by Lisa Y. Henderson
“Freeman, community in ne Columbus County. Believed to have been named for free Negroes living in the area before the Civil War.” — William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer: A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places (1968).
I am related to the Freemans in Bladen and Columbus County are many of them identify as Native American. In fact, my cousin’s father was the Chief at one time, he is now deceased. I am of First Nation Ancestry, also. My great-great grandmother Nancy Jane Manuel was listed as a Mexican(Latino) in the Wake County, NC census. My First Nation DNA is Mesoamican and with the Pima Indians of Northern Mexico and southern Arizona. Also, I share matches with some Lakota-Sioux relatives on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota as well as in Columbia and Chile (Central America) and the Athabascans of Canada.