Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Meet Grandma Polly

Polly (U-da-yi) Vann Tadpole was born in Georgia, the daughter of Ave and Betsey (Scott) Vann, citizens of the Cherokee Nation. While still a toddler, in 1837, she relocated with her family from Georgia to Indian Territory before the forced removal of the Cherokees that came to be known as the Trail of Tears.

After growing to adulthood in Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, Polly married Dul ho Downing in the Cherokee tradition and they had two children, Groundhog and Lizzie. Sadly, while serving with the Indian Home Guard, Kansas Infantry during the Civil War, Dul ho died from disease. About a year later, Polly married David Tadpole Jr. and they had three children; Tiger, Darkie and Rose. They also raised their niece, Jencie Tadpole, after her father died in the Civil War, and another orphan, John Swimmer.

Polly was left a widow for the second time when David died in March 1900. At this time, Polly was caring for her grand nephew, George Coffee, who was left an orphan when his mother, Jencie, died. She also raised two of her granddaughters, Ella and Nancy. Both girls had lost their mothers when they were very young.

Polly was listed on the Final Dawes Roll and received an allotment of land. At the time of the application, she was 68 years old. Later, she received a widow's pension for her husband's service during the Civil War. She died October 18, 1919 at approximately 84 years of age. By the end of her life, Polly had outlived both her parents, all 7 of her siblings, all three of her daughters, the niece she had raised and one of her sons. She was originally laid to rest in the family cemetery overlooking the home of her son, Tiger, but that cemetery was moved when the Corps of Engineers built Fort Gibson Dam. Now Polly rests in the new location of the Fisher Cemetery along with many of her family members and descendants.

**Note - The birth year on the stone appears to be wrong according to the documents where Polly reported her age and location of birth. She was most likely born in 1833 or 1834 instead of 1837.**

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thank you for reading.

The Granddaughter
copyright 2009, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

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