My great-grandparents, James Tipton and Nancy Short, had settled on Flat Gap near the Kentucky state line with their three small children when an incident happened that changed their lives forever.
James Tipton was in the field hoeing corn and Nancy was in the backyard washing clothes. As the two worked, each hidden from the other by the structure of the barn, James Tipton suddenly heard the terrifying cries of his wife coming from the yard. But by the time he ran from the field, it was too late. As he ran into the yard, he saw a small band of eight Indians entering into the edge of the woods, and his wife being dragged between two of the kidnappers.
James Tipton ran into the cabin and grabbed his rifle, but to his heartbreaking dismay, by the time he reached the spot where he saw his wife disappear, there wasn’t a sign of her or her kidnappers. James Tipton’s family and friends joined him in the search for his wife that lasted for months. When his family and friends eventually convinced him that the search was futile, he finally gave up and so continued on without his companion and began to rear his small children without their mother.
Then one day, about six years after his wife was kidnapped, James Tipton was returning to the cabin from the barn. He looked up and there, to his greatest surprise, was his wife Nancy with three small children, two walking by her side and an infant in her arms. If course it was a joyous reunion for the two.
The conclusion to the story is that Nancy Short was abducted by an Indian chief named Reid, and was held captive for almost six years. During this time, he took her for his wife and fathered her three children. When the young chief suddenly fell ill, he told his people if he would die, for them to let Nancy and her children go.
For a surety, this story is just folklore, but could this be where the story of Indian ancestry began? From the time I was a child, I was always told that I was part Indian. It is said that my grandfather, Daniel Short, who married my grandmother, Sarah Jane Brummitt, was one of the children fathered by the Indian chief, who was a Cherokee.