There’s a lot of blame to go around when we revisit colonial history. European immigrants and pioneers headed west in vast numbers seeking fresh farming land. Those in New Jersey traveled crudely over the Appalachians in the 1700s after New Jersey was full. They fanned out onto Indian lands, little by little, staking claims and running Natives out. President Andrew Jackson facilitated the slaughter of Natives when he put a bounty on their heads, even children. Thousands of Natives died on Trails of Tears. Their feet were frozen, their hearts broken. Those who could remain on their land by pretending to be Black Dutch, Black German or Black Irish, did so. And who can blame them? They took Anglo names and hoped for the best. Now we search and search, looking for our elusive ancestors that we were told were “Indian.” But they’re almost impossible to find. Robert Brewer could be one of those hidden Native ancestors. Perhaps he was originally known as Ta-Ki-One. Most of us will never know. Some of us do, however, with a lot of digging, find our roots. There are a few places we can look. And there’s always the option of taking a DNA test, bearing in mind that just because nothing comes up, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have Native American ancestry.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105