View Full Version : York, Gregory, and Saponi Relationships

Blake Slayton
02-07-2005, 09:07 AM
Hello everyone,

I listed this post under "Family Lore" because all of my life I have been told that I have Blackfoot Indian blood in me by way of my maternal g-g-grandmother.

I was born in Pocahontas, Arkansas (Randolph County) August 15, 1962. My maternal grandmother, Dona Mae Barnes (nee: Gregory) has always told me that her grandmother was a full-blooded Blackfoot Indian, although she had never met her grandmother nor own her mother because her grandmother had died long before my grandmother was born and her mother died when my grandmother was but one or two years of age.

My grandmother's mother is an enigma in and of herself. All that I know about her is that her name was Tennessee "Tennie" York, that she was born somewhere in Tennessee in December 1888, and was orphaned early in life but raised in Greene County, Arkansas by the Richard H. Buchanan family (from the 1900 Census).

Tennie married my g-grandfather, John Henry Gregory in 1904 at the age of 16 (he was 26). They settled in the Lorine township in Randolph County Arkansas (which is now part of Pocahontas) and had five children: Samuel S. (b. 1905, d. 1965), Nola (b. abt 1907), Busch (b. 1909, d. 1969), Paul William (b. 1912, d. 1983) and Dona Mae (b. 1921).

So family lore has been passed down to this day that Tennie York's mother was a full-blooded Blackfoot Indian. With that, I began researching but always ran into dead ends. I mean, for crying out loud, didn't the Blackfoot tribe live in Montana?! How would she end up in the Tennessee area to marry a fella by the name of York and have a child named Tennie?

A quick sidebar on the "York" connection that may be helpful: Another Family Lore has it that our Tennie York was related to Sergeant Alvin York of WWI fame, although, of course, I cannot make that connection. She was alledgedly Sergeant York's cousin, although I do not know if this is true or not.

On the Gregory side, John Henry Gregory - Tennie's husband - was the son of Sterling Scalbert Gregory who was born July 16, 1847 in South Carolina and died February 21, 1911 in Lorine (Pocahontas), Arkansas. His wife was Sarah Smelser. John Henry was the eldest of 9 children, born January 21, 1877 in Arkansas and died August 12, 1965 in Pocahontas. His brothers and sisters were as follows: Nancy, Martha, Mary, William, Pinkney, Sallie, Iola, and Thomas.

That's all the information that I have on the York and Gregory families. And up until today, I had nowhere to go on the "Blackfoot Indian" connection that I have always been told about all my life. But your website may be able to help me. It makes perfect sense that she would be called "Blackfoot" but actually be Saponi instead, since she was probably born in Tennessee and married a York from there.

Any help that you may be able to provide will be extremely appreciated.

Thank you all,

Blake Slayton
Hoping to be a Saponi (at least 1/16th!)

02-07-2005, 03:39 PM

:) I'm glad you found us. It's good to have you here. You could very well be in the right place. I was in about the same shape when I got here!:D You have a good start with your information. We have several folks here that are just fantastic when it comes to researching geneology. I would atleast place a short post on the geneology forum, letting them know where you posted your first bit of info. That way they'll be sure and know to look here. Some of us get so tied up in the geneology section that we don't have the chance to venture out much! Sort of like the House Elves at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books! Welcome, I look foreward to seeing you around here all over the place!;) Love & Light, Lynella.

Blake Slayton
02-07-2005, 04:06 PM

Thank you for the welcome!

I will take your advice and repost the message on the genealogy forum as well.

I am happy to be here.


vance hawkins
02-25-2005, 02:38 AM
Blake, you have some ineresting names and locations. You mentioned your Gregorys came from South Carolina. Would that be anywhere near Spartanburg or Union Counties on or near the Tyger River, perhaps, in the 1780s or early 90s? My Waylands that came to Arkansas moved to near near those areas of SC after the Revolutionary War until moving in 1797 to SW Va and they left there for Arkansas in 1815.

I can't find my Hawkins relatives, but there in researchig I found a whole slew of "Pinkney" Hawkins's. This is the first time I've seen that name on anyone other than a Hawkins . . . but then I never looked that hard . . . :) I don't know my great grandpa's (Hawkins) parents, but he had brothers John, William and Thomas and a sister Mary. Probly a coincidence, tho.


Blake Slayton
02-25-2005, 08:52 AM

I do know that S.S. Gregory (my g-g-grandfather) was born in Spartanburg county and then moved next door to Greenville county where he showed up on the 1850 census. How long that line Gregories had been there prior to that I have no clue.