Osceola Powell, Seminole Chief

Osceola Powell print

The News Times in Fair Bluff, NC recently ran an article about Osceola, a Seminole Indian Chief who was born to a Creek or Waccamaw mother.  His white name was either John or Billy Powell, depending on who is telling the story, and he is often referred to as Osceola Powell.  Bob Morgan researches Osceola and turns to the Powell family historian for more information.

I want to say a special thanks to Stevie, one of our subscribers for sending me this story, and for his assistance in obtaining permission to print.  I also want to thank Allen Turner at The News Times/The News Reporter in Chadbourne, NC for his permission to reprint.

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Osceola Powell 2

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Osceola Powell 6

I have another article about Chief Osceola that I will be publishing soon.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Creek, Seminole, Waccamaw. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Osceola Powell, Seminole Chief

  1. Pingback: Creek Indian Mound Near Fort Decatur, Alabama | Native Heritage Project

  2. Pingback: Osceola, Creek and Seminole Leader | Native Heritage Project

  3. Pingback: Seminole Chief Osceola, Billy Powell | Native Heritage Project

  4. Jennifer Hughes Martin,-.." My Hughes and Related families of Sc and NC says:

    I would love to find out if this Absalom Powell was my ancestor .My great grandmother was Minnie Bass Powell born in NC .

  5. sonsothunder says:

    I read an article about this some time back… can’t recall right off where, but, probably on the Waccamaw Siouan website… http://www.waccamaw-siouan.com/

  6. Nancy Elizabeth Renfrow says:

    I am a desendent of Absolam Powell, Sr.

    My father’s mother was Nannie Powell.
    Her father was Absolam Powell.

    I have always heard Osceola was born at Lake Waccamaw.

    I have a portrait ( and photograph ) of my father, Raymond R. Renfro and a photo of Absolam Powell.

    Judging from the portrait of Osceola by Catlin, there is a family resemblance.

    • Byron Peavy says:

      Absolam Powell was my GGGG Grandfather my mother was a Powell can you share with me your photo

    • Eddy Wright says:

      Nancy. I am also from the line of Absolam Powell Sr. I come off the branch of his son Marmaduke who had a son Macon Powell. I would be interested in the picture and any information you may be willing to share. My email address is Lonewolfew@msn.com

  7. Linda says:

    My husband ‘s 5 times great grandfather was Absalom Powell. We found his grave at Western Prong Baptist Church in Whiteville, North Carolina. We are doing a lot of family history research. My husband’s name is Ronald Powell Suggs, Effingham, South Carolina.

    • Tameka Smith-Vickers says:

      Hi Linda, My name is Tameka Smith-Vickers. My 5x Great Grandfather was aslo Absalom Powell Sr, 5x Great Grandmother was Mary “Polly” Brown Stephens, and my 4x Great Grandfather was Josiah Powell. I am also doing my ancestry. My father was from Charleston, SC. I love history you never know who you actually descend from. This is very interesting reading about Osceola Powell.I will continue researching about him as well.

  8. Avie Pagel says:

    I have. Question if anyone has information the story I heard is Osceola had given one of hi daughters away to the Robert family one of which whom married her and her name was Mary and they had a daughter Eula Mae Roberts who was my grandmother. Can any one validate that story?

  9. Ben Powell says:

    I am Benjamin Powell.( 4x )Great Grandson of Chief Osceola aka Billy Powell or John William Powell Jr. I recently discovered this in our family history. What am I? Creek? Seminole? Poarch? Muscogee? This is confusing. What tribe do I belong? We have our family Dawes numbers. Am I eligible for Tribal membership?

    • You need to contact the tribe.

      • Ben Powell says:

        Wow, hard to tell. Poarch Creek say enrollment is closed, I contacted Muscogee and James McQueen is in their book as Seminole, I found a lot that said he was Muscogee Creek. Seminole Tribe of Florida want a quarter blood quantity. Have a Seminole Of Oklahoma packet coming soon. My 4x Great Grandfather fought to protect the Seminole so maybe that’s my starting point. Poppaw Billy’s spirit has been moving me to do this for ten years and I wasn’t ready. Does anyone have all of Osceolas Children’s names? I keep finding Unknown Seminole Child as listed. I have family Photos. Billy’s son is my 3x Great Grandfather. Is he in any rolls?

  10. Cecil L. Powell says:

    Ben Powell: You are going to have a hard times proving any of these family connections, as the best ancestry minds and historians can’t tie down exactly who William Powell, aka Osceola was. Our family research completed by the Rev. Emmitt Lucas, ties him to the Powell Family from West Virginia, and finally a somewhat “iffy” tie to a Cader Powell from Live Oak FL. An interesting facet of this ancestry tie is that this same family in Florida were the parents of Lewis “Paine” Powell, who tried to assassinate Sec. of War Seward, during the Lincoln Assassination. He was tried and hung for this along with the others at that time. Interestingly, his head was also cut off, same as Osceola’s, and it was “supposedly” found in the Smithsonian Museum in the Indian Archives Section around 1950, and return to his relatives in FL where it was buried with Lewis “Paine” Powell’s body. Of note here: This may have actually been Osceola’s Head, as of that time, no one thought that Paine was of Native Blood. He was merely a Southern Spy, fighting with Colonel John Moseley, the Gray Ghost!

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