The Monteith/Mantooth Family

My fellow history writing colleague Lynette Rhodes, who lives in Tasmania, has an interesting family connection.

Fresh from writing a book about her ancestors the Monteiths who once owned the Blantyre Mills, Lynette took a DNA test which uncovered a fascinating connection to one Monteith in particular! She is related to “Cherokee Tom Mantooth” in America.

Some people may be asking who is this? Well…the story goes that a son of old Henry Monteith, father of James of Anderston had sons who went to America. It would appear that one of them married a Cherokee Indian causing his brothers to disown him. This then prompted a name change from Monteith to Mantooth. The other brothers returned to Scotland, never to speak of it again.

The name ‘Mantooth’ is therefore derived from the Scottish name Monteith. Thomas Monteith was born in Scotland about 1694 and records show that he was in Virginia by 1714, in those early, pioneering years and still 80 years before other family members would form the Blantyre Mills.

Thomas was a large landholder in Virginia and was known as Gentleman Thomas the Merchant. Thomas had four children. Magdaline, Elizabeth, James and John.

This was a notable family. Magdaline married Anderson Doniphan and is the Great, great Grandmother of Harry Shipp Truman. John married a Cherokee Indian and at this time the two brothers disowned each other. Marrying a cherokee Indian was clearly frowned upon by the rest of the family. In Thomas Monteith’s Last Will and Testament, John was not mentioned as the other three children were.

It was at this time that the name changed. The Monteiths stayed in Virginia until later years and descendants of Thomas (Cherokee Tom) Mantooth migrated south into North Carolina. In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s the Mantooths came across the mountain from an area west of Asheville, North Carolina known as Sandy Mush to East Tennessee. Cocke County has had a population of Mantooths for many years with some Mantooths migrating west over a period of time.

Conducting good business was clearly in the Monteith genes. Thomas Mantooth with his family, his oldest daughter being married to Austin Vinson, settled in Lufkin Texas in 1857. Thomas was a probate judge in Lufkin for some time. Thomas’ son Edwin J. Mantooth attended the Cumberland University, Lebanon Tennessee and studied law, graduating with the class of 1879 before returning to Texas to set up office.

Edwin J. Mantooth was one of two people that founded the Lufkin Telephone Company that is the 16th largest in the United States. The Mantooth and Vinson names are well established in East Texas.
—  James Mantooth, Cocke County,


Photo: Illustration only.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Marian Maguire Beautiful picture
Margaret Stewart There seems to be quite a few brave people from Blantyre who had the travel bug from way back in time ie ” David Livingstone ” What a great story. Thanks
Ian Green Margaret Stewart couldn’t wait to get out the place.
Marian Maguire Beautiful picture.
Moira Macfarlane I have friends who are Cherokee and they live in Ohio,
Jessie Caldow Amazing genealogy !
Alex Orr That’s fascinating. Keep them coming
Nan Burrows Great story


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  1. I’m also related to Thomas Tom Cherokee Mantooth

  2. I am a descendant of “Cherokee Tom” Thomas Mantooth. I would like to see actual proof of his mother being Cherokee.

  3. I am a descendant of Cherokee Tom, direct linage of Nancy and Lettie Mantooth. Who is the young girl in the picture?

  4. I have a great grandmother her name was Gertrude Mantooth and I think some way somehow Thomas Mantooth who they call Cherokee Tom is part of my family I would like to know are they still any mantooth are still around?

  5. Hi. I’m a descendant of Cherokee Tom. Great grandmother was Stella Mantooth, daughter of doc Houston Mantooth and his 3rd wife Dicey. Most from the Cleveland, TN area. There was a beryl mine I think with Mantooth name in Polk county. The Cherokee woman was supposedly named Mildred al Lin nih Aline Moytoy (Daughter of Tiny Bird)
    Tiny bird was wife of Kanatoga Moytoy died 1761 in Cherokee, NC. Chief Kanatoga Moytoy from Chota, TN was supposedly call “Old Hop /standing turkey Cunene shote”.
    Doc Houston was son of Samuel Mantooth, and there’s so many with the same names going back so it can be tricky. DNA test didn’t show Native American but their tests may not pick up only one distant line.

  6. I have heard chafin married a cherokee woman. I would like to know more. I know I have a great aunt who was full cherokee. Shirley Franklin I think was her maden name.

  7. Janie Massengale Rinehart

    I found out last year that I’m a result of this union. Wow

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