African American Applications
Among the Mississippi Choctaws
Week of December 13, 2009
Genealogy Feature of the Week
Native American Genealogy
For many years I have been speaking nationally and hosting a forum devoted to methods of researching ancestors who were rooted in some of the American Indian tribes in the country.
A good amount of my experience originated in the research of my own family from Oklahoma, with its
ties to the Choctaw Nation, in Indian Territory. In 1993, by book on researching African American
ancestors from the Five Civilized Tribes was published. Since that time, I have moderated the African-NativeAmerican Genealogy Forum since 1999, which is the longest continually running forum devoted to
this history. Many times over the years I have received inquiries pertaining to families from states beyond Oklahoma. I have also devoted myself to exploring the records and documents of other groups of people
east of the Mississippi, and have decided to present an arena where research methods for families outside
of Indian Territory can be discussed.
The genealogical methods will not differ in a dramatic way from researching families from other ethnic
groups, but there will be challenges. There are limitations and there can be pitfalls, many of which will be discussed in articles and videos.
Prior to the 20th century, there were differences in the ways that Native Americans were treated in the
census records and there are challenges. Some communities kept official “rolls” now in the public domain and many did not. Other groups may have records, but they are not available for public inspection. The most important rule to follow is that one must maintain the integrity of your research. Utilize sound genealogical methods, follow the
documents, and avoid invention in the analysis of the records. Learn more about THE RECORDS.
Watch the videos that will be forthcoming and let me hear from you!