I recognize this is a longshot but I’m running out of ideas. I was told that I have a Cherokee ancestor. I may or may not have other tribes in my dna but my family does not have documentation and I do not have contact with some of them. I am invested in finding a link to an ancestor or ancestors. I assist in a sweat lodge and Native culture is part of my path. I do not want to shame myself or anyone else by claiming to be something I am not. I am at a loss. I cannot express myself without proof and I want to honor the native beliefs that I have been taught. I am told that my ancestor I Mary Elizabeth Hayes. She married and became Ikner. She was born September 3, 1880 and died August 3, 1951. My grandmother Brenda Smith Moore says she is a direct descendent. I only have a few generations tracked and that is mostly through my father’s side, the Rothrocks. They lived in North Carolina for generations and there may or may not be a link but all I have are names, no information and my understanding is that many mixed racial children had documentation destroyed and were passed as white. I don’t know where to go from here. I was taught that you can be native in your heart and my heart led me to the path I am on but now I encounter areas where I am meant to prove ancestry. I am lost. Please help me.
On my mother’s side I got as far back as my great grandmother Dora Mae Bell Soles. My grandmother Brenda Kay Smith was born in 1950. My mother Donna Powers (now Whelan) was born June 28, 1960. I am asking my grandmother to help fill in the gaps to Hayes.
On my father’s side:
Terry Wayne Rothrock born 8/3/60
his father was Thomas Lewis Rothrock who passed in 2003. His mother was Lorraine Jarvis who passed in 1989.
Generation previous was Thomas Rothrock and Lenora Craver Black
before was Zebulon Rothrock and Laura Ann Nifong. Before that was George Rothrock and Elisabeth Perryman and on up to Johannes Rothrock who came over from Germany. I have limited information on my mother’s side (Powers) as he left the picture and my grandmother is still working to help me fill in the blanks to Hayes. I don’t know anything about the women on the Rothrock side unfortunately. All of the focus seems to be on the men.