Tom, thank you so much for replying.I am excited to learn that you can "trace back to John Philyaw in the late 1700's in Alabama," and I hope you will show me how you did it and what you found.
Two years ago, when Michael Hopkins posted the FILYAW genealogy from an old Bible in his family's possession (message #11), I was hopeful that John FILYAW and Easther LARGE would prove to be the parents of my 3gr-grandmother, Artilissia FILYAW.Unfortunately, no one who replied knew anything about Elizabeth, the daughter in the family who was the one most eligible to be Artilissia. You may have read the query I posted at the time; if not, I hope you will read it now, as message #52 at this GenForum.
I am intrigued as well as excited. In the late 1700s, the region that later became known as Alabama was Cherokee land, so I'm eager to see what you have on John FILYAW in that region before 1800.The Mormon descendants of Artilissia have a traditional story that says that Artilissia's father was John FILYAW "of Rome, Georgia" and that Artilissia was part Cherokee (they say through her father).The Mormon descendants have no evidence for this assertion, and much of the rest of the traditional story doesn't hold up to scrutiny.However, even the most fantastical family history contains a grain of truth.
(I will try not to repeat myself too much from message #52.)My gr-grandfather, Cleo Patrick FILYAW (family surname later changed to AARON), born 1863 in Elyton, Jefferson Co. AL, was the youngest child of Artilissia FILYAW's first child, James William FILYAW, who was born abt 1807 in Georgia.Evidently, Cleo Patrick grew up with the understanding that his grandmother, Artilissia, was part Cherokee, because in 1908 he applied to the U.S. Court of Claims for some kind of compensation based on Artilissia's ancestry.
The application was denied since there was no evidence of anyone in his family ever having been recognized as member of a tribe.I doubt that concrete evidence of Cherokee heritage exists; if there ever was a Cherokee element (and I think there was) it was assimilated before 1800 into a white society, and at this remove the Cherokee contribution to my FILYAW bloodline is tiny indeed.
I have almost given up the search for Artilissia's ancestors.The John FILYAW who married Easther LARGE (your ancestor, if I am reading the messages correctly) looks like a possibility, but I haven't seen anything yet to support the possibility.That's why I am so happy that you wrote yesterday and so eagerly awaiting your reply about the early John FILYAW.Thank you!!!