Excerpt from "The Chickasaw nation : a short sketch of a noble people (1922)"  by James H. Malone  (Sequoyah - page 358)
California Digital Library

Sequoyah's Early Life

In this letter of Commissioner Sells, he also states that the native or Indian name of Sequoyah was Sikwayi, which accords with the various articles I have read. Gist soon wearied of this new life, and deserted his faithful and devoted wife, stealing away clandestinely and was never heard of again, sinking into oblivion which he so well  deserved. In due course, about the year 1760, in the village of Taskigi on the Little Tennessee River, in what is now Monroe County,  Tennessee, a baby boy was born to the deserted Indian mother, and  it is said the mother named the babe Sequoyah (in the Indian tongue-Sikwayi),  because in the musical Cherokee language that name meant, "He guessed it";  that is, the faithless father guessed it would be a boy. It may be added, however, that there is a dispute as to the origin of the name, and that Sequoyah generally was known among the white people as George Guess,  which name he appears to have assumed, and he used the name "Guess"  as a trade mark, by stamping it on the silver ornaments he made as a silversmith. The Cherokees to this day cherish his Indian name, and proudly call him Sequoyah.

The mother of Sequoyah had eight acres of land, some horses and cattle, and maintained herself and child by her own exertions, the boy soon joining his mother in her labors, making a new kind of wooden milk pan, building  a milk-house over a cool gushing mountain spring; and when she contrived to get a small stock of goods, she taught him how to be a good judge of furs,  and he went on hunting and trading excursions in the valleys of the Tennessee  and Ohio Rivers, and came home laden with furs. Upon him the mother lavished> all the fond affections of a mother's heart, and from her he evidently inherited  all the energy and perseverance of his nature...