Sunday, June 17, 2012

Avery Vann

Avery Vann who was Clement's younger brother, was the father of Avery Vann who m. Peggy McSwain and was the progenitor of a prominant Cherokee family. It is unlikely that Avery [Jr?] was a son of Clement, since Clement told the Moravians that he had no children of his own (Clement thought about adopting his wife's [Wawli's] nephew George Vann).

The James Vann (mother unidentified and described as the son of "the late" James Vann) ) who m. Elizabeth Eaton was the youngest son of James Vann and entered the Spring Place school on 5/10/1821, age ca.12. The Moravians very frequently mentioned Peggy Scott (Vann's widow), but never identified her as the mother of any children. Young James [Jr?] was born the same year his father was killed, suggesting that the child was illigitimate (by European standards).

My desire has been to provide solid information about the Cherokee side of James Vann's family, so that others might provided the links to his white family. I want to emphasize that Wawli Vann (mother of Chief James Vann) was surnamed Vann and was a mixed-blood. She had a 1/2 blood brother named John Vann (father of George Vann), a 1/2 blood sister Sarah Hughes (Mrs. Thomas Waters, & identified as a 1/2 blood by U.S. indian agent Col. Benjamin Hawkins in 1796). Sarah's brother Charles Hughes, killed by the teenaged James Vann in a clan dispute, was almost certainly also a 1/2 blood. Another brother might have been James Hughes (father-in-law of Thomas Pettit, the 1/2 brother of Peggy McSwain). Other brothers of Wawli (and uncles of James Vann) were Richard Roe [Rowe] (described as a "1/2 Indian" by the Moravians) and David Roe [Rowe]. The Vanns, Hughes, Rowe (and Downing) Cherokee mixed-blood families were intertwined and interconnected for generations later.

Wawli's mother was a 1/2 sister of Jenny Daughterty (daughter of early Indian trader Cornelius Daugherty). Wawli's mother (still alive in 1819 at the time of Wawli's baptism as "Mary Christiana") had children by white traders named John Vann, Bernard Hughes, and a man named Roe [perhaps a trader at Augusta, GA named John Rae]. She was called "old Mrs. Roe" with her sons David Roe and John Vann by Col. Hawkins in 1796; she may have been the granddaughter of Cherokee "Emperor" Motoy. The Colonial Records of Sourth Carolina Relating to Indian Affairs (the three "Indian Books") contain many references to the activities of white traders John Vann, Bernard Hughes, Robert Goudey, and Major John Downing (grandfather of Peggy McSwain), all operating near the frontier fortress "Ninety-Six" in SC and the Saluda River, in GA.

James Clausee Vann, father of Ave Vann (who m. Betsy Scott, daughter of Richard Scott, the 1/2 brother of Peggy Scott) was the son of Sally Hughes and an unknown Vann. Sally Hughes was probably the sister of Bernard Hughes (Cherokee warrior 1777-1855 plus); both were likely children of either Charles or James Hughes, and thus both cousins of James Vann. In 1796 Col. Hawkins employed both Sally Hughes and Mrs. Sarah Waters as interpreters. He said that Mrs. Waters was the niece of the wife of Chief Sour Mush [he very likely was a brother of Wawli's mother & great uncle of James Vann).

The man "Joseph David Vann", described many years later as a Chickamauga chief and brother of James Vann, is NOWHERE to be found in government or missionary records OF THE TIME. We know that both John Vann AND Joseph Vann were translators for colonial officials in the 18th century (I have a copy of a 1779 letter is which John Vann goes with 1 Cherokee war party, and Joseph goes in another direction with a different war party); there may have been other white men named Vann with Cherokee offspring. A possible senario might have an older brother of Wawli named Joseph? as a Cherokee chief (possibly the "1/2 breed chief Vann" who captured the Brown family at Nickajack in 1788 [OLD FRONTIERS, by John P. Brown, Kingsport, TN, 1938, p. 273), who had died before 1800. However, I believe that the Joseph Vann, father of Lamelia Vann, was in fact Josiah Vann (white cousin of James Vann) whose daughters Lamelia, Levenia, and Anna Sophia were students at Spring Place.

The information I have posted is the "real McCoy", "the real deal", the "straight skinny"; you pick the best cliche. I will identify my speculation as such, but statements of fact are rooted in actual contemporary references to entries by the Moravian missionaries, or letters by colonial or American government officials. A plea to Vann researchers: please discard the multiple-names (compiled by Mr. William Vann of Ft. Worth, TX such as John Joseph; Joseph David; James Clement; David Isaac; etc., unless confirmed by contemporary or solid documentation. They cause needless confusion and distraction in trying to sort out an already confusing family.

This is research done by Jerry I Clark

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