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Boone, Daniel (under Honorific Adoption)

It is not unusual for adults to be adopted as honorary members of a family, clan or tribe. There are two main types. One is the publicity-stunt adoption of politicians, usually western l... [more]

Charbonneau, Jean Baptiste

Charbonneau was the son of a French-Canadian guide and his wife, the famous Sacagawea , both hired as interpreters for the Lewis and Clark expedition to the American West, and was born at ... [more]

Cochran, Jacqueline

Cochran was born sometime between 1906 and 1910, and was orphaned as a baby. She was a foster child in a feckless, poverty-stricken family (she got her first pair of shoes when she was eigh... [more]

Henson, Matthew Alexander

Henson was orphaned as a boy and was mistreated by his uncle. He ran away and lived on the streets for a while, until he was taken in by a Miss Janey, who ran a café where he worked and whe... [more]


Nanbaree was orphaned by the smallpox epidemic at Port Jackson in 1789, during which a large number of Aboriginals, who had no natural immunity to the disease, died. He was adopted by a loc... [more]

O'Connell, James F.

According to his story (first published 1836) O'Connell was a crewman on the ship John Bull, which was wrecked in the 1820s. He and a few fellow crewmen then sailed in an open boat, landing... [more]

Radisson, Pierre-Esprit

Radisson was born in France and emigrated to Canada in 1651 with his family. Within months, while out walking with friends he was captured by the Iroquois (one source says the Mohawks), who... [more]


Sacagawea was probably born a Shoshone. When she was about 10-12 years old and probably living in Idaho, she was one of a group of boys and girls, including her brother and sister, who were... [more]

Stanley, Henry Morton

Stanley was born John Rowland in Denbigh, North Wales. His family was extremely poor. His father died when he was very young and his mother left him with her father while she went to find w... [more]

Tangiia Nui

Tangiia Nui was named Uenga by his mother, Ka'ungake Ariki ki te Marama, when he was born; later his grandfather, Amaru Enua, named him Rangi. He was adopted by his uncle, Pou te Vananga... [more]

Tu Tapu

Tu Tapu was the birth son of Maonga and Pou Teo and was adopted by Maonga's brother, Pou te Vanangaroa ki Iva, high chief of Tahiti and the Marquesas. Pou had two born-to sons and another a... [more]

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