Monday, February 13, 2012

Part of my Proud Heritage

My mother's family is very new to this country.  Her father at 13 years old came over from Germany as a boy to escape the German draft.  Her mother's father came over from Denmark just shortly before she was born.  My father's side has a very long history in the United States.  I thought that I would spend some time this week on my proud Native American Heritage.  The Wilson family verbal history has always been that some came over on the Mayflower and some met it.  I have worked on my genealogy for over 25 years and take great pride in my roots and leave it as my legacy for my family.  Several generations ago, not all of my family was proud of the Native American roots and they tried to hide it making it difficult at best to research it.  After the trail of tears, they had much to lose by admitting the truth of their forebears... so for many, the stories and heritage was taboo, never to be spoken of.  In this fashion, the records became scarce and thus, that much more difficult for genealogists to follow the footsteps of their proud ancestors.

From my reading and research, I believe that our verbal Wilson family history to be true.  I verified the Mayflower connection so believe the Native American must also be true.  My father told me as a small child that his grandfather told him that his grandmother was Cherokee.  I have traced my history back to my great grandfather's grandfather.

I found a book on Roane County Tennessee where the Wilson's came from around the 1800's and found out the Tom Wilson was an interpreter receiving payments at Fort Southwest Point where Indians came to trade.  The fort was an important settlement and was the western most point for settlers in this area.  There was also a Cherokee Agency there and that is who Tom Wilson was receiving payments from.  I can find no more in that there is no 1810 census because the British burned the records in the War of 1812.

If you look at pictures of my grandfather (in headdress below) and his father in the picture below him, you can definitely see the color and high cheek bones of a Native American.  I'm am stuck here and can go no further on my research.  I find it very disappointing not to have the proof of my heritage but believe the Native American blood is true.  I will have to be content with what I have.

Be proud of who and what you are.  We all have a very proud heritage legacy.  I love the stories of  my ancestors.  The stories are full of strength, love, hard work, dedication, patriotism, hardships, and much more.  Researching my family lets me know them as real people and I swell with pride that I came from such people.

Be happy and may the Great Spirit bless you and yours.

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