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Why do so many people that claim Native ancestry specifically say Cherokee? Why not any other tribe/nation?

Several factors.For one, it was a large tribe in the east, came into contact with Whites rather early, was known to intermarry with Whites, and also described as one of the so-called “Civilized Tribes.” This means they took to European modes of living and technology quickly and were more advanced that western tribes, in the eyes of the European American settlers.However, to really clarify how these myths came into White families you have to understand the context for settlement and the geography involved.Take a look at this map:Notice how large that Cherokee territorial claim was at one time? Well, now consider the movement of White American population. They pushed west from seaboard colonial footholds.Tribal populations plummeted and lands were ceded. So, basically, these settlers were moving into formerly Cherokee territory. Lands claimed by them anyway.But, the historical Cherokee settlement were concentrated here:They were never up in to Virginia or Kentucky, etc. The claims were essentially hunting grounds and territory that they laid claim to as a military and political power in the area.But, as Whites moved into these ceded lands, they were living in former “Cherokee Territory.” So, if a distant ancestor was said to be Indian, the presumption might be that they were “Cherokee.”This process started in the early 1700s. Notice how much land was ceded even by the Revolutionary War era?This cession of land continued through the late 1700s and early 1800s.Until the population was concentrated within this final Cherokee Nation (East):Even with this reduced territory, the Cherokee Nation (East) was still being inundated by White settlers.You basically have a whole lot of White Americans family lineages that trace back to settlers that pushed into and through former Cherokee lands. The ironic thing is that many of these families actually received lands that Cherokee had to give up. And modern descendants will find their ancestors listed on the “Cherokee Land Lottery” lists and assume this means that they were Cherokees somehow.A lot of these family myths get started like the game of Telephone. Where the original message gets relayed differently withe the retelling. Details change or get added, the story line can either get simplified or embellished, etc. In some cases, there might indeed be very remote Indian ancestry along a certain lineage from more eastern tribes. But, the details and exact location of the ancestor on the family tree gets lost, and “Cherokee” becomes the claimed tribe.In other instances, genealogical “brick walls” - meaning ancestors that are bit vague or unknown - tend to see a lot of theorizing. A great grandmother whose parentage or background history is unclear to living descendants will say that she was “dark” and maybe she was of Indian ancestry. This, again, gets streamlined over the generations. And great great great granny soon is described as a Cherokee maiden by a growing number of descendants all inheriting this myth. The story gets embellished, passed along, entrenched and then adopted as a pseudo-identity. The story itself becomes the claim of “heritage.”This is like the well-known case involving Elizabeth Warren. This is very common.Another aspect of this phenomenon is downplaying African-White admixture. So, families that had mixed ancestry from early seaboard settlements adopted an “Indian” identity, rather than the “mulatto” label. Within White society, having a little Indian blood was seen as “okay.” (think Pocahontas descendants, the elite of Virginia society), but acknowledging Black ancestry, could literally see your civil rights curbed and you might face real socio-economic consequences. Better to keep that a secret. The “Indian blood” claim became the pass, or the acceptable excuse for the darker features.Finally, another huge factor in creating these myths were the White families that moved west through the southeastern states, and eventually ended up as White settlers to Indian Territory prior to the break up of the tribal nations there. Indians were being enumerated and receiving title to 80 or 160 acre plots in the late 1800s and early 1900. A lot of White settlers coming into what is now Oklahoma tried to jump on that bandwagon and claim that they too were “part-Cherokee.” Great granny was said to be Cherokee, don’t ya know! She must have been from old Cherokee Nation east when the family lived in western and them moved through Tennessee. That was Cherokee territory too, don’t ya know!Fortunately, most of these fraudulent applications were denied. However, this was also in tandem with the eastern Cherokee claims settlement. This was where eastern Cherokees who had been removed to Indian Territory were entitled to monetary compensation. This was going on in the early 1900s, and American newspapers were falsely reporting that anyone claiming Cherokee blood might be eligible for the payout. Or course, this was limited to actual Cherokee citizens only, and descendants of those that had been removed on the Trail of Tears. But, anyway these rumors about a quick buck brought out a cavalcade of poor white families. There was not negative ramifications for putting in a false application, so this incentivized making such claims. The commission was flooded. I mean, tens of thousands of false applications.Now, where does that come into play for modern descendants?Well, these shady White people continued to have kids. And their kids had kids. This population (which, again, represents tens of thousands of original applicants) expanded over the generations. And the details that the family claimed to be “part-Cherokee” sort of got passed along. Not on that, but often modern descendants of these fraudsters will find their ancestors original applications and ask “Why would they lie!?” It’s easier to assume the ancestor’s intentions were sincere and valid, and that they would only have put in an application for Dawes or Guion Miller if there had been some validity to the claims of Cherokee ancestry. So, they tend to latch onto the rejected applications as proof of some Cherokee connection. It’s easier to accept that the ancestors at least believed they had that blood, rather than accept that they were shady shysters trying to get land or money through false claims.And it doesn’t even necessarily have to be those that filed false claims. Often, families that descend from White settlers to Oklahoma find their ancestors living in “Indian Territory” and assume that means they had a Native American connection. Why else would they be there? They also tended to have a southern ancestral background. So, they too would trace back to “former Cherokee territory” areas back east. The modern descendants might posit that the ancestors were moving into Cherokee Nation (west) to be “with their relatives.” But, the reality is, Indian Territory - including Cherokee Nation - was majority White by the 1870s. It was predominantly White by the 1880s. And by 1890s, Indians were a very small minority. By early 1900s, and the height of dawes enumeration and allotment, and right at Oklahoma statehood, Indians made up only 9% of the territorial population.So, again, they were flooded by Whites in the east. Forced out of their lands and pushed west. Then, the southern White families steadily moved west over time (taking up ceded Indian lands as they moved), and eventually their descendants did the same pattern in Indian Territory. Always taking land.The hallmark of these myths involve distant ancestors, usually female, that do not have proven parentage, and no connection to actual, known Cherokee families.There are also demographic considerations that make these claims utterly impossible, just by the numbers alone. But, that is for another answer.

What are five things you would like to experience on this Earth before you die?

This answer may contain sensitive images. Click on an image to unblur it.Only five? Man, you aren’t gonna make this easy. I’m a pretty ambitious person, but I’ll try and narrow it down to a top five.#1: Travel internationally for a minimum of 365 days straight.Alright, this one’s actually on the horizon for me.My wife and I are planning on pulling up our roots in Oklahoma City sometime in early 2019 to travel the world full-time.We’ll be starting in our own backyard with a US road trip, then hopping planes and exploring other parts of the world. Destination #1? Thailand. We’ll be spending 1–3 months (you know, as long as our visas will allow) living on the beach on one of Thailand’s beautiful islands.Koh Phi Phi Don, maybe?[Image Source]After that? Time’ll tell! Got a recommendation? Let me know in the comments!#2: Have a large, diverse, close-knit family.Although we definitely have a heart for travel and adventure, my wife and I also look forward to settling down somewhere with land to start a family.And when I say “start a family,” I think I actually mean “start an empire.” My wife would love 7 kids. I think I’m more leaning toward 3–5. Realistically, we’ll probably end up settling for 10.We’d like to have both biological children and adopted children. We don’t really have any “preferences,” since that seems kinda … Weird and transactional? I don’t know.Wherever we end up adopting from—either in the US or outside—we’d like to travel to the child and bring them home ourselves, rather than have them escorted.And then we want to pour into our family and, in turn, teach them to pour into others.#3: Build a $1M+ ARR business with my wife.Say what you will about network marketing, my wife and I are huge fans of the business model done right. We’ve been incredibly blessed by our business so far, and we’re on track to start creating the freedom and adventure we’ve been craving.Short-term (this year), the goal is to generate enough monthly revenue to travel full-time (and in style) on that income alone. Longer-term (over the next 2–3 years), our goal is to grow the business into something that generates $1M a year for our family.This’ll give us the financial freedom to travel, invest, tithe, and get involved in missions and charities to our heart’s content.#4: Publish a New York Times best-selling book.I’m a writer, coach, and content creator by trade.Right now, it’s on a relatively small scale and under someone else’s name. But one day soon? I want what I’m doing now to be dwarfed by my future successes.I want to publish a best-selling non-fiction book that positively impacts the lives of my readers. And using that as a platform, I want to teach, speak, and coach around the world.Can you say TED talk?#5: Celebrate 50 years married to my best friend.If you can’t tell, I’m head-over-heels in love with my wife and best friend, Amber.Over the last 2+ years (yeah, yeah, I know: We’re babies), I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Don’t get me wrong: The last two years have probably been the hardest of my life.But I’ve never grown more. I’ve never been more in love. I’ve never been more excited for the future. And I know this is just the beginning.And I want to celebrate 50 years married to my best friend on November 21st, 2065. RSVP now for an invite!(Also, past Connor: Seriously, brother, what’s up with the hair and sideburns? Do something about that, man.)Of course, I’d love to celebrate 60 years in 2075. But I want to make it to at least 50 before I do something stupid and get myself killed.Narrowing it down to five wasn’t easy.There’s definitely a lot more I’d like to—and plan to—accomplish over the course of my life, God willing and body able.But if those five things were all I accomplished … I think I could still die a very happy, very fulfilled, very lucky man.

Which Native American tribe had the greatest successes in combat with the US Army and local militias and why?

The Abenaki of the Northeast quadrant of the present US and Canada are often underestimated when compared to the historical importance of the Iroquois Confederacy. Yet the Abenaki and their allies were very effective during the colonial period of American history. Before European contact, the Abenaki (excluding the Pennacook and Mi’kmaq of Maine) were estimated to have numbered as many as 40,000 people.As settlers continued to populate New England, many of the Abenaki retreated north into Quebec, Canada. Those who stayed joined with the Wabanaki Confederacy to fight the encroachment upon their lands.From my book on the subject:“Under orders from Frontenac, transmitted through the Jesuits at the missions, the Abenaki and other allied Indians raided up and down the New England frontier during the period of King William's War (1688-1698). The French-inspired Indian raid against the British settlement at Schenectady in the dead of winter in 1690 was the first of its type, and it was particularly successful in creating panic among the British who generally felt that the specter of Indian attack ended with the first snows of winter. The attacks on Salmon Falls in New Hampshire and Fort Loyal in Maine won many additional native tribes to the side of the French as the unfortunate white women and children who survived the trek to Quebec were ransomed by the sympathetic French governor. Thus began the first of a series of frontier wars between the French and British for control of the North American continent. …“A coalition of northern tribes with the Abenaki had shown remarkable resistance to the Mohawk [Iroquois] by "utterly destroying" a large party of their warriors in New England. … The always faithful French-allied Abenaki on the New England border had been dealt a severe and unsettling chastisement by Rogers' Rangers at the mission of St. Francis early in the conflict (1759). These had been the bulwark of French-Indian power in the east, and they were now hanging aloof licking their wounds.Rogers’s plan for attack was simple but effective. They would pounce on the village in three divisions, converging on the target from the south, east, and north. Amherst’s orders were clear: revenge could be taken, but Indian women and children were to be spared. Unfortunately, the semi-darkness, coupled with the excitement and fever of battle, meant that deadly mistakes were bound to be made.“[In the American Revolution] Certain tribes were friendly to the patriots, including a small number of Delawares, all the Stockbridge and Mohegan Indians, and many of the Abenakis of New Hampshire and Maine. … The powerful Abenaki nation of New England had no great love for either "Britons or Bostonians." Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander in Canada, seems to have underestimated the independent spirit of the Abenaki. He ordered them about in an arrogant and condescending manner and refused them presents of arms and ammunition unless they proclaimed claimed undivided support for the crown.“Nonetheless, Washington was surprisingly pleased when he was greeted by a delegation of Abenaki leaders at the camp at Cambridge overlooking Boston in 1775 pledging their services in the cause of liberty even before the British had evacuated the city. Abenaki warriors served as scouts for Benedict Arnold's expedition up the Kennebec River of Maine and were standing with the patriots in the Canadian snow before the walled city of Quebec in 1776. Congress responded to the Abenaki in the most positive terms possible, and the defeat of Burgoyne's army at Saratoga in 1777 helped immensely to cement good relations between the patriots and the tribe. Joseph Louis Gill, the son of two whites adopted into the Abenaki nation during the French wars, proved an effective representative of the patriots among his people. Known as the "White Chief of the Saint Francis Abenaki," he seems to have formed around himself a hard core of native support for the patriots.“Estimates of the number of Abenaki warriors available to prosecute a war vary widely from as few as 200 to as many as 2,000. A company of Indian Rangers was formed under Gill, who was granted an officer's commission by Congress. These native rangers patrolled trolled the northern forests along the border with Canada freeing the patriots of the task.“However, as the war dragged on and the outcome grew less certain, Gill increasingly flirted with the British in Canada. This somewhat split Abenaki loyalty. Thereafter, groups of Abenaki scouts, ostensibly on opposite sides in the war, carefully avoided each other in the wilderness areas in the hope that at the end of the war the whole tribe might with some assurance gain an advantage from the ultimate winner of the conflict.”See:James M. Volo; Dorothy Denneen Volo. Family Life in Native America (Family Life through History) (Kindle).See also:Calloway, Colin G. The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1660-1800: War, Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, Stand Alarmed, Militia in America 1607-1783 (Traditional American History Series 2nd Edition) eBook: James M. Volo: Kindle Store

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