Where was the first Cherokee Indian tribe?

Because the Cherokee speak a language in the Iroquoian family and the core of that family is in the Great Lake region some believe they migrated south from there. Based on language differences it is thought that they left about 3500 years ago. This idea is supported by Cherokee oral tradition. The Cherokee claim the settlement of Kituwa on the Tuckasegee River, as the original Cherokee settlement in the Southeast. They say it was 4000 years ago.

At first contact with Europeans, the Cherokee were located in the southeast United States. This area included: the western sides of the Carolinas, the northern parts of Georgia and Alabama, southwest Virginia, and the Cumberland Basin. Around 1781 the Cherokee population was around 25,000.