Parker Adkins and Mary 'Blue Sky' Fry: Fact or Fiction? Is Blue Sky another Native Myth?

A reader recently left a comment on my blog to state that they were descended from Mary Blue Sky Cornstalk and Parker Adkins. So of course I had to take a peep at this Mary Blue Sky and check her out. There are a few websites which make the claim that Blue Sky was the daughter of Shawnee Chief Cornstalk and that she had two children, Charity and Littleberry by a white man, Parker Adkins. Blue Sky died and Parker brought these two children home for his wife to raise along with their own children. 

Is this true? Did Parker Adkins somehow meet the daughter of Cornstalk and have a relationship with her that led to the birth of two children? Absolutely say some, others are more cautious but a few brave souls question the entire relationship. How could Parker, a man from Pigg River in Virginia meet and develop a relationship with a Shawnee woman whose father was his sworn enemy? 

A serious genealogist begins each search with question. This helps nail down what we want to know about a relationship and how to prove it. Just off the top of my head I can think of a dozen genealogy questions about this relationship. Before we can ask who was the mother of Charity Adkins I think we should take a step back and ask an even more important one.

Question: Did Chief Cornstalk have a daughter named Blue Sky?

Answer: There is no documented source for this person.

Straight out of the gate there is no way to document this relationship with any source, other than the claims of oral tradition. If you cannot prove there was a woman named Blue Sky how do you prove she was someone's mother? Twisting history is not genealogy. Was Parker Adkins a long hunter who made his way into the Ohio territory? No one knows what Parker Adkins did. So making endless suppositions to support a story is not genealogy. 

I could spend months researching Parker Adkins and his family, but someone else has beat me to it and done a bang up job. I refer you to this blogpost: Parker Adkins & Blue Sky which is methodically laid out and backs up all research with a paper trail. The author provides a convincing argument against such a relationship, and I concur with her results. Hope you enjoy reading about Parker and Blue Sky.

But what about DNA. Can't that prove Native American ancestry. According to the DNA testing company 23&Me website: 

"These include mitochondrial haplogroups A2, B2, C1, D1 and X2a – which are found exclusively among Native Americans. People in some other branches of the A, B, C and D haplogroups may also have Native American ancestry, but their maternal lines could also trace to Asia. On the paternal side, only Q3 is exclusive to Native Americans, though anyone with a Y chromosome in the C, C3 or Q haplogroup could conceivably have Native American forbears."

No other haplogroup is considered to include Native American ancestry by any of the major DNA testing companies. 

One question that I think is important to ask your DNA testing company, is who are they comparing your DNA too? Is it a tiny pool of self-identified NA descendants? How accurate are those results going to be? I'd advise you to read the fine print of your results before believing that you have Native American ancestors.

Now, at the end of the day, you might not agree with me about the maternal ancestry of Parker Adkins children, and that's okay. We each have a right to our own opinions. All I ask is that you do your research, look at every side of the argument, question results based on suspect theories. Genealogy should be fun, not confrontational. 


  1. Hello, Jean. I am the author of the Parker Adkins/Blue Sky blog you referred to. I think you might like to know that a descendant of second daughter of Charity Adkins (Keziah) has had her mtDNA done and it exactly matches the DNA of the first tester, thus further proving that they had the same maternal ancestry and it was not native-American. Thank you for the compliments concerning my research. I really appreciate it. Sarah (Sallie) Burns Atkins.

    1. Thank you Sallie. Good to know. I think DNA will put many of these mythical NA ancestors to rest.


  2. Hello again, Jeanie. I just read part of the June 11 post by "Anonymous" (after "Anonymous" sent me an email to make sure I knew about it). It was written by someone who is more interested in discrediting me than about Parker Adkins's real history and it contains many false and misleading claims, words taken out of context, etc. I do not feel the need to defend myself from such irrational behavior. My research stands on its own without the need for disparaging others and people are free to accept it or or reject it without further comment from me.


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