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Dear Ms. Farmer,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We suggest that you begin by assembling as much of your family tree as possible, as far back as you can go, and if possible, note locations. To learn more about the records in the custody of NARA that pertain to individuals, please review the American Indian website for Researching an Individual or Family. With the names you are able to compile, we suggest searching the various the Censuses that are organized by tribal nation, including the Cherokee, and are available for free.access at https://accessgenealogy.com/native/indian-tribal-histories-c-tribes.htm
When embarking on Native American genealogy, please note that the records in the custody of NARA often only detail those living on the reservations or being administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. If an ancestor was native yet left the reservation, they will not be recorded in NARA’s records and tracing their genealogy may be difficult.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
[Information provided by Cody White, Subject Matter Expert]