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

More Vann Info

Edward Vann I married 1) (ca.1736) Mary Barnes and 2) (ca.1745) Charity _______?
b. ca.1720
d. March, 1773 at Horn's Creek, Abbeville Dist. SC
Children of Mary Barnes, daughter of Richard Barnes, Chowan Co, NC (Mary Barnes, b. ca. 1720 & d. 1744):

1) Joseph Vann [so-called "John Joseph"] m. Wah-li Vann
b. ca. 1737; d. 1800
[Nancy Vann said her father's name was Joseph Vann]

2) Edward ( "Ned") Vann II m. Mary King
b. ca. 1740; d. 1833 Horn's Creek, Edgefield Co., SC
[11/1/1818 an old man named Ned Vann visited Spring Place. He was a "blood brother of the father of James Vann and the mother of Joseph Crutchfield"]

3) Jenny Vann
b. ca. 1742; d. ca.1820
[Clement Vann visited Spring Place with his sister Jenny]

4) James Vann
b. ca. 1744; d. ca. 1820 Wilkes Co, GA

After the death of his 1st wife Mary Barnes, Edward Vann moved to the Ninety-Six District, SC, later known as Abbeville District, Pendleton District, Greenville County, and Edgeville County, SC, and married Charity_________.
Children of Charity _________ (a "Distressed Refugee, with 1 child, 8/11/1782) (b. ca. 1725; d. ca. 1790)

5) Clement Vann m. Wah-li Vann
b. 4/3/1746; 1832 [he came into the Cherokee Nation ca. 1779]

6) Thomas Vann m. Anne [said to be a Cherokee woman]
b. ca. 1747; d. ca. 1839 Madison Co, AL

7) Edith Vann m. Arthur Archibald Coody (b.1742; d. 1782 Horn's Creek, Abbeville Dist.SC)
b. ca. 1752; d. 1805 Wilkes Co, GA
[Edward Vann was one of the adminstrators of A. A. Coody's will; another was Littlejohn Perdue, who may have married a Coody daughter; a young man named Greenberry Perdue, whose mother was named Coody, visited Spring Place with his relative Joseph Crutchfield (i.e. 2nd cousin)]

8) Avery Vann, Sr.
b. ca. 1755; d. ca. 1810
[Avery Vann, "a younger brother of Clement Vann" visited Spring Place. It was probably his son, Avery Vann, Jr.(contemporary in age with James Vann) who married Peggy McSwain (granddaughter of Indian trader John Downing). They were the progenitors of a large Cherokee family (the humorist Will Rogers descends from this line).
9) Susannah Vann m.(ca.1786) John Crutchfield (b. ca. 1755; d. ca. 1810, Wilkes Co,GA)
b. ca. 1760; d. ca. 1800 Wilkes Co, GA
Joseph Crutchfield, overseer on James Vann's estate in 1811 and (non-Indian) first cousin of James Vann, married Peggy Scott, the widow of Chief James Vann. Later Joseph married another Cherokee, Chinosa Halfbreed. He was 24 years old in 1811 and was born 7/4/1787. His younger brother Edmund Crutchfield (d. 1828) married an unnamed white wife; then a sister of Tarcheechee Tiger [probably Ticanohila Tiger], and Nannie Love (the latter two both Cherokees). Joseph's younger sister Rachel Crutchfield (Mrs. John Tiner) also lived nearby. The story of brothers Joseph and Rock Crutchfield as orphans adopted by James Vann after the death of their father (killed by Vann) can be found in Emmet Starr's HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS (p. 597). This story is not in the Moravian Diaries.

IN 1807James Vann hired his (non-Indian) cousin Josiah Vann as an overseer; Josiah Vann and his wife Anna placed 3 of their 10 children into the Spring Place School: Anna Sophia (age 8), Lemelia (age 10), and Lavinia (age 12). It is my contention that this Josiah Vann, cousin of James Vann, and father of Lemelia Vann is the person known as "Joseph David" Vann, supposed brother of James Vann, and father of Lemelia Vann (& a large number of descendants). There is no CONTEMPORARY evidence for Joseph David; Josiah Vann is well documented by the Moravians. It is possible that Josiah Vann might be a son of James Vann (# 4 above).

In 1809 James Vann hired another (non-Indian) cousin Zephaniah Coody as overseer; 2 of his children briefly went to the Spring Place School: Archibald (age 7) and Peninniah (age 9). It is known that Zephaniah's parents were Arthur Archibald Coody, Sr. and Edith Vann (thus Edith was an aunt of James Vann). Zephaniah's younger brother Joseph Coody married a Cherokee, Jennie Ross (sister of Principal Chief John Ross).

Many Vann researchers have been puzzled that Vashti Vann's husband Benjamin Jernigan was involved in some manner with litigation over a portion of the estate of Cherokee Chief James Vann. My reconstruction show that Vashti was a daughter of Edward ("Ned") Vann II (# 2 above) and thus James' first cousin. Vashti's sister Edith (a namesake of her aunt Edith Vann) married Martin Cloud.

John Vann, Indian Countryman

The earliest known mention (in the Colonial Records of South Carolina Relating to Indian Affairs, a.k.a. "The Indian Books") of John Vann, was in 1741 when Governor Lyttleton of South Carolina directed John Vann, an employee of Cherokee trader James Maxwell, to transport supplies into the Choctaw Nation. Unless John was a very precocius 10 year old lad, he could not possibly have been "John Joseph" Vann, b. ca.1737. Thus he represents a totally different individual, whose ancestry has yet to be fully discerned. The name of John Vann appears several times in the South Carolina papers as an "Indian Countryman," the term used at that time to describe merchants (mostly fur and hide traders), who resided amoung the Cherokees and accepted tribal customs, including the taking of a Cherokee female partner, consort, concubine, or wife.
This woman not only performed the usual wifely duties, but served as the European (most were Scots) merchant's intermediary, teacher of Indian ways, and translator. If the "Indian Countryman" was shrewd, he selected a wife who was the sister, daughter or niece of important tribal leaders. Most Cherokee genealogists gringe at the notion of "Cherokee Princesses", but the Indian spouses of the European traders were, if not royalty or nobility, at least the equivilent of Indian "heiresses" or perhaps "debutants." Because of the Cherokee matralineal clan system, many of the mixed-blood offspring of the Cherokee wives and their European husbands rapidly rose to prominece in tribal social, economic, and political affairs because of their mothers, not because of their fathers. James Vann became a chief of the Upper Cherokees, largely because of the high social standing of his mother and grandmother (probably a niece of Oconostota, the Great Warrior [i.e. General] of Chota [a famous Cherokee town].
In the 1760's John Vann and Edward Vann (probably his brother) purchased tracts of land near Ft. Charlotte in the Ninety-Six District (later called the Abbeville or Pendleton District, and later Greenville & Edgefield Counties, SC) and along the Broad, Saluda, and Savannah River in Georgia (later called Wilkes County,GA). Nearby was land owned by Robert Gowdey, a well-known Indian Countryman (3 of his Cherokee children were listed in his will in the Pendleton Dist.), whose name appears frequently in the SC "Indian Books." Gowdey apparently had issues with John Vann, because he sued him in 1758 to collect a debt of 850 pounds and went to court in 1775 to accuse John Vann of instigating the Cherokees to attack the American frontier. The name of Robert Gowdey in the land records compiled by William H. Vann of Ft. Worth prove that this was the same John Vann who lived among the Cherokees. Most of the persons surnamed Vann listed by Dianne Schell, Dick Fox, or Suzi Herman in the Vann Family Forum who resided and left records in the 96 District, Abbeville District, Pendleton District, Greenville County, and Edgefield County, SC and the nearby (accross the Savannah River) Wilkes County, GA were somehow connected to the Cherokees. Those Vanns residing in Chowan, Hertford, Bertie, Gage, and Sampson Counties, NC were not likely to have Cherokee relations, while those living in Madison County, AL might have Cherokee ties.
John Vann was associated with several other "Indian Countrymen," John Downing, James Adair, Bernard Hughes, et al.who each became the progenitor of Cherokee mixed-blood families with those surnames. John Vann's part-Cherokee children included 1/2 bloods named John Vann, Joseph Vann (maybe), Betty Vann (a sister of Waw-li mentioned by the Moravians), and Waw-li Vann. There is a court record in which Mary Christiana Vann, i.e. Waw-li mentions her late brother John Vann. I believe that the Indian Countryman John Vann's brother Edward Vann was the father of Joseph (a.k.a. "John" Joseph Vann) and Clement Vann, who were both husbands of their first cousin Waw-li Vann (she was 1/2 Cherokee) and the grandfather of Avery Vann, Jr. (husband of Peggy McSwain, granddaughter of Indian Countryman John Downing).
In 1779 Robert Due (yet another Indian Countryman) wrote to Alexander Cameron ( British agent to the Cherokees who had 3 part-Cherokee children) concerning a number of whitemen who were living among the Cherokees who joined up with war parties organized by Oconostota during the American Revolution. Two of these Tories or Loyalists joing Chickamauga war parties were named John Vann and Joseph Vann, and each joined separate war groups and went in different directions. The text of this letter can be found posted on the "Jim Hicks Cherokee Page" website, which also has a lot of information about the Cherokee Vanns. I believe that John Vann was the elderly Indian Countryman and Joseph Vann was his nephew (and son-in-law), but more evidence is needed to prove or disprove this theory.
Thus there were probably at least two (2) different Vann connections to the Cherokees: one through John Vann, the Indian Countryman, and the other through a later generation represented by Joseph, Clement, and Avery Vann, Jr. In addition, there may have been a third Cherokee Vann line, if there was another brother of John Vann and Edward Vann named Joseph Vann with an Indian wife [or wives; Cherokees practiced polygamy] who may have been the progenitor of other Cherokee Vann families not obviously related to that of Chief James Vann. Confusion about the Vanns is not only because of the multiplicitiy of persons with the same names, but also because a Cherokee female Vann married white males named Vann, similar same-name alliances occured among several other Cherokee mixed-blood families (i.e. the Adair, Ross, Benge, and some others). Another cause of confusion are some documents discovered by Mr. William H. Vann in his VANN GENERATIONS which suggest a man named "John Vann, otherwise Joseph Vann." This led to the creation of additional "double-decker" (my term) names such as "James Clement Vann I & II" (actually Chief James Vann apparently had an uncle named James and another uncle named Clement). By the way, Nancy Vann (sister of James Vann) mentioned in a court document that her father was named Joseph Vann [NOT John Joseph]. Let us try to eliminate or reduce the amount of such distracting confusions.