If your grandparents disappeared

Willie Childs and Jim James

Someone's ancestors

 

I have a friend who, according to the 1928 Bureau of Indian Affairs records, is of the Numsoose Tribe.  Trouble is that the Numsoose don’t exist anymore, and haven’t for long enough that people think they’ve heard of them, but can’t quite say where.

Many people figure “Indian” is “Indian” and the tribe isn’t all that important.  That is like saying the fact that you were born in Mississippi or have family in Ireland is irrelevant.   Or that Mexican, Spanish and South American are all pretty much the same.    

They’re not.

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3 Responses to If your grandparents disappeared

  1. Ben says:

    Lynette… I finally found Num’soos and it does still exist. It seems to have been a designation for a Wintu group in a number of locations to the east of us. C. Hart Merriam may have originated the name. He uses it in his photos and probably his notes which are at HSU. The Online Archive of California has some photos. The Nome Lackee of Paskenta should fall into this group as well as the Wintu/Wailaki rancheria at Grindstone. Your friend should contact these groups. Perhaps she (why did I say she) might contact them looking for relatives. Some post genealogies on their web sites.
    The locations I get for Num’soos are Ono, Paskenta and Grindstone. They may have been as far south as Stony Ford tho maybe that was Eastern Pomo.
    Your friend might be interested in reading Cora Dubois’ Wintu Ethnography which includes interviews with many Indians who would be considered Num’soos according to what I read. These include some of the greatest Wintu Indian Doctors such as Sarah Brown, Wash Fan and one other guy whose name I forget but he was pretty terrific. The famed doctor Albert Thomas was half Wintu and half Pit River and lived around Cottonwood some of the time. There are hair raising descriptions of him in Greg Sarris’ book on Mabel McKay which can often be found used at Tin Can. Dubois and Dorothy Dimitricoupolou Lee worked on Wintu Myths which is pretty wonderful. It’s on Anthro-hub. The excellent contemporary artist Frank La Pena is also Wintu. Your friend has a lot to look forward to in the Num’soos investigation.

    • lynette77 says:

      Oh Ben,
      Thank you so much for the info.
      I am going to pass it all on to my friend, who knew nothing other than it was listed on her family papers. She’ll be thrilled !
      Regards,
      ~L

  2. Jeannie Japp says:

    I was just speaking to my great-uncle about this… My great-grandfather claimed to be Numsoose, and I could find no reference to this whatsoever. My ancestors with the Numsoose lineage had Wintun put on their documents.

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