These pages are designed to help you in your search for Native American roots. It is a fantastic journey but not an easy one.

There are many paths to be followed in order to prove or disprove any family traditions of Native American Ancestry.

It is a pleasure to join with the TNGenWeb Project, and specifically the "First Persons of Tennessee" special project. I want to stress that these pages are not limited to the confines of the state of Tennessee. Many states will be involved because the original Cherokee Nation in the east covered a large area. The Cherokee Nation West will also be covered in several ways.

The Window to the past holds many records you will need to search for.  Let's examine some of these documents and the steps leading from them.

Getting Started - the First Step

The Paper Trail

The Chapman Roll

The Act of Congress Roll

Index to Guion Miller Roll Applications

Mountains, Rivers and Streams

The land is what the struggle has always been about. Who would own it?

And so it is the land that can help us in our search.  How do we use it? One answer is through maps. The maps of the places where our ancestors lived; maps that show where the tribal lands lay; maps that show the paths, and later the roads, that people traveled. All of these maps hold clues for us and we should make use of them as often as possible.

TN Map Section There are some really good maps of the Old Cherokee Nation East at this website.

Historical Maps of the United States Study some of these maps to learn the old migration routes.

Other Historical Maps of United States Websites


I receive literally hundreds of queries regarding Cherokee ancestors. There are certain "core" points in all of these requests.  This section will attempt to cover some of those points.  Check back often as I will be adding more answers to this area.

All those numbers

Names - English or Indian

Bits and Pieces Selected queries with suggestions on how to solve the puzzle.

More about the Cherokees
and other things you will wonder about.

Cherokee Census Rolls
       An explanation as to how some of them came about.

Migration after 1838
       Some Cherokees left the Old Nation in the East AFTER 1838.

Why hide the Indian
       Ralph Jenkins explores reasons behind many families decision to
       hide their Indian ancestry.

Cherokee Trail of Tears; other Paths
       Ralph Jenkins discusses the number of Cherokees who appear to
       have "disappeared" along the trail.

The Black Dutch
       Mary Bondurant Warren's examination of this often used term in Southern families.

You want to know about Jerry Wright Jordan?
        a little about her (or why I she can tell you about these things).

This page listed as one of the highlighted homepages in Dick Eastman's Online Newsletter, Saturday, Nov. 8,1998.

This TNGenWeb Special Project site was created by Jerry Wright Jordan. We are thankful for her contributions

. Have questions? Please contact the TNGenWeb State Coordinator.