As I am sure that you are well aware, your research question will be a challenging one to answer given such limited resources. The best place to start would be by consulting our section on "Native American Heritage" at: American Indian Records in the National Archives | National Archives
Another possible resource is provided by the National Park Service, is titled: "Honoring Tribal Legacies" and can be found here: HONORING TRIBAL LEGACIES
You might consider contacting Carol Buswell, Education Specialist at National Archives and Records Admin. In my mind, she's the expert in Native American research. She works out of National Archives at Seattle. She's also one of the 'people' that are on History Hub. You can read her profile here: Carol Buswell . She might have some suggestions for you.
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First, let's look at the information you have on the ancestor besides his/her name ...
* Where was he/she living? Were they living on a reservation?
* What is the time period?
* What does your family story say was his/her tribal association? (Does their geographic location indicate the same tribe?)
* How do you know the Native name? Was it from a document? Who wrote the document?
Depending upon the tribe you are looking for, they might be in the Indian Census under their phonetic name. Ancestry.com (free at many public libraries) has an index of the Indian Census (1885 to 1949). These census returns were usually completed every year by the BIA. Try searching the name as a first name and then a second name in two searches. To access the reservation censuses, go to Ancestry.com, click on search, click on card catalog, type Indian Census into the search box.
If not on a reservation, a regular census search for the phonetic name (one search with the name in the first name box and another with the name in the surname box) might also give you results. You might also want to sound it out in your head and try different spellings as well.
After taking ASL Sign for 5 years back in college it makes me better grasp that ASL Is not really covertable to English just by its nature. For example we speaking people think of CUP as letters that make up a object. Therefor spelling the word C U P is a series of letters that we use to think up the object.
In ASL they skip the entire process and move directly to what they want to say now... that leads me to think the conversion of letters from sound are subjective and no one had.... or has a system to convert.
i Find the topic personal since all of my ggg grandparents have so many options of spelling i cannot honestly find them... we have them in idea ?
from one year to the next the census was changing the letters... and i have like 10 options for 2 people.... maybe that was the reason we had no land left... who knows..