Tag Archives: Muscogee people

“Millie” Marshall – 52 Ancestors-52 Weeks

One of the best tips I received at Ancestry Day in San Francisco was during a presentation where the presenter said you can’t always trust the information you find, even when its in stone.  I was so glad to hear that because the date listed on Richard Adkins headstone shows he died in 1931. However,  he gave one interview to the Indian Pioneer History papers on March 11, 1937. For me, I had to decide which sounded more likely until I received his death certificate. There was no question that his death certificate shows his date of death listed as November 21, 1938. His age was listed as 87 years, 9 months and 7 days.

Richard Adkins headstone

Nothing fancy, but I am still glad there is a headstone in honor of his memory.

Returning to his birth date, February 28, 1851, I like thinking about that date because his mother was there. She is such a difficult person to write about, with so little information known about her,  but let’s review what we have.

Of course, per usual, we can’t confirm her name. Not her first name, at least. So far, we know she was either “Millie”, “Nellie” or “Louisa Martha” Marshall. Dick Adkins was born at Fort Gibson in 1851. His mother was the daughter of Benjamin “Ben” Marshall. We have lots to discuss about Ben but for now, she is one of his eight children.  According to his Creek card he filled out in 1903, Dick said that as of July 9, 1903 he was 52 years old. That seems to confirm the date of birth.  His father is listed as Thomas Adkins.  His mother is listed as Nellie Marshall. And both are dead. Well, that’s not much information, right? Both were dead in 1903. Good thing he filled that out.

Fort Gibson

This is one of the barracks at Fort Gibson.

Back to Millie. Or Nellie. Anyway, in one of his Pioneer Interviews, Dick says his mother was Millie Marshall, daughter of Ben Marshall. She was a Creek Indian and a Euchee Indian and raised in Indian Territory. So, sounds like she was born after her father moved his family from the Georgia and Alabama area in 1833.  He goes on to say she died in the last year of the Civil War. The second interview dated six months later , Interview for Dick AdkinsDick Adkins calls his mother Millie throughout the interview. Which document is stronger, his interview or his Creek roll? Tough decision.

Then, 1899 rolls around and Richard Adkins realizes he will have to have a trial to prove his citizenship. Several people testify during this trial and one of those who testified was  Mimie Kernal, a slave that belonged his grandfather Ben Marshall. Mimie Kernal didn’t know how old she was but knew Dick Adkins from birth, says that she nursed him and she names his mother as Millie Marshall.

I am liking her name being Millie more and more. I can’t really explain the difference to his Creek enrollment card but to say I know Richard Adkins couldn’t read or write and perhaps the person taking the information down misunderstood.

Mimie Kernal says they were living between the Verdigris and the Arkansas rivers and that Ben Marshall was her master.

In later testimony, Dick says that his mother died within one mile of Fort Washita.

Fort WashitaFort Washita is in Durant, OK, the same place Dick Adkins goes on to raise his family and where Flora is born.

So I am comfortable with Millie. Reviewing everything I’ve found, I feel confident that was her name. Confident enough, I do believe I will remove the quotes that I’ve had around her name for quite some time. Millie Marshall. The sweetest thing she did for Dick Adkins was to call him Lump. Not much of a nickname, but a nickname it was. Lump Adkins was loved by Millie Marshall. I can tell he was loved, because Dick Adkins turned into a really great man who was well thought of by the people in his town of Sapulpa, OK and by others interviewed in different Pioneer interviews who said Lump Adkins was a kind friend. Poor Millie didn’t get to raise her son long if she died in the last year of the Civil War. If he was born in 1851 and she died in 1865, he was only 14 when she died. Millie Marshall left a good son behind.

 A portion of the interview used was from:  Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Federation of Labor Collection, M452, Box 5, Folder 2. Western History

Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

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!