Rocklin, CA asked in Native American Law for California

Q: How do I get my lineage proved

I'm a direct descendant of G.A. from the San Diego San Pasquale band of Mission Indians in 2010 we tried to get my mother's lineage proved verified especially now since all lives matter I would like my lineage proved so I have that for my niece and nephew I need to know how not to be rejected or whatever I need my lineage proof please help me I can send you all the information I've got my family kept very strict records

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: This is more of a genealogy question than a legal question. From a legal perspective, the federal government maintained Indian Census Rolls from 1885-1940. These rolls are available form multiple sources. You can obtain copies of your mother's birth certificate and then her parents' birth certificate, and their parents' until you can trace one of your ancestors to someone appearing in the Indian Census Rolls. If your family has kept very strict records, this should be relatively simple and straightforward.

You might also contact the tribe to which you think an ancestor belonged to get their records. Most legitimate Native American tribes maintain fairly comprehensive tribal records of their membership back to the late 1800s/early 1900s, including what is called the tribe's "base roll." That document contains a list of the tribe's original members as designated in a tribal constitution or other enrollment documents.

With respect to the Mission Tribes of California, many such tribes were relocated from missions to pueblos in the early 1800s when California was still a Spanish territory. If you cannot find an ancestor in the base roll of the tribe, you may have to continue tracing birth certificates and other public records to ancestors who were alive in the early 1800s. The Spanish took censuses of the mission tribal members up through the time the mission system was ended. In addition, most of the Mission Tribes members received Roman Catholic sacraments and the Roman Catholic Church maintains records of individuals who receive sacraments (e.g. baptismal certificates, marriage certificates, etc.). It helps that you know the particular mission, as that will narrow your focus to a few thousand individuals.

In addition, the Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains a website that can assist you in tracing your American Indian ancestry

James L. Arrasmith
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A: To prove your lineage:

Gather relevant documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, and census records.

Research the San Diego San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians' specific requirements for lineage verification.

Consult with their genealogist or enrollment specialists for guidance.

Ensure all information provided is accurate and complete.

Consider seeking professional assistance from a genealogist or attorney if needed.

Remember to contact the tribe directly for the most accurate information on their lineage verification process.

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