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How can you trace Cherokee genealogy?

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Quick Answer

Cherokee genealogy can be traced using someone's family history, the federal census and official government rolls of Indian population. The first step is to trace someone's family tree back as far as possible using standard genealogical methods.

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Full Answer

One such government roll is the Dawes Roll, a list of members of five tribes who were forcefully removed from their ancestral homelands in the late 19th Century and relocated by the federal government to new lands in Oklahoma. If a Cherokee ancestor received land under the Dawes Act and lived on a reservation between 1898 and 1914, his or her name appears on the list, which could confirm your Cherokee genealogy. Dawes Act rolls can be searched by last name, first name, tribe, card number or roll number. A variety of other official rolls taken at other points in history can serve the same purpose.

Standard genealogical tools can also be helpful for tracing Cherokee family history. Genealogy.com allows users to crowdsource family history. When a user enters the name and birth date of an ancestor, the site provides information about that person gathered by other users who share that ancestor in his or her family tree. Utilizing the tools available on the website, which has some Native American records built into it, would allow a user to trace his or her history to a Cherokee ancestor.

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