Native American Indian Genealogy

While working at the BYU Family History Library I was often asked by patrons, "How do I research my Native American Indian Genealogy?" Through the process of trying to assist these researchers I compiled a collection of helps from various sources on how to begin. I have noticed that some of the resources necessary for doing American Indian Family History Research have appeared on the web and I will try to provide links to these resources whenever possible.

To begin your research you must establish the tribal affiliation of your ancestor.
The best source for doing this is by obtaining the information from your family members.

If you are uable to get information from your family members here are some books you can consult that may help you establish the tribal affiliation.
1. Biographical and Historical Index of American Indians and Persons Involved in Indian Affairs. by G.K. Hall 1966 This source includes the names of the tribes that have lived in each state and names of individual members of that tribe.
2. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico by Frederick Webb Hodge. This book lists the names of North American Indian tribes and gives a history of each. Also includes cross-references for variant spellings and other names for the same tribe.
3.Atlas of the North American Indian by John R. Swanton. This source gives the history, location, and population details of all the major tribes with cross references for tribes that have lived in more than one state.
4.Indian Tribes of North America by Carl Waldman

The next step in your research will be to become familiar with the background of the Tribe to which your ancestor belongs. Important aspects will be naming customs, migrations, the agency that handled their affairs, church affiliation, and basic history.

This article from Ancestry Magazine Searching for Your American Indian Ancestors gives a brief explanation of the records available for researching Native American Ancestry. It is written by Kent Carter the regional administrator of the National Achives.

Proving Your Indian Ancestry Has Just Become More Difficult
Recently it has become more difficult to prove your Indian Ancestry. Indian tribes are trying to eject many tribal members to avoid giving them their share of the casino money. This article has the details: Proving Indian Ancestry

Here are some other interesting articles that may have information you can use:
Native American Indian Articles

If you want to search for other people who may be researching your lines visit this site:
Kindred Knnections
They have a large number of pedigree linked databases for searching and are currently extracting the 1900 Census Soundex.

Another site to visit is:
This site has indexed a significant number of genealogy resource links including somewhere around 21 million links for the surnames pages alone.
or this site:
This site searches multiple sources at the same time so you will know which site has information in which you may be interested.

The Tribal affiliation of your ancestor determines where you will search next.
The Tribes are divided into two categories:
1. Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, or Seminole. These are called the five civilized tribes or southeastern tribes. Most of these tribes moved to what is now Oklahoma
2. Indians who were wards of the federal government , living on reservations, some of whom were also relocated to Oklahoma.