Saturday, October 27, 2018

When an Ancestor Fabricated their Lineage.... A Hundred Years of Lies

I am probably going to receive some negative feed back from those who are hard core believers in what they feel is the true story. But none the less, this issue needs to be discussed. Sometimes our ancestor's lied.

Why did they do it? Many reasons, money, shame, family feuds, murder, or just because there were things they were trying to hide or cover up. In my family's case it had to do with money. Choctaw settlement money to be exact. You can guess just from that pretty much how this story is going to go. Someone wanted to get the money the government was handing out to those with Choctaw blood. So began the tale of fabricated relations to the Choctaw tribe.

My great great grandfather was an upstanding citizen, a Civil War Veteran, a lawyer, a college professor, a newspaper owner as well as an author. He was also a fabricator of a Choctaw heritage that has fooled so many and still does today. People have included his information in books and swear they have seen documented proof that it is true. They indicate that since he started the Mississippi Society of Choctaws he must have been telling the truth. He was questioned by an agent from Washington and he claimed that he was the Captain and the recognized leader of all Choctaw outside of Oklahoma, and that it was his influence on Senator Pat Harrison that had the Choctaw Cases reopened in the State of Mississippi. He himself was a Choctaw claimant as well as being employed by  Crews and Cantwell in writing claims for other Choctaw claimants and receiving payment for. He challenged the legitimacy of blood as a marker of Choctaw identity to discredit the full blood rule. He was ordered to appear in the hearings before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Indian Affairs due to his association with Crew and Cantwell.

But what they fail to see is the many flaws in his story.

1.In the book he wrote, he gave his lineage thoroughly, and not once did he mention a Choctaw line.

2. His family came from North Carolina to Mississippi in the early 1820's. How can they be Choctaw? If they were from North Carolina they would be Cherokee.

 3. Dawes testimonies show there was no lineage as does the Court of Indian Affairs.

No Turner Ward; No Socretia. People today are still just as hungry to claim a descent from the Choctaws, but for different reasons, that they overlook all the evidence that sits plainly before them.
Sometimes our ancestors lied, it is up to a good family detective to discern the truth.

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