User:BobC/House of Moytoy

This is a controversial article originally written in Wikipedia and marked for deletion as containing unsubstantiated data on 13 February 2009. Despite the controversy on the validity of the sources and interpretation of the facts, I record the article here as a permanent reference pending the final arbitration and outcome of the debate. Rather than desiring to perpetuate a possible myth, I want to record the article as last written in February 2009 and give fair warning to readers that some of the facts are in debate. Apparently Wikipedia has determined that enough of a case exists (or lack of relevant substantiated facts exist) to delete the article. The discussion regarding this deletion action is copied for reference at the Talk page on this article. --BobC 15:32, 24 March 2009 (EDT)

House of Moytoy

The so-called House of Moytoy (pronounced "Mah-tie"), or Moytoy-Carpenter, was a prominent family of Overhill Cherokee chiefs during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The family name is derived from the Cherokee title "Ama Matai", meaning "Water Conjurer", a title which was hereditary in the family. In 1730 Chief Moytoy II gained recognition as the "Emperor of the Cherokees" by British envoy Sir Alexander Cumming. The family lost most of its influence when the capital city of Chota-Tanasi was destroyed by the Continental Army in 1782. Notable members include:

  • Moytoy I, Chief of Chota; born around 1640 and probably died in 1730; was leading chief at the time of his death
  • Moytoy II, Emperor of the Cherokees and Chief of Great Tellico; son of Moytoy I; born around 1687; leading chief from 1730 to 1760
  • Moytoy III
  • Moytoy IV, Raven of Chota
  • Kanagatucko, Old Hop; leading chief from 1760-1761.
  • Attacullaculla, Prince of Chota-Tanasi; born around 1708, died around 1777; leading chief from 1761 to around 1775
  • Oconostota, Warrior of Chota and Beloved Man of the Cherokee; born ca. 1710 and died in 1783; was war chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1775 to 1780
  • Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee and granddaughter of Moytoy I
  • Major Ridge, grandson of Oconostota and of Attacullaculla
  • General Stand Watie, great-grandson of Oconostota and of Attacullaculla


The Moytoy family, although prominent among the Cherokee tribe, were of English and Shawnee origin. They are male-line descendants of an English trader, Thomas Pasmere Carpenter, whose family was related to Baron Carpenter of Killaghy and the Earl of Tyrconnell. The Carpenter men became known among the Cherokee and Shawnee for their ability to find water using branches of the willow tree. This earned them the title "Ama Matai" ("Water Conjurer").

Link to the Cherokee Heritage Project Page