I have a great grandfather, Perry Wright Mayes, who was born in Doniphan, Ripley, Missouri. His parents Elizabeth Wright and father Paul Alexander Mayes/Mays. Perry married twice. First wife: Sarah Valentine Davis, marriage in Missouri and Arkansas area. Second wife: Sarah Ella Barker, marriage in Idaho and Oregon.
Paul Alexander Mays/Mayes is where I am trying to really explore. He would have been born in abt 1853 in Arkansas. Some places he and his family lived: Little Black, Randolph, Arkansas and in various places in Missouri (particular around Doniphan, Ripley County). Possible parents: Matilda (nee Lewis??) Mays and possibly an ASA Mays, married in Illinois between 1842-44. The marriage document on Asa and Matilda from Illinois index does not show an original document, so please consider that Asa may be a typo or misentry for Isaiah, Isah, etc.
Paul A Mayes had what looks to be 3 sons, each partly named after Lewis family members in one way or another. Sons: Perry Wright Mayes, Earnest/Ernest Mayes, Lewis Alexander Mayes. His Lewis grandparents are possibly Ann (Stewart) Lewis and Paul Lewis. Their children: Perry Lewis, James Stewart Lewis, Matilda Ann, Phillip Howard Lewis, and Mary Lewis.
The family is shown living both in Lawrence County, Illinois and Lawrence County, Arkansas in my documented information. Also documented is the Lewis and Mays/Mayes family having moved and lived in Little Black, Arkansas area.
Paul A's Wives: Paul seems to have married twice and perhaps 3 times. First wife would be my relative, Elizabeth Wright. Other possible wives: Sarah, Emma, Emily on censuses.
The Wright family seems to be from Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and married to not only the Mays family but the Swan family. My last information on them shows them living in Illinois in the same households as the Swan in-laws of their stepmother, Elizabeth Swan.
The Mays and Mayes family, and possibly the Wrights, are supposed to be either Cherokee or a combination of the five civilized tribes (Choctaw, Chickasaw, etc). Since there are two reservations for Cherokee in South Carolina and Oklahoma, I am including those states. Some of the children of Perry Wright Mayes are supposed to have lived with an aunt on the OK reservation. Seminole relations are also possible, since Seminoles are part Cherokee.
Perry Wright Mayes left Missouri and his wife and children to try and seek better opportunities out in the west where he and his children might be able to fit in without people persecuting them. His wife Sarah Valentine died and their two boys were left in the care of the Davis family. That part of the Mays family is still living down in the souther US, specifically in Arkansas and Kentucky, to my knowledge. The rest are living in the Pacific Northwest for the most part.
Please write if any of this rings a bell or if you have questions yourself.