Family History Research

Wisdom Wednesday – Just because the name is the same…..

on April 27, 2011

I recently received a request for information on a tree I am working on for a friend on The person was requesting information on a woman named Olieva Evans. The family story on Olieva is that she was full blooded Cherokee. Adopted. Possible mother named Sara Turner who may have married a Doc Evans.

This person insisted over a few email conversations that they checked the Dawes Rolls front and backwards, up, down and sideways for Sara Turner and she is listed many times under many different names. I was also told that Sara is listed in the 1890s as being in her 30s. Ummmm really?

Let’s look at some facts. Olieva was born 15 June 1818 in Ohio. Married John E. Cunningham 27 Dec 1840 in Ohio. Died 31 Jul 1889 in Missouri.  If Olieva was born in 1818, that would mean her mother Sara Turner would have been born around 1800 or just before. How could she possibly be in her 30s in the late 1890s? Sara would have been in her 90s if she was even still alive.

The Dawes enrollment began in 1893. Olieva had died by that time. I am assuming her mother had died prior to this also. None of Olieva’s children appear in the Dawes Rolls.

Now, I am no expert on Indian ancestry or the Dawes Rolls but from what I understand about the Rolls is that if you were part of one of the Five Civilized Tribes during and after 1893, you had the option to register with the Dawes Commission and receive land. There is no documentation for Olieva’s family or children indicating they were involved with any Indian tribe ever. Now, if someone has information proving otherwise, I would love to see it so please let me know.

The point of this post is to look at the names of the individuals you are searching for. Look at their dates. A person who was born about 1800 could not have been in their 30s in the 1890s. Just because someone has the same name does not make them the person you are looking for. Gather other facts to establish some level of proof or possibility. Do not tell me that this Sara Turner on the Dawes Rolls is the one you seek. It is very clear it is not. Show me some proof of this family being on the Rolls or stop telling me they are.

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