Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Through the years this column has emphasized the fact that genealogy and history are intertwined. In other words, family researchers need to understand how historical events often influenced the lives of our ancestors. A fascinating new book by Michael A. Ports focuses on a subject that affected thousands of people in the past: INDIAN WARS OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH, 1610-1858: A GUIDE FOR GENEALOGISTS AND HISTORIANS.

     Divided into two major sections, this interesting work is a comprehensive volume concerning the conflicts, more or less in chronological order, between Native Americans and their European encroachers. Beginning with the Powhatan Wars of 1610-1646 and finishing with the Third Seminole War of 1855-1858, the author has assembled all the pertinent facts related to the scores of battles or campaigns that arose as two civilizations clashed on the advancing Southern frontier.

     More than half of the volume summarizes what is known about the twenty-seven separate and distinct Indian wars in or involving the American South from colonial times up to three years before the outbreak of the Civil War. The author discusses each war in terms of background causes, the campaigns, and the aftermath. Wherever possible, he also furnishes the names of the commanding officers and military units, battle locations, numbers of casualties, and inclusive dates. Each chapter ends with a “Points of Interest” section that identifies and illustrates selected national, state, and local historic sites, parks, museums, and historical markers that commemorate the events, places, and people that were part of the wars. Ports also provides a bibliography of selected published works for further reading about the particular topic of the chapter.

     Discussions of the surviving records that document the military and civilian participation in the wars constitute the rest of the book. Ports begins with the important national repositories like the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and major archives and museums maintained by the various branches of the armed forces. Next he covers the archives pertaining to the subject in eleven states and supplies some insights into genealogical research in those states. He then focuses on the archives, libraries, and museums of the Five Civilized Tribes before devoting space to the famous Draper Manuscript Collection. The author concludes by describing other significant repositories, arranged geographically, such as genealogical and historical societies, museums, libraries, manuscript collections, hereditary societies, and a few other miscellaneous sources.

     Needless to say, this fine publication will serve as a useful resource for numerous researchers. INDIAN WARS OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH, 1610-1858: A GUIDE FOR GENEALOGISTS AND HISTORIANS will be a valuable addition to all library holdings.

     The 397-page book has soft covers, an interesting illustration on the front cover, an introduction, and photographs. To the book’s price of $39.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #8511) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

Kinsearching Home Page