Find Your Relatives: Ancestry.com Expands American Indian Collection

Ancestry.com, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the National Archives at Fort Worth have partnered to digitize more records for genealogical use.
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Ancestry.com, the Oklahoma Historical Society, and the National Archives at Fort Worth have partnered to digitize records from the forced relocation of five major tribes, the Five Civilized Tribes—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and the Seminole.

“The vast majority of genealogists who visit the Archives’ Fort Worth facility are researching the five tribes,” Meg Hacker, director of the Archival Operations at the National Archives at Fort Worth, told McClatchy DC.

The Oklahoma Historical Society and the National Archives had a lot of information on the Five Civilized Tribes, including birth and marriage histories, but none of the information had ever been digitized. Ancestry.com, an online genealogy database based in Utah, proposed the joint project, and took on the cost of scanning the records, reports McClatchy.

“We wouldn’t have the funds or the time to digitize all these records,” Laura Martin, deputy director of research at the Oklahoma Historical Society, told McClatchy. Those records were largely on microfiche, or original documents, so having them available online makes them available to many more people.

The information that has been digitized covers 1830-1940 and supplements information Ancestry.com already had available on its site.

“We were able to tell a more complete story by going back further,” Lisa Arnold, senior content strategist at Ancestry.com, told the Associated Press. “This will be the most comprehensive collection of Indian records.”

While Ancestry.com is a paid site, many libraries have subscriptions, so patrons can use the site free. Check out the new records here.