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Benjamin Heney, and NIGAJIJIGOKE Whiteman

Replies: 13

Re: Benjamin Heney, and NIGAJIJIGOKE Whiteman

Posted: 1297288586000
Classification: Query
Cher can reference her mixed-race origin in any way she deems, however when she used the term "half breed" in the 1970's, it was a statement about the racism the term connotes. I don't want to cite anyone as being racist, and was not implying that in my response to you. Admittedly, I was a bit sharp, and I hope that you didn't take it personally. Offensive terms to exist in our lexicon, but it helps to put terms reference them, you put them into a "quoted text". That makes it clear to the audience reading your post that you're using the term in the historical context, not because you don't know any better in 2011.

The French phrase "fond du lac" refers to "far end of the lake". It can translate as "foot of lake", "bottom of lake", the consensus is early French and French Canadian traders used it to indicate the far end of the lake.

Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin is located at the "far end of" Lake Winnebago, and also in the early-mid 19th century, at the far end of the established trading post in Green Bay.

The Fond Du Lac Band of the Chippewa (Ojibwe) Nation were located at the "far end of" Lake Superior. They were never, as a band, located in Fond Du Lac (town or county) Wisconsin.

The best thing to do is pull up a google map to give you a sense of where these places are.


I searched the U.S. Indian Census Schedules, 1885-1940, and State Census on I found numerous references for a Ben Heney (Henry/Heeney/Heaney), that may fit the one you seek. You didn't include any dates in your post, some of this may or may not be the Benjamin Heney and Mrs Heney Whiteman you're looking for.


This U.S. Indian Census Schedules, 30 Jun 1911, is the first census I found that refers to them together. These transcriptions are direct copies from what I found on My notes are in [brackets], and info that is "quoted" is a word for word transcription of the original historical record.

Name: Mrs. Henry Whiteman
Date of Birth: abt 1892
Age: 19
Tribe: Ojibwe (Ojibbeway)
Agency: Nett Lake, Bois Fort
State: Minnesota
Last Census Number: 486
Previous Census Number: 460
Census Date: 30 Jun 1911

[Transcription of the entry in the 30 Jun 1911 Census:]

"Ni-ga-ni-gi-goke....Whiteman, Mrs. (Heney)adult...19...F
(Born in Dec 1894, see census 1895, Ke-way-ge-shig-waibs band, page 45, #31. Is married to a man by the name of Benjiman Heney, a half breed. Address Fort Francis, Ont. care of the Indian Adgent.)"


Name: Mrs. Henry Whiteman
Date of Birth: abt 1892
Age: 20
Relation to Head of Household: Adult
Tribe: Ojibwe (Ojibbeway)
Agency: Nett Lake
State: Minnesota
Last Census Number: 577
Previous Census Number: 486
Census Date: 30 Jun 1912

[Transcription of the entry in the 30 Jun 1912:]

"Ni ga ni gi goke...625..Whiteman, Mrs. Heney...Adult..20..F
(Is the wife of a half breed Benjiman Heney, but is not living with him at this time)."


She appears in the emumerations in Nett Lake for quite a while, until at least 1937. She and Benjamin Heney are never emumerated together, he is referred to in her entries, but not emumerated, (see the Census transcription below) The children first appear with her in the 1922 Census: Albert, b Oct 1914; Joseph b July 1917.


Name: Benjamin Heney
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of Household: Husband
Tribe: Bois Fort Chippewa (Chippewa)
Reservation: Bois Fort
Agency: Nett Lake
State: Minnesota
Census Date: 30 Jun 1915

[This is transcription of the entry in the 30 Jun 1915 Census record]

"Ni ga ni gi joke, Whiteman, Mrs Henry, W [wife] b. 3- -1892, Husband is Benjamin Heney. half breed."


This could be the Benjamin Heney, but only a *putting the pieces together* guess.

Census Date: 30 Aug 1887

Name: Ben Heeney
Date of Birth: abt 1884
Age: 3
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of Household: Son
Father's name: Dan Heeney
Mother's name: Lizzie Heeney
Tribe: Ojibwe (Ojibbeway)
Agency: La Pointe
State: Wisconsin
Last Census Number: 319


La Pointe, Ashland, Wisconsin

Census Date: 1890

Name: Ben Heney
Date of Birth: abt 1888
Age: 2
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of Household: Son
Father's name: Dan Heney
Mother's name: Lizzie Heney
Tribe: Fon du Lac Band Chippewa (Chippewa)
Last Census Number: 363


In La Pointe, Ashland, Wisconsin, Benjamin is enumerated with his mother and siblings on the U.S. Indian Census Schedules through 1902. In the 1903, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909 he is enumerated on his own, but above his mother and the rest of his siblings.


This children in this emumeration below match what I found in the US Indian Census Schedules. Benjamin is not emumerated with his parents and siblings, but you can use it for location and familial reference. The race reference is White in the census, however, Lizzie Heaney was Fond Du Lac Band of Chippewa, Dennis/Dan Heaney was from Ireland.

Wisconsin State Censuses, 1895 and 1905

Name: Lizzie Heaney
Census Date: 1 Jun 1905
Residence County: Douglas
Residence State: Wisconsin
Locality: Superior
Birth Location: Minnesota
Marital Status: Married
Gender: Female
Estimated birth year: abt 1866
Race: White
Relation: Wife
Spouse's name: Dennis Heaney
Line: 40
Roll: CSUSAWI1905_9

Household Members:
Name Age
Dennis Heaney 48
Lizzie Heaney 39
William Heaney 18
Louis Heaney 17
Celia Heaney 16
Manry Heaney 14
Roay Heaney 13
Frank Heaney 11
Paul Heaney 9
George Heaney 8


Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905

Name: Benjamin Heeney
Census Date: Jun 1905
County: Cook
Locality: Grand Portage
Gender: Male
Estimated birth year: abt 1883
Roll: MNSC_108

The Benjamin Heney is emumerated until at least 1930 in the US Indian Census, in the Consolidated Chippewa Reservation (from 1922 and forward).

There are a couple of things you can do that will help you in your search.

-Google search "Fond Du Lac Band of Chippewa"

-Google map and plot out these places: La Pointe, Ashland, Wisconsin, Nett Lake, Minnesota, Fort Francis, Ontario, Grand Portage, Minnesota. It's very helpful to have a visual of the areas you find on census records.


I think the site has the US Indian Census, and are free to search. I used (paid subscription required) to find all the records I posted transcriptions of. This is a curious story, so if you have more details, I'll try and give you a hand.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
mybonney 1297058050000 
daciodan 1297063637000 
mybonney 1297241009000 
daciodan 1297288586000 
daciodan 1297356846000 
mybonney 1297579728000 
ro_fleury 1343776248000 
mybonney 1345164066000 
ro_fleury 1345302434000 
mybonney 1345930538000 
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