Seeking enrollment for William Murphy and other relatives

I have been told that my family members with the surname Skiles are Cherokee. I cannot find this surname in any rolls; however, they are related to William Murphy who is apparently Cherokee. I am looking for confirmation of this. William Murphy's daughter was Anne Murphy (or Margaret?) who married William Skiles. Please help me track this ancestry and confirm enrollment. Thank you.

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    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    You may want to begin your search by using the Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls, 1835–1884 (Microfilm M1773). These records are digitized in the Catalog. Please note that the Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls only document individuals who maintained a formal affiliation with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Please note, that census rolls do not exist for every tribe for every year and only document enrolled members of federally recognized tribes.

    For more information on the Indian Census Rolls, please see our website: https://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/census/research-indian-census.html 

    When using the catalog, you could search further by using the “Advanced Search” feature and search for “75” in the Record Group Number/Collection ID field (which signifies the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs). Please be mindful that there is no simple way to begin nor is there a single list of everyone of Native American Heritage. Records of Native Americans maintained and housed by NARA are generally records of those that live on reservations or are being administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. These records are scattered throughout multiple series, record groups, and even NARA facilities. It is possible that records may not exist if your ancestors left the reservation or did not have any interaction with the federal government.

    Consequently, tracing Native American ancestry can be very difficult. Please keep in mind that there are well over 500 tribes today, and those are only the ones that are recognized by the Federal government. The only Federal records that exist are for those people who were part of a recognized tribe, lived together with their tribe, and were under the supervision of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

    For additional information about Native American genealogy at Archives I please email us at archives1reference@nara.gov 

    We hope this assists you with your research!

    Sincerely,

    Archives 1 Reference Branch
    [RR1R-24-23118-CW]