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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Maine: York County

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Re: Lillian York Smith, Is she a Native American?
Posted by: melissa1 (ID *****3873) Date: August 21, 2004 at 06:13:17
In Reply to: Lillian York Smith, Is she a Native American? by Laurence Gross of 867

I have no direct help for you, but can tell you only from my own experiences in researching my own American Indian family in Maine. Smith was/is apparently a fairly common name that the Indians took on.
The Indians on the reserves in Maine will be of No Help to you unless you can Prove that one of your ancestors was listed on the 1910 census there, and even then you will probably have a hard time with it.

If you have reason to believe that your ancestor was of Indian descent, then you will have your work cut out for you. I knew my 3rd grt. grandfather was an Indian doctor, and that he made this beautiful wooden box we had for many years in our family until one time my Dad gave it away to another family member,(g-r-r-r-r-r), and now its gone from us forever. Also my great grandmother was the only one who would even speak of him in our family, but thank goodness she did because that is how we learned of him.

I started by posting messages all over the Maine pages, and the Surname pages, and the American Indian page here (there is also a Wabanaki page and an Abenaki page here now you can post to as well), but that is how I started out.

My family was from Brunswick and I can tell you that there were LOTS of Indian families in that area because of the river. If you are familiar with Brunswick and Topsham you know they are separated by a bridge and a good sized river.
Anyway, as for your Lillian York's family, I am not familiar with the York name among the Indians in Maine, but one of her parents may have been. You will need to find out who her Parents were so you can determine what her Mother's maiden name was and go from there.

The Indians in Maine took on whatever names they could to hide and fit in among the whites. Those who were lucky enough to stay off the reservations or worse, being sent out West by the forces of the white men during those horrid years, had to struggle hard to remain independent.
They changed their names, used their children's names, never told their correct age, or more probably true, didn't really know their true age, and hardly ever seemed to tell exactly where they were born. (from the census info)

My own Indian doctor, used 2 different first names and said he was born in either Brunswick, Maine or Canada...and he never used or gave his correct age.

I don't mean to babble on so, but I have been searching for my Indian family now for over 2 years and I mean Non-Stop solid searching too, not just casually whenever the notion strikes me, I mean solid searching. The tiny little fragments of info I have received to date are very disappointing but at least I have more info than I did 2 years ago. Its more than anyone knew about him in my family, so I have now become the Storyteller in my family and the keeper of the old family info. I love that though, and enjoy telling the story of our Indian doctor.

I wish you much luck, and if I can be of further help just let me know. I have several old books on the Maine Indians and several census' from Maine and the Indian reservations. You will find me a whole lot faster on the MOODY page here at GenForum. Just leave a message in the Subject line on that page to Melissa and I will find it.
Happy Searching.



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