"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Cherry Families of Tennessee and Oklahoma

Invasion of England in 1066 AD
The Cherry surname first appears in England in 1066 AD when some De Che’ries of Normandy (France) invaded England with their leader, the Duke of Normandy. Cherry is the anglicized version of De Che’rie, a prominent title among the Normans. Though many believe “Cherry” is an occupational surname (i.e. “cultivators of cherries”), the true etymology of the name can be found in runes, the language of the Normans.

De Che’rie means “chief one.” Che means “chief” and rie means “one.” De is the Old Norman word for "the." So De Che’rie means “The Chief One.” The De Che’ries who came to England were some of the "chief" or "lords" of the Normans who left Normandy and Picardo in northern France to invade England.

The Normans or Northmen, otherwise known as Norsemen, left their Scandinavian homes in Norway in 911 AD and came to France under their leader Rollo. After a short war with the French, the Normans were given lands in northern France by King Charles III of France. The French called this land Normandy, or “land of the Northmen.” The Duke of Normandy was the title given to the ruler of of Normandy, a title first held by Rollo, the Scandinavian nobleman and leader of the Northmen who had invaded France in 911 AD.

In 1066 the reigning Duke of Normandy, a man known as Guillaume the Bastard, left Normandy to invade England. After successfully conquering that country, the English anglicized his name and called him King William “The Conqueror" of England. From then on, the Duke of Normandy and the King of England were usually the same man, until the King of France seized Normandy from King John in 1204 AD.

Tradition has it that the De Cher’ries who invaded England with William the Conqueror became leading members of the Knights Templar during the Crusades (1095 to 1291 AD). Even after the Crusades ended, the Knights Templar remained a prominent military order in Europe. In the early 15th century, King Charles the IV of France obtained a large loan of money from the Knights Templar. When the king could not repay the loan, he worked out an agreement with the Pope to outlaw the Knights Templar. King Charles IV then rounded up many of the Knights and had them burned at the stake. Some of the Knights Templar, including Thomas and Jean De Che’rie, fled to England in 1407. After coming to England, the Knights Templar organization became known as the Free Masons. During the remainder of the 15th century, the Cherry surname expanded throughout England, particularly in Buckinghamshire and London counties, where many Normandy De Cher’ries settled.

Fast forward three centuries.
During the early morning hours of December 26, 1824, the day after Christmas, people gathered at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, London, for the funeral of Dr. James Parkinson. James, a physician, had earned fame for his 1817 pamphlet entitled An Essay on Shaking Palsy. Dr. Parkinson had enlighted the world on the characteristics of the disease that would later bear his name . The doctor's body was interred in the Shoreditch churchyard beside other doctors, English politicians, businessmen, and many well-known actors from the Tudor Period (1485-1603). Shoreditch Church, as St. Leornard's Church was called by Londoners, had been the home parish of many men and women who were famous for their performances on the theatrical stages of London. Shakespeare himself had once lived near Shoreditch, and the local parish had long catered to the wealthy and more established population of London. The bells in the steeple tower could be heard throughout city, and the church was memorialized in the line from the English Orange and Lemon's nursery rhyme: "When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch."

After the funeral crowd dispersed, two families entered Shoreditch for the wedding ceremony of  Charles Tinsley Cherry and Ann Mabel Foreman. The groom, Charles Tinsley Cherry, had been born March 14, 1801 in Fenny Stratford, England, forty-four miles northwest of London. Charles had recently moved to London to work as a jeweler. Charles made fine jewelry in the form of fruit, a popular accessory for women in the early 19th century.
Charles' bride, Ann Foreman, was petite and beautiful. She was dressed in her finest church clothes, with some of Charles' jewelry for adornment. The full veil and white gown wardrobe of the English bride would not become fashionable until the Victorian Era (1837-1901). Ann's family (the Foremans) sat in the pews one side of the church and the Cherry family sat across the aisle on the other side. Charles father and mother, William and Sara Cherry, were on the front row. Behind them were Charles' older brother, James Cherry, and Charles' younger sister, Mary Cherry Donne. Mary had turned twenty-two on Christmas Eve, and though she was a year younger than her brother Charles, she had just celebrated the first anniversary of her marriage to George John Donne. George sat beside his wife Mary and Charles' youngest sister Sara Cherry. Other members of the Cherry family, including Charles' aunts and uncles and many cousins, filled the groom's side of the church. As was the custom of the day, friends of the families would stand outside the church until the ceremony was over.

The wedding ceremony was short and simple and followed the Anglican wedding rituals of the day. After the exchange of vows,  Parish Curator Robert Crosby led the young couple to the vestibule where the parish book was signed (see photo to the right).  Charles and Ann would sign that Parish register four more times during the next five years for the christening of their first four children William Tinsley Cherry (b. September 7, 1825); Mary Ann Dawes Cherry (b. September 24, 1826), Edward William Cherry (b. 1828), and Sarah Jane Cherry (b. 1829).

Charles and Ann Mabel Cherry's Children

The Cherry's firstborn son William would only live nine weeks and be buried at Shoreditch on November 1, 1825. Two more children, Edward and Sarah, would die in January 1831 at the ages of three and two respectively. An article in the London Morning Chronicle describing the winter of 1830/1831 may explain why the two Cherry children died: "This is the severest winter we have had for some years, and since our last we have experienced it in its wildest characteristics. On Wednesday as the Wellington coach was on its way to Sheffield, the coachman and passengers perceived on the road near Mam Tor, two men lying by the wayside, completely overcome by the severity of the weather. One of them was so much weakened that he must have shortly perished, had the coach not opportunely arrived. The other man was only just able to stand." Of Charles' and Ann's first four children, only Mary Ann Dawes Cherry (1826-1898) would live to adulthood.

In the spring of 1831, Charles and Ann Cherry decided to immigrate to the United States.  Ann was expecting her fifth child and Charles decided it would be better for them if they made the six to eight week trip across the Atlantic Ocean prior to Mary's due date in August. In the early spring of 1831, Charles and Ann took their four-year-old girl Mary Cherry and left England via the English seaport city of Hull. In later years, Charles would say he was from "Hull" England, though he was born northwest of London and lived his adult life in metropolitan London. The seaport city of Hull was technically where Charles came "from" when he came to America, and it would have been the city written on Charles' immigration card at the port of entry into America. Hull became the city inscribed on Charles' tombstone (see picture above). However, there can be no mistake from examining the abundant official English records:  Charles Tinsley Cherry was a Londoner prior to coming to America.

Charles and Ann and their seven-year-old daughter Mary arrived in the United States prior to the summer of 1831. Andrew Jackson was President of the United States in 1831, and Tennesssee was considered America's western "frontier." The heartland of America remained a mysterious and vast wilderness. 1831 was also the year the French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville visited America and it marked the beginning of the forced marches of the eastern civilized Indians (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole) to Indian Territory (Oklahoma), marches which collectively became known as The Trail of Tears. For the next 25 years Charles Tinsley Cherry would play an instrumental role in the education of American school children, becoming the leading book agent for the American Sunday School Union, first in Cincinnati, then in Rochester, New York. Though it is not clear how C.T. Cherry became involved in the American Sunday School Union, it seems he crossed the Atlantic, entering the United States at New York harbor, and then made his way by river to Cincinnati where his first cousin, John Cherry, worked as a "cooper," a wood craftsman who made wood barrels to ship pickled pork down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and the occasional wooden caskets for human burial.

On August 6, 1831,  shortly after arriving in New York, Ann Cherry gives birth to to her fifth child, George H. Cherry, whom C.T. and Ann name in honor of C.T's brother.  Charles and Ann would spend about three years in New York and Philadelphia in training for the ASSU, working with the headquarters in Philadelphia and the large book depository in Utica, New York. By 1835 Charles and Ann would have two other boys - William Edward (1833) and Henry (b. 1835). Henry would die in infancy, and soon after his death, the Cherry family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where Charles took the very important position of Agent for the Western Board of Agency of the American Sunday School Union. The phone directories and street addresses for Cincinnati list George Cherry as living in Cincinnati in the 1830's, and the publications of the American Sunday School Union (est. 1824 in Philadelphia) during that time always lists C.T. Cherry's address as 186 Main Street and C.T. Cherry as the American Sunday School Union book agent for the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys.

C.T. Cherry would work for nearly twenty-five years as a book agent and writer for the American Sunday School Union, first in Cincinnati and later in Rochester, New York. Founded in 1824 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the American Sunday School Union (ASSU) had as its mission the promotion of Sunday schools and early literacy and the spiritual development of children.  The ASSU mission states: "We are resolved, that the American Sunday School Union, in reliance upon Divine aid, will, within two years, establish a Sunday school in every destitute place where it is practicable, throughout the Valley of the Mississippi."

People in pioneer areas where there were no established schools heavily leaned heavily on the books provided by the ASSU. Cincinnati became a perfect location for C.T. Cherry to ship ASSU books all over the pioneer areas of the United States. New settlers would start a Sunday School class, teach it, and where possible find a Christian man or woman willing to lead it, giving that new leader a bundle of books and tracts to establish him or her in the new work. Charles Tinsley Cherry seems to have become one of the first "book agents" for the American Sunday School Union. C.T.'s book shop at 186 Main Street in Cincinnati is today the exact location of  the Cincinnati Reds' Great American Ballpark (between Second Street and First Street on Main in Cincinnati).

C.T. Cherry would ship an ASSU "library"--comprised of 121 specifically chosen books--to pioneer school districts, families, or churches (where common schools met).The individual books in the libraries had uniform bindings, and each volume was numbered to correspond with its number on the ASSU catalogue:  C. S. L. stood for common school library; P. S. L. for public school library, F. L. stood for family library, and C. L. stood for children's library. The ASSU books would be placed in in a plain case, with a lock and key, and all the necessary hangings and fastenings. Upon the door would be painted the words SCHOOL LIBRARY, words which the book agent could change upon request.  On the inside of the door the book agent would paste a catalogue sheet of the entire 121 volume library, and he would also enclose another fifty catalogues which could be passed out to families in the community so they could know the individual books in the community library. The library case was put into a shipping container, and packed so that it cold safely transported to any part of the country. The entire library would be sold  for THIRTY-THREE DOLLARS, which included shipping. When it reached its destination, the library case would removed from the shipping container, and it be suspended in the school-room, arranged for immediate use. Before being shipped, the books had to be approved by a  committee of two Baptists, two Episcopalians, two Methodists, and two Presbyterians. The books were evangelical in their tendency and influence, not sectarian and loaned freely to the students.

The ASSU library shipped by Charles Cherry to pioneer schools
An 1838 American Sunday School Union pamphlet with the lengthy title "Sketch of the Plan of the American Sunday School Union for Supplying a Choice Library of Moral, Religious, and Instructive Books for Public and Private Schools, Families, Factories &c. with a Descriptive Catalogue of the Library" (see picture above right), lists C.T. Cherry as the book agent at 186 Main Street in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The last four children born to Ann and C.T. Cherry-- George H. Cherry (b. 1831), William Edward (b. 1833), Henry Cherry (b. 1835), and Cutler Cherry (b. 1836)--were all born in New York, but for Cutler who was born in Ohio. Henry died in infancy, but the other three boys survived to adulthood. As adults, all the boys but Cutler would list their "place of birth" as Rochester, New York, though they all spent their formative boyhood years there (c. 1840 to 1855). Ann Mabel Cherry gave birth to a total of eight children--four in England and four in Ohio--but daughter Mary was the only child born in England to survive into adulthood. By the time Ann Cherry's last son (Cutler) was born on September 21, 1836, the C.T. and Ann Cherry family had become in every sense of the word - "Americans." 

Then, heartbreak struck the C.T. Cherry Family.

The Death of Ann Mabel Cherry (October 26, 1836)

On October 26, 1836, just five weeks after Cutler Cherry had been born, Ann Mabel (Foreman) Cherry died. The Cherry family has had the story passed down for generations that Ann Mabel drowned in the ocean as she was either boarding a ship or on board a ship that was heading back to England to visit her Foreman side of the family. Tradition has it that Ann was going back for a visit after five years in America. The circumstances surrounding her death are unknown, but her place of death is listed as Ocean City, New Jersey. Either way, Ann's death left Charles as a widower of thirty-five with four children ten years of age and younger. Help was needed.

The reports of Ann's death reached England either in the form of a letter from Charles or Charles' crossing the Atlantic with his children to deliver the news himself. Regardless, when the Foreman family learned of Ann's death, Mary T. Foreman, Ann's younger sister volunteered to care for her ten-year-old neice Mary Ann Cherry and her three young Cherry nephews (George, William and Cutler) and Cherry niece (Mary), who was named after her and only seven years her junior. Mary T. Foreman was only seventeen years of age, but Charles immediately fell in love with this young girl who was the sister of his deceased wife, and so reminded him of his beloved Ann. Within a year after Ann's death, on August 16, 1837, Charles Tinsley Cherry married Mary T. Foreman. This marital union would endure for fifty-five years until Charles Tinsley died at the age of 91 in 1892 in Winchester, Tennessee.


Around 1840, about three years after his marriage to Mary, C.T. Cherry moved his new wife and four children to Rochester, New York. Mary.  It seems he opened a second "book shop" in Rochester, but kept employees at his important Cincinnati office to manage the store there. By 1850 Charles T. Cherry also began writing books that the American Sunday School Union published for national distribution. These books included: The Sunday-School Girl (1850; Heaven (1851); Be Neat (1852); and The Sower (1853).

In 1841 C.T.'s new wife (Mary) would give birth to her first child. The couple would name him  Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry (this author's great-great-grandfather). Mary Cherry would later give birth another boy, Charles Henry Cherry (b. 1844), and then to her only daughter, Frances Cherry (b. 1846). All three of Mary's children were born in Rochester, New York. After France's birth in 1846,  the last of the C.T. Cherry's children, the C.T. Cherry family in Rochester, New York numbered nine people, seven surviving children and Charles Tinsley and Mary Cherry.


In early 1855 C.T. Cherry sold his book business and joined his oldest son, George H. Cherry (b. 1831), in becoming founding members of the Western New York Fruit Growers Society. The June-July 1918 Journal of the New York State Fruit Grower's Association (page 15) records that a circular letter was sent throughout western New York in February 1855 which read:
"A meeting of the fruit growers and nurserymen of Western New York will be held in the old Court House, Rochester, New York, February 27, 1855 at two o'clock p.m. for the purpose of organizing a pomological society to embrace all the counties lying west of and including Onondaga.
The culture of fruits in this region is becoming an important branch of industry, and the projected society cannot fail to exert a powerful influence in advancing its interests." 
At this meeting an organization was effected, and a constitution and bylaws adopted, with 21 gentlemen paying their dues and enrolled as charter members. These twenty-one men included C.T. Cherry and G.H Cherry (C.T.'s son). Shortly after its founding the famous pomologist (i.e. "fruit cultivator")  Charles Downing became a celebrated member and ardent supporter of the society.

Rochester, New York: From Flour City to Flower City

By 1850, the population of Rochester reached 36,003, making it the 21st largest city in the United States. Westward expansion had moved the focus of farming from the farmlands of northern New York state to the Great Plains. As a result, Rochester's importance as the center for flour milling had declined. Rochester's focus turned from flour to flowers. Several seed companies which had been started in Rochester in the 1830's  had grown by 1850 to become the largest seed and nursery businesses in the world. Rochester's official nickname was changed from the Flour City to the Flower City. Frederick T.D.'s father, Charles Cherry, worked as a book agent in Rochester, New York. Charles T. Cherry listed his real estate holdings as $4,5000 ($150,000 in today's dollars). At some point Charles left the book business and went to work as a "nurseryman" in the big seed and plant companies of Rochester.

Charles' six sons, including Frederick Tinsley Donne, would all work in the nurseries of Rochester as well. They attended school during the day and worked in the afternoons and evenings. During the late 1850's, as the country headed for Civil War, FTD's oldest brother, George Cherry, left Rochester, New York and made his way to Winchester, Tennessee. George opened a nursery business of his own in Winchester in the late 1850's. The official website of the city of Winchester, Tennessee lists George H. Cherry as one of the first and most prominent nurserymen in this south central Tennessee city.

The Cherry Family's Relocation to Tennessee

In 1859 C.T. Cherry left Rochester, New York with his wife Mary, his oldest daughter (Mary Anne Dawes Cherry), three sons, and their youngest daughter (Frances) and moved to Goodlettsville, Tennessee, just northeast of Nashville. C.T. Cherry and his two oldest sons that made the trip -- Cutler Cherry (b. 1836) and Frederick Tinsley Donne  "FTD" Cherry (b. 1841) -- opened a nursery business of their own just north of Nashville proper. The Cherry family specialized in fruit trees. The rich soil of Davidson County Tennessee made for the perfect nursery location and the Cherry family prospered.

The Cherrys cultivated cherries, apples, pears, and other fruits in Davidson County Tennessee. In the 1860 Census C.T. Cherry is listed as a "Nursery Man" with property valued at $2,000. So too the boys Cutler and Frederick, ages 24 and 19 respectively, are listed as nursery men like their father.

One cannot be certain why C.T. Cherry moved to Tennessee. George H. Cherry, C.T's son relocated to Winchester, Tennessee shortly after the family moved to Goodlettsville. There is a Cherry Cemetery located near where George relocated, so it is quite possible that family from England had relocated there previously. On the morning the Battle of Shiloh broke out in southern Tennessee, General Grant was having breakfast in the Cherry Mansion on the Tennessee River. The Cherrys who owned that mansion in Savannah, Tennessee were distantly related to C.T. Cherry, and Mrs. Cherry would later be called to testify on behalf of General Grant that "he was not drunk" on the morning of the battle, a charge brought by Grant's enemies to explain the enormous loss of life on the Union.

Regardless of the reasons for moving south, C.T. Cherry would live the last thirty years of his life in Tennessee, and involve himself in the founding and establishment of Sewanee University, an Anglican school whose first President, Charles Todd Quintard, was a close friend of the Cherry family and the namesake for FTD Cherry's future son, Charles Quintard Cherry (1872-1937).    

Tennessee's Capitol in Nashville During the Civil War
The Civil War broke out April 12, 1861 when the Confederates fired on Union Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. In 1861 Nashville was the second largest city in the state of Tennessee (only Memphis was bigger) and the eighth largest city in the Confederacy. It was an industrial center and was home to the Nashville Armory, also known as the College Hill Arsenal. This private company manufactured arms for the Confederate government and was one of the few facilities capable of casting artillery in the country. For this reason, Nashville was a key target for the Union. Nashville's citizens were mostly pro-Confederate. Vice-President Andrew Johnson had tried to get the leaders of Tennessee, Johnson's home state, to side with the Union. His efforts were of no avail. In fact, R.B.C. Howell, the pastor of First Baptist Church Nashville had responded to Johnson's plea with a five page letter of his own that gave the moral, biblical and rational reasons for Tennessee to side with the Confederacy. The pastor of First Baptist would later pay for his treason with a two year imprisonment in Nashville when Union forces took over the city. Nashville became the first confederate capital to fall to the Union.

 The Union army advanced on Nashville in February 1862. When news came that Fort Donelson, upriver from Nashville, had fallen to Union forces, the mayor of Nashville rode through the streets of the city and encouraged the people to evacuate. The Cherry family, just north of Nashville, had lived in pro-Union New York for two decades, but with their nursery business in Goodletsville and George's nursery business in Winchester, the Cherry family decided to cast their sentiments with the south. The Cherrys, along with most of the other populace in and around Nashville, evacuated the city in February 1862. The Cherrys moved south and east to Winchester, Tennessee to help George Cherry with his nursery business. Union forces overtook Nashville on February 25, 1862.

Frederick Tinsley Donne "FTD" Cherry, Cutler Cherry and their father C.T. Cherry all began working at George Cherry's nursery in Winchester, Tennessee  in March of 1862. F. T.D. Cherry was 20 years old and his brother Cutler was 25 years old. They worked for George for the next eight months until both men volunteered for Company E of the 17th Tennessee Infantry, CSA (Confederates), the company formed by men from Franklin County, Tennessee. Winchester is the county seat of Franklin. The enlistment documents and company muster and pay rolls for the 17th Infantry and for both Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry and Cutler Cherry are in the archives of the Tennessee State Library. From the official documents of the Civil War, many things can be discovered about the FTD Cherry and his Civil War activities.

FTD Cherry's Service in Company E of Tennessee's 17th Infantry

From November 15, 1862 to January 1 1863 Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry was at home sick. He was not paid his soldier's salary because he did not report for muster call. Frederick Cherry's actual service in the 17th Infantry began in January 1863. For the next eight months Frederick fought in several Civil War battles in southern Tennessee. His rank was that of a private, but FTD Cherry did something honorable in the summer of 1863 that caught the eye of Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson. There is no documentation as to what he did to deserve such an honor, but FTD Cherry became the personal clerk of Brigadier General Johnson. By personal command of Johnson, Frederick Cherry transferred from the 17th Infantry to Field Headquarters on August 1, 1863 (official Civil War documents). For the next 45 days FTD Cherry was personally involved in Confederate preparations for the Battle of Chickamaqua, the worst Union defeat of the Civil War and the second bloodiest Civil War battle behind only that of Gettysburg (see above picture).

FTD Cherry, however, was captured by Union soldiers on September 15, 1863 near Graysville, Georgia, four days before Chickamaqua. Being the personal clerk of the Brigadier General Johnson, Frederick Cherry was a prized capture. He was taken by prison coach to Nashville where he was imprisoned with RBC Howell, the pastor of First Baptist Nashville, for a week. He was then transferred to the Confederate prison in Louisville, Kentucky where he stayed a few days before being transferred Camp Chase in Ohio. In early January 1864, FTD Cherry was taken from Camp Chase to the newly built Rock Island Prison for Confederate Soldiers in Rock Island, Illinois. Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry arrived at Rock Island on January 17, 1864. He would spend the next fourteen months at Rock Island.

Rock Island is a very historic Confederate prison. Conditions were primitive and many soldiers died from malnutrition or due to the winter elements. Frederick T.D. Cherry was 5'9" with hazel eyes and brown hair, weighing 150 pounds, and was in relative good health. Frederick's brother Cutler Cherry would also be captured by the Union and spend 1864 in Rock Island Prison as well. On March 20, 1865, the Cherry brothers were tranferred from Rock Island to Point Lookout, Maryland and then on to Camp Lee outside Richmond, Virginia. Frederick T.D. Cherry was released from prison on March 28, 1865 after giving an oath of allegience to the United States. When Cutler Cherry gave his oath it is recorded in the Civil War documents that he said, "I only joined the 17th to avoid conscription."

Less than two weeks after FTD and Cutler Cherry were released from prison, General Lee surrendered at Appamattox (April 9, 1865). Five days later President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. By April 15, 1865 FTD and Cutler had been reunited with their father and mother and brother George in Winchester, Tennesee after an absence of over two years.

Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry becomes Dr. FTD Cherry

FTD Cherry attended the University of Nashville (1866-1869) and received his medical degree from the school that eventually became Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  After graduation Dr. Cherry moved to Missouri where he opened a medical practice. He soon met a popular Missouri girl named Kate Elizabeth Smith. On January 27, 1870, Dr. FTD Cherry and Kate Elizabeth Smith married in Washington County, Missouri.  Dr. FTD Cherry, as he signs his name on the wedding certificate, would have been quite the catch for a young Missouri belle, but the attraction between FTD and Kate Elizabeth Cherry was not one sided.  Dr. Cherry had a successful medical practice in Missouri for over a decade and the couple's first five children were born in Missouri: Mortimer Tinsley (b. March 12, 1871); Charles Quintard (b. July 25, 1872); Arthur Donne Cherry (b. July 28, 1875), Annie Mae Cherry (b. February 20, 1878); and Frederick Smith Cherry (b. December 11, 1880). Only the youngest child, Susan Gordon Cherry (b. July 7, 1891) was born later in Tennessee.


In 1878 F.T.D. moved to Chattanooga to practice medicine, but by 1880 he had relocated to Decherd to be near his aging father who was going blind. Dr. F.T.D. and had a successful medical practice in the Winchester, Tennesee area shortly moving to Franklin County he was appointed as the Franklin County Health Official by the State of Tennessee, a post he would hold until moving to Oklahoma in the late 1890's. The F.T.D. Cherry family lived in a beautiful home on Main Street in Decherd and Dr. FTD looked after his mother and father. By this time,  FTD's brother, Cutler, had purchased the nursery business from their brother George Cherry. Cutler operated the largest nursery in Winchester and quickly became known as an expert in various dogwood trees, especially the Cherokee Chief Red Dogwood.  The Cherrys became leading citizens of the Winchester area, and Dr. FTD Cherry practiced medicine in Winchester and Decherd for over fifteen years. In 1893, one year after Susie Gordon Cherry was born, F.T.D. and Kate's sixth and final child, Dr. FTD's father, Charles T. Cherry, died in Decherd. Two years later, Charles beloved second wife, Mary T. Cherry died. Both Charles and Mary were buried in the old Winchester City Cemetery. 

Charles Tinsley Cherry, born in 1801 in Buckinghamshire, England, married in London's historic Shoreditch Church on Christmas 1824, a migrant to America in 1830, a prominent book agent in Cincinnati, Ohio and Rochester, New York, a founding member of the Western New York Fruit Growers Society, a successful nurseryman in Goodlettsville and Winchester, Tennessee, a lifetime supporter of Christian education, father of eight, and a father of eleven children, died at the age of 92, having lived a long and fruitful life.

The Move to Oklahoma

In 1899, Dr. FTD Cherry and Kate, their sons Frederick Smith, Arthur,  and daughter Susie packed up their belongings and traveled by covered wagon to Sallisaw, Indian Territy, part of the Cherokee Nation. Dr. FTD Cherry was nearing sixty years of age  and it stands to reason he retired from his medical practice in Tennessee and decided to migrate west for the opportunities afforded him and his family in newly opened Indian Territory.  Dr. Cherry knew several Winchester families who had already made the move west, including his own son, Charles Quintard Cherry who was operating a dry goods store in Sallisaw.

Upon arriving in Indian Territory, Dr. FTD Cherry used his expertise in medicine and helped his son Frederick Smith Cherry open the Crescent Drug Store.  F.T.D. also became the county health official for Sequoyah County, serving in this position from statehood (1907) until his death in 1913. It was in the Crescent drugstore of Sallisaw that Frederick Smith met the devout Baptist Bonnie McCoy Francis during the Christmas break of 1903. One year later Frederick Smith Cherry and Bonnie Francis would marry in the Sallisaw Baptist Church. The entire wedding party went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Frederick  Cherry became the first Cherry to leave the Episcopalian Church. He would later become an active leader of the First Baptist Church of Sallisaw.

On July 26, 1904, Bonnie Cherry gave birth to  Francis F. Cherry. Two years later, on August 1, 1906, Bonnie Francis gave birth to a girl, name Mabel B. Cherry. Then, five years later, on February 6, 1912, Bonnie gave birth to her third and final child.

She and Fred Cherry named their boy Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry.

They named their son after Fred's father, the man they admired so much--Dr. FTD Cherry. Just a little over one year later, on June 2, 1913, the elder Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry, known by his family and friends as Dr. FTD Cherry, died in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. His beloved wife, Kate Elizabeth Cherry, fulfilled his wish to have his body transported back to Winchester, Tennesee to be buried beside his beloved father and mother. In the Winchester cemetery, behind the city police station, there is a Cherry family plot with four graves of the people responsible for so many Cherry families: Charles Tinsley Cherry (1801-1892); Mary T. Cherry (1820-1894); Dr. FTD Cherry (1841-1913) and Kate Elizabeth Cherry (1851-1923). The picture below is of the Winchester, Tennessee Cherry family plot.






Of the nearly 250 Cherrys who live in Oklahoma and trace their heritage through Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry (b. 1911 - d. 1970) and his wife Virginia Pearl (Salyer) Cherry (b. 1917 - d. 2013), you now know the history of the Cherrys in England and America.

9 comments:

Tim Snider said...

Fascinating post. Very Steve Hartman-like - everyone has a story.

Am I to assume you or your wife have Cherry ancestry? If no, how did you choose this subject matter?

Wade Burleson said...

Tim,

My mother is Mary Cherry. My grandfather is Frederick Tinsley Donne Cherry. He played tight end for the University of Oklahoma from 1929 to 1932. You can read about him here. In addition, my grandfather married a delightful woman named Virginia Salyer. You can watch a video of Virginia (Salyer) Cherry, a video that my son Logan and I made of her, here. This post explains how my grandfather Cherry received his name--in honor of his grandfather Dr. FTD Cherry--who died (1913) one year after my grandfather was born.

Interestingly, my wife is obtaining her doctorate from Vanderbilt, so I really enjoyed getting to know the staff at FBC Nashville, Nashville attorney Marshall Albrighton, and a host of people at the Nashville capitol and Winchester. If you wish to read a fascinating post about John Wilkes Booth and Winchester, Tennessee, you can go here.

Beth Duncan said...

176And I kept looking for the connection with FTD florists! :p

Seriously, I do enjoy reading these. I enjoy hisory.

Wade Burleson said...

I know Beth! FTD is an unusual name! :)

Garen Martens said...

Are some of your family still in the nursery business? When I was in landscaping, I bought many trees from McMinnville, TN. It is one of the most prolific growing areas of the US.

Wade Burleson said...

Not any more, Garen! At least, not that I know. It's fascinating that it is sometimes easier in the age of the Internet to find information on those dead than it is those still living! :)

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RNYnicencold said...

Hello, I find your story very interesting and helpful. We are probably distant cousins, and here goes the explanation:
I am John Jacobs, from Roch. NY. My G Grand Mother, Clara "Carrie" Frances Cherry, is the daughter of William E. Cherry 1833-1904 (my G Grand Father). William E. is the son of CT. Cherry, my G G G Grand Father. Clara Frances Cherry, married Paul B. Jacobs, my G Grand Father. Here is a link to the Cherry Family buried at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Roch., NY. Copy and paste, if it doesn't work, copy and past the base link to Holy Sepulcher: http://www.holysepulchre.org/locate/search
If you search by last name, you will find all of the family for at least 3 generations, for those that resided in Roch., NY. All are buried in the same section Lot/Tier 336. The actual grave numbers run in rows, with generations buried behind the earlier generations, or with spouses. The Cherry daughters are also buried here under their maiden names. When you go to the site, and "Locate A Love One," Enter last name Cherry, then search for 336, on a Mac it is Apple+F, on a PC it is CTRL+F Clara "Carrie" (nick name by family,) Frances Cherry is listed under JACOBS and that family is in Lot/Tier 40. More Cherry family members in an adjoining Section Lot/Tier 337, I will supply their names for you as they are buried under their married names: Clara C. Talling (Clara Cherry) Daughter of William E. and Mary A. Healey Cherry, Sister of Clara “Carrie” Cherry Jacobs, Wife of Frank M. Talling, husband: Frank M. Talling Husband of Clara C. Talling, (Clara Cherry 1858-1938). Children: all in same Lot/Tier, John Talling Possible Child of Frank M. Talling and Clara Cherry Talling. Clara C. Cullen (Clara Marie Cherry), Wife of Edward King Cullen (no grave for Edward King Cullen.) also Lot/Tier 336, her child Edward K. Jr. Cullen Son of Edward King Cullen, and Clara C. Cullen (Clara M. Cherry) DOB: 06/00/1926, DO Burial 01/10/1927. Frances B. Cherry, DOB 1886. Also in Lot/Tier 336, Frances Ann Cherry (Baby) Possibly child of Frances B. Cherry, DOB 04/17/1948, Age:1 Hour (this one is sad.) You are aware of the losses CT. Cherry with wife Ann, with the loss of 4 of their 8 children. When the husbands are not buried with their families, it may be because they are not Catholic, and this is sad rule. I have found other family members at Mt. Hope Cemetery and Riverside Cemetery. Link to these Cemeteries http://rbscp.lib.Roch..edu/mthope/search You need to know the year and will need to enter the first 3 letters of the last name. I found family here too. Link: Monroe County Library, this link is for City Directories, and I found CT. Cherry in Roch. In 1824., with AASU books. More on digital books: http://www3.libraryweb.org/lh.aspx?id=973&ekmensel=c57dfa7b_12_38_973_2
http://www.libraryweb.org/%7Edigitized/newsindex/1851-1897/Index32HUG-JAI.pdf Link to Roch. newspaper, wedding announcement for Paul Jacobs marries Clara Cherry, January 14, 1876Thank you for all you have done to help. FYI, the women you refer to as Sara, are on https://familysearch.org as Sarah, so I put entered an alternate first name for them, so anyone searching may find it easier. There are multiple Ann Mabel Foreman (CHERRY) listings. All appear to be the same person, but all have different ID's. All are Married to CT Cherry who is the same person, but also has multiple ID's I think I have the most complete family tree set up, but still need to enter the wives of the children of Mary T. Foreman (Cherry.) One link had or has her as the mother of all of CT and Ann's children. I did my best to remove the two youngest from Mary and CT, and get them solely with CT and Ann. I found you by searching Cherry Family History Roc. NY. Thank you for all you work. I had a longer post but had to cut down the spaces as there were to many letters and spaces, and run paragraphs together, sorry.

RNYnicencold said...

Hello, I find your story very interesting and helpful. We are probably distant cousins, and here goes the explanation:
I am John Jacobs, from Roch. NY. My G Grand Mother, Clara "Carrie" Frances Cherry, is the daughter of William E. Cherry 1833-1904 (my G Grand Father). William E. is the son of CT. Cherry, my G G G Grand Father. Clara Frances Cherry, married Paul B. Jacobs, my G Grand Father. Here is a link to the Cherry Family buried at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Roch., NY. Copy and paste, if it doesn't work, copy and past the base link to Holy Sepulcher: http://www.holysepulchre.org/locate/search
If you search by last name, you will find all of the family for at least 3 generations, for those that resided in Roch., NY. All are buried in the same section Lot/Tier 336. The actual grave numbers run in rows, with generations buried behind the earlier generations, or with spouses. The Cherry daughters are also buried here under their maiden names. When you go to the site, and "Locate A Love One," Enter last name Cherry, then search for 336, on a Mac it is Apple+F, on a PC it is CTRL+F Clara "Carrie" (nick name by family,) Frances Cherry is listed under JACOBS and that family is in Lot/Tier 40. More Cherry family members in an adjoining Section Lot/Tier 337, I will supply their names for you as they are buried under their married names: Clara C. Talling (Clara Cherry) Daughter of William E. and Mary A. Healey Cherry, Sister of Clara “Carrie” Cherry Jacobs, Wife of Frank M. Talling, husband: Frank M. Talling Husband of Clara C. Talling, (Clara Cherry 1858-1938). Children: all in same Lot/Tier, John Talling Possible Child of Frank M. Talling and Clara Cherry Talling. Clara C. Cullen (Clara Marie Cherry), Wife of Edward King Cullen (no grave for Edward King Cullen.) also Lot/Tier 336, her child Edward K. Jr. Cullen Son of Edward King Cullen, and Clara C. Cullen (Clara M. Cherry) DOB: 06/00/1926, DO Burial 01/10/1927. Frances B. Cherry, DOB 1886. Also in Lot/Tier 336, Frances Ann Cherry (Baby) Possibly child of Frances B. Cherry, DOB 04/17/1948, Age:1 Hour (this one is sad.) You are aware of the losses CT. Cherry with wife Ann, with the loss of 4 of their 8 children. When the husbands are not buried with their families, it may be because they are not Catholic, and this is sad rule. I have found other family members at Mt. Hope Cemetery and Riverside Cemetery. Link to these Cemeteries http://rbscp.lib.Roch..edu/mthope/search You need to know the year and will need to enter the first 3 letters of the last name. I found family here too. Link: Monroe County Library, this link is for City Directories, and I found CT. Cherry in Roch. In 1824., with AASU books. More on digital books: http://www3.libraryweb.org/lh.aspx?id=973&ekmensel=c57dfa7b_12_38_973_2
http://www.libraryweb.org/%7Edigitized/newsindex/1851-1897/Index32HUG-JAI.pdf Link to Roch. newspaper, wedding announcement for Paul Jacobs marries Clara Cherry, January 14, 1876Thank you for all you have done to help. FYI, the women you refer to as Sara, are on https://familysearch.org as Sarah, so I put entered an alternate first name for them, so anyone searching may find it easier. There are multiple Ann Mabel Foreman (CHERRY) listings. All appear to be the same person, but all have different ID's. All are Married to CT Cherry who is the same person, but also has multiple ID's I think I have the most complete family tree set up, but still need to enter the wives of the children of Mary T. Foreman (Cherry.) One link had or has her as the mother of all of CT and Ann's children. I did my best to remove the two youngest from Mary and CT, and get them solely with CT and Ann. I found you by searching Cherry Family History Roc. NY. Thank you for all you work. I had a longer post but had to cut down the spaces as there were to many letters and spaces, and run paragraphs together, sorry. FYI, no link to FTD Florists