Are We Part Indian?
By Frank Boyd
Let's address the issue of "Are we part Indian?"
As near as we can determine, we being your Aunt Peggy and I, with our favorite researches . . . The only one in the family that had any connection to Indians is your great-grandmother Bayer. She is back in the early 1800's on Grandma Rockwell's side, somewhere in there. So far, we have not be able to come up with any documents to verify this. But your Aunt Garnett, before she passed away indicated that it was the truth and that in fact when Grandma Bayer came back to live with the rest of the family, she brought a couple of half indian children with her. Anyway, the family legend was, was that we were part Cherokee
Now, if you do some research on the Cherokees you will find that the Cherokee Nation extended from the Georgia-Alabama area up through the Carolinas and in the late and mid 1700's, they were an independent nation.Some time prior to the 1700's the Cherokees, who were then a tribe of the Iriquios Nation, broke politically with the Five Civilized Tribes and migrated to what is the three state area recognized as the Cherokee Nation.
The time of the great removal was in 1835, but geographically, that's a fairly long distance from Pennsylvania. You do some research and you will find that there is no real tribe assigned to the area or ascribed to the area around Pittsburgh or Uniontown, that area of Pennsylvania. However, we do know that there were a couple tribes and one of which was the Manahoacs that were prevalent in that area in the mid 1700's and late 1700's. So, if there is any connection tribally, it was probably to someone like theManahoacs.
However, what was going on was somewhere along the line, people in the family were saying that we were part Cherokee. And somewhere along the line, I read some books, authoritative source documents that said the Cherokee Nation was sanctuary for the run away slaves, and that the black people, if they were good people, were integrated into the tribe and accepted and became tribal members, which meant that they intermarried. So,therefore, if you were part Cherokee, you had some black blood in you. Well, when I brought that out everybody in the family got furious with me. And when I broke out my books and said here, look it up for yourself, they got even more furious with me and then I didn't hear anything about us being part Cherokee for a long time.
Then all of a sudden, we became part Blackfoot; which is even more ridiculous because the Blackfoot Nation is from out around Idaho and Utah; no geographical relationship to the state of Pennsylvania. Now you can draw from all of this whatever you will.
Copyright © 2001 - Frank Boyd