Elizabeth Warren’s disputed claim to be Native American has been all over the headlines again after Warren’s appearance on Sunday shows in which she evaded questions as to whether she would take a DNA test.

Warren appeared rattled and annoyed, as we documented in Elizabeth Warren cracking under the pressure of Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ taunts.

I discussed an issue the media is missing in a recent post, No, Elizabeth Warren cannot prove she’s Native American merely by taking a DNA test:

This claim that all Warren need do is show any Native American DNA, no matter how small, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of Warren’s claim to be Native American for employment purposes. Under clear EEOC and Harvard standards, Native American ancestry would not be sufficient to claim Native American status for employment purposes, which is what Warren did.

Nonetheless, the issue of taking a DNA test is so simple that it is irresistible headline material.

In her interviews, Warren repeated a claim she has made before that her family lore justified her claim to be Native American. At Elizabeth Warren Wiki, we went through a variety of her family lore claims and how they were not supported by available evidence, including the story about her Aunt Bee’s high cheekbones.

The story Warren focused on in her Sunday interviews is a story she had told before, that her parents had to elope because her father’s family would not accept her mother because her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware.

Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes has previously uncovered evidence disputing that story, including a wedding announcement for her parents marriage in the local paper that is inconsistent with there being some sort of shame about the marriage:

In this 2012 interview, Barnes explained why Warren was not Cherokee and why the parents elopement story made no sense:

With Warren’s supposed family lore back in the news, Barnes’ research is receiving attention.

The Washington Times has the story, Elizabeth Warren’s story of racist grandparents disputed by Cherokee genealogist:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren sought Sunday to bolster her shaky claims of Cherokee ancestry with the story of how her racist grandparents drove her parents to elope.

But Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes says that account has its own credibility issues.

Ms. Barnes, who said her research into Ms. Warren’s family found “no evidence” of Native American ancestry, has challenged key elements of the senator’s tale of how her parents, Pauline Reed and Donald Herring, defied his parents by running off to marry.

“The problem with Warren’s story is that none of the evidence supports it,” said Ms. Barnes in a 2016 post on her Thoughts from Polly’s Granddaughter blog. “Her genealogy shows no indication of Cherokee ancestry. Her parents’ wedding doesn’t resemble an elopement. And additional evidence doesn’t show any indication of her Herring grandparents being Indian haters.” ….

“If Ms. Warren’s parents eloped due to her mother being ‘Cherokee and Delaware’ and it was such a disgrace, why did they rush back to Wetumka the same day they were married and proudly announce it to everyone?” asked Ms. Barnes. “If there was shame associated with the marriage and it caused so many problems, why was it happily announced in the local paper?”

Given that Ms. Warren’s father had just turned 21, the age after which he could legally marry in Oklahoma without his parents’ permission, “Maybe his parents feared if he got married, he would drop out of college. And according to the evidence, that is exactly what happened,” she said.

Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson vouched for the credibility of Ms. Barnes‘ fact-finding.

“I have never seen anything that called into question the integrity of Twila Barnes‘ research,” said Mr. Jacobson, who runs the Legal Insurrection blog. “To the contrary, she has meticulously researched Warren’s family lineage demonstrating no Native American ancestry, as well as facts rebutting Warren’s family lore stories.”

Barnes appeared on The Tucker Carlson Tonight show tonight, and absolutely skewered Warren’s claim to be Cherokee and her family lore story.

Tucker: Is Elizabeth Warren a Cherokee Indian?

Barnes: No. She’s not enrolled. She has no family on the rolls, she has no indication of Indian ancestry anywhere in her lineage.


Tucker: What do you know about [the parents’ elopement story], is that true?

Barnes: I don’t believe it’s true. They were married by a prominent minister in a town just maybe 15 miles away…. I don’t think he would have done a wedding for two kids that ran away an eloped and their parents didn’t approve. Also, Elizabeth Warren’s father, he had at least one brother and one sister who also just went and had small weddings the same way. I just think it’s the way their family did things at the time. I don’t think it was an elopement.


Tucker: There’s a lot of American Indians in Oklahoma, what do they think of these claims?

Barnes: Well I can’t speak for all of them, I could speak for the ones that I talk to. Some just laugh, because it’s so ludicrous. I mean, you know, she has no proof of anything. She’s a lawyer, and she’s supposed to understand you need proof, yet she keeps claiming. Many are angry because they feel like she’s appropriating an identity to gain something from that. And she has no respect for true Native Americans.”

Tucker: I think all of that’s true, it’s identity theft, there’s no doubt.


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