Inquiring about “John Conkey Gilmore”
Doing online research, I’ve learned so many variations of a story about him. I’m not even sure which one to believe or if there’s more than one person with his name. Are stories mixing/crossing? Or if some of its just folk lire/family lore? I really want the truth.
This is going to be a long posting so buckle up and get comfortable for the read.
Growing up I was always told I was Native, and I was proud of it, we always went to Pow Wow every year, my father would take us on nature walks and teach us valuable lessons about the cycle of life, respecting nature along with survival tactics.. with a little Native American history mixed in. We always practiced natural medicine in our home, my father was a hunter and fisherman, and quite the gardener too. My mother and father worked hard to raise us naturally and with pride. —— Unfortunately we became estranged from my father and his side of the family (long and personal story) but when I was in middle school ( around 2002 ish ) we got a call from my non native grandmother (my fathers mother) family came out of their way to her front door to bring us information on enrollment, that they had opened a casino etc etc etc ( I honestly don’t care about the benefits as much as I care about the culture And knowing where we are from – like exactly where it all comes from and having connection with my Native family which I’ve never met before) – to say the least my grudge holding grandmother told them we didn’t need any of it and weren’t interested. I quite resent her for that. It wasn’t her place to answer for us all. – so we never got the info we needed so here I am at 33 yrs old so searching for answers.
As an adult I took it upon myself to self teach the cultural customs, teachings, cooking, medicine and history even learning some of the language… I took it a step further and decided I needed to know more! So I decided to bite the bullet and pay for an account on ancestory to do my family tree.
Boy as this been a ride!
We have a lot of native married and family members lots of great cousins and aunts/uncles that married Native…
But as far as my direct line, the Native blood is many more generations back than I was told my whole life 🙁 but it still leaves me wanting ton know more and learn the WHOLE TRUTH.
I noticed that my 4th great grandfather Elijah Gilmore all of his siblings and all of his children had attempted enrolling with the eastern Cherokee band. And as I follow the family tree all of their migration seem to line up with history starting more on the East Coast of the south (Virginia) and working their way down deeper into the south over the generations eventually ending up on Oklahoma Indian Territory (on census ) it seem like a whole two generations try to enroll with a Cherokee.. with failed attempts. While learning that his grandfather was the supposed Cherokee one. I started doing research on his name JOHN CONKEY GILMORE A mattress left me with 1 million more questions instead of answers!!!
There are various stories out there and his name is painted all over the Internet!
One story was that he was one of the children of the keers creek massacre… but he was an Irish boy ( I believe) most of his family killed and that he was kidnapped by a native tribe I think Shawnee … and then rescued by another tribe and raised with them and when he finally came back to live in town he was known as “Indian John” barefoot and wore clothes of the Natives …and had a hard time adjusting back to life with the whites.
And then there’s another story that he was full blood Cherokee of the Chickamaga , Resisting the government and fighting colonization… maybe the reason he’s not on any rolls …
Another variation of the story is that he was actually a Native American orphaned boy that had been adopted by another tribe and was cared for and raised by that tribe .. the Miami tribe I believe.
It’s crazy how many stories! I also saw someone comment on an another site with inquiries about him- that their family has copies of his “Indian papers” and that it’s actually spelled “Contke “ .
Also having a hard time pinning down his actual birth year.
Like are there multiple John Conkey Gilmore’s! Geshhh
Also I’ve read that hood name was John Conkey then later he changed it to a Gilmer… then finally Gilmore.
If anyone has the TRUTH please please contact me I really would appreciate the answers to all my questions. I can’t be at peace with it all until I understand . Thank you
Side note: I noticed that when I did my DNA I got a bunch of matches with cousins of mine that are from the same lines that all hold a low percentage of Indigenous Americas that do indeed line up with how many generations back John Conkey was from us.
According to me research he was
born in VA.
married in Kentucky.
Died and buried Missouri