Thread: Native Research
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:46 PM   #1
Josiah
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Native Research

Perhaps one of the hardest groups to research for various reasons.
First issue is where to start...

When researching a possible native ancestor you must determine what tribe and more importantly where this person lived and died.
Without knowledge of what tribe they were, it will be next to IMPOSSIBLE to find your ancestor.
When I say tribe,I mean the main body of the tribe. In some cases the tribe was move thousands of miles in others they remain pretty much where they have always been.

Once you have determined what tribe, now determine what agency they would have been associated with. Except for the 5 civilized tribes an Indian Agency was where the tribe was given rations and were counted. The agency records would show a listing of the family head and who was in the family. But these records for the most only started in the 1850's and later. Which brings me to my next point:

Before 1900 an Indian that lived with their tribe and was recognized as a citizen or tribal member were not included on the Federal Census of the United States.
Of course people will have an example of somebody that they found earlier than that. That just means that person gave up there individual rights as a citizen of that tribal nation and are now subject to the laws of the Constitution of the US.

Ok, that alot to digest at first but it brings up my next point in this
WHY do you want to discover Native Roots...
Are you confirming a story
Have you evidence of native roots other than physical characteristics "ie" high cheek bones??
Or do you want to enroll with a tribe?

I will address the first group and set aside enrollment for a second.
Our roots are important and we have all heard family stories of our ancestors maybe a famous person or even an outlaw in our past.
Stories have there place around the dining room table and we don't tend to call out grandma when she speaks of a "Cherokee Princess" in the deep past. Stories are stories told and retold the problem is, when you compare them to facts and documentation. They tend to unravel quickly unless you ignore the facts and stick with the myth.
Myth: No such thing as a Cherokee Princess in the past or distant past Cherokees did not have Royality and if there was a Princess where is the Prince??
Myth: Dragging Canoe is Cherokee, actually his parents were captured from other tribes and raised as Cherokess so by DNA or Genealogy standards he cannot have Cherokee Roots.
Myth: Thousands upon thousands escaped, hidout the trail of tears
Yeah well the problem with this myth is we can find these people on Federal Census in the 1840's 50's and so forth they did not hide that well.

Fact: 20,000 Cherokees stayed with the Main body of the Tribe in 1838, they lived in North Carolina and Indian Territory

TO BE CONTINUED...
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