Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Sample of Mixed Blood Ubiquity: Representative Family Histories

The extant records concerning the traders and other countrymen are uneven in their coverage of mixed-blood families. Although only the better-known families were chronicled in the works of early regional historians and authors commenting on the Indian tribes, the existence of scores of surnames within these records indicates that mixed-blood families were widespread in the Choctaw nation. Over the space of several generations the mixed-blood families of the traders and countrymen began to move more and more towards the culture of their white kinsmen, especially if the white progenitor had stayed in one area and recognized the paternity of his offspring. As time passed many of these mixed bloods were assumed to be whites by travelers and new corners into the region who did not know of their Indian heritage. The mixed bloods also married into white society on occasion and the resulting family lines blended smoothly into whiteness with little other than family tradition to trace their origins. There exist in the South today countless families who can trace their heritage back to the earliest mixed bloods. One case in point originates in the mid-eighteenth century with the noted Scotch trader with the Creeks, Lachlan McGillivray.1 McGillivray, born in Scotland in 1719, journeyed to the New World as a youth and eventually lived in the Creek country of present-day Alabama. There he met and married the mixed-blood Sehoy Marchand, whose parents were a French merchant and a Creek Indian girl (see chart 2). Chart 2 Descendent Chart for Marchand/Dye Lineage Creek Wife – Captain Marchand Lachlan McGillivray – Sehoy Marchand Sophia McGillivry – Benjamin Durant Samuel Brashears – Rachael...

Choctaw Trade and Coexistence in the Nation

After the discovery of the new world, trade quickly became the most important interaction between the American natives and the colonists. For the Indians it was an extension and continuation of their inter-tribal practices. Reuben Gold Thwaites, an early nineteenth-century student of the American frontier, stated that “the love of trade was strong among the Indians,” and that they had a complex “system of inter-tribal barter.”1 This existing trade system allowed the Europeans to quickly establish their own trade with the various tribes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. One of the foremost Indian trading nations was the Choctaw tribe, followed closely by their Chickasaw cousins. Indeed, there is evidence that the Mobilian trading language of the southeastern Indians had strong connections to the Choctaw tongue.2 It has been suggested that this lingua franca was partially the result of centuries of inter-tribal trading that stretched as far as the Pacific ocean.3 By the mid-eighteenth century the southeastern Native Americans in particular had developed a growing appetite for manufactured items, especially metals and textiles, and they began cooperating in long-term trading relationships with the Europeans. These complex relationships involved cultural accommodations that took into account the Indian’s view of trading as more than a mere profit making endeavor. On the European side, traders needed more than an attractive inventory to assure success. They also had to understand native cultural practices, obey them, and develop an affinity with the Indian state of mind. The success of some of them is demonstrated by their marriages into the Indian nations which resulted in mixed-blood children. Indians offered not only furs, skins, the bounty of the land...

An Affinity For Trade

Despite their early encounters with Hernando DeSoto, whose ruthless exploitation of the Native Americans was unabashedly cruel, the Southeastern Indians greeted white men with peaceful cooperation. Later European arrivals found that their success in the Gulf wilderness depended largely upon peace with the native inhabitants, or at least peace with one of the larger tribes.1 Because no large deposits of gold or other precious metals were found, the Spaniards relegated the region to outpost status and made no major effort to colonize beyond settlements at Pensacola and later Mobile and New Orleans, and thus they had relatively little contact with the Indians until late in the colonial period. Even the French effort to control the Mississippi River at the turn the eighteenth century attracted no large population. Anchorages at Biloxi and later Mobile were followed by settlements at New Orleans, Natchez and some points between, but these small colonies did not amount to more than a few hundred settlers for quite a few years, especially after the 1720 John Law land debacle, a scheme to develop the Mississippi Valley on which Law’s Company of the Indies bilked investors and would be settlers.2 This meant that the Indian population, estimated between 65,000 and 170,000 by informed sources, remained the dominant group in the area until the early years of the nineteenth century.3 This Indian dominance of numbers modulated Choctaw relations, first with the Spanish and the French, briefly the English, and finally the Americans. As long as the Indians could muster superior forces in the field they could manipulate the Europeans living in their midst. The several sections of the Choctaw tribe...

Introduction, Choctaw Mixed Blood

One of the most controversial areas of American history is that of Indian/white relations and the federal policies, which led to Indian Removal. In the early and middle nineteenth century the United States government embarked upon a program of wholesale government-sponsored emigration of tribes residing within the various states and territories.1 Later called the “Trail of Tears” this official program of tribal displacement was long the focus of American Indian policy and the genesis of the present-day reservation system. Although several northeastern and eastern tribes had been displaced earlier, the removal of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole nations (later known collectively as the Five Civilized tribes) from the rich cotton lands of antebellum Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee in the 1820’s and 30’s sparked an emotional debate throughout the United States. This study will identify a sizable population of Choctaw mixed bloods — coexisting comfortably with the full-blood population — who effectively facilitated the Indian land acquisition policy of the federal government. Leading ultimately to removal, this land policy was designed by President Thomas Jefferson to attract settlers for militia purposes into the contested strategic area of the Old Southwest in the early years of the 19th century. In order to study these individuals in proper context a review of the history of the Old Southwest from about the time of American acquisition of the territory in 1795 to Removal in the 1830s is necessary. By addressing the political and international conditions during this period we can fully appreciate why various events evolved as they did. One of the major problems in past Removal studies has been...

Choctaw Mixed Bloods and the Advent of Removal

Choctaw Mixed Blood and the Advent of Removal: This dissertation by Samuel James Wells lists the names and families of the known mixed bloods and examines their role in tribal history, especially regarding land treaties during the Jeffersonian years preceding Removal. This dissertation includes a database of over three thousand names of known and probable mixed bloods drawn from a wide range of sources and therefore has genealogical as well as historical value.

Page 2 of 212

Pin It on Pinterest