Ancestry Of Elias Plummer Sanders

Updated 9-22-2004


was born 1775 in North Carolina, and died 1865 in Hart County Georgia. He was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian that was adopted by a Sanders family in Ga. Elias married MARY CARTER in 1795, daughter of Thomas Carter.  Mary was born abt. 1775 and died abt. 1850-1860. Elias and Mary are both buried in Hart County.

Elias Parents:
Elias Sanders was born Elias Plummer and was orphaned as a minor child and was adopted by a Sanders family in Georgia. We have proven that his biological parents last name was Plummer. To date we have not been able to 'prove" info on his Plummer family or the Sanders family that adopted him.

Indian Heritage:
A number of people have published information on the Internet stating Elias was an "Indian from the Plumer or Plummer Indian Tribe". Others have said that it was his wife Mary Carter that was Indian.

The source of the Plumer/Plummer Indian myth probably originated from the book "The History Of Hart County Georgia" by John William Baker (see excerpt). In this book Baker states that Elias Sanders (Jr.) father was "thought to be British, his mother, an Indian woman from the Plumer Tribe". This error has caused a lot of head scratching by researchers. I have found a number of posts on genealogy websites asking for information on the "Plumer or Plummer Indian tribe", so I am not the only one that has spent time trying to find this Indian tribe!.

What little we do know about Elias Sanders Sr. Indian heritage comes from documentation that was part of a Federal Court case. In 1902 the Cherokee Nation filed suit against the United States Government concerning grievances arising out of treaties. On May 18, 1905, the court decided in favor of the Eastern Cherokees and more than $1 million was appropriated by Congress for use in payment of these claims. Guion Miller was appointed as a Special commissioner of the Court of Claims.

The Guion Miller Rolls(1) are the official records of applications by descendants of The Cherokee Indian Tribe claiming compensation. In these papers we find that two of Elias grandchildren made application:

1. Lewis Marion Sanders Jr (son of Lewis Sanders & Prude Miller), wife's name is Lettie. He lists his chil-dren as JB, Henry, Andy, Lessie, Margarette, his grandfather as Elias & grandmother as Mary, both born in N.C. He says "Elias Sanders a Cherokee Indian was my grandfather on my fathers' side." His state-ments were attested to by W. R. Pullian and A. J. White.
2. Mrs. Rhoda (Sanders) Lattay, the daughter of Calvin P. Sanders (son of Elias Sanders Sr). Mrs. Lattay stated "I claim through my grandfather a Cherokee Indian by the name of Elias Plummer who was adopted by the Sanders".

The applications for compensation were disallowed because they could not demonstrate that Elias was a party to a treaty nor could they "prove" that he was a member of an Indian tribe. However, that does not mean that he was not of Indian ancestry. Records from the 1775 time period may no longer exist so 'proof' of birth and other records could have been impossible.

Land Record for Elias
"We have in our possession, from the Secretary of the State, a certified copy of a plot of land containing 250 acres, granted to Elias Sanders in 1808, bounded on the north by Lightwood Log Creek, which stream at that time was the line between Elbert and Franklin counties' east by lands of Henry Sanders; south by vacant lands and west by lands of Johnathon Payne, all of said described tract lying in Elbert (now Hart) county, and on which is located the site of the old home and cemetery of the Sander's family." (Source: "History Of Hart County" by John William Baker).

(1) Guion Miller Cherokee Rolls
The Cherokee Nation filed suit in 1902 concerning grievances arising out of treaties with the Federal Government.  These suits were:

1.    The Cherokee Nation v. The United States, General-Jurisdiction Case No. Z3199,
2.    The Eastern and Emigrant Cherokees v. the United States, General-Jurisdiction case No.23212.
3.    The Eastern Cherokees v. The United States, General-Jurisdiction Case No. 23214.

Guion Miller was the Special Commissioner fror the Court of Claims.  He kept the records for all of the applications for compensation that were filed. In total 45,878 applications were processed representing about 90,000 individuals. The full Guion Miller record consists of 348 rolls of microfilm.

(2) Information on the Guion Miller Rolls regarding Elias Sanders ancestry furnished by Virginia Hale.