Kentucky Indian Tribes

Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee claimed some land in southeastern Kentucky and traces of culture of Cherokee type are said to be found in archeological remains along the upper course of the Cumberland, but no permanent Cherokee settlement is known to have existed in historic times within this State.

Chickasaw Indians. The westernmost end of Kentucky was claimed by the Chickasaw, and at a very early period they had a settlement on the lower course of Tennessee River, either in Kentucky or Tennessee.

Mosopelea Indians. This tribe may have lived within the boundaries of Kentucky for a brief time, perhaps at the mouth of the Cumberland River, when they were on their way from Ohio to the lower Mississippi.

Shawnee Indians. The Shawnee had more to do with Kentucky in early times than any other tribe, but maintained few villages in the State for a long period. Their more permanent settlements were farther south about Nashville. At one Shawnee town, located for a short time near Lexington, Ky., the noted Shawnee chief, Blackhoof, was born. The tribe crossed and recrossed the State several times in its history and used it still more frequently as a hunting ground.

Yuchi Indians. According to some early maps, the Yuchi had a town in this State on a river which appears to be identical with Green River.

Hunting bands of Illinois, Miami, Iroquois, and Delaware at times visited Kentucky, but these tribes can hardly be said to have played much of a part in Kentucky history. (See New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Illinois.)


Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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9 thoughts on “Kentucky Indian Tribes”

  1. Mary Hammond/Doan

    I am looking for the name of an Indian woman who married (or lived with ) my great great great grandfather in or around Paducah Kentucky. They had several children and I understand that the surname of them all was either Hammond, or Hammonds.

  2. I have been trying to find my native ancestors. I would appreciate any help. My family members are named:
    ” Red Blossom” or Elizabeth Tucker birth 1861 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. She married James Ervin Taylor.
    Another is Ida Mae Martin from Casey County, Kentucky and married James Harvey Snow.

  3. For those of you who think you have Cherokee ancestors, there is a team of genealogists on Facebook that will trace your ancestry to see where it leads. However, to begin with you have to provide them with your parent’s and grandparents place and dates of birth/death. Here is a link to the site

  4. I have been told my whole life that my great-grandmother is a full blooded Cherokee from mercer county Kentucky. She was born in 1894. Where would I find more records on her? I cannot seem to find anything out.

  5. I search of greatgrandmother birth ect I,v hit wall I know she was born in tenn settle in ky born 1885 she was indian

  6. I am researching my geneology and have hit a wall. how would i go about locating my great grandfathers cherokee records. i am unsure of the birthdate. i am assuming between 1850-1880. i know that he lived in Kentucky virginia area

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