Hello Bert Crab,
1 hint or a tip... hmmm... I'll say that I hope the reason you are "trying" to find ancestry in Native America and Aristocratic Europe is because you have a reasonable belief that those are the places of your origin. Something like finding a sepia photograph of your grandmother wearing native attire wedged into her diary which outlines her long walk through the Gulf coast to Oklahoma...or a cache of several hundred thousand dollars worth of jewels passed down through inheritance and attached to family lore about escaping from the Bolshvicks. Because if the intent is to find a connection to a tribe or clan that simply is "cool", it can both lead one into making leaps and assumptions that cannot be supported by historically accurate and authoritative sources (aka "making mistakes") and even worse - taking one on a goose chase while letting you miss out on your true story.
My tip is (and if I could remember how to make this italicize, I'd do so) _ Let the facts take you where they lead. Of course you have to exercize reasonable judgement about whether or not what you are reading makes sense....I once questioned my mother about whether she had both a sister and an aunt with the same name...No, she didn't...which led me to answer her question with "because on the 1920 census, your grandparents had a 10 year old child with the same name living with them and your mother, but your grandmother would have had to have been 51 when she gave birth." That let to a wild story about adulterous affairs, divorce in the early 20th century (and believe me...I was taught THAT just didn't happen "like it does today") and gave me the names of an entire limb of the tree I hadn't known existed and hadn't made it to the paper/electronic copy of the family tree.
By doing research from the known to the unknown, I've found the most interesting people...both other cousin genealogists who share valuable sources and insights as well as interesting ancestors. Yes, I have found heroic military officers and links to the Houses of Europe. I've also found artists and tradesmen, scholars and teachers, drunkards and libertines and a handful of Salem witches. It makes for a wonderfully colorful story. Your true story is probably just as colorful in its own way.
Don't try to work quickly. In fact be slow as a turtle so you look at every scrap of information that can be gleened froma document and whether or not they add up, make sense or spur you to wonder "what's up with that?" BTW, The "What!!??" moments are usually the ones that lead to interesting stories. You have no deadline or due date to complete your tree - as if it ever can be complete, ha!
Work a little every single day, and then put it away before you get tired and start missing things. I have learned that suggestion the hard way.
Don't be discouraged by the tedium of slogging through page after page of census reports that outline what seems like nothing but people who were born, farmed, married, bred and died...and who look just like every other family on the pages before and after theirs. The day that something looks odd, or that an aunt or cousin suddenly appears on the report living with the family - THAT is the day an adventure begins.
Don't forget to do your homework. I was given an tree but not the corresponding documentation...so I had names, dates, places and nothing else. My mother, in her research had discovered my 10th great grandfather, George Jacobs Sr, of Salem witch trials notoriety. I knew about him for years, but it wasn't until I was reading a website assembled by the University of Virginia that I made my own discovery.
U of V assembled a list of ALL the people involved in the witch trials and categorized them...these were found guilty, those not guilty, these escaped, these released on bond, these died in prison, these were accusors, these witnesses and these prosecutors. While reading the each name on these lists...one struck me. It seemed familiar. Sure enough, she was on my pedigree with no other information attached to her. After hitting the New England Historical society's website, and making the rounds of secondary databases and looking at digitized copies of documents, I became reasonably sure that she. as the same Elizabeth Dicer as my 10th great grandmother, Elizabeth (Austin) Dicer - another accused witch. And thus, my fourth Black Sheep witch was added to my collection. (sigh) Also, friends and family have fuel for good natured ribbing when I'm in a witchy mood. :-. I wouldn't have made the connection if I hadn't been reading a tedious academic site instead of watching TMZ with my husband.
My last hint for now is "Don't hesitate to ask..." for help, for clarification, for a person's story and most of all "How do you know that's true?" You know, I bet Woodward & Berstein would have been great genealogists if they hadn't wasted their time on that Watergate thing. :-D LOL