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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Ancestry and Genealogy Viability of Contemporary Sources in Research Viability of Contemporary Sources in Research

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Old 02-27-2016, 11:01 PM   #1
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Viability of Contemporary Sources (i.e. Journals, Memoirs, etc. ) in Research

I am fortunate in that my ancestors were early settlers in Wisconsin, and are often mentioned in early texts/histories (one wrote his own memoirs.), as is their native heritage. However, there is some conflicting information regarding which tribe one of my ancestors came from. So, one question I have is: what (if any) is the value of contemporary sources. i.e. journals or memoirs? And are there ways to determine which are more reliable? Any advice or input is greatly appreciated. Waewaenen!

Last edited by Alli3; 03-02-2016 at 02:10 AM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:54 AM   #2
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It didn't take long to read this, I really thought it was going to be a big long thing.LOL

With that said. Journals are accepted as evidence in some things as its the own person's life story. Truthfully there is no way to determine which would be more reliable for you one way or another. Many of the older records were based on the person's knowledge, census' were based on the census taker's knowledge and on and on.

In many cases, though, most accept government records: ie Indian Agent records.

You said there's a queston on one of your ancestor's. How far back are you talking? If they were/may have been NDN you can look at the NDN Agent records of the tribes to determine that, again depending on how far back you are talking. Early 1800's the records were jumbled and it was a hit and miss, they really didn't keep good records, but had some good info on what they did keep. But now if you are talking mid 1800's, that was better, more information about more people.

And if you are talkin gabout resources being on the net, there are many original records that people gathered and have put on the net. So it is possible to find stuff that way too.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:10 AM   #3
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Thanks!

Thanks @Timmytiger, for the help; unfortunately this ancestor was alive in the late 1700s-early 1800s era, and Wisconsin didn't have any rolls until statehood (1848?) To elaborate on the confusion: I have a native ancestor named as Wau-ning-ash-wau-bo-may on many family genealogy pages (which I'm taking with a grain of salt!) According to one person's memoirs, she was a "of the Chippewa band which wintered on the Peshtigo River." Another contemporary of her daughter describes her as Chippewa also, and talks about her daughter carrying on her mother's ways. But while her grandchildren show up on mixed blood treaties with the Chippewas, they also show up treaties with the Menominee Tribe, and later descendants (if they registered at all) registered as Menominee. To further muddy the issue, a local historical society claims she was a daughter of the Ottawa Chief Ash-Wau-Bo-May, who married a Menominee women. So I just am at a loss on which is most accurate. (This one is a little longer, sorry!)
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alli3 View Post
Thanks @Timmytiger, for the help; unfortunately this ancestor was alive in the late 1700s-early 1800s era, and Wisconsin didn't have any rolls until statehood (1848?) To elaborate on the confusion: I have a native ancestor named as Wau-ning-ash-wau-bo-may on many family genealogy pages (which I'm taking with a grain of salt!) According to one person's memoirs, she was a "of the Chippewa band which wintered on the Peshtigo River." Another contemporary of her daughter describes her as Chippewa also, and talks about her daughter carrying on her mother's ways. But while her grandchildren show up on mixed blood treaties with the Chippewas, they also show up treaties with the Menominee Tribe, and later descendants (if they registered at all) registered as Menominee. To further muddy the issue, a local historical society claims she was a daughter of the Ottawa Chief Ash-Wau-Bo-May, who married a Menominee women. So I just am at a loss on which is most accurate. (This one is a little longer, sorry!)
Actually that's not really that confusing to be honest. It is quit possible that she was Chippewa and married, or her children, a Menominee. You see the tribes were very different from the way people look at things today. When people of different tribes married they didn't say "you are half of this and half of that." They told the children they were all of the tribe they lived with, they didn't split up or anything, they lived with one tribe. And today many tribes don't allow dual enrollment either, though due to Gov interference many do go by a blood quantum, which the tribes originally did not do at all, that was the gov. Do you understand what I'm saying here?

While I don't know much about WI or the tribes there, I do know about the gov and how they did things and their records. I can, almost totally, guarantee you that the gov does have records somewhere on the tribes in WI. WI became a state in 1848? What was it considered prior to that? What I'm meaning like CA was actually part of Mexico until 1870's, and Louisanna the same thing, but I believe earlier. So what was WI considered before State hood? That's where the records will be held. And if the gov had any dealings at all with the NDN's there (and I'll bet they did) that's where the records can be found and through the NARA. I have a list of NDN records that they hold, might be able to find something that might help you, I will have to look. This weekend's kind of busy for me, maybe one of the days next week.
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:24 AM   #5
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YOu are very welcome. And don't be sorry, the more info you give me the better I can help you.
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