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Native Americans Project Reliable Sources

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Reliable and unreliable sources per Wikitree's Native Americans Project. A work in progress...


Reliable Sources

Note: WikiTree places a strong emphasis on sources, especially for vital statistics and relationships. We realize that this emphasis sometimes conflicts with oral tradition often associated with Native American ancestry. We try to reflect family tradition in the narrative while at the same time following WikiTree's standards for sourcing when it comes to relationships and vitals.

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch have digitzed Indian censuses from 1880 - 1940:


Some reliable sources for Cherokee history and genealogy are:

  • Dawes Commission (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chikasaw, Creek and Seminole Tribes/ Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes)
  • Guion Miller Commission. The Guion Miller payment was for all Cherokee/Cherokee descendants who were affected by Removal; there was no residence requirement. The Dawes Commission awarded individual land allotments to Cherokee living in Indian Territory. The Guion Miller Commission awarded individual payments.

Wikitree Cherokee pages (includes book list):

New England Tribes

Several institutions that have significant New England Indian collections have organized into a cooperative endeavor called The Yale Indian Papers Project to address these problems by publishing an electronic database known as The Native Northeast Portal. The Portal represents a scholarly critical edition of New England Native American primary source materials gathered presently from the partner institutions into one robust virtual collection, where the items are digitized, transcribed, annotated, and edited to the highest academic standards and then made freely available over the Internet, using open-source software.

  • David Allen Lambert (comp.) , Massachusetts: Earle Report of Native Americans, 1861, (database); Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (2020); index to the Appendix of 1861 Massachusetts Earle Report of Native Americans from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Includes the names, tribal membership, tribe/race, and location where the Native Americans resided in Massachusetts in 1861. The database is searchable by name, location, and tribe. The index contains nearly 1,700 searchable names. This is available only to members of NEHGS.


Unreliable Sources

WikiTree Resources

Remember a lot of questions can be answered by referring to the help pages link at the top right of all Wikitree pages.

Additional References

The following have not been reviewed for accuracy. Use with caution.

Native American Genealogy Search Sites / Indexes

Guides to Conducting Native American Genealogy

  • National Archives guide
  • FamilySearch Native American Page wiki


Indigenous Population Maps



links reviewed 16 Feb 2023

Census Information

  • Indian census rolls, Flathead, 1886-1939 Flathead (Montana) Flathead, Kutenai, Kalispel, Pend d'Oreille, Spokan Indians 1895-1897 and 1900-1905 [NOTE: 1895 includes upper and middle bands of Spokan. 1897 includes Michel's Band of Lower Kalispel, Kootenai's from Idaho and Lower Spokan removed to Jocko Agency. 1898-1899 are missing. 1900-1901 Flathead. 1902-1905 Flathead and confederated tribes. NARA Series M595, Roll 108, Indian census rolls, 1885-1940, Flathead (Montana) Flathead, Kutenai, Kalispel, Spokan, Pend d'Oreille Indians 1895-1897, 1900-1905 [NOTE: Includes Confederated tribes, Charlo's Band of Flathead, Kutenai from Idaho, Lower Kalispel, Michel's Band of Kalispel, Spokan removed to Jocko Agency, Flathead Indians. 1898 and 1899 are missing.] (NARA Series M595, Roll 108), Citation- ["United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940," database, FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89W8-M6KH?cc=2761958] : 27 August 2019, > image 1 of 1; citing (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1967).
  • Access Genealogy Census rolls from 1885-1940
  • 1910 Census Fort Shaw Industrial School
  • Parsons and Abbott Roll 1832 Creek Tribe. By a treaty of March 24, 1832, the Creek Tribe ceded to the United States all of their land east of the Mississippi River. Heads of families were entitled to tracts of land, which, if possible, were to include their improvements. In 1833 Benjamin S. Parsons and Thomas J. Abbott prepared a census of Creek Indian heads of families, which gave their names and the number of males, females, and slaves in each family. The entries were arranged by town and numbered; these numbers were used for identification in later records. Source: Access Genealogy
  • Native Americans – Most American Indians in the US were not counted on the 1810 Census. At this time, “Indians not taxed,” which were those living on reservations or in unsettled territory, were not counted. - See more at: http://www.genealogyinc.com/census-records/1810-census/#sthash.RAlHZwH7.dpuf


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Comments: 17

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I just stumbled across a few more:
posted by Mark Weinheimer
As I research local families in the Upstate New York region, I run across resources that sometimes provide primary documentary information about local Indians, particularly Haudenosaunee people. Two examples are:


These two sets of documents provide names of many individual people and, in the case of the Fort Hunter records, document family relationships. Where should these be posted?

posted by Mark Weinheimer
edited by Mark Weinheimer
Nice finds; perhaps we need a subsection called "New York" (after New England)?
posted by Jillaine Smith
For your consideration, please evaluate and consider this source.

Source: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 13, No. 3 (Jan, 1906, pp 225-264). Published by: Virginia Historical Society.

Virginia and the Catawbas and Cherokees, A Treaty Between, 1756, page 225

pdf pages 258 - 296 of 596

page 260 of 596

"See The Cherokee Nation of Indians, by Charles C. Royce, Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Mr. Royce appears, however, not to have read the Dinwiddie Papers, to have been ignorant of the treaty here printed, and is entirely, mistaken when he says (p. 145) that Fort Loudon was built by South Carolina."


Best! Richard Jordan, Amherst County, Virginia

posted by Richard (Jordan) J
edited by Richard (Jordan) J
This article is in error. Virginian troops built a fort a mile above Chota, the South Carolina troops, accompanied by German engineer DeBrahm, build Fort Loudon.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
The source is 37 pages long. Excluding the error, would the remainder be of any value?

If not, please consider adding the source to the un-reliable list.

Best! Richard Jordan, Amherst County, Virginia

posted by Richard (Jordan) J
edited by Richard (Jordan) J
At the time this article was written - 1906 - these records were only accessible in a library or archive. Most are now digitized and readily available. Some early journal articles can be very useful, but most are simply outdated.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes

Please consider the following: '''Fort Loudon Preceded Fort Loudoun

The French and Indian War brought conflict to the Virginia frontier. The militia was more formally organized, and Lewis became a captain in George Washington's regiment. Lewis was at Fort Necessity when Washington was forced to surrender to the French in 1754.

Washington's proposal for a series of frontier fortifications was approved, and Lewis was promoted to major to oversee the region along the Greenbrier River.<ref>https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Andrew_Lewis_(soldier)</ref>



The military authorities of the State of Virginia took vigorous steps to resist this tide of invasion. They erected a chain of forts extending from Winchester [Virginia] to the Tennessee River.

The Earl of Loudon. who had been appointed commander of the King’s troops in America, and Governor of the Province of Virginia, came over in 1757. He sent Andrew Lewis (Afterward General), to build a fort on the south bank of the Tennessee River at the highest point of navigation. about 30 miles from the present town of Knoxville. This fort, called in honor of the Earl, Fort Loudon was remarkable as being the first fort erected in Tennessee by Anglo-Americans. At the other end of the line, in 1756, in another fort was built at Winchester [Virginia], which was called "Fort Loudon." About this time "Fort Lewis" [present day Bath County, Virginia] a name so familiar to many of our readers was built. Its site was on the present farm of Alexander White (now Frank B. Gordon), of this County, a few yards southwest of his residence.”

Note: Fort Lewis of Virginia, was built by Col. Charles Lewis, the youngest brother of Gen. Andrew Lewis. Col. Charles Lewis was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant, Virginia, on 10 October 1774. The Battle of Point Pleasant, also known as the Battle of Kanawha, was the only major action of Dunmore's War.<ref>Norfolk & Western Railway, ‘’The Southern Homeseeker and Investor's Guide‘’, Volumes 7-10, Quarterly, September, 1915, Norfolk and Western Guide, page 20.</ref><ref>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Lewis,_Virginia</ref><ref>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Point_Pleasant</ref>


The fort [Fort Loudon] was to be a joint effort by Virginia and South Carolina. The party from South Carolina was hampered by bureaucratic delays, however, and the Virginians, led by Major Andrew Lewis, reached the Cherokee "mother town" of Chota in the Little Tennessee Valley on June 28, 1756, several weeks ahead of the party from the other colony. Rather than wait, Lewis's party began work on a fort across the Little Tennessee River from Chota. This structure, known as the "Virginia Fort," was square in shape, measuring 105 feet (32 m) on each side, with walls consisting of earthen embankments topped by a 7-foot (2.1 m) palisade. Lewis's orders were simply to construct the fort, so after its completion in early August 1756, the Virginians returned home.<ref> James C. Kelly, "Fort Loudoun: A British Stronghold in the Tennessee Country," East Tennessee Historical Society Publications, Vol. 50 (1978), pp. 72-92.</ref><ref>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Loudoun_(Tennessee)</ref>


In 1756, after laborious preparations and in consequence of donations by Prince George himself and by the colonies of Virginia and South Carolina, Fort Loudon was erected here on the southern bank of the Tennessee River in what is now Monroe County, near the point where the Tellico River runs into the Little Tennessee, more than thirty miles southwest of Knoxville. It was built by Gen. Andrew Lewis, the chief engineer of the British troops, under the direction of the Earl of Loudon. This was the first Anglo-American settlement in Tennessee, and its romantic and melancholy story is an introduction to the history of Tennessee.<ref>Tennessee Historical Magazine, Old Fort Loudon, https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Tennessee/_Texts/THM/3/4/Old_Fort_Loudon*.html</ref>

"See The Cherokee Nation of Indians, by Charles C. Royce, Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Mr. Royce appears, however, not to have read the Dinwiddie Papers, to have been ignorant of the treaty here printed, and is entirely, mistaken when he says (p. 145) that Fort Loudon was built by South Carolina."<ref>VIRGINIA HISTORICA MAGAZINE, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol 13, No. 3 (Jan, 1906, pp 225-264). Published by: Virginia Historical Society.</ref><ref>http://www.ancestraltrackers.net/va/resources/virginia-magazine-history-biography-v13.pdf, specifically page 286, and pages 260 of 596</ref>

posted by Richard (Jordan) J
I have this man I put story about family in research tab. I found couple books that mentions this guy brother as being Machapunga I like review of information to verify or deny information.



The information you added has nothing to do with the Andrew Dew in the profile, a well-documented white man who was born, lived, and died in Virginia. His parents, wife, children, and brother Thomas are all well documented in records.
posted by Kathie (Parks) Forbes
Wow, there's a mountain of resources here. I did a little looking but I wonder if you've looked at Aaron Carapella's Tribal Nations Maps? https://www.tribalnationsmaps.com/?fbclid=IwAR0u37to7Gb86N1g0GtRVklqaz_A16bvYkYkqrvxPHOCE4xOteXlvD_2TB8
posted by Lorraine O'Dell M.L.S.
Thanks, Lorraine; I'm a tad conflicted. The maps are beautiful, but the site appears to be mostly about selling rather high-priced maps for purchase. Can you say more about how you've used this site for research?
posted by Jillaine Smith
I'm sorry, Jillaine, I haven't used the maps for research. I was mostly wondering if anybody in the project has looked at them to form an opinion of them. I may have looked at them to see what tribes were where in my area of interest but I usually also check 2 to 4 sources to see what agreement different sources have for a bit of information; especially in Native American things.
posted by Lorraine O'Dell M.L.S.
Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute : founded by General S.C. Armstrong in 1868, Hampton, Virginia, H.B. Frissell, principal. Daniel Murray Pamphlet Collection copy , Indian Residential Industrial School


posted by Arora (G) Anonymous
not sure where you want this

Bartlesville Area History Museum- Online Collections, Includes Mariages of white men to native women, also many other collections involving, Oklahoma Cherokee, Choctaw, Shawnee, and others.

home page- https://bartlesvillehistory.pastperfectonline.com/ Archives & Search page- https://bartlesvillehistory.pastperfectonline.com/archive

posted by Arora (G) Anonymous
edited by Arora (G) Anonymous
Free-space source page for "Indian Census of the United States, 1885-1940"


posted by Sarah Mason
Yale Indian Papers Project [1]
posted by Anne X