2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2020 4:36 PM by Rebecca Collier

    Seeking paternal grandfather's Native American ancestry


      I have hit a wall researching my paternal grandfather's ancestry. He was born Kenneth Halston Turner in 1901 in Marion,SC to W.C. and Katherine Turner.  I have not been able to find any information about them. I am trying to determine any Native American Indian heritage my Dad always said we had.

        • Re: Seeking paternal grandfather's Native American ancestry

          Hello Searcher.  Next thing to do is to get a DNA test from a reputable DNA testing company. Then check to see if any of the following South Carolina tribes are still extant, in either state or Federal recognition status and contact them. If you are courteous and respectful, they will check to see if you have an ancestor in their Official Rolls. Some Tribes are sensitive about this as they do not want to expand their Rolls further, fearing to share the few benefits they get from states and Feds to people on their Rolls.

          -Good Luck in your Search!

          -Harv Hilowitz

          Indian Tribes in South Carolina

          • Re: Seeking paternal grandfather's Native American ancestry
            Rebecca Collier Ranger

            Dear Ms. Harris,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            To determine native heritage within federal records for someone born in South Carolina in 1901, you will need to continue building your family tree as far back as possible and see if they can be located on early census or removal rolls. South Carolina was home to a host of tribal nations but they were all forced out in the 1830s. Some ended up with the Eastern Cherokee in NC, some with the Florida nations, most in the interior Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Outside the Catawba, who came back and settled on a few hundred acres and federal records on them only began around 1942, there was no federal Bureau of Indian presence in South Carolina at that time to record individuals. Given the mission of the Office of Indian Affairs was to administer tribal nations, they only documented those living on reservations. You may browse the American Indian censuses from 1885 onward that are organized by tribal nations or on Ancestry in which you may search the census all at once. If someone at any time in the family history either left the reservation or never lived on one, proving native genealogy will be extremely difficult.


            In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Archives has partnered with Ancestry to make the vast majority of their NARA-digitized holdings freely available to the public. Anyone with Internet access may create an account, access NARA records, and use other Ancestry resources, such as their educational offerings and family tree-maker application. For more information see Ancestry’s announcement -- “Free At-Home Education Resources From Ancestry® and Access to Nearly 500M National Archives Records”.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family search!


            [Information provided by Cody White, Subject Matter Expert]


            1 person found this helpful