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Re: James Bigby & Catherine Foreman
Posted by: jerry l. clark (ID *****1102) Date: July 28, 2008 at 10:29:28
In Reply to: Re: James Bigby & Catherine Foreman by Carolyn Ellertson of 194

After the American Revolution, North Carolina awarded members of the NC militia with land grants in its western district, which in 1796 became the State of Tennessee. I don't think that the James Bigby who got the Tennessee grant could have been the father of the Cherokee mixed-blood James Bigby. I haven't yet checked the Revolutionary War records in the National Archives for this name, but many of the militia forces are documented in the State archives.

The latter was born in 1778 while the war was waging. In 1779 a report was sent to the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs Alexander Cameron listing names of whitemen residing among the Chickamauga Cherokees who were joining war parties to attack American settlers. Among those listed were Anthony Foreman (father of Catherine Foreman), and Messers [John] McDonald (granfather of Chief John Ross), [Nathan] Hicks (father of the mother of James Bigby), and [Walter] Scott (whose daughter Sarah Hicks was an aunt of James Bigby). This 1779 report by trader Robert Due suggests that whoever the father Bigby was, he was pro-British and a Tory.

It seems likely that the father of Cherokee Bigby belonged to the well-known Bigby or Bigbie family from the Pendleton District, SC, which included a number of Tories during the Revolutionary War. One of them, Rev. Francis Bigbie, had been affiliated with Col. Thomas Waters, a Tory commander and husband of Sarah Hughes (a 1/2 sister of Worle Vann, mother of Chief James Vann).

In February 1805, a whiteman named Sam Bigby visited the Moravian Spring Place school, bringing a messenge from a mixed-blood Cherokee named William Hicks (his brother was Charles Renatus Hicks and his sister was Sarah Hicks or Mrs. Walter Scott) concerning the student George Hicks (William's son by Lydia Halfbreed). It is plausable that this Sam Bigby may have been the putive father (or uncle?)of William Hicks' nephew, the Cherokee James Bigby.

According to the Eastern Cherokee application of Malinda Williams (nee Bigby), the youngest daughter of James Bigby and Catherine Foreman, her father had a 1/2 brother named Thomas Wilson and a 1/2 sister named Betsey Brown. The latter was likely Betsey Douglas, widow of Capt. John Brown (a captain of one of the companies of the Cherokee Regiment in the War of 1812.

Thus the mother of James would have married and have children by a Mr. Bigby, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Douglas. There can be no question that this woman, name yet uknown (my guess would be Polly Hicks, a common female name in the Cherokee Hicks family), was the sister of Charles R., William, and Sarah Hicks. These siblings were children of the trader Nathan Hicks and a 1/2 blood Cherokee woman (sister of Gunrod, father of Hair Conrad and mentioned by the Moravians as an uncle of Charles Renatus Hicks). The father of Gunrod and sister was a Swiss named Jacob Conrad and a full blood Cherokee.


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