Saturday, March 10, 2012

Native (American) Heritage Project

Roberta Estes has been quietly working on the Native Heritage Project.

This project seeks to document people who are Native in existing records. To do this, Roberta says she is taking the following steps:

 1. She is collecting every instance of documents where Native people have surnames in some record that states they are Native, of Native descent, or have Native heritage. Initially, she has focused on the primary areas of Virginia, NC and SC and the Eastern Seaboard states.   

These, for the most parts, are tribes that were annihilated. Tribes west of the Mississippi were often able to maintain their tribal and cultural heritage after those east of the Mississippi has all but disappeared.

 2. Regarding the DNA, Roberta is matching the list generated by item 1 against people who are haplogroups Q and C, which are Native, to find a matches between the two lists.

 3. Ultimately, she would like to combine that information, above, with historical research that maps oldest ancestor of those who are genetically Native and village/tribe locations and perhaps, in time, the hope is to find a correlation and a way to tell which tribe someone is descended from.

 This is an unbelievable amount of work. Roberta has been working on it for almost 5 years now. Much of her early work was in documenting mixed race migrations and historical reading and references documenting early tribal locations.

Roberta is maintaining a separate page that shows resources she has already accessed.


If you have any record of a person that shows their Native ancestry, with documentation, please contact Roberta Estes. She would love to give them a voice by including their record in the project.  

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