Category Archives: Alberty

Was Rebecca (MNU), Wife of Henry Alberty, a Cherokee?

As I complete another round of updated research into the Alberty family, specifically looking at the children and grandchildren of Henry and Rebecca (MNU) Alberty, I find I am once again somewhat disappointed.

My in-laws were from Oklahoma and my mother-in-law often repeated the (very common) story that somewhere in the family was a Cherokee connection. No, it wasn’t an Indian “princess,” but I have to admit that the only photo known of her paternal grandmother, Martha Susanna Alberty, doesn’t preclude the possibility, based on her looks.

She’s definitely not a blue-eyed blonde, but that certainly doesn’t prove anything.

However, there is some documentation that leaves the door slightly open to Native American ancestry.

Martha’s grandfather, Henry Alberty, lived in all the right places at the right time. Born c1775, he is not found in any census until 1820. He lived in Surry County, North Carolina, Georgia and Washington County, Arkansas by 1840.

Henry’s half brother, Moses Alberty, married Sally Wright, a Cherokee woman and their descendants appear on the Dawes Roll.

Not a single clue has been found pointing to the maiden name of Henry’s wife, Rebecca. Online family lore calls her a Bryan (which I think I’ve eliminated as a possibility) or a Wright, based on Moses’ wife’s maiden name. I’ve found nothing to corroborate or disprove that theory.

So, what else might make me wonder about her origins? Well, in the 1800s, it certainly was the in thing to claim Native American citizenship or apply to be recognized as a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Many of Henry’s descendants moved to Oklahoma, but they were no different than thousands of other Sooners and Indian Territory residents, as the area was known prior to statehood in 1907.

What seems very atypical is that several of Henry’s grandchildren and great grandchildren all applied for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. All of their applications were denied and, from those I could access online, it wasn’t clear why they thought they might qualify.

Rebecca (MNU) Alberty was still living at the beginning of the Civil War so there were grandchildren who knew her. If they applied in her right, I don’t know why they wouldn’t have said that their grandmother was Native American.

On the other hand, without them specifically identifying why they thought they had a claim, Rebecca can’t be ruled out either.

I keep hoping DNA will help, although at six generations back, Rebecca’s DNA might not have passed down to my husband’s. He has more than 100 matches to the Alberty line, but none of the matches are intriguing enough to make me want to look more closely.

Then there is mtDNA – mitochondrial DNA passed from mother to daughter only through the female line.

That door hasn’t slammed shut yet either, but it’s been difficult trying to push it open. Although Henry and Rebecca Alberty had nine children, only three were daughters and one of them was still unmarried well into her 40s. A second proposed daughter, name unknown because of the pre-1850 censuses, appears to have died young.

That leaves just one possibility – daughter Sarah Alberty, born 1824, who married Thomas Douthit, c1844.

Thomas and Sarah Douthit were the parents of seven children, but only two daughters, Nancy Valinda and Mary Elizabeth.

Nancy married Jerome Felix Jobe, but had only one daughter, Elizabeth Catherine, who married Ira S. Lawrence.

Elizabeth had two daughters, Helen, who married but had no children, and Roberta, who married and had one daughter. It’s possible this daughter is still living, appears in the 1950 census unmarried, has the surname of SMITH and is living in Oklahoma. I’ve been unable to pick up her trail after the 1950 census.

If this daughter is still living or married and had a daughter, then there is a descendant today carrying Rebecca’s mtDNA, which could help answer the question as to whether or not she was Cherokee.

The other potential mtDNA source would be a female descendant of Mary Elizabeth, who married William Virgil Jobe.

William and Mary Jobe had a daughter, Flora Evaline, who married Francis Macklin Drake.

Francis and Flora, in turn, had four daughters – Fannie D., Beulah, Martha Elizabeth and Dorothy Florence. Three can be eliminated immediately. Beulah had no children, Dorothy had only one son and Martha had only one son.

Fannie D. , whose birth name was Francesca Delphia, married James Clifford Moore. Per her father’s 1941 obituary, they lived in Drumright, Oklahoma.

Clifford and Fannie had two daughters. One, Marjorie, married, but apparently had no children. The second daughter, Patty, married and also had two daughters. Both are living and I’ve found an address for one of them.

They are the only hope for carrying the mtDNA of Rebecca (MNU) Alberty today. I wonder if either, or both, have taken an mtDNA test?

Thomas Douthit & Sarah Alberty of NC and AR

Today’s family sketch will conclude the stories of the children and grandchildren of Henry Alberty and Rebecca (MNU). John S. Alberty who married Susannah Douthit is the next child in birth order, but their story has already been told, as that is my husband’s direct line.

Therefore, today we will finish with Sarah Alberty, the 8th of nine children born to Henry and Rebecca Alberty. Note that the 9th child, Mary, born c1826, lived to adulthood, but apparently never married and has no descendants.

Sarah Alberty was born 11 April 1824 in North Carolina. As a young girl, she traveled with her family first to Indiana and then to Arkansas. Many of her family members married and left Arkansas for Newton County, Missouri.

However, Sarah apparently never left Arkansas as all her children were born there and she died in Evansville, Washington, Arkansas on 12 May 1899.

Sarah Alberty married Thomas Douthit about 1844 when she was about 19 or 20 years old. Thomas, like the other Albertys and Douthits, was a small farmer and, for whatever reason, this couple chose not to leave with so many of their other kinfolk when they migrated to Missouri.

Children (all born in Washington County, Arkansas):

  1. Mary Elizabeth, born about 23 October 1845; died 6 August 1910, Hulbert, Cherokee, Oklahoma; married William Virgil Jobe, 1866
  2. Henry Abraham, born 20 August 1846; died 1 March 1930, Ardmore, Carter, Oklahoma; married Candace Rebecca Dobson, 28 June 1868, Washington County, Arkansas
  3. William Andrew, born 5 November 1848; died 21 May 1917, Muskogee County, Oklahoma; married Isabel Bowden, 12 November 1872, Pope County, Arkansas
  4. Nancy Valinda, born 16 September 1852; died 27 June 1934, Muskogee County, Oklahoma; married Jerome Felix Jobe, 11 October 1868, Washington County, Arkansas
  5. John Thomas, born 11 November 1853; died 9 December 1913, Newton County, Missouri; married Eliza Alberty, 23 November 1869, Newton County, Missouri
  6. George Nathaniel, born 2 January 1856; died 21 August 1924, Siloam Springs, Benton, Arkansas; married Mary Elizabeth Fields, 1877
  7. James, born c1858; died between 1850-1860

Thomas and Sarah (Alberty) Douthit have many descendants today.

This concludes the series on the children and grandchildren of John Henry Alberty and Rebecca (MNU). If you are related to this family and can add to this information, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

Henry Alberty & Nancy Douthit of NC, IN, AR & MO

Henry Alberty was the middle child, the fifth of nine born to Henry Alberty and Rebecca (MNU) on 15 July 1815 in Surry County, North Carolina.

The family moved a number of times, leaving North Carolina first for Indiana, then Washington County, Arkansas and finally settled in Newton County, Missouri.

Henry married Nancy Douthit, whose family was known to the Albertys back in North Carolina and who intermarried with them several times. The young couple married on 29 December 1836 in Union County, Indiana, where their first child was also born.

The young family then moved to Arkansas, but only remained there long enough for their second child, Margaret Valinda, to be born in 1841. By 1843, they had permanently settled in Newton County, Missouri, where Henry worked as a farmer on his own land.

Before the Civil War, the family lived comfortably, as Henry’s real estate was valued at $1200 and his personal estate at $1400. The war was hard on everyone and values dropped significantly by 1870, with his real estate worth $800 and personal estate at $420. At least, the family wasn’t bankrupted like so many others.

By 1880, Henry and Nancy were in their 60s, the children were all grown and granddaughter Eva, 13 years old, lived with them, possibly to help out on the farm.

Henry Alberty died on 9 February 1888, intestate. His son, Samuel Nathan Alberty, was appointed estate administrator on 17 February 1888. His wife, Nancy, survived him by six years, passing away on 27 September 1894 in Ritchey, Newton, Missouri.

Children:

  1. John T., born 1838, Indiana died before 2 October 1865, Newton County, Missouri; married Sophronia E. Pryor, c1856
  2. Margaret Valinda, born 14 October 1841, Arkansas; died 28 April 1920, Laclede County, Missouri; married Hugh Watkins, c1861
  3. William Henry, born 17 December 1843, Newton County, Missouri; died 17 February 1874, newton County, Missouri; married Amanda Halford, 30 December 1860, Ozark County, Missouri
  4. Edward H., born 1846, Newton County, Missouri; died 30 December 1876, Newton County, Missouri; married Prudence Pool, 7 February 1869, Newton County, Missouri
  5. Mary E., born 15 April 1849, Newton County, Missouri; died 14 March 1907, Newton County, Missouri; married James K. Wormington, 6 January 1866, Newton County, Missouri
  6. Martha Frances, born about 25 December 1850, Newton County, Missouri; died 17 October 1928, Dallas County, Missouri; married Jabez Andrew Murrell, c1868
  7. Nancy C., born c1852, Newton County, Missouri; died before 1880; married Wiley R. Hall, 29 December 1874, newton County, Missouri
  8. Samuel Nathan, born 14 January 1857, Newton County, Missouri; died 1943, Pawnee County, Oklahoma; married Roxie Ellen Smith, 24 December 1876, Newton County, Missouri
  9. James Franklin, born June 1859, Newton County, Missouri; died 24 September 1903, Spokane County, Washington; married Sarah Elizabeth Urquhart, c1881, Missouri
  10. Mahala, born March 1862, Newton County, Missouri; died 1943, Osage County, Oklahoma; married Moses A. Nowels, 13 August 1882, Newton County, Missouri

Henry and Nancy (Douthit) Alberty have many descendants today.