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Gunter DNA project-Will Rogers ancestor proven by DNA testing

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  • Gunter DNA project-Will Rogers ancestor proven by DNA testing

    I'd like to report wonderful results in our GUNTER family DNA project that formed in May 2005. As some of you know Will Rogers the famous comedian was very interested in his Gunter and Indian heritage. During travels he visited with many Gunter families across the southern states including my grandmother in Alabama and considered them cousins. For decades since his death everyone has claimed Will Rogers' ancestor John Gunter and founder of Guntersville, Alabama as their Gunter relation. Many years of genealogical research lead me to believe my own Gunter line was not related to the Indian Trader even though they resided within miles of each other in Alabama. DNA has now proven that to be true!

    Since early 1900's the genealogical community had much speculation as to the father of this John Gunter's parents. A few years ago Kay Gunn a fellow Gunter genealogist found evidence that John Gunter the Indian Trader should be a brother to her ancestor Augusta Gunter a well documented line. Our male test participate a solid proven descendant of John Gunter and his wife Gi-go-ne-li (Cherokee) was delighted to test in our project to find the truth. At long last Will Roger's ancestor John Gunter parents are proven by genealogical research and Y-DNA testing. DNA results have been sent to the Will Rogers Museum along with Kay Gunn's book showing proof of John's parents.

    Thanks FTDNA for making this possible . Y-DNA has proven not all of us belong to the John Gunter "Indian Trader" family. In fact, with this rare surname we already have many different Gunter English and Gunther German lines. Without DNA testing this would not have been possible.

    Janet Burks & Kay Gunn
    Gunter Administrators

  • #2
    Roger Ancestors

    Hi I have a friend who lives in Oklahoma who has a very extensive geneology on her family who is also realted to the Rogers Family. Do you have contact info so she can get in touch with you? They have not done DNA -- just a huge paper trail. Let me know.


    • #3
      Gunter link to Will Rogers

      September 17, 2006

      Dear Janet Burks & Kay Gunn:

      My father, another John Gunter, loved to tell me stories when I was a child about our rich Cherokee bloodline. He spoke of Captain Gunter of the Confederacy, Guntersville, Alabama, and the pride of the Gunter family, Will Rogers. My father’s credentials as an English Professor and historian, and of course as my father, were enough to cement these stories in my mind as fact, but as an adult, I consider my father’s proclivity towards fictional writing and dramatization to be enough to, at least partially, malign his credibility.

      I am considering fatherhood and am facing the dilemma of what to tell my children about the history of their family. I would love to tell them the same stories my father told me, but I would like proof that these stories are based in fact. Other than my own physical resemblance to Will Rogers, would you please direct me towards some hard evidence?

      I would appreciate any help you are willing to give, but in the end, I am sure that I will continue my family’s tradition of putting a great story before even a good truth.

      Kind regards,

      Jason Gunter


      • #4
        This is, indeed, wonderful news. For so many of us who are Mixed-Blood Cherokees, the path to our past has been mostly erased. I celebrate with you the good news. DNA remembers when no one else does. I have had the privilegde of travelling back East to our Old Homelands and have seen the Rogers' cabin now situated at New Echota in GA. Thanks (wado) for making my day