~ Discovering Your Family's Past To Shape Your Future ~
The young man was out farther than was safe…but he either didn’t know or didn’t care. He was captured by Cherokee Indians that day in 1790. He married a Cherokee woman with whom he had two sons. When she died, he took his two sons Elijah and Isaac back to live with the white settlers of West Virginia. Even after his return to ‘civilization,’ he wouldn’t use plates and insisted on sleeping on the floor.
At least, that’s the family legend! Too far back to be verified by DNA testing (as of today; in 10 years it might be different), there is very little documentation around that could prove or disprove this story. One person said there was proof on a census record, but examination of said record revealed not only no proof, but not even any hints at the legend.
There are several common myths and mythstakes that percolate in families and among genealogy enthusiasts. One of them is that so-and-so was a Cherokee princess. Maybe. What documentation do you have for it? Keep in mind that Cherokees did not have princesses. Doh!
Native-languages.org gives several benefit-of-the-doubt explanations for existence of this legend in any family which are both interesting and plausible. My personal favorite is that, much like fathers often call their daughters princess, your 2nd great-grandpa may have called his wife his ‘Cherokee princess’ because he loved her so much. (Awwwww! That’s so sweet!)
Whatever your family legend is, the phrase ‘we don’t have any proof but…’ should accompany it when shared. And if the truth interests you feel free to give me a call!