African-Native American Research Forum Archive
Re: The Challenges Facing Descendants
In Response To: The Challenges Facing Descendants ()
I began researching my Cherokee Freedmen family history after discussing it with older cousins. My father was born on September 27 1902 in the Cherokee Nation Indian Territory. I searched the Dawes records in the National Archives and retrieved my fatherís notarized birth affidavit.
Researching the various Freedmen rolls I found my grandmother Florence B. Hopkins and her 11 siblings. Then I found her mother Delilah Vann and her mother Flora Murrell and her mother Sarah Ross. Dawes testimony and other affidavits show that Flora and her mother were slaves of the Cherokee. Flora was born in Arkansas during the Cherokee Removal (Trail of Tears). But she and her husband escaped from their masters shortly before the Civil War. They eluded their masters until the war ended.
Since I began this research I have gained a new respect for the Freedmen of the Indian Territory. They worked together and fought together to overcome many hardships during slavery the Civil War and afterwards. I believe our families are strong today because of what our ancestors had to endure and overcome. Though they received freedom and Cherokee citizenship after the war the Freedmen had to continue fighting for their rights and that struggle continues even today.
I encourage all those with Black Indian ancestry to learn as much as you can about your family history. You will see that there are very interesting and important stories waiting to be told.