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Native American Indian Research


1. Gather information from personal knowledge, family and family records and record it on standard genealogical forms or on a genealogical computer program. Be sure to record all current information as well as that which is most ancient in your family.

2. Conduct a comprehensive search of all previous research to see if others are working on your family too. Repositories for previous research include the following special site:

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT, has many genealogies on file which you can read on microfilm at your local Family History Center (FHC) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To find the film numbers go to

Click on Search for Ancestors; click on Family History Library Catalog (FHLC); click on Surname Search; input the surname (last name) of the family for which you are looking. If any of the materials looks interesting to you, see if it has a microform number.

Almost all microform can be ordered into your local FHC for under $4.00 for a four week loan. Film usually arrives within two weeks. The FHC is the cheapest, quickest way to see original records. On the site, you can purchase a CD of the FHLC (includes the entire Salt Lake collection!) for just $5. I prefer searching the CD as it has much more flexibility than the online version of the catalog..

To locate the Family History Center closest to you, look for the link on the main page which reads something like: "Find a Family History Center near you...."

3. Leave queries on as many online sites as possible. Be willing to share generously.
4. Analyze your finds; check all sources; GENEALOGY without proof is
5. If your family has several generations in the U.S. consult the U.S. Census and research it as completely as possible.
6. Check pertinent county records for useful indexes.
7. Record all new material with sources for every entry.
8. Repeat this process for each new family found.


-How to Write a Proper Genealogical Query-

You will be consulting people who are experts in their fields and very busy. An incomplete or improperly written query will probably garner a "sorry, no information" answer from most other experts. However, I am dedicated to teaching genealogy as well as answering questions in my area of interest, so, do, please, keep a copy of this instruction and consult it when you make your next request for information.

In writing your query, answer the following questions, so far as you are able. If the information you have is uncertain, follow it with a question mark (?). If you have no information, place a blank area in the query ( _______ ). Abbreviate birth (b), marriage (m) and death (d). If you have to list more than one marriage write them (m1), (m2), etc.

-Questions to Answer-

1. Who is the person you want to find information about (if a female, give her maiden name, or, if none is known, explain)?

2. When and where was this person born (b), where and when did he die (d), where and when did he marry (m)?

3. Who did this person marry? Where did this person marry?

4. Who were the children that resulted from the marriage with their (b, d, m) and what were the names of their spouses (no further information needed for the children's spouses unless there is some pertinent reason to add more)?

5. Who were the parents (b,d,m) of the person on whom you are focusing (question #1)? Where and when did they live and die, etc?

6. Who were the siblings (brothers and sisters) (b,d,m) of the person on whom you are focusing (question #1)? Where and when did they live and die, etc?

7. With what tribe(s) do you think your focus person was associated?

8. Why do you think your focus person was Indian (physical characteristics, family story, Indian name, proximity to tribes, etc.)?

-Preparing and Using Your Query-

Write your query in a word processor (answering ALL of the questions), select and copy it onto your clip board; then go out on the web and look for places to deposit it. As long as you don't use your copy command on anything else, it will remain in memory. All you need to do to insert it is to click on the place where you want it to go, and click on "paste". Simple, huh?

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Many thanks,

Kathie Donahue


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