Friday, January 18, 2008

Where is that Indian Princess hiding?

When you were growing up did anyone in your family talk about that "Indian Princess" that was supposed to be among your ancestors?

If you are of Acadian or French-Canadian descent you most likely did.

My grandmother and then my mother talked about this connection quite often. Strange thing: when I researched my mother's Levesque side of the family I never found one Native connection. When I researched my father's side of the family I found one I had never expected to find.

A researcher by the name of Frank Binette at the American-Canadian Genealogical Society in Manchester, New Hampshire used to say "if they are there they will show up and you will find them". Everyone doesn't agree with that but I have always believed Frank. Frank stopped going to ACGS because of ill health. Now in his mid to late 80's, Frank was taught how to do genealogical research by his mother starting him off when he was only nine or ten years old. You can see why I trust what he says.

Anyhow it is true that today everyone hopes to find a Native connection. Often for ulterior motives which is quite unfortunate. I have always believed that if we are not after the truth/facts when we do our family research and history, then what is the sense? I want to know who I am through my heritage and not who I "might" be through want or desire. That just doesn't work for me.

Today some people read the very old records and give them their own twist and interpretation totally out of touch with what life was like back in the 1600-1700's. I call that "heritage by desire/want". Why not leave the interpretation of these very old documents to the experts. As a rule the experts are open to the truth and the facts and do not hide or fabricate or move away from what the facts tell them/us. To believe they do hide the facts and the truth from us is quite ludicrous.

The Acadian Ancestral Home contains my lineage to Marie Aubois who married Jean Roy dit Laliberte. Marie's mother was Native and I assume Mi'kmaq though that part cannot be proven. Remember, the proof is in the pudding so I simply say she was "Native". The fact that her name was "Aubois" at the time of her marriage to Jean one has to believe she was Métis meaning that her Native mother had married a European.

In addition to posting my lineage to Marie Aubois I also posted the following information regarding Native Americans:

Abenaki History, Acadian/Native Marriages, Maliseet History, Metis History, Mi'kmaq History, Mi'kmaq Marriages, Montagnais History (Michel Hache dit Gallant's mother is said to have been Montagnaise), My Native Am. Lineage, Native Languages and Native Spirituality.

Following the above you will find the "Jesuit Relations".
All of this information can be accessed at the Acadian Ancestral Home. Come on by...


You cousin,


Michelle said...

Hi Lucie, I share your sentiment. I heard of about the "Indian Princess" on the Robillard side of family all of my life. And I never once doubted it as my grandfather was known as Chief Grey Wolf within the Indian Cultural scene in Lowell, MA. There were newspaper articles written about him and his activities in the Lowell Sun. He made teepees, regalia, jewelry and even taught me how to bead on a loom, he participated in pow-wows and in the end he was a respected elder within the Indian community here in Lowell. However, since I have become a genealogy hobbiest I am now searching for the facts. And in doing so I have been able to trace my whole Robillard line back to France but unfortunately I can not find that "Indian Princess" As much as I hate to believe that there is no native connection I think I must. But I have learned something from all of this, I have learned that one can be native in spirit as well as in blood and it's really just us genealogists that care about the blood so much. Take care, Lucie.


LucieMC said...

Hi Michelle,

Thank you for your comment on my blog.

The truth of the matter is that as genealogists it is ultimately important that we find accurate facts and that we share the truth of who we are and the truth of who our ancestors were. So anyone can be who they wish to be in spirit but that "in spirit" does not make them anyone other than who they truly are.

I believe that wherever our research leads us we should be very proud of our ancestral roots because each ethnic group has a story to tell. So not matter who and no matter what our descendancy might be our forebears worked hard to be successful wherever they went.

In America our french ancestors were denied work for simply being french. That is why so many of them anglicized their names. Shop and companies would hang signs at their entries saying "French need not apply" - so all ethnic groups struggled to succed even in American known so well as the "melting pot" for all immigrants.

By the way before reading your comment sometime this past week I did come across some articles online about Grey Wolf's history being part of a celebration taking place in Lowell, Ma.


Acadian & French-Canadian Ancestral Home

Anonymous said...

Hello Lucie,
I love your blog! I too have heard tales and rumors about that Indian Princess in my family. Unfortunately, I have not been able to prove or disprove that story because that line has proven to be a dead-end me. This family line has an ancestor leaving Normandy France and going to Canada. His name was Donald Belmer (Bellehumre?) and he married a woman by the name of Margery Grant who was from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. One of their sons is my great grandfather Charles G. Belmer.

I'm from New Hampshire, USA and have no idea how to proceed with Canadian research. Any ideas would be very much appreciated!

Christine Rosset