We have several professional genealogists who specifically perform Native American (America Indian) family history research. The Native Americans are not a homogenous population. There are about 500 different tribes grouped together by language group, or by geographic region, or by cultural area. We also have specialists who focus on the history and research for a particular tribe. Our genealogists will find and analyze the best records available to further your Native American family history research.
Doing Native American genealogy requires a cross-disciplinary approach where one must investigate many possbilities, including the history of the family and the area, church and local records, and tribal history and culture.
The archives used for Native American research include:
- National Archives in Washington, D.C. and in various regions throughout the U.S.
- National Museum of the American Indian
Part of the Smithsonian Institution and is dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of the Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere.
- State Historical Societies research room
- Numerous State Universities and Libraries
- Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN
- Newberry Library in Chicago
- Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
- Family History Library in Salt Lake CitY
When we receive a request from someone who believes they have Native American ancestry, for starters, we check the following sources:
- Land allotment records from 1887
- Annuity Rolls from 1800s
- Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Census Rolls on most Indian reservations in the U.S. beginning in 1885
- Special non-population schedules made by the U.S. Census Bureau at the same time as regular federal population schedules from 1900
- Beginning in 1925, special supplements were added to the annual Indian Census Rolls
- Several denominations in the U.S. proselyted the American Indians and created records of individuals who were baptized or who joined with that denomination
- The Bureau of Indian Affairs enrolled individual Indians in tribal groups. Includes Dawes Rolls and Guion Miller Rolls.
- The federal government traded with Native Americans from 1795 to 1822 thereby creating factory (government-owned trading posts) records
- Military records beginning with the Revolutionary War in 1775
- Probate records created and maintained by the BIA
- In the early 1890s, the BIA listed the residents of each reservation by family group called the Register of Families (also sometimes mistakenly called an Allotment Register).
- Emigration or Removal records from 1826 through 1859 to remove the American Indians to an area beyond the Mississippi River where they would be “out of the way” of expanding settlement
- Before 1880, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs instructed the Indian Agents on the various reservations to record births, deaths, sicknesses, etc.
- In the late 1800s, the BIA created Indian Boarding School System to send Indian children to schools off the reservations.
- Treaties negotiated between the federal government and the respective tribes
- Various rolls, such as Hester Roll, Mullay Roll, Siler Roll, Chapman Roll
- Published genealogies and books
- Indian Pioneer History Papers
- Dawes Cards and Packets
- Muster rolls, ration lists
- Genealogical Notebooks