Amatoya Moytoy of Chota (pronounced mah-tie) was a Cherokee town chief of the early eighteenth century in the area of present-day Tennessee. He held a prominent position among the Cherokee, and held the hereditary title Ama Matai (From the French matai and Cherokee ama--water), which meant "Water Conjurer."
His father was a European, Thomas Pasmere Carpenter, who was descended from the noble Anglo-Norman family of Vicomte Guillaume de Melun le Carpentier. Thus, Moytoy's European lineage can be traced to the Frankish Duke Ansegisel of Metz Meroving, Peppin II, and Charles Martel. This ancestry also makes the Cherokee Moytoys cousins to the Carpenter Earl of Tyrconnell, and thus related to the current British royal family.
The Carpenter family of Devonshire & Plymouth England were small sailing ship owners, many of which were leased out to the East India Trading Company, an affiliation dating to the formation of that company December 31, 1600. Documented ownership of fifteen different ships owned by the Carpenter family, those of which were involved with moving furs between the Gulf Ports & Glasgow, or Dublin, and trade goods for North America. These ships usually made stops both directions at Barbados where the family had banking connections set up. These ships were small and fast, often able to make the crossing from Scotland and Ireland in less than thirty days. They were shallow draft ships, capable of handling shallow water ports with ease. The first documented trip made by Thomas Pasmere Carpenter occurred April 1640, sailing from Maryland to Barbados aboard the Hopewell, and returning on the Crispian in September 1640. He made another trip in March 1659 departing Charleston South Carolina aboard the Barbados Merchant, returning on the Concord in August 1659.
Twenty year old Thomas Pasmere Carpenter came to Jamestown, Virginia from England in 1627, living in a cave near the Shawnee. Thomas was called "Cornplanter" by the Shawnee, derived from their sign language that matched as near as possible to the work of a carpenter. He married a Shawnee woman named "Pride" and bore a son around 1635 named Trader Carpenter.
Amatoya was taught by his father to “witch” for water with a willow stick. He had become so adept at water witching that the Cherokee called him "water conjurer" or Ama Matai (Ama is Cherokee for water). Ama Matai eventually became pronounced as Amatoya. It was later shortened to “Moytoy”, so he is known as Moytoy I. He ruled the town of Chota sometime between the beginning of the eighteenth century and 1730.
In 1680, Amatoya married Quatsie of Tellico. Many of their descendants went on to become prominent leaders, founding a family that effectively ruled the Cherokee for a century.
Notable members include:
Moytoy I, Chief of Chota; born around 1640 and probably died in 1730; was leading chief at the time of his death
Moytoy II, Emperor of the Cherokees and Chief of Great Tellico; son of Moytoy I; born around 1687; leading chief from 1730 to 1760
Moytoy IV, Raven of Chota
Kanagatucko, Old Hop; leading chief from 1760-1761.
Attacullaculla, Prince of Chota-Tanasi; born around 1708, died around 1777; leading chief from 1761 to around 1775
Oconostota, Warrior of Chota and Beloved Man of the Cherokee; born ca. 1710 and died in 1783; was war chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1775 to 1780
Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee and granddaughter of Moytoy I
Major Ridge, grandson of Oconostota and of Attacullaculla
General Stand Watie, great-grandson of Oconostota and of Attacullaculla