Native American genealogy

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AmandaP
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Native American genealogy

Post by AmandaP »

Hello! I hope I'm posting in the correct place, if not please let me know another place to ask questions 😊

I've been working on my maternal family line and a woman by the name of Mary Canoe keeps popping up in my research. From the little bit I've read so far she *could* be Native American. I hope I'm not offending anyone who may be Native American reading my post. I'm not claiming to have Native American ties or anything like that. I'm simply trying to figure out who this lady is and where she might be from. My mother's side of the family is pretty much all from Virginia and West Virginia, which was surprising to me.

Anyway, any information on who Mary Canoe is, where she's from and who her parents are, is appreciated. Or info on any reliable websites is helpful too! I've been hesitant to start digging deeper into my mother's side because I ran into a bit of controversy regarding the Sizemore family line. My mother's parents always told me they both had Native American ancestors...but I think they were just telling stories 😆

Another question, was it common for Native Americans to take American or Christian names? Like how some Italians used Americanized names? I had this problem researching my Italian ancestors. I'm trying to save myself from a headache!
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BrownEyedGirl
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Re: Native American genealogy

Post by BrownEyedGirl »

Hi. I think Canoe is a French word, but I've never heard of it as a surname. Yes, Natives took English/European names - both first and last.

Most white people who think they have Native ancestry really don't. The Native family lore thing is a common, strange phenomenon here in the US. If Native heritage is legitimate, it's verifiable. Someone with as little as 1/16th Native ancestry can enroll as a tribe member. So if your grandparents were part Native, they would have been members of a tribe and their parents would have been, too, since they would have been much closer to the full-blooded ancestors than you.

Your post was quite some time ago. I hope you found some answers. :)
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darkerhorse
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Re: Native American genealogy

Post by darkerhorse »

Has anyone here ever actually found a paper trail identifying a person as Native American when you hadn't known of their ethnicity ahead of time?

My family also has those rumors and the closest we can find is the spouse of a 2nd cousin of the father of the person I heard the rumor from, and she might have been only half Native American at that. The story suggested it was much closer to home.
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BrownEyedGirl
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Re: Native American genealogy

Post by BrownEyedGirl »

I've never heard of anyone finding documentation of a Native ancestor without looking for it. As a matter of fact, I haven't heard of anyone finding a Native ancestor even when they searched high and low. Most true Native descendants are accounted for and members of a tribe.

My fair-skinned, tall, blond hair, blue-eyed father told us his pale-skinned, red-haired, blue-eyed grandmother was a Native. Even as a child, I knew that wasn't possible. I mean, they were white folks. How on earth could they be Native? If my great grandmother was Native, she would have looked Asiatic, not European. When I got older, I started researching. I found my pale-skinned, red-haired, blue-eyed great grandmother was from Ireland and so were her parents and their parents and so on. I took a DNA test, and I have no Native DNA whatsoever, only European from both sides. My father and all three of his brothers also took a DNA tests. They're all 100 percent Northern European. Finally, that silly story was put to rest.
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darkerhorse
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Re: Native American genealogy

Post by darkerhorse »

Maybe he meant Native Irish woman!
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BrownEyedGirl
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Re: Native American genealogy

Post by BrownEyedGirl »

Lol. Maybe. But since he gave his company an Indian name and embraced Indian culture, I doubt it. I don't get my father for pulling towards a heritage that's not his own. It's kind of creepy in my opinion. He descended from European royals and warriors. He should have "gotten to know" them instead of some fairytale. :)
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