Sunday, February 5, 2012

ALA RUSA "Genealogy is Bigger in Texas" Preconference - part 4

The fourth presentation at the American Library Association (ALA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) History Section's genealogy preconference at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 20 was by Aaron Holt, an Archives Technician with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Southwest Region in Fort Worth. Aaron, a 19-year veteran of NARA,  spoke on "Native American Holdings at NARA Ft. Worth, with Specific Emphasis on the Five Civilized Tribes - Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee."

Aaron's presentation was quite detailed, and he provided four handouts, including a list of the microfilm available at NARA Southwest.  Here are some interesting points from the presentation:
  • Most Native Americans have a minimum of three names, and those names can change.
  • NARA can't translate a Native American name.
  • NARA can't add to or take away from the information in their files.
  • "Indian Territory" varied over the years - most recently it is Oklahoma, earlier it was Indiana.
  • 99.9% of Oklahoma Native American records, plus those of Texas' Alabama-Coushatta tribe, are at NARA Fort Worth.
  • When doing Native American research at NARA, one of the first questions one is asked is the family's tribal affiliation.
  • An "Old Settler" is a Native American who voluntarily went west in the 1820s rather than being forced to go later.
  • The first Cherokees to move west settled in western Arkansas, then later in Oklahoma.
  • The Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes are closely related, and members of those tribes may be found on each other's rolls.
  • Some Native Americans practiced polygamy, so a female head of household on a census might be an additional wife of a man listed earlier.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

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