Do you have Native American heritage?
, 2022-12-27 22:52:30,
Over the many years that I have taught genealogy classes at Tri-County Community College in Peachtree, I have had students who believe they are descendants of a Native American ancestry. In some cases, they have found the evidence they were looking for, but many never found that illusive native American ancestor.
Many families have passed down stories of American Indian ancestors. There are several theories as to why many Americans have similar tales of elusive native ancestors, specifically Cherokee and why folks will fiercely defend their American Indian roots even in the absence of concrete evidence. Sometimes, though, those tales do hold a grain of truth.
So, if you suspect your family has American Indian heritage, here are some research paths you can investigate.
The U.S. census records may hold a clue to your possible American Indian heritage. Look for an I or In designation in the “race” columns for an ancestor in the 1860 and later U.S. censuses. The 1860 census was the first to identify Indians living in the general population.
Check to see if you have a proven blood relative that is named on an Indian reservation census or a tribal enrollment. You can search censuses for 16 tribes in Ancestry.com collection Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Indian Censuses and Rolls, 1851-1959. Ancestry.com and Fold3 also have annual censuses taken by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
If you have family stories and papers that tell of Native American ancestry, see if your…
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