finding your roots

Celtic clan identity and ‘part Indian ‘

Garth Tuttle August 2, 2012

In Scotland, where one is a member of a clan, it is either 1) you have the same ancestor, 2) you have an ancestor with hte same name (Donald, for example ) or, more likely, your ancestors were adherents to that clan’s head family. Similarly, when Blacks lived free amongst Native Americans, they often had a ‘patron’ chief – and so would take his name as their surname – if a free Black was captured and enslaved, having that “Indian” identity, it is certain that part of their history would be passed on … it was, in essence, their ‘clan ‘ identity .
Conversely, many Native Americans were enslaved along with Africans, hence some of the modern Blacks who infact do have ‘Indian’ DNA are not, in fact , from families which lived amongst ‘Indians’.

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The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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