where the family lines are the fuzziest; I
am working only with stories told to
me by Daddy's maternal aunts and uncles.
these stories were told, it became readily apparent that there diametrically
opposed points of view: those of the great uncles and those of the great aunts. There was
some common ground, but
the major bone of contention was whether or not the Miller and/or Hildebrand
family lines were
--at least in part-- of Native American extraction.
reviewing the information I had received from my great aunts, I
became wryly amused by the similarity to what some members
of the Five Civilized Tribes did back in the bad old Removal
Days. If a member of the Five Civilized Tribes could
pass as White, they did so, and persistently denied their
Native heritage. If you go back a little further, you
find members of the Creek -- or Muskogee -- Nation doing the
very same thing.
long after the influx of Europeans in what would become the
southwestern United States, a group of Muskogee got fed up to
*HERE* with family, friends, and neighbors trying to be just
like the Europeans. They were certain that no good
would come of it and so they did their very best to drive the
Europeans out -- using only traditional weapons -- in what
would come to be called the Red Stick Uprising. They
were unsuccessful. The loss was such an embarrassment, that,
there after, many Muskogee would say, "Creek . . .?
Me . . .? Nope, I'm Cherokee."
do understand my great aunts' point of view. They could, in fact, be following a
long held family tradition that goes back to the Red Stick
Uprising. However . . .
I get to
the Millers through my father's mother, Catherine Marie
"Kit" Stuckey, like this:
Kit was the eldest
child of William John Stuckey and Mable Louise Schaffer.
was the middle child of George Philip Schaffer and
Mary Louise Miller.
was the daughter of Jacob Miller and his wife, Rachel
have had siblings; she might not have. I don't
know when she was born, so I'm going to guess that it was
around the 1850s.
died in 1888, in/at Fort Randall [South] Dakota.
Why the brackets around
"South". . .? It wasn't South Dakota yet,
it was only the Dakota Territory. And the
"in/at" thing is that at some point between
1880 and 1888, the Fort was decommissioned. And they may not have
actually lived at the fort.
Aunts say that Mary died from either childbirth or a non-specified
disease. In the late 1800s, there
were a lot of fatal non-specified diseases, many of which were related to
the medical knowledge or more precisely the lack there of.
An Intriguing Inconsistency
Mary was buried, to quote my Great Aunt Pink, "on the same reservation as
Sitting Bull" (yet another letter -- or two -- that needs to be written).
researcher in me missed Great Aunt Pink's distress and,
knowing that Sitting Bull had been buried in two places, I
jumped right in with, "OO! Was it where they first
buried him, or where he rests now?"
Pink pursed her lips, drew herself up to her full 5' 5",
crossed her arms over her chest, and said quite firmly,
"There is NO Indian Blood in OUR
any questions regarding Mary, her husband, her parents, or
her maternal lines was answered in exactly the same way,
which had the opposite effect from what my great aunts were
trying foster: I had to know more.
Mary Louise Schaffer nee Miller was a "white
woman" --as the great aunts insist--
why on Earth was she buried on a reservation when
there was a cemetery at/in Fort Randall?
Mary's only Native ancestry is through her Creek
grandfather, Robert Hildebrand, why did the folks on
that reservation in the Dakota Territory let her be
Mary DID have relatives on the reservation there, WHO WERE THEY?
And more importantly, do they have living descendants?
The Plot Thickens
to my great uncle, George Eldon Stuckey, his grandmother
Mary's maternal grandfather was one Robert Hildebrand --
"though that was just his white name" -- a Cherokee
War Chief who was asked to and refused to sign the Treaty of
Okmulgee. According to Great Uncle George, Robert asked
if he had to sign to stay a member of the tribe and when They
said "Yes", he said, "Fine. I
quit", packed up his daughter Rose and eventually wound
up in THE Dodge City, where he became a "renegade".
Daughter Rose became a "famous beauty of the Old
The Treaty of Okmulgee
Uncle George told me about my great great great great
grandfather, Robert Hildebrand, I was still cloud-walking
over being told I was related to Chief Dan George, and was positively
beside myself with delight to find that I had more Native
ancestors. Remember, I was 13 years old. Thirteen
is a tough age all by itself, but when you were the weird kid
that never really fit in, it was ambrosia for the soul.
just one problem.
very first, however, was that Great Uncle George hadn't the
slightest idea how "Hildebrand" was spelled; as he
suggested, I've spelled it just like he pronounced it --
which in itself is problematic.
see, Out here in the Pacific North Wet we are notorious for
things like pronouncing SEATTLE "see-ADDLE", and
Washington as "WAR-shing-tun", but can
pronounce Puyallup (pew-AL-up) and Sequim (skwim, rhymes with swim) and Great Uncle
George was born and raised in western Washington, thus
HILDEBRAND could actually be HILDERBRAND, HILTEBRANT, HILTERBRANT,
HELTERBRENT, or any other spelling that would produce a
many HILDEBRANDs, and HILDERBRANDs, and a couple HILDBRANDs
and HELTERBRANDs. While at the National Archives in Seattle,
I saw a HELTERBRANT woman living with a MILLER family.
This woman could be family but with only Robert and his
daughter Rose's name to work with -- and no firm dates except
for that of the Treaty of Okmulgee -- ANY of the assorted
HILDEBRANDs I've found could be family and I wouldn't know
problem deals with the
Treaty of Okmulgee itself. It
was offered up on February 14th, 1833, at Fort Gibson
Oklahoma, to the Creek (Muskogee), not the Cherokee
(Tsalagi). Great Uncle George said it was offered to the Cherokee,
but I have since found that it wasn't.
Was Robert Cherokee or Creek . . . maybe a descendent of a
Red Stick . . . or he could have been Seminol or of some
other Nation from that area . . . or was my dear Great Uncle
just "telling stories", as his two sisters
bought a book called The Five Civilized Tribes:
Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole by
Grant Foreman (ISBN 0-8061-0923-8, copyright 1934). The
number one reason I bought it was that in the index, it
listed two men named HILDERBRANT: John and David. On page 395, there's
a quote from an article that appeared in the
Cherokee Advisor, December 23, 1847, page 2,
col. 2, which reads:
at the residence of his son Mr. David Hilderbrand, near
this place, on the 20th inst., at 11pm, Mr John
Hilderbrand, one of the oldest men in the nation, aged at
the time of his death, 92 years, 10 months, and 8
days. He came among the Cherokees east of the
Mississippi, more than fifty years ago, among whom he
intermarried. He retained a remarkable degree of
activity up to within a short time of his death.
He left more than 100 lineal descendants, a majority
of whom are residing among the Cherokee."
Robert have been one of those "more than 100 lineal
descendants"? It might explain why Great Uncle George
said he was Cherokee, and a Creek wife might explain why
Robert was asked to sign a Creek Treaty. Unfortunately, the
name of Robert's wife and mother of Rachel has been lost to
So there we
are, the first Stuckey family reunion in eons. . .
I and my
two great aunts, Pink and Merle, are cozied up on a couch at
my cousin Ken's house (one of Great Uncle George's
sons). We're going over some family info I had gotten
from Great Uncle George a couple decades earlier. We
touch on the ancestry of my great great great
grandmother, Rose Hildebrand.
told you that?" demanded Great Aunt Pink.
Uncle George did," was my reply.
that George!" she exclaimed,
"But, then, he's always been like that. He reads these
fantasy stories and puts our family in them. And her
name wasn't Rose, it was Rachel."
went on to tell me that Rachel was from Stuttgart, Arkansas,
and that she'd married a man named Jacob Miller.
I perked up
and asked if Rachel was born there, or was that where she was
living when she married Jacob Miller? My answer. . .?
you guessed it: "There is NO Indian blood in OUR
So who is
the Rachel Hilderbrand, daughter of Robert Hilderbrand I was
told could be found on the Dawes Rolls (in the part listing
the denied claims, if I recall correctly)?
Rachel was "from" Stuttgart, Arkansas. In the
early part of the 1800s, that part of Arkansas was called
"Indian Territory" and there weren't many, if any
"white women" living there.
part of Great Uncle George's story that his sisters will
agree with was the part about Rachel being a "famous
beauty of the Old West".
Pink nudged me in the ribs with an elbow and said, "You
know what that means." And
then she winked.
Yes, I did.
Rose Hildebrand was a saloon girl. Of which of the --I
believe-- three basic types she was, I don't know.
Rachel's husband Jacob Miller, I know next to nothing.
I have his
name: Jacob Miller.
told that two of Jacob Miller's relatives, Clell Miller and
James Miller, were members of The Miller Gang that made
things difficult for folks in Kansas in the 1870/80s.
It should be
noted . . .
thing I know for certain is that MY Clell Miller is NOT
the Clell Miller who was in the James/Younger Gang. A
45 minute phone conversation with a very nice lady named Ruth
Coder Fitzgerald determined that unequivocally; Ruth is of
the family lines of the James/Younger's Millers. (Thank
you, Ruth Coder Fitzgerald)
Miller was hanged as a horse thief.
to make things interesting, Mary Louise Miller's daughter
Alicia Schaffer married a fellow named Bob Miller. Bob
was a "relative" of Mary's, and like his infamous
relatives, Clell and James, I don't know how Bob fits in.
I have my
doubts about solving this family mystery through the usual
means -- census records, etc. I've looked and the trail
back stops in Tacoma, Washington, November 1st, 1899.
There is the notation in the 1910 census that says Mable was
born in the Dakota Territory, but searching Dakota Territory
censuses has proved to be more frustrating than stacking live
1880 and 1888, county boundaries changed a couple times,
placing Fort Randall in either Gregory County or Charles Mix
County. I found lots of Schaeffers, Schaffers, Shafers,
and Millers, but none with names I recognize.
there's the little matter of the distances involved between
Mobridge South Dakota, Fort Randall, and Fort Yates.
Though, they really aren't that far apart by water, and if
Mary had family up towards Fort Yates, they would have found
a way to get her there regardless.
there's the thought that my Great Aunt Pink has been throwing
up a smoke screen by telling me that George Philip Schaffer
and wife Mary Louise Miller lived at Fort Randall. That
Mary was buried on a rez in the Dakotas I don't doubt --Great Aunt Pink's reaction was too strong-- but I'm now
wondering if perhaps they lived somewhere other than Fort
Randall. Fort Yates, maybe?
regardless, I think the key to solving this puzzle lies in
finding other relatives from this
line and hope they have info I don't and vise versa, in which
case I would be more than happy to share information.
you be from this line and/or if any of my family stories
coincide with any of your family stories, please drop me a
line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Janice Keiswetter: If you are reading this, please
please send me your mailing
address, either via email or by
leaving a private message in my
guestbook. I do want to see the corrections your mother
made and wish to make arrangements to get them to me, because I very much
want to find the truth. As currently, the information I have found does
indicate that there is indeed a distinct probability of some Native America
ancestry in the Hildebrand line, I am thinking that if there are new names
in those corrections, it could make a great deal of difference in the
content of this particular page on my web site -- regardless of where the
truth takes me.
In June 2001,
during a visit to my local public library, I found they had
copies of two invaluable books, the two volume Cherokee Roots, by Bob Blankenship, and
the 4 volume Cherokee
Now, I'd heard about these
works and had always meant to look them up, and finding them
at my local library superseded my original reason for being
there. I looked for my surnames and found a number
of listings, which I am sharing with you here.
Do be aware that at
the moment all I have on this are the following
names, and once I get a certain misunderstanding cleared up,
I will be checking both works out and doing some more in depth research. All I could do at the time was copy down the
names and some info on each of the rolls.
Also be aware that not
too long ago --but after Cherokee Roots was published-- one
of the bands of Cherokee closed their enrollment, but
unfortunately I can't remember which one.
If you think you might
have ancestors listed in either work, go to your local
library and check it out.
From Cherokee Roots Vol I (ISBN
0-9633774-1-8/0-9633774-0-X) and Vol II (ISBN 0-9633774-0-X
(set)/0-9633774-2-6) by Bob Blankenship copyright 1992
1. RESERVATION ROLLS 1817: A listing of those desiring
a 640 tract in the east and permitted to reside there.
2. EMIGRATION ROLLS 1817-1835: Those who filed to emigrate
to Arkansas country and after 1828, to Oklahoma.
John, Martin, Nancy
3. HENDERSON ROLL 1835: A census of over 16,000
Cherokee residing in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and North
Carolina to be removed to Oklahoma under the treaty of New
George, J.V., John Lewis, Moses
David, George, Polly
4. MULLAY ROLL 1848: Census of 1,517 Cherokee
remaining in North Carolina after the removal of 1838. John C. Mullay took the
census pursuant to an act of Congress in 1848.
5. SILER ROLL 1851: A listing of some 1700
Eastern Cherokee entitled to a per capita payment pursuant to
an act of Congress in 1850.
Amelia, Ann, Eliza Jane, Emily, John, Martha E., Martha
E., Mary, Michael, Michael Jr.
6. OLD SETTLER ROLL 1851: Cherokee still living in
1851, who were already residing in Oklahoma when the main
body of the Cherokee arrived in Winter 1839 as a result of
the Treaty of New Echota (1835). Approximately one third of
the Cherokee at that time were Old Settlers and two thirds
were new arrivals.
Josephine, Lucy, Matilda, Reece
Alfred, Andre, Cabbin, Peggy, Return, Jefferson, Anna,
7. DRENNEN ROLL 1852: The first census of the new
arrivals of 1839. The N.E.T. (New Echota
Treaty?) group. Trail of Tears.
Alex, Anna, Ben, Emma, Ann, Ara Adny, David, Donna M,
Elizabeth, Elizabeth, George, Emily
Lucy, Peter Jr, Susan, Jane, Michael, Nelly,
Susan, Abigail, Ann E, James V, James V Jr, Jemina,
Nancy, Sally, Anna, Emina, Lewis W, Lucy, J. N., Jane,
John, George Jr, Ellis, Joseh, Samuel, Sarah, Susan,
John, Nancy, Jane, Joseph, Leander, Stephan, Susan, John,
Mary E, Mary, Anne, Jane, John, Moses W, Caty, Diannah,
George, Thomas, Nelson, Wakey, Reese, John
Mary, Stephan \par MILLER, Elenner, Nancy, Ezekiel,
Andrew, Avery, Catharine, Elizabeth, John, Sarah,
Susanah, Thomas, David, Martha, Joseph, Susan, Warren,
Jack, Elizabeth, Alfred, Ellen, Lucinda, Martha, Nancy,
Rufus, William, Mary, Lewis, Washington, David, Binford,
Charles, Jane, Rider, Sarah, Arle, Calvin, Daniel,
Martin, Mary, William, David, Lucy, Henry W, Sarah Ann,
Ailsey, John, Sally
8. CHAPMAN ROLL 1852: prepared by Albert Chapman
as a listing of those Cherokee actually receiving payment
based on the Siler census.
Amelia, Ann, Eliza Jane, Emily, John, Martha E., Mary,
9. SWETLAND ROLL 1869: prepared by S.H. Swetland as
a listing of those Cherokee and their descendants, who were
listed as remaining in North Carolina by Mullay in 1848. Made pursuant to an act of
Congress 1868 for a removal payment authorization.
10. HESTER ROLL 1883: compiled by Joseph G. Hester
as a roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee in 1883. (This roll is an excellent
source of information, including ancestors, Chapman Roll
number, age, English name, and Indian name.)
Amelia, Egletine, Eliza Jane, Green, John W. Jr., John W.
Sr., Lawrence W., Martha, Martha, Nancy, Vince
11. CHURCHHILL ROLL 1908: by Inspector Frank C.
Churchhill to certify members of the Eastern Band of
Cherokee. Like the Hester Roll, includes a lot of
information including degree of blood. Rejected also included.
12. GUION MILLER 1909: compiled by Mr. Miller of
all Eastern Cherokee, not Old Settler, residing either east
or west of the Mississippi. Ordered by Court of Claims
as a result of suit won by the Eastern Cherokee. See Guion Miller Roll West
for more details. Had to be alive on 28 May
1906 and established as a member of the Eastern Cherokee, or
a descendant of, at the time of the violated treaties. One lucky enough to find an
ancestor on this roll can find a tremendous amount of
information, some going back to the early/mid 1800s.
Amelia E., Eliza Jane, John W., Lawrence III, Lawrence
W., Lawrence W. Jr.
13. THE DAWES ROLL 1898-1914: Final roll for allotting the
land and terminating the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Senator Henry L. Dawes was
the commission's chairman, and consequently, the name Dawes
is associated with the final roll. The roll turned out to not
be as final as it was expected to be. Upon the reorganization of
the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in the 1970s, the Dawes Roll
became the only means of certifying membership. To be enrolled by the
Cherokee Nation, one must prove ancestry to a person enrolled
by Dawes. Information on enrollment with the Cherokee
Nation may be obtained by writing to: Cherokee Nation /
Tribal Registrar / PO Box 948 / Tahlequah, Oklahoma / 74465
James, John William
Joe, Karla Dee, Linda
Diah, Annie, Arch, Benjamin D, Benjamin J, Betsy, Brice,
Charles, Cherokee, Cherokee D, Cicero, Daniel, Dennis D,
Edward E, Elic, Elijah, Elizabeth, Emma, Emma, Ezra,
Fannie, Fannie, Flora, Francis J, George, Gracie L,
Hoolie, Ida, James, James, James, James F, Jennie,
Jennie, Jesse, Jodie, Joe, Joe, Joe, John, John, John,
John, John, John, John, John B, John E, John H Jr, John
William, John William, Joseph, Josie, Julla E, Katie,
Laura, Laura E, Laura Mae, Lelia, Lem, Lillian A, Lizzie,
Lucinda, Lucion, Lucy, Lucy, Lucy, Lura Pixie, Maggie,
Maggie, Mary, Mary E, Mary S, Mike, Mose, Nake, Nancy,
Nancy Louettie, Nettie, Reese, Riley, Robert, Rosa,
Sallie, Samuel, Sauel J, Sissie, Stephan, Susie, Thomas,
Thomas, Tooka, Tyer, Wallace, Wallace A, Wallace S,
Walter, William, William, William, William, Infant
14. BAKER ROLL 1924: supposed to be the final
Roll of the Eastern Cherokee. The land was to be allotted and all were to become regular citizens. Fortunately the Eastern
Cherokee avoided the termination procedures and unlike their
brothers of the Nations to the West. The Baker Roll Revised is
the current membership roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians in North Carolina.
Agnes Reed, Alanerd, Arnold, Atlas, Baskey, Bedenard,
Bessie, Charles Reed, Flonnie, Rogers, Iris Porter,
Lissie, Vernon, Vertie
And from the book CHEROKEE BY BLOOD, Volume 4
Robert # 9887, rejected, Vian Oklahoma
OF THINGS CHEROKEE
Sometime in the late 1970s or very early 1980s
a 5-foot-tall statue of Nancy Ward, Ghighau (Beloved Woman of the Cherokees),
was stolen from the Arnwine Cemetery, which overlooks the Clinch River, near
Liberty Hill in Grainger County, Tennessee.
According to families living near the graveyard, it was probably stolen in the
summer of 1981. It was seen being taken away in a gray Cadillac with a
portion of the statue protruding out the rear of the trunk. They have no
idea what could have happened to it beyond that last sighting. Story and picture
can be found at "Missing Statue":
Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 11
August 2004, Vol. 7, No. 32.
course of my research, a number of people helped me. I
would like ot return some of those favors by presenting
queries I've received during my search.
The James-Younger Gang
who they are or where they're from, if you have a Miller,
Hildebrand, or Native website and would like to have a link to
it added HERE, drop me some email, and we'll get it