*The entirety of this work is protected by copyright (see Copyright information section).
I write this in memory of my Grandmother Treecia Mae Jarrell and my mother Alice Inez La Bier Gound. You helped shape the woman I am today. You endured so much. I am sorry for your suffering. All they ever wanted was for someone to recognize and respect their Native American heritage. You both left this world too soon. I miss you, my tiny Grenadier Squaws.
To more easily navigate to the different sections of this blog, here are instructions to search for them. In order to perform a search press control + F. A search bar will appear at the lower portion of your screen. Enter in your search term and press the enter key. Following is a list of the section titles that you can cut and paste for your convenience:
- How My Family Fits In
- The Meat of the Matter
- Going to the Source
- My Experience with Sarah Burns Atkins
- Why I Prepared the “Third Response”
- Before We Reach a Verdict
- Point of “First Contact” — When Atrocities Against Native Americans Began
- About the Shawnee
- The Shawnee and Their Treatment of Women
- Marriage Among the Native Americans of the Region
- Native American Women and Their Early Relationships with Frontiersmen
- Trade with the Native Americans of the Region
- The Quakers and the Moravian Missionaries
- The Quakers
- The Moravians
- Chronology of Whites and Their “Adventures” into Indian Territory
- Escalation of Tensions
- Some Events Leading up to the Massacres of Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier
- My Answers to the “Key Questions” of the “Parker Adkins & Blue Sky” Blog
- DNA Testing
- Mitochondrial DNA Recombination and Introgression
- Heteroplasmy (Maternal and Paternal)
- DNA Tests Available for Comparison
- Something More to Think About
- DNA Consultants Premium Female Mitochondrial Test Results
- DNA Consultants Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-Marker Ethnic Panel Results
- Additional Family DNA Test Results
First and foremost, I thank the Lord for the love he rains down on me and my family.
I thank my wonderful husband, the love of my life. He has enthusiastically supported my delving into our family’s past…and has been a “genealogy widower” for the last few months…well, sorry, darling…truth be told, you are a saint!…it was…okay….a LOT longer……
God bless you all. I pray that you and your families are safe and well and that none of you have been touched by this horrible pandemic.
Well, I have decided to attempt to do something productive with what I will dub our “stay-at-home” time.
I have been doing some heavy-duty reading and researching to my little heart’s content…and then some! May as well do something useful to try to further along our family research 😊. (I have added many more books and DNA papers to my reading/reference list that you will find under the “Resources” tab above – and I have also added new information about the maps that I used as well!)
I decided to use the time to compose an update to the paper that I shared with you all back in November of 2019. You will recall that it was my “Third Response” of April 2018 which I had originally submitted to the Parker Adkins WordPress blog article “Parker Adkins & Blue Sky, West Virginia History, Adkins Genealogy, Indian Lore.”
I have entitled this new document “The Case for Bluesky and Parker Adkins” because I have found a plethora of new historical documentation to further support our unchanged, 250-year old family oral tradition regarding Bluesky Cornstalk’s being the mother of Charity and Littleberry Adkins (as well as DNA evidence to back it up). (Note I say “250-year old” because we do not know the date of Bluesky’s death.)
I wanted to share with you all, my family, the fruits of my labor so that you can come to your own decision. Also, please review the “Resource” section at the end. Hopefully, you will find some books you have not read yet, and may find a good jumping-off point to start your own family history treasure hunt!
I am writing this paper as a new version. If you would like, you can compare it with the paper that I posted to the AFHG back in November 2019 to see how it has come along. It can be found in the “Files” portion of the page. Also, thank you for taking the time to consider what I have to say and for keeping an open mind. I welcome debate and an exchange of information in the public forum. I feel the need for transparency is imperative.
How My Family Fits In
I realize there are so many new members of the AFHG since I joined at the end of October 2019 (welcome!) and many in our family who might not belong to the group yet, that I should probably give you a little background about me. I am an Adkins’ descendant many times over through, of course, William Adkins, Sr. and Elizabeth Parker, down through their sons Parker and William Adkins, Jr. and their descendants. My roots run very deep in our family, including many of its branches where they intersect with other surnames that have deep, close ties and history with our Adkins; most of those ties are centuries old.
All members of the maternal and paternal sides of my ancestral family lines have been traced back to and were living in North America well before 1750. My brother, my maternal cousins and I are the first generation to be born out of the area from where our Adkins line originates in North America. Both my mother’s and father’s family lines reach back to Lunenburg, Virginia in the 1700s and earlier, to Henrico, Virginia.
I have Native American blood from both maternal and paternal sides of my family. I am a participant in the third phase of a special mitochondrial DNA study being conducted by the authors of “Cherokee DNA Studies, Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong.” At the present time, my mitochondrial DNA mutation combinations match no one in the world — I suspect that will change as the Native American DNA database becomes larger as more Native Americans are tested, especially the eastern Native American tribes. As I posted in my first two comments on the Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blog, I suspected this is what happened with Charity’s female-line descendant whom Sarah Burns Atkins (the owner of the blog) had tested and I strongly suspect the same with the Keziah test subject. The evidence does not support the view that Charity and Keziah were full sisters as the owner of the blog suggests. (See later discussion in the Something More to Think About Section.)
A little about my experience with DNA tests. The first company that tested me classified my haplogroup as H1 with results that indicated a portion of my DNA was “unassigned.” I realized that my DNA had not been completely analyzed, leading me to suspect there was an error in my results and population matches. Not all data taken into consideration = strong possibility of inaccurate and differing results. The ethnicity prediction from that company was also off from what I know to be my “roots.” This experience led me to test with two other companies. Those two companies also had results that appeared to be “off” and all three had different results for my personal DNA (wow, how could that happen?) – and with not one trace of Native American DNA anywhere to be found. Well, all you have to do is to take a look at my family and photos of my ancestors to know it’s in there and very recent in time from both my maternal and paternal family. A great example is found in the link below – and just take a look at the photos of my family. Other members of my family also took tests from these companies as well as other companies. They had encountered the same curious experience that I had. Except for the test results from DNA Consultants, the test results from those other companies seemed to be very “off” in the basic “predictions” from what we knew for a fact about our family…especially comparing them one to another.
Maternal line aunt, Linda LaBier Lawler
Anyhow, back to the Native American study. In Phase III of this study, my mitochondrial haplogroup was further refined down in detail and it has been determined that my haplogroup is American Indian H1z1. Here are links to two articles, one about my ancestral journey so far and one a relevant pre-publication chapter from the upcoming book which will contain the results of the third phase of the study being conducted:
*DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT and WILL NOT delete my posts of comments or threads from the AFHG, other FB pages, websites or blogs. I stand behind what I say. If I am wrong…I will freely admit my error and correct it. I DO NOT work for DNA Consultants in ANY capacity. I DO NOT receive monetary or other forms of compensation from them. I AM a participant in the third phase of their Cherokee DNA study. I DO believe in the quality of their technology and appreciate their drilling down into the finer detail of each individual customer’s DNA – something which no other DNA company does. I also appreciate that DNA Consultants has the largest and most extensive populations database available for consumer testing (over 500). I do not know about all of you, but for me, detail DOES make a difference. I have been extremely happy with the quality of DNA Consultants’ products and services; therefore, I give them glowing reviews.
The Meat of the Matter
Okay, on to the meat of the matter. The reason I posted the original “Third Response” to AFHG back in October 2019, was that I was fortunate to have had a few exchanges on Ancestry with Lynda Davis Logan regarding Parker Adkins and Bluesky. Lynda invited me to present my information to our family on the AFHG FB page so that we could exchange ideas and information and debate in an open forum. A short while after I joined Facebook and the AFHG, I was fortunate to get to know my cousin Lynda more. I am still amazed to know how many levels we are related, about 28, she says, before she stopped counting!
I explained to Lynda my predicament; among other things: That Sarah Burns Atkins (owner of the blog) would not publish the results of the DNA test of the Charity Adkins test subject to prove the claims she made on her blogsite, Ancestry, FTDNA and other public forums. I have attempted to get her to post them since April 2018. I just wanted to see the Charity Adkins test results for myself and I wanted to have the Charity Adkins test subject tested by DNA Consultants in order to see the company’s DNA test results. I trust that company’s methodologies and results. I wanted to share those test results with everyone on the AFHG and other places. DNA studies are so new, I really wanted to exhaust all avenues of evidence due to our incredibly strong, unchanged 250-year-old family oral tradition about the mother of Charity and Littleberry’s mother being a Native American woman…namely my 6th great grandmother, Bluesky Cornstalk. My mindset was: How would more information hurt? Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you research?
Lynda kindly helped facilitate my talking with Audalene Starr. For those of you who do not know, Audalene is the direct female-line descendant of Charity Adkins whose mitochondrial test results are described in the blog. (Thank you again, Cousin Audalene, for allowing me to have your DNA tested through a different DNA testing compay (now companies) and for understanding how important this is to our family to get this right!) After I spoke with Audalene, I also asked Lynda if it would be possible to contact Jeane Chaffin, the direct female-line descendant of Keziah Adkins because I thought it would be beneficial to collect all the comparative information that we could. (Thanks again to you, Cousin Jeane!) Both test subjects agreed to allow me to test their mitochondrial and autosomal DNA through DNA Consultants and agreed I could write about and discuss their test results and approved my posting of this information on the AFHG page. Two different tests were administered to both test subjects through DNA Consultants: The Premium Female mitochondrial DNA test and the Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-Marker Ethnic Panel. (I personally paid for all four tests.)
A little history about how I came to know about the Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blog published on WordPress: I first learned about the blog approximately eight months before I submitted any comments to the blogsite. I have been a member doing research and building my family tree on Ancestry since February 2014 and conducting research and learning about my family since the mid-1980s (sometimes sporadic due to school, working and starting my own business AND no computers for me to use for genealogy research back in the ‘80s 😉).
Let’s return to Ancestry in 2017…I had begun to see comments on Ancestry that other members posted related to Charity, Bluesky and even Parker Adkins. I noticed the tone of the comments began to escalate…someone had been directly contacting members, insisting that they change their trees because their trees were wrong. Further, insisting that these people needed to remove Blue Sky Cornstalk as the mother of Charity Adkins — because no such person existed. As a result, people were complaining. The comments I read made some vague mention about an article posted to the internet. Well, I finally received one of those “hints” personally. That “hint” directed me to Sarah Burns Atkins’ blogsite. I went to the Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blog and read it. I was EXTREMELY concerned about the narrative set forth…it appeared to me to be incomplete as well as mistaken because there was so much more historical evidence that was not considered; or, if considered, it had not been included. The theme appeared to me to be very one-sided and anti-Native American – especially directed toward the Shawnee, and, in particular, Chief Cornstalk. Our ancestors are no longer with us to defend themselves nor to tell their story. Hopefully, this paper will be able to do a little of both.
In a nutshell, in 2018 I initially reached out to Sarah Burns Atkins (the owner of the blog) and requested in my first two comments that she please reconsider her position because DNA studies were in their infancy; further, that oral family traditions that remain unchanged in families for many generations tend to be true and need to be considered. I also talked about my experience with DNA companies…how they had got mine wrong…three of them had different estimates for the results and different predictions of ethnicity for those populations of my DNA tests, and that the same thing might have happened with Audalene. This was MY family’s history. It was important. All I was asking was for her to please consider more documentation and data. I submitted the first and second comments to her blog at the end of March 2018 which were “published.” In April 2018 I submitted my “Third Post” to the owner via the blog. In that third response, I asked the owner of the blog to convey my offer of further testing to the test subject so that we all could gather more information from those higher-level tests. That very detailed “Third Comment” was in response to her invitation to her readers in the body of her blog to answer her “Key Questions.” I did this in a good-faith attempt to have a discussion because there was much more information that needed to be considered and data to be analyzed before reaching any final conclusions.
In November or December 2019 in a personal exchange with the owner of the blog on AFHG (which she has since deleted), she told me that she chose not to publish my “Third Comment.” As a result, it left my two comments and her replies just hanging there. It would appear to others as if I had packed up my toys and gone home – That is NOT what happened. That is why I am here now. I also later learned, in an exchange I had with the author of the blog on AFHG, that my offer of paying for mitochondrial and autosomal tests for the Charity test subject through DNA Consultants was never conveyed to the Charity test subject because the owner of the blog felt it wasn’t necessary. Her decision to conceal my offer was a bit of a “wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee” moment for me.
It took over a year and a half for me to finally be able to ask Audalene if she would take these two other DNA tests. Meanwhile, because the owner of the blog chose not to convey my testing offer, the erroneous information was left standing in the public-forum on the blogsite and to those with whom she had communicated. Hiding the test results is not the best way to discover the truth. I also learned on the morning of April 28, 2020, that my first two comments and my exchange with the blog owner had recently been deleted — When I finally did speak with Audalene, she was happy to take the two tests and was excited to obtain more family information.
In order to accurately reflect my posts and the exchanges, I have created “The Case for Bluesky and Parker Adkins” blog/website so that my family and others can compare the facts and evidence, do their own research and judge for themselves regarding Parker Adkins and Bluesky…It’s such a shame in this day and age of technology that people are willing to believe what they read at face value without further analysis. We are blessed to have access to so much information.
The blog owner points out that our ancestors could not read or write – even if that was the case (how could she possibly know that all of these ancestors could not read or write?) — what other way did they have to pass down family history…other than ORALLY? Native American and family oral tradition IS a valid recordation of history. Our Native American family has suffered enough…THEY deserve to be heard and not forgotten.
UPDATE OCTOBER 5, 2020:
Cousin Greg Napier found incontrovertible proof that our ancestors, at least some of them, could read and write. Here is an example of the handwriting on a petition dated December 6, 1808 from our Adkins, Brumfield, Cremeans, Hatfield, McComas, Napeir, Smith, among others that can be found on other pages:
Going to the Source
Fact: There is the first-hand account via oral tradition passed down unchanged for 250 years through both the direct female line and the direct male line from the time Parker Adkins brought Charity and Littleberry home: The oral tradition of Parker Adkins and Bluesky Cornstalk has been passed down from generation to generation, directly through the family of Audalene Starr and her son Audie Duane Adkins. Audalene is a direct-line female descendant of Charity and her mother. Audie Duane Adkins, her son, is a direct male-line descendant of Parker Adkins and his father William Adkins, Sr. (among other direct-line family members). This oral tradition has been handed down through their family and remains unchanged until this very day.
Audalene has so many more pieces of oral tradition to share with us. She and the elders of our Adkins family are treasures. They are links to OUR past. What they have to share is as important as what you find in books. Audalene and Audie Duane have been the keepers of the oral tradition of our family down through 250 years! Shouldn’t we be nurturing and willing to learn rather than dismissing information just because it was in an oral format? Again, I want to reinforce an important point: If our family members could not write – then the only way they had to pass down family history would have been orally.
Why not have a broad, open discussion in the public forum, specifically the AFHG, held in plain view and with the participation of my big Adkins family – it is OUR family that is being discussed – not Sarah Burns Atkins’ nor her husband’s family. We, as a family, have a responsibility to ensure our history is portrayed in an accurate manner. I began to suspect, based on a pattern that developed over a two-year period of time, that it might be more about the “story” set forth in the other blog rather than the truth and the real history of our family.
If one searches, one will easily find extensive documentation regarding how oral tradition is a valid means of passing down history from generation to generation. The earliest on-point, first-hand account I have found is in the writings of John Lederer who conducted three expeditions occurring between March 9, 1669 and August 20th, 1670 which were headed up by Native American guides. Mr. Lederer writes:
“But before I treat of their ancient manners and customs, it is necessary I should shew by what means the knowledge of them has been conveyed from former ages to posterity. Three ways they supply their want of letters: first by counters, secondly by emblems or hieroglyphicks, thirdly by tradition delivered in long tales from father to son, which being children they are made to learn by rote.
“For counters, they use either pebbles, or short scantlings of straw or reeds. Where a battle has been fought, or a colony seated, they raise a small pyramid of these stones, consisting of the number of slain or transplanted. Their reeds and straws serve them in religious ceremonies: for they lay them orderly in a circle when they prepare for devotion or sacrifice; and that performed, the circle remains still: for it is sacriledge to disturb or to touch it; the disposition and sorting of the straws and reeds, shew what kinde of rites have there been celebrated, as invocation, sacrifice, burial, etc.
“The faculties of the minde and body they commonly express by emblems. By the figure of a stag, they imply swiftness; by that of a serpent, wrath; of a lion, courage; of a dog, fidelity: by a swan they signifie the English, alluding to their complexion, and flight over the sea.
“An account of time, and other things, they keep on a string or leather thong tied in knots of several colours. I took particular notice of small wheels serving for this purpose amongst the Oenocks, because I have heard that the Mexicans use the same. Every nation gives his particular ensigne or arms: The Sasquesahanaugh a Tarapine, or small tortoise; the Akenatzy’s a serpent; the Nahyssanes three arrows, etc. In this they likewise agree with the Mexican Indians. Vid. Jos. a’ Costa.”
Another reliable account which recognizes the oral tradition among the Indians by the British government is in a speech given by Governor Gordon made at Conestoga in 1728. The speech can be found in the book “History of the Shawnee Indians, from the Year 1681 to 1854, Inclusive,” by Henry Harvey:
“My Brothers: — You have been faithful to your leagues with us. Your leagues with William Penn and his governors are in writing on record, that our children and our children’s children may have them in lasting remembrance, and we know that you preserve the memory of those things amongst you, by telling them to your children, and they, again, to the next generation, so that they may remain strong on your minds, never to be forgotten.” (Emphasis Added.)
Also of interest to me is the Shawnee, Cherokee and Delaware origin traditions; that they came from across the waters, that they were not indigenous to North America. I am also learning that there are other tribes with the same type of tradition. I am not attempting to embellish or make up ties to my Native American ancestry. My mitochondrial haplogroup mutation combinations have no match in the world. Now why would that be? I am simply trying to determine where I came from and learn as much about my family as I can. To do that, you have to gather information and perform extensive research. Everyone has a desire to find out about and celebrate their roots. I am sure others feel the same – they simply want to know as much about their family as they can. People are curious and do not have any other way to get answers other than to research and explore the information they find.
There is a long oral tradition in my grandmother’s family dating back well before my great grandmother, about our Native American ancestry. In fact, among other things, my grandmother explained to us that one of my great grandmothers (from the Adkins line) received an Indian land grant. That means that grandmother probably filled out paperwork for one Indian roll or another. If an applicant was not deemed to have sufficient “Indian” blood or you weren’t living in the “right” area at the “right” time, you were rejected and not placed on the rolls. We have documentation of our family’s attempts to enroll. It is so sad to say that it turned out to be a blessing for those who were not forced to suffer and endure the atrocities which were committed against those poor souls; those who were repeatedly forced to give up their property, were forcibly removed over the years and sent onto the Trail of Tears. I am attempting to locate paperwork in the massive collection of all things “Indian” kept by the government — believe me, they do not make it easy and many of the records have been lost or destroyed. This is one of the reasons for beginning my ancestral journey. There are many strong and detailed family oral traditions that I have come across in my research of the Adkins, Dameron/Damron, Franklin and Jarrell and other branches of my family’s tree.
My Experience with Sarah Burns Atkins (the Owner of the Blog)
Update: The owner of the blog makes the allegation that there are those that are “attempting to assassinate her character.” That is not my purpose here. I am simply holding her to account for her actions. We are still waiting for the explanations…
I am happy to debate with her in the public forum regarding the information contained in both our blogs; however, she refuses.
This has been my experience with Sarah Burns Atkins regarding my exchanges with her on the blog and my exchanges with her on the AFHG page over that two-and-a-half year period of time:
1. She has deleted all posts and threads of exchanges between she and I from the AFHG. Now others have no record and no way to examine what happened for themselves. Deleted all of her portions of conversations in the exchanges between she and I. I learned this was a pattern before I joined the AFHG and it was my experience before she left the AFHG page.
2. She has sent several e-mails and messages to Lynda Davis-Logan, making false, derogatory and defamatory accusations against me. (Please see August 6, 2020 “Recent Developments” page for more detail.)
3. States that her husband is a member of our branch of the Adkins’ family tree; he is not. This fact has now been admitted by her on the AFHG, and yet her blog continues to publish it. She has since deleted these exchanges.
4. As early as October 5, 2017, and perhaps earlier, she reached out to more than 1,200 Ancestry members (unsolicited) informing them that their family trees were wrong, directing those members to her Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blog. She continued to pressure some members to change their trees because of the blog’s “evidence.”
5. On October 5, 2017, the blog owner wrote this comment to members of the AFHG on that date: “Sarah Burns Atkins: A note to everyone: There are over 1,200 trees on Ancestry that show Blue Sky as the spouse of Parker Adkins which evidence shows is not factual. I am in the process of letting the owners know about the DNA and historical research related to these two since they have no way of knowing unless they are members of this Facebook page. There is no way for me to know who owns each tree or whether they belong to the Adkins Facebook page. If you receive such a message from me and already know about the information, just hit the Delete key. If you choose to ignore or disagree with the information, hit the Delete key. It only takes a second. Meanwhile, over 60 people have been grateful to hear about this research and I have barely gotten started. They are why I am spending my time to do this.” (Emphasis added.)
Well, wait a minute? When did WE lose our right to disagree with what SHE is saying? THAT’S CRAZY – If I disagree, “just hit the Delete key”???? REALLY??? I know I am not the only one in our family – in fact there are many — who have tried to let her know she is wrong, but she just keeps plowing ahead with her “theory”… WELL, I’M SURE NOT SITTING BACK AND HITTING THE DELETE KEY!!!
So much of her time is spent focusing on what the captives were eating, the torture they endured and her efforts reaching out to others to direct them to her blog site. She contacted the members who belong to at least one DNA testing company on their company’s website – when those members did not ask her to independently contact them…when the time could have been more well spent researching our family history, asking our family members follow-up questions or examining the historical events leading up to these massacres and considering why they happened.
Posted on AFHG December 11, 2017:
“Sarah Burns Atkins: I have just finished reading “Indian Captivities or Life in the Wigwam” that was published in 1851. I found it when researching the Parker Adkins/Blue Sky story but, until now, I had read only the chapter related to the Greenbrier massacres.
“This book contains first hand [sic] accounts from people who were captured by the Indians & managed to escape & is fascinating reading. It can be read for free at https://archive.org/details/indiancaptivitie00drak for those of you who are interested. It contains a chapter about the capture of Elizabeth Hanson, a member of my mother’s ancestral family, that begins on page 115. My mother’s Hanson family first settled in Ohio & then near Leon, WV.
“One of the things that interested me most was the food the Indians & captives ate. This is what Elizabeth Hanson & her children had to eat: Nuts, berries, roots, tree bark (for a whole week), beaver liver, pieces of old beaver-skin coats that they laid on the fire to singe off the hair & beaver guts that she was not allowed to clean and wash. Once they got to the Indian village they sometimes had corn, venison & wild fowl but when that was scarce they ate garbage & “guts we were not permitted to clean other than emptying the dung out, without so much as washing them; in that filthy pickle we must boil them & eat them, which was very unpleasant.
“I plan to summarize the things the Indians and the captives ate when I have a little more time. I also plan to summarize the various tortures that were practiced. *No Adkins ancestors were captured by the Indians as far as I know but we can’t truly understand the environment in which they lived unless we read true accounts like these. Although this book is 367 pages long, I hope you will take time to read at least part of it.” (Emphasis added.)
(She’s right…we cannot understand the events, unless we read about true accounts…but we need to read about the atrocities on both sides; right?)
*Please note: It is well-known in the family that my 6th great grand uncle Owen Adkins and his wife Agness Goad (Good) Adkins were killed by Indians in 1790. They lived in the Watauga settlement of Tennessee…(Historically Cherokee territory.)
So I must pose this question: If there was a scarcity of food, especially if you were on the move and could not stop to hunt, wouldn’t a person eat whatever could be found that would supply nourishment – no matter how it tasted? The captives were being rushed away to the Indian towns. The group was being pursued by the families and friends of the settlers in order to free them. It may have been unpleasant, but at least the captives were not made to starve. There is plenty of documentary evidence regarding what settlers and escaping captives would eat and how they were treated in the books found in my “Resources” section.
An example is recorded in the diary of the Sandy Creek Expedition, that if you were starving, you ate what you could in order to survive. The men were expecting to rob the Ohio Indians of their food once they had conquered their villages. It turned out that the expedition did not go according to plan. Towards the end, the men were starving. They had to resort to eating the belts of their hunting shirts, the flaps of their shot pouches and the strings of their moccasins…this was voluntary…they were starving.
If one digs a little deeper into the Mary Ingles escape, you will find that she and the “Dutch” woman were so hungry and desperate that they drew lots to see who would eat whom…(apparently a ploy by Mary to get away from her crazed companion).
6. 2016 the blog owner informed the members of the AFHG that the Charity Adkins test subject had been located. She had been tested. Full and complete test results: Never published — anywhere. The reader is expected to take her at her word. She says there were no Native American results – nope, nada…Actually – there were in the mitochondrial DNA test results AND the autosomal test results from both DNA Consultants and GEDmatch. Please continue to read on. I have written about the DNA test results in a separate section after answering her “key questions” posed on the blog.
*New* June 22, 2020, I had a very long, detailed chat with the direct female-line “Charity test subject.” She is the person whose FTDNA mitochondrial test results the owner of the Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blog bases her claim. Well, guess what, folks…not only has the owner of the blog not shared the Charity test subject’s full and complete test results with all of us — please let this sink in — THE OWNER OF THE BLOG HAS NEVER SHOWN THE CHARITY TEST SUBJECT THE TEST RESULTS FOR HER OWN DNA — THE PERSON WHO OWNS THE DNA!!! NOR HAS THE OWNER OF THE BLOG EVER GIVEN HER THE LOG-IN INFORMATION ON FTDNA TO LOOK AT HER OWN DNA TEST RESULTS!!!
7. From the very beginning, Debbie Adkins Vance and others have been pointing out to the owner of the blog a glaring fact that she continues to ignore to this day: Bluesky could have been the product of a marriage between Chief Cornstalk and a white woman who had been adopted into the tribe – if that were the case, IT WOULD NOT NEGATE THE FACT THAT BLUESKY WAS AN INDIAN WOMAN, THE DAUGHTER OF CHIEF CORNSTALK and HIS BLOOD RAN IN HER VEINS AND, THEREFORE, RAN IN THE VEINS OF CHARITY AND LITTLEBERRY.
8. There have been several exchanges on AFHG requesting that the owner of the blog post the test results of the Charity Adkins test subject. In December 2019 Debbie Adkins Vance wrote a post that hits the nail on the head. (Quote used with the permission of Debbie Adkins Vance):
“Debbie Adkins Vance: In order to sort all of this out we have asked for Sarah to post the screenshots of the test results for the direct line to Charity, which is Audaline Starr. Her name was posted in the beginning on this forum so I am not divulging information. Lynda did post the info for her cousin Jeane, also named my [sic] Lynda.
“Here is my reply from Sarah: “Debbie Adkins Vance It would be extremely unethical for Lynda Davis-Logan or anyone else to post the results of a DNA test they do not own.
“So from this post you can see Sarah will not show test results so others can compare. Why? This opens a whole can of worms for me and now I wonder what is she trying to hide? Can you blindly follow what she says and take it for Gospel? I can’t.”…
Debbie went on further to say in that comment: “…Another thing, when these two test subjects came forward for this research they knew what they were doing and gave permission for their results to be researched to find answers. All I can say is hang on, there is more information coming that will be shared so you can make your mind up yourself and not be at the mercy of someone who tells you this is how you should think.”
After several exchanges and a period of time later, the owner of the blog posted some of what “purported” to be results, but, again, it could not be verified because they were not screenshots of the actual test results — they had been manually TYPED out and a redacted version was posted citing there was information that was irrelevant and not necessary to post. (Who decides what information is important? Shouldn’t that be left up to our family members or the reader?) Here we go again, what I perceive to be more diversion and stall tactics.
Again, requests were made for the owner of the blog to post screenshots of the actual full test results of the Charity Adkins test subject, including matches. After another period of time and more exchanges, finally a few screenshots were shared of the test results, but, again, not the full and complete test results — because the owner of the blog said she did not deem the information to be relevant for us, the family and others, to see.
5/30/2020: Continued refusal to post the full and complete test results. She has also deleted the Charity Adkins test subject test results, the manually typed and the few screenshots she had previously posted in December 2019 to the AFHG. See No. 1, Deleting pertinent information.
9. Chose not to publish my submitted “Third Comment” to the Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blogsite back in April of 2018 (and refuses to this day). See No. 1. Not “publishing” pertinent information. (Please see “Recent Developments” page.)
10. She has edited the content of our 2018 exchanges on the blog; during that time edited her responses to my first two responses over the last two years.
Update 4/30/2020: The owner of the blogsite has recently deleted my first two comments and her replies. Why is that? See No. 1.
11. She had uploaded the Charity Adkins test subject’s raw DNA FTDNA data to GEDmatch prior to October 2019 (when I joined GEDmatch and Audalene was one of my matches). That kit had been publicly available. I discovered April 27, 2020, when I attempted to run a comparison with my DNA, that the kit is no longer public and has been made private – which, as Lynda Davis Logan mentions – “does no one any good because it cannot be compared”: When I had previously used the GEDmatch admixture tools with Audalene’s GEDmatch kit prior to the kit’s being made “private,” they contained Native American results. By making this publicly available kit now private, the relatives that match Audalene cannot compare what information we formerly had access to. Again, restricting access of information.
12. 5/2/2020, Deleted or blocked comparisons being made with Audalene’s GEDmatch kit.
13. 5/25/2020, I received this message when I was double checking to see if I was able to make a DNA comparison:
14. Another piece of information worth mentioning is that when I first submitted the Third Response to the Parker Adkins & Blue Sky blog back in April of 2018, I offered to split and then offered to pay the cost of two forensic tests (through DNA Consultants – my testing company of choice for this particular situation because they have the single largest database of populations available to the consumer – over 500) of the direct female-line descendant of Charity Adkins (Audalene Starr) because the blog owner will not provide test results and declares the mitochondrial DNA to be of only English/Irish descent in “one” of the exact matches. (Well, I’m asking myself: “What about the other matches? What were they? Why won’t she publish the full test results? Is she hiding something? Why should we take her word for it?”) Again, it turns out that the owner of the blog never presented the offer to the test subject and has admitted to same in an exchange with me on the AFHG page (she has since deleted).
15. 5/16/2020: In taking the time to further confirm information about the mitochondrial DNA matches of the Keziah test subject on FTDNA, when I came to the match with the Charity test subject to compare, I learned that the owner of the blog has another place where she has posted a statement under the “About Me” section which, again, directs those members to her blogsite. The paternal information is left blank, even though it is known. For how many years has this information been posted with this erroneous information which directs people to the blog she owns? In my opinion, this is misleading. The owner of the blog did not indicate that she is not Audalene. I asked myself: “Was permission received to enter this information directing others to the blog? How long has this erroneous information been posted in the public forum?”
Take a look for yourselves:
Why I Prepared the “Third Response”
I was responding to the blog owner’s questions per her invitation to respond. I am extremely disappointed that the blog owner attempted to refute and discount our family oral tradition that has been handed down unchanged for 250 years with ONE DNA test that may have been inaccurate (as my test results from three companies had been inaccurate). I wanted to provide information and raise questions which I believe ought to have been considered before her arrival at a “final conclusion” regarding the ethnicity of the mother of Charity and Littleberry.
Before We Reach a Verdict
Before we come to any “final” conclusions regarding Bluesky and Parker Adkins, it is crucial for us to have a complete understanding of the events and circumstances of that period in history and how it affected people’s lives at the time.
All evidence must be considered which comes into play – even if that means taking the time to analyze events over 200 years earlier in order to understand why certain events unfolded the way that they did.
Point of “First Contact” — When Atrocities Against Native Americans Began
Removal and extermination was happening. Native peoples’ land and other possessions was being taken from them. There was an insatiable desire to expand colonization across North America. From the point of first “contact,” massive atrocities were committed against Native Americans, including indescribable acts of torture, their being taken into captivity and sold into slavery. Many of them were shipped from North America around the world to serve as slaves (prior to Africans’ being brought to the Colonies/Americas as slaves) — by the Spanish, French, English, and even other Native Americans.
One can easily find and read about these atrocities. They are very well documented. Three excellent sources: “The Worlds the Shawnees Made, Migration and Violence in Early America” by Stephen Warren. “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies” and “The Tears of the Indians” by Bartolome De Las Casas, b. 1484, d. 1576. De Las Casas works are a first-hand account of a Spaniard who later became a priest and protector of the natives. He witnessed firsthand the atrocities against the Native Americans by Columbus and others during the conquest of the Americas.
It is very interesting to note that De Las Casas documents the fact that when the Spaniards first came among the native populations that they were “so gentle, so peace loving, so humble and so docile;” and there are so many more accounts of the Native Americans’ being good, peace-loving people that were helpful when they first encountered the British and Europeans. Afterwards, their experiences continued to be quite negative. At some point the native populations began to retaliate and fight back and it makes one wonder who taught them…
*WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IMAGES DEPICT EXTREME VIOLENCE. THEY ARE EXPLICIT AND DISTURBING. NOT FIT FOR CHILDREN.
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About the Shawnee
One can also find a plethora of excellent information about the Shawnee in the book “The Worlds the Shawnees Made, Migration and Violence in Early America,” by Stephen Warren. If you read the book, you will learn that the Shawnee were constantly on the move. They traveled far and wide. They had small villages everywhere. They were very adaptive to ever-changing circumstances. They had good relations with other tribes. Some Shawnee lived among the other tribes, within the other tribes’ villages. Edmond Atkin, the Southern Superintendent of Indian Affairs in his official report to the King of England in 1755 noted that the Shawnee were the “Greatest Travelers in America.”
In that book you will find very “on point” documentation such as: “During the colonial period, the Shawnees did not have the luxury of occupying a territory that was ‘discrete and exclusive.’ For this reason, Shawnee history cannot be viewed in isolation. Their proximity to allies, and enemies created a series of ‘alternate identities’ for the Shawnee migrants. As such, the Shawnees provide an example of ethnogenesis, the adoption of new economies, new ritual practices, and new allies, as a means of adapting to the contingencies of the Indian slave trade, French exploration, and English land hunger. Shawnee peoples tailored their culture and economy to meet the demands of their European and American Indian neighbors. And yet these small-scale villages maintained the distinctions between themselves and the groups with whom they competed.”
Warren goes on to state: “Deeply held cultural practices helped Shawnee people survive waves of migration and coalescence, even as they intermarried, migrated, and ultimately adopted some of the characteristics of their allies. ‘Being Shawnee’ was far from monolithic. Accordingly, this book is designed to show how Shawnees re-imagined themselves as they migrated from, and returned to, the Middle Ohio Valley.” (Emphasis added.)
The Shawnee and Their Treatment of Women
The women of the family of the chief were held in high regard. They were independent, strong women. In fact, political marriages were common between headmen’s daughters when it was advantageous to the tribe, marrying into other tribes and others deemed appropriate to strengthen bonds of loyalty and friendship. It is well documented that the majority of the traders with the Native American tribes and most “Indian agents” for the French and English governments had Native American wives…and many of them had families with those wives. I write about this subject in further detail later. Shawnee women did not just stay in the village taking care of their wigwam. (Point of fact: The Shawnee did not live in teepees as the blog owner suggests.)
An excellent example of a chief’s daughter is Nonhelema, Chief Cornstalk’s sister. She was a warrior who had her own Town – Grenadier Squaw Town. She spoke multiple languages and was an interpreter for the Shawnee, the French, British and young American government in various political situations including conferences and treaties. She even converted to Christianity. She lived with and translated for the British before and AFTER the Battle of Point Pleasant. She lived with and translated for the newly formed American government AFTER the Revolutionary War. In fact, on several occasions, she saved the lives of whites, another well-documented fact. The English dubbed her the Grenadier Squaw,” because she was so large and that she carried herself “like a grenadier soldier at the head of his troops.” She was a distinguished chief of the Shawnee tribe in her own right. She was a warrior.
One place to find an entire section devoted to Nonhelema is “Old Chillicothe, Shawnee and Pioneer History; Conflicts and Romances in the Northwest Territory,” by William Albert Galloway, A.M., M.D., L.L.D. The section about Nonhelema is written by Dr. Louise Phelps Kellogg, Historian of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Doesn’t that beg the question: Did Bluesky have her own village? Or was she living in another village? Was she perhaps in training under Nonhelema? Did she meet Parker in her capacity as a translator at one of their mills? As examples of Shawnees’ treating captive white women well, see Hannah Dennis below, among others.
Recently (near the end of December 2020) I found more evidence of the stature and independence of the Shawnee women in the book entitled “A Journal of Two Visits Made to Some Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio in the Years 1772 and 1773,” by the Reverend David Jones, published in 1774.
On Wednesday, February 10, 1773, about a mile after crossing Salt Lick Creek, we read that Reverend Jones and his traveling companions arrived at a town named Dan Elleot’s Wife’s Town. It turns out that the chief of the town was a rich Shawnee Woman. It was said she was Daniel Elleot’s “pretend wife.” (In further research I have found that Daniel Elliot was, in fact, a signatory to many treaties with the Shawnee.) In the town she boarded travelers. She kept a large stock of cattle. She supplied Reverend Jones and his companions with milk and sold them corn for their horses at a very exorbitant rate. She had several slaves who were captured from Virginia during the last war whom she considered her property.
Very shortly after this, we find another instance of a woman’s having her own town: On Friday, February 12, 1773, a few miles after departing Connor’s Town (a town of Shawnee and Delaware), Reverend Jones and company came to “The Little Shawnee Woman’s Town,” which was located “on the west side of the Muskingum.” The town consisted mostly of Shawnee.
Marriage Among the Native Americans of the Region
Most traders and the others who went to the Shawnee villages – and even colonists — ran into the Native Americans in their travels in the woods on a regular basis. During this time it was common for Native Americans to live around the towns and rivers of white settlements. The traders would have been free to come and go as long as they were trusted. Remember, Native Americans had a custom of sharing their women with guests, including whites when it was advantageous or a mark of respect. Chiefs would “share” or allow their daughters to marry important guests as a political tool, to strengthen those alliances…just as done with the royal families of England and Europe from their earliest histories. A great, well-documented example is John Rolfe and Pocahontas.
To expand further on the earlier examples; it may have been that a trader or a guest stayed once or twice or when he was in a village or town trading that he would see that woman or another. Traders had children with these women. Some of them did marry and had large families…again, including the government’s Indian agents. Simply research Martin and Peter Chartier, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and other well-known traders, Indian agents and generals of that time period.
One of the earliest recorded examples of this tradition is found in the diary of the second expedition of John Lederer. He started this march “From the Falls of Powhatan alias James River, in Virginia, to Mahock in the Apalatean Mountains” May 20th, 1670, traveling with 20 men on horseback and five Indians. On the 9th of June he arrived at a village of Sapon, which was a village of the Nahyssans, “scituate upon a branch of the Shawan, alias Rorenock-river [Roanoke].”… “I adventured to put myself into their power, having heard that they never offer any injury to a few persons from whom they apprehend no danger: nevertheless, they examined me strictly whence I came, whither I went and what my business was. But after I had bestowed some trifles of glass and metal amongst them, they were satisfied with reasonable answers, and I received with all imaginable demonstrations of kindness, as offering of sacrifice, a compliment shewed only to such as they design particularly to honour: but they went further, and consulted their Godds whether they should not admit me into their nation and councils, and oblige me to stay amongst them by a marriage with the kings or some of their great mens [sic] daughters.” (Emphasis added.)
Update January 3, 2020:
Two books which heavily document traders’ living with, marrying and working among the Shawnee and other Ohio Indians are “A Journal of Two Visits to Some Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio, in the Year 1772 and 1773” by the Reverend David Jones (published in 1774) and “A Man of Distinction Among Them: Alexander McKee and the Ohio Country Frontier 1754-1799,” by Larry L. Nelson:
Nelson writes: “Native marriages were less permanent, though no less solemn, than white unions. According to John Heckewelder [a Moravian missionary in the 1700s], when Indians entered into marriage, it was understood by both partners that they would not live together any longer ‘than suits their pleasure or convenience.’ ‘The husband may put away his wife whenever he pleases,’ claimed the evangelist, ‘and the woman may in like manner abandon her husband.’ European men, particularly traders and merchants who resided in the Ohio Country, frequently adopted Indian mode of marriage and took Indian wives in the Indian fashion.” (Emphasis and notation added.)
In the book “A Journal of Two Visits made to the Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio, in the Years 1772 and 1773,” the Reverned Jones observed regarding the Shawnee, “Poligamy [sic] is thought no crime — ‘Tis common to have several wives at the same time; nor dare one of them seem displeased lest she be dismissed. On the smallest offense they part.”
Update January 5, 2021:
It was said by Nelson that the cultural mediators of that time were usually “European men who had married Indian women and who maintained either a permanent or semipermanent residence among the western tribes…” (Emphasis added.)
In January 1773, there were 20 white people living at Chillicothe.
Alexander McKee was the son Thomas McKee (a well-known trader from western Pennsylvania) and a Shawnee mother. Alexander married a Shawnee woman and the couple lived among the Shawnee bands living along the Scioto River. In 1771 Alexander was appointed to the position of Indian agent and he ran the Indian department commissary at Fort Pitt.
1773, John Irwine, Indian Trader, lived at BluekJacket’s Town. He had his main business at Chillicothe where he stored a considerable inventory of goods in a log building that he rented from an Indian who lived there. Irwine sold his goods to inhabitants and visiting travelers. Irwine was married to an Indian wife.
1773, Moses Henry, a native of Lancaster, a gunsmith and trader who pursued both professions at Chillicothe for several years. He served both European and Native clients. He was lawfully married to a white woman who had been a captive from a young age, “so young she speaks the language as well as any Indian.” She was a daughter of Major Collins (at that time her father then was living near the Little Kanawha, on the Ohio). Reverend Jones explained, “Mr. Henry lives in a comfortable manner, having plenty of good beef, pork, milk, etc. His generosity to me was singular, and equal to my highest wishes.”
1773, Connor’s Town, a town consisting mostly of Shawnee and Delaware. Reverend Jones commented that the log houses were “pretty good and well-shingled with nails.” Mr. Connor, the namesake of the town, lived and owned a tavern there. He was formerly a native of Maryland. He and the chief Indian of the town were lawfully married to two white sisters who had formerly been captives. Jones makes note that the women had probably been captured when they were very young because they spoke broken English and had “the very actions of the Indians.”
Abraham Kuhn, a Pennsylvania trader who married a Wayandot woman. According to Nelson, Kuhn was living near Lower Sandusky and he had become known as “Chief Coon,” “a respected tribal statesman and advisor during the late 1780s.”
Native American Women and Their Early Relationships with Frontiersmen
As well as historical accounts of what was occurring at the time frame we are discussing, it is important to learn what we can about Native American women and their role at the time.
I found a fantastic book about Native American women by a well-respected author on the topic. The title of the book is “Women in American Indian Society,” by Rayna Green, from the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution (Frank W. Porter II, General Editor). The book discusses information that we must consider, including the following pertinent excerpts:
“Europeans, however, had different notions than did many Indian tribes about inheritance, especially concerning children. In the European mind, marriage gave the male control of the property and of the children. Whites actually exploited the Indian woman’s status to further alienate Indians from their property and territory. Many white men married Indian women of status (e.g. the sister of the leader) so that they could then secure a right to her property as well as the friendship of her male relatives. When conflict over property arose, European laws dominated, and the status of the women was undermined.” …
… “Perhaps for many women, accepting life with traders, soldiers, and other white men was a way of deferring to the awful reality of the European presence. Women allied to traders and military men, as well as their mixed-blood children, became interpreters and liaisons between Indians and whites. Such a role undoubtedly caused many women and children to feel mixed loyalties, for often they not only were responsible for mediating and preventing hostilities, but also betrayed their Indian family.
“For the Europeans, Indian women – whether wives, mistresses, or temporary companions – were a necessity of life in the New World. Whereas ladies of European heritage often did not desire and could not have borne the rough life of the early days on the fur-trade frontier, Indian women actually helped white men survive. For some traders, an alliance with an Indian woman ensured that they would always have food and shelter.
“Many traders felt safe in Indian country as long as they were accompanied by an Indian woman of the area. For others, the sexual alliance with an Indian woman was a temporary convenience to be put aside for a white wife when they returned to ‘civilization.’ But even when a less arduous and more pleasant life became possible in the forts and border towns, white men often preferred mixed-blood women as wives. There are substantial accounts of long-term marriages between such partners.
“Many trappers and traders actually maintained two families – one Indian and one white. Such practices, especially when the relationships between white men and native women were not legalized through formal marriage caused great difficulties not only for Indian women and their families but for the white friends and families of the men.
“Such arrangements were probably considered appropriate in the West, but if women and children were brought east, they encountered a world that abhorred racial mixing.”
Update November 5, 2020: More well-documented whites who lived among the Native Americans who married Native American wives, “The Indian World of George Washington,” by Colin G. Calloway:
Benjamin Hawkins, Superintendent of the Southern Indians, appointed by George Washington. Hawkins was adopted by the Creeks. He spoke Muskogee. He had seven children with his common-law wife who was believed to be a Creek woman by the name Lavinia Downs.
Richard Butler who was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs after the American Revolution, traded with the Shawnees had a Shawnee wife. In 1787 Butler “sent George Washington a vocabulary of Shawnee words compiled by himself and Delaware words by John Killbuck, ‘an Indian of that nation who has been Educated at Princetown College at the Expence of the U.S. & patronage of Congress.’ Along with the vocabulary, Butler sent Washington what little information he had been able to gather from ORAL TRADITION and their old men on the origins and history of the Shawnees.” (Emphasis added.)
John Gibson was a Pittsburgh trader and interpreter. Reverend David Jones employed Gibson as an interpreter during part of his journey to the Shawnee and other Ohio Indians. Jones said of Gibson that he was a “man of sense and learning.” Gibson married the sister of Mingo chief John Logan (Tachnechdorus). Gibson’s pregnant wife was brutally murdered by Daniel Greathouse and a group of thugs in the spring of 1774. These twisted individuals strung Koonay (Gibson’s wife) up by her wrists, sliced her open and impaled the unborn baby on a stake.
Captain Abraham Bosomworth of the Royal American Regiment who served as an agent to the Cherokees had a Native American wife.
Robert Grierson, a Scottish trader, had five children with his Creek wife. He owned a plantation, grew and manufactured cotton, owned 300 cattle, 30 horses.
Trade with the Native Americans of the Region
During “hostilities” before and after the Battle of Point Pleasant, Native Americans had good relationships with the hunters, traders and others who had dealings in their villages and towns – as mentioned, some of the traders had families there. All of the various Indian tribes wanted the goods the whites had to offer, and the French and English were playing the tribes off against each other – and against the settlers. In fact, Native Americans were “addicted” to those goods — including alcohol — a tool that unscrupulous settlers and many government officials used to separate the Native Americans from their land.
In his journal, John Lederer devotes a section to “Touching Trade with Indians.” He writes: “In dealing with the Indians, you must be positive and at a word: for if they perswade you to fall any thing in your price, they will spend time in higgling for further abatements, and seldom conclude any bargain. Sometimes you may with brandy or strong liquor dispose them to an humor of giving you ten times the value of your commodity; and at the other times they are so hide-bound, that they will not offer half the market-price, especially if they be aware that you have a designe to circumvent them with drink, or that they think you have a desire to their goods, which you must seem to slight and disparage.”
The Quakers and the Moravian Missionaries
We must examine the relationships the Shawnee had with the Moravians and the Quakers. The Shawnee shared strong ties with both groups throughout the years – even throughout the removal process. We can document that the Shawnee lived with and around the Quakers and the Moravians over the years. We can document that the Quakers and the Moravians were involved with the Cornstalk family.
The Shawnee had an extremely good and well-documented relationship with the Quakers. It may be that William’s parents came to North America as Quakers. The Atkinson and Cornstalk families may have known each other already. It does not mean that our Atkinson family were Quakers. But until we know, we should at least explore the possibility. We should also keep in mind that many religious groups were being persecuted at the time which caused them to move to North America. It was not uncommon for people to masquerade as being of one religion, when, in fact they practiced another. (Think crypto-Jewish, etc.) One of the great books documenting the Shawnee is by the Quaker Henry Harvey, “The History of the Shawnee Indians, From the Year 1681 to 1854, Inclusive.”
I have found documentation that my 7th great grandfather Peter Cornstalk, son of Chief Cornstalk, was buried in the Quaker Mission cemetery near the Kansas River: “Cornstalk lived until about the year 1845. He was buried in the Quaker Mission cemetery near the Kansas River.” And we can find documentation that he was a good man and had a good reputation: “Peter was a man of honor and a true friend of the settlers in the Auglaize country.” Both quotes from: “History of Western Ohio and Auglaize County,” by C.W. Williamson.
As for Moravians, we really cannot get a more trusted or accurate first-hand account of the living situation, manners and customs of the Indian tribes in North America in the east than from the renowned David Zeisberger and the United Brethren, the Moravian Missionaries.
A quote from “History of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Indians in North America in Three Parts by George Henry Loskiel, Translated from the German by Christian Ingatius La Trobe,” the English translation published in 1794, wherein it is documented that there were “Detached Indian families living among the white people on the banks of rivers, and on that account called River Indians, are generally a loofe sort of people, like our gypsies.” As documented by Loskiel, the Indians value their liberty above all. “Each of them may move and settle where they please.” (Emphasis added.)
Loskiel also documents that the decrease of Native Americans “is owning to intemperance, drunkenness, poison, irregular marriages, and the many wars they carry on, not only with the Europeans, but with each other, at their instigation. The small-pox may likewise be deemed a principal cause of it.”
There were times the Shawnee lived at or around the Moravian Missions. In particular, Chief Cornstalk had such a close relationship with Brethren Schmick because of all that Schmick and his wife had done for him, he desired to adopt them as his mother and father. They insisted that this was too high an honor to bestow upon them, that they would rather be adopted as his brother and sister…which was done. (Written about in more detail later.)
You could pose the question: Could one of the reasons Chief Cornstalk was so grateful, because they had taken in and allowed members of his family, perhaps women and children, to live with them; and perhaps some of those being cared for were Bluesky and his grandchildren? The Shawnee traveled to and from the Missions. The Moravians also traveled to and from the Shawnee, Delaware and other tribes’ towns. There are maps of the Moravians which describe the routes they traveled.
We have documentation of Chief Cornstalk’s attending church services shortly after the Battle of Point Pleasant in the early spring of 1775 at the Moravian Mission at Gnadenhutten, extracted from “Moravian Missions in Ohio,” by Francis Christian Huebner:
“Early in the spring of 1775, Chief Cornstalk, the leader in the war just closed, and the hero of the battle of Point Pleasant, came to Gnadenhutten with thirty persons. The kindness with which he was received, and the object lesson of an Indian town advanced in civilization as was Gnadenhutten, had an effect on his mind, which it seems the preaching in his country did not have. He attended the chapel service regularly, and although he is not classed as one of the converts, probably because he did not join the missions, yet, his subsequent life shows a change in his character.
“A year later, in 1776, he called again, and this time brought one hundred of his people to hear the gospel. In parting he took Mr. and Mrs. Schmick, the resident missionaries at Gnadenhutten, by the hand and feelingly thanked them for their great kindness shown his people, and formally adopted them in his tribe. This, perhaps, was the last visit of the great Chief Cornstalk to Gnadenhutten, although the following spring he came as far as Newcomerstown to consult with White Eyes on the question of War.” … (Emphasis added.)
As an example of how familiar the settlers were with the area, below is a chronological list of the white men and their families who began explorations west, were in and around the area exploring, and those who were surveying and settling west of the Blue Ridge and beyond is set out below. These are just a few that are documented. It is also well documented that there are scores of other hunters, explorers and adventurers who were not documented…their stories lost to time. These were exciting times for the settlers. Most were land hungry. This was a contest. They wanted to get the best and most land they could procure for their families. After a time, most government officials and settlers considered Native Americans as “pests” to be dealt with, moved and exterminated.
Chronology of Whites and Their “Adventures” into Indian Territory
1650: Edward Bland and Abraham Wood’s Expedition.
(Here’s an example of my paternal family’s deep roots in the area: Edward Bland was my 10th great uncle. He was brother to my 10th paternal great grandfather, Theodorick Bland. My grandfather Theodorick was the progenitor of the Bland family in Virginia. This expedition reached as far as the Roanoke River. Bland and Woods’ party consisted of Pennant and Brewster, along with an Appamattuck Indian guide and two servants.
1654: Abraham Wood’s first expedition, officially sent out by Governor Berkeley. 9th of March, 1669, set out with three Indians from the Pamunkey Falls on the York River from an Indian village called “Shickehamany” [Chickahominy]. Travelled to the top of the “Apalataen” Mountains.
1666-1670: Captain Henry Batte crossed the Blue Ridge, starting from Appomattox, following the New River with 14 white men and 14 Indians. It is believed that they followed the same route as Colonel Wood and reached the falls of the Kanawha.
1660s: “When Native slavers began capturing American Indians who had not yet encountered Europeans, Indian slavery became a long-distance trade in human commodities. At this time, 50 years before colonists regularly visited the Ohio Valley, Native slavers working with English traders came to know the region intimately. In response to their raids, Fort Ancient villagers migrated out of their homelands, and survivors migrated in search of European allies.” “The Worlds the Shawnee Made, Migration and Violence in Early America,” section entitled “The Indian Slave Trade and the Middle Ohio Valley.”
1670s: Virginia traders’ encouraging Native slavers to extend their search beyond the Appalachian Mountains.
1670: George Lederer’s second expedition. 20TH of May 1670. Set out with himself and Major Harris, 20 Christian men and five Indians. March from the falls of the James River to Mahock in the Appalachian Mountains.
1671: Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam explored beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Officially sent out by Governor Berkeley.
1673: July 1673, Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest who was travelling along with Louis Joliet and five other French men reach and spend several days at the mouth of the Ohio (which was called at that time Ouabouskigou). Marquette and his travel companions find 40 towns of Shawnee on the Ohio and its lower branches.
1673: Needham and Arthur Expedition. There were two 1673 expeditions conducted by James Needham and Gabriel Arthur. For the second expedition, they had been sent out by Abraham Wood with eight Indians and four horses. At some point Needham was killed and Arthur remained with the Indians. Arthur traveled a vast area with the Indians, including Virginia and the area of present-day states of West Virginia and Kentucky. Abraham participated in six slaving expeditions (along the Carolina coast) with the Tomahitan tribe to capture and enslave Native Americans, including capturing English-allied settlement Indians. (He visited the Big Sandy River, and he is believed to be the first white person to see the Kanawha Valley.) “The Worlds the Shawnee Made” author Stephen Warren writes, “Arthur recalled participating in ‘a very great slaughterhouse upon the Indians,’ living near what is now Port Royal, South Carolina.” … “In his last slaving expedition, Arthur crossed into the Middle Ohio Valley.”
1705: The General Assembly of Virginia passed the act encouraging trade with the Indians — it was provided that any person who should make discovery of “any town or nation of Indians situated or inhabiting to the westward or between the Appalatian [sic] Mountains, should enjoy for the space of fourteen years the exclusive right to trade with them.”
1716: Governor Alexander Spottswood and his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe in their expedition crossed the Blueridge Mountains to the Shenandoah River. Here’s a great article about the expedition from the Schiller Institute:
1727: Cowpasture River was known and named as early as 1727.
1736: John Salling made the first settlement west of the Blue Ridge on the James River. He is another settler who is well documented. He was originally from Williamsburg, Virginia. While out exploring the James River, he was taken prisoner by the Cherokee and taken to their towns on the Tennessee River. While he was captive, he was taken as one of the hunting party to the salt licks of Kentucky.
1739: M. Longueil descends the Ohio River from Canada and discovers Big Bone Lick in Kentucky. Many Canadians follow that route later.
1742: John Howard, an Englishman, crosses from the mountains of Virginia, descending the Ohio River.
1745: At this time, the Shawnee tribes of Kentucky had retreated to live on the banks of the Ohio, the Muskingham and the Miami in order to avoid their southern enemies. For the northern and southern tribes of Indians, Kentucky remained their hunting ground where they meet and war. This is how Kentucky became to be known as the “Dark and Bloody Ground.”
1747: Dr. Thomas Walker, who was from Albemarle, crossed the Allegheny and the Cumberland mountains where he discovers the Cumberland Gap. He names some of the rivers he encounters at the time: The Shawnee River which he calls the Cumberland. He calls the Kentucky River the Louisa.
1748: Draper’s Meadows settlement by Drapers and Ingles on the New/Wood’s River (Kanawha — depending upon which map you are studying).
1750: Steven Sewell and Jacob Martin settled on the Waters of the Greenbrier.
1751: January 29, 1751, Christopher Gist and his company (which also included Colonel George Crohan–who was also a British Indian agent–and Andrew Mantour, among others) reach what they called “The Shawnee Town” which was located on both sides of the Ohio River, just below the mouth of Scioto Creek. The town’s population was estimated to contain about 300 Indian men – besides English traders. There were about 100 houses on the north side of the river and 40 on the south side of the river.
1751: Shawnee Town, January 30, 1751, Colonel George Croghan and Andrew Mantour make speeches in an Indian council in which Robert Kallendar is also present.
1751: Colonel John Lewis and his son while exploring encounter Sewell and Martin who had settled on the Greenbrier River.
1752: Peter Fontaine, a surveyor, made a map of the Western part of Virginia, denoting the Virginia/North Carolina dividing line.
1753: Colonel James Patton and William Ingles were surveying and procuring land for the “Loyal Land Company in Burke’s Garden and Peak Creek.
1753: Indian Trader John Frasier builds a cabin ten miles from the mouth of the Monongahela.
1753/54: George Washington heads a party consisting of Christopher Gist and others to the Northwest French forts. The party included Frederick Post, a Moravian Missionary, who had a famous debate with Glikkikin, the war chief of the Delaware (aka “The Wolf Tribe” and “Monseys”).
1754: James Burk settled at Burke’s Garden.
1754: Joseph Cloyd’s family settled on the west side of the New River.
1754: McCorkle family settled at Dunkard’s Bottom.
1754: Ohio Land Company and militia attempt to place forts of the Ohio River, but they were driven off by the French.
1754: Ingles Ferry commenced operations and settlements begun.
1754: Mr. Files and David Tygart settle on the Monongahela.
1755: Draper’s Meadow Massacre. Bettie Draper and Mary Ingles captives in Kanawha area.
1755: Sometime before 1755, Adam Harmon and his family settled on Sinking Creek.
1756: Settlements made on the New River and the Holstein.
1756: Sandy Creek Expedition aka Sandy Creek Voyage. The first British-Cherokee military campaign against the French and their allied American Indians. The makeup of the campaign was a force of Cherokee warriors, a company of Minutemen from Boutetort, two companies from Augusta (one headed up by Captain William Hogg) and a force of volunteers, all under the command of Colonel Andrew Lewis. The objective of this embarrassingly unsuccessful venture was in an attempt to chastise the French Indians, specifically the Shawnee, and to establish a military post at the mouth of the Great Sandy and to raid the Indian towns on the Scioto.
1766: Jacob Vanmeter, John Swan, Thomas Hughes and some others settled on the west side of the Monongahela, near the mouth of Muddy Creek.
1767: John Findlay and others travel over and through Kentucky to trade with the Indians.
1769: Colonel Ebenezer Zane, his brothers Silas and Jonathan, with some others visited the Ohio River “for the purpose of commencing improvements. (The Zanes were with Penn in Pennsylvania. When he was nine, Isaac Zane had been taken captive by the Indians, taken to the Mad River in Ohio. Isaac married an Indian woman. He became a chief and lived out his life with the Indians. As of the publication of “Chronicles of Border Warfare,” his descendants still reside in Ohio. Isaac Zane’s captivity and marriage to Wyandot Chief Tarhe, The Crane’s, half French daughter Myerrah is also documented in the book “The Other Trail of Tears,” by Mary Stockwell.
1769: June 7, 1769 Daniel Boone, John Findlay, John Stewart, Joseph Holden, William Cool and James Mooney depart on a hunting expedition beginning from the Yadkin River in North Carolina to the Red River in Kentucky. They continue hunting until December 22, 1769.
1770: A hunting party of 40 men who were from the Clinch River, Holston River and New River areas set out on a trip to hunt, trap and to shoot game west of the Allegheny mountains. Due to their long absence they are known as the “Long Hunters.”
Fun fact: Many of the Long Hunters were from Pittsylvania!
1770 – 1772: George Washington surveys 2,084 acres of land for John Fry in what is now Lawrence County, Kentucky. He also conducts another survey for John Fry on the Little Sandy River, which was 11 miles from the mouth of the Little Sandy River.
1771: Spring: David Zeisberger and missionaries of the Moravian sect (which included converted Delaware Glikkikin), make their first visit to the Ohio region. Zeisberger spent time with Chief Cornstalk, for him to hear their message. In his manuscripts, Draper identifies Chief Cornstalk as the Indian teacher or priest whom was greatly impressed with Zeisberger’s message.
1771: Simon Kenton, John Strader and George Yeager (George had been raised by Indians and visited the cane land with them), travel down the Ohio River to near the mouth of the Kentucky River. On their return trip, they explore the Licking River, Locust River, Bracken River, Salt Lick Creek, Kinnikinnick Creeks, the Tygart and Sandy Rivers for cane but find none.
1772: May 3, 1772, The Moravians began building the mission at Schoenbruan, the first colony of Moravians to settle in Ohio.
1772: Captain Thomas Bullitt visited Chillicothe on the Little Miami River on his way to the Falls of the Ohio to survey land. Of note: Captain Bullitt was a Virginian of Fincastle County (now Kentucky).
1773: June 22, 1773, a party of surveyors, consisting of Captain Thomas Bullitt, Hancock Taylor (both surveyors) and others in one company and in the other company were the brothers McAffe, James, George and Robert along with James McCoun, Jr., and Samuel Adams. They traveled together down the Ohio River to the mouth of Limestone Creek. Bullitt shows up unannounced at Chillicothe, which was not according to protocol. You did not just arrive. You sent a runner ahead. This was very unsettling to the Shawnee…which may have led to Chief Cornstalk’s becoming “exasperated against all white people” when David Zeisberger visited in 1773.
1773: July 1773, David Zeisberger made his second visit to the Scioto villages and due to Chief Cornstalk’s being “exasperated against all white people,” and no mission could be begun. However, during this second visit Chief Cornstalk’s sister Nonhelema was baptized as a Christian. Her Christian name was Catherine. Her nickname by the whites was “Katy.” (The author of the book “Old Chillicothe” writes that there is no record of Cornstalk’s being baptized, but writes: “he exemplified in his last days the Christian virtues of forgiveness of enemies, and calmness in the face of a shameful death.”)
1774, Spring: “Daniel Greathouse and another group of thugs murdered in cold blood thirteen women and children, the family of Mingo chief, Tachnechdorus, also known as John Logan. The victims included Logan’s Shawnee wife and his pregnant sister, Koonay, the wife of Pittsburgh Trader John Gibson. The killers strung Koonay up by the wrists and sliced her open, impaling the unborn baby on a stake…” “The Indian World of George Washington,” by Colin G. Calloway.
1774: “The hostilities of the spring and summer of 1774 were accentuated by the rivalry between Pennsylvania and Virginians over the western boundary, and by the rash energy of Captain Connolly, the agent of Virginia’s governor. He declared a state of war, April 21st, and barbarities occurred between both races.” … “Cornstalk, head chief of the Shawnee, and his sister, Nonhelema, were not in favor of war; they knew that their forces were not sufficient to cope with the armies the white men could raise, but they could not restrain their warriors, who eagerly clamored for revenge.” Excerpts from “Old Chillicothe.” (Emphasis added.)
1774: October 10, 1774. The Battle of Point Pleasant.
Escalation of Tensions
“The Revolutionary War had begun. The English on the one side were endeavoring to obtain the Indians as allies, and the Americans on the other side were endeavoring to keep them at peace. Early in this struggle the Iroquois Nation joined the British, and their influence spread towards the West. The Shawnees, under Cornstalk, and the Delawares under the influence of White Eyes, remained neutral. The British agents were pressing the matter very hard, and many of both tribes desired to join in the conflict. In the interests of peace, Cornstalk resolved to visit the garrison at Point Pleasant with two or three of his friends. They went. Cornstalk, in his straightforward manner which had at least been strengthened by Gnadenhutten, told the American commander of the great desire of his people to go to war again, and asked for advice to keep them neutral. The captain commanding, instead of giving Cornstalk the advice he sought, or at least sending him back to his tribe to continue to use his influence for peace, adopted the policy of making Cornstalk a prisoner to be kept as a hostage for the good behavior of his tribe.” … Well, we all know the end result…that Chief Cornstalk, his son Elinipciso and Red Hawk were brutally murdered in a most cowardly fashion.
***Update 11/12/2020: A magnificent book documenting the events of the time period can be found in the book “The Indian World of George Washington,” by Colin G. Calloway, where we read about a conference and treaty in the fall of 1776 at Fort Pitt which confirmed the Ohio River as the boundary of Indian lands; where Chief Guyasuta asked the Americans not to come into the Indian country to fight, but to restrict it to the coast…if they did not, they would risk alienating the tribes. Calloway writes that Cornstalk and other Shawnee chiefs told George Morgan, who was the American Indian agent at Fort Pitt, that the Shawnee intended to remain neutral, “and preserve their friendship with the white people.”
Calloway writes that “Cornstalk asked Morgan to record his words and send them to Congress. Congress had asked the chiefs several times to explain the causes of their complaints against the Americans; Cornstalk was surprised they had to ask:
‘All our lands are covered by the white people, and we are jealous that you still intend to make larger strides. We never sold you our Lands which you now posses on the Ohio between the Great Kanawha and the Cherokee River, and which you are settling without ever asking our leave, or obtaining our consent. Foolish people have desired you to do so, and you have taken their advice. We live by Hunting and cannot subsist in any other way. That was our hunting Country and you have taken it from us. This is what sits heavy upon our Hearts and on the Hearts of all Nations, and it is impossible to think as we ought to whilst we are thus oppressed.'”***
So we learn that the Shawnee and other Native American tribes had only retaliated after they were abused and severely encroached upon (including capture and sale into slavery) by the colonists. Some may argue, well, what about the bounties paid for white scalps? I would answer there were scalp bounties paid to the settlers and soldiers for the scalps of Native Americans as well. After a period of time, most Native American people came to rely on English and French goods. In the book “The Worlds the Shawnees Made,” the history of white-Native American trading has been written about extensively. Readers can research Daniel Boone, Martin Chartier, Peter Chartier (son of Martin and Shawnee Indian), Kit Carson, Davey Crocket, etc.
There were additional extenuating circumstances that added fuel to the fire. We must remember that the Little Ice Age was going on at the time. In the 17th Century, Virginia was experiencing exceptional cold and drought. According to “A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter with North America” by Sam White, “Cold and drought in Virginia aggravated early problems of hunger, disease and conflict that decimated the first settlers.” “Climate and weather had complicated impacts on early contacts between Europeans and Native Americans.”
Some Events Leading Up to the Massacres at Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier
In fact, this is a great place to address another case where all the available information was not presented or researched regarding the Shawnee and other Ohio Indians and the actions of whites leading up to the massacres of Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier settlements. This information is crucial and, by omission, paints the Shawnee, and specifically Chief Cornstalk, as people hell bent on killing off all the white people. This is false. It appears to me this is exactly what the owner of the blog is attempting to do – kill off my family’s Native American ancestors– It is not just the Adkins line. Who are the victims here? It is also the Parkers, Franklins and the Dameron/Damrons… those families are in my direct family line. We cannot figure out why…
My point is that the owner of the blog was so fond of writing in her posts on AFHG, “Another Indian story bites the dust after all these years” when she thinks she’s proved the oral tradition wrong with her “DNA test” – which she will not let others see. If you would like to see it with your own eyes, please see my thread dated November 30, 2019, or enter in the search bar on the AFHG page “bites the dust.” We would have no record of this exchange otherwise because her portions of the conversation have been deleted. This was not the first occurrence – just the one we can document because she has deleted the others. Those GEDmatch kits for the people discussed did and do have Native American results when run with the GEDmatch admixture utilities; yet she claims otherwise…After I post this, it will be interesting to see if the publicly available GEDmatch kits which she administers – wherein she claims to have no Native American results (with whom I have matches) — are turned private or are deleted….
Okay. Let’s move on. This was a war, the land hungry English and their allied Indians (including the Cherokee) against the French and their allied Indians (including the Shawnee). After the French and Indian War, obviously the focus shifted. It was then that the British and their allied Indians rose up against the early American settlers. The French allied Indians and other Native American nations, were in a difficult position. They were complying with treaty terms…terms that did not take into consideration the Native American needs or wants. To the young American government, the Native Americans were a bothersome, non-entity. In fact, the British were spurring on the Native Americans against the burgeoning young government and the settlers, playing upon their fears and paying scalp bounties among other tactics…
The blog owner writes in great detail about captives of the Shawnee taken as a result of the Muddy Creek and Greenbrier massacres. I believe I am in a unique position. I descend directly from both sides. I will give a little abbreviated background, as it is a bit “off topic”: My 8th and 7th great grandmothers are Catherine Vanderpool See and Elizabeth See whose family was brutally attacked and massacred at Muddy Creek. Those two grandmothers along with my 7th great uncle were taken into captivity. They suffered and lived through the brutal attack and murder of members of their family. They suffered and endured the fast-paced, long march to the Shawnee villages. They ran the gauntlet and were adopted into the Shawnee tribe.
The fact of the matter is that I appreciate the settlers were attempting to make a better life for themselves and their families – the American dream — but they cheated and went about it the wrong way. There was a Royal proclamation in place. They settled where they were not supposed to settle. Tensions were at a breaking point. The area was a tinderbox. Those settlers, some of my family, took a chance and unfortunately, tragedy struck.
The crucial fact is that those settlers that were so brutally massacred at Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier were trespassing on Native American land. The settlers built their settlements on Native American land. The Shawnee and other Ohio Indians’ point of view was that these settlers were poaching and stealing food from the mouths of their families. These lands were their hunting grounds. More settlers were coming. Everywhere the Native Americans turned, someone was building a settlement on their land or carrying out surveys of land that was the rightful property of the Ohio Indians. The Great Father (the King of England) had promised! He made a treaty and the Ohio Indians were adhering to the terms of that treaty. Those settlers were NOT supposed to be there! There was ZERO redress or justice for these Ohio Indians.
Consider the situation from the Shawnee/Ohio Indians’ point of view: How would you feel if every time you or one of your family members looked out into any part of YOUR yard, you found that there were strangers climbing over YOUR fence. Not only were they climbing YOUR fence, but they were entering YOUR house, eating food from YOUR refrigerator that was meant for YOUR family and making themselves at home in front of YOUR TV and then settling down for the night in YOUR bed? I think your patience would not have lasted very long. Being frustrated would be the mildest of your emotions…
The settlers of Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier had crossed and made settlements west of the boundaries of the treaties. By settling in forbidden areas, they were trespassing — essentially going into the Shawnees’ house, eating the Shawnees’ food and forcing their way into Shawnees’ house — where they had no legal or moral right to be. The Shawnee tolerated their presence there for an extended period of time. They did not simply go kill everyone…they had complained to and had waited for a response from the English government. On February 10, 1763, the King of England had issued a proclamation — that was still in force at the time of the massacres — that there was to be no settlement nor surveys in the area — which included the area where the Muddy Creek and the Greenbrier settlements were located. This order was put in place for the settlers’ and their families’ safety. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, those settlers were trespassing on Indian land in violation of the treaty — they were in imminent danger of their own making. Those people and their families living at the Greenbrier settlements and at Muddy Creek (including my See family), sadly, ended up paying the ultimate price.
Most might not know this, but there were more links in the chain of events which led to the massacres of the Greenbrier and Muddy Creek settlements and why they were carried out in the manner that they were… Shall we take a look at a chronology?
(Specifically, the 1755 massacre of eight Seneca warriors and in 1763 Hannah Dennis’ escape and betrayal of the Shawnee.)
Chronology of Events Leading Up to the Muddy Creek Massacre and the Levels of the Greenbrier
1749: Stephen Suell and a Mr. Martin took up residence on the Greenbrier River.
1751: John Lewis and son Andrew Lewis go exploring and encounter Suell and Martin at their residence on the Greenbrier River. (Suell shortly thereafter moved 40 miles west and was killed by Indians.) John and Andrew Lewis thoroughly scout out the area. Permission was given to the Greenbrier Company (John Lewis was a member of the company) to locate 100,000 acres on the waters of the Greenbrier River, to become agents to make surveys and locations.
1754: The Greenbrier Company had to put their plans on hold to make settlements on the Greenbrier due to the outbreak of the French and Indian War (1754-1763).
1755: Massacre of eight Seneca warriors on the Greenbrier by a company of 150 white soldiers – the treacherous murder designed by the whites was at a time of peace and friendship with the Native Americans.
Wither’s “Chronicles of Border Warfare” documents the tragic event which was another major contributor leading up to the massacre of the Muddy Creek and Levels of the Greenbrier…notice the eerie parallel…those Indians were simply imitating exactly what had happened to them…
“Thomas King, one of the ablest of the Iroquois chiefs, related an incident at an Indian conference held at Easton, Pa., October 18, 1758, which may explain why the Indians evinced so much hostility against the Greenbrier settlements. ‘About three years ago,’ said Chief King, ‘eight Seneca warriors were returning from war, with seven prisoners and scalps with them; and, at a place called Greenbrier, they met with a party of soldiers, not less than one hundred and fifty, who kindly invited them to come to a certain store, saying they would supply them with provisions. Accordingly, they travelled [sic] two days with them, in a friendly manner, and when they came to the house, they took their arms from the Senecas. The head men cried out, ‘here is death; defend yourselves as well as you can,’ which they did, and two of them were killed on the spot, and one, a young boy, was taken prisoner. This gave great offense; and the more so, as it was upon the warrior’s road, and we were in perfect peace with our brethren. It provoked us to such a degree that we could not get over it. He wished the boy returned, if alive; and told his name, Squissatego.”
1756: Settlements made on New River and on the Holstein. (Shelby, Campbell, Preston, Boone, Walden all were attempting to exercise “corn rights.”)
1756: About this same time, French Jesuits made a settlement at Gallipolis, located on the northwestern bank of the Ohio, below Point Pleasant. “Incursions” were visited upon them by the Indians (attacks).
1761: Hanna Dennis taken into captivity by the Shawnee. See “Hannah Dennis’ escape and her betrayal of the Shawnee”
1762: A few settlements made on Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier in Indian territory, about 100 souls in total.
1763: February 10, 1763, the King of England issues royal proclamation “commanding all those who had made settlements on the western waters (including Greenbrier) to immediately remove from them (leave); and those who were engaged in making surveys to immediately desist (stop). See “Hannah Dennis’ escape and her betrayal of the Shawnee” below.
1763: Hannah Dennis’ escape and her betrayal of the Shawnee. Most have not heard about Hanna Dennis. She had been taken into captivity by the Shawnee when they had raided one of the settlements on the James River. This betrayal by Hannah Dennis’ escaping may very well have been “the straw that broke the camel’s back” leading up to the massacres at Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier.
Your view of history is strongly influenced by your identity and value system. Please take a look at the chronology, check my facts and see what you think. Two of the books which document Hannah’s story are: “Chronicles of Border Warfare” and “Trans-Allegheny Pioneers.” The following excerpt is taken from “Chronicles of Border Warfare”:
“In the summer of 1761, about sixty Shawnee warriors penetrated the settlements on James river. To avoid the fort at the mouth of Looney’s creek, on this river, they passed through Bowen’s Gap in Purgatory mountain, in the night; and ascending Purgatory creek, killed Thomas Perry, Joseph Dennis and his child and made prisoner his wife Hannah Dennis.” …
…”Hannah Dennis was separated from the other captives, and allotted to live at the Chillicothe towns. She learned their language; painted herself as they do; and in many respects conformed to their manners and customs. She was attentive to sick persons and was highly esteemed by the Indians, as she [was] well skilled in the art of curing diseases. Finding them very superstitious and believers in necromancy; she professed witchcraft, and affected to be a prophetess. In this manner she conducted herself, ‘till she became so great a favorite with them that they gave her full liberty and honored her as a queen. Notwithstanding this, Mrs. Dennis was always determined to effect her escape, when a favorable opportunity should occur; and having remained so long with them, apparently well satisfied, they ceased to entertain any suspicions of such design. (Emphasis added.)
“In June 1763, she left the Chillicothe towns, ostensibly to procure herbs for medicinal purposes, (as she had before frequently done) but really to attempt an escape. As she did not return that night, her intention became suspected; and in the morning, some warriors were sent in pursuit of her. In order to leave as little trail as possible, she had crossed the Scioto river three times, and was just getting over the fourth time 40 miles below the towns, when she was discovered by her pursuers. They fired at her across the river without effect; but in endeavoring to make a rapid flight, she had one of her feet severely cut by a sharp stone.
“The Indians then rushed across the river to overtake and catch her, but she eluded them by crawling into the hollow limb, of a large fallen sycamore. They searched around for her some time, frequently stepping on the log which concealed her; and encamped near it that night. On the next day they went on to the Ohio river, but finding no trace of her, they returned home.
“Mrs. Dennis remained at that place three days, doctoring her wound, and then set off for home. She crossed the Ohio river, at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa, on a log of driftwood travelling only during the night, for fear of discovery – She subsisted on roots, herbs, green grapes, wild cherries and river muscles—and entirely exhausted by fatigue and hunger, sat down by the side of the Greenbrier river, with no expectation of ever proceeding further. In this situation she was found by Thomas Athol and three others from Clendennin’s settlement, which she had passed without knowing it. She had been then upwards of twenty days on her disconsolate journey, alone, on foot – but ‘till then, cheered with the hope of again being with her friends.
“She was taken back to Clindennin’s [sic], where they kindly ministered to her, ‘till she became so far invigorated, as to travel on horse back with an escort to Fort Young on Jackson’s river; from whence she was carried home to her relations.’
“In the course of a few days after Hannah Dennis had gone from Clendennins, a party of about sixty warriors came to the settlement on Muddy creek, in the county of Greenbrier. That region of country then contained no inhabitants, but those on Muddy creek and in the Levels; and these are believed to have consisted of at least one hundred souls. The Indians apparently came as friends, and the French and Indian War having been terminated by the treaty of the preceding spring [which Ohio Indians did not recognize and the proclamation of the King of England was still in place], the whites did not for an instant doubt their sincerity. They were entertained in small parties at different houses, and every civility and act of kindness, which the new settlers could proffer, were extended to them. In a moment of the most perfect confidence in the innocence of their intentions, the Indians rose on them and tomahawked and scalped all, save a few women and children of whom they made prisoners.”
The Indians then moved on to massacre those unfortunate souls at the Levels of the Greenbrier, including the Clendennins.
The author of “Chronicles of Border Warfare” goes on to state:
“These melancholy events occurring so immediately after the escape of Hanna Dennis; and the unwillingness of the Indians that she should be separated from them, has induced the supposition that the party committing those dreadful outrages, were in pursuit of her. If such were the fact, dearly were others made to pay the penalty of her deliverance.”
My Answers to the “Key Questions” of the “Parker Adkins & Blue Sky” Blog
Here are my updated, invited responses to questions posed by the owner of the blog. I have posted the “Key Questions” before my answers for the convenience of the reader. The questions do not appear in a numbered format on the blogsite; however, in an attempt to make it easier to follow along here, I have assigned numbers.
(*Please note that family tradition is that the spelling of Bluesky’s name is one word.)
(*Also please note that I use “colonists” and “settlers” interchangeably throughout this document.)
I shall answer Question Nos. 1 and 16 first. I place No. 16 here in the beginning, because the answer is important to keep in mind when considering the other answers:
Blog Question No. 1: “What valid historical documents have you found that support the Blue Sky [sic] story?”
My Answer: Ronnie Adkins’ book “Adkins Land of York Surrey County, England to Beech Fork Wayne County, West Virginia,” The Dameron/Damron Family Newsletters. The oral tradition from my grandmother and her line of the Adkins family is historical and documents Native American history in much the same way as an “historical document.” Also, please see my long list of resources which I reviewed and used in forming my opinions and conclusions. Technological support: Mitochondrial and autosomal DNA test results from DNA Consultants and the direct female-line descendant’s (Keziah Adkins) test results obtained by Lynda Davis Logan.
In fact, this is a great place to address the fact that Ronnie Akdins DID NOT discount the Bluesky oral tradition in the family at all…he tried to while he was writing the book, but it kept coming around. Don’t take my word for it…this is the text straight from the book. Permission to post granted by my cousin, Mr. Ronnie Adkins.
“Adkins Land of York, Surrey County, England to Beech Fork, Wayne County, West Virginia,” by Ronnie Adkins, p 12:
“Charity Adkins d/o Parker Adkins b ca 1768
“There is an oral family tradition that Charity’s mother was an Indian maiden named Bluesky d/o the Shawnee Chief, Cornstalk.
“I have tried very hard to find some hard proof of this but, to date have not been able to and now believe that there is no existing record of Charity’s birth.
“It is a fact that Bluesky’s family lived in the area where Parker settled (Sinking Creek-Giles Co) Since Parker had his land on Sinking Creek surveyed in 1774 it is almost a surety that he had visited this area on several occasions prior to this date making it very possible that he was in the area at the same time as Bluesky and prior to Charity’s birth.
“I have made every effort to screen out stories of the family that could not be factually proven, however this story and one other are carried in this book. As most serious researchers know oral family traditions that have been carried on for decades are more often right than wrong. At least this is so in the basic parts, however, because these oral traditions sometimes become embellished by members and researchers anxious to have a Royal or Indian connection I made a decision to leave out all that I could not prove. When I received the info on Bluesky I was so sure that it was one of the embellished stories that I placed it in my discard file and there it stayed for over three years. In doing my other family research I, ever so often came up on little tid bits that when added together made it more than possible that the Bluesky story is indeed true: (Emphasis added.)
“Parker and Bluesky being in the same area at the same time prior to Charity’s birth.
“The oral tradition itself-The story could hardly have been manufactured by the older family members or the “Johnny come latelys” for the fact that Bluesky was virtually unknown in the common knowledge or books of the day. She died as a young woman prior to 1790 and prior to any of our ancestors coming to what is today West Virginia. If she had been famous and well known to most everyone it would have automatically, without hard proof, caused the story to be culled. No one knows for certain when Bluesky died, however it is almost certain that it was in 1774 or 1775 when many of her relatives including her father and brother were murdered by marauding and sometimes drunken whites. These murders took place near Point Pleasant, Virginia (W. Va.) – in fact Chief Cornstalk was murdered while being held hostage in Fort Randolph at Point Pleasant. During this period of time (Charity would have been six or seven years old) Parker was in the area as he participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant October 10, 1774. As this was prior to the time Parker’s family moved to the area he could have easily renewed a relationship with Bluesky if, indeed, it had ever been broken.
“Charity’s mother was an Indian lady-the base fact of the story.
“The strong Indian features of the 1st and 2nd generation descendants of Charity.
“The above is included not to embellish in any way, rather to give descendants of Charity some information on which to base further research.” (Emphasis added.)
Blog Question No. 16. “Why do you want to be descended from Chief Cornstalk and Blue Sky in spite of all the evidence against it?”
My Answer: It is not a question of what I want; rather, it is a conclusion which naturally flows from all the historical evidence – both oral tradition and written which I have reviewed. I AM descended. This is MY and OUR family history regarding Bluesky and Parker Adkins. It is not the blog owner’s family nor that of her husband nor a cousin through marriage. Over seven generations’ worth of unchanged family oral tradition IS valid historical evidence. I have followed the clues, and have conducted extensive research…the evidence for it is much stronger, in my view, than the “evidence” against it.
I can document that my ancestors were courageous men and women. They were Native Americans (through DNA), people of the frontier, men who fought in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the women who stood by their sides. My brother was a sniper for the Rangers. I do have a “royal” connection on my father’s mother’s side that is very well documented. I have no reason to want to falsely attach myself to any “romantic” ideology. My maternal grandmother was born in 1912. Prior and after that time, it was still incredibly dangerous to talk about or have any connection with one’s Native American ancestry. There was massive prejudice. You could not tell your children about those who went before them. You could not talk about or celebrate your religion or customs. Few people would keep any mementos. Many were too afraid to keep photos. Anything “Indian” was strictly taboo during the late 1700s through the 1930s and even later…it could mean losing one’s house and potentially one’s entire family. It could even mean death. If you can imagine, it would have been like having Jewish ancestors in Nazi Germany in 1933-1945).
Even if you suggest that the Bluesky story is not true, we still do not know the identity of Charity and Littleberry’s mother. Up to the present, we do not know who is the mother of the other children, other than simply a first name of Mary — in fact, we do not have an oral tradition the identity of that “other” Mary. That in itself is very remarkable given the fact we know so much about everyone else. In fact, we know more about Bluesky than we do about the “other” Mary. The “other” Mary was so accepting of Charity and Littleberry when Parker brought them home, as I said early on, shouldn’t we pose the question: What if the “other” Mary was a sister, cousin or somehow related to Bluesky?
One criticism made by the blog owner is the lack of documentation about Parker and Bluesky’s marriage. I would like to point out that there are no birth records for any of Parker’s other children nor do we know if those were all of Parker’s children. We do not know from whom Parker’s father was descended nor his ethnicity.
The fact is that the mother of Charity, Littleberry and the other children is unknown – OTHER THAN our family’s oral tradition. Really, she may have had any ethic background. The conclusion that her H haplogroup is solid evidence that Charity’s mother could not be Native American is, I think, flawed. Haplogroup H can be Native American as evidenced by my rare H haplogroup – American Indian H1z1. In fact, in my opinion, the blog owner’s DNA test results of the Charity test subject should be called into question; first, because she has continued to refuse to post the full and complete test results to support her statements; second, the mitochondrial test results of the Keziah test subject do have Native American DNA matches; and, third, the testing company which was used does not analyze completely the mitochondrial DNA and it has an extremely small autosomal population database from which to compare DNA to “assign” a specific “ethnicity.”
Blog Question No. 2: “Where did Parker meet Blue Sky and father her children if not in Cornstalk’s village?”
Blog Question No. 3: “Considering the hostilities that were going on at the time, why would Parker Adkins risk his life to make his first trip to Cornstalk’s village, since he hadn’t yet met Blue Sky?”
My Answer: I shall combine the answers to Nos. 2 and 3. (This answer also touches upon answering Blog Question No. 4, “How did he find Cornstalk’s Village?”):
The owner of the blog assumes Cornstalk’s village is where the two met. It is, again, an assumption. There are innumerable other credible possibilities. We have no way of knowing how the two met. That being said:
THE FAMILIES OF OUR ADKINS HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE AREA AND ON THE WATERWAYS UPON WHICH THE SHAWNEE AND OTHER NATIVE AMERICANS LIVED AND TRAVELED:
When you study the geography of the area, the ease of getting around on the waterways is obvious. It would have been easy for Parker. Why would he make his life more difficult? As the book “Pittsylvania’s Eighteenth Century Grist Mills” writes SPECIFICALLY about William Atkinson’s (yes, our William Atkinson and family) on page 8, “Although it was a primitive area, its access to navigation on the Pigg River was an advantage. In the absence of a farm to market road, the bateaux [sic] offered the best access to markets. How much this item of geography influenced the building of Atkinson’s mill is an unknown. Early roads, which were little more than trails, could have been a factor also.” (Emphasis added.)
So, Parker and his family would have been familiar with the waterways. Every one of them lived on a waterway during their entire lives. We have documentary evidence that it was a common mode of travel in and around Pigg River in Pittsylvania County. William, Sr. is my 7th great grandfather. Parker and his brother William, Jr. are both my 6th great grandfathers. William, Jr. owned and operated the earliest recorded grist mill in Pittsylvania County. It was located at the confluence of the Pigg River and Harpen Creek. You can find a very detailed account of the mill in the book, “Pittsylvania’s Eighteenth Century Grist Mills,” by Herman Melton, which includes a land survey description and diagram. There is also a diagram of what is believed to be William’s 1747 mill. Mr. Melton has created a wonderfully detailed and descriptive account of this mill’s importance due to its location.
He writes: “On the other hand, the Harpen Creek area could have provided only primitive living in isolated places surrounded by dense forests. In retrospect, it does not seem to have been a place conducive to grist mill development. Harpen Creek settlers lived several days away from the Lunenburg County seat. Court records were rudimentary at best. Given the problems of communication and travel that existed at that time, the wonder is not that a few applications to erect dams and water powered mills were not recorded, but that so many records of applications survived until the present. This is one possible explanation for the absence of William Atkinson’s petition to build a mill on Harpen Creek.” He goes on to write: “Although it was a primitive area, its access to navigation on the Pigg River was an advantage. In the absence of a farm to market road, the bateaux offered the best access to markets. How much this item of geography influenced the building of Atkinson’s Mill is an unknown. Early roads, which were little more than trails, could have been a factor also.” (Emphasis added.)
This might have been an opportune time and place to make trade with the Native Americans…after all, trade with them was being promoted by the government with some REALLY great incentives. (In 1705, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act encouraging trade with the Indians; and, among other things, it was provided that any person who should make a discovery of “any town or nation of Indians situated or inhabiting to the westward or between the Appalachian [sic] mountains, should enjoy for the space of fourteen years the exclusive right to trade with them.” (Wow! What an incentive to go out and find as many Indian towns as possible! We know our Adkins were quite the entrepreneurs!)
We can see that the earliest modes of travel in early Virginia was via the waterways.
As early as 1618, it is documented that the James River “served as a highway of traffic and commerce, much like modern interstates.”
From “Some Notes on Shipbuilding and Shipping in Colonial Virginia,” by Cerinda W. Evans, e-book courtesy of Project Gutenburg:
“As the years went by, however, ‘almost every planter, great and small, had a boat of one kind or another. Canoes, bateaux, punts, piraguas, shallops, flats, pinnaces, sloops, appear with monotonous regularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth century records of Virginia and Maryland.'” (Emphasis added.)
This image is from page 22 of the Life, Growth, Development of Virginia Colony Microsoft PowerPoint presentation with a link below:
I just finished reading “History of Transportation in the Ohio Valley,” by Charles H. Ambler, Professor or History at the West Virginia University, published in 1931. This book further confirms the extensive use and reliance on boats and the waterways in the Virginia frontier during the relevant time periods. Regarding canoes, page 26:
“Sometimes canoes were made from stretching hides over a wooden framework. In these crafts, John Howard and others in 1742, descended the Ohio and Mississippi all the way to New Orleans.”…
…”They were admirably suited to the needs of the white explorer and the trader. With little care they could be used to float downstream in safety, and for light traffic they could be moved against currents with dispatch. More over, the end navigation did not destroy their usefulness, for they could be carried across portages and used to continue expeditions that would be otherwise impossible.”
“George Washington and others subsequently penetrated the Transallegheny to assert ownership for the English and to spy out new lands.”…
…”By its use, English traders are thought to have reached the Ohio shortly after 1700.”…
THE QUAKERS AND THE MORAVIANS:
A question we need to ask: Was Bluesky living at or around a Quaker settlement or a Moravian Mission at the time she met Parker? Or, later, were Bluesky and the children living at a Moravian Mission or with the Quakers before she died?
OTHER SHAWNEE VILLAGES:
There were numerous other Shawnee villages at the time. Bluesky may have been living in one of them. The Shawnee frequently traveled in and around the areas where Parker was born and grew up and also both places where he moved his family. “Chronicles of Border Warfare” documents two of the major routes that the Ohio Indians frequently used: “Nearly cotemporaneous [sic] with these establishments, was that at Gallipolis, on the north western bank of the Ohio, and below Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great Kenhawa…” …”This place and the mouth of the Great Sandy were the chief points of rendezvous for the Ohio Indians. From the former of these places they would ascend the Kenhawa [aka New or Woods River] and Greenbrier rivers, and from thence crossing the mountains enter into Augusta; or after having ascended the Kenhawa, go up the New River, from which they would pass over to the James and Roanoke. From the mouth of the Great Sandy they would ascend that river, and by way of Bluestone fall over on the Roanoke and New River. From those two points, expeditions were frequently made by the Indians.” Okay, get your maps out, folks 😊…these paths pass over EXACTLY where our Adkins family was living…Don’t you find it interesting that the Shawnee traveled frequently in, on and around the James and Roanoke Rivers, both where our Adkins lived and our family was NEVER molested in any way? Hmmm…wonder why that might be?
Back to Parker and his family…Parker was traveling to the area before any “hostilities.” Parker was scouting out land to procure for his family; a place where he eventually moved – which was even closer to Bluesky. He was more than likely an Indian trader or trapper. We know he was definitely an explorer and adventurer. He could have been on any one of the expeditions during the applicable time frame that I discuss later. He was a very smart man…he probably spoke some or was fluent in the Shawnee language. He would have encountered Native Americans. It was not uncommon for Native Americans to come to the towns, homes and encampments of the settlers and even live around those same places to make trade before and during any “hostilities.” The early settlers relied on trading goods for food from the Native Americans. Parker’s family owned a mill in the area. It could be that they traded with the Shawnee and this is how he and Bluesky met.
Parker and his entire family were trailblazers, pushing the edge of the frontier for 50 plus years, according to Ronnie Adkins’ book, land grants and tax records. In fact, Parker and his father William were on the tax rolls of different counties during the same years. It is obvious that he and his male relatives were attempting to move to and acquire as much land for their families as possible. Because they were pushing the edge of the frontier, one must consider how it was they made their money, how did they get food, how did they make shelter for themselves, etc.
Blog Question No. 4: “How did he find Cornstalk’s village?”
My Answer: See Nos. 2 and 3 above. There are several possibilities. Chillicothe was in a different location than The Cornstalk’s Town and Grenadier Squaw’s Town on Scippo Creek. The location of Old and New Chillicothe were not a secret. It would have been quite easy to get around on the waterways where both Parker and Chief Cornstalk and other Shawnee lived.
As far as Parker is concerned, there is an enormous amount of documentation to be found regarding the “adventurers,” “explorers,” “scouts,” “rangers,” “expeditions,” “map making expeditions” that the colonists/settlers made into and around the area of Shawnee and other Native American towns and villages.
People were exploring and knew about the area long before Parker and his family explored and settled on Sinking Creek. Remember, word travels fast in small communities. It is well documented that escaped captives certainly talked about the country they had traveled through to come back home. There were so many settlers that were exploring, participating in official and unofficial expeditions, long-duration hunting trips, looking for prime property upon which to settle…This may have spurred Parker and his family’s continuing to “explore” west themselves.
Parker was scouting out land to survey and acquire land grants in Indian territory. He would have had to make many trips to Sinking Creek before he brought his family. He may have had to stay for an extended period of time to invoke a “corn rights” land grant. He would have had to scout out a location. He would have had to build a house or other means of providing protection for his family from the elements. Building a house takes time. Most frontiersmen were also traders. Parker most likely participated in trade with the Native Americans, trading goods with them to purchase animal pelts or to trade for food. Parker’s brother William, Sr. and/or Jr. (my 7th and/or 6th great grandfather) had his grist mill in the area where the Shawnee were known to travel. It is not unreasonable to believe that the Adkins family conducted business with the Shawnee and this was how Bluesky and Parker met. Ronnie Adkins also concludes that Parker was in the area at the time.
In addition to living on the edge of the wild frontier, Parker would have been a very strong man, both psychologically and physically. He orchestrated and made a major move of his family when he was 50 years old! That’s one tough man! He was an individualist. He was blazing his own trails. He was smart and inventive. Shawnees, as most Native Americans, were not hostile towards the colonists. In fact, during the time period which we are discussing, they were friendly, at the least hospitable…So WHY was it that Parker was able to settle on the Pigg River and Sinking Creek without being murdered or molested? I believe it was because of his family relationship with the Shawnee.
Blog Question No. 5: “Did other men go with him, also leaving their families behind? If not, how likely is it that one man could survive such a long and dangerous trip alone? Or even with companions?”
My Answer: The owner of the blog cites several instances of captives who made their way back to “civilization” who survived…
Please see section entitled Native American Women and Their Early Relationships with Frontiersmen.
Long hunts. A great example of how men of the frontier would live is Daniel Boone and any of the “Long Hunters.” He was out hunting, scouting out land and pushing the frontier. Sometimes with companions, sometimes alone. From the reading I have done, Daniel Boone and his companions would leave their families for very long periods of time. In the fall 1767 he left North Carolina to explore and hunt in Kentucky. He returned home the following spring. He was away from his wife and his family for two years on his next trip. These are only two examples of many. My research has shown that this was not a unique situation.
This is another possible way that Parker could have crossed paths with Bluesky. Yes, other men more than likely went with Parker when he was hunting.
Blog Question No. 6: “What was Parker’s explanation to Mary for leaving her alone to take care of their children while he went on this lengthy trip, risking his life to do so?”
Answer: See Nos. 4 and 5 above. Because he and other men were out hunting and scouting out land, she and the women in her family would have been accustomed to the men’s leaving. It would have been a regular occurrence. Men were the providers. The family had to eat. Hunting takes time to gather enough food. They had to hunt and store food for the long winters. If the areas were over-hunted, the men would have been gone for even longer periods of time. The same can be said for scouting out and procuring land. Besides, at that point in time it was not the woman’s place to ask those kinds of questions…
Also, Mary and her children had Parker’s family and extended family as a support system. They were not by themselves. Frontierswomen were definitely not delicate flowers. They were tough ladies. They pretty much ran the homestead. They wouldn’t say no to their husband’s trying to make a better life for her and their children. Women on the frontier did not live very long. A great example of a typical woman’s life on the frontier: http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Frontier_Women?rec=591.
Blog Question No. 7: “Why would other hostile Indians allow Parker to pass unmolested through their territory?”
My Answer: See No. 4. Also see Native American Women and Their Early Relationships with Frontiersmen.
Let’s think about that…yes, now why would that be? How about he had a good family relationship with the Shawnee…
Blog Question No. 8: “Why would Chief Cornstalk welcome Parker Adkins, a white man he had never met, at a time when he and his Shawnees were brutally killing other settlers?”
The question has changed slightly from “Why would Chief Cornstalk welcome Parker Adkins, a white man he never met, when he was busy killing every white person possible?” I tailor my response to answer both.
My Answer: First, the owner of the blog CANNOT prove that Chief Cornstalk and Parker Adkins never met. Second, we do not know the full ethnic background of Parker Adkins. Parker’s mother may have been part Native American. Parker’s father could have been part Native American. *Please see the “Files” section on AFHG to view the DNA Consultants Premium Male YDNA and Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-marker Ethnic Panel DNA test results for two direct male-line descendants of William Adkins, Sr. (Audie Duane Adkins and Jim Adkins, also posted on AFHG). I personally paid for all four of these tests. (Another direct-male line descendant test results to be posted soon and autosomal test results! Yay!)
The Shawnee and other Native American tribes frequently DID have children with whites (and blacks) that had been adopted into the tribe long before Chief Cornstalk. The Shawnee and other Native American tribes WERE TRULY COLORBLIND when it came to the color of a person’s skin. Chief Cornstalk had a well-loved Mulatto gentleman who was one of his translators for over 20 years!
The last part of the question contains a mistaken assumption. Even though the question has been modified slightly, the question still implies that Chief Cornstalk and his Shawnee were “brutally killing other settlers” whenever they were to meet up with one. No, Chief Cornstalk, the Shawnee, nor, for that matter, were any other Native American tribe in the area, killing every settler they encountered.
To the contrary. There is a plethora of historical documentation that Chief Cornstalk was a peace chief. He and his sister Nonhelema were doing everything in their power to keep the peace. The Shawnee and colonists were experiencing pressure because the settlers overstepped their boundaries that had been set by treaty as noted above. See Escalations of Tensions. See Events Leading Up to the Massacres at Muddy Creek and the Levels of the Greenbrier.
We must keep history in mind for the proper modern perspective: The English and the French were playing the tribes against one another — The British and their allied Indians against the French and their allied Indians. After the French and Indian War, the British were playing on the fears of the Native Americans in order to turn them against the settlers. And the French traders and Jesuits were spurring on the Native Americans against the British and the settlers.
The Native American tribes were civil, upstanding people. After a war or conflict was over and treaty terms had been negotiated and were in place, they conducted themselves in an honorable fashion.
An excellent example of the civil relationship between the British government and Chief Cornstalk is that immediately after the Battle of Point Pleasant: “old Cornstalk accompanied Dunmore’s army until they reached the mouth of the Hockbocking, on the Ohio River; and what was more singular, rather made his home in Capt. Cresap’s tent, with whom he continued the terms of the most friendly familiarity.” Quote taken from “The Battle of Point Pleasant, a Battle of the Revolution, October 10th, 1774, Biographical Sketches of the Men Who Participated” by Mrs. Livia Nye Simpson Poffenbarger, published 1909.
Another excellent example of the Shawnee and specifically Chief Cornstalk’s family trying to keep the peace and to SAVE the lives of settlers is, again, Nonhelema…
Even after her brother Chief Cornstalk and her nephew Elinipsico were brutally murdered, Nonhelema continued to seek peace. In May of 1778, she was living at the fort at Point Pleasant. She was acting in the capacity of an interpreter. The Shawnee were seeking retribution for the cowardly murder of Chief Cornstalk. At that time, Indians had been seen around the fort. A demand for surrender had been made by the Indians. Captain McKee requested until the morning so he could consider the matter.
The following morning, Nonhelema delivered McKee’s message, that he would not comply with their demand. The Indians continued to attack for the fort for one week. They relented, collected cattle and then headed up the Kanawha River towards the Greenbrier settlement. The fear of McKee and the others was that the force of Indians would attack the Greenbrier settlement, so they needed to warn them. Two men were painted in “Indian style” by Nonhelema, the Grenadier Squaw in order that they could forewarn the settlers…
Blog Question No. 9. “Why did Parker Adkins voluntarily join the Militia and possibly fight Chief Cornstalk in the Battle of Point Pleasant if they were good friends and Parker was the father of two of Cornstalk’s grandchildren?”
The original question posed had been: “Why did Parker Adkins voluntarily fight Chief Cornstalk in the Battle of Point Pleasant if they were friends and Parker was the father of two of Cornstalk’s grandchildren?” So I shall answer both questions.
This question has been changed slightly since I submitted my “Third Response” which was not published, as I had notified the blog owner that Parker DID NOT participate in the Battle of Point Pleasant. The evidence I supplied was absolute proof. Why continue to post this question? Why is she ignoring the evidence of the Genealogist General of the Sons of the American Revolution?
My Answer: First, you need to research the Colonial muster and muster roll requirements of the period. Signing up for the muster WAS NOT voluntary. It was ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY to register for the muster. The requirements can be found in “Hening’s Statutes at Large.”
Parker Adkins may have assisted in or participated somehow in the Revolutionary War in some capacity; however, again, I reiterate: Parker Adkins did NOT fight Chief Cornstalk in the Battle of Point Pleasant and the evidence is clear that he did not take part in the Point Pleasant Expedition.
This is just another example of erroneous assumption or misinterpretation of facts causing an erroneous conclusion. The confusion began on May 30th, 1774 when Captain Thomas Burk acknowledged Colonel William Preston’s orders that Burk compile a muster roll of available men in his company. Burk acknowledges receipt of his orders and replies, “Sir, I have perceedd. According to your directions as Near as poseble & has oppontd. Eleven out of Thirty four all Able Bodyd. Men. Pleas to Excuse My Short Writting for I Expect to be over With These from your Humb, Sert, Thomas Burk May ye 30th 1774”. Captain Burk goes on to list the 11 men he has selected by name, and Parker Adkins is not listed. Burk goes on to name the rest of his company at that time and it is only there that Parker Adkins is listed. This muster roll was prepared several months before the Battle of Point Pleasant of October 10, 1774, and the members of Burk’s company, like all revolutionary war companies, changed over time.
In the decades that followed, attempts were made to re-construct who actually fought in the Battle of Point Pleasant. Livia Poffenbarger published, “The Battle of Point Pleasant, First Battle of the American Revolution,” 9th Edition, and listed officers and men whom she claimed participated in the Battle. Poffenbarger lists Captain Burk and the men on his roll (NOT including Parker Adkins) as referenced above as participating in the battle. Muster rolls, especially rolls prepared months before battles, are scant evidence of anything as we shall see. The problem is that there is no evidence that Burk’s company, much less unselected Parker Adkins, was even on the expedition to Point Pleasant.
In fact, all the historical evidence is to the contrary. John D. Sinks, Genealogist General of the Sons of the American Revolution states in his July 28, 2015 treatise, “Proving Service at the Battle of Point Pleasant for Sons of the American Revolution” (considered by many as the supreme authority on participants in American Revolutionary Battles) inter alia: The Sons of the American Revolution no longer accepts the Poffenbarger list as valid. Colonel Preston was not at the battle but was at Fincastle County. Further, on October 14, 1774, he received a letter from Major William Ingles recounting the story of the expedition’s march and subsequent battle details of Point Pleasant; hardly necessary if Preston was there. Captain Burk’s company was not at the battle. Captain Burk’s company is not even listed on any of the general returns for the expedition. Parker Adkins was not even selected on the muster roll, much less present in the expedition going to the battle. He did not participate in the battle itself. Parker Adkins was not listed on any pay records for this battle and he was not listed as entitled to a battle pension for service in this battle as were the actual participants.
The State of West Virginia web project lists soldiers at the Battle of Pleasant Point and Parker Adkins is not listed. See “Proving Service at the Battle of Point Pleasant for Sons of the American Revolution” by John D. Sinks, Genealogist General, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, 28 July 2015.
Blog Question No. 10. “Was Parker with Blue Sky when she died? If not, who made the trip to notify him?”
My Answer: We do not know when, where or how Bluesky died, only our oral tradition that she died and that her children were taken by their father, Parker Adkins, to live with him and his other family. There were ways to communicate with people, even during times of war. If you look at the records of the U.S. Postal Service regarding early mail delivery, you will find information that settlers and Native Americans were paid a great deal of money to deliver messages in bad times and good. You can find extensive documentation regarding “expresses” and “messengers” during times of expeditions and, yes, in times of conflict and war. (Sandy Creek Expedition, etc.) Another source of information on this subject is the Library of Virginia.
If Bluesky and the children were living at a Moravian mission or Quaker settlement at the time, they would have certainly notified the father of the children that their mother was dying. There are so many different scenarios we might imagine, but the fact is that Parker did receive word and he came for the children.
Blog Question No. 11. “The Indians valued their children above practically everything else, even replacing dead children with captured white children. Why would Cornstalk give his own grandchildren to Parker Adkins when other Shawnee women would have willingly taken care of them?”
My Answer: See No. 1. First of all, the assumption in the question contradicts the blog owner’s insistence that Cornstalk and the Shawnee hated all white people and were busy killing them all off. If they hated the whites so much, why did they replace their dead children with the hated white children?
Supposing Chief Cornstalk were dead at the time of Blue Sky’s death, why wouldn’t a father want to take care of his children, even if he did not have the opportunity to see them often?
Chief Cornstalk was a very intelligent man. If he were alive at the time of his daughter’s death, he probably recognized the direction that the wind was blowing and would choose to give his grandchildren the safest and secure life that he could, even if it meant assimilation. The Shawnee were great adapters. (Most of his other family members were killed in battle or died from smallpox, including his daughter Aracoma and his son Elinipsico who was murdered with Chief Cornstalk in 1777 – Point of fact: Chief Cornstalk was NOT shivering in fear as the blog owner writes…it was his son Elinipsico as his father comforted him.) The Shawnee were a patrlineal society, so, if Cornstalk were alive, why wouldn’t he entrust Parker with the care of his grandchildren if he wanted to ensure their safety and the continuance of his bloodline? Proof? Yes. Documentation? Yes. There are Cornstalks who survived whose names appear on to the various Government Indian land grants and the Indian Rolls (including Peter Cornstalk).
Blog Question No. 12: “If Blue Sky died after Chief Cornstalk, why would their new Chief [sic], Blackfish, relinquish these two children to his sworn enemy?”
Again, the question has changed slightly from, “If Blue Sky died after Chief Cornstalk, why would their new Chief [sic], Blackfish, who hated all white people and fought them until he died, relinquish these two children to his sworn enemy?” So my updated answer will hopefully answer both versions of the question:
My Answer: See Nos. 10, 11. Parker was not the “sworn enemy” of Chief Blackfish. Again, it is unknown when, where, or why Bluesky passed away nor under what circumstances at, unfortunately, such an early age. It is not known where Bluesky was living if she was still alive after the murder of her father and brother.
However, we can easily find documentation that neither Blackfish, nor the Shawnee hated all white people, but, to the contrary. One very strong piece of documentation is straight from the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, found in the book: “The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Resilience Through Adversity,” edited by Stephen Warren. The documentation is specifically about Chief Blackfish. (See below.)
As a matter of fact, Blackfish adopted Daniel Boone as his son into the Shawnee at that time with another man, William Jackson. William Jackson, a white man, married Blackfish’s grand daughter, Mary Polly Rogers [Jackson’s third wife], who was half Shawnee Metis (“Metis” is the terminology used in the book). Their son John Jackson (1799-1852) went on to become headman.
In the book “The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma,” there is an entire section written about William Jackson’s son John Jackson, including the notation of his being listed as headman on a treaty signed with the Senecas in Indian territory on December 29, 1832 and also listed on the muster roll. John is one of the earliest known Shawnee chiefs after the Ohio removal. John Jackson is recorded as being the chief counsellor of the Mixed Band of Senecas and Shawnees in a historical document entitled “Emigrant Tribes.” (Chief and counselor being a term they say was used interchangeably.) Of interest is that one of John’s wives was a legend in the tribe because she took in and reared two children: John Prophet, a Shawnee, and Stonewall Jackson, who was a Mexican. Whites were gladly accepted and adopted, so much so that they were allowed into positions of importance and power – Hannah Dennis– No wonder they were so incensed when she betrayed their trust – think of her…she was a traitor in their eyes…a Benedict Arnold.
Another example to indicate that the Shawnee did not hate white people: Chief Cornstalk and other Shawnee headmen adopted whites into their families and married some of them. One of Nonhelema’s consorts was a white man (there may have been others). She adopted whites into her family. Chief Cornstalk’s son Peter Cornstalk is well documented. One of his first wives (actually, she may have been his first wife) was my 7th great grandmother, Elizabeth See. They produced a child. Agreed in the terms of the negotiation of the treaty, Elizabeth See was the only white captive who was allowed to remain with the tribe when the rest were released. (Another alleged “story” according to the owner of the blog, but there’s historical documentation AND DNA to back it up to verify and test our family’s oral tradition.)
Blog Question No. 13: “Where and when did Parker spend enough time to bond with and learn to love these two children to the extent that he would ask his wife to raise them?”
My Answer: This is a very speculative area and is difficult to answer. We do not know how much time Parker spent with Bluesky nor where they spent their time together. The fact is that she may have lived closer and they were able to spend more time together. It might very well have been they spent time living as a family when Parker scouted out and while he was preparing the property for the rest of his family to join him. It was a different time. We do have documented proof in our family of plural marriage (Owen Adkins) and no marriage at all (Mary Adkins, the sister of Parker – a very independent and forward-thinking woman). It is such a well-known fact that we joke about it constantly on the AFHG page and we also joke about the heavy first-cousin intermarriage back in the day. Why wouldn’t that have applied to Parker? Our family may have had a different idea of how the family unit was defined by them back then — We just don’t know the answer with ANY degree of certainty.
Men frequently left on long hunting expeditions. Men had to provide for their families. They could not run down to the corner market. Men had to be away in order to scout land and to build homesteads. They had to do whatever was needed. Parker may or may not have “bonded” with his Native American children in the traditional sense we think of now; but Parker must have loved them; so much so, that he took them into his other home with his wife and family. We were not there, so we will never know for certain.
Blog Question No. 14: “If you were Mary, how would you react if your husband surprised you with his two Shawnee children who had never lived with white people and expected you to raise them?”
My Answer: See No. 13. If the “other” Mary was a family member, of course she would have welcomed Charity and Littleberry.
We DO know that white people and other races lived among the Shawnee. The children certainly were not wild animals – they were the grandchildren of Chief Cornstalk who is recognized for his statesmanship and oratory skills. We do not know that the “other” Mary was “surprised” by the children. Who knows, she may have known previously about the arrival of Charity and Littleberry. The first possibility that comes to mind is the strongest: Mary knew these were Parker’s children.
Charity and Littleberry were half white. Their aunt Nonhelema was a Shawnee/English translator. Bluesky may have been a translator as well. It is well documented that the family would accompany Chief Cornstalk away from their town for many different occasions such as treaties, councils, official visits to cities and to visit the Quakers and Moravians. Charity and Littleberry may not have looked nor acted “Indian.” The family tradition is that Charity and Littleberry were “darker” than the other children. Please recall that there were white people that had been taken captive by Native American tribes, including Cornstalk’s. Charity and Littleberry would have been accustomed to being around whites – their father was white – and traders came to the village. The children probably spoke English. (Fun fact: Shawnee had become dependent on European goods and were desperate to have them. By the 18th century, Shawnee had become the trade language of native peoples and colonizers.) The Shawnee were famous for their skills in adaptation. They realized that Native Americans and Europeans/settlers needed each other.
Blog Question No. 15. “Why do you not believe the historical facts presented here?”
My Answer: It is more that there are so many more historical facts that are being ignored. DNA test results and family oral tradition suggest other conclusions. I just don’t believe your limited and censored “historical facts.”
I am posting the Keziah test subject’s mitochondrial Premium Female and autosomal Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-marker Ethnic Panel test results from DNA Consultants concurrent with the posting of this paper on AFHG. You can compare them to the Keziah FTDNA screenshots that were posted by Lynda and reach your own conclusion. For ease of convenience, I will also re-post the Charity subject’s DNA test results from DNA Consultants on AFHG.
We have a unique situation in our family which warrants further exploration and consideration. Our Adkins and the other family members in our tree are heavily intermarried in one way or another all down the line. We can trace this back to the 1700s. Our family is a very old family. These families were closely intertwined through hundreds of years. They often married first cousins – even my great grandparents were Adkins first cousins. Marrying first cousins was not uncommon during this time period. How would innumerable episodes of close relatives’ marrying affect mtDNA, YDNA and our autosomal DNA? Please read “Mitochondrial DNA, Recombination and Introgression” and “Heteroplasmy (Maternal and Paternal).”
Mitochondrial DNA Recombination and Introgression
I have been attempting to find studies conducted to determine the effect of intermarriage and the resultant DNA. I have been researching recombination, introgression and heteroplasmy. One excellent paper I have come across is “The Incomplete Natural History of Mitochondria” by Ballard JW, Whitlock MC., Mol. Ecol. 2004 Apr; 13(4):729-44, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. This paper argues “that there is significant bias when inferring demographic properties of populations and/or the evolutionary history of species” and “the difficulty in interpreting phylogeographical data from DNA alone.” This paper also argues that “it is not safe to assume a priori that mtDNA evolves as a strictly neutral marker because both direct and indirect selection influence mitochondria.”
Heteroplasmy (Maternal and Paternal)
We must also explore how intermarriage affects our mitochondrial DNA and assigning the correct haplogroup, if heteroplasmy occurs. When heteroplasmy does occur, does that mean at some point in the direct female line that a different non-direct female-line ancestor’s mitochondria has replaced that true direct female-line mitochondria, producing a different haplogroup’s being identified and passed down through the future generations OR that at some point in the direct female line of one of the earlier father’s mitochondrial DNA has replaced the true direct female line (paternal leakage)? Well, it turns out it is possible.
A great publication from which to learn more about mitochondrial DNA, (which also touches upon heteroplasmy) is: “Forensics and Mitochondrial DNA, Applications, Debates, and Foundations,” by Bruce Budowle, et al., published in Annu. Rev. Genomics Hum. Genet., 2003. This paper is a bit complex.
An article that’s a little easier to read regarding heteroplasmy is a thought-provoking article from the Molecular History Research Center explaining the mitochondrial mutational clock and heteroplasmy: http://www.mhrc.net/mitochondrial.htm
Michael Brown, the author of the article writes in the section entitled “Initial Evidence of a Faster Clock Speed”:
“A number of years later, in 1991, the Russians exhumed a mass grave site that was thought to have the last Russian Tsar that was killed in the revolution. The controversy has been raging for years. Do they have the correct body? There were at least nine skeletons found in the shallow grave where various members of the royal family, their physician, and servants were buried. So, they compared the mitochondrial DNA of living relatives with the DNA in the bones of the nine skeletons found in the grave site. What they found surprised everyone. The match with relatives was close but there was a mismatch. A mutation occurred. There should not be a mutation statistically speaking for 300 to 600 generations. However, it was found that heteroplasmy was common in the family.
“Heteroplasmy is caused by mutations. Since there are multiple copies of mitochondrial DNA in a cell, an average of around 1000 copies per cell, a person can easily have two or more different sequences of mitochondrial DNA when mutations occur in the cell.
“Dr. Parsons found that heteroplasmy was more frequent than what was expected, so he and his colleagues conducted a study. They studied 357 individuals from 134 different but related families. They were “stunned” to find out that there were 10 different mutations.”
As for heteroplasmy and paternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (where a female inherits her father’s mitochondrial DNA rather than the mother-to-daughter line), I have found a compelling article published on Academia, originally published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution in January of 2003 entitled “Mitochondrial Steve: Paternal Inheritance of Mitochondria in Humans” by Lindell Bromham, Adam Eyre-Walker, Noel H. Smith and John Maynard Smith, Centre for the Study of Evolution, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex, UK. Here is the link to the article:
Further, as I was conducting more in-depth research regarding heteroplasmy, I realized that there are some extraordinary health issues that can develop…and that made me wonder if heteroplasmy might be responsible for some of the extreme health issues which many of our family members suffer?
I am sharing what I find with Tammy White Leffel — We owe many thanks to Tammy. She is attempting to put the pieces together of why our family is suffering from so many unusual ailments. Tammy suffers from some of these medical issues and she is working with medical geneticists to try to put those pieces of the puzzle together – and she wants to share what she learns with our family. Tammy has a very impressive medical background and is working with some great doctors on her own personal medical team. Thank you, Cousin Tammy!
Regarding the insistence by the blog owner that Native American mitochondrial DNA is only haplogroups A, B, C, D and X, I posted a thread on AFHG on December 9, 2019 regarding what I thought to be a very interesting link that I had come across:
“Dorene Soiret: Even Roberta Estes is expanding the list of Haplogroups that are Native American! Scroll down past the A,B, C, and D and their subclades…She is also finding that F and M mitochondrial DNA as being Native American…Mind you, they are her notes, but give it a read and see what you think.
DNA Tests Available for Comparison
*The Keziah Adkins’ test subject’s mitochondrial test results that Lynda Davis Logan had administered through FTDNA. Screenshots of the full test results were posted to the AFHG. Lynda Davis Logan has permission to write about, post and discuss Jeane Chaffin’s test results. Permission granted prior to administration of tests.
*The Charity Adkins’ test subject’s tests results for tests that I had administered through DNA Consultants: Premium Female mitochondrial DNA test and DNA Consultants Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-marker Ethnic Panel. Full and complete test results were posted to the AFHG. I have the permission of Audalene Starr to write about, post and discuss Audalene Starr’s test results. Permission granted prior to administration of tests.
*The Keziah Adkins’ test subject results that I had administered through DNA Consultants: Premium Female mitochondrial DNA test and DNA Consultants Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-marker Ethnic Panel full and complete test results to be posted concurrently with this paper. I have the permission of Jeane Chaffin and Lynda Davis Logan to write about, post and discuss Jeane Chaffin’s test results. Permission granted prior to administration of tests.
Something More to Think About
Before we move on to the actual test results (that we do have available), here are a few more issues that need to be considered.
The “Charity and Keziah are full sisters” theory is fatally flawed. They were NOT full sisters.
Discussion: There are any number of reasons why the two could have had the same haplogroup within the last 550 years and their mitochondrial DNA mutations match “exactly” within the last 550 years, including heteroplasmy and paternal leakage. Both test subjects share very close familial ties which continued to intertwine.
First, and foremost, we have our 250-year old unchanged family oral tradition that Charity and Keziah WERE NOT full sisters;
Second, we need to educate ourselves what an “exact” match means as defined by the company that the owner of the blog used for the Charity test subject. Because we are unable to view the Charity test subject’s results obtained by the owner of the blog…we need to look at the test results of the Keziah test subject obtained by Lynda Davis Logan. Lynda obtained a mtFullSequence test for the Keziah test subject. She purposely only had the mitochondrial DNA test because the mitochondrial DNA is the DNA that is the subject at hand.
What does it mean to have an EXACT mitochondrial match for a mtFullSequence mitochondrial test? The definition can be found on their website: “How do I tell how closely I am related to a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) match?” Lynda has purchased the highest level of testing available at that company, the mtFullSequence, which shows the EXACT matches at HVR1, HVR2 and coding regions.
If we look at the chart, we find that the span of generations to the most common ancestor range is HUGE! – the confidence level within 5 generations (around 125 years) is ONLY a predicted confidence level of 50%! (Wow! 50%…That’s a coin flip!) So, a 50% confidence level is not very convincing. We need to do better. The next level of the chart for a higher level of confidence, a 95% prediction…jumps to 22 generations – which is about 550 years!
If you would like to see the chart and definition, here’s a link:
The significance is that the ONLY thing that can be said with certainty about the “relatedness” of the Charity test subject and the Keziah test subject is that the two shared some common ancestress somewhere up to 550 years ago (unless there was an heteroplasmy event or a paternal leakage event);
Third, if there was an heteroplasmy or paternal leakage event in the case of the Charity test subject somewhere in her mitochondrial line…it means that from the time of the occurrence of that heteroplasmy event (however long ago that event may have been)…it would have FOREVER CHANGED the inheritance of the mitochondrial DNA being passed down to those daughters in later generations. This is a strong possibility of why the two share the same mitochondrial DNA mutations.
The owner of the blog will, undoubtedly, continue to insist that the mitochondrial DNA of the Charity Adkins test subject and the Keziah Adkins test subjects are identical and, therefore, their sharing the same haplogroup MUST make them FULL sisters. She is wrong. Let me illustrate:
Let’s perform a simple exercise, using my family and my mitochondrial DNA in a hypothetical occurrence of events. I will set this up in the present day, so please bear with me – I am just trying to set up a “no-records-for-a-while scenario.” Imagine for this mental exercise that prior and current documents and records have been stored in electronic format because everything is now “paperless.” Everything has been scanned and stored. No more paper documents…all that paper’s been recycled 😊.
There’s been a major catastrophe. Let’s say a war. The “grid” goes down and there is no way to get it back up and running. We lose all records prior to 2020. The subjects for this exercise will be my direct maternal-line third cousin Costa Hill and I. Let’s say the year is 2020. Imagine that Costa and I are children. I live in California. Costa lives in West Virginia. My parents are tragically killed in the war. Costa’s family and mine have never met; however, Costa’s family is my closest living family. They kindly agree to take me in. I move to West Virginia to live with Costa and her family. They raise me as one of their own. We pass down this tragic oral history in our family so that later generations will not forget. It was a major, tragic event in our family.
Fast forward approximately 250 years, about 11 generations. (The same time period we are talking about for Bluesky, Charity and Littleberry). Internet technology, etc. has been re-established; however, again, all prior records were lost for the time period prior to 2020.
Imagine the year is now 2270. Some of our family’s descendants are attempting to trace me to that specific time, to learn about my family because my father had been a famous war hero, but they can only trace me to living with Costa and her family.
An outsider comes along with a theory and attempts to put the pieces together as she thinks they should be considered. She has a vague understanding of the family history and does a little research. Because Costa and I are living together at the time, she believes that the family oral tradition cannot possibly be true. She determines that the best way to set about proving this theory is to locate a direct female-line descendant; one for Costa, one for me. That task is accomplished! The mitochondrial tests are performed, test results are back! They are IDENTICAL! Costa and I must be full sisters! Well…actually, not at all.
This is where our family oral tradition comes in and proves why it is SO important and why it CANNOT be dismissed.
Audalene’s family are direct female- AND male-line descendants of Charity (Bluesky) and Littleberry (Parker). We have to ask ourselves: Why would the oral tradition be handed down so carefully for 250 years from generation to generation? It has NOT changed. Then we ask ourselves: What would be the benefit? None in my view. As I discussed earlier, our ancestors were living in dangerous times and times of extreme prejudice. If you had Native American heritage even up to recent times, well, things did not go so well for you and your family. (I can document this prejudice personally from the life experiences of my grandmother, my great aunt and great grandmother.) How could they take such a chance by writing it down?
Something else we need to think about: The owner of the blog states that “ALMOST all of the people who match Audalene have ancestry that originated in England and Ireland.” I ask: What about the other matches? What ethnic background are they classified? Why won’t she let anyone else see the results?
No, DNA doesn’t lie – however, we must consider the technology being used, weigh its strengths and weaknesses and consider all the evidence that seems valid. We have very unique circumstances in our family, so ALL aspects of the family history/situation need to be analyzed and taken into consideration before ultimately coming to a conclusion. In my opinion, the owner of the blog just took off with her Charity Adkins results and ran with them…
Thankfully, we now have the ability to study more tests of our family to get the bigger picture; but, specifically, we have the FTDNA mitochondrial test results of the Keziah test subject, Jeane Chaffin, provided by Lynda Davis Logan AND the mitochondrial test results for both the Charity test subject (Audalene) and the Keziah test subject (Jeane) from DNA Consultants to compare.
Lynda and Jeane kindly gave me permission to access Jeans’ results and matches on FTDNA, to talk and write about those results and to post a screenshot(s). Lynda Davis Logan can verify the test results.
The owner of the blog has posted this on AFHG, her blog and to those she has reached out to on Ancestry and FTDNA (and potentially other places that have not come to my attention as of this writing):
“The DNA came back as Haplogroup H, the most common female haplogroup in Europe. Charity’s mother was a white woman with mostly English and Irish ancestry.”
Well, I do not know what exact mitochondrial test results the owner of the blog was using…but the mitochondrial test results by her testing company of choice for Lynda’s Keziah test subject definitely are NOT “mostly English and Irish”; In fact, they are quite different. Please read on…
Jeane Chaffin’s EXACT mitochondrial matches for HVR1, HVR2 and coding regions (including heteroplasmy) from FTDNA:
You will, please, take note:
Jeane has 8 exact matches in the United States.
Jeane has 3 exact matches in England.
Jeane has 1 exact match in Denmark.
Jeane has 1 exact match of unknown origin in the United States.
There are NO exact matches in Ireland – nor do any of these matches go back to Ireland.
DNA Consultants Premium Female Mitochondrial Test Results
TEST RESULTS FOR:
Audalene Starr, Direct Female-Line Descendant of Charity Adkins
Jeane Chaffin, the Direct Female-Line Descendant of Keziah Adkins
You will note that Audalene and Jeane’s Haplogroup has not changed…it is still classified as H3b1b1; however, there’s a very interesting twist…just like my mitochondrial DNA (mine has been classified American Indian H1z1), SO FAR THEIR MITOCHONDRIAL DNA HAS NO MATCH FOR THEIR COMBINATION OF MUTATIONS IN THE WORLD. (*The one match in Northwest Europe is only at HVR1.)
A CRUCIAL piece of information as to the origin of Audalene and Jeane’s mitochondrial DNA can be found in their results — their mutation 153G is found ONLY in North America.
What is striking is that their 16111[T] and 16129[A] mutations are more typically found in Haplogroup A — which is considered a current “accepted” Native American haplogroup (the list is growing).
Directly from Audalene’s and Jeane’s reports, p 2 and 3: “Because of the sparse information it is not possible to judge what region the haplotype comes from or its exact age.” (Emphasis added.)
I also took some time to compare each of Audalene’s and Jeane’s mutations with the DNA mutations of those who had participated in the Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies for the Native American DNA project in which I am a participant – Of course, although no one matched their mutation combinations exactly, ***EVERY SINGLE PIECE*** of Audalene and Jeane’s mitochondrial DNA match those participants in the DNA study — including the missing mutation. (Test results for the first two phases of the study can be found in the book “Cherokee DNA Studies, Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong,” by Donald N. Yates and Teresa A. Yates. The results are published in the back of the book, so you all can do the same.)
So it is VERY important to consider mitochondrial DNA’s extra and missing mutations. It is crucial to drill down into the fine detail to discover these distinctions. It makes a huge difference. The significance is that we cannot assume because their haplogroup was classified as “H” that it is not Native American in origin; quite the contrary…
Fun Fact: I also came to learn, unbeknownst to me there are other Adkins family members in the DNA study in which I am a participant! I can’t wait for the new book to come out with the results of the third phase of the study!
DNA CONSULTANTS NATIVE AMERICAN FINGERPRINT PLUS 18-MARKER ETHNIC PANEL AUTOSOMAL TEST RESULTS
TEST RESULTS FOR:
Audalene Starr, Direct Female-Line Descendant of Charity Adkins
Jeane Chaffin, the Direct Female-Line Descendant of Keziah Adkins
*(Please be sure to view and compare additional test results for other family members who have been tested! They can be found after the “Conclusion” section below.)
Before we discuss autosomal test results, there’s a topic we need to address: that is the importance of the size of a testing company’s population database with which to match your autosomal DNA. If they don’t have the DNA for that population, you will not receive a match to that population. For example, the reason our family is not receiving Native American matches with some of these big companies is because those companies do not yet have Eastern Native American tribes in their population databases. Luckily, many of our family members are finding their Native American on GEDmatch; and some are exploring further by taking a DNA Consultants Native American Fingerprint Plus 18-Marker Ethnic Panel test.
Important to note: “Native American DNA is so distinctive that this test can detect even small amounts of it because of multi-generational interbreeding and effective conservation of admixture markers.” From DNA Consultants Native American Fingerprint Plus test results.
Let’s get to the very exciting DNA Consultants autosomal test results! You will notice heavy Native American test results in the Native American Fingerprint Plus-18 Marker Ethnic Panel for both the Charity (Audalene) and Keziah (Jeane) test subjects. You will notice they present more for the Charity test subject as Native American and Hispanic matches and in the Keziah test subject in her heavy Asian test results.
One of the important keys to reading these test results can be found on page 6 under “Population and Ethnicity Notes: Hispanic matches (including Brazilian) do not necessarily indicate Latin American ancestry but may signal rather a mixture of Iberian and Native American ancestry”; and “Asian is a common deep ancestral match for anyone with Native American ancestry.” Also, “Finno-Uralic-Baltic region of northern Europe (the “dual ancestry” model now accepted; Lazaridis; Seguin-Orlando). Middle Eastern is a common match for anyone with Melungeon ancestry.”
I hope that you will also take the time to study not only the test results for Audalene and Jeane, but our other Adkins family members that I have posted on AFHG. There are very strong and consistent Native American results in each of the autosomal tests of our other family members. I am posting their DNA Consultants’ Native American Fingerprint Plus World Match test results here along with screenshots of their GEDmatch Eurogenes K9b admixture test results.
*I have received written permission from each of the owners of the DNA to publish their various test results and discuss their test results on all forums.
*All test results posted are descendants of the William Atkinson/Adkins and Elizabeth Parker marriage.
*With the exception of the Keziah test subject and Donald N. Yates, all are descended in their direct family line from Charity Adkins or Littleberry, and in many instances from both.
*All test results posted here are descended multiple times in their direct family lines INCLUDING the Keziah test subject.
*And, of course, the DNA test results are for informational purposes only. They are not being used for tribal enrollment, nor is that why they are posted. Our ancestors have had to hide and keep close to their chests their Native American heritage for 250 years. We want to have it openly recognized and to be able to celebrate a deep and strong part of our family identity and tradition without having to fight for or to be continually persecuted all over again in the public forum.
Definitions from DNA Consultants’ Native American Fingerprint Plus tests:
Definitions from DNA Consultants’ Rare Genes from History tests:
Here are a few links to articles describing the Rare Genes from History test and description of each rare gene category:
August 7, 2020
Here is a link to a great article that breaks down DNA Consultants tests:
Audalene Starr, the direct female-line descendant of Charity Adkins, daughter of Parker and Bluesky; also descending from Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr. Audalene is also a participant in Phase 3 of Native American Mitochondrial DNA Study:
Rare Genes from History:
GEDmatch using FTDNA raw data:
GEDmatch using 23andMe raw data:
Gematch Archaic @ default of 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2.0 cM:
@ 4.0 cM:
@ 7.0 cM:
Jeane Chaffin, direct female-line descendant of Keziah Adkins, daughter of Parker Adkins and Mary Last Name Unknown; Hezekiah Adkins, son of Parker Adkins and Mary Last Name Unknown:
GEDmatch using 23andMe raw data:
GEDmach Archaic @ 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2.0 cM:
@ 4.0 cM:
@ 7.0 cM:
Costa Hill, my third cousin in my mitochondrial line whom I talk about above. Costa also descends from Parker and Bluesky’s children Charity and Elijah Adkins (Elija’s first wife was White Wing Cornstalk); also descending from Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr.; mitochondrial-line second cousin of Alice LaBier Gound, Walter LaBier, third cousin John Blake:
GEDmatch Archaic default @ 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2.0 cM:
@ 4 .0 cM:
It is so important to take the time to analyze as much information as possible when studying a family as old and intricate as ours. The time period which we are investigating is over 250 years. Times and circumstances were very unusual in the newly developing country. Oral tradition passed down from our elders IS valid historical documentation. Our families did intermarry with the Native American population. There is much data to digest and consider. The new DNA technology is very exciting, but one test isn’t enough. The more testing we do with reputable companies, the better. We should continue to conduct more testing in the future as larger specialty populations are tested and as new and better technology becomes available. Each DNA test has its benefits and drawbacks; however, they are all tools in our genealogy toolbox. We should learn what we can from all of them; whether we use one for cousin matches and another for accurately analyzing our ancestor populations. It will be a HUGE drawback, if we get any piece of the puzzle wrong – the cost will be our true family history. We NEED to get it right.
I leave you with this: Our family oral tradition remains intact: Bluesky lived. Bluesky was the daughter of Chief Cornstalk. Bluesky was the mother of Charity and Littleberry Adkins…
I rest my case…
ADDITIONAL FAMILY DNA TEST RESULTS
Carlyle Hinshaw (87 years young!), direct descendant of Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket, my cousin through Chief Cornstalk. Carlyle is also a participant in Phase 3 of the Native American mitochondrial DNA study in which I am a participant:
GEDmatch Archaic @ default 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2 cM:
@ 4 cM:
@ 7 cM, LBK, Stutgart, 7ky:
Jim Lee, direct descendant of Shawnee Chief Silver Heels (brother of Chief Cornstalk and Nonhelema), my cousin through Chief Cornstalk:
GEDmatch Archaic default @ 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2.0 cM:
@ 4.0 cM:
@ 5.0 cM, Clovis Montana, 12.5ky:
Carol Pierce, direct descendant of Shawnee Chief Silver Heels (brother of Chief Cornstalk and Nonhelema); direct female-line descendant of Julia Ann Ellick; my cousin through Chief Cornstalk:
Julia Ann Ellick, a Shawnee woman, great grandmother of Carol Pierce and Jim Lee. Permission to post photo granted to Dorene Soiret by Jim Lee.
Three generations: Dimmeria Francis Byrd Ford, daughter Virginia Ford Hood, and Carol Hood Pierce. Permission to post granted to Dorene Soiret by cousin Carol Pierce.
Ha, ha…Carol has so many Native American matches that they ran out of room on her certificate! Here are the rest in descending order:
Unfortunately GEDmatch has completely replaced their Archaic DNA with more recent “European” DNA, so a meaningful comparison cannot be performed.
Bonnie Hester (82 years young!), direct female-line descendant of Charity Adkins (daughter of Parker and Bluesky); also descended from Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr.; niece of Clarence Osburn; great aunt of Sheila Smith-Lee:
GEDmatch Archaic @ default of 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2.0 cM:
@ 4.0 cM:
@ 5.0 cM, LBK, Suttgart, 7ky; Loschbour, Lux., 8ky; BR2, Hungary, 3.2ky; Rise 493, Russia, 3.2ky:
Clarence Osburn (94 years young!), direct female-line descendant — yes, you read that correctly — of Charity Adkins (daughter of Parker and Bluesky); also descended from Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr.; uncle of Bonnie Hester; father of Debbie Osburn Bolye and great uncle of Shiela Smith-Lee:
(Clarence and two other of my relatives, Roseanne Pearl LaBier and Bernie Smith share a very rare allele that “clouds” their test results somewhat from our other family test results.)
GEDmatch Eurogenes K9b:
Gedmatch Archaic default @ 0.5 cM:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2.0 cM:
@ 4.0 cM:
@ 10.0 cM, Loschtour, Lux., 8ky:
Debbie Osburn Boyle, descendant of Parker and Bluesky’s daughter Charity Adkins; also descended from Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr.; daughter of Clarence Osburn; great niece of Bonnie Hester; cousin of Sheila Smith-Lee:
Sheila Smith-Lee, descendant of Parker and Bluesky’s daughter Charity Adkins; also descended from Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr.; great niece of Clarence Osburn and Bonnie Hester; cousin of Debbie Osburn Boyle:
GEDmatch Archaic @ default of 0.5:
@ 1.0 cM:
@ 2 cM:
@ 4 cM:
@ 6 cM, NE1, Hungary, 7.2ky:
Bernie Smith, father of Sheila Smith Lee, descendant of Parker and Bluesky, through daughter Charity Adkins; also through Parker’s brother William Adkins, Jr.:
(Bernie and two other of my relatives, Roseanna Pearl LaBier and Clarence Osburn share a very rare allele that “clouds” their test results somewhat from our other family test results.)
Asbury Adkins, 91 years young; direct male-line descendant of William Adkins Sr. through Parker and Bluesky’s son Littleberry Adkins; AND also descending from William, Sr. and Elizabeth Adkins’ daughter MARY ADKINS through THREE of her children — 1) Nancy who married her first cousin Littleberry, 2) Jacob who married Pheobe Bradshaw, 3) Sherrod who married Sarah Lucas:
Annagene Adkins, sister of Asbury Adkins; descendant of Parker and Bluesky’s son Littleberry Adkins; AND also descending from William, Sr. and Elizabeth Adkins’ daughter MARY ADKINS through THREE of her children — 1) Nancy who married her first cousin Littleberry, 2) Jacob who married Pheobe Bradshaw, 3) Sherrod who married Sarah Lucas:
Annagene is testing with DNA Consultants and we are awaiting the results.
Rick Lear, descendant of Littleberry Adkins, son of Parker Adkins and Bluesky. Littleberry married his first cousin, Nancy Adkins, daughter of Mary Adkins (d/o William, Sr. and Elizabeth Parker):