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April 24, 2017

The Ancestry.Com True Believers


If you’re one-sixteenth Cherokee, how did you get that way?
Were the white settlers raping the Indians, or were the Indians raping the white women when they overran the settlements? Because I guarantee you nobody was going down to the county courthouse and saying, “I would like to register the marriage of Anthony V. Crawford III to Running Deer, daughter of Laughing Wolf.” Just a question. Because there’s a whole lot of white people claiming this partial Cherokee heritage. Then Again, Maybe I’m a Black Man - Taki's Magazine

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 24, 2017 1:11 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

It wasn't like that until the tribes opened casinos and started throwing crumbs from the pittance Las Vegas gives them to their members.

Posted by: BillH at April 24, 2017 1:24 PM

I have wondered about this. It used to be shameful to admit to being part Indian. It seems to coincide with the government giving money to the descendants of Indians

Posted by: bgarrett at April 24, 2017 2:46 PM

I see on one such commercial, the woman says she was surprised to find out she was 'Eastern European'. Is that code for Polish? Are we at that point? I'd be very proud to be Polish; they're some of the bravest people in the world.

Turns out I am the usual mess of Celtic plus 3% African; that must be why I like gumbo and R&B so much. My mother shows evidence of Neanderthal genes, which I should have expected given that she used to bite her toenails when she was 19.

Posted by: ahem at April 24, 2017 3:41 PM

And it always seems to be Cherokee. I never hear anybody claiming to be 1/64 Chumash.

Posted by: Steve at April 24, 2017 5:00 PM

Well, actually, men did marry or just live with Indian women a lot. These girls knew how to keep house in the woods and prairies. My own husband is part Comanche. This explains a lot to me. Its often Cherokee because there were a lot of them and they did pair up with whites. Remember, they were called on of the civilized tribes.

Posted by: pbird at April 24, 2017 5:17 PM

Is there a point? Or is it just as bgarrett described?


Posted by: ghostsniper at April 24, 2017 6:33 PM

It's not rape if you bought your squaw for two deer and three rabbit skins. It was all very Muslim back in those early days in America.

Posted by: edaddy at April 24, 2017 7:35 PM

My Grandpa was a Seminole, Grandma was a typical American 'mutt'. Pretty sure nobody got raped to get me 1/4 Indian.

Having seen DNA results for dogs, I sure wouldn't trust one of these inexpensive (relatively) ones for humans.

Posted by: wheelbuilder at April 25, 2017 6:59 PM

Would'nt trust the testers to keep their database confidential,either. Personal info is a valuable weapon in the wrong hands.

Posted by: Nori at April 25, 2017 9:22 PM

Hey, wheelbuilder. Me, too. Oklahoma or Florida?

It was funny. We used to joke about my mother being able to tell time by the sun (an alleged Indian skill). She is tall, medium dark skinned, with distinctive features. She told me one day, when I was an adult, that a guy had walked into her candle shop and said, "You're from Konowa, Oklahoma." She is. He told her that there are lots of folks around Konowa that look just like her.

As I wrote, it was always a joke in my family. It was always odd that when I was on a reservation in Minnesota, people thought I was a distant cousin. So did people in South Dakota.

Then my son-in-law found a picture of my mother's father. Holy cow, it wasn't just a joke. I had never met either him or my grandmother, and I had thought they died in the 1950s. He died in 1996.

Well, there's lots of things I didn't know, and still don't. I do know that in Oklahoma in the 1950s it wasn't trendy to claim Indian ancestry, the way it is now (Howdy, cousin Lizzie Warren!).
I know an Ojibwe gal who has heard from so many people that their great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess that she tells people hers was a Swedish princess. And yes, it's almost always Cherokee, and almost always the great-grandmother.

Sadly for me, the Oklahoma Seminoles don't own massively profitable casinos.

Posted by: Gordon at April 26, 2017 10:16 AM

i'm 1/8th chickahominy.
my great-granny was married to my great-grandfather in the usual way. however, there was no courthouse out there and the territory was then part of virginia.
there was no rape or coercion.

Posted by: deb harvey at April 27, 2017 9:08 AM

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