Not actually Native American

*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚⛄☕⛄・゜゚*:.。. .。.:*

The dna results from Ancestry came back and boy howdy, this was a trip for me and  I have so many flipping questions.

Okay let’s start off with Elizabeth. Great Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth Barker Pluard SmithShe is part African. The test went back to the 1700s for me and Grandma Farm’s test hasn’t started processing so I’m not sure what it’ll say for her. For me, >1% Benin/Togo came back. Elizabeth was mixed. Not by a whole lot but she was mixed and it does explain why Mary looks African. So yea, that question has been answered. She was cared for by people called the Barkers but I changed the name to La Fleur because on one of her records that was the last name given and voila! More records for the Barker’s appeared. They were of European descent. So essentially, these white (gah I hate using color terms to describe people) people were caring for a girl of mixed ethnicity and an unknown little sister who died during the Native American attack. She was mixed, had a little sister, and the Barker’s were her adopted family. The Barker’s were related to the La Fleur’s through the adopted mother.

Now the interesting part of the dna test. I am 2% Native American. 

And by that I mean New Mexico and down. So really it’s Hispanic. I’m 2% Hispanic. Elizabeth was a mix of white, black, and Hispanic, because there was the whole brief family rumor she was Native descent. Yea, either Texas or New Mexico descent, which was essentially Mexico at the time. So yea. The whole story of her family is completely lost. I have the starting point of Benin and Togo and the ending point with Elizabeth and everything in between is gone. 

My theory is the slave ancestors escaped somehow, went to Texas or New Mexico,  had some mixed babies, traveled up to Illinois, had some more mixed babies which produced Elizabeth and her little sister, died, and left Elizabeth with the Barkers. This would explain why Elizabeth briefly mentioned she may have been Native American because the rumor did come from her. 

It’s just a theory because again, everything is bloody lost. The Barker’s themselves barely have any records. I think because Elizabeth was mixed with Benin, Hispanic, and Euro-descent, that maybe she and the Barker’s were distantly related. I mean they did take in her daughters for a long period time (Mary was with them until she was 19 and married) that maybe they were her Euro-descent relatives? I don’t know because again there’s no records. There is nothing for me to go off of, I don’t even know the names of her parents or of the little sister that died.

So I’m going to start researching the slave trade around Benin and Togo and see if I can get some sort of insight into what my ancestors went through and estimate when they may have arrived in America. It won’t do much for the family history but it’ll be something. 

So here’s a very interesting thing. Elizabeth, a mixed race woman brings up less than 1% Benin and contributes(potentially) to the 2% Native American, which is essentially Native Mexican given the area named, which I’ll go over in more detail by the way. 

If I can get less than 1% Benin from her, where is Grandpa Rapist? 

I’m estimating the Barker’s traveled on the Oregon Trail given that they died in Idaho. The Cayuse tribe had territory the Trail cut straight through and they were attacking settlers. With all this, I’m assuming the Cayuse were responsible for the attack that killed the Barkers and kidnapped Elizabeth. Why then does Grandpa Rapist ( the warrior that married Elizabeth) not show up when >1% Benin & Togo from Elizabeth does? 

I know as a whole, Native Americans don’t have many genetic markers. I’m not sure why this is but I do know testing for Native American can be a challenge. Enough from the Native Northern Mexicans showed up to be identified at Native American but no Cayuse? No Pacific Native American? No Oregon or Idaho tribe dna?

I know it can show up because it does with some of my actual Native American cousins and it was one way they were able to kick people of the tribe because around the late ’80s-’90s they had an issue with people from other tribes entering into theirs to get money. They were using blood tests as a way to figure out who was from there. This also illustrates there was some record fudging because Grandma, Fubi, and some cousins, despite being Hispanic, are still considered Native American.

The Cayuse actively took slaves. Their Nez Perce neighbors were wary of them given the warlike and slave dealing ways. The Cayuse also did trading in parts of Northern California and potentially even further down.

My theory goes that Grandpa Rapist is not Cayuse but also from Mexico. When the Conquistadors were doing their thing, native tribes fled from them. I’m wondering if whatever tribe Grandpa Rapist hailed from fled North to the States( which wasn’t the States at the time) and somehow traveled up far enough to encounter the Cayuse and through some means integrated into the tribe. It would explain no North American tribes show up yet somehow we ended up with 2% Hispanic, which is incorrectly identified at Native American. 

Before I continue, I’m going to go over the Hispanic dna. It shows up as 2% Native American but I believe that to be incorrect because that’s using modern borders to name the dna when it’s actually North Mexican and down. 

So the areas where dna comes from is:

  • the whole of New Mexico
  • West & Central Mexico
  • Chihuahua & Durango
  • Northwest Mexico & Southern coast of California
  • Northeast Mexico & Southern Texas
  • Nuevo Leon & Tamaulipas
  • Nicaragua & Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Central America

Not a single speck of North America Native American. I don’t really consider the New Mexican tribes to be Native American, because that’s separating ethnicities by using modern borders. 

Now onto the other part of the 2%. 

Meet Melinda, my 4th Great Grandmother. 

Melinda Luce

According to her records, she was born in Placerville, California. I don’t think that’s right. I think was she was one of the many children that was stolen from their tribes and placed into those shitty bordering schools. Melinda is not her real name. Her parents are unknown. Her birthday is probably made up too. I think she’s where the South Californian comes from. Clearly she is not of European descent. I don’t know what the government did to the children of the North Mexican tribes but on top of looking into the Benin and Togo slave trade, I’m going to see what potentially happened to Melinda and those ancestors. This raises dna test raises so questions for me. Like does the 2% really come from potentially 3 people? I had some Euro-descent relatives in California and Texas, was one of their children actually mixed and it was never recorded? What tribes can I claim as my ancestors? On paperwork should I start marking myself as part Hispanic? 

Like I already put down mixed race because quite frankly people of European descent should not be lumped as ‘white’. That’s incorrect and history proves it. Just because a group of people have pale skin does not make them same, same as having brown does make all those groups ‘brown’ or ‘black’. Having a percentage of anything is a big deal. It shows up in my dna. They’re there. They exist. I have proof of them and I have picture of one and potentially a picture of another. It feels almost disrespectful to simply disregard them because it’s only 2%. Like what do I say? It’s 2% so it’s not there, so I can’t claim them? 

This also raises up some mixed feelings for who I used to regard myself as. All my life I’ve been told I’m Native American. That’s not true anymore. I have no Native American ancestry, they’re Hispanic. Once again I have no tribe to claim and the gap between my actual Native American cousins has widened. Grandma Farm is going to be so upset that she isn’t actually Native American and I have no idea what she’s going to do with this information. This also shows that testing for the Oregon tribes at least is flawed since a wide chunk of my family has no Native American in them. Yea, some people did marry into Oregon tribes and they truly are Native American. I happened to descended from those aren’t as do a wide range of cousins.  

As an idea what my family looks like, here are more pictures. 

Madora Jeffers

Madora, daughter of Elizabeth and my 3rd great grandmother

Ira Leo Jeffers with Wife

On the left is Ira, grandson of Elizabeth & son of Madora, my 2nd Great Grandpa. On the right is Bertha, granddaughter of Melinda & my 2nd great grandmother.















I think is why it was so easy for my family to get into the tribe despite not actually having any Native American dna. We really look the part. We look like our Native cousins despite being Hispanic and I think because the Native part of the family is so embedded into the Tribe it’s easy to overlook some inconsistencies for the sake of family.  Now onto one last mystery. Fubi’s father.




Fubi’s father is pretty unknown by everyone except Grandma Farm. What happened is she and her boyfriend got officially engaged. He was a year older and graduated high school first, got drafted in Vietnam, sent over, and she lived with his parents. She was pregnant with Fubi in her senior year. They were supposed to get married when he got back.

Then he decided to marry a Vietnamese women. He asked for the engagement rings to be sent to him and they kicked out Grandma Farm and Fubi. Please keep in mind I don’t hold any resentment for the Vietnamese woman. She tried up until his death to reconcile Fubi and his father but neither one of them made any effort. According to Mom, she would send letters and call all the time trying to get Fubi to see his father or at least talk to him, and when he died she called to let him know.

I don’t blame her for what happened and honestly I think she was kept in the dark about Grandma Farm and Fubi until she arrived in the States, which was not all fair to her and I believe she felt guilty(something she shouldn’t have felt guilty about in the first place since it wasn’t her fault) about the whole situation which was why she made such an effort to contact Fubi. He just got his father’s stubbornness and now it’s too late for any sort of reconciliation.

His name was Daniel Shear or Shearer and he was born in 1944 and it’s estimated he died about 1991-92, probably in Oregon. I don’t know what his ethnicity is. I don’t know if he contributes to the 2% or not. Fubi won’t take a dna test and Grandma Farm won’t talk about it, and it was such a damn fight trying to just get his name out of her. Most of the story comes from Mom telling me about it because no one else will.

So far on Ancestry, nothing has come up for him. I’m not sure where else to look or what information I could possibly add to try to bring up some records. Mom isn’t even sure if Daniel is his name or not but it’s what she remembers and Grandma Farm didn’t say otherwise.

I know Grandma Farm is not happy that I know about Fubi’s father. I don’t think Grandpa Farm is too bothered but I know the situation makes him uncomfortable. They kept this from me and Little Sister for so long I think they were hoping to just erase the whole thing. Mom didn’t let that happen and I’m really grateful she said something.

So anyways, that’s a family history update. I have a bit more but it deserves it’s own post. If anyone knows of any resources that could help me find anything please let me know.

*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚⛄☕⛄・゜゚*:.。. .。.:*


Great 4x Grandma Elizabeth

*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚⛄☕⛄・゜゚*:.。. .。.:*Great Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth Barker Pluard Smith

So many mysteries around Grandma Elizabeth. I’ll start with her possible race combinations:

  • Part African-American, part French Canadian or European descent, part Native American
  • Half African-American, half European descent or French Canadian
  • Half African-American, half Native American
  • Half Native American, half European descent or French Canadian

Whew… so many possibilities but only one is true. On a census she is marked black, while on others she is marked as white. Her first daughter is marked as black on nearly all her censuses, her second daughter Madora is marked as white on all of her censuses. What is the truth? I have no idea because my dna kit has yet to be processed.

Starting from the beginning, as told by her grandson Hollister Plourde and recorded down by his family, backed up by the records I have thanks to Ancestry:

Elizabeth was born in 1843 to the Barkers, who lived in Illinois. There is a rumor Elizabeth and a sibling were adopted by the Barkers. If true, it’s not known if the Barkers had any relation to Elizabeth or if they just wanted to care for her. Either way, I can’t find anything on this period of Elizabeth’s life or even the name of her parents and the mysterious sibling.

Around late 1850s, the Barkers left Randolph County Illinois for Oregon. Somewhere in Owyhee, Idaho, their caravan was attacked, her parents, an unknown sibling listed as not even a year old, were slaughtered by Native Americans (thanks Grandpa 4x for that, you asshat) and Elizabeth was taken captive. She was around 12-15 years old when this took place.

Great Great Grandmother Mary Louise Pluard

It’s unknown when exactly she was taken as a wife by one of the warriors. About 1859, at the age of 16, she gave birth to her first daughter, Mary. Mary is marked as black on nearly all of her censuses, lending credit to the theory that Elizabeth is at least mixed, which would mean the Barkers may have been interracial or adopted a mixed ethnicity Elizabeth.

Madora Jeffers

About 1864 she again gave birth to a daughter, Madora, who is my Great 3x Grandmother. It’s not known what the girls were called by the tribe or how they were viewed, since their mother was technically taken as a slave.

While Elizabeth did have two daughters with the warrior, and the girls either were not abused or did not speak of abuse, Elizabeth fled from the tribe first chance she got. Some time shortly after Madora’s birth, the tribe was doing business with some traders from the Hudson Bay Company. Elizabeth was sent to fetch some water from a well where she was approached by a man from the company.

He thought her strange enough to ask why was she with the tribe. Elizabeth told him she was slave and couldn’t leave. He offered to help her escape but she declined stating she would not leave her daughters behind. The man told her to come back the next day and he would take all of them to Oregon City, Oregon, where Elizabeth supposedly had family.

The next day, under the guise of collecting water, Elizabeth, Mary, and Madora went to the well. The man also returned with two water barrels. Quickly, he put Elizabeth in one and Mary and Madora in the other. When they were far enough away he took them out of barrels and they continued on their way to Oregon.

Mary and Madora themselves confirmed they were left with a man named Antoine Le Fleur in Oregon City. It’s not known the exact relationship Elizabeth had with Le Fleur as she was married to my Step 4x Grandfather, Basil Plourde a French Canadian logger, by 1868.

Personally I believe Le Fleur may have been a cousin but on Ancestry no one is too certain and there is no information on the Le Fleur’s beyond Antoine caring for the girls. A census shows Mary living with him in 1880 but she’s also married to Basil’s brother Albert so I do believe they were probably cousins. Yes, mother and daughter married brothers. It was really weird trying to figure it out on Ancestry especially since there were times where Mary appeared as Elizabeth’s and Basil’s daughter or as Elizabeth’s sister, both older and younger.

I’ve noticed a thing with female rape victims where they claim their daughters as little sisters or cousins if they’re being held captive for periods of time. I guess it’s some sort of emotional defense or way of protecting the child from the truth of the situation. Elizabeth and Mary for a long time, claimed to be sisters which makes me think she was indeed raped and abused by the warrior who married her. Somehow before Elizabeth died, the story was set straight by them and the federal records show them as mother and daughter. So far, there has been no mention of what her relationship was like with Madora.

From the children she had with Basil, comes the Oregon Native American heritage, which my cousins enjoy. I am not from any Oregon tribe but whatever one happened to attack and kidnap Elizabeth. Either she never knew what they were called, which is unlikely, or she decided to never pass that information on.

Tonight I sent out an email to the Illinois State Archives place hoping to get more information. I really hope they can help. Their basic search tool for the archives brought up absolutely nothing and I can’t submit a request because I’m not an Illinois resident. Fingers crossed they can send me something or have a hidden out of state form that isn’t mentioned on the website.

I don’t think I’ll be able to figure out which Idaho tribe it was that attacked the Barkers. I don’t even know if they were traveling with a caravan or on their own, Elizabeth never told anyone.

Dammit, Grandma. Why does this side of the family has issues with communication? I swear no one ever talks to each other, I don’t know how we manage to hold family reunions every year.

I’m really hoping some African American dna will show up to at least solve one mystery. I want Elizabeth’s ethnicity stamped down. If she isn’t African American then why does Mary mark herself down as such? This could be mean Elizabeth was adopted by the Barkers who were African American or at least an interracial couple, and Mary really was her adopted sister. If she is African American then that still leaves me with some possibilities, none of which really confirm is she was adopted or not, just that she’s mixed:

  • half French Canadian or European descent, half African American, potentially part Native American
  • half French Canadian or European descent, half African American
  • half African American, half Native American

I’m not sure if French Canadian would show up at all and unfortunately even if it does, Madora’s husband was part Native American, part French Canadian, part European descent. Joy. So really all this is riding on whether any African American shows up. Either way, there is still a mystery around her I don’t think I can solve, especially if the Archives department can’t help me.

I don’t think racism really worked the people said it did back then because on all sides of my family there are more than few of interracial relationships. If people wanna fuck, they gon’ fuck regardless of the law and boy Fubi’s side of the family sure mixed in with everyone. Even today that side is low-key racist but a lot has a lot of mixed race kids. Not sure how that works but okay cousins, you do you.

*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚⛄☕⛄・゜゚*:.。. .。.:*