Will the real John Lawrence Feathers please stand up?

+3 votes

The profile for John Lawrence Feathers seems to combine information on an actual man named John Lawrence Feathers and a mythical Native American person. He is currently listed as “Chief John Lawrence Feathers,” born in Indian Territory in 1765 (it didn’t exist until 1827) , died there in 1851. There is no one by this name in any Cherokee record.  The profile references Ellender Feathers, Feathers-50 a documented white person. He was previously attached to a series of mythical Native American/Cherokee people. Information on an actual - and totally unrelated -  Cherokee family named Bigfeather is provided as supporting information. Based on documentation, it seems to me that this person is actually the John L. Feathers found in the 1830 U.S. Census, living in Sullivan, TN, with a wife and 10 children.  He seems to have used the names "John" and "Lawrence" interchangeably.  

"United States Census, 1830," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHPM-K3Z : 17 August 2017), John L Feathers, Sullivan, Tennessee, United States; citing 310, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 175; FHL microfilm 24,533.

He appears in the 1840 census, also in Sullivan County, TN  listed as “Lawrence Featherz”  age 50-59, with a wife and 10 younger people in his family.

In 1850, still in Sullivan County,  he has a wife Barbara and five younger people with him. 

He appears to be the Lawrence/John L. Feathers who served in Jeremiah Skelton’s Virginia militia, and who filed an application for a War of 1812 pension from Washington County, TN in 1871 at the age of 94.  

United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records, 1812-1815,  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q29K-3KR8 : 12 March 2018), Laurence Feathers, 1812-1815; citing NARA microfilm publication M602 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); roll 70; FHL microfilm 882,588.

The 1870 census shows him living with son William in U.S. Census District 9, Washington County, TN.  Year: 1870; Census Place: District 9, Washington, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1568; Page: 267B; Family History Library Film: 553067. 

Some Internet trees give his death date as April 5, 1871 but he was alive and in court on that date testifying to his military record.  (image on fold3 at https://www.fold3.com/image/311911582 )

There  seems to be a duplicate profile, Feathers-156 but it is also unsourced and has no detail.

Can someone figure out who this man really was?  

WikiTree profile: John Feathers
in Genealogy Help by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (235k points)
I'd suggest adding all the documentation to Feathers-156 for now, building a good, documented profile for him and then merging with the lower-numbered Feathers.

So many just don't know or not willing to accept that genealogy is like being a good detective. Doing lots of research, find clues - then referencing/citing/ documenting the proof for the facts that you uncover about the family history.

"Genealogy without Documentation is Mythology"

1 Answer

0 votes
Indian Territory did exist!! The whole country at that time was Indian Territory!!!

Look up Indian Reserve of 1775!!
by Hans Friedrich G2G Rookie (190 points)

Hans Friedrich, I did look it up and found this:


which states that Indian Territory was not set up until 1834.

You might be thinking of the Indian Reserves  (not Indian Territory) set up by the British government prior to the end of the American Revolution. See same link above.

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