Dumna Yokuts

Patricia Ann Murphy Brattland and her sister, Vickie Leane Murphy McQuade  are very proud of their Native American heritage as a  Yokuts/Pomo Indian. Pat has taken the name of her great grandmother, Yet-choo-nook.  She has been designated as the Most Likely Descendent of the Kechayi Band of  Yokuts by the California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC).  Appointed by the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection  (CDF) to the Native American Advisory Council (NAAC).

A little history and background! Pat passed away May 30, 2014 in El Cajon, California and is survived by her sister Vickie Leane Murphy McQuade of Moshein, TN as well as her husband Michael and children, Jon, Alan and Elizabeth Brattland.

Pat and Vickie are the Great Grand Daughters to Yet-choo-nook, English name, Ellen Murphy. Ellen Murphy was born in 1841 in Fresno County near Auberry, California.  Ellen Murphy’s Mother was Wa-see-it, Dumna (Cassons according to BIA enrollment records)  and Kachayi Yokuts. According to the BIA, Ellen Murphy’s Father was Soda-guy-dona, (another spelling: Gaida’na) Kechayi Yokuts. Soda-guy-dona or Gai-da-na  was Wa-see-it’s 2nd husband.   Family records and Ellen Murphy indicate   Chief Katana, (another spelling possibly, Ki-tah-nah) one of 400 Chiefs to have signed Treaties with the State in 1851 was her father. There could be another spelling of his name or he could have been called by another name as the name Katana or Ki-tah-nah does not appear on the Treaties.    The BIA enrollment records  have  Yet-choo-nook and her family and the descendents that  registered,  enrolled  as Cassons/Kechayi  Yokuts.   Domingo-Perez, Tom-mas(aka Tom-kit, aka Tom-quit, aka Toom-mas) and Jose-Antonio, who were all in Ellen Murphy’s  family, were signers of Treaties N, at Camp Barbour, on the San Joaquin River in 1851. Tom-mas(aka Tom-kit, aka Tom-quit, aka Toom-mas) was Ellen Murphy’s grandfather.  In fact, our peoples, historical records will show  have always been Dumna Yokuts of  Table Mountain Rancheria in Friant, California, ancestral land of the Dumna people. Questions will always remain why we are called Cassons.  Cassons was a generic name given to many of the San Joaquin Valley Tribes.

Chief Tom Kit died at Ku-yu-illik on the south side of the river, sadly all under water now.  His son, Wis-cha is buried there, His daughter Wa-see-it as well.

July 21, 1933, handwritten notes of Frank Latta…………”Tom-kit died at Ku-yu-illik on the south side of the river.  His son, Wis-chah, died there too.  The cemetery is on a flat hill 300 yards south of the Sulphur (sic) Water Spring.  My father died at Ka-cha, buried there with all his brothers.  His wife, my mother die. (that would be Wa-see-it)  He go to Dalinchi and marry again.  He died there and is buried there in the old graveyard down the river from village.  Close to the river on a flat at the bottom of the hill.  My mother died and we buried her Ku-yu-illik.  Tom Kit was my mother’s father.  My father belonged to Ka-cha, my mother had four sisters and four brothers.  They all died when I was a little boy and I never knew them or their names…………..”

“A detachment of soldiers under the command of Lt. Tredwell Moore established the military installation-Fort Miller-on May 26, 1851.  (see section 3 of the map)

An Indian village stood on the proposed site of the fort, only a small obstacle to the military’s plans; Moore and his men burned it to the ground. Ironically, the local Dumna Yokuts and their Chief, Tom-kit, were ordered to help build the complex that sat atop their ancestral lands. They received no payment for their labor and were lashed with whips at the slightest sign of loafing. Tom-kit, Dumna chief was Grandfather to Yet-choo-nook and Pahmit.” (quoted from “FRESNO COUNTY-THE PIONEER YEARS”, Chas. W Clough, Wm. Secrest Jr, Chapter 5) 

Pat and Vickie would like to point out that contrary to what has been written, Major Savage was not a friend to the Indians, although he made every appearance that he was, in reality he tortured them, bribed them with whiskey, ruined them and murdered, women and children as well,  to achieve the goal of total domination and in the end he received his just rewards by being murdered himself. The historians that have written about him do so in a glorified way and it is insulting and regretfully sad indeed by all descendents of Indian families that were under the control of this man. Bertina Richter indicated in her book, FORT MILLER,  that Gaylen Lee disagreed with the  characterization of Major Savage and quite so, Pat and Vickie refer you to Gaylen Lee’s chapter on Major Savage, WALKING WHERE WE LIVED, would be more accurate to the reader.    Chief Tom Kit, once a proud, tall, statuesque man, Chief of all: Chowchillas, Chuckchansi, Pitcachees, Dumnas, Kechayi, etc….. “He was the supreme head, the law and the gospel”…….but he died of a broken heart and a belly full of whiskey.  This Major Savage that is described as a Savior to the Indians filled him with whiskey as he did to other Great Chiefs and left him and his people to scavenge  for food and beg for the drink. 

Pahmit, English name-Bill Wilson (Frank Latta’s interviews of 1933 indicate another Indian name: Lahm-Pah) was Yet-choo-nook’s half brother. Yet-choo-nook and Pahmit had the same mother. Wa-see-it. Pahmit died at the age of 111 years April 26, 1936 at his home at Table Mountain Rancheria, followed by his sister, Yet-choo-nook’s death the following day April 27, 1936 in Madera, California. He was married to O-we-hut, a Dumna Indian, who died in 1913. Father was So-luck, (meaning breech clout and skirt of deer skin: Frank Latta interviews of 1930) also a Dumna Indian. Pasqual, another signer of Treaties N is a relation to Tom-kit.  Pahmit refers to his sister, Yet-choo-nook  in Frank Latta’s book, “HANDBOOK OF THE YOKUTS.” Pahmit (Drawing by J. Spriggs, from 1929 photo by Frank latta)had two sons, Jim (Lum-pa) and Martin Wilson. Pat’s Naming Ceremony was held on ancestral land of the Wilsons. 


Yet-choo-nook married  Perry Murphy (full name Oliver Perry Murphy, but always went by Perry), born 1834 in Arkansas and had 6 children.  The six children were: 

Tom Murphy,  of  Table Mountain Rancheria, never married,  born January 1, 1875 in Fresno County, Ca living his life in the Ellen Murphy House on the Murphy Family property on the map below, dying August 6, 1959 on Table Mountain Rancheria, Friant, Ca: (see section section 11 on the map; the Rancheria is  across the road from Glasses House; circa 1880. the Murphy family Ranch was in section 1 of the map on nearly 145 acres).

Ellen Murphy House, on the Murphy family property shown on the map above on Table Mountain Rancheria. This house remains today on this old Murphy Family property.

Ewell, born 1879 and died 1905 was married to Ellen Buffalo, a Mono/Shoshone. They had a daughter, Caroline who married Nicomus Turner, whose daughter was  Norma Turner of Auberry; 

 Thurman Sr.,  born Dec. 20, 1889 and  died January, 1969;

Thurman Higgens Murphy, Sr., Great Grand-son to Chief Tom Kit, Supreme Leader of all San Joaquin Tribes and signer of the 1850 Treaties….Thurman, a Native son,  served in the Army during WWI.  His mother was Ellen Murphy/Yet-choo-nook, Grand-daughter to Chief Tom Kit and his father was Oliver Perry Murphy, historically documented as a Pioneer of the Valley…

 Nancy, born Sept. 16, 1880 and died Sept. 21, 1956; Nancy married Benjamin Kinsman,( born Dec. 19, 1884) July 31, 1900 and had a son, Perry Kinsman; (b. 6-4-1903, d. May, 1961).  Benjamin died in 1904 and  she later married Joseph W. Webb.

Caroline, born July 5, 1884 and died Dec. 6, 1964;

Clarabelle, born Dec.2, 1885 and died July 8, 1941. Clarabelle married Purdy Mayo Cunningham. (died in 1957) They married in  California and shortly after moved to Missouri. They had 7 children: Marybelle Kinsman (married Perry Kinsman and had three children, Baxter, Kenneth & Terry) Frances Crosson, one daughter, Wilmetta, died 1918,  at the age of 7 from the flu epidemic, Basche Edith Murphy, born March 27, 1916, died 1978 at the age of 61. Basche married Marvin Murphy (no relation) from Wisconsin and had 6 children: Marveen, William, Alan, Ronald, Richard and Lindsay. Patrick Mayo died in Normandy in 1944, Wynn, partially paralyzed after WWII and living in a nursing home in Oregon and Billie Jo Barnes, 77 years old living in Pensacola Florida. and Billie Jo had three children, Patty Jo, Wendy Johns and Penny Barnes.  This picture  to the left is Billie Barnes on the left, daughter to Clarabelle and Wendy Johns on the right, grand-daughter to Clarabelle and daughter to Billie

[Oliver] Perry and Ellen Murphy lived on Table Mountain Rancheria (see section 1 of the map) raising hogs to make a living, in addition to [Oliver] Perry also mining with his brother, Jasper Murphy, born about 1833/34 in Arkansas.  Jasper Murphy died in February 1893 at the age of 60 plus and was considered “one of the old landmarks of the valley.” Jasper Newton Murphy married an Indian girl, Pol-chin, who was 14 when they married. They also raised cattle on and about Table Mountain.  [Oliver] Perry Murphy died  on March 27, 1897 at the age of 64. Ellen Murphy(Yet-choo-nook)  died at age 95 on April 27, 1936 in Madera. During the last 12 years, she lived with her daughter Nancy Jane Murphy Kinsman Webb in her home in Madera.   Thomas Murphy,  lived his entire life on this  property on Table Mountain Rancheria, eventually receiving the ranch as a Indian Patent from the US Government in 1951. Thomas Murphy died  in July, 1959.  His sister, Caroline (Carrie) Murphy Kennedy, married to Thomas F. Kennedy, acting as his estate  administrator, took control of the 145 acre ranch on Table Mountain Rancheria (see section 1 of the map) and sold it in July 1960. Caroline (Carrie Murphy) and Tom Kennedy (Kennedy Ranch) had 3 children, Florence Kennedy Holt, b. April 10, 1922, Thomas Kennedy, b. Dec. 19, 1920 and June Kennedy Trewartha, b. June 18, 1924. Pat’s grandfather was Thurman Higgins Murphy Sr, who after returning  from serving in the US Army in WWI,  married a Pomo woman, Esther Petersen (born July 8, 190l, died 1928) from Mendocino County, Ca.(Father-Olaf  Petersen, from Denmark (died at home in Fresno) married Lottie Hall a Pomo woman from Mendocino. Lottie died in 1906 in the San Francisco earthquake. They had two children, Olaf  (died 1967) one son, Marile Petersen, living in Oregon and Esther)

In an early picture, some members of  the Murphy Family, Thurman Murphy Sr. is seen on his return from WWI in his US Army uniform with some of his family, along with souvenirs of of his overseas service. In looking at this picture, left to right in the back are Tom Kennedy , Carrie Murphy Kennedy, Thurman Murphy Sr in Uniform, and Nancy Murphy Kinsman Webb.  In front of Thurman Sr left to right are Martha Goode and Nellie Riley, both cousins.  Esther Petersen,  died very young leaving her husband, Thurman Murphy Sr. with 2 young babies, Thurman Jr. (Pat’s father) and Venus Murphy. Esther also had two children from previous marriages: Ruth, who married John Horn, from Oakhurst, never knew her real father, always used the surname of Murphy and Bud Holds-claw, from Awahnee.  Venus married Jack Arnold and had three children, Charlie, Delores and Edy Arnold.  Thurman Jr.  was born May 22, 1923 in Madera, California, while Venus was born April 20, 1925 also in Madera.  Thurman Murphy Sr. relocated to Yosemite where he was with the U.S. Park Service for 30 years and was forced to move, by the park service after his retirement. Indians from Yosemite and  Mariposa knew  Thurman Murphy  quite well including Chief Jay Johnson of the Miwoks. Chief Johnson also knew Thurman Jr. as they were both taken away and sent to the Stewart Indian School, being there at the same time.  The Stewart Indian School or Carson Stewart Indian School was located in Carson, Nevada.  Another great friend of Thurman Murphy Sr. was Chief Lemee, English name Chris Brown, from the Miwoks in Yosemite.  For more background on Yosemite Indians and on Chief Lemee, see page 27 of YOSEMITE INDIANS, by Elizabeth Godfrey, revisions by James Synder and Craig Bates with cooperation of The American Indian Council of Mariposa County(Southern Sierra Miwok Nation, Yosemite Association in cooperation with the  National Park Service,1941;1973;1977

Thurman Murphy Jr, Pat and Vickie’s father, was forcefully taken by the Bureau of Indian Affairs from his home at the age of 6 years(1929) and placed in the Carson Indian School, Stewart, Nevada (later called Stewart Indian School) where Thurman remained till he joined the Marine Corps in WW II  ( photo, L-R, Johnny Telles, Delbert Hogan and Thurman Murphy Jr taken at the Indian Village at Yosemite, 1944, home on leave) where he went and fought the Japanese in the Pacific receiving the Purple Heart for action in Iwo Jima. He later married Grace Elizabeth Roccoforte( 1 of 7 children born to Italian immigrants, coming from Sicily through Ellis Island) and had 2 children, Patricia Ann Murphy, born Sept. 5, 1948 in San Diego and Vickie Leanne Murphy McQuade, born Dec. 16, 1952 in Mariposa.

In May 1968, Pat(Yet-choo-nook), her sister Vickie and her father Thurman Jr visited their grandfather Thurman Sr in San Andreas, California. Here is a nice shot during their last  visit of  their father and grandfather and another shot of Pat herself and her grandfather.

In the following Murphy Family  and Dumna Links, you will find a variety of interesting related links, including photographs of various hand made Californian Indian baskets which belonged to  Pat and Vickie’s great grandmother Ellen (Yet-choo-nook) Murphy which  are over 100 years old.

BBasketa   BBasketb   BBasketc  BBasketd  LBasketa  LBasketb  LBasketc

Table Mountain Rancheria File Photo-an official tribal photo taken in Clovis, Ca, 1913    #105 is Ellen (Yet-choo-nook) Murphy  and #75 is Ellen Buffalo Murphy, Yet-choo-nook’s daughter-in-law and Norma Turner’s grandmother

Article about Thomas Jefferson Murphy, Table Mountain Rancheria, 1955

Wilson Women  Left: Marguerite (aka Marie aka Mary) Johnson  Wilson, born 1854; died 1930.  Married to Frank “Hooky” Wilson.  Grand-daughter on the right, Ethel Wilson, taken 1923.

Dumna Wo-Wah Tribal Government News

California Native American Heritage Commission

CDF Native American Advisory Commission Contact List

Thurman H Murphy Jr Page on Mariposa Website

North American Map showing Indian Tribes-dated 1905. Shows California Indian Tribes

Alternate Names and/or Spellings for Tribal Groups...Dumna, Kechayi

Map of Dumna and Kechayi Tribal areas on Western slopes of Sierra Nevada Mountains, Spier, Robert F.G., HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, Vol 8, CALIFORNIA, pg 471, Smithsonian Institute, Wash DC, 1978.

Historical article on Pahmit, Dumna Band 

 Tachi Yokut History

Yokuts Harvest……wonderful painting of Yokut’s Women by Ben Barker of Susanville, Ca, picking sour berries….from the Exeter Ca Web page

Historical Article Merced Sun Pahmit……..this article has been taken off the archives and I am trying to retrieve it. Pahmit talks of the capture of his relatives and taken to San Juan Batista, he never saw them again.  Among the relatives taken  Uncles (brothers to Chief  Tom Kit), their  wives  and children……………

November 2-3, 1934 handwritten notes from Frank Latta……..”Savage partner took uncle of Pahmit, wife and sisters to San Juan Bautista.”

Native American Land-Use practices and Ecological Impacts

The Dumna and Kechayi Word for “No”  

…..treaties made treaties broken land forsakes, homes displaced; there, The People lived a token time as white men came to take their place.  The land proclaims        The People’s destiny…..judy barras lee  


Treaties N 1851 

………..easy to do justice, very hard to do right…………..Sir Robert Morton, The Winslow Boy………….

Costanoan Ohlone Indian Canyon Resource

1928 Census

1928 Census Madera County Only

Native Threads, Leucadia, Ca

Fresno County Public Library Native American Resources      

Four Directions Institute-Native American Resources       

Four Directions Institute-Yokut Indians           

Mariposa County Library History and Genealogy-Indian Resources



Clough, Charles W., Secrest, William B. Jr., FRESNO COUNTY-THE PIONEER YEARS, FROM THE BEGINNING TO 1900, VOLUME 1, Panorama West Books, Fresno, Ca 1984

Clough, Charles W., and twenty-two co-authors, FRESNO COUNTY IN THE 20TH CENTURY, FROM 1900 TO THE 1980S, VOLUME 2, Panorama West Books, Fresno, Ca, 1986

Elliott, Wallace W., HISTORY OF FRESNO COUNTY CALIFORNIA WITH ILLUSTRATIONS, Wallace W. Elliott&Company, San Francisco, 1882, Valley Publishers, Fresno, 1973

Gayton, Anne, YOKUTS AND WESTERN MONO ENTHNOGRAPHY   See this link as we  work to make this excellent piece of Yokut History available to all. This work is the result of the author’s interview with Ellen (Yet-choo-nook) Murphy in her native language and translated into English by Shirley Ramirez’ (Table Mountain Rancheria Historian) grandmother.

Godfrey, Elizabeth, YOSEMITE INDIANS, Revisions by James Snyder and Craig Bates with cooperation of The American Indian Council of Mariposa County (Southern Sierra Miwok Nation), Yosemite Association in cooperation with the National Park Service, 1941;1973;1977

Heizer, Robert  F., Whipple, M.A., THE CALIFORNIA INDIANS, A Source Book, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London,1951,1971

Heizer, Robert F., SEVEN EARLY ACCOUNTS OF POMO INDIANS AND THEIR CULTURE, Archaeological Research Facility, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, Ca, 1975.

Heizer, Robert F., THE DESTRUCTION OF CALIFORNIA INDIANS, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 1974, 1993.

Kientz, Louis D., with intro by Marvin L. Kientz, JUST AROUND HOME AT AUBERRY, Three forests Interpretive Association, Auberry, Ca, 2000. Volume 2 of this book written by Dr. Marvin Kientz is at the publishers and soon to be available. It will have a full chapter of the Murphy Family.(Sep01)

Kroebler, A.L., HANDBOOK OF THE INDIANS OF CALIFORNIA, California Book Company, Berkeley, Ca, 1953;1967

Kroebler, A.L., Lowie, R. H., Editors, University of California Publications in AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY, VOLUME XXVI, Strong, William Duncan, ABORIGINAL SOCIETY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1929, Kraus Reprint Co, Millwood, New York, 1976

Latta, Frank F., HANDBOOK OF YOKUTS INDIANS, Brewer’s Historical Press, Exeter, Ca, Coyote Press, Salinas, Ca, 1949,1999

Lee, Gaylen D., WALKING WHERE WE LIVED, Memoirs of a Mono Indian Family, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Ok, 1998

Lee, Judy Barras, THEIR PLACES SHALL KNOW THEM NO MORE, Designed by Sierra Graphic Center, Inc. Tehachapi,California, Sierra Printers, Inc., Bakersfield, Ca, 1984

Margolin, Malcolm, THE WAY WE LIVED, California Indian Reminiscences, Stories, and Songs, Heyday Books, Berkeley, Ca, 1981.

Mayfield, Thomas Jefferson, INDIAN SUMMER, Traditional Life among the Choinumne Indians of California’s San Joaquin Valley, Heyday Books, Berkeley, California Historical Society, Ca, 1993.

Richter, Bertina, FORT MILLER, CALIFORNIA, 1851-1865, Peter Lang, New York, American University Studies, 1988. Excellent read. Great original illustrations and maps.  Author is librarian at Fresno State University Library.

SMITH, NORVAL S.H., DR., Dept. of Theoretical Linguistics, University of Amsterdam,  LAST ECHOES OF TAMUKAN YOKUTS, January 19, 2002 (un-published)

Spier, Robert F. G., HANDBOOK OF NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, VOLUME 8, CALIFORNIA, Smithsonian Institute, Wash DC, 1978.

Snyder, James B., INVENTORY OF THE ETHNOGRAPHIC PAPERS OF FRANK FORREST LATTA, Yosemite Research Library, National Park Service, Yosemite National Park, Ca, 1990.

Winchell, Lil A. Edited, with annotations:  REMINISCENCES OF EARLY DAYS IN THE SOUTHERN MINES  By D.B.James                           

………….though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower, we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind……….William Wordsworth