Native American Ancestry – An Update

On December 8, 2008, I posted an article regarding a family legend of Native American ancestry.  Here is an update on what I have learned since then.

Several weeks ago, I was looking through the Guion-Miller Rolls for the name “Patterson.”  I found a “Wm. H. Patterson,” who filed an application from Georgia.   I thought that Mary Patterson had a brother named William, although I had no documentation of this fact.  I took a chance and ordered the file from NARA.

Pay dirt!  While I still don’t have definitive confirmation of Native American ancestry (the claim was denied), I learned so much from this application and obtained confirmation of many facts for which I had little or no evidence.

William Henson Patterson was, in fact, the brother of Mary (Patterson) Whitener.  His claim was through his father, Jerry Patterson.  The application reports William’s parents, their birthplaces, and death dates.  It reports his siblings and their birthdates.  Then it reports his grandparents on both sides, their birthplaces, residence in 1851, and their children, with death dates, if applicable.

His claim to be part-Cherokee is through the following line:  his father Jerry Patterson was the son of Jane Chapman and John Patterson.  Jane’s parents were John Chapman and Christina Hubbard.  Christina’s parents were John Hubbard and a woman whose surname was Tucker, who he claims “was a full Indian.”  Her first name is not stated, but the application lists a brother named John.

As I said, the claim was denied, although this fact does not disprove William’s information.  According to an article on the Georgia Pioneers website:

“If the “claimed ancestor” was not found on earlier rolls, if the information was too vague (exclusion of names of the presumed Cherokee ancestor), or if the application, when compared to other relatives’ claims using the same ancestor as proof, were inconsistent, the claims were rejected. Thus, many so-called blood descendants of the Cherokees, were denied.”

Source:  Austin, Jeanette H. “Cherokee Indians.” EXPERT GENEALOGY Newsletter (Nov. 2002). Georgia Pioneers. 8 Feb. 2009

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