Our History

We have followed the movement of the Sizemores from the early 1700’s up until the early 1900’s and the filing of more than 2,200 Eastern Cherokee Applications filed by Sizemore descendants. Despite those Eastern Cherokee Applications, our research has found is that we are a Siouan people who migrated here from the Ohio River Valley around 1100 AD. When you research history you find our people have gone by many names. Some of these names include, Esaw, Yesa, Yesah, Tutelo, Catawba, and Saponi. The evidence tells us the Sizemores were Tutelo, and that they were part of the Catawba Confederacy. We have been closely aligned with the Catawba, Saponi, Saura, Keyauwee, Occaneechi and a few others for centuries.

The Catawba and their confederates were among the Siouan speaking tribes of the Piedmont area of the Carolina’s at the time of the first European contacts. What is known is based largely on the writings of John Lawson, who explored the Piedmont territory and visited the Catawba in 1701. The Catawba Nation or Confederacy was actually a military alliance of several Siouan tribes and remnants of tribes or bands decimated by war and disease, which joined the Catawba.

From the early 1700’s and Fort Christanna the story of the Catawba, Tutelo, Saponi and others is so closely tied that to separate their stories is very hard. They suffered the same hardships, disease, wars, shared customs and traditions, and even death and decimation. Near the end of the 1700’s with numbers dwindled, political riffs, they began to separate and move toward the frontier to try to live out their lives in peace and to be able to carry on their traditions, beliefs, culture. It was at this time that some of the Sizemores, Riddles, Ayers, Shepherds, and Collins and etc. moved back into the far northwestern mountains of North Carolina along the New River. It wasn’t new to them though for this was the home of the Tutelo back in the late 1600’s. This river has been used for centuries by our people in many ways including being used as a mode of transportation, trade, as well as a source of food and water The New River is a part of our history. Here the descendants of the Sizemores, Ayers, Shepherds and other Native American families remain till this day.

4 Replies to “Our History”

  1. My great grandfather was Robert lee Sizemore. He moved from tazewell county to Pocahontas Co WV . We have a family tree going back to Ned Sizemore. Was he part of this group?

  2. My grandmother was Nebraska sizemores daughter. Marie sizemore.. we too had the same picture of the sizemores that the lady said her 102 year old dad had.

  3. I am a descendant of John Collins, he was at ft christianna va, his grandson Old Thomas Collins of Flatt River is my 5th Great Grandpa….Lots of Collins went over into KY and VA and WV to work the Coal Mines….We have never forgotten who or what we were….In NC we are listed as Other or Mullato,,,by the time we get to KY we are white…..We are Native….The Collins are Saponi who married in with other tribes.

  4. Yes,
    The Sizemores trace back to George ‘ALL’ Sizemore in Halifax Co, VA, to Wilkes Co, NC . George’s mother (full Cree Indian) named him All, because he was the ‘Chief of All” the tribe. During the 1830’s the Sizemores refused to go to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears ordered by Pres. Andrew Jackson and moved to western VA & KY. My family (Longs) became intertwined with Sizemore DNA in 1841 w/o marriage by either Owen or Benjamin Sizemore in Piney Creek, Ashe County. NC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *