I have had several comments and issues on the Seminole War Facebook page this past month that I want to address.
The DNA ancestry tests are more popular than ever. There are several different DNA tests on the market. People are taking them to see if they have Native American Indian ancestry. Often, the results are confusing.
Sometimes these results bring up more questions than answers. My test said that my ancestry was about 12 percent of Italian and Spanish ancestry, of which I had no idea, and do not know where that came from. I thought that most of my ancestors are fairly well document, but I guess not.
Then according to National Geographic, we all came out of Africa 100,000 years ago, and I have some DNA from Denisovan and Neanderthal. Denisovan is related to Australian Aborigine; maybe I should claim that?
This is all very interesting, and fun to talk about, but totally meaningless in the long run. It won’t get me anything. Records written down by my great-grandmother are more meaningful than this test.
People want to take these tests and prove they are Native American Indian. Some even told me to prove they are Creek or Seminole. If they need a box with a test tube to spit in to prove they are Creek or Seminole, then I will tell them that they are not. The only way that you are going to prove to me that you are Creek or Seminole is by the scratches on your arm. It has always been about community and culture, not spitting in a bottle.
I had a great-great-grandfather who came over to America from Germany in 1860. His village was burned down in one of the wars by the French soldiers, and he and his siblings were the only survivors. He lived in Ocala, Hernando, Istachatta, and Fort Meade, Florida. He came to America speaking only German and spoke with a thick accent when he did learn English.
The US Army sent me to Germany in 1987. I had no idea which village my ancestor was from at the time, and had to learn some of the language to get around the country to travel. Just because I had this German ancestor does not mean that I can become a German Citizen, nor does it mean that I am a German. The Germans do not consider me German either. I knew nothing of their country and culture when I went over there in 1987 for three years, and no matter what I learned while over there, it still did not make me any more qualified to become a German citizen.
So for those of you who claim to be a Native American Indian just because you took a DNA test, I will let you know right now that you do not qualify for tribal membership. Sorry, but only a descendant. If you call yourself a Seminole Indian, you have to be an actual member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida or Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.