Thursday, December 19, 2019

Native American Heritage, December 19, 2019

Merry Christmas to All!

As Christmas approaches, it is time to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It has been a difficult time for our Shepard family with our mother's dementia in Anacortes, and the challenges that brings. Even so we celebrate the joy and happiness of Christmas and the meaning that it brings to our lives.

Merry Christmas from the San Diego Shepards!
Steve, Preslea (with Jasmine), Nathan, Cindy
William and Logan
Our Shepard family here in San Diego -- Nathan, Cindy and me, Preslea, William and Logan -- wishes all of you much happiness in the coming year.

Native American Heritage. 51 years ago this month when Cindy and I married, my knowledge of her Native American ancestry was limited. Over the years I have come to see how important her Chickasaw heritage has been to her, her mother Paula Harris who died last year, and her aunt Juanita Eeds who died this past summer. All three of them -- Cindy, Paula and Juanita -- identified throughout their lives as Native American as a result of a rich family background with deep roots in American soil. Their Chickasaw roots go back to a time before our European ancestors ever came to this continent and named it after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Cindy's maternal lineage reveals a strong connection to her Native American ancestry. Here is a six generation lineage that summarizes that connection.
  1. Cindy Harris Shepard (b. 1948), husband Steve Shepard (b. 1948)
  2. Paula Hicks Harris (1923-2018), husband Sammie Joe Harris (1922-1999)
  3. Rosa May Krause Hicks (1896-1940), husband Jenkins Arthur Hicks (1895-1967)
  4. Frances Newberry Krause (1854-1915), husband Christian Krause Jr. (1846-1909)
  5. Lucy Hawkins Newberry (1824-1907), husband Robert Newberry (1826-1886)
  6. Sha-thlock-kee Hawkins (b. about 1800, d. before 1897), husband (unknown) Hawkins
It is traditional in the Chicksaw culture to place great importance on one's maternal ancestry. All 6 women listed above are Native Americans of the Chickasaw Tribe. Cindy and her mother Paula were born in the 20th century of course. Numbers 3 and 4 in the lineage above, Rosa Krause Hicks and her mother Frances Newberry Krause, were born into the Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory in Oklahoma in the second half of the 19th century. The final two in the above lineage, numbers 5 and 6, are Lucy Hawkins Newberry and her mother Sha-thlock-kee Hawkins. They were born into the Chickasaw Nation in Mississippi in the early 19th century. Not much is known about their ancestors who lived on this continent before the 19th century, other than their history goes back hundreds of years before Europeans arrived.
Cindy's maternal Grandparents
Jenkins ("Jinks") Hicks and Rosa May Krause Hicks
Oklahoma, about 1920
Cindy's mother Paula Hicks Harris and her aunt Juanita Hicks Eeds were both originally from Oklahoma, and were members of the Chickasaw Nation. Their mother, Rosa May Krause (Cindy's grandmother), was born in 1896 in Indian Territory in what is today Southcentral Oklahoma. Rosa was the youngest of the six children of Christian Krause, Jr. and Frances Newberry Krause. 

Christian Krause (Cindy's Great Grandfather) was born in Baden, Germany but came to America as a teenager and settled with his family in Pennsylvania and then Wisconsin. He served in the American Civil War before moving south to Oklahoma about 1870. In 1877 this German immigrant, who had become a successful businessman on the Oklahoma frontier, married Frances Newberry, a full blooded Chickasaw. 

Cindy's grandmother, Rosa Krause Hicks, was therefore half Chickasaw, half German. She was raised in rural Oklahoma in the early years of the 20th century, near the town of Durant. At 18 she married a Texan named Jenkins Arthur Hicks, who was originally from Gainesville, Texas just across the state line from Oklahoma. Rosa and her husband "Jinks" Hicks, as he was called, traveled around Oklahoma and Texas in the 1920s and 1930s looking for work as they raised their 4 children. Among their offspring were two girls who would become Cindy's mother Paula, and her aunt Juanita. Both women proudly carried their Chickasaw heritage with them throughout their lives. 

I have more to share about our Chickasaw connection that I will share in upcoming posts. Others of you may also have Native American heritage. If so I would be glad to hear about it and share it in future posts.
- - -
Steve Shepard
(he, him, his)