Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Value of Sound Genealogical Methods in Native American Research

The Freedmen Series: Cherokee Freedmen Research
Source: Personal Video Channel

The recent decision by the US Court of Appeals that came out on Friday indicates that the Descendants of Slaves of the Cherokee have the right to sue the current administration for citizenship rights. However, many who will read the story have no idea who the Cherokee Freedmen are, and how one who is a descendant can document this history.

It is important that one uses standard genealogy methodology to document this unique history. Beginning with the family history, examining family artifacts, and using standard records, are important first steps. If one's family is part of the Indian Territory Freedmen--then they will have family history that will be located on the Oklahoma, and Indian Territory census, as well as numerous specific Freedmen Rolls from Indian Territory.

If your family did not live in Oklahoma simply finding a name on the Dawes Rolls does not connect one to the Freedmen.  There are many names that are common names that can be found in other states, so without a real connection from vital records, and census as well as the records from Indian Territory, avoiding the standard methods of collecting data, could lead to an incorrect conclusion that one has "Cherokee ties" or ties to other tribes as well. It must be pointed out that the researcher who goes to Dawes Records, right away, in spite of a family history found in other states, will possibly be derailing the accurate history of their family, in an effort to connect to a tribe. Hopefully this is not the case.

I created the video above for those who are seeking methods of documenting their ancestors who are indeed, Cherokee Freedmen, and am sharing it here for others. To see the video simply click on the image above.

This video is part of another series of videos produced on my YouTube Channel. See The Freedmen Series for Part I which introduces the series to viewers.