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Old 02-08-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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Question hey y'all! :-)

Hey y'all. I'm new here. I was adopted at an early age. I grew up with my mom's side of the family. They are from Italy. They moved to Florida, then to North Georgia. I met my Father at the age of 27. He was born in Alabama and spent his childhood in North Carolina. He said his father was Cherokee and his mother Shawnee. It was kind of awkward and sadly we didn't keep in touch. I can't locate him anymore. Anyway, I always thought my mother's side telling me I was "Native American" was like all the other people in Georgia. Apparently, everyone south of the Mason Dixon thinks they are Cherokee. After meeting my bio dad and hearing my roots on his side I believe my heritage is 50% Italian and 50% Cherokee/Shawnee. Well, I have children and would like to expose them to some Native culture. Maybe bead work or pottery. Here is the issue. Issue #1 I have no one on my Dad's side to ask. Issue #2 I don't want to look like every other person who supposedly has Native blood and instantly gets a giant wolf and feather tattoo on my back. Not trying to be disrespectful in anyway. I enjoy tattoo art work. Here is my question. What would be a good starting point for me and my children? Can you point me in the right direction? I rekon I am paranoid of looking foolish. I am not 100% Native. I don't know if that would make me look foolish and the last thing I want to do is mock any heritage. Does this make ANY sense to anyone??
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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Hi--
I'm in SE Georgia and know what you mean. Some of these people may have actually been the settlers that got the land in the land lottery, not the actual Cherokee people who once owned the land.
Many people in your position start by learning their family tree. There is a genealogy section to this forum where people ask questions and such. There are free resources for researching your family tree online.
I can tell you it can be a big task, especially if your family is very old and been in America a long time. But it is essential to knowing who really you are. You may be pleasantly surprised and meet other family members that are easier to keep track of and talk to perhaps.
For the Cherokee, there are several rolls listing members, so that is an advantage and they are searchable by name now for free.
There's lots of stuff here as far as beading and so forth. I think learning history is important, there are some movies and books that are okay, I'm just thinking for a child, to introduce them to the idea that there were people here before the pilgrims and so forth. There are some pbs documentaries that talk about the history of the Cherokee and the Shawnee to some degree.
I hope this helps some. And nice to meet a fellow Georgia person, though I'm a yankee transplant.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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Not judging, or criticizing, etc...but...

You should try harder to locate your "bio dad", tell him he has grandkids by blood. Google...check court records, DMV, IRS...

Cook up a big Italian dinner, and get your kids to meet their "bio grandpa", so he can just be "grandpa" from then on.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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Hey y'all. I'm new here. I was adopted at an early age. I grew up with my mom's side of the family. They are from Italy. They moved to Florida, then to North Georgia. I met my Father at the age of 27. He was born in Alabama and spent his childhood in North Carolina. He said his father was Cherokee and his mother Shawnee. It was kind of awkward and sadly we didn't keep in touch. I can't locate him anymore. Anyway, I always thought my mother's side telling me I was "Native American" was like all the other people in Georgia. Apparently, everyone south of the Mason Dixon thinks they are Cherokee. After meeting my bio dad and hearing my roots on his side I believe my heritage is 50% Italian and 50% Cherokee/Shawnee. Well, I have children and would like to expose them to some Native culture. Maybe bead work or pottery. Here is the issue. Issue #1 I have no one on my Dad's side to ask. Issue #2 I don't want to look like every other person who supposedly has Native blood and instantly gets a giant wolf and feather tattoo on my back. Not trying to be disrespectful in anyway. I enjoy tattoo art work. Here is my question. What would be a good starting point for me and my children? Can you point me in the right direction? I rekon I am paranoid of looking foolish. I am not 100% Native. I don't know if that would make me look foolish and the last thing I want to do is mock any heritage. Does this make ANY sense to anyone??
Before others speak, I want to say that no one has a right to keep someone from his or her heritage. I truly believe that. But I think you have the cart before the horse here. If you can buy a subscription to Ancestry.com, you can perhaps see what the records say about your real dad. Is he reported to be white or Native? Is he and his kin on the rolls? If he or his parents cannot be tied to a nation back then, I would say it is likely just a family story.

You don't know him well, so it is possible it was just a story. But before you go to look for heritage studies, I think you should document who your father is. Where he came from etc. Stories don't go very far, but documents do.

So I hope this is helpful. If your father was born at 1940 or earlier, there are census rolls for that year. He should show up. Do they call him white or Indian?

It would make no sense at all to study the heritage of the Cherokee and then find out that your father really was 100% Shawnee, right? So I would chase down the paperwork first.

Just my two cents and WELCOME to Powwows. If you like beading, be sure to join the beading section!
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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he identified himself as Shawnee. I've searched his last name on the Cherokkee "roles" I think they are called. I found nothing. The last name is Chappell. He was born in 1963. I met him 3 times. He was not interested at all when I brought up his heritage. He was very matter of fact about it. I asked him if he was listed as Shawnee? He said yes. I asked him why my birth certicifate says white, and he said my mom wanted it to. I was born in 1979. I have looked up his new wife on facebook, but she wont respond to me. I joined people search, paid my memebership fee and only found the address he used to live at. Nothing more. :-( My bio mother is deceased, so I am left with little knowledge of my families past. I have one living grandmother who is in her 70's and is in poor health. sigh...

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #6
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he identified himself as Shawnee. I've searched his last name on the Cherokkee "roles" I think they are called. I found nothing. The last name is Chappell. He was born in 1963. I met him 3 times. He was not interested at all when I brought up his heritage. He was very matter of fact about it. I asked him if he was listed as Shawnee? He said yes. I asked him why my birth certicifate says white, and he said my mom wanted it to. I was born in 1979. I have looked up his new wife on facebook, but she wont respond to me. I joined people search, paid my memebership fee and only found the address he used to live at. Nothing more. :-( My bio mother is deceased, so I am left with little knowledge of my families past. I have one living grandmother who is in her 70's and is in poor health. sigh...
Does he have any brothers and/or sisters? A lot of Chappells are Shawnee. If he is listed with the Shawnee, you could show your birth certificate with his name linked to yours. Next step would be to find a relative who might give you some info. Then after that, I would go to the Shawnee leadership and see what they suggest. I would forget about the Cherokee connection until you substantiate the Shawnee first.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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Does he have any brothers and/or sisters? A lot of Chappells are Shawnee. If he is listed with the Shawnee, you could show your birth certificate with his name linked to yours. Next step would be to find a relative who might give you some info. Then after that, I would go to the Shawnee leadership and see what they suggest. I would forget about the Cherokee connection until you substantiate the Shawnee first.
make meeting your grandma a priority.....contact her NOW and make arrangements to visit her ASAP
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:38 AM   #8
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Hello - welcome to Powwows
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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thanks for the advice everyone! I contacted the Shawnee council. I have to find my original birth certificate and submit it to them first. Sidenote: I'm starting my first bead work this week. I found a great tutorial on youtube. I'm so excited!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:48 PM   #10
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thanks for the advice everyone! I contacted the Shawnee council. I have to find my original birth certificate and submit it to them first. Sidenote: I'm starting my first bead work this week. I found a great tutorial on youtube. I'm so excited!
That's great! I'm so happy for you that you've made progress! Your father may not be around much but you and your son might meet many more relatives and learn more about your family than relying on one person.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:57 PM   #11
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That's great! I'm so happy for you that you've made progress! Your father may not be around much but you and your son might meet many more relatives and learn more about your family than relying on one person.
Thanks! Can you friend me? I'm not sure how to do it
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #12
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you ever go meet your grandma yet?
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