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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: The ROBERTS Family - CHOCTAW/CHICKASAW FREEDME

Norma:

Thanks so much for replying to me. I suppose it is confusing to bring all of the surnames that I did into my post. I just thought it would help to orient myself in this board. However, as I said, I am a ROBERTS, and therefore my direct line stems from the ROBERTS family. Though the further you go back, the more the names become shared.

We are indeed speaking of the same Jack Roberts and Alice James. My research had stopped because I wasn't able to go back any further than that (plus school takes up most of my time). I guess my problem is that I don't know where to go from here. Perhaps I should draw out a huge family tree. Having all of these names on my mind can get quite confusing.

Perhaps we could email each other? I could send you whatever documents I have and maybe you could do the same for me? Although it seems that your research is far beyond mine!

Terry: What I posted is pretty much what I have, besides a few odd Dawes roll numbers. Can you see the actual card (both front and back) on ancestry.com? This is what I have been using, but it's easy to get stuck there if you don't know names and dates, which many times neither I nor my family do.

Many Native Americans, both mixed-blood and not were on the freedmen rolls. Whenever they could get someone on the freedmen rolls rather than on the blood rolls, it was done, as this meant less land was given, as well as that that (freedman) land was not in trust to the government.

Looking at the actual Dawes Roll texts that I have was a bit confusing to me, as I am new to this. It was hard for me to tell whether Frank Gatewood was Theresa Gatewood's father or owner. Much of the writing is almost unintelligble to me.

I am very thankful for your reply, Terry. You seem as if you really have an invested interest in your family's history (which possibly connects to mine) and that you are very knowledgable. I am only a third-year college student and have only recently begun to delve into my personal history and that of the Chickasaw and Choctaw freedmen. However, I don't look for Native ancestry because I feel that it will provide validation or make me seem "exotic." I look because I want to know. I want to know why my family looks the way it does, why we migrated from Oklahoma to California, why my grandmother cooked the way she did ... I want to know everything. And as a historian (in-training) I would like to eventually tie my family's history to that of a large picture of the freedmen.

Most African Americans (my mentor at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Reginald Griggs estimates 30-70%) are of mixed ancestry, be it White European, Native, Latin, etc. Actually, he would say that labeling oneself a "mixed race African American" is actually redundant. Therefore, I don't think it's wrong for me to want to look into all of my ancestry. And I wish that more African Americans would embrace their whole selves, instead of believing that claiming your whole identity means you are rejecting your "Blackness," or "less Black."

I am Chair of my school's American Indian Student Association because that's where I feel right, and where I feel at home. This doesn't mean that I have no ties to the Black community, but they have never embraced me like the Native community does. And yes, it is quite a two-way street. The only people who have ever given me a hard time about my position are ignorant people who just don't know of the history of America. Mixed-race people have the right to choose the spaces they interact and feel safe in. I have chosen mine, as everyone has chosen theirs.

And that's my long spiel, haha.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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