Tamara StJohn Presents Genealogy
for Dakota People

Sisseton, South Dakota

When I begin to research a family I start with a prayer and smudging....

When we explore our history we are looking at places and names and things that occurred that maybe haven't been spoken in many years. I keep in mind my grandfather's words that, "You can read all you want, research everything... but you will never really know all the things that led up to the decisions that they made... those things were based on survival... and you can not judge them"

We have a hard and complicated difficult history and although some may feel that there are ancestors that were "hostile and responsible" or "traitors to their own"....it is not our place to judge them or their decisions. So as I look back I do that with a good heart and mind and remain respectful and appreciative.

The goal is not the family tree but the story.
A wonderful way to honor elders in your family and community

Genealogy is great way to navigate into our Dakota History even the traumatic or complicated history in a way puts it into personal perspective.

Probate from the BIA will often reveal a great of information but you will have to fill out a FOIA request...sometimes takes awhile to get
some are available at NARA National archives and records

Minnesota Historical Society has a great collection for Dakota Family History

Some Church Records exist for some Dakota families, some baptismals by location and era...

Placing ancestors into 1862 History....can be really hard to do.... earlier rolls are
1860 Mdewakanton Wahpekute Roll and the 1857 Sisseton/Wahpeton Annuity Rolls only list head of house...

1855-1856 Mixed Blood Rolls for Half Breed Land Script
there are affidavits signed by the head house even verigy the bloodline and blood quantum of children

Genealogy forces you to learn your history, culture, and language!!

Question: Where were your ancestors in 1862?
Genealogy can very powerful and healing. It gives you understanding, shows your relatives and revitalizes your kinship ties and your connection to places such as the homelands of reservations or aboriginal territory

Question: Who are your grandparents? What are their Dakota Names?
Native People always ask each other those type of questions.... Where are you from? What nation? What Tribe? Who are your relatives?....
The adoptees or "lost birds" search and then greatly appreciate the history and knowledge
To posts from members of the group with their Dakota Family names

Genealogy Resources
Ancestry.com - paid resource
awesome thing they did was add the indian census rolls, searchable data base....

Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library offering...
may have what you are looking for. I know that there are a few rolls that are titled Dawes Rolls but for Dakota there are rolls that were done or ordered to be done for the purpose of the Dawes Act in 1887... those are available online but under each tribe

Minnesota Historical Society
Dakota Family History Research Guide

Another good place for finding Dakota names is the 1900 Federal Census and that has a special Indian Census that asks
"any other name if any" and it also asks what tribe.
All Federal Census as well as any roll are only as accurate as the person being asked. Dates and spelling are often incorrect but you choose what information you are going to work with in looking at the federal I look for the section BIRTHPLACE AND BIRTHPLACE OF FATHER; MOTHER

Newspapers and obituaries

Free at your local library of historical society

Family history Centers thru the Latter Day Saints


Free Family Tree Template

Thank you Tamara - Gloria

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