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A Cherokee Geneology of Manning, Ketcher, Still & Downing

Updated April 22, 2003

About Our Family Research

Many scattered & adopted people were discovered & connected through the research of Ed Young (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) between 1984-1998. Original Cherokee enrollee Jessie May Manning gave birth to Robert Foyil Harrison, Lorene (Harrison) Busby, Illene Bess (Harrison) House, LaWanda Wynema Harrison, Jake Harrison, Beulah (Harrison) Winters, Pauline (Harrison) Taylor. Due to the depression era poverty suffered inordinately by native peoples, this family was fractured, lost & displaced from each other. The other key researcher from this third generation from Jessie is Becky Greife (Raytown, MO), doing research for many years & culminating in our connection in 2003. Luck, persistence, bribes, legal petitions, medical conditions, BIA regulations, library and microfilm hours, & grilling old folks were all part of the reassembly of this puzzle. Known blood descendents of the next generation from these people are Becky Lynn Greife-1954, Raymond Earl Courtney-1955, Gary Kelly King-1958, Randy David Fix-1959, George Anna Wilson-1960, Edward Lee Young-1960, James Monroe Wilson-1962, Kelly Dawn Wilson-1964, Jake Harrison Jr-??, Unknown Winters-?? and Frank Luetz-1975. As with most native families, the strain on subsequent generations has roots in an abusive national legacy regarding indian affairs.
This 11-generation geneology has its start in a Cherokee named John Downing who was an officer in the British-Cherokee military around the time of the revolution. Major John Downing married into the Wolf clan. These generations lived in the old Cherokee Nation of the southern Appalachian. The Manning family, lived along the old Coosa river in North Georgia where the details of the story become clear in the 1835 Georgia census. They lived as farmers in the village of Coosawattee. Today, the site is just below the dam at Carter's Lake, GA. Through the memory of Jessie and with Lorene's old family bible, a connection was made to a man named Green Ketcher who appears in Emmett Starr's fameous work entitled, "Old Cherokee Families". Jesse had been told by her father that her grandmother was Susie Ketcher. This does not appear in Starr's geneology, but it is what happened according to Wilson Manning. Susie's Aunt Winnie Sixkiller was standing in line next to Johnson Manning in 1896 so we have a great deal of circumstancial evidence. Green Ketcher is buried in Hanner-Adair cemetery, just down the road from Murphy, OK and is the only logical candidate in the area to be her father at the time. His father-in-law, Jack Still, who is a generation older and buried near by, walked the trail of tears from Coosawattee in N. Georgia along with Charles & Thomas Manning. Benjamin Tecahneheskee Catcher is burried in the same general area at Gray cemetary. Catherine Downing was an Aunt to Chief Lewis Downing through her brother David. The old Manning patriarch, Charles, was killed while on guard duty at Park Hill on Dec. 18, 1863 for the 3rd Indian Home Guard, loyal to the union (see "Letters of Chief John Ross" p.553). Wilson and Jesse's allotments were made in the town of Foyil, Indian Territory. However, Wilson sold his land sometime around statehood and ended up a fishing guide on the Grand River to "sooners" who flooded into the dissolved Cherokee Nation. After sellinging his land, He raised his family where Spring Creek feeds into the Grand River near Murphy, OK. As a girl growing up after statehood, Jessie recalled racing barrels in competition at a rodeo in Claremore where the "upstart" Cherokee, Will Rogers, was seen performing his rope tricks of later national fame. Jessie could not afford to feed her many children during the depression and some of her kids were taken and placed in Chilocco Indian school. For most natives the tough times of the 1930's was the final blow in shattering a society which had just begun to arise from the devastation of relocation.

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