by Raymond Estep (1990)

Revised by Brenda Schwall (May 93, Aug 97, Nov 97, and May 98)


This review of Mantooth history is dedicated to the memory of my late wife, the former Bea Mantooth. In the beginning, the author's primary purpose was to make available to her brothers and sisters and their descendants a coherent story of the Mantooths as revealed in her correspondence. It is hoped that members of other branches of the Mantooth Family also may find it useful in their search for their antecedents.

The study had its origin in 1975 when the author, while researching his Estep ancestors in Tennessee and North Carolina, discovered in the Library of the Alabama Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama, a copy of the 1830 census of Tennessee compiled by Byron Sistler, which listed several Mantooth families who were residents of Cocke County, Tennessee. Subsequent research in the 1850 census of that county and Polk County, Tennessee, revealed the names of a John Mantooth, Sr., and of his wife and children living in Polk County. Among the children were older sons, Jasper and Newton, and a younger son, John, Jr., age 5. The existence of the brothers Jasper and Newton confirmed the recollections of Bea's father, Albert Berry Mantooth, that his father (the 5-year-old John) had two older brothers (or half-brothers) who bore those names, names that John perpetuated by naming his first-born son Jasper Newton.

This clue to her ancestral family led Bea to review her notes of conversations with her father, and to query her brothers and cousins about their recollections of family history as related by their parents and grandmother Mantooth. In addition, she initiated a voluminous correspondence (which she carried on for the remaining 12 years of her life) with a great number of Mantooths, all of whom traced their history to Cocke County, and most, if not all, of whom recalled family stories tracing their ancestry to a Cherokee wife of a Mantooth forefather. The correspondent who made the greatest contribution to Bea's research was her second cousin, Clarence Franklin Mantooth, who has researched the Montieth-Mantooth family for many years. His letters are cited often in the Notes. Most, if not all, of her other correspondents are also cited in the Notes.

Because much of Bea's correspondence was with descendants of Mantooth families who moved to the "West," much of the last half of this study, perforce, deals with those families, a surprising number of whom eventually settled in or near McClain County, Oklahoma.

To all those whose correspondence made this work possible, the author wishes to express on Bea's behalf her gratitude and thanks for the contributions each of them made to her research which she was unable to complete before her death on February 15, 1987.

The reader should note the repetition of given names, especially of males (such as John, Robert, James, William, Calvin, and Thomas, to mention only those most frequently used), a repetition that complicates the tracing of family relationships. Another problem, particularly with those named John, is in differentiating those identified in the census returns and other records as Sr., or Jr. The Jr. probably became a Sr., when he left his home community or when his father died.

Citations of correspondence addressed to Bea Mantooth Estep do not show her as the addressee. Citations of other correspondence show both writer and addressee. References to Bea Mantooth Estep are shown by her initials, BME; those to Clarence Franklin Mantooth by CFM. BSS refers to Brenda Sherrill Schwall.

Also included is a list of correspondents showing each by name, relationship to earliest identified Mantooth ancestor, and the most recent mailing address that appears on correspondence in Bea's files.

NOTES from Brenda Sherrill Schwall, April, 1993.

During the summer of 1992 I was talking to Jennie Goodman (Mrs. Floyd) of Maryville, TN, one of my Mantooth-Ford-Frazier cousins. She had come across the "Indian Application" of Mary Griffith, and her sister Elizabeth Welch, claiming descent from "Cherokee Tom" Mantooth. During our conversation she mentioned (again) that a number of families had come from Shenandoah County, Virginia to Cocke County, Tennessee in the 1790's. I was able to get copies of the complete "Indian Claims" of the two sisters which gave much genealogical information on my line. I was also able to find the marriage record of Thomas to Elizabeth Phariss and the 1787 tax list upon which he appeared. Along with other information, I sent packets of this information to ten people researching Mantooths. After tracking down the new address for Raymond Estep I was rewarded with a letter from him and an original copy of this manuscript which he had prepared for Bea's family. I was flattered that he would share such a labor with me and I asked him if he would be willing to revise it and include the new information I had found which certainly changed a lot of our theories about the first two generations of Mantooths. I offered to retype it for him and he offered to let me revise it for him. This I have done and with his final approval, I hope to make it available to some libraries as well as family members.

My cousin, Maxine Johnston Douglas, and I have been working on a book together on our Johnston family and have included a large chapter on our Mantooth-Ford-Frazier branch but have not included the information on the western migration found here. It is my hope that I will someday be able to compile information on all the children of Thomas (Cherokee Tom) and Elizabeth Phariss Mantooth into a comprehensive book and include the information in it. The search has been exciting and extremely confusing. We may never be able to separate all of the grandchildren and assign them to the correct families. Please let me know if you have any information to add. I am eager to do a good job on this family. BSS

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