Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review - Genealogy at a Glance: Cherokee Genealogy Research

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Cherokee Genealogy Research by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG. 

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

The description of the 
Cherokee Genealogy Research booklet includes:

Designed to cover the basic elements of research in just four pages, Myra Gormley’s Cherokee Genealogy Research attempts to give you as much useful information in the space allotted as you’ll ever need. In less than a handful of pages, it provides an overview of the facts you need to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with your research: it covers Cherokee history, surnames, migrations, and basic genealogical resources, describing original documents as well as the latest online resources.

The largest Native-American tribe, the Cherokees are associated primarily with the state of Oklahoma, which was formed in 1907 by a merger of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory, though smaller groups of Cherokees are found in North Carolina and elsewhere. Not all groups are federally recognized, and while a great many Americans claim some degree of Cherokee blood, there are only three Cherokee groups that have official status: The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (North Carolina).

The most useful records in Cherokee research are membership rolls, which were designed to allocate reservation lands, provide annuities, and pay compensation. Not all Cherokees are named in these rolls, because certain individuals did not meet the specific requirements for enrollment, but starting with the 1817 Reservation Roll, membership rolls are the best documentary sources available, and this handy research guide identifies the twenty most important rolls, including the 1835 Henderson Roll (called the Trail of Tears Roll), the 1848 Mullay Roll, which was the first census of the Eastern Band of Cherokees, the 1852 Drennen Roll, which was the first census of Cherokees living in northeastern Oklahoma, and the 1898-1906 Dawes Roll, which established official tribal enrollment of the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles.

Like all publications in the Genealogy at a Glance series, Cherokee Genealogy Research provides all the instruction you need to get you started in your research, including research tips, references to key publications, and an indispensable list of online resources.

The booklet has these subject areas:

*  Contents
*  Quick Facts 
*  Cherokee History and Migrations
*  Unlocking Cherokee Family History
*  Basic Genealogical Sources
*  Cherokee Freedmen and Black Indians
*  Rolls Pertaining to Cherokees
*  Other Online Resources
*  Further Reading

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has little experience, on finding Cherokee ancestors.  It provides guidance and excellent ideas to help researchers to find records for their Cherokee ancestors. Reference books, records at the National Archives, State Archives, Library of Congress and other repositories, online databases and websites for some of the topics are cited in the text.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" booklets is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated booklet costs $8.95,  plus postage and handling (4th Class Mail $4.50; FedEx Ground Service in the USA, $6.00). You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the 
Cherokee Genealogy Research booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.
*  Book Review:  Genealogy at a Glance - Family History Library Research

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2013.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 

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