Indian Captivity Stories of the Walker, Cowan, and Handley Families

William M. Willis
January 2007
(under development)


This article is designed as a non-linear discussion of Indian Captivity Stories in the Handley, Cowan, and Walker families of southwest Virginia and east Tennessee. There are a number of these stories, some of which exist in multiple versions. As a whole, the stories include substantial family information which has been used by genealogists to shape their family histories' /lineages. The stories are not, however, necessarily consistent with each other, and some versions are thought to be more reliable than others. You can reach different conclusions about your family history, depending on which version of which stories are "accepted".

The reader will find articles about the individual stories grouped by the principal persons involved. Other articles provide basic genealogic and family history information about the individuals mentioned in the stories, graphic depictions of the family trees developed from the different stories, and separate discussions of the genealogical interpretation of these stories. Ultimately, articles dealing with the historical and social context underlying the stories are also planned. One of the main purposes of this article---perhaps the main purpose---is to provide a sorting out of these stories, with the ultimate objective of contributing to our understanding of the family relations for the people contained in these stories.