Were They Pawnee?

According to a tradition current among some of my cousins, my great great grandmother Rachel (Roberson) Horne (1847-1944) was Pawnee. I don’t think so. Nothing else points in that direction.

I asked my grandmother Evelyn (Horn) Miller one year at Powwow about our Indian ancestry. She said she had always assumed they were Pawnee. A few years later she told her daughter Fern she had lately changed her mind. She now believed they were Cherokee because they owned slaves, which is something the Cherokees did.

I think the idea Rachel was Pawnee was probably just an assumption based on geography. Rachel’s parents lived in Atchison County, Missouri, just across the Missouri River from the Nemaha Half Breed Reservation (established 1830, dissolved 1860), as well as from land ceded by the Pawnee in 1833. Rachel’s family settled in this area in 1839.


Bush Cemetery

I’ve been lucky to meet Matt Barnes online. He’s the project guru for maintaining and restoring Bush Cemetery in Rock Port, Missouri.

Bush Cemetery Tour 1 of 2

My Horn ancestors are buried in this cemetery. When Grandma Miller was first telling me about her ancestors, this cemetery is where they were buried.

Matt sent me a note night before last to let me know how spring clean up day went, and give me some photos of a stone he’s re-setting: “Mowed the cemetery and reattached the top of Ruth horne’s stone. I also removed several stumps”

Ruth (Barrett) Horne (1830-1872)

This Ruth Horne was the widow of Lewis Skidmore Horne, who was brother of my ancestor William Steven Horn(e) (1831-1896). William was Grandma Miller’s grandfather.

Whenever I hear from Matt about his latest projects, I reflect about how it would be if every small cemetery in rural America had someone like him. I wouldn’t mind hearing from dozens of people all around the country about the work they’re doing to maintain and preserve the cemeteries where my ancestors are buried.

I subscribed to Matt’s YouTube channel. This is the kind of ongoing family history I want to hear about.

Updated May 10, 2020 to add link.

Bush Cemetery

Some of my Horn and Roberson ancestors were buried in Bush Cemetery in Rock Port, Missouri. There’s nothing remarkable about that. It’s no different from the hundreds of little cemeteries across America where my ancestors are buried. Some of them maintained, some not.

What makes this one special is that there’s a guy who is making it his project to clean up the cemetery. Matt Barnes. He’s trimming trees, identifying graves, coordinating volunteers, and organizing weekend cleanup projects.

I’m impressed as hell. There’s not a chance I’m going to get enough time off to go out to Kansas City and help out. I have to live vicariously, following his Bush Cemetery page on Facebook and enjoying the emails I get when he finds something he thinks will interest me.

The world should be like this.


According to tradition, the first Horne in America was Dutch. His father died in London, his pregnant mother made the rest of the trip to America alone, and delivered her baby in Baltimore. I have not been able to identify this unknown ancestor.

The earliest proven ancestor of this family was John Horne (1736-1840), a physician educated at the University of Edinburgh, who came from Carlisle in Cumberland to America about 1800. The family was first documented in North Carolina, but might have previously lived in Delaware. One branch of George’s descendants moved to Georgia, then in the late 1850s to Indiana.

William S. Horne (1833-1896) of Madison County, Indiana served in the Union Army as a drummer. He was kicked in the head by a mule at the Battle of Palmetto Ranch (11 May 1865, in Texas), and discharged as disabled . . . one of the last casualties of the Civil War. After the war, William moved to Missouri, where he married Rachel Roberson, a Cherokee who had been a Confederate sympathizer. His pension application shows that the family was destitute and moved frequently. Their house burned in 1896, and William died a few months later.

William’s son George Rufus Redmond Horn (1876-1969) worked as a railroad fireman in Nebraska. He was the first to spell the name without the final e. Many of his descendants have maintained the tradition of working for the railroad. George’s daughter Evelyn Horn married Dudley Howery.

Lineal Genealogy

1. Dr. John George Horne (1736-1840), physician; married Catherine Hook (1740-1840). They came to America, and settled in North Carolina.

2. John Horne (about 1765-before 1820) a farmer in Davidson County, North Carolina. He married Ann (Skidmore?) (1768-1840).

3. George Horne (1799-1854), a farmer in Madison County, Indiana. He married Martha “Patsey” Johnson (1804-1869), daughter of John and Nancy (Stever) Johnson, of Surry County, North Carolina.

4. William Steven Horne (1832-1896), a farmer in Rock Port, Missouri. He married Rachel Jane Roberson(1847-1944), daughter of Rufus Morgan and Elizabeth A. (Lomax) Roberson, of Holt County, Missouri.

5. George Rufus Redmond Horn (1876-1969), a railroad fireman in Fremont, Nebraska. He married Myrtle Louise Quillen (1885-1956), daughter of James Robert and Clara Etta (Weight) Quillen, of Tabor, Iowa.

6. Evelyn Louise Horn (1911- ); married Dudley Hamilton Howery (1910-1983), a jeweler in Laramie, Wyoming.