There is a persistant rumor among at least one of the branches of the family, (Garret Wynkoop's in particular), that one our ancestors may have been a Native American. As to whether or not this rumor applies to the other four branches of the family only time will tell.
Most of these rumors swirl around the days of the old Wild West, the period from the 1840s on up till the late 1890s, when the plains were lit with the campfires of war and travel was hazardous in the extreme. The rumor usually goes that young ____ Wynkoop married the daughter of Chief _____ and that since then, every once in a while a darkly complected Wynkoop child is born to fair skinned parents, thus proving the story. The truth of the matter is that there is no one skin tone for Wynkoops, even in the same family, and never has been. Revolutionary War records for a couple of Wynkoop brothers who served from the state of New York back in the late 1770s illustrate this perfectly. One brother was dark skinned with dark hair and gray eyes while his brother had red hair and a pale complexion. You'll find this same variation in the children of Ned Wynkoop. His son, Charles Wanshaer Wynkoop, was a red-head with blue eyes, while Harman H. Wynkoop had a dark complexion with grey eyes.
Many of the early Dutch settlers in upstate New York married Native Americans when they first came to this country. There was a shortage of eligible spouses and America, even then, was a "melting pot" much like today. The early Dutch were an insular bunch and had a tendency to inter-marry for generations when they could. (My own branch of the family married Dutch and only Dutch up until the mid 1800s.) This close knit family arrangement would have spread the Native American genes around until they reached the farthest corners of the community. It's no lie to suggest that most of the early Dutch families of upstate New York are closely related to each other nowadays. Most of them came from the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands to begin with, (that's where the patroon Kiliaen van Rensselaer was from too), and they married each others sons and daughters time and time again creating a bewildering confusion of relationships.
That being said there are a few physical characteristics that distinguish the Native American descendant. These are:
Many neonates are born with a Mongolian birthmark. They soon disappear. These round dark blue spots are only found in Afro-American & Native Americans. It is a sign of a Shaman.
You will find these traits listed on the following webpage:
along with the titles of several articles to help you research this aspect of your family past.
Eye pigmentation and mongolian birthmarks are probably not very reliable ways to determine your heritage. Researching your "Y" Chromosome will take medical tests and some expertise, but is probably the most reliable way to determine if you have any Native Americans hidden in your family background. However, until you have your parents tested you still won't know which branch of your family passed the gene down to you.
For those of you who can't wait for the medical tests, there is another simple test that you can perform. You can check your teeth to see if you have Carrabelli's Cusp or not. People who are strictly of Western European origin have a bump or cusp on a specific tooth. People who have Native American heritage are missing this cusp. You can probably do this test from your chair while you're reading this.
For a complete explanation of what to look for and where, but no photos, unfortunately, I suggest you head on over to this website:
Additionally, and probably more conclusively, the backs of the front teeth of Native Americans and their descendants are actually "u-shaped", (hollowed out), and ridged. Your dentist can run a tool over them if you request and you'll actually be able to hear the "rough ridges."
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Created April 27, 1999; Revised October 18, 2002
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Copyright © 1999-2002 by Christopher H. Wynkoop, All Rights Reserved
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