Search for content in message boards

Cherokee Families, Henderson & Webster Cos, KY

Cherokee Families, Henderson & Webster Cos, KY

Posted: 1110230467000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1247686333000
Surnames: Jones, Wiley, trusty, sugg, Bostwick, Tapp, Aigner, Musick, Wallace, Lee, Branson, Ashby
Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Coouties,KY

Hi Researchers,
I am desperately seeking the maiden name of my 3rd ggm Darkus/Dorcas (nee ?) Jones who was b. 1818 in KY (county unknown). Her parents were born in NC. Darkus/Dorcas was a full blooded Cherokee woman.
Darkus/Dorcas was married to Wiley Jones and they lived in Henderson County, on Highland Creek near the Jones Stand in what is now Webster County. Wiley Jones was a son of Richard Jones and Lavinia Sugg Wiley both born in NC. Richard Jones was a Rev. War Soldier who received a Military Land Grant in Henderson, County, KY. Lavinia's parents were Geo Augustus Sugg and Sarah Patience Jones. Lavinia's brother was Wiley Sugg of whom I believe Wiley Jones was named.
Wiley and Darkus/Dorcas had the following children.

Albert b. 1838-39
Mary E. b. 1840 she married Cornelius Sigler. They had 5 children: Sam, Ida, Amy. C.L. and Hester. Mary died young.
George R. b. 1842
Martha b. 1845 she married a Wallace.
Gabriel b. 1846 he was the executor of his father's will in 1880.
Harriet b. 1848 she married Josephus Lee.
Lavinia b. 1851 she married Wiley Bostwick. Wiley Bostwick was the son of James Bostwick and Martha Jones. They had 8 children, 3 of these children are mentioned in the 1900 Webster Co. census. They are Nellie N. b.1880, Willie S. b. 1884 and Hester b. 1892 all are daughters. As a elderly widow of 80 plus years, Darkus/Dorcas lived her remaining years with Lavinia and Wiley Bostwick. Darkus/Dorcas died sometime between 1905 and 1910 as my grandmother remembers her. She had long jet black hair that she could sit on and she would brush it again and again every night. She would pace and had snappy (an old term used to denote small eyes which Native Americans have) black eyes. She was very tiny as was my ggm Tina Wiley Shelton and my grandmother Alpha Lena Shelton Aigner, my grandfather called her Tiny! Darkus/Dorcas made and sold things and also had a money lending business in her younger years.
Edmond b. 1855
Margaret b. 1859
Virginia Arabella (Belle) b.1862 she married Edwin A. Wiley a son of Wilkerson "Wilkey or Red" Wiley (son of Patrick Wiley and Catherine Branson who's mother was a Timmons and her mother was an Ashby) and Hannah Trusty (she was a descendant of George "The Pioneer" Musick of Spotsylvania, VA) Wiley. Belle was 13 and Edwin was 17 when they were married in 1875. Edwin's sister Mary Wiley married a Tapp and had son's Fred, Kestner and Lon Tapp. They were associated with Tapp Funeral Home in Dixon (now Townsen or Thompson Funeral Home). Belle died at age 32 and left 5 young children. Robert, Tina, Dexter, Flora (Floy), and Mary. Robert's children were Ivory (male) and Inez Wiley. Darkus/Dorcas helped raise these children, one of whom was my ggm, Tina Wiley Shelton who married Wm. Lee Shelton of Webster County. They eventually settled in Indpls, IN around 1910.

Now that I have convienced you and myself that I am related to just about everyone in Henderson/Webster Counties, KY, please help me and give me a hand with finding the maiden name and parents of my Darkus/Dorcas (nee ?) Jones. She had to have siblings especially brothers and they had to have children who carried this unknown maiden name!!! If anyone has a tradition of Native American/Cherokee in their family from Henderson/Webster Counties, KY and one of your surname's is listed here, perhaps were are related through Darkus/Dorcas. I found a cousin not long ago of the Wiley Line who had no clue that he was Cherokee so it could be in your line and you don't know it. I do because Darkus/Dorcas helped raise my ggm who died when I was 21 and kept many of the Native ways.
It is possible that she didn't have a surname as many full blood Cherokee's didn't around that time. Also, I read that Darkus was similiar to a Cherokee name so they just changed Darkus to Dorcas! Why were the full blood Cherokee's in this area of KY around the early 1800s? Does anyone know? I have more information on some of the above but I think I have placed enough data here for now. I will answer and share with anyone who is/may be descended from anyone in the above. I will answer here or email me at Thanks one and all. Janet


Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110379386000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1157987901000
You said-- "If anyone has a tradition of Native American/Cherokee in their family from ----". Janet- the latest statistics say that 60% of the people living in the United States are now claiming that their ancestors are Cherokee, so this would be no test.

Let me assure you-- the Cherokee Tribe NEVER inhabited the area that became Kentucky in recorded history (1540- on)! There were other tribes there--- but not the Cherokees. The maps that show the claim of the area by the Cherokees was including a "hunting grounds" that was also claimed by four other Indian tribes.

Jerri C.

Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110390090000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1113878875000
Hi Jerri,
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I do understand what you are saying. There is no tradition of Cherokee in my family, it is fact. This Cherokee lady helped raise my great grandmother who did not die until I was 21. This Cherokee lady was known to my grandmother and did not die until my grandmother was a child so our family is very familiar with her and her background. This is mother to daughter in a direct line to me and now my daughter and this is probably why we know this so well.

The reason that I put in the statement that anyone from this area of Henderson and Webster County, KY with a Cherokee or Native American tradition with the surnames that I posted is to help me find relatives who have not tried to find their Native American roots or to find relatives who have no clue that they are in fact are Native American. I stated that several years ago I did find a 2nd cousin of my grandmothers whose parents moved to CA and for some reason did not pass this information down to their children. I guess the reasons are many. My grandmother said that this Cherokee family was trying to blend in (she actually said hiding) and after the Trail of Tears, I imagine that put the fear of God into many Native Americans. Also, back in the late 1800s it wasn't so good to be Native American.

I have been writing down bits of information from my mother, grandmother and great grandmother since I was a young girl in the 1950s and this is the main reason that I have been into genealogy. I have found so much on my other lines but just can't find these Cherokee Lady's maiden name if in fact she even had one. I have followed many clues that I have gleamed from reading and have learned much about the Cherokee's. I have even followed the possibility that her Cherokee father fought in the Amer.Rev. and received Military Bounty land in KY. I know that the Cherokee's never lived here in this part of Ky and that this was mainly their hunting grounds, but my Cherokee family got there for some reason and I am wondering why. I have read that they sometimes moved together to live near to each other and this is why I am asking other researchers in this area to help me.

My mother is very frail and in a nursing home and I am
desperate to find any more information of this family that I can before she is no longer with us. This is why I posted such a long query with so many surnames and all kinds of questions .

Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110425971000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1157987901000
While I'm very sorry about your mother's medical condition, that is not a valid reason for trying to change the history of our people and place the tribe in an entirely different habitation area, simply upon the "word" of some unnamed person. You have no proof of what was said or even who said it. But I do know who said that the Cherokee Tribe never, in recorded history, inhabited or occupied any part of that area-- it was the Department of the Interior and the Cherokee Tribe.

I will not debate the rest of your message, because it is nothing more than the same hype and rhetoric that we read on most of these message board and have no basis as far as the US or tribal government is concerned. Our history is well documented in a dozen different directions.

As for being granted a Revolutionary Land Grant in KY for their service in that war- quite true!! Bounty Land Grants were issued in KY by the State of Virginia, who owned that land prior to the close of the Rev. War. It was awarded to the defenders of the State of Virginia, those soldier who fought in the army of the United States against the British!!

The Cherokees did not receive those land grants, Janet. Would you like to know why? (-- and this fact is not hidden away in some dusty archive or treaty, it's in thousands of books).

Because of their treaties with them and the many intrusions the colonists had made into our sovereign land trying to settle in it, THE CHEROKEES FOUGHT FOR THE BRITISH.

Nuff said!


Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110427202000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1113878875000
I answered this reply to my query honestly but it was posted then taken off. Why?

I am aware of what you are saying. I know that the Cherokee's did not live in that part of KY as a nation but individually. There is NO tradition of Cherokee in my family, it is fact.

I am honestly looking for my family. As I stated in my query, this Cherokee Lady helped raise my great Mom who did not die until I was 21. My grandmother remembers "Darkus" as she was a child when she died at 80 plus years. This has always been a relationship of mother to daughter for 6 generations.

I only want to give my "nursing home bound" Mother as much information about "our" Darkus' parents and back before she passes on. I am in a race with time. I am only seeking Darkus' maiden name if she had one. I have most things from her to our present family.

Darkus was born in KY but I don't know which county. Her parents were born In NC. For some reason, this is where she married and raised "our" family and I am only exploring every avenue that I can for clue's and asking help of other kind and thoughtful researchers. I have encountered many wonderful and polite researchers that have helped me and I will and do return the favor whenever possible. I am near Washington, DC and have looked things up at the archives for strangers and only ask in return that they pass it on.

I have been writing down information from my great grandmother, grandmother and mother since the 1950s when I was a young girl. This has been my main reason for doing genealogy. I have read what I could about the Cherokee Nation trying to gleem as much information as I could to help me in my search. I have written as much information in my query as I could and asked questions that may in some way bring some information my way from concerned and helpful researchers. JH

Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110428901000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1113878875000
Jerri, Thanks you for your kind concern for my mother. I have no idea what you are talking about. I did not imply that the Cherokee Nation inhabited western KY. I only asked what "some" Cherokee were doing in that part of KY back around the 1820s. I am not trying to rewrite Cherokee history, I'm trying to find my family history on this line back past 1818. My Darkus was born in KY but her parents were born in NC.

Please don't acuse my family of making up stories or creating hype. I did not do that to you and please don't twist my words. Just because a Cherokee family chose not to live with their nation at that time did not mean they ceased to be a Cherokee or have a past with ancestors just like yours. For all I know, my Darkus' family could have gone on to the Indiana Territory.

Nuff said. JH

Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110465193000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1157987901000
Beg your pardon, Janet- but you are mistaken. None of your messages have been removed from this board.


Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110480960000
Classification: Query
Although Ms Chasteen has more than adequately addressed you query, perhaps you will consider another approach - even though it will lead to the same conclusion.

In attempting to determine the parentage, & ethnicity of, Dorcas' parents, the fact that they lived in NC at some time prior to 1818 is marginally helpful.

But the really big issue is this: regardless of their ethnicity, there is no basis for one to conclude Dorcas was Indian UNLESS you know with certainty who her parent's were (both of them and including her mother's birth name), and it will probably be necessary to know all four of Dorcas' grandparents' names and ethnicity. OR, accept HER definition of who she was within the bounds of the Federal census.

Dorcas was a fairly common southern name. So that gets you nowhere.

The fact that your family moved to Kentucky BEFORE 1818, establishes as fact that IF they were Cherokee from North Carolina, they LEFT the Nation, and since they STAYED in KY, they gave up any right they may have had at some earlier date to be known as Cherokee - without even considering the risk factor for an isolated "Cherokee" family to live in Kentucky which was prime real estate for the Shawnee - who had no great love for the Cherokee as well as the Delaware who raided into what is now Kentucky.

So, based just on the facts you have already uncovered, you have proved reasonably well that there is no feasibility of establishing Dorcas as a Cherokee or even as an Indian, family oral tradition notwithstanding.

And if that is not sufficient, in the Federal Census of 1860, Kentucky, Webster county, p527, Dorcas is emumerated as white as is her husband and all her children.

In the Federal census of 1870, Webster co., KY, Dorcas and Wiley are once again enumerated as white, as are all her children on the two pages I looked at.

IN 1900, the Federal census of Webster county KY, Dorcas is once again enumerated as white as are all her grandchildren.

It seems to me that, objectively, the overwhelming message of the evidence is that Dorcas considered herself white for at least the 40 years covered by these census records... as did all her children and grandchildren. The weight of the evidence, given by the persons themselves, outweighs whatever oral tradition there may be to the contrary.

I would urge you to be glad that you have your famliy tree back to 1818 with that one line.

Rather than fruitlessly digging to prove something that cannot be proved, invest your time and energy in trying to discover the identity of Dorcas' parents and grandparents. It is there where you will discover whether there is ANY Indian blood line in your family.

Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1110559611000
Classification: Query
I just put all the information that I had on this query to try to find some help and boy did I GET IT.

I only wanted her last name. I have tried everything that I can. She is my brick wall. I tried many "white" families, in the 2 counties of Ky, that lived near both Darkus and Wily Jones on the census and Richard Jones and Lavinia Sugg Jones on the census when Wiley was a child. I tried every bit of information that I have gleemed from people who I know that are natives, non natives and those who consider themselves a mix between the 2.

I am familiar with the information that you gave me. Thanks for taking your important time to look this up for me but I already had it. Somewhere in my readings, perhaps at the Library of Congress in one of the many books that I looked at, I found some information stating that if an Indian woman married a white man, she could put down "white" on the census form . Now that was very early on in my research and I did not copy it down. It seemed odd to me. G, you sound so knowledgable, have you ever heard of this?

As far as our Darkus was concerned, I only have the eyewitness of my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother to go on. As I stated, my great grandmother was raised with help from Darkus and even my grandmother knew her. I have stated all the things that I know of this lady by the women whose lives she had an influence on. I remember hearing about the racial slurs that were hurled at our family as well. My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother aren't lying.

You know, I never asked to be part of the Cherokee Nation. I know that once a family seperated from the Cherokee nation that they ceased to be Cherokee. You all have taught me that and I must say quite well. I have only repeated all the information that I had in hopes that someone would give me a clue that would help me find her SURNAME so that I could find her parents and grandparents as back as far as I can, no more and no less.


Re: Cherokee Families in Henderson & Webster Counties, KY

Posted: 1346373663000
Classification: Query
This is the first message I've ever written on one of these boards and I must say I hesistated because of the "heated" discussion. However, I feel compelled to respond just to empathize with you and am taking a chance that the "heat" has subsided after 7 years! We have a similar situation in that I'm trying to work through my family tree and feel that I've come up with a roadblock. My family has also been told that my great grandmother was native american (a family photo also exists). My family also lived in Webster County, Kentucky. I came across some information on the rootsweb portion of relating to Cherokee geneaological research and found it very illuminating. It may help to read this. It discusses specific research sources as well as the reality of the times. At this point in time, after hours and hours of research, I believe it may be a possibility that my great grandmother was adopted and will move on to the remainder of my tree unless this theory is miraculously dispelled. I do understand the compulsion to "tidy-up" the research. Hopefully, you have been able to come up with some conclusions. I feel for you!
per page

Find a board about a specific topic