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Re: James Welch and the Eastern Cherokee
Posted by: Lawrence Petrisky (ID *****3932) Date: July 04, 2004 at 05:59:06
In Reply to: Re: James Welch and the Eastern Cherokee by Kristin Hamlet of 7724

Your Edward & Emily are John Edward Welch & Emily Vannoy.

From "Old John Hembree aka John Emory" by Larry Petrisky:

210. ELIZABETH JANE (Betsy)2 HEMBREE or EMORY (JOHN1)       
       was born 1765 in South Carolina. She died c. 1820 in Tennesee.
       She m(1) JOHN WELCH (b.c.1753 SC d.bef 1810 NC or TN).
(He married (2) 1801 a Cherokee woman whom he named Betsy (“Quatsy”) after his first wife.)
She m(2) WILLIAM WELCH (b.c. 1768 NC d.1838 Hardin Co, Tennessee).

       Children of Elizabeth Jane Hembree and John Welch are:

       310       i.       JAMES3 WELCH b.1780-86 NC d.bef. 1815 TN?

       311       ii.       DAVID WELCH b.1780-86 NC d.bef. 1835 GA

       312       iii.       JACKSON WELCH b.1780-86 NC d.aft 1851 NC

       313       iii.       EDWARD (NED) WELCH b.1780-86 NC or SC d.aft.1820 Ark
       314       iv.       NANCY WELCH b.c.1788 SC d. 19 Sep 1860 Hickman Co, TN
                     m. SPENCER BROWN (b.c.1788-d.1868 TN).
       315       v.       JOHN WELCH b.c.1790 TN d.1857 Cherokee Co, NC
                     m. ELIZABETH BLYTHE (b.1795 d.1885 Cherokee Co, NC)

       Child of John Welch and unknown Cherokee woman:
       316       vi.       AIL-SEY (ALSEY) WELCH b.c.1802 NC d.aft 1852 Indian Territory,
Oklahoma; m. JOHNSON MURPHY (b.c.1800 NC d.aft. 1851 NC)

       Notes for Elizabeth Jane (Betsy) Hembree or Emory:       

       Her name was Elizabeth Jane or Jane Elizabeth. Her Cherokee roots in the Oconee/Keowee area
       of South Carolina and the Valley River in the mountains of western North Carolina go back to the
       1740’s (and before). Her Cherokee descendants were still living on the Valley River in the 1850’s.
       She was not a tribal member. (Her husband’s second wife was, and the family was active in tribal
       affairs.)        Her Cherokee names were Quatsy (an affectionate form of Betsy) and Yen Acona (Jane of
Oconee – probably her mother’s name).

In a pre-1800 tax list of Burke County, North Carolina, there is a John Welch (with 37 acres) listed close
to an Elijah Moore (140 acres) and several Strouds. But in a different part of the county there is an
Elizabeth Welch (100 acres) listed close to a James Jackson (0 acres), John Daugherty (80 acres) and
John Blalock (0 acres). The 1800 census listing of a John Welch in Burke County matches this family
exactly (even minus Elizabeth). Could this be an indication that they were separated before her death?
Note also around 1800-1808 the younger brothers of Elizabeth (Edward and James) found wives in
Burke County. (We haven’t proven that the Burke County Welches are ours, they just seem to fit.)

It’s probable she married(2) a WILLIAM WELCH c.1799 and relocated to Tennessee.

                                                 Notes for John Welch:

He was born 1753 at Ninety Six, South Carolina. His father was James Welch (b.c.1720 Ireland) who
was a pack-horseman for Indian trader James Beamer in the early 1750’s. He lived at Estatoe Village (in what is now Oconee County) in upper South Carolina. The mother of John Welch was an unnamed
Cherokee woman, probably a half breed.

His father supplied horses to Fort Loudon in 1756 and served in the militia. He was arrested by
James Francis of Ninety Six in 1759 and was a soldier during the Cherokee War (1760-1761). He was
alive in 1797, living among the Cherokee (unless this was James Welch Jr.).

John Welch and his brother Thomas Welch were among the Tories captured with Richard Pearis in the
Snow Campaign at Ninety Six in December 1775.

John Welch (b.1753) married Betsy, a daughter of John Emory and chose to live among the Cherokee.
Many Loyalist families lived with the tribe during the war for mutual protection.


was born 1790 or 1791 in Tennessee and died 1857 near Marble, Cherokee County, North Carolina.
He married ELIZABETH (BETSEY) BLYTHE (b.c.1795 d.1885 NC). She was the daughter of Jonathan
Blythe of Pendleton District, South Carolina. (He probably b.1772 SC d.1863 GA). She is buried in the
Jonathan Parker Family Cemetery near Marble, along the Valley River, in Cherokee County, North

Children of John Welch and Betsey Blythe are:
       i.       JOHN EDWARD4 WELCH b.c. 1819 Macon County, NC d.c. 1868-70 Oklahoma;
m. EMILY VANNOY. (She was b.1821 in Wilkes Co, NC and d. 1887 Adair County,

       ii.       MARY WELCH b.c.1820 m. DR. JOHN ALVIN POWELL

       iii.       DAVID WELCH b.c. 1822 Macon County, NC d. 12 Mar 1855 Fannin Co. GA;
              m. REBECCA ELVIRA VANNOY

       iv.       JAMES WELCH b.13 Sep 1824 Macon County, NC d.11 May 1887 Delaware Co, OK;
              m. LUCINDA PARKER

       v.       JONATHAN R. WELCH b. 26 Sep 1826 d.22 Aug 1908 NC
              m. SARAH ABERNATHY

       vi.       NICEY WELCH b.c. 1827

       vii.       JOHN COBB WELCH b.c. 1828
              m. LUCY HICKORYNUT

       viii.       RICHARD D. WELCH b.c.1831

       ix.       MARTHA ANN WELCH b.c. 1833 m. ----MERONEY

       x.       REBECCA WELCH b.c. 1834

       xi.        LLOYD M. WELCH b.c. 1836        
              became chief of the Eastern Tribe

       xii.       STACY WELCH b.c. 1838 NC

Notes for John Welch:

There is a lot of tribal legend associated with John Welch, some of it romanticized in a 19th century
novel. The legend of John being abandoned as a little boy is not true of him, but was true of his
father. The legend of “French blood” crops up in various lines of this family and perhaps can be
blamed on the old woman Nana, the “French Woman of Keowee” (b.c.1733 d.c.1832) who spoke
French. She was a part of the family off and on from about 1747 to her death in 1832.

Notes for Betsey Blythe:

Edmund A. Deweese gave a deposition in Cherokee County Court in Murphy, North Carolina on
15 July 1908. He was 87 years old. “I knew Betsey Welch here, and I understood that she was a
daughter of Annie Blythe. . . .” [Annie Blythe = Nancy Anne Shupe, 2nd wife of Jonathan Blythe]

She is listed as Elizabeth Welch in the 1880 census of Cherokee County, North Carolina, at Valley
Town. p.330D.

John Welch and Drowning Bear:

John Welch killed Drowning Bear’s brother in 1819 after (or during) a visit to the Red Clay Agency.
When word of this reached Drowning Bear (Yona Guska), he vowed the tribal right of vengeance.
Drowning Bear was the son of Big Bear (Yona Equa) of Nuquassi (near present-day Franklin, North
Carolina). He was also a relative by marriage or blood to Will of Nuquassi, who is also known as
Long Will, Halfbreed Will of Nuquassi, Long Fellow, and “Captain Will”: Will Emory (b.1744
d.1788), son of William Emory (d.1770) of Starr’s Cherokee genealogy. Long Will was a lifelong
friend of John Watts, who was born c.1753 at Ninety-Six, South Carolina. Will’s only known son
was Thomas (Emory), also known as Long Tom. The people of Drowning Bear, Will, and John
Watts were Chickamauga warriors – that is, Cherokee who never surrendered. Those are the type
of people who were after John Welch. He was considered a dead man in the tribe until his wife,
Betty Blythe, pleaded in council for his life. She was not simply a sobbing half breed pleading
for mercy on her half breed husband – the Cherokee could not ignore justice. She mounted a
legal and persuasive argument based on tribal justice (perhaps the killing was already a killing of
justice) and she was so effective that Drowning Bear, a man of justice, pledged that he would
invoke blood vengeance on anyone who killed John Welch.

There was peace between the two families and both men would later play big roles in the Eastern
tribe’s survival. However, as the stature of Drowning Bear increased in the tribe (he adopted
North Carolina’s Indian Agent, William H. Thomas, as his son), the status of the Welch family in
the tribe diminished, which is why many of them went out to Oklahoma after 1848.

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