January 7, 2007

Do you know anything about Chief Washita’s family?


I am a relative of the late Chief Washita, of the Shoshone tribe. He had a daughter who married Jim Bridger, Her indian name is Little Fawn and they had a daughter named Mary Elizabeth, that is my great great great great grandmother.

I have the history on Jim Bridger, but I want to know the history on Chief Washita and his family and where I really come from. I am Shoshone Indian, and I live in Oklahoma. Any help is greatly appericated in trying to trace my indian roots.

Any information on the shoshone tribe? I am not sure where we come from. I have been told it was the Duck Bill Reservation in Wyoming, or the Wind River Reservation, so I am not sure. Any help or information is greatly appericated,
–Submitted by lace_431961

I believe you are mistaken about the name Washita, and may actually be referring to a Shoshone chief named Whoshakik, who eventually became known as Chief Washakie.

Washita is the name of a river and geographical region in Oklahoma where the great Sand Creek Massacre of Chief Black Kettle’s people was followed four years later with another massacre along the Washita River on November 22, 1868. At this Battle of the Washita River, Black Kettle and his wife were gunned down while approching Custer’s command carrying a white flag.

Jim Bridger had seven children and three Indian wives. His first wife was the daughter of Insala, Chief of the Flathead Nation (usually referred to as the Little Chief). They married about 1834. Their daughter Mary Ann was born in 1835 and was sent to school at the Whitman Mission at the age of six, and was captured by Indians during that massacre on November 29, 1847 when she was 11. She died a few months after being rescued. This wife died giving birth to a second girl, Josephine, during the winter of 1845-46. They also had a boy named Felix who was born about 1841.

Chief Washakie

About 1848, Bridger married a Ute woman who also died on July 4th, 1849 at the birth of a baby girl named Virginia Rosalie.

Chief Washakie’s daughter, Mary (also known as Little Fawn Lightfoot, possibly also known as Mary
Ann Zane or Maryann Zane) then became caretaker for his children and Jim Bridger eventually took her as his third and last wife in 1850. John Little Fawn Bridger was born about 1855 at Ft. Bridger and was christened and possibly baptised by Father DeSmet. They also had a daughter named Mary Ann “Elizabeth” Bridger, who was born on June 27, 1856. Little Fawn had another son known as Leander Ethan Zane (the birth that killed her?).

Mary Bridger died in 1858, after giving birth to a son, when she would have been in her mid-twenties. After her death, the children were left with a family in Little Santa Fe, Missouri (the Zanes?).

A Hollice P. Clark married a Mary Elizabeth Bridger in Alamo, Crockett Co, TN in 1882, and they had four children Benjamin (1883), William C. (1885), Joseph O. (1887), and Hiram (1888). I don’t know if this Mary Elizabeth was the daughter of Jim Bridger, the famous mountain man.

The Eastern Shoshoni, numbering about 2,000 under their famous Chief Washakie, occupied the region from the Wind River Mountains to Fort Bridger and astride the Oregon Trail. Most of their descendants today live on the Wind River Reservation.

UPDATE: from Alma King

This is in response to your answer about a question on Chief Washakie, which led to a discussion on the mountain man Jim Bridger. You wondered if Mary Ellizabeth Bridger, who married a Hollice P. Clark in Crockett County, TN, might be Jim Bridger’s daughter. This Mary Elizabeth Bridger was not Jim’s daughter. She was the daughter of Benjamin C. and Cinthia Tyler Bridger. Her husband’s name was not Hollice, but Hiram P. Clark. She was born, raised and died in what is now Crockett County, Tn, and would have been my Great, Great, Great Aunt. Early genealogical research had her husband’s name as Hollice, but was found to be wrong.)
So far, no direct tie in with Jim Bridger has been made to this particular family. unfortunately.

UPDATE from Julia A. Byrd

Mary Elizabeth Bridger was the daughter of Little Fawn, (daughter of Chief Washakie), and Jim Bridger. Mary Elizabeth married Abraham Carroll and had numerous children including my grandmother Bonnie Anna Carroll. I know because my grandmother and mom told me these stories when I was a child in Oklahoma.

I think the person that asked the question is related to me. I think it’s one of the Zane kids, Jim Zane is probably her grandfather, he was the son of Neillie Carroll, my grandmother’s sister. <br

I am the great great grand daughter of Jim Bridger and Little Fawn, daughter of Chief Washakie. Here is the family tree:

Jim Bridger married Little Fawn

Daughter Mary Elizabeth Briger married Abraham Carroll,
they had the following children:

Anna who was murdered in Baxter Springs, Kansas, Emma who died as a child, Nell, Tom, Clara, and Bonnie Anna, my grandmother.

Bonnie Anna had my mom Billie Thelma Duncan and she had three children, me, Julia Ann, Patricia and Bonnie Sue named after my grandmother.

The reservation is the Wind River in Wyoming. I remember all the stories that my mom and grandma told me as we sat at our camp site at the Quapaw Indian Pow wow. I think the person who had the question was one of the Zane kids, grandchildren of Jim and Isabel. I remember them well. They lived in Baxter Springs Kansas.

Related Articles on our website:

Shoshoni Indians (Northwestern Bands)

Bear River Massacre

Eastern Shoshone Tribe Overview

Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation

Chief Washakie


Washita: Genocide on the Great Plains

Bridger Family Genealogy Forum

Wind River Indian Reservation

Chief Black Kettle, 1813-1868

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