Thursday, August 13, 2009

Do You Have Native American Ancestors?

If you are doing Native American Genealogy, the Department of the Interior provides resources for tracing your Indian ancestry.

Tribes can determine their own membership, so you may have to contact each tribe to find out what the requirements were in your ancestor's day. Requirements are particularly different for Cherokees.

If the Cherokee ancestor chose to assimilate into white culture it will be extremely difficult to document that person. However, if you would like to find out if an Indian ancestor had any relationship with the federal government, you can check the extensive records that were generated during the time of Indian Removal beginning in 1831. These records relate to treaties, trade, land claims, removal to Oklahoma, allotments, military affairs, military service and pensions, trust funds, and other activities.

Eastern Cherokee researchers should check the indexes for the Baker Rolls for these records. Western Cherokee should check the Dawes Rolls. The Miller Rolls are also useful. There are other Native American Rolls which are in print and available at local libraries.

These and other Native American Records are available through the National Archives , which also provides useful educational material such as how to search the census for Native American ancestors.

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