Read carefully. There will be a test.
By Glen Davis
In researching your family history, you have found the following information
about your ancestors:
On your fathers side,
his great grandfather was born in Switzerland of Swiss parents, and his
great grandmother was born in Austria of Austrian parents.
Shortly after they were married, they decided to emigrate to the United
States. They became naturalized citizens of the U.S.
Their son, your fathers grandfather, was born in New Jersey, and married
a girl from New York, whose parents were both born in Ireland, had emigrated
and become naturalized citizens of the United States.
This couple, your fathers parents, had a son, your father, who was born
in Texas. He met your mother in Dallas, they were married and moved to
California now theres a myth! Hardly anyone leaves Texas for
Anyway, now lets look at your mothers side of the family.
Her great grandfather was the son of deportees from England who landed
in Oglethorps colony (Georgia, to be). This great grandfather, hunted
and fished, traded with the Indians. On a trading trip up the Tugaloo
River to Hiwasee town, he met and married a full blood Cherokee woman.
The couple decided to return down river, and build a farm southeast of
Danielsville (outside of Cherokee land). They lived the rest of their
lives on the farm. In 1838, when the Cherokee removal was beginning,
the great grandmother and great grandfather decided to stay on their farm.
They had a daughter (your mothers grandmother) who married one of the
neighbors sons, a family of new immigrants from Scotland. This couple
decided to try their fortunes out west. So they moved to Mississippi.
Their daughter (your mother) was born there, and went to Dallas to attend
SMU... (guess how this ends up).
She met your fathers father at a tea on the SMU campus, eventually got
married, and had your father.
Now heres the test.
1. Are you a citizen of the:
(1) United States?
(2) Switzerland ?
(3) Ireland ?
(4) Scotland ?
(5) Austria ?
(6) Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma ?
2. Are you entitled to become a citizen of any the nations you did
3. Are you entitled to claim a Swiss ancestry?
4. Are you entitled to claim that you are Cherokee?
The correct answers are:
1. The United States, because you were born in the United States
of citizen parents.
2. Based on the facts given, no because each of your ancestors
voluntarily gave up their citizenship in those other nations when
they became citizens of the United States.
3. Yes, if you can prove, using generally accepted genealogy research
methods, the connection of your family to Switzerland.
4. No, because you are not a citizen of one of the Federally recognized
Cherokee nations or bands. When referring to your Indian grandparents,
it is more accurate, and respectful of citizens of recognized tribes to
say I am of Cherokee ancestry or words to that effect.
This one question could be the subject of an entire article on its own.
Here, I just wanted to give some general advice on how to talk about your
various ancestries. And I will say that in my personal experience, citizens
of various tribes, tend to be offended when anyone says they are _______
(fill in any tribal name), when they are not enrolled members of that
tribe. My opinion is that they are entitled to be offended by such
Here endeth the example.