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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: Re-phrasing what's already been said

Hey cuz,

I understand your sentiment about the willingness to claim the native ancestor before claiming the white ancestor because of a "consensual" nature of contact. However, note that the quick assumption that contact was consensual may not have always been the case---especially among the slave owners who were of native ancestry. As early as the late 1700s even wtih Nancy Ward, the most beloved of Cherokee women, she was one of the earliest documented slave owners. By the early 1800s she and others were purchasing slaves on a regular basis. After western removal, there were Indian-African children appearing in all of the tribes. Interestingly, as late as the 1890s, there were mixed children that can be found in the Dawes records. Because the mother was black they were put on Freedmen rolls but many had the native ancestry of the fathers, and thus much documentation was created, but at the same time, the enslavement of the parents or grandparents was always noted on the same documents.

This is not a popular concept, but it was a reality in Indian Territory, and there was much contact between slave owner and slave with the mixed Indian-African lines emerging. There was in many cases an acknowledgement of the progeny of such relationships, but "consensuality" might be questioned. I do understand what you mean, though.

On another family line my gr. grandmother Georgia Ann Houston was a "mulatto" from SW Arkansas and she was the child of the slave owner. Although she was not considered one of his "children" by the white family, there are still elders who recall that her white half brother George would sometimes come to visit her well into her later years till she died. They never interacted with this "uncle" he was just allowed to visit privately with his sister. His children did not interact with her children---they lived in different worlds. But likewise, I would question any consenuality in terms of contact, in this case as well even though there was some acknowledgement of a blood tie from her half brother.

The following generations however, never interacted with each other. The white and black "cousins" lived in two different worlds. There is now no contact at all.

If a DNA test was done between the two sets of families, I suspect one side would be quite surprised to learn of the connection between the two families being within 3-4 generations.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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