Finding Your Native American Heritage
Many people in the US and Canada have at least one Indian ancestral line in their family. Lots of people grew up hearing the family legend about a family member that was Native American. Proving that legend to be true or false can be tough. There is very little official records about early Native American. Starting your search on Native American Genealogy can be very challenging.
You will need to build a family tree using a multitude of resources. Research the deaths, births, and marriages of your family. Use these records to build links from yourself back to your ancestors. Next research documents that record Native Americans.
In some years the United States conducted separate censuses of Native Americans. In 1896 a Congressional law was passed that gave the Dawes Commission authority to oversee applications for tribal citizenship into the Five Civilized Tribes – Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.
Proving that you are related to a Native American is only the first step to being enrolled with a tribe. In the US there are over 500 federally recognized tribes. Each tribe has their own requirements for enrollment. Use our Native American Tribal Directory to contact your tribe for more information.