Missouri/Arkansas Cherokee

Posted By Josiah Hair January 2nd, 2013 Blog

Perhaps one of the most common family stories I hear as I travel throughout Missouri and Arkansas goes something like this: My Great great great Grandmother was “part” Cherokee and escaped from the “Trail of Tears” or something along these lines: My great great great great grandmother hid out in the hills of Arkansas or Missouri or “escaped” from Indian territory. Apparently large groups of Cherokees were “escaping” for today we have seen an explosion of Heritage groups that have formed in the past 30 years. Many of these groups uses stories like these to “explain” or as I like to say use these creation myths to legitimize claims of ancestry. They rely on myths surrounding lack of documentation due to numerous “courthouse fires” and avoiding the numerous Rolls that were done of the Cherokees from the early 1800's to 1910. This is pure conjecture, In this article I will present to the reader from numerous sources a more accurate picture of the History of Arkansas and Missouri regarding not just the Cherokee but other tribes that called this area there home from the dawn of time.

1) We begin with Indian Territory 1800-1830:

In 1808, a delegation of Cherokees from the upper and lower towns of the Cherokee Nation in the East went to Washington D.C. to inform the President of the United States that not all Cherokee people wanted to pursue what was deemed a “civilized life”. The delegation requested the President divide the upper towns, whose people wanted to establish a Regular government, from the lower towns who wanted to continue living traditionally. On January 9, 1809, the President of the United States allowed the lower towns to send an exploring party to find suitable lands on the Arkansas and White Rivers. Seven of the most trusted men explored locations both in what is now Western Arkansas and also Northeastern Oklahoma. The people of the lower towns desired to remove across the Mississippi to this area, onto vacant lands within the United States so that they might continue the traditional Cherokee life. In 1817, the United States ceded such lands to the Kituwah people (also known as Old Settlers, or Western Cherokee) in exchange for a portion of the Cherokee lands they had occupied and were entitled to in the East. As many as 4,000 Kituwah Old Settlers came. The Treaty of 1817 with the United States exchanged lands back East for lands in Arkansas. So in the early 1800's we have documented proof of a rather large group of Cherokees some 4000 did indeed reside in the area that would later become the States of Arkansas, Northeastern Oklahoma and Southern Missouri.

In this map from 1810 the territory in Red is lands in dispute between the US government, State governments and many different Indian tribes that held the territory by treaty.

Indian Territory – 1810






Treaty of 1828 with Western Cherokee 1:

WHEREAS, it being the anxious desire of the Government of the United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians, as well those now living within the limits of the Territory of Arkansas, as those of their friends and brothers who reside in States East of the Mississippi, and who may wish to join their brothers of the West, a permanent home, and which shall, under the most solemn guarantee of the United States, be, and remain, theirs forever— a home that shall never, in all future time, be embarrassed by having extended around it the lines, or placed over it the jurisdiction of a Territory or State, nor be pressed upon by the extension, in any way, of any of the limits of any existing Territory or State; and, Whereas, the present location of the Cherokees in Arkansas being unfavorable to their present repose, and tending, as the past demonstrates, to their future degradation and misery; and the Cherokees being anxious to avoid such consequences, and yet not questioning their right to their lands in Arkansas, as secured to them by Treaty, and resting also upon the pledges given them by the President of the United States, and the Secretary of War, of March, 1818, and 8th October, 1821, in regard to the outlet to the West, and as may be seen on referring to the records of the War Department, still being anxious to secure a permanent home, and to free themselves, and their posterity, from an embarrassing connexion with the Territory of Arkansas, and guard themselves from such connexions in future; and, Whereas, it being important, not to the Cherokees only, but also to the Choctaws, and in regard also to the question which may be agitated in the future respecting the location of the latter, as well as the former, within the limits of the Territory or State of Arkansas, as the case may be, and their removal therefrom; and to avoid the cost which may attend negotiations to rid the Territory or State of Arkansas whenever it may become a State, of either, or both of those Tribes, the parties hereto do hereby conclude the following Articles, viz:


The Western boundary of Arkansas shall be, and the same is, hereby defined, viz: A line shall be run, commencing on Red River, at the point where the Eastern Choctaw line strikes said River, and run due North with said line to the River Arkansas, thence in a direct line to the South West corner of Missouri.

Indian Census Collection


The United States agree to possess the Cherokees, and to guarantee it to them forever, and that guarantee is hereby solemnly pledged, of seven millions of acres of land, to be bounded as follows, viz: Commencing at that point on Arkansas River where the Eastern Choctaw boundary line strikes said River, and running thence with the Western line of Arkansas, as defined in the foregoing article, to the South-West corner of Missouri, and thence with the Western boundary line of Missouri till it crosses the waters of Neasho, generally called Grand River, thence due West to a point from which a due South course will strike the present North West corner of Arkansas Territory, thence continuing due South, on and with the present Western boundary line of the Territory to the main branch of Arkansas River, thence down said River to its junction with the Canadian River, and thence up and between the said Rivers Arkansas and Canadian, to a point at which a line running North and South from River to River, will give the aforesaid seven millions of acres. In addition to the seven millions of acres thus provided for, and bounded, the United States further guarantee to the Cherokee Nation a perpetual outlet, West, and a free and unmolested use of all the Country lying West of the Western boundary of the above described limits, and as far West as the sovereignty of the United States, and their right of soil extend.


The United States agree to have the lines of the above cession run without delay, say not later than the first of October next, and to remove, immediately after the running of the Eastern line from the Arkansas River to the South-West corner of Missouri, all white persons from the West to the East of said line, and also all others, should there be any there, who may be unacceptable to the Cherokees, so that no obstacles arising out of the presence of a white population, or a population of any other sort, shall exist to annoy the Cherokees— and also to keep all such from the West of said line in future.


The United States moreover agree to appoint suitable persons whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the Agent, to value all such improvements as the Cherokees may abandon in their removal from their present homes to the District of Country as ceded in the second Article of this agreement, and to pay for the same immediately after the assessment is made, and the amount ascertained. It is further agreed, that the property and improvements connected with the agency, shall be sold under the direction of the Agent, and the proceeds of the same applied to aid in the erection, in the country to which the Cherokees are going, of a Grist, and Saw Mill, for their use. The aforesaid property and improvements are thus defined: Commence at the Arkansas River opposite William Stinnetts, and run due North one mile, thence due East to a point from which a due South line to the Arkansas River would include the Chalybeate, or Mineral Spring, attached to or near the present residence of the Agent, and thence up said River (Arkansas) to the place of beginning.


It is further agreed, that the United States, in consideration of the inconvenience and trouble attending the removal, and on account of the reduced value of a great portion of the lands herein ceded to the Cherokees, as compared with that of those in Arkansas which were made theirs by the Treaty of 1817, and the Convention of 1819, will pay to the Cherokees, immediately after their removal which shall be within fourteen months of the date of this agreement, the sum of fifty thousand dollars; also an annuity, for three years, of two thousand dollars, towards defraying the cost and trouble which may attend upon going after and recovering their stock which may stray into the Territory in quest of the pastures from which they may he driven — also, eight thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars, for spoliations committed on them, (the Cherokees,) which sum will be in full of all demands of the kind up to this date, as well as those against the Osages, as those against citizens of the United States— this being the amount of the, claims for said spoliations, as rendered by the Cherokees, and which are believed to be correctly and fairly stated.—Also, one thousand two hundred dollars for the use of Thomas Graves, a Cherokee Chief, for losses sustained in his property, and for personal suffering endured by him when confined as a prisoner, on a criminal, but false accusation; also, five hundred dollars for the use of George Guess, another Cherokee, for the great benefits he has conferred upon the Cherokee people, in the beneficial results which they are now experiencing from the use of the Alphabet discovered by him, to whom also, in consideration of his relinquishing a valuable saline, the privilege is hereby given to locate and occupy another saline on Lee's Creek. It is further agreed by the United States, to pay two thousand dollars, annually, to the Cherokees, for ten years, to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States in the education of their children, in their own country, in letters and the mechanic arts; also, one thousand dollars towards the purchase of a Printing Press and Types to aid the Cherokees in the progress of education, and to benefit and enlighten them as a people, in their own, and our language. It is agreed further that the expense incurred other than that paid by the United States in the erection of the buildings and improvements, so far as that may have been paid by the benevolent society who have been, and yet are, engaged in instructing the Cherokee children, shall be paid to the society, it being the understanding that the amount shall be expended in the erection of other buildings and improvements, for like purposes, in the country herein ceded to the Cherokees. The United States relinquish their claim due by the Cherokees to the late United States Factory, provided the same does not exceed three thousand five hundred dollars.


It is moreover agreed, by the United States, whenever the Cherokees may desire it, to give them a set of plain laws, suited to their condition— also, when they may wish to lay off their lands, and own them individually, a surveyor shall be sent to make the surveys at the cost of the United States.


The Chiefs and Head Men of the Cherokee Nation, aforesaid, for and in consideration of the foregoing stipulations and provisions, do hereby agree, in the name and behalf of their Nation, to give up, and they do hereby surrender, to the United States, and agree to leave the same within fourteen months, as herein before stipulated, all the lands to which they are entitled in Arkansas, and which were secured to them by the Treaty of 8th January, 1817, and the Convention of the 27th February, 1819.


The Cherokee Nation, West of the Mississippi having, by this agreement, freed themselves from the harassing and ruinous effects consequent upon a location amidst a white population, and secured to themselves and their posterity, under the solemn sanction of the guarantee of the United States, as contained in this agreement, a large extent of unembarrassed country; and that their Brothers yet remaining in the States may be induced to join them and enjoy the repose and blessings of such a State in the future, it is further agreed, on the part of the United States, that to each Head of a Cherokee family now residing within the chartered limits of Georgia, or of either of the States, East of the Mississippi, who may desire to remove West, shall be given, on enrolling himself for emigration, a good Rifle, a Blanket, and Kettle, and five pounds of Tobacco: (and to each member of his family one Blanket,) also, a just compensation for the property he may abandon, to be assessed by persons to be appointed by the President of the United States. The cost of the emigration of all such shall also be borne by the United States, and good and suitable ways opened, and provisions procured for their comfort, accommodation, and support, by the way, and provisions for twelve months after their arrival at the Agency; and to each person, or head of a family, if he take along with him four persons, shall be paid immediately on his arriving at the Agency and reporting himself and his family or followers, as emigrants and permanent settlers, in addition to the above, provided he and they shall have emigrated from within the Chartered limits of the State of Georgia, the sum of fifty dollars and this sum in proportion to any greater or less number that may accompany him from within the aforesaid Chartered limits of the State of Georgia.


It is understood and agreed by the parties to this Convention, that a Tract of Land, two miles wide and six miles long, shall be, and the same is hereby, reserved for the use and benefit of the United States, for the accommodation of the military force which is now, or which may hereafter be, stationed at Fort Gibson, on the Neasho, or Grand River, to commence on said River half a mile below the aforesaid Fort, and to run thence due East two miles, thence Northwardly six miles, to a point which shall be two mile distant from the River aforesaid, thence due West to the said River, and down it to the place of beginning. And the Cherokees agree that the United States shall have and possess the right of establishing a road through their country for the purpose of having a free and unmolested way to and from said Fort.


It is agreed that Captain James Rogers, in consideration of his having lost a horse in the service of the United States, and for services rendered by him to the United States, shall be paid, in full for the above, and all other claims for losses and services, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars.


This Treaty to be binding on the contracting parties so soon as it is ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Done at the place, and on the day and year above written.


Indian Territory – 1830-1850







During the 1820s and 1830s dozens of northeastern, midwestern, and southeastern tribes were removed by treaty and under the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which authorized the president to force tribes to cede their lands east of the Mississippi. Those who did were to be placed west of the new white settlements, that is, west of the 95th Meridian. An 1834 Trade Act further defined “the Indian country” as all that part of the United States west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri, Louisiana, or Arkansas Territory, or any other organized territory. Whites were carefully excluded from the region, for most purposes, and trade by them with Indians was regulated. For judicial purposes, the northern region (mostly present Kansas) was attached to Missouri and the southern part (mostly present Oklahoma) to Arkansas Territory (after 1836, Arkansas state). In 1835 Isaac McCoy apparently used the words “the Indian Territory” for the first time in print. 3

Treaty of 1832 with Western Cherokee: This Treaty was written to make small “changes” with the previous Treaty specifically Art. 6 regarding giving up lands in the future and own them individually ( Can you say Allotement Act 1880!!) By 1832 all Western Cherokees and other Indian Tribes such as the Osage and Quapaw Tribes had moved out of the Territories of Arkansas and Missouri by Treaty. The Western Cherokee lived in what is present day Northeastern Oklahoma along various rivers such as the Arkansas, Verdigree and many smaller creeks such as 14 mile creek in what is today Cherokee County. This was holding with Traditional values of being near water many of our cermonies and medicine involves “going to water”. This original group of Cherokees held land in common and worked the land in small farms and raised Hogs and some cattle. Many changes were to come in the next few years but from 1828 to 1838 it was a peaceful time for the Western Cherokee living in the reformed Indian Territory.

2) Eastern and Western Cherokees Reunited

1835 Treaty of New Echota 2:

WHEREAS the Cherokees are anxious to make some arrangements with the Government of the United States whereby the difficulties they have experienced by a residence within the settled parts of the United States under the jurisdiction and laws of the State Governments may be terminated and adjusted; and with a view to reuniting their people in one body and securing a permanent home for themselves and their posterity in the country selected by their forefathers without the territorial limits of the State sovereignties, and where they can establish and enjoy a government of their choice and perpetuate such a state of society as may be most consonant with their views, habits and condition; and as may tend to their individual comfort and their advancement in civilization. And whereas a delegation of the Cherokee nation composed of Messrs. John Ross Richard Taylor Danl. McCoy Samuel Gunter and William Rogers with full power and authority to conclude a treaty with the United States did on the 28th day of February 1835 stipulate and agree with the Government of the United States to submit to the Senate to fix the amount which should be allowed the Cherokees for their claims and for a cession of their lands east of the Mississippi river, and did agree to abide by the award of the Senate of the United States themselves and to recommend the same to their people for their final determination. And whereas on such submission the Senate advised “that a sum not exceeding five millions of dollars be paid to the Cherokee Indians for all their lands and possessions east of the Mississippi river.” And whereas this delegation after said award of the Senate had been made, were called upon to submit propositions as to its disposition to be arranged in a treaty which they refused to do, but insisted that the same “should be referred to their nation and there in general council to deliberate and determine on the subject in order to ensure harmony and good feeling among themselves.” And whereas a certain other delegation composed of John Ridge Elias Boudinot Archilla Smith S. W. Bell John West Wm. A. Davis and Ezekiel West, who represented that portion of the nation in favor of emigration to the Cherokee country west of the Mississippi entered into propositions for a treaty with John F. Schermerhorn commissioner on the part of the United States which were to be submitted to their nation for their final action and determination: And whereas the Cherokee people at their last October council at Red Clay, fully authorized and empowered a delegation or committee of twenty persons of their nation to enter into and conclude a treaty with the United States commissioner then present, at that place or elsewhere and as the people had good reason to believe that a treaty would then and there be made or at a subsequent council at New Echota which the commissioners it was well known and understood, were authorized and instructed to convene for said purpose; and since the said delegation have gone on to Washington city, with a view to close negotiations there, as stated by them notwithstanding they were officially informed by the United States commissioner that they would not be received by the President of the United States; and that the Government would transact no business of this nature with them, and that if a treaty was made it must be done here in the nation, where the delegation at Washington last winter urged that it should be done for the purpose of promoting peace and harmony among the people; and since these facts have also been corroborated to us by a communication recently received by the commissioner from the Government of the United States and read and explained to the people in open council and therefore believing said delegation can effect nothing and since our difficulties are daily increasing and our situation is rendered more and more precarious uncertain and insecure in consequence of the legislation of the States; and seeing no effectual way of relief, but in accepting the liberal overtures of the United States. And whereas Genl William Carroll and John F. Schermerhorn were appointed commissioners on the part of the United States, with full power and authority to conclude a treaty with the Cherokees east and were directed by the President to convene the people of the nation in general council at New Echota and to submit said propositions to them with power and authority to vary the same so as to meet the views of the Cherokees in reference to its details. And whereas the said commissioners did appoint and notify a general council of the nation to convene at New Echota on the 21st day of December 1835; and informed them that the commissioners would be prepared to make a treaty with the Cherokee people who should assemble there and those who did not come they should conclude gave their assent and sanction to whatever should be transacted at this council and the people having met in council according to said notice.Therefore the following articles of a treaty are agreed upon and concluded between William Carroll and John F. Schermerhorn commissioners on the part of the United States and the chiefs and head men and people of the Cherokee nation in general council assembled this 29th day of Decr 1835.

This was the treaty that terminated all rights  to lands to the East for Eastern Cherokees and moved them to lands to the West in Indian Territory, up until then the Cherokee Nation had been turned into 2 distinct tribes Western Cherokees aka Old Settlers and Eastern Cherokees. Signed in 1835 it took 4 years before all the provisions of the Treaty were finally carried out by force marching those that  refused to move some 16,000 Cherokees. As result of this treaty a roll was carried out to list the “emigrants” to comply with the provisions of this treaty. By treaty these people were not subject to the laws of the States and Territories of the United States but the Laws of the Cherokee Nation. Here is a Historical definition of Indian Territory at the time: In order to understand the full meaning of the term “the Indian Territory,” one must also understand the process by which a region became a territory. As established by United States law, beginning with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, when a specifically defined part of the unorganized federal domain was sufficiently populated, its residents (United States citizens) could petition Congress for territorial status. Congress would subsequently pass an organic act, with a bill of rights for territory residents, and set up a three-part government, with appointed executive and judicial branches. Residents elected a legislative branch. The federal government had ultimate authority over territorial affairs, and an elected territorial representative was seated in Congress. Congress never passed an organic act for the Indian Territory, although a few measures were proposed, and one bill was written, for that purpose. The region never had a formal government, and it remained unorganized. Therefore, the geographical location commonly called “Indian Territory” was not a territory. 4   This fact becomes very important later in the 1880's but for this article we are using this information to provide an understanding of the laws and more importantly the Status of a Cherokee Indian in the 1840's and on.

In Part 2 of the Article we will explore Indian Territory in the 1840's up to 1907.




1) Treaty of 1828 http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/vol2/treaties/che0288.htm

2) Treaty of 1835 http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/vol2/treaties/che0439.htm

3) Indian Territory http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/I/IN018.html

4) Epcert for Indian Territory http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/I/IN018.html

About Josiah Hair

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32 thoughts on “Missouri/Arkansas Cherokee

  1. William Hoff says:

    There were also the people between the fires or the Cherokees of Texas (Tejas)! These were and still are my mothers people! They are now known as Tsalagiyi Nvdagi or Cherokees of the Sunland (Texas/Tejas)! Chief Bowles was one of our tribal chiefs. Our people have been in Texas permenantly since 1819 and we are still here!
    Wado Skee!
    William Hoff
    Nuda Yonv

  2. Patricia Demekpe says:

    Were the indians living on state line, between Cass and Harrison counties, of Cherokee or Choctaw tribes.

  3. ramona ukestine says:

    When I saw this article I immediately had questions about it since the flag which is pictured is that of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO. As an enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees which is derived from the Keetoowah Society, Inc., I would prefer that the United Keetoowah Band or Keetoowahs not be shown as associated with the CNO flag because our enrollment is not with the CNO. The United Keetoowahs are derived from the Keetoowah Society, Inc. which received a charter of incoporation in 1905. The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees is a federally recognized tribe sepaarate from that of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and has a federally approved enrollment of 15,000 members in eastern Oklahoma. Many of these members are descendants of the old settlers.

    • Josiah says:

      Curious if you read the article? For it addresses the old settlers and eastern cherokee history. The article was written to help those that were confused about our history. I say “our” for we were all one tribe and still speak the same language. Yes our politicians would make it seem that we are divided but we know better, I have blood kin in all three. My Grandparents are on the 1947 Keetoowah roll as were my great grandparents on the Dawes Rolls and earlier all the way back to the old country as my kin called it. But that flag and the Keetoowah one and the Eastern Band all have the same language printed on them! It was invented by a Cherokee not Eastern or technically a Old Settler but a Cherokee. Its just a flag that was invented in the 1970’s drawn by a Dine’ so he put the star upside down not even knowing the difference lol

  4. Clarence Swafford says:

    My husband lost his card from the lost cherokee of Arkansas and Missouri and I’ve been trying to find out how I can get another one sent to us. I would appreciate an answer to this email and address where I can send to get another one. Thank you

    • Josiah says:

      I wrote this article to address such “groups” as the lost cherokee of arkansas and missouri. Their creation myth states that they are decendants of those that escaped from the trail of tears. Shall we focus on this myth and break down it compnent parts and shine a light on each part. 16000 Cherokee were rounded up and walked the trail just before and just afterwards several rolls were taken listing those that began and those that perished along the way. From these rolls we can determine 4000 died, and from testimony in 1907-1910 we gain a clearer picture of either those that walked and survived or descendants of those that walked. In 1842 just a few years after the trail a roll of claims from those that survived was accomplished to compensate for property, livestock and personal effects that were taken. In 1851 three rolls were taken of all three groups that made up the Cherokee from these we can see some that had lived for a time in the west moved back to live with relations in the east as would continue untill today. In all of these rolls even a small number of “missing” Cherokees would stick out or the kin would mention if they stayed behind or where they went as we see in numerous pages of testimony taken in 1907-1910. We stay in touch we know who we are kin to and can recite those connections, we can say where our people lived and where they were buried. In all these years we would have found those that were missing and not found! Reading the testimony of those hundreds of thousands that applied and denied shows a pattern even in 1907 that non-cherokees were well aware of money and land that could be gained by claiming any sort of connection. What was not understood by these intruders is Cherokees have kept our own rolls and well aware who is Cherokee and who isn’t. This group Lost Cherokee of Arkansas and Missouri is not nor has ever been Cherokee nor should be “Charging” to call themselves Cherokee its a insult to my ancestors that lived and died along the trail where we cried…

      • Betty says:

        Dear Josiah,

        I am grateful to you writing this article to explain this history of the Cherokee. My interest is peeked because, as you say, the story given to us descendants is that grandpa and grandma did indeed escape from the Trail of Tears and settled in lower Missouri/Arkansas area. I can’t seem to get passed 1790 in my Cherokee genealogy. I do know that my father was born 1924 in Burr, Missouri/Arkansas boarder in an indian village. When he was around seven years old people came in and burned the indian village and my father escaped and was taken to an uncle’s home in Ripley, Clay, Missouri. My father’s surname is Halcomb. My father has his father’s indian headdress and other beaded chest decorate and bracelets. I grew up hearing his stories. Can what I have always known be a myth? I am a loss for words. My father is 91. He tells the story how family came from TN and GA in the Trail of Tears, escape, marry, and settle in Burr. Many die in the fire, some die soon after. Work in the plantations, cooks on the Mississippi and railroad, then enlisting in WWII.

        Is this not a possibility?


        • Josiah Hair says:

          I have heard many many examples of this very story, it has several issues with it. The trail of tears took place in 1838 to 1839 aprox 16000 Cherokees moved from Tenn and Georgia. BUT NOONE HAD TO!!! For some reason it has been lost to history but many mixed breeds stayed behind they just swore an oath to the US and became citizens. Some moved into North Carolina to be with other family and the rest aprox 16000 Cherokees left these areas that were no longer the home land walked to Our new lands in Indian Territory. This was not a Reservation, it was Soveriegn Land ran by our own Government!! Why in the world would some stop in Hostile territory in Missouri and Arkansas??? It is a myth that people “Escaped” from the trail of tears escaped where? Fullbloods didnt speak english in these days they would have stuck out! Besides where they were headed no whites could live in, Indian territory was closed to whites in these days. In your story you speak of grandparents walking the trail I would expect that would have been a few more generations ago like gggraandparents. I am the 7th generation from those that emigrated from Georgia in 1838. They were fullbloods and settled in and around what is today Gideon Oklahoma. We have family stories and documents from Cherokee Nation listing arrival and where they lived throughout the 1800’s. How acres they farmed (held in common) hogs, horses and bushels of corn. In all of the stories that I have read by these old ones in our archives have I ever found a story of Missing Cherokees that stayed in Missouri or Arkansas. No those stories seem to come from Whites that attempted to gain Allotement land in 1900 and again in 1910 money by claiming some kind of ancestry of Cherokee. They were rejected as not having any kind of connection by our own archives. Our Nation has been subject to numerious Rolls, missionary files papers and Census done by our own tribe all the way back to 1810! We are the most documented tribe in the US and have no minimum blood Quantum so if there is even a remote ancestor on any of these documents it can be found and brought forth.

          • The unfortunate part in all of this is you seem to think that in no way shape or form is it possible. I find it hard to believe that I couldn’t be possible for them to have moved out of the area and settled in Arkansas and Missouri.

          • Josiah Hair says:

            As individuals sure happened all the time,
            As a group that later formed into a Tribe nope.
            What seems to be missed in any discussion regarding Cherokees, is at the heart of one of these myths or creation stories:
            “My Ancestor was not on the Dawes Roll because”:
            1) They escaped the “Reservation”
            2) They Hid out
            3) They just refused enrollment
            A researcher that is familiar with the Final Rolls of Cherokee and Freedmen aka Dawes Rolls would know that a person did not have to be present in order to be enrolled
            The list was created from the Cherokee Nation own Census of 1896 and 1880!
            The Commission was merely checking the lists to determine the following criteria:
            1) Still Alive
            2) Presently residing within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation
            3) Was previously recognized as a Member of the tribe in other words were listed on the census of 1896 or 1880.
            There were other criteria regarding marriage and Freedman status but for sake of this discussion we won’t delve into those subjects.
            So if a Cherokee resided in Missouri or Arkansas or for that matter in France they would not be listed on the Final Rolls!
            Ahh but they would be listed on the Guion Miller Roll, which was done just about the same period from 1907-1910. This was a payment roll that Congress authorized in the early 1900’s
            to satisfy the claims of Eastern Cherokee and their descendants who were removed to Indian Territory in 1838-1839. This Roll lists ALL Cherokees (With a Notable exception of Old Settler Cherokees what we today call the Keetoowah) no matter where they currently resided! Yes I found many on this roll who resided in Missouri and Arkansas at this time!

            My point is this: Cherokees reside all over the place but we can always find ancestors that were listed on one of the numerous rolls that was accomplished by the Federal Government and for that matter were accomplished by the Cherokee Government itself.
            For somebody to appear with no past, no previous ties to our tribe ever, is difficult to believe! More so when a researcher looks at the census records of any of these that claim the myth prior to 1900 and finds the ancestors of these to be listed decade upon decade going back to 1790!

            And for those that are not familiar with the Federal Census of 1900 that was the first time that the Indian Population was enumerated…

  5. Dolly Bridges says:

    The original group of Cherokee – formally called “Western Cherokee” were not a part of the Trail of Tears Cherokee who were removed as the “Eastern Cherokee” during the enforcement of the Remove Act. The Western Cherokee were not removed -they relocated to the midwest by choice. They were federally recognized as an independent nation separate from the Eastern Cherokee long before the Eastern Cherokee were removed as part of the “Trail of Tears” action. The bulk of these early migrants settled from southeastern Missouri, south central Missouri, north central Arkansas, and northeastern Oklahoma. They are identified as early as the 1770’s – The French established settlements in the district of Mine La Motte in the 1720s.
    “The Western Cherokee carried out raids against them and by the 1770s had shut down mining operations “Since the Cheraquis Indians compelled the miners at Mine La Motte located fifteen leagues from Ste. Genevieve, to abandon it, only a small amount of lead had been taken from other small mines” (Houck 1909: 100, 1775 Don Francisco Valle letter)” which references the La Motte massacres – in this letter it is quite explicit that it was the Cheraquis (French name for the Cherokee) who conducted the raids.
    In 1737, the French become alarmed when 400 Cherokee settled just north of the Ohio River where it dumps into the Mississippi at Cairo, Missouri (Anderson and Lewis
    1983:48). In a 1761 document the French openly state that the Cherokee are in current Arkansas and Missouri and that no one would dare cross the area north of the Arkansas River from fear of encountering the Cherokees and Chickasaw hunting near the Mississippi River (Anderson and Lewis 1983:67). In 1765, the French ask the commander of Arkansas Post to make enquiries with the Cherokee about a missing person west of the Mississippi (Spanish Dominion Arkansas Post (1763-1802) Letter to M. Variguire July 15, 1765). An interesting account of the Cherokee in south central Missouri was presented by Black Hawk in his autobiography. In 1787, while a member of a Sac and Fox party, they battled a group of Cherokee near the Merrimac River in Missouri. Black Hawk’s father and seven others died along with twenty-eight Cherokee. (Hawk 1882:9). The Merrimac River is located in the northwestern corner of the southeastern quadrant of Missouri. There is also historical documentation of conflict between the Western Cherokee and the Osage because the Western Cherokee were moving into southern Missouri and northern Arkansas which was Osage territory. Historical documents show that the Western Cherokee had settled in the area by at least the early 1700s though their oral history places the first migrations in the late 1500s. Examples of early immigrant groups include the St. Francis Band of Cherokee, Salem Cherokee, Current
    River Cherokee (in the Poplar Bluff Missouri area including Doniphan), Cherokee in the Cape Girardeau area, Cherokee in the Mountain Grove/West Plains Missouri area, and a group in the northwestern corner of Arkansas and the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. This is before the Trail of Tears and the arrival of the Eastern Cherokee.

    A November 1794 report from el Baron de Carondelet to el Duque de la Alcudia discusses the importance of the Cherokee in protecting the Spanish from the Americans. They particularly point out that the Cherokees are important for the defense of the west bank of the Mississippi (Anderson and Lewis 1983:560).

    The number of Western Cherokee in Louisiana Territory had become so large that in 1813 the government assigned them William L. Lovely as their sole agent.

    Governor William Clark of Missouri received permission from the Secretary of War to survey Indian land set asides in Arkansas County. This survey was to include Quapaw, Osage, and other Native People lands. When Governor Clark asked Secretary of War Crawford about setting aside and surveying the Western Cherokee land, the Secretary of War replied, “Should the line of the
    Osage treaty prove that they [the Cherokee] are settled upon the Osage lands, nothing can be done for them.” (Royce 1975:88; William Crawford to Return J. Meigs, September 18,1816). Due to this and other refusals to accept Cherokee settlements, some Western Cherokee groups
    sought a formal treaty with the United States. These negotiations resulted in the July 8, 1817 Treaty that provided for Cherokee lands in Arkansas and recognized the Cherokee Nation West (United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII: 156). The Treaty was submitted to Congress,approved, and the President ratified it on 26th December 1817. It was stated at that time that there
    were 3,700 Cherokee living in Arkansas. The number of Western Cherokee was at least 30,000 at the time of the 1817 treaty.

    In 1817, a party of 37 immigrant Cherokee under John Rogers immigrated to Arkansas (Gov. Joseph McMinn to Secretary of War, November 11,1817 Office of Indian Affairs, Retired Classified Files). A large Cherokee immigration came out of Tennessee and Georgia in February 1818 consisting of 400 Cherokee (McMinn to Calhoun,
    February 28, 1818, Office of Indian Affairs, Retired Classified Files, “Special File” No. 131). The Glass, a noted Eastern Cherokee leader who had been part of numerous treaties, and a party of 167 immigrated to Arkansas in late 1818 (Meigs to Calhoun, November 15, 1819, “Cherokee West Agency” Office of Indian Affairs, Retired Classified Files).

    The Western Cherokee Nation were already in the Louisiana Territory long before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.They were there before Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were even states. They were there before the Trail of Tears which began in 1838.

    The Old Settlers – Western Cherokee were in the Louisiana Territory as early as 1790 – And – they were federally recognized as Western Cherokee, separate from the Eastern Cherokee.

    And, Eastern Cherokee who were removed did not share the same history or religious beliefs as the Western Cherokee and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. Some of the Western Cherokee were in Louisiana Territory as early as the 1600s – historically documented. Western Cherokee religious beliefs came from the early founders of the Keetoowah Society which was well established before the Trail of Tears, and had no influence on the Eastern Cherokee beliefs or activities.

    I will agree with the idea there is no such thing as a “Lost Cherokee Tribe” or any other tribe for that matter. There is enough historical documentation available to prove heritage if the individual is truly Indian and is willing to do the work to prove it.

    • Josiah Hair says:

      Good Morning,
      very interesting article that you wrote, we have always heard stories of earlier movements of Cherokee prior to the 1808 delegation some as early as the 1760’s! Sequoyah was on such a quest in the 1840’s to find Cherokees that had moved into Mexico what is now Texas. Although we don’t know if he found the group he was looking for, it is certain most moved back in the 1850s’ into Indian Territory and more importantly the Cherokee Nation. I found testimony by a man named Squirrel that was with Sequoyah’s party during that period, he stated they never found the Cherokees that they were looking for but was separated from Sequoyah and never saw him again, interesting read its in the Pioneer Papers of the Oklahoma Historical Society I have it somewhere I will dig it out and post. Although there is 3 Federally recognized tribes today we are only divided Politically. Language and culture is the same. You speak of different groups that split off like the Western Cherokees as if they became a separate tribe or the Southern Cherokee mentioned in the 1866 Treaty after the Civil War Or the Kituah/Keetoowah also known as Old Settlers. Or the Pins or Nighthawks all are Cherokees and still speak the same language. If you read the bylaws of the UKB of today (United Keetoowah Band) all of these different groups are rejoined as one tribe Politically. I think the discussion gets blurred when we are talking about Political Entities and what a person thinks of themselves. My Grandpas were aligned with the Nighthawks but they still thought of themselves as Anikituah. So when the US Government decided to enact the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, this what allowed Tribal Governments to reform and more importantly the UKB to organize its tribal members into a roll. Most of which were also on the Final Roll of the Cherokees in 1907 if of age. My point is this, Cherokee groups have splintered off and gone there own way through out history, BUT they have kept in contact with the main body and were mentioned in Historical documents. Just like a group of Eastern Cherokees that moved near Stilwell in the 1870’s or those that had come over the trail of tears to go back to North Carolina in the 1850’s. We tended to cluster together in communities sharing a bond of Language and Culture. Our Language is written down we can still read what Sequoyah wrote down we still share a common fire. These so called “groups” that have sprung up in Missouri and Arkansas in the last 30 or 40 years seeking MONEY are an Insult to those that remained throughout history with the tribe. For My Grandpas never Hid out or Ran away from the Tribe they Refused Enrollment and still were written down as Nighthawks! As the Thousands upon Thousand of WHITES flocked to Indian Territory to get LAND so they could Sell it and MAKE MONEY.

      • So you’re saying is that ALL of the Cherokee stayed in contact? That’s like saying that all Italians and Irish stayed in contact with everyone in their home country. It doesn’t make any sense. I have a 4th great-grandmother who was born in Southern Kentucky 8 years before the fist white child. She was an orphan who I believe was half Cherokee. She lived with her son and daughter-in-law in Boone County, Arkansas sometime in the 1840s. Some Cherokee families did migrate to Kentucky in those days. Her and her husband moved to Putnam County, Indiana in 1830. Yes, she was listed as white as a lot of mixed bloods did back then.

        I have other brick walls in the deep South. Many white families were shameful of Cherokee Blood through intermarriage in the family, and disavowed all knowledge of it. It was not popular in that day to be Native American. They couldn’t own land, vote, and they were subject to be murdered if their mixed heritage came out. And Cherokee wasn’t the only tribe too. Quakers adopted a lot of Shawnee infants and took them to Pennsylvania in the area where the Quaker and Amish population was huge.

        • Josiah Hair says:

          Actually what I said was that the idea that LARGE groups of Cherokees hid out to account for the Really larger number of folks that still claim Heritage today is a bit much to believe, Some have even gone to lengths when they have found no evidence to start up their own tribe and invite those others to join for a “small fee”. My point is this, Cherokees always tend to CLUSTER together we are a social group, I use as evidence the Guion Miller Roll, 1906 – 1911. If you are not familiar with this roll it would be a good idea to do so. It is a list of some 130,000 applicants and of that some 30,000 that they found were actually Cherokees from as far away as Hawaii and even POLAND that stayed in touch with the tribe and yes some that lived in Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, ect ect ect. None of these Cherokees were hiding out nor were they ASHAMED of who they are and that is Cherokee or as we actually call ourselves Anikituah.
          In reality what did happen is a White Trader lived amongst the Cherokee in the 1780’s to 1830’s and when they saw what was happening they left, sometimes taking there wives but not always. Cherokees take care of there own it was the white Missionaries that forced Orphanages upon us we did not have orphans in the European sense. For under the clan system the Children belong to the Clan even if the parents perish and are raised by the clan of the MOTHER. So if a White trader had children they were not his they were the children of the Clan, And thus still Cherokee. This system didn’t break down fully until the later part of the 1800’s when Christianity was more prevalent in our nation and “More Civilized”. Of course there are exceptions to this but in most cases when you actually do a specific generational search of that Descendant you find that they never lived near or amongst Cherokees. Even with the Removal act of 1830 staring those in the face that they would lose everything, Some decided to move with those in North Carolina which allowed them to stay, which is why we still have the Eastern Band of Cherokees in Western North Carolina to this day. We have lists of those that Moved back in the 1840’s and 1850’s to North Carolina and those that left in the 1870’s from North Carolina to Cherokee Nation in the west they live today just North of Stillwell Oklahoma! Good luck in your research I have been in this journey, when I asked my Grandma as a little boy “What was the Trail of Tears”?

  6. I am needing to get a CDIB Indian card from the Western Cherokee could you please email me on to the above email please ? Thank You

    • A CDIB is a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood issued from a Federally Recognized tribe
      In the Case of the Cherokees that would be one of the following tribes:
      Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma)
      United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee (Oklahoma)
      Eastern Cherokee (North Carolina)

      Of the three only the UKB resided in Arkansas Territory before 1832 but moved into Indian Territory after that date. they also have the strictest criteria for enrollment. Google these tribal groups for registration dept. and you will find their contact information and criteria for enrollment.

      The Western Cherokee as you call them is not a Tribe but a 501c non profit organization and does not have the authority to issue any such document.

  7. Ed Baldwin says:

    I’m researching for a book about the period of the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-12. Indians, including Cherokee were living at the time in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri, and I’m interested especially in those living along both sides of the St. Francis River. Do you have anything, especially eye witness accounts of the period? There were known trading posts in the region as it was rich with game. Some histories of the time assert a Cherokee family ran a trading post at St. Francis, AR and dealt in furs and game from there to the Mississippi River, some 30 miles to the east. Do you have anything?

    • Josiah Hair says:

      Good Morning,
      I have heard of the earthquake of 1811/12 but have not read any accounts of it from Cherokees that were just moving into Arkansas and Missouri Territory during this period. The movement was in small bands throughout the 1810’s and 1820’s but I will certainly keep a look out for documents that possibly have been written during this period.

  8. Tina Weir says:

    Osiyo Josiah, I was wondering if you could point me in a good direction for the history of Ha Ha Tonka,Camden, Missouri before it was purchased by Robert Snyder in 1904. I cannot seem to find any info on it before he purchased it. I know it existed because my paternal grandmother was born there. She was Cherokee and I wanted to race my family history through the area. Thanks for anything you can help with.

  9. In researching my ancestors, I was told by a resident of Missouri “That Native American’s could not own property/land until 19….something. So, most of the people hid their native blood.” Can you elaborate? Thank you.

  10. Elane McLainTolbert says:

    I have been researching family over 30 years. On my mothers side Sevier /Eudaily / Campbell/Welch, I find a William Eudaily Randolph Co. AR. I have been lead to believe this is “BOWL”. He married Matilda Slayton,a child was born,Mary. Matilda Married Samuel Hufstedler after the death of Eudaily. He raised Mary after the early death of her mother. Mary married Thomas Leander Campbell, and thus my grandmother Martha Jane Campbell Welch. I need more info on Eudaily. any help.

    • Josiah Hair says:

      The Bowl left Cherokee Country to the east in the 1790’s and for a time lived just west of the Mississippi river, with what we call Old Settlers those that left the east in the Early 1800’s they are well documented and eventual moved to Indian Territory in the 1830’s. However The Bowl along with his followers moved into moved into what is now Texas in 1822, where he resided until he was killed July 16th 1839 by The Texas Army that marched against his villages in central Texas those that survived moved back into Indian Territory to reunite with those that were moving into the area (Eastern Cherokee) and Old Settlers.

      • I’m trying to get a new card I lost mine while moving any way how would be appreciated. Please email me .

  11. Eugene Gerst Jr. says:

    I am interested in learning if there is any validity to the story of my supposed mixed blood Cherokee ancestor. My great great great grandfather was William Willis. He was born about 1840 in Conway County, Arkansas near Lewisburg (present day Morrilton). My great grandmother (who was born in 1903 and married to his grandson) told me (along with every genealogist in our very large and well documented family) that he was 3/4 Cherokee. I am a skeptic by nature. In the only photograph I have ever seen of him, he was very old. A couple of things stood out though. He definitely had very native looking bone structure and facial features. He was very dark skinned as well. But he had a heavy beard. So if he was part Cherokee or some other tribe, it’s doubtful he was 3/4. I have read that the early western Cherokee had a village on the Arkansas River very near Lewisburg. What year did the last of the western Cherokee move to the Nation? I am not claiming to be part of a lost clan or anything. Just want to know the truth. Recently I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans based on his service record with the 21st Arkansas Infantry. But in my research, his family was the only one that I couldn’t trace past him. My three other Confederate grandfathers (that served in Arkansas units) were born in Tennessee and North Carolina before their parents brought them to Arkansas. It’s uncommon to find a service record for an Arkansas soldier born that early and actually be born IN Arkansas. I can’t seem to prove or disprove one way or the other. But according to oral histories, he claimed that he was part Cherokee with nothing to gain or lose by saying it. He never did seek land or money for it and he never tried to get money from the government for it. Just a veterans pension from the state of Arkansas. Is it possible that his father was an early territorial settler who moved there before the Cherokee left the area and took a Cherokee wife from the village that had been located there?

    • Josiah Hair says:

      Good Afternoon,
      With every family story I hear, I like to break down parts of it into several pieces and try to fit into a Historical framework to see if the pieces fit.
      1) 1840 Conway County Arkansas near Lewisburg (present day Morrilton)
      This is the first piece and that is location of the ancestor in relation to the Historical approximate location of the Cherokee in 1840, while the Western Cherokee (those that had left prior to 1820) did indeed live in this area for about 20 years the treaties of 1828 and 1830 saw them move west as a group to what became the Indian Territory. I have search maps for approx. locations of there settlements and they lived between the White and Arkansas Rivers with Conway County on the very southeast corner of the treaty lands; The Counties and Towns that are marked on the map would not have been there until after the State was formed in 1836, but it shows the boundary of land that the Old Settlers resided in until 1830 when they moved further west to allow for the formation of Arkansas into a State.
      So location wise your ancestor was indeed in the area but as for timeframe he was born 10 years after the Cherokee had left. Another point in this and understand this, this group of Cherokee were NOT mix breeds! This is important to consider for the MAIN reason they left the lands to the east was to get away from the Whites and the MIX Breeds that now had control of the Tribal Council to the east. These were Kituah Cherokee the last hold outs from Assimilation and Intermarrying. They Still resided in villages and Towns together did not speak English and would stick out if they tried to remain behind in violation of treaties that had been signed to remove them along with the Quapaw and Osage from Arkansas Territory at this time.
      2) 3/4 Cherokee
      For a person to be this blood quantum at the very least one of there parents would have been 4/4 (Full blood) and the other at least 1/2, there other complicated ways to get to 3/4th but this would fit the time period: a 1/2 breed marrying a Full blood to yield a 3/4 blood child. It would be common that he spoke Cherokee Fluently and typically would not have a Last name for those did not come into use by full bloods until at least the 1880’s or later. If he was born in 1840 then his Cherokee Parents should have been listed on several rolls earlier at least the 1817/1819 Roll and possibly the Old Settlers Roll of 1852. Problem with this is you must know the names of his parents…
      3) Appearances
      Cherokee range in color from light brown to very Dark Brown, Breeds have facial hair usually from there white side but as for cheekbones and other such markings are for the most part Hollywood Stereotypes…
      I use myself as an example when younger my hair was black and I am brown skinned, my youngest brother by blood was light brown hair and very fair skinned we share the same parents its all genetics that determine hair and features but both our CDIB’s state the same blood Quantum…
      4) Southern Affinity to claiming Indian Blood;
      Have you ever heard of the term “Johnny Come Lately” this was a term that was used to label Northerners that flooded the South after the Civil War, so it was very common for Southerners to claim Indian Blood to show that there families had been there so long that they had even intermarried with the Indians! It was not until the 1900’s that Land and Money could be procured out such a claim and that is a very common claim for literally hundreds of thousands that made there way to the Dawes Commissions in the 1900’s to get Free Land and then sell it. They were turned down in Droves when the Commission had researched the claims and found no Evidence of any such ties.
      5) Cherokee Wives
      This is another Hollywood Stereotype! Its a Huge Misunderstanding on the parts of the Missionaries and the Whites that traded with Cherokees. Cherokee Women OWNED the Home not the Male, at this time in history Women were a part of our council and it was not until the 1825 that the Eastern Cherokee pushed them out and for the Western Cherokee not until the 1840’s or later in some cases to push them out. The Cherokees that were converted to Christians were the first to push women out of the Council for at this time it was told to them it was an Abomination to allow women Council or to Speak to men as Equals! When Whites traders first came to the Cherokee Nation in the 1700’s they married Cherokee Women but stayed in the Nation to Continue Trading for the Women owned whatever business they set up!!
      This began to change when more Cherokees were educated in Missionary schools and brought back those ideas in the 1800’s up to 1825 when the last woman sat on council and far later for Western Cherokees….

      To continue your research I suggest you attempt to find the names of his parents that will tell you a lot about who they were and give you insight on where you next line of research should take you.
      Good Luck

  12. Anita says:

    I am trying to find information about a relative that has passed for sometime now but she may have the info I need to register for my Indian rights, how can I find out about her. Any family members with knowledge about her have since passed themselves or in nursing homes.

  13. Linda Hall says:

    I too, have indian ancenstory but it cannot be proven. My ggggrandmother was one of the children who survived the trail. She grew up in indian territory until she married a white soldier. Which apparently pissed off a few of her relatives. She left the territory, with her husband. She went back to the territory to have her daughter, but left after giving birth. This is all my great grandmother would say on the matter. My great grandmother was born in 1891 approx. in Arkansas and lived mainly around Paris, AR. She spoke cherokee but refused to teach her children the language. some relatives did hear her speak it, but she would not in puplic. She passed when I was in highschool at 109 approx. being mixed she was not recognized by either race. She, nor her mother, had birth certificates being of mixed blood. I do not know any of the names, she refused to say.

  14. Trying to get a new card I’ve lost mine while moving. I will also need to change my info as well. Any info on how would be appreciated. Thank you

    • Josiah Hair says:

      This article is about those that claim ancestry but are not Cherokee…
      If you are requesting how to get a Replacement Card from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
      simply go to http://www.cherokee.org it has information on how to request a replacement card

  15. sabrina says:

    I was told i am part of this trip on my dad side and his mother. millers in the Hartshorne, Oklahoma, I have marriage license, death certificates every thing i need but dont know how to go about finding out if this is all true.

  16. Danny Smith says:

    In response to your quote: “They rely on myths surrounding lack of documentation due to numerous “courthouse fires” and avoiding the numerous Rolls that were done of the Cherokees from the early 1800’s to 1910.”

    North Carolina Courthouse Fire Records:

    Alleghany County Courthouse – 1932 (fire, record loss)
    Alexander County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss), 1967 (fire)
    Craven County Courthouse – 1712 (records destroyed by Indians)
    Anson County Courthouse – 1868 (fire)
    Ashe County Courthouse – 1865 (fire, records fragmented)
    Bladen County Courthouse – 1770 (fire), 1800 (fire), 1893 (fire)
    Brunswick County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss), 1957 (clerk’s office fire)
    Buncombe County Courthouse – 1830 (fire), 1865 (fire)
    Burke County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss)
    Cabarrus County Courthouse – 1876 (fire)
    Cherokee County Courthouse – 1865 (fire), 1895 (fire), 1926 (fire)
    Chowan County Courthouse – 1848 (records destroyed by acting clerk)
    Clay County Courthouse – 1870 (fire, records destroyed)
    Craven County Courthouse – 1712 (records destroyed by Indians)
    Currituck County Courthouse – 1842 (fire)
    Davidson County Courthouse – 1866 (fire)
    Gaston County Courthouse – 1874 (fire)
    Greene County Courthouse – 1876 (fire)
    Guilford County Courthouse – 1781 (fire), 1872 (fire)
    Harnett County Courthouse – 1892 (fire), 1894 (fire)
    Haywood County Courthouse – 1932 (records destroyed in move to new courthouse)
    Hertford County Courthouse – 1830 (fire), 1822 (fire)
    Hyde County Courthouse – 1789 (fire), 1827 (fire)
    Iredell County Courthouse – 1854 (fire)
    Jackson County Courthouse – 1913 (records lost when county seat moved)
    Jones County Courthouse – 1862 (fire) ‘Courthouse was burned during Civil War battle, many court records destroyed.
    Lenoir County Courthouse – 1878 (fire), 1880 (fire) Most court records were destroyed
    Lincoln County Courthouse – 1797 (records may have been destroyed by fire in private home)
    Martin County Courthouse – 1862 (fire) ‘Courthouse fire destroyed many court records.
    Mitchell County Courthouse – 1907 (some records destroyed in move to new courthouse)
    Montgomery County Courthouse – 1835 (fire), 1840 (fire), 1886 (may have suffered record loss from courthouse fire.
    The clerk said that he saved the records but that they were “in a state of great confusion.”)
    Moore County Courthouse – 1889 (fire) Courthouse fire destroyed most of the land records and many court records
    New Hanover County Courthouse – 1789, 1819 & 1840 (all 3 courthouse fires may have destroyed some records)
    Onslow County Courthouse – 1752 & 1755 (records destroyed by storm)
    Orange County Courthouse – 1781 (records destroyed when buried in woods to avoid capture or destruction by Cornwallis)
    Pitt County Courthouse – 1857 (fire) Courthouse fire destroyed most of the court records.
    Rowan County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss) records were destroyed by Federal troops
    Rutherford County Courthouse – 1907 (fire)
    Sampson County Courthouse – 1921 (clerk’s office fire) Some early court records are missing because of Federal sympathizers in 1865; Clerk’s office fire in 1921. Early deed books of Duplin County prior to 1784
    Swain County Courthouse – 1879 Courthouse fire destroyed many records and on January 7, 1908 the Courthouse was burned by rioters. No records were saved
    Wake County Courthouse – Several deed books were destroyed in register’s office fire in 1832.
    Warren County Courthouse – 1935 (Some early County records may have been destroyed) County Court Records from abt 1814 -1823 are missing There is a loss of records for around the 1935 time period. Deed Books 15 and 16, 1799 1803, are missing from the court house and from the NC Archives.
    Washington County Courthouse – County records destroyed by bombardment in Civil War in 1862. Fires have destroyed most of the court records and many of the land records in 1869 and 1881.
    Watauga County Courthouse – Courthouse fire in 1873 destroyed all of the land records and most of the court records.
    Wayne County Courthouse – 1781 (records may have been destroyed in courthouse fire)

    These courthouse fires are not myths. And these courthouse fires were only in North Carolina.

    • Yep, courthouse fires galore! So what exactly is your point? That there were courthouses fires? The myth is: the reason I don’t have a record of my ancestors is that courthouse fire burnt them up in Missouri or Arkansas! I think you have missed a very important point. A courthouse Does not keep Indian records those are kept in the National Archives. Cherokee Nation was a sovereign Nation prior to 1907 and there records were never kept in county courthouses! As a matter of fact birth records prior to 1907 in Oklahoma was kept with the Cherokee Nation so a courthouse burning in Missouri, Arkansas or even North Carolina would not have disturbed any record that would be used to Prove Ancestry for Tribal Enrollment and that is entirely the point of this article!

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