My paternal grandfather was a member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma. My paternal grandmother was a member of the Munsee Tribe of Kansas. My research was centered on tracing our ancestry, which led me to write brief histories of these tribes and how they relate to our ancestors. My genealogical research expanded into general genealogy databases for both tribes, which I post publicly on RootsWeb.com, where most people go to start research.
The Otoe-Missouria are often grouped linguistically and culturally with the Ioway and other native Mississippian peoples. The tribes have never been large in numbers, compared with more well-known plains tribes. At the time of their contact with Lewis and Clark in 1804, the Otoe and Missouria inhabited an area near the Platte River in what is now Nebraska. Following a series of forced migrations and broken treaties, they eventually accepted settlement on a reservation in Indian Territory in 1881. Today they remain a federally recognized tribe known as the Otoe-Missouria, based in Red Rock, Oklahoma.
The Munsee were the northernmost division of the Delaware (Lenape) Indians, living in the area where present-day Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York meet. During the Colonial period, this group began to follow the teachings of the Moravian missionaries and became known as the Christian Indians. In 1772, they migrated with the mission to the Ohio Territory and later to southern Ontario, Canada. In 1839, a small group of them joined other Delaware in Kansas, and from that point on, the Kansas Munsee were a distinct band with their own identity. Their final treaty, in 1859, combined the remaining Munsee with a small band of Chippewa in Franklin County, Kansas.
I also occasionally write articles related to my grandparents’ tribes, or of general native American interest. I live in Maryland, and I recognized a need to compile a calendar of native American events in and around my home state. I believe my events page is the most complete and up-to-date calendar for this region on the Web.