A note from the Hunter’s Home site manager:
The Hunter’s Home is a historic house museum with very limited staff. We cannot do genealogical research for you. We suggest you contact one of several research libraries listed below. These libraries have genealogical staff or volunteers who usually charge a flat fee to do research for you, or if you are in the area, their staff will assist you in doing your research. You might also search some of the Cherokee websites for an independent genealogist who specializes in Cherokee research.
Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center
The Murrell Family
George Michael Murrell was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, and appears to have been the only person by this name in the Cherokee Nation prior to the Civil War. None of his descendants returned to live in the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma.
George Murrell ancestors are believed to have emigrated from England to Long Island, New York, in the mid-1600s. By the Revolution, they were in Mount Holly, New Jersey, and moved down to Lynchburg in the late 1790s. There was another Murrell family that apparently immigrated directly to Virginia during the mid-1600s. If these families were related, it was probably back in England. By the mid-1800s there are descendants of both families living in Lynchburg as well as other areas in Virginia and Tennessee.
George Michael Murrell left the Cherokee Nation in 1862. After the Civil War, he developed two other properties, his sugar plantation, Tally Ho, at Bayou Goula, Louisiana, and his farm, Tate Springs, outside of Lynchburg. There were no children from his first marriage to Minerva Ross. However, they did raise and educate two of her cousins, Joshua and Jennie Pocahontas Ross. Jennie later married John Dobbins Murrell, one of George’s nephews, and they also lived at Bayou Goula at Glenmore, a sugar plantation they developed. Joshua Ross remained in Indian Territory, married a Creek (Muscogee) woman and became a merchant in Muskogee in 1872.
George and Amanda (Ross) Murrell had six children, four that would survive to marry and have children of their own. The first child died as an infant in Louisiana in 1859. The second, George Ross Murrell, was born in 1861 in Park Hill. The other children were born in Virginia or Louisiana either during or after the Civil War. The boys, George and Lewis Edward Murrell, would marry and settle in Louisiana, where most of their descendants would also remain. The girls, Frances and Rosanna, would marry and remain in the East. Rosanna had one son but no grandchildren. Fanny’s two children would remain in Lynchburg. Two of George’s brothers, David and O. G, married and had children. David had two children and numerous grandchildren who continued to carry the Murrell name. This line can be researched through the LDS Church records. However, only one of O. G.’s daughters, Kate Ash, was to see her children marry and continue his line.
The Ross Family
Many people researching the genealogy of Ross ancestors have heard they may be related to the chief of the Cherokees. There are undoubtedly thousands of descendants and lateral connections to this very prolific family, but researchers should also be aware that by the time the Cherokee lands were allotted to individuals in 1907 (through the Dawes Rolls), there were several other unrelated Ross families listed in the Cherokee Nation. Check the Cherokee genealogy links for the descendants of Templin and David Ross, both believed to be white men who married Cherokee women. There may also be an additional two or three other families who carried the family name of Ross at that time.
The Cherokee/Scottish family that Chief John Ross was related to, was prominent in the Cherokee Nation during much of the nineteenth century and, as a result, many of its members have been well documented in Emmet Starr’s History of the Cherokee Indians, various Cherokee census rolls, and family histories.
Ghi-goo-ie was the first Cherokee to marry a Scotsman, William Shorey. Their daughter, Annie Shorey, married another Scottish immigrant, John McDonald. Their daughter, Mollie McDonald, was to marry Daniel Ross, another Scotsman who immigrated to America shortly before the Revolutionary War. Like his father-in-law, Daniel Ross became a prominent merchant and was a strong advocate of education. All of his children were either tutored or attended mission or private schools. Subsequently, their knowledge of both white and Cherokee culture was to place them and their families in leadership roles in the Cherokee Nation.
Daniel and Mollie were the parents of nine children: Jennie (Jane) Ross (Mrs. Joseph Coodey), Elizabeth (Eliza) Ross (who married another unrelated Scotsman named John Golden Ross), John Ross, who became the Principal Chief from 1828 to 1866, Susannah Ross (Mrs. Henry Nave), Lewis Ross, often the Treasurer of the Nation and father of the two Mrs. Murrells, Annie Ross (Mrs. William Nave), Andrew Ross, Margaret Ross (Mrs. Elijah Hicks), and Maria Ross (Mrs. Jonathan Mulkey). All nine of these siblings or their family members immigrated to the new Cherokee Nation between 1834 and 1839, some voluntarily, most under duress. There were no members of this family that remained in the old Nation or “hid out in the hills” as some researchers seem to believe.
The Joseph Coodey family and the family of Annie Nave (who died in 1826) immigrated in 1834. Andrew Ross, one of the signers of the Treaty of New Echota, immigrated around 1837. The remaining six families immigrated during forced removal 1838–39. Elijah Hicks led one of the thirteen detachments; Jonathan Mulkey assisted with another. The remaining four families (Eliza Ross, Chief John Ross, Susannah Nave, and Lewis Ross) came with the last detachment led by John Drew. During the 1838–39 removal, family members who died were Quatie Ross (Elizabeth Brown Henley), the first wife of Chief John Ross, and his youngest sister, Maria Mulkey. A son of Annie Nave (Louis) and a daughter of Jennie Coodey (Rosa) died en route during the 1834 removal.