Friday, September 24, 2010

Merry Gean Hamilton: Child Of A Strong Heritage

1923 was a very good year for the residents of Ardmore Oklahoma. One more child had been born to the parentage of Herbert and Lillian Hamilton and one more child whose ancestry told a wonderful story.

That child was Merry Gean Hamilton!

Merry Gene and her family moved to Arizona in the late 30's and we claim her as our own. Those who knew her fell instantly in love. From her husband George Whitfield, her children and grandchildren, and to all those youngsters who were friends of their children.

I would venture to say her wonderful qualities came from a long ago people called the Hamilton's.

Merry's father Herbert was the son of William and Rhoda Abram Hamilton

Even though Merry Gean was not listed on this 1930 census, its a good bet she was with one of her grandparents while the parents took on employment.

Who would have believed that this little girl had ancestors that may have walked the Trail of Tears.

Merry's grandaddy Willy Hamilton was a Chickasaw freedman and his daddy and momma were all Chickasaw in one form or another.
Herbert was 15 years old the time they took the 1920 census in Carter, Berwyn Oklahoma

Marcus Hamilton is also living with his son Willy and is now a widow at the age of 72 on the 2nd continuation census sheet

As I was going back in time looking at the census I had to quickly call my good friend and genie angel Angela Walton Raji. The 1900 census was as far as I could go in Oklahoma and I needed her guidance. She steered me in the right direction.
I know she had to hear my voice filling with excitement as I started looking at all these wonderful gems located on the Dawes Rolls and Packets.

I thought I was playing 52 card pickup because everything I turned over had a match.

then there was this:

When Willie was 22 he enrolled his wife Rhoda and children on the Dawes rolls.

on the back of the card on the first line it tells you the name of Willie's father who is Marcus Hamilton and you can see Marcus owner
is a Chickasaw Indian. His mother is Barbary(Barbara) Hamilton!! Her owner is listed as Jane Grant

The second line on the back tells you the name of Rhoda's parents. My eyes see Benjaum Abram as being her father but I know that spelling does not count in this here old style writing (lol). His owner is Lena Thompson
Rhoda's mother is Lucinda Gaines. Lucinda's owner is James Gaines

Now Marcus the daddy of Willy solidified his right on the Dawes Rolls. Looking at his enrollment card, he was the slave of Holmes Colbert

He was also the son of Peter Hamilton

Peter's owner was not a citizen of the tribe. His mother was Louisa Hamilton and her owner was Holmes Colbert

This is another tidbit to behold: a birth certificate of one of Willie and Rhoda's children Taude from the Department Of The Interior, commissioned though the 5 civilized tribes. This document has Rhoda's signature and even has the mark of the midwife Susan Phillips

My feelings are really out on cloud nine even though these are not my ancestors. I would love to find these type of historical records for my own family.

I also won't begin to know the trials and tribulations these people must have felt.

I do know that they had to be strong to endure what they did through out their life time and to leave a legacy that their loved ones can take with them for generations to come.

Oh what a feeling!!

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