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Is prestigious genealogical society throwing media under the bus on Warren 1/32 Cherokee claim?

Is prestigious genealogical society throwing media under the bus on Warren 1/32 Cherokee claim?

There is a new and bizarre twist in the Elizabeth Warren 1/32 Cherokee saga.

As discussed below, Warren’s claim to 1/32 Cherokee heritage arose from comments attributed to the prestigious New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) through two of its employees, well-known genealogist Chris Child and spokesman Tom Champoux.

After a scathing critique of NEHGS by genealogist Tom Lipscomb in a statement released to Power Line Blog this morning, and repeated posts by Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart.com debunking the claims, I reached out to NEHGS for comment as to its position.

After initially reiterating its prior refusal to comment, NEHGS released a statement to me standing by its methods (reprinted near the bottom of this post in full).

Yet minutes later, a new LI blog registrant using NEHGS’s i.p. address posted a comment accusing the media of misrepresenting what NEHGS and Child had said:

….  It seems that media outlets have actually been misrepresenting the research process as a claim of purported conclusiveness, which does not appear to be what he [Chris Child] had said at all. This genealogical organization itself has not released anything official, so I would treat what the media outlets have said about their research with a grain of salt.

In a series of comments (linked and quoted below) the commenter repeatedly accused the media of misconstruing what Child said:

It looks like he is not saying she is 1/32 Cherokee just that O.C. Sarah Smith, the person who had been claimed to be on the marriage certificate, was 1/32 of her ancestry.

The commenter denied being affiliated with NEHGS, and Champoux in an e-mail to me late this afternoon disavows any knowledge.

So what we now have is a claim of 1/32 Cherokee heritage which has been shown not to be true and someone at the source of that claim, one of the most prestigious genealogical societies, apparently blaming the media through blog sockpuppetry.

And it’s only Monday.

Some background on what led to this absurdity:

On April 27, 2012, Hilary Chabot, chief political reporter at The Boston Herald, broke the story that in 1996 Harvard Law School had promoted Warren as a Native American faculty member.

In the article, the Warren campaign cited no evidence other than family stories to support the heritage claim.  Child of NEHGS was cited but offered no evidence to support Warren’s claim:

Christopher Child, a genealogist at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, traced back Warren’s family to her great-grandfather on her mother’s side and couldn’t find any proof of Native American heritage.

Christopher Child, a genealogist at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, traced back Warren’s family to her great-grandfather on her mother’s side and couldn’t find any proof of Native American heritage.

He added that finding Native American lineage is not always easy: “Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama claim to have Native American heritage, but we were never able to find evidence of that, and in both cases we traced their ancestry fairly thoroughly.”

On April 28, The Herald ran another story in which Warren expressed pride in her Native American heritage, but again offered no proof.

When I spoke with Alethea Harney, Warren’s campaign press secretary in the late afternoon of April 30, the Warren campaign still was relying solely on family “lore” and not asserting that it had any documentation to support the claim.

Within hours, however, the Warren campaign was citing Child for a finding that Warren’s great-great-great grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was Cherokee, based on a marriage certificate of Smith’s son which supposedly listed his mother as Cherokee.

On May 1, Child was quoted by Chabot in The Herald attesting to the existence of a marriage certificate demonstrating Warren’s Cherokee lineage

Desperately scrambling to validate Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage amid questions about whether she used her minority status to further her career, the Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.

“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, who is listed on an Oklahoma marriage certificate as Cherokee. Smith is an ancestor on Warren’s mother’s side, Child said.

Yet the actual marriage certificate did not contain any information about O.C. Sarah Smith being Cherokee.  On May 2, NEHGS through its spokesman Champoux walked back Child’s assertion and stated that the information was contained in an “electronic transcript” of the marriage application (as opposed to the certificate itself):

Warren’s statements come as genealogists at the New England Historic Genealogical Society were unable to back up earlier accounts that her great great great grandmother is Cherokee. While Warren’s great great great grandmother, named O.C. Sarah Smith, is listed on a electronic transcript of a 1894 marriage application as Cherokee, the genealogists are unable to find the actual record or a photograhic copy of it, Society spokesman Tom Champoux said. A copy of the marriage license itself has been located, but unlike the application, it does not list Smith’s ethnicity.

On May 9, as reported at Mother Jones, Champous of NEHGS indicated that the source document was a family newsletter:

The NEHGS based its claim on a March 2006 newsletterreferencing research by a woman named Lynda Smith. The newsletter reports that while digging into her own ancestry, Smith found a marriage application in which William J. Crawford, a son of O.C. Sarah Smith, listed his mother’s race as Cherokee.

The NEHGS considers the newsletter to be a legitimate source, says Tom Champoux, a spokesman for the group. “Genealogists do reference research conducted by others, with further verification sometimes provided,” he said in an emailed statement. “In the case of Native American research, it’s not uncommon for families to pass down family histories orally, especially with earlier generations, as paper evidence and primary documents were not kept.” But in this case there is a primary document cited—the marriage application.

Leahy of Breitbart.com doggedly has documented problems with the family newsletter, uncovered that marriage applications were not used at the time in question, and confirmed that the author of that newsletter relied upon by NAGHS now disavows any claim as to Warren’s Cherokee ancestry.

One of the enduring mysteries is how and why a well-regarded genealogical society would rely on an obviously flimsy family newsletter to opine on a hot political topic.  And, with that, how did they find this obscure family newsletter in the first place, was it from the Warren campaign which also found an obscure Native American cookbook partially authored by a relative of Warren?

These are all questions which have led author and genealogist Lipscomb to issue a statement via Power Line Blog calling into question the professionalism and motives of Child and NEHGS.

I don’t question motives, but I do want to question facts.  As I noted previously, prior to today NEHGS had declined to comment, but after Lipscomb’s statement I reached out again this morning to force the issue.

Initially, NEHGS refused to comment, but finally issued a statement.  Here is the e-mail exchange:

WAJ to Thomas R. Wilcox, V.P. & Acting CEO, NEHGS (9:36 a.m.)

I request that NEHGS clarify NEHGS’s position on the Elizabeth Warren ancestry question, and release not only the research upon which NEHGS employees opined in the media, but also all communications, if any, with the Warren campaign.

My communications with Mr. Champoux are below, but I request comment again in light of a statement released today by Thomas Lipscomb, Annenberg Center Senior Fellow and a member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, reprinted here, http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/tom-lipscomb-mrs-warrens-profession-contd.php.

I would appreciate hearing from you this morning, if possible, so that I can include NEHGS’s position in the post I will be writing. If Mr. Child has a statement in response to Mr. Lipscomb, I would include such statement as well.

Wilcox to WAJ (11:56 a.m.):

Mr. Jacobson – Thanks for your email. NEHGS does not have “a position” on the Elizabeth Warren ancestry issue particularly as the “story” has become a clearly political one and our society does not take political positions. – Thomas R Wilcox, Vice President & Acting CEO.

 WAJ to Wilcox (12:20 p.m.):

Yet two employees of NEHGS took a position in public on this “political” issue based upon documentation which has been called into question. Is NEHGS going to stand by its employees’ public statements or correct them? If NEHGS believes the statements were inaccurate, don’t you feel it has an institutional obligation to correct the record?

WAJ to Child (12:48 p.m.):

As I’m sure you are aware, NEHGS (see below) will not comment substantively in response to my request sent earlier today. Since the statement by Mr. Lipscomb called into question your conduct, are you willing to take a position in your individual capacity, apart from NEHGS? Also, are you willing to confirm or deny that you have any communications with the Warren campaign regarding this issue, and if so, are you willing to say when those communications took place and what the substance was?

Please respond by 3 p.m. so that I may include your response to Mr. Lipscomb in the post I am writing.

At 1:31 p.m. I received the following statement from Champoux via e-mail:

In reference to the recent Elizabeth Warren media coverage regarding her Native American ancestry, NEHGS wishes to acknowledge the following:

Per several requests from the media, New England Historic Genealogical Society genealogists conducted some initial genealogical research on Elizabeth Warren’s maternal family. During this research we discovered several family members who noted Cherokee Indian lineage via Elizabeth Warren’s 3rd great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith (c.1794-1860s). This includes a March 2006 family newsletter that references Smith’s son William J. Crawford (1837-1900) and his 1894 marriage license application in Oklahoma. The newsletter states that, based on research conducted by Lynda Smith, the application includes a reference of O. C. Sarah Smith being Cherokee Indian. The marriage license itself does not reference race, and the original application, which Ms. Smith references, has not been located.

As one of the nation’s leading expert resources for genealogy and family history research, NEHGS stands behind the research of our expert staff. The process of researching and documenting one’s family history can often be lengthy and time-consuming. As part of that, genealogists do reference research conducted by others, with further verification sometimes provided. In the case of Native American research, it’s not uncommon for families to pass down family histories orally, especially with earlier generations, as paper evidence and primary documents were not kept.

We hope this helps everyone better understand the nature and process of genealogical research to uncover all the various aspects of one’s family history.

At 1:42 p.m., someone registered here with the username MisterNewton33, and at 1:54 p.m. posted a comment which came from the i.p. address of the NEHGS:

You state : “Mr. Child stated publicly on or about May 1 that Ms. Warren was 1/32 Cherokee and that he had a document to prove it. That statement has been reported far and wide.”

Mr. Child did not state this. What he said was (http://bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20220501lizzys_great_great_great_escape_cherokee_tie_found_5_generations_ago) “She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith

So it seems he stated that O.C. Sarah Smith was 1/32 of Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry (being one of her 32 great-great-great-grandparents), which would still be true. Also in the Globe article you reference, http://articles.boston.com/2012-05-01/metro/31488941_1_cherokee-nation-elizabeth-warren-dawes-commission, states “Child cautioned that the search for ancestry often takes a long time and that more information could still emerge as he continues to research the issue.”

This actually seems like the newsletter was probably what the genealogist had seen all along and that he was cautioning that more research was needed, i.e. to see if such a record did in fact exist. It seems that media outlets have actually been misrepresenting the research process as a claim of purported conclusiveness, which does not appear to be what he had said at all. This genealogical organization itself has not released anything official, so I would treat what the media outlets have said about their research with a grain of salt.

That claim, that Child was talking in the abstract and not about Warren being 1/32 Cherokee, is not supported by The Herald May 1 article, unless Chabot misrepresented the context of her interview with Child (which I doubt):

Desperately scrambling to validate Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage amid questions about whether she used her minority status to further her career, the Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.

“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, who is listed on an Oklahoma marriage certificate as Cherokee. Smith is an ancestor on Warren’s mother’s side, Child said.

When I posted a responsive comment with the above quotation, the person from NEHGS responded:

It looks like he is not saying she is 1/32 Cherokee just that O.C. Sarah Smith, the person who had been claimed to be on the marriage certificate, was 1/32 of her ancestry.

And after I questioned whether the author was accusing Chabot of making the connection erroneously, he responded:

No, that appears to be from this newsletter, I just don’t see anywhere where Child says that O.C. Sarah Smith was 100% Cherokee, only that O.C. Sarah Smith was 1/32 of Warren’s ancestry. It seems like he was saying more research was needed, not only on whether or not such a document existed, but on O.C. Sarah Smith herself, and media outlets have a claimed a degree of certainty that Child himself was cautioning against, as he said “Child cautioned that the search for ancestry often takes a long time and that more information could still emerge as he continues to research the issue.”

When I questioned whether the commenter was “with NEHGS or somehow know[s] Child”, he responded:

No I have just been following this story with interest. I have done some of my own genealogy although I am not a member of NEHGS. I have read some genealogical articles by Child in some of the journals and they are very well documented, which makes me believe his issues of caution regarding this story.

Okay.

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Comments

So I guess this leaves Warren a “forked-tongued white-eye.”

Apparently, she won’t give it up.
Even today ..”I’m proud of my Native American heritage

    persecutor in reply to Neo. | May 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    This is becoming a case of parsing the statement. I abhor the use of the term “native American” and prefer the old, politically incorrect term of “Indian” because it denies me the right to proclaim that having been born in the US, I am indeed a native American. If you were born here, Neo, so are you. One of my parents was born in Italy and is native Italian.
    She was born in Oklahoma. If she’s now parsing, she’s absolutely a native American.
    She’s a liar, plain and simple.

      elkh1 in reply to persecutor. | May 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      The Red Skinned people migrated from Asia across the Bering Straits, the Pale Faced folks migrated from Europe a few hundreds years later.

      There have never been indigenous people in this piece of real estate. Only immigrants and descendants of immigrants. Either everyone born here a native, or there are no natives.

A couple of things…

1) “an obscure Native American cookbook partially authored by a relative of Warren?”

No, it was edited by the relative. Not only does editing something not prove a connection to it (if I edited a book of Vietnamese food, would that serve as proof I was part Vietnamese?), being an co-author doesn’t, either. There’s a lot of french cookbooks by people who aren’t french…

2) Not to be pedantic, I think the comment – sockpuppetry though it is – is right. I can, upon it being pointed out, clearly see how Childs might have been speaking in a hypothetical sense. And besides the point, the person who was Warren’s ancestor WOULD be 1/32 of her heritage – whether she was NA doesn’t change her contribution in that light.

What we should look at to determine the source of the dishonesty here is “who said she was listed on the marriage certificate as Cherokee?”. Since we know for a fact that she was not listed as such, who put that in the article?

Was it the reporter merely condensing what Child said, or the reporter listing facts and attributing them to Child?

At the moment, I, personally, and willing to give Child the benefit of the doubt here and focus my suspicion on the reporter, but I will admit that is largely due to a systemic mistrust of the media, since it so often proves itself to be so completely in the tank for Dems.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Scott Jacobs. | May 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Then why won’t NEHGS or Child come out and say they were misquoted or taken out of context?

      Certainly a fair point…

      But could be that they think Bad Things would come from doing so.

        OcTEApi in reply to Scott Jacobs. | May 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        Chief Wompum?

        quiznilo in reply to Scott Jacobs. | May 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

        Yet they were perfectly fine letting their ‘misrepresentation’ in the media stand, and be used by the warren campaign. If I was misrepresented, with my credibility on the line (are you listening NEHGS?) I’d be out there in a instant, setting the record straight, not engaging in sock puppetry in a low-key fashion to play cleanup.

        I think NEHGS got played by warren. I think they wanted to help out a Democrat friend, but they are way over their heads in this, and don’t know how to get out. They’re amateurs in the political game.

      Tamminator in reply to William A. Jacobson. | May 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Because they’d get their federal grants yanked, that’s why.
      The White House would make sure of that.

full-blooded indigenous Knowledge sockpuppetry

lol

So MisterNewton claims he’s not with the NEHGS but he’s posting from their i.p. address. That’s certainly possible, right? I mean, he could just be hanging out there, using their computers, drinking their coffee…

Yep.

    VetHusbandFather in reply to angela. | May 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    NEHGS are probably located right next to Starbucks… with an unsecured wi-fi network… and someone that’s really excited about genealogy just happened to find this story about them… and… and… err… that’s about as much b.s. as I’m capable of spinning, clearly I’m not cut out for a job at media matters.

Popcorn…!!!!

I’ll even provide the butter!

Obama’s beer summit bud from Harvard, Henry Louis Gates Jr. does a PBS show called “Finding Your Roots” where he collects DNA samples of a variety of folks among them, Condilezza Rice, Robert Downey Jr., John Lewis, John Legend, Barbara Walters, Wanda Sykes, Martha Stewart, and others to determine their genealogical DNA in addition to the genealogical paper trail. So why hasn’t Crockajawea Warren contacted Dr. Gates to put an end to this posturing of being Native American or to clarify how much 1/32 is? It seems the media and politicians are so reprobate they can’t even see the answer and instead argue semantics and illogics. It is disgusting. Even the Breitbart reporter couldn’t see that first cousins always have two sets of grandparents, duh? Mrs. Rowsey has a set of grandparents that are unrelated to Mrs. Warren and who knows what their ethnicity was, certainly not reported by the Breitbart reporter. I have 6 card carrying Choctaw Nation first cousins whereas I have no Choctaw blood because they are Choctaw through their maternal side but we are blood related only through their father’s side. Seems to me Crockajawea and her TeePee Demoncrats continues to lie, so shout for DNA studies through the maternal side showing her percent of Cherokee, if any.
Does Martha Stewart who owns two Chow pups know about that cookbook? Notify PETA!

I’m really enjoying this story. Good work.

“One of the enduring mysteries is how and why a well-regarded genealogical society would rely on an obviously flimsy family newsletter to opine on a hot political topic.”

Though I agree this seems counter-intuitive, I don’t find it a mystery. The seductions and institutional peer pressures of both liberal politics and political correctness is one of the lead stories of our time. Along with this, we’ve seen the corruption and decay of institutional legacy, pride and rigor through an educational system and culture which no longer honors or teaches these notions and even degrades them. For example, look at the Duke rape case. Who would have thought so many “authoritative” entitites and persons would have rushed headlong with such fierce and foolish conviction into a political/social fray. Any institution is only as good or prudent as the people occupying positions in it at that moment.

[…] all of that too. But wait — you’re not done reading yet. One last piece is William Jacobson’s new post chronicling his e-mail exchange with the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the curious […]

Look there are lots of reason not to vote for warren aside from this idiocy. Warren is a liar and opportunist. Because shed thinks she got ahead by cheating, she thinks everyone else did so its okay to rob them to support herself by buying votes with the public treasury.

It goes without saying, she is a Democrat. With all the great issues of the day, why something this nominal should sink a candidacy for the US senate, I have no idea.

radiofreeca | May 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

My understanding is that use of corporate equipment without official permission for non-business use is a Federal crime. Has anyone contacted the FBI on the unauthorized use of equipment at NEHGS? Perhaps someone hacked in and deposited false documents there to support Warren, or else deleted documents to undermine her? (yes, I’m only semi-serious).

1. The Democrats need to take the bull by the horns.

Okay, this particular kind of bull doesn’t have horns. The Democrats need to scoop it up.

2. Warren’s behavior does not disqualify her as a Congressional Democrat. On the contrary, it marks her for quick elevation into the leadership. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should make a joint statement to this effect.

Good going, Professor! I am enjoying this story very much.

I know a lot of people who tell family stories, but they don’t do it for personal gain.

stevewhitemd | May 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm

May I suggest that we won’t get much further with the NEGHS than this. They’re well and truly stuck.

It’s time for Harvard Law to step up. I repeat my questions from last week to them:

Questions to ponder, as Prof. Jacobson and I are both academics:

One — given what we know now, does Harvard University have reasonable grounds to revoke the grant of tenure they gave to Prof. Warren, the grounds for revocation being fraud and misrepresentation?

Two — likewise, can Harvard revoke her appointment to the Law School?

Three — what fact-checking did Harvard do at the time of her appointment? What did Harvard do with regard to Prof. Warren’s stipulation as to her race? Did she in fact state her racial background in any document she gave to Harvard as part of the processing and review of her appointment?

Four — did Prof. Warren receive any grants from a government agency in which she stipulated her racial heritage? If so, what did she state?

Five — it’s been reported in the news that Prof. Warren stopped claims Native American heritage status once she was at Harvard. Leaving aside exactly when and how she ‘clarified’ her status, what did Harvard say/do about that?

Prof. Warren apparently checked off the box in the AALS Faculty Directory that allowed her to claim that she had Native American heritage. That claim is increasingly undone — if the NEGHS could document the claim they would do so as it is the quickest way for them to get off the hook. Ditto for Prof. Warren and her campaign, and ditto for the Massachusetts Democratic Party in general.

They haven’t. I don’t think they can.

So, Harvard: did you know about and review Ms. Warren’s claim when you considered her for your faculty? When you considered her for tenure? And when she ‘undid’ her claim, did you take notice?

We can argue all we want about whether affirmative action is right or wrong, and how far affirmative action should go to correct past historical wrongs. But there should be no argument at all about a person using AA to commit a fraud.

    Anchovy in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    How about her law license? Does the Mass bar have ethics guidelines? Do those guidelines cover lying on official documents? Does she have to have a Mass license to teach? It seems to me as a professor she is giving legal advice to students.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | May 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Thanks for covering this story so persistently. I can only imagine the energy the MSM would put into this if Warren had an “R” next to her name.

    LukeHandCool in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | May 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    That’s so true.

    She’s gonna wish the MSM had been the ones after her instead … when the honey badger gets through with her.

LukeHandCool | May 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

0/32 Native American = 32/32 Bullsh*tter.

LukeHandCool (who, if this goes on much longer, will never again be able to look at a fraction without images of Native Americans and honey badgers popping into his head)

Good coverage, Prof. Michael Patrick Leahy plugged your latest post on Howie Carr, just after 6 PM. You’re obviously on his short list. He said he has a dozen more stories! Y’all are having too much fun.

Three cheers and a huzzah to you, Professor, for your yeoman service!

We must not give these traitorous Marxist any quarter whatsoever.

[…] He’s at it again today, and doing so well that a sock-puppet emerged in his comments. Recall that Jacobson is a law professor at Cornell, not a journalist, yet he seems to be all over this story in a manner that J-Schoolers are incapable or unwilling. Great work. Share this:More […]

So Yahoo has a higher standard than Harvard when it comes to their employees lying about their qualifications? Amazing.

This whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. Who cares whether she is 1/32 Indian or not? 1/32 is so diluted as to be non existant and not worth mentioning except for political chest thumping. There are a lot of us who have a drop or so of Cherokee blood so why does this make her more electable. Maybe she is best buddies with Ward Churchill but look where his lies got him.

    Neo in reply to BarbaraS. | May 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Elizabeth Warren probably got the job that somebody else was qualified for but was pasted over in order for Harvard to have a “Native Anerican” on their diverse faculty. She is a “forked tongue white-eye” who stoled the preferential treatment that should have gone to some less than adequately qualified minority.

Althouse linked you. I bet Instapundit does too.

[T]he Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.

“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said…

I agree that there is surely some sockpuppetry going on here, but it was probably initiated by someone simply trying to cut through the fog of political war without officially getting NEGHS any more deeply involved.

The May 1 quote from Child did not confirm the Native American ancestry newly claimed by the Harvard Law professor’s campaign. Child apparently used the word “would” intending it to be conditional — not in a manner intended to be the same as “is” — but at most, his phrase only could mean Smith bears a 1/32 relationship to Warren. I read it as a common interest sidebar — i.e., for you laypeople out there, here’s a tip: one’s great-great-great grandmother is only 1/32 of their ancestry.

So, caught between NEGHS’ apparent instruction that employees to stay out of the political fray and a desire to correct the runaway record, someone at NEGHS tried to quietly insert their original intended meaning into the conversation. Busted, but not necessarily sinister.

Warren, on the other hand, may have started out willfully ignorant of the so-called family lore in order to reap job benefits, but at this point is full-on lying. I would bet anything Warren had never heard of OC Sarah Smith until her campaign panicked and desparately grabbed at the nearest Injun to hand.

    Estragon in reply to mflash. | May 15, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Hooey.

    If there was no “claim” made by Child or NEHGS as reported by Chabot’s second story, WHY would they not respond to inquiries by pointing out “never said that!”? Instead they issued the BS statement about the family newsletter being a source blah blah blah.

    The FACT is without even a photocopy of this “electronic manuscript” of a marriage “application,” they seemed willing to accept reference to it, and didn’t even bother to check to see if there were even such a thing that “Lynda” could have seen.

    IF it was a reporter’s error, it was one they allowed to stand and even defended the construction – UNTIL it came under scrutiny. Then and only then did they begin to backtrack and clam up.

    Maybe they aren’t a bunch of lying political hacks. Maybe Child isn’t a fraud and a liar. But they are too far in the game to claim to be a non-player now, they owe explanations either way – or they can kiss their credibility goodbye forever.

Cowboy Curtis | May 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm

People! For the love of all that is right and good in the world, can we please start calling her Taxajawea?

Seriously, its perfect. And anyone who disagrees is a dirty, dirty, communist.

    Milwaukee in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | May 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Racist!

    I mean, you could amend you comment to “racist”, as in Seriously, its perfect. And anyone who disagrees is a dirty, dirty, Racist, communist.

    I didn’t mean you’re a racist, I meant the disagreeing folks are also racist.

Just saw this at MichelleMalkin.com.

Warren is “Fauxcohantas” and “Sacaja-whiner!”

I don’t know if she coined the terms but I nearly spewed iced tea all over my LCD panels…

(Notice how I used my own formatting tricks and tips here.)

…a new LI blog registrant using NEHGS’s i.p. address…

Looks like NEHGS’s credibility has jumped the shark.

    WarEagle82 in reply to ThomasD. | May 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Uh, evidently they never had ANY credibility to begin with. Or at least they only had 1/32 credibility.

    They are probably so stupid they don’t know you can track IP Addresses from posts…

The herald’s article said from great-great-great-granny’s marriage certificate. That statement is false and inaccurate.

If her 1/32 blood was Jewish, 31/32 was Aryan, Hitler would not have rounded her up.

A 1/32 royal blood in Britain would not allow her a claim to the throne.

Only in America, 1/32 purported ancestry allows her to throw her 31/32 heritage under the bus.

Very interesting how this is playing out, Professor. I suppose it might seem inconsequential to some – especially to someone who isn’t following along. But your tenacity is definitely causing the right people to squirm.

AB would be proud.

    janitor in reply to equitus. | May 14, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    It should have been an inconsequential issue, but it isn’t because of Warren’s continuous lying, and so many who have credulously or knowingly gone along with it.

    Most of all, though, this series is throwing a brilliant spotlight on affirmative action and minority preferences that is long past due.

    Standing ovations, Professor!

BannedbytheGuardian | May 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I don’t believe it. This Sarah smith was over 40 when se had this Crawford guy in the 1830s.

Noboby has sex at 40.

This is absolutely and utterly absurd. As someone who was once a DAR registrar, I know what goes into actual documentation of a line and what is considered “hear-say”. The reason the Cherokee lineage would be “hear-say” was because of the bigotry against anyone having even a drop of Native American blood, until quite recently. Until 1968 and the Indian Civil Rights Act, the vast majority of people who were not full-blooded or even a half Native American would never even admit to it. The bigotry was too great. It was hidden. To even think that one would find admission of being Cherokee on a marriage license is just plain ignorant of American culture. It would not be there. The only way one would be able to document ancestry, many times was strictly hear-say.

As to family historians and family history newsletters, as a historian, I give them far more credibility than I would someone who writes for Breitbart and is abjectly ignorant on the subject. I’ve spent the past 20 years doing genealogy. In my family we have a Sarah Smith (Grandma Sally) of the very same generation who is alleged to have some Cherokee in her. I can’t find it, and can basically document the entire family too far back for there to be any.

The average family historian is far more meticulous in their researcher than the average biased political reporter out to discredit the NEHGS. Sorry, but they are some of the most annoying and obnoxious researchers – anywhere. The NEHGS is also extremely well respected. When publishing genealogy and using records, you must carefully list the information as to the type of documentation (Primary, Secondary, etc.). Something told to you, via the family is hear-say. You can’t use hear-say to prove the validity of a lineage, but it’s a good place to start looking.

When it comes to Cherokee lineage, odds are you are not going to find anything. For many Cherokee, who did have records, those records were quickly and purposefully destroyed in order to keep from being hauled along the Trail of Tears. You will also find that many Cherokee quickly joined very small, newly formed churches. “Christians” couldn’t possibly be Indians (it was reasoned). If they were church members,they were not hauled out to Oklahoma. This is one reason, in rural South Carolina, you find so many small churches. Many were built over Cherokee sacred sites, in order to preserve them.

I just think this is a losing battle, historically speaking. If you know anything about the culture of the time, you would understand that there was probably absolutely no record at all of Warren’s Sarah Smith being Cherokee. It was done to protect the family, to keep them “White”. That way they could go to school, vote, and be allowed to own property.

I have a friend in South Carolina who, only about 15 years ago, began to tell about his Cherokee lineage and heritage. His father was a local cop, 1/4 Cherokee. If he had been known to have Cherokee blood in him, he could not have been allowed to be a deputy. He would not have been allowed to vote. He would have had his property taken from him.

The only way you would ever know if Warren had any Cherokee in her is the same way many others do – by family oral history – and nothing more. To laugh this off, and make fun of her is culturally ignorant. Go after her for being a liberal. Frankly, I think the whole idea of using her “native” genealogy is a joke. She’s as much Cherokee as I am. That alone is a crock. The actual genealogical process is not at fault here. The idiots who are grasping at minority straws are.

SJR
The Pink Flamingo

    stevewhitemd in reply to sjreidhead. | May 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    So SJR, is it okay or not okay to use a family claim of distant Native American ancestry (say 1/32 or so), when one does not identify actively with a Native American tribe today, in order to take advantage of an Affirmative Action clause that gives one a big, big chance to land a prestigious job and career?

    You see, that’s what the good Prof. Warren did. She never identified herself as an active Cherokee; never went to the tribe requesting inclusion; never participated in Cherokee functions; never made public any identity of her 1/32 Cherokee ancestry.

    Perhaps she was afraid of the bigotry.

    Nevertheless, in the ONE way such a claim might help her — checking a box in a legal directory that would identify her as NA for prospective faculty positions — she took advantage of it.

    So tell me, do you think that what she did was wrong?

“Spitting Bull” is a charlatan!

I must lead a very boring life since I haven’t had this much fun in years. Warren is a lying strumpet. What a joke. And Massachusetts democrats flock to her side as if she is the victim.
This could be a musical comedy on Broadway [Princess Spreading Bull].

Just remember folks, that Elizabeth Warren didn’t need those lies about being Native American to get hired to teach at Ivy League law schools. Her Rutgers law degree, and her high-quality scholarship, were what got her those jobs.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Warren’s high-quality scholarship, here’s an analysis of some of it:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/06/elizabeth-warren-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-utterly-misleading-bankruptcy-study/18826/

Warren’s not so much a legal scholar as a partisan leftwing hack. She’s a fraud . . . in more ways than one.

    nordic_prince in reply to Observer. | May 15, 2012 at 11:01 am

    If she didn’t need the fabrications to get her positions on her own because she’s just that good, then why did she even resort to such baloney to begin with?

    I would rather be judged by the content of my character than by my supposed bloodline.

    Honest people don’t need to (indeed, don’t want to) resort to fraud – it’s the furthest thing from their mind.

    Warren has no integrity.

[…] As you know, that Boston Globe story created a legend which lives on in the media despite having been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked at every level, and one from which even NEHGS has walked away. […]

“an obscure Native American cookbook partially authored by a relative of Warren?”

Entitled: “To Serve Cherokees”?

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