Native American Heritage Hello: I am Pioneer Woman (a/k/a Jane) the Native
American Coordinator for the New Mexico Genealogy. I am a genealogist
(and web mistress) so the gist of this page is geared to genealogy
research of Native American tribes.
Native American Federally Recognized Tribes of New Mexico
New Mexico Genealogy and Research
For all of us who heard as a child, great grand someone in our family was a Native American, this page is meant to help answer some questions. Here you can find a variety of information for Native Americans. If you are new to genealogy, be sure you learn the basics, use proper etiquette, keep orderly records and notes and be persistent. Research is very time consuming so be sure to allocate time wisely. American Indian genealogy is a broad and varied subject. When you explore your heritage, it will take you into new territory and away from usual research habits, such as the early federal census. You may still find clues in land and military records but you'll be digging into regional files, federal "rolls" and a culture still deeply rooted in oral tradition which provides no hard source for documentation. Your quest will introduce you to a population of more than 550 federally recognized tribes whose members speak more than 250 languages!
Jicarilla Apache Tribe of the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation
Navajo Nation of Arizona, New Mexico & Utah
Pueblo of Acoma
Pueblo of Cochiti
Pueblo of Jemez
Pueblo of Isleta
Pueblo of Laguna
Pueblo of Nambe
Pueblo of Picuris
Pueblo of Pojoaque
Pueblo of San Felipe
Pueblo of San Juan
Pueblo of San Ildefonso
Pueblo of Sandia
Pueblo of Santa Ana
Pueblo of Santa Clara
Pueblo of Santo Domingo
Pueblo of Taos
Pueblo of Tesuque
Pueblo of Zia
Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation
For a comprehensive list of New Mexico Tribal Councils , do a quick search with the Google search engine for:
"New Mexico"+Tribal Council and you will get over 35,500 hits - you choose the site you like.
Hello: I am Pioneer Woman (a/k/a Jane) the Native American Coordinator for the New Mexico Genealogy. I am a genealogist (and web mistress) so the gist of this page is geared to genealogy research of Native American tribes.
Native American Federally Recognized Tribes of New Mexico
About New Mexico: Some facts to help with your research.
When: 4th Friday in September
This day is set aside to honor and celebrate Native Americans, the first Americans to live in the U.S. Still commonly referred to as American Indians, the term "Native Americans" has been used in recent years as a sign of respect and recognition that they were indeed the first people to populate our wonderful nation. By the time the first explorers and settlers arrived from Europe, Native Americans had populated the entire North American Continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the northern reaches of Canada.
Here are five steps to help you
1. Begin with your own family.
It's important to talk with your family as much as possible. Obtain as much information regarding your ancestors as you can; handed- down stories and all; they could contain clues for your research which you can attempt to document. Locate any old photos in possession of family members and have them identify the person or persons, the location, and the time frame if possible.
2. Find the Tribal Location.
If your family hails from present-day New Mexico, you can probably narrow your first search down to Southwest tribes such as the Navajo or Apache.
Take a look at area maps and try to locate the tribal area. Maps contain many of the tribes, their locations and tribal links. Follow the links. If the tribe was in New Mexico, be sure to check the bordering states: Arizona Colorado Oklahoma Texas Utah
Look for that information buried and forgotten in family bible, records, vital statistics, letters or diaries. If you don't find it there, you'll need to expand your research into tribal histories and migration patterns. (see Online Resources below)
3. Learn tribal culture and history.
Searching for Native American roots means sharpening your skills as a historian. Without the basic understanding of tribal history and historical context within the larger perspective of American expansion, it will be far more difficult for you to dig out your roots. In some cases, you'll need to know the migration patterns of a particular tribe or the sometimes many areas in which it was resettled. Our ancestors did not stay in one place forever.
4. Know what records are available.
If you are currently a member of a tribe, you will may contact your tribal enrollment office for a copy of your pedigree and your local Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office for copies of probates and allotment records (for tribes west of the Mississippi). But, if neither you nor any of your kin are enrolled, your search will be more difficult. Most of the time, you will need to use regular genealogical records with emphasis on Indian tribes pertinent to your individual families.
Don't jump ahead and begin researching with the early records; instead find your ancestors on the 1930 census or other documents and work backwards; documenting where they lived, when they lived there and who their neighbors were. Many times families moved and relocated together, and some intermarried, sometimes into different tribes. If they disappear around 1900-1910 then look to the Indian "rolls".
Tribal Indians were not counted in early federal censuses. Census records from 1790 to 1850 included only Indians living in settled areas who were taxed and didn't claim a tribal affiliation. Indians on the reservations or those who lived a nomadic existence were not taxed, and therefore not counted. Some Indians "passed as white" and are not identified as Indians.
The 1860 federal census added
a category called "Indian (taxed)."
From 1870 to 1910, the census had
an "Indian" category, but it didn't
include reservation Indians
until 1890. Most of that census
was lost to fire, though, so 1900
is the first available census that
lists most Native Americans.
5. Use Online Resources.
Mailing lists- Genealogy mailing lists are a quick and easy way for researchers to network with one another. Once you've located your tribe, join in discussions at some of the nearly 60 mailing lists dedicated to Native American research at Rootsweb Native American and Rootsweb Ethnic-Native Publications- Many tribes, historical societies and individuals publish journals or newsletters about a specific tribe or about American Indian research in general. Look for online newsletters. Read books.How Many Ancestors Do You Have?