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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Mrs. Obama "Cherokee" Lineage

"American Tapestry" is the new book by Rachel Swarns about the family history of Michelle Obama. On page 266 the author describes a great-great grandmother of Mrs. Obama, Mary Moten, this way: "She was born around 1835 in Missouri where, according to family lore, she was the descendant of a Cherokee Indian and an African slave...Later in life, Mary said that her father had been born in Tennessee, which was part of the Cherokee Nation." Swarns then accurately describes Cherokee Nation East, pre-Removal. Then on the same page she adds: "Pressured by white settlers, some members of the tribe moved to Missouri, where Mary was born."

I've never read of Cherokee moving to Missouri before the Trail of Tears. Arkansas, yes. Has anyone ever heard of Cherokee who settled in Missouri during that period?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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