Native American Connection
For some years there has been a great controversy over the presence of "Indian" blood in several of my family lines. After doing some research I have found the following;
My Paternal Family
Conley / Sherrill / Ballew Line James Conley lived on "Indian" land and had the first trading post located at Quallatown, NC. There had to be an Indian connection in order for the Conley's to live on and operate a store on Indian land. White men were not allowed to live on "Indian" land unless they were part of the tribe. As James was from Irish ancestry, the assumption is that his wife, Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Sherrill was at least part Indian.
The trading post was named after his wife, Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Sherrill. The family story tells that the Indians could not pronunciate "Polly" and referred to her as Qually or Qualla. Hence the name Quallatown. James Conley's mother was Susan Ballew, we know believe that she was the daughter of Stephen Ballew. Stephen Ballew's parent's were Joseph Martin Ballew and Diana Elizabeth Lightsky. Diana Elizabeth Lightsky was the daughter of George Lightsky, a Cherokee War Chief and peacetime Medicine man. The early translation of "Lightsky" was "Appearing Day". The name "Leyestisky" appears on several treaty's.
Bryson Line George Washington Bryson married Mary Elizabeth Conley. Mary Elizabeth Conley was the daughter of James Conley and Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Sherrill. Therefore all their descendents are part Cherokee through George Lightsky, "Leyestisky".
Ensley Line William Grant Ensley was married to Judeth E. (Lohey) Lokey. Judeth is said to have been Creek or Cherokee Indian. Her last name is sometimes spelled Lackey by genealogists, but it was actually Lokey. There were Native Americans named Lakey and Lokey on the official rolls, but not all of them got listed. One source spelled the name Lohey. There are Lokey's listed in the 1900 Census of Graham Co., NC, disproving the theory that the name Lokey never existed.
She usually went by Judy, and the 1850 Census spelled her name Juda. (Same thing for her daughter, Judy). This must have been a phonetic or dialectical factor influencing the Census taker. On the other hand, it could theoretically have been associated with the Hebrew name Judah, since that name was known among the local Native Americans in earliest times, and was found in Bat Creek, TN, carved on a stone buried in a Cherokee mound.
Parris Line There has been a controversy over the parents of Lucretia Belle Parris that married William M. Ensley, the son of William Grant Ensley. Some researchers are now disputing that Lucrecia is the daughter of James Parris and Amy McIntire. The claim is that she is the daughter of George Paris a half Blood Cherokee.
My Maternal Family
Carter / Coker Line The family legend states that three Coker brothers (William b. 1740) migrated from England to Eastern Tennessee and all three took Cherokee wives. Bryant Coker (b. 1800), the son of William also took a Cherokee wife, Mary (b. 1802). Bryant and Mary's daughter Elizabeth (b. 1832) married Samuel C. Carter (b. 1837). The family story says that Mary Emeline Carter, daughter of Samuel & Elizabeth went to sign the Dawes Rolls, but was so ashamed of the way the Indians were being treated, she went back home.
Based on the above, I estimate that I am about 3/32 Cherokee or slightly more than 1/16.