Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Cherokee Heritage


Of interest to my family...


This is the only known photo of my Cherokee great grandmother. Her name has been spelled in different ways and she is listed in the Cherokee Guion Miller Roll as a full blood Cherokee.
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Nichati's (Spelled Nycetye) daughter, America, is listed as well, which has caused some confusion as to the question, "How much Cherokee blood do we have???"

She is of the 'Lester' family who are direct descendants of William Lester an original settler of the Wyoming County area of West Virginia.She married William England.

...March 26, 1785 - James Anderson, assignee of William Lester...400 ac...on the waters of Holstein River on the Poplar Grove...250 ac. surveyed for William Lester on January 29, 1774, includes improvements, actual settlement made in 1768..
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It was her daughter, that married and became a 'Riffe' which is my maiden name. My father remembers his grandmother singing Cherokee songs to him, but no one made the effort to teach the children the language, which saddens me!


This is my family back in the '70's and you can see that my father still carries some of the Cherokee genes in his coloring and facial features. I have always seen a lot of it in my older sister, Pam, a fact which has made me secretly jealous over the years!

By my generation there are no longer many traces of our Cherokee heritage visible. I guess the red hair and freckles cover it!!!


This is my Dad with his two surviving sisters...all grand children of Nichati Cherokee !

57 comments:

Starla said...

My great grandmother's name was America also.

Pam said...

Wow! So interesting! Would love to find more info about us and our heritage! Its funny- I never thought of myself resembling anything of a Cherokee but that photo you chose to post sure brought it to light! Dad really could play the part for a movie, just plop a long black wig on him!

The Localmalcontent said...

(To coin a recent phrase)
WHAT! An Indian connection?????

The study of Indian heritage is one of my fav. hobbies, for the curious locals 'round here.
If you'd like, I would be happy to research your Cherokee roots.
An understanding of the mechanics of fractions lends alot of help.
(The higher the numerator, the more marriages involved; the higher the denominator, the distance from FB in generations.)

Susan said...

Rita, that pic of your family in the '70s is exactly how I remember you from school! LOL Blast from the past . . .

Abouna said...

Well, what a small world! You, the local malcontent and I have something in common. You have a Cherokee heritage, the Local malcontent is Choctaw and I am part Mohawk on my mother's side of the family. My grandmother on my mom's side was full blood Mohawk.

Happymama said...

As you already know, my family's roots are in West Virgina. As if we didn't have enough in common already, my great grandmother was full Cherokee.

~Kristi

Donald Douglas said...

Beautiful post!! Thanks for sharing...!

The Merry Widow said...

This should interest you, JM.
My late husband had distant(way back) cousins who went as missionaries to the Cherokee in the early 1800's. They married Cherokee wives, had children and went on the "Trail of Tears" with their families and congregants.
So there is a Cherokee branch of the family who shows up at family reunions...some very sweet Christians in that group!
I'll e-mail you more info...
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw

Phika said...

I want an Indian heritage. *pout*
Oh well.That's interesting I would've never guessed

The Simple Scholar said...

So that means her name was America England?

The Hermit said...

North Georgia is full of Cherokee people, even though Andy Jackson did a pretty thorough job of ethnic cleansing here in the early 1800's. At the local college if you can prove you are 1/4 Cherokee you can get a full scholarship from the tribal council.

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

That was so interesting. Thank you for sharing it so we could read it. connie from texas

Sarah Joy said...

I'd like to find out more about Ryan's grandmother's tribe. She is Mexican Indian. I guess I'll have to poke my nose around for it!

Jayde said...

Yay! I have a Cherokee nose! :)
I just think it is awesome!

Beki Ward said...

Hi Rita!! First I have to apologize for not visiting your blog often enough; clearly, it's my loss because I now SEE the ancestor I've heard of often over the years. I hope you don't mind, but I will probably save a copy of this picture for a page in my scrapbooks. I remember the first time I heard hear name, it was shortly after my oldest son, Nicholas, was born...serendipity with the similarity of names! Thank you for making my day!! Hugs! Beki

Jungle Mom said...

Beki, Please do! I will send you a family tree soon. Also, do you have photos of Booker's pa-arents Robert and Clarisa I can send you a link of those as well.

stacywv said...

I've recently (as in yesterday) discovered that Nichati was my great-great-great grandmother. She was the mother to Floyd Dock England, father to Wilson England, father to Hazel (England) Johnston, my grandmother (she is still living). My grandmother has memories of "Aunt Nikki" and a sister of hers who died young (I can't remember the name).

Alan said...

I am a great-great grandson of Nichati and father to the previous poster, Stacy. Finding out this information has excited Stacy and me.

Jungle Mom said...

Stacy and Alan,
Hello long lost cousins! How exciting to hear from you!
I would love to share some more details with you and make a few corrections of which I have learned since posting this.
If you could leave an email address, I will not post it but be able to write you.
There is an annual family reunion for the descendants of William and Nichati Lester every August near Steeles,w.Va.

Alan said...

I'm hoping you got my last post.

Jungle Mom said...

Alan, I sent an email to the address you sent on Saturday. I will try again no

Jungle Mom said...

alan, since my email comes form Paraguay it may show up as spam. Is there another address I can try?

Kendra said...

I found your blog while googling "tracking my cherokee heritage." How interesting. My grandfather is full blooded Cherokee, making my mother 1/2, which makes me 1/4. Is this right? I'm still trying to figure all this out. Anyways, how interesting huh?

So, you living in South America, and being a Christian, which is awesome I will be following your blog! Do you mind if I put a link on my blog to yours? Are you in ministry there?

frank wv said...

Please help. I have been trying to look up Nichati on the Guion Miller rolls and can not find her. Could you direct me in the right direction. Nichati was my grandmothers grandmother. America England was my Grandmothers Aunt. WOW. I may be able to get another picture of her, when she younger. Would you like a copy.

Anonymous said...

hi

mtfrankie said...

To an amazing cousin,

I have been trying to find Nichati on the rolls and can not find her on there. America Englands brother Floyd, had a child named Lula England. Lula England is my Grandmothers mother. I also may be able to get another picture of Nichati when she was younger. Would you like a copy?

Contact me at egdirdlaclare@yahoo.com

mtfrankie said...

hi

mtfrankie said...

To a great cousin,
I have been trying to find Nichati on the guion miller rolls and can not find her. Anyway America Englands brother, Floyd, had a daughter named Lula. Lula is my grandmothers mother. I may be able to get you a scanned copy of Nichati when she was younger. Feel free to email me a egdirdlaclare@yahoo.com
Frank

Jungle Mom said...

I have emailed you. Please advise me if it arrives. Often times my email from here will show up as spam and does not get through.

Constitutional Cherokees said...

Siyo!
osd!
Sgi!

Ck this out too:
http://groups.google.com/group/eastern-cwy-descendants/web
Sgi!

Niki said...

Dear Rita,

My name is Karen Nichatie Mace Fleming. My grandmother Corba Jane England Mace, was the youngest child of Nichatie and William. I was named for my great-grandmother. I am the oldest child of Lloyd Curtis Mace. I do have a picture of great-grandmother Nichatie. As you can see the spelling of my name is different. This was the spelling given to my parents by Grandmother Mace. We also have a copy of the family tree with the children of William and Nichatie and their children. I would love to know what the name Nichatie means in the Cherokee language. We have many cousins. I have some Lester cousins who live near me. Also some England cousins, living close by.
I would love to hear from you.
Blessings, Niki
Karen N. Fleming
karennfleming@verizon.net

Sharon said...

Hello. My name is Sharon West Yates, and Kansas England Riffe, daughter of Margaret "Mag" England, is my grandmother. I am so pleased to have found your web page and note how much your dad's sister looks like my aunt Joan Riffe, daughter of Kansas. My mother's name was Katherine. I would love to have pictures of Nichatie and I, too, would like to know how much Cherokee we inherited. I've figured I am about 1/6. I read the comments and recall my Aunt Opal Morgan and my cousin JB Morgan talking about Lula but I never met her.

Please email me if you have time. sharonyates9@bellsouth.net

Thanks for sharing, Sharon Yates

Anonymous said...

I am Sharon West Yates and am seeking more information on Nichatie England, my great, great grandmother. I am the grandaughter of Kansas Riffe, who was the daughter of Margaret "Mag" England, daughter of Nichatie.

Please email me if you have time at sharonyates9@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

Hi I am trying to help get my son on a roll his father is cherokee indian but was adopted when he was little I have acess to BC original one and the adoption papers...The grandfather who is also cherokee his name is everett ross...but could offer no help for a roll number that is all the info i have cherokee nation can not help me. My son is 18 and will lose his medical soon. he has heart and kidney and high blood pressure problems. Can someone please help me? my email is philyand@yahoo.com

Jo Spencer said...

Rita...I am also descended from Gabriel Arthur and Nakitie (Nichati). Thier daughter married Alexander Lester. Please contact me.
Jo Spencer

CC said...

Can you tell me where the information was found that said she was a full blood from the deer clan? I have reviewed all the Miller applications for the Lester family and I have not found anywhere that these statements are made.

Also, the entire Lester family (this Lester family, not other unrelated Lesters) were rejected on the Miller Roll, not accepted as Cherokee.

Jungle Mom said...

CC, Don't worry! I do not consider myself to be Cherokee. Nichati was said to have been of the Deer Clan, but this would be from family lore, which I see now is not clear in what I wrote.
I have all the information about her birth (which was not in this area,as she married into the Lester Family and was taken here by her husband, who also had some Cherokee blood)
Her daughter is also listed as well as other of her children. Some of her grand children still speak a few words of Cherokee and recall songs she sang to them in Cherokee.
I could give you more details , but do not feel comfortable doing so openly.

CC said...

No worry. I am just a Cherokee researcher and was looking at this family due to the many applications made by them. I was curious where the other info came from since I could not find it in the Miller applications. Thank you for clarifying.

mtfrankie said...

Jungle Mom,

I will soon have some good info. on some of the family. Sorry its been a while since we have talked. Be back soon.

Isowen said...

Hello, I've been researching my Cherokee heritage and was wondering if you could help me. I see that she was of the Lester family from William Lester. I am realted to him and am trying to look into this further. Could you please email me at isowen_sparrow@hotmail.com? Thanks!

jody green said...

hello, my name is jody green. I am the gr. gr. grandaughter of nickiti. hannah england is my gr. grandmother. I am trying to prove that nickiti was cherokee. I wrote to washington d.c. historical archives. I got a copy of the forms nickiti filled out to try and get the cherokee allotment funds in1906. She was rejected. She couldn't prove she was indian decent. If you have any other information about the indian connection I would love to here from you. Thank you.

teddir said...

nichati was also my gg grandmother. my maiden name is riffe and i was born in wva. my father is ted riffe..so i guess we're related! but how??

Anonymous said...

another 2 days ago i sent you a reservation to purchase an advertising banner on your website.

No reply received.

Be kind to answer.

Jack.

Jungle Mom said...

Jack, I see no prevouis comment in regards to a banner. Please send a again.

becky lester said...

I have just learned that Nichati C Lester is a granddaughter of Abner Hulen Lester who is my father's (Randy Lester) Great,Great,Great grandfather. Abner and Mariah had a son of many children One of those sons was a John Thomas, John Thomas Married a Anna Belcher,they had a son name of Alexander mastin, Alexander mastin Lester married a Anna Lane who they had a Son name of Kelly napolean Lester, Kelly Lester married a Dora Belcher who had a son name of John Wesley Lester who is my Fathers' Father. John Wesley lester would be my Grandfather.How exciting. My brother is named after our grandfather John Wesley Lester. So Nichati C. Lester would have been a cousin if I thinking correctly.This is wonderful.

papas2ez said...

I too,am a Lester,and from what I can find out my gggrand father was John Thomas Lester married to Anna Belche. My grandfather,s name was Ralph Bogle Lester.married to Rebecca F Mitchem...Iam the son of Jimmie Lester...I am trying to trace my roots and family heritage.if there is anyone who could help me out I would be very greatful..thank you..I can be reached at this e-mail addy....Papas2ez@msn.com

sheremarie said...

Hi everyone, Nichatie is my great-great grandmother on my fathers side. There is another picture that exists of Nichatie and her large family, I've seen it. My Aunt is in possession of it. I will work on getting a copy and posting it. My fathers family line is (England & Lester), (England to Rose) I'm a Rose. I'm on Facebook as Sheree (Rose) Stahl and Ancestry.com, Since there is Cherokee on both sides of my family I'm researching both sides. I had the pleasure of knowing my great grandmother who was Nichaties daughter (Besty (Lester) England, married William). My email address is Sheremarie@aol.com if anyone would like to contact me.

sheremarie said...

Nichati is my great great grandmother on my fathers side. There is another picture of her with her whole family. I will post it as soon as I can get it from my aunt. I had the pleasure of spending time with my great grandmother Betsie England (Nichati's daughter) growing up. I'm on Ancestry.com researching both sides of my family.

Anonymous said...

I have a picture of Nichatie and Floyd Dock England along with their sons, Boston Blaine, Walton Wayne, John Turner, William Arvid and Joseph Armour England taken in 1928 if you would like to have a copy email me at blester3@triad.rr.com or check out my Facebook Lester B&W photos,
Brent Lester

Jo Spencer said...

Nycetye (Lester) England made her application to the Guion Miller rolls, using this spelling. I have been researching Lesters and related families for years. She was, no-doubt, named after Nikitie "Hannah" who married Gabriel Arthur. I descend through their daughter Martha, daughter Martha who married John Drake. They lived in Russell/Tazewell CO, VA. I believe Nycetye may have been part of the migration that went to Mossyrock, WA in 1894 along with several other families from W.VA...correct me if I am wrong. I have just found a Nikitie Mullins, b. 1877, Tazewell, parents William "Red Bill" Mullins and Eliza Hall (Hill) Anyone know about them?

Landon M Burks said...

Hello my name is Landon Burks , my grandma was nichati 's daughter . I would very much like to talk to you. Im currently doing a family tree as well that dates.back to the 1600s .My email is landoninfantry@gmail.com . Ty and i look foward to talking to you :)

cjthorns said...

My name is Christine Thornsbury, My mother is Shirley England Thornsbury. My mother's father was Wayne England the son of Nichati Lester England. My mother has the same photo. I am very interested in finding out more about my mothers Indian heritage. My email is cjthorns@gmail.com if you can help me.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am a not a descendent from Nichati, but rather fromher 1st cousin, Hannah Smith Whitt. Hannah was a sister to Nichati's mother, Mary Polly Smith. Since you have living family, I am wondering if you will help me figure out an old mystery by asking your dad or aunts. Please email me if you are willing to help, BrightStarRN@hotmail.com. I have done a tremendous amount of research in courthouse, cemereries, libraries, etc. up there. Maybe, we have info to share on our family.

Deb

Alan said...

Someone sent me a small picture of Nichati Cherokee Lester and her sons.

Susan Johnson said...

Hi, my name is Susan Hockett Johnson. My great-grandparents were William Arvid England, and Betsy Lester. Which makes Nichati my great-great grandmother. I would love to know more about her and my Cherokee ancestors. I have a pic of Betsy!

Susan Johnson said...

I guess it sounds silly but, this is how it goes....My name is Susan Hockett Johnson, My dad's name is Richard T. Hockett. His mom's name is Ada England Hockett, her father was William Arvid England, mother Betsy Lester England. William's father was William England, and his mother was Nichati Lester England. Betsy Lester's father was David B. Lester, and her mother's name was Emma Lannie Stanley. This is what I have so far.

Unknown said...

Susan, leave me your contact info. Im on ancestory.com and you can give you viewing rights. Sheree (Rose) Stahl