Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. In celebration of this month, I will be writing some posts that have to do with Native Americans. And I will start with this post, writing about a bit about myself and my own heritage.

I was born in Pennsylvania, where there are no federally or state recognized tribes, no reservations and the states opinion (as well as the opinion of some other people) is that there are absolutely no Native Americans living in Pennsylvania. The Native population isn’t as high as some other states, but there are Native people here.

I am very connected to my Native roots, but I am of a mixed background. On my dad’s side I am Tsalagi (Cherokee). My dad’s mom, my grandmother, lived on the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina until she was five. Then, for whatever reason, her family moved here and basically just left their heritage behind. It was not uncommon in those days for Indians to hide their heritage or try to erase it from their life so they would be safe. So, because of this, I can’t find out much information about her family from the reservation or even who they were when on the reservation. They changed their name after coming to Pennsylvania.  So, I am a non-registered Cherokee.

My dad’s father was Welsh and that’s about as much as I know about him. No one is sure if he was born here or in Wales.

On my mom’s side there is German, Cherokee and there is other Indian blood, but no one is sure which tribe. They just know it was a tribe from Pennsylvania. There are a few Indian tribes originally from Pennsylvania so it’ll be a bit hard to figure out.

I strongly identify with my Cherokee heritage, but I will never deny any of my heritages. They are all a part of me. I am an Indian of a mixed heritage: Cherokee, Welsh and German and I am proud of it.

I hope you all will enjoy my postings this month in celebration of my Native heritage.

And feel free to share your heritage in the comments or even your own post. You don’t have to be Native to share. It’s good for all people to celebrate their heritage.

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8 responses to “Native American Heritage Month

  1. Seems a little difficult to believe that we would have Native American Indians in Ohio, In West Virginia, In New York, but not in Pennsylvania, right there in the middle.

    I recently have been spending a lot of time figuring out my ancestry. I’ve used by ancestry.com and 23andme.com’s DNA test. It’s a boring story about why I did two.
    One of the features of the 23andme site is they will tell you how much of a certain regions DNA you have and how much of that regions DNA the average person who lives there has.
    The surprise for me was to find out that I have more UK DNA than the average person who lives in London.

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  2. When I was a kid, I thought all of the native Americans lived out West, except for a few who lived on the small reservation in Tama, Iowa which was close to us. Well, that’s the way movies and TV made it seem. Of course, since then, I have found out that they are all over the country.
    It’s interesting to know where we came from, and even more so when we discover that we are each a melting pot.

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  3. I, too, have a Native American heritage (Cherokee) and only recently started my genealogy research to trace it. Difficult, to say the least, with the poor documentation from years past. My great great grandmother was predominantly NA. Obvious in pictures but nothing factual to support it. Nonetheless, I am proud of my roots and find it’s history fascinating. There is a soul connection that runs deep. I am celebrating Native American Heritage Month with a daily image post on my fb page. Feel free to join me:)

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  4. I am also of Cherokee heritage. I always knew my grandmother was Cherokee, but just recently I found out that both my grandparents were Cherokee, and they lived in western North Carolina and then east Tennessee. One of their two children married an African-American and German man, and they had me!

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