In the United States, if you’re going to claim a drop of native American blood, you better have the records to back it up. That’s the lesson Senator Elizabeth Warren should be learning after internet researchers dug into the archives and came up with a 2016 post from an actual genealogist who went back and looked into the woman’s family’s past.
But The Washington Times reported that Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes wrote in a 2016 blog that the story doesn’t make sense. Barnes, who has researched Warren’s family and found no evidence of Native American ancestry, researched the marriage of Pauline Reed and Donald Herring and found it appeared to be an ordinary wedding.
“The problem with Warren’s story is that none of the evidence supports it,” Barnes wrote. “Her genealogy shows no indication of Cherokee ancestry. Her parents’ wedding doesn’t resemble an elopement. And additional evidence doesn’t show any indication of her Herring grandparents being Indian haters.”
The wedding was performed by a prominent Methodist clergyman, not a justice of the peace, Barnes found. She also noted that a detailed wedding announcement was posted in the local newspaper in Wetumka, Oklahoma.
“If Ms. Warren’s parents eloped due to her mother being ‘Cherokee and Delaware’ and it was such a disgrace, why did they rush back to Wetumka the same day they were married and proudly announce it to everyone?” asked Ms. Barnes. “If there was shame associated with the marriage and it caused so many problems, why was it happily announced in the local paper?”
Oops. Yeah, that account doesn’t mesh with Warren’s story.
Well, that didn’t stop Warren from doubling down on the claim all these months later and refusing to prove it.
Warren said Sunday she is neither planning to run for president nor take a DNA test.
“I know who I am because of what my mother and my father told me, what my grandmother and my grandfather told me, what all my aunts and uncles told me, and my brothers,” Warren said. “It’s a part of who I am and no one’s ever going to take that away.”
Sure. Whatever. Some of us Americans actually do have proof of a Native American up the family tree. That doesn’t make us Indians.