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History of the Cherokee Indians

Cumnacatogue (also known as Cunne Shote, Stalking Turkey or Standing Turkey) was one of three Cherokee chiefs who travelled to London in 1762 to see King George III. He was the nephew of the Chief "Old Hop" who was also known as Standing Turkey

Cumnacatogue (also known as Cunne Shote, Stalking Turkey or Standing Turkey) was one of three Cherokee chiefs who travelled to London in 1762 to see King George III. He was the nephew of the Chief "Old Hop" who was also known as Standing Turkey

Tah-chee or "Dutch" was a Western Cherokee chief who refused to move from Arkansas to the Indian Territory and took his group to settle in east Texas. They were eventually forced to move into Indian territory.

Tah-chee or "Dutch" was a Western Cherokee chief who refused to move from Arkansas to the Indian Territory and took his group to settle in east Texas. They were eventually forced to move into Indian territory.

About the Cherokee

Cherokee: Properly spelled Tsalagi by the Cherokee

The Cherokee sometimes call themselves Ani-Kituhwagi, meaning the people of Kituhwah. Kituhwah was an ancient city near Bryson City, North Carolina, which was the nucleus of the Cherokee Nation. The common English spelling today is Keetoowah.

This name is used by traditionalist Cherokee groups such as the Keetoowah Society, the followers of traditional religion. it is also used by the United Keetoowah Band, which is a Federally recognized faction of predominantly full-blooded Cherokee Indians. There are 350,000 Cherokee people today, mostly in Oklahoma and North Carolina.

There are 3 Cherokee groups that are currently Federally recognized.

  • Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (Oklahoma)
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (North Carolina)

The Echota Cherokee are recognized only by the State of Alabama.

John Ross was principal chief of the Eastern Cherokees and later the combined Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. He served from 1828 until his death in 1866. Ross was 1/8 Cherokee by blood.

John Ross was principal chief of the Eastern Cherokees and later the combined Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. He served from 1828 until his death in 1866. Ross was 1/8 Cherokee by blood.

Other Names Used For Cherokee

The most familiar name, Cherokee, comes from a Creek word "Chelokee" meaning "people of a different speech." In their own language the Cherokee originally called themselves the Aniyunwiya (or Anniyaya) "principal people" or the Keetoowah (or Anikituaghi, Anikituhwagi) "people of Kituhwa." Although they usually accept being called Cherokee, many prefer Tsalagi from their own name for the Cherokee Nation (Tsalagihi Ayili). Other names applied to the Cherokee have been: Allegheny (or Allegewi, Talligewi) (Delaware), Baniatho (Arapaho), Caáxi (or Cayaki) (Osage and Kansa), Chalaque (Spanish), Chilukki (dog people) (Choctaw and Chickasaw), Entarironnen (mountain people) (Huron), Gatohuá (Creek), Kittuwa (or Katowá) (Algonquin), Matera (or Manteran) (coming out of the ground) ( Catawba), Nation du Chien (French), Ochietarironnon (Wyandot), Oyatageronon (or Oyaudah, Uwatayoronon) (cave people) (Iroquois), Shanaki (Caddo), Shannakiak (Fox), Tcaike (Tonkawa), and Tcerokieco (Wichita).

Cherokee writing system created by Sequoyah

Cherokee writing system created by Sequoyah


The Cherokee language is spoken by 22,000 peoplee, mostly in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Tsalagi is an Iroquoian language invented by a Cherokee Scholar named Sequoyah, who was one of the most famous Indians in Cherokee history. He was a brilliant man, who, despite the fact that he could not read or write in any other language, succeeded in writing a system for Cherokee which is still in use today.

Government policies as late as the 1950s enforced the removal of Cherokee children from Tsalagi-speaking homes, which reduced the number of bilingual Cherokees from 75% to less than 5% today.

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster


Trail of Tears

The most famous and worst episode in Cherokee history is known as the Trail of Tears. This was the forced relocation of the Chrokee Indians from their homes in the Southeast to Oklahoma.

Though prominent Americans such as Davy Crockett and Daniel Webster spoke against the removl and the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional, President Andrew Jackson still sent in the army.

15,000 to 20,000 Cherokee Indians, along with other Indian tribes were rounded up and herded to Oklahoma in the winter of 1838-1839. They were driven from their homes, not allowing them to collect their posessions, not even their shoes.

Unprepared an unequipped for the 800-mile forced march, an estimated 8,000 Cherokees died from exposure, starvation, disease and exhaustion along the Trail of Tears.

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Close-up of Cherokee Rose

Close-up of Cherokee Rose

Another Cherokee Rose

Another Cherokee Rose

Legend of the Cherokee Rose

No better symbol exists of the pain and suffering of the Trail Where They Cried than that of the Cherokee Rose. The mothers of the Cherokee grieved so much that the Chiefs prayed for a sign to lift the spirits and give them strength to care for their children. From that day forward, a beautiful new flower, a rose, grew wherever a mother's tear fell to the ground.

The rose is white for the mothers' tears. It has a gold center for the gold that was taken from the Chreokee lands. There are 7 leaves on each stem that represent the 7 Cherokee clans that made the journey. To this day, the Cherokee Rose prospers alnog the route of the Trail of Tears. The Cherokee Rose is now the official flower for the state of Georgia.


My heritage

Being of Cherokee decent, I felt compelled to do research for this hub and found myself so lost in the information that I found that it was hard to keep this hub to a minimum.

From the history of the trail to the Indian crafts that, even today are coveted pieces, the journey has been both fascinating and heartbreaking. It is so hard to imagine the cruel deaths of so many along the Trail of Tears as well as so many more who were simply slaughtered because they refused to leave their homelands.

When I visited Oklahoma several years ago, I did not know all the histroy of the Indians as I should have but I couldn't help but feel a very emotional attatchment to the state. When I purchased a book in the Indian surplus store where we had stopped, I began to understand as I read it, the attatchment that was there, although not understood at the time. Now, I know that, even though I was raised white, the small amount of Cherokee heritage deep inside was alive. The connection was unmistakable and I come to understand how your heritage can effect you when you least expect it.


Cheryl Dockery on July 30, 2019:

My great grandfather was cherokee his name was john thomas nations. I am also a card carrying cherokee partial blood but in my heart i know where i come from. Its disgraceful in todays society that native americans are still being treated as they are its worse than any third world country so to speak. The native americans fighting for there water rights in south dakota were abused, intentioningly harmed etc. while peacefully protesting there rights. I know first hand the type of torture they were induring, my nefew is the preacher of the native american church in kauaii hawaii he personally arrived in the states to stand and protest the water rights of the native americans.The media chose to ignore the real story and once again as it still goes on everywhere in our united states the government has abused and tortured inocent people for its own gains and benifits. This government points fingers at other countries for how there citizens are treated while at the same time still to this day does the same to its own. The creator made each and every race on earth it is so sad that some believe they are superior to others! Our goverment now seems to make a mockery out of what this nation is suppose to stand for!!!

Santa maria on December 30, 2018:

That is not true information about the name and meaning of the origin of the Cherokee or the what the names mean for them. Speak with an elder if you wish to learn the truth of the Cherokee, there are multiple reservations and they are kind, wise, spiritual people. But they do not speak of such things to outsiders to use for praise. Instead the elders teach through stories. Get to know a real Cherokee, don't believe everything written online.

Old Doctor, MD PhD, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, Europe on December 09, 2017:

In spite so far from you, dear friends, Cherokee and other American Indian people descendants, since my childhood I admired and in the same time also regretted the tragic history of this American native people, and even now, in my 92 yr of age, I find it as one of the most cruel holocaust event in the human history as a whole. This blackest part of the History of the New World should never be forgotten, and the remembrance about it should be teaching everywhere human mankind exists. God bless you, the sons and daughters of this proud Nation.

ben eddy on January 30, 2016:

in a direct decendant of chief cornstalk hes buried at mouth of big sandy river on ohio river in west va

i have been to his grave only information i have is what my grandmother told me

and im proud to be a indian decendant only thing i can reckognize is i dont have hairs on my legs or under my arm like most people

Desiree Neff on November 22, 2015:

Coo ta ya is my 6x gg. When her first husband died, she married his brother not his son. Does anybody know who coo ta ya's parents were? I have found information naming 2 different potential fathers. Does anyone have a picture of her? Or the names of her siblings! Thanks!

Brian cox on June 26, 2015:

Did u know that the Cherokee are One of the lost tribe of Israel ?

becca on June 26, 2015:

thank you for posting this. my family lost a lot of members on the trail of tears. though my family has tried to always say we look back at it to try and learn from our mistakes of the past, we all are still amazed it went as far as it did.

Clauddean on June 26, 2015:

My grandmother was Cherokee,her name was Lily Mae,my dad s mother,married to a white man lived in Tn.

sondra stafford on March 05, 2014:

my grandpa is cherokee indian and he has roll number joesph e davis and was born in missouri

W.C. PRELL on February 09, 2014:

Hello ;I Enjoyed The Song Very Much,On My Dad,s Side Of The Family

Is Where The Cherokee Blood Line Is;On His Dads Side His Grandmother Was Part Cherokee Their Last Name Was Evans;On His Mother,s Side His Grand Father Thomas Peter VonCannon Was 3/4th Cherokee From Alabama And His Grandmother Was Full Blooded Her Name Was Jannie Ann Lewis Von Cannon And Was 4 Years Old While On The Trail Of Tears Her Family Escaped Off The Trail of Tears AQnd Settled Somewhere Around Kosse;Groesbeck,Texas Area Her Was Suppose To Have Been A Chief 1 Of Dads Cousins Had Done All Of The Research On The VonCannon Side But He Passed Away And His Research Papers Disappeared Iwas Wondering If You Can Come Up With John Lewis,s Indain Chief Name ! Thank You Bill

osa on June 09, 2013:

my great grandmother was a Cherokee indian from nc.her Cherokee name on her tombstone was "suvilla". she was raised by white people for some reason,and had the legal name of freeman,and brungton. why so many names?

Shawn on April 30, 2013:

I hate to break it to you, Sunshine8254, but we don't have "princesses" in our tribe. Anyone that told you otherwise is wrong. Also, I find some of these ill-attempted posts using the Cherokee language laughable. Also, as you claim to be from around Oklahoma, I find it interesting that your English spellings of Cherokee words use the Eastern Band Cherokee dialect. I would only ask that you remain consistent in your knowledge.

LaVerne Snipes on March 07, 2013:

My grandmother is from south carolina. Shes full blooded Cherokee. Her name is Hattie Sommerset. Can anyone help me find my people.

christina painter on February 28, 2013:

do you recognize this name /

Linda on January 02, 2013:

My great-grandmother was a full Cherokee Indian and we are trying to find some information about her. Her name was Margaret Bull. do you recognize the name?

Logan Bovil on December 06, 2012:

You are both stupid

Sarah Vampola on December 05, 2012:

Indains are from indai stupid Dante Dart

Dante Dart on December 05, 2012:

what are indians? Cherokee?

shirlycomptision on October 17, 2012:

hey Bonnie im part cherokee and want to know more about my native life!!!!!!!! help me find more things :)

Sinisiya on October 09, 2012:

Thank you for the great research you done. Im from Tennessee and 3/4 cherokee. Sinisiya is my name in cherokee.

Trent Adams on June 05, 2012:

Osiyo....Trent Adams daquadoa....tohitsu.....wado are you....thank you

sharonkinsner on May 24, 2012:


Hope on February 19, 2012:

Reading the history you have here was wonderful. I added some pics to my facebook that includes an indian poem. My 12 year old daughter asked me to give her a short definition to it and i explained but also added that she needs to look up the Cherokee history so she can better understand the way they lived, continue to live, and how they still think. I am goin to tell her to read this that you have here. I found out in 2006 that I am part Cherokee. My grandfather's uncle was full blooded Cherokee, so I have wondered what percentage does that leave me? If you could figure it out or let me know where I can get that information from, I would truly appriciate it. Thanks again for your page :)

Sunshine8254 on January 29, 2012:

Hello Bonnie,

I recently found out that my Grandmother, on my natural mom's side was a Cherokee Princess. She was born in Oklahoma in 1909. The Birth certificate copy I have of my mother's states my Grandmother was born in Oklahoma & she was of the Indian Race. A family member found out that she is full Cherokee. Her name on my mom's birth certificates names her as Princess Cahrens. Two other names came up in regards to Princess is Cohen and Benningfield. I am the oldest grand daughter of 8 siblings that I know of. How would I find out more information about my Cherokee Grandmother. I am really interested in finding out more about my geneology. Knowing that my Grandmother is Cherokee, answers a lot of questions that I have had growing up. It is very interesting. I was told, by a person who I had just met at an elementary school during an Indian Cultural Learning Day,that I have an "Old Soul". I thought that was interesting. How would I find more information on my family history?

Thank you for helping me with my search.


diana yambor peterson on September 24, 2011:

My Great Great Great Grandfather was the most famous Cherokee Indian Of All..Sequoyah I Love You

gram on September 14, 2011:

Could anyone tell me what "tahyaya" means please ?

irene on August 19, 2011:

I know this might sound crazy, but it is true, one night as i was in prayer interceding for the nations, i sudden heard this song cherokee nation will rise again. Glory to God in the highest for nohting, nothing is impossible for him!!!Praise the Lord!!

Mike cH on August 13, 2011:

You list 3 Cherokee groups, many of us have forgotten those who went South to Mexico (I met many while I was working in Nuevo Leon) and also those that went North to where the Anishinabe and others live further into the Rocky Mountains, not far from Cree, Lakota and other peoples there.

I also met a "whole group" of people when I was in LA that had an association of Cherokee peoples in California alone. We have MANY more of us that are here and there in many places.


gogv unega

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 11, 2011:

I found this beautiful and inspiring hub through a link placed on Denise Hardons latest hub. I will forever thank her for introducing me to you, Bonnie. I love "Cherokee Nation" and viewed your video several times. My mother is half "blackfoot" tribe and I am passionate about learning more geneology to connect all the dots. I will be eagerly reading more articles by you.

Blessings, my new friend. :)vocalcoach

jane on December 20, 2010:

i loved it /im 9/0.10 cherokee

Alabama84 on December 13, 2010:

I refer to myself as the White Indian...I have found that I am only 1/4 question is can a friend (older friend) who is full blooded Cherokee give you a nickname..I understand an Elder is usually one who does this..however this is a friend of mine (thru Facebook) he gave me nickname of Tsi Whawi (the little deer smiles) I had another friend who just went off and told me I could not accept that name...Can I use this nickname? I do not wish to disrespect anyone...HELP!

Alice Helton on November 08, 2010:

I am also part cherokee and so proud of it. I just finished reading Trail Of Tears, The Rise And Fall Of The Cherokee Nation. I cried through the whole book so sad. I found cherokee ancestry in 1635 my 7th or 8th ggrangfather married nottoway cherokee but I know I have more in my ancestry line but finding it is another thing all together.

Thank you for everything it was beautiful.

N E Wright from Dover, Delaware on October 27, 2010:

Hello Bonnie,

This is a very informative article.

I hate the Trail of Tears. I actually cried when I first read about it over 15 years ago.

Most of my relatives that are Bi-racial and older than I am or my age are part Cherokee, but they were raised Black.

Years ago, one of my older cousins had a book called Black Indians she left it with me to read. It was the best thing she did for me.

Thank you for sharing.

Babiez on July 23, 2010:

I love this link. I have been through soooo many and sooo many books learning about my heritage. I have only a small amount, but Im as proud as if I was whole. I have finally decided on a tattoo to represent my heritage. Its basically a very gracious way of telling the "white man" to keep his thoughts and ideas to themselves! It was quoted by Old Tassel Chief of Tsalagi.

nenhowlingwolf6 on May 01, 2010:

Great,Iloved the song-I am looking for my Fathers people,an old Aunt says thet our family came east,when the other went west,trying to find some records.

NIKEE1979 on January 04, 2010:

loved it...made me proud! When I was about 11 I kept having this dream where I was standing in the mirror painting my face and finally I told my grandmother about it and she said..."idk what ur dream means, but u know my mother was full blooded Cherokee" I was shocked, proud, and pleased to hear this. Strangely enough, I did not have that dream again after I found out.

sally {shydoe} on December 13, 2009:

thank u so much for this hub my grand mother was cherokee she has a number on record in tahlequah ok my couson and aunt went there a few years back and have their indian card i am very proud of my indian

heritage and long to learn the langue and history of my people my grand mothers maiden name was willams.thanks again

Jordan Wilkins-Roach-Carpenter on August 26, 2009:

This is sad but true I am only 13 years old and never got to see my grate-grand father to tell me storys his grate-grand father told him

Coowescoowe on August 23, 2009:

Nice Hub, The heritage of the Cherokee Indians is being preserved, we continue to teach our children the way of the Cherokee. The courage of our "Cherokee Chiefs" that helped us in our struggles to live in peace with the white man still lives today. We hope that we all can be brothers under one sun.

rhino7 on June 10, 2009:

I am adopted and found my birthmother and found out I am 42% Cherokee - My father was Cherokee and French-Canadian - Last name Chamness - Do not know how to look up ancestors - help! My birthmother will not speak of her past - I will keep trying to get info - She has said my Cherokee grandmother was named Margaret.

Chloe C. on February 16, 2009:

I am part cherokee indian and I am learning about my heritage so if you find more information please post more.

anidohi on January 26, 2009:

siyo! Beautiful hub! I am one of the "constitutional cherokee" -- we are descendants of Eastern band's Baker Roll-- but not enough blood quantum (they require 1/16th) to join them officially so i'm with this group -- -- and it soothes my soul to be part of it, much as your site does...!

thank you (SGI!) for the lovely info you have up!

sharon jones on September 25, 2008:

im in uk my grandfather was full cherokee and married a newzeland woman i my self are 1/4 cherokee i can not trace my grandfather as i dont know much only his name and county he lived in can any one help his name is berthard peck he is from texas thats all i no so if anyone can help i be so grateful

nenhowlingwolf on July 27, 2008:

wow-this is great reading,my father was 7/8 Cherokee,married a af/american woman,so i am--???-His family never accepted me--but guess what I look just like him.I have study,and study the Cherokee History--love reading about "my"people.Thanks a lot for the pictures.and the videos.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on June 09, 2008:


Thanks so much for reading and this wonderful info! This is very interesting and I will definitely check it out when I get a chance. I would love to know more about my heritage! Thanks again!


TetonRose from Utah on June 09, 2008:

Bonnie --

I loved this hub. I was very interested in the part about the Cherokee Rose because I dug up a few from my Grandparents' ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, just before the family had to leave. Those roses are now spreading prolifically in Utah! If a rose bush can survive in Jackson Hole, it can survive in Wisconsin and most other places! :-) (I have survived winters in Jackson Hole where the temperature was below -40 degrees F.)

I am tempted to believe that many times when a person has some Native American heritage it will, in time, come forth. I have Cayuga (Iroquoi Nation) heritage and have always been proud of it -- although some of my relatives weren't! I can claim so little NA blood that I was very surprised, several years ago, when a Native American friend told me she could tell I had Native American blood because of my facial features. I had never realized it showed at all.

If you really want to research your Native American ancestry, you are very lucky it is Cherokee as that is the easiest to trace of any of the Native American tribes. There are more records for them, especially records like the Dawes Roll, Baker Roll, etc. ( is a great place to start learning how to research your Native American heritage. She has over 600 NA-related links listed on her site. One you may wish to start with is at

Jerry Wright Jordan has written at least 7 volumes of "Cherokee by Blood, Records of Eastern Cherokee Ancestry in the U.S. Court of Claims 1906-1910." She used to help many on the AOL Native American Genealogy Chat (some 15 years or so ago) with finding their Cherokee ancestry. Another who was a great help on that chat was Falling Leaf but I don't remember the name of his books. I don't know if I ever knew him by other than his NA name.

Another source of good research information is the huge Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Years ago I did some research there and was amazed at how many books they had that related to NA research. I'm sure they have added many more NA research helps since that time. You may be able to find out what is available there by checking at your closest LDS (Mormon) Family History Center. (They won't try to convert you when you go there.) There are several thousand FHCs throughout the US and the world and they can borrow materials for you from the central Family History library in SLC for a nominal fee.

I'm on my way to check out your other Cherokee postings. Thanks, again, for this excellent hub!


Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on June 09, 2008:

Hi, Kayla!

Thanks so much for stopping by and posting. I hope you enjoy your trip! Sounds wonderful. Not sure on the rose in WI but you can probably check with a landscaping specialist to get some idea on that. There may be specific weather conditions that need to be maintained but not sure. I wish you the best and have a wonderful trip!


Kayla on June 08, 2008:

Thanks Bonnie!

I am on my way to the "Trails of Tears" and the Smokey Mountains

next week. All the more reason to go. Do you think that the Cherokee Rose will

survive in Wisconsin?? Kayla

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on May 25, 2008:


Thanks so much for stopping by and posting. I am glad you enjoyed it!


AndyW from London on May 25, 2008:

This is an interesting and attractive hub - well done.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on May 24, 2008:


Thanks for bringing this link. It is a great hub and I am returning to post comment and re-read again!


Rodney Fagan from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City on May 24, 2008:


As I had earlier posted about a song from the 60's, here is the hub I created. Firstly as you can see I had the Hubber wrong, andsecondly I had the tribe of Inians wrong. Humbly sorry.

Hope you enjoy it.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on April 05, 2008:


Thanks for stopping by a posting. I just love that prayer. I posted one at the end of the last hub I did but it is a different one. I love watching all the Cherokee language videos, too. There is something so calming and peaceful about the music. I am looking forward to the next subject to see what else I can learn! Thanks again!


RainbowRecognizer from Midwest on April 04, 2008:

Bonnie - this is beautiful... I love the video; I have always loved the song. I have Cherokee blood as well and I've always loved this Cherokee prayer:Oh Great Spirit, Help me always to speak the truth quietly, listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace in silence. :o)

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on April 02, 2008:

Thanks for stopping by Gabby! I certainly agree with you on that!


beachbum_gabby on April 02, 2008:

it makes me more appreciate them. well done Bonnie. :)

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on April 01, 2008:


Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story with us. I agree about the feeling you get from studying your heritage. It is a wonderful connection! Glad you enjoyed it!


Hamilton Forrester from Myrtle Beach, SC on April 01, 2008:

Great hub! I was born in western North Carolina in a very small but wonderful town named Old Fort. The story goes that my grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee and grandpa was half. Now granny denied being anything but old. She raised my three younger siblings and me for many years. I can tell you she certainly did speak another language and people from all over the mountain came by for medical advice. I’ve study Native American heritage as well, it brings a warm fuzzy feeling. I’m a Christian, but there seems to be some kind of magic associated with our ancestors. I to tan well, thanks for the hub.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on April 01, 2008:


Thanks so much for visiting and sharing with us. My husband is of Irish decent as well. It is really interesting to learn about your heritage no matter where it takes you!


Rodney Fagan from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City on March 31, 2008:

Fantastic hub, it is always fascinating to take a step and walk those that your ancestors have left behind.

I tanj easily but I am not of North Amaerican Indian, my roots are Irish, and settled in South Africa during the 1820's.

I cannot view the you tube video so unable to hear and see it. In reading the hub, a song written many years ago, which was very popular in the old coffee bar era, came to mind.

It was written and performed by Buffy Saint Marie, not to sure of the spelling of her name, it was titled "Now that the Buffelos gone". She also was the person who wrote and originaly performed "The Universal Soldier".

I seem to have given away my age and to a greater degree a touch of my own self.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 31, 2008:

LOL I am from Mississippi! I would love to be able to trace my heritage back that far! One of the problems with tracing Indian heritage is their frequency of name changes. That can really throw rocks in your path! But whether I find any of the relatives from my heritage or not, I am still enjoying learning about it. As sad as it is, it just shows how much strength and determination that they have. Thanks for coming by and telling this story. I think I missed the post in the forum. I really appreciate it!


dafla on March 31, 2008:

Hi Bonnie. I told you the story of my Cherokee branch of the family in your forum post, but I'll tell it here again.

There is a branch of my family that is descended from the Cherokees. The story goes like this: My gggg grandfather's brother became an indian agent in the 93rd district of the Carolina Province (Now North and South Carolina). There, he met and fell in love with a Cherokee maiden, Coo-ta-yah, and married her. This was in the 1700's, or early 1800's, mind you. I can't remember exact dates, but I'll look it up. Anyway, our family name was Wilkinson, but his branch suddenly changed to Wilkerson. All genealogical accounts in the "respectable" sources at the time, and thereafter, said he went to the 93rd district and was never heard from again. I can only imagine what really happened, but look at the times. This man was from an aristocratic English family. His brother married the daughter of one of the Lord's Proprietors. I'm sure that it was not accepted well by his family when he married a Native American. It took some digging, but I finally found that branch, and reunited the two branches of the family after nearly over 100 years. I've met some of my Cherokee relatives online, but never in person. Who knows, maybe you're one of them! My gggg uncle, Coo-ta-ya's first husband died, and then it seems, she married one of his sons by his first marriage. It's a very confusing family line, so I'll really have to look it back up, but I am IMMENSELY proud of it, and only wish it was my branch of the family.

If anyone here is descended from the Carolina to Mississippi/Alabama branch of the Cherokee Nation, I would be proud to hear from them.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 31, 2008:

Thanks so much, ITG! I have learned so much and learning more as I go. I just finished the newest hub of this series about the Trail of Tears. It is tough to write but good to learn. Thanks for taking the time to come by an show your support. It is so appreciated!

Steph, I didn't forget you! I did some digging on the name Motee. The name is of the Sanskrit languae meaning "Pearl". The term Sanskrit was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages but rather as a particularly refined or perfect manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment in Ancient India. The language was taught mainly to members of the higher castes. Hope this helps!


In The Doghouse from California on March 31, 2008:


Exploring ones roots always brings wisdom and peace. I loved your Hub about the Cherokee, and can see that your roots have called you to pursue this interest further. I love researching family history. It is such a cool thing to learn about your ancestors and come to understand them better, by doing so you come to learn more about yourself. Thanks for this gift.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 31, 2008:

Thanks, Steph! Looking forward to the process myself!


Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 31, 2008:

I am really looking forward to the next Hub, Bonnie! Great work, again. :-)

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 31, 2008:

Hi, Steph! I am, as we type, working on my next hub about the Trail of Tears. I will write this name down and see if, in my research I can get any info on it. I hope your Mom enjoys the hub. I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave your comments. Hopefully, this is the first of several historical hubs that I will do on the Cherokee. Thanks again!


Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 31, 2008:

This is beautiful, and I am brought to tears. I lost my grandfather last fall. He was 1/2 Cherokee. His sister had a Cherokee name, Motee. I wish I knew what it meant. I love the part about the flowers. I am going to email to my mom right now. Thanks Bonnie. p.s. I get a really great tan, too. :-)

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 31, 2008:


It is wonderful to see so many with the Cherokee heritage here. I am working on doing a series of these hubs, probably the next will be on the Trail of Tears history. There was so much to choose from in the histroy that I had to just touch on some of them. I think this is worthy of more detailed information on events and people of this heritage. Hopefully I can have this one ready sometime today or tonight. I am looking forward to getting it started. Thanks so much for coming by and taking the time to share your story!


Angela Harris from Around the USA on March 31, 2008:

Bonnie, loved this hub. My family on both sides are only about 3 hours from the Great Smokey Mountains. As such, I have Cherokee blood running through my veins from the Eastern band of Cherokee.

I actually lived in Tahlequah, Ok for awhile, which was the final destination on the Trail of Tears. In honor of my Cherokee heritage, I have a Cherokee Rose planted that climbs up the oak tree outside my kitchen window. It is beautiful to watch bloom every year.

Thank you for this hub.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 31, 2008:

Thank you for dropping by, Eve! I agree on wanting to know more. It seems that the more I am learning the more I want to know. I will be doing another hub in the future. I may do a sort of series on different people and events in order to cover the subject more thorough one at a time. Looking forward to that. Thanks again!


evemurphy from Ottawa on March 31, 2008:

I now want to know more about these interesting people! Thank you!

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 30, 2008:

LOL MrMarmalade! I do, too but it is because I got my Mom's complexion. Got my hard-headedness (what I prefer to call determination) from my Daddy's side. I appreciate your visits and comments!


MrMarmalade from Sydney on March 30, 2008:

I can not be one, as I go violent red and get sore

Thank you

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 30, 2008:

Thanks, Donna! I was intrigued by the Cherokee Rose as well. I hope I can find one in the area to plant. That part was really interesting! I really learned a lot from doing this hub and may do another one later. There was an unbelievable amount of info on the history! Thanks so much for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed it!


donnaleemason from North Dakota, USA on March 30, 2008:

Brilliant job Bonnie, loved the bit about the roses. Outstanding.


Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 30, 2008:

Thanks, Funride! I always loved the song and I thought that whoever compiled the video did a remarkable job of depicting the meaning of the song itself. I really appreciate you taking the time to visit and post comments!


Ricardo Nunes from Portugal on March 30, 2008:

Great hub Bonnie! It was good to learn more about Cherokee´s history and traditions. BTW, the video it´s really outstanding.

Bonnie Ramsey (author) from United States on March 30, 2008:

Thanks so much, Kathryn. This one was an all day hub but well worth it. Mostly because of all the information that I couldn't seem to tear myself away from. I don't know much about my geneolgy either other than my grandfather on my father's side was full-blood Cherokee. I don't know if I will ever find out for sure about my ancesters. But what I do know is the connection that I felt when in Oklahoma. Somehow, I just can't help but believe that I had those feelings for a reason.

As for the tanning, I think I must have gotten more of my Mom's complexion because Daddy tanned easily too. I just seem to roast to a well done degree LOL. Thanks again for your kind words and support!


Kathryn Skaggs from Southern California on March 30, 2008:


This is a beautiful Hub. Thank you so much for doing your research. My great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee... and married a white man.

Indian genealogical records of any kind, are very difficult to track... up to now, I have had no luck with researching my family tree on this branch.

This hub has caused me to want to know more about my Cherokee heritage and I thank you greatly. But... I do tan quite well in the Summer! LOL



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