Some months ago, I learned the name of my great-great-great-great grandmother.
E. J. Joli.
She married John Godfred Dove in Fannin County, Texas in 1874.
I contacted a cousin on ancestry.com who had more information on this family, including the above photograph.
He also shared information about E. J. Joli and his search for her enrollment to the Cherokee Tribe! I’d not yet heard any rumor of Native American ancestry on this branch of our family.
When I spoke to my great-aunt Mary about this, she said she was not surprised. She always thought that photographs of her grandmother, Emma Josephine Belyeu Vantine, showed facial features that might have been indicative of Indian ancestry.
It also turns out that my great-great grandmother, Emma J. Vantine, was named for her grandmother, Emma Josephine Joli!
Once I learned of the possibility of Native blood on this branch of the family tree, I began looking through indexes of the various rolls. The distant cousin who had researched this before, came to a brick wall after learning that she had applied for membership in the Cherokee Nation and that she had applied under the name Elizabeth J. Jolloy. Even though she would have been married to J. G. Dove by this time.
I found the application number and contacted researched at the National Archives in Ft. Worth. I’ve received word that Emma’s application is 67 pages long!
From looking at other applications from 1896, I know it should include copies of documents proving her lineage as well as transcriptions of interviews with the applicant and other affidavits.
I’ve also learned that the majority of the 1896 applications were thrown out with little or no review due to rampant dishonesty. The applicants were to re-apply starting in 1898.
Emma died in 1897 at the age of 43. She was never listed on the Final Dawes Rolls for this reason.
But! If her parents were still living in 1898 and applied to be on the rolls, there is a good chance that I may apply for my membership in the tribe.
I also found a cousin that had a photograph of Emma. It is now framed and on display in my home along with other family portraits.
The application should arrive next week in the mail, and I will look for the names of Emma’s parents to determine if they are indeed listed on the rolls.
I’m so excited!!!
EDIT: July 25, 2009.
I received the information from the NARA. The Elizabeth J. Jolloy that applied for tribal membership in 1896 was not our Emma. So I’m still at a brick wall with this line of research. It was so sad to discover that this wasn’t her application. Not to mention the $40 it took to get the copies mailed to my house. Oh well. Not every venture is always a success.
I contacted cousins who are also working on this branch of the family tree, and they plan to track down an old family Bible that had a slew of papers tucked inside. They always assumed it was the Dawes Application that never got filed in 1898 since she died in 1897. I’m hoping they can find if the Bible still exists.