Sunday, January 6, 2008

Welcome to Cherokee By Blood blog

My name is David Vann, and my Indian name is “Iron Head”. I am a ¾ blood Cherokee Indian and my family has been in the Cherokee Nation since at least 1650. My family has been actively involved in Cherokee genealogy since 1905. I am a graduate of California State University, in Northridge and California Institute of Technology (Cal-Tech). I am a retired Nuclear Engineer and keep busy with my interests in Native American archeology, Cherokee history, and Cherokee genealogy. I have applied my professional data harvesting abilities to my Cherokee research.

I am a Cherokee genealogy specialist, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a member of the Cherokee National Historical Society’s “First Families of the Cherokee Nation”.

In the process of finding my own Cherokee roots, I have collected a large private library covering Cherokee history, customs, tradition, and genealogy.
I have spent the past eight years compiling large amounts of Cherokee genealogy data into computer friendly form and assisting other people of Cherokee descent find their roots and Native American ancestors. In 2004, I published “The Five Civilized Tribes – Dawes Roll Applications” in CD form, to assist Cherokee researchers in finding their roots. This CD is being sold internationally to individuals, libraries, and research organizations.

The purpose of this blog is to assist others in how and where to find information on tracing their Cherokee ancestry.
I will discuss what the “Rolls” are, when and where they were compiled, and how to use them to help find your family roots. On a ‘one-on-one’ basis, I have helped many people find their ancestors on one or more of the Cherokee Treaty Rolls that were taken from 1817 to 1924.

During this process, I have traced the family trees of nearly every Cherokee family that has been recorded on the official Treaty Rolls since 1817.
Since many Cherokees had identical names, I identify them by their approximate year of birth, the name of their spouse, the names of their parents, their siblings, and their children. This forms a ‘family fingerprint’ that is unique to that individual, what I call ‘Forensic Genealogy’.

Many of the official records are incomplete, as the government only listed the Heads of House before 1850. To fill in these gaps, I rely on previously published data from Cherokee genealogy books, Cherokee history books, and old church or missionary records of the period. I also receive copies of rare documents from the US National Archives and from my friends and customers who I have encouraged to find their ancestors, as most Cherokee families are intermarried with other Cherokee families. In most cases, I have been able to trace an individual from a ‘recent’ Treaty Roll in 1900, to a previous Treaty Roll in 1850, and back to earlier Treaty Rolls in 1835 to 1817, thereby completing a comprehensive Family Tree with documented references, because genealogy without documentation is just wishful thinking.

Warning – genealogy can be hazardous to your marriage. Sports widows are only ignored during sports season, but genealogy knows no season.

For information on early Cherokee traditions, legends, culture, religion, information about my published CD, and so on, please visit my web site which covers how the Cherokees lived long before the first whites arrived.