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  • name difficulties :(

    My grandfather was always very proud of his blackfoot heritage. When I was a little girl and he was very sick I made him a picture book with pictures of blackfoot people, buildings, etc... it was probably poorly done but he seemed to like it a lot. I wanted to do genealogy, and my grandmother's family was easy, mixed native/German. My grandfather has a lot of Native blood (majority) but I cannot even find his parents on the census. I know I have the right names, could they have simply not registered? I know that they were not very educated, my g-grandfather worked as a farm hand, he couldn't read.

  • #2
    Do not give up. Geanology should not be about finding a Native opinion.

    I am the researcher in my family and I love finding out where everyone came from and where they went. It's really neat to see where everyone migrated to. The down part is that the census is not always accurate. I've had family members disappear for a few census and then pop up either in the same place or hundred of miles away after a few years.

    Some people did not fill out the census. Most people were filled in by people that knew them. Spellings were wrong most times because they could not spell or because the census taker did not ask for the spelling they filled it in phonetically.

    I just found out that my great grandmother was adopted. She has the same last name by marriage, but her parents walked on when she was 8yrs old. So the parents that I thought were hers are not. They are blood but not her biological parents. Who are her parents? I have no idea and nobody else in the family seems to know.

    It's a journey and some times a challenge. If your family is no longer with us, then that creates a challenge finding out the right information. There are quite a few Family Research Centers across the country. They are Mormon ran, but very helpful. The government recognizes all LDS records so this may be an option for you to help find your way.

    Good luck...I hope you find what you're looking for.


    • #3
      Good luck.

      My best advice: Be conscious of the circumstances your people were living through. Be willing to talk to people. Hear what they want to tell you and be gentle with your questions. It will get you places you didn't know you wanted to go.

      There was no great advantage to listing yourself as Indian on those old censuses. If they could pass as white to stay in their home, some did. Some were tired of running, tired of fighting and tired of dying. I come from a place where most folks were German in my parents', grandparents' and great grandparents' times. The Natives in my family married into those "dark" Germans and all their census info lists them as white although most people knew they were not. Occasionally if they were questioned, they even told the census takers that their parents came from Germany. I'm not exactly proud that that tradition moved as far into the present as my own childhood with my grandparents telling me to tell people I was white and just dark complected if they asked, but it says a lot about how strong our ties were to this place and just what kind of situation my people lived through having to be secretive about who they were. Most of my family are gone, but there are folks in town who've been here for generations who loved them and are glad to talk about the old days. By listening to them and being interested in their stories, I've learned more about my people than my family had the chance to tell me and possibly more than they ever knew themselves. By putting these stories together with what your family knows, you'll get a better sense of the bigger picture, not just of your direct line, but of the kind of community and circumstances you come from.


      • #4
        I agree with JMc. Well said!


        • #5
          Holy Spam Batman!


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