Hello! This is in response to devsenemy , about Ruth Echols. Hope this helps.
Ruth Echols was the sister of my great-grandmother Ora Lee Bontrager. We know for sure they weren’t fully Native American, but we can’t rule out the possibility of some native ancestry on the Gaddis side. Ruth was one of 11 SIBLINGS:
(Virgil) Annie, born in Texas ~1877 (married Byrom)
Etna, born in Texas ~1878
Samuel, born in Texas ~1881
Ella May, born in Texas ~1883
John, born in Texas ~1885
Pearl, born in Texas ~1886 (married Morris)
Marion, born in Texas ~1888
Eula, born in Texas ~1891 (married Wagner)
Ruth, born in Indian Territories ~1893 (married Echols)
Ora, born in Indian Territories ~1895 (married Bontrager)
Emmett, born in Indian Territories ~1898
Their PARENTS married in Hamilton County, Texas 08/27/1876:
William Lewis Gaddis, born 1854 in Alabama.
Dorcas Eliza Robinson, born 1859 in Springfield, Missouri.
Here are some HISTORICAL DETAILS. Hamilton, TX is about 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth, TX. In 1876 (the year of their marriage) the railroad came to the Dallas-Fort Worth area causing a population boom. In 1893, however, there was an economic downturn and the price of cotton bottomed out, causing many people to leave the area. This year coincides with Ruth's birth in the Indian Territories, suggesting that the family was one of many who left the Dallas-Fort Worth area at that time.
The Indian Territories had initially been set aside by the U.S. government for the relocation of Native Americans. However by the late 1800s the building of railroads in the region meant that in spite of laws preventing it, white settlers were coming to the region.
At the end of the day, we cannot assume that birth in the Indian Territories during these years, in and of itself, indicates Native American ancestry.
Dorcas Eliza Robinson's ancestry (parents William Greene Robinson and Dorcas Covington Cox) has been extensively researched and documented online, and goes back to noble lineage in Europe. I've found no indication of any Native American ancestry on her side, so far.
However! The Gaddis family is a bit more mysterious. Both of William Lewis Gaddis' parents were born in Georgia (where the Cherokee originate, curiously enough) but we have no information about their exact birthplaces or parents.
The parents of William L. Gaddis:
Lewis J. Gaddis, born circa 1826 in Georgia.
Georgiann/George Ann, born circa 1824 in Georgia.
A fellow researcher posted this query, which outlines all the known records about Lewis and Georgianne: http://genforum.genealogy.com/gaddis/messages/837.html
A family story passed down tells that Georgianne (who supposedly had flaming red hair) and Lewis Gaddis fought, and that one day Lewis rode off on his horse and left the family.
I would be fascinated to learn anything you know or have heard about Native American heritage!