THE THOMAS FAMILY, LLC
THE DESCENDANTS OF MOSES THOMAS, SR & GEORGIA BUTLER...MARRIED DECEMBER 11, 1880 IN CLAIRBORNE PARISH, LOUISIANA
The Caddo Nation: Caddo Indian History: www.accessgenealogy.com/native/ The Caddo Indian flag: Treaty With the Caddo: www.accessgenealogy.com/scripts/ Caddo Indian Language: (Hatsinai) Caddo Cultures in Texas: www.texasindians.com/caddo.htm Caddo Indian Fact Sheet: www.bigorrin.org/caddo_kids.htm
(Facts for Kids)
The Caddo Nation:
Caddo Indian History: www.accessgenealogy.com/native/
The Caddo Indian flag:
Treaty With the Caddo: www.accessgenealogy.com/scripts/
Caddo Indian Language:
Caddo Cultures in Texas: www.texasindians.com/caddo.htm
Caddo Indian Fact Sheet: www.bigorrin.org/caddo_kids.htm
A TRIBUTE TO GEORGIA BUTLER
On July 18, 1952 Georgia Butler cah-ay’-hut (1) and crossed over into another life. She was a second generation Caddo , who had lived a hun-nah-che (2) and hush-dun’-ah (3) life in the land of her kee-o-nah wah’-wah ha-e-may’-chee(4). Her ah-ah (5) and e’-nah (6)had made a decision, in approximately 1835, not to move with the tribe as they went through Teyas (7)and then on to Oklahoma as part of America’s forced movement of indigenous people from their homeland. Her life had been hun-nah-che(8)for her because she could not maintain her Native American culture/speak the language/worship the creator of her understanding or reveal her identity with the Caddo . For she was an outlaw in the land of her kee-o-nah wah’-wah ha-e-may’-chee (9), which became to her a cha-cah-nee-nah (10). She had a lifelong time, nearly 89 years, to nah-kee (11) and cah-nay’-ah(12) in her life.
There could be no incident with her involvement with the bah-caht’-no (13) or any type of publicity to bring unwarranted attention to herself. She was known in the community as a coo’-nah (14) and she contributed to the healing of many people facing bah-chu’-cah(15). She was a specialist in the treatment of nah-seeh’ (16)disease. She made numerous trips into the woods in obtaining herbal ha-coo’-shoo(17). It appeared that the ha-coo’-shoo (18) worked better when it was fresh.
Her funeral occurred on July 23, 1952 at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Magnolia, Arkansas, in a Christian setting, although she had never embraced Christianity. It was held at this location because of the overflow crowd in the community turning out in bidding her farewell. The eulogist highlighted her life as a coo’-nah(19) in the community and the extraordinary citizenship manners of her children. They all set examples of character beyond reproach.
At her bah-chu’-cah (20), she had left information with her daughters to tell who she was when her bah-ooh (21) began to turn cold in her veins as she began her journey to kee-wut’ ha-e’-may (22). She had no sue-nah (23), but ah-ah-ha’-yo (24) allowed her to crossover with only her character. In her new life in the spirit world, she would be able to speak in her native tongue without any fear of reprisal. Now she could cah-kee-neh’-oh (25), with the bun’-it (26), wah-ah (27)and the e’-chun (28). She could dough’-cah-yah-nah-ah (29) to the tsa-do’-oot (30), bun’-cus (31), cah-pah’-tsi (32), do’-ooh (33) and the tah’-nah-ha(34) as her kee-o-nah wah’-wah ha-e-may’-chee(35) had done in the past. Bah-chu’-cah(36) freed her from the bondage into which she was born.
Clifton R. White, Nit-tso-sah-dos-cha-ah (37)
1.Passed away, 2. Difficult, 3. Dangerous, 4. Ancestors, 5. Father, 6. Mother, 7. Texas, 8. Difficult, 9. Ancestors, 10. Place of crying, 11. Looked at herself, 12. Arranged things, 13. Law , 14. Doctor of medicine, 15. Death, 16. Kidney, 17. Medicine, 18. Medicine, 19. Medical doctor, 20. Death, 21. Blood, 22. Heaven, 23. Money, 24. God, 25. Sing, 26. Birds, 27. Bees, 28. Frogs, 29. Talk, 30. Prairie dogs, 31. Lizards, 32. Chickenhawk, 33. Rabbit, 34. Buffalos, 35. Ancestors, 36. Death, 37. Chairperson
Our family records listed my great-grandmother Georgia’s birthdate of November 18, 1863. One of the family’s oldest pieces of documentation is a marriage license that was granted on December 11, 1880. This information in now 130 years old.
The birthdate of 1863 is probably not accurate. The US Census of 1900 listed Georgia’s date of birth as January 1869 and her age as 31 years old. The US Census of 1910 listed Georgia’s date of birth as about 1867 and she was 43 years old. The US Census of 1930 listed Georgia’s date of birth as about 1868 and her age was 62. My grandfather, William Manning Thomas, the couple’s first child, was born in 1882. Oral information in our family is that Georgia Butler Thomas was twelve years old when my grandfather was born. Using this information, the 1869 date is probably the most accurate one. I understand now, that when the marriage license was applied for, the bride’s age was put up in order to obtain a marriage license. The family’s effort in correcting these dates are not important to us. In order to maintain the integrity of the records as to when they were recorded, we have made a decision to continue reporting each document as they were originally recorded in the 1800s. Our ability now to review history should not destroy the sacredness of our ancestors’ recording.
Other oral information in our family is that on December 11, 1880 three weddings occurred: a Native American ceremony, an Igbo African ceremony, and the traditional American marriage. This marriage lasted for more than 50 years, until the death of Moses Thomas in the 1930s. Great-grandmother Georgia remained a widow during the next 20 years.
In the US Census of 1910, Great-grandmother Georgia’s race was listed as “mulatto”. It is my understanding now that, if the person was not Black or white, they were called a mulatto. Oklahoma, I understand, is the only place where Native American identity was listed in the Census after 1924. The US Census of 1910 is now 100 years old. You will see again that Great-grandmother Georgia and Great-grandfather Moses could not read or write. Her last child, who was named after her, Georgia, was born in 1897. She was still living at home per the 1910 Census, and she is also listed as a mulatto.
Several months prior to Great-grandmother Georgia’s death, in July 1952, my mother took her three children, me, my sister and brother, to visit her where she was living with her daughter, Anna Thomas Waller. My mother introduced us to her grandmother and she gave us some type of blessing, just by talking with us, encouraging us to excel, and she even felt my hands and arms.
My Great-grandmother Georgia crossed over on July 18, 1952. The funeral home was given information that Georgia Butler Thomas was a full-blooded Native American and a member of the Caddo tribe. The funeral home submitted information to the State of Arkansas, Department of Vital Statistics that Georgia Butler Thomas’ race was “colored”.
In the year 2005, when we were gathering family documentation, we contacted the funeral home concerning why this erroneous information was submitted to the State of Arkansas. I was informed by the funeral home director that in 1952, because of segregated laws in Arkansas, they could only bury “colored” people. It was the funeral home’s practice at that time to identify any person that they buried as being “colored“. On July 18, 2005 the State of Arkansas corrected Georgia Butler Thomas’ death certificate to state as her race, Caddo Indian. The information contained in the Death Certificate and that which was on record at the funeral home, is now 58 years old.
This group went to visit the Caddo Indian Nation on May 9, 2005.
Back row: Norma Davis, Calvin Davis
Picture taken at the Reservation