Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Does Black History Include Indian Territory?

Earlier in the week I pondered out loud on another site how nice it would be if www.Ancestry.com and www.Fold3.com opened up their sites for free access during the month of February in honor of “Black History Month.”

I don’t know or recall if they have ever done this before but it would be a nice gesture for thousands of family historians and genealogist to have access to these sites for a limited time to begin or complete research on their families.

Lo and behold I get an email from Fold3 indicating they are opening up their site for “BLACK HISTORY MONTH” and allowing FREE access to their records. I applaud them for this gesture and at the same time I realize this is good marketing for them. Once people have an opportunity to view records that may assist them in their genealogical research they may be inclined to subscribe for access after the month of February?

However, I do have a bone to pick with the good people at Fold3 and that is their seeming inability to include the records of the Native American Collection as part of their “BLACK HISTORY MONTH” freebie. Surely the people are aware of the large amount of records that pertain to African-American history and genealogy that are a vital part of the NATIVE AMERICAN COLLECTION beginning with the Dawes Cards and Enrollment Packets.

There are hundreds if not thousands of records that have a significant impact on the genealogy of Blacks and Native Americans in particularly the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muskogee) and Seminole Nations.

I can only this was an innocent oversight but for someone (me) that is very familiar with these records and understands the importance of them to the history of Black people in this country and their genealogy I find the oversight curious at best. It is my hope that the good people at www.Fold3.com correct this oversight and open those records as well as those they made available when it comes to the topics of SLAVERY, THE CIVIL WAR, JIM CROW and RECONSTRUCTION, not to mention the issues of Civil Rights in Indian Territory and later the state of Oklahoma aka Little Dixie.

All I need now is a contact person or email address to address my/our concerns? I would also like to see other people voice their concerns about what seems to be a continuing oversight when it comes to the history of Black among the Five Slave Holding Tribes. The question remains, does Black History include Indian Territory?



  1. Hi Terry,

    Short answer; YES!

    The long answer would begin with "Well, what about this group and that group and..."

    I'm not so sure that's a problem these large companies should be worried about. They can easily figure this out; mo' money, mo' money, mo'money with new subscribers by offering freebies.

    Fold3 offering theirs wares free for a whole month is HUGE!

  2. Well since you asked; this is the link to www.fold3.com comments page. It has a drop down list that you can direct your comment, I chose General Feedback and left them this:
    Greetings, I was glad to recently receive an email announcing you were offering some of your records free of charge as an effort to honor Black History Month. Upon entering your site I was hoping to have access to the Native American Collection because it has a tremendous importance and impact on researching my ancestors that were enslaved by the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians.

    I can't tell you how disappointed I was to discover the Native American Collection was not part of the offering for the month of February honoring Black History Month. As a former subscriber I can attest to the importance of the Dawes Cards and their associated Packets for my research.

    The relationship between African descended people and Native Americans is not a well-known history which is why I hope you would consider allowing access to these files as well because they have significance to "Black History" and could add new subscribers to your site.

    It appears you have so many characters for your message but if you or anyone else is interested in leaving Fold3 a message by all means join the fray!


  3. I say yes it should be apart of black history as well. Do you think that Native Americans will be offended if say Ancestry or Fold 3 had this information listed in that category? In the past and today they are still trying to maintain their identity...and not all tribes are accepting of their full identities within their people because of no proof.Some seem to place more value on the oral history of their ancestors but not the oral history of the mixed Native American.