Ruth's Genealogy

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

According to my Dad, his “Cherokee Grammaw”, Dovie C McBurnett, frequently dressed in Native American garb and decorated her house in that fashion, too. Hence his nickname for her. In fact, Dovie was a main incentive for me in beginning my family history research.

For 8 years, I have searched for some factual evidence of her Native American heritage. I have found but 1 indication of this, and that is “circumstantial” at best. Dovie and my great-grandfather were married in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1906. I do have a copy of that marriage license.

But being wed in Indian Territory does make one an Indian!

So was Dovie truly of Native American descent? Or perhaps her husband William Earl Hall? Dovie seems to have been a rather eccentric character, having married 6 husbands. Perhaps one day she just decided she wanted to be a Cherokee Indian!

I have searched numerous online databases looking for Dovie’s or William’s Indian heritage with no success. Census enumerations, the Dawes Rolls, Cherokee muster rolls… the list goes on and on. Still no definitive proof.

A few days ago, I met a new online McBurnett “cousin” and last night we spoke on the phone. This very nice lady made one comment that perked my ears up! She said my grandfather (Lonzo McBurnett, an older brother of my great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett) would not let my grandmother sign up on the indian rolls because he called it charity and he didn’t need it.

This means that the Native American heritage did come from Dovie’s line! But was it through the McBurnetts or the Browns (my second great-grandmother) or maybe the Jollys (my 3GGM)? At this point, I have no idea.

But I do have a new lead, a new clue to follow!


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