Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to Search and Post in the New Yahoo Groups

Some people have been confused by the new changes at Yahoo so I have written a guide for posting and searching on the new Yahoo Groups.

There are two ways to post to your group: web or email.

Posting via the web

  1. On your group's main page, click Conversations.
  2. Click New Topic.
  3. Enter your message content.
  4. Click Send.

Are you not seeing the "New Topic" button? There are a number of reason why you won't see it like forgetting to log-in, etc., but the most likely is if you are an "email only" member of the group. This is what happened to me. I get my messages by email but occasionally I post from the Yahoo Groups page. Not anymore. Yahoo foolishly dropped that option. So now you can either post by email (instructions follow) or change your settings at Yahoo.

Posting via email

  1. Open a new email message.
  2. Enter into the "To:" field.
    Note: Replace groupname in the address with the actual group name.
  3. Our Nikitie group address is
  4. Enter your message content into the email body.
  5. Send your email to submit your post.
Are you getting these emails returned or an error message? Did you register your main email account with Yahoo? I have a "main" Gmail email account and a Yahoo email account so I can use Yahoo Groups. I could not post to a Yahoo Group using my Gmail account until I registered it with Yahoo.

Register another email address with Yahoo

  1. Go to My Yahoo. Click on the gear icon and choose "Account info"
  2. Choose "Update your account information"
  3. Choose "Add email"

Searching the new groups

The search box has been moved from just above the messages to the very top of the page. You can also use Google search to search our group.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Magdalena's sister Margreth Ditlo and Hessian Christian Schneider

I was looking into the Ditlo family and came across the husband of our Magdalena's sister Margreth. His name was Christian Schneider and I have found two entries for him:

Frederick, Maryland, Lutheran Marriages and Burials 1743-1811.
p. 32
1782, Dec. 26 #38 Christian Schneider Surgeon with the Hessian 
regiment from Bosen, and Margreth Ditlo. Porc. Dec. 15, 22, 25. 
Witnesses: ... [torn away] ... Juliana Wittmann, Dct. Rau.

Pennsylvania German Society (Pennsylvania). Der Reggeboge : (the rainbow). (Breinigsville, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania German Society, 1967).
Christian Schneider, b. 1759/61, X5400 Sondershausen. Surgeon,
Hessian von Bose Regt., Maj. Scheer Co., deserted by May 1783 (HET
Christian Schneider, "surgeon with the Hessian Regiment von Bose,"
married Margreth Ditlo 26 Dec. 1782 (Frederick Lutheran Rsgister).
Son Christian Wilhelm b. 22 Feb. 1783, baptized 26 Feb. with
Christian Wilhelm Warffelmann, the Regimental Surgeon, as sponsor
(Frederick Lutheran).

After this their trail goes cold for me because I suspect they started spelling their surname Snider or Snyder but maybe they kept the original Schneider spelling. And I think, since there is no news of them from Frederick after the marriage, I suspect they migrated to Pennsylvania and then to Virginia like all our other relatives. Do you know how many Schneider, Snider, Snyder entries there are for graves in Pennsylvania at Findagrave?!

I wrote a question at at the Frederick, Maryland message board. Here is the response I received:

"According to Frederick's Evangelical Lutheran Church records, Christian Wilhelm, son of Christian Wilhelm and Margreth Schneider was born 22 Feb. 1783; bp. 26 Feb. 1783. Bp. Sponsor was Christian Wilhelm Warffelmann.

Christian, the surgeon had been a Prisoner of War at the Hessian Barracks here in Frederick and Christian Wilhelm Warffelmann was the Regimental Surgeon.

After 1783, Christian and Margreth Schneider no longer appear in the Evangelical Lutheran Church records or have any known gravemarkers here in Frederick County."

Bob Fout

You can read the thread here.

Have you found anything about Margreth's family?

Catherine dee Auvil Sept. 2013

Abel > Auble > Auvil??

Dear Auvil Family,

I've been meaning to write this for a long time. As many of you know Jinx Hartung had a theory that the father of our ancestor Johannes Abel was Paul Abel from New Jersey. She based this on the fact that there is a Paul Abel buried in Frederick, Maryland and he is the right age to be the father of Johannes. There is also a missing Paul Abel from the New Jersey family who seems to line up with the Paul Abel that showed up in Frederick.

We don't have much more than that. But something that is very curious to me and I wanted to draw your attention to is the fact that many of the New Jersey Abel descendants started using the spelling "Auble" at the same time our family started using the spelling "Auvil." One way to eventually solve the mystery of whether we are related to the New Jersey Abel family would be to compare DNA. If all the Auvils and Aubles and Abels match up we can conclude that we are related.

How can you help? If you are a male with the surname Auvil you can have your DNA tested at for less than 100$. If you do please let us know the results! (Female Auvils will not show the yDNA of our male ancestors.)

If you would like to delve further into this mystery you may want to read the blog Genea Musings by Randy Seaver. Randy Seaver is an Auble descendant and he traces his Auble line back to the New Jersey Abels. Genea-Musings is one of the most popular genealogy blogs today. I looked at his latest trees and he is now listing the New Jersey Paul Abel as the same Paul Abel that is buried in Frederick, Maryland. He doesn't list any references for that so I think he may be going on the theory of Jinx Hartung for that. We'll see if we can find out more from him.

More about Jinx Hartung: Jinx is an Auvil descendant and publisher of the Auvil Lines newsletter.

More about the New Jersey Abel family: when we talk about the New Jersey family we mean Andreas Abel  (abt 1690 - 1751) of  Fox Hill.

Update: we now have a male Auvil family member who has shared his test. He is in the G Haplogroup and he matches a man named Cain Abel (1766-Jul. 3, 1850) who lived in Tennessee. If you would like to follow these developments you should join the Auvil Family Facebook group. And you can submit your own DNA rsults to the Abel Surname DNA Project. This project covers the surnames Abel, Auvil, Abell, Auville and others. It is designed to sort out the surnames by Haplogroup. If Abels and Auvils are in the same Haplogroup with matching numbers it means we have the same male ancestor and we therefore have the same surname even though it may have been spelled differently by different families.

Catherine dee Auvil Sept. 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Jean Jacques Blanchard and Pah-ne-o-ne-pah-que, or White Thunder

Jean Jacques Blanchard
by H. H. Hardesty 1874

We select the following interesting narrative in reference to Jean Jacques Blanchard, after whom Blanchard's Fork of the Auglaze river was named, from the manuscript of the History of Hancock to be published by H. H. Hardesty, Esq., in his Combination Atlas:

There is not a character that presents itself in the history of the Northwest about whom there clings so much interest and mystery as that of Jean Jacques Blanchard. The personal history of this strange man, is vague and indefinite, but in the occasional glimpses which we get of it, through the lapse of years, we see a life of adventure, wanderings, and vicissitudes. From the best information that can be obtained, it appears that Blanchard was born in France about the year 1720. The place of his birth is and probably will be forever unknown. I appears that he received a liberal education. He was well versed in mathematics, and from an account of him given by an American officer, who met him in 1799 near the present site of the town on McArthur, the supposition is that he at one time possessed an intimate acquaintance with the Latin language. He spoke his native language fluently, with that peculiar accent called "Paris French." The theory long held in reference to Blanchard is that he was a French Canadian, who, either to escape the penalty of some crime, or for love of adventure, had wandered from some of the forts along the Northwestern frontier, and taken up his residence among the Indians.

While this story appears tenable on its face, it is not warranted by known facts and circumstances connected with his history. In the meager account of himself which Blanchard gave to Captain Forth, the officer before referred to, he says that he emigrated from France to Louisiana in the year 1760. He remained here until a few months after the cession of Louisiana to Spain in 1762. What his employments were cannot be ascertained. For the next seven years nothing whatever is known of him. The supposition in the mind of Elliot was that he had joined a band of Spanish freebooters, and with them engaged in plundering small vessels in the West India waters. - [Elliot's Algonquins, New York, 1831.]

In the Autumn of 1769, or the Spring of 1770, he made his appearance among a tribe of Shawnee Indians who resided about twenty-two miles south of the place where Dayton now stands. How or from whence he came no one knew nor did he ever explain it. It is supposed that becoming tired of being a pirate, he had returned to Louisiana and joined a party of traders, and after visiting several Indian tribes, became weary of his mercenary companions and plunged into the wilderness alone, and coming to the village of the Shawnees determined to take up his abode with them. He was kindly received, and it was not long until the Indians regarded him as one of their number. Another account of Blanchard that has long been regarded as true, states that he was a tailor. Whether this statement has any foundation in fact or not, I have not been able to discover. When he came into the Shawnee tribe he had with him an elaborate case of curiously wrought tools. These he used in making ornaments, for the Indians from the small coins and shells they furnished him. So skilled was he in manufacturing ornaments with which to adorn the persons of the savages, that his fame spread abroad among other tribes, and they came from far and near to bring him material, and out of which he wrought wonderful divices. The conclusion that arises from this circumstance is, that in addition with other acquirements, Blanchard was also a jeweler.

In 1774, Blanchard married a Shawnee woman named Pah-ne-o-ne-pah-que, or White Thunder. By her he had seven children, five sons and two daughters. At the time the tribe went West the second son was a sub-chief. In 1857, there were several Indians in the tribe who claimed to be descendants of Blanchard.

Blanchard's Fork of the Auglaize river was named after him. Previous to 1812, the stream was simply known as Blanchard's river, but on certain military surveys being made the name was changed to Blanchard's Fork of the Auglaize. About the year 1784, a party of the tribe with which Blanchard lived moved to a point near the head of the river. Here it was that they were visited by traders, and so skilled was the band in obtaining furs that the village soon became the resort of the agents of the Canadian Fur Company. It was they who gave the name to the river in honor of the old Frenchman.

There is no evidence that Blanchard ever resided in Hancock county, and the only visits he ever made within its present boundaries were hunting excursions along the river, and the salt licks in the Eastern part of the country. There was nothing striking in the personal appearance of the man. He was a little below the medium height, and was a trifle "bow legged." His features were regular and expressive of some strength of character, He was quiet in his demeanor, and at times morose. He seldom talked of his early life; in fact he never spoke of it unless pressed to, or when he heard Indians or whites boasting of things they had heard or seen. At one time Tecumseh, then a young man, boasted to Blanchard of great things he would perform when he was older, and how he would join the tribes together and exterminate the whites and make himself the greatest chief on earth. Blanchard listened contemptuously for a time, then replied; "In my country, across the big water, toward the rising sun, I have seen a chief whose wampum belt was so bright that its glitter would blind your eyes, and whose blanket was covered with metals richer than the wealth of all the tribes."

Blanchard died about the year 1802. His burial place is unknown. The Shawnees once had a tradition that after his burial four beings came and carried his body to a far off land in a canoe that floated through the air, and that some time in the future he would return and bring with him beautiful presents for the tribe. The Jeffersonian. Findlay, O., July 10, 1874

Monday, September 2, 2013

J. A. AUVIL, Davis, W. Va.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
March 24 1892
For Sale
A Bargain for Thirty Days.
Two nice lots 80x132 1/2 feet, both, two squares from the depot, one lot from corner, building 22x18 2/3 feet. First floor, store room, renting at 15$ a month, in advance. I live in the balance, which can rent at $10 a month. Town of Davis, W. Va., six years old, 2,ooo population and building rapidly. Price $1,500, one-half down, balance in six and twelve months, or $1,400 down. Also two fine lots in Elkins, two squares from depot, very cheap. If not sold in thirty days will mortgage all low. Clear titles. Reason for selling, going west for health. For particulars, adress mr23
J. A. AUVIL, Davis, W. Va.

Nikitie Contest

This is the Nikitie Contest announcement.

How to play the game.

1. We have an oral tradition that Nikitie Gabriel was a guide for George Washington. The purpose of this contest will be to see if there is any mention of an Indian guide or interpreter in George Washington's papers.

2. The contest will include George Washington's papers but also Christopher Gist's papers (He knew George Washington and Daniel Boone and I have a hunch he may have had some contact with our people.) I will also include the writings of Abraham Wood, for obvious reasons. So to summarize: we will be searching the papers of George Washington, Christopher Gist and Abraham Wood. I have included links to the papers at the bottom of our "Cast of Characters" page. You may find more. Please post if you find more so I can add them to the links.

3. You will receive 1 point for each mention you find of an Indian guide or interpreter. To receive a point you will need to include where you found it. Sign your name. An example would be: I found this in a letter written by G. Washington on Dec. 12, 1750 - "we paid an Indian guide from XYZ tribe to escort us through LMNOP Gap" found at by Catherine dee Auvil

4. You will receive 50 points if you find a mention of a WOMAN guide or interpreter. You will receive 100 points if you find a reference to Nikitie (or Nikitie spelling variations)!

5. I hope you already have an account at because that is where we are going to collect the entries. Go to this page and follow the directions. If you have ANY problems let me know : )

Good Luck and Have Fun! 

About the prize: a quartz arrowhead found near Jamestown, Virginia.

Catherine dee Auvil

Friday, June 14, 2013

Grand Central Station

New York, New York - Grand Central Station
New York, New...
Hal Morey
Buy This at
I've always liked this photograph of Grand Central Station with the sunbeams through the windows. I found out that it's hard to tell who the photographer was. One image has a stamp "Photograph by Hal Morey of the N.Y. Central R.R." but there is controversy whether that is accurate. Here's a good blog post about the subject. You can purchase a print from or from the New York Transit Museum.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In Search of Madame Ihrig

Spokane Daily Chronicle March 1, 1934

New Mexico and the unique name Ethyle Ihrig helped me find Hattie Chapin (Madame Ihrig).

I study both the history of photography and the history of the Pacific Northwest and I became curious about a Spokane photographer with just a few photographs found on the Internet. All I knew is that the Ihrig studio was in Spokane at some point (Portraits have the inscription IHRIG - Spokane).

Erna Pielke (1896-1977) by Ihrig
Image courtesy of Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
 Used with permission.
I did a search for "Ihrig Spokane" at Google News and found that there was a very interesting woman photographer who called herself "Madame Henriette Ihrig". In the newspaper portrait of her from 1934 she is dressed in a man's tuxedo with a slicked-back men's style haircut. Was she part of a fringe or counter culture group in Spokane? I'm interested. She obviously made up the name "Madame Ihrig" just for Spokane - she was using the name "Mrs. Henriette Ihrig" in Tacoma. I wanted to know more. I entered Henriette Ihrig in the Chronicling America search engine and got several hits for early Tacoma, Washington. It appears Mme. Ihrig started working in Tacoma before coming to Spokane. She described herself as an "artistic photographer". I think you'll agree that the portraits we have by Ihrig do show an artistic quality.

I then tried to find her in the census with no luck. I did find a curious entry in a Spokane city directory dated 1919.

Ihrig -
Ethyle Mrs finisher Shiveley & Ihrig r 511 Kuhn bldg
Harriet Mrs opr Shiveley & Ihrig r 511 bldg

Who is this Ethyle Ihrig working with Harriet Ihrig? I did find her on the census. In Spokane, in 1920, she is living with her stepfather Wendell W. Phillips and Harriette Phillips - a photographer. (This has to be our Mme Ihrig.) As a finisher in a photo lab Ethyle would have done developing, retouching and framing. [Although Ethyle would have only been about 16 in 1919, I think Harriet gave her a title "Mrs." as some kind of protection, that's my guess. Or it's a typo.]

Wendell Phillips 31 photographer
Harriette Phillips 36 photographer
Ethyle Ihrig 17 stepdaughter

Earl by Ihrig
Image courtesy of Mirabilia at Flickr
Used with permission.
Apparently Mme Ihrig married Phillips in Spokane but kept her maiden name, Ihrig,  for professional reasons. I found their marriage certificate and learned some interesting things: she states she is a widow, uses the last name Thompson, maiden name Chapin, born in New Mexico. New Mexico? Well this does confirm the two census forms I have for Ethyle - in both 1910 and 1920 she lists her mother's birthplace as New Mexico. And because of the low population of New Mexico it is really going to stand out as an identifier on any other records I find for Harriet Chapin.

In the 1910 Tacoma, Washington census:
Kezzie Chapin 59 head of household, divorced
Hattie Tustabury 26 daughter, photographer born in New Mexico
Ethyle Ihrig 7 granddaughter

Hattie is a nickname for Henriette. I don't know where Tustabury came from! But this census gives us 5 confirmations for guesses I had for Mme Ihrig - 1. mother's name is Chapin 2. born in New Mexico 3. photographer 4. daughter named Ethyle Ihrig and 5. we know by newspaper accounts she was working in Tacoma at that time so it makes sense she would show up on the Tacoma census. I think that both Kezzia Chapin and her daughter Harriet Chapin lived outside mainstream society when it came to marriages. Sometimes Kezzia is listed as a widow and sometimes divorced. Mme Ihrig lists herself as widowed when she married Phillips but her husband, Mr. Ihrig (more on him later), I'm pretty sure, lived on in California until 1961. Where did Tustabury come from? I think there's more to learn about how Harriet, as an artist, living on the Western frontier, protected and defended her right to define her own terms.

Now that we have Mme Ihrig's mother's name we can look her up in the census. And I found her.

Leonard Olsson by Ihrig Tacoma Times 1912

          1880 Santa Fe New Mexico Census
          Employee's in U. S. Quartermaster Depart.
G. P. Chapin 40
K. H. Chapin 30
Matie 6
Minie 3

1885 New Mexico Territorial Census
G B Chapin Head
Kate H Chapin Wife
Mattie Chapin Daughter
Missouri Chapin Daughter
Hattie Chapin Daughter

The 1908 Tacoma city directory lists Kezzia Chapin as the widow of Gilford P. Chapin. We now have Hattie's father's first name.

Missouri "Minie" Chapin
I was curious if I could find Hattie's sisters. I looked up Minie Chapin and what do you know - I found her in 1900 Spokane. Living all by herself, 22 years old, occupation -  "artist". Artist! When I read that I knew I found Hattie's sister. At 22 years old did she blaze a trail to Spokane for the rest of the family? How could she possibly make a living as an artist in this frontier town? I think the Chapin sisters were bold and adventurous. I wish I could have known them. In 1905 she married and this is the announcement I found by Googling her name:

Little Girl by Ihrig
Tacoma Times 1913
Cards have been received in Portland announcing the marriage in Seattle on Tuesday last of Miss Minnie Chapin, of this city, to Dr. Joseph Warren Dunning, of Spokane. Mrs. Dunning is the daughter of Mrs. K. H. Chapin and has lived here with her mother for several years past. She is an artist by profession, and some of her clever sketch work has appeared in The Oregonian, and has been much admired. Mrs. Dunning has many warm friends in Portland, who know her best as "Chap" Chapin. They regret her going away to live, at the same time giving her many cordial and hearty good wishes. Dr. Dunning is a leading dentist in Spokane, where he is building a home for his bride. Dr. and Mrs. Dunning will be at home in Spokane after the first of January. [Note that the mother - without a husband, "Mrs. K. H. Chapin" confirms what we know about Hattie's mother.] ~ The Sunday Oregonian, Portland December 17, 1905

The 1905 Portland, Oregon city directory-

Chapin Chap, artist Oregonian, bds 131 E 16th
Chapin Keziah H (wid Wilford), res 131 E 16th

Otto M. Ihrig
Now what about the father of Ethyle Ihrig? I entered a search at for anyone with the surname Ihrig who married a Chapin. The 1901 California marriage of Harriet H. Chapin (born in New Mexico) to Otto M. Ihrig popped up. I believe this is our Harriet. Primarily because of the New Mexico birth place. The Los Angeles city directory for years 1900-1902 show Kezzia Chapin. I believe Harriet was living with her at that time. These girls really moved around! By 1910 Kezzia, Harriet and Ethyle are living alone in Tacoma. Harriet and Otto must have gotten a divorce because he is shown in city directories staying in California where he died in 1961.

The Death of Mme Ihrig

Mme Ihrig died in San Bernardino, California in 1954. I know this is our Harriet because the death certificate lists her birthplace as New Mexico and her mother's maiden name as Thomas (the same mother's maiden name she listed when marrying Phillips). I have not found a Find a Grave listing for Harriet.

Notable Subjects
Eltinge by Ihrig
From Marisa M.
I have not found any baby photos by Ihrig even though Mme Ihrig was a baby photographer for YEARS. And I haven't found any photographs with her name embossed. The only photographs we have, signed, are the ones with the hand drawn "IHRIG" signature, with the addition of "Spokane". In 1919, the studio Shively & Ihrig established
Two Guns White Calf
by Ihrig (WSU)
copyright for an image of Julian Eltinge, a female impersonator. Eltinge was hugely popular at that time and it must have been a big deal to be able to photograph the star.
In 1934 Ihrig studios photographed Two Guns White Calf, one of several men thought to be the inspiration for the profile on the buffalo nickle.
I'm hopeful that more images by Ihrig will be found. I hope to find the "sketches" by Minie Chapin in The Portland Oregonian. If you find any photographs by Ihrig please let me know! I think one problem is the hand-drawn signature is difficult to read. Maybe with this blog post someone will discover they have an un-discovered Ihrig portrait to share with the rest of us.

More photos
New York Public Library

Courtesy The Niepce Gallery at Etsy
used with permission

I use WeRelate to organize facts about people I am studying. Please join WeRelate and collaborate with me there! Entry for Henriette "Hattie" Chapin.

Here I will keep a list of mis-spellings for the search engines:
Harriet Thwig

August 2016 : Found a link to some ads by Ihrig at Vintage Spokane blog.

This post written by Catherine dee Auvil in April 2013.

UPDATE August 2016 I did find more information about her sister Chappie Dunning, she married a dentist and I guess that is why she had the resources to begin collecting local Native American art. I know, I know, that could have turned out horrible if she took it all to New York City and auctioned it off. But she did not. She donated all of it to the Cheney Cowles Museum (now the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture). I have volunteered at the museum, printing from their glass photo negative collection. I can't believe I didn't know about Chappie Dunning. In this Spokane Daily Chronicle article about her daughter, it says Chappie's mother was an artist! I need to know more about her! You can read the full article here.

Read an article in the Inlander about Chappie Dunning and William M. Manning, early Spokane collectors: Living with the Legacy

Monday, April 29, 2013

Findagrave Tips & Tricks

 Find a Grave

* Enter the surname of the family you are investigating and choose "before" and "1850" to get a good list of the first families in this group.

* When you do make a "find" be sure to check the cemetery for close relatives.

* It is better to only enter date of death if known because date of birth is often unknown or disputed so your subject will not come up if you add too many qualifiers. Enter as little information as possible that still brings up a manageable list in order to not cause the search engine to hide your subject because it is listed under "1850 deaths" not "1851 deaths". The search engine is very exact.

* For women, always click "Include maiden name(s) in my search" or the engine will not search by the woman's birthname.

* To search by a birthdate you will need to use Google. To search for those born on January 31st 1900, enter this into the Google search box:
Jan. 31, 1900
* Before you leave Find a Grave take a look at the people who have left flowers on your search subject's Free Find a Grave Search
Findagrave entry. Consider contacting that person if they look like they might want to collaborate on your research.

* now has their own search for Find a Grave and you don't need a subscription to use it.

*Search gravestone images only at WorldVitalRecords.

* If you would like to match the pink-brown background color to make your photos blend in (like I did for Pearl) use the hex code #dcd0cf [the fourth digit is a zero] in your paint program.

This Findagrave entry  for Pearl Rutherford was only found
by clicking "include maiden name" in the search parameters.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thomas Bailey Christian of Indian Creek, Virginia

I need to do a round-up of all the information floating around about our ancestor, Thomas Bailey Christian.

In the beginning
There have been stories that TBC was an orphaned Native American going back before the Internet. I will try to lay out here where the stories originated and when. We are 99% sure that he was an orphan and that he was adopted by Thomas Mastin. There are stories that he was the son of Elinipsico Cornstalk and if you read your history books you will find that Elinipsico and his father, Cornstalk, were murdered by American militiamen at Fort Randolph during a diplomatic visit in November 1777.

First written statements - Christian v. Wray

In 1805 Thomas Christian was in a battle over ownership of his land on Indian Creek. In a deposition, John Hankins stated that  Thomas Christian was an orphan.

You can view the documents at Virginia Memory: Chancery Records

(also see Lula Hankins Hunter below)

In 1815 Hezekiah N. "Low Hawk" Whitt wrote a will naming his brother "Thomas B. Christian".  Read the will here.

In the court case ESTATES: MOSES SKAGGS HEIRS, ESTATE CASE # 3871, GREEN CO., KY, 1836  it is stated that the daughter of Liddy Harman was married to Thomas Christian. 

(also see Lula Hankins Hunter below)

In 1844 Thomas Christian helped his friend, Hezekiah Whitt, apply for a pension. This is his statement:
In addition to the certificate given by this affiant, he would state that this affiant was raised from childhood (being Left an orphan) by Captain Thomas Mastin, whom he has often heard say, that Hezekiah Whit, the applicant for a pension in the foregoing declaration, was a soldier under him in the Cherokee Expedition into Tennessee. This affiant knew the said Whit at that time and has known him ever since. This affiant knows nothing of any other service stated by the said Whit, but he believes them to have been performed as stated. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year above written in open court. (signed) Thomas Christian 

In 1853, the year of his death, we do not have Thomas Christian's Death Certificate but we do have his infant son Samuel's which names his parents as Thomas B. Christian and Mary.

Eastern Cherokee Applications
In 1908, the granddaughter of Moses Bailey Wiskilo'tha "Sharp Shooter" Christian applied to the Eastern Cherokee (Application #10464). The application was rejected, which does not really mean anything because many applications were rejected for frivolous reasons or for, in our case, I believe, people did not really know anything about the details of their heritage because it was kept hidden. Remember, the Cornstalks were brutally murdered. Often enrollment would not be granted if your ancestors had never enrolled (our case) but many of the Native ancestors tried to downplay their heritage for safety. You can see a copy of the application at Here is one note in the application:

H. C. Fink (1)
Justice of the Peace and Real Estate Dealer
Tug River, W. Va.
January 22, 1908

Mr Gunion Miller
Washington DC

Dear Sir,

(Unreadable) I have in regard to claims Eastern Cherokee Indians my great grandfather Mose Christian was Eastern Cherokee (2) Indian and lived with the Indians in Virginia and annually went to the Western part of the W.S. (3)with them.
I had no former opportunity to enroll and do not know why my ancestors did not enroll.
Yours very truly,
JM X Charles

1. People often hired local attorneys to help file their applications.
2. I don't believe people in 1908 knew the difference between Shawnee, Delaware, Cherokee. Cherokee just meant "Indian" to them. That's just my guess for why Shawnee people applied for Cherokee claims.
3. We don't know what this means "Western part of the W.S." - Washington State? Do you know?

Gordon Aronhime
In May, 1982, historian Gordon Aronhime wrote the article Thomas Mastin: Important Unknown of the Early Clinch River Settlement for the Historical Society of Washington County, Va. He does not mention our Thomas Christian.

Jump to 1991-1994 Juanita Sigmon Halstead - Holston Pastfinder
Sometime in the early 1990s, before the Internet, Juanita Sigmon Halstead of Scott Depot, West Virginia wrote short articles for the newsletter Holston Pastfinder. She does not mention Indian stories but she does confirm that our Thomas Christian was adopted by Thomas Mastin. She may have written more about TBC. We need to find out if any of her work has been published.

We know of two quotes about TBC in the HP.

Issue 37-1 (number is hard to read on our copy)
In this note by JSH that starts off about Joseph WRAY Juanita writes "Thomas MASTIN took our Thomas CHRISTIAN, Sr. under his wing when our Thomas was orphaned and our Thomas was with him after he (Thomas MASTIN) and Daniel SMITH left Washington County and went to the Territory South of the Ohio River - TN really." There is more information about TBC on this page email if you would like a copy.

[This note by JSH corrects an earlier article in
HPF 36-18 - we should get that too. ]

Issue 36-42
Partial quote I found on a Google Books search:  "Sumner Co., TN, where he d. c1810. Thomas CHRISTIAN was orphaned & taken into the care of Thomas MASTIN. CHRISTIAN was in Floyd Co., KY c1795/6, found on list of customers at a store owned & operated by John..."

Lula Hankins Hunter - 1998 Message Posts Lula is the descendant of Elizabeth Skaggs who was the sister of our Lydia Skaggs. In 1998 Lula wrote at least two message board posts that apply to TBC.

"Skaggs & Hankins", Beginnings with Never Endings Msg 3-A Here she writes about the Christian v. Wray lawsuit and more...

ESTATES: MOSES SKAGGS HEIRS, ESTATE CASE # 3871, GREEN CO., KY, 1836 This will validates the relationship of TBC, his wife and connects her to her mother Lydia Skaggs and the Skaggs family. Excerpt: "Robert & Moses Beavers & Thomas Christian having married daughters of said Mathias & Liddy Harman"

Agnes Branch Pearlman and the Christian Chronicles
Pearlman, publisher of the Christian Family Chronicles, stated that she did not believe Thomas Bailey Christian was the orphaned son of Nathaniel Christian. She also stated she did believe he was from the old Christian family but she was not sure where he fit in. This statement was posted to the Internet in 2000. I do not know when it was written.

Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf and Metcalf Family Mews
In 2007, Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf  started a blog where she writes about her Adkins family links to Cornstalk.  She also has Reed and Blankenship connections. I check on her Chief Cornstalk: Shawnee Lineage post to read the comments and see who is discovering Cornstalk genealogy. 185 comments as of this writing (Jan. 2014).

James Red Wolf
In 2008, James Red Wolf started posting about his family's oral history concerning Thomas Bailey Christian and the Cornstalk family. As far as I know he was the first to write about the Cornstalk connections. Here he describes his connection to TBC:
"I probably have confused a few of you concerning my relation to Thomas and Louisa. I come down through his son James, then James’s son George. Some thought it was Thomas’s son George, but it was his grandson. If I said Thomas's son George, I meant to say grandson. My error. I hope this confusion has been cleared up. J Red Wolf"

I have made a handy link page to his posts.
James Red Wolf Posts

In Red Wolf's posts he mentions quite a few leads that may turn up more documents for us. Please contact me - Catherine dee Auvil - if you find any of these documents and I will add them to their respective WeRelate pages.

1. TBC's sister Sarah "Mountain Raven" Mastin who married Bear Adkins. Sarah in Tazewell and Bear in North Carolina. Bear's papers name Thomas Christian of Tazewell as his brother in law and Executor of Estate. The above was assembled from treaty signings and other affairs where the name is recorded as "son of or daughter of Cornstalk" "Find the Greenbrier, not the place, but the woman. She was a daughter of Chief Cornstalk. Much older than her sister Rachel. Once you find Greenbrier and Reuben Kinnison, you find Rachel again. Greenbrier names Rachel Whitt as her sister. Look for them with William Parrish and his wife Elizabeth Kinnison. Elizabeth was daughter to Greenbrier and Reuben." J Red Wolf

2. Rachel Scaggs who married Hezekiah Whitt "You can only find her “name change” on record, a legal change from her Indian name to Rachel Skaggs. This will give proof to you of her relation to the Cornstalks. Look for her in Montgomery County. She was NOT a Skaggs, keep this in mind." Red Wolf

3. "Tomas Mastin's papers for the orphans are found in Tennessee. (It states he raised 4 orphans) There is also one from Hezekiah Whitt in Virginia for the recognition of Thomas Christian as a Cornstalk orphan. Montgomery County is the place to look." Red Wolf

4. "The younger Hezekiah (Low Hawk) signed for Thomas Christian verifying he was a son left orphaned by the Cornstalk. Thomas in turn signed the same for Hezekiah." Red Wolf

Caryl Lamont, a descendant of Thomas Bailey Christian through Mastin Christian, corresponded with James Red Wolf, typed up the family tree and posted it to Genforum in 2008.

Shawnee Heritage by Don Greene
At about the same time as the Red Wolf postings (2008), Don Greene* published his book Shawnee Heritage I. His book mentions Elinipsico but does not name his children. *Note: Don Greene is controversial in part because he does not name his sources. In spite of that, he has done extensive research and his books are invaluable in the study of Shawnee history.
(2013) I have just received word that Don Greene is looking into the Cornstalk Orphan mystery. Stay tuned.

Cheryl Tate Duke and Appalachian Aristocracy
Since 2010, Cheryl Tate Duke, a descendant of Thomas Bailey Christian through Thomas Scaggs Christian, has enjoyed sharing the family history she has gathered at her website Appalachian AristocracyJuanita Sigmon Halstead was her mentor and they both contributed stories about Tazewell Christians to the Christian Family Chronicles. Cheryl has stated that neither Juanita nor Agnes  ever mentioned a Thomas Bailey Christian-Cornstalk connection to her. [1]

Indian Creek, Virginia
In the summer of 2011 Jo Spencer and I (Catherine dee Auvil) met through the Appalachian Heritage forum. We discovered that we both had ancestors who lived in the small community of Indian Creek, Virginia about the time of the Revolutionary War. Jo has researched the connection between her Indian Creek ancestor, Nikitie Arthur, and the niece of Pocahontas, "Princess Nicketti". To learn that descendants of Nicketti and the Cornstalks all lived together in this tiny Virginia town made a lot of sense to us. We believed, and we still believe, that descendants of Powhatan and Cornstalk hid out in this small Appalachian community to avoid the removal in the same way that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians were able to survive the Trail of Tears by remaining in Tennessee. If you would like to join our study group here is the link

link to study group

DNA clues
In 2012, Kennith Simpson started posting to the Christian forum that his own personal DNA trail leads from Thomas Bailey Christian back to William Christian, Isle of Man, born 1579-1655. While we are waiting for more DNA studies to support Kennith's line  we do have to acknowledge the changes DNA studies could make to what we believe. If you keep the family stories that TBC was raised by the Cornstalk family it seems to imply that either he or his father were kidnapped white settlers. If you would like to follow these developments here is a link to the Ancestry forum:

That's the state of Thomas Bailey Christian research as of 2013. If I have missed anything please let me know. I will update this post and you can always find a list of known facts about TBC at his WeRelate page. You can find his WeRelate page in a link list I made of all the people we are studying for the Indian Creek group:

Cast of Characters

Catherine dee Auvil
March 2013

Edited: March  15 2013 to add Shawnee Heritage by Don Greene
Edited: March 15 2013 to add Agnes Branch Pearlman and Christian Chronicles
Edited: March 16 2013 to add the will of Hezekiah N. Low Hawk Whitt
Edited: March 20 2013 to add Cheryl Tate Duke and Appalachian Aristocracy
Edited: March 20 2013 to add Caryl Lamont; fixed JRW posts link
Edited: March 20 2013 to add Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf and Metcalf Family Mews
Edited: May 20 2013 to add Don Greene news 
Edited: May 24 2013 to add Juanita Sigmon Halstead quotes
Edited: May 27 2013 to add Lula Hankins Hunter posts
Edited: June 5 2013 Gordon Aronhime; DNA; 1853 Samuel
Edited: July 9 2013  Added the 1836 Moses Estate statement to the beginning timeline
Edited: Dec 17 2013 Added link to HLHW's will
Edited: Jan 1 2014  Just fixing some typos
Edited: Jan 25 2014 Holston Past Finder Issue number & Metcalf Family Mews Cornstalk post link

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I hate Captcha!

I don't know what it is about my brain but I just really hate Captcha and I hate the precious moments of my life I lose trying to figure them out. So all I could think of was to put the worst of them on my Pinterest and then at least I can laugh at the collection some day. Here is one from today:
Here is an old one that vexed me:
Here is my Pinterest I hate Captcha board. Request an invite if you would like to add your own if that helps you!