Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Myth Bites the Dust!

I have an acquaintances who does research on the Cherokee and Choctaw nations. She herself is Cherokee and has quite a large data base of information. On the Dawes Rolls is a John Gamblin who I believe is descended from Sion Gamblin (Sion being the youngest son of William and Susannah).
Sion moved to Georgia in about 1820, had a son named Joseph W who in turn had a son named John Henry. I believe it is this John and his siblings who tried to say they were Choctaw Indians, although I have no proof of this......yet, I can find no other family members who fit into this scenario. Below is what Twila has found about the Gamblins on the Dawes Rolls.

"From what we can tell, the Gamblins were ONLY listed on one previous roll of the Choctaw Nation and that roll was an unapproved roll for basis as enrollment on Dawes. We will continue to look at this case, which involves a lot of people, but for now, our determination is that the Gamblins were not able to offer any proof of Indian blood other than that unapproved roll (which was taken after everyone in the country realized they would be giving out Indian land and people rushed into Indian territory claiming to be Indian).

It is always a good idea to be skeptical of people that "suddenly" became Indian when there was land or money at stake.As it stands, without an ancestor with an actual roll number (the Gamblins did not get roll numbers, only were listed on a census card with a number), none of their descendants would be able to register with the Choctaw Nation today.Also, I don't think it can be determined that the Gamblins actually had Indian blood which would make them Choctaw descendants rather than actually Choctaw since nationality is based on citizenship.

Evidence needs to be found somewhere other than just those Dawes applications before they can be said to have actually had Indian blood. Some questions to ask are -Why weren't they always living in Choctaw Nation with the rest of the main body of the nation after the Choctaw removal if they were really Choctaw?Did they only claim to be Choctaw AFTER they learned of the allotments that were going to take place?

How were they listed on all the US Censuses taken between the Choctaw removal (1833, I think) and 1900? My guess is they were always listed as white because that is what they most likely were.

I am sorry I could not be of more help or offer something that says they had Indian blood, but at this time, I just can't say they did. If you have any other evidence, I would be glad to read over it and see how it would figure into this whole question about the Gamblins."

So, basically she says what I've believed all along, there is NO Choctaw blood in this family.

The next "Indian" family lore tale she is looking into is that my Great great Grandmother Fredonia Gamblin nee Green was half Cherokee! There might be some truth to this rumour.....I will update as I get it.


  1. I recall coming across that weird Indian stuff. I dont know if I have copies of it somewhere.
    My maternal grandfather always told me his grandfather was 3/4 cherokee. I have NEVER been able to find any of this. The only thing I find for that name, Maxberry, is "black". So I have to wonder if down the road they didn't "pass" and move to a different county to do it.

  2. Hi Thelma,

    It's Roger - We traded emails this morning (1-1-10).

    I have complete copies of the court case/testimony/outcome of the lawsuit that pitted John Gamblin and family against the Cherokee Nation that spanned approx the years of 1898-1907 or thereabouts. The key point to all of this was ownership of the family's 500 acre farm, which apparently the Gamblin family would lose if they weren't on the roll as Cherokee citizens.

    John Gamblin married Ann Elizabeth (Last name I can't remember) who was the daughter of a white woman and Cherokee father. They moved to OK in the very late 1800's. All my files are packed in prep for moving so I am somewhat shakey on the details.

    But, although they were originally listed and approved in the preliminary Dawes files, they were removed by the Cherokee govt officials due to a missed time constraint. John Gamblin took it to court to try to get re-instated but failed. However, it was determined that Ann Elizabeth was 1/2 Cherokee by birth and their children were 1/4 Cherokee by birth. If I remember correctly, there was a daughter named Indianola and a son named Walter. The children were (I seem to remember) added to the Dawes roll. Some of this can be seen on the 1910 or 1920 OK census.

    So, though there are Cherokee Gamblins, they are recent and not really from the main Gamblin line. In my line (Sion-Joseph w. - George T) there is a family tale that Sion's wife was Native American. I've researched her (Margaret "Peggy" Bramlett)and found that far from being Native American, she is descended from families in the Northeast who in turn have ties to English royalty.

    No one seemed to be overly excited about this ;) but you can't choose your ancestors. As far as I can tell John's wife is the only Cherokee connection thus far proven. I was kinda bummed... ;)