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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. says Charles was a Colonel. 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.


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