Potawatomi- Genealogy- Zoe Bruno

1:57 AM Posted by GloryBug

I am quite a big fan of genealogy. In years past, I used to do it somewhat infrequently for adoptees, as a sort of second income. It used to be interesting, though intensive work. You had to be able to think. Then came the constriction of the internet as a source of information. Everything that used to be free, like birth and death records became private information that you had to pay for.

That was back when it was somewhat free to search on the internet. Now, even if you can locate some internet file with your family tree in it, some internet website 'owns' that information, and you have to pay to view it, because the people who posted it paid a fee to belong to the site, and essentially gave the rights to their genealogy to some website. I doubt the people who posted that information intended for some third party to make money off their research, but that's the way it appears to work now. Do any search for a family tree, and you will no doubt be faced with being asked to pay to see your own family tree.

As an adoptee myself, I have done extensive research for other people, other adoptees, and myself, as I think my children deserve to have a clear idea of where they have come from, and what their lineage is.

In doing that research, I have come to a roadblock, as many people do, with one person in my family tree. My research has shown me that a lot of other people who share Potawatomi lineage have come to a roadblock at this point as well.

The Zink/Immel Ukrainian/Alsace connection has been pretty well documented back to about the 16-1700's, but the Bruno/Rhodd Native American side is harder to document, even though it is one of the supposed founding names of the Potawatomi tribe.

What I do have at this point is this-

At about Jan 04, 1812, Antoine Bruno (Brunow, Bruneau) was born in Maskingnonge, Quebec, Canada. His father was Jean Baptiste Bruno (Brunow, Bruneau), and his mother was Constance Blanchette.

He married a Blackfeet Indian woman named 'Julia' who was born in 1823. She is described variously in different documents as being "Blackfeet", "sauvagesfe" and "Sansagrafe". (Sauvagesfe being some translation of French meaning 'Savage', and 'Sansagrafe' being a French translation meaning 'without staples, or without fasteners'- not sure if the meaning applies to clothing or lifestyle/location).
Antoine was married to at least 3 other white women, and had somewhat in the area of at least 19 children (whose ages overlap), so it's likely he wasn't really married to Julia at the time, but was doing some 'common law' type thing while possibly married to one of his other wives.
He had 3 children with Julia, one of whom was Zoe (Zoa, Zoie). At least one of the siblings, I think Jean Baptist, died on the trail with a French explorer.

The three children are documented as being baptised, with their mother not being named as other than 'sauvaesfe' or 'Sansagrafe'. They were described as being very attractive, and their mother being very attractive. At this point I'm guessing this would make them 1/2 Blackfeet and 1/2 French Canadian.

Zoe went on to marry Alexander Rhodd, in 1873. As far as I can tell, Alexander was born in 1850 and had a brother named Charley who married someone named Hellen(Helen). Alexander is on the Indian Rolls as full Potawatomi. On June 25, 1890, he marked his "X" on an agreement with the US. The Rhodds thereafter show up on census records as Potawatomi. If anyone has genealogy taking the Rhodds back further, I'd love to see it. Zoe also appears to have been married at least 2 other times, having children with familiar Potawatomi names such as Jacob DeLonais(DeHoney, DeLony) as well as Francois Bourbonais.

Zoe and Alexander had Peter Albert Rhodd, who married into the Zink/Immel Ukrainian line with Julianna, who had Wendelina Rhodd- one of their children being Joseph Alexander Rhodd who married Anna Vietenheimer (Veidenhuener? also from the Ukraine), who had Gene LaVerne Rhodd, who eventually had me. I lose Anna at some point because of the proliferation of the 'Franks' or 'Franz' from Ukraine that could be her father, though it appears likely that they intermarried French or Alsace as well. Online records show the Rhodd brothers (and possibly cousins) as being drafted for WW1.

I have come across something referring to 'Granny Zoa' or 'Granny Bruno', describing her as someone knowlegeable about herbs and medicine, but it was on restricted pages that I could not access. If anyone has that information for me, I would appreciate it.

One thing that has come up in my personal research, as well as the research I've been paid to do, is that the fact that prior to the last 100 years, it was common for brothers and sisters and cousins to intermarry into the same families, and to then name their children after their parents, brothers and sisters. Which means you can end up with 4 different 'Zoe's' born within 15 years of each other. I've also learned that the Ellis Island documents are sketchy at best simply because it appears they sounded out people's names rather than transcribing them correctly. Ergo, Immels are documented as 'Imhels' and 'Immals' and Veitenheimers become 'Veidenheuners'. It appears that the majority of the Immel/Zink/Veitenheimers were of French/Ukrainian descent, and that they ended up in Canada and eventually Utah and Texas, (eventually eventually Oklahoma or Kansas reservations) depending on whether they linked with Native Americans. They appear to have liked Native Americans quite a bit!

On the matrilineal side, I haven't gotten as far. I've only been able to trace substantively to a Robert Lee Ogden born 1918, married to a Lola (Iola?)Humphreys born 1922. There are obviously hints to prior Ogdens, as well as a Minnie Mary Errans(Arons?), Harley G. Humphreys (Humphries?) and Lutes. If I recall correctly, the Ogdens or Errans on that side were Kickapoo, Sac or Fox. Anyone with information about this would be highly welcomed as well.

I would like to get somewhere with my matrilineal research- without paying websites for the privelege. I am at a point where I feel I may have to pay for birth/marriage records for the Ogden/Humphreys in order to pull it back further, but I'm ok with that. I'm not ok with paying to view internet family histories of those same people.

And, if anyone has more information about the Bruno/Rhodd or Immel/Zink line, I would be more than happy to post it here, for free, for anyone to look at.

It really annoys the shit out of me when people restrict information for money. Doing a service, which is what I do when I research adoptions or genealogy that other people don't know how to do, or don't want to take the time to do is in my opinion worthy of charging a fee for. It takes no effort or work at all to withhold information, so people who do that should not get paid for it.

Everyone deserved the right to access to their own family history. Public documents should not be ownable. Just my opinion.


  1. Joseph Barnstable said...

    You idiot Colleen.

    Everyone does have access to their history. It's the method of communication that is chargeable. If the information was available free online (which it is) then you would still have to pay to access it because you pay for internet access.

    But I guess you probably think that should be free as well.

    If you're such a "make information free" advocate why is your blog plastered with nasty little Google Ads?

    On this page there are 4 ads for the companies that you are complaining about, all because you've been dumb and let Google turn your blog into an ad farm!

    What a hypocrite you are.

    Wake up and think about things before you write them.

  2. GloryBug said...

    Saying that you pay for information by paying for internet access is sort of true. Because you are also paying for information, for contact with people, much as the telephone companies do. However, telephone companies do not aggregate people's numbers and then force you to pay to access them. They actually publish directories, and unless you're a lazy 'info-dialer', you can look the number up yourself.

    Perhaps you are younger than I am, and don't remember when public census records were free. I don't like private companies buying up what was originally public domain and then charging for it.

    I understand that you don't like Google ads. But I find it very unlikely that any of them actually withholding true 'information'. There aren't really THAT many 'secrets' in the world.

    I'm sure not many people would like it if private companies were able to buy up every FOI document as soon as it was released, and then charging for what's supposed to be public information.

    I'm sorry you don't like the ads, but that hardly makes me hypocritical. I am honest about wanting to earn a living, and for now, those ads are filler that I am not forcing anyone to click on. And everyone knows that you do not get to choose the automated filler- it chooses you according to your content. When I find a site relating to genealogy that I like, I will obviously provide that link for free.

    As this site develops, I fully intend to have ads on it that I have chosen or been paid for, that directly pertain to the content I'm writing, or my values.

    It's hard to figure out how my post could have generated that much animousity, but I guess some people enjoy raising their own blood pressure.

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