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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Surname Portee
In Response To: Re: Surname Portee ()

What you found "interesting" about my post has more to do with you, than me. I only pointed out some facts for you and offered advice on doing genealogical research. You presented the information in your post as if it were known fact, rather than oral history (which is often inaccurte).

A case in point, I was presented with some genealogical information today by one of my employees. He stated that his great great grandmother is on the Cherokee roll, that her mother was a Cherokee Princess, daughter of a chief, who had married a missionary to the Cherokees and that her Indian name was Morningstar. I was quickly able to verify that indeed, his ancestor was on the Cherokee roll, and was listed as 1/2 Cherokee. So far so good. But once I delved into the records, most everything else just fell apart. First, his Great Great grandmother knew very little about her mother, whom she described as an orphan and a full blood. She did know that her mother's Cherokee name was Aky (a bit shy of being Morningstar). She did not know the names of her mother's parents as they died when her mother was a small child and her mother never mentioned them. His ancestor stated that her father was "a white man born in England" but she gave no further information about him. It will take a bit more research to verify whether or not the man was a missionary.

My point here is that while some of the oral history is true, some of it is not and the only way to tell the difference is to do scientific research. Yes, the ancestor was on the roll, no the ancestor was not an Indian princess and no, the ancestors Cherokee name was not morningstar. It is important not to purpetuate cultural, historical or genealogical mythology. In all of the research that I have done, the only people who use so-called Indian names such as "morningstar" are fakes or frauds and in this instance, people ignorant of their true family history. Since this family is an authentic Cherokee family, it becomes even more important to stop the spread of their mythology, lest people attribute some truth to it.

Aristocracy has nothing to do with grace. I think the French revolution was predicated upon that fact. And while I may choose to ignore your particular family research, I cannot ignore anyone's attempts to alter Cherokee historical and cultural information to match their own family research or lack thereof. I appreciate the fact that you are trying to separate fact from fiction. But your post does not indicate that. You never know when some innocent child may be researching the "chiefs of the Cherokee Nation" and come across your post, add the name of that person you stated was a chief to her list and the myth is on.

I hope you don't wear your family mythology on your sleeve when you post here, cause its gonna get knocked off. We should all be prepared to challenge what we think we know. I'm not trying to offend you, but if you are offended by being challenged to pony up on evidence, especially when its about a group of real people, with real feelings, then I'm sorry for that, but not for defending authenticity about my people and our ancestors.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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