Agnes Cornett 'Shephard' Sizemore

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Agnes Cornett Shephard (Adopted Shepherd)

Also Known As: "Ester"
Birthplace: Cherokee Nation - East, Jacksonville, North Carolina, Colonial America
Death: 1839 (88-89)
Leslie County, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Dryhill, Leslie County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of (Aggie's Cherokee father) (Eastern Cherokee) and Roda Shepherd
Wife of George 'Chief of All' Sizemore
Mother of Catherine Elizabeth Hart; John 'Rockhouse' Sizemore; William Sizemore; Winifred Minerva Begley; Enoch Sizemore and 17 others

Managed by: Brandy riffe VARNEY
Last Updated:

About Agnes Cornett 'Shephard' Sizemore “Family legend states that Aggie Shepherd was a full blooded Cherokee who had been taken accidently from her village when a white raiding party, intending to rescue a white girl who had been kidnapped by the Indians, mistook Aggie for white and 'rescued' her as well. Her husband, George Sizemore, is said to have been the “half-breed” son (born about 1750) of a white woman and a Cherokee Indian Chief. These stories have no official records to back them up, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that they are at least partly true. Which part though is a matter for debate. What we do know, based on official records, is that Aggie and George did exist. That they likely emigrated from North Carolina or Tennessee to Kentucky around 1800. They did have several children.

“Court records from Tyron County, North Carolina show that Aggie's husband George Sizemore was, in 1771, through process of litigation, made the executor of the estate of "William Shepherd, deceased." William was likely the [adopted] father of Aggie.

“In the Clay County, court records from 1822 to 1824, Aggie is referred to as the "Widow Sizemore."

“Aggie is mentioned several time in the Clay County, Kentucky court records from 1822 to 1825. From 1822 to 1824 they referred to her as the "Widow Sizemore", and in October 1825 she was called "Aggy Sizemore." Each record orders that she and a John Gilbert each be levied $10.

“In the late 1800s Reverend John Dickey interviewed elderly people in southeastern Kentucky. The resulting published work is the "Dickey Diaries." Some of the interviewed referred to Aggie Sizemore. Those excerpts are as follows:


"I am 85 years old, was born in this county [Perry]. My father was a Wilder, my mother was Rhoda Sizemore [daughter of George and Aggie]. The first preacher I ever heard was Chenault, a Baptist and he preached on Cutshin. William Mattingly was the first school teacher. I remember he taught when I was a child. My grandmother's maiden name was Aggie Shepherd. I remember to have heard my grandfather Sizemore say to her 'Damn-an-it Shepherd I can't stand you much longer'."


"Felix Begley tells me that old Aggie Sizemore, the wife of "Old George of All", used to roast terrapins alive as the Indians used to do. Other things he told me that I am sure she was the Cherokee instead of Sizemore. Old Aggie wanted to take a skull which was found under a cliff, for a soap dish."

George All and Aggie settled in what is now Leslie County, owning most of the land opposite the town site of Hyden. This land was later owned by son John (Rockhouse) and wife, Nancy who built the first home in this section now known as Hyden. In 1842 John sold the property to James Lewis.

According to the official Leslie County, Kentucky website: "Hyden, Kentucky, the seat of Leslie county, was founded in 1878 and named for state Senator John Hyden (1814 - 1883), then state senator from Clay County and one of the commissioners appointed to establish Leslie County. The first settlers to live on the land at the mouth of Rockhouse Creek on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River, where the town of Hyden is located, was the Sizemore family. John Sizemore, sold the land to the John Lewis Family. The land was later donated to the county and Hyden was founded there on the site of John Lewis' farm. Hyden is served by US 421, KY 80, and the Daniel Boone Parkway. The Hyden post office opened in 1879 with Leander Crawford as Postmaster."

Agnes is the lady on the right side

Variation of some old family stories say that Aggie's birth/Indian name was Shepherd, that she was raised by/adopoted by a family with the surname Cornett.

Aggie was a Full blooded Cherokee Indian"When Kentucky was first being settled, emigrants from either North Carolina or Tennessee, headed by a man named Cornett, reached the Kentucky River late one evening. They decided to make camp and wait until daylight before crossing the river. They had wives, children, livestock and equipment with them. After supper they were sitting around their campfire talking, when Indians dashed into camp and captured two of the little girls. Three of the white men saddled horses and went after the Indians. Late in the night they caught up with the Indians, who were not expecting pursuit and had made camp. The men advanced near enough to see the girls asleep on pallets near the fire. Each man agreed to dash in and grab one of the girls. This they did and got away without a fight. When they came to their own camp the men discovered that they had also captured a little Indian girl. The next morning after crossing the river, the emigrants decided to keep the Indian girl. Mr. Cornett agreed to take her and raise her. GEORGE ALL5 SIZEMORE (JAMES4, HENRY3, WILLIAM2, MICHAEL1) was born 1754, and died July 13, 1822 in Clay Co., Ky.. He married AGNESS (AGGIE) SHEPHERD 1770 in Tryon Co., N.C., daughter of WILLIAM SHEPHERD. She was born 1753 in N.C., and died 1833 in Perry Co., Ky..

More About AGNESS (AGGIE) SHEPHERD: Fact: Sephardic Jewish surname

This site has a picture that I downloaded as photography was widely used commercially in 1839 per Wikipedia History of Photography. 1839 is known as the birth of photography. So this picture could be of Agnes/Aggie even though her death is 1839. The person who downloaded this grave site link, which is great, is just wrong about when photography was invented and used.

Agnes Shepherd Sizemore Memorial Photos Flowers Edit Birth: 1750 North Carolina, USA Death: 1839 Leslie County Kentucky, USA

Family links:

 John Sizemore (1770 - 1850)*
 Winifred Minerva (Winnie) Sizemore Begley (1772 - 1855)*
 George Goldenhawk Sizemore (1783 - 1864)*
 Henry Hunting Shirt Sizemore (1790 - ____)*
  • Point here for explanation

Burial: Napier-Sizemore-Begley Cemetery Dryhill Leslie County Kentucky, USA

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Created by: Brittany Marschalk Record added: Mar 30, 2008 Find A Grave Memorial# 25643259

The following story appeared in both "The Rural Kentuckian" and Mary Brewer's book, "Bolder Men.": A group of pioneer familes from NC started out along the trains that led into KY. These people were led by a man named Cornet. The group left NC and traveled by an ox cart caravan anad pack horses. They traveled slowly over the trains for days. They came to the Kentucky River late one evening, but they didn't want to cross the river because it was so late. They made camp, cooked supper and ate. After supper they were sitting around the campfire talking and making plans for their trip into the wilderness. All of a sudden there was a mad rush on the camp. Indians dashed into the camp and carried away two of the white girls. Three of the white men saddled up their horses and started out after the Indians. Late the next evening the white men caught up with the Indians. The Indians had made camp, not expecting the white men to overtake them so quickly. The white men sneaked up to where they could see into the camp. They saw the white girls and also some Indian girls sleeping near the fire. From different directions the white men dashed into the camp. They came out with the girls and headed back to their camp. When the men reached camp, they discovered they had captured an Indian girl too. The white men discussed what they would do about the Indian girl. The Cornett man agreed to keep her. He named her Aggie.

Agnes birth/indian name was shepherd and she was adopted buy family with surname Cornett. She married in abt 1770 in Cherokee Nation, Tyron Co. Now Mecklenburg Co., NC

Aggie was full blood Creek indian.

Captured and raised by a family named Cornett.

Not a known wife of Aaron "Totsuwha-Chief Red Bird" Brock

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Agnes Cornett 'Shephard' Sizemore's Timeline

Cherokee Nation - East, Jacksonville, North Carolina, Colonial America
Montgomery County, Virginia
Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States
Clay, Webster County, Kentucky, United States
Hawkins, Tennessee, United States
Virginia, United States
Ashe County, North Carolina
Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States