Tracing Your American Indian Ancestry
The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau Of Indian Affairs has an online "Guide to Tracing Your American Indian Ancestry".
Typically this is used by persons wishing to enroll in a federally recognized American Indian tribe in order to obtain certain governmental benefits.
However, there is a wealth of genealogical resources available at various locations, and this site acts as a primer to help you begin the process.
This includes local records, state and federal government records, holdings at the National Archives, and materials accessible through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Remember that the early censuses always have a hard copy index, alphabetized by surname, and then by first name of the heads of households.
These indexes usually cover the entire state and are easy to search.
You can find them in most large public libraries and genealogical societies. The indexes are also available at the
Online Geneolagy Library.
Military Organizations that Supply Markers for Members:
Abbreviations on tombstones can also be confusing.
The most often used are:
NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES
Several people have asked about Native American tribes with unfamiliar names.
A good online source for locating information about tribes is InterTRIBAL.net's Native American Tribes page.
This site gives you valuable leads on where to start your search.
To find a tribe's original and current landholdings, visit Native American Online.
This site also has extensive links that can be of great assistance.
VITAL RECORDS IN CANADA
The key to conducting research on Canadian ancestors is knowing where to start.
One of the best places is the vital records office for the province in which the family lived.
Although these records may not go back very far (the 1850's at the earliest), they can be useful for finding death certificates of original pioneers.
Below is a list of sites you may want to check out:
Canada GenWeb Project
Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
GenWeb of Quebec
Newfoundland and Labrador GenWeb
Manitoba GenWeb Project
British Columbia GenWeb
NWT (Northwest Territory) and Nunavut GenWeb Project
If you can't find what you're looking for, check with the GenWeb host. Do you have some genealogy knowledge to share or have a question?
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Include your first initial and last name and put the word GENEALOGY in the subject.
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(Please note that these columns are written several weeks in advance so publishing it will be delayed accordingly.)