a3Genealogy - Accurate, Accessible Answers - specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. The a3Gen blog is penned by Kathleen Brandt, an international genealogy consultant, speaker and writer. a3Gen clients span from Europe, Asia and Africa to the Americas.
Maybe not Cherokee? - Other Native American Tribes
562 Federally Recognized Indian Nations
Many researchers dive directly into the Dawes records when
looking for their Native American ancestors. The record set of “The Final Rolls
of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory”
most commonly called the Dawes rolls are well known, clearly indexed and
readily available. Few researchers even expand to the Guion
Miller Roll, 1906-1911 to verify their Eastern
Cherokee ancestry (reference NARA microfilm M1773) from Georgia,
Alabama, and/or Tennessee. Researchers also commonly overlook the earlier rolls
that compiled the Baker Rolls (reference textural records National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA), RG 75). When looking for your Cherokee, Chickasaw,
Choctaw, Creek and Seminole ancestry these records are paramount. Yet, only five tribes are represented vs. the “562 federally
recognized Indian Nations
(tribes, bands, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, rancherias and native
villages) in the USA.”
It is estimated that 229 of the 562 are located in Alaska,
leaving 333 federally recognized communities in 33 states of the contiguous USA
identified by their cultural and linguistic uniqueness. So if you seeking to verify your Native
American heritage, you must go past the ease of the Dawes Records.
A complete list by state of Federally recognized tribes can
be found at the National
Conference of State Legislatures website. And when researching in
Alaska, don’t limit yourself to the cruise favorite of Ketchican and Icy Strait
ports. Yes, in spite of the popular cruise land tour of the Tlingit tribe and Totem
Pole Park, you may have to dig deeper for your ancestral Native American bloodline.
3 Research Tips for
non-Cherokee Ancestry Records?
RG 75, Registers of Indian Families ca.1901-1902, Book 78
The a3Genealogy top 3 resources for
Native American research: 1) National
Archives (especially regional branches) 2) Church records 3) Tribal Records. These records most commonly will provide the
researcher with both a Native name and the more familiar family name. Hint: these records are rarely indexed and
must be reviewed page by page. But with
cross referencing and patience, you may not only ferret out your ancestor, but
uncover generations of names and ages.
National Archives holds removal records, tribal enrollment records, land allotment
records and more. We have had great success at the KC-NARA when researching Midwest
tribes. One of our most recent successes was while researching the Omaha/
Winnebago Tribe, NE and the Ho Chunk, Wisconsin tribe, located in Record Group
75. Beginning with the List of Winnebago Families That Became Citizens of the United
States, April 1871 and cross referencing Maps, Atlases
and Drawings, Records of Land Allotted to Members of the Ponca Tribe of Native
Americans and Records of Flandreau, Santee Sioux Indians Who Took Homesteads,
1883, we were able to uncover an elusive client ancestor. These records were held at the KC- NARA. But other cases have been solved using
similar records in Louisiana and Georgia.
missionaries made it their “calling” to convert Native Americans. The
conversion often was the first record using both a Native name and the adopted family
name. We have located these in church records from Catholic, Episcopalian, and
Presbyterian records, to Baptist and Methodist.
Others have touted Mennonite, Monrovian and the Reformed Church records
also being helpful.
data, dates and names in hand, communication researchers will want to expand
their search using additional tribal records. This may require communication
with the tribal historian. We suggest paying attention to tribal specific Land
Tract books and any Heirship card files, but many more records may be