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Cherokee Genealogist: Elizabeth Warren’s Story About Parents Eloping Does Not Add Up

UNITED STATES - MARCH 6: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., holds a news conference in the Capitol on banking deregulation legislation on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) continued to tout her Native American ancestry on television Sunday, but an expert on Native American genealogy says that her story does not add up.

Warren claimed Sunday that her racist paternal grandparents did not approve of her parents’ wedding because her mother had Cherokee blood, causing them to elope.

“You know, my mom and dad were born and raised out in Oklahoma, and my daddy was in his teens when he fell in love with my mother,” the Massachusetts Democrat told Fox News Sunday. “She was a beautiful girl who played the piano. And he was head over heels in love with her and wanted to marry her. And his family was bitterly opposed to that because she was part Native American.”

“Eventually my parents eloped,” Warren added.

However, a Cherokee genealogist who researched Warren’s family said that her claim is moot.

Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes debunked Warren’s claim in a 2016 blog unearthed by the Washington Times and found that there was no evidence Warren’s family had any Native American ancestry and that her parents had a typical wedding for the time period.

“The problem with Warren’s story is that none of the evidence supports it,” Barnes wrote. “Her genealogy shows no indication of Cherokee ancestry. Her parents’ wedding doesn’t resemble an elopement. And additional evidence doesn’t show any indication of her Herring grandparents being Indian haters.”

Barnes added that a prominent Methodist clergyman performed the wedding and that the wedding was publicized in a local newspaper in Wetumka, Oklahoma.

Despite the genealogist’s revelations, the progressive Massachusetts senator continues to tell people that she has Native American ancestry.

Last month, she told the Tribal Nations Policy Summit in Washington, DC, that her mother’s family had Native American ancestry.

Warren pointed to a “family newsletter” from 2006 stating that her 3rd great-grandmother was a Cherokee Indian as proof of her heritage uncovered by an amateur genealogist.

Warren’s campaign also claimed that the Massachusetts senator is Native American because her cousin Candy Rowsey edited a cookbook called Pow Wow Chow. A Boston talk radio show host found in 2012 that Warren plagiarized two recipes that she submitted to the cookbook.


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