By Rachal Mills Lennon
Excerpted from the book, Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes
The history and culture of the American South are unique, owing chiefly to the intermingling of the races and the diverse ethnic
backgrounds of countless families. Modern Southerners proudly boast traditions–real or not–of Native American ancestry. Odds are, these traditions lead directly back to the so-called Five Civilized Tribes. The Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians dominated a broad swath of territory from North Carolina to Mississippi before their forced removal westward. Long hailed for their adaptability to “white” ways (hence the designation “civilized”), these nations have gained near honorific status among Southeastern genealogists.