Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fearless Femaless: Elizabeth Duty - Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, or not

Thank you to Lisa Alzo, for this always interesting and evocative series about Fearless Females of our past. 
March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

Elizabeth - she would be my 3rd great grandmother - and I have no surname for her, except for her for her married name. 

I only know that  she married Henry T. Duty before 1834, gave birth to my 2nd great grandmother Sarah in Giles County, Tennessee,  on January 4, 1834, and to another daughter, Mary, in 1836.  By 1838, the  Duty family was in Greene County, Missouri.  The move to Missouri most likely would have been along the path and time of the Trail of Tears; however, that may or may not be relevant - just interesting.

In my mind, I call her "Cherokee Elizabeth," but she could have been part Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, or not.   The family lore that surrounds her is that she was of Indian descent, which most likely comes from stories and comments made by her daughter Sarah Almira Duty Brown. 

I can follow her via census reports from Giles County to Missouri.  She died sometime after the 1842 birth of her youngest daughter, Evaline, and the 1850 census.  Have been unable to find a death certificate for her, nor any other record of her in Missouri.

She is an enigma to me. Periodically, I poke and prod in her daughter Sarah's line, but to no avail.  In my early genealogy searches, I looked for answers in the lines of  Elizabeth's other children without much success.  Now that I am reviewing my old searches, I am finding that along the way, I have become a much better researcher -- so during this year, I will revisit my old leads and do a bit more poking and prodding.

I want to know more about this mystery woman of our family as she lived in a most interesting place in a most interesting time.

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