European Indian traders, British soldiers and merchants that married Native American women, passed their family names on to their offspring, disrupting the Native traditions of child naming. Europeans were determined to continue their well-established system of family relationships with the Scottish ‘cousin system’, used through Western Europe, to prevent possible incest in future generations.
Native Americans had a long-standing system that prevented incest by prohibiting anyone from the Mother’s Clan from marrying. They had a matriarchal system of family relations where blood relationships were passed from mother to child. A child born into any one Clan was prohibited from marrying anyone else from that same Clan, but condoned marriage to any of the other Clans.
In many cases, Indian Traders were ‘traveling salesmen’ and had ‘families’ in each town they visited on their established route. This is how the same family names appeared in the various Indian Nations at the same time. Since the mother’s Clan was responsible for the raising and teaching of all children born into that Clan, the mother’s were not very concerned as to whom the father really was, as the child belonged to the Clan.