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A Trail of Tears: Fort Butler near Murphy, North Carolina

Map of Cherokee Removal Fort Butler, originally named Camp Huntington, was located on a hill overlooking the Hiawassee River and was used as the headquarters of the U. S. Army charged with overseeing the affairs of the Cherokee Nation. During the Trail of Tears, it was this military deployment which forced the Cherokees further West. From here, the Cherokees were marched to Fort Cass and then into Indian Territory. After the Treaty of New Echota, during July of 1836 a force of Tennessee volunteer militia under the command of John E. Wool were sent from Tennessee. One month later the camp was abandoned, to be reoccupied about a year later and renamed Fort Butler. Its strategic location over the Hiawassee River led to the towns of the tribes which were located in the valleys. By 1838, after the deadline had passed for their removal and it was obvious that the Cherokees refused to leave their lands, the army prepared for a forced removal. Thus, the barracks, offices, shops, kitchens and other buildings were enlarged. During May of 1838, General Abraham Eustis took command. He had just left the Seminole War in Florida. The same month, the Cherokee removal from Georgia began. Reports of abusive treatment of prisoners caused General Winfield Scott stationed at Fort Cass to suspend operations until early June. Because the army expected violent resistance in the most densely populated regions of the Cherokees, General Scott traveled to Fort Butler to personally direct the roundup of June 12, 1838. More than 3,000 Cherokee prisoners from western North Carolina and northern Georgia passed through Fort Butler that summer en route to Fort Cass, Tennessee where they would endure a long imprisonment. The stories of the removal of the Cherokees has been spun many times. Perhaps there was a happy ending when the Dawes Commission (of 1903) decided to deed Oklahoma land to those who could prove a lineage to the Cherokees. Over 32,000 applications were received in Washington, D. C., and although it is interesting reading them, only those relatives who could discover their ancestors on previous Indian Rolls were found entitled to the land. The Exiled Indians from Qualla Town Guarding the Catawba River Against the Cherokees The Chowanoac Indians Yeopim Indians Sold the Chowan River to the English Tuscarora Indians Wiped Out Town Creek Indian Mound Indian Troubles

Map of Cherokee County North Carolina

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Images of Wills and Estates 1869 to 1918, Volume 1

Anderson, S. D. Atkinson, Edward Baker, Virginia Bailey, Hattie Ballen, Enoch Bell, Sarah
Blumenthal, Gustave Blumenthal, Gustave M. Bragg, Caleb Brindle, John Bryson, N. A. Cline, Emeline
Coleman, Calvin Coleman, Ella Collett, Hugh Colvard, Eliza Colvard, William Cooper, J. W.
Cooper, Robert L. Cover, F. P. Conner, Alfred Derryberry, R. N. Dickey, George W. Dickey, J. M.
Dockery, John Eves, John Fay, Green Franks, J. D. Friedlander, Cary Gibson, R. B.
Gould, Nutcomb Griffin, John Hall, R. P. Hall, S. H. Hammond, William H. Hampton, George W.
Hancock, Sarah Hayes, Samuel Henly, John Henry, Elizabeth Herndon, J. W. Hitchcock, Charles W.
Hitchcock, Martha Hitchcock, Martha (2) Hogsed, Jason Holland, Elizabeth Hubbard, Zenos Hughs, Samuel Jr.
Huskins, James James, Victoria James, Elizabeth Jenkins, William Kendall, Francis Kendall, Francis (2)
Kimsey, Ebenezer Kincaid, E. P. Kincaid, E. P. (2) Kisselburg, Sarah Laden, Edward Ledford, Ada
Ledford, C. Ledford, H. W. Lenoir, Isaac Thomas Lissak, D. S. Loudermilk, Jacob Lowrance, Jason
Manney, Nelson Marshall, T. Martin, W. P. Mauny, Isaac McAden, Giles McAden, Mary
McAden, R. Y. McAdenbaker, Virginia McSellards, W. R. Meroney, J. S. Sr. Merony, Martha Mitton, Elias
Moody, James Moss, Celia Moss, Henry Odell, D. W. Parke, Martin Parker, Stephen
Patterson, J. T. Percy, J. W. C. Phillips, Wiley Radford, James Reed, Robert Roberts, J. E.
Roberts, Reason Robinson, Samuel Rogers, Ancil Rogers, Clark T. Rogers, H. W. Rogers, William
Simpson, Virginia B. Y. Stalcup, Jesse R. Stalcup, Peter Stalcup, Thomas Stanly, John A.
Stiles, John Suddeth, A. H. Suddeth, John Swepson, George W. Tattum, J. W. Taylor, David
Taylor, Earl J. Taylor, James Thompson, James Tilson, Joseph Truett, Elijah and Isaac Walker, Elvira
Walker, W. P. Warlick, Irene Watts, D. L. Watts, Hezekiah Welch, L. R. West, James M.
Whitaker, David Whitaker, James Whitaker, Jesse Whitcomb, W. P. Winsat, Earnest Woodfine, John

Images of Wills and Estates 1918 to 1934, Volume 2

Abbott, James David Allen, H. H. Anderson, Letha Baker, A. L. Barring, William Caloway Battle, Westray
Baxter, Joanna Blumenthal, Matilda M. Briscoe, Daniel Bruce, W. L. Bryson, J. K. Burger, A. J. and Lyda
Burger, A. J. Burger, G. F. Caldwell, Leland Carringer, A. M. Carringer, Thelma Carroll, Jesse R.
Carter, Nathan A. Carter, F. R. Clary, E. G. Clayton, E. M. Collett, George H. Collet, R. W.
Colvard, Robert L. Cooper, W. N. Cotter, A. J. Cozard, M. E. Cozad, Margaret Cromwell, M. P., Mrs.
Dargan, Mary Elizabeth Deaderick, Mary Green Dickey, Thomas C. Dillard, John Dockery, Benjamin Dockery, J. P.
Dockery, Martha Duvor, Alice G., Mrs. Ellis, T. J. Fain, John E. Fain, William L. Freeman, S.
Fricks, Harriett Fulmer, Nancy Hayes Gibson, E. A., Mrs. Graham, James Griffith, William Henry Hamby, Hezekiah Thurman
Hamby, J. M. Harden, William Harris, M. W. Hayes, Anna L. Hirshman, Solomon W. Holland, Daniel C.
Holloway, Carry Hood, Martha L. Hughes, W. S. James, Emeline Parker Jenkins, W. M. DoraJones.pdf">Jones, Dora
King, S. E. Leatherwood, Sarah Addie Ledford, B. M. Ledford, C. L. Ledford, H. W. Ledford, Lenos
Ledford, W. W. Lovingood, Mary Jane Lunsford, John Luther, George Marcus, Julius Martin, Betty
Mashburn, W. N. Mason, Sary McAden, James T. McKinney, Bose C. McLelland, J. P. McMillan, William
Messer, Mary Elizabeth Miller, Edward Simpson Mingus, Adelaid Morgan, Alfred Morrison, T. S. Nelson, Emma
Nichols, Dora Olmsted, Victor Owen, J. L. Palmer, Jacob W. Piercy, Robert Poteet, W. H.
Prince, Martin Rector, John Rogers, J. R. Smith, A. B. Smith, Addison Baxter Smith, Cynthy
Smith, Martha S. Sneed, Sarah Stalcup, J. H. Stiles, Julius Stiles, Mamie Swan, David
Tatham, Mary Jo Taylor, John M. Jr., son of James Taylor, deceased Terrell, Thompson Terrell, Thompson A. Vaughn, J. M. Voyles, Mary
Waldo, Frank Walker, W. O. Wells, H. N. Wells, Laura Wells, R. B. Whisenhunt, Daniel Webster
Whitaker, Stephen D. Whitaker, S. D. Witherspoon, L. L.

Cherokee County Genealogy: Wills and Estates

Smokey Mountains Cherokee County was formed in 1839 from a part of Macon County. This county is bordered by the states of Tennessee and Georgia, and is located in the southern tip of the Great Smokey Mountains. Cherokee County was named to honor the Cherokee Indians who inhabited this area before being removed and relocated to Oklahoma in 1838. Every Cherokee was not removed. The industrious families remained behind and their descendants reside in the area today. In 1900 the Dawes Commission opened up the lands in the State of Oklahoma to anyone who could prove at least 1/32nd blood. Over 32,000 applications flooded Washington, D. C. from Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Unfortunately, few were able to prove descent as most of them were relying upon memory, however, those who proved ancestry through the various Indian Rolls received free land grants.

Cherokee County Wills and other Records Available to Members of North Carolina Pioneers

Indexes to Probate Records

  • Wills and Estates 1869 to 1918
  • Wills and Estates 1918 to 1934


  • James, Emeline Parker, LWT (image) (1915)
  • Parker, Martin, LWT (image) (1894)
  • List of Wills 1857 to 1941
  • List of Estates 1843 to 1940
  • Miscellaneous List of Probate Records 1866 to 1948

See how easy it is to view Wills, Estates, Inventories, Returns, Sales online

North Carolina Wills