Native American Research

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Native American research specialists at Lineages, Inc. know exactly which records to search to prove with certainty if you are eligible for Bureau of Indian Affairs “BIA” benefits such as Minority Status, Low Interest Business Loans & Educational Grants.

Finding proof of Native American ancestry can be difficult and it requires the knowledge and skill of an expert to accomplish these steps:

  • Untangle the truths in your family’s legend from the embellishments that have been introduced with each retelling of the story.
  • Trace your family tree and obtain the documents required for proof of eligibility for tribal membership.
  • Preparing an error free application.

Once your Native American ancestry is proven and your quantum blood is determined, your Native American ancestry enables you and possibly other American Indian descendants who are related to you to qualify for tribal membership and receive benefits from such tribes as the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole and Chickasaw Indians, among others.

Native American research & Indian genealogy is unique when compared to other types of genealogical research. Most of the records available for researching Native American ancestry or Indian ancestry and genealogy are derived from records of the U.S. Government. The early Indian rolls and Native American censuses, applications and enrollment cards, annuity and allotment records, etc., resulted from Indian claims against the United States. In order to obtain benefits awarded by the U.S. Court of Claims, Indians and Native Americans were required to prove their Native American ancestry and quantum blood requirements (i.e. percentage or degree of Indian and Native American blood required) pertaining to a particular tribe. Once their Native American ancestry was proved, these Native American Indians were entitled to land allotments or annuities awarded by the U.S. Court of Claims.

Applying for Membership in the Cherokee Nation

While very few American frontiersmen married a “Cherokee Princess”, thousands wed Native Americans before 1906. If you’ve heard stories about a Cherokee ancestor somewhere in your family tree and want to claim your Native American heritage by becoming a member of the tribe, you’ll have to prove it to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Cherokee Nation. Only after your application has been accepted will you become eligible to receive the benefits of tribal membership.

To be eligible for Tribal Membership with the Cherokee Nation, you must apply and be able to present a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. You must apply for a CDIB and provide acceptable legal documents that connect you to an ancestor whose name appears with a roll number and blood degree from the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes-Cherokee Nation (commonly called the Dawes Commission Rolls or Final Rolls). These rolls were compiled between 1899 and 1906. Quantum of Indian blood must be computed from the nearest paternal and/or maternal direct ancestor(s) of Indian blood listed on the Final Rolls. Many descendants of Cherokee Indians cannot be certified, nor can they qualify for tribal membership in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, because their ancestors were not enrolled during the final enrollment. The requirements at that time were:

  1. Apply between 1899 and 1906.
  2. Appear on previous tribal rolls compiled in 1880 or 1896.
  3. Have a permanent residence within the Cherokee Nation (now the 14 northeastern counties of Oklahoma).

If the ancestors had separated from the Tribe and settled in states such as Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas, they lost citizenship within the Cherokee Nation. Only enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation named on the Final Rolls and/or their direct descendants can be granted a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood and/or Tribal Membership. CDIB’s are issued only through the natural parents. In cases of adoption, quantum of Indian blood must be proven through the biological parents to the enrolled ancestor. A copy of the Final Decree of Adoption must accompany the application for CDIB, as well as the State Certified, full image/photocopy of the birth record. All information will remain confidential.

Native American Research Package

Standard Native American Research Project – $750.00 (15 hours)
Proving likely eligibility on a family line usually takes a professional genealogist about 15 hours. Some cases prove more difficult and may require more time. A separate fee for preparing the application will be quoted after proving your eligibility. Our in-depth native amerian research project focuses upon one family line. ORDER NOW

 

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