Israel Friend and his wife Sarah, can we help them?

+3 votes

Israel Friend, b. about 1693 in Pennsylvania currently has 4 profiles, one of which I recently adopted. I have initiated merges for the four, but have gotten no movement from the profile managers. 

Israel married a woman named Sarah who survived him. She later married a man named House. She currently have three profiles; Sarah Shawnee House, Sarah Bokavar and Sarah Bachoffer. 

Many internet sites and the profile for Sarah Shawnee, say that she was a Native American woman. There is no proof, but this is based on 'family lore.' 

One website said that because Sarah received her widow's dower, 1/3 of her husband's property, and because her children were her husband's legal heirs, she could not have been a Native American woman, because their marriage in 1725 in Maryland would not have been legal and her children would have been illegitimate and not able to legally inherit

Can you help me merge these profiles and come to some conclusion on his wife who I believe should be called Sarah Unknown unless some definitive proof can be found. 

Israel's profile contains a very lengthy bio which appears to be a cut and past. Needs to be pared down as well. 


WikiTree profile: Israel Friend
in Genealogy Help by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (124k points)
I have Israel Friend born in Ridley, Delaware, Pa. Died in Harper's Ferry, Jefferson, Va. (now WV).

His wife being Sarah Catherine House (Bokavar). Born in 1711 at Jamestown, Va. Died at Augusta, Va. (WV). IN 1755.

She was married to Israel Friend, John Valentine House Jr., and Joseph Adkins

Her father being Okawela, Sachem, Cornstock. Her mother being Sassoona, Lenape Delaware .

I got the above information off of Don't know how accurate it is.

My wife's 6th great grandfather was Johannes (John) Frande, Israel's uncle.
Earl, unfortunately the ancestry of Sarah is unknown. The claims about her being the daughter of Cornstalk is all from the Shawnee Heritage Fraud books by Don Green. I'm not saying that she could not have be NA, just not that made up lineage.
I just came across this too. I think we should merge all of the Sarah's together. We are talking about one person, the wife of Israel Friend and John Valentine. It will be easier to sort if all of the topics are included on one page.
agree with merging, there are now four profiles. Her LNAB needs to be Unknown unless a credible source can be found for it.
Sarah is most frequently referred to as Sarah Catherine Bokavar. The origin of this name is unknown.

Currently at Wikitree there are 5 Bokavars, all of which were created because of Sarah. There are currently almost 300,000 unknowns.

Recognizing this, Bokavar is being retained as the surname not because it is unproven or disproven, only because it is uniquely identifiying.
It may be uniquely qualifying, but I do not believe it is not in keeping with Wikitree standards.
You are 100% right about that.  

I certainly am not a good person to deal with a lot of disagreement, but I beleive, as a profile manager, it will be more informative and prevent more duplicates leaving it as it is.  I think the name surname situation is dealt with clearly.

If you feel strongly about changing her to unknown, please request to be a profile manager and I will happily give up my role in its maintenance.
It's not my intention to be disagreeable and I fully understand your point in retaining the Bokavar name.    My interest in this profile only comes from my role in the Native American Project working with myths and legends. Many profiles have the same issue with internet myths, and I agree that if we change her name to Unknown, then duplicates will continue to be made. I think that is a chance we have to take. I suggest that we put her profile under the protection of the NA project and have a disputed biography with both sides of the story.
She is all yours.  She is my ancestor but I do not know if she belongs to the project or not, which of course is why the confusion.

I’ll let you handle the situation.

2 Answers

+1 vote
It's entirely possible these two ARE in my family line. I have put them in my other online tree, twice, just to prune that branch twice. My Friend Ancestors are Anna Friend and her father, Joseph. Who Joseph's parents actually are remains a mystery. But, at any rate, should it turn out Israel and his wife, Sarah ARE my fifth great-grandparents, I have to attest to the fact that I don't have so much as a trace element on Native American in my DNA. That leads me to accept the Bachoffer name, as Sarah's maiden name. But, again, there is no source proof I can offer. It's another reason I left them off my Wikitree. I just don't have the answer. Brick wall.
by April Payne G2G Crew (910 points)
0 votes

I asked the Legal Genealogist about this-- and specifically about the quote from the late Peter Craig about the argument that she could not have been NA based on her receiving her dower out of Israel's estate. Here's what Judy responded: 

First, from a technical perspective, it's correct that in most colonial jurisdictions, intermarriage between Caucasians and Native Americans was not allowed. 

But it appears that Israel Friend's marriage and will were handled in Virginia -- and that was not the law in Virginia. See the blog post Intermarriage and the law, colonial style.

So in this one case (and others like it in Virginia) no conclusions whatsoever can be drawn about the wife's ethnicity as being or not being Native American. 

And of course even in other jurisdictions where the woman had been living quietly and peaceably in marriage with her husband for many years, people simply looked the other way when the time came for probate...

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (734k points)

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