Tag Archives: Georgia

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.

Durant, OK 1902


So 1902 finds Willa (there are a lot of different spellings and variations on her name, but Flora called her Willa, so Willa it is) and Cart (also the name he was known as) with a fresh marriage and a brand new baby.

Now, I’ve had a busy week but I received an email from a friend I went to high school with, who said she had a friend who had discovered a link to an ancestor that was listed on the final 1906 Dawes Roll.  I told my friend to send me her friend’s name and I would be glad to reach out to her.  I’m no expert, but because I am passionate about ancestry research, I never mind helping if there is some way that I can help.

The Dawes Roll was an accounting of all Native Americans and was a listing created by the Dawes Commission. It included the Five Civilized Tribes: Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole.  I personally feel offended by the term Civilized,  as if every other Native American tribe was uncivilized. However, every time I make a new discovery, I am forced to remind myself to keep it in perspective. That is how the Native Americans were viewed in the 1800’s.

The path to citizenship for the Muscogee Creek Indian Nation includes an ancestor on the Dawes Roll, but it is so much more than that. It took me over three years from start to finish to gather all of the paperwork. We were so fortunate that Richard Adkins was included on that roll.

Sallie Adkins.cgi

Richard Adkins, too, wasn’t called Richard. He was called Lump. Notice the trend? I have found several documents by using variations of family member’s names and I have had great luck finding the name Lump.

When 1902 begins, Flora’s grandmother, Sallie Adkins (nee Ashworth), had been deceased for four months. As you can see from the headstone above, Sallie Adkins is known as Lump’s wife.

 As a kid, I thought it was funny that my mother had said she had cousins whose names were Natalee, Brookielee, Lee, and Lump. I thought that was hysterical. Really, they apparently loved the name Lee and who would call someone Lump?  What I didn’t know was this.

Nickname for Richard Adkins

So Lump was his nick name, given to him by his mother who died when he was a young boy. Then, further on my travels, I uncovered this little nugget


Lumpkin County in Georgia, not far from where his Grandfather lived.

Of our little family, says Flora, “My father was not well and no means of livelihood. A poor excuse for a son in law whose ambitions for a daughter ran high”.

So Lump Adkins had a great ambition for his daughter Willa. Why let her marry Cart? Why would he give his consent? Flora says that Willa’s sister wanted to marry someone unworthy and Richard Adkins had said no. The sister took a rifle to the barn and shot and killed herself. I am still looking for confirmation of that story.

Flora also said that Willa had a herd of cattle and her own cattle brand. There was a log cabin on the ranch that they fixed for their home. Cart took over the duties as foreman on the ranch.

True? Not true? Hard to say. But it adds interesting pieces that I am looking to verify.

“My father and mother were very happy.” Flora says that Cart had a third grade education and her mother a high school education in an Indian school.

Willa took care of the money. I come from a long line of women who were born to be in charge. See, I can’t help it. It’s in my blood. So, Willa was in charge of the money and most likely also in charge of where they lived. Willa was raised to have everything she wanted but she never complained about their more meager circumstances.

Flora said Richard Adkins was Cherokee Indian. All of the information I have to date shows his Grandfather Benjamin Marshall was Creek, so for now, let’s go with that. But Flora indicated that Richard Adkins was forced to give up his ranch when the territory was divided up into Indian nations and had to move to the Cherokee Nation.

Cart and Willa also had to move. Cart knew he had a job with his brother John Burgess in Joplin, MO. Flora was 2 years and 9 months old when they moved.

Next time, the Burgess connection…


Kinda scary looking people if you ask me!