Did you get that? Not a word huh. Well, that’s because it’s not English.
Nancy LeCompte, the Research and Education Director for the Ne-Do-Ba contacted me and shared her wonderful blog. the Ne-Do-Ba are Wabanaki people. Wabanaki translates loosely as “Dawnland,” meaning the first to see the sun each morning. You can read more about these people at this link.
and on the organization’s homepage at this link:
There is also a Wabanaki timeline here:
Information about the historic Wabanaki people here:
These people lived in Maine, New Hampshie, Vermont, New Brunswick (Canada), Nova Scotia and parts of Quebec. The following modern-day tribes are descendants of the Wabanaki:
- Mi’Kmaq (also spelled Micmac and other variants)
- Abenaki or Odanak
- Abenaki of Wolinak
According to Nancy’s blog, GWILODWÔGAN is a word from the Western Abenaki dialect which refers to exploration, research, or investigation. That’s what her blog is doing.
One of the challenges faced by Native researchers is to sort our the truth and what is actually documented from oral history, bad genealogy and sometimes just wishful thinking. What Nancy is doing is using accepted Genealogical Proof Standards, which by the way, does not allow for “preponderance of evidence.” She takes each family she is working on and documents the research approach and the results. You can see many of them at this link:
Not only are these wonderful for the families involved, they are excellent step by step examples of how to do this type of genealogical/historical research. I’ll certainly be adding these surnames, and these links, to the Native Names document.
I had to wonder, where did Nancy start with this research? I found the answer in one of her blog postings, quoted below:
“In 1898, a number of Indian tribes from New York joined together for the purpose of suing the U.S. Government. The suit involved a broken treaty (imagine that). Not only did they win the right to sue, they actually won the case and were awarded a sum of money as compensation. The money was to be distributed amongst the members of the tribes (including the Brothertown Tribe).
In order to properly distribute the money, the government requested individuals fill out applications to prove they had a right to settlement distributions. These applications are an incredible source of genealogical information.”
I guess this is the only good news about broken treaties….for genealogists, they provide those all important breadcrumbs. I’ve love to have that treaty list of Native people for my Native Names project!!
Nancy – keep up the good work and thank you so much for sharing.