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#716814 - 09/28/11 12:31 PM Difficulties in Tracing American Indian Heritage
Jane - Native American Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 2100
Loc: Southeast Georgia
Hope this week's article is of help to those trying to track down the Indian in their "Southern" Family Trees. There's a long list of things "proper" Southern families DO NOT discuss. Having a Native American on a branch somewhere is most definitely on that list. For many, assimilation or hiding were the only two options for survival. The oaths of silence our Elders took as children follow through to current generations.

Difficulties in Tracing American Indian Heritage

When we first moved to Southeast GA, we had lunch with a cousin. Our maternal Grandmothers were sisters and the talk turned to family fairly quickly. I mentioned learning of the Native American connection and she was close to horrified. "We're DUTCH!" I guess the "Black" was dropped years ago in her branch of the family. With a fair complexion, like mine, that would take some explaining. I didn't grow up with this term, but did know about it at the time. In my branch of the family, ethnicity was not discussed, period.

Have the terms Black Dutch or Black Irish popped up in your family too?


Edited by Jane - Native American (09/30/11 06:16 PM)
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#716823 - 09/28/11 01:16 PM Re: Dificulties in Tracing American Indian Heritage [Re: Jane - Native American]
Beetlemess Offline
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Registered: 01/02/09
Posts: 60166
My ancestry falls into the category of a Cherokee hiding out during the Trail of Tears and the marriage/birth records were not kept. We've gotten back as far as my Great-Great-Grandmother and are suspecting that the GGG-GM is the root of our Native American lineage.

Funny that a parallel search was taking place by someone as far down the family tree as I am & we found each other online at the GG-GM level. Both grew up with the same stories told of a 'mountain man' taking her as a wife/mother of his children & relocating from North Carolina to Greeneville County, Tennessee.
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#716861 - 09/28/11 07:24 PM Re: Dificulties in Tracing American Indian Heritage [Re: Jane - Native American]
Phyllis Doyle Burns Offline
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Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 17644
Loc: Reno, NV
Great article, Jane. We tried, my sister and I, for traces of Native American lineage and still have not been able to confirm the family talk of possible connections to South Dakota tribes.

Beetle, that is very interesting that you met a relative when researching you family tree. The same thing happened to me and I have had many chats with her relating similar stories from the past.
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#718140 - 10/05/11 08:57 AM Re: Dificulties in Tracing American Indian Heritage [Re: Jane - Native American]
vhawk Offline
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Registered: 04/28/11
Posts: 9
Loc: N. East USA
When I grew up many people with Native ancestry, my father included..would say at various times,, they were 'french'..because it was very unpopular to be Native when he was small..but more so when his parents/ grandparents were growing up. So sometimes when my father told us stories ..he was French.. French -Indian, or Indian.. depending.. I have also found..doing research into my family..that my family sometimes used ' whatever' name was at hand, when they were required to register, and/ or for census purposes etc. and that the spelling was very open to interpretation -depending on how the person writing the info down ''heard '' the name..and HOW they thought it should be spelled.

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#718825 - 10/10/11 11:47 AM Re: Dificulties in Tracing American Indian Heritage [Re: Jane - Native American]
Jane - Native American Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 2100
Loc: Southeast Georgia
One of my cousins ran into the same problem when researching my maternal Grandmother's family. She traced them back to South Carolina, prior to their moving to Southeast Georgia. But at that point it was almost impossible to proceed farther due to the spelling variations of their last name.

This weekend I was talking with someone at Pow-Wow and her family name was Griggs. She was amazed at how "creatively" that got spelled through the years. My cousin had to weed through over a dozen versions of Raulerson, and never did find the right ones.
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