Nancy Jane (Collins) Nickens applied for Eastern Cherokee citizenship through application 33117. Nancy Jane was the sister of Jerry Collins (see #11696 this forum for his application information) and the cousin of Mary Jane (Collins) Adcock (see #11693 this forum for her information) and Elmeda Frances (Collins) Archer (see #11694 this forum for her information). Nancy Jane's application for Cherokee Indian citizenship was rejected, as were the applications of her brother and cousins.However, Nancy Jane's application gives information on her family which the other applications did not give.
On 8 August 1907, “Mrs. Nancy Jane Nickens”, a resident of “Walter Hill”, Rutherford County, TN, stated that she was “51 years” old, “Born April 19 1856” in “Wilson County Middle Tenn.”She stated that she was the widow of “Carroll Jackson Nickins”.Nancy Jane stated that her father was “George Collins”, her mother was “Nancy Mahala Collins”, and that her mother’s maiden name was “Nancy Mahala Collins”.When asked for their Indian names, she stated that she did “not know”.She stated that her parents were both born “In East Tenn. or Middle I don’t know which.”Nancy Jane stated that her father “Died January 26, 1874” and that her mother “Died February 11, 1883”.The interviewer asked her to name her brothers and sisters, when they were born, were they living or dead, and their residences if possible.She replied:“(1) Lemuel Houston Collins March 15, 1858 living in Missouri last heard from, (2) Jeremiah Collins July 20, 1869 living Tenn. – West Nashville Route 12 (this is the brother Jerry who also applied for indian citizenship); (3) Indiana Temples Mrch 6, 1865 Died about 1903 Residence Mereville I.T., (4) George B. Collins March 6, 1866 Died Apr 16 1900 Residence Davidson Co. Route 12, (5) Susan Elizabeth Colins Apr 22, 1873 living West Nashville Tenn Route 12”.
Question 17 stated:“State English and Indian names of your grandparents on both father’s and mother’s side, if possible” and Nancy Jane replied on Father’s Side “Jeremiah Collins, Rebecca Scott the Cherokee Indian woman” and on the Mother’s Side “Charles Crofford Colens and Polly Collins”.Nancy Jane then indicated that they were born “In East Tenn or North Carolina”.Question 20 requested the names of all of the children of the couples in question #17, and Nancy Jane stated that Charles Crofford and Polly Collins were the parents of “Sarah Elizabeth Colins (her name should have been listed as Sarah Jane), Elisha Collins, Julia Ann Collins, Polly Collins, Simmie Collins, Tennessee Collins”.She then stated that Jeremiah and Rebecca were the parents of “Lemuel Collins, Houston Colens, Rebecca Ann Colens, Eliza Collins, Jane Collins, Jeremiah Collins”.In response to question 22, Nancy Jane stated “my great grand fathers on my fathers side was John Ezrial Scott and great grand mother was Pernella Scott” and that her great grandparents on her mother’s side was “Jeremiah Collins and great grand mother was Amy Collins”.
Under “Remarks”, Nancy Jane was given the opportunity to give additional information to prove her claim.She stated “On mothers side great grand father Elisha Collins and great grand mother Polly Patrick.The other great grand father Charles Collins and grand Mother Annie.Three of the great grand fathers were brothers and two of the great grand mothers were sisters named Brown.”
On April 29, 1908 the “Special Commissioner” wrote Nancy Jane and asked “did you or your parents, or grandparents ever reside with the Cherokee tribe?If so, state when and where.Were you, your parents and grandparents recognized as white people, Indians or negroes in the communities in which you and they have resided?Why was the parent through whom you claim not enrolled in 1851, and where was he or she residing in 1834-35, if living at that time?Where were your grandparents on the side through which you claim residing in 1834-35?If your parents or grandparents were slaves, state whether slaves of Indians or white people.”In a response dated “Walter hill tenn May 4th 1908” Nancy Jane (Collins) Nickens wrote to “Mr guione Miller”.The microfilmed copy of Nancy Jane’s letter is very difficult to read and that is unfortunate because I think she may have been giving valuable information.She says something about “I am in resept of your letter of inquiry about my .... which I claim.... Indian blood I don’t know why they did not inroll unless they .... lik myself didn’t know of .....after .....that led me to try for ..... my parents taut me ...... my..... of my grand parents not slaves of Indians ....not no one else .......mixed up with the indians.the Collins ......... was borned on the trip ........that is ..... tell the great ...... I am in formed the Scott ... is the one that I claim the Indian the grat grandparents of the Scotts lived in east Tennessee until the grat gran father died an then the mother and children cam to middle tenn what...... Spent the rest of their days as I stated when I rot to .... befor when I rot you I don’t .... when they first came to the ..... of tenn it must of ben some what near 29 or 30 (1829 or 1830) then ..... but I hop ...... letter ......”Signed “Mrs. Nancy J. Nickens”.
From Nancy Jane's application we learn that Jeremiah Collins, the husband of Rebecca Scott, was the son of Jeremiah and Amy Collins.Both Nancy Jane and her brother Jerry mentioned that three of their great-grandfathers were brothers and that two had married sisters named Brown and the other had married a Patrick.Several reseachers have stated that Elisha Collins married Polly Patrick.That leaves the other two brothers marrying the Brown sisters.Thus, Charles Collins married Annie Brown and Jeremiah Collins married Amy Brown.
Another interesting piece of information Nancy Jane gave was the name of the father of Rebecca (Scott) Collins.Nancy Jane stated his name was John Ezriel Scott and that he was married to Pernella Scott.Pernella is the same name that Elmeda Frances (Collins) Archer gave in her application.However, Elmeda stated that Rebecca's father's name was Lemuel Scott, not John Ezriel Scott as stated by Nancy Jane.To add to the confusion is the fact that Elmeda's sister Mary Jane (Collins) Adcock stated in her application that his name was Emanuel Scott.Lemuel cannot be found in the records for the correct time period, so it is believed that that name is incorrect.Emanuel can be found in the records for the correct time period, but one court record states that his wife was named Frances.So, Emanuel is probably not the correct name.That leaves John Ezriel Scott as the probable father of Rebecca (Scott) Collins.