Posted by: Beth | July 5, 2012

MRIN-45 George Sizemore and Aggie Shepherd

George Sizemore and Aggie Shepherd

My paternal 5th great grandparents

MRIN-45

Please keep in mind that this is research in progress. I am working on accumulating all the stories and documents that I can and trying to make sense of it myself. Don’t take anything as fact until it is verified.

There are many stories about George Of All Sizemore and his wife Aggie Shepherd. The following is a compilation of some of those stories

The story of George: A girl named Susan Sizemore was kidnapped by Cherokee Indians and the Chief decided to make her his. Shortly afterwards, the girl was rescued by her brothers. She was pregnant by this time and later had a son named George Sizemore. George was described as “a huge, dark, hairy man” and was known as a prize fighter. During one fight he injured a man, William Twitty, so badly that he later died, forgiving George before hand with the agreement that if he recovered they would have a re-match.

The story of Aggie: Two little girls were kidnapped from a camp of settlers by Creek Indians. A rescue party retrieved them and a third little girl that they thought at the time may have been white. It turned out that she wasn’t. While deciding what to do with her, one of the men from the rescue party decided that he would raise her as his own, most likely saving her life.

(I thought the kidnappings were a little convenient, but if you read various histories of early colonies/states/counties, you’ll find that there are actually many documented cases of this happening quite often. With many raids on both sides, if the people weren’t killed then they were taken. Some were later killed while others were absorbed into the tribes or colonies.)

So according to these stories, even though both George and Aggie were Native American, both were raised as whites. This explains why they never included themselves in any of the Indian census’s that are required to be accepted by any Native American Nations.  Even if they had wanted to, doing so would have cost them their land, property, their place in the society in which they lived, and possibly even their lives.

(Y-DNA testing of several of their descendants has supposedly proven that one or both of them were Native American. I have not seen these tests for myself – the links were on a Rootsweb page from 2003 and ealier – those links no longer work and I am in the process of trying to locate those results. )

An interview with Mrs. Polly North, a granddaughter of George and Aggie was found in the Dickey Diaries dated 27 Mar 1878 in Perry County, Kentucky:

“I am 85 years old, was born in this county. My father was a Wilder, my mother was Rhoda Sizemore…My grandmother’s maiden name was Aggie Shepherd. I remember to have heard my grandfather Sizemore say to her ‘Dam-an-it Shepherd I can’t stand you much longer’…”

The Dickey Diaries, Notes from John J. Dickey dated March 1878:

“Felix Begley tells me that old Aggie Sizemore, the wife of “Old George of All”, used to roast terrapins alive as the Indians used to do. Other things he told me that I am sure she was the Cherokee instead of Sizemore. Old Aggie wanted to take a skull which was found under a cliff, for a soap dish.”

Another version of how the Sizemore’s came into Native American heritage is that during the Trail of Tears, a group of Native Americans escaped and were taken in by the Sizemore family in the White Top Mountains. They took the name of Sizemore and intermarried with the Cherokee tribes in the area. Sixty years later they formed the White Top Laurel Band of Cherokees. They never registered with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian census and therefor, their 2175 descendants who applied, would not accepted by the Cherokee Nation. An application will only be accepted if the applicant can prove their direct relationship to someone who appeared on those census.

George and Aggie are the ancestors of all the Sizemore’s of Southeastern Kentucky. That is how George obtained the name “Of All”.

George Sizemore

  • Also known as: George Of All Sizemore
  • Born: circa 1750
  • Married: Aggie Shepherd
  • Died: 1823 in Dry Hill, Leslie County, Kentucky
  • Buried: Napier-Sizemore-Begley Cemetery in the mouth of Cutshin Creek, Dry Hill, Leslie County, Kentucky
  • Cause of Death:
  • Parents:

Aggie Shepherd

  • Born: circa 1750
  • Married: George Sizemore
  • Died: 1839
  • Buried: Napier-Sizemore-Begley Cemetery in the mouth of Cutshin Creek, Dry Hill, Leslie County, Kentucky
  • Cause of Death:
  • Parents:

Their Children

  1. John “Rockhouse” Sizemore (1770-1850)
  2. Winifred “Winnie” Minerva Sizemore (1772-1855)
  3. Edward “Ned” Sizemore (1778-1855)
  4. George “Goldenhawk” Sizemore (1783-1864)
  5. Rhoda Sizemore (1789-1825) Her first marriage was to Aaron “Chief Red Bird” Brock who was murdered in 1797
  6. Henry “Hunting Shirt” Sizemore (1790- after 1870)

Sources:

  1. Godfrey Memorial Library, comp.. American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Godfrey Memorial Library. American Genealogical-Biographical Index. Middletown, CT, USA: Godfrey Memorial Library.  Volume 160, Page 65, Heads of families at the first U.S. census. NC. By U.S. Bureau of the Census. Washington, 1908. (292p.):178
  2. Wikipedia.com – Hyden, Kentucky
  3. Wikipedia User Page of Lloyd Taylor about George “All” Sizemore
  4. Adams and Sizemore Family History Website. Descendants of the Pioneers and Native Americans in Southeastern Kentucky by Samuel J. Adams (2003)
  5. The Dickey Diaries – 50+ years of diaries written by Rev. John J. Dickey. He would write down interviews he did with many of the elder residents in towns that he visited. He would write them word for word as they were dictated.  Luckily, he talked with children and grandchildren of some of our ancestors who could give first hand accounts of the people, histories and stories that would have otherwise been lost to time. Samuel Adams provided many transcriptions of  those diaries that reference our Sizemore family on his website
  6. Sizemore Legend and Fact by Ron Sizemore (2004)
  7. Find A Grave Memorial# 25642915 – George All Sizemore (note: the picture of the Native American boy on this memorial is most likely NOT George All Sizemore. This picture is also circulating to be of George Goldenhawk Sizemore and probably of several other people who are believed to be Native American. If you actually read about these men you will see how this picture does not match up.
  8. Find A Grave Memorial# 25643259 – Anges Shepherd Sizemore
  9. Find A Grave Memorial# 35940852 – John Rockhouse Sizemore
  10. Find A Grave Memorial# 31943771 – Winifred “Winnie” Minerva (Sizemore) Begley
  11. Find A Grave Memorial# 70469334 – Edward “Ned” Sizemore
  12. Find A Grave Memorial# 70468806 – Rhoda Sizemore Brock
  13. Find A Grave Memorial# 69437523 – Aaron “Chief Red Bird” Brock
  14. Find A Grave Memorial# 27860247 – Henry “Hunting Shirt” Sizemore
  15. 1790 US Census, Stokes County, North Carolina Population Schedule, Page 2
Advertisements

Responses

  1. Hello Beth. My name is Amanda Phillips. My mother’s maiden name is Sizemore. She was born in Harlan in 1943, but moved to TN with her mother when she was 3 or 4 years old. She has been trying to trace her ancestry back for years now. She has traced it back to George and Aggie, but she’s wanting to make more connections through their children (aunts, uncle, & cousins). Some of the information she has the dates are different. Any possible way you could help?

  2. Hi Amanda,
    I hope I can help. Does your mom have a family tree posted anywhere? I have one on Ancestry.com

  3. Hi Beth!! I have started traing my roots and George and Aggie are my 6x great grandparents…..guess that makes us cousins! When you come from Sizemore blood, there seems to be a zillion of them!

    • Hi Monica! Yes there does. I would love to be able to actually find documented proof of my relationship with them, but at this point I think that a paper trail into this entire family is impossible. Hopefully some others have taken the DNA test and we can prove (or disprove) a link that way. Good luck and happy hunting 🙂

  4. HI all, My name is Elizabeth Muir. I am your cousin of long ago too so it seems. My great, great, great, grandmother on my mothers side is Rhoda Sizemore born in the later 1800’s. My mother and I are tracing our roots to exact people so associate relationships, but we are so excited to see all this info!! Where are you all looking for documents about your family?

    • Hi Elizabeth, I am trying to be diligent in listing my sources on all of my research. I know that though out these pages, I have missed some and I do have more to add with some families. I do have quite a few secondary sources listed on this page. I even try to provide a link directly to the document/page whenever possible. This family, as I’m sure you know, is just crazy to research. Unfortunately, there are not many primary sources available this far back in Kentucky. I’ve been attempting to research this family for many years. To see what I have, just scroll up to the “Sources” part. Anything in red should have a link. I hope that helps. Happy hunting 🙂

  5. George is my 5th great grandfather. I just started researching this particular part of my family today but have gained lots of great info.

    I am a begley from Hyden ky. George and his family settled hyden.

    This is my history:

    George and Aggy had Winifred Sizemore.

    William Begley Married Winifred Sizemore and had Edward begley.

    Edward Begley and (Nancy or Elizabeth) had William “Ace” Begley.

    Ace Begley Married Serena Sarah and had John Begley.

    John Begley Married Mary Anne Holbrook and had Alfred Begley.

    Alfred Begley married Creola Sizemore and had my father and my father had me.

    If I am wrong on any of this please let me know. Maybe this info can help someone else.

    • Hi there,
      I haven’t researched your line, so unfortunately I can’t help you verify the information that you have. But I have to admit that I’m pretty jealous of the fantastic start that you have on your family tree. It took me nearly a decade to go back that far on any of my lines when I first started out (long before everything was online). That’s one of the fantastic things about the digital age. I did recognize the names of William Begley and Winifred Sizemore. I know that I’ve read about them probably in several instances while trying to verify my link to this family. If you haven’t already, I would suggest looking into some of the sources I have listed on this page. Especially the web pages that I linked to, only because they are well researched references to use and some of them have some transcribed sources that you can’t find just anywhere – especially the Dickie Diaries.

      Sorry I couldn’t verify anything for you, but hopefully I was able to point you in a direction that you might find helpful in your research.

      Happy hunting 🙂

    • Beth that looks correct to me, if you want to know more about your sizemore line to George all sizemore visit facebook and join the Southeastern sizemore native group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthEasternKentuckySizemoreNatives/ they have tuns od documents and records posted and they are willing to help you out too.

      • Tried to find this group. Couldn’t find it😞

    • Hi Begley, It looks as if we are long lost cousins as well! I followed your line and we share George and Aggie Sizemore, then Minerva Winifred Sizemore and William Begley then Your Edward and my Pleasant were brothers and my line continues from Pleasant. 🙂

    • Alfred Begley that married Creola Sizemore was my great grandfather. I know none of these people that you have listed. I do know that Alfred’s father’s name was Jess Begley and Mary…

    • Which one of Alfred’s children are you. I also grew up in Confluence.

  6. Thanks for the reply. I have actually been able to accurately trace part of my direct line back to Baguley of England before this which has been very cool, you know, knights and all that stuff; possibly even viking heritage, but I am honestly more interested in my Kentucky and Virginia lines.

    I did find something earlier that claims through DNA testing it has been confirmed that George’s wife Agnes is of European descent and not native at all, but that George All is native for sure. Have you came across this dna info by chance and verified?

    I have gone thru all the references you posted before I ever found your page and plenty more. All of my confidence in my history is based on actual records that exist and not folklore, plenty of the folklore has turned out incorrect. The tax, census, death, land grants, etc. records have been valuable in verifying a lot.

    I am definitely a 5th great grandson of George and Agnes, but now which Agnes has come into question because of the DNA tests that I still need to verify.

    Thanks much for your page once again and for the quick reply here!

  7. Thought I would post some info from the DNA testing that has been done for future readers and searchers:

    “Anyone researching their Sizemore heritage should know that it has been proven through DNA testing that we do in fact have the Native American ancestry it comes from a male native amerindian though not female. If you want good information check out the Sizemore DNA project on FamilytreeDNA that is run by Joy King. She is also another good source for information to any questions you may have.
    There are two possibilities for the Indian DNA that is a Cherokee or a Creek Male Native Amerindian.

    If you have specific questions please give as much information as you can and those of us who can will do our best to assist in your search. Read other posts here on the Sizemore board you will learn more about truth and the myths in regards to this line. You will also possible find someone who may have a common surname that they are researching that may be able to help you in your quest. ”

    “We actually have two haplogroups Q that show the male Native Amerindian markers, a large group that consists of 5 Sizemore males, and a small group that consists of a singular Sizemore by the name of William Sizemore m. Catherine Adams and was from Mecklenberg County, Virginia. Now, here is the interesting part they were two seperate male Native Amerindian males who contributed the DNA markers. Related but not the same person. If you check out the FamilyTreeDNA Sizemore Project which will tell you more about the larger haplogroup and who it consist of. If your line goes back to anyone of those 5/6 men then you carry the Native Amerindian markers.

    AGAIN IT IS TWO SEPERATE MALE NATIVE AMERINDIANS WHO HAD RELATIONS WITH A WHITE WOMAN/WOMEN AND PASSED THOSE GENETIC MARKERS DOWN THROUGH THE SIZEMORE LINES. WE ARE NOT JEWISH, MELUNGEONS, METIS, BUT RATHER ONE OF THE FOLLOWING CHEROKEE/CREEK/CHOCTAW/POWHATAN/PAMUNKEY/MATTAPONI.

    No, it is not possible to determine which tribe yet. They are working on it though. That is why they have the expanded DNA markers that you can have checked, the mtDNA, y-chromosome etc…”

    “We don’t have the names of the 2 male native amerindians invovled. But I can give you the names in the 2 groups that show the native amerindian DNA both the large and small.

    Group 1: Ephraim Sizemore b. 1748 d. 1836 Spartanburg, SC
    George “All” Sizemore b. 1750 d. 1822 Magoffin County, Ky
    George Sizemore b. 1750’s d. 1820 Ashe County, NC
    George Sizemore b. 1750’s d. 1793 Barnwell, SC
    Edward Sizemore b. 1748 d. 1810 Hawkins County, Tn

    These men are closely related by DNA genetically, but obviously couldn’t have the same father.

    Group 2: Is the son of William and Elizabeth Sizemore of Mecklenberg County, Virginia.

    William Sizemore b. 1750 d. 1830 Stokes County, NC, he married Catherine Adams.”

  8. Link to DNA test pages:

    http://www.familytreedna.com/public/SIZEMORE_DNA

    Hope this has been helpful!

    • Thank you for the link to the Sizemore DNA page. I’ll definitely be checking that out. Hopefully someday soon I can get my line documented. In what I believe may be my line, there seems to be more folklore that facts. It’s definitely been one of the more challenging branches I’ve worked on.

  9. Hi, nice to see you sharing. I am a direct descendent of George ALL.. my DNA test revealed I am haplogroup Q (Native American). You should join our group on that Facebook Group page that you linked. There is also a “tribe” that is being resurrected from the old Whitetop Band of Cherokees.
    Jim Sizemore

  10. I also wanted to say.. Through DNA testing, our results match those of the Weanok Indians. They were a part of the Pohattan Kingdom (pocahontas). It is a theory that, Martha Sizemore, who lived with Rev. Whitiker and cared for Pocahontas, married a member of Pocahontas’s tribe and this man’s english name was William Sizemore. The William was probably given to him after his christening and he probably took Martha’s last name. That is the latest research.

  11. Hello Beth, I must say I am very proud of my Sizemore ancestors. My last name is Belcher but, my father’s mother was Sarah Sizemore, great granddaughter of Fiddlin’ Jim Sizemore. The more I research the more human they become. Nowadays when I read about somebody like Daniel Boone traveling through the Cumberland Gap, worrying about being attacked by Indians, I can take satisfaction in the fact that it was my family he was worried about!

    • Hi everyone! My sister is the genealogist of the family, but I do know she has us traced back to William Sizemore and Aggie Shepherd, because I found the Aaron Brock connection the very first time she asked me to help her (I was clueless years ago)….that’s how she traced us back…I have heard her mention Pocahontas (as anonymous above mentioned), and say that we are descendants, but I know very little without her records. I’ve just been reading, because a friend posted a Cherokee genealogy inquiry page, and someone inquired about an “Aaron Brock”…even after 15 years the name resounded in my head. My sister said “No, it’s Chief Red Bird”, and I started laughing (it’s been a long time since she finished the tree). Ancestry.com asked her to submit our family trees that my sister did starting with all four grandparents….idk if she ever did, but she should if she didn’t…they are amazing! Good luck to you all! If I could afford the DNA testing I would certainly do it!

  12. Hi. I came across this blog as I was doing some research on my Grandmother’s family. It seems I too am related to George and Aggie Sizemore. They would be my 6th great grandparents.
    The line is:
    George Sizemore/Aggie Shepard
    their daughter: Minerva Winifred Sizemore/William Begley
    their son: Pleasant Begley/Anne York
    their son: Russell Begley/Sally Melton
    their daughter: Georgia Begley/Elhannon Fields
    their daughter: Mattie Fields/Clyde Estridge
    their daughter: Pamela Estridge/Cody Cornett
    their daughter: Jennifer Cornett-Strube (me)
    This research has been interesting!
    My grandmother Mattie Estridge always talked about how her mom and dad were both half Cherokee Indian.
    Thanks!
    Jennifer Strube

  13. Hello. My Great Great Great Grandfather was just referred to as “Fox” Sizemore. The whole family has always been told that he was full blood native american. I don’t know if Fox was his real name or just a name he went by. Apparently no one seems to know. If you have any info. on this relation, please let me know.

    WillowBlaizeHolman@gmail.com

  14. Hi Beth I’m Angela Hanscom. I loved reading all the information you have on George and Aggie. I recently started looking up the history of my family and I am a decendant through Leonard and Hannah Huff. My grandfather was William Bailey from Perry County Kentucky. I’m glad I found this site and was able to read the information everyone had written in. Good luck with further findings to everyone. I’m quite excited to keep finding my own.

  15. Hello Beth!
    I came across your blog while researching my Sizemore Family.
    From George, I am 8 generations down. My grandfather is Dillard Sizemore, from there was Richard, B Anderson, Elhannon, Willis, Henry and George all.
    Thanks for all the info!

    Amber

  16. I just recently got my DNA results back. It states that I am related to George Golden Hawk Sizemore. I had no idea who he was until I researched him. I’m assuming we are related through my great grandmother Berger, but thus is just an assumption. It is impossible to trace this fact, being there are so many descendants. I am intrigued. I’d love to know!

  17. There has been a long lived legend that Aggie Shepherd was indian — that she was an indian girl stolen during the recovery of white girls from an indian camp. However, mtDNA testing of two of her female descendants has proven that Aggie Shepherd’s mother was of European descent and has no Native American DNA.

    Although no definitive proof has been found, George All Sizemore’s wife Agnes is thought to be the daughter of William Shepherd of Tryon Co., NC, because a George Sizemore was the executor of William’s estate in 1772 -1778. Nothing is known about William’s wife or other children. The fact that William Shepherd owned property that was involved in court proceedings proves that he was also of the Caucasian, or white, race, because in this time period Native Americans were not allowed by the government to own property.

    All this proves that the little Indian girl legend was not about the wife of George “All” Sizemore.

    • Do you mind giving the facts about this claim? I see no matrimonial line of descent listed by yourself or the mtDNA results to verify your claim.

      Also, Amerindians could and did own land and adopt anglicised names which they did in great numbers in the very early stages of colonization. That’s why the Cherokee and other tribes have an alphabet and written language after not having any.

      While I doubt the claims myself and even though my autosomal DNA tests do state I have Amerindian ancestry in small amounts so that the tests support stories of ‘injun’ on my maternal grandmother’s side and Shawnee on my maternal grandfather’s side I really don’t know via which one of those ancestral families that occurred.

      So like you I doubt the story of Aggy Shepherd and Tom Sizemore although I’m not convinced that they were 100% Amerindian there is a good chance they had some Amerindian ancestry.

      Without a citing of the matrilineal mtdna lines that support your claims they are no better than the original claims of Aggy Shepherd being an accidently kidnapped Indian girl and Tom Sizemore being the child of a European mother and Amerindian father.

      • You’re absolutely correct. I’m looking for the test results. I will post if and when I find them.

  18. This names the two women that supposedly took the mtDNA test:

    Direct female descendants of two of Agnes (Shepherd) Sizemore’s daughters, Winnie Begley and Susan Bowling, have had mtDNA tests. These two descendants are fifth cousins, and have never met each other. They match each other, so we feel that we do have the correct DNA for Agnes. The tests show that this female line (which includes Agnes and her mother, grandmother, etc.) is “western European”, which means the female line is Caucasian, or white, race. This website for the Sizemore DNA project has this information: http://www.genpage.com/sizemoreDNA.html . (the link doesn’t work anymore, I’m trying to find where it moved to)

    • You left out that many of the Sizemore men that took Y DNA tests and that those tests proves that the Sizemore men do inherit a couple of types of proven Q Amerindian Y-DNA.

      And you leave out that it’s just not the mtDNA or Y-DNA that people inherit. They inherit an X chromosome, even the men, and they inherit 22 other chromosomes and those 22 chromosomes also can be inherited from Amerindians.

      https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/sizemore-dna/activity-feed

      So if you descend from George ‘Chief of All’ Sizemore and Aggie Shepherd you have Amerindian ancestry, even if in succeeding generations you no longer have the Y-DNA inheritance because you are not a male descendant of a Sizemore.

      Most people that descend from that couple will have an approximately 5 cM autosomal DNA match with others that descend from that couple on chromosome 2. Of cause direct male descendants of that couple will also have the Amerindian Y-DNA Q haplogroup match.

      So the DNA testing show that the story of Aggy Shepherd & George Sizemore was false for the couple the truth of the matter is that story was almost surely passed down the Sizemore family for many generations before mistakenly being said to have happen personally to George Sizemore and Aggy Shepherd.

      So that’s it folks. There is no more argument between reasonable people whether or not George ‘Chief of All’ Sizemore and Agnes ‘Aggy’ ‘Cornett’ Shepherd descendants are descendants of Amerindian couples. It’s been proven.

      • Is what you’re saying about Sizemore men and Native American dna in the test results on the site I posted the links to? I’m still learning about all of this DNA stuff. Thank you for your time.

  19. http://www.sizemorednaproject.com/

  20. http://www.sizemorednaproject.com/mtDNAindex.html

  21. […] Parents: George “Of All” Sizemore and Aggie Shepherd […]

  22. george all is not the father of edward old ned

    • That is correct. George “All” in not the father of “Old Ned”. I never said he was. However, George “All” is the father Edward “Ned” Sizemore (1778-1855), His Find A Grave Memorial Page with his family is listed in the sources I provided.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: