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"But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy

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--- Quote from: earthw7 on March 02, 2013, 02:33:07 am ---Native genealogy is different than your standard genealogy because of the language and family structures
the wives and how children relate to people, not having surnames and first names, then
the changing of names as you age,

--- End quote ---

Seems like non NDNs assuming that all Native genealogy = standard genealogy is a lot like non NDNs assuming that everything, including cultures and traditions and ceremonies, are all ultimately the same.  As if everything is pretty much the same and that everyone can have everything.

I know i get people who send me request saying my great great great grandmother born 1780
Sarah Brown was from the indian reservation in South Dakota and was a full blood sioux.
I have to laugh because there was no reservations in 1780 let alone a sioux reservation
then no one had english names until 1900 and no one had last names and no one spoke
english. Plus there are no sioux people everyone is divided into the nations and bands at that time,
Then people have our people in many other states which did not happen

critter - a white non-ndn person:
earthw7, you words are so valuable. If only people would listen.

She's identified as  "Sowege (Shawnee Indian) Gliding Swan", "Mary Elizabeth" and  "Shawnee Indian Princess" in family trees. Some of the info out there might be correct but my guess is that lots and lots of it is incorrect. Back in the mid 1700s she and John Cassell had several children in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Any guesses are repeated all over the web, such as:

--- Quote ---Therefore it is fairly safe to assume that Sowege is a name that identifies some effeminate nature of behavior of a swan.
--- End quote ---

Don Greene's book Shawnee Heritage lists her, but he doesn't include sources. In the intro to his book he says he didn't feel like including sources, too much work, too costly in terms of printing costs, and that he is free of "academic restraints".

From his bio:

--- Quote ---Using his prodigious memory, years of research, much intuitive thought and maybe a little apparently psychic ability Don has pieced together the trails of many families among the Shawnee and the part-white Shawnee Metis as well as gaining a new understanding of the role the Shawnee played in the true history of the United States from the earliest arrival of the Europeans until the sad times of the removal of the Native Americans to the west and beyond that into current times.

Don maintains contacts with most of the Shawnee Bands in several States and has conversed with the Tribes in Oklahoma as well. His work is currently being used by many groups and families. Don is assisting with a Shawnee Homecoming in Ohio in conjuncture with some of the Bands from that State, with hopes of seeing a Shawnee Congress developed, consisting of delegates from all Shawnee Bands and Shawnee-derivative groups, to work on many things of concern to the descendants of the Shawnee.

A thought foremost in Don's mind at the moment is to establish once and for all that the Shawnee were the predominant Native culture at the arrival of the whites on this continent and suffered the most from the spread of their diseases. Two subjects that Don continues to work on through what he calls his Great Work are the Shawnee Diaspora, the dispersal of the Shawnee throughout America and the Great Shawnee Denial, in which the Shawnee began denying who they truly were and claiming to be anything but a Shawnee.
--- End quote ---


So, for people who may have Jacob Cassell/Castle and Sowege as ancestors, I think it is important to not automatically trust and pass on the prolific misinformation that is online and possibly in Don Greene's work. Frequent repetition online doesn't make things true.

Most likely some people have kept close to Sowege's heritage and know her and their story to this day, this information most likely will not be found online, even through records and unsourced family trees available on sites like ancestry.com.

Metis is not Shawnee, and so many people think they can claim to be shawnee and we would not know :o


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