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Exclusive – Elizabeth Warren relative researched ancestry, called Indian claim a rumor

Exclusive – Elizabeth Warren relative researched ancestry, called Indian claim a rumor

Elizabeth Warren has claimed that being Native American is part of who she is because her mother and Aunt Bee told stories about Native American heritage.

Warren also asserts that her parents had to elope because of hostility from her father’s family to her mother’s Cherokee and Delaware ancestry.  This anti-Indian sentiment from her father’s family was so severe that it lasted, according to Warren, throughout the marriage and “it was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral.”

This lore, according to Warren, was a fundamental part of her family experience.  “I’m not backing off from my family,” Warren has declared.

As far as I can tell, none of Warren’s family members has stepped forward publicly to support her claims of Native American ancestry or even to back up the family lore.

At no point since the controversy broke in late April 2012 has Warren indicated that a family member conducted genealogical research or that she previously was aware of genealogical evidence contradicting her alleged family lore. Time and again Warren says she never asked her parents for documentation.

Yet the way in which Warren framed that defense — what kid asks her parents for documentation as her website Truth Team section says — always struck me as oddly focused on a non-issue, what Warren believed as a child.  What is important is what Warren believed and represented as an adult.

Were we to believe that this women driven by data in her professional life never thought to inquire as an adult as to the genealogy which so much was a part of her self-identification? Would Warren never herself, or through a family member or others, at least attempt to verify the alleged Native American ancestry?

It turns out a close relative of Warren, her nephew, actually did research the family genealogy a decade before Warren’s Senate run.

Mark Hayne Herring, currently approximately 50 years old, is the son of Warren’s brother John Hayne Herring, and the grandson of Warren’s parents, Don Herring and Pauline Reed Herring.

Starting not later than 2002, Mark Herring was active on, a public genealogical posting board.  Based on his posts, it appears he already had started researching by the time he started posting.

As part of his many searches and interactions, Mark Herring put together this basic Family Tree:

In one post, Mark Herring referenced his “Aunt Bee,” apparently the same person Warren has referenced as talking about Warren’s “pappaw” having high cheekbones.

Mark Herring, though, dug much deeper on each side of his family, including the Roper line on his mother’s side, and the Herring and Reed lines on his father’s side.  He followed the Reed line, that of his grandmother and Warren’s mother, back to the 1800s, and looked for any evidence of the genealogy of those living in Indian Territory.

Yet nowhere in his recitation of the Reed family line in many posts at does Mark Herring purport to document any Native American ancestry.

To the contrary, Mark Herring referred to the possibility of Indian ancestry only as a rumor.  On May 5, 2002, on a Reed Family Genealogical Forum, Mark Herring posted the following question to another person:

“Were any of your Reeds Native American? It has been rumored that some of ours were.”

The lack of any proof in Mark Herring’s postings that his grandmother (Warren’s mother) was Native American was consistent with the abundant evidence documented by Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes, including numerous census entries listing Warren’s mother (Pauline Reed Herring) as White and her death certificate which also listed her as White.  Her sister, Aunt Bee, also was listed as White by Warren herself on the death certificate.

At the time of his grandmother’s (Warren’s mother’s) death in 1995, Mark Herring would have been approximately 33 years old.  It is hard to believe that had the family been so torn apart by his grandmother’s (Warren’s mother’s) Native American ancestry, including problems related to the funeral, that Mark Herring would have referred to that ancestry as a rumor.

Certainly, with the supposedly divisive Native American family dispute so much a part of who the family was and how his grandparents lived and died, one would have expected Mark Herring to share the results of his genealogical research with the family in 2002 if not earlier.

Did Mark Herring share the results of his research with others in the family?  Mark Herring did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

What did Warren know about a relative having researched the genealogy, and when did she know it?  Warren’s Press Secretary Alethea Harney has not responsed to an e-mail asking those very questions.

Elizabeth Warren has erected a seemingly impenetrable wall of family lore.  No matter what the genealogical fact, Warren simply states that being Native American is who her family was and who she is now.

Warren also uses this lore to deflect charges by Native Americans that she committed ethnic fraud by filling out law faculty directory forms as Native American, reporting herself as Native American to the federal government through Harvard and Penn law schools, and listing herself as a Woman of Color in Academia.

At least by 2002, one of her relatives who was in a position to know, her brother’s son, didn’t refer to Native American ancestry as family lore, or a part of who his family was.  It was just rumor.

When Warren repackaged those rumors as a personal racial narrative for professional purposes, and later as family lore after the controversy broke in her Senate campaign, Warren should have known better.  And maybe she actually did.


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Yeah. I’m at my mother’s funeral, and my bigoted family are all stink-eyed about her Indian blood, but I don’t say anything, do any research, or ever try to connect with the people of that part of my own family.


TrooperJohnSmith | July 11, 2012 at 8:53 am

She’s clearly lying. Everyone knows that, including 99.9% of all Democrats, both rank and file voters and elected officials. Far from disqualifying her, she becomes all the more of an attractive candidate. Why?

Well, to Democrats, Progressives, Communists, Marxists, Wobblies, Trotskyits, Maoists, Sendero Luminos, Khemer Rouge, Pathet Lao and garden variety socialists, their avowed ‘win at all costs’ and ‘the ends justifies the means’ requires a skilled, determined and unrepentant liar to be fully effective. You see, this is all part of her ongoing Shadow Campaign, whereby she is showcasing her ‘talents’ to the base and to the (rotten) core.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | July 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Serious character flaws are a feature, not a bug, of Democrat politicians:

    Barack Obama – wrote two “autobiographies” filled with lies and “composite” characters. Extreme narcissism. Routinely lies to American people without remorse or guilt. Ignores duly enacted laws (DOMA, War Powers Act, immigration enforcement, bankruptcy law during GM and Chrysler bailout, etc).

    Bill Clinton – perjurer, adulterer.

    John Edwards – proven liar, adulterer.

    John Kerry – stolen valor.

    Gary Hart – adulterer.

    Al Sharpton – anti-Semite, liar, tax delinquent, riot inciter.

    algore – “release the chakra!”

    Ted Kennedy – philanderer, drunk, ran away from an accident and let a dead woman stay submerged in water for several hours while he sobered up.

    LBJ – Billy Sol Estes

    JFK – Adulterer, drug user/addict.

    Truman – puppet of Tom Pendergast’s “machine” – which had ties to organized crime. Attended some KKK meetings in his youth. Dropped the bombs killing hundreds of thousands of innocents.

    FDR – Caused tens of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans to lose their homes, businesses, etc. after he ordered them thrown into internment camps.

    And on and on it goes.

      Ted Kennedy – philanderer, drunk, ran away from an accident and let a dead woman stay submerged in water for several hours while he sobered up.

      The U.K. Daily Mail got it right.

      “Ted Kennedy: The Senator of Sleaze who was a drunk sexual bully… and left a young woman to die.”

Impressive detective work.

However, I repeat that MA voters did not mind Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, or Gerry Studds.

Until they believe that Warren’s behavior implies that she will not deliver the goods for them, the race remains a toss-up.

Because I’m subscribed to several patch sites, I received this in email today:

    princepsCO in reply to RosalindJ. | July 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Got my questions in for Fauxchahontas…. What will you do for the citizens of MA and, through your work as a US Senator, the nation that I can really believe will be Constitutional, intellectually sound, and valuable? Anywhere in your skill set, what valuable insights and experience will you offer that will put people to work and reduce the national debt?

Henry Hawkins | July 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

Get it on, bang a gong, get it on.

Keep the pressure ON.

I have DNA evidience that I am a phoenician. Yet people still think I am a red neck. Could I thus be a potential for high office? Or affirmative action.

    JerryB in reply to david7134. | July 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I’m a real red neck, descended from midwestern red-neck farmer types. I’m proud of my heritage. We spit tobacco at my mother’s funeral. Red necks are really getting hammered these days.

      david7134 in reply to JerryB. | July 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

      I got you beat on red neckness. I live in Louisiana and worked in the oilfield. I bet I could even get into Harvard with that background.

        TrooperJohnSmith in reply to david7134. | July 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

        I’ll see your redneck ‘oil patch’ and raise you a west Texas (Jimbobwe) upbringin’ and poor, Depression-ear Oklahoma roots!


      Red Necks are from West Virginia, where miners wore red scarfs as their battle uniforms during the Red Neck War of 1921.

        TrooperJohnSmith in reply to gad-fly. | July 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        Or, they worked choppin’ cotton (or beans, or ‘maters, or cawn), and from lookin’ down all day, their necks sunburn’t. Heck, oil patch roustabout work an’ roughneckin’ does the same thang to ya!

        Redneck Factoid: The Mullet was dee-veloped to hide that ol’ neck from the sun, while still lookin’ like a decent haircut from the front. That’s the gall-darned honest truth, y’all. :mrgreen:

You & others have well established the woman is a liar & fraud. As posted by others , that is what dems are. Especially Massachusets. What you & others have truely exposed is their blind willingness to culturally abuse a beleaguered minority for their personal ends. They are the 1st to step forward & bitch about how these minoritys were treated by our ancestors. Yet from this Lizzy Warren example , to the statistics of real world devastation brought on minorities by Obamas bull headed agenda of “change” , they are todays sellers of plague infected blankets.

The “impenetrable wall” seems to be a Democratic characteristic. No matter the facts, (“They just lie there, they don’t give a fig what you think of them.” Bill Whittle), no matter how much they give the lie to their positions – everything from global warming and immunizations to unemployment and the economy – smug Democrats just “know” they are correct and have the all answers. God save us all from them.

Cassandra Lite | July 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

“Were any of your Reeds Native American? It has been rumored that some of ours were.”



Midwest Rhino | July 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

There is no retreat for Warren … she has doubled and tripled down, by making up even more stories to cover her tall tales. Most telling may be her claim that she wanted to meet other Native Americans, yet never attempting to actually meet them. But her weak credentials got her into Harvard when spiced up with the glory of diversity, which she willfully basked in.

This demonstrates the power of big media burying some stories, and spinning others. Blogs and ads are a smaller counterweight.

Phillep Harding | July 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

On that “rumored” – If I was hitting the research among strangers who were mavins for documentation, I’d also downplay any family story that could not be documented.

From my personal POV, I do not regard him saying that as being a problem, just good manners.

Your relentless presentation of the factual truth about Elizabeth Warrens false claims of her Native American ancestry, demonstrates your committment and courage as a conservative blogger. No wonder you are experiencing exploding internet traffic.

Scott Brown has been such a dissapointment, I cringe to have to vote for him again but fortunately Liberal Progressive liars like Elizabeth Warren and Deval Patrick, make Browns lie of being a Tea Party candidate, miniscule.

I’ve been here since the beginning and have felt a kinship with LI, as we are in neighbor states, stuck alike in political Dem/Lib Progressive hells.

Does that time frame coincide with when Warren removed herself from various lists?

If so, isn’t that evidence of guilt?

    gasper in reply to jakee308. | July 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I believe she removed her name from the minority rolls when she grabbed the golden ring — the Harvard position. She wanted that part of her life to slink off into oblivion because it had served its purpose. But, it has slithered right back to her and refuses to leave.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to gasper. | July 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Sort of like a piece of toilet paper stuck to her heel…

      Cassie in reply to gasper. | July 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      It’s amazing that Elizabeth Warren thought her history of academic ethnic fraud wouldn’t come to light when she ran for the U.S. Senate.

      But then again, she’s never run for political office before in Massachusetts.

      The powers-that-be really should have started Elizabeth Warren off with something small and much more easy to handle, like maybe an appointment to a position with the Consumer Protection Agency – oh, wait…never mind.


      It’s also more than a little annoying that a SENATE SEAT was seen by the national democratic party as something that could be ‘given’ to Warren as some kind of reward. Gee, where else have I heard about a Senate seat being given to someone as a reward…it wouldn’t be Illinois, would it?

Juba Doobai! | July 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Good work, Wm.

None of it matters though cuz, as far as many in the electorate are concerned, if she can get them taxpayer money for doing nothing, she’s good to go.

Integrity is not required of Democrat politicians cuz they’ve demonstrated they don’t know what it is, don’t care about it, and don’t have it.

Democrats as a whole only care about advancing Communist policies, and if the person carrying the banner forward is a liar, rapist, whore-master, drunk, corrupt lecherous son-of-a-bitch, Democrats don’t care cuz the pol is their … son-of-a-bitch. So, if we want to get rid of these … sons-of-bitches, we have to educate the electorate into being the moral people that de Tocqueville told us could be governed by our Constitution.

I don’t understand why Warren’s willful lying about how the PA and Harvard law schools came to list her as Native American doesn’t end her candidacy. See It’s a serious ethical violation for a member of the bar to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation (see MA Bar Rule 8.4 at 8.4 ). Does the State Bar of MA prefer to look the other way?

If she really believed that she was Cherokee, why didn’t she proudly admit that she put herself down as Native American when applying for work. She is so caught in these serious lies and character failings, yet the blogosphere keeps talking about how unlikely it is that she has a drop of Cherokee blood in her. Let’s talk about how a Harvard Law Professor resorted to lies and deceit, about how she is caught red-handed, and ask why isn’t she sanctioned by Harvard and the State Bar.

    MXG in reply to Mark30339. | July 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Mark – this is exactly the issue. She applied to receive a benefit based on her status (both consideration for admission and for employment based upon a legally recognized status). You can’t just choose to be that status, you must meet the qualifications. If you check the box, you are certifying that you meet the qualification. If you actually do not, you are committing a fraudulent act.

    As simple as this seems, Warren has actually turned the tables to force others to prove she is not Indian. If this was a Sarah Palin equivalent on the Republican side, she would have been run out of town and brought up on charges by now.

    Professor, who has standing to make the legal complain about this fraud? Who has standing to bring this up as a matter of unethical conduct before the bar?

LukeHandCool | July 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

There comes a time to put childish things away for adults … except for playing cowboys and Indians.

Oh, my! Now we find out she’s also part Delaware! Maybe she’s my long lost Chiricahua Apache 1/320 sister, too!

“Actually, you have it wrong about what it is I believe. My mom and dad were very much in love with each other and they wanted to get married and my father’s parents said absolutely not.
“You can’t marry her because she’s part Cherokee and she’s part Delaware. And um, after fighting it as long as they could, my parents went off, they eloped.
“It was an issue in our family the whole time I grew up about these two families. It was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral.
“So what I know about my parents is I know that in that little town they grew up in that my father’s parents knew enough about my mother and her family to say I have no doubts.”

Henry Hawkins | July 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

OH YEAH? Well, plenty of Republicans claim to be Indians without proving it too, ya know.

Bobby Jindal? HELLO
Nikki Haley? HELLO

Stupid Republcians……….

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren would not say if she considers herself a minority, in an interview with CNN that aired Tuesday.

DANA BASH: But Warren has stumbled over an issue she admits has tripped her up. When she applied to teach at Harvard, she identified herself as Native American. Brown pounced, saying there’s no evidence.

ELIZABETH WARREN: I was really surprised that anyone wanted to make this a political issue. I was really surprised by that, and very slow to respond to it. I’m like any other kid—I learned about my family from my parents.

BASH: Brown won’t let it go, accusing her of claiming minority status to advance her career.

SEN. SCOTT BROWN: When you run for high elected office, you have to pass a test. And that test is one of honesty, and credibility, and trustworthiness and truthfulness—and she’s failed that test.

BASH: Harvard administrators say they didn’t know Warren claimed Native American heritage before hiring her. It’s still raw. Warren bristles when asked if she considers herself a minority.

BASH: So you don’t want to put a label on it?

WARREN: Nope. This is part of who I am. This is who I am.

A liar.

DavidJackSmith | July 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Time for Warren to UPDATE THE RESUME…

According to the WSJ a new DNA genetic study shows that Native Americans are themselVes INTERLOPERS and that there were 3 waves of “Colonization” of the Americas..

Including the CHINESE HANS… Hence Ms Warren’s new name MEI-MEI. It’s all about MEI!

    Juba Doobai! in reply to DavidJackSmith. | July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Actually, that is not pronounced ‘Me’ but ‘May’. Nice try, though, but you are looking for ‘MiMi’ which will also work for a Chinese name.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      BTW, ‘Mimi’ means ‘Secret’, which is what Warren hopes her family’s reaction to her attempt to claim Indian minority status will remain.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      One last thing, ‘Mei’ means ‘beautiful’, which is what Elizabeth Warren and her minority games definitely is not.

      I’m sick with a nasty bug this week, so thoughts are scrambled more than usual.

It’s such a losing issue for Scott Brown. If he keeps paying attention to this, she will get elected. Unless Romney destroys Obama in the general.