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For those of Native American descent, one of the easiest genealogies to trace is Cherokee genealogy. Thanks to the Cherokee being one of the most Anglicized of the nations, they put down much more of their history in writing than many other nations.
As the Cherokee lived along and near the Eastern Seaboard, had much more contact with white settlers and thus picked up many more of the white settlers ways. Included among these ways was the habit of obsessively writing down their births, deaths, and parentage. Though other nations certainly kept track of such things, the Cherokee actually put their genealogy down on paper, allowing later generations to trace their lineage. Thus, Cherokee genealogy is the most complete of all the Native American nations.
However, just because it is the easiest lineage to trace does not mean that it is actually easy. The record is not entirely complete, after all, and there are many other problems involved. Not least among this is the fact that many Native Americans used two names in their dealings with other people. One was the name to the tribe. The other was an Anglicized name that included a surname. It is very difficult to trace one particular person, just because one name might show up on one document, and the other name on another document. Unless a person knows both names that the person went by, this habit could chop off the family tree at a person whose Anglicized name shows up as a parent, but whose birth certificate cannot be found, simply because the Native name was used. Thus, Cherokee genealogy searches often come up with the dead end of a mysterious name.
As well, many people claim Cherokee ancestry, but were not actually Cherokee. There were many other nations around the Cherokee, and some folks would simply call themselves Cherokee to save a lot of confusion. Thus, a person might have grown up believing they were Cherokee, but their Native American grandfather or great-grandmother would not show up on the Cherokee genealogy. This is a strange but very true fact of life for those who know they are descendents of Native Americans, but cannot figure out anything past one name.
However, for those who are Cherokee and know it, and can find the proper names for their ancestors, Cherokee genealogy is very complete. There are many books, papers, and websites that are dedicated to showing family trees. If you can trace the names properly, you will be able to go back quite a ways into the past and find many of your ancestors. For those who can manage it, Cherokee genealogy is a rich mine of information about the names and places where your ancestors were born, lived, and died.
If you have the time and the energy and the knowledge that you need, you can trace your ancestry back to men and women living as natives on the shores of the New World. So give Cherokee genealogy a try figure out that much more about your family.
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