Native american genealogy should begin just like any other genealogy project. It does not matter if you are researching German, Dutch, Lakota, English, French, Abenaki, or Apache – the basic techniques are all the same.

If you are new to genealogy research than you should pick up one of the many good books on the subject. Most libraries and books stores will have several to choose from. Follow the guidelines and work on your entire family tree – not just great-grandma who was an Indian!

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding© (TNG) is a powerful way to manage and display your family tree on your own website, all without generating any static HTML or having to know much about coding.

Instead, your information is stored in a database and the pages are created on demand. All you need is a web hosting account (we use, they have plans starting at $4.95/month) and the TNG program, which is priced at a modest $32.99. Minor updates are free and the support is very good if you have any problems installing it. It’s what we use, and highly recommend. 

Learning how to research your native american genealogy varies from other ethnicities only in learning the areas where different tribes lived and what rolls they are on. This is the section where you will find our native american genealogy tips.


Article Index:

A Love Letter from Geronimo

Within months of his exile, Geronimo began to communicate with his wives through interpreter George Wratten. Wratten apparently sold his private letters to the newspapers, or at least one. Dictated to Wratten, the following letter was published as "A Love Letter from Geronimo" in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 9, 1887.

Black Cherokee surnames on the Dawes roll

This list of surnames represent the names of the Black freedmen who were adopted through the Dawes Commission, between 1898 and 1916. Note that many of these names appear in other Indian nation lists, and their inclusion here does not provide absolute proof of Black Indian Ancestry.

In addition to these items, it is recommended that the researcher obtain as much oral history as possible on the family, and then locate the Dawes records on the family, including the names of ancestors on the Enrollment Cards and other pertinent records.

Changes in the Indian Census Rolls Index

The records recorded in Indian census rolls changed over time. Between 1928 to 1930 the Indian Census was significantly changed.The Act of July 4, 1884, (23 Stat. 76, 98) was vague, saying, "That hereafter each Indian agent be required, in his annual report, to submit a census of the Indians at his agency or upon the reservation under his charge."

Cherokee Rolls & Census Records Explained
Choctaw Freedmen Surnames F – G
Choctaw Freedmen Surnames H – K
Choctaw Rolls and Correspondence by Indian Agents
Choctaw script, late arrivals, and net proceeds case
Civil War Records, School Records, and other Choctaw Resources
Dawes Commission and Allotment
Dawes Rolls of Choctaw Freedmen – Surnames A to B
Dawes Rolls of Choctaw Freedmen Surnames C -D- E
Family histories say Northern Cherokee typically aren’t associated with Kansas.
Hopi Agency US Indian Census Schedules 1924 – 1939
Indian Census Roll Indexes
Meaning of census roll numbers and the concept of tribal enrollment
More resources for your Cherokee genealogy research
Moses J. Yellowhorse, Pawnee Major League Baseball Player
Muwekma Ohlone Birth Records
Native American Databases Online
Sources of records on US Indian tribes
The Armstrong Roll and other Indian Removal Records
The Armstrong Rolls
Where to start your Cherokee genealogy research
Which roll would my Cherokee ancestor be on?
Who were the Chickasaw ancestors?