About Names and Spellings
When researching your Native American ancestry, you will find many unusual spellings of the same name. Our tribal ancestry (Koasek) was most often recorded by the Jesuits, who were missionaries sent to our homeland to convert us to their religion; that is, they intended to "save" us from our "savage ways."Many names recorded by the Jesuits include the number "8" because they did not have any way to translate the sound, which has a nasal sound like "ouh." Frequently, you will also find the word "dit" with more than one last name. Following are some examples:
Marais dit Desmarais
Guyon dit Lemoine dit Lemoyne
Rheault dit Rault dit Raoul dit Reux
The following link gives an indepth explanation of the use of "dit" names: Francogene.com
Genealogy is the research, tracing, and study of family lineages and their history. Many techniques and resources are used by genealogists, which include the family's historical records (notations in bible, for example), oral traditions that have been passed down, genetic analysis, and other records, such as birth, baptism, and marriage certificates. Genealogists will generally build a pedigree chart of the family members. There will often be notations made about historical facts found or topics of interest, such as the fact that the 8th great-grandfather was the Admiral of the British Navy or the 6th great-grandmother was the daughter of a Huron Chief. A person may have many reasons for establishing family genealogy. Most people who visit this website are looking for those links in their bloodline that will enable them to enroll in a tribe that is related to their ancestors. Some people want to record their family history for the generations that will follow them.
Be advised! Genealogy is time-consuming. You can get lost in time past. However, it is fun, interesting, educating, and fulfilling. You will learn so much about yourself by studying your ancestry. In some cases, it can be alarming.As you research and discover who your ancestors are and more about their lifestyle you many find the answers to many questions you've always had, such as . . . Why do you love to make baskets? Why do you prefer to be outside over being in the house? Where did you get the talent for playing the flute? Where did your aptitude for working with natural or herbal medicines come from?
Your genealogy can be important to your sense of well-being by discovering who you are. But, it is extremely important if you are researching your Native American history, if you want to be accepted into a tribe. The proof is in the research. There are many who claim to be of Native American ancestry - to have Native American blood. These individuals want to be Indian, perhaps because it sounds romantic? Perhaps because they think they will get special benefits? Perhaps because they may be recognized for greatness if they manage to become a chief?
Please be advised that being of Native American blood is something to not be taken lightly. Yes, it makes one feel good about oneself. It makes one feel rooted. Deep feelings of belonging are felt. However, just "wanting" to have Native American blood does not "make" someone Native American. We do appreciate one's desire to belong to our People. A person will not be rejected as an outcast (unless he/she is found to be dishonest and has a desire to do harm) and we do have many that belong to our tribe as Associate Members. They participate in our sacred and traditional rituals, standing right beside us. However, they can not become an elder or chief. Those positions within the tribal family must be held by blood members of the tribe. There have been tribal chiefs in the distant past who were adopted by the tribe and not of blood; but, those instances were rare. Plus, things are different today. Our tribal life was disrupted in the 1600's and today, we must jealously guard against imposters who want to claim Native American ancestry to become a leader. We must beware, because they have hidden agendas and most often mean to harm us and our families.
Therefore, as you research your genealogy and if you have the intention to join our tribe, the Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation, we welcome you. But, keep in mind that your ancestry will be checked and verified. We have found that our members are all related, sharing the same ancestry. If you are found to be family, we will rejoice with you and celebrate when we meet you.
To help you get started with your research, please visit the following links:
Or send mail to: P.O.Box 65128 Burlington, VT 05406-5128
The above links are just a beginning. As you travel through time, you will discover many helpful websites on your own. However, if you are researching because you are pursuing enrollment in our tribe, please visit our web page on Enrollment before you get started.
Band Co-Chief & Tribal Genealogist Paul Bunnell
Also called Chief Gwilawato (He who looks for something)
About Our Tribal Genealogist
Chief Paul "Gwilawato" Bunnell
As a member of the Council of Elders for our tribe as well as being the Webmaster, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our Tribal Genealogist, Chief Paul. The following biography will give you a good understanding of his qualifications. We are proud to have him as Chief, along with Chief Nathan Pero.
Elder Francine Jones (Blue Wolf Spirit)
Biography for Tribal Genealogist, Chief Paul Bunnell
Respect & Loyalty is Everything
For nearly 35 years, Chief Paul devoted himself to genealogy. In the mid-1980s, he took credited classes through Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, greatly improving his skills and knowledge in the field. His accomplishments are wide - he was awarded an Accreditation and later a Fellowship at the American College of Genealogists of Illinois (now closed) in the mid-1980’s. He is a certified and registered lineage member of The United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada and The Hereditary Order of Descendants of The Loyalist and Patriots of The American Revolution, Washington, DC. He has held past and present memberships in over 60 genealogical and writing organizations around the world, including life-long memberships and chairman positions, including former President of the Violette Family Association (6 years), and member of the Massachusetts Genealogy Council.
He was also one of the first volunteers to be registered in the BYU blood donor program in their genealogical DNA study in the early 1990’s, and he is a supporting member of MCNAA (Massachusetts Center For Native American Awareness). As well, he is a supporter and genealogist assisting in legal recognition for the Confederation of Nova Scotia Metis, Sou’ West Nova.
As a registered member of the our tribe, the Koasek (Cowasuck) Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation, he is editor of our newsletter, The Dawnland Voice, Tribal Genealogist, and Tribal Chief. He is also the editor and founder of the “Loyalist Quarterly” newsletter, the only U.S. Loyalist newsletter devoted to that history, and the founder of the State’s Genealogical & Historical Vendor Conferences in Nashua, NH 2006. He is also past President of the Cape Cod Writer’s Association; past Editor of The Falmouth ( Cape Cod) Genealogy Society Newsletter and one of the founding members.
His genealogy speaking engagements have been in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and New Brunswick, including TV interviews on Cape Cod, Mass. and in Saint John, New Brunswick, with several newspaper articles including Saint John (NB), the Cape Cod Times (MA), and The Concord (NH) Monitor, and several other’s in New England. In 1989, His Majesty, The Prince Philip of Wales ( England) accepted his first book, “Thunder Over New England, Benjamin Bonnell, The Loyalist,” and included it into the Royal Library collection at Buckingham Palace. He was also presented with the famous “Loyalist Pin” from the past Mayor, Elsie Wayne of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada (The Loyalist City). He was awarded by The Waltham Massachusetts Historical Society’s “Edmund L. Sanderson Lecture Series award for Loyalist Lectures in March 2007.
Paul has also produced several internet articles on genealogy. He has lectured on International Teleconference Calls produced by AncestralManor.com on Loyalist, Native American Metis, and other genealogy subjects. Publications are 15 in non-Native American fields; and a 2-year inventory that created the Cemetery Inscriptions of The Town of Barnstable, Mass; Acadian & Cajun Cooking & Home Remedies with Abenaki Foods; the bestselling, French & North American Indian Marriages & Records 1600-1800 series presently at 7 volumes; and has 3 Abenaki books in progress. He is always helping Canadian French and Acadians find their Metis heritage and has been Koasek Abenaki Genealogist for 6 years, He created the Koasek Tribal data base presently at 12,000 people and their genealogies. Paul was Sub-Chief for 3 years and has been our Co-Chief for the past 2 years (2012).
Paul enjoys traveling around lecturing and selling his books and tribal materials at his vendor table at conventions and conferences. He also helps applicants and others find their Native American ancestors from his 500-book home library. In March 2005, he assisted and provided results on loyalist’s genealogy for the popular TV show, History Detectives, by Lion Television of New York; and was asked and provided a genealogy case study for the hit TV Show, “Who Do You Think You Are” produced by Friends star, Lisa Kudrow. Paul also conducted a Loyalist talk on the “Forget-Me-Not” Radio and Internet History and Genealogy program produced by Jane Wilcox in Northern New York in 2011. Paul has worked on Native American Committees for the recognition Bills in Vermont (we are now being reviewed for recognition) and hearings and creation of the New Hampshire Native American Commission. He has sat in on the University of Massachusetts meetings on the repatriation program to recover Native American remains and return them to their homeland.
If you would like to contact him, his email is Bunnellloyalist@aol.com.