Court of Claims, Eastern Cherokee Indians
Cherokee County Courthouse, Murphy, NC, July 15, 1908
Witness relative, App. No. 222
Martha Ann Meroney, being first duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am about 73 years of age; was born in Cherokee County, NC. I did not know Annie or Nancy Blythe. I know James L. McDonald. Have known him since I was a little girl. His mother was Sallie Blythe, who married a McDonald. I knew the mother of James McDonald. I knew her when she was living in Macon County. Annie Blythe died in Cherokee County. I think she died about the time of the emigration. I never talked with Sallie McDonald about her having Indian blood and never heard of it until this affair came up. I knew her intimately. She was my mother's sister. Annie Blythe was my grandmother. I have heard my mother and some of the citizens say Annie Blythe was Annie Barnes. She was born in England I have heard my mother say. She came to South Carolina with her father and mother and Annie Barnes married Jonathan Blythe in South Carolina and then moved to North Carolina, about Jackson County or up that way. I never heard how old Nancy Blythe was at that time of her death. I have heard my mother say that she did not have any Indian in her. My father was a half Indian. I have filed a claim claiming through my father. I never thought of getting anything on my mother's side because she never claimed to be Indian. I know James Blythe and Betsy Welch. Betsy Welch was my mother. She married a man that was called a Cherokee Indian. She married John Welch before the emigration. My mother and father had 12 children. I was one of the youngest. My mother was married prior to 1835. James Blythe married Sallie Downing, a full blood Cherokee Indian. The marriage took place prior to 1835. My oldest sister, Mary Powell, was married at the time of the emigration. I had a brother older than she. His name was Ned Welch. At the time of the emigration my oldest sister went to South Carolina on her bridal tour.
Martha Ann Meroney (typed name)
Subscribed and sworn to before me this fifteenth day of July, 1908.
Guion Miller (signature)
Special Commissioner of the Court of Claims
Additional note with this file:
Mary Ann Meroney made an affidavit before U.S. Indian Inspector Frank G. Churchill at Murphy, NC, on December 13, 1907, and, in that affidavit, she stated, among other things, that "it was never claimed by any member of my family that Annie Barnes was an Indian, so far as I know." She further stated in the same affidavit that Jonathan Blythe and Annie Blythe were both whites. The testimony of this woman should be taken to find out on what she bases these staements, especially with regard to the white people, rather, with regard to the statement that Jonathan and Annie Barnes were white.
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