Morning folks! I’ll jump right onto it:
In all my frustration with the Escoe family ethnicity saga, I had figured I would go back and do some general research and maybe find something that randomly appeared. I used Google to run my search on “Mary Escoe Creek Indian” with not much expectation. It came back with multiple links showing some hits on the name. I saw a freepages.rootsweb.ancestry link that made me shudder. As I described in my last post, freepages has some great information but getting to it is the problem. Each page was set up by an individual to display their genealogical information, which is great, but also became a place for people to add quirky icons, horrible wallpapers, and sometimes a virtual genealogical hoarding situation. When those three elements were combined, you could spend days sorting through poorly constructed registers and trees hidden in weird links. Now sometimes…you find a real gem of a page that was well-constructed, well-organized, and had the information very accessible. I got lucky. My link was perfect.
I found Lance Hall’s http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~texlance/main.htm and my heart stopped. The link I accessed was titled “Fulfilling Treaties With The Creeks-Letter From The Acting Secretary Of The Treasury” (1). The letters ranged from 1890 to 1892 and referred to an 1832 treaty that identified a payment to Creek Indians removed to land west of the Mississippi River. In the persons identified in the payment roll were 23 persons named Escoe starting with Thomas J. and Mary M. Escoe. It also included 14 persons named Evans including Lottie [Lettie] and Wiley Evans. Finding this record with my ancestors listed on it almost knocked me out of the chair. All this info from a simple Google search. I decided to jump down the rabbit hole.
I went back to my family’s Dawes card and looked at the supplemental information handwritten on the card to see what I could research in the new database I found! Both Mary and Lettie Escoe Evans had been enrolled in 1890 in the Deep Fork district of Arbeka tribal town according to their Dawes Cards. With the way that the freepages was laid out, I was able to hit on the 1890 Creek Nation Census link and access an index situated by Creek tribal town. I selected the Deep Fork, Arbeka link. In black and white type was Mary Escoe. Next to her name was the number 678. 678 is Mary’s Dawes card field number. I found multiple Escoe and Evans living exactly where they were supposed to be living according to the documents. Then I got sidetracked and clicked all the amazing links Lance had included on his page.
After I spent two days exploring the Creek records online, I went back to Mary Escoe’s Dawes Card to inspect a handwritten note on the card that was kind of strange. It referred to a US Northern District Court case in regards to an appeal from the Dawes Commission. After some searching, I came across the US Citizenship Case Files In Indian Territory from 1896-1897 (2). Looks like my family wasn’t Indian after all…or so the Dawes Commission said. Uh-oh!
Today I listened to Graveyard- Hisingen Blues
(2) Ancestry.com. U.S., Citizenship Case Files in Indian Territory, 1896-1897[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Series P2293. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793–1999, Record Group 75. Case 266, Mary Escoe et al. [accessed 13 July 2015].