Roll Review Tips & Research Hints
Link to the Past ... Invest in Your Future.
Find the clues out there that will lead you to your ancestors.
Do it for yourself ... Preserve it for the children.

Roll Review Tips

When the several Rolls were being compiled in the late 1800's and early 1900's, the typewriter was just beginning to replace the quill pen and ink. As you can imagine, rewriting a 600 page listing of names, each containing a hundred or so names, was a monumental task. So ... bear in mind that often you will find names out of alphabetical order. Some rolls, are listed alphabetically by county, so when the county changed (which was often) the list restarted with the letter "A". Rather than retype the pages, names were handwritten in margins, between columns, and worst of all -- in the space between single-spaced typed lines (imagine handwriting --not printing-- a name and number between the lines you see here!).

I have cataloged the Rolls indexes and pages noting the First name and the Last name on that page. When you notice the first name is not followed alphabetically by the page's last listed name, then something caused the agent to begin the list over alphabetically. That is a good indicator to look at that page for your name.

Each Indian Nation is a sovereign nation, having negotiated treaties and laws (must be online) with the United States of America. Each has the right to determine citizenship. I have traced my ancestors to Europe, and to the American Cherokee. I am not a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, nor of any European nation. I am proud of my heritage, more so of my renewed ties with my Cherokee heritage.

If your goal is to acquire tribal membership, and you are successful due to the information received here, please let me know so that we can all celebrate the full circle of your journey and return home.

Native American Research Hints

Researching family oral histories, concerning relationship to a Native American tribal ancestor, requires patience, reading, and documentation. In fact, it is hard work discovering the clues (which are out there) and linking them together leading to your American Indian ancestors. Why make that effort? Do this for yourself, and preserve what you discover for the children who may some day start down that path of discovering their Native American heritage. They will honor you for the memory of family and tribe you have passed to them.

Research also includes not losing focus on researching other branches of your family tree. Read and learn the requirements for tribal membership of the tribe(s) relevant to your research. Don't exclude tribal names not a part of your oral history. Prepare yourself to spend time trying to understand complex government records, such as the Rolls, and tax records you will certainly encounter on your quest to learn the truth and establish a relationship with if possible with that distant tribe.

Talk to your relatives about your Indian ancestors. The sooner, the better. The older folks will appreciate your attention to who they are and what they remember about family history. If they name a tribe, be open to the possibility that tribe name is wrong, and perhaps you are related to another tribe altogether. If they name a tribe not previously mentioned, don't "correct" them ... but ask why they believe that is the tribe. However, if the tribe name is known, go to that tribes records. Research where the tribes lived before the reservations. What state is that today? Prepare to trace your family line back to that location and tribe.

In researching, you will note that family names often change. Be aware that Native American names were often "Americanized" by government agents who compiled lists of known tribal members. Federal census lists of the 1880s are not all inclusive. Merely finding a family name on such lists will not be sufficient to prove tribal affiliation. Other factors exist, such as blood percentage (for some tribes), and direct generational blood relationship to someone listed on the rolls.

There is a tremendous amount of government material available in archives and on the web today, pertaining to Indian ancestors. Determine what tribe your ancestors were from and learn where and when they lived. Determine what records (usually federal government) were generated that might pertain to them. If your Indian ancestors ever received payments, funds, or land from the government, there is a good chance you will be able to prove your Indian blood. Although you may be able to prove tribal relationship, that may not be enough to permit tribal membership with some tribes today.

Renew the Bond and Discover Your Indian Heritage today!
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