Were the Reinbold family Delaware (Lenape) native Americans?

+4 votes
149 views
My moms family comes from the Lenni Lenape tribe. The surname is Reinbold or any other similar name. But in all my research I cannot find any paper trail. It all goes to Germany, Wales, Netherlands, etc. Ca n someone please help.
in Genealogy Help by June Brill G2G Rookie (290 points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith

2 Answers

+5 votes
 
Best answer
A little more information would help.  Who is the person you believe is Lenape?  Where and when did they live?  As you've learned, Reinbold is a European name, although someone might have intermarried. When Europeans  arrived, in the early 1600's  the Lenape were living primarily along the Delaware River in the area where Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey now come together.  By the time of the Revolutionary War they had been forced west to Ohio, and by 1867 they were pushed even farther west into Indian Territory where for a time they were combined with the Cherokee.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (330k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
My great-grandmother was born Bertha Irene Reinbold. Her parents were Henry b. 1859 d. 1927 and Elizabeth (Van Blargan) Reinbold. We're from Northeastern PA. Family photos, which unfortunately I don't have, showed the were from Indian descent. Unfortunately, my mom and all her siblings and parents are deceased. So I have no-one to ask.
Transcript of Henry's Pennsylvania death record, listing his spouse and parents:
Harry Reinbold[Henry Reinbold]
Gender:Male
Race:White
Age:67
Birth Date:10 Apr 1859
Birth Place:Slocum Twp Luzerne County
Death Date:17 Feb 1927
Death Place:North Union, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, USA
Father:Benjamin Reinbold
Mother:Hulda Hans
Spouse:Elizabeth VanBLARGAN
Certificate Number:20503

Here is Henry with his parents and siblings in the 1870 U.S. Census:
Henry Rinebold
Age in 1870:11
Birth Year:abt 1859
Birthplace:Pennsylvania
Home in 1870:Slocum, Luzerne, Pennsylvania
Race:White
Gender:Male
Occupation:At Home
Inferred Father:Benja Rinebold
Inferred Mother:Huldah Rinebold
Household Members:
Name           Age
Benja Rinebold 51
Huldah Rinebold 38
John Rinebold 18
Rachel Rinebold 17
Catherine Rinebold 15
Henry Rinebold 11
Eli H Rinebold 8
Susan Rinebold 6
Warren R Rinebold 3
Lydia Rinebold 1

Here is Hulda Hontz Reinbold with her parents, siblings and grandfather in the 1850 U.S. Census.  This family lived in central Pennsylvania:
Hulda Hontz
Age:18
Birth Year:abt 1832
Birthplace:Pennsylvania
Home in 1850:Beaver, Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA
Gender:Female
Family Number:28
Household Members:
Name          Age
David Hontz  45
Eve Hontz    44
Jonathan Hontz 21
Nathan Hontz 20
Hulda Hontz 18
Jacob Hontz 15
Enos Hontz 10
Elias Hontz 7
Obadiah Hontz 4
Jacob Hontz 79

I couldn't find a death certificate for Benjamin Reimbold, so can't be certain of his parents' names, but this appears to be him with parents and siblings in the 1850 U.S. Census:
Benj Rembold[Benj Reinbold]
Age:24
Birth Year:abt 1826
Birthplace:Pennsylvania
Home in 1850:Maine, Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA
Gender:Male
Family Number:96

Household Members:
Name           Age
Benj Rembold 75
Charlotte Rembold 65
Reuben Rembold 30
Rachel Rembold 27
Benj Rembold 24
Reuben Smith 4

This is as far back as I can get with on-line resources, but I'm not seeing anything to suggest that anyone was Lenape.  Everyone seems to be pretty well documented, listed as white, and born in Pennsylvania at least back to Revolutionary times.  Their names strongly suggest European ancestry, Pennsylvania German or Dutch.  Your ancestors lived in the same area of central Pennsylvania from at least the early 1800's.  The Lenape had been forced to move far western Pennsylvania by the 1730's.  Additional research might be able to place your ancestors in Delaware, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania when the Swedes or Penn's settlers arrived, but you would still need to find a connection to the Lenape.
Yes, that's as far back as I can go too. But some of my family members have darker skin. Could they be of the Russian or Slovak descent? In my research I found Reinbolds that have come from there.
Lots of European people had darker skin.  People lived in smoky homes, worked outside in all kinds of weather, both not good for the complexion.  The famous “Crying Indian” from the TV ad was Italian.  Appearance is not a particularly reliable way  to determine ethnicity.
I understand that. But my moms family was so adamant about being Lenape. Even when we moved to Florida, the county we lived in questioned my mom about certain "advantages" she could receive. When she asked them why, they said they found that she was a quarter blood Indian. In all my research, I have read about how the "white man" converted Indians to Christianity and gave them new names. Names they were familiar with, German names, English names, Welsh names, etc. But I don't know the first thing about digging that deep into records and censuses and other ways. And I know, once converted, the Indians were labeled as white. I have been doing this for so long and getting no where. I decided to ask for help.
I’m not trying to be unhelpful, but there is  nothing to suggest that any of your ancestors back to 1800 had any Indian connections.  If your mother was 1/4 Indian that would mean one of her four grandparents was a fullblood Indian and there’s simply nothing in the records to show that.  If There is an Indian ancestor in your family it is much farther back, in the 1600’s or early 1700’s.  The vast majority of Indians who lived on the eastern seaboard when Europeans arrived died from disease and war.  It’s estimated that 90% of the Lenape had been wiped out by 1735 when they were first forced to move west.  

The only way someone today would know that a person is 1/4 Native American is if that person was a citizen of a Federally recognized Native American nation and that person presented their card from the Bureau of Indian Affairs showing their degree of Indian blood.
I do appreciate ur help with everything. U've been very helpful. I was just throwing out some what-ifs. My mom and all her family r dead. And I really wanted to prove their Indian heritage. But u've just helped me prove them wrong. So my new question is, how do I go beyond Benjamin Reinbold or what was it, Rembold? To find their heredity? In my research, it kind of splinters and not quite sure which way to go. I've found alot from Germany and England but also some from Russia and Netherlands. Any suggestions on my new direction? And once again, thank u very much for all ur help.
Sometimes the paper trail just runs out, sometimes records exist but aren’t on line.  Check to see if there are historical societies in the counties where your ancestors lived.  Look for county histories and city directories.  Look for military records - pension files often have lots of details.  I think “Rembold” is just poor transcription and the name is really Reinbold.  Google Benjamin - you’ll find research other people have done to get more leads.  Pennsylvania has great archives and you’re really lucky that this family stayed in a pretty small geographic area.  Check the catalog on Familysearch.  The LDS library has lots of family geneaolgy books and you might luck out.  Happy hunting!
Thank u very much for all ur help. I appreciate all ur time and responses. I will search in the resources u have suggested.
+1 vote
Hi, June,

I hope you've found additional info outside of the helpful comments here as I was raised with the same belief that the Reinbolds have Leni Lenape blood from (as my father puts it) "our time behind the mountain." However, having done some DNA testing, it doesn't show in my current results--but maybe these things don't currently reveal Native ancestry as well...?

If you're in my tree somewhere, I can confirm we have connections to Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany and to Grand Est, France.

I hope that helps!

Shannon
by S Reinbold G2G Rookie (230 points)
Hi Shannon. I would very much like to talk with u and find out if we r related. Maybe we could help each other. As u've read, there's a road block beyond my ggg grandfather Benjamin. I haven't gotten any further. My mom, and her siblings, were positive about the Lenape blood line. Or as they called them, Northern Delaware. For some reason, with all the Reinbold researchers, u r the first one to contact me. Makes me wonder, with all of them out there, why nobody else has. They're positive about their German, etc. lineage. Just like I am about my Indian lineage. I just can't figure it out. I'm not looking to get anything out of it. Just trying to preserve my g grandma's heritage. I haven't got any DNA testing, honestly, I don't trust or believe in it. Too many cover ups. Back in the day, the government wanted to wash away all history of the Indians. Like they never existed. Give it another 100-200 years and the word Indian won't even be in school text books. Sad but true. Looking forward to hearing back from u.

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