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    Trace Indian Ancestry

    To determine if you are eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe, contact the tribe, or tribes, you claim ancestry from.

    U.S. Department of the Interior

    Tribes Share

    Trace Indian Ancestry

    To determine if you are eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe, contact the tribe, or tribes, you claim ancestry from. It is the individual tribes who set tribal enrollment requirements. Additional information on tracing American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry can be found below:

    Ancestry - General statement on tracing your American Indian ancestry for purposes of enrolling in a federally recognized American Indian tribe.

    Genealogical Research - Provides general information as to where individuals can look in order to find the appropriate information they need to support their effort.

    Enrollment Process - Provides a general description on what the Enrollment Process to a federally recognized tribe involves.

    Benefits & Services Provided to American Indians and Alaska Natives - Provides a general description on what benefits and services are available to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

    Cherokee Indian Ancestry - There are three federally recognized Cherokee Tribes that have different requirements for enrollment in their tribes.

    Dawes Rolls -The Dawes Commission was organized in 1893 to accept applications for tribal enrollment between 1893-1907 from American Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes who resided in Indian Territory, which later became the eastern portion of Oklahoma.

    Contacting a Tribal Entity - The BIA Tribal Leaders Directory

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    Source : www.doi.gov

    Tracing American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Ancestry



    Tracing American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Ancestry

    Detail information on assisting you to trace your American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry

    This page will help you trace your American Indian or Alaska Native ancestry and provide you with information about tribal services, tribal contacts, and genealogical research. Some frequently asked and common ancestral search questions will also be answered within this page.

    Establishing American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) Ancestry

    There are many reasons a person will seek to establish their AI/AN ancestry. When establishing descent from an AI/AN tribe for membership and enrollment purposes an individual must provide genealogical documentation that supports their claim of such ancestry from a specific tribe or tribal community. If the end goal for doing this research is to help you determine if you are eligible for membership in a tribe, you must be able to:

    Establish that you have a lineal ancestor (biological parent, grandparent, great-grandparent and/or more distant ancestor) who is an American Indian or Alaska Native person from a federally recognized tribe in the U.S.

    Identify which tribe (or tribes) your ancestor was a member of or affiliated with and

    Document your relationship to that person using vital statistics records and other records a tribe may require or accept for purposes of enrollment.

    Download Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) Form

    Services And Benefits for AI/AN Ancestry

    Indian Affairs supports and assists the tribes as they develop their governmental structures and operations, build strong and safe communities, and provide services to their members. Indian Affairs-funded programs include education, economic and workforce development, social services, justice (law enforcement, corrections, and courts), infrastructure (road, bridges, and dams), housing, realty, agriculture and range management, and natural resources management and protection.  Besides Indian Affairs, there are other Federal agencies with programs developed specifically to serve AI/ANs and their tribal communities.

    Enrollment In A Federally Recognized Tribe

    There are multiple reasons to enroll in a federally recognized tribe.  Tribal membership may convey  the right to vote in tribal elections, to serve in tribal leadership, to participate in the sharing of tribal assets, to use tribal treaty rights (such as hunting, fishing, and gathering rights) within the tribe’s jurisdiction, to participate in cultural or religious matters, to receive tribal services and benefits, and to exercise other privileges or rights unique to tribal members. These tribal privileges and rights differ from tribe to tribe, as do their unique membership criteria.  Follow the link below to review a list of the current Tribal Leaders Directory to find information regarding each tribe's membership requirements and application.  Uniform membership requirements among all tribes do not exist as criterion varies from tribe to tribe. However, it can be said that two commonly found requirements for membership are:

    Lineal descent from someone named on the tribe's base roll [a "base roll" is a tribe’s original list of members as designated in a tribal constitution or other document specifying enrollment criteria]

    Lineal descent from a tribal member who descends from someone whose name appears on the base roll. Other conditions such as tribal blood quantum, residency, or continued contact with the tribe also are common.

    Tribal Leaders Directory

    Doing Genealogical Research

    Start your genealogical research with yourself and your personal family history. Start with current and historical records that you have on hand such as letters, journal, diaries, etc., that belong to you and/or your immediate biological family. If you or a  lineal ancestor is not currently a member of a federally recognized tribe, band or group in the U.S., your research can begin with public or other non-Indian records such as those kept by state and local governments, churches, schools, libraries, newspapers, and historical societies.

    Follow this link for more information on tracing Indian ancestry

    Where To Look For Ancestral Information

    There are several places that you may be able to find information regarding you AI/AN Ancestry.

    At Home - The first place where you can begin to do your genealogical research is at home. Valuable information can be found in newspaper clippings, military service records, birth and death records, marriage licenses, divorce records, family bibles, personal journals, diaries, letters, scrapbooks, backs of pictures and other documents.  Your relatives and family members may also be a great resource for you,  check to see if they can share information with you, or answer any questions you have.Local and State Level - It is often helpful to check town, school, church, and county courthouse records for information. Historical and genealogical information also can be found in other civil records at local courthouses such as deeds, wills, land or other property conveyance documents.  Additionally, local newspaper may have important information regarding an ancestor. To obtain a vital statistic record, you must contact the department, bureau or office that handles vital statistics records for the state where the event took place. Each state has its own rules for who may request a vital statistics record and its own process for requesting one (including any fees it may charge). State vital statistics records offices may be found using the internet.

    Source : www.bia.gov

    How to Find Out if You Have Native American Ancestors

    Are you interested in finally searching out the truth behind that old family story about a Native American ancestor? Or perhaps you already know that the

    Do You Have Hidden Native American Ancestry? Here’s How to Find Out


    Are you interested in finally searching out the truth behind that old family story about a Native American ancestor? Or perhaps you already know that the story is true, but you’re not quite sure where to go next.

    Luckily, there are many online guides, records collections and specialized resources that can help you on your journey. Here’s where to get started.

    Make Instant Discoveries in Your Family Tree Now

    Imagine adding your family tree to a simple website and getting hundreds of new family history discoveries instantly.

    MyHeritage is offering 2 free weeks of access to their extensive collection of 12 billion historical records, as well as their matching technology that instantly connects you with new information about your ancestors. Sign up using the link below to find out what you can uncover about your family.

    Discover New Genealogy Records Instantly

    Uncovering the Truth Behind Family Stories

    If you’re just beginning your research based on a family story, the first and most important step to take is to determine what aspects of your family’s tale may be accurate.

    Determining Native American ancestry should be done genealogically, by examining each line of your family tree for plausible connections.


    Although there are several genetic tests that can tell you if you have measurable Native American DNA, these tests cannot tell you what tribe (nation), band or even specific location this DNA is from and, furthermore, these tests may miss Native American ancestry that appears several generations in the past (depending on your ancestors’ percentages and how much of their DNA you inherited). These tests can be used as a helpful tool, but should not be used as the only tool for determining whether or not you have Native American ancestry.

    The easiest way to begin your genealogical journey is to record as many details as you can about your family’s Native American story, and then carefully cross-reference those details to known individuals in each line of your established family tree.

    If you are unsure which family line to explore, or have few family history lines established, choose one that seems the most plausible and begin filling out the individuals. As you work your way back look for clues that may suggest a Native American individual. There is a wonderful resource with details for doing this from the American Indian Council.

    Before you go any further, consider reading through this guide from the Dept. of the Interior for help deciphering Native American family history and associated research.

    Please remember that Native Americans did not always have or use ‘traditional’ Native American names, may have used both traditional names and English, French or Spanish language names, their names may have been anglicized for or by records keepers, and that they may have been spelled incorrectly and/or differently from record to record. Because traditional Native American names are oftentimes structured in a way that is unfamiliar to many family history researchers, you may need to take extra time to learn about these structures and consider that many variants are likely to exist when doing online searches.

    Try this book for help: A Genealogist’s Guide to Native American Names: A Reference for Native American First Names

    Where Do I Look for Records Once I Find a Native American Ancestor?

    If and when you are able to locate a person or persons you feel may have been Native American, there are a variety of records to explore to increase your knowledge.

    12 Billion Genealogy Records Are Free for 2 Weeks

    Get two full weeks of free access to more than 12 billion genealogy records right now. You’ll also gain access to the MyHeritage discoveries tool that locates information about your ancestors automatically when you upload or create a tree. What will you discover about your family’s past?

    Claim My 2 Week Free Access

    Native American persons often appear in standard record collections, such as the US census or in government or church birth, marriage and death records, depending on their tribal and religious affiliation, geographic location, birth and death dates and lifestyle. Start there as you would with any ancestor.

    If the person was a fairly recent ancestor, the next best place to look for information may be with the tribe or band your ancestor belonged to. The tribe may have a list of resources available for researching members and likely has many established genealogies in place. Please note that many of these documents are private or will only be available to you once you have proven a connection to the individual named. Contact the tribe to understand policies regarding such requests and always wait until you have strong evidence of a recent connection before asking for assistance.

    Please do not pursue research into Native American ancestry with the sole hope of gaining tribal enrollment. Individuals who qualify for such enrollment have recent and well-established ancestry, not a distant family relationship.

    There are many smaller collections and books that may pertain to individuals in your ancestors’ location, and your local historical society or library are both great places to look for help finding those. This method is often one of the best ways to uncover details about known Native American ancestors. Many even have the information available on their websites.

    Source : familyhistorydaily.com

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