Author Topic: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy  (Read 49684 times)

Epiphany

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"But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« on: February 28, 2013, 03:57:01 pm »
My grandpa did indeed say he had NDN heritage. And he was so genial and charming when he said these and other things, so he must be right. Right? Wrong.

His people were from South Dakota. Most everyone from South Dakota are NDNs. Right? Wrong, his people were white homesteaders, originally from Quebec.

Quebec! Oh, French Canadian! Almost all of them had NDN ancestry, right? Wrong. They weren't French Canadian, they were Loyalists. And all French Canadian do not have NDN ancestry.

Now we're back over the pond, some of our ancestors lived places where there were castles in the area. We must be Royal, right? Wrong. Proximity doesn't equal heritage.

Turns out my grandpa was a confabulist, he made up false stories about our heritage, about his military service, and other things.

When I work on our actual family genealogy I have to keep in mind:

*Lots of incorrect information and family trees out there. Just because a particular bit of info or family tree is repeated everywhere on line does not mean it is correct. Records on ancestry.com and familysearch.org can be helpful, but we all have to pay attention to source.

*When I don't know, I admit that I don't know. I keep reading and researching, I don't state that my guesses are fact. I'm willing to discard any guesses that are wrong.

*I don't try to force our genealogy into any one direction, I don't try to prove we are NDN or anything else. Because if I do I'll only see what I want to see, I'll select info that I think proves my belief.

Doing the real work of genealogy is fascinating. I encourage everyone who doesn't know their heritage to find out. We might not discover anything that we can then package as NDN heritage & use to promote ourselves as extra special and spiritual - but why on earth would we want to do that in the first place?




Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 06:09:42 pm »
I do genealogy all the time of my Lakota and Dakota people and it is an adventure,
I get many request for people claiming Indian blood.
Of course many are just not true.
One question i get my great great great grandma was named Mary Anderson (just a fake name) and she
belong to the sioux tribe.
I first question is which band and which reservations because we have 14 reservation and nine Canadian province of our nations?
What was her real name?
The Lakota and Dakota people did not take english first an last names until 1890 to 1900 so they just
had their Native Names and they were all in either Lakota or Dakota.
Then I ask for a date because in our part of the country first contact with non natives was 1870s before
that it was only soldiers.
We dont have surnames so at the time of Sitting Bull there was also six other Sitting Bull but not related to us and our people.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 06:23:11 pm by earthw7 »
In Spirit

Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 06:24:57 pm »
At least once a week i get I am a decendant of Sitting Bull request.
People seem shocked that the tribe keep srecord of all our people
and know who is related to who and how. I can trufully say of all the request
i get for Sitting Bull none are correct because his relatives are all here
In Spirit

Epiphany

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 01:57:13 am »
Earth I really appreciate learning about your work


Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #4 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,
In Spirit

Epiphany

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 03:42:17 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,

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.





Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 05:12:28 pm »
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
In Spirit

Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 01:56:39 am »
earthw7, you words are so valuable. If only people would listen.
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet http://www.4shared.com/file/114179563/3697e436/BuddhaFeet.html

Epiphany

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 11:25:56 pm »
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.

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.

http://www.history-epublications.com/DonGreene/DonGreene.html

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.




Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 12:50:39 am »
Metis is not Shawnee, and so many people think they can claim to be shawnee and we would not know :o
In Spirit

Epiphany

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2013, 01:16:13 am »
Metis is not Shawnee, and so many people think they can claim to be shawnee and we would not know :o

So much wrong information out there.

More on Don Greene, the author of the Shawnee Heritage book:

Quote
Chief Don Spirit Wolf
now proudly serving as Principal Chief of the Appalachian Shawnee Tribe

http://chowanoke.webs.com/apps/profile/73156974/

He's also a member of http://chickamaugacherokee.org/confederacy1/ & has gone by "Don Greene-Friend Spirit Wolf-Kahnah Monetoo Mowawa-Chief of the Shawnee Appalachian Band "

Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 06:47:45 pm »
Today everyone makes up tribes  ???
Of course they have give themselves these so called INDIAN names
and then make themsleves chiefs it is almost too funny but it comes to
a point where it wants to make you cry! :'( Why! being who we are is hard
life on the rez is not easy so it surprises me why people would want to be
something there not .... OH WAIT it is not who we are that they want to be
it is some sort of fake image of a people that only exist in their minds.

My pet peeve: When non-Indians are more Native than us
In Spirit

Offline BlueTick

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 11:28:23 pm »
Hello..I am new here, I seen the post "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" . It was hard to walk on by. I have heard many a people
say the same or close . Tracing your family history back through time is a hard if not impossible task for many. I know where I come from, alot records were distroyed during the Civil war.

I think alot of times people don't think about the whole of the picture, only the part they think they like. I don't know too many people who would want to live in a shack in the mountains, no indoor water or bathroom and eat beans everyday.

Guess I really don't have much to say....it just kinda makes me go silent , no tongue

Thank you for the post, it took me back in time.


Offline earthw7

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 12:58:37 am »
sounds like the reservation today we live in shakes, no indoor water or bathroom and just ate beans today lol
In Spirit

Offline milehighsalute

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Re: "But my grandpa said he's Indian!" Adventures in Genealogy
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2013, 04:59:46 pm »
why is it that so many people claim that records were destroyed in fire......can they change the story for variety already? JUST ONCE PLEASE someone tell me that the documents containing proof of their indian ancestory was destroyed in a flood...PRETTY PLEASE

oh....and we get to hear about high cheekbones and how they never burn in the summer  ::)

family lore is just that....family lore