These are pictures of Marlene O’Neill Nadeau as she was decades ago and as she is more recently. Marlene said she had dark skin and hair and couldn’t be mistaken for a white girl. She looks pretty European to me.
Much of Marlene’s genealogy can be found on Find A Grave. Keep in mind that the Trail of Tears took place in 1838 and 1839.
Marlene claimed her Cherokee blood came through her mother making her mother, Hattie, a full blooded Cherokee. Marlene also said her Great Great Grandparents were killed on the Trail of Tears and their daughter (Marlene’s Great Grandmother) was raped, eventually married her rapist and settled in Kansas.
Marlen’s mom Hattie was the daughter of Anna May Berdon and Berton Keesling. This would make Anna May the “Gram” who told her stories about the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears.
Anna May and Bert gives us two sets of great grandparents, the first set (Grampa Bert’s parents) were James Harvey Keesling and Mary Elizabeth Umbarger.
Great Grampa James was born in 1832 so it’s doubtful that he’d have been raping anyone at the age of 4 let alone Great Gramma Mary Elizabeth who wasn’t born until 1838. And James parents weren’t murdered: George Keesling lived until 1876 and his wife Matilda Cassell lived until 1887. This line is eliminated as being Cherokee.
The parents of Great Gramma Mary, the one born in 1838, were Simon Umbarger who lived until 1886 and Malinda Gose who lived until 1894. Simon and Malinda weren’t murdered so that eliminates this line.
On the other side of the family, Gramma Anna May’s parents were Walter Scott Burden of Kentucky and Mary Eva Mitchell of Illinois which gives us one set of Great Great Grandparents who were Edmond Collins Berdon and Nancy Wells. Edmund was a gunsmith from Kentucky and invented the famous Burden Rifle. Nancy was born in 1834 in Kentucky so she would have been too young to have had a child in 1838. This couple is eliminated.
Mary Eva’s parents were Samuel Silas Mitchel and Sarah Jane Gibler. I don’t have much info on these two except that they weren’t married until 1859 so they, too,were not murdered on the Trail of Tears.
Long story short, Marlene is not Cherokee. She lied.
The following are just a few of her tweets claiming to be Cherokee.