombstone) was born in Graham County, NC. It appears that as a child he moved to eastern Tennessee. As an adult he moved to near Eatonton GA and farmed. My grandmother always told us he was of Indian descent. Where is a reputable DNA testing lab that I can send a sample to for testing?

    Reply
    • Keep in mind Cindy that there are NO DNA test markers for any of the Southeastern tribes. All of the commercial labs are using DNA samples from Algonquians in Canada to determine if a person in the Southeast has Native American ancestry. The Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Alabama and Koasati Indians are not related whatsoever to the Algonquians. So automatically your test will not be accurate. A lot of Uchee (Yuchi) moved from North Central Georgia to Graham County, NC You can be almost full blood Uchee and yet some labs will tell you that you have no Native American heritage. I am not an expert on genetics, so my recommendation is to look at the reviews about any labs that you are interested in. DNA Consultants, Inc. has done the most DNA testing in Western North Carolina. Their owners are reputable, but there are probably also other labs, who can be trusted.

      Reply
  16. christennhc@gmail.com'

    This is fascinating! My step-father’s family was very “proud” of their Cherokee Princess storyline. It was the only “claim” to Native American I really ever heard. My mother’s family is from Dillsboro, NC and my mother always believed that her grandmother’s family was actually Jewish. Their last name was Jacobs. Anyway, this posting has me convinced that perhaps she was on to something, since you mentioned Sephardic Jewish could have been in the general area. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Actually, Christen, while former National Park Service Director, Roger Kennedy was supporting my research in western North Carolina, I found very old stone ruins near Sylva and Dillsboro (fairly close to the Tuckaseegee River) which I strongly suspect are the ruins of Sephardic villages. I was particularly interested in the Dillsboro and Sylva Area because the Cherokees sent a report to British officials in Charleston in 1745, stating that they had encountered Spanish-speaking residents in that region, who “worshiped a book” had long beards (hopefully just the men), plus worked as gold and silver smiths.

      Thanks for writing us.

      Reply
  17. rfd1920@yahoo.com'

    I’ve been at an impasse in researching my 3rd great grandfather on my mother’s side. He seems to have sprung from the ground. Renewing my interest in this line, recently, I started reading about the area he was supposedly born in. It is listed as Jasper county Georgia. But in 1801 when he was born, there was no Jasper county. In fact that area was still part of the Creek Nation, not the United States! That got me wondering. Could he have been descended from European fur traders ( a big business in those days) and perhaps a daughter of the Creek nation? That might explain why there seems to be absolutely NO information out there about his parents. I wonder if there are any records which might show such a union among the history of the Creeks. ( Long shot, I know.) Thanks very much for this article. It is one more bit of understanding I can take with me as I search.

    Reply
    • There are no marital records inside the Eastern Creek Nation. However, by 1818, the majority of Creeks in Georgia were living outside the boundaries of the Creek Nation.

      Jasper County was cut out of Baldwin County, GA. Baldwin was created in 1802. Originally, Jasper County was named Randolph County. Randolph was cut out of Baldwin. That might help you some.

      Reply

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