Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Another Mystery Solved about an Uncle

Albert Blunt James, Jr.

Birth 8 NOV 1917 • Oklahoma
Death 20 JULY 1925 • Bucks Township, PA

When Albert Blunt James, Jr. was born on November 8, 1917, in Oklahoma, his father, Albert, was 40 and his mother, Lucinda, was 37. He had six brothers and seven sisters. He died as a child on July 20, 1925, in Pennsylvania. His death certificate below says he was "dragged by a heifer" and had a skull fracture. Accident.  He was 7 years old.

Monday, September 8, 2014

At Least A Good Part of the Mystery Is Solved

About a family secret which my cousins would talk about on the occasions we were together. They knew more than my sister and I which was almost nothing except what they had told us. My Mom was not one to tell any family stories especially this one which must have been very painful. We finally asked Mom about it one time, but no information was forthcoming. 

The story from the cousins also said my Mom tried to help Calvin break out of jail. Who knows. She also would not comment on that. 

I have strayed from my Harlan lines to research this. I got an email from a website saying they now had some of the early FBI files on line. And I thought I might find Calvin in them because the files were during his time period. No luck there, but did search the newspaper archives again and hit these articles. These ancestry sites are constantly adding millions of new files regularly so new searches will often bring up new information. 

Monday, January 21, 1929

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cherokee Nation officials commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Monday, March 24 marks the 175th year since the Cherokee Nation’s journey along the Trail of Tears. The final group of Cherokees arrived March 24, 1839, in Indian Territory, near present-day Tahlequah.
The first detachment of Cherokees was forcibly removed from their homelands in the southeast beginning in 1838.

After spending months in concentration camps (called stockades to make it sound better), with little shelter and food not fit for human consumption, they were divided up in detachments and sent west. They survived one of the coldest winters on record and at one point, according to the journal of Rev. Daniel S. Butrick, approximately 8000 were stranded by the ice on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. They were freezing and there was sickness and death everywhere. Despite this, as a nation, they endured and survived. They reached Indian Territory and rebuilt their nation in an untamed land and they thrived. While the Trail of Tears is a sad part of our history, it serves as an example of the strength of the Cherokees. They couldn't prevent the removal, but they could triumph over it. They did, so never forget. 

Out of the 15,000 Cherokee who endured the forced migration west after the Treaty of 1835, it is estimated that several thousand died along the way or in internment camps. The Cherokees call the removal "Nunna-da-ul-tsun-yi," which means “the place where they cried.” Today, it is known as the Trail of Tears.
President Andrew Jackson’s biographer, Robert Remini, wrote this of the experience for the Cherokee people:
“Men were seized in the fields; women were taken from their wheels and children from their play. As they turned for one last glimpse of their homes they frequently saw them in flames, set ablaze by the lawless rabble that followed the soldiers, scavenging what they could. These outlaws stole the cattle and other livestock and even desecrated graves in their search for silver pendants and other valuables.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Harlan Family in America - The Great Trek

A Journey of My Harlan Family for 265 Years

From My 10th Great Grandfather William Harland (1594 - 1651)

 To My 2nd Great Grandmother Melinda Jane "Jeannie" Harlan (1832 - 1859)

An Interesting Preamble 
Extracted from The Harlan Family Website: http://www.harlanfamily.org

The Great Trek

by William K. Harlan, CA

Revised 2006

In the spring of 1960 I was an undergraduate at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley. I made money doing odd jobs, often for faculty members.  And so it was that I was hoeing weeds one sunny day in the garden of a professor in the German Department. When I took a break, he expressed interest in my name and asked me about my family history. I replied that all I knew was that my great-grandfather, Elisha, had come across the plains in a wagon when he was a child and that he had ignored his father’s injunction not to lean out of the wagon, had fallen and been run over and narrowly survived. (It was a story my father often told when my brothers and I were sticking our heads out of the back windows of the old Hudson!)  The professor proceeded to tell me a remarkable story of Elisha’s father George, my great-great grandfather, who had led a wagon train to California in 1846.

The professor happened to be translating a journal written in German by Heinrich Lienhard, who had traveled with the Harlans at times during their trek.  It turned out that the Harlans helped blaze a new trail through the mountains and deserts of Utah and Nevada, a supposed short-cut to the promised land of California.  This “short-cut” was one of the factors in the tragedy which befell the Donner Party that same year.  I took the professor’s advice and checked out the documents about the Harlans’ story in the Bancroft Library of pioneer history at the university.  Over the years I and other family members have continued our research into the story of this branch of the family, a story which has equal parts of courage and gullibility.   It is a glimpse into one family’s version of how the West was won.

William Harland, Born in 1594 In Bishoprick Township, Durham County, England and My 10th Great Grandfather.

Not much is known about William except he married Deborah Seamon and had 3 children and died in Bishoprick in 1651 at the age of 57.


                                          "A Mapp of Ye Bishoprick of Durham"    1673

 James, (William's son) my 9th Great Grandfather

was born about 1625 in Bishoprick, Durham, England. He died in England. He was buried in England. He was a Yeoman and A member of the Episcopal Church, 
"That James Harland was married according to the usages of the Established Church there is no doubt. That his children were baptized and recorded therein is fully established by the fact that the earliest record we have of his son, George, is that he was "Baptised at the Monastery Monkwearmouth* in Oald England." We have no record giving the name of the wife and mother. So far as is known, James Harland was the father of three sons: Thomas, George, and Michael

"*Monkwearmouth Monastery was founded by Benedict Biscop in the year A.D.672. It is situated in a town of the same name in the east division of Chester, County Durham, and one-half mile north of Sunderland. It receives its name from its location near the mouth of the river Wear. Burned and plundered time and again, only the tower and some detached parts of the church remain of the once celebrated monastery. In 1790 the parish registers, with the exception of some of the late records, were destroyed by fire, and it is probable that information of untold value perished in the flames." From History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family" by Alpheus Harlan-

James HARLAND had the following children:
           Thomas HARLAND               George HARLAN             Michael HARLAN 

The first Harlans to arrive in America, two brothers named George and Michael, were Quakers who came originally from Monkwearmouth, near Durham,Northern England. As George and Michael were growing up in the mid 1600s, a radical religious movement swept over England led by the Reverend George Fox, known as the Society of Friends, more often called the Quakers. This denomination had no clergy, practiced freedom of worship, and opposed all forms of violence including war and slavery.

With such ideas, it naturally became banned and persecuted by the established church and the government. George and Michael Harlan and their brother Thomas became Quakers, and were forced to flee to northern Ireland, England's first colony, only to find that English persecution followed them there.

Meanwhile, William Penn, the Quaker son of a British admiral, was granted the colony of Pennsylvania, where his Quaker co-religionists found a haven, as did other persecuted sects such as the German Mennonites.

George and Michael Harlan and George's wife, Elizabeth, and four children sailed from Belfast, Ireland, to the new colony in 1687, Just six years after its first settlement at Philadelphia. George Harlan had bought land in what is now Delaware before leaving Ireland. He became one of the leading citizens, and when William Penn decided that the "three lower counties," that is, Delaware, were so remote from Philadelphia that they needed their own government, he appointed George Harlan one of the governors. Soon, however, George moved to the Brandywine valley of Pennsylvania as a farmer near to where his brother Michael had already settled. George Harlan was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1712, but died two years later, leaving nine children

For the next one hundred years four generations of Harlans lived in the relative peace and prosperity in and around Chester County,Pennsylvania. One Harlan was denounced by the other Friends for “vanity” in erecting an elaborate tombstone on his wife’s grave; another got in trouble for marrying a non-Quaker. Despite these tensions Harlans seemed content with their lives until after the Revolutionary War.One George Harlanserved as a “wagon boy” in the Army during that conflict.

Early Immigrants Go-To-America Shopping List

A Catalog of such needefull things as every Planter doth or ought to provide to go to New-England

Victuals for a whole yeere for a man...
 8 Bushels of meale 
2 Bushels of Otemeale.
 1 Gallon of Aquavitae 
1 Firkin of Butter
 2 Bushels of pease. 
1 Gallon of Oyle.
 2 Gallons of Vinegar
. Apparell.
 1 Monmouth Cap. 
1 Wast-coat. 
1 Suit of Frize. 
2 Paire of Sheets. 
3 Falling Bands. 
1 Suit of Canvas.
 3 Paire of Stockings. 
1 Paire of Blankets. 
3 Shirts. 1 Suit of Cloth. 
4 Paire of Shooes.
 1 Course Rug. 
7 Ells of Canvase to make a bed and boulster.
 1 Armor compleat. 
1 Sword.
 1 Bandilier.
 60 Pound of Lead. 
1 Long peece.
 1 Belt.
 20 Pound of Powder. 
1 Pistoll and Goose shot. 
 1 Broad Howe.
 1 Shovell. 
1 Felling Axe.
 1 Grindstone.
 1 Narrow Howe.
 1 Spade.
 1 Gimblet. 
1 Pickaxe. 
1 Steele Handsawe.
 2 Augers.
 1 Hatchet. 
Nayles of all sorts 
1 Whipsawe. 
4 Chissels.
 2 Frowes. 
1 Hammer.
 1 Broad Axe. 
1 Hand-Bill.
Household Implements. 
1 Iron Pot. 
1 Gridiron. 
Trenchers. Dishes.
1 Kettel. 
2 Skellets. 
Wooden Platters.
1 Frying pan
1 Spit. 
 Also there are divers other things necessary to be taken over to this Plantation, as
Hookes and Lines, 

 From: New England’s Plantation, or, A short and True Description of the Commodities and Discommodities of that Country. by Reverend Francis Higginson, London, 1630.

George Harlan, (1650 - 1714)  My 8th Great Grandfather

was born in 1650. He was christened on 11 Mar 1650 in Monkwearmouth, Durham, England. He died in Jul 1714 in Kennet, Chester, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Jul 1714 in Center Meeting Burying Grounds, Chester County, Pennsylvania. From "History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family" by Alpheus Harlan- "George Harlan, Yeoman, "Ye sone of James Harland of Monkwearmouth, was Baptised at the Monastery of Monkwearmouth in Oald England, ye 11th Day of First Month 1650." He was b. "Nigh Durham in Bishoprick, England," and remained there until he reached manhood, when, in company with his brother and others, he crossed into Ireland and located in the County Down. While residing there he m. by ceremony of Friends, 9, 17, 1678, Elizabeth Duck. George Harlan* brought his family to America in 1687, and the nine years intervening were without doubt spent in the above named-parish and county, and there, too, in all probability, his first four children were born. He d. in "Fifth Month" (July), 1714, and was buried beside his "deare wife in the new burying grounds on Alphonsus Kirk's land,"which was afterwards, and is yet, Center Meeting Burying Grounds. George and Elizabeth were parents of nine children:

Alphaeus Harlan citing the Marriage Book of Lurgan Mo.Mtg., p.91: "George Harland, of Parish of Donahlong, Co. Down, Ireland, and Elizabeth Duck, of Lurgan, Parish of Shankill, Co.Armagh, were married "at the house of Marke Wright in ye Parish of Shankill," 9 Mo. 17, 1678. 

"No certificate of the membership of George Harland with Friends is upon record, but his marriage certificate shows us that at that time he was a member, and as early as "Tenth Month" (December), of 1687, was placed upon committees of responsibility in Friends' affairs in his new neighborhood. At the time of his residence in Ireland, William Penn was urging Friends of England to become settlers upon his lands, cautioning them, however, against "leaving their own country out of idle curiosity or of a rambling disposition." But names signed above we find later in the new world, and, as we have seen, George was buried upon "Alphonsus Kirk's land." So they were not without friends when they made their settlement near the Delaware.

 George HARLAN and Elizabeth DUCK had the following children: 
i.      Ezekiel HARLAN
ii.     Hannah HARLAN
iii.    Moses HARLAN
iv.     Aaron HARLAN
v.      Rebecca HARLAN
vi.     Deborah HARLAN
vii.    James HARLAN
viii.   Elizabeth HARLAN
ix.     Joshua HARLAN 

After coming to America George and Michael Harland dropped the final "d" and the name is almost universally spelled Harlan.

The Harlan Log House, 205 Fairville Road, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

 This 18th Century Quaker farmhouse sits on 200 acres deeded from George Harlan to his son, Joshua. The transfer was made to Joshua "in consideration of Fatherly love and affection." Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the serene five acre setting is just three miles from Winterthur Museum, Longwood Gardens, the Brandywine River Museum and the Chadds Ford Winery. Features include bedroom fireplaces, private baths, gardens, antiques, canopy beds, an 1814 spring house and a sitting porch with rustic rockers. Currently it is a residence as well as a Bed & Breakfast guest house.

A study of the ownership of the house contradicts an earlier opinion that this was Michael's residence. It is now believed that George acquired the land in 1710, and the oldest section of the house, made of logs, was built about 1715-1720. The middle section of the house was added in 1835, and a much newer section has been attached to this part. Harlans attending Celebration 300 in 1987 were able to tour the house and fondly remember its charm as well as refreshments served by the residents' children.

Early Life of the Irish Immigrants 1682 - 1750

"On their first arrival from Ireland, and before their own homes could be provided,  immigrant Friends did not want for food and shelter in that era of simple kindliness and free-hearted hospitality the old settlers were ever ready with open door to receive the newcomers and to assist and counsel them in choosing a location. The great body of these Friends brought only small capital with them, but they were young and vigorous and the favorable opportunities offered here enabled the most of them to begin a fairly comfortable settlement. Men with families usually brought their household goods with them, purchasing in the Colony, horses, cattle, and such other necessaries that could be bought to better advantage on this side of the water.

Locks in ordinary use were unknown the doors were hung- on wooden hinges or straps of hide and were opened by strings, which on being pulled from the outside raised heavy wooden latches within, to which they were made fast, and intrusion was prevented when the inmates pulled the latch-strings in at the outer doors. From this common practice originated the ancient saying descriptive of generous hospitality,the latch-string is always out."

A stone chimney of immense size, capable of Equipment of receiving a whole cord stick on the hearth, was built into one end of the house. The great fire-place was used for cooking and heating. Here were to be found frying-pans, chafing-dishes, and The Hearth spits, and suspended over the andirons by pot- hooks from an iron bar or crane, were the pots and kettles, which were so highly prized by the settlers that they were frequently bequeathed by will. George Harlan, of Kennett, in his will of 1714, devised to his son Aaron a "great brass kettle."

Extracts from the inventory of George Harlan, of Kennett, made Oct.29, 1714:

wearing apparrell, 1 Bed 1 Bolster 2 pillows; pillow Cases; 2 of Sheets ; 1 Rug and 1 blanket ; 1 Bedstead ; 1 Chest ; 1 Table ; 1 Couch ; I old wanning pan ; two Chests ; 6 pieces of pewter ; 1 Brass Skillet ; 1 frying pan ; 3 floats 3 pails 1 Churn 1 wooden bottle; I Gun ;2 Cows 1 black 1 Red ; 1 Stone horse ; 1 Dark brown meare Called Midge; this years horse Colt ; 1 Black Ridgelin (?) ; I Dark Brown mare with a bay yearling ; saws, augers, planes, axes, etc ; one old Bed tick and Bolster ; one Bay mare about 15 years old in the woods ; one Brown Bay Horse Colt about I year old ; 1 bay horse one bay mare ; one Sorril Colt ; 1 Grey Mare and Colt Total value of estate £, 270. 8. 2.

From the articles of this list we can well picture the appointments of a New Garden dinner table in 1714. The rough home-made board with its supporting trestles was covered with snowy cloth — board-cloth — and napkins of linen, spun, woven, and bleached by the good house-wife, doubtless, in her old home in Ireland. The dishes were mostly of wood with some few pieces of pewter, always kept bright and shining. The center-piece was the salt-cellar, which in many colonial homes divided the guests, seated "above the salt," from those of lesser note, placed "below the salt." Large shallow pewter platters were heaped high with meats and vegetables. Wooden trenchers served as plates, and wooden noggins as drinking cups ; and mustard cup, wooden tankards for water or liquor, and pewter porringers likewise graced the board. There were no covered dishes, saucers, glass or china, although earthenware was to be found on some tables. Knives were used, but forks did not come into general use until later, so that the hands had to be constantly employed for holding the food, and on that account napkins were a necessity.

The wife and daughters were even more fully occupied than the men. They not only attended to a score or more of domestic duties — cooking, washing, dairying, candle-making, soap-making, spinning, knitting, and weeding the garden — but also frequently assisted the men in the work of the field ; and in truth they might say with the old adage, Man works from sun to sun, But woman's work is never done. The women devoted much time to the home-spun industries, picking, carding, and spinning wool, and swingling*, hatcheling** and spinning flax ; and from their own homespun they manufactured the clothing of the family. The large stores of linen that were produced by this industry were folded away with lavender in wooden chests, and were a source of much pride to the colonial house- wife. Beautiful specimens of the linen made by the Irish Friends are still treasured as heirlooms in the families of descendants, and attest that the ancient skill in the handicraft for which Ireland is famous was not forgotten in the foster land. The produce of the farm was carried to Philadelphia, Chester, and New Castle, on horseback, and sold or exchanged for articles to be found at shops, fairs, and markets. Parke writes,in 1725: "There is 2 fairs yearly; 2 markets weekly in Philadelphia; also 2 fairs yearly in Chester; Likewise in New Castle.

The early settlers were much annoyed by certain of the wild animals that preyed on their flocks and herds. Foxes and wolves were the most persistently destructive, but black bears also frequently stole into the farm yard and carried off fine porkers. The Irish Friends, as well as other members of the Society, were eminently a sociable people, and despite the hard travelling visited each other continually. All the events of community — harvests, huskings, raisings, vendues,*** meetings, weddings, funerals — brought the widely scattered neighbors together. On such occasions a spirit of sincere and hearty good-will and neighborliness generally prevailed, and in time of distress and need there was never lack of help and sympathy. George Harlan settled at first about where the village of Centreville. New Castle Co., Delaware, now is, and the early meet ings were held at his home. Later he removed farther up Brandywine Creek, and purchased 474 acres of land in Kennett,now Pennsbury, Township, Chester County. While living here he had for his neighbors over the creek, in a great bend, a settlement of Indians. After they had gone away he obtained, in 1701, a warrant for 200 acres of land in the bend of the creek, granted in regard of the great trouble and charge he has bore in fencing and maintaining the same for the said Indians while living thereon." He died in 1714, and was buried by the side of his wife at Centre Meeting House.

Extracted From:
"Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750 : with their early history in Ireland"  by ALBERT COOK MYERS

  *Swingling to clean (flax or hemp) by beating and scraping with a swingle.
 **hatcheling - A comb for separating flax fibers
 ***Vendue - a public auction
A Wooden Trencher (Plate)
Spinning Flax

A Noggin  (Cup)

Researching Quakers


In 1654, the Quaker faith (Religious Society of Friends) began in Ireland. Its roots can be found among English soldiers, farmers, and merchants who arrived in Ireland after the English Civil War (1641-1651). These immigrants converted to the new religion from a variety of other nonconforming protestant faiths.
By 1750, there were 150 Quaker meetings across Ireland within the provinces of Ulster, Leinster, and Munster.

Around 1655 Quakers began keeping records of their meetings. Quakers held both weekly and monthly meetings. Records were not kept by parish but rather by 'monthly meetings.' Each monthly meeting attempted to create a record of its actions. Minute books were kept for both the men’s and women’s meetings, with most church matters appearing in the men’s meeting minutes. 
Quaker Monthly Meetings
Births, marriages and deaths were recorded at monthly meetings. Records extend from the late 1600s to the present, with the earliest record from Cork in 1675. Today records exist for 16 Quaker monthly meetings.
In 1860, the Friends agreed to abstract their birth, marriage and death records from each monthly meeting. These 'monthly meeting registers' were created from the earliest records to 1859. An index, called the “Jones Index,” was later created. It lists birth, marriage and death records for about 2,250 Quaker surnames by monthly meeting. Those surnames are listed in Goodbody (1967) and the Jones Index is on film in the Family History Library (film 1559454 item 10).
Birth Records Since the Quaker faith does not believe in baptism, birth records are collected. Monthly meeting birth registers contain records up to 1859. They include the name of the child, date of birth, place of birth, name of parents, parents abode, and the book and page of the original record. One must take care when transcribing the date of the birth, since the Quaker registers record the date as year, month, and day. A collection of Quaker birth records throughout Ireland from 1859 to 1949 is also available.
Marriage Records Marriages were recorded by monthly meetings, with these events occasionally being recorded in the Provincial or Quarterly Meeting minutes. Monthly meeting marriage registers contain records up to 1859. They include the name, residence, description (occupation), name of parents, parents abode, to whom married, and date of marriage. The book and page of the original record is provided and the date is recorded as year, month, and day. A collection of Quaker marriage records throughout Ireland from 1859 to 1949 is also available.
Each monthly meeting also maintains a collection of marriage certificates. The certificate documents that the ceremony occurred in a public meeting place and describe what efforts were made to publicize the couple’s intention to marry. Quaker marriage certificates also contain a list of witnesses which were present at the ceremony.
Death Records
Death records are collected in the Quaker faith. Monthly meeting death registers contain records up to 1859. They include the name, date of death, parents, age, residence, description (son or daughter of father and mother), date of burial, and the place of burial. The book and page of the original record is provided and dates are recorded as year, month, and day. A collection of Quaker death records throughout Ireland from 1859 to 1949 is also available.
Quaker Wills Like other Quaker records, wills were kept separate and apart from those required by the State, and avoided being destroyed in the Four Courts fire of 1922.  Quaker wills were recorded by the monthly meeting. Eustace & Good body (1957) contains abstracts of 224 Quaker wills, while Goodbody (1967) contains an additional 50 wills. However, the number of records from Ulster is limited.
Quaker Biographies and Pedigrees In 1997, Harrison authored A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers. In 2008, he produced a significantly expanded second edition which includes short sketches of about 650 Irish Quakers from the founding of the faith up to current times.
Some monthly meetings and some province or quarterly meetings collect ‘family lists’. In 1927, Thomas Henry Webb donated a collection of Irish Quaker pedigrees to the Dublin Friends Historical Library. The 232 surnames are listed in Ryan (2001). The Webb Collection provides detailed family records, but includes only about 10 percent of the Quaker surnames listed in the Jones Index.

Other Quaker Records

National or Half-Yearly Meeting
Records of the Quaker National or Half-Yearly Meeting date from 1671. There are also, early lists of sufferings and testimonies against tithes.
Province or Quarterly Meeting
Records of the provincial or quarterly meetings extend back to 1670 for Leinster, 1674 for Ulster, and 1694 for Munster. Marriages were sometimes recorded within the province or quarterly minute books.
Certificates of Removal
A unique type of Quaker record is the “Certificate of Removal”. Many monthly meetings organized these certificates in a separate register. They served a traveling Quaker much like a passport, and would be presented upon arriving at a new meeting. The certificate noted that the holder was debt free, his or her marital status, and that they were a member in good standing at that monthly meeting. When not organized separately, these certificates were recorded as a part of monthly meeting minutes.
Quaker Suffering Records 
Throughout its early history, the Quaker faith has been forced to endure a number of injustices. These included imprisonment, corporal punishment, the paying of fines, and the collection of goods for not tithing to the Church of Ireland. As a result, Quakers began to records the types and severity of these injustices by monthly meetings. Later these were printed in a series of suffering books.
Although difficult to locate, these texts can provide a wealth of information about a Quaker’s location (by parish or townland), occupation, and their relative income (wealth) based on the size of their tithe. A majority of sufferings records were for failing to tithe.

From: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Ireland_Quaker_Records

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Old Cherokee Wedding and Is a Newborn a Bow or a Sifter

The Cherokee wedding ceremony is a very beautiful event, whether it is the old fashioned, or 'ancient' ceremony or a modern one. The original ceremony differed from clan to clan and community to community, but basically used the same ritual elements. Because clanship is matrilineal in the Cherokee society, it is forbidden to marry within one's own clan. Because the woman holds the family clan, she is represented at the ceremony by both her mother (or clan mother) and oldest brother. The brother stands with her as his vow to take the responsibility of teaching the children in spiritual and religious matters, as that is the traditional role of the uncle (e-du-tsi).

 In ancient times, they would meet at the center of the townhouse, and the groom gave the bride a ham of venison while she gave an ear of corn to him, then the wedding party danced and feasted for hours on end. Venison symbolized his intention to keep meat in the household and her corn symbolized her willing to be a good Cherokee housewife. The groom is accompanied by his mother.

 After the sacred spot for the ceremony has been blessed for seven consecutive days, it is time for the ceremony. The bride and groom approach the sacred fire, and are blessed by the priest and/or priestess. All participants of the wedding, including guests are also blessed. Songs are sung in Cherokee, and those conducting the ceremony bless the couple.

 Both the Bride and Groom are covered in a blue blanket. At the right point of the ceremony, the priest or priestess removes each blue blanket, and covers the couple together with one white blanket, indicating the beginning of their new life together. Instead of exchanging rings, in the old times the couple exchanged food. The groom brought ham of venison, or some other meat, to indicate his intention to provide for the household. The bride provided corn, or beanbread to symbolize her willingness to care for and provide nourishment for her household.

This is interesting when noting that when a baby is born, the traditional question is "Is it a bow, or a sifter?". Even at birth, the male is associated with hunting and providing, and the female with nourishing and giving life.

The gifts of meat and corn also honor the fact that traditionally, Cherokee men hunted for the household, while women tended the farms. It also reflects the roles of Kanati (first man) and Selu (first woman). The couple drank together from a Cherokee Wedding Vase. The vessel held one drink, but had two openings for the couple to drink from at the same time. Following the ceremony, the town, community or clans provided a wedding feast, and the dancing and celebrating often times continued all night.

Today, some Cherokee traditionalists still observe portions of these wedding rituals. The vows of today's ceremony reflect the Cherokee culture and belief system, but are in other ways similar to wedding ceremonies of other cultures and denominations. Today's dress can be in a tear dress and ribbon shirt, a wedding gown, or normal attire worn at a Ceremonial Ground.

The Cherokee Nation has a marriage law, and Cherokee couples are allowed to marry under this law instead of the State marriage laws. This is because Cherokee Nation is a sovereign government. The couple is not required to obtain a license; however, the person(s) conducting the ceremony must be licensed by the Cherokee Nation in order to do so. After the religious leader contacts the Cherokee Nation District Court, the court clerk will prepare a certificate. This paper shows that the couple were indeed married in a ceremony by a religious or spiritual leader licensed to do so. The certificate is returned to the Cherokee Nation District Court after all parties have signed it, and filed in the official records. Information provided by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center.

 For information regarding culture and language, please Contact: http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Culture/General/TheOldCherokeeWedding.aspx