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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Branner & Dix Family - Cherokees In TN

Hello,

I just read a success story on a Facebook group, to which I belong, regarding the feedback/responses received from the AfriGeneas community in the search for information on one's Native American ancestors. So, I am hoping I will be able to achieve the same success in my research.

I have been involved in genealogical research of my father's family for approximately 2 years now. Thus, I consider myself a novice.

I have limited information about the paternal side of my family because my dad never liked to discuss things about his childhood. Before her death, however, my paternal grandmother provided some useful information about their family. Unfortunately, I have not had great success finding documentation through Ancestry, Family Search, the Social Security Administration, or military records. I have been told by Tennessee State Archives & Library that the cities and counties (Northeast area) my paternal family members resided in did not keep records prior to the 1930s.
My father, Robert Lewis Foster, was born in Jellico, TN (Campbell County). His mother, Kathryn Mae "Katie Mae" Dix was one of 13 children (reportedly) born to George Alexander Dix (b. 2/23/1866 in Greenville, TN d. 8/14/56 in Los Angeles, CA) and Katie Louise Branner (b. approximately 1878 in Rogersville, TN d. 10/25/49 in Los Angeles, CA). Both of my great grandparents were reported to be of Cherokee heritage. My great grandfather was reported to be Irish, African American, & Cherokee. The only information I have on his parents I was able to obtain by ordering a copy of his original Social Security Application, which lists his mother to be Elizabeth Shaver and his father to be Henry Dix. My great grandmother never applied for a Social Security Card, so a delayed birth certificate was never requested either. However, it was reported that her father, Deadrick Branner (b. approximately 1841 d. in 1944 in Lebanon Junction, KY) was a "Cherokee Medicine Doctor" as well as a harness maker and shoe repair man. We have a photo of him in front of his store front. From my understanding both of my great grandfathers were married multiple times, but I have not been able to either confirm or verify their other spouses and children.
Given they all were in TN during the 1800s and 1900s, I get the impression that their Cherokee ancestors may have chosen to either integrate into the white or black community as opposed to being relocated and the absence of the Branner on the Rolls. (I did not research Dix.) Any suggestions as to some next steps, assistance, suggestions would greatly appreciated to help me in my research.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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