The informant was always told the same story since a young age–he and his family were descended from Pocahontas, which is why he didn’t have any hair on his chest. The informant’s mother and grandmother would recount this tale to him often, grandmother filling in details where the mother missed them. A handful of generations back, Pocahontas and John Rolfe had married and created some distant ancestor of the informant’s family. “We are the heirs of Pocahontas,” the informant’s grandmother would proclaim.
The story was told more when people commented on how the informant had no hair on his chest, or was triggered from any discussion of chest hair or ancestry. The story was also told more around Thanksgiving.
The informant says he later read that Pocahontas didn’t have any children, which kind of killed the legend for him. However, the informant says he recently discovered that Pocahontas actually did in fact have a child, reigniting the legend. The informant is doubtful of the legend, but it’s still told in the family, but mainly as a joke. The informant believes the story still exists simply because it was passed down from mother to mother, with each person believing the story was true.
I agree with this. I’d also like to suggest that the story gave the family the sense of a unique identity–being descended from Pocahontas would link them directly to history, and maybe even make them “more American.” Even if the story is just a fantasy, it’s an interesting linking of a family to history.