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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Ancestry and Genealogy Family hid for 20 yrs..in deep hills of KY? Family hid for 20 yrs..in deep hills of KY?

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Old 09-12-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
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Family hid for 20 yrs..in deep hills of KY?

Many years ago prior to my birth or right shortly after (1972) my father met my great grandmother whom people called Matty Byrd. He said he thought she had another name but he was unable to pronounce nor remember it..
My great grandmother spoke to my father in depth.. the story is as follows (not exact but an outline) Grandmother told my father that when she was a very small child (he claimed she was very old then white hair to her feet) that her "family" took her deep in the hills of KY to hide due to her people being forced upon what he figured was reservations. She said "forced from the land" and she told him that for 20 years they hid. no outsiders and to her knowledge no visitors outside of the family, she described her family as many so my father is guessing it was part of her tribe.

She claimed when they finally felt it was "safe" to leave that many stayed and that the ones who left only went as far as where she lived.. which was still what most call the "hollar".

She never allowed her picture to be taken, never left that area. her daughters name was Nola whom married a man by the name of Noble Fields whom my father said was claimed to be French Canadian and Mohawk.

I know nothing more but I have searched for several years and always come up with nothing other than a POSSIBLE death certificate.. since NO one in my family on my mothers side seems to know where great grandmother is buried nor her age nor anything other than her name! Can anyone help me?

or is there someone out there that might be aware of her? or this family or tribe?I have heard her family may have taken on the name Byrd from the branch of Cherokee they were, but again no idea if this is a possibility or not!

I truly just want to know more about her... and my heritage.. and if anyone knows anything about Noble Fields this too would be appreciated. Thank you so much

Last edited by Broken1; 09-14-2014 at 05:49 PM..
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:54 PM   #2
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She was a gypsy, no way around it.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:54 AM   #3
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1870 census

A Matty Bird is on the 1870 census in Kentucky. She is two years old on this census. She is the last person listed on the page.

Her birth state is shown as Indiana. I also saw records on Ancestry.com showing Virginia as her birth place.

There may be several women who were named Matty Bird. But this is a starting point.

Here is a link to the document:

http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/s...iv=1&ml_rpos=2
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Old 09-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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Gypsy? and Census

Gypsy? I assume you are kidding? and Neither of those census records can be correct. she never left KY her entire life
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken1 View Post
Gypsy? I assume you are kidding? and Neither of those census records can be correct. she never left KY her entire life
Yes, I was kidding but the name Gypsy Matty Bird Lee sounds exotic. I can tell you a story about Gypsy Matty Bird Lee if you'd like to hear it.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:11 PM   #6
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Is there any irish blood im this Matty Bird family?

Just asking.
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:46 PM   #7
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no not that I have ever found
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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Genealogy

Do you have a complete name and birth date/ death date for any of Matty Bird's children?

Also spellings of names are often different on records. Matty, Mattie, Bird or Byrd.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken1 View Post
Many years ago prior to my birth or right shortly after (1972) my father met my great grandmother whom people called Matty Byrd. He said he thought she had another name but he was unable to pronounce nor remember it..
My great grandmother spoke to my father in depth.. the story is as follows (not exact but an outline) Grandmother told my father that when she was a very small child (he claimed she was very old then white hair to her feet) that her "family" took her deep in the hills of KY to hide due to her people being forced upon what he figured was reservations. She said "forced from the land" and she told him that for 20 years they hid. no outsiders and to her knowledge no visitors outside of the family, she described her family as many so my father is guessing it was part of her tribe.

She claimed when they finally felt it was "safe" to leave that many stayed and that the ones who left only went as far as where she lived.. which was still what most call the "hollar".

She never allowed her picture to be taken, never left that area. her daughters name was Nola whom married a man by the name of Noble Fields whom my father said was claimed to be French Canadian and Mohawk.

I know nothing more but I have searched for several years and always come up with nothing other than a POSSIBLE death certificate.. since NO one in my family on my mothers side seems to know where great grandmother is buried nor her age nor anything other than her name! Can anyone help me?

or is there someone out there that might be aware of her? or this family or tribe?I have heard her family may have taken on the name Byrd from the branch of Cherokee they were, but again no idea if this is a possibility or not!

I truly just want to know more about her... and my heritage.. and if anyone knows anything about Noble Fields this too would be appreciated. Thank you so much
Lets start with a bit of history, in 1830 (184 years ago) The president at the time got Congress to pass the Indian Relocation act. Using this act Congress was able to force a number of tribes such as the Cherokee, Creeks, Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws, Shawnees, Seminoles and other tribes from the Eastern United States to lands West of the Mississippi which became known as Indian Territory which at this time stretched from the Texas Republic to the Canadian Border. There was was exceptions to the act namely those Cherokees that resided in North Carolina and Choctaws that resided in Mississppi. They were able to give up there rights as Natives and became residents of the State in which they lived (Thus the need to hide was not an option). None of these tribes were moved to a "Reservation" for at that time they were merely "exchanging" Sovereign lands for lands west of the Mississippi river. Of course there were court battles but in the end the Act was enforced by the US Army and by 1838/1839 (175 years ago) the last remaining group some 16000 of the "Cherokee" that remained in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee were force marched to Indian Territory. In my case i am the 7th generation that resides in what is now Oklahoma in and around 14 mile creek in eastern Oklahoma.

I do research and study history and one thing I have always found is that family stories have to be taken with a grain of salt. For time moves at a measurable pace one second at a time. Let us overlay your story with a historical perspective. By the later part of the 1700's what remaining natives that lived in Kentucky had moved. It was never the homeland of a large native population, the Shawnee and Cherokee used it for hunting lands but largely abandoned the area by 1800.
The Shawnee moved up into the Ohio River valley and west the Cherokee moved south further down into Tennessee and North Carolina. By 1830 there was no need for anybody to "hide" for in the "Cherokees case some remained in North Carolina and were counted in 1835,1848,1852 rolls and those that were forceable removed were counted in 1835 and 1838/1839 upon reaching Indian territory when they placed there claims for what they were not allowed to take and also in 1851 for when they were actually paid for there losses... we can trace those families today by going to the Miller roll of 1907 that uses all those rolls from 1835 to pay out money to the decendants of those that lost everything.
We can trace family after family we can research the lost cousin or two and account for what family they came from thru testimony from those that sat down with interperters and described there families.

The hideout myth is a common story and yet the story can not be supported by historical facts. The Relocation act of 1830 gave options to the natives either to become a US Citizen or Relocate to lands west of the Mississippi. The act was concerned with the land that natives lived on Not the Natives themselves!! It was the southern States excercising States Rights over the land within the borders of of each State. And in fact the Cherokee Nation actually brought a Supreme Court case against Georgia (Cherokee vs Georgia Marshall-Cases: Cherokee Nation v. State of Georgia 1831 < 1826-1850 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond )

The next issue with the story is the age of the person telling the story. In 1972 if the person telling the story was a little girl when her family took her to hide out in the hills of Kentucky she would have been roughly 140 to 150 years old! Assuming she was speaking of the time of the relocation act 1830-1839 and assuming she was less than 10 years old at the time. If we move forward 40 or 50 years to put her age at 100 at the time of her story and then go back and search in that time in Kentucky we find that in 1870 to 1880 no native populations and for that matter no large native populations anywhere east of the Mississippi...
Family stories are not very usefull for research in most cases the time factor has skewed usually by as much as 50 to 75 years and it appears in this case 100 years.
Interesting story though....
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:37 AM   #10
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First of all

My father does NOT Lie.
Second of all neither would my great grandmother have lied.
Third
My great grandmother told my father the story.. I may not have stated it exactly as he was told it and that was just a rough outline!
Unless you KNOW my family DO NOT assume you can even begin to guess their history.
I STILL have family that resides beyond what the modern world calls the holler and they do NOT associate with barely even family that lives in the holler!
SO to set this record STRAIGHT my great grandmother had to of been in her late 80's to 90's around 1968 (which I said I was born in 72 and it was before me) which was confirmed by my father today he said from memory what her words were was she said "HER FAMILY hid" for 20 years she did not say SHE went with them as a small child. She may have been born IN HIDING she did not SAY. So I am sorry if I had a bit of the story incorrect.
Therefore I will keep stating the FACT this what you call a story is NOT just a story it is a FACT.
DO NOT think you KNOW all there is to know regarding my heritage or my family or anyone else's for that matter. I dont give a damn about the GOVERNMENT then or NOW. oh wait, the United States Gov does not lie does it? (Sarcasm)
MAINLY I know for sure by pictures alone that my grandmother (her daughter) was no doubt Native American and sadly she died when I was very young so any more facts that I may have been able to get are lost in time.. I JUST want to know how to trace my family no matter what I hit dead ends.. THAT is the main reason for this thread in the first place.I do not need to prove my heritage.. I KNOW who I am.

Last edited by Broken1; 09-16-2014 at 01:41 AM..
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:43 AM   #11
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I cannot locate any birth or death record even on my grandmother her daughter.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:53 AM   #12
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Where is my story??
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:03 AM   #13
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my grandmother

not a very good picture but one of the few rare pictures of my grandmother Nola daughter of Matty,
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:19 AM   #14
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Please take a deep breath. No one said your story was a lie. Only that like many family stories, the human perception of generational spans and timeframes is distorted by the biases of those telling the stories. (I have certainly discovered that stories in both my Native and non Native families have dropped generations, lengthened and shortened lifespans, and omitted the embarrassing relatives.) Nor did anyone say you were or were not Native.

I was taught that you show respect to elders. When they share information or opinions, you listen quietly and thank them -- whether you agree or not. What you do with their information is your own responsibility and business. I guess your people do things differently.

When you ask questions you may get answers you do not like. That is the risk of asking.

One of the blessing of researching Cherokee heritage is that they are among the most well documented of all Native people. By 1824 the Cherokee had significantly higher literacy rates (in their Native language) than the invaders. They recorded their own history and culture. They have a density of historical, political and genealogical documentary evidence that rivals that of the dominant culture. This is a blessing to those looking for their Cherokee ancestors, because almost every ancestor left a paper trail.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:26 AM   #15
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I truly just want to know more about her... and my heritage.. and if anyone knows anything about Noble Fields this too would be appreciated. Thank you so much
Quote:
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I do not need to prove my heritage.. I KNOW who I am.
Well , either ya do or ya don't !
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:31 AM   #16
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not a very good picture but one of the few rare pictures of my grandmother Nola daughter of Matty,
Heck fire...that's a white woman!
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:30 AM   #17
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ok fine.

I am sorry if I have offended anyone. I meant nothing disrespectful.
I only wanted to state facts that I am sure of and others that I am not.
If I came across disrespectful I did not mean to and for that I apologize. I may be forceful and blunt but I was feeling attacked and it was pretty much being said the "story" was a lie.

First I will address her picture since it is a short comment. White huh? ok but its fuzzy and you cannot view it well..but her FATHER was said to be Native and white..it happens.
My mother was told by her mother that if you do the math her "dna"/ blood is 3/4 Native American but of 2 tribes.

As for paper trails.
If someone can actually FIND ANY paper trails on my great grandmother or her daughter Nola that are without a doubt them and accurate ..
If someone wants to take that mystery on my grandmother name again was (sp?) Matty Byrd. married to? My mother only knew his last name was possibly Smith. (when my mother was 10 she was sent away to live at a girls school and never went home to live after that)

My grandmother: Nola, married Noble Fields.
All parties were born and died in Kentucky.

I might be shocked considering I have searched since 1998 and each "paper trail" ends up wrong or at a dead end. As for being asked "either you do or don't. I want to know about my heritage and her.. but I never said I do not know who I am. Also what I was referring to is the fact that I am not out to prove anything.. just get information that is all. I am sorry I bothered anyone and that obviously everyone insists what my great grandmother said was a "story" only. I do feel unless you are the person whom it was told to.. how can anyone make that judgement? Also why absolutely no records can be found if records are so accurate. no one has to reply.. again I am sorry. I just wanted actual help.

Thank you.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:25 AM   #18
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Never said your story was false but that it may have inaccuracies in the telling of it. I provided examples of how it is possible that the person is not Cherokee or Shawnee for those were the two main tribes that hunted in the area prior to 1800.

I gave examples of how the native population was moved and some stayed but in other areas than Kentucky.

I gave examples how Native populations tend to cluster together in family units then clans and finally tribes and families did not typically go off by themselves.

In the Cherokees case over 16,000 were given the option to give up there rights as natives and stay in place or move all 16,000 MOVED Together.

When you are doing Research you start with your self with what you know. Set aside All preconceived notions and stories and start with your self and work backwards. Parents then Grand parents and so forth. Understand that names are misspelled look for variations of the same spelling. Use phonetic spelling, for the census takers were not always educated in the correct spelling of names there were variations. Look at original documents do not rely on Indexes that have been entered into databases, for some people today have a hard time reading cursive which most censuses were written in prior to 1900.
But understand something here this kind of research is HARD, that is why there are people that do it for a living perhaps if you want to know once and for all it is time to hire one of these people that specialize in this kind of work.
Here is a good place to start: American Indian Records in the National Archives

I have answered thousands upon thousands of these kinds of question online and in person, your story is not unique nor will be the last.
I don't lie nor do I embellish the truth I deal in facts, so go back and read my original post and understand I merely overlaid your story over Documented History.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #19
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Thank you

Thank you
I do appreciate your time.. and history lesson
But I do feel there was truth there..and I know there are gaps..
I just want to know why and how..
Can you tell me anything where to start for my grandfather? His name was Noble.
It is said that he was French Canadian and Iroquois/Mohawk heritage.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:58 AM   #20
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Also the limited information I do have of my grandmother and great grandmother even on gen. sites.. stops at Mattie Bird with no husband and I know she was married.. Also what little I found on Noble is her married Nola. lol. Did find out my grandmothers full name was Myrtle Nola Smith born March 1927 died 1997 and Noble born 1917 died 1990 but when I start looking past those the information gets inaccurate .. they are listed as having 12 children but I know that they had 16. :-( I just do not understand why the information just keeps stopping or gets mixed in with others of the similar or same names?

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