Cherokee Genealogy Research with Anita Finger-Smith

March 29th, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

A genealogist for over 20 years, Anita Finger-Smith is the principal of Cherokee Genealogy Services, which is licensed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She specializes in Eastern Cherokee records, manuscript collections, and American Indian research methodology. She coordinates and teaches genealogy classes at the Qualla Boundary Public Library and is active in her local societies.

F329, “Rooted to the Earth: The Basics of Cherokee Genealogy,” 11 am, Friday, 12 May 2017

Learn about tools to separate fact from fiction in oral histories of Cherokee ancestry! This session will be useful for librarians or research centers interested in developing resource materials to assist patrons. As a genealogist, if your goal is to verify a client’s or your own family tradition of Cherokee ancestry, this lecture will help you. Anita will guide researchers to the appropriate federal, state, or tribal records available to document a tribal connection and the eligibility criteria for tribal membership. This lecture will simplify the complex concepts of Cherokee genealogy.

F349, “Forming New Worlds: Cherokees, Whites and Lands in Western North Carolina, 1819-1829,” 2:30 pm, Friday, 12 May 2017.

Anita will set the stage for the transfer of lands, a result of the terms of the Treaty of February 27th, 1819 in which the Cherokee Indians ceded about one quarter of all their lands east of the Mississippi River to the United States. This included about 680,000 acres of land in western North Carolina. Are you researching Cherokees or back country whites who were living on the edges of their country in western North Carolina during the early 1800’s? In this session, Anita will introduce you to the records created during the dispossession of these Cherokee lands and where to search for the associated documents.