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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An Evaluation of the Phillips Family of Vermont, in particular Antoine Philips and his wife Catherine Cadaive - Part 1

Beginning in the summer of 2007, I had retrospectively begun using the genetic tests to discern my late father's biological relationship (or not) to who was listed on his birth certificate, to who raised him up to adult, and connect him (hopefully) to his genetic contributing paternal ancestry. I was successful in determining who his genetic contributing father was, and secured his paternal ancestry.

If I could do it with my father, and my siblings, to determine genealogical and genetic relationship in  the ancestral past, why couldn't I use the same methodology and science, to discern who Antoine Phillips Sr. and Catherine Cadaive were, and who their ancestral connection(s) were?

In April of 2009, just before starting this blog, I inquired of a Direct-Male-Descendant of the Vermont Phillips family if he would consider doing a Y-DNA test, to determine his direct-male-ancestor Antoine Phillips Sr.'s genetiv background. At first, he agreed, then when this blog was started the following month, he quickly declined. 

While working on this blog over the years since May 2009, since then I have had a number of people communicate with me, both with hostility and sometimes, with curiosity, and even questions.

In particular, in April 2014, a gentleman from Missouri, who is descended from the Phillips family of NY that descended from Antoine Phillips and Catherine Cadaive contacted me by email, asking me if anyone had ever done a DNA test. He was the first that I knew, to consider and subsequently do an Autosomal DNA test. Since then, and reviewing his resulting matches through FTDNA, I again began to genetically  descendant search for genetic Phillips contributors, to TRY and determine the actual genealogical background and genetic foundation of Antoine Phillips and his wife Catherine, aside from what the Vermont Eugenics Survey of Vermont had stated, implied or conjectured about the Phillips family between 1926 and 1935. With the help of a handful of Antoine Phillips Sr. descendants, I can now share the rightful and truthful history of the progenitor of the Vermont Phillips family.

Forewarning: The following information will CONTRADICT what Winifred (nee: Jerome) Yaratz, Dr. Fred M. Wiseman Ph.D. and the Nulhegan group "Chief" Donald Warren Stevens, Jr. etc have led people to believe about the Phillips family, in and of itself, historically and contemporaneously.

References to ‘Native American’ Ancestry

1.     “There seems to be an indication that some of the Phillipses came from the Indian Reservation of Caughnawaga / Kahnawake near Montreal, Canada, and not far from Malone, New York.”

So we know from the pseudo-scientific observations that someone, whether it be Ms. H. E. Abbott of the Eugenics Survey in Burlington, who made the implied conjecture that the Phillips family allegedly came from Reservation of Caughnawaga / Kahnawake near Montreal, Canada, yet when she wrote to that Mohawk community, she apparently did not get a reply at all. 

2.     “Antoine had French and Indian blood.”

The Eugenic's Survey Field Researcher(s) could not have determined this at all, as being factual, except by observation, and social constructs. They did not know the parentage (paternally or maternally) of either Antoine Phillips Sr. nor of his wife Catherine Cadaive, at the time of the Eugenics Survey.

3.     Matilda (nee: Leoporte / Leopard) Phillips also known as Young Matilda, said “that Antoine Phillips had Indian blood and had something to do with the Kickapoo Indians.”

Harriet Abbott thought that the statements made by Matilda were rather suspect; except for the fact [how were the implied statements ‘factual’? that Old Antoine did have Indian blood [where was or is this substantiated as a fact?] and probably was related to some of the inhabitants of an Indian Reservation in Southwestern Canada.

4.     “Old Matilda (nee: Phillips) Bissette was a little confused in her statements.”

5.     The Peters family were half French and half Indian.  They had also married into a mulatto family by the name of Prince.  In Hinesburg the family were looked upon as colored people, although they were very light in color.

There is no proof positive (documentarily that the Peters were Indian descendants. Indeed, the records do show that the Peters and Prince families did have African ancestry. There are implied vital records that INDICATE the family BELIEVED they were Indian descendants.

6.     Peter Phillips the first was part Indian, part French, part Negro.

Again, the Field Researcher's were ONLY going by what was TOLD to them, by the Phillips family, and those people interviewed, who either interacted with and or observed the Phillips family.

7.     Delia Bone was part Indian and part French.  She came from an Indian reservation near Montreal.

Again, conjecture on the part of whomever was giving the information, and or perpetuating that information. Ms. Abbott and her cohorts in the Eugenics Survey did not definitely ascertain or determine the genealogical parentage of "Delia Bone" nor that of her husband Peter Phillips Sr.'s parents.

8.“We have been looking up a Phillips family in Vermont that has cost the State a great deal of money.  “Old Pete” Phillips was part Negro, part French and part Indian.  His first wife is said to have been Delina Bone who came from the Indian Reservation Caughnawaga, near Montreal.

9.“We have not been able to trace the Phillipses to their home in Canada.”

Indeed, this is indicative of a lack of genealogical research qualifications of the Field Researchers themselves of the Eugenics Survey itself. While Antoine Phillips did have children with a FRENCH woman Catherine Cadaive, as the family and or Ms. Abbott knew Catherine's maiden name to be, there was no factual determination that the Phillips had a home in Canada.

10.“As to race, they were originally part French, part Negro and part Indian.”

11.“The family is for the most part illiterate and has for the most part been absolutely without any sense of truth.”

Actually, that is not the reality at all. Though it was probably in their interest not to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the likes of Ms. Harriet Abbott of the Eugenics Survey of Vermont.

12.“I think that old Pete Phillips known as “King of the Gypsies,” originally came from Canada.  At any rate his wife is said to have come from an Indian reservation near Montreal.”

'Said' and PROVEN are two very different realities or dynamics altogether.

13.Catherine Cadaive: “We know little of this individual. All our information comes either from the vital statistics of her children or from Matilda Phillips Bissette, (also known as “Old Matilda”).”

Admitting that Ms. Abbott knew very little about Catherine Cadaive, the woman conjectured much, even to the point of implying that perhaps the Negro ancestral connection(s) came from Catherine herself! 

14.“Old Matilda, however, is a little mixed in the information that she gives.  She mentions a certain Margaret Codaire as Antoine Phillips’s first wife.  It is not clear whether Catherine Cadaive and Margaret Codaire are one and the same or not.”

It was never the responsibility of Old Matilda (nee: Phillips) Bissette, to give accurate genealogical information, to the likes of Ms. Harriet Abbott, rather it was the responsibility of Ms. Abbott to determine the accuracy of what was being told and shared with her. Yet, Ms. Abbott had apparently not the inclination or the time in which to validate and confirm the information spoken to her.

If Harriett E. Abbott did not know who Antoine Phillips Sr.’s wife was, how could she determine whether or not Catherine had Negro ancestry? And or Indian ancestry? The same question applies to her awareness or lack thereof; regarding Antoine Phillips Sr.’s allegedly having “Indian blood” ancestry. Harriett Abbott did not know his ancestry came from Canada, nor who his parents were, let alone grandparents, for either Antoine nor Catherine!

15.“Matilda (nee: Phillips) Bissette said that, “Old Antoine’s grandmother or great-grandmother was a Trueheart and that her great-great-grandfather came from St. Regis [Akwesasne], Canada.

Yet again, Matilda (nee: Phillips) Bisette was elderly and inaccurate in her statements, as stated and observed by Ms. Harriet Abbott herself. To claim that Antoine Phillips Sr.'s grandmother or great-grandmother was a Trueheart and that her great-great great grandfather came from St. Regis/ Akwesasne, on the Canadian side, is merely a MYTH ... until it is proven factual documentarily.

16.“Cora (nee: Stark) Phillips says that Lemas [Delia (nee: Benoit)] Bone was part Indian and part French. She came from an Indian Reservation Caughnawaga, sixteen miles from Montreal. The same informant says that Lemas Bone had a sister living at that reservation.

17.Chief Russell of Burlington, Vermont, remembers Old Pete Phillips who looked like an Indian.

"looked like an Indian"? Many people look Indian. Again is an observation (social construct) and not factually accurate. Many Italians look Indian too.

18.“Peter Phillips and ‘all his tribe’ were constantly traveling.”

A collection of families descending from one ancestor. 

The usage of the word 'tribe' did not mean in the context of 'Native American Tribe'. There are many different people groups and tribes across the continent of Africa for example, as well as 'tribes' within the Arab geographical areas (not necessarily culturally or genealogically interrelated at all with one another)

19.“For a great many years and probably until his first wife Delia Bone died, the ‘headquarters of the tribe’ was South Burlington.”

Again, the context in which the VT Eugenics Survey Field Researchers were using the word "tribe' was that they (Ms. Abbott and others) were studying and mapping out, a collection of families descending from one ancestor, that being Antoine Phillips Sr. and or his son, Peter Phillips.

Basket-making has been done within many people's, Irish, German, African, Asian people's including North American continental indigenous people's, etc have all had and have basket-makers. The reality that the Phillips family of Vermont made baskets out of brown ash and or reed, does not validate the claims that the Phillips family were Abenakis, from and of Vermont, or Mohawk's from Caughnawaga/ Kahnawake, near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. African's that were transported as slaves into the United States, began using and adapting their basket-making materials and techniques, to their new geographical environments.

Salem, O. An Ancient Basket-Maker
Postcard Made in Germany. Divided Back

Uncle Eph, Making Baskets near Charlotte, N. C.
It was printed in Germany, No. 32333 J. B. Ivey & Co., Publishers Undivided Back.
Postal marked and stamped January 09, 1908

These two are colorized Postcards that
I bought recently from Gerry Biron, off from eBay, last month.

(jokingly said) 

I could do like the JSC Professor 
Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman Ph.D. 
did with the Chief ________ of the Wabanakus RPPC image 
and claim this man is Antoine Phillips Sr.

... but he is not. 
WHO was Peter Phillips father, Antoine Phillips? WHERE did he come from?

WHO were his parents, his siblings, his Aunt's & Uncle's, Niece's and Nephew's?

Who were Catherine Cadaive's parents, and WHERE did she come from?

WHO were her siblings, her Aunt's & Uncle's, Niece's and Nephew's?

These are the question(s) I have had about my own ancestors

And of the Phillips family as well

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