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Genealogy:Mary Elizabeth Taylor Stephens - Choctaw Roll Info
Posted by: Cathy Bennett on Nov 1 2009 13:13

Dawes Commission Case Files

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Search For Your Ancestors:

Given:

Surname:


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The Dawes Commission was setup by Congress to enroll Native Americans into one of five tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, or Seminole. During the process of enrollment, Native Americans submitted many personal documents (if available) and received an interview in person, which was then recorded on paper. A determination was eventually made by this commission, using the information submitted, and the Commissioners own prejudices, on whether the applicant had the right to be part of that Nations Tribe. All the information was compiled into a packet of material and assigned a Case Number. Without discussing the injustice of such a move by the American Government, some valuable material is left for Native American researchers inside those packets.

It has always been our policy to inform researchers on how they could go about ordering their Dawes packet information. With current pricing it has gotten quite expensive for individuals to order these, and there is often a slow response time in getting the information. With the advent of Footnote placing the actual Dawes packet images online, this should all change.

In cooperation with Footnote.com we can now provide you an index into their digital documents. If you see an image to the right side of the search, then Footnote has digitized the specific Dawes Packet (Case File). If there is not yet an image there, then please check back next week. Footnote consistently updates their images throughout the month. There is a registration fee for viewing/printing/downloading the case files at Footnote, but that cost is equal to, or less then the fee for ordering.

Note: We do not suggest you try and pay by image, as a single Dawes Packet can have many images.

Back to: Dawes Roll Search

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To search this database by name please use the Dawes Roll Search. Then click on the card number in your results and you will be taken here.


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Footnote.com is presently scanning these records into their website. Unfortunately, this card has not been completed yet - please try back again in another week.

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The information found below is relevant to the specific card/case number used to identify each Dawes Packet. This is an index of the census card, and not a complete index of the Dawes Packet. But it should give you an idea of the people who may be mentioned inside the packet.

Dawes Card Information

tribe

last

first

middle

age

sex

blood

card

roll

misc

type

Choctaw

Christy

Agnes

0

F

1028

P

Choctaw

Christy

Michael

0

M

1028

P

Choctaw

Taylor

John

0

M

1028

P

Choctaw

Taylor

Margaret

0

F

1028

P

Choctaw

Taylor

Elizabeth

1

F

FULL

1028

2731

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

Newsom

1

M

FULL

1028

NR

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

Susanna

1

F

FULL

1028

2732

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

Robinson

4

M

FULL

1028

2730

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

Harriet

6

F

FULL

1028

2729

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

Levi

10

M

FULL

1028

2728

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

Eliza

29

F

FULL

1028

2727

DOAKSVILLE

BB

Choctaw

Taylor

John

31

M

FULL

1028

2726

DOAKSVILLE

BB

10/27/2009

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Elihu Stephens ‎(I28523)‎

Given Names: Elihu
Surname: Stephens

Gender: Male

Birth:28 December 183449 -- , Estill, Kentucky, USA
Death:18 September 1911 ‎(Age 76)‎ -- Combs, Madison, Arkansas, USA

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Family stories:ARUNA HART (ANNA ELIZABETH HART) SIZEMORE
Posted by: Cathy Bennett on May 30 2009 10:58
From:CherokeeProudJH@aol.com
Subject: [Cherokee-NC] Surnames - BLEVINS, HART, MASH, WOLF
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 23:39:13 EST
Hi. I'm new to the list and right now, these are the names I'm trying to
find information about. I'm not sure where my g-g-grandfather Marshall
BLEVINS was from. I know in 1870 he was living in Ashe County, NC with his
wife Sarah. Her maiden name I believe was JONES.

I have a newspaper article dated 1906 about my ancestor George SIZEMORE going
to Georgia to marry his Indian squaw (I didn't call her that, this is what it
says in the article). Her name was Annie Elizabeth HART and I was told her
Indian name was Aruna HART.

I was told my g-g-grandmother Rhoda MASH born 1834-5 and lived in Ashe
County, NC was 100 % Cherokee but I haven't been able to prove it. Her
parents were Henry MASH and Nancy PATRICK. They were born somewhere in NC.

I don't know if my WOLF family were Cherokee or not. I have a Frederick
WOLF/E born about 1815 married to Elizabeth CROUSE. They were living in
Alleghany County, NC.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and any help will be appreciated.

Jo Anne
CherokeeProudJH@aol.com
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Family stories:Sizemore - Discussions of the Guion Miller Roll
Posted by: Cathy Bennett on May 30 2009 10:16

My Sizemore Family History



Part IV: Native American Heritage

I feel certain that we are, at least in part, descended from Native Americans. There are many verbal accounts, as well as unofficial written accounts to support this. The stories about George and Aggie are good examples - and there are others. Just the pure volume of stories claiming Indian ancestry must indicate that there's some truth to them, but proving this linkage is difficult if not impossible, at least by the standards of proof that are widely accepted.**

The crux of the problem is found in the fact that most of our ancestors did not sign up for the various Indian enrollments that the U.S government organized in the 1800's. In order to 'officially' be considered an Indian you had to be counted on one of these rolls. Our ancestors either didn't want to be counted, free to live their lives as they saw fit in the hills of Kentucky, or they had already been assimilated into the white culture of the period. Although there was much reason to hide, assimilation was more likely the case.

One clue that could support this supposition might be the disposition of native tribes between 1750 and 1792. It was during this time that the major conflicts between the Indians and whites occurred. As a result of these conflicts many Native Americans were killed and, by the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1792, were either dispersed or subdued. Ironically it was this very fact that made the Kentucky frontier safe for whites to migrate.

Any Indians that remained in the region had either gone deep into the mountains or had been integrated into the white community. Some were successful at this and some were not. Those who remained, and attempted to maintain their native identity, became victims of white hatred. There is possibly no better evidence of this than the 1810 Massacre of Ywahoo Falls (McCreary County) in which over 100 defenseless Chickamauga old men, women and children were brutally murdered and buried in a mass grave under the rockshelter of the falls.

With this in mind there is little doubt that, at least during this period, mixing between the races would have been strictly discouraged and would likely have resulted in violence. Perhaps a half-breed Indian woman passing for white could mix with a white male, but the possibility of a white woman mixing with an Indian male would not have been tolerated. Such relationships, at least to 'white eyes' of the time, would have been the equivalent of a black man having relations with a white woman.

More than likely any mixing occurred well before this period. Perhaps even before 1750 when relations between Indians and whites were still civil - especially on the frontier. In a round-about sort of way, this makes the possibility of Indian heritage for George and Aggie more likely as they were both born around that time.

Now fast forward 50 to 100 years. Indians in the eastern United States have not been a threat for some time. In fact, they are now viewed in a kindly way - the 'noble savage' and all that. Many whites are even beginning to feel proud of their possible link to these people. To top it off, the Federal Government is giving away money and services to anyone who can prove native heritage. Is it any wonder that thousand upon thousands of people applied for membership? Most of these applications were rejected.

The earliest such time was in 1835 for the Henderson Roll. Ron Blevins website, "Sizemore Legend and Fact", has some comments about that roll as it pertains to the Sizemores:

"According to Government testimonies the Sizemore family made application for obtaining grants of funds under the 1835 and 1846 Treaties with the Cherokee Indians. However, from information available, George All and Aggie were not among those applying for grants or funds. The family known to have applied was another George Sizemore known as George Gullie, Goulden or Gollden. He was also referred to as Golden Hawk Sizemore. He was born in North Carolina in 1783 and lived in Magoffin and Floyd Counties. He married Sallie Anderson in Hawkins County, Tennessee. The 1860, 1870 and 1880 Census lists the children of George Golden and Sallie Sizemore as having been born in Floyd and Magoffin Counties. They appear to have been related to the Leslie County Sizemores. In fact, T. C. Sizemore claims to be a direct descendant of Golden Hawk."

In the early 1900's there were three final rolls commissioned by the government to settle once and for all who was an Indian and who was not. These were the Guion Miller, Dawes and Baker rolls. Many of our relatives, aware that government benefits could be had, attempted to sign up for these rolls. To my knowledge (and I admit that I have a great deal more research to do in this area before I give up for good) no one directly related to our line was successful in these attempts. The reason being that their ancestors had not signed up for the earlier rolls, and therefore couldn't be linked.

Here are some enrollment applications, or ECA's, by various Sizemore's of the time. While all of these application were rejected, they remain interesting as accounts of Sizemore lineage and an authentic voice of the times.

ECA # 10133 by Frank Sizemore of Pineville, Wyoming Co, VA, born 1867, son of John M. Sizemore and wife Millie Green. Says parents resided in Wyoming County in 1851 and that his father died about 1894. Says his father John M. Sizemore was the son of George J. Sizemore and wife Jennie Baldwin, and that his mother Millie was the daughter of Polly Green. Lists children of grandparents George J. and Jennie Sizemore as Frank, Ned, Owen, Solomon, Joseph, and John M. Sizemore, and Oma Lambert, Jennie Cline, Reney Billips, Sess Milam, and Elizabeth Payne. List ancestry as My father John M. Sizemore, son of George J. Sizemore, son of Ned Sizemore Jr, son of George Sizemore, son of Ned Sizemore Sr who is said to have been of Indian Blood but his wife was a Cherokee woman. (RLB note: Frank erroneously lists his grandfather as the son of Ned Jr. who was really his older brother.) There is quite a bit of correspondence in support of this ECA and one letter in particular is of interest. It reads: “Mr. Miller, the Sizemores of old man Ned was the people that was actually entitled to that money tho we all got our blanks wrong. We claimed through his descent and we ought to a claimed through her descent. We all failed to give her Indian name and it was Aruna Hart. I suppose I had heard my grandfather G.J. Sizemore claimed the Indian Blood by his mother. He claimed her to be the Cherokee Indian. We are the people no doubts, but our applications was wrong I suppose. Yours Truly, Frank Sizemore” In another letter Frank writes “Mr. Guion Miller: My kind friend, will inform you that my great grandfather sometime in the 19th century, he married this Cherokee squaw woman. Ed Sizemore was his name and Elizabeth Hart, if mistaken not, was her name....”

ECA # 12477 by David A. Osborne of Beldon, Ashe Co, NC, born 1869 in Ashe, son of James Osborne and wife Clemmanzy Bare. Says his father died in 1902 and mother in (1906?). Says grandparents were David and Nancy Osborne, and Joseph and Susie Bare. States ancestry as James Osborne my father was the son of David Osborne. David Osborne was the son of Jesse Osborne. Jesse Osborne was the son of Elias Osborne and Sally Osborne. Said Sally Osborne was the daughter of Ned Sizemore who was a full blood Cherokee Indian. There is much correspondence supporting this ECA. One letter dated 6 Dec. 1907 from Beldon, NC reads “Nathan Bickford & Associates - Washington, D.C. Gentlemen: ‘After investigation, I find Ned Sizemore’s wife’s name was Nettie and that she died in Ashe (now Alleghany) Co., NC about the year 1859 or probably a little earlier. I think the following is a correct list of names of his children. viz.: George Sizemore, Ned Sizemore Jr, Owen Sizemore, Hiram Sizemore, Catherine Sizemore, Sally Sizemore, Lydia Sizemore, Dolly Sizemore and Bettie Sizemore. Bettie was called for a nickname “Sookie” she married a Stamper; Dolly married a Hash; Lydia married a Blevins; Catherine a Hart and Sally through whom the Osborne’s claim married Elias Osborne. ....”

ECA # 5113 by Riley Blevins of Ashe Co, NC (Post Office is Park, Grayson Co, VA), born 1824 in Ashe Co, son of Eli Blevins and wife Milly Brinegar, both of whom were born in Ashe County, and lived there in 1851. Says his father died in 1861 and his mother about 1896. Lists his brothers and sisters as Jesse d. 1896, James, Geo, Bartlet, Lydia and Elizabeth Blevins. Lists his grandparents as James Blevins and wife Lydia Sizemore and their children as Armstrong, Edward, Daniel and Wells Blevins. Gives his ancestry as Riley Blevins a son of Eli and Milly Blevins who was the son of James and Lydia Blevins who was the daughter of Ned Sizemore a full blood Cherokee Indian.

Hundreds of Sizemores enrolled. 98% were rejected. Click here to see an actual image of a whole page of the Guion Miller Roll with nothing but Sizemores on it!

About a dozen actually made it onto the Dawes rolls. To see those names click on the Creek Nation Genealogy link below. About a third of the way down the page is a form called "Native American Data". Enter 'Sizemore' and search. Although these Sizemores made the rolls, there is no evidence, so far, that connects then to our Sizemores.

The bottom line is I have not been able to find any solid evidence that would prove our Native American heritage, but this is by no means the end of the story. There is still research that could be done, and I intend to keep at it until I am satisfied, once and for all, that we are or are not connected. In the meantime, here are some links you can follow to understand the subject, and the difficulties involved, better.

**(Authors Note: since I first wrote these words, much DNA testing has been done on known George All ancestors. Through these tests it has been proven scientifically that George carried Native American blood. Exactly how much, from what tribe, or when that blood entered the line, is not known. However, this means that if you are an ancestor of George Sizemore then you ARE part Native American.)

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Family stories:Metis Heritage of the Sizemore Family
Posted by: Cathy Bennett on May 30 2009 09:46

The Metis Heritage of the Sizemore Family

...and the oft-mentioned Whitetop Laurel Band of Cherokees

an effort at rediscovery and reconnection

Jason Adams

by Jason AdamsThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
October/November 2001




Sally Sizemore and her husband William "Blackhawk" Sizemore.

Throughout history, our Sizemore family of southern Appalachia has been variably referred to as Melungeon, Mestee, Metis, Indian, part-Indian, mulatto, Stick People, white and in one branch of which I am aware, black. Most Sizemores have wondered which one is true for a long time, and just recently the answer has presented itself complete with some documentable proof.

The answer came out of a recent movement of mixed-ancestry people in this region who are reclaiming the epithet "Melungeon". Gatherings have brought to to light a large number of Sizemore-related people who want to know who they are, and why they have been labeled so many things throughout history. Most have never really known what they were, other than a generic sense of being "Indian". It was from this Melungeon movement that many of us discovered finally, some documentable proof of our mixed Indian/non-Indian heritage.

Being a mixed-Indigenous people, we do of course, have the right to self-identify as we choose. Having been exposed to the proof of our heritage, some of us recently have begun to identify as Metis once again. Additionally, this is a nation which seeks specifically to bring together the various Melungeon -type groups throughout the South. These groups, which would be encouraged to maintain their unique history within the nation, include Redbones, Brass Ankles, and Guineas. We who joined would like to share with you why we chose to do this, and encourage other Sizemore descendants who feel an affinity to this move, to join us.

For those unfamiliar with the term Metis, the word is defined as anyone of mixed ancestry that includes an Indian component. Usually, and in the Sizemore case in particular, it is the founding one. The term also describes people who cannot join federally recognized tribes for whatever reason. Although the term "Métis" is certainly French, and Métis is the term most often applied to Indian/French mixtures, it has also been applied, historically and in modern times, to anyone of mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous ancestry. Similarly, the plural French term Mélangeon has been used historically to describe us.

Sizemores have been called Melungeons and Cherokees at various points throughout history, but we chose to join the Metis because it presents us with the opportunity to be who we are. Sizemores who have joined the Metis are not "wannabe" Indians. As one Metis explained, to the contrary, we "havetobe" Metis because our ancestors did not register with the U.S. Government. As a result most of us are culturally white, and ancestrally Indian and European. We see ourselves as neither European or Indian but as a Metis people, of Indigenous origin. As you read, you will find that our Metis ancestors had good reason not to register with the White Government.

All Sizemore histories and old family photos of which I am aware share two things: a strong Native American heritage and a visibly Native American appeance. The three most likely tribes of origin are remnant tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy, the Creeks, the Catawbas, and at one point in our history, the Cherokee. I also know that Sizemores have been labeled "Melungeons" at various times throughout history, a testiment to our historical Metis heritage.

The presence of the Sizemore name at the British empire's Jamestown colony, listing a "Portuguese-Jewish" indentured slave suggests an admixture of bloodlines that was not entirely Native. A few other Sizemores are said to have been Scots-Irish though I have not found evidence of this. Therefore, I would guess that most are the mixed-blood descendants of remnant tribes of the Powhatan - pronounced "poh-haw-tin" - which was a confederacy of many smaller tribes, and of Portugeuse, Jewish, English, Scottish and Irish indentured slaves. One Sizemore family tree shows direct descent from the Powhatan princess Matoaka (Pocahontas) and John Rolfe through the Bowling family, in six different family lines. I have my doubts as to whether we are descendants of Matoaka, as I think people generally like to be of some type of "royal" ancestry, but I strongly believe that this story is evidence that Sizemore Metis were founded and nurtured into existence by a number of different Powhatan women and their communities.

The Story of the Whitetop Laurel Band of Cherokees



Whitetop Mountain, located at tristate VA, NC, TN border.

In the late 1830's, Sizemores are said to have taken in Cherokees who escaped the Trail of Tears. This is the point at which many may have literally become Cherokee. Mom Feather, Chief Elder of the Southern Band of Cherokees informed me that Sizemore is a well-known Cherokee name and that the Sizemores and other Indian families in Eastern Kentucky were known as the Stick People. This name was given, according to legend because large piles of sticks high in the Appalachian ridges were used by Sizemores to hide large numbers of Cherokees who escaped the horrible Trail of Tears in the 1800's. Evidently they later mixed with these Cherokees, which may have been the founding of the Whitetop Laurel Band of Cherokees.

This legend is evidenced by the fact that many of our family stories and trees trace back to a 2,000 member "Whitetop Laurel Band of Cherokees", which existed for at least a decade. The band was founded sixty years after the Trail of Tears, and nine years before the Eastern Band of Cherokees in 1905. The same number of Sizemores, 2,000, applied en masse for membership in the Eastern Band of Cherokees in the early 1900's but were denied for various reasons. Those who made the decision to reject the Sizemore claims were clear in their statement that Sizemores were Indians, but since none of their ancestors had willingly registered in any Cherokee census, they were not accepted.

The multi-volume book series, Cherokee By Blood documents this story which appears to be the primary source of the "White Top Cherokee" oral tradition in our family. Vol 1 page 171 bears the testimony of Whitetop Chief William H. Blevins:

"The word 'Chief' in my application, means that I am chief of the White Top Band of Cherokee Indians, an organization of the principal Cherokee Indians living about White Top, and was perfected about ten years ago. We organized so as to demand our rights in a body. We thought we had not been getting them before. In 1896, we wanted to go to the Indian Territory, and organized for that purpose. When the band was first organized there were about 2175, I believe. They were all Sizemore descendants. No one else was allowed to become a member if it was known. I have read the Decree of the Supreme Court of the United States referred to in my application, and have it at home. My father, Armstrong Blevins, I do not think was a party to the treaty of 1836 and 1846. I am putting my own interpretation on the decree."

(Thanks to our relation Bill Fields, editor of Under One Sky, the Melungeon information magazine for contributing this)

This documentation does not however, explain the later infusion of the word "Laurel" into our modern Sizemore family trees. But we do know that the Whitetop Laurel Creek runs off of Whitetop Mountain, and is a favorite recreational spot of fly fishermen and kayakers.

One claim for membership in the Eastern Band of Cherokees stated that Sizemores were their own tribe in and of themselves, known as "Sixemore" - probably due to the Whitetop membership requirement that one should be of Sizemore relation. Another said that "Old Ned" Sizemore came from the Catawba Nation, a claim that would not preclude his descendants from later becoming Cherokees, as Cherokees took in the remnants of many defeated bands and tribes.

Another family tradition in one of our lines says that the surname was created due to poor translation (or anglicization) of the Cherokee word "Esiyah", which means literally "large child". The name was given to a Cherokee man who was very good with children, and is reportedly found on the Dawes Rolls. The same family line is related to Sizemores in South-Central Ohio, near the town of Pedro, that still speak fluent Cherokee and take part in the traditional corn dance.

Some family trees indicate Whitetop Cherokee roots as early as the time of Cheif Redbird (whom Redbird Creek and the Redbird Mission is named after), George "All" Sizemore, Aggy Shepherd, Rhoda Sizemore, and "Old Ned" Edward Sizemore, all of who lived in the 1800's in Leslie, Maggofin and Clay County, Kentucky. These Sizemores migrated from Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina prior to this time, and many lived in the Whitetop Mountain border area of Virginia/North Carolina. But for the most part the time period in which they lived does not coincide with the stated lifespan of the Whitetop band.

Following is an excerpt from an article on the George All Sizemore and Aggy Shepard connection to the Creeks and the Whitetop Laurel Band of Cherokees. "The marriage of George "ALL" Sizemore to Aggy Shepard originated from a raid of Indiams on the white mans camp where they captured a white girl. In retaliation, the white men followed and rescued the girl and captured an Indian girl who was later given to a white family to raise (Aggy). Aggy is thought to have been a Creek Indian. George lived in both the white man's world, and the Whitetop Cherokee tribe throughout his life."

"The Indian Chief for whom Red Bird Creek in Clay County was named is known as member of the Whitetop Laurel Band of Cherokees from North Carolina. He was a great hunter and allured by the game in this remote region. He finally took up residence on the creek that bears his name at the mouth of Jacks Creek in this county. He came to his death by the abarice of the "pale face". There lived with him a crippled Indian named Willie. This man dressed the skins which Red Bird brought to their wigwam and looked after the culinary department of their house. Some hunters from North Carolina, greedy and unscrupulous, came to the wigwam and murdered Willie. Then they secreted themselves and awaited the return of the brave chief who had long before buried his tomahawk and for years had been living in peace with the white man, and as he approached his crude castle the bullet of an assasin laid him in the dust. They threw his body into a hole of water nearby which is still called "Willie Hole", and from which John Gilbert and others took him and buried him. One tradition is that he was sitting on the bank of a creek fishing when he was shot and that he fell into the creek."

(Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Volume 11, March 1997. Recorded in the 1870s.)

Identifying as Metis



Sizemores also live(d) near Sneedville, TN; Wise, VA; and Hyden/Stinnett, KY

In their testimony to join the Eastern Band of Cherokees, Sizemores said that they were of Indian blood. But either not of what particular tribe, or of tribes that were not Cherokee. A census of the Creek Nation of 1832 shows a Sam Sizemore as full blooded Creek, and one woman has told me that after Sizemores were rejected from the Cherokee, they applied to join the Creek and were accepted - how many I am not sure. At some point a group of Creeks named Sizemore were dislocated into the region of South Florida, where some Sizemores still live today. Another claims that "Old Ned" Sizemore came from the Catawba reservation. But most of our Sizemore ancestors are not found on many of the old Indian census rolls. It appears that Sizemores had Indian blood from several different tribes, as well as European blood. This of course could have made it harder to be accepted in any one tribe, not to mention among the "white" community.

This variability could mean many things, but given the simultaneous movement of Sizemores, and intermarriage with Melungeon communities around Sneedville, TN; Hyden, KY; and Wise, VA. I would guess it meant they had been labeled Melungeons in the past by census takers, had self-sufficient, prosperous farms stolen as a result and therefore avoided censuses.

Sizemore descendants decided to identify as Metis once again because we are tired of being what we are not: white. We don't wannabe anything, just what we actually are and that is mixed, or Metis. We chose that path because we see alot of possibility in being considered a Metis citizen. The biggest possibility is that we will have a greater degree of self-determination for ourselves and our descendants as a result. If you are a Sizemore descendant, or any person of mixed ancestry that includes an Indigenous component, I would encourage you to reconnect with your Metis roots. Another good group of folks that Sizemore descendants would want to hook up with are the Melungeons. Personally, I see Melungeons as the southern Appalachian version of the Metis, a story that played itself out all over the Americas. The Melungeons hold a national gathering bi-annually in Wise, Virginia on the campus of the University of Virginia at Wise. When I attended in May 2000, I met dozens of Sizemore descendants looking to recconect with their ancestry. The Melungeon websites are also linked below.

Metis Nation, Sizemore, and Other Links

Sizemore sites on the Web

  • Descendants of William Sizemore (Whitetop Laurel)
  • "Indian Ned Sizemore-The Legend"

    Metis Nations of Interest

  • Metis Nation of the South
  • The Other Metis
  • Wolf Band of the Metis Nation
  • (Canadian) Metis National Council

    Other Mixed-Ancestry Peoples

  • A Melungeon Homepage
  • Melungeon Youth of Appalachia
  • Melungeon Heritage Association
  • Louisiana Redbones

    Indian Nations of Interest

  • Southern Band of the Cherokees
  • Chicora-Waccamaw
  • Yosemite Valley Miwok / Mountain Maidu
  • Monacan Nation

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    Family stories:Evidence that George Sizemore was Indian and we are too!!
    Posted by: Cathy Bennett on May 30 2009 08:58

    Part II: George 'Of All' Sizemore

    George Sizemore is said to be the earliest Sizemore in Southeastern Kentucky, and the father of all our line - hence the name 'Of All' . There are many legends about him. The most famous story is that he was the half-breed son (born about 1750) of a white woman and a Cherokee Indian Chief, and that George's wife, Aggie Shepherd, was a full blooded Cherokee who had been taken accidentally from her village when a white raiding party, intending to rescue a white girl who had been kidnapped by the Indians, mistook Aggie for white and 'rescued' her as well. These stories have no official records to back them up, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that they are at least partly true. Which part though is a matter for debate. What we do know, based on official records, is that George and Aggie did exist. That they likely emigrated from North Carolina or Tennessee to Kentucky around 1800. They did have several children. Those children are our direct ancestors.

    (Authors Note. October, 2004: since I first wrote these words, much DNA testing has been done on known George All ancestors. Through these tests it has been proven scientifically that George carried Native American blood. Exactly how much, from what tribe, and when that blood entered the line, is not known. What this means is, if you are an ancestor of George Sizemore then you ARE part Native American.)

    Below are transcripts of several records that will tell you more about George and Aggie, and will shed some light on the Indian legends, plus a few surprising extras. Reading these account is like having just enough pieces of a puzzle to give you a hint of what the whole picture might look like, but never quite enough to really know. In any case it's fascinating reading. My personal comments are in parenthesis. Also, I've taken the liberty of expanding some of the more obvious abbreviations, but some still remain. Your guess is as good as mine.

    TRYON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA MINUTES OF THE COURT OF PLEAS AND QUARTER SESSIONS 1769-1779

    January term 1771

    1. On Motion of Waightstill Avery it was ordered by the Court that George Sizemore have Letters of Administration of all and sing'r the Goods & Chattels rights and Credits of William Shepherd deceased, he complying with the act of assembly in that case made & provided. He proposes for securities John Walker Esquire and Joseph Green. Accepted.

    2. (October 1771) On motion of Samuel Spencer ordered by the Court that George Sizemore have Letters of administration of the estate of William Shepherd Deceased he complying with the act of assembly in that case made and provided. He proposes for Securities George Winters & John Morris. accepted. Securities bound in the sum of Three hundred pounds.

    3. In Consequence of the aforesaid order of administration William Gilbert's by John Dun & Alexander Martin his attorneys & prays a caveat in the Secretary's Office according to act of assembly in that case made and provided against the said George Sizemore having administration pursuant to the above order till the controversy be heard & determined by his Excellency the Governor and Council of this province whether Letters of administration ought to issue to the said George Sizemore or to the said William Gilbert, he claiming right to the same. Caveat Granted. (Looks like Gilbert thought he had the right to execute the estate)

    4. In pursuance of an order of October Court last past ordered that Letters of Administration Issue to George Sizemore on the Estate of William Shepherd, deceased.

    (The above documents show that, through a process of litigation, George was finally confirmed as the executor of William Shepherd's estate. Could William have been George's father in law through his wife Aggie Shepherd??)

    TRYON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA MINUTES OF THE COURT OF PLEAS AND QUARTER SESSIONS 1769-1779

    October term 1774

    Ordered by the Court that George Sizemore Administrator of the Estate of William Shepherd deceased be cited by the Sheriff to appear at next court & make final settlement of his doings respecting the said Estate.

    (The above document is clearly a further action in the matter of William Shepherd's estate)

    TRYON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA MINUTES OF THE COURT OF PLEAS AND QUARTER SESSIONS 1769-1779

    January term 1772

    Ordered that a Road be Laid out from William Davis on Catheys Creek the nearest and best way to the province Line into the Charles Town market road, and that Andrew Hampton, George Winters, Samuel Richardson, Samuel McFaddon, George Sizemore, James Cook Sr., William Wray, William Gleghorn, Samuel Gray, John Sutton, Robert Nelson & David Huddleston Sr. do serve as jurors to lay out the said road and that they appear before John Walker Esquire on the third Tuesday in March next then and there to take the necessary steps to qualify them for this their Charge, and that the sheriff summon them thereto accordingly.

    (The above document orders a road to be built and that George will be a part of the administrators of that construction. Looks like George was a contributing citizen of this community.)

    TRYON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA MINUTES OF THE COURT OF PLEAS AND QUARTER SESSIONS 1769-1779

    July term 1774

    1. William Gilbert vs George Sizemore. Case.

    2. In consequence of the above judgment, William Gilbert came into open court and releases & acquits Edward Sizemore of the above sum recovered against George Sizemore.

    (I'm not sure what this means exactly. Who was the dispute between? No dollar amount is mentioned in this transcript)

    TRYON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA MINUTES OF THE COURT OF PLEAS AND QUARTER SESSIONS 1769-1779

    January term 1776

    A Bill of Sale from George Sizemore to William Gilbert for one Negro man Dated the 26 Day of August 1775 proved by David George Evidence thereto. Ordered to be Registered.

    (The above document clearly indicates that George was a slave owner, at least in North Carolina.)

    TRYON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA MINUTES OF THE COURT OF PLEAS AND QUARTER SESSIONS 1769-1779

    July term 1778

    William Gilbert vs. George Sizemore, George Winters & Jno Morris. Sci fa (?). Same jury impaneled and sworn the defendants did make a bail bond and were bail. Judgment.

    (There was no indication as to the details of this judgment. However, it was about this time that George moved to Kentucky. Could it have been that this dispute had something to do with him moving? It seems very clear throughout all these documents that there was constant animosity between William Gilbert And George. Bad blood, as they say)

    Below are excerpts from The Dickey Diaries regarding George and Aggie. These accounts recall a time in Kentucky, much later than the Tryon North Carolina times. (The Dickey Diaries were a collection of interviews of elderly people taken by John Dickey in 1898. You'll find more of them in the Dickey Diaries chapter.)

    INTERVIEW WITH FELIX T. BEGLEY

    Page 2204: Bull Creek, March 27, 1895. "I was born March 6, 1834 in Leslie County, then Perry near the mouth of Cutshin. My great grandfather and father Begley came from Ireland. He was a weaver by trade. He came with my grandfather and is buried on Cutshin. He had a by-word "damn-an-it". He spoke broken English. My grandmother was Minny Sizemore. She was a daughter of "Old George Of All" Sizemore, who came with my grandfather, William Begley from Hawkins County, Tennessee"

    Page 2205: "He had sons as follows: - Henry, John, Ned, and George: Minny (William Begley), Rhoda (Roberts), Ruth (John Jones), Susan (Bolling). "Old George of All" was a hairy man and a prize-fighter. He wounded William Twitty in a fight, so that he died. Sizemore nursed Twitty, would cry and tell him he had nothing against him. All he asked of him was to fight him again if he got well. Sizemore is a Cherokee Indian name. He is said to by half or more Indian. The Sizemores are very numerous in the mountains. The Sizemores settled first on Middle Fork, the went to Clay, Floyd and other Counties."

    INTERVIEW WITH MRS. POLLY NORTH:

    Cutshin, March 27 1878, Perry: "I am 85 years old, was born in this county(Perry). My father was a Wilder (probably Joseph), my mother was Rhoda Sizemore (daughter of George and Aggie). The first preacher I ever heard was Chenault, a Baptist and he preached on Cutshin. William Mattingly was the first school teacher. I remember he taught when I was a child. My grandmother's maiden name was Aggie Shepherd. I remember [Page 2206] to have heard my grandfather Sizemore say to her 'Dam-an-it Shepherd I can't stand you much longer'. At Glades on Bower's Creek John Gilbert killed a wolf. It had killed a two year old mule of his. He rode on the pelt as long as he lived. I have seen Rev. John Gilbert have to hold on to the fence because he had taken a dram too much (to drink?). I have heard him say a many a time at the close of the service on Sunday as he would start to the door, "Dear, dear me, brethren have you any bull yearlings to sell?"

    "I have wove many a yard of cloth from nettle which grew wild. It made white cloth." [the old lady chews tobacco. J.J.D.] (J.J.D. is John J. Dickey. This nettle cloth was widely used in the Kentucky pioneer days. I can't imagine what it looked and felt like!)

    INTERVIEW WITH PLEASIE WOODS AND DOROTHY JENKINS:

    [George 'Chief Of All' Sizemore] "Was a prizefighter and was a huge dark, hairy man." "Large hairy fellow prone to getting into fights."

    COMMENTS ABOUT THESE INTERVIEWS BY JOHN DICKEY HIMSELF:

    Page 2210: About 28 March 1878: "Felix Begley tells me that old Aggie Sizemore, the wife of "Old George of All", used to roast terrapins alive as the Indians used to do. Other things he told me that I am sure she was the Cherokee instead of Sizemore. Old Aggie wanted to take a skull which was found under a cliff, for a soap dish."

    INFORMATION FROM 'THE MANCHESTER ENTERPRISE':

    George All and Aggie settled in what is now Leslie County, owning most of the land opposite the town site of Hyden. This land was later owned by son John (Rockhouse) and wife, Nancy who built the first home in this section now known as Hyden. In 1842 John sold the property to James Lewis.

    QUOTE FROM THE OFFICIAL LESLIE COUNTY WEBSITE:

    "Hyden, Kentucky, the seat of Leslie county, was founded in 1878 and named for state Senator John Hyden (1814 - 1883), then state senator from Clay County and one of the commissioners appointed to establish Leslie County. The first settlers to live on the land at the mouth of Rockhouse Creek on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River, where the town of Hyden is located, was the Sizemore family. John Sizemore, sold the land to the John Lewis Family. The land was later donated to the county and Hyden was founded there on the site of John Lewis' farm. Hyden is served by US 421, KY 80, and the Daniel Boone Parkway. The Hyden post office opened in 1879 with Leander Crawford as Postmaster."

    Cleary George and Aggie were fascinating characters and well known by everyone in the area. Free spirits, tough and resourceful, maybe even a bit on the wild side, to me they represent a part of the Sizemore personality that I'm quite proud of.


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