The purpose of this blog is to provide authentic information about the origins and meanings of Cherokee-derived place names in the Southeastern United States. It is intended to be a reference source, not a typical blog. New information is posted when developed by research, and all sections may be updated at any time. Please give credit to this copyrighted site if you use quotations from it on other sites.
What you see on this opening page is only the latest entry. It will be helpful to use the Index to begin finding the place name you are seeking.
The work is ongoing, and there will be additions made periodically. There may be internal changes in the interest of better organization, improved details, and greater readability, as required. Please note that it is my intention to give only approximate locations of old Cherokee settlements; the primary focus here is on origins of place names.
Entries are written and researched by John Currahee. Every effort is made to have the information be accurate. All material here is copyrighted by me. If you wish to use this material in print, please contact me through the blog. I am happy to have you link to this site.
If you find any errors in this material, please do let me know. Your comments are welcomed.
Some of the place names are merely Cherokee attempts at the names given by earlier Indians. Those names rarely had any meaning in Cherokee; some can be traced to Muskogean speakers. Many others may have come from now forgotten and extinct or absorbed tribes never known to white people.
Thank you for your interest in place names.
I encourage those of you who may be interested in the Cherokee language and Cherokee ideals of behavior to view the video at this link. It is in spoken Cherokee with English subtitles.
Here is a link to Amazing Grace, sung in Cherokee. The song has a special meaning for Cherokee people; it was sung on the Trail of Tears, among other reasons. The Cherokee words are not merely a translation of the English words. The pronunciation is slightly off, but the rendition is a good one. A more authentic Cherokee pronunciation, sung without music, in a pleasing voice can be found here. Another version of Amazing Grace in Cherokee, also without music, can be found at this link. Yet another version here shows the Cherokee words and the pronunciation is good. You can find a fairly good translation of the Cherokee lyrics of the song at this place. Go to this site for an excellent interlinear translation and a spoken Cherokee version of The Lord’s Prayer in several file formats.
I recommend this 10-minute documentary video for those who are interested in hearing Eastern Cherokee as it is actually spoken now in the mountains of North Carolina. It is well worth the time, for those who are interested in the facts and sounds of present-day Cherokee life.
If you go to YouTube and search for work by Tsasuyeda, you will find nearly 50 excellent videos from which you may learn a great deal of the Eastern Cherokee [Giduwa] dialect. Her URL is http://tsasuyed.blogspot.com/.
If you want to learn more about indigenous peoples from all parts of the world, including the Americas, I encourage you to visit nativeweb.org. I am proud that this blog is among the thousands of authentic resources listed there.
Here is an account of the current state of American Indian health care. If you care about what you read, perhaps you will ask your congressperson to do something about it?
Please note: I receive many requests for assistance with genealogical research or related information. I fully understand your desire to know more about your ancestors; however, I do not have specific genealogical information that will be of any help to you. You can get access to that kind of research by Googling “Cherokee Genealogy,” where you will find many sites such as All Things Cherokee, or Native American Data. I am sorry that I cannot be of help to you in your genealogical research.Note: Cherokee is now available as a Google search language. The Cherokee language syllabary characters are now in Unicode. You can type directly in Cherokee and whatever you write will be readable on most computers. I recommend the Languagegeek keyboard layout. Installation is very quick and trouble-free. Using the language bar on your computer, you can switch between typing in English [or other language] and Cherokee. It is not even necessary for you to know the syllabary at all; just type in the Romanized Cherokee words. [Example: Typing osiyo produces ᎣᏏᏲ.] Google now supports email in Cherokee, the first American Indian language to be represented. You can change the Gmail language through Settings; look for ᏣᎳᎩ in the list of languages. You will find this link to the Official Gmail Blog useful.
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