French and American History: What is the Statue of Liberty?

Americans know exactly what the Statue of Liberty looks like and most probably know it was given to America by the French. I wanted to know more so here’s the lowdown:

The people of France gave the Statue of Liberty to Americans in 1886. Why did they give us this neat statue? They gave it to us because they knew we went to war with England at great sacrifice and they wanted to honor us for our success in gaining independence. The French and the English have gone to war many times. For centuries, there was animosity between the two countries. It must have been France’s way of saying, “We are on your side America.”

We had a history of war with France too so it may have also been a symbol of peace. American children were so honored by the gift, they collected pennies at school and collectively paid to have a statue made of a Frenchman (with horse) who served as an American General and an American Statesman. That man was General Lafayette. The schoolchildren sent the statue to France where it still stands today. Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Lies of the Lion Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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eBook at Barnes & Noble:

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The Lies ot he Lion

Here Are the Words to Auld Lang Syne, It’s a New Year’s Eve Tradition!

Robert Burns wrote this song in the late 1700’s. It’s been popularly sung on New Year’s Eve for generations. It has many versions but these two verses are enough to do the trick and bring tears to your eyes:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days of auld lang syne

 

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

For auld lang syne

Happy New Year!

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Prince-Before-After/dp/1484086392

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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eBook through Barnes & Noble:

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CelticPrinceCover

 

Genealogy: How Can I Find American Indians in My Family Tree?

If you’ve never been on a Native American forum to look for your ancestors, you may not realize that many of America’s most prominent surnames include American Indians. The dark hair and dark eyes that run through your family may not be Irish genetics but instead Native American. It was quite common for American Indians to escape persecution and removal from their lands by posing as Black Irish or Black Dutch. As the years progressed, the family dropped the Black and they were just Irish or Dutch.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

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Genealogy: How Can I Tell If I Have Native American Blood?

If you take a DNA test, I’m not sure if you’ll get much information regarding Native American ancestry. The test won’t tell you specifically what tribe your ancestors belonged to, like Cherokee or Navajo. The best way for you to uncover your Native roots is to do a little sleuthing. And there are plenty of places to sleuth. There are numerous Indian removal lists. They will be listed for the regions where your ancestors lived. There are Native American message boards where you can compare notes and there are geographical considerations that you don’t want to overlook. A thorough search is a lot of work but peeking at Indian rolls doesn’t take much time at all.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

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Can I Get Money If I Have a Native American Ancestor?

Sometimes people see dollar signs when they think about Native American genealogy. They’ve heard stories and their thoughts turn to prosperous Indian casinos. They think that if they can prove Indian blood, they may get a check. Or they hope they can get money to help with college. If you have a Native ancestor and can prove it, there are some resources available to help with college and sometimes medical services, but it is not as simple as one might think. It is also a very sensitive issue. If you go onto a Native American genealogical forum, be respectful and know that it is very controversial who deserves to share in precious Indian tribal resources already spread thinly. Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV

Genealogy: You Are Not Just the Surname of Your Father… There Were Women in Your Tree Too

I do a lot of genealogy. I’ve got family lines going every which way. They are all patriarchal lines. Every single one of the females has, as far as I know, taken the surname of her father. That’s just the way it was. I carry the surname of my father and odds are… you do too. It sure bothers me though when people shut down to knowing anything about their other ancestral surnames. How closed-minded is that? We become so familiar with our surname it becomes who we are. But we are also the myriad of surnames that came before our current last name. Those surnames belonged to all the women in our family tree and their mothers and fathers. We need to give them a little credit too.

 

Enter Native American genealogy. In the Pueblo and Iroquois culture it’s the opposite. The mother’s family is where a descendant traces their origins. Women are held in high esteem. In the Pueblo culture, a Pueblo woman owns her home. When she marries, her new husband comes into her home. Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

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Which Europeans Were the Worst Toward Native Americans?

It’s easy to speculate which Europeans were the worst at devastating Native life and culture in North America. There’s a lot of blame to go around. According to Carl Waldman, in his excellent book, “The North American Indian,” the English “throughout their tenure in North America showed only minimal respect for the Indian way of life and right to occupancy of ancestral lands.” And he says that in 1664, the “Quakers … had the most enlightened policy.”

 

It becomes confusing for those of us with both English (and French, Dutch, German, Jewish, etc.) and Native ancestry, because like I said, there’s a lot of blame to go around. It is impossible to put politics aside when researching Native American ancestry. It just can’t be done. It was the politics of the Europeans and the Europeans themselves who gave us the question; who were my Native American ancestors and how can I find them? We must weave through the bureaucracies of Colonial military and Indian affairs to find documents relating to our great-greats. But in order to stay focused, we must keep our eyes on the project and comb through old records and look at old Indian Country maps and yes… the Indian wars and relocations. I can’t say it’s pleasant but imagine your delight if you find that illusive Native American ancestor and you can tell the family a new story belongs in the family history book.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV