Genealogy is the research, tracing, and study of family lineages and their history. Many techniques and resources are used by genealogists, which include the family's historical records (notations in bible, for example), oral traditions that have been passed down, genetic analysis, and other records, such as birth, baptism, and marriage certificates. Genealogists will generally build a pedigree chart of the family members. There will often be notations made about historical facts found or topics of interest, such as the fact that the 8th great-grandfather was the Admiral of the British Navy or the 6th great-grandmother was the daughter of a Huron Chief. A person may have many reasons for establishing family genealogy. Most people who visit this website are looking for those links in their bloodline that will enable them to enroll in a tribe that is related to their ancestors. Some people want to record their family history for the generations that will follow them.
Be advised! Genealogy is time-consuming. You can get lost in time past. However, it is fun, interesting, educating, and fulfilling. You will learn so much about yourself by studying your ancestry. In some cases, it can be alarming.As you research and discover who your ancestors are and more about their lifestyle you many find the answers to many questions you've always had, such as . . . Why do you love to make baskets? Why do you prefer to be outside over being in the house? Where did you get the talent for playing the flute? Where did your aptitude for working with natural or herbal medicines come from?
Your genealogy can be important to your sense of well-being by discovering who you are. But, it is extremely important if you are researching your Native American history, if you want to be accepted into a tribe. The proof is in the research. There are many who claim to be of Native American ancestry - to have Native American blood. These individuals want to be Indian, perhaps because it sounds romantic? Perhaps because they think they will get special benefits? Perhaps because they may be recognized for greatness if they manage to become a chief?
Please be advised that being of Native American blood is something to not be taken lightly. Yes, it makes one feel good about oneself. It makes one feel rooted. Deep feelings of belonging are felt. However, just "wanting& quot; to have Native American blood does not "make" someone Native American. We do appreciate one's desire to belong to our People. A person will not be rejected as an outcast (unless he/she is found to be dishonest and has a desire to do harm) and we do have many that belong to our tribe as Associate Members. They participate in our sacred and traditional rituals, standing right beside us. However, they can not become an elder or chief. Those positions within the tribal family must be held by blood members of the tribe. There have been tribal chiefs in the distant past who were adopted by the tribe and not of blood; but, those instances were rare. Plus, things are different today. Our tribal life was disrupted in the 1600's and today, we must jealously guard against imposters who want to claim Native American ancestry to become a leader. We must beware, because they have hidden agendas and most often mean to harm us and our families.
Therefore, as you research your genealogy and if you have the intention to join our tribe, the Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation, we welcome you. But, keep in mind that your ancestry will be checked and verified. We have found that our members are all related, sharing the same ancestry. If you are found to be family, we will rejoice with you and celebrate when we meet you.
About Names and Spellings
When researching your Native American ancestry, you will find many unusual spellings of the same name. Our tribal ancestry (Koasek) was most often recorded by the Jesuits, who were missionaries sent to our homeland to convert us to their religion; that is, they intended to "save& quot; us from our "savage ways."Many names recorded by the Jesuits include the number "8" because they did not have any way to translate the sound, which has a nasal sound like "ouh." Frequently, you will also find the word "dit" with more than one last name. Following are some examples:
Marais dit Desmarais
Guyon dit Lemoine dit Lemoyne
Rheault dit Rault dit Raoul dit Reux
The following link gives an in-depth explanation of the use of "dit" names: Francogene.com
Genealogical and historical Research
To help you get started with your research, please visit the following links:
Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society
Or send mail to: P.O.Box 65128 Burlington, VT 05406-5128
- Free Introduction to Genealogy Course (this is very helpful)
- Researching Your Northeast Métis Ancestors by Chief Paul Bunnell
The above links are just a beginning. As you travel through time, you will discover many helpful websites on your own. However, if you are researching because you are pursuing enrollment in our tribe, please visit our web page on Enrollment before you get started.
Chief & Tribal Genealogist Paul Bunnell
Also called Chief Gwilawato (He who looks for something)