Richard Thornton | Aug 9, 2017 | 5
Why you could have no Native American DNA, but still have ancestors, who called themselves “Cherokee”
Last night at a meeting of an archaeological society, a POOF subscriber informed me that a prominent leader of the Trail of Tears Association had learned that she had NO Asiatic DNA. In other words, she had no Native American ancestry. Her lifetime fascination with all things Cherokee was just that.
I suspected this all along because her physical features looked like a combination of Semitic and Northern European. One of POOF’s most popular articles this year was about a lovely Cherokee Princess with jet black hair from the Georgia Mountains, who discovered that she was really a Sephardic Princess. She has NO Asiatic DNA, but over twice the Semitic DNA of a typical American or European practicing Jew and a whole lot of Spanish and Armenian thrown in to boot. To read this article again, see Dahlonega Princess.
There is a reason why the four earliest synagogues in North America were in Neiuw Amsterdam; Newport, Rhode Island; Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. The Dutch colonists, plus the settlers of Rhode Island, Georgia and South Carolina welcomed Jewish immigrants. Elsewhere in the French and Spanish colonies of the Americas, they would be considered criminals. In the other British colonies, they would not be allowed to worship in public and had virtually no civil rights. In several New England colonies, Jews were not even allowed to live there, but also would not be burned at the stake as in Latin America. This dirty little secret from the past explains to a great degree the strange contradictions that are associated with Cherokee history and cultural identity today.
Featured Image: I first visited this site in April 2010, after a Snowbird Cherokee lady, who worked at a convenience store in Robbinsville, NC, told me that Hernando de Soto had carved his name and date on a stone near Hoopers Gap. The real story is even more fascinating than that.
On September 15, 1615 (Julian calendar) a man and woman of Sephardic Jewish heritage followed the ancient teachings of Judaism to legitimate their marriage. The place is Hoopers Bald at about 5,400 feet above sea level in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. From ancient times, when a priest or rabbi was not available, a couple could marry before YHYH “on a high place sacred to YHWH” by announcing their betrothal to those assembled and praying together. The inscription on a sacred stone became their wedding certificate.
Some locals knew about the stone and assumed it was “Latin or something” but could not explain the early date. The director of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee was shown a photograph of the inscription by Frank McClung, head of the historical society in Robbinsville, NC. The famous archaeologist said that the words were Latin and meant “Land we hold” He said that they were inscribed by Spaniards as claim to the all the lands in sight.”
No, no, no . . . you are a PhD in Anthropology and can’t even use a Spanish dictionary? Pre was the Ladino word for prayer used by Sephardic Jews! Spanish Roman Catholics use suplicación. The words mean:
Prayer we will give – married September 15, 1615
THAT is a game changer!
Very frankly, if one is part Muskogean, you learn it the hard way at an early age. You pop out of your mommy with a thick crop of black hair. Your first memory is looking around the maternity ward to learn that all “normal” babies are bald. Shoes, clothing and football helmets don’t fit your body. Dentists tell you that you have strange-looking teeth. The back of your skull looks like a Neanderthal, or more accurately, a Denisovan skull from Siberia. Our skulls are thicker and denser than most Europeans and Africans. When I was six months old, the father of actor Pernell Roberts (Bonanza) intentionally held me by my legs and dropped me head first on a concrete floor. That would have killed or thoroughly brain-damaged a Caucasian or African baby. It just made me not like people holding my legs. LOL
During the spring of 2016, POOF heard from a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She is a direct maternal and paternal descendant of one of the most prominent Cherokee families . . . the Vanns. They fought with the Chickamauga Cherokees then fled to Pine Log in northern Bartow County, GA after the catastrophic defeat at Etowah Cliffs . . . along with Sequoyah, the Hicks Brothers and Major Ridge. However, the Vanns soon flipped 180 degrees and quickly adopted the slave-owning, plantation culture of the white elite in Georgia. Within a few years they were very wealthy . . . well, the wealthiest Cherokees of them all. In 1803, James Vann built one of the first Greek Revival houses in the United States and it is still considered one of the finest examples of Antebellum architecture.
Even though the Vanns had intermarried for two centuries with other Cherokees, this Cherokee Princess of the Vann royal house has NO Asiatic DNA. Her non-British DNA markers are Semitic, Iberian, North African, Anatolian and Egyptian. That means that the famous Cherokee Chiefs James Vann and David Vann did not have a drop of Native American blood in them . . . nor did any of the Cherokee ancestors of this lady, who James Vann’s offspring married. Were they Native Americans? No! Were they Cherokees? Yes! It is obviously not the same thing. The on-going efforts of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma to squash state-recognized Native American tribes is hypocritical beyond belief. If you changed their Constitution to require at least 10% Asiatic DNA rather than descent from an ancestor on a tribal roll, they would barely exist as a tribe . . . perhaps only a few hundred members, if that many.
I seriously doubt that blue-eyed Principal Chief John Ross had much Native American ancestry. “On paper” he was no more than 1/8th Native American, but he actually looked more Semitic than anything else. He did not look Native American at all . . . which is the case for the majority of Cherokees . . . if you know what Native American skulls look like.
The same could be said for Ross’s mentor and immediate predecessor in the position of Cherokee Principal Chief, Charles Hicks. “On paper” Hicks was 7/8ths Scottish and 1/8th Cherokee. Was he even that much Native American? His mother was from the village of Tamatili on the Valley River near where the new Cherokee casino was built. Tamatli was originally a colony of the Tamatli Creeks of Southeast Georgia. Yet Charles Hicks considered himself, through and through, a Cherokee. In 1826, he wrote the most complete and accurate history of the Cherokees that is available . . . far more accurate than what the Cherokees are publishing today or what Smithsonian ethnologist, James Mooney, published in the 1890s.
When Mooney came to the North Carolina Mountains, he could find very few Cherokees, who knew anything about their tribal history before the Trail of Tears. They would not know the Sequoyah Syllabary until the 1990s, when taught its use by white professors. One elderly man, named The Swimmer, claimed to know more of their heritage, but much of what he told Mooney were his versions of children’s stories and his history did not jive with that of the well-educated Charles Hicks.
The famous Indian trader and author, James Adair married a Chickasaw woman. She was born in a Chickasaw village located where later the Cherokee capital of New Echota would be built. Adair freely admitted that his wife was “half Jewish.” Was she in fact, mostly Jewish? However, Adair also mentioned meeting a tribe of “Cherokees” in the North Carolina Mountains, who only spoke Hebrew . . . in fact, an archaic form of Hebrew that was no longer used in Europe. They were called “Cherokees” by white traders, but didn’t understand a word of the Cherokee language. Adair was supposedly an uneducated Irishman, who came to America in his youth and lived most of his life in the wilderness. Yet, he spoke four dialects of Hebrew and was fluent in the Jewish alphabet. He was able to carry on conversations with the “Cherokee” Jews. That does not add up. Obviously, Adair was Jewish himself and far more educated than what his biography admits.
When the Cherokees formed an alliance with Great Britain at the onset of the American Revolution, Adair raced his family to northwest Georgia, where his mixed blood children could be protected by their Chickasaw kin. Adair knew that white frontiersmen would retaliate with a blood bath on any American Indian family they found in Cherokee territory . . . in response to the initial Cherokee massacre. They settled on Oothlooga Creek in what is now Adairsville, GA. They built water mills, lumber mills and an iron foundry. They thrived.
Soon other white traders from Augusta, GA with Indian wives and mixed-blood children arrived. They had such names as Rogers, Saunders, Thompson, Dunn, Parker, Quinton, Ralston, Davis, Garner, and Harnage. Many of their wives were from tribes other than the Cherokees, because they were settling in UPPER CREEK and CHICKASAW territory . . . tribes that were not associated with the massacres on the South Carolina frontier in 1776. However, when in 1786, the Cherokees were given all of northwest Georgia as “hunting territory” the majority of mixed heritage offspring started calling themselves Cherokees, so they could remain in the region. These were the first “Cherokees” in Northwest Georgia. These mixed blood descendants came to dominate the Cherokee Nation, when it was established in Georgia and still are prominent family names among the Oklahoma Cherokees.
Sephardic miners in the Southern Appalachians
When in the closing days of the American Revolution, John Sevier and John Tipton led wagon trains of settlers from Shenandoah County, Virginia to what is now Northeastern Tennessee, they encountered several, very old, Spanish-speaking Jewish villages in their designated homeland. I formerly owned Tipton’s home in Shenandoah County. Both men wrote about these observations in their memoirs, but the presence of longtime Jewish settlers, but no Cherokees, around Johnson City and Elizabethton, TN has been conveniently forgotten.
During the 20th century the famous North Carolina historian, Foster Sondley, plus several lesser known geologists and historians, documented the presence of many Spanish-speaking Jewish colonists in the North Carolina Mountains long before the “Cherokees” arrived in the region around 1700 AD. There was a huge colony of Spanish gem miners in the Toe River Valley. However, throughout the region from Cherokee and Graham Counties eastward to Burke County, there are old colonial archives and actual artifacts associated with these colonists.
The first influx of Sephardi probably were transported from Europe by Dutch ships at a time when what is now the Netherlands and Belgium were ruled by Spain. The Dutch sea captains were secretly Protestant, but could sail in Spanish-claimed waters because they were Spanish subjects. They dropped off their refugees on the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. The refugees then made their way inland.
The next wave of Sephardic refugees seems to have sailed en masse from Cartagena, Colombia in 1610, when the Inquisition suddenly showed up. Sephardic Jews were the economic elite of that city. They had made their wealth off of gold and silver mines, plus the Native American/African slave trade. Cartagena was one of three cities in the Americas in which Spanish authorities allowed public slave markets.
Throughout the late 1500s and 1600s, the Spaniards captured hundreds of thousands of non-Catholic Christian galley slaves and grunt soldiers in their defense of Europe from the attacks of the Ottoman Turk Muslims. Most of the Turkish sailors and infantrymen were conscripted Christians, who composed 1/3 of the population of the Ottoman Empire. As Christians, they could not be enslaved by Spain, but as non-Roman Catholics, they could not live in Spain or its colonies. Apparently, many made their way to the hinterlands of the New World.
Until the 21st century, the Jackson County, NC (Sylva) history stated that when the first Cherokees arrived in their county in 1745, they encountered Spanish-speaking whites with long beards, living with their families in log houses, who worshiped “a book”. The Cherokees killed the men and kept the women. Jackson County’s history now states that the Cherokee have lived there for 10,000 years.
The former Clay County, NC (Hayesville) history said that around 1694, Cherokee deer hunters from South Carolina encountered bearded, Spanish-speaking white men living in the vicinity of the future Cherokee village of Quanasee. They were also killed. The future Governor James Moore of South Carolina also wrote that he encountered Spanish speaking Jews in both what is now Murphy, North Carolina and the Nacoochee Valley of Georgia. Clay County’s history now also says that the Cherokees have been there for 10,000 years.
While I was living in the Asheville, NC Area in the 1980s, geologists obtained radiocarbon dates for sawn wood timbers in several ancient mines in such widespread locations as the base of Mount Mitchell, Nantahala Gorge and immediately east of Murphy, NC. The mines were dated from 1590 AD to 1620 AD. The geologists published books and wrote academic papers on their findings. Their discoveries were reported in North Carolina newspapers. In the past 20 years, those books have been swept from the bookshelves of public libraries in Western North Carolina.
Why is there all this censorship of history in North Carolina that most people elsewhere would find to be fascinating? It’s the big lie. Since the mid-1970s, North Carolina academicians, in particular, their archaeologists and history professors, plus the bureaucrats in the Eastern Band of Cherokees, have created a fraudulent history for a tribe that was artificially created by British authorities in the Late Colonial Period. The Cherokees are now presented as the original occupants of the Americas, who have always lived in Western North Carolina, but who once ruled an empire than spanned most of the Southeastern United States and were “the ancestors of the Aztecs and Mayas.” Never mind the DNA tests show this master race to be multi-ethnic and tri-racial, with Asiatic (Native American) DNA being a minuscule portion of the mixture. If any portion of the lie is found to be totally implausible, the entire stack of cards will come crashing down. . . along with the careers of dozens of Caucasian archaeologists and historians. Their dissertations and professional papers will be thrown in the trash.
The key role of French, Dutch and Scottish Protestants in this secret history
The Rev. John Calvin was a dominant figure in the Protestant Reformation from his base in Geneva, Switzerland. The Protestant Churches of France, the Netherlands and Scotland are based primarily on Calvin’s teachings, not Martin Luther’s.
While he hated his arch-enemies, the Roman Catholic nobility and Jesuits, Calvin and his followers went out of their way to protect and nurture Jewish families . . . particularly the Sephardic Jews, who had be so persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition.
Calvin believed that the Bible should be interpreted literally. Genesis 12:3 and Numbers 24.9 specifically state a shared blessing or curse toward other nationalities because of the manner in which they treat the Jews. Spain, once the super-power of the world, certainly seemed to have cursed itself. Nazi Germany would have probably won World War II, had it not exterminated some of it brightest citizens and devoted so much energy into extending that extermination program to all of Europe. Well . . . the Muslim world is not exactly the number one place to move to these days, is it?
Numbers 14:9 states: “The nation of Israel is like a mighty lion; When it is sleeping, no one dares wake it. Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, And whoever curses Israel will be cursed.”
Thousands and thousands of Jews were welcomed into the towns of the Netherlands and Scotland. Initially, many settled in France also, until the Protestants were crushed by Spanish troops, employed by the French Catholics. In all three countries, the Jews usually changed their names to appear “local.” For example, Boone was derived from a Sephardic name. Morelos became Morel. De Seville became Sevier, etc. Croquette (Crockett), Solomon, Samuels, Benjamin, David, Davis, Adam and Adams were popular new family names for Jewish refugees. Over time, the superficial claim of being Christian among many Sephardic families actually turned into Christian beliefs because rabbis were so rare on the frontier.
As long as there was enormous pressure by the Southern Planter Class to expel Native Americans to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) Jewish descendants probably explained their dark hair and olive complexions as being Black Dutch or Black Irish. Black Dutch (Svart Duets) was actually the Dutch name for Jewish immigrants. Once most of the Southeastern Indians were gone, though, the Cherokees were remembered as being the most docile. Therefore, in order to avoid discrimination because of being Jewish, the longtime Jewish occupants of the Southeast began saying that they were part-Cherokee. And thus the myth of “my great-grandmother was a Cherokee Princess” was born.
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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.
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