Genealogy… Where Did Our American Indian Ancestors Go?

If you’re reading this, you either know of or suspect that you have American Indians in your family tree. I use the term “American” to differentiate between the Natives that were in America before it was America and those who immigrated from India. And if you’re reading this, like me, you wonder where did our American Indian ancestors go?

When I traveled through Indiana in 2011, I wondered where all the Native people were. Shouldn’t I see them in the stores and on the streets? I had always pictured Indians in Indiana. They were there in the history books. I saw farms and tractors but no Indians. I saw lots of corn. The Indians taught the white colonists to eat corn. Where were they now? I asked my cousin. “Where are the Indians? I haven’t seen any Indians.” “Go to Oklahoma,” she said.

I hope someday to go to Oklahoma. Before I do, I’m going to create an itinerary of Native American museums and history. I live out west where we have lots of Native Americans and the schools teach us to appreciate Native culture. Just last weekend, I passed a Native American male playing a wooden flute. Anyone who heard it would have recognized it as an American Indian tune. It was beautiful and truthfully, it sounded ominous. The man was sitting on a bench outside the front doors of a Walmart. It’s a far cry from the woodlands where his ancestors roamed freely. Those very ancestors who we search for now. On a computer.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

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Genealogy… Thirty-Seven-Thousand-Years-Ago

Usually when I think of my ancestors I visualize them in fashions from a medieval era; stiff collars, lace up shoes or tunics and sometimes I’ll envision more primitive cultures who wore deerskin and loincloths. But imagining what they were like thirty-seven- thousand years ago is a strange sensation.

Native American historical timelines tell us migrating tribes came from Siberia to North America. If American Indians’ oral history is that there was no one else around, archeology discoveries aside, as a group they consider themselves America’s first people and deserve more than a little respect for that.

Visualizing our ancestors sitting on the side of a grassy hill wrapping a stone onto a stick to sling an animal or fishing in the warm sunshine along a rapidly flowing creek… can be good for the head. Primitive ancestral history belongs to us all. Whether you descend from European, African, Middle Eastern or Asian ancestry, it is our story. Why not take the time to visualize it?  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

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Southern Ancestors of North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee

For those of us who have ancestry dating back to Colonial times, it can be terribly confusing which “state” our ancestors hailed from. If you were told that your ancestors came from Georgia back in America’s earliest years, it’s important to know that back then some of what we know as Alabama and Mississippi were known as Georgia. If your family history says your people were from North Carolina, when America only had thirteen states, North Carolina included Tennessee. If Colonial family lore tells you that your ancestors came from Virginia, you’ll need to look at Kentucky and West Virginia on the map to get an accurate depiction of the geographical area where they lived.

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:

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:

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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