I have a small book I received at a Seminar on the Cherokee Indians called" Cherokee Connections", by Myra Vanderpool Gormley. Was your ancester Cherokee? According to the book try to find basic information first. What state did your families live at the time of the 1920, 1910, and 1900 federal censuses? If you don't have this information make it high priority project. Are your families all listed as white in these enumerations? If so, then you have your work cut out for you. It is in these census records that you may encounter the first conflicting information about your ancestors. They may not be living where you thought they were, and other discrepancies may appear, plus they may not be enumerated as "Indians" Where did you ancester reside, marry and or /die, and when? Focus on obtaining names of your female ancestors-places and dates.
Problems arose when the Dawes Commission became involved , particularly in instances where the applicant's parents were members of different tribes. The commission determined the degree of blood based on the mother's tribe. Thus the child of a full -blood Choctaw father and a full-blood Cherokee mother was enrolled as one-half Cherokee by blood. In cases of mixed black and Indian parents, the commission enrolled them as a freedman with a zero degree of Indian blood. Many of these freedmen later tried to be moved by blood roll, which would have given them more land.
There was a 1848 Cesus or Mullay Roll-- This is the first census of what would become known as the Eastern Band of Cherokees. It contains 1,517 entries. It was compiled to enroll those individuals and families who were in North Carolina at the time of the ratification of the Treaty of New Echota (23 May 1835) and who did not remove to the west. It is arranged by county and township.
Old Settler's Roll, 1851--This roll includes names (only) of all of the Old Settlers (those who emigrated prior to the forced removal in 1838/39 who were still living in 1851 in Cherokee Nation(northeastern Oklahoma). If the mother was an Eastern Cherokee Emigrant, the children appear with her on the Drennen Roll. According to the book names are a big problem in Indian research because in the records you may find your ancestor listed under two different names--one being Cherokee, and one being an English one. I hope some of this helps. My gr grandmother, Mary Catherine Miller Banister died in Jan 1910. If she was ever on the rolls she was probably dropped after her death. According to a cousin her sister qualified for land, but did not receive it. She married a white man, and lived outside the territory . I am quite interested in the Mooney family because my grandfather took the Mooney name as a young man. I don't know the maiden name of Mary Catherine's mother, Mary. It could possibly have been Mooney. Her father John Miller, was born in Ky in 1811, and so was her mother Mary (Ky 1811). If you find out anything about your Mooney family I would love to hear from you. Are you aware that a Dr. Mooney wrote a book about the Outlaw, Bell Starr? There seem to be quite a few Mooney families in Oklahoma.