Monday, January 20, 2014

Elizabeth 'Betsy' Cloud Jett - Cherokee?

    Elizabeth 'Betsy' Cloud Jett is my 4th great Grandmother.  She married Newton Jett and estimated birth year is 1811.  Stories handed down indicate that she was at least 1/2 Cherokee.  I do not have any documentation to verify this at this time.  Parents are a question mark.  While I have been researching off and on for years, somehow the female lines have been overlooked-not intentionally but they are a tad more challenging.  Now that I'm getting more time, I hope, to tackle some of the bigger challenges, maybe I can solve this mystery.....or find someone who has solved it:)
    At this point, the information I have on her focuses on the census records.  She is listed in the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880.  3 of the four census records indicated birthplace as North Carolina.  The 1880 census lists it as South Carolina.  In the 1880 census she was living with her daughter, so this may be an error but needs to be considered.  That's it.  Well, she is mentioned in deeds but there is nothing related to parents, yet.
    Nothing in the above census records indicates a Cherokee connection.  Family lore seems to be the primary source.  In looking on, I did come across some family trees that had notes indicating that a friend of a cousin had proven the connection.  There was no documentation for this, they seemed to be taking that note as fact.  While that would be nice, that doesn't make it so.  I contacted the one that seemed to provide the note.  She responded indicating that she did not have any documentation, but she would try to get in touch with cousin to see if we could get some.  It has been several months and I'm still waiting-who knows it may pop up:)
     A couple of months ago, I attended a workshop on Native Americans.  Anita Finger-Smith was the speaker and she was amazing!  Her husband is Cherokee and she works with the Cherokee Nation in North Carolina.  After the workshop, I contacted her and sent the information I had.  I included the note from the Ancestry family tree which did give a parent name of Nathney Lnu.
     A couple of weeks ago (my how time flies) I did receive a response from Ms. Finger-Smith.  Unfortunately she was not able to find any Clouds or Natheny/Nathney LNU's in the records-she checked both  East and West Cherokee Nations.  All she found was an application for a Hannah Jett who applied for recognition as a Cherokee.  She was applying on her maiden name as she indicated that her husband had no connection.  The application was rejected as there was no proof.
     So, I'm still with Betsy Jett born approximately 1811, parents unknown.  Am I done?  No.  Still lots of areas to explore.  Whether she is Cherokee or not I still need to find out what I can about her.
    One of the reasons I like the 52 week Challenge, is that it gives me a chance to review what information I have, see what I need and possibly where to look.  In this case not much, so there is a lot of work to be done.
    With my ADGD, I decided to check Ancestry again.  This time, I found a family tree which lists her parents as Absolum  Angel and Marthena Natheny Angel.   While there is no documentation stating what I want to see-proof of parents, there is something that makes it  interesting and gives me some hope. According to this tree, Betsy has a brother named Levi Angel.  Why is that interesting you ask?  Well, there is another family story that involves Levi.  The whole story is for another post, but the short version is my 2nd Great Grandfather was illegitimate and his mother, Emily Watkins, married a Levi Angel who raised my 2nd Great Grandfather!  So, as I share with folks, my illegitimate 2nd Great Grandfather was raised by an Angel:)
And the plot thickens......
     So, now I have another road to explore and, of course, there will be more to come as I explore this line in more detail.

Happy Hunting!


  1. I found some more interesting facts on Elizabeth Cloud. James Angel was married to Nancy. They lived in Buncombe, in North Carolina. James had 5 siblings, two of which were named Elijah and Mathena Themy Angel. (remember the name listed on Herrancus Jett's death certificate: "Geny or Theny Angel) Now, James Angel and Nancy had three children: Ephraim, Elizabeth Betsy Angel and Absolam Angel. Their daughter, Elizabeth Betsy Angel married Isham Ishom Barren Barrett and they had three children.
    The 1850 Breathitt County census lists James Angel, Isham Barrett and Elizabeth in one household. This same census also lists Mathena Angel and three small children in another household. They were close neighbors of Herranacus and Elizabeth Cloud Jett. The 1840 census also lists, among others, Theny Angel and Newton Jett as neighbors.
    SO it is probable that 1) Theny "Geney" Angel was the mother of Herranacus Jett, as was listed by Ezekiel Morton Jett on Herranacus' death certificate, and 2) The mistaken identity has been between the two Elizabeths: Elizabeth Cloud and Elizabeth Betsy Angel. I have seen Buncombe, North Carolina listed as Elizabeth Clouds birthplace, but that is Elizabeth Betsy Angels birthplace, NOT our Elizabeth Clouds birthplace. 3) It is also possible that Elizabeth Betsy Angel and her husband Ishom Barren Barrett were Native American, and that is where the idea came from that Elizabeth Cloud, Newons wife, was Indian, when in fact she was not.

  2. I disagree with your conclusion. Elizabeth Angel Cloud (Nickname Betsy) married to Newton Jett were Harkanis Jett's (which is actually the correct spelling too) parents. Natheny Angel Cloud married to Benjamin Cloud were her parents. I have documentation. You can visit the Daughters of the American Revolution Site as another resource. Also there is a book available for free download called Jett Trails Revisted. It's a great resource. Betsy's grave is marked with the Great Seal of the Cherokee Nation. Betsy and Newton are my great-great-great grandparents.

  3. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing. I've seen Harkanis spelled several different ways, and I've not come across his signature yet to see how he spelled it. The Death Certificate spells it this way and information was provided by his son, Ezekial-my 2nd great grandfather, you are probably correct with this being the most correct spelling. Would love to share information with you. I am a DAR member and am aware of the information they have. I recently provided them with the correct name of Caroline. They had McGuire and it is actually McQuinn. I believe Elizabeth Cloud Jett raised Harkanus but cannot dismiss what is on the Death Certificate. I've seen the seal on the tombstone, but am still trying to find any documentation. If you would like to compare notes, my email is

  4. This is an old post but neither Isham Barrett Nor Elizabeth Angel are Native American. Isham was born in 1790 Virginia and is listed as a physician in the 1850 breathitt census. In fact all families are listed in the Breathitt Census in 1860. Isham and Elizabeth left Buncombe North Carolina with Elizabeth's family in toe after the 1820 census. The family ended up in
    Clay County Kentucky. Absalom Angel is seen in the 1830 census. So is his father James and Nancy. James and Nancy's other children were Ephraim Angel 1799, married Susannah Ingram, Elijah Angel 1803, married Elizabeth Bowman, James Angel Jr 1807, married Elizabeth Cunningham. By 1820 in Buncombe he and his wife Marthena nicknamed "Theny" had 3 daughters under the age of 5. In 1830 the couple is in Clay County with a daughter age 5 or under, and one 10-20. There children were Joseph Angel 1829, married Catherine Gabbard, Wilbrun Angel 10/1831 married Marilda Mays, Levi Angel 1835 married Margaret, Ruben Angel 1834 married Katherine Couch, Barbara Ellen Angel, married James Barnett, Mary Angel b. 1825 married Harrison Angel. Absalmon died before 1840. Marthena is believe to be a Sparks not a Cloud. Martin Van Buren Angel was born in 1844 to Marthena, he is the son of Roger Turner Jr. By the 1860 census he is seen living with his sister Mary and her husband Harrison Herald. He went under both the surname Angel and Turner until his biological father died. Then he took the name Turner. His father was Roger Turner Jr.Since both the Angels and Jetts are part of my family on each side, I question the surname Cloud for Elizabeth. I find it on online genealogies but not anything else. I think Elizabeth Jett is Elizabeth Angel one of the older daughters and it is possible that on the death certificate the informant confused Herkanus' mother with his grandmother or another possibility is he was raised by the sister and brother in law and belonged to Marthena herself. This theory may not sit well but it is a possibility.If you check out the 1860 census Harrison Herald, Mary Angel Herald, and Martin V are 250/250,Levi Angel, Margaret his wife, Marthena Angel his mother are 251/251/, Newton Jett and Elizabeth are 252/252, not far from them Roger Turner Jr and his wife and family. The Angels were not native American, they were Anglo Irish. James Angel Sr 1763 was the son of Charles Angel of Rhode Island and Sybella Cummings. For the record Marthena was born in 1800 and married Absalom around 1816. There isn't a record of this Marthena having been married to a Benjamin Cloud, nor carrying the surname of Cloud or marrying someone other that Absalom Angel. Angel was her married name. I will also point out since my parents are from Breathitt people most people love to spin yarns about their Native American roots however without proof, like a dna test don't take to much of it to heart.