U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-15-2011, 05:52 PM
 
11 posts, read 21,264 times
Reputation: 15
Default How to find out if an ancestor was actually Native American?

My ggg-grandmother Mary stumped me for the longest time. She died when my grandmother was 13. She told my grandmother that her maiden name was Lealiwall (the spelling is a guess) and that she was partially Native American. I spent almost a year trying to track the name down (and figuring out to spell it) until I found an obituary for a man who turned out to be her step-brother, and learned that her maiden name was actually Sturgis.

Her parents have standard European names (William Sturgis and Mary Stevens). I can't imagine why she would give my grandmother a false surname. Can anyone offer some direction? My family all assumes we're "part" Native American because of her, but none of the information Mary gave adds up.

Honestly, does she even look Native American? She's the older woman in the middle.
Attached Thumbnails
How to find out if an ancestor was actually Native American?-muzzie.jpg  
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-15-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 11,441,516 times
Reputation: 7395
I think far more people claim Indian blood than actually have it. Seems like everybody you talk to from south of the Ohio claims Cherokee blood. Given the intense hatred southern Americans had for Indians I find that unlikely. But a few generatons later after the Indians have long been removed to Kansas and Oklahoma the notion of having Indian ancestors sounds kind'a romantic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2011, 08:48 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
20,257 posts, read 11,791,923 times
Reputation: 92150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
I think far more people claim Indian blood than actually have it. Seems like everybody you talk to from south of the Ohio claims Cherokee blood. Given the intense hatred southern Americans had for Indians I find that unlikely. But a few generatons later after the Indians have long been removed to Kansas and Oklahoma the notion of having Indian ancestors sounds kind'a romantic.
As we've been discussing in the thread on slavery, racism existed and exists in all regions of the country. Revisionist white northerners want to claim their stuff doesn't stink, and it's just not so. Northerners killed the natives they didn't remove. All white settlements, north and south, were taking over the natives' homeland, after all. So from Maine to Florida there were occasions when the natives attacked and killed whites. There were times whites responded in kind. Btw my ancestors were northerners, including Ohio, until recently in American history.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-15-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 5,369,042 times
Reputation: 5472
Crimeny, a simple question about Indian ancestry has devolved into a Southerners are the devil, no Northerners are the devil argument. Why?

Shouldn't that be taken to the "Great Debates" forum, and left out of genealogy?

To the OP. Don't presume that she was given a "false" surname. Names are simply something someone was known by. That includes surnames. She may have taken a step-parent's surname. She may have had a marriage you didn't know about. William Sturgis & Mary Stevens may not be the parents to whom she was born. Who knows.

Don't be lulled into thinking you can know anything about ancestry from a surname. You can't. They may hint at it, but you have to prove it. And that's not always easy to do. To prove it, you need some definitive records. Unless she was enrolled in a tribe, there may not be a record. Census records may indicate Indian ancestry -- though, not always. I've also seen Indians called black in records. There were special Indian censuses.

I see from posts I assume are yours, elsewhere on the internet, that she was in Indiana. I just have to say that the odds of her having much Indian ancestry are minimal. If she was in a frontier area, it'd be more likely.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2011, 03:03 AM
 
10 posts, read 32,506 times
Reputation: 17
Nope, not to me... just like how you feel, I think she looks white. Maybe she was part Indian, but it probably wasn't significant.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: DC
3,356 posts, read 2,272,430 times
Reputation: 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxopr0ud View Post
My ggg-grandmother Mary stumped me for the longest time. She died when my grandmother was 13. She told my grandmother that her maiden name was Lealiwall (the spelling is a guess) and that she was partially Native American. I spent almost a year trying to track the name down (and figuring out to spell it) until I found an obituary for a man who turned out to be her step-brother, and learned that her maiden name was actually Sturgis.

Her parents have standard European names (William Sturgis and Mary Stevens). I can't imagine why she would give my grandmother a false surname. Can anyone offer some direction? My family all assumes we're "part" Native American because of her, but none of the information Mary gave adds up.

Honestly, does she even look Native American? She's the older woman in the middle.
I don't believe this is a picture of your ggg-grnadmother. Try dating the photograph and the other people in it. This looks like a photo taken in the early to mid 20th century.

If she is your maternal GGG-granmother perhaps a DNA test will shed some light.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere Arkansas
3,311 posts, read 1,369,701 times
Reputation: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxopr0ud View Post
My ggg-grandmother Mary stumped me for the longest time. She died when my grandmother was 13. She told my grandmother that her maiden name was Lealiwall (the spelling is a guess) and that she was partially Native American. I spent almost a year trying to track the name down (and figuring out to spell it) until I found an obituary for a man who turned out to be her step-brother, and learned that her maiden name was actually Sturgis.

Her parents have standard European names (William Sturgis and Mary Stevens). I can't imagine why she would give my grandmother a false surname. Can anyone offer some direction? My family all assumes we're "part" Native American because of her, but none of the information Mary gave adds up.

Honestly, does she even look Native American? She's the older woman in the middle.
If you want to know if you have indian blood..........look in the mirror. I'm told that's what they are doing on the reservations these days what with all the white guys pretending to be indians.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
3,334 posts, read 3,221,011 times
Reputation: 1963
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxopr0ud View Post
My ggg-grandmother Mary stumped me for the longest time. She died when my grandmother was 13. She told my grandmother that her maiden name was Lealiwall (the spelling is a guess) and that she was partially Native American. I spent almost a year trying to track the name down (and figuring out to spell it) until I found an obituary for a man who turned out to be her step-brother, and learned that her maiden name was actually Sturgis.

Her parents have standard European names (William Sturgis and Mary Stevens). I can't imagine why she would give my grandmother a false surname. Can anyone offer some direction? My family all assumes we're "part" Native American because of her, but none of the information Mary gave adds up.

Honestly, does she even look Native American? She's the older woman in the middle.
The only way to know for sure is to first know what Nation she is supposedly from. Once you know that, then you check tribal rolls for her name or names of her ancestors if she was not enrolled at any time. Other than that, you are going on speculation or family stories, of which, neither is proof. If she was indeed native and she married into a white family before reservation times for whatever nation she is supposedly from, you may be hard pressed to find any documentation.

As to Natives having Euro surmanes, this actually was not all that uncommon, especially among the Eastern tribes who had earlier contact with and were displaced by the whites.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2011, 10:19 AM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
20,257 posts, read 11,791,923 times
Reputation: 92150
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
Crimeny, a simple question about Indian ancestry has devolved into a Southerners are the devil, no Northerners are the devil argument. Why?
No such was said or implied. When someone makes a bigoted post, some balance ought to be restored. Relax.

The answer to all these repetitive questions on this forum are either:
1. DNA test
2. Do your genealogy.

Last edited by bjh; 02-16-2011 at 10:44 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2011, 01:18 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,519 posts, read 2,512,474 times
Reputation: 1473
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchman01 View Post
If you want to know if you have indian blood..........look in the mirror. I'm told that's what they are doing on the reservations these days what with all the white guys pretending to be indians.
growing up I remember lots of blond haired blue eyed white kids claiming to be part Indian

Heinz 57 Indians do not count

I feel a person should be at least 1/2 native american to claim American Indian / native american, etc

a Mexican has more native blood than your typical white guy that claims he's native american

some people from Mexico look identical to full blood native americans
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top