The goal of this project is to develop genealogical and historical knowledge of the Cherokee, indigenous peoples of North America.
Who are the Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ)?
The Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ) are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States (principally Georgia, the Carolinas and Eastern Tennessee). Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian-language family. In the 19th century, historians and ethnographers recorded their oral tradition that told of the tribe having migrated south in ancient times from the Great Lakes region, where other Iroquoian-speaking peoples were located.
The Seven Clans of the Cherokee are;
- Aniwahya (Wolf Clan or Panther representing war)
- Ani Tsiskwa (Small Bird Clan or Eagle representing spirit)
- Anikawi (Deer Clan or Bison representing peace)
- Anigilohi (Twister Clan or "Long Hair" representing day and night)
- Anisahoni (Blue Clan or Blue Holly representing Sky)
- Anigatogewi (Wild Potato Clan or Tobacco representing flesh)
- Aniwodi (Red Paint Clan representing death)
In the 19th century, white settlers in the United States called the Cherokees one of the "Five Civilized Tribes" because they had assimilated numerous cultural and technological practices of European-American settlers. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the Cherokee Nation has more than 300,000 members, the largest of the 563 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.
Of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes, the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians have headquarters in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They were forcibly relocated there in the 1830s. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is located in Cherokee, North Carolina.
Key Historical Cherokee persons on Geni's public family tree
Amatoya Moytoy of Chota was a Cherokee town chief of the early eighteenth century in the area of present-day Tennessee. He held a prominent position among the Cherokee, and held the hereditary title Ama Matai (From the French matai and Cherokee ama--water), which meant "Water Conjurer." Many of his descendants went on to become prominent leaders, founding a family that effectively ruled the Cherokee for a century.
Nancy Moytoy of the Wolf Clan (born ca. 1683) was a member of the Cherokee/Shawnee Moytoy-Carpenter dynasty. She was the eldest daughter of the Cherokee chief Moytoy I of Chota and the mother of Attacullaculla. She was the wife of Moytoy II (Savannah Tom Carpenter), who was Attacullaculla's father, and later to his adopted brother Moytoy IV (Raven of Chota Carpenter). Her mother was Quatsy of Tellico, of the Wolf Clan.
Onacona "White Owl" Attakullakulla was Peace Chief of the Cherokee, 1699-1797. A member of the Cherokee delegation that traveled to England in 1730, he became one of the Cherokees' leading diplomats
Chief Yonaguska or (Yo-nu-gv-ya-s-gi) "Drowning Bear" was a leader, reformer and prophet in Cherokee history. Yonaguska challenged the terms of the 1835 Treaty of New Echota and was the only chief who remained in the mountains of western North Carolina and northern Georgia after the Cherokee Removal to rebuild the Eastern Band with others who had escaped or eluded the soldiers. His adopted white son, William Thomas, would carry on Yonaguska’s work to establish what is now the Qualla Boundary (the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians).
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The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, published by the United States Commission to the Five Tribes. Originally published in 1907, lists names of all Native Americans identified as of 1902 as members of the Five Tribes.