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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

July 08-09, 2000 "Sagawa" 8th Annual Twin Mountain, N.H. Pow-wow Event: More articles.

Rhonda Besaw (then of Barnet, Vermont) claimed in July 2000, to be "Eastern Abenaki" descent, yet years after this article was published in the Littleton Courier newspaper when she hired me to research her genealogical ancestral background, in April 2007, I could not find ANY indication of "Eastern Abenaki" ancestral connections in her ancestral past. Retrospectively-speaking, Rhonda did provide me a Microsoft WORD typed document manufactured "write-up" from her father's mother, Gretchen "Teat" Henriette (nee: Hill) Bisson - Story,that Gretchen had allegedly wrote. Quote, "Nash married an Indian girl" and "I have always understood that Nash-I don't know his first name-came down the Connecticut River to the Plainfield banks-another man was with him-Grandfather Nash had pneumonia, they cared for the men and eventually Nash married one of them. They had one son, Fields Nash-Grandfather Nash died of TB-The Indians buried him with them somewhere in the Black Hills. Fields Nash married Prudence LeDoux. They had 6 or 7 children-which one, Minnie, was my Grandmother. It is the little Indian blood from the Nash that I am proudest. Truly American".
Gretchen's mother was Virginia (nee: Bythrow) Hill. Virginia's mother was Minnie Jane (nee: Nash) Bythrow born in ca. 1863 in Plainfield, Sullivan County, New Hampshire. Minnie Jane (nee: Nash) Bythrow's sister was
Chloe Sophi "Elizabeth" (nee: Nash) Dyke, also born in Plainfield, N.H. Chloe's son Fredric Volney Dyke who was born in Lyme, N.H. married to Emma Tattersall Dec 1904 Lyme, N.H. and this couple had Mabel Dyke in Apr 1902 Queechee, Vermont. Mabel Dyke married to Reginald Hunt (son of Flora "Una Ana" actually it was Eunice nee: Ingerson - Hunt) in Oct 1922 in North Haverhill, N.H. Reginald and Mabel's son Melvin "Slim" Ray Hunt born in Nov. 1926 in Monroe, N.H. married to Dolores M. Bilodeau. It is their son that is Richard "Rick" Ray Hunt. It is Rick Hunt's aunt Beverlyn Irwin (nee: Hunt) who married to Malcolm Millette. Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Wiggins - Demming - Cruger - Lyons is a first-cousin to Richard "Rick" Ray Hunt!
So, my reason for bringing this genealogy up is this. If they all are related to one another, are they all supporting each other in their self-proclamation's of being "Abenaki" Indians, when perhaps in factual reality, they may not be anything of the sort?! The dynamic being that they are slapping each other on the backside's is whats been going on between all three of them to my thinking.
Here is how I've done "the math":
1. Nancy Millette/ Cruger/ Lyons (as I knew her throughout these years) introduces herself (retrosepctively-speaking) to Jesse James Larocque & "the alleged Abenaki gang" from up in Swanton, Vermont in the Summer or Fall of 1993 led by the late "Chief" Homer St. Francis Sr. and they all came into Littleton, New Hampshire, and she introduced brown-ash-basketmaking elderly Newton E. Washburn of Bethlehem, N.H. as well to this bunch. He gets a "membership card" and she does too.
2. Then Rhonda Besaw meets up with her relative Nancy Cruger who informed Rhoda Besaw "that she (Nancy) is now a Diplomatic Ambassador of the Abenaki Nation" sounding pretty impressive to Rhonda.
3. This 1993 "interaction" with the "Chief" Homer Walter St. Francis and Homer's "bodyguard" Darrell Larocque bunch-of-folks from Swanton, Vermont was the catalyst/spark, or the "foundation" for these three (Nancy Millette-Cruger, Richard "Rick" Ray Hunt, and Rhonda L. Besaw) reinventing themselves into becoming alleged Abenakis.
Yet, their genealogical and ancestors historical documentations do not support or even convincingly imply this reinvention/ self-identity of either three of them being of "Eastern or Western Abenaki descent." Don't think I haven't asked and demanded them to provide me the clear and convincing evidence as to their repeated claims of being Abenaki descendants. As yet (June 2009) I have yet to be shown any documentation or ancestral testimonies either on paper, audio, or otherwise to convince me my conclusions about these three person's has been in error.
I was commissioned/paid by Rhonda L. Besaw-True in late April 2007 to research her genealogical historical records. I did find that indeed, she does descend from "Roch Manintoubeouich / Manitouabeouichit" and his wife
"Outchibabhanoukoneau/Outchibahabanoukouehou/squa" from the Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada area ca. 1600 - 1610. This couple was clearly HURON who, upon being removed from their land in "the west" by the diseases ravaging the Huron and conflicts/warfare with the Iroquois/Mohawk People's with the Huron, they fled to Sillery, Quebec, Canada "under the protection of the Jesuit Priests promises". Even the names are NOT Western Abenaki. Their names are not written in Western Abenaki by the Jesuits of that time! Yet, ONLY until I secured this genealogical ancestral information by September 2007, based on what Sherry Gould of Bradford, N.H. kindly shared with me of her own ancestry, did Rhonda L. Besaw have ANY definitive documentary evidence or awareness as to her Native (Huron) ancestry. Yet, she is in this July 2000 Sagakwa pamphlet/ flier, claiming to being of "Eastern Abenaki" decent. Her "foundation" (then and now) for this self-proclamation of being "Eastern and Western Abenaki" is based on allegedly what her father Virgil Alan Besaw "told her" when she was a teenager. "Oral history" is great stuff but what is there to 'back up' this oral history. The answer she gave was pretty much Ziltch, Nadda, Zero, -O-, NOTHING to support this statement of her's. There is NOTHING to support or even imply that what Nancy L. Millette-Cruger-Lyons has said about her Great Grandmother Flora Eunice Ingerson-Hunt nor Flora's mother Almira Rines-Ingerson for that matter, was factually truthful either!
So you tell me, what does this say about whats been going on?! What does this all mean? Is it that three of these person's, right along with a whole lot of other folks were/ are "Playing Indian/Abenaki" (like what is discussed in Philip Deloria's book?), being for better words...."reinvented Abenaki" without a stred of credible documented evidence to support their oral self-proclamations?! Being a Huron descendant, being a Micmac descendant or being a Native descendant does NOT make one an "Abenaki" to my thinking. I guess it just didn't and still doesn't matter to them. One does not see a Mik'Maq person who knows they are Mik'Maq claiming to being Abenaki, nor do you see a Penobscot claiming to being Abenaki. But over here in Vermont and New Hampshire, if a person has a 1600's Mik'Maq or Algonquin or Huron ancestor, then they self-identify as being "Abenaki". When one questions them as to their self-identification, they claim "that there really was no such a people as "Abenaki", that it was an invention or error of the "white-man's historical pen". They say that the term "Abenaki" is generic for the word "Wabanaki". As I have said repeatedly, "the genealogical documentation supports the oral history and visa versa oral history supports the genealogical documentation as well of one's family ancestry". Perhaps someone out there in the world will have and provide more solidification (genealogically speaking) to support these self-proclamations of these three people. Until the evidence, clearly and convincingly, is provided, I will continue to doubt these people are true and legitimate Abenaki descendants. So ought everyone else doubt the merits of anyone claiming to be Abenaki in Vermont/ New Hampshire, at least to my thinking nowadays, UNLESS these people can prove by verifiable evidence that what they say is truthful, that they are indeed Abenaki . Jokingly said, most folks who are "west" of the Mississippi with a hint of having any Native ancestry, claim of being "Cherokee" or "Sioux" .....folks here "east" of the Mississippi with a hint of having any Native ancestry, automatically assume and proclaim that they are "Abenaki".

May 16, 2000 - July 05, 2000 - July 06, 1999 - July 13, 2000 "Sagakwa" 8th Annual Twin Mountain, N.H. Pow-wow Event

I decided to remove two previously placed postings on this blog, and rearrange the documents on here to "flow" more nicely time-wise, in order to their happening.

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