The Dawes Rolls & Native American Roots


dawes rolls and native american genealogy

Not long ago I wrote a lengthy blog post on tracking down your Native American roots. If you’re just beginning this type of research, I recommend you read the post then come back and watch the video. You’ll find a reference to the Dawes Rolls in the third paragraph – it’s one of the main sources of Native American genealogy research.

So many people have been told (thanks to family stories) that they have Native American heritage. In fact, just yesterday I met with a banker who told me he was disappointed not to see Native DNA in his tests. I did let him know, however, that we inherit chunks of DNA – not the entire sequence, so it’s possible he does have Native roots, but he just didn’t inherit that particular chunk.

And, as you probably know, many family stories talk about the “Indian princess”; sadly, in most cases, she doesn’t exist, and probably never did. However, I am a huge believer in family stories having *some* grain of truth. For me, that means Native American family history may have said great-grandma but the truth is it was your 3x great-aunt. In any case, please did into my earlier blog post, then come back and watch this excellent video by the folks at Family Tree Magazine on using the Dawes Rolls in your Native American research.

While I have no family stories about Native American ancestry, and definitely no DNA that points in that direction, I do, however, find the challenge of doing this type of genealogy research fascinating. One of my friends asked for help (thanks to her family story) and I was actually able to find an ancestor. But, not as the story told, but rather up in Canada. Honestly, you never know what you’re going to find!

If you have Native roots or are researching this area, leave a comment and let me know what your favorite resource is.

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  1. In my youth grandmother would tell us about the death march. I won’t to know if she was really there.

  2. My grandmother had relatives at the Alabama Coshata reservation in Texas. We use to go visit. How would I go and find out about that.?

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