Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tracing back to Sally Hughes

Now that I have shown the Mhoons have no documentation or evidence to support their claim that they descend from the Cherokee Sally Hughes, I will show the documentation and evidence I have that says I do descend from Sally.

Working backwards, which is the standard way genealogy is done, means I start with myself. Because both my mother and I are living, and because we have proved our ancestry linked back to Dawes in accordance with Cherokee law, I will start with my grandpa, who has passed away, and his parents who were both original Dawes enrollees.

My maternal grandpa was Aaron Carey.

He was the son of Dick Carey and Nancy Fisher. Nancy descended through Sally Hughes so her ancestry is the one I will show.

Per the birth affidavit in Dawes application #5126, Nancy was the daughter of Johnson Fisher and Darkie Tadpole. (Notice the midwife who attended Darkie was Polly Tadpole, her mother.)

In that same application, Darkie's parents are listed as Dave and Polly Tadpole. (Also notice Darkie's  number from the 1880 Census of the Cherokee Nation.)

Darkie died prior to the date of the final roll, therefore was not enrolled, but her husband and daughters were.

Darkie was found on both the 1880 and 1890 Cherokee Nation censuses with her parents.
1880 Cooweescoowee Dist
#2973 David Tadpole, Native Cherokee, 41
#2974 Mollie Tadpole, NCher, 43 (The name difference is settled below.)
#2975 Tiger Tadpole, NCher, 14
#2976 Darkie Tadpole, NCher, 10 (Matches the 1880 number in the above document.)
#2977 Rosie Tadpole, NCher, 8
1890 Cooweescoowee Dist
David Tadpole, NCher, 52
Polly Tadpole, NCher, 54
Darkey Tadpole, NCher, 20
Rose Tadpole, NCher, 18

Polly Tadpole, mother of Darkie, was still living at the time of the Dawes Roll and the Guion Miller Roll. Per Dawes application #2461, where the information was translated from her to the commission by an interpreter since she didn't speak English, her parents were Ave and Betsy Vann. She was also asked if her name was Mollie or Polly. She said Polly. (Also notice her number from the 1880 Census of the Cherokee Nation. It matches the number above.)

Per Eastern Cherokee Application #8972, Polly Tadpole said her parents were Ave Vann and Betsy Vann nee Scott. She did not know the names of her paternal grandparents.

Per the card at the front of the Eastern Cherokee application for Polly, a notation was made that she was admitted and that she was enrolled in 1851, Tahl #569 as Oo-te-ee Vann.

That means we can look at the 1851 Drennen Roll and find her listed with her family. (Notice the name David Vann on the second page has the number 2183 beside it!)

The number 2183 references an Eastern Cherokee application for Polly Tadpole's brother, David Vann, so I checked his application to see if he listed his paternal grandparents. He said his paternal grandfather was Claw-see Vann.

Also, this page from David Vann's Eastern Cherokee application makes reference to his being listed on the Drennen Roll, Tahl #569, and claiming through Ave Vann on both the 1851 Drennen Roll and the 1835 Roll.

George Pumpkin/Pumpkinpile was still alive at the time of the Guion Miller Roll and filed an Eastern Cherokee application. Because he married into another line of my family, I had already done extensive research on him, and knew he listed his maternal grandfather's Cherokee name as "Claw-sene" and English name as James Vann. I checked his application #2804 to to see if he connected with Polly Tadpole and David Vann who filed the applications above. Notice on the second page, George listed Ave Vann as one of the children of his grandparents, thus, his uncle. He was a first cousin to Polly and David.

Now that I have verified the names of Polly Vann Tadpole's, father, Ave Vann, and his father, James "Claw-see" or "Claw-sene" Vann, I can look for them in 1835.

From the Cherokee Census of 1835, transcribed by James W. Tyner, better known as "Those Who Cried, the 16,000", I find Ave Vann listed as Dave Vann living on the Oostenolee River. (Make note of "No farm. One farmer.")
Dave Vann Two fullbloods and one quarterblood. No farm. One farmer. One weaver and one spinner.
He is living next to his father-in-law, Dick Scott, and near Alexander Brown, John Ridge, Watie, Major Ridge and Charley Moore. (It is important to know these men lived near this Ave Vann later.)

From the Cherokee Census of 1835, transcribed by the Trail of Tears Association, Ave Vann is living at Floyd County, Amuchy Creek, Oostenalla River. (Make note of "No farms or acreage in cultivation." and "1 farmer over 18 years.")
Ave Vann - 1 male under 18 years, 1 male over 18 years, 0 females under 16 years, 1 female over 16 years, total Cherokee 3. No slaves. No whites connected by marriage. No farms or acreage in cultivation, 3 houses. 1 farmer over 18 years. 0 Halfbloods, 1 Quadroon, 2 Full bloods. 1 weaver and 1 spinner.
He is living next to his father-in-law, Dick Scott, and near the same men listed above.

My James or Claw-sene Vann is not found in 1835 so it would make one wonder if he died before then.

Looking for claims filed by Ave Vann led me to:
Record Group 75 - Records of the BIA
Entry 236 - Miscellaneous Claims Papers of the 1st Board of Cherokee Commissioners
Folder of Ave Van
Ave Vann filed a claim, February 1, 1837, for two small fields that were included in Sally Hughes' valuation; one field about 6 acres and the other 4 acres.

The claim included testimony by Charles Moore where he said Ave Vann was the son of James Vann, who was the son of Sally Hughes.
The statement of Cherokee Charles Moore in reference to the above - Says that the father of Ave Vann owned a small field of about six acres which he cultivated three years - and when his mother, Sally Hughes, she occupied it, and it is said has been valued to her. The father of Ave Vann's name was James Vann, son of Sally Hughes. [emphasis mine] Moore further says that Ave had a-bout four acres of land that he cleaned himself and cultivated - He frequently saw him at work - that also he understands has been valued to Sally Hughes as part of her improvements.
Sworn to  & subscribed                         Charles (his mark) Moore
before me 1 Feb. 1837
Jno Ridge (illegible)

There is additional testimony from Elijah Moore that said Ave Vann was the grandson of Sally Hughes and the son of James Vann.
I hereby certify that the Ave Vann claimed two small fields that were considered as part of the improv-ments of Sally Hughes. Ave Vann is the grandson of Sally Hughes, [emphasis mine] I was residing with her when he cleaned one of the fields - The other belonged to his father James Vann. [emphasis mine]                             
Sworn to & subscribed          
before me this 1st Feb. 1837.      Elijah Moore
Jno Ridge (illegible)

Do you see it coming together? It was that easy to connect myself, with supporting documentation, to my great great great great great great Cherokee grandmother, Sally Hughes. Did you get that? She is my 6th great grandmother. She is Cherokee. There are records.

My line is as follows:

My mom, daughter of 
Aaron Carey, son of 
Nancy Fisher, daughter of 
Darkie Tadpole, daughter of 
Polly Vann, daughter of 
Ave Vann, son of 
James Vann, son of 
Sally Hughes

And people say it is hard to prove Cherokee ancestry. Ha! Not true. Despite the fact most of these people didn't speak English; despite the fact these people were Indians; despite the fact Darkie Tadpole died young; despite the fact Polly Tadpole did not know the names of her paternal grandparents; despite the fact James "Claw-sene" Vann was not found in 1835; and despite the fact Sally Hughes was born about 1777-1780, over 57 years before the Trail of Tears, we can still trace this line WITH supporting documentation. And guess what? There's more!

Stay tuned for the next installment in this series about Sally Hughes!

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

**Unless otherwise stated, all documents were obtained from

copyright 2013, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB


  1. Excellent work, as always! You show how easy it is to find connections to Cherokee people through documentation. This also shows that those who claim their documentation burned in a fire, was lost or that grandma couldn't remember what her grandmother's name was are woefully misinformed.

    It shows that those who make claim to be Cherokee but can't or won't back it up with substantiated documentation are grasping on to family lore with every ounce of their being - and that their family lore is, 99% of the time, false.

  2. Thanks Karen! There is so much documentation on the Cherokees! People don't always want to believe it, so hopefully by showing them, they will understand that we can trace our ancestors and the documentation is there.

  3. I'm so glad I found this post! I've traced back my Hair line to Hair Conrad but then it gets tricky for me so I'm going to try and use some of these tips to find out more.


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