Still Part Redman Deep Inside

Do you have a persistent story of Native American heritage in your family?

Standing Bear, Ponca, 1877Mark Green’s wife did.  Her ancestor Nancy Pittman’s mother was supposed to be a Cherokee Indian.  If your family was from the south, chances are you have some similar story.

Mark tracked her story both through DNA and the Cherokee records.  Her DNA showed 1% Native Ancestry, but the records pertaining to the Guion-Miller Roll provided additional information.  It’s most interesting, because although the paperwork having to do with her 1907 application is ambiguous, with the application subsequently denied, the DNA, some 100 years and a few generations later, isn’t.

Here’s Mark’s article about the family story, his research and what he found.  Sometimes a little footwork goes a long way – and there are lots of records available having to do with the Cherokee and 5 Civilized Tribes who were removed to Oklahoma.

Posted in Cherokee | 4 Comments

Digitizing War of 1812 Records, a Quilt and NY Indian Service Records

1812 quilt

The War of 1812, which lasted from 1812 to 1815, is probably the War we know the least about, and one for which an astounding number of pension and bounty land records still exist for veterans who served.  If your ancestor was between the ages of about 16 and maybe 60, there is a good chance that they served in this War, at least for a little while.

If so, they have a military pay record and if you’re lucky, a pension application and a bounty land application as well.  If they died but their widow outlived them, then she could have applied using his service record.

However, in order for these precious records to be preserved and available to us all, they are in the process of being digitized, but this project is not funded by any grants or institutions, it’s being crowdsourced.  Hint – that means you and me.

Right now, in order to encourage donations to preserve and digitize the War of 1812 pension and bounty land papers, The Federation of Genealogical Societies is entering one ticket into a drawing for this lovely period appropriate quilt for every dollar donated to the preservation project.  In addition, Ancestry is matching every donation, so in essence, your contribution preserves twice as many pages.

Take a look at this site and if you can, please donate.  So many of our ancestors served.

You can see records already digitized, for free, at:

How does this connect with Native American history?  Well, in a number of ways.  This war was no respecter of race.  Native people and people descended from Native ancestors served in militia units just like everyone else.  Well, except for some of the Native people who lived in the north, in New York, by way of example.  Those folks fought FOR the British and against the US as a result of constant pressure from Europeans and broken treaties and promises.  The British promised to do better.

The Native groups in New York were on the front lines of the northern theater of the war.  However, the Tuscarora Indians stepped between the terrified frontier families and the British who were burning their homes in an all-out effort to kill them and win the war.  The odds were quite lopsided, about 25 Tuscaroras faced about 1500 British.  The good news is that their intervention bought the settlers enough time to flee, and the British, not knowing how few Tuscarora there really were, halted their attack.

The town of Lewiston did burn, but lives were saved thanks to the Tuscarora Heroes.  This December 19th, a statue will be dedicated commemorating the bravery of the Tuscarora and cementing the friendship of Lewiston and the Tuscarora.

Many people think that the Indian tribes of NY fought only AGAINST the Americans, but that’s not true.  In fact, there is a long list of Native people who fought alongside the Americans, risking their lives, giving their lives, and suffering the consequences of having their villages burned in retaliation.

The following link is to an index from the Awards of Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812 compiled by the New York Adjutant General’s office and the claims were presented for payment by members of tribes mustered into service of the US for the War of 1812.  The columns represent the claim number, the warrior, the claimant, often their estate, and the amount awarded to them.  This includes long lists of people by tribe; the Seneca on the Allegany Reservation, the Cattaraugus Reservation and Cornplanter’s Reservation, the Onondaga Nation, the Oneida Nation and the Tuscarora Nation.

The original declarations of claims from which this index was compiled are on file in the Bureau of War Records maintained by the Division of Military and Naval Affairs, Public Security Building, Albany, NY 12206. The declaration indicates the claimant’s name and military grade, his inclusive period of service and the land warrant, if any, granted as a result of his service. Researchers desiring additional information should contact the Bureau of War Records at the above address.

In addition, these individuals may be eligible for pensions and land through the federal government as well.  The digitization project will preserve those records and make them available to their descendants.  So, please, donate now.  Any amount is helpful and who knows, the records you save may be your own ancestors’!

And you just might win that quilt!!!

Hat tip to El for the Tuscarora article and list of names.

Posted in Military, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora, War of 1812 | Leave a comment

A Buck By Any Other Name


A Buck by any other name might be Hogan, Logan or Williams.  I think we have a case of surname schizophrenia.  We have four surnames involving 3 people.

Do you sometimes wonder why you or one of your relatives matches a whole group of people by a different surname, and none by the surname you expected them to match?

This 1888 Indian Census page for the Seneca on the Allegany Reservation in New York just might give you a clue as to why you’re not matching whom you think you should be matching..

Not matching who you expect to match is sometimes called a Nonpaternal Event (NPE) or I prefer the term undocumented adoption.  But this case doesn’t seem to be undocumented at all…it’s well documented….it’s just that we can’t understand it.

So let’s say this is your family and the husband, I presume is Augustus Buck.  So far, that looks normal.  But this is where normal ends.

Your name is Acsah.  If you’re married to Augustus Buck, your name would be Acsah Buck.  This is how all of the other families are recorded, so you would be too.  Except you have this little note that says either (Logan was) or Hogan was).  Is that a maiden name?  No one else’s maiden or other names are listed.  Is Acsah maybe not the wife of Augustus and the mother of Alfred noted below?  If that is the case, then why are they listed as Buck now?

And Alfred has his own set of problems.  He is noted as Alfred Buck, age 2. One would assume the child of Acsah and Augustus Buck, judging from the rest of the entries.  But Alfred had this note that says (was Williams.)  What does that mean?  It’s certainly not his maiden name.

Does that mean that Alfred isn’t a Buck at all?  Is Alfred even the son of Acsah?  Is Alfred really a Williams.  Was Acsah married to a Williams before Augustus?  That would seem to be pushing it given that she is only 18 and Alfred was born when she was 16.  Did she have time to be married earlier?

So, if Alfred’s descendants were to DNA test, would they match a Buck, a Williams, a Hogan or a Logan?  Or maybe none of the above if Acsah had Alfred before she married Augustus by someone not listed on the “was” list.  Maternal naming was a very common Native American occurrence and what is today considered to be illegitimacy was not viewed through the lens of colonial or Victorian America.

And just think, if you are Alfred’s great-grandson and you took the Yline DNA paternal line test, expecting to match a Buck, and you were instead matching a Williams, Hogan or Logan, and if you never saw this census page, you would have no clue as to potentially why.  Of course, if you aren’t matching a Buck or a Logan, Hogan or Williams, then all bets are off.  But at least, there is a clue here that something is not like the rest of the families recorded in the census.  It’s something to work with.

Of course, this makes me wonder how many more census entries warrant notes and of course never received them.  And of course, a legend to interpret the note would be nice too:)

Posted in DNA, Seneca | 2 Comments

1887 Croatan Indian Petition Signers

In 1887, the Croatan Indians, now the Lumbee, petitioned the state legislature to establish a normal school to train Indian teachers for the county’s tribal schools. With state permission, they raised the requisite funds, along with some state assistance, which proved inadequate. Several tribal leaders donated money and privately held land for schools.  The Croatans built the Indian Normal School which evolved into the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

The petition submitted to establish the school was signed by 67 Croatans and 6 “white citizens.”  The Croatan signers are shown below.

First Last
James Oxendine
Alamander (sic) Locklear
Isham Locklear
J.H. Harris
James Braboy
B.J. Chavis
James Bullard
Robert Collins
Machire Locklear
Evander Blue
Malakiah Locklear
Nelson Locklear
Alexander Locklear
J.P. Locklear
Neill Oxendine
Solomon Oxendine
Jordan Oxendine
Purvie Jacobs
Murdoch Chavis
A.J. Lowrie
Peter Dial
Thomas Dees
Thomas Sanderson
Hector Locklear
J.W. Oxendine
Magilbra Braboy
William L. Locklear
Harrison Ransome
James Dial
Soliman Locklear
Winslow Locklear
Isham Locklear
Peter Bullard
Isaac Brayboy
Turner Lowerie
W.L. Moore
Zion Lowrie
Hugh Oxendine
J.L. Monroe
Asbury Oxendine
N.A. Locklear
Henry Brayboy
A.J. Revels
Nelson Chavis
A. Bullard
William Goins
Archie Oxendine
G.W. Lowrie
Isac Braboy
John E. Oxendine
Wesley Bullard
Thomas Locklear
James I. Lowrie
J.J. Oxendine
Preston Locklear
J.C. McEachin, Jr.
Willey Jacobs
Joseph Locklear
Brown Lowerie
Alva Oxendine
J.W. Willis
Jack Oxendine
Wm. Jacobs
Hector Sanderson
Israel Rodgers
Paisly Sanderson

Thanks to Jazzy Jeff for finding this list of names.

Posted in Croatan (Later Lumbee), Education, History, Lumbee, North Carolina | 1 Comment

Metlakahtlan, Alaska

I’m still working on transcribing the Carlisle Indian School records, although I’m nearing the end of all 18,000 records found in three sources that have to be integrated.  This project has been way beyond the magnitude I ever expected.

One thing I’ve noticed is that there are a significant number of students with Alaskan noted as their tribe.  Keep in mind that this was long before Alaska became a state of the Union.

The gold rush in Alaska brought prospectors in the 1890s and early 1900s, but it wasn’t until 1912 that Alaska became a territory and not until 1959 that it became a state.  The Carlisle School opened in 1879 and closed in 1918 in the wake of WWI.  We don’t know exactly when most of these students attended, but it was certainly between those dates.

Some students, or students with the same name, are designated as Alaskan and then as another tribe in a different record.  For example, Anna Kittail in one record was shown as Alaskan and in another, Apache.  Those two are pretty hard to confuse, and two students with the name of Anna Kittail would be quite unusual as well.  Maybe someone misinterpreted Apache as Alaskan or vice versa.  Another was William Jackson, Alaskan and Chippewa and yet another, Clara Hall, Gros Ventre and Alaskan.  In some records, a state was given, in others, not.  You would think Alaskans would be from Alaska.

Now I don’t want to give the impression that only students with Alaska tribal designations had multiple tribes listed.  That’s not at all the case, but some of the others make more sense, like Mohawk and St. Regis, which could indeed be used interchangeably.

So I began to wonder about the Alaskan designation, all things considered.  Then I found the record of Edward Marsden.  In one record, he is listed as Alaskan, from Alaska.  Good, so far this makes sense.  In another record, he was listed as Metlakahtlan.  I’ve never seen that tribal designation before, so I decided to take a look.

Sure enough the Metlakahtlan people were Alaska Tsimshian indigenous people.  Furthermore, we now know where Edward was from – a village in far southeastern Alaska, shown on the map below.

Metlakahtlan map

In fact, it turns out that Metlakahtlan has a very interesting history.

Metlakatla comes from Maxłakxaała, a Tsimshian word meaning “Salt Water Passage.” Metlakatla was named after another village of the same name (“Old Metlakatla”) in British Columbia, which is on Metlakatla Pass, near Prince Rupert. In a more ancient time, it was a Tlingit hunting ground known as “Taquan”. The Tsimshians were granted permission to own the land by Chief Johnson of the Tlinget tribe.

In 1886, William Duncan, an English tannery employee and lay minister of the Anglican Church, had a doctrinal dispute with the Church authorities in Metlakatla, B.C. He and a devoted group of Tsimshian followers decided to leave Metlakatla. Duncan went to Washington, D.C., in the United States and asked the U.S. government to give his group land in Alaska. The U.S. under President Cleveland gave them Annette Island after a search committee in seagoing canoes discovered its calm bay, accessible beaches, nearby waterfall, and abundant fish.

In 1887 the group arrived on the island and built a settlement in the Port Chester area of the island. The town was laid out in a neat grid pattern and contained a church, a school, a tannery, and a sawmill. They named the town New Metlakatla, after the town they had left behind, but later dropped the “New”. In 1888, William Duncan returned to Washington and lobbied the U.S. Congress for an Indian reservation on Annette Island. Although the reservation system had not been used in Alaska, this request was granted in 1891. Annette Island and its surrounding islands today comprise the only Indian reservation in Alaska. Duncan remained at Metlakatla until his death in 1918.

Metlakahtlan 1890s

This photo shows Metlakahtlan in the 1890s, about the time Edward Marsden would have been born or living there.

Indeed today, Metlakahtlan is a thriving Native community.  You can see more on their webpage at

Posted in Alaska Natives, Tsimshian | 6 Comments

Native Study Website

native study

I recently came across the Native Study website.

This site has several books of transcribed original records.  For the most part, records deal with the following tribes:

  • Cherokee
  • Chickasaw
  • Choctaw
  • Creek
  • Seminole
  • Blackfeet
  • Delaware
  • Hopi
  • Navajo
  • Sioux

However, a second set of records, Native American Will and Probate Records, deals with a different set of tribes and records.  The website states:

“In accordance with federal statutes enacted in 1910 and 1913, the Law and, subsequently, the Probate Divisions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs were responsible for determining the heirs of deceased Indian trust allottees.  Ultimately, Native Americans submitted more than 2,500 pages of wills and probate records to the Bureau. These records span the period 1911 to 1921 and, with a few exceptions, pertain to Indian families living in the Plains and several western states.”

For information about Indian Trust Allotments and the division of tribal land, visit this link:

Posted in Blackfoot, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Delaware, Hopi, Navajo, Seminole, Sioux | Leave a comment

Carolina Indian Boy for Sale in Boston – 1713

Indian for sale

“A Carolina Indian Boy about 11 years old, to be sold, inquire as the post office in Boston.”

In 1713, the Boston News-Letter carried this advertisement for a “Carolina Indian Boy” to be sold as a slave. The boy had, presumably, been captured during the Tuscarora War.

Hat tip to Derek for this article.

It’s sad to see this in print.  I surely wish we knew more about who this young man was, who he was sold to and what happened to him.  Most of the captives from the Tuscarora War were taken south and sold in South Carolina or into the West Indies.  I wonder how he came to be found in Boston.

Posted in North Carolina | 2 Comments