For all of us Helton/Hilton researchers out there just a note to say there are two sets of Helton families. Some have argued through the years about the spelling but it really did change through the years and I have found both in our family.
Native American connection is just that. A connection through the male linage all the way back to the people that lived in the US before European people visited here.Our ancestors were here for hundreds of years before they were visited by the Spaniards and English. Evidence is the many lines of Helton/Hiltons now tested through their DNA.What this means is that somewhere along the line they took the Helton name and claimed it for their own. This is a big family but all the evidence points back to one Helton that started all of the NA descendants.In other words all of us that tested NA came from the same parent. So Far.
The most certain we can go on our line is that of Thomas Hilton b.1724 in VA.He appears in Lunenburg, Patrick County VA and then moved into the area of Rowan NC. We think on the Dan River area.Two of his daughters married into the Mabe and Hooker families.From there we pick up on his kids. Abraham Helton, b.abt 1743 fought in Rev. War served with George Washington at Valley Forge at the Schuylkill, married into the Owl family near Morganton NC on Hanging Dog Creek and eventually made his way into Georgia. One of the first references we have is him hauling deer skins in Georgia. Evidently work for one of the factories of the US government to the Cherokee. We believe he came from NC down into the Fannin County area at Wilscot.Helton falls and Larkin gap are named from his family members.
In 1821 Abraham won land in the Georgia Land Lottery.It was later taken away from him because he was an Indian. Abraham died in 1843 Lumpkin Georgia and was buried in the Mt Pisgah cemetery.He and wife Katie Owl are buried at the Frogtown winery.
There are several Helton/Hilton Cherokee application filed with Guion Miller in 1906. All were rejected but lend much information on this family. A lot of the family remained in Caldwell NC. Peter Hilton, brother to Abraham, a fellow soldier of the Revolutionary War was in McMinn TN. Then into the Carrolltown, Georgia where he died at 100 years of age. Some of the descendants did make it out West with the Cherokee. Daniel Smith Hilton went from Mouse Creek TN in 1829 and Ruth Hilton Matoy went from Conasauga in 1834.Her trip was highlighted by Historian Grant Foreman in a book on Cherokee RemovalChapter 20 called a Tragic Migration describes how Cholera killed one half of the travelers on this journey. Ruth's testimony is footnoted in this chapter. Sister Sally Helton also married into the Matoy Cherokee line. We suspect that more Hiltons were in the Cherokee Nation but have not found all the information needed yet.Yes, these are documented several times from the National Archives.
Fold3 has several Guion Miller applications to the Eastern Cherokee filed by several descendants of Abraham and Peter. For family researchers it will be worth the War Records and Cherokee applications.Happy Hunting, let me know what you find. Please consider posting on this web site under the Helton Family Genealogy Forum. You will find me there. Mike