Meherrin Indian Tribe Petition for Federal Recognition Denied

The Meherrin Indian Tribe petitioned the federal government for federal recognition as an Indian tribe and was denied on January 16, 2014.  The government’s response to their petition can be seen here.

I was mortified to read their reasoning, and the sources they used.  In particular, Paul Heinegg’s work.  I am a fan of Paul’s work.  Paul is very careful to use works like “may,” “might,” and “probably.”  Paul does not set forth that his gathering and clustering of surnames is gospel and that these people are absolutely related.  He says they might be related, and he is looking for patterns.  There is a huge difference between a possibility and a conclusion and Pauls’ work, in my opinion, has been misconstrued, taken out of context and given far more weight than other more concrete evidence.

Despite the government denial of the Meherrin application, there is a plethora of great information in this document, including the list of Meherrin names on page 29.

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About robertajestes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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8 Responses to Meherrin Indian Tribe Petition for Federal Recognition Denied

  1. Not surprised, many supporting records in Virginia and North Carolina were destroyed or lost over time. That is why I am seeking recognition outside the authority of the BIA.

    • JOHN WILLS says:

      The petitioner claims Meherrin ancestry but has not provided documentary evidence that the
      historical Meherrin Indian tribe continued to exist after the 1760s. The petitioner presents no
      evidence identifying historical members of the Meherrin Indian tribe in the 1760s, about 1789, or
      at any more recent time. It makes no attempt to demonstrate the descent of its current members
      from any list of historical members, or from any individuals identified as Meherrin Indians on
      historical documents.

  2. D says:

    Anybody worried about Turkish Muslims invading reservations? Anybody aware of it?

  3. Mike Strahn says:

    Plethora of BS is what it is. Not too bright in NC

  4. D says:

    Read a little Mike: these people are making up history and invading on many fronts .

  5. sally wallers says:

    Like the fake tribe of Lumbees in north Carolina who want a casino,they are an invented tribe by state politics the lumbee Bill failed as this group has no historic proof or connection to any historic indian tribe now or then most storys have been fabricated to get benefits ,money HUD and a Casino,this group historically never formed as a tribe and has never been a sovereign nation and its connection to the Cheraw is a new invention after claiming Croatan around 1900 roots with sworn signed petitions from its members as Cherokee around 1910 until 1950 for over 40 years after the croatan claim failed to get them federal money,it was changed to Cherokee of Robeson county again with another signed petition based on oral claims and a paper written by AB Lowery and Clifton Oxendine swearing they were Cherokee before congress,after this failed they seized upon a Cheraw identity an extinct tribe based on one anthropologist Guess.Prominent genealogist have done intensive research on the lumbee core ancestors and have connected them to Free African americans and free white women only mixing and no indian tribes at all with thousands of primary source document. No indian connection has ever been found with proof for this lumbee tribe .
    Most hold the tribe to be an invented political group with no real native American history, roots or Dna.They have no indian culture or language and no indian customs of their own.

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