The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO)

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Our History chapter 4

Chapter 4 “all of whom claim to be Catawbas”

 The Florida Catawba

 

General Jacob Scott became ‘Chief’ of the Catawba in South Carolina after the death of General New River in 1801. General Jacob Scott died in 1821 and General Jacob Ayers succeeded him until his own death on 14 July 1837. Ian Watson in his compilation entitled “Catawba Indian Genealogy” described the death of General Ayers in 1837 as “the end of a conservative era of Catawba tribal government.”, and indeed, 3 years later the Catawba relinquished their lands in South Carolina and scattered.

 The reality of this shift to a more progressive thinking leadership and the eventual self-termination of their reservation status and migration to North Carolina in 1840 may have an ethnic root instead of being the result of acculturation.

 

Watson, Brown & McDowell clearly identify three of the Catawba surnames as being of Cheraw origin (George, Robbins, Harris)(1) and these families seemed to begin a push to dominate the Catawba leadership after the death of General Scott in 1821. The exodus of so many Catawba in the 1820’s could possibly represent a reaction to the overtaking of the political structure by the mixed-blood Christianized Cheraw. The fact that a large number of Catawba left the reservation in the time-span 1790 to 1830 cannot be doubted. Revolutionary enlistments and petitions of Catawba showed the surnames Williams, Connar (or Conyer), Thompson, Simmons, Jones, Taylor, Cross, Cook, Bullen (or Bowlin), Kennedy, Kelley, Young & Dickson (2); surnames which do not appear after the 1820’s.

 

The Scott family, described by Brown as “a large and prominent family” among the Catawba, supplied three men to the Revolutionary effort, Capt. Jacob Scott, Capt. John Scott, and Billey Scott. If these 3 males were the only Catawba males bearing the ‘Scott’ surname, then by population estimates the Scott family Catawba must have represented at least 3 households and 15 to 20 individuals, yet by 1849 only two Scott individuals remained connected to the Catawba (John Scott born 1826, and Sam Scott born 1799). (3) By 1853, John Scott was the only individual with that surname associated with the tribe, and the 1943 Catawba Tribal roll does not bear any Catawba with the Scott surname. (4)

 

 So, here’s the “million dollar” question, where did these Catawba go? In 1828 a group of mixed-blood Indians arrived in the area west of the Apalachicola River in northwest Florida. Of the 9 surnames present in that original migration (Ayers, Brown, Bunch, Harmon, Jeffries, Jones, Scott, Stephens, Williams) (5), a whopping 7 surnames have been identified as Catawba. (6) The ages of the eldest males in the Florida migration (Jacob Scott born 1797, Isham Scott born 1791, Absalom Scott born 1790) (7) matches the age group of the last remaining Scott elder attached to the Catawba in 1849 (Sam Scott born 1799). Given that the names Sam, George, Tom, John, and Jacob, which appeared with uncommon frequency among the Catawba, also appear with the same frequency among the Florida mixed-bloods; we must accept as fact that the Sam Scott at Catawba and Jacob, Isham and Absalom in Florida were related, most likely brothers and sons of the older Jacob Scott.

             The fact that Catawba migrated as far as Florida is without question. In Sept. 1853, a band of eighteen Indians, all of whom claimed to be Catawba, was reported wandering near Stockton, Alabama. Their leader was named Taylor, and the band represented two families: Taylor and Houser. There were four men in the group; the rest were women and children. They said they came from West Florida and were enroute to Arkansas, but were stranded for lack of money. (8) The Taylor family eventually settled among the mixed-blood Creeks living on land near Stockton, but the Houser family disappeared from official view.

 It is amazing that the family of Richard Taylor appears in the mid-1800’s, all claiming to be Catawba Indians, as there had been no records of the Catawba Taylor family since the 1740’s when “War Captain Tom Taylor” was among them. (9) Documents such as this of the Taylor family and also the Jeffries/Jeffreys and Guy families are indicative that Catawba descended families migrated to many areas of the southeast with very little documentation, but have been discounted by academics because they did not bear such well-known Catawba surnames as Harris, Brown, Cantey, etc.

             Surname recognition alone is not the only evidence that the Apalachicola mixed-bloods carried a Catawba identity. Their own words support this fact. On July 10th, 1861, Francis Hill, a white unmarried male,” was charged by the Calhoun County Court with “Fornication with one Eliza Scott a Mulatto woman.” This charge was not long-standing, however, as Francis petitioned and provided witnesses who were prepared to testify that,

 

        “Eliza Scott is not a Mulatto as named in the indictment but is an Indian of the

        Catawba tribe, her grandfather Jacob Scott being a headman of that tribe.”(11)

 

The testimony seemed sufficient to clear away the cloud of suspicion of negro ancestry, as seems apparent when Francis Hill, Isham Scott, and John ‘Capt. Jack’ Ayers were all allowed to enlist for Confederate service with McCallister’s Calhoun Rangers later in December. As almost an afterthought, the Fall Court filed away the fornication charge with a ‘not guilty’ finding.

 The Ayers Family

During the French and Indian War, the Catawba Indians in South Carolina began adopting the English Military titles of “General, Colonel, Captain” etc to describe their tribal leaders and social ranks within the tribe. Many Catawba were already adopting English alongside their Catawba names. Some of these military titles became proper names eventually, for some individuals.

 In records of the French and Indian War was the name of “Colonel Ayers”, he is recorded as the leader of a group of 27 Catawba warriors on an expedition against Fort Duquesne. Ayers became Chief of the Catawba after the death of King Hagler in 1763. In 1764 Chief “General Ayers” secured a treaty for the Catawba people that allotted them reservation lands totaling 144,000 acres in present day counties of Lancaster, York, and Chester, South Carolina.

In the 1750’s there were recorded a total of 6 Catawba towns, including Newtown, Peedee, Carrow (or Saraw) Sugar Town, Nuestee, and Nawsaw. Catawba Indian agent Hutchison wrote in 1782:

 

“…A number of Indians had it in view to go and live among the Cherokee, who had offered them land, and proposed to aid them in building houses, but the aged among them were averse to removal… At the time I am speaking of these men (General Scott, General Ayers, and General Harris) were old, and would not consent to remove.”

The enlistment records of Captain Thomas Drennan’s Unit of Catawba Indians in the Revolutionary War, 1783 shows:

-William “Billy” Williams                -Jacob Scott  -Billy Scott                      

                          -John Eayrs (Ayers)

-James Eayrs (Ayers)       -Jacob Eayrs (Ayers)-Little Stephens                 

The Revolutionary War Catawba Indian service list (no officer voucher) in 1784 shows:

          -Jacob Scott                                  -Jacob Eayers 

-John Scott            -Little Stephens                  -William “Billy” Williams

             -Billy Scott                                     -Mosy Ayres  

-Colonel John Eayres                                         -William Billy Eayres

In 1826, the Catawba Nation occupied only two villages, Newtown on the York County side of the Catawba River, and Turkey Head on the Lancaster side. On June 16, 1826 General Jacob Ayres, Chief of the Catawba’s (he succeeded General Jacob Scott as such) signed a lease for 208 acres of the Catawba Reservation lands lying north of the Old Trading Road. Those who signed the writ, in addition to the General, were Colonel Lewis Canty, Captain John Ayres, Major Thomas Brown, and Lieutenant Jessie Ayres.

In 1837, Catawba Chief General William Harris signed a lease for some of the last remaining Catawba Reservation lands over to a white settler. The headmen who co-signed for this lease were Major Sam Scott, Captain Edward Ayers, and lieutenant Lewis Stevens. (Captain John Ayers had already moved to north Florida at this time, there being little room left on the Catawba reservation. He served under Stephens Richards as a “friendly Indian” from 1837 to 1845, scouting against hostile Creek and Seminole Indians resisting the federal government’s efforts to resettle them west of the Mississippi River in the Indian Territory.)

            On March 13 1840 at Nations Ford on the Catawba River, the Leaders of the Catawba signed a treaty that ceded their South Carolina reservation lands that remained in exchange for money to buy lands in Haywood County, North Carolina, among the Cherokee. This treaty was signed by James Kegg, John Joe, Philip Kegg, Allen Harris, David Harris, William George, and Samuel Scott. Captain John Ayers was not a party to this treaty as he was serving with Stephen Richards in Florida against the Seminoles.

Soon after the treaty was signed, the Catawba began moving to the lands they were trying to purchase in North Carolina, but on arriving they found that North Carolina refused their purchase of land. Finding themselves in a difficult situation, they began to contemplate removing to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi. Throughout the many years since contact with the colonists, and then the Americans, individuals Catawba and small groups had been leaving the reservation for the west, and south, seeking opportunity in other areas.

In February of1847, after receiving news that the Chickasaw Nation would accept them, thirty Catawba sent a petition to the Commissioner on Indian Affairs entitled “A Petition of Catawba Indians of North Carolina Desiring Assistance to Remove to the West”.  Signatories to this petition were:

-John Scott                 -Rosa Ayres        -Lewis Stevens          -Samuel Scott

        -Thomas Stevens             -Mary Ayres

-Margaret Ayres           -Sally Ayres             -Julia Ann Ayres

On October 4, 1848 the landless North Carolina Catawba’s wrote a letter this time to President James Polk, requesting formal assistance in removing to Indian Territory with the Chickasaw. Signing this letter to the president were:

-Lewis Stevens,                 -John Scott              -Thomas Stevens

               -Jimmy Ayres                        -Mary Ayres

-Margaret Ayres            -Betsy Ayres                     -Esther Scott

                   -Rosa Ayres                     - Harriet Stevens

Receiving no financial assistance from this endeavor, they returned to South Carolina and purchased 800 acres in their original county, Some of those who had left did not return to South Carolina though. In 1872, a congressman from Georgia petitioned the Indian Office for assistance in removing 84 Catawba residing in Granvilee County, Georgia. In 1853 a band of 18 Catawba were reported wandering near Stockton Alabama having traveled there from north Florida. Some Catawba actually made it to Indian Territory, because in 1853 13 Catawba were adopted into citizenship by the Choctaw National Council. The Catawba adopted were:

            -Betsy Ayers               -Julian Ayers                    - Mary Ayers

                        -Saphronia Ayers                     -Sally Ayers

 

 

When the Civil War erupted many Catawba fought for the confederacy. Enlisting in the 17th South Carolina Infantry Regiment were the following Catawba men:

-Jefferson F Ayers                    -John Scott

                        - William Canty                       -Alexander Timms

The name of John Ayrs appears on the 1830 census of Greenville District, South Carolina. In 1849 the Catawba Roll lists the following Catawba residing in Greenville district:

Males:

-Franklin Canty age 23-John Scott age 23-John Brown age 12

-David Harris age 40-Billy Brown age 20

2 male children under age 10

Females:

-Polly Ayers age 35              -Betsy Mush age 18             -Elizabeth Canty age 23

               -Patsy George age 30             -Jane Ayers age 18

-Esther Brown age 28               -Jinny Joe age 43

           -Polly Redhead age 40                      -Mary George age 18

-Betsy Hart age 26               -Peggy Canty age 20

6 female children under age 10

In 1854 the Catawba Roll shows:

-Jefferson Ayers age 14        -John Scott age 28             -Polly Ayers age 40

Some Records we have relating to Catawba families who migrated to Florida and became part of the Cheraw Indians of North Florida Tribe are a grave marker at Whitfield Cemetery that reads;

Captain John Ayers…born 1791… Seminole Wars

No members of the Ayers family appear on Jackson County tax records prior to 1838, as they were still in the Catawba Nation. In 1840 on page 190 of the Jackson County census the name of William Aires appears.

The name of John Ayrs (age 59…Blacksmith…born 1791 in South Carolina) along with his wife “Arilla” (age 34…born 1816 in Georgia) appear on the 1850 census of Ocheesee District in Calhoun County Florida alongside of William “billy” Williams, Ishmael Ayres, Joseph Scott, Mary Scott, Jacob Scott, Absolom Scott, Alexander Stephens( married to Mary Ann Scott), Franise “Frank” Hill (Married to Elizabeth Scott). These two being the same couple who would be prosecuted in 1862 in Calhoun County court, Frank Hill would be charged with “Fornication with a Mulatto”, the case being dismissed once it was found that Elizabeth Scott was not a “Mulatto” under the meaning of Mulatto in the law of the time (being one quarter or more Negro).

The name Aurelia (Arilla) Ayers (age 44…born 1816 in Georgia) appears on page 111 of the Ocheesee district, Calhoun County Florida census alongside James Stephens, Alitha (Ayers) Cutts, and William Ayers (born 1819 in South Carolina). Arilla Ayers oldest child, John Ayers Jr. is listed as born in Florida in 1838. Members of the Scott and Hill families, as well as Ishmael Ayers, appear in Calhoun County at Scotts Ferry, (a bit further down the Apalachicola River valley on a small feeder waterway called the Chipola River near the junction of the two waterways), by 1860.

Florida Civil War Confederate Service Records of the Ayers family:

Ayers, John-born 1839 Florida; married Seania Burnam on 9-11-1862;died 12-16-1862 in Liberty County; enlisted in the 4th Infantry on 5-10-1861 in Jackson County; absent on furlough since 2-27-1862

Ayers, Asa-born 1-9-1846 in Calhoun County; married Sarah Francis Richards on 8-19-1886; died 2-6-1906. Claimed to have served in the 10th Infantry Company F, but not found on rolls of unit (so far)

Ayers, David S.- born 1840 Florida; served in Calhoun Rangers prior to enlisting in the 5th Florida Infantry  Company H in 1862 at Rico’s Bluff. Mortally wounded 7-2-1863 at Gettysburg.

Ayers, John W. Jr.- born 1837 in Florida; served in Calhoun Rangers prior enlisting in the 5th Florida Infantry Company H in 1862 at Rico’s Bluff. Wounded in the foot  in June 1864, deserted to the Union forces inNovember 1864. His father was John Ayers Sr. a descendent stated that John Ayers Sr. died at Rock Bluff, Florida in Liberty County, Florida. He was known as “Captain John” and served in the Seminole War as a scout.

Ayers, Solomon- born in Florida in 1840;served in the Calhoun Rangers prior to enlisting in the 5th Florida Infantry Company H in 1862 at Rico’s Bluff. Died of typhoid 2-9-1863 at Florida Hospital.

Ayers, Thomas- born 1840 in Blountstown in Calhoun County; married Emily Marshall on 3-31-1889; served in Calhoun Rangers prior to enlisting in the 5th Florida Infantry  Company H in 1862 at Rico’s Bluff. He was captured 4-6-1865 at Farmville Virginia and released on Oath of Loyalty 6-24-1865 at Newport News, Virginia. Described as 5’10” with grey eyes, fair skin, and light hair.


(1);; Watson, 83; Brown 1966, 218, 249; McDowell 1955, 145)

(2);; Thomas Drennan’s company of Catawba Indians paylist of 1780; Petition of “the Chief and head men of Cataba Nation…” 24 Nov 1792, South Carolina Petitions, 1792, #26, South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

(3);; Massey, B.S. account of Catawba Indians 1849

(4);; Massey, B.S. Report to the Governor of South Carolina on the Catawba Indians, 1854; “Catawba Tribal Roll, 1 July 1943,” #11273-1959-077, part 1, Central Classified Files, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(5);; Tax records of Jackson & Calhoun Counties, 1828, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1834, 1835, those individuals identified as “free persons of color” and “other free persons”.

(6);; Surnames Ayers, Brown, Scott, Stephens, and Williams identified on Rev. War. paylists and reservation land leases. Surname Bunch identified from reservation land leases. Surname Jeffries identified prior to 1900 as Catawba descendants from records of Jenffries/Jeffreys family members residing in Ohio.

(7);; 1850 census of Calhoun County, Ocheesee District, plantation of Capt. Stephen Richards.

(8);; Hall, General G.B. to Capt. I.C. Casey about certain Indians in his County, 12 Nov 1853, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives, Letters Received, Miscellaneous, 1853, A-172.

(9);; Brown, Douglas S., “The Catawba Indians”, The University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, 1966, page 220, 225-27.

(10)  10 July 1861, State of Florida V. Francis Hill, 1860-65 Calhoun Judicial Cases, Calhoun County Courthouse Archives Room 3rd Floor, Blountstown, Florida.

 

The Roots of the Hill Family in the Old Creek Nation

Though most of the families of what would become the Cheraw Indians of north Florida were rooted in the eastern Siouan populations of the Carolinas, a few had other tribal roots as well, such as the Hill family. In March of 1829, three Creek Indian girls, all citizens of the Creek Nation, married three brothers from the Hill family of Union County South Carolina. Nancy, Sarah, and Amanda Doyle, all described as “Belles of the Creek Nation” by the South Carolina Marriage Index listings, married George, Alexander, and James Hill, three brothers stationed at Fort Mitchell, in the Creek Nation. The three young soldiers, George Robert Wesley, James Jr., and Alexander, joined the American Army in 1828. Nearby the Hill boys’ duty station of Fort Mitchell, Creek Nation was a school for Indian Girls called the Asbury Missionary Institute, which the Hill family was already involved with. The “Reverend Mister Hill”, a relative of the boys, performed hundreds of marriages on this frontier during his time there. Eventually, George and Alexander left the area. They first moved first to Decatur County, Georgia and then on to Jackson County Florida, along with their Indian wives, Nancy and Sarah Doyle. Upon researching the oral histories passed through the various Hill family branches in Florida, as well as those in the Creek Nation in Oklahoma, we found indicators of where to search for the records. Amanda was the daughter of Nimrod Doyle, and Nancy and Sarah most likely his nieces, daughters of Edmond Doyle a Creek Nation trader with the Leslie, Panton, and Forbes Trading company.

 During our research, we found a South Carolina Marriage Index Book at the Florida State Archives in the Capital Building Complex in Tallahassee Florida (the R. A. Gray Building) which listed an indexed reference to the marriages of these three couples. It seems from the documentary evidence that the Cherokee Phoenix, the national newspaper of the Cherokee Nation, as well as four other local Milledgeville, Georgia area newspapers, covered the weddings. It was said to be very extravagant for the times, according the article. Fort Mitchell was located on the frontier near where Creek Nation, Cherokee Nation, Georgia, and South Carolina met. Using the Index reference as a guide, we began to inquire about the possibility of one of the original newspapers which carried the article possibly being still in existence. We were eventually able to secure a copy of it with the (much appreciated) assistance of the research staff at the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma’s Tribal Headquarters in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Included in this chapter is the letter sent with document.

 We also were able to gather several documents that were compiled by the Decatur County Georgia Historical Society, documents that listed all the descendants’ of the George Hill- Nancy Doyle and Alexander Hill-Sarah Doyle marriages, which were many.

As recorded in “Millidgeville, Georgia Newspaper Clippings (Southern Recorder), Volume II 1828-1832” by Tad Evans, found in the stacks of the Florida state Archives, (as well 5 other periodic sources from the times, including an April 29 1829 edition (Volume 2 number 7) of the Cherokee Phoenix,) on March 3 1829 the brothers Alexander, George, and James Hill, all brothers from Darlington District in South Carolina and stationed at Fort Mitchell, Creek Nation were married by the Reverend Mr. Hill, to Sarah, Nancy, and Amanda Doyle, Creek Indian girls attending the Asbury Missionary Institute. The details of this marriage were captured in the Cherokee Phoenix article from 1829:

“Married on the 3rd of March, at the Asbury Missionary Institute, near Fort Mitchell Creek Nation, by the reverend Mr. Hill, the Mr. James Hill of the US Army, to Miss Amanda Doyle, a Creek Pupil of the Institution. This establishment is under the charge of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, who were desirous of showing the natives how this ceremony is performed in a refined state of society, and the highest encomiums are due them for their entire success. Great exertion and ingenuity were necessary to accomplish it. The company consisted of about twenty white persons and one hundred and fifty natives.

The bride and her two maids were dressed with great taste and propriety, according to the fashion of the age. The groom and his two associated were in full military costume; and those persons present accustomed to wedding scenes, pronounced this bridal party one of the handsomest they had ever witnessed. After the marriage ceremony, the happy pair were congratulated with all good wishes; cake and wine were passed around, and in due time a bountiful supper was partaken of by the whole company , and the evening passed on in the most agreeable manner possible. All parties seemed delighted with the occasion. A number of strangers present will never forget the kind and hospitable reception given them by Mr. and Mrs. Hill.-Georgia Courier”-transcribed from the Cherokee Phoenix 1929

 

The indexed reference in the Millidgeville, Georgia Newspaper Clippings (Southern Recorder), Volume II 1828-1832” states:

“HILL, Mr. James of the US Army m. DOYLE, Miss Amanda, a Creek pupil of the Asbury Missionary Institution near Fort Mitchell Creek Nation, m. there 3-3-1829 by Rev. Mr. Hill. AC 3-18-1829; CP 4-29-1829; A th 4-7-1929; SP 3-21-1829; SR 4-21-1829. DG 4-19-1829 gives wedding date as 4-3-1829”

“HILL, Alexander of the US Army m. DOYLE, Miss Sarah, a belle of the Creek Nation, m. there 3-3-1829 State of Georgia CP 4-29-1829”

“HILL, George W. of the US Army m. DOYLE, Miss Nancy, a belle of the Creek Nation, m. there 3-3-1829 State of Georgia CP 4-29-1829”

This is a transcription of the “Alexander Hill” narrative, by Robert Earl Woodham, from the “Decatur County, Ga. Past and Present 1823-1991” a genealogy index compiled by the Decatur County Historical Society.

The Hill Family has been in Seminole County since the 1830’s. Several related Hill families moved to Spring Creek and nearby areas across the river in Jackson County (Florida). They came here from Darlington District, South Carolina.

The first to settle here was Alexander hill Sr., who was born in 1812 and died in 1880. His wife’s name is Unknown. She was the sister of the wife of his brother, George W Hill. Alexander had 7 children, all born at Spring Creek.

Alex’s son Ferdinand Hill was born in 1839 and died 6 May 1864 as a confederate soldier at the Battle of the Wilderness near Richmond VA.

Alex’s daughters Lovie and Mahalia Caroline never married. Nothing is known of sons William and Richmond.

Alex’s son Harmon Hill (1849) married Julia R. Minton 15 February 1877. Their children include Ella, Noah Lonzo, Emma, Luther D, Zenie, Jewel, and Meck (married to Cleveland Conyers)

Alexander Hill Jr. was born 1852 and died 1923. He and his wife Mary Ann (1852-1921) are both buried at   Spring Creek. They had at least nine children: Marcus M. (1875-1904) married Mary Hall; Sophia Ann (1881), married Tully Murkison; Mathew D.; Rufus A. who married first Rhoda M.J. Thursby, and later to Annie Wilson; Mary; Preston Ulysses (1889-1964) who married first Corene Holt, then later Kate Shores; Alto E, who married James K Braswell; Alma S. (1893-1952) married to Joe Barber; and John C.

 Alexander’s brother, George Wesley Hill Sr. was born in 1804 in Darlington District South Carolina. His wife Nancy was the sister of Alexander’s wife, making the two couples (descendents) double first cousins.

George moved from South Carolina to Spring Creek (Georgia) about 1856. He lived for several years at the intersection of Desser Road and Spring Creek Road. Nancy (born 1815) died about 1856 and is buried in a family plot at the intersection. They had at least 13 children.

George’s son John A Hill was born in 1835; He married Mary Ann Dowell on 22 June 1852. He was a confederate soldier.

George’s son Rueben Ezekiel H George’s son Rueben Ezekiel Hill was born in 1836, he married Martha Frances Minton on 7 September 1865, and they had one daughter Rebecca.

George’s son Thomas was born in 1838 and died on 12 November 1864 as a confederate soldier in a Yankee POW camp.

George’s daughter Emma Elizabeth (1840) married Daniel Minton.

George’s son Allen Hill (1842) married Amelia Conyers on 27 February 1868. They had one son, Asberry.

George’s daughter Julia Hill (1844) married Waydon Hewitt.

A son, Dempsey Hill (1845) married Catherine McMillan on 18 August 1870. He lived in Jackson County (Florida)

A son, Johnathan H. Hill was born 2 February 1848 and died 18 October 1918. He married Nancy Melvina Summers; they had at least 14 children and lived at Grand Ridge (Jackson County, Florida)

William Cato (“Cate”) Hill (1853) married Caroline Bennett in 1872. Cate and Carrie had seven children and lived at Grand Ridge.

Susan Catherine Hill was born 24 December 1853 and died 29 August 1931. She was married to Moses F.J. Conyers.

George W Hill (1856) married first Caroline Conyers 2 February 1872. They had 2 children, James Wesley and Martha.

The generation’s long saga of the intermarriages among the above mentioned families, and the other Indian families of the area of the Apalachicola River that would be the nucleus of the Cheraw Indians of North Florida Tribal Community of today is a complex one. I am including copies of the documents we gathered about the Hill family as an example of the multiple tribal origins of some of the Cheraw Indians of North Florida families, though again, the majority of families are of predominantly Catawba and Lumbee (Cheraw-Siouan) stock, with some, like the Hills from Creek ancestry.

This small take on the Hill family is by no means nearly comprehensive or inclusive of the entirety of this branch of the Hill family, and their experience since leaving Creek Nation. As well there is a copy of the roll of Thlekatchka (Broken Arrow) Tribal Town of the Creek Nation that lists Nimrod, Jackson, and Muscogee “Doyell” as dwelling therein. These are the only persons on the 1832 Abbot-Parsons Roll (Creek Nation Removal Roll) with the surname “Doyell” and are the relatives of these three girls, Nancy, Sarah, and Amanda Doyle (Nimrods daughter), who were attending the missionary school at Fort Mitchell.

 A well-known historical figure in the decades after the war of 1812 who was heavily involved in the Creek and Seminole Nation intrigues of the times was Edmund Doyle, who is most likely the father of the “Creek Nation Belles” Nancy and Sarah. He established a trading outpost on the Apalachicola River and was part of the Leslie, Panton, & Forbes Company West Florida economic endeavors. He was licensed to trade with the Creek and Apalachicola Indians living in the area at the time.

 I have found numerous history book narratives about his involvement in the important events in “West Florida” and the control of the area struggles between the English, Spanish, and Americans as well as the Indian tribe’s part in these dramatic events. He is listed in historical references as having an Indian wife and children and is probably the relative of the Doyell family at Thlekatchka (Broken Arrow). He is known as well for having a price on his head by the Miccosukee chiefs, causing him and his family to have to retreat to a Lower Creek town for safety at one point, according to Seminole oral history.

The trading post he founded became the famous “Negro Fort”, known to history as stronghold retreat by hostile Blacks and Seminoles and destroyed along with three hundred partisans and their families who were inside. This massacre happened amazingly from the first shot from Andrew Jackson’s naval cannonade into the fort as his forces invaded Spanish Florida and took on the poorly armed hostile ‘Red Sticks’ (the anti-American faction of the Creek Nation, versus the ‘pro-American’ White Sticks).

During the Civil War it was reconstituted as a confederate garrison and named Fort Gadsden, and fell soon thereafter to union forces. It has had many incarnations throughout the long history of Florida. It was bloodied ground on many occasions in the tumultuous journey of Florida to becoming American. Fort Gadsden is a state park today, and is near Apalachicola, Florida, a community located on the coast a few miles downriver from Blountstown.

Research continues on the interconnections between the Doyle family and the hill family. Nimrod Doyle, who would eventually be a Texas Ranger, along with his daughters Amanda and Muscogee moved to Texas after receiving land under the Treaty of Fort Jackson in Alabama. Amanda later wound up living in Eufaula India n territory after years in Texas, where her family helped found the town of Sulphur Springs. Her nephew George Hill, son of Nancy Doyle Hill would move to creek Nation as a young man taking an allotment. He would be appointed Chief in the 1920’s, and have a large family.

Citage:

-“Names in South Carolina” edited by Claude Henry Neuffer.Pg.XII:41

-“South Carolina Land Grants” (1784-1830) 160, vol. 32.R A Gray Library Private Collection, Florida State Archives, Tall. Fl

-“Early South Carolina Marriages” Vol.2 (1735-1885) implied in SC Law Reports, Union County

-“North and South Carolina Marriages 1800-1885” R A Gray Library Private Collection, Florida State Archives, Tall. Fl

-Records of US Army enlistees (South Carolina) 1795-1850

-Federal Census of Georgia:

1860 Decatur County1870 Decatur County

-Federal Census of Florida:

1860 Jackson County1870 Jackson County1885 Jackson County1870 Holmes County

1885 Holmes County

-“Decatur County Past and Present” 1823-1991, compiled by the

 Decatur County Historical Society

            -Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library