Monthly Archives: March 2014

Our Irish Link – Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young

Mary Elizabeth Duncan Young

Leaving our Native American heritage for a moment, I am going to pick up with Mary Elizabeth Duncan Young, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young

She is otherwise known as Grandma Young, according to Great Uncle Brian.

Uncle Brian and momma

When I was twelve, we (me and Jackie, just for clarity’s sake, although whenever I say we it is always me and Jackie!) traveled to Alabama with Momma and Daddy. We were on a trip to Florida to visit my Aunt Fran and Uncle Don. Not relatives, but an Aunt and Uncle just the same. We stopped in Alabama to spend the night. My mother had the very Irish appearance of red hair, bright blue eyes and freckles. She also had alabaster skin and no Native American blood seemed to have touched her. Her Irish blood came through loud and clear. On this trip, we stayed with Uncle Brian and Aunt Lilly. Uncle Brian took us to meet his brother, Uncle Tom, but before that, we made a trip to the cemetery. My father would make driving through a cemetery fun. We would read the headstones as we went and I would think about the people who were buried there, what their lives were like, who they were and how you could encapsulate a lifetime in a few words on a stone. No wonder I grew up to appreciate a good cemetery trip the way I do.

Anyway, while we were in Alabama we stopped at the cemetery to visit Grandma Young.

Mary Young

She was born June 30, 1843 in Bacon Level, Alabama. According to her Civil War Pension record her father’s name was spelled John S. Dunkin. She was married to George Washington Young (he was called G.W. and it must have been a popular name during that time) and by the time the Civil War rolls around, she was married and a mother. Her husband served in the Civil War in Georgia. She went on to raise 7 children over a span of 15 years.

When I got my results back from my DNA test, I had almost 400 matches to sift through. I found a match for three people who are matches to each other and to myself. The best family line that seems to match all four of us is the Duncan (Dunkin) line. John S. Duncan (Dunkin) is the son of a Peter and Margaret Dunkin. They moved from South Carolina to Coweta, GA between 1812 and 1828 and (pausing here for dramatic effect…) John S. Duncan won land in the Cherokee Land Lottery. In the 1870 Census, John S. Dunkin is listed as a wagon maker and working with Reason Mobley, brother of his wife, Lucretia Duncan.

Now, where was Benjamin Marshall from? Coweta, Georgia, you say? Always the damn Indians! So, one side of my heritage prospered from the other side’s misery. John S. Dunkin married Elizabeth Mobley in 1825 and in the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery, he was the winner. The poor Marshall family was not the winner.

Back in Alabama to finish the cemetery story, my dad saw a man climb into a pick up truck and drive away from the cemetery as we arrived. After we visited the graves and Grandma Young, Uncle Brian took us to visit Uncle Tom. As soon as we pulled up to Uncle Tom’s house my dad said he had just seen that pick up leave the cemetery as we arrived and didn’t know it was Uncle Tom. So Grandma Young was as big a draw at the cemetery as she was in life.

Hardin clan

The youngest child standing on the left in front is my Aunt Kay,  then Grandma Lula Hardin and next to her is Grandma Young. The first man on the left, holding the small child is Great Uncle Tom, then my Grandpa Hardin, then next is Great Uncle Brian’s first wife, Marnie holding my Aunt Jean, then my Great Uncle Brian and at the end of the standing row is Alfred Hardin.

When I look at Grandma Lula (Mary’s daughter), I picture my mother’s face. So when I look at Mary’s picture, I can see her with red hair and bright blue eyes.

So, even though my daughter doesn’t believe that she is Irish (her coloring tends to favor the Native American/Hispanic in her genes)  this is how it works:

Hailey J. Marie Bennett

Yvonne Annette Jacques-Bennett

Ruby May Hardin

Charles Jackson Hardin

Georgia Tallulah Young Hardin

Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young

See, Hailey, our Irish heritage is right there, on the tree, between the leaves, plain for everyone to see.

My momma favored her Grandma Lula and Grandma Lula looked just like Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young.


It’s in the genes.

Not The Right Ben Marshall


As my Benjamin Marshall trail has continued, I find so many nuggets of information that trying to keep it all straight isn’t easy. You can search for Benjamin Marshall, Ben Marshall, Ben Marshall Half-Breed, Benjamin Marshall Creek, Benjamin Marshall Coweta Tribe; I could go on and on, but I think I’ve made my point. Change a search term, change a name, change a city, change a state and you come up with a hundred different possible hints.

I have a great research assistant. My husband Paul is interested in what I am doing and is a great help. He spends a lot of time searching names that might be helpful to me and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

A week ago, Paul came to me with a page he had discovered. It was a school record for a Benjamin Marshall from the Carlisle School. I was immediately suspicious. Not because Paul wasn’t looking in the correct manner, just that there are two individuals named Benjamin Marshall.

Isn’t that awful? So many times I have been searching for a term using Benjamin Marshall and once I review it, I realize, it is the wrong Benjamin Marshall.

The Benjamin Marshall I am searching for is born in approximately 1800 and dies in approximately 1863 or 1864.

Let’s meet the second Benjamin Marshall.

So part of my issue with our Benjamin Marshall is trying to figure out who he is married to, who his children were and where they ended up. So far, these are the children I have been able to locate:

Benjamin Marshall Jr. (this isn’t the “not right Ben Marshall”, but Chief Grayson speaks of Benjamin Marshall Jr. in a very uncomplimentary way and since he was there, I’ll believe him)

Robert Marshall

William Marshall

George Marshall

Millie Marshall

Lavina Marshall

So the Not Our Ben Marshall is the son of George Marshall. Here he is


Now Paul has located the sweetest record from Carlisle Indian School. This is a letter Ben Marshall writes to his alma mater, congratulating the football team for their winning season from an old student and says that he was there from 1880 to 1884.

letter from benj marshall

Sweet note, right? But there is no way it is our Ben Marshall.

But the second Ben Marshall is also a descendant of our Ben Marshall and therefore, I did put him on my tree. He is a prominent member of the Creek Nation himself. He sat on the council for the Allotment of Indian Lands in 1899. He married two different women, was also wealthy and well respected. Not bad to have that leaf on our tree.

Now let me tell you what has confused me.

When Richard Adkins testifies to who he is during his trial in 1899 or so, he says

Richard Adkins nickname

His testimony says, 

“Q: Well, did you say you know Lee Adkins? Well I saw him. I came up here once, the last time I saw him. He was just a little boy then, and he had sisters; I never did see him any more. I went over to my uncle’s Ben Marshall’s father here”

Vague at best. It sounds like there is a Benjamin Marshall present during his testimony. If this is true, why doesn’t he testify? Not sure and doubt I’ll ever have the answer to that question, and I can’t tell if he is talking about Benjamin Marshall Jr. (my thoughts, as he says my uncle) or Not the right Benjamin Marshall.

Always more questions than answers.

The best thing about finding the picture of that Benjamin Marshall, after I got over the disappointment that it wasn’t my Benjamin Marshall, was that this Benjamin Marshall is a first cousin to Richard Adkins.

As I have said before, searching for Richard Adkins has become my mission. I don’t think that will happen until I am able to make a trip to Oklahoma myself. I hate that I can’t just drive over to the local historical society and start sifting through their documents myself. However, I did find this picture

Louisa Marshall

I found her information listed as Louisa Marshall, the daughter of William Marshall. Another first cousin of Richard Adkins

While not finding a photograph of Richard Adkins (YET!) is still difficult, I have found photographs of people who are on my tree. And those faces mean a lot to me.