Nicketti Hughes, Person of legend

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Nicketti Hughes, Person of legend

Also Known As: "Ni-ka-tai", "Nicati", "She Who Sweeps the Dew from the Flowers", "Sarah Hooe", "Sarah Goodwin"
Birthplace: Virginia
Death: after 1720
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Father of Nicketti and Mother of Nicketti
Wife of Trader ... Hughes
Mother of Robert Jesse Hughes, Sr; Mary Elizabeth Davis; Rees Alec Hughes, Jr.; John Rice Hughes, Jr.; Jesse Hughes and 1 other

Nationality: Powhatan - Native American
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Nicketti Hughes, Person of legend

According to a story first published in 1895 Trader Hughes was the first permanent White settler in Amherst County, Virginia. He and his Indian wife Nicketti established a trading post on the north side of the James River, west of the Tobacco Row Mountains. His wife is said to have been a daughter or other relative of Opechancanough and niece to Pocahontas. (Nancy KIser, Dec. 24, 2004). This story has been elaborated by subsequent generations of genealogists.

A clue to Nicketti that predates the 1895 publication of the story is the name of Nicketti Floyd (1819-1908). Her father John Floyd was Governor of Virginia (1830-1834) and a supposed descendant of this family. It is possible, however, the name of the governor's daughter was the inspiration for the name of their Indian ancestor rather than vice-versa.

There is also a Nicati Floyd, age 71, enumerated on the 1850 census at Burke's Garden near Tazewell, Virginia. She was living in the household of the Governor's daughter, Lavalett (Floyd) Holmes. She is thought by many to have been the Governor's aunt, daughter of William Floyd and Abadiah (Davis) Floyd.

Some researchers believe she might have been the Indian girl purchased by Rice Hoe, of Charles City County, from Rice Hughes, of New Kent County as agent for Manwaring Hammond. She was the subject of a 1662 lawsuit in Charles City County.

Her Name

""Nicketti" is not an identifiable Indian name, and is probably a corruption of some other name. It could be derived from "Necotowance," the former name of a creek in King William County, taken in turn from the personal name of Opechancanough's male successor. Nothing is known about that man except that he signed the Treaty of 1646 on behalf of many of the Powhatan tribes. He disappeared from the English records after 1649." (, Nov. 16, 2011). Some sources say the original form of her name was Ni-ka-tai but no original sources are cited.

"Miss Ann Mason Lee of Richmond, a granddaughter of Nicketti (Floyd) Johnston, says that her grandmother told her that she was the first Nicketti. The story she told was that just after she was born, and before she was christened, some Indians stopped at the home of her father, Dr. John Floyd, a grandson of William and Abadiah. He noticed that as they looked at the baby, they kept saying, “Nicketti.” The word fascinated him; and when he asked what it meant, the Indians told him it was their word for “pretty baby.” Dr. Floyd thereupon decided to name the baby Nicketti. This story, however, is refused by the child’s mother, who, in her letter to her son Rush, states “The father of Robert Davis had married a half-breed girl, Nicketti.” (Smith, 2011: 33, citing Anna M. Cartlidge, "The Children and Grandchildren of William and Abadiah (Davis) Floyd” (1966)).

Chronological Issues

According to Catherine Seaman, "The genealogy of Opechancanough's descendants is biologically possible although Opechancanough was said to be nearly 100 years old when he was murdered In 1644. 'The daughter of his old age' Nicketti. may have been born when he was in his 70s, (by 1614), and she may have married in the early 1630s. Nicketti's daughter, who was married about 1680, must have been born in the late 1650s when Nicketti was in her late thirties." (Seaman, 1992: 158).

Chronological difficulties arise because "Trader Hughes is supposed to have established a Trading Post in Amherst County, Virginia. Traders began moving into this area of Virginia between 1710 and 1720. If Trader Hughes was born in as late as 1635 he would have been 85 years old when he set up shop. Nicketti would also be around 80-85." (, Nov. 16, 2011).

Floyd Version (1843)

"William Floyd left the eastern shore (and) went up the country as far as Amherst County, which was then a very wild region; he met with a family by the name of Davis whose ancestors had come from Wales. They had traded with the Catawba Indians and got much property in that way. The father of Robert Davis had married a half-breed Indian girl, Nickette. This Robert Davis was the father of Miss Abidiah Davis whom Mr. William Floyd married. Davis owned many of the rich lands of Amherst. His other daughters married a Mr. Venable and Gen'l Even Shelby of Maryland. His oldest son, Robert Davis, emigrated even at that early day to Natchez where many of his descendants lived." (Letitia Preston Floyd, 1843 in her "Memoirs" letter written in Cairo, Illinois).

Cabell Version (1895)

"[W]e will consider another very interesting tradition, which has it that Mrs. Elizabeth Cabell was descended from an Indian princess of the Powhatan tribe (some accounts have it 'of the Catawba tribe,' but this is not tenable), and that it was the knowledge among the neighboring Indians of this descent which protected her husband while locating these lands, and herself when she was managing them in his absence. It was more probably owing to her relationship to members of the Society of Friends, with whom the Indians were on friendly terms. However, the story is interesting, and 'the evidences of its truth' are said to 'have been carefully collected' in several branches of the Breckinridge, Floyd, and other families. I cannot vouch for it, but I will give it as I find it in the Floyd tradition.

"'Opechancanough, the celebrated chief of the Powhatans, who was brutally murdered, while a prisoner, in 1644, left a lovely young daughter, the child of his old age, the Princess Nicketti — 'she sweeps the dew from the flowers.' Some years after this graceful Indian maiden had reached the years of mature womanhood, a member [the name is not given] of one of the old Cavalier families of Virginia ' fell in love with her and she with him,' and the result was a clandestine marriage, and a half-breed Indian girl who married about the year 1680 a Welshman (others say a native of Devonshire, England,) named Nathaniel Davis, an Indian trader, and, according to some accounts, a Quaker ; and from this alliance many notable people in the East and in the West have descended. Their daughter, Mary Davis (born about 1685), married Samuel Burks of Hanover (the ancestors of the Burks family of Virginia), and their daughter, Elizabeth Burks, married Capt. William Cabell, the ancestor of the Cabells ; Martha Davis, another daughter, married Abraham Venable, the ancestor of the Venables. Robert Davis, Sr., a son (the ancestor of ' the black Davises ' of Kentucky, and from whom Jefferson Davis descended), had a daughter, Abadiah (or Abigail) Davis, who married William Floyd, the ancestor of the Floyds of Virginia and of the West. A daughter, or granddaughter, of the Quaker, married Gen'l Evan Shelby of Maryland, the ancestor of the Shelbys of the West. Samuel and Philip Davis of the Blue Mountains were sons, and there may have been other sons and daughters.

"'William Floyd left the eastern shore of Virginia, went up the country as far as the present Amherst County, which was then a very wild region, where he met with this family of Davis, who had traded with the Indians and had gotten much property in that way. [The Quakers were much given to friendly trading with the Indians.]

"'William Floyd and his wife's brother, Robert Davis, Jr., with their families, emigrated to Kentucky with the first settlers, and finally located in the Bear-grass region, near Louisville, where the kinsmen (Floyds and Davises) had a fort, called 'Floyd's Station.'

"But it is not necessary to follow the Floyd narrative farther. It seems well to say, however, that I have seen a Davis pedigree which asserts that 'the Indian blood first entered the family through the marriage of Abby Davis with William Floyd, a half breed Indian.' Other Davis pedigrees and traditions do not deny the Indian blood, while every Floyd with whom I have corresponded has asserted positively that 'it was through Abby Davis the Indian blood came.'

"The Princess Nicketti's name (it may be because the marriage was clandestine) has not been popular among her traditional descendants. The first Governor, John Floyd of Virginia, named one of his daughters for her. I know of no other namesake ; but if the tradition is true, no more lovely women than some among her descendants ever 'swept the dew from the flowers.'" (Brown, 1895: 42-44).

Floyd Version (1912)

"In a region which was little more that a primeval forest, now known as Amherst County, he [Col. William Floyd] patented a body of land on which he made a home for himself. A dozen miles distant was the commodious Bungalow of Nathaniel Davis, a Welshman by descent, and one of the very early settlers in that region. He had made quite a large fortune by trading with the Catawba and other Indians, and by locating choice river-bottom lands from the present site of Lynchburg up to the Balcony Falls. Mr. Davis had among other children a beautiful daughter named Abadiah, whom the young man [Col. William Floyd] fell in love with and won her for his bride. She was of excellent Welsh ancestry on her father’s side, and one-fourth of her blood on her mother’s side, was derived from the most distinguished Indian ancestry. Her mother’s mother, Nicketti—Indian equivalent for “Beautiful Flower”—was a granddaughter of the noted Powhatan (the daughter of his youngest daughter) while the father of Nicketti was a chief of the small but warlike Cayuga tribe. Nicketti, whom the white people dubbed “Princess Nicketti,” married a noted Scotch hunter and fur trader by the name of Hughes who made his chief headquarter near the beautiful Balcony Falls of James River, where Nathaniel Davis met and married a daughter of his who was the mother of Abadiah." (Floyd, 1912: 11).

Seaman Version (1992)

"Living far from the courthouse of old Henrico, the first settlers often failed to patent the land they settled, leaving more oral traditions than courthouse documents to tell us their story. Traditions have it that as early as 1710-1720, a man known only as Trader Hughes lived with his Indian wife in his trading post built along the banks of the upper James River near Otter Creek. He was among the first white settlers, if not the first, to settle that part of the county, then the wild frontier of old Henrico County.

"Who was Trader Hughes? Several men by the name of Hughes had arrived in the Colony in the 1630s, but which Hughes had made his way to the banks of Otter Creek near the borders of old Amherst is not yet known. Neither does anyone know where Hughes met his wife, both may have come from the Tidewater, or Hughes may have been a trader in the western area before he met her. In any case, Hughes was safe enough among the remaining Indians to locate his trading post close to the Indian path that followed the James River through the Blue Ridge to the Warrior's Path. He had the skills to construct a trading post and a stone chimney that lasted for years. Dr. William Cabell, qualifying as assistant surveyor of Albemarle in 1746, used the chimney as a landmark to locate his earliest surveys, and the old chimney continued to appear as a boundary marker in the deeds for many years. As late as 1977, the McLeRoys report the ruins of a massive, two-story log building in the woods behind Otter Lake that they took to be the remains of Hughes's trading post.

"Hughes's wife, according to traditions in the Floyd family, was a descendant of Powhatan's brother, Opechancanough (Brown, 1895: 46-47; 57-58; Woods, 1901: 49). Murdered after the Indian uprising of 1644, Opechancanough left a young daughter, ...the child of his old age,... named Princess Nicketti - 'she sweeps the dew from the flowers,' who clandestinely married an unnamed member of an old 'Cavalier' family. Brown writes that 'he fell in love with her and she with him' (1895: 46). Nicketti and the Englishman had a daughter who, about 1680, married an Indian trader, Nathaniel Davis, a Welshman or native of Devonshire, and in addition, a Quaker. The couple had at least three children, Mary Davis, born about 1685, Martha, and Robert Davis." (Seaman, 1992 : 156-57).

Other Versions of the Story

Information from Arnold gedcom, JD Watson: Opechancanough, the celebrated chief of the Powhatans, was brutally murdered while a prisoner in 1644. He left a lovely young daughter, the child of his old age, the Princess Nicketti. Some years after this graceful Indian maiden had reached the years of mature womanhood, a member (the name is not given)} of one of the old Cavalier families of Virginia "fell in love with her and she with him". This resulted in a clandestine marriage and the birth of of a half-breed Indian girl, (Mary) Elizabeth Hughes, who married about 1680 a Welshman (others say a native of Devonshire, England), named Nathaniel Davis. Nathaniel was an Indian trader and according to some accounts, a Quaker. From these alliances of indian and white man many notable families in Virginia are descended.

DNA Research

Powhatan at the end of the names are identifiers for tribal affiliation only, no records exist of any individual actually having the last name Powhatan. The current Pamunkey (Powhatan) tribe only states that her history was so long ago, physical documentation is non existent, not she wasn't an actual historical figure. All we have currently is oral history passed down through the generations. A Dr. Glanville didn't state she wasn't "real" just that without proper proof, it can't be documented as fact either way. A great deal of research has been done on Nicketti to include discussion with a current Pamunkey tribal chief which states the same, "can't prove either way". The Pamunkey Historian, also has no written record of her, so her "supposed" tribe couldn't say either way. Perhaps one day solid proof will surface. Please do NOT bother her tribe with questions of enrollment, or records. They have no opinion on her, nor opinions on what others say of her. I have personally searched several VA state museums and discussed with historians of which some agreed this is actual VA history, her life that is. I personally believe the many oral family stories I have heard over the years giving the same facts and circumstances but coming from different families that have never met one another. There is a new document added showing the Floyd's were targeted by Walter Plecker, it also shows that the Monacan Tribe (another tribe of the Powhatan) seem to show a Robert Davis. The Floyds had a Robert Davis also as their Grandfather of all the Floyds that were claiming this on the census documents changed. I still haven't verified this to be the same Robert Davis the Floyd family lore arose from. But I know there was a Robert Davis living in the same time periods around the same time. I added what information the Monacan posted on their Robert Davis to our Robert Davis' profile, it's showing though he as a Saponi tribe member. Really should be researched in more depth, I was unable to download this section here but will try later, this information is on our Robert Davis profile though.

In media section, just my latest on the search, nothing has been verified yet nor am I thinking this is our Robert but would be great to see where their Robert got his Davis surname from .

additional notes

July 2017

[] says there is no Nicketti Hughes.

Here is the Hughes project. [] The descending tree is Native American Apprentice Bond List showing Hughes/Davis/Bolling/Burnett/Barnett family allied with Gates Co, Dillards, RIce, and Dabnes. You can run the kit numbers and decide for yourself.

Profile Pictures--Harrison & Anderson & Artiburn kit numbers. Use a chromosome browser like 23 and Me or software to plug in the numbers. Determine a valid cousin matches at 7 cM level or higher. Determine with triangulation the chromosome haplo blocks to the Craven Co kits below who are Trader Hughes descending.
One kit from the the Craven Co ancestry to Malungo Town is Tamela Hoosier Jones Gedmatch 418726 could help;

Davis line goes to New Kent NA kit numbers who lines go to Malungeon Town, TN
. Listed as Direct ancestors of President Obama , Johnny Depp, and Nathaniel Robert Davis line of Jefferson Davis CSA President though disavowed as such by Davis researchers in their 1800 writings (which is not surprising). For the famous relatives, see which has a disclaimer that this may be a made up line; but, they also have left out Nectowerance, brother of Totopotomoi who was not Toby West--as Toby was not illiterate, signed as "King of Pamunky", is tied in patents on the Discussion tab of Cockacoeske as a De La Warr West with no known descendants who owned land in different locations than the Chief listed in an 1847 book cited by Professor Rountree book.

For the Jefferson Davis via Nathaniel Davis direct to Niketti, see Source tab as the most compelling is the Hughes/Davis/Burnett/Bolling of Craven Co, NC history to Malungo Town to Newman's Ridge( per the SNP Group in FTDNA Pedigree labeled their direct descent from Toby West (sic) -- FTDNA admin page says there is a sirname mistake, that none of the Wests in group 7 are kin to each other, paternally.

Princess Nicketti is listed in a 1847 book addressed later by Dr. Roundtree & mentioned Ancestry Messages. states that Nicketti, was a sister to Totopotomoi and as children of the Chief of Pamunkey named NECTO became the Chief of the Pamunky after Opecancanough was killed. She can not be the daughter of Opitchapum because he died in 1630.


Please allow this profile to illuminate the oral history of the Floyd Family Association of WVtied to non-profit Native American Indian Federation of West Virginia, registered with the state of WV for over 30 years and whose role is to come to the aid of those who are needing assistance in what UNESCO calls ICH or Intangible Culural Heritage.

The NAIF-WV is helping the Floyd Family Association (see latest suit won here: .

Source for Oral History as a UNESCO Operational Directive: Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of their history as Adopted by the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention at its second session (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 16 to 19 June 2008), amended at its third session

(UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 22 to 24 June 2010), its fourth session (UNESCO
Headquarters, Paris, 4 to 8 June 2012), its fifth session (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 2 to 4 June 2014) and its sixth session (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 30 May.

The 3 generations from Nicketti Hughes passed down to the current generations the oral history Nicketti was the daughter of Opecanconough. At the time of the third generation, a petition was found supporting this by the MD History Museum showing that Pocathontas did have another sister named Cleopatra.

The Wind Clan (which is like a sir name) amongst the third generation Sharp of AL records have Wind Clan from Nicketti's maternal line that follows down to the Larimore/Sharp of the Creek Nation from a Davis direct descendant grandmother of Nicketti.

The theory of Nicketti being born in the 1720 era is not supported by the Floyd Family Association, who meet annually every September in the homeland where many generations continue to name their daughters after Nicketti.

Bellinda Myrick-Barnett, 30 year Genealogist and Author

This is the Dna Vetted by Research Teaming of many years, atDna profile for the very non-fictitious Niketti Hughes whose family asks that her totem name Nicati (means Fast and Dream) be used. She passed down the Wind Clan to the Larimore Creek. She is the name sake of this spelling by many in KY and WV. The chances of 4th cousins matching in a SNP are 1/4. We have the "Are Your Parents Related App" showing the same blue spot in common to vetted line cousins on both side of the Davis, Hughes, Harison, and Goodwin aisles at the 2 71 which is a super cluster for the Capt John Rice Hooe of Haw River name sake of the Azore Islander family and the claimants of Nicketti Hughes is large numbers. We have ethncity app showing native at that cluster for most, as not all get that allele. We have tried to look at it differently for going on the 10th year from the perspective of the Harrison camp who match in the same spot with the Goodwin camp. We can see that Capt Rice Hooe was even shipping into Mayan areas because we have "100 percent" Mayan studies who show matches on the very same cluster to the Goodwin, Hooe, and Davis claimants.

Spouse: Rice Hooe, of Merchant's Hope same as the I P37 as Trader Hughes who match at 2 71 atDna same as autoclustering by group chromosome browsers that tie the Davis, Hughes, Goodwin named natives taking on those names from New Kent colony into the same line, hallogenically.

Goodwin in this group is an I A 2 Haplogroup from the Azore Islander Group to the Haw River named for Capt John Rice Hooe/Haw of Haw's Court on Shirley's Hundred Acre, who was given a license to the back country to trade in 1656. He's one and the same guy as the I P37 ydna guy on the Hughes Project as what everyone terms as Trader Hughes, on the Davis and Harrison sides of the same aisle genetically. This is easy replicated and can be viewed in dynamic and ongoing matching, as well as in the media files at:

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Nicketti Hughes, Person of legend's Timeline

St. Peter, New Kent , VA, BCA
Jamestown, James City County, Virginia
8400 Saint Peters Lane, New Kent, New Kent County, VA, 23124, United States
New Kent, New Kent, Virginia, United States
Age 95
November 23, 2001
Age 95
December 28, 2001
Age 95
March 5, 2002
Age 95