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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Ancestry and Genealogy Need help find information about my father-in-laws family.. Need help find information about my father-in-laws family..

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Old 09-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #1
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Question Need help find information about my father-in-laws family..

I am looking for information pertaining to my father-in-laws family who lived on a reservation in 1936 in Spearfield, South Dakota. I only know what he told me before he passed away three years ago. I know that one of his parents were Sioux and the other was Crow.He mentioned that they had to leave their village and became part of the Blackfeet nation. His bio-logical name was Piewatha Cheorie but was adopted by a "white family" who's last name was Dimitroff, along with 6 of his brothers and sisters. He was sent to military school at a very young age and when he turned 18 he joined the Navy and eventually became a Navy Seal and was sent to Vietnam. He lived the remainder of his life in New Hampshire where he was married many times and had a few children. He was very "secretive" about most of his life other than I believe his tribal colors were green, red and purple but I am not 100% sure. I am trying to find out any information I can because when he passed away my son was only three and lately he has been going through changes that I have never seen before and not only that but he wants to know so much about his Native American heritage because he is so proud of who he is and I want to be able to answer any questions he may have and by finding information on his tribe or better yet his family would make his life so complete. So any information that anyone could share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:59 PM   #2
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I think some stuff might be scrambled. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a town of Spearfield in SD. There certainly isn't one now. There is a town of Spearfish in the Black Hills, but it isn't on a reservation. (Would that it was.)

I would suggest you start with trying to find his birth certificate. Barring that, his Naval records and school record might point you to a place a birth.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:04 AM   #3
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finding info on father in law

I'm sorry I had the wrong place i know he would mention it being in the black hills, I am trying to find his birth certificate but on his death certificate it only says South Dakota. I talked to his step daughter and she thought it was Sioux Falls but again I am not 100% sure. I know the names of his adopted parents and lots of information on them but sadly both his adopted mother and father passed away. I am not sure where to go to find his original birth certificate or even if there is one. One of my main reasons for pursuing this journey is so that I can find information for my 12 year old son, so that he can know more about his tribe and learn about his people. I feel that due to all the misinformation that has been told in history that he should know the real truth about his people. His name is Dacoda and the reason I named him that was because I wanted to name him after where his grandfather came from but not after the state but instead the native way. Any help that can be given to me or even a direction that I may go so that I can provide a better understanding for my son would so be greatly appreciated. Even though I am french with a little Native American in me, He considers himself Native American and nothing else and I wouldn't want to take that away from him. All I am is a mother trying to give her child a chance to know who he really is. I do have a letter that his grandfather wrote to him before his death telling him of his totem and his spirit animal etc.. but the letter can't answer all the questions he has. We do have a chance to go to a POW WOW this month in Naples Maine with a close friend of his grandfathers Richard Thundercloud but its over two hours away and I am not sure if we financially can afford to go even though it would probably be a great experience for my son and I am sure that this man may have some unanswered questions...
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheri Dimitroff View Post


His bio-logical name was Piewatha Cheorie
Hi Cheri. I'm not one to say it nice, but I'm not harsh either.

First, where is your child's father? Doesn't the father have contact with his son? I don't think I saw any mention of him. Seems like you had more contact with the grandfather.

If you know the grandfather's name as you have printed, call or write the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) to access their records. Same goes with the Crow Agency in Montana. Don't panic, get frustrated or grasp at proverbial straws. It's not going to be easy and it's going to take time. Good luck.

Now, the other stuff you write (and I took out) has no value when looking for records. Haven't ever heard of totems in Sioux country (someone knowledgeable correct me if I am wrong). Keep it to record only. Don't tell your son something you haven't confirmed. You may come to regret it later.

BTW The area around Spearfish, Belle Fouche and Deadwood is beautiful. The Paha Sapa is an integral part in the lives of the Natives in that area. Maybe you can visit it some day.


.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:28 AM   #5
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Ma'am, I can understand you want to help your son. But the only way to trace any person's ancestry, regardless of ethnicity, is to do the legwork. Talk to any still living relatives and run down the records. His military records may have useful information, along with the 6 brothers and sisters. Talking to the adoptive family may also be useful. You have a name to help.

Now, disclaimer time. Please understand I am NOT saying one way or the other your son is or is not Native. Nor I am calling his ancestor a liar. I really am trying to help with what I'm about to say.

In these forums, we hear a quite a few of these kinds of stories. They tend to follow a general form. There is a deceased grandmother or grandfather who was secretive about their past, but who was Indian. Either they were adopted out or were ashamed. They almost always come from one of the big three: Cherokee, "Sioux" or Blackfoot. If they were born on a reservation, no one knows which one and they were forced to leave it. Then frequently follows a melange of pseudo-Indian often stereotypical, improbable and/or conflicting details.

There are a couple things in your story that will raise red flags and eyebrows in Indian country: totems, animal spirits, and tribal colors. You may want to omit them from your future inquiries.

Now for some potentially helpful information:

"Sioux" isn't any one group of people. The people called "Sioux" speak three different languages. There are many groups -- Mdewakantonwan, Sisseton, Wahpekute, Wahpetonwan, Yankton, Yanktonai, Oglala, Sicangu, Sihaspa, O'ohenumpa, Itazipicho, Mnikhowozu, and Hunkpapa. In the US alone there are 16 federally recognized political entities, in five states, that fall under the rubric of "Sioux." There are 9 or 10 more communities in Canada.

I certainly don't know everything about every group listed above. I only know what I was taught by my family, but I've never heard of totems among my people. I've been beading and making regalia for over thirty years. I know of family designs, society regalia... But, I've never run into "tribal colors" among my people. These sound like things that may have attached themselves to the true story.

Anyway, good luck in your search.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Ma'am, I can understand you want to help your son. But the only way to trace any person's ancestry, regardless of ethnicity, is to do the legwork. Talk to any still living relatives and run down the records. His military records may have useful information, along with the 6 brothers and sisters. Talking to the adoptive family may also be useful. You have a name to help.

Now, disclaimer time. Please understand I am NOT saying one way or the other your son is or is not Native. Nor I am calling his ancestor a liar. I really am trying to help with what I'm about to say.

In these forums, we hear a quite a few of these kinds of stories. They tend to follow a general form. There is a deceased grandmother or grandfather who was secretive about their past, but who was Indian. Either they were adopted out or were ashamed. They almost always come from one of the big three: Cherokee, "Sioux" or Blackfoot. If they were born on a reservation, no one knows which one and they were forced to leave it. Then frequently follows a melange of pseudo-Indian often stereotypical, improbable and/or conflicting details.

There are a couple things in your story that will raise red flags and eyebrows in Indian country: totems, animal spirits, and tribal colors. You may want to omit them from your future inquiries.

Now for some potentially helpful information:

"Sioux" isn't any one group of people. The people called "Sioux" speak three different languages. There are many groups -- Mdewakantonwan, Sisseton, Wahpekute, Wahpetonwan, Yankton, Yanktonai, Oglala, Sicangu, Sihaspa, O'ohenumpa, Itazipicho, Mnikhowozu, and Hunkpapa. In the US alone there are 16 federally recognized political entities, in five states, that fall under the rubric of "Sioux." There are 9 or 10 more communities in Canada.

I certainly don't know everything about every group listed above. I only know what I was taught by my family, but I've never heard of totems among my people. I've been beading and making regalia for over thirty years. I know of family designs, society regalia... But, I've never run into "tribal colors" among my people. These sound like things that may have attached themselves to the true story.

Anyway, good luck in your search.
Good information!
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


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Old 09-09-2014, 12:23 PM   #7
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According to my search of military records, there is only one listing for such a person as follows:

Jon Dimitroff, Navy Retired Military Pay Grade: E-9 State: NH

Maybe this helps...
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:15 PM   #8
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father-in-law

I am with my son's father but his relationship with his father was very strained until I came into the picture. As for the person who posted the military information I am going to assume that is the correct information. My father in law was estranged from his adopted family like I mentioned they sent him to military school at a young age and once he was 18 he joined the Navy. I have recently found his adopted parents which are both deceased and they had one other daughter beside my father in law who has also passed away. I recently found his death certificate and listed for place of birth is unknown, South Dakota. During my search last night I learn t a lot of interesting information about his adoptive father who served in WWII. The reason I am hitting such a brick wall is because when Jon came home from Vietnam he suffered from severe PTSD which lead to alcoholism and we I came into his life he was clean. I know there is more evidence of his past but unfortunately he did not leave a will and the person who handled his estate was no family and deposed of some important stuff I can only assume. I want to thank all of you for your help and I will try and search further
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