A majority of people claim Indian heritage or Native American ancestry. Their reasons as well as their requirements to prove ancestry vary. Whether you are looking to prove your Indian heritage or are just looking to learn everything there is to know about your ancestry, here is how to prove your Indian heritage.
Table of Contents
Step # 1: Research your ancestry
Researching your ancestry is an important step in proving your heritage. The following research methods will be useful.
a) Genetic Testing
Genetic markers that are particularly unique to people of Indian descent do not exist. However, you can still compare your genetic makeup to that of other individuals with a similar descent. For instance, proving your Indian heritage will require you to go through a genetic company’s database and find other known popular Indian.
This will be helpful in disproving or reinforcing your belief about being Native American. It will also ensure that you do not waste time finding more about an ancestry that does not apply to you. If you need assistance with your Native American Genealogy then there is help available and more information available.
b) Start Searching at Home
When researching ancestry, you should trace your ancestry backwards through your parents, grandparents or other relatives. By collecting names and names, dates of birth or deaths, through vital records or family records, you will be a step closer to proving your heritage. Remember, exhaust all sources of information at home. This is the only way to ensure that you do not miss out on any important details.
c) Conduct Online Searches
With thousands of research records and documents that are available freely on the internet, it is easy to find information about your ancestors. There are many free online websites that will assist you with your discovery.
d) Consult Physical Records
Schools, libraries, archives or courts may contain fundamental records that will be useful in your research visit these instructions and make an appointment and go through their records.
e) Search Federal Records
The United States National Archives keeps records that will be useful in your genealogy research. You will have access to census records, military records, passenger arrival documents and much more.
Step # 2: Enrol for Tribe Membership
By contacting the tribe, you will be able to familiarize with the enrolment requirements. Two of the most common requirements are that of lineal descent from someone who is part of the original tribe members or someone who appears from the list.
Enrolling in a tribe is a sure way to learn more about your lineage. These are the most important things to know about the tribal enrolment process. Keep in mind that there are other conditions that may vary by tribe:
a) DNA Testing
Many people believe that because of oral histories go down their family lines, they have a Native American or Indian heritage. Undergoing DNA testing in itself is enough to provide tribal eligibility.
b) Enrolment Criteria
There are different sets of enrolment criteria for every individual tribe; especially when it comes to Native American or Indian heritage. Tribal enrollment reserves the unique character traditions of each tribe. The criteria is based on traditions, history, language, religious beliefs and much more. Such criteria is often defined in the tribe’s ordinances, constitution or articles of incorporation.
Gather relevant statistics records that may be vital to your search and will establish your ancestry when you apply for tribe membership. Records such as death and birth certificates can be obtained by contacting the department bureaus or office states that keep those records.
Applying for tribal enrolment will only come once you have completed the rest of your genealogical research. However, ensure that you are applying to the right tribe, then reach out directly to the tribe in question and they will let you know about the enrollment criteria.
Remember, the tribal enrollment process may be more restrictive because Indian tribes are sovereign nations. Thus, those seeking enrolment could only be doing it for the benefit of it. Strict rules are in place to ensure that no one enrolls for individual benefits.
It is important to learn what you can about your Indian heritage. If possible, after finding out relevant information, visit your tribal headquarters and discover more about your descent. Also, familiarize with your tribal language. Exploring Native Heritage will help you in embracing values that your people cherished. No matter who you are, heritage is important.