Cherokee Connection Chapter 4 page 4
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Fitting the pieces together

I was able to find records of the Keith and McClure history back to about 1850 in Georgia and South Carolina. The verbal stories turned out to be more or less factual for the Keith and the McClure families, but unfortunately I have been unable to find verification (only speculation) of the Arnett ancestors of Annie and Alma Arnett. The Cherokee Indian records were surprisingly complete and confirmed most of the stories I was told about William his brothers and sister, and identified his father as Joel M. Keith and his mother as Susan Ann McClure (1/8 indian).

The Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma census records were less than complete on the Keith and McClure families and almost useless on the Arnett family, because there are many Arnetts in the south and I have been unable to confirm Annie's parents name.

Fortunately and much to my surprise, these records taken together with Susan Steward and Vernon Keith's stories, David Arnett's searching, other local historical records and the history of the Cherokee Indians and local areas has fit together nicely and has resulted in a what I think is very complete story of my grandmother and grandfather with only a few gaps. It may not be completely correct in all details, but it fits together nicely and confirms (at least to me) the fact we are 1/64th. Cherokee Indian. Unfortunately, the Cherokee Nation will not take my word that my grandmother said William freeman Keith is my grandfather. So I can not be accepted as a member of the Cherokee tribe or nation.

My biggest regret is that I, my mother or my aunt never took the time to get to know their mother, my grandmother and talk to her about her early life in Indian territory while she was still alive.

Unfortunately, I think my mother and aunt were too uncomfortable to ask their mother and I was like most young people, even today. I was too busy with my own life to think and talk to her about her life. Now it's too late to do anything except try to find records that will fit old or new anecdotal stories that can be remembered.

The remaining sections trace some of the work I have done to try to verify and fit the pieces together.

After learning some of my grandmother and my own mother's history and story, I have great admiration for both of them. grandmother Anna's life was very hard and nothing seemed to work out with the man she picked. nevertheless she was hard working, and tried to raise their children to be happy adjusted good citizens in spite of the hardships they endured in their own childhood and young womanhood.


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