Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Elizabeth Warren's Ancestry - Part 1

For a few weeks, it has been pretty big news that US Senate hopeful from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, has claimed to be Native American, Cherokee to be specific, in the past and she is still clinging to that story now. Several times, I have either read or heard her compared to the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker, because some give her the benefit of the doubt and say Warren might have the same blood quantum as Baker. IF, and I capitalized that on purpose, because we are talking "big if" here, she actually had a Cherokee ancestor, and IF it was the ancestor she claims through, that might be true, but it isn't.

I think there must be a lot of people who either don't understand genealogy and the records available or there are a lot of people who haven't had the time to look. Whatever the reason, it seems people need to see for themselves that Warren's ancestry shows NO indication of Cherokee ancestry or heritage.

Because she has been compared to Chief Baker so much, I thought I would compare their genealogies and show how we can clearly see a difference between a real Cherokee and a fake one.

Like I have said before, there are numerous rolls of the Cherokee people plus many other records. If one can't find an ancestor on any of those rolls or in any of the records of the Cherokee people, then there is only one logical conclusion - they aren't Cherokee and they don't have a Cherokee ancestor.

Indian or Pretendian?

Elizabeth Herring Warren, who claims to be Cherokee through her mother's line of the Crawford family, is the child of Donald Herring and Pauline Louise Reed. She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on June 22, 1949.

Bill John Baker, a Cherokee through his father's line of the Dubios family, is the child of Tim Baker and Isabell Louise Keith. He was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on February 9, 1952. As most people who know anything about Cherokees know, Tahlequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

If we stopped here, we wouldn't know the rest of the story. Long before the allotment of the Cherokee land and the statehood of Oklahoma, non-Cherokees were being born in Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory and some Cherokees had been born outside the Cherokee Nation. Because of this, we can't base heritage on birthplace alone.

The Parents

Pauline Louise Reed, the mother of Ms. Warren, was the child of Harry G. Reed and Bethania "Hannie" Crawford. She was born in Hughes County, Oklahoma, on February 14, 1912. She was found on the 1920 US Census living in Hickory Ridge, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma with her parents and siblings, race listed as white. She was found on the 1930 US Census living in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma with her parents, race listed as white. She married Don Herring on January 2, 1932 in Hughes County, Oklahoma. She was found on the 1940 US Census living in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma with her husband and children, race listed as white. She died July 18, 1995.

Tim Baker, the father of Chief Baker, was the child of Lloyd Baker and Audey DuBois. He was born on January 27, 1926 in Oklahoma. He was found on the 1930 US Census as Jimmie, living in Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, with his parents, brother, uncle and grandmother; race listed as Indian, with a notation in the state column "Mixed blood Cherokee." He died May 5, 2005.

If we stopped here, we wouldn't know anything other than Ms. Warren's family was recorded as white in recent records and Chief Baker's family was recorded as Indian.

The Grandparents

Bethania "Hannie" Crawford, the grandmother of Ms. Warren, was the child of John Houston Crawford and Plina/Paulina Ann Bowen. She was born in Laclede County, Missouri, on October 29, 1875. She was found on the 1880 US Census as Bethena, living in Johnson County, Arkansas with her parents and siblings; race listed as white. She married Harry G. Reed in Sebastian County, Arkansas, on June 2, 1893. She was found on the 1910 US Census living in Muskogee County, Oklahoma with her husband and children; race listed as white. She was found on the 1920 US census living in Hickory Ridge, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma with her husband and children; race listed as white. She was found on the 1930 US Census living in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma, with her husband and daughter, Pauline; race listed as white. She was found on the 1940 US Census living in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma, with her husband; race listed as white. She died November 11, 1969 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Audey Nazarene DuBois, the grandmother of Chief Baker, was the child of FM Dubois and Nancy Walker. She was born in Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory on June 11, 1906. She was found on the 1910 US Census as Andie, living in Crittenden, Cherokee County, Oklahoma with her step-father, mother, siblings, grandmother and sister-in-law; race listed as Indian; listed as Cherokee on the Special Schedule. She was found on the 1930 US Census as Audie, living in Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, with her husband, children, brother and mother; race listed as Indian, with a notation in the state column "Mixed blood Cherokee." She was also found on her mother's Eastern Cherokee application (#5532), but her name was crossed over and labeled "out" due to her being born about two weeks past the eligibility date.

Now we are starting to see the difference between a white family and a Cherokee family. Four times we see Ms. Warren's grandmother listed as white. We never see her listed as Indian. And, on the flip side, we only see Chief Baker's grandmother listed as Indian, three times, and never as white. But, that isn't enough. We need to get far enough back into the history to reach the old Cherokee Nation records to see what we can find on these two families in them.

The Great Grandparents

John Houston Crawford, the great grandfather of Ms. Warren, was the son of Preston H. Crawford and Edith May "Ede" Marsh. He was born in Laclede County, Missouri, on March 26, 1858. He was found on the 1860 US Census as John H. Crauford, living in Hooker, Laclede County, Missouri, with his parents and siblings; race listed as white. He was found on the 1870 US Census living in Hooker, Laclede County, Missouri, with his father and siblings; race listed as white. He was found on the 1880 US Census as JH Crawford, living in Grant, Johnson County, Arkansas with his wife, children and a farm laboror; race listed as white. He was found on the 1900 US Census as John H. Crofford, living in Township 12, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory with his children- RENTS; race listed as white, found on the regular census schedule, not the Special Schedule for Indians. He married Sarah E. Smith on September 2, 1904 in Laclede County, Missouri. He was found on the 1910 US Census listed as JH Crowford, living in Wetumka Ward 4, Hughes County, Oklahoma with his wife, two of his children and a step-daughter; race listed as white. He died January 23, 1924 and was buried in Wetumka Cemetery in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma. 

Nancy Jane Walker, the great grandmother of Chief Baker, was the daughter of Ebenezer B. Walker and Sarah Harlin. She was born August 25, 1866 in Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.  In 1880, she was found on the Authenticated roll of the Cherokee Nation under the name Nancy J. Walker. In 1890, she was found on the Census of the Cherokee Nation under the name Nancy J. Osage, Native Cherokee. She was found on the 1896 Cherokee Census under the name Nancy Osage. She was found on the 1900 US Census living in Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory with her husband, Phillip Osage; race listed as Indian, listed on Special Schedule for Indians. In 1902, she is found on the Final Dawes Roll as Cherokee by Blood, as Nancy J. Osage, 3/4, census card 6594, roll number 15787. In 1906-09, she is found on the Guion Miller Roll, Admitted, as Nancy J. DuBois, Tahlequah, OK, application 5532, roll 10168. She was found on the 1910 US Census listed as Nancy Cary, living in Crittenden, Cherokee County, Oklahoma with her husband B? C. Carey, her children, her mother and her daughter-in-law; race listed as Indian. She was found on the 1930 US Census as Nancy J. Carey, living in Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma with her son-in-law, daughter, grandchildren, and son; race listed as Indian, with a notation in the state column "Mixed blood Cherokee."


Now we are starting to see a very big difference in the two families. Ms. Warren's is showing a very distinct pattern of living as whites while Chief Baker's is showing a very distinct pattern of living as Indians. We find Ms. Warren's great grandfather listed as white on five different documents. We find Chief Baker's great grandmother listed as Indian and/or Cherokee numerous times on many different documents. The pieces of the genealogical puzzles of these two very different families are starting to come together, but we aren't finished yet.

Stay tuned for the next post where we trace these families back to before the Trail of Tears. We still have a lot more to look at! And you thought Cherokee genealogy was hard........ :)

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.






Note - The links in the post are important. They take you to either an off site source for the information we found or they take you to a different page on my blog where the supporting documentation can be viewed.

*Often times, when the race was white, the race column was left blank by the US Census enumerators.

*Census images from ancestry.com

*Dawes and Guion Miller Roll images from fold3

Elizabeth Warren Genealogy - Crawford line

*Updated July 2, 2012 to add 1940 US Census information

copyright 2012, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

6 comments:

  1. Bang! Elizabeth Warren, you are NO Bill John Baker!

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  2. Excellent research! There should be no doubt left in the minds of anyone who want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

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  3. Very reader friendly. Nobody should be confused now!

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  4. Wow, Twila! That's great research .... verifiable and credible. Excellent job. Am proud of your handling of this matter. Blessings of peace .... vehoae

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  5. It seems the misunderstanding regarding her Native American ancestry comes from the Sebastian, Arkansas marriage certificate between Hannie and Harry Reed. The certificate lists Hannie as being from "Ind. Territory." To the uninformed, this may seem like she was of Native American descent, when in fact, a review of the 1896 region map shows that "Indian Territory" referred to the eastern part of modern day Oklahoma -- a mere hour from Sebastian, Arkansas.

    It is important to note that Ms. Warren's claim was very unlikely malignant or mischievous, but rather, was based upon a belief that was passed down in her family -- a belief that was false. Many Americans seek and hope for some sort of Native American ancestry so as to create a legitimacy about claim to American and alleviate the social guilt of our ancestors' actions (and inactions) in regards to the Native American population. To have that guilt and hope for proof to alleviate it is not a crime. To purport the belief to be true without doing due diligence in finding proof is what is irresponsible.

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  6. Thought this might offer an interesting twist to the ongoing brouhaha over Elizabeth Warren's claim that, like Johnny Depp, she is part Cherokee, as well.

    I can only hope that this Holywood hearthrob, as has been an all too common practice among those of us who "pass," is not making much ado about a possible or imagined Cherokee or Creek Indian ancestry to distract the public from knowledge of his distant but extremely important African American heritage.

    A 17TH CENTURY FORBEAR OF DEPP'S, ELIZABETH KAYE GRINSTEAD, WAS THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN IN THE HISTORY OF THE U.S. TO SUE FOR HER FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY AND WIN.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Key_Grinstead

    http://jonesandrelated.blogspot.com/2012/02/elizabeth-key-grinstead.html

    http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/KYBARREN/2007-07/1185052224

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/secret/famous/greenstead.html

    Ever since discovering the actor's connection to the romantic inter-racial origins of the Grinstead / Grimstead /Greenstead family of Virgina, I cannot help wondering if this is the reason for the dreads he wears in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

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Your comments are welcome!