Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Buck, Anti, and Mamie Gilbert

Genealogy Links

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet

AfriGeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy

Slave Archival Collection

National Archives and Records Administration

Library of Congress

Old Virginia Obituaries

These obituaries are from old Virginia newspapers from 1790-1940

Native American Ancestry

"I got Cherokee in me"

Oh how many times have we heard this! Anyone with a bit of lightness to their pigment, less nap in their curl, or from an area where there are a concentration of Native American will say this.  Let's get it straight people. With the advances of genealogy, it's very easy to find out if those traits are from good ole White blood, lighter-skinned Africans, or ...Native American.  Do your research!  In this section I will provide help in locating records and then interpreting those records so that you will be able to not only confirm your Native American Ancestry, but perhaps determine which "tribe" from which your ancestry derives. 

Second-largest U.S. Indian tribe expels slave descendants

(Reuters) - The nation's second-largest Indian tribe formally booted from membership thousands of descendants of black slaves who were brought to Oklahoma more than 170 years ago by Native American owners.

The Cherokee nation voted after the Civil War to admit the slave descendants to the tribe.
But on Monday, the Cherokee nation Supreme Court ruled that a 2007 tribal decision to kick the so-called "Freedmen" out of the tribe was proper.

The controversy stems from a footnote in the brutal history of U.S. treatment of Native Americans. When many Indians were forced to move to what later became Oklahoma from the eastern U.S. in 1838, some who had owned plantations in the South brought along their slaves.

Some 4,000 Indians died during the forced march, which became known as the "Trail of Tears."
"And our ancestors carried the baggage," said Marilyn Vann, the Freedman leader who is a plaintiff in the legal battle.

Officially, there are about 2,800 Freedmen, but another 3,500 have tribal membership applications pending, and there could be as many as 25,000 eligible to enter the tribe, according to Vann.
The tribal court decision was announced one day before absentee ballots were to be mailed in the election of the Cherokee Principal Chief.
"This is racism and apartheid in the 21st Century," said Vann, an engineer who lives in Oklahoma City.

Spokesmen for the tribe did not respond when asked to comment.

The move to exclude the Freedmen has rankled some African American members of Congress, which has jurisdiction over all Native American tribes in the country.

A lawsuit challenging the Freedman's removal from the tribe has been pending in federal court in Washington, for about six years.

As a sovereign nation, Cherokee Nation officials maintain that the tribe has the right to amend its constitutional membership requirements.

Removal from the membership rolls means the Freedmen will no longer be eligible for free health care and other benefits such as education concessions.

Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses From 1790 to 2000

Since the 1870s Native Americans have been recorded in the Federal Census.  the Census Bureau published a document called "Measuring America, The Decinnial Census from 1790-1990", it is a very helpful publication for those researching Native American ancestry. The document is very detailed and over 100 pages, so this is for the serious researcher/genealogist.

Census Schedules

You can find more information on Native Americans such as Census schedules and other records (benefits applied for), etc. at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, DC. (Be prepared to spend the entire day).  It not only have records, but also enrollment cards for the Five civilized Tribes (which are Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole).  Go the NARA's website, type in "Native American", "Indian", or type in any of the tribe names, and you'll get a wealth of links to research (be prepared to spend an entire day here as well).

Dawes Census

If you know specific names of relatives that you think may have been in the Oklahoma region during the "Trail", there were Census rolls prepared by the Dawes Commision in 1893.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs holds these records.

"The Dawes Rolls are the lists of individuals who were accepted as eligible for tribal membership in the "Five Civilized Tribes": Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. (It does not include those whose applications were stricken, rejected or judged as doubtful.) Those found eligible for the Final Rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.

The Rolls contain more than 101,000 names from 1898-1914 (primarily from 1899-1906). They can be searched to discover the enrollee's name, sex, blood degree, and census card number." (1)
You can find information on the National Archives website:

***many Freedmen or Slaves of Indians who were freed after the civil war, were kept off the rolls ***
 (1) The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Genealogist/Family Historians,  Dawes Rolls, accessed March 5, 2007

Interesting Facts

  • The 1870 census is the first census to use "Indian" in the color/race field (it could have been put as mulatto in previous).
  • In 1930 census mixed (Black and Indian) were reported as "Negro" unless the percentage of Indian blood was dominant OR the person was considered to be Indian by others in the community. Whereas, people mixed (White and Indian) were listed as Indian unless for the same reasons above.
  • In the 1860 slave schedule - it acts as partial Indian census, at least for the number of Indians who were slave owners.*This enumeration appears at the end of the slave schedule for Arkansas.
  • In 1880 the Census Bureau instructed enumerators to take a special census of Indians on or near reservations (These can be found on five rolls - microfilm M1791).
  • The 1900 and 1910 census also have a special Indian census - every family composed of primarily Indian was to be reported - but Indians living in predominantly white or black households were to be included in the general census. These schedules can be found at the END of the county or district where the census was taken.
  • There are two National Archives microfilm publications that contain the Indian enumerations. *I found this link -
  • The largest collection of Indian Records can be found at:
  • National Archives: ; Forth Worth Texas: ; Oklahoma Historical Society: ; and Western HIstory Collection at the University of Oklahoma in Norman:

Stay tuned, this page will update regularly.

Story of Africa from the BBC

Religion has always been central to people's lives in Africa. Although the majority of Africans are now Muslim or Christian, traditional religions have endured and still play a big role. Religion runs like a thread through daily life, marked by prayers of gratitude in times of plenty and prayers of supplication in times of need. Religion confirms identity on the individual and the group.

There are a huge number of different religious practices on the continent. They share some common features: a belief in one God above a host of lesser gods or semi-divine figures; a belief in ancestral spirits; the idea of sacrifice, often involving the death of a living thing, to ensure divine protection and generosity; the need to undergo rites of passage to move from childhood to adulthood, from life to death.

In the history of the continent, religion has had a powerful effect on political change: spirit mediums have led revolts against European and African rulers, ancestral spirits have commanded acts of destruction and called for the overthrow of rulers and chiefs. People have sought the help of priests and medicine men to achieve power and wealth.

Full context can be found:
SUPREME DEITIESA selection from different peoples
Peoples Supreme Deity Location
Akan speakers Nyama Ghana
Luba Kalumba Congo
Baganda Katonda Uganda
Yoruba Oludmare (Olurun) Nigeria
Zulu Nkulunkulu South Africa
Fulani Dondari West Africa
Igbo Chuikwu or Chukwu Nigeria
Bashongo Bumba Zambia

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Egun have now learned to tap into technology

Hello, my name is...and I'm a conspiracy theorist. It's no wonder that I question coincidences, especially when it comes to the spiritual realm. I have seen too many "coincidences" that make absolute - sense - to just be chance. Latest genealogical adventure: The Egun and the internet.

You've heard it said that ghosts and spirits cannot directly straight out and touch the tangible/physical world and therefore they use antics such as that of a poltergeist by moving furniture, making sounds, and doing other things to gain our attention and let it be known that they are present without the ability to tap you on the shoulder and say "hey!".

On my latest genealogical search I happened to be going through "hints" on and one of my egun had a hint which I clicked on. It was the grave marker for my aunt "Bootney" who was born on February 22.

During the time of Bootney's death, one of our family members, I'll call "T", was unable to to attend the funeral. He was very close to Bootney and the idea that he could not be present at her burial was heartbreaking for him and our family.  I ended up sending an email to the son of "T", named "D" and said "please pass this along to your dad in case he was never able to make the visit to the gravesite even now".

I found out that the mother of "T" and grandmother to "D", called "J", was in the hospital. All of this conversation took place on February 21st, just one day before Bootney's birthday.

Now, the family is kinda dispersed due to disagreements and long-time angst, but I let my mother, who is Bootney's sister, but the same age as "J", and who was once J's best friend,  know that "J" was in the hospital and that I don't think the timing of me finding the grave marker 1 day (30 minutes before her birthday) was a coincidence but that Bootney knew that with the family not being good communicators she had to somehow get the message to the rest of the family that her daughter, "J",  was not well. After all family is family.

Perhaps I read more into it than what it really is, and perhaps it was a coincidence, to those of you who do not believe in miracles, egun, or communications through the spirit world. I personally believe that the timing nor circumstance was not chance. Bootney has learned how to influence the living world around her, and has apparently learned how to use too!

OK, OK, I suppose it goes deeper than that, because Bootney would have also had to influence the photographer of the gravesite to take the picture, then to upload the picture, etc. etc...but why not?! Why wouldn't the egun use whatever tool they can if they needed to get the message across? Back to what I said about how spirits may not always be able to come straight out and communicate with us, so, if it can use technology to its advantage, why not?

Iba [a]ye baye t'orun Lona Chamberlain, welcome to the the virtual world.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dead On The Side Of The Road

What a horrific way to die! According to the death certificate of Sarah (or Sara) Bethea - she was found dead on the side in the road - "probably due to intoxication and exposure in cold wet weather". Probably. Probably?

The year was 1915, the place - South Carolina. Sarah was 25 years old. She was married and she had a son at the time of her death.

I'm sorry but I can't help but wonder if this was not a case of murder! Maybe violently, maybe a hit and run, just maybe Sara could have been a drunk walking home from a bootlegger house...sorry, I'm having a harder time believing the latter, after all Sarah was married, would she be out at a bootlegger drunk and walking home alone?

Did Sarah die of intoxication (in other words - alcohol poisoning), did she die of hypothermia, or did Sarah die in 1915 South Carolina because not too many people cared about a Nigger?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Don't you hate it when you get into your research and you find these records which get you all excited and you think to yourself, "this has got to be her!". There are so many coincidences that you think, there's no way this can't be connected somehow...only to find out, it's not! Just when you thought you had the only (insert odd name here), you find that out there, someone else named their child the same. Then on top of that, you find that not only does the first name match, but the last name has a connection too! So was the case with me researching the Johnsons.

Thomas Johnson as a daughter in 1921 by the name of Mildred Woodard; Thomas and Mildred were from North Carolina. I came across a Mary ARLETHA Woodard. What's weird about this? My mother's name is Arletha...I mean come on! how many Arletha's are out there? Ok, so there may be a few Arletha's, but how many Arletha's have a half sister whose last name is Woodard? But wait! Mildred Arletha Woodard is also from North Carolina! So, now I'm is a Arletha (could my mom have been named after her?); here is a Woodard (could she be kin to Mildred?); or could she be another daughter of Thomas' no one knew about? So now, Mary - Thomas' mother's name was Mary (could she have been named after Thomas' mother?). Now my brain is spinning...I look at Mary Arletha Woodard's North Carolina Death Record summary and they have an alternative name for her Mary Arletha JOHNSON! I don't need to spell this out to you now do I? OK...breathe...they have listed as her father's surname - Johnson. Could this be THOMAS JOHNSON?!?

I get on the phone to the Fayetteville Observer to see if I could find the obituary and find out if they list he father's full name and the mother's name and the siblings. The kind woman in the library told me the names on the obituary of the brother's and sisters, but no mention of the father. What it did list was that Mary Arletha Woodard's husband name was Edward Woodard...scccccrrrrrreeeeeettttccchhhh. Here is where I come to a dead-end and I realize these coincidences are something else! If Mary Arletha Woodard's husband was a Woodard, that means her maiden name was Johnson, which means that this is probably not Thomas' daughter, nor Mildred's sister - unless some coincidence would have it that Mary Arletha is Thomas' daughter and hooked up with Mildred's brother...what are the odds of that??? and wouldn't that be almost incest?

*sigh* back to the drawing board...