Life in Possum Holler

Saline County, Arkansas, United States
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09 August 2008

Wallace State professor Bob Davis helps trace Indian ancestors

Wallace State professor Bob Davis helps trace Indian ancestors

Friday, August 08, 2008
BILL PLOTTNews staff writer

Bob Davis said he can almost guarantee who will show up for one of his Native American genealogy workshops.

"I get a lot of people who have a family story about a Cherokee princess," he said. "I believe most Southern black and white families have some Native American heritage, even if they don't have family stories about a Cherokee princess."

Davis is director of the Family and Regional History Program at Wallace State-Hanceville"It's purely mathematics," Davis said of his theory about Indian heritage. "Take Pocahontas. She had one grandchild who lived to adulthood, yet today more than 1 million people are descendants of hers. The genealogy's been thoroughly done on that."

Consequently, it's likely most Southerners whose ancestors were around before the United States forcibly moved Indians from their lands in the early to mid-1800s have some Indian heritage. . . .

[My favorite part] "People try to put the cart before the horse. Put Pocahontas back in the box until you've done your basic genealogical research. You've got to know who you're looking for because the Indian records are all indexed by personal names," he said.

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