I've thought for awhile of sharing a little bit about my Native American ancestry. It's obviously not very apparent looking at me, but it runs true on my mom's side of the family and probably my dad's. It's a part of me that I've always looked on with fondness but lately it's coming to the fore with the music that Yah has given me. Here's a little look my family tree:
Grandpa George was of the California Mono Tribe. He ran away from a government school for natives 2 or 3 times before they stopped looking for him. He became a Caterpillar driver for a forestry company from an early age. He met my grandmother in high school and did graduate.
Grandpa George was known for riding a three wheeler and there is even a picture of one on his tombstone today. The inscription reads "Indian George". Grandpa George passed away too young, leaving Grandma with 5 young children, the youngest a 2 week old infant. Grandma never remarried for fear that her new husband wouldn't treat the children right.
Grandpa George passed when my mother was a young child. It was, as you can imagine, very hard for Grandma but through her strong faith she persevered and raised all the children herself, and lived to see many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
"Many Moons" My (possible) Cherokee Great Great Grandmother
The Cherokee were moved from the east to the west in what is now known as "The Trail of Tears". Many Cherokee took to hiding their native ancestry to avoid persecution. This is one reason why verifying Lottie Moon's ancestry may be difficult. The nickname "Many Moons" was given to her and may be because of her many children that she had.
In the photo above we have my great, great grandfather Wylie and Lottie with their extended family. My Dad's grandmother is behind Wylie in the middle. This photo was believed to have been taken the day that Oklahoma become a state.
The Legacy Left to Me
It's a amazing thing to look back and see the people who lived that made it possible for me to exist. Their lives were almost certainly much harder than mine. But thanks to God's mercy on a thousand generations of those that love him, I'm here now. What I wouldn't give to see my ancestors fish and harvest in the fertile lands of California or to perhaps comfort Lottie's mother or grandmother as they traveled across the country to let them know that the family would survive and be strong and flourish. This is a part of my blood that I will always cherish.