Extracts from the Guion Miller Rolls

The Guion Miller rolls had to do with individuals who were attempting to receive government funds on the basis of Cherokee identity as the result of a lawsuit in 1906. We’ve discussed the Eastern Cherokee Application claims of various Phipps individuals. They had connections to either Ashe County, North Carolina or adjacent Grayson County, Virginia, or both, and they claimed Cherokee ancestry on the basis of Phipps or Phips intermarriages involving the Hart and Hash families, with direct connections from there to the Sizemores.

One of those individuals was Eli J. Phipps (#6188), who we’ve discussed in the past in connection with his Eastern Cherokee Application (ECA).  Further information is contained in testimony found in Guion Miller files, in testimony collected by special commissioners.

He testified in 1908 that he was about 64 years old and was born and raised in Ashe County, North Carolina. He said that he lived in Ashe County all his life. “I have always been a recognized White man,” he said, and as a result had always been able to vote.

On the other hand, he said that he had “always been taught” that he had direct Eastern Cherokee ancestry. He claimed such ancestry through his grandmother Marjorie Hart, who he said married a Hash. Eli Phipps said that he believed that his grandmother lived in Alleghany County, North Carolina (Alleghany was formed from Ashe), but that after she married she moved to Grayson County, Virginia.

According to Phipps, his grandmother was a daughter of Catharine Hart, who was a daughter of the individual he referred to as “old Ned Sizemore.” Catharine, he thought, lived in Alleghany County when he (Eli Phipps) was young. He also said that Ned Hart was an uncle of his mother, and that he was said to be “part Indian.”

“I remember him well,” Phipps noted, “and he showed the Indian blood. He claimed Eastern Cherokee blood.” He added that they were “the only kind of Indians” he had ever heard of in “this country.”

Eli Phipps’s mother Ruthie was born and raised at Grassy Creek, he said, but she died when he was young. It was Eli’s understanding that there were two persons named Ned Sizemore, who were father and son. “Old Ned” Sizemore, he said, was the father of Owen, Ned, and George, and he only knew of one daughter, that being Catharine.

Phipps claimed that Old Ned “came here from western North Carolina,” as he put it. This was “about the time of the treaty of 1836,” as he had always been told.

Testimony was also received in 1908 from Margry Phipps, whose age is difficult to read, but which appears to be 63. She signed her name with an X. She testified that she was born in Grayson County, Virginia, and that she had lived there and in Ashe County, North Carolina.

She noted that she had, as she put it, “always been regarded as of Indian descent,” adding that it had been “thrown up to me many a time.” This lineage, she said, came through her mother, Sarah  Hash (#26610), who she said was “well on to ninety years of age.” Margry Phipps added that it had also been “thrown up” to her mother that she was “of Indian blood.”

Her mother, Margry said, was born in Grayson County. She testified that her mother claimed that her Indian blood came, in turn, through her own mother, who was Margie Hash, daughter of James Hart. He added that Ned Hart was his mother’s uncle, and “must have” been a brother of James Hart. James Hart, he said, was a son of Catharine Hart, known as Dollie.

A supplemental affidavit signed by John M. Kelly explained that he was a son of Margry Phipps. He said that he had heard his grandmother Hash say that Ned Sizemore, as Kelly put it, “came to her father’s with a pet bear, and that Ned Sizemore was a full-blood Indian.”

A bit earlier, various Eastern Cherokee Applications were filed by various individuals named Phipps or Phips or with Phipps connections. One of them was Rosa Phipps Hester, who was living in 1907 in Indianapolis. She said that she was born in “Stepstoni” (presumably Stepstone), Kentucky on 5 February 1877.

Her parents, she said, were Henderson and Phidelia J. (Hash) Phipps. Both were born in Grayson County, Virginia, where they lived in 1851. Phidelia, according to Rosa, died 11 June 1899. Rosa listed herself and her siblings as

  • A.C. Phipps, born 30 July 1877
  • Rosa Phipps, born 5 February 1877
  • W.[H.?] Phipps, born 2 January 1880
  • Marion Phipps, born 24 April 1882

All of these were still living, according to her testimony on 21 January 1907. Her grandparents’ names were given as James and Marjorie Hash, both born in Grayson County, Virginia. Their children were listed as follows:

  • Jack Hash
  • P.J. Hash
  • Ambrose Hash
  • Wesley Hash
  • James Franklin Hash
  • Nancy Hash
  • Sarah Hash, who resided in Peoria, Illinois

In order to “expedition identification,” Rosa Phipps Hester was asked to state her ancestry back to 1835. Her reply was:

Mothers father was a son of James & Margaret Hash, who was a son of Robert & Margery Hash & Margery Hash was a daughter of Catherine Hart [who] was a daughter of Ned Sizemore, who was an Indian. . . .

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