Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nancy Elizabeth Shaw Ford O'Brien

I would like to thank Sandra for a great story and of course a thank you to Jonna Johnson, for all the research she did on Sandra’s G-G-G-Grandmother.
Note. This information can also be found at the site of ( Find a Grave )

Nancy Elizabeth Shaw Ford O'Brien.

Birth: Jan. 18, 1807, Ohio.
Death: Nov. 2, 1887, Osawatomie, Miami County, Kansas.

Benjamin and Mary Ford were moving from Ohio to Indiana with their 5 children, Richard, Thomas, Edward, Mary and Leah Ford, when they happened upon a small baby Shawnee Indian girl by the side of the wagon trail they were traveling.
There was no sign of the baby's mother or tribe around so the Ford family picked her up and took her with them.

Later an Indian agent told them that the Indians considered twins to be a bad omen and the tribe usually insisted that one of the babies had to go. If the twins were a boy and girl the parents would choose to keep the boy. If one twin was weaker or had a problems the healthier child was chosen.

All bad luck was blamed on the "extra" child, storms, bad hunting, illness, etc. until the baby was abandoned. Usually the mother would take her child and place where it could be found and taken in by another tribe or pioneers. The mother would hide nearby tending to the babies needs until someone came along, then she waited to see if they would take her baby.

The Fords took the Shawnee Indian girl in and adopted her and raised her as one of their own. They gave her the name of Nancy Elizabeth Shaw Ford. The Shaw was short for Shawnee. The Fords had four more children after they adopted Nancy they were Samual, Levi, Absolum and Benjamin.

Nancy smoked a stone pipe and She was blind in later years.
Nancy married Alfred O'Brien (O'Brient) (Bryant), a half blooded Choctaw Indian.

"Thanks to my cousin, Jonna Johnson, for all the research she did on our GGG Grandmother."
Indianapolis Cemetery
Miami County
Kansas, USA


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this information! Nancy Elizabeth Shaw Ford O'Brien is my 3rd great grandmother. I knew that she was a Shawnee Indian but I had never seen a picture of her. Her husband, Alford O'Bryant, was born abt. 1802 in Nelson, KY, and died in Apr 1899, in Stillwater, OK. I didn't know he was a half Choctaw Indian as his parents' names were supposedly Lewis Bryant and Louisa Ford. Both were born abt 1765. Both are buried in Hickory, MS. Do you know how I might find any additional information? Thank you! Ron Palmer (

Patricia Couch said...

My grandfather was James Fredrick O'Brien, the son of Perion (Perry) O'Brien, the son of Alford O'Brien. Alford and Perion (Perry) were in Miami County, Kansas when Alford died, 14 November 1869. Alford's will is in Fulton County, Illinois.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing this information. It is an honor to find out about our family history. P Stage

Dana Eker said...

Any information on Alfred and Nancy O'Bryant/O'Brien's younger daughter Mahala /Martha Ann O'Byrant who married Jenkins P Lewis would be appreciated. Dana Eker ( decendant of Mahala by way of daughter Mary J Lewis who married David Monroe Pearson.

Dennis Segelquist said...

Dana, I'm sorry to say I have no other info on this family.

Dana Eker said...

Thank you very much.