The Underwood Settlement

In the early 1800s, the United States government began a systematic effort to remove Indian tribes from the southeast. The Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, Seminole, and original Cherokee Nations—referred to as the "Five Civilized Tribes" by Anglo-European settlers in reference to the tribes' adoption of aspects of colonial culture—had been established as autonomous nations in the southeastern United States.

The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. The removal became known as "The Trail of Tears" where 4,000 Cherokee people died of cold, hunger, and disease on their way to the western lands.

The State of Mississippi was home to the Chickasaw, and Choctaw tribes, and home to Mary Underwood., and her children. They moved to Richmond County, North Carolina right before the Indian Removal Act was enacted. It was in Richmond, where she married James Russell. Their children migrated to Vigo County, Indiana in the early 1840's, and founded the "Underwood Settlement" in Linton Township.

The final Dawes Rolls were taken, starting in 1898, and ending in 1907. The Dawes Roll is a list of those members of the Five Civilized Tribes who were removed to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the 1800's and were living there during the above timeframe. Those listed, included members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek Tribes. Those who migrated to Indiana, were not included in the roll.

Instances of Underwood Settlement surnames listed in the Dawes Rolls
Surname Cherokee Chickasaw Choctaw Creek
Underwood 30 145 95 2
Russell 233 34 131 8
Bell 286 29 312 33
Allen 351 55 508 55
Batton 0 0 5 0
Manuel/Emanuel 6 1 16 63

Several descendants of Mary Underwood have taken DNA tests, and the majority of those tests indicate that they have Native American ancestry. While the DNA tests can indicate that the Native American gene is present, it can not ascertain which tribe the match is to. It should be noted that while only a few Batton's are included in the Dawes Rolls, the current Chief of the Choctaw Nation is a Batton.

There have been several stories printed about the Underwood Settlement, one of which appeared in a local newspaper, "Life on the Underwood Settlement"

Mary Underwood was born on 28 Jul 1788 in North Carolina. She is found in the 1810 US census for Richmond County, North Carolina as head of a household of 3. She died on 11 Nov 1872 in Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana. The maternal DNA (mtDNA) test results of 3 straight line matrilineal female descendants of Mary. is haplogroup H, which means that Mary's maternal ancestor was from western Europe. One tested as Haplogroup H, another as Haplogroup H1m, and the 3rd as Haplogroup H1m1. The difference in the individual test results can be attributed to the testing company.

Mary Underwood had the following children:

John Underwood was born on 18 Nov 1804 in Richmond County, North Carolina. He died on 16 Dec 1891 in Indiana. He married Louisa Kennihorn in Dec 1826 in North Carolina. She was born about 1802 in Virginia. She died on 02 Feb 1887 in Linton, Vigo County, Indiana. John is credited with the founding of the Underwood Settlement in Linton Township of Vigo County. John set aside an acre of ground to be used as a family cemetery, which is now known as the Underwood Cemetery.

JOHN UNDERWOOD, farmer, Pimento, was born in Richmond county, North Carolina, in November 1803, and when about twenty-three years old moved to Mississippi and there resided nine years. During his long life he has engaged entirely in farming; in fact, he has been a plow-boy since 1812. April 30, 1841, he moved to Vigo county, locating in Linton township, where he has lived since. At the close of the war he returned to North Carolina on a visit, and brought his aged mother back to Indiana with him. In December, 1826, he married, in North Carolina, Miss Louisa KENNIHORN, who is a native of Virginia, and has had a family of eleven children, only one of whom is now alive, Richard, who was born in this township, October 25, 1844. The youngest daughter died March 30, 1880. He owns over 100 acres of land, and has given a good deal of real estate away to his children, and has obtained all his property by his own hard work and energy. He is a prominent member of the Honey Creek Old Baptist church, and has been connected with that congregation for many years. In politics he is strongly republican.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley H.W. Beckwith - 1880 Linton Twp. - p. 439

Henry Underwood was born in 1805 in Richmond County, North Carolina. He married Sarah Underwood. She was born in 1815 in North Carolina.

Rhoda Underwood was born on 16 Sep 1809 in North Carolina. She died on 13 Apr 1872 in Vigo County, Indiana. She married Jeremiah Joseph Anderson, son of George Anderson and Morning Taborn, in 1827 in North Carolina. He was born on 26 Dec 1806 in North Carolina. He died on 17 May 1889 in Vigo County, Indiana.

James Russell was born about 1792 in North Carolina. He married Mary Underwood before 1820 in Richmond County, North Carolina. He is found in the 1820 US census for Richmond County, North Carolina as head of a household of 7. He is found in the 1830 Richmond County census, living next to his brother Major Russell. In the 1830 census, James is head of a household of 11. He died between 1860 and 1870 in Richmond County. The Lumbee Tribe has this bio on the Russell family:

RUSSELL The name Russell, apparently Lumbee, appears on Bladen tax lists of 1761, 1768, and 1769. Wm. Russell patented 130 acres east of Saddletree Swamp 20 Oct. 176l. Thomas Russell lived on five Mile Branch of Saddleltree Swamp in 1773 (Bladen County Deeds, 1738-1779, 419-420). Thomas Russle and Thomas Ivy sold land they jointly patented on Saddletree Swamp to Phillip Blount 27 Sept. 1787 (Deed Book A, 147-149). Thomas Russell lived near Thomas Butcher adjacent to a grant made to Augustin Willis 26 Nov. 1789 on Wilson's Great Branch (Deed Book B, 102). There were several land dealings with other Lumbees such as the sale of 100 acres by Major Russell to Edmond Revel 12 June 1790 for land east of Drounding creek and northeast of Jacob Swamp (Deed Book B, 185-186) adjacent to a 200 acre tract patented by Thomas Russell. There was a Joseph Russell who witnessed a deed in Robeson 13 Nov. 1792 (Deed Book C, 303- 304). The names James, Sampson, Thomas and William Russell appeared on Robeson deed records up to 1800 and later. The surname does not appear in the 1850 census of Robeson.

Excert from Britt9 by Morris F. Britt 2007

James Russell and Mary Underwood had the following 6 children:

Brinkley Russell was born on 17 Apr 1813 in Richmond, North Carolina. He died on 07 Nov 1906 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He married (1) Martha Capps. She was born on 01 Jul 1821 in North Carolina. She died on 13 May 1894 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He married (2) Anna Mariah Johnson, daughter of Momma Estell, on 24 Oct 1896 in Vigo, Indiana. She was born in Mar 1835 in Kentucky.

Anna Russell was born in 1816 in North Carolina. She died on 03 Oct 1874 in Vigo County, Indiana. She married Wiley Batton. He was born on 01 Apr 1812 in North Carolina. He died on 02 Feb 1909 in Vigo County, Indiana.

Walden Russell was born about 1825 in North Carolina. He died in Indiana. He married Sarah Green. She was born about 1830 in North Carolina.

Berry Russell was born in 1827 in North Carolina. He married Hannah Russell. She was born in 1827 in North Carolina.

Martha Russell was born in 1832 in North Carolina. She died on 01 Oct 1884 in Richmond County, North Carolina. She married Alexander Jackson on 19 Jan 1850 in Richmond, County North Carolina. He was born on 18 May 1825 in North Carolina. He died on 07 Sep 1886.

Elizabeth Russell was born in Sep 1833 in North Carolina. She married Daniel Jackson. He was born in 1828 in North Carolina. He died in Richmond, North Carolina.





The 1895 map of Linton Township shows the properties owned by John Underwood and his son Armstead, in dark blue. In light blue are the properties owned by Brinkley Russell and son John.

Wiley Batton was born on 1 Apr 1812 in North Carolina. He died on 2 Feb 1909 in Vigo County, Indiana. He married Anna Russell in Richmond County, North Carolina in about 1835. The Batton's and the Underwood's both come from traditional Choctaw Nation areas. The migration path that Wiley and Anna took coming to Indiana went thru Ohio first. Wiley married Nancy Patridge on 24 Nov 1864 in Vigo County, Indiana.

Wiley and Anna had the following children:

Daniel T. Batton was born on 07 Sep 1836 in Richmond County, North Carolina. He died on 30 Jan 1917 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He married (1) Rutha E. Bell, daughter of Henry J Bell and Helen Mariah Clark, on 19 Dec 1870 in Vigo County, Indiana. She was born about 1849 in Indiana. She died on 28 Oct 1875 in Vigo County, Indiana. He married (2) Malinda Hagel on 25 Feb 1889 in Vigo County, Indiana. She was born about 1829 in Virginia.

John Batton was born about 1841 in North Carolina.

Julia Ann Batton was born in 1843 in North Carolina. She married Bennett Stewart, son of Tazewell Stewart and Delana Harris, on 13 Mar 1862 in Vigo County, Indiana. He was born about 1841 in Indiana.

Martha Ellen Batton was born on 29 Jul 1845 in North Carolina. She died on 15 Jan 1931 in Vigo County, Indiana. She married (1) Marshall Harris, son of Eliza Harris, on 14 Nov 1861 in Vigo County, Indiana. He was born about 1833 in Indiana. He died on 18 Jun 1916 in Vigo County, Indiana. She married (2) Joseph Z. Bushnell, son of Benjamin Bushnell and Eliza Ann Beaty, on 28 Oct 1880 in Vigo County, Indiana. He was born on 27 Nov 1833 in Vigo County, Indiana. He died on 11 Feb 1911 in Vigo County, Indiana.

James W. Batton was born in 1848 in Ohio.

Joseph Batton was born on 10 Dec 1852 in Indiana. He died on 16 Feb 1930 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He married Rebecca Jane Pettiford, daughter of Isaac Pettiford and Mary Ann M. Larter, on 12 Feb 1874 in Vigo County, Indiana. She was born on 09 Jan 1843 in North Carolina. She died on 15 Dec 1943 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Mary Batton was born in 1857 in Indiana. She died about 1899 in Vigo County, Indiana. She married (1) William Woods on 13 Jul 1876 in Vigo County, Indiana. He was born about 1855 in Kokomo, Indiana. He died before 1905. She married (2) James Jasper, son of Alexander 'Sandy' Jasper and Edith Chandler, on 10 Sep 1885 in Vigo County, Indiana. He was born in 1854 in Lost Creek, Vigo, Indiana. He died on 27 Nov 1919 in Lost Creek, Vigo, Indiana.

Rhoda Batton was born in 1858 in Indiana. She married Simon Archer on 26 Sep 1885 in Vigo County, Indiana.

Wiley Batton and Nancy Patridge had the following child:

John Wesley Batton was born on 21 Aug 1866 in Vigo County, Indiana. He died on 16 Mar 1946 in Vigo County, Indiana. He married (1) Jennett Powell, daughter of Eaton Powell and Angeline Bass, on 14 Oct 1886 in Vigo County, Indiana. She was born in 1862 in Indiana. He married (2) Cory A Roberts, daughter of Aurelius Roberts and Fannie E Brown, on 05 Jun 1898 in Vigo County, Indiana. She was born in Mar 1880 in Indiana. He married (3) Annie Rosa McCurdy, daughter of William McCurdy and Nancy Mitchum, on 24 Dec 1908 in Vigo County, Indiana. She was born on 04 Mar 1878 in Mound City, Effingham, Illinois. She died in Dec 1945 in Vigo County, Indiana.

The 1895 map to the Lost Creek Settlement shows the property owned by Wiley Batton, highlighted in red.