No. 30508

TANDY BENNETT, being first duly sworn, deposes and says:

My name is Tandy Bennett. I live in Stokes Co.; my postoffice is Mispeh, N. C.; I am going on 67 years old.

According to what I have heard, I have Indian blood in my veins through my mother Rebecca Bennett. She was a Sizemore. I do not claim Indian descent through my father. My mother died July 4, 1898, age 82. She was born in Halifax Co., Va. I suppose she was about 8 years old when her father and she came here. I suppose she gets her Indian blood through her father, Jos. Sizemore. I do not know that my mother ever enrolled as an Indian. I was never enrolled as an Indian.

I suppose Jos. Sizemore had a brother -- John Sizemore; I don't know as he was ever known by any other name than Old Dr. Gourd. I have always heard that they claimed to be brothers; I have heard my grandfather speak of his brother John.

Jos. Sizemore died the time of the war. He always told me that he was the father of Missouri Stephenson. Jos. Sizemore was 70 or 80 years old at the time of his death. He died in Halifax Co., Va. My understanding was that he was born there; he came out here; he went back there to attend to a lawsuit and died there. He was here when the war broke out; he must have come to Stokes Co. about 1821 or 1822; but Dr. Johnny Gourd came out here several years before he did.

Dr. Johnny Gourd died about 1863 or 1864; he died while I was in the war. Dr. Johnny Gourd died and was buried in Stokes Co. I have seen him thousands of times, and he was a very old man. I could not say that I have heard him say that he was Indian; I was little then. He resembled an Indian right smart; I don't recollect his saying that he was Indian.

Dr. Gourd and Jos. Sizemore favored each other. I remember Jos. Sizemore. I don't remember hearing him say that he was Indian. I was in the twenties when he died. I saw him frequently in my lifetime and have talked some to him; he was pretty dark skinned, but he passed as a white man. I don't recollect that he said he was an Indian. If he had been full stock, I would have known it, but I don't think he claimed to be full- stock.

I never knew there was such a man in the world as Old Ned Sizemore, and never knew that my grandfather had a brother of that name. When I was a boy, children were not allowed to stand around and listen to what the old folks said.

I never heard Jos. Sizemore or Dr. Gourd say who their parents were; if there were more than those two brothers, I never heard it.

I never heard of Jos. Sizemore or Dr. Gourd receiving any money from the Government as Indians; nor my mother Rebecca Bennett; if she had gotten it I would have known it.

My mother lived in Stokes Co., N. C. in 1851, right where she died. I never heard her say anything about any enrollment of Indians by the Government. I never saw any Indians in this part of the country. I never heard my mother speak of any Indians in this part of the country; she was a sickly woman and never went out much.

I never heard of the Catawba Indians. I know Missouri Stephenson. She is my aunt; she and my mother were raised to be sisters. Missouri Stephenson was born and raised in Stokes Co. She is 8 or 10 years older than I am.

My grandmother on my mother's side was Martha Fits. I don't know whether or not she was an Indian.

Dr. Gourd's wife was Katie Cooley; she was dead before I can remember, but I never heard whether or not she was an Indian. I think he was married twice. I have seen his

second wife; her name was Nellie Southern. If he ever had more than the two wives, I did not know of it. I suppose he (Dr. Gourd) had a sister Polly Sizemore. Fannie Sizemore was a daughter of Johnny Sizemore, married a Faulkner; have seen her a few times; don't know as she claimed to be an Indian; never was with her much.

I never heard of Hiram Sizemore. I have heard of my mother's cousin Henderson.

I have heard Dr. Gourd called an old Indian doctor.

I never was enrolled for any benefits as an Indian. I have heard of their being Indians ever since I can remember. I know they have been called Cherokees. When people would get mad, they would call them Cherokee Indians. They would not take it very well. I have been called a Cherokee Indian, but, of course, I did not like it. I have always lived as a white man and tried to fill a white man's place. There are none of our family who claim any Indian blood other than through Jos. Sizemore.

(SIGNED) Tandy Bennett

SUBSCRIBED and sworn to before me at PilotMountain, N. C. this 21st day of March 1908.

Assistant to the Special Com-   
misioner of the Court of Claims   

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