Odds and Ends > Etcetera

Say what Johnny Depp?

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Epiphany:
I really appreciate Adrienne Keene's work.

From the link Odelle passed on:


--- Quote ---The irony of this whole situation kills me–I’m not allowed to criticize Johnny Depp, a public figure, and we’re supposed to lay off of him because he has “Indian heritage,” is a “good person,” and doing “good things” for Indian country.

But me, a Cherokee woman going to graduate school so I can give back to Native communities and help more Native students go to college, who puts herself out there for criticism and hate because I dare question how Native people are situated in our society, is not an Indian or even a good person. Why does Johnny get a free pass?

Let me remind you that this is all over TONTO. Tonto. A character that has gone down in history as one of the worst and lasting stereotypes of Native peoples, and continues to affect us today.
--- End quote ---

loudcrow:
http://ethnicelebs.com/johnny-depp

Johnny is descended from a woman, Martha, who born in 1612, and who was of African descent. Martha’s daughter, Elizabeth Key (also an ancestor of Johnny), was the first woman of African ancestry to successfully take legal action to free herself from slavery. This happened in 1656. Johnny is descended from Martha twice (on one family tree, she is both one of his eight times great-grandmothers, and one of his nine times great-grandmothers). That would mean that Johnny is of 3/2048 African ancestry.(1)

Johnny’s nine times great-grandmother, Nicketti Opechancanough, was of Powhatan Native American ancestry, making Johnny of 1/2048 Powhatan Native American descent.

Epiphany:

--- Quote from: loudcrow on July 07, 2013, 03:32:31 pm ---http://ethnicelebs.com/johnny-depp

Johnny is descended from a woman, Martha, who born in 1612, and who was of African descent. Martha’s daughter, Elizabeth Key (also an ancestor of Johnny), was the first woman of African ancestry to successfully take legal action to free herself from slavery. This happened in 1656. Johnny is descended from Martha twice (on one family tree, she is both one of his eight times great-grandmothers, and one of his nine times great-grandmothers). That would mean that Johnny is of 3/2048 African ancestry.(1)

Johnny’s nine times great-grandmother, Nicketti Opechancanough, was of Powhatan Native American ancestry, making Johnny of 1/2048 Powhatan Native American descent.

--- End quote ---

Professional genealogists do state that Johnny Depp's ancestor is Elizabeth Key
http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2013/06/26/lone-ranger-heroes-hammer-depp-family-trees/

The claim about Nicketti Opechancanough does not have the same level of scholarly backing. Apparently there is no evidence that such a person existed.


--- Quote ---Princess Nicketti is the name given to a Virginia Indian woman believed by some to have been the daughter of Opechancanough, a leader of the Powhatan Indians and the brother of the paramount chief Powhatan. While the name has been referenced almost exclusively on twenty-first-century genealogy websites by people claiming family relationship, no scholarly evidence exists that Princess Nicketti ever lived. A careful search of seventeenth-century records in Virginia yields no one by that name, male or female. And no name of a child of Opechancanough was ever recorded in that century. The writings about her stem from a single published source: Alexander Brown's genealogy The Cabells and Their Kin (1939). Significantly, Brown calls Nicketti's story only a "very interesting tradition" and adds, "I cannot vouch for it[s accuracy]," but he had heard about her from several prominent Piedmont Virginia families. Subsequent writers have quoted Brown's text as fact.
--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---Another problem with the Princess Nicketti legend is that North American Indian tribes did not have princesses in the European sense. Most tribes were relatively egalitarian, and egalitarian societies do not produce aristocracies. Even the more hierarchical Indian cultures, such as the Powhatan, did not have European-style royalty.
--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---Despite the evidence against Princess Nicketti's existence, she remains a popular figure, especially among those interested in family history. As evidenced by the numerous claims of relation to Powhatan's daughter Pocahontas, and to the privileges granted those alleged relations in the Racial Integrity Acts, Virginians have long valued connections, real or mythological, to Indian "royalty." Those connections have most often been made through women, who likely are seen as less threatening than males like Opechancanough, for instance, who led Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622-1632). Claims of ancestry through the Powhatan Indians are more common, as well, probably because it was an especially well-known tribe.
--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---The American Indian author Vine Deloria has argued that Americans seek family connections to Indians in order to relate in a more personal way to the frontier and, perhaps, to expiate guilt related to the treatment of American Indians. Others have pointed out that during parts of the twentieth century claims of Indian ancestry sometimes exempted people from laws that segregated whites from nonwhites. For instance, in Virginia the Racial Integrity Acts, passed in the 1920s, outlawed marriage between whites and nonwhites (the latter classification included Virginia Indians, who state officials believed to be black) and required that people's racial statuses be recorded at birth; elite Virginians who claimed ancestry to Pocahontas, however, could still register as white.
--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---"Nicketti" is not an identifiable Indian name, and is probably a corruption of some other name. It could be derived from "Necotowance," the former name of a creek in King William County, taken in turn from the personal name of Opechancanough's male successor. Nothing is known about that man except that he signed the Treaty of 1646 on behalf of many of the Powhatan tribes. He disappeared from the English records after 1649.
--- End quote ---

http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/nicketti_princess#start_entry

Defend the Sacred:
The family trees - all unsourced, and full of fantasies - around Opechancanough Powhatan and the nonexistent Nicketti are a big, old, racist mess.

Supposedly, one of my 11th great-grandfathers was married to Opechancanough's mother, allegedly Paupauwiske Poawomeck (Powhatan). IF this woman existed, it's unclear which children were hers and which had other mothers. All the family trees around them are a mess. I believe some of these lineages were fabricated to claim that men like Raleigh Croshaw, a notorious NDN killer, was actually NDN. I think it's a way white people are trying to falsely blame NDNs for the massacres that their white ancestors committed against NDNS.

The family trees around these individuals routinely give them strange, non-Native names (like Cleopatra! or Disney-type names in English) and Euro-type titles of royalty. Of course the latter also happens with people who fabricate ties to Euro royalty; they just can't accept that their ancestors were normal people. Anyway... The unsourced family trees around these ancestors routinely conflate unrelated people from totally different tribes and centuries; they swap around people's birthdates by literally hundreds of years, swap around parents and children, and generally do everything possible to destroy their credibility. That's the sort of stuff Depp's defenders are relying on.

Defend the Sacred:
Related discussions in our thread on solid, sourced genealogy vs vague family stories, especially about how non-Native's vague family stories about NDN ancestors usually do not bear up under scrutiny: http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=3981.0

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