So, What Are You Made Of?

28 May

I run into people all the time who are descendants of Native Americans, mostly Cherokee of course. Does that make them Native American? I really don’t think so. I would think that someone who lives, is officially recognized by, or at the very least interacts with their respective tribe (outside of reservation casinos) on a regular basis, would be more considered Native American.

Personally, my 8th Great Grandmother, Pidianske (Marie Mathilde)(1665-1717), on my father’s side can be traced to the Abenaki Penobscot tribe. Even though I was born in New Jersey over 50 years ago, there has been so much water mixed into the bloodline since Pidianske that I am now, according to my DNA results, less than 1% Native American. I know, right?

I’ve been told that I resemble in looks to Chief Martin LeBorgne of the MOHAWK COUNCIL OF KAHNAWÁ:KE in Quebec…hmmmm…there’s one pic on his FB page that maybe if I look sideways a little and squint with one eye… He’s a Tribal Chief for goodness sake — perhaps we are extremely distant relatives but that doesn’t make me Native American.

So, in the story of Sacajawea’s life, when she was 12-years-old, she and some other Agaidika Lemhi Shoshone girls (after a small battle where people were killed) were kidnapped by a group of Hidatsa. When she was 13, Chief LeBorgne (as the French trappers/traders called him because he had only one eye) of the Hidatsa tribe lost her to a trader/explorer named Toussaint Charbonneau gambling in a game of hands. Then she got pregnant, went on an exploratory trip with two guys named Lewis and Clark, saved them from hostile tribes and hunger and, as they say, the rest is history. No relation but a cool story about someone called LeBorgne who was drunk and lost at gambling; and knew a really fantastic young woman named Sacajawea. 😉

I have traced quite a bit of my family tree and most of my ancestors went from France to New Foundland, Canada and then the United States…what they did before that is anyone’s guess but I’m working on finding out. There are LeBorgnes in West Indies and Haiti, too. Apparently, they got around. Some other inputs in the form of other last names from dad’s line have been traced to England; mom’s side include Poland, German, Austria and Russia. There’s a chance that some of her relatives are/were Jewish but no one will admit to it (I think that stems for that little WWII thing) and if I am, just like my Native American heritage, it’s less than 1%.

Why do we want to be Native American? Who knows, really? I’m sure there is some part of us that longs for a noble and proud lineage. We can see what Russel Cobb had to say about Tribe Wannabes – perhaps it could be about money or making people feel sorry for us.

Many don’t really know their history because most people don’t know how to research or don’t care to research their family histories; oh, and it’s a bit expensive. “That’s what grandma, grandpa, mom or dad told me and that’s good enough for me.” Besides, some people would cringe to know their Native American ancestors used to fight and conquer other tribes, you know, because they were always so peaceful and one with the land. In reality, they would make slaves of some captives and in other cases they would cut off and force their captives to eat their own noses before they burned them. Just to make a point, I’m sure. “Dude, don’t get captured by Madockowando, he’ll make you eat your own nose before he kills you.” If you wanted your enemies to fear you, I’m sure doing that once or twice would get your point across. No surprise he was murdered at a treaty council meeting—maybe the other council members didn’t want to take a chance of having to eat their own noses.

Though most indigenous peoples died because of diseases brought over by Europeans, at some point in our history, someone, somewhere got upset by the way the Native peoples were treated and sometime ago a general population started to feel something for a people that never should have gone by the way of genocide. Yes, genocide. A peoples and their ways of life that were all but destroyed by others over land, religion, ignorance, and just plain evil-hearted meanness. If you research the real American history you will find many accounts of massacres, murders, and purposely infecting some tribes with diseases such as small pox and cholera. Not everyone murdered “Indians,” but they also couldn’t or didn’t do anything to stop it.

Some of us may be directly descendant from Native peoples of the North Americas but will never know. Some of us know but will never be recognized because of our blood distance and will never be part of that world. Some of us are, or may be, and desire to champion the downfall of a society of long ago by evil, Christian, land-grabbing, Indian-hatin’ white people. Just know why you do what you do.

We live the lives that have been put before us and in the end, a very few of us will have made a mark and left a legacy in history; some will have been world or even civic leaders. Some of us will have been soldiers(sailors!) and others aid providers. Most of us will probably just walk along and hope that we’ll make it until the end having just been good, nice people not hurting or helping anyone. Some will hurt by not helping. Most of us will get our wish. We’re not all that different, you know, except the “really” bad people. 😉

I guess, in the long run, we’re all related somehow. If I can continue to trace my family tree back far enough, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find out I’m a descendant of Noah or even Adam and Eve themselves. Wouldn’t that be a kick?

Check ya later, Cuz!

Jay 🙂

Trivial additives

My DNA breakdown:

Europe 100%

  • Europe East 45%Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia Also found in: Germany, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Estonia, Bulgaria
  • Europe West 21% – Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein Also found in: England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic
  • Iberian Peninsula 11% – Spain, Portugal Also found in: France, Morocco, Algeria, Italy
  • Ireland 8% – Ireland, Wales, Scotland Also found in: France, England
  • Italy/Greece 7% – Italy, Greece Also found in: France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Turkey, Slovenia, Algeria, Tunisia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo
  • Great Britain 5% – England, Scotland, Wales Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy
  • Scandinavia 3%Sweden, Norway, Denmark Also found in: Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, the Baltic States, Finland

Not enough percents left over for Native American

Abenaki Penobscot lineage:
Assaminasqua was adoped by and became Abenaki Grand Sachem and he in turn later adopted Madockawondo. There are no specific records as to why these adoptions took place. It could have been because the chief had no sons; the boys were orphans from within their tribe or other tribes; or perhaps they were offspring of “lesser” wives and if the chief had no legitimate son(s) or their legitimate son(s) had died young. Assaminasqua died from a disease leaving Madockawondo as rightful heir and chief.

The following are excerpts from Aline Cormier – Acadian Roots (2007 – Present)

  • The Abenaquis were a tribe that belonged to Wabanaki Comferation along with the Passamaquaddy,Maliseet,Penobscot,and later the Migmaw were in the Confederation.Wabenaki means people of the dawn.The original Wabanaki Confederation was led by many famous Chiefs over the years up to the early 1700.The best known Chiefs were Edgermeret cousin of Madockawondo,Moxus his brother in law,Bomaseen his father in law and Madockawondo (my ancestor). The Abnaki formed an early attachment for the French, chiefly through the influence of their missionaries, and carried on an almost constant war with the English until the fall of the French power in America. These people lived mostly in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.The western Abenaqui livec in New Hampshire and Vermont areas.The eastern Abenaqui lived in Maine and the maritime Abenaqi lived near St John River and St Croix. The Abenaqui people had tempory campgrounds that they would meet at such places as Penobsot Falls,Mattawankeag.Later on many of the Abenaqui people moved into Canada and some settle in Becancourt Quebec,Sillery and St Francis near Pierville Quebec. My ancestors were the Penobscot tribe.
  • Until his death in 1698, Madokawando was the sole great chief of the Penobscots; he had his lieutenants who were in command of the warriors, led expeditions, and parleyed with the enemy when truces were made. But it was known everywhere that nothing was done without his son-in-law’s advice, and that the latter had only to express a wish for it to be instantly complied with.
  • Now Madockawondo lead and attack against Salem, Oyster River and Groton. The largest force of Indians to assemble for war against the English in Acadie were 300 Penobscot,Kennebec,and Maliceet warriors who were led in an attack agaisnt Salem,Oyster River and Groten led by Madockawando.I came across an article dated Feb 22 1691 saying that One of three Chief Sagamore was Madockawondo who sold 36 slaves captured in York in a previous onslaught,and all of his slaves were sold at the same price.
  • Now you have reached the part that tells you how Madockawando becomes my ancestor. Well Madockawanda had four lovely daughters, and there was this man who came from France with the Carignan-Salieres regiment by the name of Jean Vincent D’Abbadie de St Castin
  • This man started a fur trade in or near Penobscot, and he met Madockawando.Madockawando gave his daughters to St Castin which I will discuss next had children with these different women. But he only married one in the Catholic faith, her name was Pidianske, but she was given the Christian name of Marie Mathilde. She is the Indian Princess that I and many others descend from. Madockawando died around 1696 and his son-in-law St Castin became the new leader of the Penobscot Indians.
  • Isabeau de Bearn de Bonasse in Saint Castin.Around 1652 he became the Baron of Saint Castin.His father Jean-Jacques D’Abbadie was the Seigneur of St.Castin,of Herrere,d’Escout and d’Escou ,and the first Baron of Saint Castin.His mother Isabeau de Bearn de Bonasse was the daughter of Jacques Bearn de Bonasse and Madeleine de Laas, her family was more important than the Abbadie de St Castin. Her father was the Seigneur of Bonasse . Jean Vincent D’Abbadie was related to the Kings of France. Isabeau died of the plague leaving her son Jean Vincent orphaned at a very early age. Jean Vincent had a sister Marie born 1650 she married Jean de LaBaig, and a brother Jean-Jacques bor in 1651 the second Baron of Saint –Castin he died in 1674 without having any children.
  • Jean Vincent D’Abbadie was known to be quite a ladies man, and he had children with his Indian women, the daughters of Madockawonda. He had the following children with Marie Mathilde who is my ancestor.
  • Claire born around 1671 she married Paul Meunier around 1700, she died in Grand Pre in 1744
    Another daughter (unknown) around 1695 married a ? Meuneux dit Chateauneuf.
    Another unknown daughter married Philippe Meunier around 1695.
    Anastasie married Alexandre LeBorgne de Belisle December 4 1707 (Port Royal Registers). They are my ancestors.
    Bernard born around 1688 died 1704 on his way to France
    Bernard-Anselme born around 1689 married Charlotte D’Amour de Chauffours 1707 in Port Royal
    Jean-Pierre born around 1692 entered the Seminary as did his brother Bernard he died 1702
    Urseline born around 1696 married Louis D’Amour de Chauffours around 1715. Joseph married after 1728 wife unknown, he died after 2 March 1751
    Barenos married around 1725 wife unknown died 1746 of a knife wound received from his nephew who was an Indian.
    Jean Vincent D’Abbadie had a daughter with another one of his Indian wives, their daughter was Therese who married in Port Royal Dec 4 1707 to Philippe Mius d’Entremont.
    So Jean Vincent was given land on the Saint John River but he preferred staying in Pantagouet and when his father-in-law died, Jean Vincent became the new chief of the Penobscot Indians. Jean Vincent was having some difficulties in France with his siblings so he returned to France to try and settle things but he died there in Pau in 1707 leaving his widow with a big family.

Aline Cormier – Acadian Roots (2007 – Present)

Other references:

A fictional portrayal of historical figures:

Mary Hartwell Catherwood The Chase of Saint–Castin

Kindle price $0.00:



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2 responses to “So, What Are You Made Of?

  1. KtKat

    May 28, 2015 at 23:49

    My great maternal grandmother was Cherokee. Close enough for a partial college scholarship, but not close enough to identify with Native American culture. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John

    July 12, 2015 at 18:03

    The U.S. government has practiced geniside against Native Americans since they were encountered. The abuse continues today and it’s truly a crime!



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