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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

In Response To: Re: BUMPUS/THETFORD ()

I moved this post here from my board as it made no sense there when it was a response to this post.

John Cornsilk

Cornsilk, point ONE:
I appreciate your response to my inquiry re:my family surnames of BUMPUS/THETFORD and trying to find my "Cherokee" connections. As you mentioned, you have researched the names for 29 years and they are definately not "Cherokee" based. I must agree, in that, I, too, have researched the numerous rolls and can not find them. Other family names include WARD, MESSER, LONGACRE, GATELY etc., all of whom have varying degrees of "Cherokee" blood. My THETFORD grandfather was halfblood from the Carolinas
and Illinois. My BUMPUS grandfathers were 1/8 and came from Carolina and Indiana. Some of their wives were also mixed blood "cherokee". Because of maltreatment, persecution and fear,all those who could pass as white, did so. One grandmother/ grandfather moved for awhile to the Potowatamie Res., but usually they lived off Res. Not only were they very hesitant to talk about their Native lineage, they would often deny it, until later in their lives.

BUMPUS, is actually from BonPasse and is a French name, and THETFORD is English. Some of my native family served both the French and British in conflicts. There is only one mention of the family stepping forward as "Indian" in the records: "there is a handsome fellow, an Indian, named BUMPUS, but there are good,respectable, Christian, white families of the name BUMPUS, as well." This was in the 1700s...I suppose back then our "handsome Indian" relative could not have been good, respectable, nor Christian, because he was not white!

In any case, I am "Cherokee" in blood, heart and spirit and do not need the affirmation from any government roll. I research my family for genealogical purposes only, so it doesn't matter to me whether or not government officials, not even our "Cherokee" government, gives me the Red Thumbs Up. I do appreciate your comments, however. Perhaps I will have to find my place among my Ward, Messer, Longacre people.

Point TWO:
I have been researching, driving and walking parts of the TRAIL WHERE THEY CRIED. from Georgia to Oklahoma (the Northern route). I am preparing to ride it horse back now, annotating it for other interested parties. It is my hope to organize a TAKE THEIR SPIRITS HOME ride, reversing the route, from Oklahoma to Georgia. I hope, on this first journey, to have several wagons, walkers and riders from the "Cherokee Nation" to join me, collecting items from as many families as possible to rebury in our homeland.

I wonder if you would be interested in hearing the details of my proposed journey, offering your suggestions and possibly even participating in part of the event? I anticipate this journey taking approximately three months.

If you, or other of THE PEOPLE are interested, please contact me at


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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