23 August 2012


This is in answer to a question posed to me about proving Native American affiliation, in this case Apache. The person asking the question tells me that she was raised in an Apache home but finds no evidence genealogically, including on the census that her family is Apache.

My answer:

You are right. Not all Native American families were listed as Native American on U.S. Census. Depending on the census they may be listed as White or Black. In one family that was at least 50% Native American I found all children but one listed as White and the one listed as Black. At first we thought there had been an adoption. Simply this child was darker skinned than the rest.

Your family may not have reported themselves as Native American and even then, the tribe is rarely listed, unless it is a census that covers a reservation and considering what life on a reservation has been, why wouldn't a family want to live off it? More and more card carrying means registered with the tribe as in living on a reservation.

I think a DNA test or two would be a good start. Many people have been surprised to find out that they have the ethnic DNA of another group despite their appearances or upbringing. For instance, one family that I researched had one member out of dozens who in the 1800's married a Native American Cherokee and went to live on what became a reservation with him, their children thus showed up on Cherokee roles, and today that family is dismissive of their Scottish and Welsh and French Huguenot ancestors because they were not raised in that culture. Someone else I know, a blond blue eyed woman who had been told that her family did not discuss Grandpa's Native American origins, tested as Native American, but was not at all raised in that culture. She took pride in this though, and got involved in Native American interest groups and events but is not trying to claim affiliation.

That said, scanning for Apache genealogy research information on the web, I came up with several sites, some of which had inactive links. Among the questions one must try to answer is WHY APACHE? (It seems several groups are under this tribal name.) I'm linking to a good one that has a very interesting clue: this one is called CHIRICAHUAAPACHE and this is what it says:

The NATIONAL ARCHIVES BRANCH IN FORT WORTH TEXAS has one of the largest collections of American Indian genealogy materials, much of which is on microfilm. For a complete list of holdings write: Chief, Archives Branch, Federal Archives and Records Center, P. O. Box 6216, Fort Worth, TX 76115. Most of these records are full of family history details such as both Indian and "English" names, sex, degree of Indian blood, names of family, guardian, tribal and "band" affiliations, residence and occupation."

You should approach your research as anyone with any American heritage would. That means don't depend on the U.S. Census. You should try for church records because sometimes there are notations on them, including addresses between census. Military records may hold an answer because there were sometimes special troops comprised of all African-American or All Native American persons, and sometimes there will be notations on them. Approaching the tribe itself, asking them if they have records (or memories) of ancestors, is sometimes helpful, but don't be surprised if answers are slow or not coming. Tribal groups often rely on volunteers, tend not to be interested in getting DNA tests, and sometimes do not want to spread casino wealth around.

What about school records? Did anyone attend an "Indian school" or "mission" school or church?

Check back in with me once you've done more research!

16 August 2012


Have you ever found an ancestor's death on a church record and seen the notation that they died of Typhoid?

NOVA WGBH Boston Video's video takes the case of Mary Mallon who was, in 1906, an Irish immigrant who rose to the top of the servants profession by becoming a cook for private families. She was, unknown to herself, a carrier of the Typhoid disease. George Soper was a doctor who was performing bacterial detective work, and his research lead him to Mary, who, perhaps due to her level of ignorance, would not believe and could not accept that her presence had lead to the sickness and in some cases death of people she worked for.

Because typhoid had to be transmitted through food and improper (to be delicate about it) bathroom habits, Mary was first sequestered on an island near Manhattan and then allowed to work at something else - ironing. After a few years of barely making it ironing, Mary disappeared and found herself employment as a cook once again. She was, perhaps, in denial about how deadly she was to come in contact with, or simply, trying to survive.

The DVD includes actor depictions of Mary and the doctor, and is based on a book by Judith Walzer Leavitt called "Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Heath."

10 August 2012


My fellow genealogical researchers are telling me that it is no longer worth the $27 per, to send for the Social Security Original Application, in order to bust through blocks in research.

One of these people got a letter back. SS Administration had obliterated the names of the parents on the certificate. They were all blocked out.
It's all about the privacy of the living...

Let me explain. The original application gives the address of the person who applied, their birth date, their mother's maiden name (often providing a link to the next generation), as well as the place they went to work. That is,when the application was prior to the United States' requirement that children be given social security numbers which are now our national ID numbers, like it or not, rather than about working and paying into the system.

To reiterate, it used to be that you applied when you got your first job working for someone, usually in your teens. And for many years not all professions were required to pay into the system. If you worked for the rail road or owned a farm, for instance, it was assumed you would have a pension or be able to take care of yourself in your old age.

When I first started genealogical research I sent for a few of these at about $6. each. Then, perhaps because the system recognized the money they would make off of genealogy buffs, the fees were raised to $27. To order you had to supply some of the information you needed which could often be found on the Social Security Death Index.

Recently another genealogist friend of mine sent her $27 in and got a letter back stating if she did not know when the person was born and died, they would not send the copy.

Anyone who has dealt with identity theft knows what a nightmare that can be, so we must be understanding about this. However, I do believe the Social Security Administration should no longer accept the fee or return it when it is clear that the purpose for request is genealogy.

Linking to the Social Security PDF file on this subject.

05 August 2012


Checking the familysearch.org site today for 1940 census indexing project updates, I see that the word CONGRATULATIONS! appears instead of the US Map that kind of looked like a big puzzle, with state by state progress reports.

This project is the result of hundreds of volunteers giving of their time - and I believe their love - to help others access important family information. WE MUST SAY THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to all those volunteers.

01 August 2012

Our genetic and spiritual ancestors help us with our research quests and, while we follow a linear research path, amazing dreams and synronicities abound.

We explore multicultural ancestry worship and the use of genealogy for past-life verification, as well as practical ways and means to achieve our research goals.