Author Archives: robertajestes

About robertajestes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.

Chief Big Head, Standing Rock, Dakota Territory

A G.W. Scott cabinet card photograph of Chief Big Head, a Sioux Indian, taken between 1880-1890 in North Dakota. In the records of Indian Chiefs and Visitors to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, we find a listing for Big Headed, … Continue reading

Posted in Dakota, Sioux | 1 Comment

Cherokee Freedmen Rolls

Freedmen is one of the terms given to emancipated slaves and their descendants after slavery was abolished in the United States following the American Civil War. In this context, “Cherokee Freedmen” refers to the African-American men and women who were … Continue reading

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Tracing Cherokee Ancestors

Several years, ago – we’re talking in the decades now – before the internet and e-mail….you know, back in the dark ages…I visited the Muskogee County Genealogical Society in Muskogee, OK. I was that certain that my oral family history … Continue reading

Posted in Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole | Leave a comment

The Last Wukchumni Speaker

In central California, before the European arrived, it’s estimated that there were 50,000 Wukchumni speakers.  Today, there is only one, Marie Wilcox, born in 1932, who is making a dictionary of this language so it won’t be entirely lost, while teaching her daughter … Continue reading

Posted in Yokuts | Leave a comment

George Galphin’s 1776 Will

In South Carolina’s McMullan’s Law Reports, from Nov 1840-May 1842, we find only one document of interest regarding Native Americans.   But that article is indeed, VERY interesting. A will, sworn and signed in April of 1776 by George Galphin is … Continue reading

Posted in Creek | 1 Comment

Indigenous Law Portal

Recently, the Library of Congress introduced the Indigenous Law Portal as a gathering place for legal documents pertaining to the indigenous people of the Americans.  Today, they are working on the US states, but they will be adding Canadian First … Continue reading

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Edward Curtis, Shadow Catcher, Photographer of Native Americans

Many of the images we have of Native Americans today, we have only thanks to Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1962), a man with a mission.  His life work was to photograph and document the Native American Indian and their disappearing culture. Curtis … Continue reading

Posted in History, Photography | 1 Comment