During the early 1990’s Jeff was in a library researching archival film on the reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. While looking for his wife’s Native Heritage it just seemed there wasn’t enough material out there to find. The normal tales had.... more
During the early 1990’s Jeff was in a library researching archival film on the reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. While looking for his wife’s Native Heritage it just seemed there wasn’t enough material out there to find. The normal tales had been told through family legend like any other. His wife was told as a kid she had Cherokee blood. Then years later the story drifted to Apache. Being she was raised more in Cherokee territory like her ancestors it seemed only logical to look along these lines. Even with that logic a very intense search went on for three or four years. The blood line turned out to be Choctaw. But still it was felt there were not enough Native materials available out there for a completely thorough search.
After reading what seemed like miles of film it was decided that something needed to be done to inform people of their heritage. The material was on film and available but hidden if you didn’t know where to look. He decided people went to libraries for books. You could find Scottish, Irish, German, or even English genealogies on their shelves. Everyone thought there aren’t any Native American records. But the film he had been studying for years had just never been transcribed. Most of the older Natives had never wanted their records out there because of the stigmatism or prejudice they had faced the majority of their lives. This was even present while trying to publish new materials. Different people wanted to put the transcriptions out there, but not with the same recognition levels as other ethnic groups. Today, 2021, some of those attitudes still hold. One person during the spring of 2016 even mentioned he was responsible to the Scottish and Irish genealogical societies and would need more proof of Native involvement with these ethnic groups in order to create more exposure for Native materials published. When historically if anyone is willing to read Native history the Irish and Scotch can be found throughout tribal histories either by marriage or trade or plain friendship. He tried to tell this person with Native deafness that a huge number of the Five Civilized Tribes intermarried during the late 1700-1800’s with the very ethnic groups he was so handily defending. But to no avail, so the author just decided to pursue his life's work and not worry about opinions but try to help others find their Native Heritage. Today, after many years and over 150 Native American genealogical publications the effort continues to create more materials with better research, Introductions with knowledge of history and culture along with the genealogical resource material to help people find their family heritage.
Jeff Bowen's Projects
How many hours did Dr. Starr, the student spend inside the Barnes Medical College, St. Louis? Wor... more