Looking for Burkett Family of Tennessee & Arkansas
My great grandfather was born Jefferson Davis Burkett possibly in or near Hot Springs, Arkansas or Tennessee and probably shortly after the Civil War. He was all or mostly Cherokee, and I do not know if he had any siblings. He married and had at least 2 or 3 sons by his wife there. One day he arrived home from work to find another man sitting on his front porch and shot him dead in a jealous rage. As the story goes, his mother then gave him a horse and aided in his escape before authorities arrived. He fled to Louisiana, changed his name to Smith, began working for the railroad and married my great grandmother. They lived in a box car that moved from place to place as the railroad lines were laid in Louisiana, and started a large family. Over the course of 15 or more years, they proceeded to have 8 children and eventually migrated to Houston, TX. When his youngest son was 3 yers old, some or all of his sons that he had abandoned from his first marriage knocked on the door and divulged their father's true identity and the fact he indeed had a wife and family that until then were completely unknown to my great grandmother and their 8 children. She divorced him or had the marriage annulled (not sure which) and their children had their names changed from Smith to Burkett. He then went on to marry a third time in Houston and fathered twin girls by his third wife (names unknown).
My grandmother and her siblings were not fond of their father, who was reportedly a very abusive man, and would not talk about him or answer most of my questions, so I have no other information regarding him at all. I would like to find any relatives who might be able to provide information to fill in the blanks for me with regard to him and his side of the family.
If this story sounds familiar, and you have any information, please let me know!