Posted By:Michael Adams
Subject:Re: Nathaniel G. Oliver m. Martha Hensley
Post Date:November 14, 2009 at 13:21:00
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Forum:Patrick County, VA Genealogy Forum
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Frances, NG Oliver was my Great Great Grandfather. I was surprised to read his name (Nathaniel Green Oliver) in your posting. The break out of NG was a mystery and matter of conjecture between my grandmother and my father for many years. Thank you for that.

There are two pieces of family lore that were passed on to me. The first concerns NG's rank, which may or may not be true: he was supposedly a colonel.

The second is that many people referred to him as "Chief," because he was part Native American. I've heard that he was half Indian or one-quarter. I don't know which is correct. If you look at some of the family members on the Oliver side, there are definitely some Native American physical characteristics, so I believe that part to be true.

One point of interest, which I was trying to verify when I came across your postings, is that I remember reading somewhere the Olivers were French Indians who had immigrated through Roanoke en route to Henry and Patrick Counties (I've also read they came to Virginia by way of North Carolina. I don't know which (if either) is correct. Also, according to the same source (which I can't find), the family name was originally "Olivier."

What the author meant by French Indian has puzzled me for years. Initially, I thought of the French Indian War and thought perhaps the family was from Canada or the New York area. Then, I started to think perhaps the family immigrated from the Louisiana area due to some of the foods Grandma used to cook up: frogs legs and okra. I don't remember other families eating food like that in the area. Also, Grandma always went heavy on the cayenne pepper. It's just conjecture and nothing more, but I would love to know if anyone has an answer.

Steve Adams