January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32561
Very interesting. Thanks for telling me. Which ones were Blackfoot identified?January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32564
The Blackfoot names in my family are Jones and White, which you have listed. However, in my family the individual that was labeled blackfoot actually was a Miller. However, I understand that Blackfoot was also a code word in the African American community meaning you were a Black Indian (regardless of the tribe). So I’m not sure if my family were talking about Blackfoot the code, or Blackfoot the tribe since some of my family says Blackfoot when I ask about her tribe, and other’s (like my Grandmother) just says she was an Indian woman. But my grandmother was young when the Blackfoot woman died so maybe that was all she remembered.
I was told that she was born with an Native American name but later went by Emma. I don’t know if she had to go to a boarding school and change her name but I think she was born in the late 1800s if I could somehow find a birth record on her, than I would know exactly what her Native American name was. The census always have her listed as Emma, with her race being sometimes Mulatto and sometimes Black according to the year. However, my grandmother told me that she was neither Mulatto or Black but Native American. The only document that I saw that had a name listed other than “Emma” was her son’s marriage certificate that had his mother’s name listed as “Errrrrrra” spelled just like that. He probably didn’t know how to spell it, and whoever did the document probably just wrote how it sounded.
I know that I am African American, and my mother is African American, however I can’t help but notice that alot of her side of the family looks like they are Native Americans. And I understand that some tribes such as Tuscarora (which I think are in my family too) actually were enslaved during slavery. So maybe we just assumed that just because someone was a slave that they were of African origin. Actually when I researched my mother’s side of the family family I only found 3 African American line of ancestors, everyone else was listed as being “mulatto” or white.
Everyone on my mother side of the family has a Native look to them.
Now this is a picture of a Native American man that I saw in a book (on the left) . I put a picture of my grandmother on the right.
These two look like they can be brother and sister
This is a picture of my mother when she was younger:
This is my grandmother (her mother)January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32565
I’ve never seen anything to support the idea that the Blackfoot ID applied to eastern Black families indicates a code. Those families that I’ve seen fit within the same pattern as the ‘white’ families. If the Blackfoot code theory were correct, then we’d see it in a random assortment of surnames and locations, but the surnames and locations have always fit the same patterns as everyone else’s.
I think it’s just a veiled kind of racism that wants to diminish the claims to Native American heritage to any family that also has an African American heritage — a variation on the ‘one drop rule.’January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32566
Yes, I agree. That code thing does sounds like a variation of the one drop rule. Oftentimes Black people didn’t fully embrace all of their ancestry because of the one drop rule. And since we were so conditioned by society we often felt condemned for even acknowledging we were part Native, or mixed with something else because some people would think that you were not proud of your African Heritage if you claim anything else. Because you did have Blacks who felt so inferior because of American society that they would lay claim to a Native ancestor even if they did not have one, because they felt it made them “less Black” and thought that would cause them to look better in the eyes of white people as well as other blacks.
Linda wrote: I’ve never seen anything to support the idea that the Blackfoot ID applied to eastern Black families indicates a code. Those families that I’ve seen fit within the same pattern as the ‘white’ families. If the Blackfoot code theory were correct, then we’d see it in a random assortment of surnames and locations, but the surnames and locations have always fit the same patterns as everyone else’s.
I think it’s just a veiled kind of racism that wants to diminish the claims to Native American heritage to any family that also has an African American heritage — a variation on the ‘one drop rule.’January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32574
I have to agree with you on the one drop rule. Our family has often left out researching anything other than our African American lineage although we are clearly mixed. However, my grandmother did pass on to our generation that we were Blackfoot Indian. I could not figure out how until I stumbled upon this site. My family originated from many of the areas listed on this site and I keep finding interesting postings and surnames from the past that are helping me to find more information.
I noticed that your Maternal line has the surnames of Ward and Miller out of Bertie Co, NC. We have Wards & Millers on my maternal GF’s line. We believe that the Miller’s came from Bertie and our Ward’s were from Martin Co., NC. I have been trying to find out more information on this side of the family but I keep running into road blocks.
David Nickens married Rebecca Miller 14 Jul 1830 in Halifax Co., NC. They had four children. One of them was William Baker Nickens and he married Julia Ann Ward (from Martin Co, NC). Rebecca led a total of 61 people out of Halifax Co., NC to Ohio around 1861. The story states that they first stopped in Baltimore, MA before going to Ohio but I have no evidence of that or any explanation as to why they would go there.
I was told that Julia was indian, however I can not find anything on her. It is like she just appeared out of no where. Just curious if your family could be related. I have plenty of pictures and info from our annual family reunions which are held in Ohio & Indiana (Nickens, Ward & Odom).January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32575
Hello Eleigh40. I know that some of the Miller’s were Tuscarora Indian, because I saw that last name on a Reservation Deed. But I need to do more research on it.January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32579
I was told the same thing about the Millers. I have not been able to find any information on Rebecca Miller prior to her marriage to David Nickens.January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32660
Can some one explain to me the meaning of “one drop rule”. I have a sneaking suspicion we may have dropped one or two upon moving up north.January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32661
The ‘one drop rule’ refers to the old racial convention that having one drop of African blood makes one black (and therefore subject to hereditary slavery and the de facto economic institutions that followed).January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32667
Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (one drop law) wasn’t repealed until 1967 , with the Loving v Virginia case,
Don DollinsJanuary 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32684
My family was originally listed as mulatto on various census reports in the 1800’s and they did settle within the African American community. I assumed it was because of the “one drop rule.” My grandfather did not want us researching our past and he never claimed to be anything other than African American although he did not look it. My grandmother was the one who told us that we were part indian (Blackfoot on her side of the family). As for the Nickens family we know that they lived in VA before settling first in Hertford Co., NC and then moving on to various counties in NC and other states. Some say that they are Caucasian, others say they are Indian and others like my family say they are African American.
This is a photo of my gggrandfather William Baker Nickens (the son of David Nickens & Rebecca Miller) and his surviving children in Clark County, Ohio 1903. This was taken at the funeral of my gggrandmother Julia Ann (Ward) Nickens.January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32690
Thanks LindaJanuary 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #32753
Thanks for the response, my situations was just the opposite. My Mother moved up north and married into an Anglo family. Her Blackfoot heritage was never mentioned.
She told me of it when I was a little boy, and she knew she only had a few years to live. There are still close family members that I would not want to bring this up with, because they are unaware of it and would probably have a hard time accepting being triracial. They think we are all white. (Hee Hee)
Best ThreecrowsJanuary 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #33134
🙂 🙂 Knowing the Blackfoot Indians is history and understanding we do have. Many saying were said about, but we do believe they were a tribe or community of them. The Indians as a whole life and history have abolish or destroy in some way. The Europeans of America (New World) as it was cleed was not discover or the indians.
US. or Europen wrote what they the Native Indians to be. Blackfoot Indian to me are an intellegenc factor of indian society. Blackfoot indian has many terms for their name. One is that their foot wear was dyd black. They were separated from other indian because the chose too.
No matter what tribe of indians they migrate from other indian tribes or names. I am Blackfoot Indian/African Slave side. I feel my ties are strong because of the wrong doing whick were done to them. As part indian, and African Slave.
Native indians or Blackfoot Indians are the founder of the United States. The US. is the country and land. It was taken from they by all race of people.
A black man is president and never was on this soil. The leader of the Indian land. A Indian should be ruling this country, because the indian taught other ho survive in their country.
I am proud to part Blackfoot/Indian.
itconani wrote: There has ben an alarming amount of informtion streaming through the southeast in reference to “Blackfoot” indians in the region.
Most people are very strong about there family’s heritage coming from this group based on oral history. However, I believe with the utmost assurance that except for some remote locations (Hampton, VA.,Carlisle, PA,etc) there were no Blackfoot indians in the region.
The Blackfoot indians who were here were relatively late and related to the indian school movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. So where are all these Blackfoot indians coming from? The answer is very simple. Are these individuals indian? Absoloutely. Most Americans could not name you dozen tribal names – they just aren’t that informed. However some gropus have a widespread popularity – Cherokee, Navajo, Sioux (Lakota), Blackfeet, Seminole.
These groups for what ever reason, stick in history and peoples minds. Some where along the line people of mixed ancestory in the south new they were indian – but through generation had forgotten tribal names. Hence the lumbee (croatan, cherokee of Robeson Co.etc), the Monacan (buffalo ridge cherokee), the Indians of persons Co.(cherokee of Person co.)Haliwa Saponi (HALIfax and WArreen co.)etc.
The names of dominickers, brass ankles, redbones, mulungeon exist based on these triracial groups. Interesting enough, people ask their elders who are we? and they give the answer of Cherokee, Blackfeet, etc. because of oral tradition as recognizable indianess.
I cannot tell you how many Blackfeet i have met from Florida to New York. the list would be larger than some local tribal roles. What do they have in common? not very much, except they come from all over the east, they are indian with black and white mixed – looking for who they are.
Dont spend time researching the Blackfeet of the East. They are absent from the historical, anthropological, archeological, and cultural record in the Southeast. Chasing ghost does not help. lets find the real tribal groups from real records and real oral traditions of settlement patterns. look for the families and the locations of peoples who never left!January 2, 2002 at 2:34 pm #33163
Hmmm…. the guy has a point. Looking at historical records and keeping note of the locations of tribes during certin points of time is “key” I guess. I do know that there were MANY scattered tribes and individual clans in the Piedmont prior to contact. The VA/SC/NC or even county historical societies can give refrences to tribes and clans that once lived in these areas. Many old maps are availible, but some are in doubt because of changing boarders ie SC/NC and county lines in certin years. It’s unique that only Eastern Siouan decendants claim the “Blackfeet” thing in the east. How many Algonquians or Iriqouis do you see claiming “Blackfeet”? I know for a fact that many in my family claim the whole “Blackfeet” thing and it maybe true, but because of slavery it’ll be almost impossible to prove on paper. Think a little about this, who cared about keeping records on slaves Indian or Negro? After all, there’re not supposed to be any Indians in VA right? All I pull out of the federal censuses are a bunch of “Mulatto’s”. However looking at historical records in the counties in which they live it was home to the Monacan, and Saponi. On a historical John Smith record it was said that the Saponi were like a sub-division of the Monacan early on. Not to mention my family that claims “Blackfeet” also lived in Albemarle, VA (Not to mention Louisa, and Orange counties, VA) not to far from the mound the Monacan or Saponi used to burry thier ancestors. The likeliness of me being a decendant of these people are pretty good. However because of the whole not being able to prove it on paper thing, there are some that will debate it.
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