Sunday, February 10, 2013

Indian Blood

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
I assume that my 5th great grandmother did not have to move to Oklahoma because she was married to my 5th great grandfather John Hughes.



Some of the Cherokee Indians stayed in the mountains.  Even today we see them. They don't have Indian names like "Redwing" or "Dancing Bear."  They have Anglicized names as a result of marriages with the Scotch-English immigrants of the early 1700's who settled and farmed those mountains.
Juliatta Taylor
It is interesting how the Native American Indian gene pops up occasionally in our Tipton line today.  My cousin Edward "Bud" Tipton, who is the same age as me was born with a permanent tan.  Ironically, his twin sister was born blond.


Me and my cousin Bud Tipton - 1951 - I'm a Paleface next to Bud
I always envied Bud and his "tan."  


My father Isaac (who was named after Isaac Lewis) and his mother Hester Lewis Tipton - she of the permanent tan - 1941
Every year I have an old time photo taken of myself in Rehoboth.  So far I've done the cowboy, pirate and Civil War soldier.  I think next year I'll do the Indian.  An Indian with a beard.  

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?






19 comments:

  1. My Mom is fascinated by family history. Me, I seem to be an all-or-nothing guy. I have to watch what captures my interest lest it become all-consuming. Not enough hours in the day. :-)

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    1. Sean,

      You're right, not enough hours in the day to do everything. I do love digging into the family history though.

      Ron

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  2. yep, you look like a wild west gunslinger.

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    1. Anne Marie,

      You just gave me a great idea. I've been wanting to have an old time picture taken with a "Salon Gal." You are the perfect candidate. I'll pay for the photo session. Let's do it the next time you're down or this summer.

      Ron

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    2. FABU idea! I don't want to do it during the spo-a-rama-lama-ding-dong though. perhaps in may before all the damn tourists arrive? your thoughts?

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    3. Anne Marie,

      Excellent! Early May is a great time, before the influx of tourists. We can also do lunch at Dos Locos where The Cajun hosts. I've been looking for three years for a Dance Hall Girl to take my Western Saloon Picture with. The Cajun adamantly refuses to pose as a dance hall gal.

      Ron

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    4. bwhahahahahaha! and well he should! he's too handsome to be a dance hall gal!

      let's plan on may; spouse and I can come down on friday and spend fri/sat in DE.

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    5. Anne Marie,

      And I know the big, pink Ostrich plume feather that will stick out of your headpiece when you play "Miss Kitty", the local saloon "hostess." Oh yeah.

      Ron

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  3. I think you carry off the cowboy look really well. When my mother dug into our ancestry (via Ancestry.com and various local/courthouse records around the country), she found all sorts of interesting people - including one Native American, an unnamed woman from the Wampanoag tribe who married into my family tree before 1700 (I can't remember the exact date). That was exciting to me, since we had no idea she was part of our family tree.

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    1. Laurel,

      Isn't digging into our family history fascinating? I love it. I think a lot of us have some Native American ancestry if we go back far enough.

      Ron

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  4. Fascinating family history and fantastic photos, as always. You've really done some meticulous research and your relatives should be greatful and proud. And you have some native American blood!

    My mother and I were the only two people in our family who were interested in geneology. Unfortunately, most of my ancestors have only been in America since the 1890's so it's very difficult to trace our European history. I've done a fairly good job of figuring some things out, but not nearly enough.

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    1. Jon,

      I thought I would never find my paternal history because my father didn't even know (or care) who his grandfather was. But through luck and happenstance and a lot of hard work I was able to make the connection with the first Tipton in the United States. I was fortunate that Jonathan Tipton was a well to do landowner and owned a lot of property in Anne Arundel County Maryland, thus leaving a lot of records. All I had to do was make the connection back to him. He was the anchor. I thought my Mother's side (Hadfield) would be a lot easier but like your family, they didn't arrive in this country until the 1850's. I have the record of the ship they came in on through New York in 1856 (Thomas and Sarah Hadfield). However I can't get much information from where they came from in England (Glossip). I haven't given up yet. My father's side of the family seems to be the adventurism one. Still is.

      Ron

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  5. I've done some family history research, it's a lot of fun. One of my mother's cousins published a book on her side of the family tree, and the legend that we had an Indian ancestor was confirmed - and she was related distantly to Pocahontas of the Powhatan Nation in Virginia. I think that's pretty cool. Almost as cool as being related to Roy Rogers, whose real name was Gordon Slye, my grandmother's maiden name, and he was from the same area of Ohio/Kentucky as she was. I haven't yet made the exact connection, but I'm working on it!
    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,

      You have some serious history in your family. I don't have anybody famous (that I know of) in my family genealogy. Still, I find it all fascinating.

      Ron

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  6. Ron, I always like reading your posts. If you're interested, you might want to splurge for one of the new DNA tests. My adult son has dabbled with family history and decided to take one. The results showed no Native American blood even though everyone in my father's family swears there was an Indian ancestor. I've read that a large number of Americans think they have Indian ancestors when they don't.

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    1. Don,

      That is an EXCELLENT suggestion and I may just well do that. This has always been a question in our family. Perhaps now is the time to clear it up once and for all.

      Ron

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  7. A great last photo, Ron! You have gone to a lot of trouble to tell your ancestral story!

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    1. Paul,

      I think I was a cowboy desperado in on of my previous lives. I seem to fit into that role so easily.

      Ron

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  8. The picture of your 5th great grandmother I downloaded this picture over 2 years ago, we are almost certain that the older man is my Dad's grandfather. If you will send me your email I will send a picture of him when he was younger. He wrote that his mother was a very old woman when she died over 100, he was 111 when he died..

    Thank you, Kristy Harris Carter

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