would grow up to marry THOMAS
birth to BRUCE EDWARD DURHAM who would marry MILDRED
LaFAYE PIPPIN. Mildred's parents were ELBERT LEE PIPPIN and MILDRED JANE
JOHNSON. Mildred's maternal line descends from the CHRISTOPHERS. This webpage is about the
ancestry and is set up in reverse order for the benefit of two of my
The genealogy of :
Indian Heritage is listed as found in research solely.
3rd Ggrandpts: James Thomas Johnson
& Easter Lavinia
Cherokee + part Blackfoot &
Elbert Lee Pippin (TN/AR)
+ part Blackfoot & Thomas Durham
Andrew Christopher (TN/AR)
Elizabeth LNU (Trail of Tears)
(KY or TN/AR)
George Washington Christopher
Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie"
Note: Since all
their children are believed to be full Cherokee, it should mean
that Lizzie's family is also Full Cherokee. Unknown.
& James Thomas Johnson
Blackfoot & Swedish
Easter's brother Andrew William Christopher (Cherokee) M. Emma
GGgrandparents: Elbert Lee Pippin
+ part Blackfoot
+ part Blackfoot & Thomas Durham
Your great grandparents on mom's side were Bruce Edward
Durham and Mildred LaFaye Pippin. This is about
your Great Grammy Mildred LaFaye
Pippin and her American Indian ancestors.
Your great great grandparents
on Mildred LaFaye's side
were her parents, Elbert Lee Pippin and Mildred Jane Johnson
Pippin. These 2nd great grandparents were born within a
few years of the turn of the century for the 1900s. Mildred Jane Johnson
(born May 28, 1912 in Oklahoma City) was
more than half Cherokee American Indian
and part Blackfoot Indian
Your Great Great Grandmother, Mildred
Jane Johnson Pippin
Mildred Jane Johnson Pippin was the
daughter of James Thomas Johnson, who is believed to be 1/4 Blackfoot Indian
plus Swedish, and his
full-blooded Cherokee American Indian wife,
Easter Lavinia Christopher
your 3rd great grandparents. Easter Lavinia's mother
walked the Trail of Tears in 1838-1839.
Jane was one of 16 children! She had a brother, Noble Doc
Johnson, who I learned from a cousin descendant was a
sharecropper and as a child he picked 600 lbs a day of
cotton. Mildred and Nobel's family moved by covered wagon
to and from Texas and Arkansas, but most of the time they were
residents of Arkansas. At one time the family lived on a
houseboat and just two weeks after they moved, the houseboat
sank because the children had been picking off the tar which
held the boat together. Why would they want the tar?
They used it as chewing gum! Nobel married Sibyl Louise and they
were wedded 59 years. He died at age 95. Mildred lived to
be 87. See
Obituary of Nobel Doc Johnson for more details; provided
through the work of
Cheryl Zeimer on Ancestry.com.
Your great, great granddad Elbert Lee Pippin was born
October 6th 1909
in TN. By the 1920 census, he was living in Fannin TX and
he ultimately died in Rogers, AR. Elbert married his
bride Mildred Jane Johnson in 1928 at _________.
1940 GGrandmother Mildred and GGrandad Elbert lived at 1017 Fern
Street in Wichita KS, and by then he was 30 and she was 28.
They lived in a home which was not a farm, but it may well have
been a multi-family dwelling such as apartments. GGrandad
Elbert only completed his 1st year of high school, but Mildred
stopped after the 7th grade. According to his census he was born
in OK and she in TX! When I looked at the 1920 Census,
Elbert was born in Tennessee. Three daughters were living
with them: Mildred who was 10; Wanda D. who was 6; and
Norma J. who was just 4. All their daughters were born in
Buried at Elm Springs Cemetery in Elm Springs Arkansas
The story of your 3rd Great Grandmother Easter
THE CHRISTOPHER ANCESTRY OF YOUR
Great, Great, Great
Easter Lavinia Christopher Johnson
3rd Great Grammy,
Lavinia, and her siblings were all full blooded
Easter is such an unusual name, to me.
Anyway, Easter was born on May 8th in 1881 in AR.
Easter married James Thomas Johnson,
December 20, 1896 in Garrett, Ellis County, TX. Jim was
born on April 15, 1876 in Huntsville, AL. In 1930 Jim and
Easter lived in Cheyenne, Roger Mills, OK. She lived till
November 24 1966; she died in Tulare, CA. Both Jim
(1876-1965 died in Cassville, MO)and Easter are buried back in AR in the Elm
Springs Cemetery. This family liked to move around, I
guess! Easter Lavinia
Easter had a sister, Sarah Annie Christopher
would be your 3rd Great Grandaunt. "Annie" was born in
1886 on May 8th in
Little Rock, Arkansas
per her SSDI. She is
younger than Easter by about 5 years. Annie married
William Frederick "Fred" Clark on July 27th, 1901 in
Manchester, Red River, Texas. Some
say he was part Mohawk Indian. Annie had
a son Aria Allen
"Slim" Clark, a daughter Wilamea Clark, both of
whom are now passed away
and a daughter Elizabeth "Bessie Lila" Clark. Annie died on Christmas Eve
in 1978 in Glendale, Arizona, decades after her husband Fred
who died following World War II in 1947. Although there are
many siblings for Easter Lavinia, I mention Annie, because
of the following picture of the sisters! I also
found the picture of brother, George Madison Christopher
and Annie's husband Fred below. I
know very little about George Madison who very much looks
like a Native American.
George Madison Christopher
your 5th Great Grand Uncle
Easter Lavinia (left) and Annie
(right) in the 1940s.
This is George Madison Christopher (tall),
Easter Lavinia, and
who are all siblings, along with Fred who is Annie's husband.
Plot Section 3 Row 30 Elm Spring Cemetery in
Elm Springs, Washington County, AR
Easter's Parents are George
Washington Christopher and his wife,
who are your 4th Great Grandparents
Lizzie is the daughter of Lawson and Lavina Cox Smith
(Native American Line)
Lizzie Smith is your 4th Great
Grandma, and George, your 4th Great Grandpa.
AMERICAN INDIAN ANCESTRY:
dad George Washington Christopher was a full blooded
American Cherokee Indian
and he certainly
does look it in this picture to the left. George
delivered mail via horseback on his route
from Searcy to Little Rock, Arkansas.
George braided his hair and wore a leather
band around his head. He also made
American Indian pottery which he would then
sell by the roadside.
In their later years, George and
moved closer to daughter Easter Lavinia's
family. Their mode of transportation?
Covered wagons! George then helped
farm for several years.
George married his first wife, Mary
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Smith in 1870 when he
was 17 years old and she was 14.
By the way, Lizzie's
parents were Lawson Smith and
Lavinia Cox Crouch (widow).
Lawson and Lavinia are your 5th great
grandparents on that branch.
first child of Lizzie and George (to my knowledge) was Andrew
who was born May 11, 1868 This
would make George around 21 and Lizzie about
Lizzie died in 1908. He married his second
wife, Peggy Lou Beaty around 1912.
George died in Ft. Towsen, Oklahoma on the
30th of March in 1934, and he is buried at
Ft. Towson/Doaksville Cemetery (Plot I 7
Cherokees, as well as many other American
Indians, were not inclined to declare their
America Indian heritage when they were off any reservation
lands. It is one of the reasons that
the research is so difficult. Here is
an example of the 1880 census listing your
Cherokee ancestors as "White."
1880 Census Van Buren Union AR Dist 501 For George and Lizzie
Christopher and children:
Living with the George Christopher
family is Seller Smith (Priscilla
sister and your 4th GG Aunt.
Seller (first name) is 22 and was also
born in AR as a daughter of Lawson
and Lavina Smith.
your 4th GGdad, is 27
(which agrees with the information
above), a "White" Male, a farmer,
and was born in Arkansas to his parents
were were both born in Tennessee.
your 4th GGmom, is
24, a "White" female,
and a wife keeping house. She and
her parents are all listed as born in "Arkansas"
contrary to other sources showing her
parents were born in NC and IN.
Andrew William Christopher, your 5th GGuncle is 8, a
"White" male from Arkansas.
Interestingly enough, Andrew's grave
lists his birth as 1868 which would make
him about 12!
married 3x. This is wife Rachel
Wilson Christopher with child Essie
Christopher (dau. of Ora Cross
Christopher) leaning against Rachel. Ora
died about 1906 in TX and Essie about
1910 in OK.
Molley, your 5th GGaunt is just 2, a "White"
female from AR.
George Madison Christopher, your 5th GGuncle
is almost 6 months old, having been born
in AR also.
From Deb Greant: "Seller" Smith who was
living with the George Christopher family is
Priscilla, daughter of Lawson and Lavina
Smith, and twin sister of Jacob. In 1870
their parents had died so 12-year-old "Scilla"
and her twin Jacob were living with my
great-grandparents Jones and Kizziah Smith
and their baby daughter Lavina (page 3 HH18
Family 18) in Holley, Van Buren, Arkansas.
Just down the page HH 25 is Esther
Christopher and family, George, Nancy, Mary,
Susan and Elizabeth, and continuing on 26
Christopher, Alfred, Nancy and two year old
Yet to be born are the following:
Easter Lavinia is not born till
1881, so she is not listed in this
Dolphas Thomas "Doss" Christopher
will be b. 3/31/1882 in Stonewall AR.
Lottie Christopher in 1884.
Sarah "Annie" Christopher in 1886.
(Annie in above pics with Easter
Mary Elizabeth Christopher in
8 Mar 1892 in Paris TX.
Obviously this is a large family!
Washington Christopher's Parents
(and Easter Lavinia's Grandparents) are Andrew Christopher
and his wife Easter
who are your 5th Great
Easter Elizabeth was
on the Trail of Tears with her parents and
siblings in 1838-1839. She would have
been about 14 years old then. How
A distant cousin of yours, Cheryl Francis Ziemer,
relays the basis for the following story on
her Ancesty.com family tree as told to her by LaQuita
Adams, a family member:
Your 5th Great Grandmother was born in
1825 in KY or TN. Easter Elizabeth was
a full-blooded Cherokee Indian
Some family claim that Easter Elizabeth
met Andrew Christopher when she walked the Trail of
Tears. One trail crossed Northern Van
Buren County near Andrew's boyhood home.
Easter Elizabeth walked the trail of tears
with her parents and she
stopped in Arkansas and never went on to
Many of her siblings did go on to Oklahoma as
encouraged by the government in those days.
Easter Elizabeth appears to have lived
in Holley in Van Buren County, Arkansas
in 1879, but she died after 1880 in
Shirley, Van Buren County, Arkansas.
Tradition says that the family members
buried Easter Elizabeth's body just outside
the Settlement Cemetery in Shirley, Van Buren County,
AR. This burial
was done at night because American Indians
were not welcomed inside the cemetery.
From the looks of this gravestone, it
was placed many years after her death,
within the Settlement Cemetery, in her
honor and memory.
Andrew, per Cheryl's family stories, was a redheaded
man whose father supposedly came to America
from Ireland or Scotland.
This is unexpected since Easter is
allegedly full-blooded Cherokee. Andrew was a
trapper. He may have married Easter,
or he may have just lived with her, but the
gravestone ultimately placed in Settlement
Cemetery for her lists her full name as
Easter Christopher. Somewhere along
the line I picked up that they married
in 1840, but I do not have it sourced.
I also have it in my tree that Andrew
and Easter Elizabeth's first child was a
daughter named Jane Christopher, born in
1841 in Van Buren County, Arkansas.
Their 6th child would be your 4th Great
Grandpa George Washington Christopher.
The above gravestone notes that
Easter Elizabeth Christopher died AFTER 1880. Settlement
Cemetery is in Shirley, Van Buren County,
Arkansas. Now, if this story were
true, then Easter Elizabeth's children
would only be half Cherokee with Andrew
having Irish or Scottish parentage.
However, the web is full of indications
that he was also Cherokee. On the
indian rolls, there are Christophers
listed, so it is possible that he too
was full-blooded Cherokee, living off
the reservation for some time, perhaps
his entire life.
Perhaps some kind
readers of this website will share their
INSIGHT on the history of Easter
Elizabeth and Andrew Christopher, or
Let's exchange information....
Mildred Jane Johnson Pippin
4th Great Granddad
George and Lizzie Christopher's
daughter Annie filed for SS
and named them as her parents.
California Death Index
for Easter Christopher Johnson
your 5th Great Grand Uncle
William Frederick FRED Clark
Annie and Fred's son:
Aria Allen "Slem" Clark
Gravestone of Aria and his wife Inez
Gravestone of Andrew William Christopher and his wife Jinnie
Lela Clawson in Friendship Cem., Minco, Grady Co., OK