Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    Exclusive – Elizabeth Warren relative researched ancestry, called Indian claim a rumor

    Exclusive – Elizabeth Warren relative researched ancestry, called Indian claim a rumor

    Elizabeth Warren has claimed that being Native American is part of who she is because her mother and Aunt Bee told stories about Native American heritage.

    Warren also asserts that her parents had to elope because of hostility from her father’s family to her mother’s Cherokee and Delaware ancestry.  This anti-Indian sentiment from her father’s family was so severe that it lasted, according to Warren, throughout the marriage and “it was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral.”

    This lore, according to Warren, was a fundamental part of her family experience.  “I’m not backing off from my family,” Warren has declared.

    As far as I can tell, none of Warren’s family members has stepped forward publicly to support her claims of Native American ancestry or even to back up the family lore.

    At no point since the controversy broke in late April 2012 has Warren indicated that a family member conducted genealogical research or that she previously was aware of genealogical evidence contradicting her alleged family lore. Time and again Warren says she never asked her parents for documentation.

    Yet the way in which Warren framed that defense — what kid asks her parents for documentation as her website Truth Team section says — always struck me as oddly focused on a non-issue, what Warren believed as a child.  What is important is what Warren believed and represented as an adult.

    Were we to believe that this women driven by data in her professional life never thought to inquire as an adult as to the genealogy which so much was a part of her self-identification? Would Warren never herself, or through a family member or others, at least attempt to verify the alleged Native American ancestry?

    It turns out a close relative of Warren, her nephew, actually did research the family genealogy a decade before Warren’s Senate run.

    Mark Hayne Herring, currently approximately 50 years old, is the son of Warren’s brother John Hayne Herring, and the grandson of Warren’s parents, Don Herring and Pauline Reed Herring.

    Starting not later than 2002, Mark Herring was active on, a public genealogical posting board.  Based on his posts, it appears he already had started researching by the time he started posting.

    As part of his many searches and interactions, Mark Herring put together this basic Family Tree:

    In one post, Mark Herring referenced his “Aunt Bee,” apparently the same person Warren has referenced as talking about Warren’s “pappaw” having high cheekbones.

    Mark Herring, though, dug much deeper on each side of his family, including the Roper line on his mother’s side, and the Herring and Reed lines on his father’s side.  He followed the Reed line, that of his grandmother and Warren’s mother, back to the 1800s, and looked for any evidence of the genealogy of those living in Indian Territory.

    Yet nowhere in his recitation of the Reed family line in many posts at does Mark Herring purport to document any Native American ancestry.

    To the contrary, Mark Herring referred to the possibility of Indian ancestry only as a rumor.  On May 5, 2002, on a Reed Family Genealogical Forum, Mark Herring posted the following question to another person:

    “Were any of your Reeds Native American? It has been rumored that some of ours were.”

    The lack of any proof in Mark Herring’s postings that his grandmother (Warren’s mother) was Native American was consistent with the abundant evidence documented by Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes, including numerous census entries listing Warren’s mother (Pauline Reed Herring) as White and her death certificate which also listed her as White.  Her sister, Aunt Bee, also was listed as White by Warren herself on the death certificate.

    At the time of his grandmother’s (Warren’s mother’s) death in 1995, Mark Herring would have been approximately 33 years old.  It is hard to believe that had the family been so torn apart by his grandmother’s (Warren’s mother’s) Native American ancestry, including problems related to the funeral, that Mark Herring would have referred to that ancestry as a rumor.

    Certainly, with the supposedly divisive Native American family dispute so much a part of who the family was and how his grandparents lived and died, one would have expected Mark Herring to share the results of his genealogical research with the family in 2002 if not earlier.

    Did Mark Herring share the results of his research with others in the family?  Mark Herring did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

    What did Warren know about a relative having researched the genealogy, and when did she know it?  Warren’s Press Secretary Alethea Harney has not responsed to an e-mail asking those very questions.

    Elizabeth Warren has erected a seemingly impenetrable wall of family lore.  No matter what the genealogical fact, Warren simply states that being Native American is who her family was and who she is now.

    Warren also uses this lore to deflect charges by Native Americans that she committed ethnic fraud by filling out law faculty directory forms as Native American, reporting herself as Native American to the federal government through Harvard and Penn law schools, and listing herself as a Woman of Color in Academia.

    At least by 2002, one of her relatives who was in a position to know, her brother’s son, didn’t refer to Native American ancestry as family lore, or a part of who his family was.  It was just rumor.

    When Warren repackaged those rumors as a personal racial narrative for professional purposes, and later as family lore after the controversy broke in her Senate campaign, Warren should have known better.  And maybe she actually did.


    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.


    LukeHandCool | July 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    There comes a time to put childish things away for adults … except for playing cowboys and Indians.

    JoAnne | July 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Oh, my! Now we find out she’s also part Delaware! Maybe she’s my long lost Chiricahua Apache 1/320 sister, too!

    “Actually, you have it wrong about what it is I believe. My mom and dad were very much in love with each other and they wanted to get married and my father’s parents said absolutely not.
    “You can’t marry her because she’s part Cherokee and she’s part Delaware. And um, after fighting it as long as they could, my parents went off, they eloped.
    “It was an issue in our family the whole time I grew up about these two families. It was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral.
    “So what I know about my parents is I know that in that little town they grew up in that my father’s parents knew enough about my mother and her family to say I have no doubts.”

    Henry Hawkins | July 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    OH YEAH? Well, plenty of Republicans claim to be Indians without proving it too, ya know.

    Bobby Jindal? HELLO
    Nikki Haley? HELLO

    Stupid Republcians……….

    Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren would not say if she considers herself a minority, in an interview with CNN that aired Tuesday.

    DANA BASH: But Warren has stumbled over an issue she admits has tripped her up. When she applied to teach at Harvard, she identified herself as Native American. Brown pounced, saying there’s no evidence.

    ELIZABETH WARREN: I was really surprised that anyone wanted to make this a political issue. I was really surprised by that, and very slow to respond to it. I’m like any other kid—I learned about my family from my parents.

    BASH: Brown won’t let it go, accusing her of claiming minority status to advance her career.

    SEN. SCOTT BROWN: When you run for high elected office, you have to pass a test. And that test is one of honesty, and credibility, and trustworthiness and truthfulness—and she’s failed that test.

    BASH: Harvard administrators say they didn’t know Warren claimed Native American heritage before hiring her. It’s still raw. Warren bristles when asked if she considers herself a minority.

    BASH: So you don’t want to put a label on it?

    WARREN: Nope. This is part of who I am. This is who I am.

    A liar.

    DavidJackSmith | July 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Time for Warren to UPDATE THE RESUME…

    According to the WSJ a new DNA genetic study shows that Native Americans are themselVes INTERLOPERS and that there were 3 waves of “Colonization” of the Americas..

    Including the CHINESE HANS… Hence Ms Warren’s new name MEI-MEI. It’s all about MEI!

      Juba Doobai! in reply to DavidJackSmith. | July 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Actually, that is not pronounced ‘Me’ but ‘May’. Nice try, though, but you are looking for ‘MiMi’ which will also work for a Chinese name.

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm

        BTW, ‘Mimi’ means ‘Secret’, which is what Warren hopes her family’s reaction to her attempt to claim Indian minority status will remain.

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm

        One last thing, ‘Mei’ means ‘beautiful’, which is what Elizabeth Warren and her minority games definitely is not.

        I’m sick with a nasty bug this week, so thoughts are scrambled more than usual.

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend