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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Analysis of Cherokee Employee Buzzard

To follow-up on this post...I began researching my paternal line around 2000. Prior to my grandmother departing this world in 1998, she told me a story about where her family grew up. She lived on Waters Street, in Tahlequah OK. She was the daughter of Perry Swepston (non-Cherokee Citizen) and Jane Elizabeth Vann,(Cherokee Freedmen) 1871-1940 daughter of Joseph Turk Vann,(Cherokee Citizen) died on 12-13-1892 & Clora Shaw Sells,(Cherokee Freedmen),(1849-1924),daughter of Richard Lewis Shaw,(Cherokee Freedmen) and Nancy Sells,a (Creek Freedmen).

In a letter dated, November 7, 1903, to the Muskogee Indian Division, Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, Creek Enrollment Division, General Office states the following:


Receipt is hereby acknowledged of your letter of November 5, stating that Cora, Jimmie, Jane, Caroline, Andy and Abe Vann appear upon the 1890 authenticated roll of the Creek Nation, Canadian Colored Town, that their father was a Cherokee, and asking to be advised as to the status of these persons as Cherokee [freedmen.]and that their final enrollment was approved by the Secretary of the Interior on January 16, 1903.In reply you are advised that these applicants have been listed or enrollment as Cherokee freedmen as follows:"

Chlora Vann, Cherokee Freedmen Card No. 682, final roll No.1703
James Vann, Cherokee Freedmen Card No. 683, final roll No. 1704
Andrew Vann,Cherokee Freedmen Card No. 684, final roll No. 1705
Jane Vann, (listed as Jane Swepston) 685, final roll No. 1706
Caroline Vann, " " " 692, final roll No. 1723
Ave Vann, " " " 803, final roll No. 1963

My grandmother, (Clora Vann) in her sworn testimony states she had been living within the nation all of her life and before the Civil War. Prior to that she was living in the Creek Nation as made by "J. W. Dunn prior to March 14, 1867".

I never knew until I was in my 30's that my grandmother Avis Madelyn Swepston was Cherokee. She told me that she spoke three languages: English, Cherokee & Creek.

When I began my journey researching the family lore, the 1st thing I was told is to ask the older people within the family everything they could remember and documented it, better yet, tape record it! So I started with what I knew, the birth dates/deaths of my grandparents and worked backwards. In the process, I've located a 2d cousin, whose ancestors are both Freedmen and Native American, I've discovered a history that I never knew existed. But more importantly, I've learned how my ancestors lived, what culture they embraced, and how they defined themselves.

Roughly two years ago, I started the DNA process with National Genographic Project and subsequently become heavily involved in not only the paper trail but the DNA trail.

My mtDNA haplogroup is L1c, my paternal mtDNA is L3e1*. My paternal y-haplogroup is E. My Ancestry by DNA 2.5 came back 56% Sub-Saharan African, 33% European and 11% East Asian. I'm told by those who understand this scientific results better than I, that East Asian shows for people of Native Ancestry; which doesn't necessarily mean Native American.

My point after this laborous explanation is that, the history and the spirt of our ancestors can NEVER be erase. The family lore told me where to begin. The DNA gives me parameters for my research. The two hand-in-hand tells a bigger picture of migration patterns and culture.

I'm sure with the latest ruling, that there will be legal challenges by those who clearly have a documented paper trail.
Chief Smith stroke of a pen to a bill doesn't change the legacy of a people.

Most people don't realize that treaties are the highest laws of the land. So it will be interesting to watch the legal haggering and strategy of a Sovereign Nation that violates their own constitution and as a result violates the U.S. Federal Treaty of 1866.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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