It is certainly not only Native American ancestry that is very difficult to find on census prior to 1850. The 1850 census was the first census that listed everyone in the household by name and not just the head of house. So it is very misleading to assume, because you can't find someone on a census prior to 1850 that they were Native American. With the mispelling of surnames on census, the fact that people might have moved from one place to another before 1850, and that the ancestor your are looking for might not have been the head of household on any census prior to 1850 and wouldn't be listed, it is not at all uncommon not to find an ancestor on a census prior to 1850 - no matter what they were, white, black or Native. Many of us spend long research hours finding ancestors because it wasn't until 1850 they might show up on a census by name.
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