The slaves of the Cherokee who were freed after the Civil War were called the Freedmen.  Therefore, I expected the surname Freeman or similarly spelled names to be rampant in the 1869 Cherokee West Census but they weren’t.  Not only that, but there is a great irony at play here.

There were three Freeman families, one that is Indian (not negro), one that is white, and one that is noted as “colored persons not entitled to citizenship.”  Of these people, not one is a black person entitled to citizenship within the tribe.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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28 Responses to Freeman

  1. michael freeman says:

    I’m asking for assistance in tracking my native Indian heritage. I was told my great- great- great- great grandmother or grandfather where Cherokee Indian. I was also told of ” Delaware” ? Indian heritage. Thanks in advance.

    • HI Michael,

      There are a couple of documents on my website that will be helful to you. Go to and click on the publications tab. Then scroll down to see the various papers in the Ethnicity category. They are all free. You will want to read a couple in particular. One is “Proving your Native Heritage.” Another is “Great Grandma is a Full Blooded Cherokee Princess” and a third is “Identifying Cherokee Ancestors.” Freeman is also a name associated with the Chowan Indians who were located on the Virginia/NC border, although Freeman is obviously also a European name. Best of luck on your search.

  2. Paul J Douglas says:

    I have Freeman ancestors from North Carolina to Kentucky

  3. Tom Freeman says:

    I am seeking information for Freemen and or Freeman for relations of the Cherokee. P. H. Freeman. Thank you!

    • Mindy says:

      Many Freemans, related to Edmund Freeman that sailed to the new world on the ‘Abigail’. Settled in Plymouth Colony on Cape Cod. Then Daniel Freeman (Son of John Freeman 1726-1792) and his son, John M. moved to North Carolina with their families.

  4. jessica coffer says:

    my great grandfather was a full blood Cherokee located in new mexico
    by the last name of freeman

  5. lisa says:

    My grandfather’s last name was Freeman. I have been trying to find out about my cherokee Indian heritage. I know my great grandmother was cherokee indian. But I’m having a hard time finding any other information out. It’s become very discouraging.

  6. Edy Payne says:

    I am a descendant of the Freeman family that lived in polk co NC but were from SC if you have any names they may be in my family tree as there are many Freemans. My gr gr gr grandmother and gr gr grandmother are both listed as mulatto. Sarah Freeman was Indian possibly waccamaw-siouan even though I was told cherokee and Frances Freeman was Indian and white. I also have pictures of them and other freemans.

    • I sure understand your frustration. I’m descended from Eliz. Freeman Finton born in Seneca, NY (born Elizabeth Freeman, married Asa Finton).b.1848 and died in Washtenaw Michigan in 1914. Seems you have investigated the ethnic backgrounds of the different Freeman families. Can you tell me if Elizabeth was truly “W” as listed on the census, or was she an inculturated Native American?

  7. Vivian thomas says:

    If anyone can help me find my Grandad’s Heritage. He was cherokee “Stanley Wayne Freeman.” His newphew got his 5 Acres that was given to him…just want more info.

  8. Alan Freeman says:

    my dads last name is Freeman his family came from native american,African American, and Irish
    i am just trying to figure out who i am decent of

  9. anthony freean says:

    Looking for any information on
    John William Freeman
    Birth 1673 • James City, New Kent, Virginia, USA
    Death 7 JULY 1737 • Old Chowan Precinct, Albemarle, North Carolina, USA
    6th great-grandfather

    William Freeman
    Birth 26 OCT 1759 • Bertie, North Carolina, USA
    Death 27 JAN 1838 • Greene, Missouri, United States
    5th great-grandfather

    John Freeman
    Birth 23 DEC 1796 • Burke, North Carolina, USA
    Death 21 OCT 1861 • Greene, Missouri, USA
    4th great-grandfather

  10. Seeking any info on Freeman family of Charles Co, Calvert Co. Anne Arundel Co. MD. My GGG Grandmother, a “Slye” and GGGG Grandmother, a “Freeman” were both listed in family bible of their marriage to a “Robinson” with “Piscataway” notation next to the marriage entry. Could be that they were from a small area called “Piscataway” but my cousin feels it means they were of the Piscataway indians. Any help will be greatly appreciate!

  11. Karen Holden says:

    Looking on any information re: Samuel Freeman who was half indian. He was around Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 30s. I think he had a brother who was a state patrolman. I know he died in the 60s. I was told he was french canadian indian…………

  12. SantaFe Freeman Navarre says:

    My Family Was From the Carolina’s And Where Cherokee .I have Been Tracing My Heritage And Any Information Would Be Greatly appreciated.Thank You.

  13. Mindy says:

    Are there any recordings of mixed marriages between the Plymouth colony settlers and native American Indians?

  14. Pare Hayward-Howie says:

    Kia ora, RIchard David Freeman was born in 1838, I’m not sure when he arrived in New Zealand, but he married a woman here in 1866, had two children, then died in 1876, aged about 40. The newspapers describe his son as being Mohawk, are you able to point me to a place I might begin to look for his parents. Also, does anyone know what the word “Juwenira” might mean. A girl’s name.

  15. Candice says:

    I hope this thread is still active. But, here goes. I am from a line of Freeman’s in Virginia. Isaac Freeman is listed on the 1810 census as mulatto along with his wife Lucy Jackson and children. they were listed as owners of estate. They were later listed as Black on 1830 census. The estate was given to Lucy around 1850 where her and her children lived. After 1850 the census is totally inaccurate. They were of Native American descent. Issac Freeman and Lucy Jackson (assuming thats her surname) were my 5th great grand parents. I too took a DNA test several and Native American is present. I know from family that they were. There are several Freeman families in that part of VA. I heard the town was burned down and they all lost their land and separated. I connected with Freeman the went to NY. I do have a tree on Ancestry with 987ppl. If anyone can help Id greatly appreciate it.

    • Manzano Lane says:

      I am very interested in connecting with you about this Jackson line. I have Freemans Tabitha freeman that would be native american but I also was given Emanuel and Jackson as a mtdna 5th grandmother clue. Any chance the name Emanuel rings a bell for ya? email, I’d love to see what Jackson relation you have

  16. Ninna how says:

    My dads side of family are freemans from north Carolina I’ve never really know much about the history but would like to know more .

  17. L, carney says:

    Freeman in big tussle ala.

    Grandma’s full-blooded cherokee .

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