The most effective way to find any American Indian heritage is to begin with the name of the tribe the family may be descended from, before using multiple resources, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as the National Archives to find further information. Additional records can often be found at the Family History Archives at Salt Lake City.

Starting with the history of a related tribe is a good place to start, as this gives an insight into where tribes may have settled, who they had contact with, and other important details that can make locating geneologies easier.

Most tribes were, and are, native to certain states and, as a result, searching by territory can be an effective way of narrowing the search while finding additional research materials.

There are more than 550 recorded tribes in the United States, including smaller bands, that are all registered based on their locale.

Reservations and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are often able to help locate information, records or individuals that can help shed light on any family geneology. The Bureau of Indian Affairsalso has field and regional offices, meaning they are often a good place to start any search.

University libraries may also hold important information, and the Department of Interior, as well as the Department of State, can be useful additional resources.