Unity Man Traces Roots to American Indian

By Robbins, Richard | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Unity Man Traces Roots to American Indian


Robbins, Richard, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


For Ron Nicely, it's been quite a ride.

Nicely, of Unity, was surrounded by scores of relatives Saturday as he unveiled a new cemetery marker for Adam Nicely, the patriarch of a clan that today stretches from Pennsylvania to North Carolina and Oklahoma and spans as many as 10 generations.

The dedication of the marker at the Keltz Cemetery in Darlington, Ligonier Township, was highlighted by the attendance of members of the Sons of the American Revolution dressed in Revolutionary-era clothing and by a namesake, Adam Nicely, of New York City.

Adam Nicely died at the age of 70 in 1826. He was a Revolutionary War soldier with the 1st Battalion of the Westmoreland Militia.

"We had to be guided by God to get to this point," said Ron Nicely after the brief service as he surveyed the large gathering of kinfolk.

Retired from Kennametal in Latrobe, Ron Nicely discovered a link in the family chain through DNA testing with Jacob Knisley of Bellefonte, Centre County. The two men also discovered relatives in Oklahoma, an American Indian family named Whitecrow, descended from Jacob Kneisle, who as a 5-year-old was kidnapped from the family homestead in Westmoreland County by American Indian warriors.

Attending yesterday's event was Sid Whitecrow of Oklahoma, a direct descendant of Jacob Kneisle, whose American Indian name was Tsu-Kawe and who lived as an Indian the rest of his days. …

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