How to Find Ancestors From the Trail of Tears

••• trail image by Colin Buckland from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The Trail of Tears refers to the forced removal of members of the Cherokee tribe from tribal lands brought about as a result of the Indian Removal Act, passed by Congress in 1830. The term came about as a result of the Cherokee march westward following their deportation, in which thousands of tribe members died. Your ability to find ancestors from the march depends largely on how much previous knowledge you have of your ancestry and whether or not you have maintained your family name.

Step 1

Search the Trail of Tears roll at Access Genealogy. You can search for an ancestor from the march using their first of last name, or search the site's rolls.

Step 2

Contact the Cherokee Nation. The tribe may be able to help you find ancestors who participated in the march once you have provided them with more information about your family. Contact information is available on the official website of the Cherokee Nation.

Step 3

Go to the Cherokee Registry website. This website contains helpful tips about how to track your Cherokee heritage and may help guide you to an ancestor from the Trail of Tears.

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