Here is a reminder of what AOL users lost:



Native American Special Interest Groups


The Genealogy Forum of America Online (AOL) offers many Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to serve people searching their ancestry. The Native American SIGs (NA SIGs) are designed to help people researching their personal histories in the complex area of Native American genealogy.

Over 500 separate and distinct cultural groups make up the Native American nations of the United States. Canada and Mexico also have many native groups. Some nations, like the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Chickasaw, have an abundance of census records and special rolls available. Other groups like the northeastern and east coast nations have very sparse records because the European immigrants defeated them so early in America's history. Often it is difficult even identifying which tribal group is involved. The United States government took many census rolls of Indian nations, often when they forced tribes to leave their traditional homes and relocate in the Indian Territory, now called Oklahoma. AOL's NA SIGs have a wealth of resources available to help researchers access those records.

In addition, the NA SIGs present frequent lectures of special interest to Native American researchers. Past topics have included "The Sioux Nations", "The Melungeons", "White Buffalo", "African-Native-American Genealogy", "Native Americans and Thanksgiving", "What's In A Name: The Evolution of Cherokee Spelling of Names", "The Lost Birds" and others. After each lecture, the author is on-line to receive questions and comments. The Friday Afternoon NA SIG has regular "homework" assignments where group members pool their resources by compiling lists of pertinent information. Recent homework assignments have asked members to bring in information on Native American websites, mail order bookstores, maps, and usenet/listserv groups. All that information is then available to all researchers by accessing past NA SIG Meeting Logs in the Genealogy Forum Library.


Everyone is welcome to join the groups. The groups are coordinated by Karen Price-Pfister (Cherokee-Choctaw), who goes by the screen name of GFS Karen. GFA, GFS, or GFH before a screen name indicates a member of the Genealogy Forum Staff. She is supported at various times in the groups by GFS John, GFS Angela, GFS Trio, GFS RAnn, GFS BB, GFH Kathye, and GFS Kevin and others. In addition to the Genealogy Forum Staff, many regular and new members of the groups bring to the sessions a wide variety of Native American resource information and they enthusiastically share it with others.


The NA SIG is not designed to do people's research for them, but to help point them towards documents, other Native American and general genealogical resources in the AOL Genealogy Forum, and resources available off-line. AOL's Genealogy Forum also has several Native American Genealogy Bulletin Boards divided by nation or region of the country where researchers can post requests for surname information. Also available through the Genealogy Forum are libraries that contain surname records, maps, and logs of past NA SIG sessions for researchers to download. Our popular

NATIVE AMERICAN GENEALOGY WEBSITE ( is filled with information and links to topic of interest to those searching Native American ancestors. It is edited by Barbara Benge and has had over 80,000 visitors at this writing.


Check it out Angela Walton Raji's

NATIVE AMERICAN-AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY WEBSITE ( It is the principal resource for tracing Native American-African American lines.


Sunday Night NA SIG: 7-9 pm Pacific Time/10-12 pm Eastern Time

Friday Afternoon NA SIG: 1-2 pm Pacific Time/4-5 pm Eastern Time

Both SIGs meet in the Golden Gate Conference Room

After signing on to America Online, type CNTL K (IBM) or CMND K (Mac), then type ROOTS, then select CHAT AREAS, then select GOLDEN GATE CONFERENCE ROOM.


Contact via email GFS, GFS, GFS,

or GFS