Indian Legends – A Follow Up

Thursday morning I posted about an article containing an “Indian Legend” I had found to be disturbing. Mr. Eastman (the author of the blog containing the history article in question) has communicated with me in personal e-mail to express his feelings on the subject, but he has chosen not to publish my comments or his own comments on his blog. That is his choice, but I must say I am disappointed. I feel it is a topic that needs to be discussed openly among researchers, genealogists and writers of fiction and non-fiction. Until it is properly and widely addressed, the cycle of disrespect to Native People will continue.

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Categories: Documentation, History-Wabanaki, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Indian Legends – Sources & Reliability in Professional Writing

Today I am taking a quick side trip from my Marden family research to bring attention to a history article published by Dick Eastman on July 9. Yesterday I posted my comment on his blog in response to the article. I believe the message is very important and worth repeating and expanding on here.

The title of the article is “Knights in Shining Armor in the 1300s… in Massachusetts?


Here is my comment beginning with the quote that set me off and with a little added formatting for emphasis.

“Micmac Indians of the 14th century told legends of a blond haired, blue-eyed god who they called “Glooscap,” …”

Shame, shame, shame on you Mr. Eastman!

Did you check any of your “facts” before publishing them for the whole world to read?

I have been reading with interest a number of popular genealogy blogs lately discussing the importance of good research and proper citations. Then to see Dick Eastman (an icon of the online genealogy world!) publish unsourced “Indian” information. Oh, but “Indians” don’t count, right! We can say anything about them we want cuz well they are all gone, right, and they didn’t bother to learn how to write so we have no records to check. So, that gives a person the right to say what they want about “Indian”  history. Right?


Why do we continue to treat “Indian” history different from the non-Native history of this land? Why do we accept anything and everything written about them as truth without ever checking the facts? We’ve taken everything from them and we continue by taking their stories and taking their culture heroes and turning them into something of European origin, as if anything good that is “Indian” must have come from European origins?

Certainly, when a person like Dick Eastman says something, well, of course it must be true. He would not pass on questionable information would he, at least not without warning us it is unsourced?

If anyone is ever going to stop this madness it must start with our online leaders. We MUST hold ourselves to the same standards for Native history as we do for our own families.

Please folks, don’t spread unsubstantiated information on the web, not our own family history and certainly not the family history of others, even if they are only just “Injun” stories. Unless the information is told to us by actual Native People who have grown up within Native Communities, or we have done significant original research ourselves (not just repeating what other non-Natives say), we should avoid republishing unsourced “Indian” stories for the world to read and continue believing and spreading into infinity.

Nancy Lecompte
Research and Education Director for Ne-Do-Ba
A 501(c)3 Maine Nonprofit Corporation

I case you haven’t guessed – I am very passionate about this subject. As a researcher I am constantly dealing with the non-Native need to spread romantic “Indian” stories. How is a novice ever to figure out what is and what is not true Native history if the folks writing “Indian” histories never check their sources, cite their sources, or make an effort to find real sources to begin with?

Stories are the family history of Native People. Perhaps the stories are not your family history but they certainly are someone’s family history. Do you like other people using your family history in inappropriate ways, subverting it and fixing it to fit the picture they want to see? Why should we think Native People will feel any different when they see their history bastardized?

A variety of recent genealogy blog posting by various well known genealogy bloggers have discussed the need for good citations. They are also pointing out how important it is to determine the strength or reliability of the information we use before turning the information into family fact. It should be no different when we are researching history in general or the culture of others.

Think about it! It is irresponsible writing and a terrible affront to Native People. But of course, every good story needs a good “Injun” legend to spice it up. Let’s keep kicking them and taking more from them – it’s the American way.

And we wonder why the Native People of this country don’t want anything to do with non-Native People? They don’t want to help us solve our “Indian” in the family tree mysteries. If they do, we will just take it and run, leaving them to eat our dust once again.

Non-Natives just don’t seem to grasp the true concept of a gift for a gift. There are a few responsible family historians out there, but I seldom hear from them. I am talking about a person who spends time within the actual communities their ancestors may have been a part of, taking time to learn about the community from the community, taking time to gain the trust of that community by their actions, taking time to care about the community and to give something back to it. They are few and far between. Most everyone I come in contact with is just looking for instant answers and romantic tales to add to the family tree.

And then Dick Eastman makes a huge blunder according to his own peers by not properly researching and sourcing his article and the cycle continues.

Sorry Mr. Eastman, it’s nothing personal — but really it is!

CanyonWolf60x60Canyon Wolf 
Copyright ©2011 Ne-Do-Ba – All Rights Reserved
Categories: Documentation, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Edward Marden Jr. – What Next?

I have used up my available online resources for Edward Senior and Junior. Today I will provide descendants with a list of suggestions for further research. If I receive any donations from this blogs, I will use the money to further my research using the following guide.

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Categories: Family-Marden, History-Regional, Miscellaneous, Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Civil War Challenge – Mohawk Serve for Alburgh!

I received the pension file for David Loran a week ago and I am happy to report that I have been able to identified 2 of Alburgh’s “Four Indians” and I have good evidence concerning the identity of the other two soldiers.

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Categories: Alburg's Indians, Civil War, Documentation, History-Regional, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Springtime in Maine!

Well folks, I apologize for being away from the blog for so long. But really, it’s springtime in  Maine – who wants to sit in front of a computer when the sun is out, the breeze is warm, plant life is emerging from its winter sleep, the black flies are still sleeping, and I have a bazillion spring chores to accomplish! I promise to get my butt in gear and get back to the blog real soon – my timing will probably coincide with the emergence of those black flies, which could be any day now.

Today I just need to shout out loud about how honored I am. I just discovered this blog was chosen on May 2 by Indian Country Today Media Network as one of their 11 Essential Genealogy Blogs. Just how cool it that? My blog is listed along with some of the best known genealogy blogs in the whole blog-sphere. What an honor for this humble 3 month old endeavor.

Thank you very much Indian Country Today and all my followers.

Another item I want to share today is the availability of “The Life of John W. Johnson” as a PDF file which can now be downloaded and printed out. Ne-Do-Ba has offered this story for more than decade at Life of John W. Johnson . However, not everyone likes to read large amounts of text online and not everyone that might be interested in reading it has a computer. If you are interested in Wabanaki Culture mid 19th Century, this is a must read.

Canyon Wolf 
Copyright ©2011 Ne-Do-Ba – All Rights Reserved
Categories: Miscellaneous

The Edward Marden Project is Working!

I am so excited by the events of the past week. I have been hearing from descendants of Edward. They are contributing information and funding. This past week I received a $25.00 donation from each of 3 different descendants. As promised, all proceeds of this blog will be used to pay for retrieving documents to assist in the project.

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Categories: Documentation, Family-Marden, Miscellaneous, Resources-Internet, Tutorials-Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Marden Family – An Introduction

This entry will cover some basic background and explain my involvement with the Marden family.

I have chosen to start with a family I am very familiar with. This should allow me time to get comfortable with the blog format and work the kinks out of my posting skills before I get involved with an active research project.

I am certain some folks will consider writing to me declaring the proper spelling of the name is Mardin. For some branches this is certainly true, but for other branches it is false. In my research I find the Maine records generally use Marden and the New Hampshire records generally use Mardin. Beyond that it seems to be a turkey shoot. For the sake of consistency, I have chosen one spelling and will stick with it throughout this blog and our companion database. However, this should not be mistaken as an attempt to enforce my choice of spelling onto others.

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Categories: Family-Marden, Miscellaneous



This blog is about the investigative journey. I am exploring Wabanaki family mysteries. If I do this correctly, the blog will be a teaching tool as well as a research journal. The topics I discuss could be of interest to any researcher or genealogist.

Who are the Wabanaki?

Wabanaki is a general term referring to a group of Native American People inhabiting a large area of Northeastern North America. The word translates loosely to “Dawnland” and refers to being the first to greet the sun each day.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

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