My 2nd great-grandmother was Martha NEWTON. She was born in 1858 in Indiana. My grandmother said Martha was "of Cherokee blood," but knew nothing more specific. I know Martha's parents' names were Amos NEWTON and Sarah ENGLE (or EAGLE), but can find no records before then. I was told I should look at Shawnee-Cherokee, but don't know where to start. I have been unable to verify anything on this line in the census records before 1850, so that in itself could be indicative of my ancestry, if I consider this paragraph I found on a Native American web site:
"When searching for your American Indian ancestor in the Federal Census records, it is important to note that neither Native people nor people of mixed blood were on the census until 1850, and even then were often listed as Mulatto, Black, Black Irish or some other race indicator. American Indians were identified as Indian on the 1860 census. Because of the social stigma attached to being American Indian, people who were known to be Indian or of mixed race were considered social outcasts and “not marriage material.” Although land records are a good source of information for general research, American Indians did not own land in the sense that Europeans did until after the days of forced removal."