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Ask a Genealogist: Contacting a Native American tribal office.

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I have long been told that I am part Native American on my dad's side.  Even the name of the tribe in Michigan is known to my family.  Do you think it would be okay to contact the tribe to see if I belong genealogically?  What should I supply when I contact them?


You will want to send a formal letter of introduction, and outline your genealogical connection.  It is important to list each generation from yourself back to the Native American ancestor(s) in question.  If they can consult their tribal records, or tribal rolls it will be easier to see if your family are included.  In some cases a surname may be helpful enough to determine if this name is know to the tribal families currently, or historically.  You will want to send your letter c/o the "Tribal Historian" or "Tribal Genealogist."  Most tribal governments can be located by a basic Google search, but I will be happy to help you locate an address if you need one.
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