From Library Journal
Rare is the reference librarian who has not encountered a question like, "My great-grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian princess. How do I find the tribal roll that lists her name?" Lennon (Florida's Unfortunates) explains that problems often arise in this type of research because family tradition doesn't match the time when the Native American ancestor actually lived and because many obscure resources go unexplored. A healthy start to avoiding such problems is to research the family outside of the Indian tradition, learning as much as possible about the customs and political realities of the area where the ancestor resided. Focusing on the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast (the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole), Lennon details the often-overlooked resources in U.S. and international archives covering the years prior to the tribes' removal to Indian Territory. She notes that many early white interactions with tribes came in the form of trade or religious instruction and emphasizes that researchers should investigate all extant records related to those endeavors, as well as slave-related records for those of African-Indian descent. She also overviews the popular federal records (such as the Guion Miller Enrollment Records) and discusses valuable but obscure federal records. Reference notes and an index round out the book, but it is the excellent bibliography that readers should closely peruse as it lists histories, memoirs, archival guides, manuscript collections, and record transcriptions that could add historical and cultural depth to one's research. Other helpful general guides such as the Native American Genealogical Sourcebook focus on familiar records, but Lennon's book provides guidance in an area of research not well addressed in the current literature and is therefore highly recommended for public and genealogical libraries. Elaine M. Kuhn, Allen Cty. P.L., Ft. Wayne, IN
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