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Collections Corner: Native American Resources in the KHS Library

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Se Quo Yah_adjcAs many of you know, November is Native American Heritage Month. For those of Kentucky lineage, this can be quite important due to the many lines of family impacted by this portion of our population. Despite the many stories we have heard about Native American heritage in our genealogy, documenting the paper trail can be a challenge – to put it mildly. The farther back the story originates, the harder it is to prove that lineage through documentation. Plus, keep in mind, that in many instances, the story may have reflected the opposite of the paper trail – on purpose. In other words, it was common practice to hide one’s ethnic background if not living with the tribe on tribal lands. Since Kentucky has no officially designated tribal lands, tracking down the family origins can be tricky.

Last year, Cherokee genealogy specialist, Anita Finger-Smith spoke at our Second Saturday program and covered many of the misconceptions researchers face. She reminded attendees that tribal affiliation is very strict concerning the document trail, and many tribes rely on certain “Rolls” or census lists taken to determine membership. As for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, in North Carolina, one of your ancestors must be listed in the last Roll taken in 1924, called The Baker Roll, in order to qualify for membership. Ms. Finger-Smith was gracious enough to bring a copy along and donated it to the KHS Library!

Of course, when researching your Native American roots, we have many other titles and resources that can help you with various tribes. One tip that is important to remember when searching library catalogs for Native American resources: Most Native American resources are categorized under the subject heading that includes “Indians” not “Native Americans.” It is a good idea to search our catalog for both terms to make sure you catch the titles that are about Native American research. However, always conduct a second search for “Indians” to make sure you find the majority of the titles. Just as a side note, Ms. Finger-Smith addressed this variance in terminology. As for tribal citizens within the United States Territories, she says they prefer the term “Indian”, which explains the Library of Congress sticking with their original subject headings on this one.

So, what kind of goodies do we have regarding Native American Heritage? Here is a small sampling (please see our library catalog for a full list: http://khscatalog.kyvl.org/vwebv/searchBasic) For additional resources online from the National Archives, please see their resources page (http://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/reference-reports/):

Various Census Rolls:

Title:            Cherokee emigration rolls, 1817-1835 /

Author:           Baker, Jack D.

Publisher:  Oklahoma City :Baker Pub. Co.,c1977.

Call Number:      970.5B167

Note: One of my favorites as it details those who lived in some of the eastern territories prior to the Trail of Tears.


Title:           Baker roll 1924 :Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina /

Author:           Blankenship, Bob.

ISBN:       0963377450 or 9780963377456

Call Number:      970.00497C522bL

Note: Roll necessary for membership in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.


Title:            Complete Delaware roll of 1898 /

Author:           Bowen, Jeff,

Publisher:  Baltimore, Md. :Clearfield,c2011.

ISBN:       9780806355221

Call Number:      970.00497D343


Title:            Eastern Cherokee census :Cherokee, North Carolina /

Author:           Bowen, Jeff,

Publisher:  Baltimre, Md. :Printed for Clearfield Company by Genealogical Pub. Co.,2004.

ISBN:       0806352434

Call Number:      970.00497C522b2


Title:            1900 census of the Cherokee Indian Nation /

Author:           Ellsworth, Carole.

Publisher:  [Wyandotte, OK :Gregath Publishing Company,200-?]

Call Number:      976.603E47c


Title:            1900 Creek Nation census /

Author:           Ellsworth, Carole.

Publisher:  Gore, Okla. :Oklahoma Roots Research,1984-

Call Number:      976.603E47


Title:            Vital information from the Guion Miller Roll :Eastern Cherokee Court of Claims, 1906-1909 /

Author:           Edgington, Billy Dubois.

Publisher:  Mill Creek, Wash. :Indian Scout Pub.,c1998.

ISBN:       1893331008

Call Number:      970.00497E23


Title:            The 1880 Cherokee Nation census, Indian Territory (Oklahoma) /

Author:           Benge, Barbara L.

Publisher:  Bowie, Md. :Heritage Books,2000.

ISBN:       078841576X

Call Number:      976.603B466


Title:            Indian records, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, final rolls :(Choctaw by blood) /

Publisher:  Poteau, OK :Family Heritage Resources,c1990-

Call Number:      970.004973L549


Title:            The eastern Cherokees;a census of the Cherokee nation in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia in 1851.

Author:           Siler, David W.

Publisher:  Cottonport [La.]Polyanthos,1972.

Call Number:      970.3S582e


Title:            1880 and 1890 census, Canadian District, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory /

Author:           Ashton, Sharron Standifer.

Publisher:  Oklahoma City, Okla. :Oklahoma Genealogical Society,1978.

Call Number:      970.3A829


Title:            Guion Miller Roll “plus” of Eastern Cherokee, East & West of Mississippi “1909” /

Publisher:  [Cherokee, NC] :Cherokee Roots Pub.,[19–?]

ISBN:       0963377442

Call Number:      970.00497C522g

Title:            Dawes Roll “plus” of Cherokee Nation “1898” /

Publisher:  [Cherokee, NC] :Cherokee Roots Pub.,[19–?]

ISBN:       0963377434

Call Number:      970.00497C522d


Title:            Cherokee roots /

Author:           Blankenship, Bob.

Publisher:  Cherokee, N.C. (P.O. Box 525, Cherokee 28719) :B. Blankenship,c1992.

ISBN:       0963377426 (v.2)

Call Number:      970.004B642


free sample just need to bear in mind that the that nothing will transform.

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