About Me

From as early as I can remember I knew that I had Cherokee roots. What I didn’t know was what that meant. Looking for the answer to that question opened up a world of stories and information that will keep me researching for the rest of my life.

When I started this journey I had two goals, both related to my maternal ancestry:

  1. Find my grandmother’s Cherokee heritage
  2. Find out who my grandfather was and what happened to him.

My Grandmother

I grew up knowing my grandmother and seeing her often.  Somehow I knew that she had Cherokee ancestry but it was never spoken about by my mother or grandmother.  When I was about 9 or 10 I tried asking my mother about it and she said not to talk about it.  I could not understand this as I was very proud of having Cherokee blood.

Based on the little that I knew I assumed that somewhere in my grandmother’s past, going back several generations, there was a wife or husband of Cherokee descent. Once I became an adult I started trying to find out more.  In the pre-internet years it was hard to find out much.  I bought some books and found my grandmother and my mother’s eldest brother on the Dawes rolls.

My Grandfather

My grandfather left my mother’s family when she was about two years old.  She saw him one more time that she remembers when she was about nine.  When I was six years old my mother received a phone call saying that one of her sister’s had located their father living less than two hours away.  My mother and two of her sister’s drove to where he lived without calling ahead. When they knocked on the door a woman answered and told them their father had died a few months before.  My mother was devastated.

The Journey

Fast forward to 2009 with my mother’s 90th birthday approaching.  I set a goal to find some answers about my grandmother’s and grandfather’s history before my mother’s 90th birthday.

I have found more than I could have imagined and now realize that the quest for more information will never end for me.

When I decided to start this blog I was already a couple of years into my research.  I created the outline for the blog and then have put off getting started trying to figure out how to start from the beginning and record all that has transpired and then move forward in real time.

I have now made the decision to start where I am.  I will blog about what I find and how I accomplish my research weekly, while posting retrospective blogs along the way on the journey from the beginning.

I have called this blog Cherokee Roots because when I started I thought that my Cherokee heritage would be the hardest to trace.  I thought I would spend very little time looking up some vital statistics on my grandfather and conclude that research question while spending the majority of my time trying to trace my grandmother’s lineage.

As it turned out it was not so easy to find out who my grandfather was and with the help of books and internet resources, which grow every day, I quickly traced the ancestry of my grandmother.

What I discovered in both of those quests was that the facts were only the beginning.  Understanding the times in which they and their ancestors lived, and discovering their life stories, will keep me on this journey and continue to touch me emotionally in a way I would have never imagined.

I hope my journey will provide ideas and assistance to others with a passion for discovering their family history.

Kathleen Stafford
Proud member of the First Families of the Cherokee Nation and descendant of my great grandfather, Moses Crittenden.

My other passion is travel.  You can follow my travel writing at www.milesgeek.com.

21 responses to “About Me

  1. Susie Crittenden Chamberfs

    Moses Crittenden was my gggrandfather. I will need to email you what I have learned in this family tree.

    • I am looking forward to exchanging information.

    • Jennifer Mayfield

      Mose Crittenden was my daughter’s ggggrandfather . She is decended from Anthony Critfenden who was the son of Emily Crittenden Weaver and Mose Crittenden. This puzzle of my daughter’s heritage is missing a few pieces and so confusing. Anthony was put out of the tribe and subsequently lost his land because they classified him as a Freedmen from what we have gathered. My daughter has alot of information but hits a wall where Emily’s mother Nellie is concerned. It would be SO great to compare notes and maybe find some pieces to the puzzle for you both!

  2. Angela

    Hello,
    My name is Angela Parks and Moses Crittenden was my ggg-grandfather. I have been trying to find out information about my Cherokee heritage for many years, but have not been able to get past Moses Crittenden or find out much about him. If I could talk with you some that would be so helpful as I am sure you have had more success than I. Thank you so much for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Angela

    • Angela,
      I emailed you a few weeks ago. Would love to talk.
      Kathy

      • 540-354-2388

        Hi Kathy,
        Last time I spoke with you, I was in Oklahoma due to my grandmother passing away. Do you still have my number? So much has happened between now and then, which is why I haven’t been able to get back in touch with you. Would you please call or email me? You have been so busy and discovered so much in the past couple of years. I would love your help and guidance. Thank you so much.
        Sincerely,
        Angela

      • Angela, I was out of town when you sent this. I am sorry that is slipped past me. I am leaving town in the morning, but will try to call you later today. If we do not connect I have put a note in my calendar to call you on June 29th.

  3. Kelly Cook

    Kathy,
    My cousin, Susie introduce me to your blog. I read it last night and loved everything that I read. Thank you so much for sharing the information that you have found.
    Kelly

  4. Jeff Collins

    On the FB page “I am a real Cherokee and can PROVE it.” there is a picture someone said (Susie Crittenden Chambers) was “The Weaver’s. Emily Crittenden Weaver’s son, his wife, and children.”
    If you have seen it, is the son of Emily Crittendon the Anthony you mention in your blog? If not, I can email the picture to you. If so, where did the last name Weaver come into play?

    • Jeff,

      Yes, that is the same Emily and Anthony from my blog. I met Susie through my blog and have been able to meet her in Warner OK since then when I was there on a genealogy trip.

      Emily Crittenden married Joe Weaver and had two children with him.

      Are you also related to the Crittendens, or did you just see the connection between the blog and the FB post by Susie?

      Kathy

  5. Kathy,
    My mother is a Cherokee Crittenden, daughter of Richard Henry, son of John Ross, son of Henry Clay, son of William Crittenden and Jennie Sanders. However, I believe my ancestor William Crittenden was born about 10 years earlier than Moses Crittenden’s father. If you have explored the relationships among these 18th century Cherokee Crittendens, I’d love to compare notes.

  6. Carolyn Payzant

    Hi all, I was lucky that my mother, May Belle, and grandfather, Calvin Cecil Phillips, were alway proud of the fact that we were part Cherokee. Both were registered. I don’t ever remember a time at family gatherings it wasn’t mentioned. I have been working off and on for a couple of years tracing further back. I know my GGF was Walter C. Phillips married to Mahala May Robbins. I believe my GGGF was William married to Mary J McClure; GGGGF John married to Sarah C. Crittenden, GGGGGF Elijah married to Clarissa Wright. Going further back is a bit tricky but I believe I can track back to George Moses Phillips 1593-1644. George was the 1st minister of Watertown, MA and I believe my 9th GGF. I also believe his grandson emigrated to Long Island then on to New Jersey. With the family going from NJ onto Rowen County, NC. If any of you believe I am way off please let me know. I have spent hours on trail and if I am wrong I would like to start looking elsewhere.

  7. Hi Carolyn,
    As I uncover my grandmother’s story and the facts of her life, I am sure that she was proud of being Cherokee, but had so many really hard times that she would not talk about her early life. I am understanding her more with every detail that I uncover.

  8. tricia cannon

    Hi Kathy, The research of family history you’ve done is inspiring. I am just getting started on tracing our Cherokee family lineage and am also a descendant of Moses Crittenden, thru Anthony, but only have legal documentation back to Anthony. (My mom is the cousin of Susie C. Chambers.) Can you tell me what paperwork shows that Moses is Anthony’s father? Thank you for sharing all this wonderful info to what must be an enormous-sized family!

    • Tricia, Thank you for your patience while I was moving. The first reference I saw to Anthony was in a Crittenden family history that is what written by someone in the early 1900s and is in the reference section and Genealogy Center at Tahlequah Cherokee Hieritage Center. I would like to see you and Susie and any other of Anthony’s descendants take the Ancestry DNA test, because it would show your link to Moses descendants from his other children with documented births. I think it would be good for Susie’s father to do one as I had my mother do one. They should show up as first cousins as Anthony was my grandmother’s half brother. I am going to send this to Susie in an email.

  9. Kelly Cook

    Kathy,
    I hope that your Thanksgiving was wonderful.
    Would you mind emailing me so, I could ask you a few questions regarding your research with the Crittenden Family? I also have infromation regarding the pictures.
    Thank you,
    Kelly Cook
    g.k.cook@sbcglobal.net

  10. patricia jones

    I am so happy for all of those that have been able to find their people. I have looking for years and have ran into many road blocks. I am wondering if someone can help me. My mother is still alive at the age o f96 and only in recent years has she begain to tell us about our family. She was born in Arkansaw in 1922 to Lily and West wheeler.The wheelers came to arkansaw or virginia in the 1800.If anyone can give me an idea I would be so very thankful.

    • Patricia, Can you send me any more information? I will try to see what I can find in this coming month, as my family does have some connection through marriage to the Wheelers.

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