Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Documents of Tennessee

Tennessee Almira James

February 16, 1849 - December 4, 1944 Age 95, Universally Called Aunt Tenn

1900, 1920, 1930 Census

1900 US Census Indian Population, Indian Territory, Cherokee Nation, June 12

Tennessee is 51 years old, has had 11 children, 8 were living and had been married for 33 years. She and the 2 young adult children additionally shown on the census, state they are 15/16 Indian.  David Solon her husband states he is white, 58 years old, a farmer on a farm that is not mortgaged. The 2 women Clara, 26, and Lula, 19, state they are school teaching.

Note:  It made little difference to the Cherokees "how much Indian they were." If you were white and married into the tribe, you became a Cherokee. Apparently when the census taker was told "I don't know" in answer to the question how much Indian blood do you have, the census taker was instructed to look at the person and guess. In this case there were no math skills involved since Tennessee said she was 15/16 and her husband was white, there is no chance the children are also 15/16,  It is one of the reasons there is such a variance on the quantum of Indian blood on the many rolls.

1920 U S Census, Oklahoma, Ottawa County June 12

Finds Tennessee at 70, David Solon at78. He states his occupation as a gardener, and Claude their 28 years old son living with them is a clerk for a company treasurer.

Note: Oklahoma gained statehood in 1907. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people."

1930 U S Census, Oklahoma, Ottawa County, Miami April 8

David Solon died in 1925. This census shows Tennessee, 81, and Claude, 40. The value of their owned home (not a farm)  is shown as $3000. They both show their race as Indian. Claude served in WWI and is now working as a linesman on a water line.

Tennessee's Eastern Cherokee Application, November 3, 1906, Fairland, Indian Territory

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