Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Were Your Ancestors Buried Along the Pearl River?

The Pearl River Swamps & Floating Coffins

In Season 1, Episode 2, Ship Manifests Have Answers (Jan  2023)  we concentrated on the swamps along the Pearl River. Known for a quick jaunt from Mississippi to Louisiana, enslaved routes to freedom, slave patrols, and Confederacy Cave Dwellers escaping the war, this flooded swamp area recently made the news due to floating coffins. Read Here:

"They" were warned of this back in May 2023: 

Vicksburg News Article, updated Sep 2023

Yet, it was still shocking to see coffins from this infamous area ready to float along with the bones of enslaved runaways, the remains of confederate soldiers, oh, and as it's one of Americas most dangerous stretches of water, there are many bodies from mishaps buried, or never recovered.

Do Caskets Float?
“Anything that’s airtight and can develop buoyancy has the potential of resurfacing," Trinkley said. When water fills a grave, whether below ground or in an above-ground vault, that casket “is going to float just like a battleship. And they will float as far and as high as the floodwaters take them, he said. They're sometimes found in tree tops when the water recedes."

Want to Know More About the Pearl River Area?
Hopefully your ancestor was not in a sealed casket. If so, hopefully the funeral home identified the body inside using the "memory tube." Read"  An Explanation as to Why Those Caskets Are Floating in the Louisiana Flood

Kathleen Brandt 
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

Monday, September 11, 2023

Must Love: Rejected Native American Tribal Applications

The Basics
As with all ancestral research, the largest benefit is uncovering your ancestors.  The Federal government does not hold a comprehensive list of Cherokee Indian persons. So you must do the legwork to uncover your heritage. A paper trail of birth certificates, death and marriage certificates, and other documents may be found linking yourself to an enrolled ancestor. But for enrollment, each tribe has specific rules, and regulations that must be met. 
  1. not all Tribes or Nations are Federally recognized.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs lists all 574 federally recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Natives. 
  2. Prove your relationship to the tribe. So you will want to have sketched your pedigree to determine your possible blood quantum. Again, required amounts are determined by the enrolling tribe. This is not a qualifier for all Tribes. 
  3. Your ancestor could not have already been rejected.

Some Native American ancestors were accepted in a tribe, they may have even received benefits (i.e. land) but due to a breach later lost their enrollment in the tribe. 
Accepted and Enrolled 1880 and 1896; Rejected 1900 

Rejections may have occurred if your ancestor did the following
  • gave up their Native American enrollment to become an USA citizen (i.e. citizen of Oklahoma)
  • failed to remain in the territory when it may have been a requirement
  • non-Natives, or failure to prove. Sometimes ancestors were already noted as "Doubtful"!
  • unable to speak the Native language
Even settlers families may have lost their tribal rights.
Obit of Robert Lee Jordan, 1941
Know Tribal Requirements
Tribal benefits, rights, and finances, vary from tribe to tribe. Contrary to common belief, a Dawes Roll number is not a requirement for all Native American Tribes. Although many require at least 1/16th Native "blood" which could be gained from a great-great grandparent, the NY Native American Mohawks only recognize through a mother's enrollment. Then a 1/4 (25%) blood quantum must be proven. 

50% Parents
25% Grandparents
12.5% Great-Grandparents
6.25% Great-Great-Grandparents
3.125% Great-Great-Great-Grandparents
1.5625% Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents

To Say You are Cherokee is Not Enough
1874 Georgia rolls: archives.gov

Even the following three Federally Recognized Cherokee tribes do not have the same requirements for enrollment:
  • Yes, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahomans must prove to be a descendent from a person on the Dawes Commission Roll. No blood quantum requirement. Your family may be on a rejected roll, but your ancestors shared quite a bit of ancestral information on these applications.  
  • United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee must prove to be descendent from a person on the Dawes Roll AND have minimum of 1/4 blood quantum.
  • Eastern Band of Cherokees of North Carolina must prove to be descendant from a person on the Baker Roll AND have a minimum of 1/16 blood quantum. Be sure to listen in on the podcast above.  These records are not only on the common database sites like ancestry.com, but researchers will find additional information on the National Archives digitized site: archive.gov.
A Few Reminders
  1. Verify that the tribe of interest, ancestral connection - is Federally recognized.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs website will assist with this research.
  2. Can DNA Help Prove My Native American Ancestry? Although there are markers that may indicate Native American bloodline, DNA testing does not verify specific tribes. And even though DNA spawns great genealogical interests, it alone isn't a tool for proving ancestral relationships. Not all tribes use a blood quantum Requirement: 
There are benefits of reviewing all the relevant applications. It is here that researchers can uncover a full family since many used the same ancestor to make their claim. By cross refencing applicants you may be able to discover inconsistencies between applicants. These inconsistencies often hold additional hints about your ancestors.  

Never overlook the full information once you find a rejected applicant.  It is through the text that their hometown may be discovered, as well as names of additional generations and names of spouses.

Eastern Cherokee by Guion Miller, 1908-1910, Noah Jordan

Other Vocabulary and Contacts
  • AIHEC = American Indian Higher Education Consortium: http://www.aihec.org/
  • BIA = US Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Education, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240-0001 You may also reach the bureau of Indian affairs at 1-800-332-9186)
  • BIE = Bureau of Indian Education; http://www.bie.edu/ Bureau of Indian Education
  • CIB = certificate of Indian blood is or proof of membership with federally recognized tribes
Kathleen Brandt 
Be Historically Correct

Accurate Accessible Answers

Sunday, September 3, 2023

The Library of Congress

3 Minute History Break
Do you know the history of this genealogist favorite?
     The History of the Library of Congress

Friday, September 1, 2023

Did you Know? ... MyHeritageDNA

Have you uploaded your DNA data to MyHeritage? What are you waiting for? It's free. 

Those who have tested with another service (ancestryDNA, familytreeDNA, 23andMe, etc.) can upload their data.  

Follow this link for instructions: https://www.myheritage.com/dna/upload

Upload to MyHeritage 1-2-3:

Create a Free Account on My Heritage Use this link: https://www.myheritage.com/dna/upload
Ask a3Genealogy about DNA Analysis Packages

Be Historically Correct 

Kathleen Brandt
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