Tag Archives: Holley

52 Ancestors – #16 Howell Holley

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

This is week 16, and my sixteenth post in the challenge.  This week, I’m reporting on Howell Holley.  Howell is my 4th great-grandfather.  I didn’t even know about Howell until a couple of weeks ago, when cousin Harry Short (Hi Harry!) sent me an email telling me he had figured out the father of our 3rd great-grandmother, Jane Harriette (Holley) Higginbotham.  It wasn’t until last week that I had time to sit and search out Howell and Wowza!!!  What an interesting character this man is!!

Before I go into the fascinating court documents about Howell that I have since found, I have to share with you how I think we blew a long believed family tale out of the water when cousin Harry found Howell.  MAYBE.

You see, I had always heard that my 3rd great-grandmother Jane was an Indian, and had been adopted by the Holley’s and raised as their own child.  I had found all the Dawes Packet’s from her granddaughter’s family trying to prove they had Indian blood, which was denied.

I decided to look through my DNA matches on Ancestry.com and see if I could find any matches to Holley.  I found a 4th cousin match to a sister of Jane’s.

This is what a DNA match looks like on Ancestry if you both have the shared ancestor in your tree.

DNA Match to faye6746 - Holley McCoy Ancestors

DNA Match to faye6746 – Holley McCoy Ancestors

So, if Jane was adopted how do I match her sister Mary Ann’s descendant? Cousin Harry said he had this same match, and some others. I didn’t look for any others yet as I ran out of time that day, but I imagine unless all of their children were adopted and had the same Indian parents, the story about Jane is just not true unless Howell or Elizabeth was an Indian and the story got distorted over time. Who knows!  I know my DNA results do not show any Native American ancestry in them.

Court documents show Elizabeth filed for a divorce from Howell in 1848. Here is the abstract of the court documents:

In 1787, Elizabeth Holley married Howell Holley in Edgefield District, South Carolina. In 1827 or 1828, after forty years of marriage, Elizabeth charges that Howell began an illicit relationship with Nancy Hodge. She writes that it was then that he began to beat her “with various Instruments sometimes with his fists sometimes with a hickory at other times with a cowhide and very often threatened her life.” She claims that Howell left their domicile, taking Nancy with him to Georgia, and then to Alabama, and abandoning her and their nine children. Later, the couple reconciled, but in 1830 Howell again became violent and Elizabeth fled for her life. Elizabeth claims that Howell now lives with Nancy and their illegitimate offspring, six or seven in number. According to Elizabeth, Howell is old and senile; and he possesses a large estate, including a “valuable set of mills,” horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, “a large quantity of money,” and fifteen slaves, five men, four women, and six children. Elizabeth, too, is very old, and unable to support herself. She asks for a divorce and alimony. In his related answer, Howell denies all charges of violence against his wife and denies that Nancy Hodge lives in his house. He counter charges that Elizabeth was a difficult, dissatisfied, and jealous woman, who made his life unbearable.

This was reported by the Digital Library on American Slavery, which you can view here, Petition 20184802 Details.

What’s up with Howell?  Deserting his family, beating my great-grandmother Elizabeth, how dare he!  I think Elizabeth must have been very brave to bring the case against him in that day and time.

I’m not letting ole’ Nancy Hodge off the hook either, she has some explaining to do!

I’ve looked to see what Elizabeth’s maiden name is, and it’s different on every tree of course. I’ve seen McCoy, Hampton, Seaton, but I haven’t found a marriage record from 1787 in Edgefield, South Carolina for Elizabeth and Howell so that is on the ToDo List!

And, technically, I haven’t really found any definite piece of paper that says Jane is their daughter.  Just the DNA test, but it’s a good starting place. I think I will try to see about getting a copy of those court records from Tallapoosa, Alabama.  Maybe there are more details in there that might offer up some clues.  Wouldn’t it be great if it listed Howell and Elizabeth’s children by name!

I found Howell Holley listed on the 1850 Mortality Schedule in the Western Division of Chickasaw County, Mississippi.  He died in September 1849, after four months of consumption.  It states he was 84 years old, so that puts him being born around 1765.

1850 Mortality Sch Howell Holley

1850 Mortality Schedule Howell Holley

This is how I descend from Howell Holley:

susie to Howell Holley

52 Ancestors – #4 Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Sr.

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I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.  I think this is an excellent challenge as I tend to focus on my brick walls, and this will force me to fan out in my tree and focus on other ancestors.

Please meet my 2nd great-grandfather, Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Sr. Week four, and my fourth post in the challenge.

This is a photo of Rufus with his wife, Margaret Florence Jacobs Higginbotham.

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham

Rufus, or Civil War Rufus as I call him, was born 14th of March, 1839 in Alabama.  (Yes, Justin I hear you yelling “Roll Tide!”  Since he came to Arkansas, I hope you hear me yelling, “Woo Pig Sooie!”  He was the 8th of 12 children born to Sanford Higginbotham and Jane Harriette Holley Higginbotham.

The reason I call him Civil War Rufus is because he is the first of five generations of Rufus Higginbotham’s and he fought in the civil war which makes it easier for me to distinguish which Rufus I am talking about.  The last Rufus being my brother Butch, (nicknamed Butch because he always wore his hair in a flat top with Butch wax on it) whose name is actually Rufus Earl Higginbotham, III. He named his son Ben David Higginbotham because he (Butch) was teased merciless in grade school about his name “Rufus” and he didn’t want Ben to suffer the same fate, so they decided against naming him James Rufus Higginbotham and went with Ben David instead, thus ending the Rufus name in our line of Higginbotham’s.  I’m sure Ben thanks him!

I know there are other grandchildren of Civil War Rufus that carry the name Rufus.  In our line, it happens to be my nephew, Jonathan Rufus Higginbotham, and his son Skylar Mikel Rufus Higginbotham.  I know there are some other Rufus’ in Civil War Rufus’ son Sanford L. Higginbotham’s line that carry the name, for instance Rufus Merit Higginbotham. I hope to learn more about Sanford L.’s line in the future.

I have a copy of the bible of Sanford Higginbotham, Rufus’ father on this website, which you can refer to here, Bible of Sanford and Jane Higginbotham.  This bible is in the possession of Hugh Oliver Higginbotham, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee.  Hugh, along with his two wonderful sisters, Joy Maclin and Marilee Whitten graciously agreed to let me photograph it and use it for family records.

The bible record is how I know Rufus was the 8th child of 12 children.  It’s also how I know he married Margaret Jacobs on the 4th of June 1865.

Backing up a bit from his marriage, I found Civil War Rufus on the 1850 Census living in Jackson, Dallas Co., Arkansas.  This was the plantation of his father Sanford Higginbotham which you can read about here, Walking Ancestral Land with Cousins. The census shows him living at this time with his father and mother, Sanford and Jane, siblings James, Joseph, William, Nancy, Elizabeth, and Amanda, with farm laborer, A.L. Barnes.

1850 Higginbotham Census

1850 Higginbotham Census, Rufus age 11.

Civil War Rufus’ father Sanford died in 1851 and so on the 1860 census he is found still living with his mother Jane on the family plantation with siblings, William, Nancy, Elizabeth and Amanda.

1860 Census Higginbotham

1860 Census Higginbotham, Rufus age 21.

Then, on March 1st, 1862 in Princeton, Arkansas Rufus joined Co. B, 18th Regiment Arkansas Infantry. You can find out more about this Regiment and the hardships they faced here, 18th (Carroll’s) Arkansas Infantry Regiment, CSA.  From Rufus’ muster rolls, I learned quite a bit of information.  I learned when and where he joined.  I learned he was absent sick in hospital, and sick at home.  I learned he was taken prisoner at Port Hudson, Louisiana on 9th of July 1863 and was paroled.   I learned he signed the Oath of Amnesty and Allegiance on 21 April 1864.

Rufus Higginbotham Muster Roll

Rufus Higginbotham Muster Roll

It’s hard to read, but if you look on the above muster roll for Rufus, you will see it says he has grey eyes, black hair, was light complected, 6’2″ tall and was 25 years old. Now I know where brother Butch who is 6’5″, brother Gene who is 6’5″ and sister BJ who is just shy of 5’9″ got their height. Evidently, I got the short end of that stick at 5’4″, ha!

Then in 1865 as mentioned above, he married Margaret Jacobs.  They had five children that I know of.

  • Harriette Alice Higginbotham (1866-1911) who married Merit Joseph Crank (2nd wife) and had no children.
  • Charles S. Higginbotham (1867 – bef 1910) who married Rena Peavy and had a son Luther Higginbotham.
  • Mary Florence Higginbotham (1873-1940), who married James Harvey Davis and had no children.
  • Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Jr. (my great-grandfather) (1876-1923) who married Dona Williams, and had my grandfather Rufus Earl Higginbotham, and Milton Francis Higginbotham.
  • Sanford Lullean Higginbotham (1879-1942) who married Minnie Ola Crank.  (Minnie Crank is the daughter of Merit Crank (husband of Alice) and his first wife Emma Francis Larey).  Sanford and Minnie had five children: Emma Pauline Higginbotham who married Paul Stockton, Sanford Aubrey Higginbotham who married Janis Plemmons, Muriel Higginbotham who married Holbert Manning, Richard L Higginbotham who married Ina Mae Brown, and Rufus Merit Higginbotham who married Alma Virginia Torrans.  There is an extensive book done by Patricia Cleveland called “The Crank Family, Past to Present 1595 to 2009” that has quite a bit of information and several photos of these Higginbotham’s.


This tin type that my Aunt Jane had is probably the youngest picture I have of Civil War Rufus. He is on the right, and my great-grandfather Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Jr. is on the left.

Rufus F Higginbotham Jr and Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

Rufus F Higginbotham Jr and Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

On the 1870 Census, I find Rufus farming in Precinct 1, Bowie Co., Texas, with his wife Margaret, and children Harriette Alice, and Charles S. Higginbotham.

1870 Census Higginbotham

1870 Census Higginbotham

I did not find him on the 1880 Census, and we all know the 1890 census was destroyed. In the 1900 Census, I find Rufus surprisingly as the Head of a Hotel (boy do I wish it said which hotel as I have not been able to figure this out), in District 0121 in Garland, Miller Co., Arkansas. Margaret also lived there with him, as well as children, Mary Florence, Sanford L., Rufus Jr. and wife Dona, and several other boarders.

1900 Higginbotham Census

1900 Higginbotham Census

If any of you Texarkana or Miller County historians know which hotel that might be, it would be great to know that.

It seems to me that Civil War Rufus wore many hats throughout his lifetime. Not only did he apparently run a hotel, in looking at the city and county directories for Texarkana, and Miller County, I have found him to be Justice of the Peace for Miller County (1905), County Coroner for Miller County (1915), and Oil Inspector for Miller County (1917).

In 1910, Rufus is found living in District 0070, Texarkana Ward 3, Miller Co., Arkansas and is shown to be a Justice of the Peace. His wife Margaret and daughter Mary Florence are also living there at the time.

1910 Census higginbotham

1910 Census Higginbotham

Imagine my surprise in 2011 when the Arkansas Democrat Gazette ran this article from “100 years ago”.

Justice Higginbotham Pours Whiskey on Broad Street

Justice Higginbotham Orders Whiskey Poured on Broad Street

Ha! I know one brother (who shall rename nameless but has not been mentioned yet in this post) that if he had been living back then, would have been trying to lick it off the street and would have gone home crying with a sore tongue. I’m pretty sure Civil War Rufus and this nameless brother of mine would not see eye to eye on that subject.

On the 1920 Census, Rufus is found living with wife Margaret and surprisingly, my great Uncle Milton, in District 0071, Texarkana, Miller Co., Arkansas.

1920 Census Higginbotham

1920 Census Higginbotham

I know that my great-grandfather Rufus F. Jr. died at a young age of 47. It’s possible that in 1920 he was sick and Milton went to live his parents. The weird thing is, Rufus F. Jr., died on 21 September 1923, but Civil War Rufus died just a few months before him on 29 Jun 1923. I can’t even begin to tell you how confusing it was to look these Rufus’ up and separate them with how closely they died together.

But, before we get to the end, so to speak, I have a few more things to share with you. I found this document is some pictures my Aunt Jane gave me. I have not researched it yet, but I have never heard anyone speak of it, and Dad knew nothing about it. It looks like the subdivision is somewhere around Broad St. I’ll have to do some research on this at the Miller Co. Courthouse.

Rufus Higginbotham Subdivision

Rufus Higginbotham Subdivision

This is another picture of Rufus and Margaret.

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham

And then these next two, are a couple of my favorite pictures. This is Rufus on a donkey.

Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

Rufus F Higginbotham Sr

This is Rufus doing I don’t know what to the poor Donkey, but it looks like he is trying to get the donkey to not run off with his grandchildren. The boy on the front is my great Uncle Milton, I don’t know who the girl is holding him, but I think she and the other children are some of Sanford and Minnie’s children. My grandfather Rufus Earl is the next to the last boy. And what does the poor donkey have on his ears?

Milton, Earl and Rufus Higginbotham, other unidentified

Milton, Earl and Rufus Higginbotham, others unidentified but most probably children of Sanford and Minnie Higginbotham.

Sadly, Civil War Rufus died on the 29th of June of 1923 and this is the clipping from the Texarkana Daily News.

Rufus Francis Higginbotham Sr Obit

Rufus Francis Higginbotham Sr Obit

Rufus and his wife Margaret are buried in the Sylverino Cemetery, in Miller County, Arkansas. Their daughter Alice Crank and her husband Merit Crank are buried next to them as well as Sanford and Minnie Higginbotham, and Sanford Aubrey Higginbotham.

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham Headstone

Rufus and Margaret Higginbotham Headstone

I’ve blogged about their headstone before here on Tombstone Tuesday – Knucklehead’s Ancestors.

If you are related to any of the above mentioned children of Rufus, I would very much like to hear from you. So far, we haven’t really connected with anyone from the other lines. It would be great to talk with some of Sanford Lullean’s descendants and I would love to find out what happened to Rufus’ son, Charles S. Higginbotham and his son Luther as I haven’t been able to track them either.

This is how I descend from Civil War Rufus. Now, you will see why I call him that. It’s easier to distinguish him.

Rufus To Susie

Walking Ancestral Land with Cousins

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Last weekend I had an amazing opportunity to walk on the property of my Higginbotham Ancestors.  The current owner, was kind enough to welcome us to his place and let us look around.

Sanford Higginbotham, my 3rd Great-Grandfather came to Arkansas in 1843 and settled in what was then Stover but is now Bucksnort in the Fordyce, Arkansas community.  He had 1,200 acres, a plantation, and ran a mercantile store all around what was then called the lower road.  This road ran all the way from Pine Bluff to Camden back then.  Today, this road is known as Dallas County 131.

This would have been a prime location for Sanford back then.  Many people traveled this road and it would have been good business for his store.

It also made him an easy target, as would be proven later, years after he passed away and the Union Soldiers burned his plantation down during the civil war, causing his widow and my 3rd Great Grandmother Jane Holley Higginbotham to flee into Texas.

But that’s a story for another time.  Today I want to share with you what I saw, and what I learned during this trip.

First, I was able to meet two wonderful cousins that I have been corresponding with for some time, Henry Broach and Lisa Higginbotham Guidroz.  Henry, a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their son John Jefferson Higginbotham.  Lisa, a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their son Joseph Green Higginbotham.  I am a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their son Rufus Francis Higginbotham, Sr.

We missed our Memphis Higginbotham cousins, Hugh, Joy and Marilee.  They couldn’t make the trip, but they are descendants of Sanford and Jane’s through their son James Oliver Higginbotham.

We also missed our Salt Lake Higginbotham cousins, Ray and Madeline Lynch.  Ray is a descendant of Sanford and Jane’s through their daughter Amanda Caroline Higginbotham Vinson.

Henry Broach, Lisa Higginbotham Guidroz, and Me

In this photo, we are standing on the 1,200 acres that Sanford once owned.   In front of us is the private cemetery where our relatives are buried.  Behind us, way back in the tree line was where Sanford and Jane’s house was prior to the Civil War.

Jenny, Lisa and Marci

This is Lisa with her two friends Jenny Cheramie, and Marci Brown who were kind enough to make the trip with Lisa from Louisiana.  They have been best friends for a very long time and I’m so happy they shared this experience with Lisa.

Justin Cole, Leslie Golden, Me, and Lisa Guidroz

This photo is of my son Justin Cole, my niece Leslie Golden, myself and Lisa Guidroz.  I was very happy to have my son and niece along with me to share the experience.  All the land you can see around us, once belonged to Sanford.

It was truly an amazing experience to walk on that land, knowing this is where it all began in Arkansas for us Higginbotham’s.  Then, to do it with cousins, was something I will always treasure.

The Cemetery

This is a partial view of the Higginbotham Cemetery on the property, you can see it is all grown up and most of the headstones are buried under leaves and such.  We stood there for quite a while and made plans to come back in the fall and do a cleanup.

Henry Broach

I love this picture of Henry.  He is such a sweet man and so knowledgable of the Higginbotham’s and the area.  He has researched the Higginbotham’s for a very long time and he and his wife have traveled to Georgia and Virginia collecting documents on our line of Higginbotham’s.

Henry was kind enough to take us on an ancestral tour of Fordyce.  The one major thing I learned from Henry that I had no idea about was the mercantile store that Sanford owned.  After Sanford died in 1851, Sanford’s son John Jefferson Higginbotham, took the store over, and administered the plantation until he died in 1860 from Typhoid Fever.  John Jefferson Higginbotham is buried there on Sanford’s old plantation.

Sanford’s Mercantile Store formerly located at the corner of what is now Hwy 8, and Dallas Co. 131.  There is nothing but trees standing there now where the store once stood.

Where Sanford’s Mercantile Store used to be

Now I have a big surprise for all you John J. and Sarah (Wyatt) Higginbotham researchers. John J. and Sarah lived in a house behind where the store used to be.

It is still standing.

Barely. But it’s there.

Old Home place of John Jefferson and Sarah Wyatt Higginbotham

Now, for you avid Wyatt researchers, the parents of Sarah Wyatt – John J. and Elizabeth Wyatt lived across the road from John J. and Sarah Higginbotham.  Their place is no longer there.

Hwy 8 and Dallas Co. 131

In this photo you can see where Henry is standing by the car, back behind him, is the old Wyatt place. The house that is there is actually on the next property, and the Wyatt house is gone. The place where the mercantile store was would have been directly in front of Henry, and then to his right, behind these trees is the old home place of John J. and Sarah Higginbotham.  I hope this gives you an idea of where they were located.

Next Henry took us over by the Barnes cemetery.  His mother was Erma Lee Barnes Broach, and this is all of her people.

Henry had a really interesting story about Seth Barnes, his great-grandfather, and the Union soldiers that burned Sanford’s plantation down.

But, again, that’s a story for another time, and one that Henry has already written up and as soon as I get a copy of it, I will post it here.

Barnes Cemetery

Henry shared this really great photo with me of his family.

Henry Broach family

In Henry’s words about the photo:

In the picture, the man on the left is, William Alexander “Alec” Broach, my Grandfather. His wife was Mary Frances Higginbotham c1857, daughter of John Jefferson Higginbotham c1825. Alec was born in Walton County GA in 1847 and the following year at age 1 1/2 he came to Arkansas along with two sisters, his Mother, Martha Green Broach c1817, and his father Jones A. Broach c1815. A very important link in the Broach/Higginbotham line is the marriage of Elizabeth Broach c1811, an older sister of the above, Jones, my GGrandfather. She was the wife of Joseph Higginbotham who accompanied his older brother Sanford from Chambers County, AL to Arkansas in what I feel was 1843. An interesting observation about this Elizabeth Broach, sister of the above Jones Broach, is that Jones and Martha along with Alec and the two sisters came to AR later in the early fall of 1848. The 51 day trek via oxen pulled wagon is a story you will love when I have the time to relate some of the details.

The woman sitting by Alec, is my Mother, Erma Lee Barnes Broach c1900. Next is yours truly, Henry Alexander Broach, Jr. c1934 and to my left is my Father, Henry Ashley Broach c1895. To his left is my maternal Grandmother, Lafonia Belle Stover Barnes c1873.

Henry also shared this picture of James Oliver Higginbotham and his wife Amanda Zinn Higginbotham.

Then we headed over to Bucksnort and heard more of Henry’s great stories.  Henry will be traveling for the summer but this fall when he gets back, I will get with him again and get more of his stories to share with you.

Thank you Henry, for the two wonderful pictures, and the tour of Fordyce. I’m looking forward to getting to know Henry better and hear all the stories that he has been working on for so long!

After this, I was able to visit with Lisa and her friends some more, just getting to know them. What a wonderful bunch of ladies. I’m so proud to have Lisa as a cousin, and to have this opportunity to get to know her. She brought me a wonderful gift basket, (which she didn’t have to do!) but I loved each item in there, and I will treasure them always!

It was a great trip, I look forward to more of them!


Dawes Packets and More Research

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I just finished adding the rest of the Dawes Packets for the children of Jane Willis Ridley, the granddaughter of Sanford and Jane Higginbotham, through their daughter Matilda Higginbotham Willis.  You can view them all HERE.

This chart will show you how I relate to Jane Ridley:

I haven’t even gone through all of the pictures I took at the Fordyce courthouse for Sanford’s Estate, but that is next on the agenda.  It may have some clues, or answer some questions and now that I have reviewed all the packets, here are my notes and things I will now have to research, or find the answer to:

as of June 12, 1900:

  • Mary Jane Ridley goes by Jane, has black hair mixed with gray, dark brown eyes. Doesn’t speak Choctaw.
  • 60 years old
  • born in Alabama, Chambers County, oldest child to Matilda Higginbotham and Paul Willis.
  • Lives at Post Office Duncan in Indian Territory (for six years now), they rent lands to make a crop
  • Moved to Texas in 1858 from Georgia
  • Sanford and Jane lived in Mississippi, but moved from Alabama to Arkansas.  Sanford had lands in Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.  [Search Land Records in these States, I have previously only searched Arkansas]
  • Jane Higginbotham was a Holla.  [Really??  What about Holley??  Research this]
  • Mother to Jane R. – Matilda Higginbotham 1/2 Choctaw Indian and was 26 years old when she died in 1850.  [Research date of death]
  • Father to Jane R.- Paul Willis is also 1/2 Choctaw Indian.  [See if I can locate any Willis information in Indian documentation]
  • Evidence shows that Matilda and Paul were married and head of a household prior to 27 Sep 1830. [I show their wedding date as 08 Aug 1839, verify correct marriage date]
  • husband to Jane R. – W.M. (William) Ridley they married in 1858 in AL and they have two children under the age of 21, Homer age 19, and Charles age 14.  [Find marriage record]
  • brother to Jane R. – George Willis living in Atlanta, Texas.  Doesn’t know anything about his family, hasn’t talked to him in quite a while.  [Look for information on George Willis]
  • son to Jane R. – H.M. (Henry) Ridley, (43 years old) states his grandmother was a Holla, and married a Higginbotham and they lived in Mississippi.  He was originally the lawyer who represented Jane at the time she made her original application.  Wife name Lena, children Walter (21), Cleo, and Annie May
  • Other attorneys were Gilbert and Gilbert
  • son to Jane R. – William Ridley, (40 years old) lives where Jane lives.
  • daughter to Jane R. – Hattie Pruitt, (37 years old) husband W.S. Pruitt, married three times but has no children by last husband at this time, I think she does later.  Children to first husband [W.M. McDonald, and B.F. Glover, both deceased at this time], son Nellie McDonald, and son Leslie Glover.
  • son to Jane R. – George Washington Ridley, (29 years old) wife Georgia A. Holley  [Georgia’s father’s name is John Thomas Holley, related to Jane Higginbotham?] Children Leafy Mabel, Mary Leta, George William, and male infant born in May, not yet named.
  • daughter to Jane R.- Carrie Hart, (24 years old) husband Tom Hart.  She was born in Texas about 1877, resided in Indian Territory for nine years preceding the making of her application, she says she is 1/4 Choctaw.
  • daughter to Jane R.- Mattie Studebaker, (26 years old) husband Andy Studebaker.  Daughter Inez.
  • son to Jane R.- Robert Ridley (30 years old) lives in Lawton, Ok.  Wife Annie, girl infant.
  • son to Jane R. – Homer Ridley (19 years old)
  • son to Jane R. – Charlie Ridley (15 years old)
  • witness – Henry Byington a full blood Choctaw Indian Lawyer states that he has printed records of proceedings of the United States Court of Claims (Case No: 12742)  “Choctaw Nation of Indians vs. the United States” and that the name Holla is found in Vol.1 on pages 190, 436 and 437, as residing on certain lands in the State of Mississippi.  [Locate this information for confirmation, would be good to have a list of these Holla’s]
  • Court Claims this evidence can’t be submitted under the 14th article of the 1830 treaty because they can’t prove relationship between Jane Higginbotham and the Holla’s listed in the records.  [Research this treaty]
  • witness – Charles Smith [confusion about his true age which makes his testimony a little wishy washy]  He states he is 81 years old, full-blood Choctaw freedman, says he knew Sanford and Jane in AL, they spoke like full blood Choctaw and were recognized as Choctaw.
  • witness – Alsie Ervine – 90 years of age
  • witness – Charles Lane – 90 years of age
  • witness – Prime Harvey – 80 years of age, citizen of creek nation
  • witness – Zack Shoals – Berwyn, Indian Territory
  • witness – Cassie Franklin – Wynnewood, Indian Territory

And just in case you are as unschooled about this time period and what all was going on between the United States and the Native Americans at that time, here is some information that I looked up pertaining to the above information:

From Wikipedia:

The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the CherokeeChickasawChoctawCreek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists’ customs and had generally good relations with their neighbors.

The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was a treaty signed on September 27, 1830 (and proclaimed on February 24, 1831) between the Choctaw (an American Indian tribe) and the United States Government. This was the first removal treaty carried into effect under the Indian Removal Act. The treaty ceded about 11 million acres (45,000 km2) of the Choctaw Nation (now Mississippi) in exchange for about 15 million acres (61,000 km2) in the Indian territory (now the state of Oklahoma). The principal Choctaw negotiators were Chief Greenwood LeFloreMusholatubbee, and Nittucachee; the U.S. negotiators were Colonel John Coffee and Secretary of War John Eaton.
The site of the signing of this treaty is in the southwest corner of Noxubee County, Mississippi in the United States; the site was known to the Choctaw as Chukfi Ahihla Bogue (Dancing Rabbit Creek). The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was the last major land cession treaty signed by the Choctaw.[citation needed] With ratification by the U.S. Congress in 1831, the treaty allowed those Choctaw who chose to remain in Mississippi to become the first major non-European ethnic group to gain recognition as U.S. citizens.
The Choctaw were the first of the “Five Civilized Tribes” to be removed from the southeastern United States, as the federal and state governments desired Indian lands to accommodate a growing agrarian American society. In 1831, tens of thousands of Choctaw walked the 800-kilometer journey to Oklahoma and many died.[citation needed] Like the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Seminole who followed them, the Choctaw attempted to resurrect their traditional lifestyle and government in their new homeland.

The Choctaw at this crucial time became two distinct groups: the Nation in Oklahoma and the Tribe in Mississippi. The nation retained its autonomy to regulate itself, but the tribe left in Mississippi had to submit to state and U.S. laws. Under article XIV, in 1830 the Mississippi Choctaws became the first major non-European ethnic group to gain U.S. citizenship.[6][7] The Choctaw sought to elect a representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was one of the largest land transfers ever signed between the United States Government and American Indians in time of peace. The Choctaw ceded their remaining traditional homeland to the United States. Article 14 allowed for some Choctaw to remain in the state of Mississippi, if they wanted to become citizens:

“ART. XIV. Each Choctaw head of a family being desirous to remain and become a citizen of the States, shall be permitted to do so, by signifying his intention to the Agent within six months from the ratification of this Treaty, and he or she shall thereupon be entitled to a reservation of one section of six hundred and forty acres of land, to be bounded by sectional lines of survey; in like manner shall be entitled to one half that quantity for each unmarried child which is living with him over ten years of age; and a quarter section to such child as may be under 10 years of age, to adjoin the location of the parent. If they reside upon said lands intending to become citizens of the States for five years after the ratification of this Treaty, in that case a grant in fee simple shall issue; said reservation shall include the present improvement of the head of the family, or a portion of it. Persons who claim under this article shall not lose the privilege of a Choctaw citizen, but if they ever remove are not to be entitled to any portion of the Choctaw annuity.”[5]
Regarding  the Court Case:
Late Arrivals in Indian Territory and “Net Proceeds Case”
Choctaws in small and large groups continued to travel to Indian Territory throughout the nineteenth century. Most were well received by their brethren previously removed to the territory and did not return to the south. Under the terms of the treaty, Those Choctaws in Indian Territory were eligible to participate in an annuity, which was supposed to be paid them by the United States government to cover the land lost in Mississippi and the costs of removal for those who went to Indian Territory unassisted. The Choctaws remaining in Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas were not eligible for this annuity. The annuity was never paid in full, but resulted in an extensive litigation in a claims case (Choctaw Nation of Indians vs. The United States: U.S. Court of Claims No. 12742, 1882) which came to be called the Net Proceeds Case. The records of this case include extensive testimony about the misdeeds of the U.S. agent William Ward, who breached his trust to the Choctaws by refusing to register many Choctaws who wished to remain in Mississippi.
These records are also full of testimony about names, relationships, and those Indians who did not remove. They are a genealogical treasure trove. Unfortunately, copies of the testimony are hard to find outside of the U.S. Archives. A hardbound edition of the testimony was published for public sale in 1886, but it has never been reprinted. The Oklahoma State Historical Commission in Oklahoma City has a copy of it, as well as an index. There are also copies in the U.S. Archives.

It seems to me that this Agent William Ward and the Government were in Cahoots to deny my Choctaw ancestors (and their people) their natural-born rights, the rights they agreed upon with the Treaty’s.

From reading all the above, I tend to think that this William Ward comes to town and doesn’t register my people.  Then, they try to claim their rights, and OH!!!  They aren’t on the list so they must not be Choctaw, so the government then deny’s their application.

I hope to find this isn’t the case after I do more digging, but it’s not looking good.  I mean how in the world will I prove that my ancestors were Choctaw, when the paperwork is not there to support it, and so much time has passed??  Has anyone else out there gone through this or had the same issues with your Ancestors?

If any of you Higginbotham researchers have the answers to any or all of this,  let’s work together.  That makes all the work so much more fun!


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