Saturday, October 17, 2009
Gov. Jeanne Shaheen has signed a Proclamation (again!) declaring this year's fesitval a Native American weekend to be observed by all people of the State. "This is such a proud moment" said Abenaki founder and director, Nancy Lyons (nee: Millette). "The Abenaki and native People in this state finally have recognition at last, even though it is only for two days."
1st document: Rhonda Besaw in reply to her cousin Nancy Millette-Lyons (now Doucet) stated, "my family is a mixture of Eastern and Western Abenaki. I identify as both Penobscot (Eastern Abenaki) to honor my father, and Western Abenaki to honor my family that lived along the Conn. (Connecticut) River in Windsor, Vermont and Plainfield, New Hampshire, and to honor my husband Charles Francis True Jr. (whom she married on January 26, 2003 in Lincoln, Grafton County, New Hampshire)....her father was Virgil Alan Besaw born September 12, 1931 and died march 12, 1981 in Monroe, N.H.....and his parents were Joseph Sylvio Bisson born Dec. 08, 1905 in Berlin, N.H. died Aug. 12, 1944 in France (never married) but had a son by Gretchen "Teat" Henriette Hill and she was born Feb. 01, 1908 in Fitchberg, MA...daughter of Benjamin Smith Hill born on Mar 03 1871 in Windsor, Vermont married Virginia Bythrow who was born Mar. 22 1885 in Lyme, N.H. died Aug. 22, 1965 in Monroe, N.H. daughter of Herbert H. Bythrow and Minnie Jane Nash born 1863 in Plainfield, N.H. whom was the daughter of Fields or Fifield Nash born 1806 in Plainfield, N.H. who married to Jane Prudence Walker. Fields Nash was the son of Jonathan Nash and Eunice Cory daughter of Isaac Cory & Mary and they were out of Plainfield, CT. Jonathan Nash born 1774 in Plainfield, N.H. was the son of Littlefield Nash and Elizabeth. Littlefield Nash was born in 1739 Rhode Island and his wife according the 1800 Census indicates "white". Research of another, indicates that Littlefield Nash was somehow the grandson of Thomas Grinnell born May 02, 1711 in East Greenwich, Kent County RI, and Susannah Sweet born May 17, 1706 in East Greenwich, RI as well. Thomas Grinnell was the son of Mary Nichols and Matthew Grinnell. Mary Nichols was the daughter of Thomas Nichols Jr. and Mercy Reynolds. Thomas Nichols Jr. was the son of Thomas Nichols Sr. and Hannah Griffin. This couple Thomas Nichols Sr. and Hannah Griffin are also my direct ancestors. So, IF anyone secures the confirmation of Western or Eastern Abenaki in the Bisson/Besaw, Hill, or Nash lineages please contact Rhonda Besaw-True of Whitefield, N.H. and or myself.
I could say that I self-identify as Cherokee (Tsalagi ~ Aniyvwiyai) to honor my mother's mother and I could also honor my family as Abenaki/Blackfoot/ Algonquin because numerous ancestral descendants wrote down and stated that we were from these People here in the Northeast (Vermont, N.H., etc.). Just because they were from Kansas (ca. 1870's) doesn't make them Cherokee; and just because they lived in Vermont and N.H. doesn't make them or me Abenaki either. Just because someone says they are Abenaki, Cherokee, Blackfoot, or Sioux doesn't necessarily mean that they are. Just because they have an Abenaki ancestor doesn't necessarily mean that the descendant 8 or 10 generations later is an Abenaki either. Anyone can do nice beadwork, get themselves up in Regalia and attend Pow-wow's. That doesn't make them Indian or Abenaki either. Even a father having high cheek bones and nice white straight teeth doesn't mean that father or grandfather was Abenaki in a family photograph. "Looks", facial characteristics, or having a dark complextion doesn't mean an ancestor is Abenaki and neither does it mean a descendant of that person is Abenaki. I think people get the point I am making here.
2nd doccument: Dated 1/23/2008 7:33 P.M. Nancy Millette- Lyons (now Doucet) claimed to be Abenaki, and assumed she always would be such. Yet, I think her own ancestors had other idea's no matter how much fanciful thinking and claiming Nancy Millette did in the Yahoo Groups or in the media.
So, since I say my grandmother told my mother and I, "that the Woodward's were Cherokee and that her first husband's father was a Cherokee Chief in Norton, Phillips County, Kansas", and then I move to Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, or Georgia.....does that mean I am a Cherokee Indian if I self- identify as such, to "honor" my grandmother "just cause she said these things to us when we were teenagers"? THINK ABOUT IT.