Halito!  (Hello!)

It is said that Nathaniel Folsom's father (Israel Folsom) took his family to North Carolina, and then on to Georgia, where Nathaniel had some schooling.  Then, then they journeyed to Choctaw country.  Here, Nathaniel (about 19 years of age by now... it was about 1775), had some kind of dispute with his father.  The result was that his father and the rest of the family left, and Nathaniel stayed behind.  He was to remain with the Choctaw for the rest of his life. 

Nathaniel ran a trading post, located along an ancient Indian trail that later became known as the Natchez Trace, and although that was more than three hundred years ago, a marker still stands to show where the trading post, called "Pigeon's Roost," was found along the Natchez Trace, the main north-south trail to and from the southern parts of the country.

Nathaniel married not only one Choctaw bride, he married two.  At that time, multiple marriages were common in the Choctaw Nation.  He married two sisters and princesses, descended from a line of high chiefs among the Choctaw.  Their names were I-Ah-Ne-Cha and Ai-Ne-Chi-Hoyo. These two wives bore 24 children, 14 of whom lived to adulthood.  

Nathaniel's son David helped him run the trading post, along with his other enterprises, until he had a family himself, and he still made sure his father was taken care of. In time, however, David traveled a great deal for the tribe, went to tribal negotiations, and did many good works for people, so his time was limited.  There is a document that I feel may help you understand this large and complex family a little better.  If nothing else, it will certainly help you see how complicated things can get when there are so very many in one family.

On September 9, 1915, the descendants of John Folsom gathered for their Sixth Annual Reunion in Unity Hall, Exeter, New Hampshire.  Here is what they had to say about the Oklahoma Folsoms...

"....Nathaniel and Edmund Folsom, fifth generation from John1, are the founders of the Choctaw Folsoms. As stated before, John1 had seven children. One of these children was named Samuel2, who had a son by the name of Israel3. Israel3 had four sons. One of these sons, Ebenezer4, settled in North Carolina, near Cape Fear river, Fayetteville, Cumberland county. He was a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and his descendants are today settled over the southern states. One of the other four sons of Israel3, either Israel or Nathaniel4 married a New Jersey lady and also moved to North Carolina, where they had two daughters and four sons born. The names of the daughters have been lost; the sons were Nathaniel5, Ebenezer5, Edmund5, and Israel5.

  Mrs. Elizabeth K. Folsom, in her Indian Folsom family, a paper read at the reunion, says: "Nathaniel4  (we will call him until proved otherwise), the father, moved into Georgia, where the children were sent to school; but hearing from friends who had gone to Mississippi that "money grew on bushes there", he decided to go to Mississippi and make his fortune.  They stopped at Bok Tuklo (Two Creeks) in the Choctaw Nation, and he became a trader among the Indians. At that time, Nathaniel5, the son, was about nineteen years of age.  He and his father had a slight altercation, in which the son felt he was right, and forthwith left his father, who moved into the Chickasaw Nation." 

In Cushman's history of the Choctaws and Chickasaws, says that he (Nathaniel5) was born in Rowan county, North Carolina, May 17, 1756. He came to the Choctaw Nation in 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed, and as before stated, at the age of nineteen.

Nathaniel married two wives among the Choctaws; they were sisters. By those two wives he had twenty-four children. The first of these sisters was Aiahnichih Ohoyoh (which means a woman to be referred above all others).  She was a niece of Miko Puskush (Infant Chief), who was the father of the famous chief, Amosholitubbee. She was a descendant of a long line of ancient chiefs, and belonged to the most prominent clan, Iksa Hattakiholihta, one of the two ruling clans, and the only clan from which chiefs were selected, with an exception now and then. The marriage to her sister was about the same time.

Nathaniel's5 brother Israel5 died at the early age of eighteen. Ebenezer5 married Ni-ti-ka, by whom he had one daughter, Sopha5 Folsom, who married Col. John Pitchlynn, who was an interpreter for President Washington for twenty-four years. Ebenezer later married a white woman in Louisiana where he had several children. Sopha6 Pitchlynn, nee Folsom, was the mother of Hon. Peter P. Pitchlynn, "The Calhoun of the Choctaws", and it was said by some contemporary writers that he was the most handsome man that ever walked down the aisles of the Senate Chamber at Washington.   

Edmund Folsom5 was the third of the Folsom brothers to marry into the Choctaws, and had several children. Not much is known about them

Photo  right is Sophia Folsom Pitchlynn, Peter's mother, and the daughter of Nathaniel's brother Ebenezer.

Nathaniel's5 oldest and most prominent son in the early history of the Choctaws was David6 , who was born at Pigeon Roost, Mississippi, Choctaw Nation, January 25, 1791. He was to be the first Chief to be elected by ballot in the history of the Choctaw Nation. For thirty years he administered the affairs of his people during some of the most trying times that have ever been witnessed by his people.

Col. David Folsom6  was twice married. He was the first to marry according to the laws of the white man. His first wife was Miss Rhoda Nail, and his second wife was Jane Hall. By his marriages he had thirteen children. Judge Loring S.W.; Colonel Simpson N., of the Second Choctaw Regiment in the Civil War; Dr. Henry N.; David, Jr.; Albert Kee, whose son Albert Peter was the youngest representative that ever sat in the Choctaw Council; and Susan Folsom, who married William M. Byrd, who served five times as delegate to Washington for the Chickasaws and two terms as Governor were some of the most prominent children of Col. David Folsom6 .

Israel6 Folsom  was another prominent son of Nathaniel5. He was born in Mississippi, May 1, 1802, and died April 24, 1870, at Perryville, Oklahoma.  It is said that he was a handsome man, standing above six feet and muscled accordingly,  a type of man found in those days among the Choctaws, especially those white extraction.

Israel6 Folsom was a religious leader of his Nation. But he took part in the politics of his people, being a delegate several times for his people at Washington. He was also President of the Grand Council of the Sixth Confederate Indian Nation in 1864, which communicated with President Jefferson Davis and pledged their loyalty to the "Stars and Bars."

Col. Isaac Folsom6 was another son of Nathaniel5. He was a noted man of the Choctaw Nation, and a leading Presbyterian in religious affairs. Before and after the Civil War, he served as a Delegate of his people at Washington. He married Susan Underwood and had eight children. 

 His best known son was Col. Sampson Folsom7, who had the honor of raising the first battalion of Choctaws to serve the Confederacy, and he was a Colonel of a regiment of Choctaws under the command of General Albert Pike.

George6  Folsom was a son of Nathaniel5, a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher and at one time Governor of the Choctaw Nation. He was an (the only) Indian blacksmith that is known in the entire record of the Choctaws. He married Eliza Hays, and had only two sons, who died in childhood, and one daughter, who died soon after marriage. George Folsom died in 1887, at the age of eighty years. 

Samuel6  Folsom was also a son of Nathaniel5. His birthplace was Mississippi, and in the year 1799, so speaks the tomb above his last resting place near old Shawnee, close by Sugar Loaf, in Bryan county. He died October 18, 1866. His occupation was farming and stock-raising. He had eighteen children by two marriages. One of his wives, likely his first was Anna McIntosh, who was a Creek Indian, a member of that well-known family by that name in the Creek and Cherokee Nations. She died in 1847.

Other tones in the old cemetery disclose the fact that there are a few of the children of Samuel buried there. William, born Nov. 27, 1841, died in infancy, 1844; Cornelius, born Aug. 9, 1844; Lucy Ann, born Feb. 17, 1846, died Feb. 20, 1866; lie there. 

The oldest child of Samuel6  Folsom is Nancy Folsom7 Stewart, who was born in 1830. She still resides at Wynnewood, Oklahoma (ed. - in 1915).

There was a son who left at the time of the Gold Strike in California and went to those regions of wealth, who was probably the oldest child. Nothing has ever been heard from him. It was told me by a friend that a few years ago there came out in a paper, an article concerning a prominent man of that name from whom Folsom Street was named in the city of San Francisco, California. This man Folsom was a man of considerable wealth, was very dark in complexion, and had married a lady of Spanish descent in one of his visits to either the Hawaiian or Philippine Islands. Whether there is any connection between the man of this story who was reputed to have come from the middle west, or not, remains undiscovered.

Two daughters of Samuel Folsom6, Louisa (who married John, and Malina, who married Caleb, were united to two brothers of the Impson family.

Louisa7, by her marriage to John Impson, had several children, but only one who grew to manhood; Middleton M. Impson, who died at Bokchito, Oklahoma, December 17, 1909. By her second marriage to a Mr. Cocknauer, a member of that able family of French descent, and of which union she had David W. Cochnauer, now a resident of Banty, Oklahoma. She married a third time to Robert Nail, from whom she left no issue.

Malina8 married Caleb Impson, after her first marriage to a Mr. Mackey, by which first union she had Solomon J. Mackey, now a resident of Savanna, Oklahoma. William D., (Bub); Lafayette, Thompson J., (Cap; and about ten others are the issues of this union. She, too, married a third time after the death of Caleb Impson, a Mr. Freeney, by which union she had one daughter, Ida, who married Albert Matoy, of Matoy, Oklahoma.

Alfred W.7 Folsom, another son of Samuel6  distinguished himself in several battles of the Civil War. After the war he engaged in farming and stock-raising near Armstrong Academy. He married Levina C. Colbert, and had twelve children by that marriage, all of whom are deceased except Louis L. Maude, and Ava, who married W.M. Travis.

Jerry Folsom6  was another son of Nathaniel5. Jacob7 was a son of Jerry, was a leading man of the Choctaw Nation, and married a Miss Nail, as did other Folsoms marry Nails. By this marriage, he had Judge Rufus8 Folsom, who was the Speaker of the Choctaw House of Representatives, member of the Choctaw Senate, and Circuit Judge. Daniel7 was another son of Jerry. He also married into the Nail family; he married Sina Nail, by whom he had six children.

McKee6  Folsom  was a son of Nathaniel5. He was born in Mississippi. He lived in Red River County Choctaw Nation and died there before 1864. He married and had ten children, of whom the most famous was Rev. Willis Folsom, who was a Methodist preacher for fifty-two years. He also wrote a Choctaw Dictionary, so that he could preach in both the English and Choctaw languages. A grandson of this old preacher, is William Lea9 Folsom, of Stigler, Oklahoma.

Photo above is titled Emmaline.

John6 Folsom was the third son of Nathaniel to preach as a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. He died near Bennington, Okla., in 1861. He married twice and had thirteen children, of whom one was Captain Martin V.7 Folsom, of Company E, Confederate Army. Jefferson Davis7 Folsom, another son is now living near Russellville, Oklahoma (ed: - in 1915).

Captain Robert6  Folsom was a son of Nathaniel. He was one of those sent by the United States Government to look over the Indian Territory as a place to which the Choctaws were to receive for their country of happy homes east of the Mississippi River. Robert Folsom had several children, of whom two daughters married into the Perkins family.

Adam6 Folsom, another son of Nathaniel, settled in what is now Atoka County, where his descendants now live. They have married back into the fullblood class, but the sign is there. They do not know that they are the descendants of a white man, and they are happy in the security of their Indian life. I was at the home of the grandson of Adam a few days ago--one Forbis Folsom8, who cannot speak the tongue of the White man. He and his good wife have lately moved into their new house which has been built for them from a Departmental sale of his surplus land; it is a nice homey house reflecting credit to the country in which it is located, but they are not at home there--there is a not distant future where they will find a solace for their tired feet where their customs will not conflict with the ideals of the Anglo-American.

Photo right: Malina Folsom Mackey Impson Freeny.Malina was born July 1836 daughter of Samuel Folsom and Anna Holmes. She died 11 Dec. 1905 in Bokchito,Bryan Co., OK at 69 years of age. She was married four times. First to Middleton Mackey; Second to Caleb Impson who died 14 Feb. 1877; Third to John Freeney.

Adam Folsom6, was the father of Simon, Alex., Abnessey, Stephen and Lymon Folsom7. Simon, who died Aug. 29, 1912, was seventy-three years of age at the time of his death. His children were Eben, Forbis, Mary, Sarah, and Smallwood Folsom8. The children of Alex7 Folsom were Mitchell, Alfred, who lived near Atoka and was a minister; Daniel, who also lived near Atoka, and who has one son engaged as a printer in the Citizen-Democrat office; and Sallie Foster. Children of Abnessey7 Folsom are only accounted for in the individual of Tennessee Anderson, nee Folsom.  Eben8 Folsom, son of Simon7 Folsom had the following children: Isaac, Lucy, Charley, and Jincy Folsom9. This is a poor arrangement of the descendants of Adam, the son of Nathaniel, whose descendants have married and remarried among the Full-blood class until they are seven-eights and fifteen-sixteenths, and still closer to the degree of full-blood.

Quoting further from Elizabeth K. Folsom: "Of the daughters of Nathaniel5 Folsom, Molly married a Mitchell; Rebecca married a Black; Lucretia married a Noah Wall; Elizabeth married a Harris; Emily married Emziah Robinson and was the mother of Rev. Calvin Robinson, noted as a preacher, and she has many descendants in Oklahoma; Rhoda married Chief Peter P. Pitchlynn, son of Major John Pitchlynn, an Englishman, and his wife Sopha6 Folsom, daughter of Ebenezer5 Nathaniel's brother. Peter P. Pitchlynn was a graduate of Nashville University, and was a great and useful man in his nation. They had several children."

Edmund Folsom5, brother of Nathaniel, also married into the Choctaw Nation and had several children. Not much is known about his family as the records appear not to have been kept as well as were those of Nathaniel's family.

Jeremiah6 Folsom was one of his children. He was born in Mississippi, and in 1821 married Mary Nail. After he came to the Indian Territory. His family consisted of twelve children, of whom Joseph Pitchlynn Folsom was the oldest. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1854 and served a part of his life as a teacher among his people. It is said that he began to write a genealogical record of his branch of the family, but he died ere it was completed and it was lost. He married a Seneca Indian, but had no children. A daughter of Jeremiah married James Robinson, brother of Rev. Calvin Robinson.

Rev. Peter6 Folsom was a son of Edmund. He was a Baptist minister and often was sent as a delegate to Washington. It is said that he would break the ice and swim across a stream rather than miss an appointment to preach.

 Wtt6 Folsom, son of Edmund, married and had several children. One of his sons, Edmund7, was a merchant and stockman in San Bois, married and had four children. Ellis, was another son of Watt, was a prominent lawyer at McAlester, Oklahoma, married Salina Perry and had five children. Watt Folsom had one daughter to marry Benjamin Wall, and one, Jane, to marry a man by the name of Page.

Photo above is Sophia Folsom Everidge

Edmund5 had two other sons, Nathaniel , and George6. He had three daughters: Rachel, who married Solomon Folsom; Abigail; and Margaret, who married a Garland.

In her final words, Mrs. Elizabeth K. Folsom, member of the New England branch, said: "The descendants of these sons and daughters of Nathaniel, Edmund and Ebenezer Folsom, who allied themselves with the Choctaws, are numbered into the hundreds in Oklahoma, 
AND FROM THEIR LETTERS, OUR PEOPLE, WE OF THE WHITE RACE, WITH ALL OUR ADVANTAGE OF GENERATIONS OF CIVILIZATION, MAY WELL BE PROUD TO CALL OUR KINSMEN."

There were few white people among the Choctaw and other tribes in the area at the time Nathaniel Folsom made his home among them. Besides the Choctaw, there were Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole and other tribes living in this area of the country.  There were, however, some Frenchmen who settled in among them at some time.  The names of the most well-known of the Frenchment were Durant, LeFlore, Battiest, Colbert, Moncrief, Duford and Duer.  Two of those names became well-known among the Choctaw.  One French-Canadian "Cour du Bois" (trapper, woodsman, trader) named Louis Durant came down the Mississippi River to the Choctaw with Michael and Louis LeFlore. Durant brought several head of cattle with him, and they settled in the Yazoo Valley area of Mississippi among the Choctaw in 1770-1775.  This was about the same time that Nathaniel Folsom came to the Choctaw.

As Nathaniel's family grew, the older children married within several prominent Choctaw families: the Pitchlynns, the Impsons, the Hamptons, the Nail family, and others.  As these families grew, the sheer number of this expanded family was huge.

Nathaniel remained the head of the family until his son (Col.) David Folsom, took over.  When David took the entire family to Indian Territory, Nathaniel was still living, and was taken along with them, very old now... he must have been approaching 80 years of age. He made it to Mountain Fork, and grew too sick and weak to continue, and it was here he stayed. Nathaniel died October 9, 1833 at Mountain Fork, Indian Territory.

Nathaniel Folsom lived a long and full life, and he founded a family that had a profound affect on the Choctaw Nation then, and on their descendants.

 

                   

 

On to the 

Or, back to LIST    

Copyright 2002, all rights reserved
James and Marcia Foley

Page design:

Some graphics by: