Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cherokee Names

We've been in the midst of downsizing our reference collection. In the process, I've been touching just about every book to make a decision about whether the book remains in reference, is withdrawn, or is relocated to storage, the circulating stacks, or some other location in the library (such as government documents or special collections).

I came across a book yesterday that had been cataloged with Native American history, but it was really a book designed for those researching Cherokee ancestors. I decided to leave it in Reference but to move it to a location where genealogical researchers will come across it.

The book was:

Garrett, Sandi. "A.K.A." (Also Known As). Spavinaw, OK: Cherokee Woman Publishing, 1993.

The book opens with a description of some of the various rolls upon which the Cherokee may be listed. The heart of the book is a listing of Cherokee names and English equivalents. For example, "Ah-Wih-Guh-Gah" means "Deer in the Water."  If your English name was "Scalp Eater," your Cherokee name was "Sko-Hi-Has."

I know that when I am researching in northeast Mississippi records, the first pages in the deed books are filled with the Indian names of Chickasaw persons as the lands were given to the white settlers. I would find such a book of Chickasaw names interesting, and I'm sure that those in Cherokee areas will find this fascinating for the same reason, even if they do not have Cherokee ancestry themselves.

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