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Native American Ancestry
of Southeast Georgia

The intent of this page is to explore the Native American Ancestry of Southeast Georgia. With most of the pioneers coming down through Virginia,  North and South Carolina, it is inevitable that some intermarried with Native Americans on the way. The way these Southeast Georgia pioneer families settled and intermarried, if only a handful married Native Americans in the 1700s/1800s, thousands of us today would have at least a small amount of Native American blood. So many of us have this oral family tradition passed down. For various reasons, this information was suppressed except for family knowledge. Those known to be Native Americans were being sent to Oklahoma and assimilation was important if you didn't want to go. Besides, one of the first things the pioneer settlers did when arriving in Georgia was to fight in the Creek Indian Wars. They possibly didn't want to announce they were part Indian too. My Stricklands passed down this oral tradtion and had lived among the Lumbee Indians in Robeson County, NC in the late 1700s. 

To Know The Past - (excerpt from The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter)

Granma and Grandpa wanted me to know of the past, for 'If ye don't know the past, then ye will not have a future. If ye don't know where your people have been, then ye won't know where your people are going.' And so they told me most of it. How the government soldiers came. How the Cherokee had farmed the rich valleys and held their mating dances in the spring when life was planted in the ground; when the buck and doe, the cock and peahen exulted in the creation parts they played. How their harvest festivals were held in the villages as frost turned the pumpkins, reddened the persimmon and hardened the corn. How they prepared for the winter hunts and pledged themselves to The Way. How the government soldiers came, and told them to sign the paper. Told them the paper meant that the new white settlers would know where they could settle and where they would not take land of the Cherokee. And after they had signed it, more government soldiers came with guns and long knives fixed on their guns. The soldiers said the paper had changed its words. The words now said that the Cherokee must give up his valleys, his homes and his mountains. He must go far toward the setting sun, where the government had other land for the Cherokee, land that the white man did not want. How the government soldiers came, and ringed a big valley with their guns, and at night with their campfire. They put the Cherokees in the ring. They brought Cherokees in from other mountains and valleys, in bunches like cattle, and put them in the ring. After a long time of this, when they had most of the Cherokees, they brought wagons and mules and told the Cherokees they could ride to the land of the setting sun. The Cherokees had nothing left. But they would not ride, and so they saved something. You could not see it or wear it or eat it, but they saved something; and they would not ride. They walked. Government soldiers rode before them, on each side of them, behind them. The Cherokee men walked and looked straight ahead and would not look down, nor at the soldiers. Their women and their children followed in their footsteps and would not look at the soldiers. Far behind them, the empty wagons rattled and rumbled and served no use. The wagons could not steal the soul of the Cherokee. The land was stolen from him, his home; but the Cherokee would not let the wagons steal his soul As they passed the villages of the white man, people lined the trail to watch them pass. At first, they laughed at how foolish was the Cherokee to walk with the empty wagons rattling behind him. The Cherokee did not turn his head at their laughter, and soon there was no laughter. And as the Cherokee walked farther from his mountains, he began to die. His soul did not die, nor did it weaken. It was the very young and the very old and the sick. At first the soldiers let them stop to bury their dead; but then, more died-by the hundreds-by the thousands. More than a third of them were to die on the Trail. The soldiers said they could only bury their dead every three days; for the soldiers wished to hurry and be finished with the Cherokee. The soldiers said the wagons would carry the dead, but the Cherokee would not put his dead in the wagons. He carried them. Walking. The little boy carried his dead baby sister, and slept by her at night on the ground. He lifted her in his arms in the morning, and carried her. The husband carried his dead wife. The son carried his dead mother, his father. The mother carried her dead baby. They carried them in their arms. And walked. And they did not turn their heads to look at the soldiers, nor to look at the people who lined the sides of the Trail to watch them pass. Some of the people cried. But the Cherokee did not cry. Not on the outside, for the Cherokee would not let them see his soul; as he would not ride in the wagons. And so they called it the Trail of Tears. Not because the Cherokee cried; for he did not. They called it the Trail of Tears for it sounds romantic and speaks of the sorrow of those who stood by the Trail. A death march is not romantic. You cannot write poetry about the death-stiffened baby in his mother's arms, staring at the jolting sky with eyes that will not close; while his mother walks. You cannot sing songs of the father laying down the burden of his wife's corpse, to lie by it through the night and to rise and carry it again in the moming--and tell his oldest son to carry the body of his youngest. And do not look . . . nor speak . . . nor cry nor remember the mountains. It would not be a beautiful song. And so they call it the Trail of Tears.

Pete Harris

Dedicated to my 2nd cousin Henry Franklin "Pete" Harris (1958 - 1981)
"May the fish be biting and the beer be cold where you are, cousin".

Below are Southeast Georgia surnames that have been submitted to me with possible Indian ancestry. Some have additional information listed. I will add more information as I receive it. Please email me if you can contribute. Please put NATIVE AMERICAN in the subject line. I'm interested in surnames and the family stories. I'm putting this stuff "out there" for discussion. Please comment if you can prove/disprove any claims I publish here. Thanks.

ALTMAN - It has been said that Sarah Altman (1812-1884), wife of David Hickox was a full Cherokee.
Can anyone prove/disprove this idea? The Altmans were in Montgomery Co., Georgia previous to Wayne, Co.


BLOUNT - Mary Blount Mizell, daughter of Redding Blount was said to be "of Indian blood". Thanks to Tom Roof for this informstion.


CLAY -  Andrew Jackson Sweat (b.1822) was married to the daughter of James Clay (Cherokee enrollment between 1898-1914.   Control #NRFF-75-53A-3873.  Census Card #M2933.)  James Clay is likely the descendent of Chief George Clay of North Carolina.

DELBO - Julian M. who married Paul A Carter. According to some of the death certificates of her children, her maiden name was DELBOE/DELBO.   She was said to have been "mostly" Indian and I have a photo of her daughter ( my great-grandmother) Nancy that had dark hair, and high cheekbones.  This family lived in Appling County as you may know was once Creek Indian land.  Now note that on one of  her children's death record it states her maiden name was MINERVA.  On one of the census records her name was listed as Julian M and I assumed Minerva was her middle name and not her maiden name since most sources have stated her maiden name was DELBO.  Thanks to Sharon Davis for this information.
EVERS - James Raiford Strickland's wife Seneth Evers was the daughter of Solomon Evers and Asenath ___. Asenath was, according to some descendants, a Cherokee Indian.
GRIFFIS - Samuel Griffis, Sr. b abt 1775 d. December 30, 1851, m. Nancy (a Creek Indian) d. abt 1830. Thanks to Sylvia Griffis Perlowski for this information. Note: This would have been Samuel's first wife whom was unknown to Folks Huxford when he wrote the sketch on Samuel in PWG volume 1. All of Samuel's 9 children were of this first wife.

(1) Mary Ann Hatcher(abt. 1838-1922), wife of Archibald Smith (b. 1833), was said to be Indian.
See Susan Mahoney's site:
(2) Martha Matilda Hatcher (b. 1826), wife of James Causey was said to be Indian and was listed as "mulatto" in 1860 Wayne Co., GA census.


HICKS -  Zilphia Hicks, wife of William Martin Chesser. Her parents were Eli Hicks (b.
about 1818, Camden Co, GA; d. before 1897, TrailRidge, Nassau C, FL)
Mary Ann Sparkman (b. about 1820, FL; d. 20 Apr 1820, Glen St. Mary,
Baker Co, FL). Mary Ann Sparkman was INDIAN -adopted by the Sparkman
Family. The story goes that the Hicks family had Indian blood in them a
couple of generations even before Zilphia.
Thanks to Patrick Barnes for this information.

The story goes that some Sparkman boys were approached by this Indian girl who gave them this baby and told them to raise her as a white person so she would not have to run all of her life like the rest of the Indians did. She later married Eli Hicks. - Thanks to Carl Mobley for this information.






MARTIN - Treacy Martin(1789-1856), wife of David Jonathan Strickland is said to be Lumbee Indian.
The Stricklands had lived in Robeson Co., NC, home of the Lumbee. They even lived on Drowning Creek
(now called Lumber River), where the Lumbee lived. David's mother Appie (wife of John, Jr. (R.S.), was Lumbee also, the aunt of Treacy.

PEAVY -  Aaron Sweat married Nancy Peavy (2nd wife). According to family members she was Cherokee Indian and born in GA.   Aaron Sweat's father was Benjamin Sweat and Mother Rhoda.  It is also thought that the  SWEATs were also Cherokee.  Thanks to Donna at for this information. Unfortunately, I don't know her last name.
RAULERSON/RAULINSON/ROLINSON - Wayne County, Georgia records show that John Rawlinson (b. abt. 1749 Richland Co., SC - d. abt. 1816 Glynn Co., GA) and his children (William, Noel and Fanny) had Native Amercian Ancestry. John seems to be the progenitor for most Raulersons of South Georgia. Captain William Cone filed an affidavit in 1814 that he known the mother of William, Noel, and Fanny Rawlinson since she had nursed William and that she was a fair, white skinned woman and that he also knew John Rawlinson and that he was said to be their father. Capt. Cone was trying to get voting rights for William. Obviously, their race was under scrutiny in the community at the time.  Also, Noel's son, William, was listed in the 1860 Wayne Co., GA census as race = M. Some of the Raulersons were enlisted as spies during the Indian Wars. Looking like an Indian would certainly help in that regard.
ROBINSON - James Robinson Sr. 1752-1832 whose wife’s name was Mary (an Indian maiden of the Tuscarora tribe) moved to Wayne County Georgia in the early 1800s.  Many of their descendants lived in what is now Charlton County Georgia. Robert Robinson born 11/22/1836 in Traders Hill, who served with the Okefenokee Rifles along with several brothers four of these brothers losing their life during the Civil war. Thanks to James Robinson descendant Roger Layton Crews for this information. Note: Greg Wainright may also be a descendant as James Wainwright (brother of Joseph) was supposedly married to James' grandaughter Nancy Robinson as his second wife. However, some sources cite Nancy Cooper as his 2nd wife.

ROWELLThe progenitor of many of the Rowells of Southeast Georgia, James A Rowell was said to have been Native American.



STRICKLAND - The David Jonathan Strickland line are said to be Lumbee Indian, due to his mother "Appie", as well as his wife Treacy Martin, being Lumbee. Other lines of these Stricklands are said to be part
Indian as well. - Thanks to John Wise for this information.

SWEAT - See CLAY and PEAVY entries.

Other Georgia Native American Research Pages.

Georgia GenWeb Native American Surnames

Georgia GenWeb Native American Current Queries

Georgia GenWeb Native American Archived Queries

Georgia GenWeb Native American Resources Homepage

Other Native American Surname Sites

Cherokee Surnames
Surnames of Southeastern Tribes
What's in a Name?
Descendants of Nanye'hi
Lumbee Names/History
The Siler Rolls
The Chapman Rolls

Native American Links

Lumbee Tribal History Native American Genealogy
Cherokee By Blood More Native American Links
Gloria Holbrook's Native Amercians Native American Resources on the Internet




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