Nice to hear from you. I am glad that you saw the photo of Catherine Bisson Jabaut. It is a lovely photo. I also have a photo of her mother's mother, Marguerite Dussault Martineau on my site at Ancestry, so you should check that out. I am still amazed that I was able to connect with people that have these photos!
If you are not a member of Ancestry, I think that you cannot access members' public trees, however, you may do so if I invite you to my tree. I am happy to do that, but I will need your email address.
The only federal census that includes Indian as a "Color" is the one for 1880. In that census, Catherine, listed as Kattie, is living with her brother (Justin, mislabeled as Alonzo) and their parents. The parents were born in Canada, but she and Justin (my gr grandfather) were both born in New York.
They are indeed coded as "I" for Indian on the original document.On the Ancestry summary page, the race is noted as "Indian (Native American)."
The term Native American, in this regard, at least, applies to all of the Americas - - North, Central and South, so someone could still be Native American if they were born in New York or Canada.
It was exciting to see the Indian coding because that is one of the main reasons I was originally drawn to my family history. My grandmother told me that her father's father was an Indian, and I've been trying to solve that puzzle ever since.
I've been fortunate to trace the Bisson line back far, but the line leads to France. That ruled out the Native American ethnicity. Therefore, I wonder if somewhere along the line a Bisson was abducted and adopted by Indians, and was therefore a "White Indian" - - culturally an Indian in every respect, but of European blood.
Another option is that as much as the French tried to acculturate Indians into French, it seems that more Frenchmen "went Native." So, maybe some Bissons lived as traders among Natives and like them. The Indian status may also come from a maternal line.
My father said my maternal grandmother told him that she was part Mohawk.
My maternal grandmother said she was part Cherokee, but that doesn't seem to make sense given they were to the south. (But she's proven me wrong before!)
Her 2nd cousin corrected my grandmother, saying, "No, Mary! They were Saskatchewan!" That seems to make more sense.
Mohawks were part if the Iroquois Confederacy, so that is a distinct and likely possibility. Algonquin makes sense, also.
So, the mystery is still alive and well and may never be solved (frontier vital records may not exist, priests usually did not note an Indian background in records, and being Indian was hidden a long time ago due to discrimination). I'll still keep trying though!
Please refresh my memory. Are you Catherine Bisson and Levi Jabaut's great granddaughter via her daughter Victoria?