Update on Cherokee DNA Studies Phase III Publication

Cherokee DNA Studies II BookThe monograph on the third and final phase of Cherokee DNA Studies and “anomalous” Cherokees with non-ABCD mitochondrial lineages by Donald and Teresa Yates continues to be delayed. One of the reasons has to do with recently rediscovered records, namely an 1826 letter exchange between Cherokee chiefs Charles R. Hicks (1767-1827) and John Ross (1790-1866).

These important documents were reportedly once in the Knoxville Public Library and Newberry Library in Chicago but are missing at the present time, according to Richard Thornton of the Apalache Foundation. They paint a radically different picture of Cherokee tribal origins from any prevailing version in official or academic sources today. Notably Jews, Egyptians and Phoenicians were among the early Cherokees. The tribe is said to have arrived from across the Atlantic as part of the Sea Peoples, in contradiction of the standard version of the peopling of the Americas.

Much of the contents of Letter One, in which Hicks summarizes tribal history for his prospective successor Ross just before his death, are covered in the first chapter of Hiwassee Island: An Archaeological Account of Four Tennessee Indian Peoples, first published in 1947 by Kneberg and Thomas. But for the most part the startling revelations of these chiefs (neither of whom seemed to have any Cherokee blood) are forgotten or suppressed today and need to be re-introduced into public knowledge.

Hicks’s account confirms in broad outline the history of the Cherokee set forth by me (Donald Yates) in books written beginning with Old World Roots of the Cherokee. In the new book based on Phase III of our studies, Ani-Kutani are the Greeks and Ani-Wodi are the Phoenicians.

In the meantime, Dr. Andrew Martin has agreed to write a forward, and prospective readers can whet their appetites on blog posts containing drafts of chapters or peruse the brief reviews here from people who have read advance copies.


Deep and Detailed, Sets New Standard

Dr. Yates has some superb books describing the phenomena of admixture in Colonial times, such as Old World Roots of the Cherokee, The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales. He and his wife Teresa are in the process of writing a sequel to Cherokee DNA Studies: More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong, incorporating more modern history into the analysis, including the latest bombshell news about Cherokee and Creek migrations. He and I both received advanced degrees from Duke University, and both of us have roots in North Georgia and the Carolinas as well as Creek and other Southeastern Indian lines. Once again, my core belief that history explains DNA is supported, especially when we consider the effects of disease on populations. Keep up the great work.

— Andrew Ayers Martin, MD, JD, FCAP
Medical Laboratory Director and Owner, MidSouth Pathology, Clarksdale, Mississippi


Monumental Ethnohistory

Donald Yates and Teresa A. Yates will prove a valuable resource for cultural communities that have been misrepresented and/or marginalized in some of the scientific literature on ethnohistory.  I am not a geneticist; however, I have learned from experience how important it is to work with such citizens to correct previous mischaracterizations and public policy decisions regarding their history and heritage.  The authors have assembled a monumental collection of historical discoveries, genetics research, and real-life stories among reportedly Cherokee descendants; and this material boldly challenges prevailing orthodoxy about the Cherokee Nation.  Of course, I expect this book will generate strong reaction from the professional community.  However, many readers will cheer and cherish this collaborative, empathic analysis as they pursue their quest for identity and belonging.

— Glen Browder, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science and American Democracy, Jacksonville State University, Former Member U.S. Congress, and co-author South Carolina’s Turkish People: A History and Ethnology.


History as It Should Be Written and Taught

As a trial lawyer for 40 years, I learned early to let only the facts and supporting evidence direct your search for the truth. If these lead to conclusions that are not popular or are even counterintuitive so be it.  Pre-conceived notions and “assumed logical sequences” usually lead to error and bad results. This is true in many sciences and social arts.

For years, Dr. Yates has waged a battle of facts against preconceived notions about Native Americans. In this second groundbreaking volume he and Teresa Yates score a resounding victory for all Cherokee descendants. It is nothing less than a shocking indictment of false science, robotic big-box genetics companies and cozy governmental relations. More Real People is personal, persuasive and powerful.

— Jacques Soiret, Internationally Recognized Trial Lawyer.


Sneak Attack on Complacent Falsehoods of Genetic Science

Today, you can hardly avoid hearing the tiresome cliché “think outside the box”—tiresome because in my estimation there’s never been a time with more “in the box” thinking. From where I sit, not many “thinkers” are thinking, and blind acceptance is on the rise. A notable exception to the same-old, same-old in public discourse is Donald N. Yates, historical researcher, multidisciplinary writer and DNA pioneer.

Everything I thought I knew about Jewish history was shattered when I read When Scotland Was Jewish, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America and The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales. Logically and methodically in those classic treatments of genetics and genealogy, Yates and his co-author Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman weave together up-to-the-minute scientific research with a creative vision of the place of Jews and Crypto-Jews in world history.

This sequel to Donald and Teresa Yates’ study of Cherokee DNA, subtitled “More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong,” is another brilliant sneak attack on received history. Assumptions are squashed and beliefs are unmasked, with wildly unpredictable outcomes. More long-buried truth is unearthed and excavated. Whether you have American Indian heritage or not, you will be fascinated by the investigative scope and rigor, the insights into pre-Columbian societies and the emotional quest for identity and meaning. Join the Yateses and their sixty DNA customers in an intellectual adventure of high color and importance!

Though this work addresses a particular group of people with perplexing DNA results, it is highly instructive to anyone who has found a surprise in their DNA report!

— Dr. Douglas Schar, medical botanist, ethnobotanical researcher and author of Thirty Plants That Can Save Your Life, Backyard Medicine Chest and Adaptogens in the Eclectic Materia Medica.


  Comments: 9

  1. I have believed this for a very long time. I have many of the nationalities talked about only to be told i have a very small amount of Cherokee in me. i also have Lumbie and Mayan of which i have know idea how i got it? I have traced my Burch/Birch all the way to the middle east. This includes Greece, Troy to Ethiopia. My DNA shows i also have a Jewish line?
    Hope this helps.

  2. Sondra Anice Barnes

    Gen. John Sevier, Tennessee’s first governor, (my 5th great-grandfather) in response to a request
    written to him in 1810 by a researcher into the history of Louisiana,
    wrote the following.
    Knoxville, 9 October, 1810

    Your letter of Aug.30 ult.,is before me. With respect to the information
    you have requested, I shall with pleasure give you so far as my own
    memory will now serve me; and also aided by a memorandum taken on the
    subject, of a nation of people called the Welsh Indians. In the year 1782
    I was on a campaign against some part of the Cherokees; during the route
    I had discovered trace of very ancient tho’ regular fortifications.

    Some short time after the expedition I had an occasion to enter into a
    negotiation with the Cherokee Chiefs for the purpose of exchanging
    prisoners. After the exchange had been settled, I took an opportunity of
    inquiring of a venerable old chief called Oconostota, who then and had
    been for nearly sixty years the ruling chief of the Cherokee Nation, if
    he could inform me what people it had been which had left such signs of
    Fortifications in their Country and in PreColumbian Explorer Sites in the
    Southeast particular the one on the bank of Highwassee River. The old
    chief immediately informed me: “It was handed down by the Forefathers
    that the works had been made by the white people who had formerly
    inhabited the Country, and at the same time the Cherokees resided low
    down in the country now called South Carolina; that a war had existed
    between the two nations for several years. At length it was discovered
    that the whites were making a number of large Boats which induced the
    Cherokees to suppose they were about to Descend the Tennessee River. They
    then assembled their whole band of warriors and took the shortest and
    most convenient route to the Muscle Shoals in order to intercept them on
    their passage down the river. In a few days the Boats hove in sight. A
    warm combat ensued with various success for several days. At length the
    whites proposed to the Indians that they would exchange prisoners and
    cease hostilities, they would leave the Country and never more return,
    which was acceded to; and after the exchange parted friendly. That the
    whites then Descended the Tennessee down to the Ohio, thence down to the
    big river (the Mississippi) then they ascended it up to the Muddy River
    (the Missouri) and thence up that river for a great distance. That they
    were then on some of its branches, but, says he, they are no more a white
    people; they are now all become Indians, and look like the other red
    people or the Country.”

    I then asked him if he had ever heard any of his ancestors saying what
    nation of people these whites belonged to. He answered: “He had heard his
    Grandfather and Father say they were a people called Welsh; that they had
    crossed the Great Water and landed first near the mouth of the Alabama
    River near Mobile and had been drove up to the heads of the waters until
    they bad arrived at Highwassee River by the Mexican Indians who bad been
    drove out of their own Country by the Spaniards.”

    Many years ago I happened in company with a French-man, who had lived
    with the Cherokees and said he had formerly been high up the Missouri. He
    informed me he had traded with the Welsh tribe; that they certainly spoke
    much of the Welsh dialect, and tho’ their customs was savage and wild
    yet many of them, particularly the females, were very fair and white, and
    frequently told him that they had sprung from a white nation of people.
    He also stated that some small scraps of old books remained among them,
    but in such tattered and destructive order that nothing intelligent
    remained in the pieces or scraps left. He observed, their settlement was
    in an obscure quarter on a branch of the Missouri running through a bed
    of lofty mountains. His name has escaped my memory.

    The chief Oconostota informed me: “An old woman in his nation called Peg
    had some part of an old book given her by an Indian who had lived high up
    the Missouri, and thought it was one of the Welsh tribe.” Before I had an
    opportunity of seeing it, her house and all the contents burnt. I have
    seen persons who had seen parts of a very old and disfigured book with
    this old Indian woman, but neither of them could make any discovery of
    what language it was printed in (neither of them understood languages,
    but a small smattering of English).

    I have thus, Sir, communicated and detailed the particulars of your
    request, so far as I have any information on the subject, and wish it
    were more comprehensive than you will find it written.

  3. Mr Yates,
    I thank you for you work, I have read many of your books and find them fascinating, You helped spark an interest in me to better understanding my own genealogy and DNA. You state above that Hicks and Ross “neither of whom seemed to have any Cherokee blood”. I am Cherokee and have traced the genealogy of my own ancestors, and have roots in the Hicks and McDonald/Ross families. Your statement calls into doubt what I understand about the Cherokee roots of the Hicks and Ross/McDonald families. What evidence do you have to support they were not Cherokee by blood?
    Thank you,
    P. G.

    • I’m not really up to speed anymore on these genealogies, but I seem to remember John Ross’s Cherokee ancestor was four generations back in his line and did not originate in traditional Cherokee territory, making him one-sixteenth something. The family later moved to Cherokee country, of course, and subsequent descendants could have married Cherokees or part-Cherokees. John Ross’s second wife was a Quaker white lady. As for the Hickses, they came from Creek territory in central Georgia, half lived as white people and apparently were “purely” white people. Charles Hicks, as I recall, married a half-Jewish, half Natchez woman. A lot of the traditional Cherokee genealogies are coming under fire. See this page by Richard Thornton, who is writing a book on the life of Charles Renatus Hicks: https://apalacheresearch.com/2020/04/10/guess-where-the-father-of-cherokee-principal-chief-charles-hicks-lived/. I found out one of the Cherokee Seven in London, Tathtowe, it turns out, is the same as Willenawah or Great Eagle who haunts the Motoy genealogies. John Brown or some other reputable source says his father was a French Huguenot and he was from Nickajack/Nacoochee. We now know that Beamer was also a Sephardic Jew and his home stomping ground was in Apalache land, not the Lower, Middle or Upper towns of the Cherokee. All these “Cherokees” have Orthodox Jewish sidelocks. And we have also found that Nancy Ward’s origins lead also in that direction. Her mitochondrial DNA is not Cherokee but either Creek or Mexican; it’s a common type among Hispanic people in the Southwest today. Stay tuned.

  4. My daughter recently had a DNA test and it showed no Native American Indian ancestry ??? My surname is Cymru (Welsh) GGF from Merthyr Tydvil , Glamorgan County, South Wales, and I identify Chickamauga Cherokee, ( Raised Ojibwa Culture) One Grandmother Seminole from Creek, One Grandfather Mississauga Ojibwa from Micmac,: (2 ) above Davis Cherokee from Shawnee (1879) = (Cherokee Citizens 1896) WHAT GIVES??? Miigwech, Sam

    • Your daughter is not alone. Most people of Cherokee descent as well as Shawnee and other eastern tribes are invisible to the established DNA testing companies.

  5. My Grandmother Ada Rowena Shuler was born in old Cherokee North Carolina, Her family had moved and hid out in now Snow Bird North Carolina so they would not be forced on the trail of tears.
    Then later they all listed themselves as white so they would not be forced on a reservation. This is about all I know about her family.

  6. The Wife of Ransom Bennett, 1786-1866

    My gggrandmother, Elizabeth Ellen Bennett Bailey, 1825-1905, related to family members before her death that she was part Cherokee. Her grandson stated that she was half-Cherokee.

    In 1909 members of the Josiah Presswood family, living in McMinn, Tennessee, stated in their Cherokee Applications that their grandfather was Ransom Bennett and that their grandmother’s given name was unknown but stated she was a sister to Charlotte Vickery, nee Cordery. Josiah’s wife was Mary Eliza Bennett, 1814-1863.

    Using this as a clue I researched the Thomas Cordery, 1763-1840, and Susannah Sonicooie family. The family is rather well documented by Emmett Starr, James Hicks and Don Shadburn. Children of Thomas and Susannah include:
    Peggy Sonicooie, 1783, daughter of Susannah and an unknown father, possibly full Cherokee
    Lucy Cordery, 1784, married to Robert J Rogers
    Sarah Cordery, 1786, married to John Rogers
    Charlotte Cordery, 1788, married to Henry Vickery
    Nancy Ann Cordery, 1790, married to Parker Collins
    Hetty Cordery, 1794, married to Henry Vickery and John Vance
    David Cordery, 1796, married to Charlotte Goss
    Susan Cordery, 1805. married to John Mosley
    Early Cordery, 1807, married to Charlotte Berryhill
    Births are estimated in some cases.

    Ransom Bennett is known to have had the following children:
    Samuel C Bennett, 1809, married to Mary Vickery, daughter of Charlotte Cordery Vickery
    William Bennett, 1811, may not have been married
    Sion Bennett, 1813, married to Mary Bagley
    Mary Eliza Benenett, 1814, married to Josiah Presswood
    Martha Bennett, 1816, married to Allen Hayes
    A son born 1824 apparently died young
    Elizabeth Ellen Bennett, 1825, married William B Bailey
    Daniel W Bennett, 1828, never married
    Emaline Bennett, 1829, died in 1850
    Riley M Bennett, 1832, married Drucilla possibly Benson
    Malinda A Bennett, 1833, married Joseph Chapman
    It should be noted that Ransom Bennett married Frances Caroline Lowe sometime about 1827, possibly at the birth of Elizabeth. It is my opinion that Ransom protected his children from the Cherokee problems by hiding the fact that his older children were part Cherokee. I have no facts to prove this other than his children did not seem to know/remember their mother’s name.

    Peggy Sonicooie is reported to be the wife of Alexander Sanders. She is somewhat younger that Alexander which has lead me to wonder if Alexander’s wife may have been Peggy Sonicooie, the possible sister to Susannah Sonicooie. I have no documentation to substantiate this theory. Starr, Hicks and Shadburn all indicate it was Susannah’s daughter. If so then Peggy could not have been married to Ransom Bennett. This is further substantiated by the fact she was having children with Alexander as early as 1817.

    Lucy Cordery, wife of Robert Rogers, was married and having children as early as 1810, and could not be Ransom’s wife.

    Sarah Cordery, wife of John Rogers, was married and having children as early as 1804, and could not be Ransom’s wife.

    Charlotte Cordery, wife of Henry Vickery, was married and having children as early as 1811, and could not be Ransom’s wife. It is noted that Ransom was employed by Charlotte as a millright sometime around 1830. Ransom’s son Samuel married Charlotte’s daughter Mary Vickery.

    Nancy Ann Cordery, wife of Parker Collins, was married and having children as early as 1806, and could not be Ransom’s wife.

    Hetty Cordery, wife of Henry Vickery and John Vance, was married and having children as early as 1820. Her birth year is not well documented and Hetty may have been older. However she also could not be married to Ransom as her children were born at the same time as Ransom’s.

    Susan Cordery, wife of John Mosely, was married and having children as early as 1825. Due to her young age she could not be the wife of Ransom Bennett.

    So who could be Ransom’s wife if she was a sister to Charlotte Vickery as previously stated. A couple of possibilities have come up. What if Thomas and Susannah had another daughter that was not recorded, or what if Thomas had a daughter with a woman other than Susannah Sonicooie, that was not recorded by Starr, Hicks or Shadburn.

    I had worked on the theory that since Elizabeth Ellen Bennett said she was part Cherokee that it would have been through Susannah Sonicooie as Thomas Cordery is said to be English. In pursuit of this question I have had five different mitochondrial DNA tests completed on proven descendants of Ransom Bennett and Susannah Sonicooie.

    Three of the tests were on descendants of Ransom’s daughters. The first tests were to prove that Elizabeth Ellen Bennett was in fact a daughter of his first wife. To do this I found a lady descended from Mary Eliza Bennett Presswood and a lady descended from Elizabeth Ellen Bennett Bailey. Their test results were nearly identical (one mutation different). I then found a second lady from the Elizabeth Ellen descendancy and her results matched exactly (mutation noted). I have one more lady descended from Martha Bennett Hayes who has agreed to be tested, as further proof. These ladies were of the H5b1 haplogroup.

    The other two tests were mtDNA tests on descendants of Susannah’s daughters Peggy Sonnicooie Hetty Cordery. Peggy’s descendant’s test gave a haplogroup of C4c1a and Hetty’s descendant’s haplogroup was B2o. These results are interesting and problematic at the same time. Peggy and Hetty are half-sisters with the same mother. Their haplogroups should be identical. The results of the Bennett sisters indicate that in fact they could not be descendants of Susannah Sonicooie. It also indicates that Peggy Sonicooie is probably not a daughter of Susannah Sonicooie. Additional mtDNA testing would definitely help resolve this problem. I have found others descended from the Cordery family but have not convinced any to take the mtDNA test yet.

    All mtDNA tests were performed by the same testing lab for consistency.
    As regards to Peggy Sonicooie I previously mentioned that Peggy may have been a sister to Susannah rather than her daughter. If they had the same mother they should still have the same haplogroup, and they don’t. So could Peggy be a half sister to Susannah having a different mother?

    I will now discuss autosomal DNA results that I have received through Ancestry DNA testing. Ancestry reports any DNA matches that you have with a name of that match. Among myself and several cousins we have 142 DNA matches to the Cordery family. Most of them are to Thomas Cordery and his sister Amelia. Among these I include several that are from the Alexander Sanders and Peggy Sonicooie line. I cannot explain these at this time. How can I be matched with Thomas Cordery and Peggy Sonicooie Sanders but not to Susannah Sonicooie.

    So how does Thomas Cordery fit into my genealogy. I don’t know yet but with the quantity of matches I would have to say he fits in there, somewhere. Did Thomas have a child with another Cherokee woman who became Ransom Bennett’s first wife? If so she seems to be undocumented.

    I did note that some of the DNA matches through Ransom’s daughter Martha state that her mother was Elizabeth L Cordery. Is this the same person as Lucy Cordery? I will note that Emmett Starr stated Lucy’s name as Lucy Elizabeth Cordery. I find that in no other records which include Cherokee rolls and census records. She is always listed only as Lucy. Did Starr accidentally merge two different daughters into one. Elizabeth and Lucy? Were they really half-sisters?

    At this time let me state that I have been very diligent in proving the lineages of many of the DNA matches as provided by Ancestry. To a large extent they have been very accurate.

    Many family trees state that Susannah Sonicooie is the daughter of Blue Sonicooie and Kathleen Ann Pomeroy. To date I have found not documentation to support this but it does bring about some interesting questions. Could Blue Sonicooie have had children with a European lady and a Cherokee lady?

    Haplogroup H5b1a is of European ancestry, haplogroup C4c1a is believed to be mid-Asian ancestry and B2o is native American ancestry. Here is my thoughts: Ransom Bennett married a daughter/granddaughter of Blue Sonicooie and Kathleen Pomeroy and passed on the European, H5b1a, ancestry, Susannah was from another wife, maybe from a different tribe (Shawnee, Iroquois, Powhaton) resulting in native American. B2o. ancestry and Peggy was possibly a different Sonicooie and wife and passed on the mid-Asian. C4c1a, ancestry.

    Any thoughts or additional information anyone might have would be appreciated. You can contact me at dkbairdofidaho@yahoo.com

    • Just one note to your otherwise laudable conclusions, H5 doesn’t have to be of European origin. We found more than one instance of it in our Cherokee DNA Studies where it seems to be deep-seated Native American.

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