5/128. A number that is highly significant to me. It's the amount of government recognized Chickasaw blood I have in my body (I have more, but only one roll number is allowed). Granted, it's not much, but that blood carries a lot of pride.
At the age of eighteen, I started to become interested in family genealogy, particularly because my mother told me we were related to the man, for which the town we reside in, is named for. It also helped that his last name was Colbert, one of the most important Chickasaw families in the eighteenth century. Once I had the last name, I knew it wouldn't be hard to find my ancestors. And boy, did I ever!
The story starts with James Logan Colbert, a Scottish trader who married into the Chickasaw tribe. With various wives, he had nine children, including four sons who served alongside many of our Nation's earliest war heroes. They are William, Samuel, James, and Levi Colbert (pictured below).
As if that wasn't cool enough already, I then discovered my direct ancestor, General William "Chooshemataha" Colbert , a celebrated fighter of the Chickasaw tribe, and an ally to the Americans. As I continued to read, I found more ancestors. He had a daughter, Molly Colbert, who is my grandmother, six times removed.
After finding Molly, I then found another grandmother, Rhoda Gunn (pictured below), five times removed. In some of the older books I have regarding the Chickasaws, she was considered a Chickasaw princess, and according to some traders, "one of the most beautiful women they had ever saw."
She would have a son, Judge John Taylor Potts (pictured below), who served as a county judge before Oklahoma became a state. The generations would eventually get to me, but I don't want to bore you with the rest.
As you are aware, good news comes with bad news, and it was certainly bad after I discovered that the cemetery in which John Taylor and Rhoda, among others, are buried in, was now a cow pasture just east of my current residence. I decided to visit a few years ago, and I was emotionally crushed. The tombstones looked like they had been hit with a few hammers, most likely a group of people trying to have fun. Thankfully, a fence has been built around this area, and no more damage can be done.
To be honest, I'm not sure what prompted me to write this, other than the fact that I'm proud to have discovered my Native American heritage. As I stated above, the pride I have in such a small amount of blood is very overwhelming. I am a Chickasaw, and for that, I'm honored.