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.

4 thoughts on “Not The Right Ben Marshall

  1. Hello, I am a direct descendant of Benjamin Marshall. Please know that the confusion you find appears generational, that the second chief of the Lower Creeks was Benjamin Marshall, also a translator for his people in treaty negotiations, who moved to Coweta from Alabama/Georgia. And yes, he did have slaves, both while in his homeland and later in Indian Territory. The census taken by government agents does not show that he had two wives. His descendant was also Benjamin Marshall, who attended Carlisle. He did not have two wives simultaneously; the first died and he remarried. His son is my grandfather, Ben Marshall, and the subsequent heir is my father, Ben Marshall. With many people posting online, it becomes challenging to know truth if not in this region or immediate family. As a family, we are creating an accurate historical record. In your research, you may come across Muscogee Creek people having several family lines with the name Marshall. Thank you. –Laura Marshall

    1. Hi Laura,

      So nice to meet you. I know how difficult it was when I first started researching Ben Marshall. So tell me, what is your take on his children? I think that because Richard Adkins was so young when his mother died and then his daughter was so young when she died, that my grandmother didn’t get a lot of information regarding the line. Also, my grandmother’s mother was very strict that my grandmother wasn’t allowed to talk to people about being Native American. Oh, I do have a question for you. (So wish my grandma were here to ask her questions now!) Anyway, my grandma always claimed to be Cherokee and in fact, I hadn’t heard of Creek until I started researching. Do you have any info in this regard? Also, any other information you would be willing to share would certainly be appreciated.


    2. Hello Laura my name is Melissa Herrod. My great grandfather is Louis Marshall roll number 415. I have been trying to research his family and I was wondering if my great grandfather is related to Benjamin Marshall US interpreter. Is there any way you could help me figure it out. I can’t seem to find any info on Ben Marshall’s descendants. Thank you for any info you might be able to provide it would be very much appreciated.

      1. Hi Melissa I’m not sure but the info I have on Ben was that he has two brothers, Joseph and James. However I did find one mention of Ben having a sister. If you write me at my email address of I willl be glad to look at what you have and see if we can find any info that matches

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