LNAB for Cherokee Indian Woman [closed]

+2 votes

While scheduling merges for Elizabeth (Walker) Leatherwood, we have come across three profiles for her mother, the wife of William Walker, who married Aquatake (A-Qua-Take), who became known as Betsey Walker.  There is a Find A Grave memorial for "Elizabeth Aque Taki Walker" 

The profiles are:  Quaty-1, Aquatake-3, and Walker-38026  Which of the three profiles should be used as the "correct LNAB?" 

By comparison, Felix 
Ah-qua-ta-kee-1 was merged into Aquatake-2 

WikiTree profile: William Walker
closed with the note: Recommended answer is set LNAB
in Genealogy Help by Janne Gorman G2G6 Mach 3 (35.2k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+4 votes
Unfortunately, none of those LNABs is accurate.

Wikitree's Native Americans project uses the required LNAB field to record the name of the tribe for indigenous persons who lived in what is now the United States prior to their adoption of the use of surnames.

So one of those duplicates needs renaming to Cherokee and then all other dupes merged into that one.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (825k points)
And I hope that good sources will be added to this family of profiles. They currently over-rely on findagrave and online trees which are considered unreliable.
Thank you, Jillianne.  I have sent a message to Robert Walker (who merged the husband) and asked him to make that change.  He is also the profile manager of the wife with the most children attached.
Kathie's answer below changes my advice on this. please do NOT rename any of the profiles to Cherokee.

Jillaine, I am not concerned about whether or not she is renamed "Cherokee" or not, but I don't think "Unknown" is appropriate.  What about A-do-hi, since that is the last name given for both "Betsey" Walker and her daughter, Elizabeth?

What source do you have that these two used such a last name? The Native Americans project here does not accept Find-a-Grave, or unsourced family trees as reliable sources.

Jillaine, I am not asking that she be added to the Native American Project.  If anyone has a source to show that she is a non-entity for marrying a white man, please add it to her profile.  I cannot find any hearings regarding claims to the Cherokee until long after her death.
First off, I want to thank you, Janne, for seeking to merge all the duplicates out there in the Walker/Leatherwood line. I took a look and it's quite the mess.  Thank you for trying to clean it all up and get the family to one profile per person.  

Wikitree's Native Americans project seeks to make accurate the profiles of all Native Americans (and those people who have been claimed by others to have been Native Americans) represented on Wikitree. So Betsy Walker falls under the scope of the project.

I don't think anyone is saying that the mother of Elizabeth (Walker) Leatherwood was a non-entity. Clearly, Elizabeth had a mother. And either her descendants believed that mother to be Cherokee or sought to claim her as such so that they could benefit from the land deals made to displaced Cherokee.  As Kathie has explained, there were MANY people who sought to claim Cherokee descent in order to obtain land from the government.

We don't know which camp those descendants fell under   What we do know is that the government reviewed their claim and determined they could not prove that the mother of Elizabeth (Walker) Leatherwood was a Native American/Cherokee.

This leads us to the genealogical question: who were the parents of Elizabeth Walker who married Edward Leatherwood? What do reliable sources tell us?

Until we know the answer to that question, her mother's maiden name is Unknown.

See comments and transcript added below from Eastern App and genforum comment.  The story repeated on Genforum connects Betsy to "Felix Walker" a North Carolina congressman from the early 1800's who has somehow morphed into the adoptive parent of a woman who lived 100 years earlier.  "A qua take" and similar appear from research to be derived from people's attempts to translate the name "Walker" into Cherokee.  

Guion Miller stated:  Another inconsistency, though not a serious one, is the fact that Betsey Walker is alleged to have been the sister of Richard Walker but her children were also known by the name of Walker.  Who her husband was nowhere appears in either the applications or the testimony. 

Thank you, Jillaine.  I did research the ancestry of Sarah Hunt, who is the mother of Edward Leatherwood.  That side of the family has as many duplicates as the Walker side, so I now have 46 proposed merges on my pending merges list.
Yikes... Thanks, Janne. You're really helping.
+8 votes
William Walker may have had a wife named Betsy, but she was not Cherokee and her parents are Internet fictions. Interracial marriage was illegal and the few white men who married Cherokee women lived with their wives in the Cherokee Nation. There is no mention of anyone named William Walker in the Cherokee Nation at this early date and he did not live in the Cherokee Nation.  No members of this family appear in any Cherokee records.  

"Betsy Walker's"  many descendants were among the 60,000 white people who tried to get a share of the 1907 Eastern Cherokee payment.  All were rejected since they had no Cherokee connection.  The lengthy report of Guion Miller dissecting and rejecting the claims of this family can be found with the application of William P. Hyde #500 (on Fold3 at  https://www.fold3.com/image/205190177 )

There was a Betsy Walker, who lived in Tennessee, on the 1835 Cherokee census.  She not only has no connection to this family, she was a white woman who had a Cherokee child.

I agree the multiple women should be merged into one wife, but she was NOT Cherokee and her LNAB should be Unknown.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (652k points)

Kathie, perhaps you can tell us what William P. Hydes #500 application states, since some of us do not have Fold3 accounts, and are therefore no more useful than Ancestry.com sources

Partial transcript of Guion Miller report attached to Eastern Cherokee application #500:

There are a large number of applications from persons claiming their Cherokee descent only through one Betsey Walker, alleged to have been a full blood Cherokee Indian and to have been allotted under the Treaties of 1817 and 1819 with the Cherokee Indians, and also said to be a sister of one Richard Walker, who was also allotted under the above Treaties.  It is also alleged that Betsey Walker, the ancestor of these claimants, was enrolled in 1835.…

No one of these claimants was enrolled in 1851 with the Eastern Cherokees, and no ancestor was enrolled at that time nor in 1835….  A close examination of the Roll of 1835, however, not only throws doubt upon the claim that the Betsey Walker there named was the ancestor of these claimants, but also makes it appear very doubtful whether the Betsey Walker there enrolled was herself a Cherokee Indian. 

 ….The testimony in this case is somewhat uncertain as to the exact place of residence of the Betsey Walker ancestor of these claimants, but so far as the testimony goes it strongly tends to establish the fact that their ancestor was living in North Carolina, if living at all, in 1835, while as shown above the Betsey Walker enrolled in 1835 was living in Tennessee. 

Harvey L. Moody, App. #32491, who was himself born in 1838 [per his application, Harvey was the son of Polly Leatherwood Moody, grandson of John Leatherwood, great-grandson of Edward Leatherwood whose wife was Elizabeth Walker]…. sets forth the fact that he is claiming as the great-great-grandson of Betsey Walker; Nancy T. McDaniel App No. 34979, [per her application the daughter of Betsy Leatherwood, granddaughter of Samuel Leatherwood, the son of Edward Leatherwood and his wife Elizabeth Walker and her mother was Betsey Walker] who was born in 1830 likewise claims as the great-great-granddaughter of Betsey Walker….

application #500 continued: 

Another inconsistency, though not a serious one, is the fact that Betsey Walker is alleged to have been the sister of Richard Walker but her children were also known by the name of Walker.  Who her husband was nowhere appears in either the applications or the testimony. (emphasis mine)

Several pages of extracts from correspondence follow, outlining their descent from Betsey and explaining why no family members were ever enrolled as Cherokee.  The conclusion reads: 

The testimony and statements of the claimants in their applications and letters fail to establish the fact that they or their ancestors were recognized as members of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe of Indians in 1835 or 1846, and fails to overcome the negative fact that their immediate ancestors living the 1835 and 1851 were not enrolled with the Eastern Cherokees.  The evidence taken in connection with the other facts would seem to establish that the Betsey Walker whose name appears on the Roll of 1835 was not the Betsey Walker the ancestor of these claimants.   

For the above reasons these claims are all rejected.

The following genforum post from 1999 may be the source of "Felix"  as father.  Felix Walker lived in North Carolina between 1779 and 1820.  "Betsy Walker" was supposedly borh about 1730, her daughter Betsy Walker Leatherwood born about 1750, married about 1775.  The Cherokee Removal was in 1838-39.



A persistant story told about Betsy is that as a child she came down out of the woods after the Cherokees had been driven out of that part of NC. She was "taken in" and raised by an Indian Agent named Walker, hence the name Walker. Some thought the agent was a son of Felix Walker, the frontiersman and U S Congressman from NC. (emphasis mine, kpf)
The above is from my memory of having looked thru much of the data related to those claims. I cannot quote chapter and verse about this. I suggest that a careful look at those claims might give you data to hang your hat on. I, myself, would like to know much more about Betsy and her family(s).
Good hunting, mel cox.


I see that the comment by Kathie Forbes quotes a post by Mel Cox, who was my dad! I came here to say I created this free-space profile to try to bring some more sources to light on the Betsy Walker matter. Even back in 1906, a lot of people claimed her as their ancestor and their sources weren't very good either. But those Eastern Cherokee applications are where most people seem to have gotten their information, although they often fail to cite them.

I believe that there were (at least) two women named Betsy Walker around the same time, one in NC, and another in VA, or elsewhere.

That’s interesting that your dad’s email popped up.  I’m sure there were many women named Betsy Walker; there were two Cherokee women named Betsy Walker born in the 1820’s/30’s, neither of whom is connected to the Leatherwood Betsy.   Betsy Leatherwood’s mother may well have been named Betsy Walker, that seems to be the one point her descendants agreed on.  But she wasn’t Cherokee.
On what evidence do you say she wasn't Cherokee? Yes, her descendants' applications were denied, because she wasn't on the rolls. But that doesn't mean she wasn't Cherokee.
This story seems to have been created at the tiime of the Eastern Cherokee payment.  Two-thirds of the people who applied had no Cherokee connection.  Lawyers posted ads soliciting applications.  They encouraged people to apply , then charged them for sending for the forms, for filling them out, writing letters, obtaining "sworn statments" and the like, knowing full well that the applicants would never be approved.   

"Betsy Walker" was supposedly born about 1730, her daughter about 1750-1755.  Trade with the Cherokee was regulated,  limited, and risky during this time and there were only a limited number of traders. Their names appear in colonial records.  White traders took Cherokee "wives" while they were in the Cherokee Nation in order to gain status with the tribe; most had white families "back home."   A very few traders  - whose names are well-known - settled with the Cherokee.  No white men took Cherokee women back to English territory - a dark-skinned, tattooed, non-English speaking woman would have been both widely noted and unwelcome and the women would have had no reason to go with them.  The Cherokee were matrilineal and biological fathers weren't considered blood relatives.  Your family was your clan, your sisters, your mother and her brothers. A home belonged to the woman, not her husband.  "Marriage" in the European sense was not a concept, although some couples did stay together for long periods.  A Cherokee person who left the nation would become a non-person.  Not only was intermarriage against the law but the Cherokee were essentially at war against the white settlers until 1794. The Cherokee supported the British in the American Revolution and were under frequent attack from Americans, not living with them.

 If Betsy Walker was Cherokee and she had a daughter, both women would have remained in the Cherokee Nation.  If Betsy Walker Leatherwood was Cherokee, her husband wouldn't have needed a land grant from North Carolina - he would have had all the land he wanted in the Cherokee Nation.  He also would have had to travel to the Cherokee Nation - on the other side of the Great Smoky Mountains, find Betsy, and somehow convince her to leave her home and move with him to an unknown place.  That just makes no sense.  There is nothing to suggest that Edward Leatherwood was ever in the Cherokee Nation or that his wife was anything but the white woman listed on every census.
It appears to me that you are "beating a dead horse" and none of this conversation is constructive in helping the descendants of this matriarch of their family decide on a last name at birth.
I disagree. The historical details provided by Kathie help researchers and family descendants exclude those possibilities which simply aren't possible.
+1 vote

My original interest in this family was an attempt to clean up the multiple profiles for Elizabeth (Walker) Leatherwood, of which there were three profiles.  There were also three profiles for her father and three profiles for her mother.  

According to this site:  https://www.myheritage.com/names/elizabeth_leatherwood
Elizabeth (Li-si A-do-hi) Leatherwood (born Walker) was born in 1754, at birth place, North Carolina, to William Walker and Betsy "Quaty" A-qua-take  

The portrait on Find A Grave indicates that the mother's original name was Ga-di-she A-do-hi and that she was born in 1723, in Cherokee, Swain county, North Carolina. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/77610439/elizabeth_aque_taki-walker#view-photo=166424587  

by Janne Gorman G2G6 Mach 3 (35.2k points)
That memorial is simply not true.  There is no “Moytoy” family, that’s Internet fiction.  There are no records of Cherokee women by name at this time, (or Cherokee families, for that matter), no record of anyone named William Walker in the Cherokee Nation at this very early date. The Cherokee were matrilineal and clan based; biological fathers weren’t considered relatives  and a Cherokee woman who left her clan would become a non-person.  As noted before, interracial marriage was illegal; white traders “married” Cherokee women to get access to their communities, not to bring them home.  Many had children by several women.  The Cherokee were largely at war with American settlers until the end of the 18th century.   There is absolutely nothing to support this Cherokee story which was thorougly investigated  and rejected over 100 years ago.

I see that Kathie Forbes has removed other children of Felix Aquatake and his wife (https://www.myheritage.com/names/peggy_moytoy) They have been Project Protected presumably as a result of another G2G question:


Is it fair to say, "There is no “Moytoy” family, that’s Internet fiction..."  Here is another page that discusses Moytoy.  https://www.indianreservations.net/2017/10/moytoy-of-tellico-emperor-of-cherokee_22.html

Note to self:  
There has been a lot of confusion about the descendants of Moytoy.I think this is because some people are not aware that there were two Chief Moytoys.The first was Chief Amatoya Moytoy of Chota, b abt 1640, who married Quatsy of Tellico (of the Wolf Clan).The second is Chief Moytoy, aka the Pigeon of Tellico, b abt 1687.The second Moytoy is believed to be either the son or grandson of Amatoya Moytoy.

The material quoted above is one man’s completely unsubstantiated pet theory, now copied all over the Internet by people who want to claim a Cherokee ancestor.   There is no record anywhere of any Cherokee person named or called Moytoy before 1729.  That man had one known child, a son who died with no recorded descendants.  Here is a link to my documented article on the topic:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_0E3jt2gobhvaGi6vTEXnWgsdtj1yBeRsfb5Us6_S3Q/edit

Kathie, I can't seem to get away from duplicate profiles on WikiTree with that "Moytoy" link.  I am working on profiles for which I proposed merges in October, that are nearing their 30 days without any response from the profile managers.  In proposing merges for the mothers and fathers of said profiles, so that the merges can proceed, I have come across another ancestor, who on FamilySearch.org is also a Moytoy:  https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/G3LS-1TB/shirley-otis-moytoy-1655-1745

It is a puzzle that may keep lots of duplicate profiles from ever being merged.
I can guarantee without any research that there was no Native American person named Shirley Otis Moytoy in the 16-1700's although she's all over Ancestry and apparently FamilySearch as well.  One tree helpfully says her mother was "Maiden" and her father "Warrior."   There was no Moytoy family.  The Cherokee never lived in Virginia.  Interracial marriage was illegal. The Virginia tribes were almost completely wiped out by 1675 - a few survived by withdrawing onto their traditional lands and living on their own but the vast majority were killed by war or disease.  If you see anyone with a name of "Moytoy" in a family tree you can be 99.99% certain of one of two things:  1) the person never existed or 2) the person was white and had no connection with any Native American person.  

All of the profiles for people called "Moytoy" in Wikitree are fictional.

I don't know how to prevent or correct this kind of genealogical junk here in Wikitree.  If a person genuinely was a Native American, there should be a record of them. For the most part only prominent Native American men are named in any records.  Few white women are mentioned by name in documents from the 17th and 18th centuries, even up to the middle of the 19th century and Native American women are almost never mentioned, and unless they were important leaders of a tribe they won't be found by name.

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