DNA – What Came From Who??

In part 6 of “The Autosomal Me” series, titled “The Autosomal Me – DNA Analysis – Splitting Up” we talk about figuring out which part of your Native genetic heritage came from which parent.  In my case, both African and Native ancestry are several generations back in time, and come from both of my parents.  My Mom’s line is pretty straightforward, as these things go, as her heritage is Acadian.  My Dad’s however, is lost in the swamps of North Carolina and Virginia, with only whispers and hints to light the way – until DNA.

We’ll see in this series that these steps are building upon each other and in the end, will help identify which lines are Native, potentially which ancestors were Native and hopefully when combined with the history of the region, will shed light on which tribes may have been involved.  Of course, we know that the tribes themselves moved a great deal, assimilated with each other, as well as with both white and black communities.  But one thing is for sure, we’ll know more at the end of this process than we did at the beginning.

Join me for the continuing journey of discovering minority Native admixture using genetic genealogy tools.  http://dna-explained.com/2013/03/12/the-autosomal-me-dna-analysis-splitting-up/

Posted in Acadian, DNA, North Carolina, Virginia | Leave a comment

Petitions Involving Indians to Carolina Courts 1775-1867

A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of Black Studies Research Sources, Microfilms from Major Archival and Manuscript Collections, General Editor: John H. Bracey, Jr.

Race, Slavery and Free Blacks, Series II, Petitions to Southern County Courts, 1775-1867, Part D: NC (1775-1867) and SC (1784-1867)


I have extracted the records pertaining to Native people which are listed below.

P 27 – 1782

0077 (Accession # 21278201). Perquimans County, North Carolina. A group of Perquimans County citizens ask that a manumitted “Servant Man Named Peter (Whose Mother was an Indian & Father a Negroe)” be permitted to “remain Free & unmolested as long as he behaves himself well.”

P 27 – 1785

0092 (Accession # 21278502). Bertie County, North Carolina. Jenney Ash claims she is the free born daughter of an Indian and asserts that she and her two children are being illegally held as slaves by John Gardner [also spelled Gardiner] who plans to “to prevent them from making their Personal appearance before your Worships at the next Court” by taking them to Virginia, perhaps South Carolina. She asks the court to issue a subpoena to prevent Gardner from taking her and her children out of the state; she also seeks freedom for herself and her family.

P 28 – 1788

0125 (Accession # 21278801). Perquimans County, North Carolina. Accused of being a slave and currently in jail, Dick maintains that he is a free man, the grandson of an Indian woman, free “by the laws of Nature.” He reasons that he has been mistaken for “the property of John Smith one of the people called Quakers and illegally liberated by him.” He asks for his freedom.

P 28 – 1791

0128 (Accession # 21279101). Craven County, North Carolina. New Bern merchant Peter Thomjeux asks to free his mustee slave Marshall as a reward for “faithful services.” Marshall attended him during various illnesses, Thomjeux explains, and sometimes took care of the store with its “large quantities of goods & often sums of money.”

P164 – 1818 – 0097 (Accession # 21381815). Charleston District, South Carolina. Henry Mathews asks that the county tax collector and sheriff “be compelled by a perpetual Injunction from Enforcing any assessment of capitation tax against your orator.” Mathews asserts that his maternal grandmother, “who being a free Indian In amity with this State transmitted to her posterity the same Rights, priviledges & exemptions as are or ought for right to be claimed & used by the White Citizens of this State.” The petitioner complains that he has been assessed a tax (Reel 10 South Carolina 165) pursuant to an 1817 law, which “enacted ‘that seventy five cents per Head shall be levied upon all Slaves of all ages & descriptions and the sum of two Dollars per head upon all free Negroes, mulattoes & mestizoes.’ “ Noting that he refused to pay said tax, Mathews informs the court that the sheriff is now authorized to make said assessment “of the Goods & Chattels of your orator & in default thereof to take his Body.” He thus prays “this Honb Court to restrain the said Tax Collector and Sheriff and all other officers & magistrates from proceeding to collect or Levy the

said Tax.”

P 259 – 1828

0850 (Accession # 21382810). Charleston District, South Carolina. Eleanor Hornby Tew, Thomas R. Tew, and Caroline M. Tew, “Infant Children of Charles Tew deceased,” ask that their mother, Eleanor Tew, be appointed their trustee “in lieu of” their late father. Their maternal grandmother, Ann Carr, conveyed to the children in trust “a Mustee Slave named Jim, or James aged about nineteen years.” Carr empowered the trustee to “dispose of” the slave and to vest the proceeds “in the same species of property either male or female.” Charles Tew’s death left “the said Slave undisposed of.”

P 548-549 – 1858

0496 (Accession # 21385860). Charleston District, South Carolina. The petitioners ask for an account and partition of the property of their deceased sister. Susan Johnston Matthews, “a free (Reel 24 South Carolina 549) woman of Indian descent,” died intestate leaving her husband and siblings as her sole heirs. In 1841 Alexander Black “by deed duly executed and delivered” several tracts of land to Susan to be held in trust by William Miller. Upon the death of Susan, the land was to be sold and the trustee was to “divide the proceeds issueing from such sale between and among the heirs at Law.” The petitioners are now “desirous of obtaining a division of the property.” However, one William Miller has “permitted the said John B Matthews [Susan’s husband] to have hold occupy and enjoy the said premises” and refuses to comply with the petitioners’ requests. They therefore pray for an accounting of Susan’s land and a full disclosure of her estate. They also ask for a division of the proceeds accrued from the sale of any of her estate.

Hat tip to Sharron for finding this document.

Posted in Laws, Slaves | 2 Comments

Shovel Shaped “Indian” Teeth

Indian Shovel TeethI’ve been asked the question about what shovel teeth really look like.  Finding good photos is really difficult.

One of our followers, Fletcher Freeman, who has contributed several articles, has also written about “Indian Teeth” on the Chowanoke Descendants Community website.  As mentioned in the article, “Thick Hair, Small Boobs, Shovel Shaped Teeth and More,” this mutation for shovel shaped teeth is an Asian mutation that happened about 35,000 years ago.  The good news is that because it’s fairly pronounced, it’s easy to determine if you have it or not, and is a good indicator of Native heritage.

Fletcher was kind enough to share with us a photo of his own shovel shaped teeth.  I have shovel shaped teeth too, all 4 of my top middle teeth.  In addition, they have a bony shaped ridge near the gumline that is very pronounced and extends down over part of the shovel shape, to about one fourth of the tooth.

Since this is a hereditary trait, and easy to discern, it’s also interesting to ask your parents and other family members if they have this trait.  Just be sure to ask while they still have their teeth:)  Dentures don’t count!

Fletcher, thank you so much for sharing!  Your teeth are now famous!

Posted in Anthropology, DNA, Teeth | 2 Comments

Taint of Indian Blood

State v. Harris Melton & Ann Byrd, 44 NC 49 (1852).

An indictment for fornication in Stanly Superior Court. The defendants pleaded not guilty and offered evidence of their marriage. “The controversy was concerning the color of the male defendant – the female being admitted to be white.” The law: “It shall not be lawful for any free negro or person of color to marry a white person; and any marriage hereafter solemnized or contracted between any free negro or free person of color and a white person, shall be null and void.”

It was admitted that Harris Melton was of Indian descent, and he argued that the Act above did not apply to persons descended from Indian ancestors. The Supreme Court, however, noted that it did not have to reach this issue because the jury had only found that Melton was of Indian blood, without determining to what degree. The law “could not have intended that the most remote taint of Indian blood” would void a marriage. As the jury had indicated that it did not know the degree of Melton’s Indian-ness, the verdict for defendants must be affirmed.


Hat tip to Joy for finding this site and to Lisa Henderson for a wonderful blog.

Posted in History, Laws | Leave a comment

Jacobs Free Issue Death Certificates

Jessie Jacobs. Died 4 March 1914, N. Clinton, Sampson County. Indian. (Colored marked through.) Married. Farmer. Born 9 February 1854, Sampson County, to Arch Jacobs and Tempie Manuel. Buried Honeycutts township.

Enos Jacobs. Died 5 October, 1925, Honeycutts, Sampson County. Indian Married to Miltildia Jacobs. About 83. Farmer. Born Sampson County to Archie Jacobs of Pender County and Tempie Manuel. Buried New Bethel cemetery. Informant, C.O. Jacobs, Honeycutts.

Mary Jacobs. Died 17 January 1926, Honeycutts, Sampson County. Indian. Widow. About 91. Born Sampson County to unknown father and Clarkie Barefoot. Buried Brewington graveyard. Informant, Hardie Goodwin.

Fransis Emaline Williams. Born 12 May 1919, Dismal, Sampson County. Croatan Indian. Married. Born 21 December 1861. Farming. Born Sampson County to Samuel Jacobs of Pender County and Mary Barefoot of Sampson County. Informant, Ransom Williams, Delway NC.

In the 1860 census of Dismal, Sampson County: Samuel Jacobs, 35, turpentine laborer, mulatto. In the 1870 census of Dismal, Sampson County: Samuel Jacob, 50; wife Mary, 35; and children James C., 10, Francis, 7, Martha, 4, and George A., 1.


Hat tip to Joy for finding this site and to Lisa Henderson for a wonderful blog, Fourth Generation Inclusive.

Posted in Croatan (Later Lumbee) | Leave a comment

Timberlake 1762 Cherokee Map

Timberlake Cherokee mapThis map was drawn by Henry Timberlake in March 1762 when he visited the Cherokee.  It gives the number of fighting men and the head man of each town as follows:

Mialaquo or the Great Island – 24 under the Governor of Attakullakulla

Toskegee – 55 Attakullakulla Governor

Tommotley – 91 Ostenaco Commander in Chief

Toqua – 82 Willinawaw Governor

Tennesee – 21 under the Goernment of Kanagatuckco

Chote – 175 Kanagatucko King and Governor

Chilboroey – 100 Yachtino Governor

Settacoo – 204 Cheulah Covernor

Tellassee – 47 Governor dead and none elected since

Total 809

Hat tip to Fletcher for the map.

Posted in Cherokee, Military | 5 Comments

Gnadenhutten Native Burial Mound

The Gnadenhutten Massacre took place in 1782 in what was then very much the frontier.  I covered this event in the blog, “The Moravians, the Ahekomeko Indians and the Gnadenhutten Massacre.”

As I was looking for something entirely unrelated, I stumbled across this picture of the Native burial mound in the Gnadenhutten-Clay Union Cemetery in Gnadenhutten, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.


This cemetery (one of the oldest in Ohio) was originally an Indian burial ground. Today there are around 500 burials here. The mound in the picture is 3 feet high & 10 feet across and contains the remains of the slaughtered Christian Native Americans.


Posted in Burial Mounds, History | Leave a comment