Trying to locate Indian heritage

+2 votes
Harvey  Joseph  corey  grandfather  birthday September 21,1925 Cass county Missouri  death January  2019
in WikiTree Help by Stacey Corey G2G Rookie (190 points)
What information do you have that suggests a Blackfoot connection? Census records for Harvey’s father Paul say that he and his parents were all white and  born in Missouri, mother Gladys, also white, says her parents were born in Illinois and Ohio.  Who was the person who lived in Montana or North Dakota?  The first step in locating a Native American ancestor is to build your tree back with the information you know until you can put someone in a place and at a time when Native Americans were also there.
Indian heritage stories are common; it seemed the "cool" thing in the early 20th century was to have a Native American ancestor, most usually a Cherokee grandma or a great-grandma.  It is my experience when looking at these family legends vs. the DNA and paper results, the vast majority of them are fable.
There's an excellent article on Slate about this phenomenon:

The long and short of it seems to be that claiming "Indian blood" was a way of establishing how American one's family was, to put oneself apart from the late-comers, the miserable teeming masses who flooded into America's ports from the Slavic lands, Italy, the starving Irish who were also Catholics, and other foreigners with unfamiliar languages and customs. If you're part-Cherokee, that's proof of your true American roots: "We're so American we're even part-Indian." It's also a way to set oneself apart from the horrible genocide perpetuated against Native Americans. This country was built on the backs of slaves and the blood and bones of Natives. The heirs to this legacy are understandably uncomfortable with it -- so if one claims to be part-Indian, one can pretend this nation was inherited instead of conquered.

Due to Natives being genocided into near-extinction, they are also not very visible in modern society. I honestly don't think most white Americans even really know what a Native person looks like. How many posts on G2G and other genealogy forums have I seen where someone is posting a photo of their grandma with "obvious Native American features", who looks... like a normal white person with straight dark hair.
Soo sorry I beg to differ on at least half of what is said in here, again. "genocided into near-extinction"...I'm sure I could contact many many of my reservation friends not only in the Dakotas, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Hawaii, Arizona, and in Nova Scotia, BC, Alberta, and in ALaska, and I think they would love to argue how far off from Near Extinction ANY of their Tribal Nations are.

AND do I really need to pull the MULTIPLE CENSUS DOCS that Clearly State in the Instructions to LIST Indians AS WHITE..IF living off reserves, farming, and Living in the same Manner as their WHITE Neighbors?

Hi Stacy, Please do as Kathy mentions, build going backward first.. starting with what you know about your parents, grandparents, and their siblings and children, places of births, deaths, burials, baptisms, places of homes if you know any of them, then start with a blank piece of paper, right down the locations, begin searching their names within, putting in as much as you know. start without any dates, but if too many pages come up of results then put in some date time periods or scroll to lower bottom on right side and pic appropriate century.  Find births deaths marriages baptisms and more parental parent names, siblings etc start going backward.  Then look for the census docs.  If they are included on some certain ones as "white"...depending on where they lived and what time period and the instructions of that doc...they may NOT BE white.  One of my gr.Uncles married a Native woman but on the Census the whole family and all the kids are listed as White.....except the wife...on 1 census she is listed as Indian....BUT ALL her kids and her husband are listed as white, because the instructions for that specific cesus acutally said..If the spouse is a wife that is indian, but the husband father is white, all children are to be listed as white if they are living off reserve and living like their white neighbors.. BUT if the HUSBAND is Indian and the Wife is White, all are to be listed as Indian!  go figure...anotherwords.. ONLY a MAN ..A white man was a qualifier for "white status" on this particular census.

Now if you can't find them on any census...then they either moved locations to another state (which happened alot in the 1800's for many involved in fur-trades, rail-roads, and many other things...but if they can't be found on any regular census anywhere, and if you can't seem to find birth dates records baptismal records and or burial records...their could be a question of ...where they from another country and went back...or where they indigenous.  Not all family stories are fables and I happen to know many many ppl who have already proven the family stories have merit."  feel free to message me if you need any help or have questions on how or where to look

BTW.. as for tribal nations not being visible in modern society.. they are only not visible to those not looking for them.  they are very visible all over the country and in Canada, and their voices for the last 5 years have been wreaking havoc over pipelines, violated treaties, heck the Lakota at Pine Ridge and back some of the Black Hills!  they bought it back and got some other land originally part of the Treaty lands, donated back all of this just in the last couple years.  They are on news networks..just not "white" owned ones.  Just because the majority of the Nation refuses to acknowledge "we do still exist"..Infact just because of the words posted...."to near extinction & not very visible in modern society".

Modern Society threw em on Reservations...that's why they are not ALL over the country visible...But that doesn't make them almost extinct.

Btw....whats a "real native look like".  The Abenaki, Mi'Kmaq, Wobanaki, Inuipiaq, Athabaskan, Innu, Inuit, Seneca, and many other North and northeastern and Alaskan People were not born looking like a "Prairie-Stereotype fable book "indian" with dark  brown skin.  They are of climates where there was less sun, therefore their skin in Archival Docs all the way back to the late  1500's explorers describes them as having the white skin of the English or the french olive tones.. but NOT the darkness of the african or the island."  NOT all full-blood natives are dark skinned.
Arora, pre-contact the Native population is estimated to have been about 50 million. Today, the estimated current population of Natives in the USA is somewhat less than 7 million. I think few people would argue that they suffered a genocide. The Jews and Armenians were genocided as well, they are not extinct either but they lost significant chunks of their population. I don't think many (well, many right-thinking people, anyway) would dispute that. You are welcome to talk to your friends on the Reservations on this or any other points. I think most would understand what I am getting at.
LOL  I'm never brought pre-contact and I'm sure the question from Stacey Corey doesn't involve pre-contact. She's looking for her closer history and ancestry, I'm pretty sure. & I think you know that too.  As for my reservation friends.. lol, nooo you really don't get it AT ALL..
Agree, Arora.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Census records and Find-A-Grave records indicate no Native American heritage going back to the late 1700s. Birthplaces Missouri, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. Nothing further west than Kansas.
by D Kenney G2G6 (10.0k points)
I can pull ALL Kinds of US Fed. Gov. Documents involving Tribes in Everyone of the States you just mentioned all the way back to late 1600's and in particular into 17 & even in early 1800s. D. Kenny...just because Find a grave doesn't show it.. doesn't mean its not their. Find a grave is about locating cemeteries and grave markers/ stones.. a lot of stuff on Find a grave is inaccurate and lacking real  any sources, and most of us on wikitree know this because of the G2g discussions of " don't use find-a-grave" as a primary source because of the innaccuracies.
+2 votes
I live in Montana and the Blackfeet have a reservation here, they aren't from Missouri.   I don't know your case specifically but I too was told I had cherokee, choctaw and blackfoot and I have none of them.  I'm from Missouri and none of those tribes were ever in that state.  It was disappointing to find out the truth.
by R Livingstone G2G1 (1.1k points)

Related questions

+9 votes
8 answers
202 views asked Jul 27, 2019 in The Tree House by Stef Anderson G2G6 Mach 1 (11.0k points)
+4 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
+1 vote
1 answer
111 views asked Sep 25, 2012 in Genealogy Help by anonymous
+3 votes
1 answer
+4 votes
0 answers
73 views asked Jun 2, 2021 in Genealogy Help by Anonymous D G2G6 Mach 1 (18.7k points)
+2 votes
3 answers
193 views asked Dec 29, 2019 in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (806k points)
+6 votes
0 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright