Skip to main content

The Chickasaw Trail


Sometime prior to the first contact with white people, the Chickasaw migrated from western regions and moved east of the, Mississippi River, where they settled mostly in the Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The United States considered the Chickasaw a civilized tribe. Resisting European-American settlers encroaching on their territory, they were forced by the U.S. to move to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The Chickasaw are related to the Choctaw and share a common history with them.

My 5th great grandparents, Charles Matlock (1770-1819) and Elizabeth Lynch Matlock (1773-1822), lived at Monroe in Overton County. Minerva Hill lived less than a half mile from them. In a deposition given on March 22, 1897 in AB Hill et al vs Chickasaw Nation, she said Old Aunt Giney, a slave woman who lived with the Matlock's, told her that Charles was a quarter breed indian by blood from the Chickasaw tribe. She said he had "black hair, tolerable course, stood straight and dark skin and black eyes." She said Charles' father, Moore "Obediha" Matlock, was a white man, but his mother, Emma Kane Powell Matlock, was a half breed Chickasaw Indian by blood.

Geni.com says Charles was a Colonel. Findagrave.com says he was with the Overton County, Tennessee Militia during the the war of 1812 and was commisioned a Lieutenant on June 26, 1812. Charles was murdered in April of 1819. Three years later, Elizabeth hung herself. Old Aunt Giney helped raise their five children. The youngest, Elizabeth or "Betsy," was born four months after her father's death, on Aug. 26, 1819. Betsy married Benjamin Ledbetter. They were the great-grandparents of Josie Ledbetter Speck, my great-grandmother. Charles and Elizabeth are buried at Speck Cemetery in Overton County.

Another daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Matlock was Mary, aka "Polly." She married Thomas Hill, the oldest son of John and Catherine Means Hill, the daughter of my 5th great-grandparents, Andrew and Nancy Gray Means.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…