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Old 02-14-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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IIRC, there was a group of Dutch settlers (blonde hair/blue eyed) who married into the Cherokee nation early on and the ancestors were well documented during the Trail of Tears. I had a sorority sister who harkened from such bloodlines.

When it comes to Cherokee heritage, and the number of Americans who can legitimately claim such lineage, yes, I believe it. There was a time in our nation, follwoing the Indian Removal Act, that people, even full blooded, would not claim their native ancestery for fear of being forceably moved to Reservations. In the latter censuses, especially 1990 & 2000, people are proudly relaiming their heritage.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
While it may be true that very few white Americans do have native American blood, I think your objection that they "show no signs" is a bit naive.

I look as white European as they come, and so much so that I burn badly after just a few minutes in the sun. And yet I have one great grandmother who was "Negro" and "colored" on all her public records, and was identificably black African according to family members.

Appearance is not a good genetic indicator when the race or ethnicity you are looking for is several generations back, and the rest of one's genetic inheritance is overwhelmingly something quite different.
Very good and interesting points. I wonder where your great grandmother was from and the story behind that? Considering where you were born, I'm thinking she was from VA, MD or Canada.
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by soonerguy View Post
You are right about this. In my own family, in at least two separate branches, there has existed that myth that "granny was 1/16 Indian" or something along those lines. Years of genealogical research and the study of the human condition has led me believe something else. After the Civil War was over there was an unrecognized class of people all across the south. These were the mixed blood offspring of black slaves and white slave owners, and a larger group than you might expect. When the war was over, there was no place for this class of people to exist as they were, so they did one of three things: those who were nearly or completly white in appearance went north and became just that; others identified as black and assimilated into free black society; and the remainder, who were somewhere between in appearance, for whatever reason, married and assimilated into the poor white "sharecropper" class. This class very quickly spread west, across TN and the deep south, and into Texas and Oklahoma, places that were wide open and forgiving of a painful past. This assimilation happended quickly, it was complete by the second generation IMO. I think a lot of these people might have said, oh, granny was Indian, or something like that to explain whatever physical appearance that might have been questioned. I'm sure it happened in my family, in separate lines more than once.
What you stated reminds me of this: Passing (racial identity) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
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Originally Posted by linicx View Post
HIstorically there are a couple of different things to consider. The first black slave was living in what was to become the American colonies before 1600, and within 50 years nearly every Dutch farmer on Long Island had slaves that were generally well treated. It was very unlike the South before the Civil War,

Before the Indian Removal Act there was little if any marriages between tribes because the tribal elders didn't believe in it. Even today, those who keep the ond ways, still do not believe in it.

I don't see how any black slave could get free long enough to cohabit with any Indian girl. AFter the Trail of Tears many things changed - the first one being the Indian was forced into the white man's world out of necessity.

I think we have to know a lot more about the who, what, why, where and when before we paint any group with a broad brush.

When I was in college I did a research paper on intermarriage between Indians and blacks. There is a lot of proof that this occurred, particularly within the Cherokee tribe, who, it just so happens, kept a large number of black slaves prior to their forced march westward.
I was always fascinated by this, since my black grandmother used to tell us stories about her great-grandmother who was full Cherokee. That ancestry was very clear in my grandmother's appearance.

Lots of info here:

African-NativeAmerican.com

Here:

Newsvine - History of the Cherokee Freedmen

And here:

Black Indians in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Of particular relevance to this discussion, from the wiki link:
"African slaves brought to the United States and their descendants have had a history of cultural exchange and intermarriage with Native Americans and other slaves who possessed Native American and European ancestry."
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I would think that runaway slaves and black slaves purchased by native Americans would account for it. My recollection is that the Seminoles and the Lumbees were not loathe to assimilate blacks.
No, they weren't. And, interestingly, most, if not all of the Lumbees have Scottish-sounding last names.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
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One of the factors in sovereign autonomy and land rights for Native Americans in southern New England is that so many tribal people here look African-American. In fact many have African blood resulting from mixture through the years after European diseases and battles decimated their numbers. The local colonists and their descendants frowned upon mixing with the native peoples and African freemen and women posed an option for building families and maintaining their numbers. Many of these people were discriminated against and segregated.


Praying Towns – Dictionary definition of Praying Towns | Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:29 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Interesting. There's also a book called The Sweeter the Juice that deals with a black family of which some members passed as white. I haven't read it, but always meant to--your post reminded me to get to that.

The Sweeter The Juice, Shirlee Taylor Haizlip, Book - Barnes & Noble
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerLily24 View Post
No, they weren't. And, interestingly, most, if not all of the Lumbees have Scottish-sounding last names.
So true and a common surname among the Lumbees is one that is in my mother family. She is from a part of SC that is close to Robeson County NC, which is where most of the Lumbee are located. I would not be surprised if I'm related to some of them and have Lumbee ancestry, as a town in NC where my mom has family(Fairmont NC) is where some Lumbee live.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
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I know a girl whose mother is black and the father is white. And the girl shows nothing of her black ancestry. Her hair is dark but smooth, and she's fair-complexioned. Features are the father's. It's quite amazing.

I also knew another girl look ago who was a lot darker than her parents, who were black. They said she inherited a grandmother's color.

My own great-great-great-grandmother was from Ireland, with flaming red hair and freckles (don't know about the eyes). I do not look Irish.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InsaneTraveler View Post
So, how many times do each of you guys hear from people "Oh, I'm 1/16th cherokee" or something similar. Do you guys actually think its true? I don't honestly. Perhaps it is true for a small number of Americans, but nearly every blonde/blue-eyed person I speak too swears they have a native american great grandmother.

The people saying these things show no signs of that ancestry, and in much of a America, during the 19th century, it was a considered a blight on your social status to marry a native american, which would of course deter whites from breeding with them.

I, too, am part of one of those families that swears that my great great grandmother was a Cherokee......I have done extensive research on all my family lines and have found nothing to indicate that we have any Cherokee ancestry in us. That great great grandmother of mine has a Scottish surname and one of her branches reached back to Germany, though.

On that note, are there any genetic tests that I could take to actually find out if I carry any Cherokee DNA?

ok I am Cherokee so I speak from experience. Being blond and blue eyed does not mean you are not from a Native background. my daughter is 1/4 quarter Cherokee, 1/2 mexican and looks white. she has light brown hair and blue eyes and she is only 1/4 white. her father was very light with blue eyes. how she got light hair i dont know I have jet black hair and so does my mom. however, if you do research on the Cherokee tribe you will see that de soto the spaniard who stubled upon the Cherokee nation wrote that he saw Indians with blond and red hair. and to answer your last question yes there are dna tests you can buy, but i have heard they are not very accurate. Have you tried contacting the Cherokee nation? they have geneologists that will help you track down your ancestors. you also have to remember that many times Cherokees changed thier names or were given names because they were put on rolls also if she married outside of her tribe she was disenfranchized. also many white people love to say they have a Cherokee princess for a great grandmother, which is so not true there were no princesses in Cherokee tradition.
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