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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 04-21-2016, 09:26 AM   #101
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Never mind…I googled it & found out approx. 300,000 enrolled Cherokee.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:55 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
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....
This makes so much sense.

Wow. My family lived in North Carolina, had Native names (my great grandmother Chief, her siblings Badger, Leola, etc) and my great grandmother told my grandmother that she was Cherokee. But on censuses, she and others in the household are listed as Negro or Black.

I always thought there was something off about the "hideout" theory, because if they were hiding out from the trail of tears, how could Census takers be able to catch up with them? But your info makes sense.

I was also trying to make sense of why my Native ancestors lived in a predominately white neighborhood? Literally all of their neighbors were white. My question to myself was "Didn't the Natives stick together? " LOL. But this makes so much sense. My ancestors simply blended themselves in with everyday southern living. I guess that's what was to be expected of them.

I am however glad that they kept their Native names.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:53 PM   #103
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This makes so much sense.

Wow. My family lived in North Carolina, had Native names (my great grandmother Chief, her siblings Badger, Leola, etc) and my great grandmother told my grandmother that she was Cherokee. But on censuses, she and others in the household are listed as Negro or Black.

I always thought there was something off about the "hideout" theory, because if they were hiding out from the trail of tears, how could Census takers be able to catch up with them? But your info makes sense.

I was also trying to make sense of why my Native ancestors lived in a predominately white neighborhood? Literally all of their neighbors were white. My question to myself was "Didn't the Natives stick together? " LOL. But this makes so much sense. My ancestors simply blended themselves in with everyday southern living. I guess that's what was to be expected of them.

I am however glad that they kept their Native names.
Mix bloods that spoke English would have simply lived in an area no hiding was necessary, Full bloods tended to cluster together into communities much like what you still find in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Although that is a simplistic explanation it tends to work in most cases. I have read thousands of documents of Testimony from several different Rolls. A very common theme is people knew who there neighbors were. The idea any large group of people could hide out amongst the Eastern States is ludicrous. One other important point is those that were rounded up and forced marched to Indian Territory did so because they didn't want to go to North Carolina where the remainder of the Eastern Cherokee Stayed! I cant stress this enough there were those that FREELY moved back and forth between Indian Territory and North Carolina to this DAY! As a matter of fact a large number of Eastern Cherokees Traveled by Train to an area north of Stilwell Oklahoma in the 1870's!!
As for names
It is perhaps the number one Question I receive daily
And there is no such thing as an Indian Name in English
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:18 PM   #104
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Mix bloods that spoke English would have simply lived in an area no hiding was necessary, Full bloods tended to cluster together into communities much like what you still find in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Although that is a simplistic explanation it tends to work in most cases. I have read thousands of documents of Testimony from several different Rolls. A very common theme is people knew who there neighbors were. The idea any large group of people could hide out amongst the Eastern States is ludicrous. One other important point is those that were rounded up and forced marched to Indian Territory did so because they didn't want to go to North Carolina where the remainder of the Eastern Cherokee Stayed! I cant stress this enough there were those that FREELY moved back and forth between Indian Territory and North Carolina to this DAY! As a matter of fact a large number of Eastern Cherokees Traveled by Train to an area north of Stilwell Oklahoma in the 1870's!!
As for names
It is perhaps the number one Question I receive daily
And there is no such thing as an Indian Name in English
You're the best!

I'm pretty sure the ancestors I know of and are able to research were definitely English speaking and mixed blood (African-American + Native).

And you're right, what you're saying makes sense. Although Chief and Badger, etc. have meanings significant to those of Native descent, it is still in English. I get what you mean. And just supports what I already knew -- my great grandmother Chief spoke English. So I am sure that's what her parents spoke as well.
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