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How to I learn about my possible native American relative in a respectful way

 
 
MissR
 
Reply Thu 16 Dec, 2021 04:20 pm
I want to start by saying I am a white woman, while researching family history I see my great grandfather on my dad's side listed his race on his marriage lic as "American Indian" when I asked further my grandpa says his father was Cherokee from Oklahoma, while looking online it seems a lot of white people think they have Cherokee DNA and it is not the case. Some people have lied on census reports and so on. I want to learn about this possibility and the Cherokee culture. some relatives have suggested that I join Facebook groups for people of Cherokee descent but I feel like it's not my place to join a space I'm not sure I belong in. Even if my great grandfather is truthfully Cherokee that doesn't make me Cherokee? Has anyone else been in this position torn between wanting to know but also not wanting to be disrespectful or putting our noses where we don't belong? A lot of info I find looking for genealogy info are for people looking to join the Cherokee nation which I am not looking to do as I am a white woman. Any resources or advice on the situation would be greatly appreciated
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 569 • Replies: 6
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engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 16 Dec, 2021 04:33 pm
@MissR,
I would join the facebook group and write what you wrote here, that you were researching family history, saw a potential link and would like to learn more. As long as you are honest about your intent, I doubt you will get a lot of pushback.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Dec, 2021 05:31 pm
Good advice from engineer, but you can always do some ancestry research by working backwards on your dad's side (the LDS people will help you for free) . They are experts at this and have the largest global database (apparently).
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Dec, 2021 12:32 am
Quote:
Who can become a Cherokee Nation citizen?

Cherokee Nation citizenship requires having at least one direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Rolls of the Cherokee Nation, a federal census compiled in the years 1898-1906.

https://www.cherokee.org/about-the-nation/frequently-asked-questions/common-questions/


Now, it is a matter of tracing your heritage back to the "rolls", and the rolls are closed.

One of the reasons you might want to prove your citizenship is there are tribal opportunities involved, including possible land and monetary dividends.
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Dec, 2021 12:49 am
You can use Ancestry.com to trace your heritage. Going back to 1850 is relatively easy to do and you can trust the results if no shortcuts are taken.

You can also get involved with genealogy with blood samples. If you want to get more involved in DNA, you need a brother or other male in line inheritor to send a sample to www.familytreedna.com and see what happens. Females don't carry male information, but you are lucky your inheritance is male because you can get better results than thru a female line.
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Dec, 2021 01:13 am
@BillW,
For help, check with you local library for people that do work with others in the fields of family trees. They usually cost, but hey, you may get lucky and they will do it for free. Anyways, they may give you pointers and help you in rough times.

I always have felt I was Indian, and that is partially what drove my interest in DNA and family trees. If you have a drop of blood, then by definition, you are part that! If you really, really don't want to be it - don't go looking.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Dec, 2021 10:26 am
@BillW,
Our library, pre-pandemic, offered ancestry help once or twice a month. Volunteers provide the help. Also, Ancestry.com is free when you access it in the library.

There may be opportunities like that where the OP lives.
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