Nacogdoches, Rusk Cos. TX, Amite? Co. MS: The Story of JOHN BERRYHILL and ELIZABETH DERRISAW and Their Descendants
Elizabeth (Self) Bridges died in Van Zandt County, Texas, in 1871, leaving her
four little girls orphans. The youngest, Lucy, was to become the mother of my
dad, Jesse James Nolen.
Okmulgee, Indian Territory 1896
Statement of BETTIE MCCAUGHAN after being duly sworn ---
What is your name? Bettie McCaughan. Where do you live? Checotah. In what nation
is Checotah situated? In the Creek Nation. What was your mother's name?
ELIZABETH SELF. Was that her maiden name? Yes sir. My grandmother was a
BERRYHILL. What nationality was your father? He was not an Indian. I base my
claim to citizenship from my mother. Did your mother have any sisters or
brothers? She had two brothers. Who were they? Buck Self and John Self. So you
are a descendant of a sister of Buck and John Self? Yes sir. How much Indian
blood had your mother? She had 1/4. How much Indian blood do you think you have?
1/8. My mother had two sisters that I know of and don't know whether she had any
more or not. Are they alive? One is alive and other one is dead. Where does your
mother's sister live? In Texas. How many children have you. 3. How many sisters
have you? I have two, one of them is here and the other one is in Texas. What
are their names? LUCY NOLEN and LOUISA LASATER. Which one is present? LUCY
NOLEN. Has she any children? SUSAN, BOB, JESSIE, SAM and BILLY. What are the
names of your children? TOM, NELLIE and MAMIE. Are you and Lucy full sisters?
Yes sir. Have you any grand children? No neither of us have any grand children.
W. B. SELF being duly sworn as follows:
Do you know BETTY MCCAUGHAN and LUCY NOLEN? They are both nieces of mine. Their
mother was born in this nation this side of the Ark. River about 5 or 6 miles
from where Muskogee now stands. What was their mother's name? Elizabeth. Were
these their only children? No there is another sister in Texas but I have
forgotten her name. Is she married and got children? She is married and has
children but I don't know how many. Have Lucy and Bettie any children? Yes. How
many has each? One has 3 and I wont be positive but I think the other has four
or five. How much Indian blood have Lucy and Bettie? They are 1/8. Where is your
home? 20 or 20 odd miles from here - 10 miles S.E. of Sapulpa. What is the ages
of Bettie and Lucy? One is 35-36 and the other is younger about 32 or 34. Is
their mother living? No she is dead. Where are applicants living? Checotah.
TOBI BERRYHILL being duly sworn testified as follows:
ELIZABETH SELF was a citizen of the Muskogee Nation. She was a Creek on her
mother's side. Did you know Elizabeth? I Never saw her. There were BUCK OR W. B. SELF, JOHN
SELF AND LUCINDA SELF all brothers and sisters. Do you know these applicants? I
know them now. My father used to correspond with these people before he died and
I was acquainted with them thru this correspondence when they came here. Did
Elizabeth live in the Creek Nation? She was born in the Creek Nation and moved
to La. [Louisiana]. And where was Buck Self? He also lived here around about the
Agency and went away. I think to La. Then you don’t know that these are the
children of Elizabeth? No I would not say for certain because I was not present
when they were born - putting what I have always heard about them in the
correspondence I spoke of and what they told me when they came have reason to
believe they are the same children and are children of Elizabeth.
SOLOMON MCINTOSH being duly sworn:
I knew Buck Self’s sister. What was her name? Mahala. Where was she born? She was
born in the Old Country. Was she the only sister Buck Self had? There were 3 of
them. I don't know their names. Did you know Elizabeth? I believe one of them
was name Elizabeth. It has been so long I have forgot their names. There were
ELIZABETH, SALLIE AND MAHALA. I knew them. Was Elizabeth’s mother Indian? She was
part Indian. How much Indian blood had Elizabeth? I don’t know how much but she
was of Creek blood. Did she have any children? No she had none then. Did you
ever hear that she had any children? No she went away from here and I never
heard. Then you don’t know whether these are children of hers or not? No.
Susan, to Indian Territory. When he was five years old his mother married again
and the family moved to Tuskahoma, Indian Territory. Robert probably attended
school in Tuskahoma.
Robert "Bob" Ellison McCoy is on the Final Rolls of the Creek Nation as a
citizen by blood. Bob received one hundred and sixty acres of land as his Creek
Land Allotment. I don't know where Bob's land was located, but it was probably
in McIntosh County near Checotah or Eufaula.
Bob McCoy was married and divorced by 1910. I don't know his first wife's name,
but Bob's cousin, Ninon (McCaughan) Beck, said that Bob had a son, Claude McCoy,
and that Claude's mother was almost a full blood Choctaw Indian. The 1910 Census
shows that Bob was living with his mother, Lucy Nolen, in Checotah, Oklahoma,
and that he was divorced.
About 1911, Robert McCoy married Minnie Berry. Minnie was born in Missouri 27
September 1896. She was the daughter of Samuel and Frances (Doyle) Berry, both
born in Missouri.
Bob and Minnie McCoy settled in Checotah, Oklahoma, after their marriage. Bob
farmed in Checotah, Oklahoma, until 1940 when they moved to Glendora,
California. Bob McCoy died in Pomona, California, in 1953. He was buried in the
Oakdale Memorial Park Cemetery at Glendora, California. Minnie (Berry) McCoy
died in 1963. She was buried in the Oakdale Memorial Park Cemetery.
Robert Ellison "Bob" and Minnie L. (Berry) McCoy's children:
A. Beulah McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 3 July 1912. Beulah married
Roscoe West on 12 December 1931.
B. (twin) Pauline M. McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 25 July 1916. Pauline
married Raymond L. Stone 11 June 1933.
C. (twin) Irene L. McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 25 July 1916. Irene
married Joe Storm on 28 May 1934.
D. Cecil R. McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 5 December 1918. I don't know
who Cecil married. He died in 1970.
E. Edith McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 26 February 1923. Edith married
Gene Bartlett on 17 July 1939.
F. Betty McCoy was born in Checotah, Oklahoma, 23 January 1931. Betty married (-
Lucy Ellison (Bridges) McCoy's children by General Lee Nolen:
3. Jesse James Nolen was born in Tuskahoma, Indian Territory, 25 April 1889.
Jess grew up in Tuskahoma and attended the Tuskahoma Girls Academy at Tuskahoma,
as a day student. When Jess was eight years old, his father Lee Nolen died.
Jess was eleven years old when his mother married John G. Sividge. Jess
continued school at the Tuskahoma Academy and when he was a little older he
worked at the school before and after classes. Jess continued at the academy
until he graduated from the eighth grade. In those days an eighth grade
education was equal to a high school education. After graduating from these
schools, which only went through the eighth grade, you could receive a teaching
certificate. These were Indian schools and only students of Indian blood were
accepted. Jess had beautiful handwriting which was the envy of many people,
especially his children.
Jess Nolen was as much a prankster as any young man in those days. One Halloween
Jess and some of his friends dismantled a wagon and took it to the second floor
of the academy and reassembled it. Even though this was considered a harmless
prank in those days, the academy head master was angry and the boys were
punished, and of course, they were made to dismantle the wagon and take it to
the school yard and put it together again.
Jess Nolen loved to hunt and fish and he had all of the Kiamichi Mountains, in
the Choctaw Nation, in which to hunt and fish. Jess Nolen always loved the
Kiamichi Mountains and in his older years wanted to return there to die.
Jess Nolen received one hundred and sixty acres of land near Eufaula, Oklahoma,
as his Creek Indian Land allotment. After 1907, Jess's mother, Lucy, and his
stepfather, John Sividge, moved the family to Checotah, Oklahoma. Jess attended
school at Bacone University for a while. His mother, Lucy, was appointed
guardian of her and Lee Nolen's boys after Lee died. Jess' uncle John McCaughan
acted as Lucy's advisor and attorney. John McCaughan had a lot of influence on
Jess Nolen while he was growing up. Jess was very fond of his Uncle John and
Aunt Bet McCaughan. Lucy leased out the boy's land and received a portion of the
crops that was grown on the land.
I don't know when Jess sold his land, but I believe it was before he married.
Jess owned a shooting gallery, but because of the objection by his wife's
mother, of this type of business, Jess sold it either before or just after their