www.bia.gov/bia/ois/tgs/genealogy Publishes a downloadable Guide to Tracing Your Indian Ancestry. Has a vast online library, Tracing Native American Family Roots. www.ncai.org/tribal-directory Provides the online tribal directory where contact information for specific tribes can be found.
How to get started tracing your Native American heritage?
The Bureau of Indian Affairs uses a blood quantum definition—generally one-fourth Native American blood —and/or tribal membership to recognize an individual as Native American. However, each tribe has its own set of requirements—generally including a blood quantum—for membership (enrollment) of individuals.
Only a tribe or the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) can determine if a person has tribal affiliation. Individuals should contact the tribe(s) they think they have affiliation with. Tribal Enrollment Offices are the best location to inquire within a tribe.
A DNA test may be able to tell you whether or not you’re Indian, but it will not be able to tell you what tribe or nation your family comes from, and DNA testing is not accepted by any tribe or nation as proof of Indian ancestry.
If you have Native American DNA, it will appear in your ethnicity results as the Indigenous Americas region. The AncestryDNA test is not intended to be used as legal proof of Native American ethnicity.
All major ABO blood alleles are found in most populations worldwide, whereas the majority of Native Americans are nearly exclusively in the O group. O allele molecular characterization could aid in elucidating the possible causes of group O predominance in Native American populations.
While 23andMe can reveal genetic evidence of Native American ancestry, it cannot identify specific tribal affiliations. Take a DNA test with 23andMe and get a breakdown of your global ancestry, connect with DNA relatives and more.
For people researching the potential of a Native American past, you can: Look at available immigration or census records. Try different variants of any known ancestor’s names due to the anglicisation of their traditional names, which may have been misspelt. Look for Native American adoption records.
The Cherokee Nation requires the roll number listed under your family member’s name to recognize your family’s Cherokee heritage. While genetic ancestry testing is becoming more advanced, it is still not widely accepted as a method of confirming Cherokee heritage.
In 2015, 23andMe published a study showing that over 5% of our research participants who identify as African American have at least 2% DNA predicted to most closely match an Indigenous American reference population (and 22% are estimated to have at least 1% of this DNA).
Though it’s possible that it’s a mistake, it’s extremely unlikely. Relationship predictions are almost always accurate for people who are second cousins or closer.