Sunday, June 10, 2012

Elizabeth Warren's Ancestry - Part 3

It has already been shown that Elizabeth Warren's direct ancestors were listed as white in all the records and documentation for the past 188 years.  But, some people still entertain the idea that Ms. Warren might have Cherokee Indian blood. These people cling to myths that are commonly found on the internet. For example, they believe the family might have hid the fact they had Indian blood. Today we will show you why that is not true about Ms. Warren's family while adding more documentation to support the premise they were white.

America Isabelle Crawford, the great grandaunt of Ms. Warren, was the daughter of Preston H. Crawford and Edith May "Ede" Marsh. She was born in Laclede County, Missouri, about 1860. She was the sister of John H. Crawford, Ms. Warren's great grandfather.

America was
  • found on the 1870 US Census living in Hooker, Laclede County, Missouri, with her father and siblings; race listed as white
  • found on the 1880 US Census as Belle Mitchell, living in Grant, Johnson County, Arkansas with her husband; race listed as white. 
  • found on the 1900 US Census as America I Mitchell, living in Township 5 & 6, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory with her husband and  children- RENTS; race listed as white, found on the regular census schedule, not the Special Schedule for Indians
  • found on the 1910 US Census listed as Belle Mitchell, living in Dustin, Hughes County, Oklahoma with her husband and children; race listed as white
  • found on the 1920 US Census as American Mitchell, living in Pine Grove, Santa Barbara, California with her son-in-law, daughter and grandchildren; race listed as white

Though all those documents list America Isabelle as white, it might not be enough for some people to be convinced, so it is necessary to share even more evidence that shows this woman was white. In 1902, America Isabelle Crawford's husband, Joab Mitchell, filed a Dawes application claiming to be Mississippi Choctaw. (The application was rejected.) This was a fairly common thing for white people to do because they believed the Indians had no records and their claim alone would get them some free land. This may have been Joab's motivation because he first claimed to be 1/16th Indian blood but when he said his grandma was 1/2, the interviewer told him he would be 1/8th and asked which would he like to claim, 1/8th or 1/16th. Joab said as much as he could. It appears he might have thought the more Indian blood one had, the more land they would get. This wasn't true, but that seems to be a possible motivator for wanting to claim as much Indian blood as he could. Anyway, since this man filed a claim for himself and for his children, it would be logical he would have done the same for his wife if she was Indian and he thought he could get land for her too. Guess what. He didn't. And he actually said his wife was......a white woman. Now there was no shame in this guy's game. He was claiming he and his children had Indian blood so there would have been no problem claiming his wife had Indian blood if she did. He said she was WHITE.

And, there is more. 

The daughter of America Isabelle and Joab Mitchell, Rena Rebecca Mitchell Harding, shared the following information about her family, "No Indian blood except way back in Grandpa Mitchell's family, not much even then." What this means is Preston Crawford's granddaughter said there was no Indian blood in the Crawford side of the family. Is this hearsay? Yes, but so are Ms. Warren's stories. The big difference is Rena's story matches the documentation and evidence. Ms. Warren's doesn't. And, no one can say Rena was attempting to hide Indian ancestry because she claimed some in her father's line. She just didn't claim any in her mother's line, the Crawford line. The reason? Because the records and documentation on this Crawford family, Ms. Warren's purported Cherokee family, were right. They were white.

So, what does all this mean? It means Ms. Warren doesn't have Cherokee ancestry through her Crawford line. It would be impossible for one child to be Indian and another to be white when they had the same two parents. Since America Isabelle Crawford Mitchell had the same parents as John H. Crawford, the great grandfather of Elizabeth Warren, it means if she was white, so was he. And I think it's pretty clear, she was white.

Stay tuned for even more on the genealogy of Elizabeth Warren.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2012, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB


  1. I used to think that those who earn law degrees and pass bar exams, have undoubtedly graduated from elementary school. You know, that's the place where we learn to read, write, and come up with the answer "2" when adding 1 plus 1. Your Part 3 has been written so succinctly that I just cannot envision Ms. Warren experiencing any difficulty reaching the correct conclusion.

    Of course, I still believe in Santa Claus.

    Blessings, Twila ...


  2. If Elizabeth Warren had played her cards right, she could have been a subject on NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" She's a political celebrity who believes she is Native American. Enter Twila Banks, the expert researcher, delivering an extraordinarily comprehensive and invaluable lineage history to Ms. Warren, showing the Massachusetts politician that she is, in reality, not Native American. Ms. Warren would be disappointed; however, she would ultimately accept the truth and thank Ms. Banks for her phenomenal research and continued diligence in mapping the bloodlines of Native Americans. It would be similar to the "Rob Lowe" moment when the handsome leading man discovered at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. that his Revolutionary War ancestor was a Hessian soldier who fought for the British. Ooops! Oh well, it's not like we can choose our ancestors.

    I was drawn to Polly's Granddaughter after reading an article about Elizabeth Warren on "The Atlantic" website. I posted a comment regarding "Native American Ancestry," a blog I read recently on, which was written by a genealogist who is also dedicated to Native American lineage. Having read a number of articles and blogs on Polly's Granddaughter, I am thankful that there are still consummate lineage researchers like Twila Banks who base their findings on actual documentation, rather than unfounded claims. Polly's Granddaughter is a great website, and I will continue to keep up with its many offerings.

  3. As a resident and voter in Massachusetts I thank you for the work you have done on this matter. One can understand Ms. Warren listening to family stories as a youngster and believing them to be true. Ms. Warren has done more than that, she used those stories to further her career. That is wrong and a discredit to those with Native American ancestry.
    What I find interesting now is that Ms. Banks has taken her time to travel to Boston and meet with Ms. Warren yet Ms. warren refuses to do so. Ms Warren is also saying that Twila Banks visit is just a political stunt by Sen. Brown.
    As a Voter I find this troublesome. Ms. Warren has shown me that her character is questionable.
    I thank Ms. Twila Banks for the work she has done and wish her the best.

  4. Keep up the fight Twila!! I've been following by way of the Legal Insurrection Blog. My family has purported Cherokee roots, but I have never tried to claim it the way Ms. Warren has. Maybe once this controversy calms down I can get your advice on proving things. ;-) God Bless!


Your comments are welcome!