How do I find out who my Native American Indian family members were?

+5 votes
in The Tree House by Bobby Binion G2G Crew (860 points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry
Basic genealogy.  Input as much as you can about your immediate family, then start working backwards using public records such as birth certificates, census records etc.

You could also do a DNA test to see if you do have Native ancestors.  Many, many families claim to have Native American background but in fact do not.  A DNA test would at least give you an idea about this.  But to track it down to specific people you will need to work on your tree as well.

3 Answers

+4 votes
Bobby do you know what Tribe you descend from?  What do you know?

Without some basic info it is really hard to help with this kind of question.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (652k points)
+2 votes
I am also suppose to have Native American Indian blood line in my tree. An ancestor of mine is suppose to have married a princess from the Delaware tribe; last name Jones. I am unable to get any information in that line of ancestors. I have back as far as my Great-grandfather and maybe his parents but am not sure. After that I get no information. If anybody can help that would be appreciated. I have done the family finder DNA test but all that shows is before any ancestors came to America.
by Chris McCombs G2G6 Mach 5 (55.5k points)
edited by Chris McCombs
The "princess" statement is a European twist on Native American lineage. The American tribes don't consider themselves to have "royal" blood as European families might.

The closest to that statement that they might recognize is if she was the daughter of a chief.

Several tribes trace their lineage as the Spanish do - through the maternal line instead of through the father(s).

As the others state, ask your family about ancestors they know about.

My great-great-great-grandmother on my mother's side was either Lenape or Susquehannock since we've lived in central PA. I've continuously researched tribe references about what tribes resided in our area during different time spans. While Wikipedia isn't always viewed as reliable, I have found interesting info. on there.

I actually got some good information at pow-wows to lead me in the right direction.

Keep in mind that the tribes were often nomadic following deer & bison (depending on what portion of the country you're from). You will need to know the time frame since sometimes there were land squabbles between different tribes where it may have changed hands (or possibly even been lost altogether once the Europeans arrived).
From what I understand, The Delaware tribes include Lenape, Susqquehannock, Chippawa and others.

Unfortunately, all my ancestors that would know anything about this are all long gone.I have searched the indian records from when they were free and found the name Jones prominate with the Chippawa. The name is also in some other tribes but cannot remember which ones.

As for time frame I am not sure. That is what I am trying to find out.
+1 vote
I am also in that spot. i think I have at least narrowed NA roots down to my late father's mother's side. Dad's one sister shows some Native American DNA in her test. Most of my grandmother's people came from Russell County, Virginia. I don't know of any Native American tribe from that area or which of her people would have married one...Most say that any Hispanic or Latino blood will help, but I have none of that in my genes. I sure hope there is a way to narrow it down more someday!!
by Debbie Parsons G2G6 Pilot (139k points)

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