Reader Warning

This blog is for serious open-minded readers who are interested in documenting their Native American ancestry. Most of the articles challenge the internet genealogy of mythical Native American ancestry. If you have already made up your mind and if you can't handle an opinion other than your own, THIS IS NOT THE BLOG FOR YOU. Comments will be restricted to intelligent questions and concerns.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cornblossom and Jacob Troxell: An indepth look at their mythical origins

I have previously posted about Princess Cornblossom and her husband Big Jake, Jacob Troxell. The story of their lives has a Disneyesqe feeling and immediately caught my attention. My first post was to apply the Genealogical Proof Standard to several questions posed about their relationships. They failed miserably.

I recently participated in a more in-depth study of this pair to sort fact from fiction and to try to map out the myth, when it started, how it evolved and it's current status. This study was completed by myself and two other accomplished researchers. Our results can be found here.  During our research we looked at documents/books online, in reference libraries, and other repositories. We took into account history, geography and cultural factors which impacted the lives of these people. 

If you are researching Cornblossom and Jacob Troxel, I think you find this work of great interest. All our sources are listed in an annotated bibliography. We sought out every resource we could find. 

Of great interest to us was the writing of Dr. Kenneth Tankersley, whose work and credentials appear to give credence to this story. We contacted Dr. Tankersley who promptly denied ever writing anything about Cornblossom or Jacob Troxel, in fact he claimed that others on the internet were using his name. I would like to give you a synopsis our the email exchange between Tankersley and my fellow researcher Jillaine Smith. It is as follows:

While assisting the WikiTree Native American Project, Jillaine Smith, with support from Jeanie Roberts and Kathie Forbes, started compiling the origins of the various legends and myths surrounding the family of one Jacob Troxel (1759-1843). One author who repeatedly surfaced was that of Dr. Kenneth Tankersley, former head of Native American Studies at North Kentucky University (2004-2007; check), now an Associate Professor at University of Cincinnati. [link to bio] 

A number of web pages created by third parties included excerpts from a single 70-page (check) document hosted on the Kentucky Heritage Council web site, written between 2004-2007 under Tankersley’s name. While the text does include an extensive bibliography at the end of the document, Tankersley did not cite specific sources for the facts written throughout the document, making it impossible to know the source of specific details. 

Jillaine reached out to Dr. Tankersley, requesting more information about the sources he used particularly for the family of Jacob Troxell, including supposed wife Cornblossom and her supposed father, Cherokee Chief Doublehead. Jillaine also sought the origins of the supposed 1810 Yahoo Falls Massacre, which Tankersley’s document also described.  While Tankersley responded right away, he never directly answered Jillaine’s questions. Key points he made:
  • Someone was using his name and attributing to him things on the Internet he had not written; that some people have taken text that he had written or published and embedded it in their own websites. “It is a complete waste of time” (I.e., people should not waste their time reading such content).
  • He had never written any [published] articles about Jacob Troxel; that the document above “was written as a report to the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. It has never been published. All of the source-information is cited.” (As noted above, only in general bibliography format.)
  • He suggested that Jillaine would likely find the sources she was seeking in one or both of two works about Cherokee history by Emmett Starr. (Jillaine did review these documents, and while Starr made brief mention of Doublehead, he made no reference to the chief’s family.)
  • He felt that genealogy is now obsolete with the advent of genomics; he recommended that people should get their DNA tested to know who they really are, and that paper records are completely unreliable. 

After some sharp words about other people’s ancestry, “online genealogists,” and the use of online information, Tankersley cut off future correspondence saying this was his last email on the subject. 

Our team took a look at Tankersley 'writings' and tried to prove/disprove his various assertions about Cornblossom and Troxell. You can find it here. We were able to poke holes in most of his statements. Our conclusion was that he wanted nothing to do with the story and that his 'writings' were unsubstantiated and not to be used as a source. 

I hope you find our research helpful. If you have any comments or concerns about sources or conclusions please post. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

More on the mythical story of Thomas Pasmere Carpenter

If you reading this article, chances are you believe that you are a descendant of the great Cherokee Chief Moytoy (Trader Tom, Pigeon of Tellico, Savanah Tom, Young Rainmaker), aka Amo-adawehi. Did I leave any names out? Go to any genealogy website; Ancestry, Geni, We Relate, Wikitree and you will find a fantastical family tree for Moytoy. There are also family websites like The James Scrolls and dozens other like it that lay out this ancestry. And it's not just on the internet, there are loads of books about him and his family. There's the whole Shawnee Heritage line, and books by Rickey Butch Walker and William Reynolds.

Moytoy's ancestors have traced all the way to ancient France by way of England to a man named Thomas Pasmere Carpenter and his wife the daughter of an Indian chief and his wife who are a Powhatan/Shawnee couple. I can't quite make out how that works, but everyone on the internet agrees it's true. From this couple descends Moytoy and his large gaggle of wives and children, leading straight, presumably, to you.

Did you ever stop and ask yourself where all this information came from. How were these authors able to trace Moytoy's ancestry, how were they able to make all these connections to other contemporary Cherokee in a time when the Cherokee had no written language and all our knowledge of them comes from the writings of the English and others who came in contact with them. Let's pick some genealogies off of some websites.

The James Scrolls
Thomas Passmere Carpenter (descended from English royalty)called Cornplanter by the Shawnee
Pride Chalakahatha (Chalakatha is a division of the Shawnee tribe) a Shawnee woman 
Amatoya b. 1640 taught to witch water by his father-therefore the Cherokee called him water conjurer Ama Matai which became Amatoya then Moytoy I
married 1680
Quatsie of Tellico
Moytoy II Chief of Tellico

Sources for the James Scrolls pedigree:  None given

Geni (Stephanie Hill)
Thomas Pasmere Carpenter
Elizabeth Pride Chalakatha Carpenter daugher of Chief Eagle Plume Shawnee Carpenter and Matachanna Cleopatra Powhatan
Chief Misahpelewa Big Turkey Hop Shawnee Carpenter 
Locha Quatsy Shawnee Tellico Wolf Clan
Chief Moytoy Pigeon Amadohiyi Amahetai Moytoy

Sources for Geni: None

random tree 

Thomas Pasmere Carpenter
Pride Shawnee
TRADER Amatoya Moytoy Ama Matai CARPENTER
Quatsy Woman the Wolf Nancy Tellico
Amatoya Moytoy

Sources: Find A Grave, a 1947 marriage record in Alabama (no explanation given)


Do these look familiar? In my previous blog on Thomas Pasmere Carpenter I dispelled the myth of being a part of a ship owning family from Devon. Put let's continue with the mythical story, can any of it possibly be true. The following story was taken from a Geni page for Moytoy, the son of Thomas Carpenter. 
Thomas Pasmere Carpenter at 20 years old came to Jamestown, Virginia from England in 1627. Thomas was the son of Robert Carpenter (1578-1651) and Susan Pasmere Jeffery (1579 -1651). He had a ten acre lease in Virginia, but it was later given to someone else because of his age, so he went to live with the Shawnee and made his home in a cave. Thomas was called "Cornplanter" by the Shawnee, derived from their sign language that matched as near as possible to the work of a carpenter. He married a Shawnee woman named "Pride" and bore a son around 1635 named Trader Carpenter, and a daughter Pasmere Carpenter, about 1637. Together with partners John Greenwood and Thomas Watts they began a thriving fur business.

Trader was taught to witch for water with a willow stick by the Shawnee. He was later known by the Cherokee as the "water conjurer" or Ama Matai (Ama is Cherokee for water). Ama Matai eventually became pronounced as Amatoya. It was also shortened to Moytoy, so he is known as Moytoy I.

The clan grew quickly. Trader (Amatoya / Moytoy I) married a Shawnee named Locha in 1658. Pasmere married the grandfather of Cornstalk Hokolesqua (Shawnee) in 1660. The same year the clan was driven south by the Iroquois. They moved along the Tennessee river, starting the villages of Running Water (where Thomas died in 1675), Nickajack, Lookout Mountain, Crowtown and Chota. Chota was created as a merging place of refuge for people of all tribes, history or color. It became similar to a capital for the Cherokee nation. These villages grew to about 2000 people by 1670 when the Carpenter clan moved to Great Tellico. Here Trader (Amatoya / Motoy I) married Quatsy of the Wolf Clan in 1680. They bore a daughter Nancy in 1683.
That's the most common version of the story. Let's break it down into bite size chunks and see what can be proven/disproven.  

Thomas was the son of Robert Carpenter (1578-1651) and Susan Pasmere Jeffery (1579 -1651). Fact or fiction? 
Records in England show that a man named Robert Carpenter married a woman named Susan Jeffreys. The name Pasmere is not found in any record connected with this couple. There is no child named Thomas that can be proven to be their child.  Their birth and death dates are unknown. This statement is pure Fiction.

He had a ten acre lease in Virginia, but it was later given to someone else because of his age, so he went to live with the Shawnee and made his home in a cave.
The records show that Thomas Pasmere, a carpenter, was given a land grant which he sold when he left Virginia to live in Maryland. It was not taken from him because of his age. You seriously believe that he went to live in a cave. Why? Could he not find a single person he could live with in Jamestown. Could he not work as a servant? His only recourse was to live in a cave. Ah, but he lived with the Shawnee. Did they live in caves? No they did not. If this man is so poor he has to live in a cave, why in God's name would any woman want to marry him? There are no known Shawnee groups living anywhere near Jamestown in 1627. This is pure Fiction.

He married a Shawnee woman named "Pride" and bore a son around 1635 named Trader Carpenter, and a daughter Pasmere Carpenter, about 1637. This part is pure nonsense. A Shawnee woman named Pride, come on. They have a son and the best name they can come up with is Trader. Who calls a baby Trader. Who calls a baby Pasmere? Sorry folks. Fiction.

Together with partners John Greenwood and Thomas Watts they began a thriving fur business.
If Thomas Pasmere ran a thriving fur business then his name would be recorded somewhere in the colonial records, but there is nothing. This is a fictional story from the fraudulent Shawnee Heritage books. There was a well known fur trapper named John Greenwood, but he was from a later time and trapped in California. Fiction

Trader was taught to witch for water with a willow stick by the Shawnee. 
Water Witching or dousing is of European (German) origin beginning in the 1500s. This 'art' was not  know or practiced by the Shawnee or any other Native American tribe. Total Fiction

The same year the clan was driven south by the Iroquois. They moved along the Tennessee river, starting the villages of Running Water (where Thomas died in 1675), Nickajack, Lookout Mountain, Crowtown and Chota. 
This is an easy one to disprove. Running Water, Nickajack, Lookout Mountain and Crowtown were towns established in 1779 by the Chickamauga Cherokee lead by Dragging Canoe. These towns are in Western Tennessee and Northern Alabama. They did not exist in 1675 when Thomas Carpenter and his supposed clan existed. Chota was a Cherokee town, founded by Cherokee, inhabited by Cherokee. Fiction.

It amazes me that anyone believes this story. It is so easy to disprove. The story of Thomas Pasmere Carpenter is nothing but a myth. A myth created in the age of the internet for people who are too lazy to do a little research.

The ship owning Carpenter family, really?

Moytoy of Tellico, Emperor of the Cherokee: Who was he and was he your ancestor?

Forward by blogger Jeanie Roberts
For whatever reason, many many people want to claim membership in, or affiliation with, a Native American tribe. Overwhelmingly, it seems, the tribe of choice is the Cherokee. A common remark on genealogy help sites usually goes something like this; 'I know I am related to (insert name of famous Native American) because my grandma told me so, I just don't know how'. Or, 'my grandpa looks like an Indian'. One of the most common statements is 'my ancestors were Cherokee, but just pretended to be white to avoid the Trail of Tears'.
The one thing that almost all of these folks have in common is a failure to actually do genealogy research. They are looking for a prefab ancestry tree that they can hitch their wagon to. A cursory search of the internet reveals plenty of websites, books, charts, etc. that will do just that. You want to be an Indian, we will make it happen. There are countless fake Indian tribes that will be happy to enroll you as a member. But buyer beware. The internet, as I said, is chock-a-block with junky genealogy.

The focus of this article is the Cherokee chief Moytoy. There are numerous websites and books that claim he descended from an English immigrant to Jamestown, Thomas Pasmere Carpenter, through a mishmash of Powhatan/Cherokee/Shawnee ancestors. Countless people claim to be descended from him through Chief Moytoy. This article, written by Cherokee genealogy researcher Kathie Forbes, sorts fact from fiction and lays out what is truly known about Moytoy, who he was and who were his descendants. Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Will the real Amatoya Moytoy please stand up?
by Katherine Forbes

Who was the man (or men) known as “Moytoy”?  To answer this question, we first need to know something about Cherokee customs, to determine when records of individual Cherokee people begin, and to know what is included in those records. Not only do many people believe they have a Cherokee great-grandmother or a Cherokee princess in their family, they also believe they can trace their Cherokee ancestors back to the 16th century. Tree after on-line tree starts with the mythical Thomas Pasmere Carpenter [debunked [link to post here], which most people with any understanding of the genealogical proof standard can easily recognize as junk genealogy. Many more start with “The Descendants of A ma do ya Moytoy,” an online tree which to many people appears to be authoritative, accurate, and documented. Sadly, it is none of these.
Let’s start with a little history.
Families and communities.
The Cherokee, along with most indigenous people, were matrilineal. During the 1600s and 1700s they lived in about 60 small agricultural communities spread over some 200 miles, each largely independent from its neighbors. Each community had its own headman (or chief) and other leaders, who were chosen by the community, not by descent. There was no central government. Clan relationships determined a person’s behaviors. Families were made up of women and other members of their clans. Women could not marry a person of their own clan, so in the Cherokee culture the biological father was not a blood relative. The men responsible for bringing up a boy were his mother’s brothers, and if she didn’t have brothers, other men of her clan who lived in her village.  While some couples had long-lasting marriages, marriage as we know it was not a Cherokee concept.  A couple stayed together only as long as both were happy with the arrangement, and both men and women had children with multiple partners.
Cherokee names.
Cherokee people did not have ‘surnames’, family names, or even given names as we know them. With the exception of clothing and some household goods, everything was owned in common so there was no concept of inheritance or decendance. A Cherokee person’s name could – and did – change over a lifetime and a Cherokee person might be known by multiple names at the same time. A person’s true name was known only to close family/clan members. A childhood name would be replaced by an adult name, usually associated with a significant event in the person’s life.  A later event or a bout of illness often resulted in a new name.  Men (and some women) might be known by a title based on their position in the village – i.e. ‘Raven’, ‘Mankiller’, or ‘Beloved Woman’.  People had names used only at home, nicknames given by others, and English translations of their Cherokee names and titles.  Starting in the middle of the 18th century, some mixed-blood Cherokee added the name of their biological white father to the mix and others adopted (or were given) the name of an admired white person. Missionaries gave people new names when they were baptized. The names we associate with early Cherokee people were recorded by whites who sometimes attempted to write them phonetically, sometimes wrote what they believed was an English translation of the name, and sometimes wrote down a title as a name.  There was no standardized spelling at this time, even for English names and words, and Cherokee men often appear in a single record with different spellings of a name.
Recordkeeping prior to the 1800s.
The Cherokee did not have a written language until 1821.  Before then, everything written about the Cherokee was filtered through the eyes and ears of white people, very few of whom spoke or even understood the Cherokee language. Records of the Cherokee prior to 1800 consist solely of the journals, correspondence, and memoirs of white men, and the treaties and recorded actions of colonial and early American legislative bodies. There are no birth, marriage, death, church, or family Bible records. The only censuses taken in the 18th century were simple headcounts done by village.  There are occasional rare statements by a Cherokee person included in historical records which mention a family relationship, but there are not many historical records relating to the Cherokee before 1750.  The first whites to take an interest in Cherokees as families were the missionaries who arrived late in the 1790’s.

Chief Moytoy
So, back to “Chief Moytoy.”  The ‘Am-a-do-ya Moytoy’ tree starts with a man named Amadoya Moytoy, born in 1647.  He is listed with a wife and five children. Looks good, except here’s the catch:  Plain and simple, there is no mention in any record of a Cherokee person named or called, “Moytoy” or anything similar, until 1729. As noted above, there aren’t many early records which mention any Cherokee by name, and ‘Moytoy’ doesn’t exist in the ones that do. Not in the account of Needham and Arthur (1674), the first Englishmen to travel to the Cherokee Nation and return to tell about it. Not in the 1684 Treaty with Virginia.  Not in the Colonial Records of South Carolina, 1710-1718.  Not in the journals of trade commissioner George Chicken’s travels among the Cherokee (1715-16 and 1725).  Not in the records associated with the Cherokee treaty and trade agreement with South Carolina of 1721 (which resulted in the naming of a chief named Wrosetasataw as ‘Emperor’ of the Cherokee).  Not in the journal of John Herbert (1727-28), South Carolina Commissioner for Indian Affairs.  Not in the early correspondence of Ludovic Grant, who settled among the Cherokee about 1727.
The first contemporaneous mention of Moytoy is in the “Journal of Sir Alexander Cuming” who travelled in the Cherokee Nation in 1729-30. Cuming wrote on March 29, 1729, “… arrived at Great Telliquo, in the upper Settlements, 200 miles up from Keeakwee.  Moytoy the head Warrior here, told him, that the Year before, the Nation design’d to have made him Head over all;” [Historical note, Wrosetesataw died about 1728.] Cuming wrote later, “Moytoy of Telliquo presides at present as Emperor over the whole; he was chose at Nequassie, April 3, 1730, and had an absolute unlimited Power given him…” Cuming hoped to take Moytoy and some other Cherokee back to England with him to demonstrate their loyalty to the English King: “He ask’d Moytoy, if the Indians could travel there [to Charleston]in so short a Time on Foot, who told him that it might be done, and that he [Moytoy] would have waited on him himself, but that his Wife was dangerously ill, and therefore desired Sir Alexander to chuse whom he pleased to attend him.”  Attakullakulla, one of the seven Cherokee who went to England with Cuming later recounted the events to the South Carolina Governor (through a translator). “At night Mr Wiggan the Interpreter came to the house where I was, and told me the Warrior {Moytoy] had a particular favour for me, and that if I would Consent to go he would be indifferent whither any other Went; and Mr. Wiggan pressed me very much to accept of his invitation.”
Cuming’s account of the selection of the travelers says, “Sir Alexander chose as Evidence of the Truth of what had happened, the head Warrior of Tassetchee, a Man of great Power and Interest, who has a Right to be King, and is called Oukah Ulah (that is the King that is to be) Skallelockee, the second Warrior, otherwise Kettagustah, (or Prince) Tathtowie, the third Warrior, and Collannah, a fourth Warrior; and from Tannassie, the remotest Town of the Country, he took Clogoittah and Oukanaekah [later known as Attakullakulla] Warriors.”  The seventh man met them en route to Charleston and joined the group. There is nothing to suggest in any of these accounts that the men selected were related in any way.
James Adair wrote that he first visited the Cherokee in 1736.  He did not mention Moytoy by name, but as “their old Archi-magus,” made emperor by Christian Priber. Trader Ludovic Grant wrote in regard to the English attempt to arrest Christian Priber, “I therefore endeavored to prevail with Moytoy who was then the head of the Nation to Give Orders to some of his people to seize him [Priber] and I promised him a very great present for it.  He thanked me and said he would accept of the present…”
Several modern histories suggest [without sources] that Moytoy’s name was actually “Ama-edohi” [Conley, A Cherokee Encyclopedia[ or “Amo-adaw-ehi” [Brown, Old Frontiers], meaning variously “Water-goer,” “Water-walker,” “Water-conjouror,” or “Rainmaker”.
As to Moytoy’s family, we know from his own words that he had a wife, and from other records, at least one son. We are told that Moytoy died in battle in 1741, and “At Moytoy’s death, his son Amo-Scossite (Bad Water) claimed his father’s title.”  [Brown, Old Frontiers, p.46] Although the Cherokee refused to accept Amoscossite as ‘Emperor’, he became chief at Tellico and headed delegations including a meeting with Virginia trade representatives in 1756. He is believed to have died shortly thereafter, leaving no known descendants.
What about those children in the second generation of the ‘A-ma-do-ya’ tree?  One of them is the ‘real’ Moytoy, who died in 1741.  Two of them, Tistoe and Oukah-Oula were among the seven men who went to England with Cuming.  As noted above, there is nothing to suggest that they were related in any way.  They came from different towns and in none of the contemporary records are they listed as brothers, cousins, or relatives of any kind.  The fourth person listed is supposedly the mother of Nan-ye-hi, Nancy Ward.  Nancy’s parents are completely unknown.  All that we know about her parents is that her mother was from the Wolf Clan, and, according to a great-grandson, her father may have been an adopted Delaware Indian.  The last person, ‘Old Hop’ (who lived at Chota) was a prominent Cherokee chief, a contemporary of the ‘real’ Moytoy. Records show that he became de facto head of the Cherokee Nation after the death of Moytoy and a political struggle with the chiefs of Tellico.  Nothing is known of his parents or his wife, but he apparently had sisters since he stated that he had two nephews, Attakullakulla and Willenawa. He also remarked that he had sons, whose names are unknown.
Transcripts of primary sources:
Adair, James. The History of the American Indians.  London, 1775; reprint with introduction by Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr.  Johnson, New York: Reprint Corp, 1968.
Alvord, Clarence Waltworth, and Lee Bidgood.  The First Explorations of the Trans-Allegheny Region by the Virginians, 1650-1674.  Cleveland, Arthur H. Clark, 1912.  Includes transcripts of early accounts.
Bartram, William.  Travels in North America. New Haven, Yale University Press
Bonnefoy, Antoine.  Journal. Transcript in Williams; Bonnefoy was a captive of the Cherokee in 1741-42.
Chicken, George.  Journals 1715-1716 and 1725
Conversation between his Excellency the Governor of South Carolina and Chuconnunta a head man of the Cherokees Whose name formerly was Ouconecaw.  Recorded by Richard Smith in 1756, transcript in the “Journal of Cherokee Studies” Vol. XXVI, pp. 15-23
Cuming, Alexander.  Journal of Sir Alexander Cuming. Transcript in Williams.
Grant, Ludovic.  Historical Relation of the Facts. 1755.  Transcript in the “Journal of Cherokee Studies” Vol. XXVI, pp. 2-23.
Herbert, John. Journal of Colonel John Herbert, commissioner Indian affairs for the province of South Carolina, October 17, 1727, to March 1927/8
Timberlake, Henry  The Memoirs of Lt. Henry Timberlake. Duane King, ed. Museum of the Cherokee Indian Press, Cherokee, N.C., 2007
Williams, Samuel Cole.  Early Travels in the Tennessee Country, 1580-1800 Johnson City, Tennessee, Watauga Press, 1928
Calendar of Virginia State Papers
Colonial Records of North Carolina – multiple volumes published by the North Carolina Archives.
Native Americans in Early North Carolina – ed. Dennis Isenbarger, published by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Department of Archives and History, 2013. Includes transcripts of primary documents from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Villainy Often Goes Unpunished – Indian Records from the North Carolina General Assembly Sessions 1685-1789. William L. Byrd, III, Heritage Books 2012.  Transcripts of General Assembly records.
Colonial Records of South Carolina – multiple volumes published by the South Carolina Archives.  Series 2 are the Indian Papers.
Other references:
Brown, John P.  Old Frontiers.  Southern Publishers, Inc. Kingsport, TN 1938
Conley, Robert. A Cherokee Encyclopedia and The Cherokee Nation: a History. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2007
[Note:  Conley’s books are easier to read than the more scholarly texts listed, but also are not as well-researched and contain more factual errors.]
Hoig, Stanley. The Cherokees and their Chiefs. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville 1998
Mooney, James. History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee. American Bureau of Ethnology 1891 & 1900, reprint Historical Images, Inc.  Asheville, N.C. 1992
Journal of Cherokee Studies.  Museum of the Cherokee Indian Press, Cherokee, N.C.
Kathie Forbes 10/19/17

Questions and comments are welcome as long as they are appropriate and polite all other will be removed and or reported.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Nanyehi (Nancy Ward) Beloved Woman of the Cherokee: Sorting Fact from Fiction

This article is by Kathie Forbes, an excellent genealogical and historical researcher with special skills in researching Cherokee ancestry. This article was written in response to a wikitree profile for Nancy Ward that was full of inaccuracies.

“Nancy Ward” -- there is tons of stuff about her on the Internet (and Wikitree), most of it wildly inaccurate.  There is a lengthy Wikipedia article which is pretty accurate, although the accompanying portrait of a young Cherokee woman is not her -it’s a portrait of an unknown Cherokee woman by George Catlin drawn about 1838.  The best source for accurate information is the biography written by David K. Hampton, genealogist, researcher, and president of the Association of Descendants of Nancy Ward.  Nancy Ward’s activities are recorded in numerous historical records and her descendants are extremely well documented since she is probably the most well-known Cherokee woman.  The story regarding her husband, Kingfisher, and the Battle of Taliwa may be apocryphal – there is no contemporary record of those events.
Nan-ye-hi, the Cherokee woman commonly known as Nancy Ward, was probably born in the Cherokee town of Chota, in what is now Monroe County, Tennessee, about 1738. She was a member of the Wolf clan and member of a family prominent in Cherokee politics. Nan-ye-hi's parents' names are not known, but her mother was a member of the Wolf Clan.  Some accounts state that her father was a Delaware Indian. [Hampton, David K. Cherokee Mixed-Bloods. ARC Press of Cane Hill, Lincoln, Arkansas. 2005 pp. 103-107] She had one brother, named Tiskyteehee (Longfellow), who died in 1836 with no issue. Nancy’s family included two uncles, Attacullaculla (Little Carpenter) and Willenawa (Great Eagle), both prominent chiefs.  By some accounts Attacullaculla was captured from a northern tribe as a child and therefore may not be a blood relative.

A fictional account of her life, written in 1895 by E. Sterling King, entitled The Wild Rose of the Cherokee, translates her name as 'Wild Rose', calls her “Pocahontas of the West,” and gives her mother's name as 'Tame Doe,' but there is no evidence for any of this. That book has resulted in a great deal of mythology about her. Nan-ye-hi was a common name for Cherokee women, frequently anglicized to Nancy.
According to Emmet Starr, Cherokee historian and genealogist, Nan-ye-hi married a member of the Deer Clan named Tsu-la, or Kingfisher about 1751. They had two children, a daughter, Ka-ti, and a son, Hiskyteehee (Fivekiller).  Ka-ti (c.1752- c.1828) had 9 children by three different white men (Samuel Candy, John Walker, and Ellis Harlan).  Fivekiller (c. 1755- bef. 1826) and his Cherokee wife, also named Ka-ti, died without issue.
According to legend, Nan-ye-hi accompanied her husband, Kingfisher,  to battle during the Creek War about 1755. When he was killed, Nan-ye-hi took up his rifle and continued to fight. This earned her the title of "War Woman." She was later given the title of Ghigau, or "Beloved Woman, " a position of power and authority in the tribe. [Starr, Emmett. History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folklore Warden Company, Oklahoma City, OK, 1921] pp. 468-471 and others

Nan-ye-hi subsequently married a white trader named Bryan[t] Ward, and became commonly known as Nancy Ward. They had one child, a daughter named Betsy, who was General Joseph Martin's Cherokee wife. Betsy had three children, two by Joseph Martin and one by a man named Hughes. Little is known with certainty about Bryan Ward.  He had a white wife, named Ann, and a son named John (Jack) Ward, who married a Cherokee woman and fathered an unrelated Ward line.

Nan-ye-hi is credited with warning white settlers of raids and with saving the lives of white captives in the 1770's. She is listed with the Daughters of the American Revolution for patriotic service. [DAR Research System Nancy Ward, Ancestor #: A120623] She was a continuing voice in the tribe for peace with the whites, addressing the United States treaty commissioners at the Hopewell in 1785. [War Woman of Chota to the Treaty Commissioners, 23 Nov 1785, American State Papers, Class 2: Indian Affairs, 2 vols. (Washington DC: Gales and Seaton, 1832) I:4 ]. She continued to participate in the affairs of the Cherokee Nation at least until 1819. In 1817 she signed a memorial protesting the cession of Cherokee lands to whites along with her daughter, Ka-ti, granddaughter Jennie McIntosh, and several other women. [Cumber, Cynthia. Nan-ye-hi (Nancy Ward) Diplomatic Mother. Chapter 1 of Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia, 2009.]

Nan-ye-hi died at Womankiller Ford, near Benton, Tennessee, in 1824 and is buried nearby. A great-grandson, Jack Hilderbrand, recalled the circumstances of her death in 1908. Her brother and her son are buried near her. Her grave is maintained by the Nancy Ward Chapter of the DAR.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thomas Pasmere Carpenter and the Carpenter Ship Owning Family of Plymouth, Devon, England

I am facinated by the story, or shall we call it 'legend' of Thomas Pasmere Carpenter of Plymouth England to Colonial Virginia.  This man abandoned a life of luxury as a member of a wealthy shipping family in Plymouth, England to become the progenitor of practically the entire Cherokee Nation. His descendants include Moytoy, Great Eagle, Atakullakulla, Conastota, Doublehead and Dragging Canoe. This story is found all over the internet and is included in many books printed in the internet age. Is it true? Are the claims made about Thomas Pasmere Carpenter provable? Let's find out.

the shipping family of plymouth
The following is copied from a blog called Morningstaz.blogspot. It was posted in 2008. 

Fur Trade - Shipping Info: 1635. The CARPENTER family of Devonshire & Plymouth England was small sailing ship owners, many of which were leased out to the East India Trading Company, an affiliation dating to the formation of that company December 31, 1600. We have documented ownership of fifteen different ships owned by the CARPENTER family.......

So let's start here. A shipping family that owned 15 ships which they leased to the East India Company (the wording Trading is not part of their name). Right off the bat I have to say that the ships leased to the East India Company were not "small sailing ships." These were large merchant ships capable of sailing to China and India. They may not have been the largest of the East Indian ships which were up to 1200 tonnes, but they were still significant ships capable of sailing around the world. 

The writer says there is documented proof of these ships. They go one to actually list the ship names which I am including  below:

Dorcas 75 tonnes 1665-1671--- made 2 voyages for EIC, owners unknown
Flying Eagle 120 tonnes 1670-1677 --- made 1 voyage for EIC, owner unknown
Delight 100 tonnes 1678-1682--- made 1 EIC voyage, owner unknown
Jonas Frigate 80 tonnes 1681-1686--- made 1 EIC voyage, owner unknown
Tonqueen(Tonquin) 130 tonnes 1681-94--- no voyage for EIC
Emerald 103 tonnes 1685-1692--- made 1 EIC voyage, owner unknown
Pearl 80 tonnes 1685-1694--- 1 voyage, owner unknown
Mocha Frigate 150 tonnes 1694-1706--- made 1 EIC voyage, may have been the Pirate Ship captained by Robert Culliford
Sedgwick 100 tonnes 1696-1711--- 1 EIC voyage, owner unknown
Advice Frigate 130 tonnes 1700-1702--- Owner Unknown
Success 180 tonnes 1710-1716--- 2 voyages, owners unknown, *lost at sea in 1716 [2]
Arabia Merchant 140 tonnes 1701-1708--- built in 1701 owner: Joseph Marks
Hester 250 tonnes 1710-1715--- 3 voyages, owner unknown
Indian Frigate 130 tonnes 1705-1721--- known as the Indian (not frigate) 1 voyage, owner unknown
Goodfellow 140 tonnes 1720-1727---1 voyage owner unknown [3]

These ships names are pulled off a website called Ships of the East Indian Company. Only one ship has an identified owner, the Arabia Merchant and it's owner was not a Carpenter. The Mocha Frigate may have been and EIC ship that was captured by pirates and was captained by Robert Culliford. If all these ships were owned by one family, The Carpenters, why is it that current researchers cannot confirm this information. How could one family own all these ships and leave no documentation behind. 

Even more important: why are there no ships listed from the time of Thomas Pasmere Carpenter? All these ships came into service after 1665.   This would be long after the death of his father. If the Carpenters were already an established shipping family in 1607, when Thomas was supposedly born, where are those ships?

Let's say for the sake of arguement, the family did own a lot of ships. Building and or buying a merchant ship was expensive. Typically a rich man would buy a share in a ship, say 1/16 or 1/32 share. Why? One it cost alot of money and two, if the ship sank, like the Success did in 1716, you only lost your share in the ship, not the total loss of the entire ship. Outright ship owning was only for the very, very rich. [4]

If the Carpenter family outright owned these 15 ships, they would have been fanstically wealthy. If the they owned partial shares in the 15 ships, they still have been fantastically wealthy. So, why are there no records for these amazing rich Carpenters. There are no wills, no city records, no lands, no houses, nothing. Why have we never heard of them? 

more from morningstarz
The morningstarz narrative contines with this about the 15 ships:

 ........those of which were involved with moving furs between the Gulf Ports & Glasgow, or Dublin, and trade goods for North America. These ships usually made stops both directions at Barbados where the family had banking connections set up. 

Moving furs between the Gulf Ports and Glasgow or Dublin. What does this mean? What is being refered to by the "Gulf Ports?" Is this the Gulf of Mexico, the Arabian Gulf, there are dozens of gulfs around the world. So we know that the major ports for the shipping of furs in the 17th century were the North American seaports, like Boston and New York. [5] None of these port are Gulf Ports they are Atlantic Sea ports. No furs came out of the Gulf of Mexico ports so what is the author talking about? I have no clue.

And why Glasgow and Dulin. Most of the fur trade was routed through London. Most goods transport to the American Colonies left from English port, predominantly London. Why would they be delivering furs to Scotland and Ireland? This part of the narrative makes little sense.

Next the author speaks of stops in Barbados where the family has banking connections. Why did the ships stop on their way from England (or Glasgow or Dublin)? Barbados was an English Colony beginning in 1625. It first exported tobacco, but sugar took over as it's chief export. This part of the story is believable in that ships did stop to deliver goods and immigrants as well as take on cargo for export. 
Thomas in Barbados, and Galsgow and Dublin

We have also proved THOMAS PASMERE, TRADER, and TRADER TOM CARPENTER made regular trips to Barbados, and on occasion to Glasglow, and Dublin aboard these ships. These ships were small and fast, often able to make the crossing from Scotland and Ireland in less than thirty days. They were shallow draft ships, capable of handling shallow water ports with ease.  

The port of Glasgow (called Port Glasgow) was built in 1665 down river from the town of Glasgow. It was created to handle the larger ships that were being built. Barbados was also a deep port, but what this has to do with the story of the Carpenter's I don't know. On to the next bit.

The first documented trip made by THOMAS PASMERE CARPENTER occurred April 1640, sailing from Maryland to Barbados aboard the Hopewell, and returning on the Crispian in September 1640. He made another trip in March 1659 departing Charleston South Carolina aboard the Barbados Merchant, returning on the Concord in August 1659.

Documented trip. Another claim of documentation. This time we're told that Thomas was a passenger aboard the Hopewell in April of 1640 travelling from Maryland to Barbados. He returns on the Crispian in September. Why is he going to Barbados, the author told us earlier that, "Thomas was well educated, but did not want to participate in the family business for other brothers and sisters were heavily involved."
By 1640 he's running around Virginia married to a Shawnee and having Cherokee children. What is he doing going to Barbados?

In March of 1659 the Barbados Merchant was on its way back to England from the Cape of Good Hope, Capetown South Africa. This ship had one voyage for the East India Company. The Master of the ship was Captain Charles Wylde, it left London in 1659 and ended in 1661. [6] The Concord was not used by the EIC until 1660, there are no records for this ship.

The story of the ship owning Carpenter family of Plymouth is nothing more that made up nonsense. There is not one verifiable fact to be found in the entire story.

Debunking the Thomas Pasmere Carpenter Story

[1] Morningstaz blog on Thomas Pasmere Carpenter information from this blog was found on 5 July 2017.

[2] Charles Horatio Hardy, A Register of Ships, Employed in the Service of the Honorable the United East India Company, (London: Black, Perry and Kingsbury, 1811).

[4] Peter Earle, The Making on the English Middle Class, Business, Society, and Family Life, (Berkley: University of California Press, 1989).

[5] as of 5 July 2017.

[6] H. C. V. Liebrandt, Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Volume 13, (Cape Town: W. A. Richards and Sons, 1900) 94. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Who was Clogoittah? Was this the mother of Creat and Susannah Priber?

According to Wikitree and many many other Internet genealogy websites, Christian Gottlieb Priber married a woman named Clogoittah, daugher of Moytoy of Tellico. She is said to be the mother of two of his childen; Creat and Susannah Caroline. Is there any truth to this? Is there any proof? By proof I mean something, a document of some sort, which tells us, hopefully with direct evidence that Clogoittah not only married Priber, but was the mother of his children.

I'm going to cut to the chase here. I, as well as other excellent researchers have looked high and low for proof of the existence of Clogittah and her daughters and we cannot find anything. That's right nada, nothing, not a single shred of evidence. Not even a whiff of something. Now I'm talking about real bona fide evidence, not the crap found in Shawnee Heritage Books or other totally undocumented books or websites. I am speaking of legitimate sources.

Okay, I know you're disappointed but before you start calling me names let me tell you who Clogoittah was. Oh, yes therdee really was a Clogoittah. A real documented person. There is even a drawing of Clogoittah. So why am I so sure that Clogoittah did not marry Christian Priber.......Clogoittah was a man.

In 1730 Sir Alexander Cumming accompanied a delegation of seven Cherokee chiefs to London. These men were: Ouka Ulah (the King that is to be) head warrior of Tasseta, Scalilasken, second warrior of Tasseta, Tethtowe and Collannah from Tatsetche, and Clogoitta and Oukanaekaw from the Overhill town of Tannassie. At the last moment a warrior named Onaconoa joined the travelling party and accompanied the group to England. The name Clogoitta is often spelled with an h on the end. So here is our Clogoittah. [1]

Engraving of the seven Chiefs, Clogogittah is in the middle.

The Chiefs returned to their homes after a four month visit to England. No much is known about Clogoittah. In 1756 Attakullakulla told the Governor of South Carolina, "I am the only Cherokee now alive that went to England...."  So, Clogoittah must have died by that time.

There is no record of a female named Clogoittah. If you can produce such a document, I would love to see it. Note: an unsourced book or an unsourced ancestry tree does not count.


[1] Alden T. Vaughan, Transatlantic Encounters, American Indians in Britain, 1500-1776, (New York: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2008) 141.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Christian Gottlieb Priber; What Evidence is there for Daughters: Creat and Susanna Caroline

Christian Gottlieb Priber was a man ahead of his time. Born, raised and educated in Saxony, he ended his unusual life in a prison in Frederica, Georgia. On 22 April 1743, Governor James Oglethorpe described him, in a letter, as a "very odd kind of man." Oglethorpe wrote to his superiors in England that Priber had wished to establish a Utopian paradise, welcoming all of society's castoffs; slaves, Indians, debtors and transported felons. In this setting all crimes and licentiousness were to be tolerated, save murder and idleness. This 18th century Disneyland for wayward adults was to be called "The Kingdom of Paradise." [1]

One of Priber's many Utopian ideas was the abolition of marriage. He said, “women should live with the same freedom as the men; that they should be free to change husbands every day; that the children who should be   born should belong to the republic and be cared for and instructed in all things that their genius be capable of acquiring.”

Priber had left behind his German wife and children when he fled his homeland. It doesn't sound like he was looking for a replacement. Priber was in England in 1635. His petition to sail to the newly formed Colony of Georgia was presented to the trustees at their meeting on 13 June 1635, who recommended him for the next embarkation. [2]

It is not my intention to write Priber's biography but rather to examine what evidence there might be that has led many people to claim that they are related to him through one or the other of two supposed daughters; the oddly named Creat and Susanna Caroline. Good genealogy always starts with a question, followed by research and the application of the Genealogical Proof System. Which is what I will do here, starting with three questions:

Did Christian Priber marry between 1736 and his capture by the English in 1743?
Did Christian Priber have a daughter named Creat Priber who married a Native American named Doublehead?
Did Christian Priber have a daughter named Susanna Caroline Priber who married Aaron Brock/RedBird?

Research Notes: (This research was done by Kathie Forbes and Jeanie Roberts)

Priber is mentioned in the writings of four of his contemporaries who had actually met him. The first of whom was Ludovic Grant, a Scottish immigrant who also lived among the Native Americans, particularly the Cherokee. Grant met Priber and had this to say about him, "[he] called himself German but was certainly an agent for the French. He went up from Amelia Township to the Cherokee Nation, and lived in the Town of Telliguo, and being a great scholar he soon made himself master of their Tongue, and by his insinuating manner Indeavoured to gain their hearts, he trimm’d his hair in the indian manner and painted as they did going generally almost naked except a shirt & a Flap."[3] Grant makes no mention of wife or offspring.

The second man was Antoine Bonnefoy, a Frenchman, who was captured by the Cherokee in 1741. He wrote a vivid account of his capture and his meeting with Christian Priber. Bonnefoy spoke at length with Priber, asking him where he learned French.  In his journal he wrote,  "that having found among the Cherakis a sure refuge he had been working there for four years upon the establishment which he had been planning for twenty; that the Governor of Carolina having discovered the place of his refuge had sent a commissioner to demand him of the savages there, but that then he was adopted into the nation, and that the savages, rejecting the presents of the English, had refused to give him up." [4] Bonnefoy was 'adopted' by one of the Indians with whom he lived. He said that Priber was 'lodging in the cabin with my adopted brother.' [5] This statement is significant. The Cherokee are a matrilineal society, when a man marries he joins his wife's clan. Yet, here is Priber lodging with an unidentified male, not living in his own home. Bonnefoy  make no mention of a wife or children.

James Adair was an Irishman who lived among the various tribes in North America. In 1775  he published his History of the American Indians. Adair was present when the English tried to apprehend Priber, but the Cherokee refused to relinquish him. Adair called him an agent of the French and was either ignorant of his Utopian plan or did not think enough of it to include in his book. He said of Priber, "he ate, drank, slept, danced, dressed, and painted himself, with the Indians, so that it was not easy to distinguish him from the natives, -- he married also with them." [6] Although Adair says that Priber 'married with the Indians', it seems unlikely that he took a wife, given his stance on free-love. There is no mention in this book of a wife or children.

Priber, long hunted by the English, was captured by February of 1743 by the Creek Indians and sent to prison in Georgia. The last man who both met and wrote about Priber is known only as Americus. He wrote a character description that was printed in The Annual Register, for the year 1760. His 'character' was Priber. The writer is basically anonymous, but claims that he met with Priber while in prison. Americus says that he left America and returned to England in 1744, the last year that Priber is known to have been alive. Americus describes Priber, both physically and mentally in great detail. He believed that Priber was a Jesuit Priest. [7] The Register was published in London in 1789.

Everything that is known about Priber's personal life with the Cherokee comes from the writings of these men. None of them mention a wife or children. Priber spoke extensively with Bonnefoy about his ideas for his Utopian society and the abolition of marriage. If Priber had a wife and children, Bonnefoy would have known it. Priber doesn't strike me as a hypocrite, a bit of a madman yes, but not one who would abandon his principles. Why would he marry if it was the very thing he wished to expunge from his new world order?

Jesuit Priest
Just a quick word about the Jesuits. These are/were the hard core evangelizers/converters of the Catholic Church. They were sent to places hostile to Christianity, such as China and Japan, to bring their version of Christianity to 'the heathen.' Until new research, done in 1960, uncovered Priber's German origins, he was believed to have been a Jesuit Priest.[8] If Priber married and had children, why would they suspect he was a Catholic priest?

Emmett Starr
Dr. Emmett Starr, d. 1930, was a noted historian and genealogist of the Cherokee Nation. He wrote extensively about the Cherokee people. In his 1921, book, “History of the Cherokee Indians”, Starr mentions Priber three times. Twice he claims that Priber, whom he called an ex-Jesuit, came to the Cherokee in the role of a missionary, teaching them about the Bible. The third reference was only in a comment about Ludovic Grant, noting that he was with the Cherokee at the same time as Priber. He makes no genealogical references to Priber. [9] No mention of wife or child is made. Considering that Starr was a genealogist  and his books includes the genealogies of hundreds of Cherokee, it would seem highly unusual for him to have omitted descendants of Priber if they were known to exist.

Edward Davis
Dr. Edward Davis perpetuated the idea that Priber was a missionary. He wrote in 1936, "Christian Priber, a French Jesuit, was among the Cherokees from 1736 to about 1745. He seems to have taught many Bible stories to the Cherokees and laid a foundation of knowledge that the Protestant missionaries [built on]." [10] No mention of a wife or children was made.

Knox Mellon
Mellon researched and wrote two scholarly articles, published in 1960 and 1973, about Priber and his Utopian vision. [11] Fellow researcher, Kathie Forbes writes, "Knox Mellon researched Priber’s family at length. His article includes detailed information on Priber’s German parents, wife, and children, his education, his writings, his travels, his life with the Cherokee, and his time in prison. If there are records of any Cherokee descendants, I believe that Mellon would have located them."

The Age of the Internet
I could go on and on about the Christian Priber and the written word, suffice it to say that all pre-Internet writings about the man do not include a wife or child. It is not until the explosion of Internet genealogy, did Priber acquire a Native American family.  Kathie Forbes writes: "James Hicks on-line Cherokee genealogy, unfortunately assumed by many to be authoritative, lists two Pribers: Christian, and daughter Creat,(no mother listed) with zero documentation. Hicks lists Creat as one of Doublehead’s wives and attaches several children (including some mythical and some real people whose parents, according to Starr, are unknown). Interestingly, he includes not a single Kentucky Brock. He lists only one person named Redbird, a man who died in Indian Territory in 1904. Hicks abandoned his project about 10 years ago."

The genealogy of Priber, according to Hicks can be found here. He offers no document to prove such a claim, only that his information was from another web page, managed by  Don Chestnut. This page, Chestnut's, is no longer available. So who is Don Chestnut and what was his source for this information? Don seems to be related to a Cherokee named Benge. He put up his genealogy on his now defunct website. His name is thrown out frequently on the Benge RootsWeb message board. Some comments about the quality of his work are as follows:

Don has done a wonderful job managing the page and somehow kept out of the squabbles but he does have misinformation of my Benge line of ancestors...

Don has done a wonderful job in managing  the page. True, a lot of info on the page maybe incorrect but ...

I think what Oleta is trying to tell you, and what I found out after much  investigation, is that a lot of the information on Don Chestnut's  website is incorrect. Just because someone has posted it to a web site does not  mean  that they have done the research and have accurate information.

The Benge Rootsweb site and these comments can be found here.

Don himself made the following statement, which I have copied in full:

From: Don Chesnut <>
Subject: Re: [BENGE] Don Chestnut, are you there? Re: Confusion about Wurteh
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 13:29:36 -0500
In-Reply-To: <004e01c1bcd7$2d71ae60$63a869ce@oemcomputer>

I am not a Cherokee researcher so shouldn't be recorded as an authority for
any Cherokee family (although I do try to follow the Benge families)..........

There you are from the man himself, he is no authority and should not be used as a source. Where he got his information from, one can only guess. One thing you should note in the early genesis of the Priber Family stories is that it began with a daughter named Creat who married Chief Doublehead. There is no mention made of her mother and there is also no mention of a sister Susanna Caroline. I put together a timeline of Internet postings about Christian Gottlieb Priber and the evolution of his family. My comments are highlighted in yellow.

Thats it, just a statement.

vi. CORNBLOSSOM DOUBLEHEAD, b. Abt. 1760, Stearns, KY; d. August 13, 1810,
Stearns, KY; m. JACOB TROXEL, Abt. 1780; b. 1759, Frederick Co, MD; d. July
01, 1843, DeKalb Co, AL.
vii. TUCKAHOE DOUBLEHEAD, b. Abt. 1762.
viii. SALEECHIE DOUBLEHEAD, b. Abt. 1764.
ix. NI-GO-DI-GE-YU, b. Abt. 1766; m. SAMUEL RILEY; b. Abt. 1747, Maryland;
d. 1818, Blue Spring, Tenn, Bradley Co..
x. GU-LU-STI-YU, b. Abt. 1768; m. SAMUEL RILEY; b. Abt. 1747, Maryland; d.
1818, Blue Spring, Tenn, Bradley Co
Creat now has a list of children.

Also, there was a Chief Aaron BROCK among the Cherokee. Some think he was Chief Red Bird Some say Aaron was 1/2 Cheroke the s/o Reuben BROCK and a  Cherokee wife, possible named Christian PLACE or Miss PRIBER. Aaron md. a  full blood cheorkee woman named Susan or Susannah Caroline ?
Christian Place or Ms. Priber marries Reuben Brock, father of Aaron Brock who marries Susannah Caroline. In this early internet version of Susanna Caroline, she is not a Priber, and she is full blood Cherokee. Later she becomes Miss Priber.  

Susanna Christian Priber dated 1736-1764, "was born in 1736 in Overhills, Tenase, Great Tellico. She died in 1764 in Taluegue, Kentucky." Susanna Christian Priber was daughter of Christian Gottleib Priber and Susan Moytoy Carpenter "Christian and Susan had the following children: Susanna Christian Priber, Grand Priber, Place Priber, Great Priber."
Priber seems to have married a woman named Susan Moytoy Carpenter.

Please know most Cherokee here in Oklahoma don't consider the Troxell's to have any Cherokee blood -- none at all. That could change  if documents came out showing proof of this link. I am not trying to disprove a local legend, but rather I just want to find the truth. My ancestor Nevil Wayland was a neighbor of Jessee Brock in Lower Russell  County, Virginia in 1797 -- both are there on the tax rolls. But is  their proof Jessee's father or grandpa, was a Cherokee "chief" named  Red Bird?
A rare voice of caution, trampled no doubt under the moccasins of Troxells everywhere. The Troxell family tried to tie itself to the Moytoy legend through a daughter or Creat Priber, Princess Cornblossom.

There was a man named Priber. (This is my personal favorite!)
Christian Gottlieb Priber b: 21 MAR 1697 d: ABT 1744
+ A Cherokee Moytoy b: ABT 1720?
2 Cristian Place Priber b: ABT 1737?
2 Creat Priber b: 1740 d: 1790
+ Chief Doublehead (Taltsuska) b: BET 1744 AND 1799 d: 09 AUG 1807

Now, old Priber, was well educated, knowing many languages. He applied first for allotment land in Jamestown area. This was finally granted, but he did not take it, due to his absence from the area. Where did he go? Well, seems he heard of a German settlement! Germania, I presume (from the
gedcoms:), where he got hooked up with the native americans. Many of MY DECENDANTS were in Germania, and enviorns. (rememmber, I AM a Melungeon line from the "core", if you want to put it that way:) And there he bacame an indian!

I'm not kidding here. He, for all practical purposes, was indian. He taught them. He did not teach them english, french, math, because they already knew that!!!! (they all could read, write, and do math, taught them by one europen father that lived in a cave above Jamestown in the early years!:) And so what he did, was teach them how to trade with the english and others. This p.o.'ed the english! The english traders had to actually give good and equal value for what they wanted! Astonishing. But not for long. For the British thought he was a "spy" and an instigator, and an ambassador in the employ of France. As such, he could be hunted down and imprisioned. Which is exactly what happened. He was emprisioned, where he wrote in Cheorkee the bible, or the new testament, (part of?). Which writing has never been found. This in aide / collaboration with a monk/priest. He also enjoyed the visits of many educated and liberal english. But he died in prison. His son sold verything of value his father had (before or after dead, maybe before for bond/eating money?).

And the main thing is; he started a "Utopia"!

Now, a Utopia, in order to qualify as a "utopia", has to accept people. Which people? Well, some would be the blessed and educated and monied. But that would be a minority. Some would be Indian. And some majority would be the "dregs" of society. Yes I am talking about MY anctors, and probably yours! (as mine intermarried with indian and germanic) This would then be seen as a major problem to england.
Did you not love that! But anyway, here is another name for Susanna Caroline, it is Christian Place Priber.

We are directly related to Chief Double head his wife Creat Priber. There child Cornblossom. Creat Priber's parents Gottilieb and Clogoittah, Her parents Cheif Moytoy and his Father Great Eagle. Clogoittah brother was Oconostota(Have pic).
Priber is now married to a woman named Clogoittah whose father was Moytoy.

It is a fact that Chief Doublehead's 1st wife was Creat Priber. He subsequently married a Delaware woman, Nannie Drumgoole, and Cornblossom (a Delaware). I've been unable to identify any descendant of Creat Priber because they had four daughters and a son Tukaho who was murdered in 1807 and died without heir. As for the Moytoy website, I consider it a work of fiction by a crackpot who will not answer questions or prove his claims.
This was written by a woman named Doris Ross Brock Johnson. Many people use her website as a source for the Redbird/Aaron Brock myth. She passed away, but her web page remains. The 'Moytoy' website, now defunct, was the work of a man named Jim White, who was trying to make a claim to be related to Moytoy of Tellico. His website seems to have been the source for all the Moytoy stuff. This was scooped up by Don Greene and put into his Shawnee Heritage books, which are total garbage.

Do you have proof of Cornblossem or Creat Priber's existance? A man named David Cornsilk says neither one ever existed. If you have proof, I'd like to know what your source is, as I am a direct descendant of Gu-Lu-Sti-U and Samuel Reily - Doublehead and Creat Priber, and so on to Moytoy. I need to prove it to this man.
No reply was made.

As you probably already know Red Bird Carpenter and Doublehead were brothers and married sisters Susan and Creat Priber.
There you have it, all neat and tidy.

There are literally thousands, if not millions of Internet messages about the “daughters” of Christian Priber and their descendants. These writers speak of 'research' and 'sources' but all they can offer are websites with the same regurgitated nonsense that seems to grow with each passing year. Details are added to the bio's of these mythical people, names added, children added, marriages added. But no one can come up with a single piece of evidence for their existence.

Back to our original questions.

1. Did Christian Gottlieb Priber marry a woman between 1736 and his capture in 1744. There is no evidence that Priber married during his stay with the Cherokee. He was averse to the ritual of marriage to the point that it would be abolished in his Utopia. Why then would he marry? Bottom line, using the Genealogical Proof Standard, there is no evidence to support a marriage.

2. Did Christian Gottlieb Priber have a daughter Creat? There is no evidence that would support this claim.

3. Did Christian Gottlieb Priber have a daughter named Susanna Caroline? There is no evidence that would support this claim.


[1] Knox Mellon, Jr. “Christian Priber's Cherokee ‘Kingdom of Paradise’.“ The Georgia Historical Quarterly Vol. 57, No. 3 (Fall, 1973), pp. 319-33 Published by: Georgia Historical Society

[2] Allan Chandler, ed. Journal of the Trustees for Establishing the Colony of Georgia in America, Vol. 1, (Atlanta : The Franklin Printing and Publishing Co., 1904) 218.

[3] Ludovic Grant, “Historical Relation of Facts.” Charleston Probate Court Book 1754-1758, p. 301,  reprinted in the Journal of Cherokee Studies, Vol. XXVI pp. 8-9.

[4] Antoinie Bonnefoy, Journal of Captivity Among the Cherokee Indians, 1741-1742.  (Bonnefoy’s journal is available digitally at: pp. 247-249.)

[5] Bonnefoy, Journal, 247.

[6] James Adair, The History of the American Indians, (London: Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, in the Poultry, 1775)  p. 240.

[7] Americus, "Characters," The Annual Register for the Year 1760, London, 1789). (This book is divided into sections each with their own page numbers. Priber starts on page 21 in the section called Characters.

[8] Mellon, "Kingdom of Paradise," 320.

[9] Emmett Starr, History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folklore, (Oklahoma City: The Warden Company, 1921). 24, 247, 466.

[10]Edward Davis, "Early Advancement Among the Five Civilized Tribes," Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 14, No. 2 (June, 1936)

[11] Mellon, "Kingdom of Paradise."