With that introduction about my mother, I will start this story about my Cherokee connection with an explanation of the unusual and difficult circumstances under which I begin collecting information to increase the meager knowledge I had of my Indian ancestors. Also to provide background information for this third section of the Titchenal Saga - The Keith - Arnett - McClure Saga
My efforts to collect information turned out to be an interesting story itself. It was surprised to learn how many times my mother's Keith, McClure and Arnett ancestors could have crossed paths with my great grandfather, William Titchenal's family while they stayed in Fort Smith, Arkansas during and after the Civil War.
My mother, Dora Keith Titchenal, was proud of her Cherokee and Southern ancestry. When I was young, she told me that we were part Cherokee Indian and that her Cherokee ancestors were well off. But they were forced to leave everything behind in Georgia after the Civil War.
History lessons in school never quite explained why the Cherokees were forced to leave Georgia after the Civil War. I knew the Indians were forced to leave their home land and move west to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) about 1835. Why after the Civil War? The story was always fascinating and mysterious to me while I was growing up. I liked the idea of being part Cherokee Indian, but mother couldn't do much to clear up the mystery as she didn't know very much about her mother's or her father's ancestry or history.
My mother El Dora Keith said all her mother ever told her was:
"I (my mother) was born in Porum, Oklahoma March 24, 1893, while it was still the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. My father was William Freeman Keith. He died when I (my mother) was only three months old. His family had wealth and left a good home in Rome, Georgia. They were forced to leave because they were part Indian. He was 1/16 Cherokee Indian, and had 2 brothers and one sister".
This made my mother 1/32th Cherokee Indian and her children, 1/64th Cherokee Indian.
The only other details my mother told us was that her mother's maiden name was Anna Malinda Arnett. Anna had been born in Denison, Texas. Anna's family had once lived in El Paso, Texas before they moved to Porum, Oklahoma. Both of Anna's parents died young. Her father died shortly before Dora was born, and her mother shortly after.