Sarah Jane Tatum is believed to be the daughter of Luke Tatum (born 1795) and Elizabeth Walker (born 1797) who were married January 27, 1820, in Rutherford County, Tennessee. They lived in the area where she lived in Tennessee. It is believed that she was full-blood Western Cherokee.
According to the 1850 Census, Sarah Jane was born in Tennessee. She was only 36 years of age at the time of her death. Her baby son, Thomas, was just a few months old. Thomas was born in the Fall of 1861 and Sarah Jane died in the Spring of 1862. Sarah Jane was married to a Caucasian man, so it was easier for her to blend in to the culture and claimed no Indian blood. The reason is explained below:
"With the forced move of the Eastern Cherokees in 1835, we saw our homes being lost too. It was during this time that most of our families began to make their claim as being (Black Dutch or Low Dutch). Most of the Western Cherokees blended into the white culture claiming no Indian Blood. With the State Hood of Arkansas and Missouri no Native American could own property. Many were run off their property by the Law. Most just faded into the white culture as Black Dutch. When the census were taken most would claim Tennessee as their birth place. Some moved into Kansas as black Dutch claiming Iowa as their birth place. The Western Cherokees were as fish in the sea. They had become lost in the sea of the white culture. In all likelihood, the Western Cherokees are the Largest Native Tribe in America. The Western Cherokee blood flows from coast to coast and few know we exist." Al Hobaugh, 2/10/08
Sarah Jane and James Sims moved to Missouri and settled in the Christian County & Stone County sometime between 1850-1854. Much of their extended family moved to Missouri also. Missouri became a state in 1821 and began passing laws to prevent Indians from moving into or hunting in the state of Missouri without a pass from a Government Indian Agent. Also, they could not purchase or own land in the state. The State Militia was also called out to remove Indians from the White Settlements when found. This did not include the Tribes that were here when Missouri became a State, because they were Registered with the Government. There were many heavy fines for even trading with Indians or living with Indians. When your Indian ancestors came to Missouri they bought land and lived in Missouri, but could make no mention of their ancestry until 1909 when the laws were repealed.
Written by Mary Ellen (Fallwell) Henderson - Updated July 3, 2015
In the Civil War Files of James W. Sims, Henry Clay Sims born c1844 of Jamesville, Stone Co., MO stated his father and mother were married in Bedford Co., TN and that she was Sarah Jane Tatum who died in Stone Co., MO in the spring of 1862. Henry adds that he was in school with John Dobbs, second husband of Salina (Davis) Sims* and that he knew Salina before she was ever married or grown up.
Note: *Salina Davis Sims was the 4th wife of James W. Sims and filed for a widow's pension from him because of his service in the Civil War.
(NOTE) The photo on this page is of three of Sarah's five children, and her daughter-in-law:
Standing is Henry Clay Sims & Mary Ann (Sims) Gonce. Seated is James Carroll Sims with his 2nd wife, Cordelia (Yoachum) Sims.
Luke Tatum (1797 - 1850)
Elizabeth Walker Tatum (1798 - 1880)
James William Sims (1824 - 1906)
James Carroll Jones Sims (1844 - 1928)*
Henry Clay Sims (1846 - 1928)*
Martha Ann Sims Gonce (1850 - 1945)*
Franklin M. Sims (1854 - 1923)*
Thomas E. Sims (1861 - 1932)*
William May Tatum (1822 - 1911)*
Sarah Jane Tatum Sims (1825 - 1862)
Melvina G. Tatum Sims (1831 - 1870)*
Alexander Newton Tatum (1832 - ____)*
Created by: Mary Fallwell Henderson
Record added: Oct 02, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77512681