|Birth: ||May 19, 1924|
|Death: ||Jun. 21, 2006|
My dearly loved grandmother...
I'm the second grandchild and first granddaughter of my grandmother's fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
Our matriarch was a devout Mormon (not LDS!), and very proud Cherokee. Although we never saw eye-to-eye on our personal beliefs on God or His Son, we respected each other immensely and knew we each stood firm.
My grandmother's greatest desire was that every one of her grandchildren would finish obtaining their Degree of Indian Blood cards since we're direct descendants of Cherokee listed in the Dawes Rolls and Enrollment Cards.
My grandma was raised by her Cherokee grandmother after her mother, Willie, passed when she was eight years old.
My 2nd great grandma was James Fannie [Monroe] Warren Dewey. Fannie, her children and parents, and her two spouses are all listed in the Dawes Rolls and/or Enrollment Cards.
Fannie was soft-spoken, loved her family more than anything, had suffered much, and worked hard all her life. This exact description can be said for my grandma, (except that as soft-spoken as she usually was, she could also easily speak her mind!).
The funniest and youngest memory I have of our matriarchs is when my little sister, and younger cousin and I were being watched by my grandma and 2nd great-grandma (our mom's were working? ...shopping?). My grandma's little dog Whiskers(?) had her food bowl under the kitchen table. My cousin, Shawna, crawled under the table and began eating the canned dog food from the bowl. My sister and I thought this was the funniest thing and we laughed and laughed at her! Of course, my grandmothers were mortified! For years, my sister and I teased our cousin that she ate dog food! We were silly... =)
Through my maternal grandmother, we're direct descendants of John Jackson WARD (son of Bryan Ward [Emmet Starr, History of Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore; Originally Pub. 1921, Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2006, Pg. 468] who later married Nanye'hi Fivekiller (aka Ghi-ga-u)) [Pgs. 382, 468+] and Catherine "Katie" McDANIEL (half Cherokee, half Scot) [Pg. 382]. Their daughter, Nannie WARD [Pg. 382], married Thomas MONROE [Pg. 382]. John and Katie's great-granddaughter is Fannie [Fannie's parents, my 3rd great grandparents are on Pg. 383].
My understanding is that a VAST number of present-day American-Cherokee are descendants from the WARD / McDANIEL union.
I never had to do any research on my maternal family, because it has always been completed during my life-time. Since a young girl, my grandmother and great-great grandmother (along with all my relatives and their spouses) have always talked about this person or that person and how they are related... and that WE ARE CHEROKEE! haha
It was never good enough that we simply understood we are direct descendents of Nannie WARD, but that we understood we are also WESTs and PERRYs. The father of my 2nd great grandmother, Fannie, is a MONROE (WARD) as I've shown, however her mother, Willie Christina Jane WEST, was the granddaughter of three full-blooded Cherokee. Christina's father was an East Tennessee Cherokee, and his parents (Jeptha WEST and Millie Sewachee GENTRY) were North Carolina Cherokee. Christina's mother was the daughter of Cherokee, Kinchen PERRY, and Margaret SAUNDERS.
I always felt connected to my grandma because I, too, lost my mom when I was young, just as my grandma had suffered. I always felt connected to my mom, because I had my grandma. The loss of my grandmother is doubly-felt, and I know sharing our rich heritage is something for which we should always feel pride, and something I now must do in her stead.
My grandmother is preceeded in death by her firstborn child (my mom), Joyce. Also, preceeding my grandmother is her granddaughter (my sister), Tammy, and her great-grandson (my son), Timmy. My grandmother's three husbands also preceeded her (Quentin Lawrence Newby SPENCER, Lee B. Smith, and Dick L. Johnson).
Dorothea Joyce Spencer Swearingen (1943 - 1975)*
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: M'Lady
Record added: Sep 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21679697