At the meeting of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers on October 15th 2010 we were privileged to welcome Scott Peeler, the President of the Brandon Area Genealogical & Historical Society, as our speaker. Scott, who has some Cherokee ancestry, told us the sad story of the removal of the Cherokee Indians from western Georgia to Oklahoma during the years 1838 and 1839. To augment his talk, Scott showed a CD entitled, “Trail of Tears,” which was produced by the Department of the Interior. The Cherokees had adopted European customs and dress and had developed into an agricultural society. The United States was growing and the Cherokee land was wanted for expansion. Then gold was found and whites became even more desirous of the land. Even though the Cherokees won a case in the Supreme Court they were captured and removed to Oklahoma. They were transported by rail, boat, and wagon, walking much of the way. Many died; the very young and very old suffered the most. Scott read to us an account written by John G. Burnett, “The Cherokee Removal through the Eyes of a Private Soldier” and he brought a number of Cherokee artifacts including a map, stickball rackets, a Cherokee New Testament and even a Popeye comic book written in Cherokee. Scott treated us to a demonstration of a blowgun with a thistle dart. And he hit his mark!

Our business meeting followed the program. Chair Trevetta Wunderlin announced upcoming meetings of the Florida Genealogical Society and we voted to hold our May 2011 meeting on May 6th to avoid conflicts with the annual OLLI meeting. A member posed a question about finding a birth date before a state began to keep records. She received several suggestions.

Respectfully submitted,

Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs

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