Richard Bark Foreman – My Cherokee Ancestor

To the Cherokee Committee under the Treaty of 1835

The undersigned is desirous of becoming a citizen of the United States, and respectfully solicits the Committee to grant him privileges of Citizenship.

Cherokee Agency East
February 26, 1838
Richard, or Bark Foreman (x mark)

J. E. Hetzel(?)

Bark Foreman has this day been recommended by the Committee as being fully competent to become a citizen of the U. States.  He having exemplified his unwillingness to go to the West.

Cherokee Agency
February 26, 1838

J. W. Bell
Precinct Pro Tem

National Archives
Copy E 222
Cherokee Removal Record


My father never spoke of his Cherokee ancestry and if not for the fact that I discovered the stub of an allotment check from the Eastern Cherokee Nation in my mother’s effects, I would have never known.  My dad was not one to talk about himself; he was interested in others and was actually a very social fella.  He worked hard, he had a great sense of humor (albeit a little corny at times), loved his family, and was just My Dad.

Well, after I found the check stub, I began doing a little research about my father’s lineage.  One fascinating fact after another began emerging, not the least of which was the Cherokee ancestry.

Richard Bark Foreman [OO-YA-LU-GI] (The Cherokee Physician), was my father’s g-g-g-g grandfather, born about 1779.  His father, Scotsman John Anthony Foreman, was an Indian trader  (born probably in Scotland whose family settled in Pennsylvania).  His mother was a Cherokee of the Paint Clan:  Susie Gourd “Kah-tah-yah” /Gourd (Rattling-gourd).

My ancestor’s family traveled “The Trail of Tears” from Georgia to Oklahoma, about which much has been written.

An interesting fact (to me – regarding my maternal lineage) is that one of the attorneys representing the Cherokee nation in the Treaty of 1835 and a subsequent law suit against the State of Georgia, was William Young Hansell, who is in my Sammon family.  Thus, I see my mother and my father’s ‘link’ a hundred years before they met one another.

It was fate!

I corresponded with a Foreman researcher (distant cousin) who had a copy of Richard Bark Foreman’s book (written by James W. Mahoney as dictated/told by Richard Bark Foreman).

On the “photo blog” Life in Seguin and Other Aimless Musings is posted a copy of the frontispiece of the book.


About hopeseguin

Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

Posted on June 1, 2009, in family, genealogy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Richard Bark Foreman was my GGG
    Grandfather (through my grandfather). His sister Catherine was my GGGG Grandmother (through my grandmother).Both of them are children of John Anthony Foreman and Susie Rattlinggourd, making me a double descendant. Somewhere along the lines we are cousins through Richard, aka Dr. Bark Foreman, aka The Cherokee Physician. His book is available as a reprint through the gift shop at Tahlequah in the CNW, and I have also seen it online. I personally sent a link to it to the Georgia archives. You need to buy yourself a copy while it is still available if it is not out of print again. I bought one for myself and each of my siblings several years ago. It is an amazing book. At one point in time I wrote to someone who was going to do some research on the formulas for part of her college dissertation, but she evidently was not interested in corresponding with relatives, as I never heard back. It would have been fun to know what might have turned up. The herbal remedies are not the only thing that is so interesting (don’t try most of them at home!). I love the philosophic chapters, and you would too. Let me know if you find it.

    • It has been some time since I’ve checked this blog – and apologize for just now (for heaven’s sake) really reading some of these comments. I did find a copy of the book online. Thank you for your comment and mention of the book.

  2. Joan Wakefield Lovelace

    My sister Wilma Wakefield Millsaps has traced our family back to Susie Bark. I am looking for more information on Susie and the Paint Clan and also whether whe was a Beloved Woman. Wilma has registered our family tree at the Graham County Courthouse in Robbinsville, NC. Finding out more about ancestors may help explain the connection I feel to the Cherokee people.

  3. Can anyone tell me how many copies of the “Cherokee Physician” 1846 first edition printed at the Gazette Office there were? I can only find information that it was the first book printed by the ‘Gazette”.

    I know there are 3 1846 copies known at known libraries…My family has owned an 1846 copy since 1955.
    Thank you for any response. Barbara Byron, CA

  4. Carolyn Ellertson

    I can’t tell if you are trying to establish a value, find more, or what with regard to the first editions, but there are many reprints out there with the same information. An original would be a special treasure, of course, but I was thrilled to have ANY kind of copy. Carolyn

  5. My Name is Rhonda Rader and I am a descendant of Polly Bigby and David Taylor and I am looking for more information and trying to find a way to reach Wilma Millsaps

    • Rhonda, I am always pleased to hear from another Foreman researcher. Unfortunately, I don’t have an address for Wilma Millsaps.

      It has been several years since I’ve done any ‘active’ research on this family. Will check to see if I have anything about Polly Bigby and David Taylor.

      Thank you for your comment.

  6. Carolyn Ellertson

    Rhonda: Wilma is somewhat reclusive, and guards her information fiercely, but there is little that is not available elsewhere these days (see above note from Joan Wakefield as well as other sources on the net, including my own.). What in particular are you looking for? Wilma’s photos of our family were posted on the internet as “My Cherokee Kin” several years back. It is a thrill to see photos of many of the family. They came from tin types passed down through the family, and she was kind enough to share them..Personally, I will never forget the first time I saw them! I, too, am a direct descendant of Mary Ann Bigby and David Taylor by two separate lines.Richard Bark Foreman on my grandfather’s side, and his sister Catherine Foreman on my grandmother’s side..they were distant cousins, and it was amazing to find they both went back to John Anthony Foreman and Susie Rattlinggourd..Good luck with your hunt..

  7. Lynne (McJunkin) McCown

    I don’t know if you are checking this bolg, it seems a long time since it was commented on. I recently found my relationship to Bark Foreman. Thadeus Turk McJunkin was the son of Elizabeth Foreman and Samual McJunkin. I would love to know more. I would love to be able to find some pictures. My Grandfather, Charles McJunkin was the son of Sherman who’s father was Thadeus.

    • Carolyn Ellertson

      Lynne: I think I have a picture of Thadeus that was shared by other researchers a few years back, but can’t lay hands on it just now. I will, after I dig out from our still in progress move.. I am also curious about your last name of McCown, as my Great Grandfather, John Eli Ingram who married Mary Catherine Whitaker of NC served under an officer of that name in the civil war. When it comes to genealogy in that time, the apples didn’t fall far from the tree, and half the people from a given area were related. Some never saw anyplace farther than 25 miles away from where they were born.. Maybe there is a connection there as well. Have you ever visited the site? Most of the civil war soldiers from western NC served in it, and it has the rosters. Check it out..

  8. Janet Foreman-Green

    Hello, I too, am a descendant of Dr Richard “Bark” Foreman (and his wife, Rachel Seabolt). He is my GrGreat Grandfather. I’ve bought his book numerous times throughout the years as gifts for other family members! You can still get it at the Gift Shop in Talequah as well as EBay, Amazon and other places on line. And you can also download it online for FREE!

    Enjoying your blogs!

    • Carolyn Ellertson

      Janet: I think we spoke by telephone many years back now, but correct me if I am wrong. Richard and Rachel were my GG Grandparents through their daughter Susan Louella who married as a third husband John Clark Cleveland. I am afraid I got too many greats listed in a post or two. Two “greats” is just right. The son of Susan Louella (Foreman) Cleveland was Bark Foreman Cleveland who married Cornelia Christine Ingram and were my grandparents who lived in Bluejacket, Oklahoma and buried there. She was born in Cherokee County, NC, and was relocated to Oklahoma in 1881 with her parents under a voluntary government removal. My late Uncle, Ingram Cleveland, said they were brought their by train. I have found her listed on that roll as age four.

      I have been to Susan and John C. Cleveland’s graves at Oaks, OK on the same questing trip a decade ago, but it was a special trip we have not been able to repeat. Also to the Cleveland cabin at Timber Hill in Craig County. Bark and Cornelia’s son Mason Foreman Cleveland was my father, who died young – way out west in the Oregon timber country, (to which they had recently relocated from Oklahoma) leaving a wife, three living children (my siblings) and me in the hopper. I was born post humously six months after his death. Other responsibilities have precluded my being as proactive as I would have liked in my family research, but my husband and I are just relocated to another state, and as soon as the dust settles, I hope to resume my genealogical pursuits. They have long, cold, winters here, and it will be a great way to keep up, and i will welcome some sharing with everyone and reciprocity of information of which I have much, if I can just get it resurrected and organized. Right now, can’t find anything after moving for the first time in 14 years! If Richard and Rachael are your GG Grandparents as well, I am assuming we are about the same age. I am on the west coast, so a long way from their last resting places, so I am seeking photographs of them and/or their resting places. We have other relatives out there, and if we all coordinate, we can get a better concensus of their lives, which I would love. From what I have found, they were much loved, which makes me proud and happy to be one of their descendants. His book alone speaks volumes about him (no pun intended..). Contact me any time. Carolyn

  9. Christopher Rowan

    I am descended from Richard Bark Foreman as well. He had an illegitimate daughter. She and her mother moved to Tennessee. Foreman’s daughter moved to Tennessee where she married into the McJunkin family. Her granddaughter, Pearl Malice (Beach) Evans was my great grandmother.

    • Thank you for your comment. I know of the McJunkin connection; must search my files [have not done any research in ever so long].

      Thank you for this information!

      • Carolyn Ellertson

        So like…Hope.. where in the world HAVE you been? You are missing some great connections and interesting facts and fun people! Me too.. I have missed talking to people with the same history as myself. Let’s all get back on the wagon! Somewhere I have a picture of Thadeus McJunkin which was shared by one of our fellow researchers and cousins. After I have finished moving into my house and the dust settles, I will find it for Janet and the rest of you. I imagine it was one of Wilma’s originally. There are certain people who have a corner on the best out there, and we love and thank them for their generosity. How else can we know who we are? Thank you everyone! The more we share, the more we gain, and finding new cousins is SO fun! I’ve met many, and we still communicate.

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