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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Family Legends vs Genealogy Research

When I first met my future husband in 1969 we made the usual small talk and part of that was about our heritage. With a last name of Schultz I was not surprised that he had German ancestors. What did surprise me a bit was when he said that he was also part Native American Indian. I had no reason to question his claim and did not give it much more thought.

Flash forward thirty five years and you can guess my dilemma. Despite all my research, the research of others and a mtDNA test I cannot find any trace of Native American ancestry in his maternal family tree. I have grilled researchers from across the country and while they have all heard the story, they cannot find any Native American ancestry either.

What I did find was that his great grandmother, Martha Marsh Maish was born in Boone County, Indiana. So she was FROM Indiana, but not Indian. I have shared the information with his mother and her family, and while they respect my research, I think they feel that I may have missed the boat on Indian research.

If you are researching a Native American ancestor that lived on a reservaton there was a yearly census between 1885 and 1940.

The Indian Census Schedules are available on (subscription required) and at the National Archives and Records Administration on microfilm.

Good Luck Researching!

Ella Harmon Marsh Booth (left) Martha Marsh Maish (right)
Mable Maish Lukken with daughter Mable (center)

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