Right into the saga:
Muscogee Creek citizenship office: I was filling out my papers and the two women to my left were explaining their case for citizenship to tribal employee. The folder was almost two inches thick. They thumbed through each page explaining the relevance of each item. I was watching out of the corner of my eye at every page. About halfway through their file, they came to a page with a picture. My jaw dropped. I knew the picture.
It was a photocopy of a black-and-white picture of an old, white-bearded man in a suit seated next to an old, dark-haired woman with hair in a bun. I was very familiar with the faces. I knew them because that same picture was in my research file. (Thanks, Ancestry.com) The persons on the page were my suspected 4th great-grandmother and great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson and Mary Barheche Escoe.
Here is some interesting information for you. I have four generations through my biological mother listed on the 1906 Final Dawes Indian Rolls for the Creek Nation. In order to be eligible for tribal enrollment, according to the Bureau Of Indian Affairs, a person must be a direct descendant of a person on the Dawes Roll. Here are my four ancestors:
Mary Escoe (4GG)- Card #676, Roll #2218
Lettie Escoe (3GG)- Card #1119, Roll #3624
Dora Escoe (2GG)- Card #1119, Roll #3630
Lena Simmons (GG)- New Born Card #399, Roll #333
Okay…I’m sitting there staring at Thomas and Mary Escoe’s faces. I politely lean towards the woman and tell her “Ma’am…I think we share an ancestor. She looks at me and looks at the picture. She smiled. I said “That is Thomas and Mary Escoe. They are my fourth great-grandparents.” She looked at the picture again and back at me. “HONEY! WE’S KINFOLK!” I laughed, she laughed and my wife sat there with her mouth open looking at both of us in shock…and for VERY good reason.
On another note, if anyone has any questions for me, please feel free to contact me on here or on Facebook under The Rock N Roll Genealogist. I would love to hear from anyone who has a question about my story, my opinions, who I am, and what I do. Thanks again to all of you for the encouragement and please share, follow. like.
Source for image: Ancestry.com. Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards for Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.
Original data: Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1186, 93 rolls); Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75; National Archives, Washington, D.C.