Rebuttal, Chapter 2

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The author of the other blog posted another comment on Geni. I decided to answer partially on Geni and more fully here on this blog page:

Before I begin, I would like to address Sarah’s accusation that I have attempted to “assassinate” her character.  Not true, but I do stand behind what I have written.  In my opinion she is attempting to explain away her attitude as being “above it all” and, therefore, does not have to answer for her actions.  She is attempting to turn the tables…She is not the victim here.  My family is.  In the immortal words of Winston Wolf…“Just because you are a character…doesn’t mean you have character.” 

What I have written about are my experiences with her since the time I first learned about her blog.  She has gone out of her way on innumerable platforms to “spread the news” to my family members that they must change their understanding of their family history as they know it because of her “discovery.”   She has attempted to bully my family with her erroneous “theories.”  Bluesky is not the first person in my direct family line with Native American heritage that she has attacked. 

In a nutshell: 

1.   Many of Sarah’s statements in her March 23, 2021 on Geni are inaccurate.

2.   She refuses to acknowledge that hundreds of years of oral tradition can be of probative value for genealogical study.  For her, oral history is useless.  By a parity of reasoning, she must not believe that the Christian Gospels have any validity because they were oral tradition for hundreds of years before they were written down at a later period in a language other than that which Jesus spoke.  My position is that hundreds of years of oral history is a very valuable historical source, especially with Native American oral history.

3.   Sarah refuses to consider any DNA information or testing performed by companies other than her testing company of choice.  She has exhibited a particular contempt towards DNA Consultants and test results from that company, be it mitochondrial, YDNA or autosomal.  She goes out of her way to disparage the company and, in particular, the owner of the company.  She denigrates any research or documentation other than her own.

4.   I do not have the time or the inclination to rehash the chain of events which have been documented on my blog.   I love and enjoy researching my family, but I DO NOT enjoy spending my time arguing with people who are unable to listen to or consider other points of view.  Believe me, I would rather spend my free time painting.  However, I shall continue to set the record straight, so I do make the time to conduct whatever research is necessary to REAFFIRM my family history and its ethnicities.  Also, I want to ensure that my family is protected from baseless attacks and protected from people who do not have an intimate knowledge of my family’s history and have never taken the time to conduct an in-depth interview of a single family member.   

Just for the record, I have spent thousands of hours researching and assembling my blog.  I have personally purchased over 65 DNA tests for my family in order to, again, REAFFIRM our Native American heritage, including mitochondrial, YDNA and autosomal testing.  I have endeavored to give a well-rounded and accurate account of the events during the period of time about which I write.

Some of those who were kind enough to allow me to compare our DNA and to have further testing conducted:

Carlyle Hinshaw is a direct descendant of Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket and is a member of both the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation.  Carlyle and I are related through his descent from Chief Blue Jacket and my descent from two children of Chief Cornstalk, Bluesky Cornstalk and Peter Cornstalk..  Lines vetted through our family trees and DNA.  Carlyle is a retired exploration geologist.   He has a long and storied career as a consulting geologist.  He received his BA in Geology from Kansas State College and his MA in Geology from Kansas State University.  He has been described in a DNA publication as being a “leading light in Native American genetic genealogy.”

Jim Lee is a direct descendant of Shawnee Chief Silverheels and member of the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.  Jim and I are related through his descent from Chief Silverheels (renowned brother of Chief Cornstalk) and my descent from two children of Chief Cornstalk, Bluesky Cornstalk and Peter Cornstalk.  Lines vetted through our family trees and DNA.  Jim is a degreed chemist who has worked in medical research and in the oil and gas industry for almost 40 years. He is also a well-respected and experienced genetic genealogist.

Bobby BlueJacket is a direct male-line descendant of Shawnee chief Blue Jacket and member of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.  In my opinion, Bobby is a National Treasure of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.  Bobby and I are related through his descent from Chief Blue Jacket and my descent from two children of Chief Cornstalk, Bluesky Cornstalk and Peter Cornstalk.  Lines vetted through our family trees and DNA (with the assistance of Carlyle Hinshaw).

Here are those that endorse my blog.  Please take note that they are professionals for whom these studies are very important:

Brandon Ray Kirk, author of “Blood in West Virginia: Brumfield v. McCoy”; graduate of Marshall University, Masters of Arts in history, specializing in Appalachian History.  Brandon is a Blake-House Scholar, a past member of Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies and an assistant professor of American history at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. Confirmed member of and specialist in the Adkins family.  https://brandonraykirk.com/about/

Michelle Watts, Otterbein University (dual major, dual minors) Communications, Public Relations, History and Marketing; Marshall University, MA Organizational/Political Communication; Marshall University, Adjunct Faculty Department Communication Studies; Otterbein University MBA (in progress, Class of ’22); Recipient of the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe State History Award, 1986.  Confirmed member of and specialist in the Adkins family.

Linda Rideout, archaeologist, anthropologist, geographic information scientist.  Linda graduated Suma Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Geography-Anthropology.  Her main concentration is in Archaeology.  She has a minor in Global Studies and certificate in Geographic Information in Science.  Linda is nearing the completion of her Masters degree in GIS.  Among other accomplishments, she has worked twice as an intern with the Smithsonian Museum and has worked on a NASA-funded mapping project in Maine.  She currently works for local government as a digital cartographer.  Confirmed member of the Adkins family.  https://www.rideoutcv.com/projects-and-internships

Professor Kenneth B. Tankersley, anthropologist, geologist, archaeologist. Professor Tankersley received his Masters of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati, his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Indiana and his Post-Doctorate degree in Quaternary Research from the Illinois State Museum. (Professor Tankersley reviewed and commented on the STR-based DNA results posted on the main page of the blog.)  Professor Tankersley is currently an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati.  He is the director of two laboratories, the Court Archaeological Research Facility and the Ohio Valley Archaeological Laboratory. 

Donald and Teresa Yates, authors of “Cherokee DNA Studies, Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong” and numerous other publications.  Owners of DNA Consultants. 

Two distinguished professionals, among others, who stand behind the technology used at DNA Consultants:

Professor Joan W. Bennett teaches Genetics.  She is a distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology and associate president for the promotion of women in science, engineering and mathematics at Rutgers University.  She is a member of the American Association of Advancement of the Sciences and National Academy of Sciences.  These are just a few of the distinguished honors bestowed upon Professor Bennett.  According to a recent article published about Professor Bennett, her official curriculum vitae listing all her books and articles “runs to 50 pages.” 

Dr. Andrew Ayers Martin is a pathologist.  He is the medical director/owner of Midsouth Pathology.  Andrew received his J.D. from Duke Law School. He is a member of the California State Bar.  He received his M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine and studied surgical pathology at Baylor College of Medicine.  

Here are a few examples of Sarah’s posts which I believe are incomplete and misleading:

The screenshot of Sarah’s May 18, 2016 “publishing” of the Charity test subject’s test results on AFHG. This is the entire and only detail which was EVER shared with our family or shared on ANY platform concerning the detail of the Charity test subject’s DNA test results until late December 2019 when she posted incomplete and misleading typed-out “test results” on the AFHG FB page after numerous and repeated requests by various Adkins family members for screen shots of the actual test results:

Screenshot from Lincoln Co. WV Genealogy FB page on October 6, 2020 as an example of exchanges with the owner of the blog and my family regarding those misrepresentations made by her over the years:

October 6, 2020 on Wayne Co. WV Genealogy FB page:

There were and are Native American matches on Audalene’s mitochondrial test results from the blog owner’s testing company of choice; and I must point out, AGAIN, that Audalene’s haplogroup has been determined to be Native American in origin. Audalene is a participant in Phase 3 of the same Native American mitochondrial specialty study in which I am a participant. 

If Sarah dug a little deeper and further examined her DNA company of choice, she would learn that there is no way to determine if the so-called “exact” mitochondrial matches are true and exact matches because matches are grouped together on a consensus basis, not according to each individual test subject.  They do not analyze their test subjects’ mitochondrial DNA to the extra and missing mutations.  I called that company twice to confirm.  I discussed this subject in great detail on the Rebuttal page of my blog which was published on June 3, 2020.

And this:

“I have never had the conversations with Michelle Watts that were described above, discussions about genealogy do not make me angry and I have never blocked anyone from any site.”

Answer:

To read the comment posted by Michelle Watts documenting the history of her experience with Sarah, please see the Recent Developments page, August 6, 2020 entry. Genealogy discussions about Bluesky Cornstalk do make Sarah mad.  In regard to exchanges regarding Bluesky on AFHG, she sent several private messages and sent three emails to Lynda Davis-Logan on February 8, 9 and 11 wherein, among other things, she accuses me of being a liar, being dishonest, being a blatant malicious liar, and the list goes on. To read the entry in its entirety, please see the Recent Developments page, August 6, 2020 entry.

And this:

 “For those who may not know, an additional daughter (Keziah) of Parker Adkins and his wife, Mary, was discovered after the Ronnie Adkins book was published. A direct descendant of that daughter was subsequently located and agreed to have her mtDNA analyzed. It was an exact match to Audalene Starr’s kit and the non-Native American haplogroup result was shared to the Adkins Facebook page by Lynda Davis-Logan. The results of both women are identical in every way – not just the H3b1b1 haplogroup. All matches are exactly the same except that Keziah’s descendant has one additional exact match and the mutations are the same. There are 20+ exact matches to the two kits so, obviously, their combination of mutations do exist in multiple places in the world.”

Point of inquiry:  Is Audalene now a direct descendant or a direct female-line descendant?   I believe Sarah has always contended that Audalene is a direct female-line descendant.

Observation:  Sarah has insisted all these years the matches to Audalene and Jeane were “mostly English and Irish.”  Please see the analysis on the Rebuttal page of my blog.

Answer:

          A.       Both lines of the Keziah test subject are heavily documented in Ronnie Adkins’ book.   Lynda Davis Logan was able to confirm this for me because this is her family line.

          B.       The match was not exact.  If there was one more match for the Keziah test subject than the Charity test subject, technically that’s not an exact match, is it?  The Charity and Keziah test subjects are Native American in origin. The Charity test subject is enrolled as a participant in the same Phase 3 Native American mitochondrial DNA specialty study in which I am a participant being conducted by the authors of the book “Cherokee DNA Studies, Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong” along with four of my cousins, one of whom is an enrolled member of the Shawnee Tribe (Carlyle Hinshaw).

          C.       Again, what Sarah refuses to understand and acknowledge is that her testing company of choice gives a consensus result to their mitochondrial DNA customers; meaning that their missing and extra mutations are tossed out the window. A customer is lumped together with others who match to a certain point.  There is no way to determine if the 20+ exact matches mentioned above are truly exact mitochondrial matches.   None of those “exact matches” are related to the Charity test subject or the Keziah test subject.  I performed an analysis of those “exact” matches and posted the results on the Rebuttal page on June 3, 2020.

And, finally, this:

“The DNA Consultants tests that have been mentioned are autosomal tests which cannot be used to identify specific ancestors. Their customers’ DNA is compared to databases they created themselves which are not recognized by any other DNA company and cannot be uploaded to GEDmatch. Many of their Native American databases contain DNA from people who were not required to provide proof of Native American ancestry and the DNA in others came from various current law enforcement agencies.”

Answer:  It seems Sarah refuses to research DNA Consultants.  This statement above is the same tired old incorrect statement she makes over and over on different forums, attempting to disparage the reputation of DNA Consultants.  Patricia Breed Everett responded to one such comment in an exchange with Sarah on October 1, 2020 on the Lincoln County WV,Genealogy page, summarizing it quite nicely:

In closing, let me summarize my family’s position.  DNA studies, oral tradition, historical documents, maps and actual interviews and relationships with family who are enrolled in Federally recognized tribes, all provide valuable information needed to validate genealogical family lines.  No single source provides all the correct answers and all of these sources are valuable.  Let consideration of all the evidence lead you to the right answer NOT “some” of the evidence and not your own “favored” conclusions.

Update 4/4/2021: After several exchanges back and forth on Geni, this is where I left it with the owner of the other blog: