Kentucky Ancestors of the Dark and Bloody Ground

There are a lot of ways that Native Americans could have entered a European American family tree. One way is through one of the many Indian wars on what was called “the dark and bloody ground” of Kentucky. But when original native names were changed to common European names, there is almost no way to tell that they were Indian.

Even before the white man came and made war with the local tribes, Kentucky was known as the “dark and bloody ground” because there were so many Indian wars upon its soil that the ground was soaked with blood. When Indians were captured and taken prisoner, they frequently fell into slavery. Many of the women were made wives by the frontiersmen. It’s very difficult to identify these native ancestors. Constant sleuthing among the genealogical message boards is one way, although much of the information is hearsay, much of it is not. These ancestors are dead and gone but sometimes their stories live on. Message boards are a great place to find them.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees. Available here:

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

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

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Our Primitive Ancestors… We Can’t Go Back… But We Can Look Back

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IVI’m looking at a picture of Paleolithic (primitive) art. It is an exquisite drawing of a bison and a wild boar. The drawings are of such greatness, they could have only been completed by an accomplished artist. Let’s picture that for a moment. A man (or woman) reproducing in detail, the muscular anatomy, and emotion of the beasts that gave them sustenance. The animals that the artist so skillfully depicts (beef and swine) still provide sustenance to humans. Even today, a few hunters venture into the wild to hunt wild pigs. But we all know that most meat eaters buy their meat in the store.

It wasn’t that long ago that Native Americans hunted bison… the great buffalo herds that ranged across North America. The resources from the buffalo gave them skin to cover their tipis and leather to make clothes. The furry hides kept them warm in the form of blankets, thread was made from the hair of these beasts and from their bones were constructed tools and runners for sleds. The hooves provided a glue and the manure that was left drying on the ground was used as fuel.CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

The caves in Spain where the ancient drawings are preserved, are described as “polychrome.” I had to look that up. It means, many colors… specifically… painted on a background of many colors. I cannot think of a better and more colorful analogy of who we are today. One of the many colors, painted on the colorful background of our colorful ancestors who, if we could go back, stretch to the beginning of time.

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

And… Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Native American History… What is Peyote?

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV

Peyote is the fruit of a cactus found in Northern Mexico and the American Southwest. It looks a little bit like a mushroom. There is a fuzzy substance in it that is removed before it’s eaten. After feelings of nausea, it gives the partaker a high euphoric feeling and visions. In other words, it’s a hallucinogen. Peyote was used and is still used today by Native Americans in spiritual ceremonies. It was also eaten during war and for times of hard work because of the stimulating nature of its properties and its ability to subdue hunger and thirst. Unless you belong to one of the Native American religious groups granted legal permission to consume peyote, you will find yourself in trouble with the law if you have it in your possession. 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

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:

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

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV

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

Genealogy: Did Your Ancestors Live in Indian Country? Perhaps They Were Indian

I’m glancing down at a map from 1763. The whole east coast of the United States is shaded in and designated as “British territory.” The province of Louisiana is shaded in as “Spanish territory.” Sandwiched in-between these two shaded areas is a vast area that extends north of Florida and west of the east coast and goes up and around the Great Lakes. It is shaded and called “Indian Country.” In this vast section of forests, meadows, swamps and mountain regions, lived the Native People of North America. They were driven from the areas marked “Spanish” and “British.” Not only was their culture endangered, their existence was threatened. We know how the story ends. But what were the myriad of stories within the “Indian Country?” Were any of our ancestors Indians? Did they intermarry? Were they slaves? These are not easy questions to answer but they rest in the minds of many of us and we sure would like to know. 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

Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees

It’s hard to get a good picture of Native American territory because governments were always pushing and pulling boundaries. One boundary of particular interest is the one between Canada and the United States. For the Native People, that must have been impossible to comprehend. When lines were drawn between these two countries, the Natives on one side lived on Canadian territory and those on the other side lived under the jurisdiction of the United States. Being that Indian life styles were nomadic, they continued to inhabit both countries as long as it was safe. Sometimes there is a “thin line” between American and Canadian Indians if there is any line at all.

As we seek answers to our genealogical questions, there are few or none. But we can imagine can’t we? If you believe your ancestors were Plains Indians, a broad term for many different tribes, Father Lacombe has left behind some colorful descriptions of the people he grew to love and respect.

“He watched with interest as the men rode up, wearing skin shields on their arms, full quivers at their sides, eagle feathers in their hair, and startling bright paint on their half-naked bodies. Squaws and children, yelping dogs and clanging iron kettles added color and noise. Ponies drew the travois, or Indian wagons, formed of crossed poles on which was piled the camp equipment. While the men traded their furs and skins for the things they wanted, the squaws put up the lodges and made the camp.” BLACK ROBE AND WHITE HEART, The Book of Knowledge, Vol 10, pg. 3467, The Grolier Society Inc., 1956.

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