|Me with wooden Indian Disney World, Orlando, Florida - 2000|
The rumors are true, there is an Indian in my family tree!
|My grandmother, Hester Lewis Tipton - 1942|
For years in my family oral history, there was always talk of an Indian ancestor. The ancestor was linked to my grandmother, Hester Lewis who married my grandfather Fieldon Jacob Tipton. No one could ever verify the fact, but there was always the talk of the Indian ancestor in our family tree.
|My great grandfather Isaac Ledford Lewis - born 1856 and father of Hester Lewis Tipton|
When I began researching my family history in 1994, I of course was looking for that link. I couldn't find it. I found a lot of other interesting family history like the fact that my 6th great grandfather Jonathan Tipton was the first Tipton to arrive in this country. He came here from Port Royale, Jamaica in the late 1600's and settled in Baltimore Country, Maryland. His history and why he was in Jamaica with all the pirates of that era is pretty interesting in itself and the subject of a future blog posting. But I didn't find any Indians in my paternal Tipton line.
|My Indian family tree|
However, a couple of years ago I was on Ancestry.com researching different branches of my family tree and I finally stumbled on the Indian relation. "Indian P. Keziah" was my 5th great grandmother.
|North Carolina Cherokee Indians - 1930|
She was most probably a member of the Cherokee Indian tribe. The Cherokee Indians populated the western North Carolina mountains where my Tipton ancestors settled in the 1700's. Yes, my Tipton ancestors were hillbillies. Not the Beverly Hillbillies but hillbillies none the less.
|Western North Carolina - where my Tipton ancestors settled in the 1700's.|
My father was born in those western North Carolina mountains near a place called Pigeon Roost. Just across the state line is Johnson City, Tennessee. Every year Bill and I visit the family roots. This year we're going down in April.
|Native American Cherokee Indian "soaking up the mountains"|
|Me and my brother John and I at the "homeland" - 2011|
We go down to visit the beautiful mountains (Bill loves the mountains) and I to visit the old family graves. My brother John and his wife rent a cabin on Upper Pigeon Roost Road several times a year just to soak up the mountains.
|Native American Cherokee Indians in the North Carolina Mountains|
The Cherokee Indians were the first inhabitants of those mountains. Unfortunately they were displaced and sent to Oklahoma via the "Trail of Tears". A sad time in the history of our country of the relationship between the white man and the Native Americans.
|Cherokee Indians forced to move from their home in North Carolina to Oklahoma|
|Me and my cousin Bud Tipton - 1951 - I'm a Paleface next to Bud|
|My father Isaac (who was named after Isaac Lewis) and his mother Hester Lewis Tipton - she of the permanent tan - 1941|
I am proud to have an native American Indian as one of my ancestors. But I think I look more like a cowboy. What do you think?