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Thomas C. McDonald's Deposition

Court of Claims, Eastern Cherokee Indians

Cherokee County Courthouse, Murphy, NC, July 15, 1908

Witness relative, App. No. 222

App. No. 5415, with 222
Thomas C. McDonald, being first duly sworn, deposes and says:

That I am 51 years old. I live at Murphy, NC, R.F.D., born in Cherokee County, NC. My father's name was Jonathan McDonald and Harriett McDonald. Father was a brother of James L. McDonald, No. 222. I claim my Indian blood through the same line that he does. My father was born in 1818. I do not know where he was born. He died some time after 1890. My grandmother was Sally McDonald. She was the daughter of Annie or Nancy Blythe. Never heard when my grandmother was born. I do not know where my grandmother was living in 1835. I have heard it said that Annie or Nancy Blythe came from somewhere near Greeneville, SC. I do not know when she left Greeneville to come to North Carolina. I do not know where she was born. Father was living in Cherokee Co., NC, in 1851, seven miles from Murphy, with my mother and his family, at the old post office known as Hanging Dog. He was a man who was well known in the community.

My information is that none of the Blythes ever applied for enrollment in 1851. Never heard him say why he was not enrolled at the time. I never heard my father say that he was an Indian; I heard him say that he had Indian blood in him and that we were all entitled to participation in the Indian funds that were to be paid off at various times. There was some payment or enrollment somewhere near 1880, when I heard my father speak of this, and he said that he was somewhere near one eighth Indian, but that none of them he had ever heard of had applied. He at that time told me that his great grandmother, Annie Blythe, was a half blood Cherokee Indian, and that Jonathan Blythe, her husband, was a white man.

It has only been a year or two since I learned where Annie Blythe came from. I never heard of Annie Blythe living among the Indians in South Carolina. All that I ever heard of her living among the Indians was after she came to North Carolina. I have heard recently that Annie Blythe's mother's name was Barnes before she was married to Jonathan Blythe. I never heard that Nancy Blythe was the daughter of Isaac and Nancy Shoop. I heard that James Blythe and Betsy Welch were enrolled. I never heard how they came to be enrolled. I knew my Uncle James' wife and she was a full blood Cherokee Indian -- never heard her speak an English word in her life. I did not know Betsy Welch's husband, and have heard that he was a Cherokee Indian, or at least a part Cherokee Indian. I never heard my father say it, but I have heard it said that Nancy Blythe died somewhere about 1842. I did not hear how old she was at that time.

Thos. C. McDonald (signature)

Subscribed and sworn to before me this fifteenth day of July, 1908.
Guion Miller (signature)
Special Commissioner

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