Chiricahua Apache Tribe

Chiricahua Indians, Chiricahua Apache Indians (Apache: `great mountain’). An important division of the Apache Indians, so called from their former mountain home in southeast Arizona. Their own name is Aiaha. The Chiricahua were the most warlike of the Arizona Indians, their raids extending into New Mexico, south Arizona, and north Sonora, among their most noted leaders being Cochise, Victorio, Loco, Chato, Nahche, Bonito and Geronimo. Physically they do not differ materially from the other Apache. The men are well built, muscular, with well-developed chests, sound and regular teeth, and abundant hair. The women are even more vigorous and strongly built, with broad shoulders and hips and a tendency to corpulency in old age. They habitually wear a pleasant open expression of countenance, exhibiting uniform good nature, save when in anger their face takes on a savage cast.

Chiricahua Apache Culture

White thought their manner of life, general physique, and mental disposition seemed conducive to long life. Their characteristic long-legged moccasins of deerskin have a stout sole turning up at the toes, and the legs of the moccasins, long enough to reach the thigh, are folded back below the knee, forming a pocket in which are carried paints and a knife. The women wore short skirts of buckskin, and the men used to display surplus skins folded about the waist. Their arrows were made of reed tipped with obsidian or iron, the shaft winged with three strips of feathers. They used in battle a long spear and a slung-shot made by inserting a stone into the green hide of a cow’s tail, leaving a portion of the hair attached. They possessed no knowledge of weaving blankets. White 1 supposed that they had immigrated into Arizona from New Mexico three or four generations back. Their camps were located on the highlands in winter that they might catch the warm rays of the sun, and in summer near the water among stunted trees that sheltered them from its scorching glare. Their bands or clans were named from the nature of the ground about their chosen territory. Both men and women were fond of wearing necklaces and ear pendants of beads. The hair was worn long and flowing, with a turban, to which was attached a flap hanging down behind; they plucked out the hairs of the beard with tweezers of tin, and wore suspended from their necks a small round mirror which they used in painting their faces with stripes of brilliant colors. Strings of pieces of shell were highly prized. Their customary dwelling was a rude brush hut, circular or oval, with the earth scooped out to enlarge its capacity.

In winter they huddled together for warmth and, if the hut was large, built a fire in the center. When they changed camp they burned their huts, which were always built close together. They subsisted on berries, nuts, and the fruit of various trees, mesquite beans, and acorns, of which they were particularly fond, and they ground the seeds of different grasses on a large flat stone and made a paste with water, drying it afterward in the sun. They relished the fruit of cacti and of the yucca, and made mescal from the root of the agave. Fish they would not eat, nor pork, but an unborn calf and the entrails of animals they regarded as delicacies, and horse and mule flesh was considered the best meat. Though selfish in most things, they were hospitable with food, which was free to anyone who was hungry. They were scrupulous in keeping accounts and paying debts like many other Indians they would never speak their own names nor on any account speak of a dead member of the tribe.

They tilled the ground a little with wooden implements, obtaining corn and melon seeds from the Mexicans. In their clans all were equal. Bands, according to White, were formed of clans, and chiefs were chosen for their ability and courage, although there is evidence that chiefship was sometimes hereditary, as in the case of Cochise, son and successor of Nahche. Chiefs and old men were usually deferred to in council.

They used the brain of the deer in dressing buckskin. It is said that they charged their arrows with a quick deadly poison, obtained by irritating a rattlesnake with a forked stick, causing it to bite into a deer’s liver, which, when saturated with the venom, was allowed to putrefy. They stalked the deer and the antelope by covering their heads with the skull of the animal and imitating with their crouching body the movements of one grazing; and it was their custom to approach an enemy’s camp at night in a similar manner, covering their heads with brush.

They signaled war or peace by a great blaze or smoke made by burning cedar boughs or the inflammable spines on the giant cactus. Of their social organization very little is definitely known, and the statements of the two chief authorities are widely at variance. According to White, the children belong to the gens of the father, while Bourke asserts that the true clan system prevails. They married usually outside of the gens, according to White, and never relatives nearer than a second cousin. A young warrior seeking a wife world first bargain with her parents and then take a horse to her dwelling. If she viewed his suit with favor she would feed and water the animal, and, seeing that, he would come and fetch his bride, and after going on a hunt for the honeymoon they would return to his people. When he took two horses to the camp of the bride and killed one of them it signified that her parents had given her over to him without regard to her consent. Youth was the quality most desired in a bride. After she became a mother the husband might take a second wife, and some had as many as five, two or more of them often being sisters. Married women were usually faithful and terribly jealous, so that single girls did not care to incur their rage. A woman in confinement went off to a but by herself, attended by her women relatives. Children received their earliest names from something particularly noticeable at the time of their birth.

As among the Navaho, a man never spoke to his mother-in-law, and treated his wife’s father with distant respect; and his brothers were never familiar with his wife nor lie with her sisters and brothers. Faithless wives were punished by whipping and cutting off a portion of the nose, after which they were cast off. Little girls were often purchased or adopted by men who kept them until they were old enough for them to marry. Often girls were married when only 10 or 11 years of age. Children of both sexes had perfect freedom, were not required to obey, and never were punished. The men engaged in pastimes every day, and boys in mock combats, hurling stones at each other with slings. Young wives and maidens did only light work, the heavy tasks being performed by the older women. People met and parted without any form of salute. Kissing was unknown.

Except mineral vermilion, the colors with which they painted their faces and dyed grasses for baskets were of vegetal origin-yellow from beech and willow hark, red from the cactus. They would not kill the golden eagle, but would pluck its feathers, which they prized, and for the hawk and the bear they had a superstitious regard in a lesser degree. They made tizwm, an intoxicating drink, from corn, burying it until it sprouted, grinding it, and then allowing the mash diluted with water to ferment.

The women carried heavy burdens on their backs, held by a strap passed over the forehead. Their basket work was impervious to water and ornamented with designs similar to those of the Pima, except that human figures frequently entered into the decorative motive. Baskets 2l ft. in length and 18 in. wide at the month were used in collecting food, which was frequently brought from a great distance.

When one of the tribe died, men carried the corpse, wrapped in the blankets of the deceased, with other trifling personal effects, to an obscure place in low ground and there buried it at once, piling stones over the grave to protect it from coyotes or other prowling beasts. No women were allowed to follow, and no Apache ever revisited the spot. Female relatives kept up their lamentations for a month, uttering low wails at sunset. The hut in which a person died was always burned and often the camp was removed. Widows used to cut off their hair and paint their faces black for a year, during which time the mourner lived in the family of the husband’s brother, whose wife she became at the expiry of the mourning.

They had a number of dances, notably the “devil dance,” with clowns, masks, headdresses, etc., in which the participants jumped over fire, and a spirited war dance, with weapons and shooting in time to a song.

When anybody fell sick several fires were built in the camp, and while the rest lay around on the ground with solemn visages, the young men, their faces covered with paint, seized firebrands and ran around and through the fires and about the lodge of the sick person, whooping continually and flourishing the brands to drive away the evil spirit. They had a custom, when a girl arrived at puberty, of having the other young girls lightly tread on her back as she lay face downward, the ceremony being followed by a dance.

Chiricahua Apache History

In 1872 the Chiricahua were visited by a special commissioner, who concluded an agreement with Cochise, their chief, to cease hostilities and to use his influence with the other Apache to this end. By the autumn of this year more than 1,000 of the tribe were settled on the newly established Chiricahua Reservation, southeast Arizona. Cochise died in 1874, and was succeeded as chief by his son Taza, who remained friendly to the Government; but the killing of some settlers who had sold whiskey to the Indians caused an inter-tribal broil, which, in connection with the proximity of the Chiricahua to the international boundary, resulted in the abolishment of the reservation against their will. Camp Apache agency was established in 1872, and in the year following 1,675 Indians were placed there under; but in 1875 this agency was discontinued and the Indians, much to their discontent, were transferred to San Carlos, where their enemies, the Yavapai, had also been removed.

Consult: For further information regarding the dealings of the Chiricahua with the Government, see Apache Tribe.

The members of Geronimo’s hand, which was captured in 1886 and sent by the War Department in turn to Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma, are now (1905) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where they number 298. The remaining Chiricahua are included among the Apache under Ft Apache and San Carlos agencies, Arizona. The Pinaleño are that part of the Chiricahua formerly residing in the Pinal Mountains.Citations:

  1. White, MS., B. A. E.[]

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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117 thoughts on “Chiricahua Apache Tribe”

  1. Hi.

    My name is Emilio and I have done the DNA Test and learned that the information my family had was accurate about us coming from the Chiricahua nation. How common was it for families to gather there things and make the decision to leave lands to get away from the US?

    I’m told sometime between the surrender and when they started moving the Chiricahua around, my GG or GGG Grandparents ran to California to get away.

    1. Ndeen;
      Ok to answer in short… DO NOT Believe much of the published information regarding the Apache Nation. Much of what is out there is NOT factual. First Yes, our nation hid many of our people in many different ways, you can rightfully say we were the first nation to Use massive Identity thefts. We had to Survive!

      It was common for the parents not to tell their children that they were Apache; especially if they were Chiricahua. Both the US and Mexican Soldiers were hunting the Apache people because we refused to be assimilated. Bothof those nations recognized us as a Sovereign nation and offered us Peace treaties. many of these treaties they pulled back on and or failed to uphold.

      There are currently 9 Apache tribes and yes, Chiricahua is one of these tribes and each tribe has bands and sub-bands.

      If your family state that they headed to California to escape persecution; then ten to one, they headed home. There is a Major branch of Chiricahua whom lived and still live in So. Cal. and yes I have the Physical proof of this.

      My heritage comes from my father’s side of the family, and he was a full blood. however, his blood is a mix of 3 main lines of Apache blood. Our family history extends back into and before the 1500s and that is a story for another time.

      Most often the Chiricahua never made it to the concentration camps such as Fort Sumner, Fort Defiance, etc… most when found out that they were Chiricahua they were killed in route. We quickly learned that it was better not to say we were if we wanted to live. Take for example a Lipan Apache name Perfio Gonzalez, it’s not his real name but he took the given name from a Mexican general and the Surname of his wife in order to live in Texas without the US Calvary knowledge. he was the Son of Chief Guelga de Castro.

      It is very common for a family of Apache’s have heard rumors of them being such and even under handedly being taught our ways without the Children’s knowledge. Certain words, stories even songs. We could not tell our children until we felt they were old enough to keep it quiet. Children have the ability to Say the darndest thing and then suddenly the family was on the run again.

      We did not use the Euro/American borders. We had our own borders. by 1860 the Apache Nation extended from California to Oklahoma and from Colorado to Mexico City. the border Commissioner who passed through our lands (John Carmony, US Border Commissioner) in 1860 Stated that the Apache’s controlled more land and had more people than the US did at that time.

      Our people still extend into those area and now even to a much further extent.

      The years you are looking at started in about 1800 until 1920. more than 100 years of persecution.

      Aho cousin and take care.

  2. My Great Grandfather was full blood
    Chiricahua Indian.I am very interested in getting to know about my ancestors as much as possible.
    Proud ancestor here.

  3. Hello Richard Eagleshield my ancestors are said to be Apache from Fort Sill though family stories. It’s a long story and I have some numbers that I came across and I was wondering if you would help me identify them. Do you have an email address so I can contact you? Thank you.

    1. My Great Grandfather was full blood
      Chiricahua Indian.I am very interested in getting to know about my ancestors as much as possible.
      Proud ancestor here.

    I heard about this tribe my whole life. I have no family. Am I getting closer?!

    La ca

      1. Yes. Yes yes omg hope! Email me SIS? Cousin? Something would be nice to have a “family “ I am down to a few relatives that are spinning images of the tribe please email me ASAP I’m excited

        Look forward to speaking with you!! I’ll send pics or something !

      2. From circa 1820 to 1940 the Chiricahua as well as all Apaches were being hunted down by both the Mexican soldiers and the US Military. Many went into hiding; some among other tribes or spanish settlements, so even hid within the US cities. 90% were never captured. However, those that were, never made it to the US Concentration camps, such as Ft Defiance, Ft San Carlos, Ft Apache, Ft Marion, etc… Apaches whom were captured mostly did unless they were found out that they were Chiricahua and when they were found out they were killed.

  5. Angelique Dawn Steel

    I have been trying to learn my heritage since I found out I was adopted into a white family. I was told my father’s name is Henry Layton McCulley and full blooded Chiricahua Apache.. living in Apache Junction, Az.
    I was also told that my grandmother was a shaman.. living on a rez in El Paso, Texas.
    Unfortunately, that’s all the information I know. Soon I will have my DNA test. I hope this will help in my search.
    I have never felt ‘at home’ and my soul cries out.

    1. Hi Angelique,
      My name is Ray Nava and I live in San Diego, CA. I to am Chiricahua from my mother’s side of the family. The family has paperwork that shows our tribal affiliation with the Chiricahua Apache Band along with what we believe to be enrollment numbers. However, the family does not know who to contact to discuss this with. That is where we come to a dead end. We also have paperwork that shows my niece being enrolled in the Johnson O’ Malley program in San Diego for Native American Indian school program. Our main quest is to find out who we are descendants from and to obtain our CDIB cards and be connected to the tribe.

      1. Hello Ray.
        I do not have any information about my father as I was adopted at the age of 4.
        I only know his name and where he lives. I have one picture from 1970. I’ve tried contacting him but have heard nothing.. so, not sure where to go from here. I’ve researched his name but dead end.

  6. From what i understand , many tribes , dont use DNA testing for tribal rights , must have Dawes Rolls census , tribal school census ,
    many tribes, must show names on rolls / Native American Census , must have at lease 25%

    1. Hi Cathy, Apache is derived from the Pueblo word Apachú… “the enemy” if you look at the word you used for the Chiricahua you will find it’s root is from to word for Sun. As for the word Chiricahua “people of the willows”. The apache tribes are not currently using DNA. Most do require minimum of 25% Blood Quantum but not all. They do require family tree and oral tradition. But remember one point… the apache nation by 1860 covered an area from just north of Mexico City to Colorado, from So Cal to Oklahoma.

      There were 7 main tribes originally but now we have 9 main tribes. Each main tribe has many bands and sub-bands.

      But we also have a history of our people which we do not indulge to the public, including origins as well many oral histories of our home locations.

      Further, one thing to remember is that there are alot of inter/intra marriages amoung Apache tribes and other non-apache tribes.

      1. Hi Eric,
        I am attempting to write the narrative for our application to be recognized by the US government. Our ancestors of the Warm Springs Apaches were not captured but fled to the mountains. Therefore, our direct line can not be traced through the traditional “rolls”. This is where my dilemma begins. I do not know how to find our proof of connection. Our family names seem to be Hispanic in Origin even though they were of 100% Apache blood. Do you have knowledge of where or how I can find the information we need?? Thank you so much for whatever you can offer.
        Kerry Ann Robertson (Candelaria)

      2. Hi, yes Kerry i can help and i am quite knowledgeble of the Warm Springs Apaches history, culture, language and descendants. There is a great knowledhe base of history, from Treaties to songs. You may contact me directly at 760-590-3402

    2. I’m a half blooded Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache. I live on the Mescalero Apache reservation in NM. My mother is one of a few full blooded Warm Springs Chiricahua left here on this reservation. Her mother was Evelyn Martine, Evelyn was the last Chiricahua US prisoner of war born in 1912 in Ft Sill Oklahoma. Her mother was Lillian Mangas, Lillian was the grand daughter of Victorio and Mangas Coloradas. Lillian married Chiricahua Apache scout Charles Martines’ son George Martine. My mom’s dad was the grandson of Chiricahua Apache scout Paul Guydelkon. Grandpa George used to speak to us youngsters about being a POW with Geronimo and Naiche. Many stories of hardship when they were in Florida and Alabama. My name is Norwegian, my father was a Menominee, Badriver Ojibwa, with Norwegian blood and name, from around Green Bay WI.

      1. Hello. You live on the Mescalero Reservation? I am taking a trip to NM soon, and I was looking for somebody who could tell me about historic Apache locations that I may visit. I am a white man interested in Apache history. Would it be possible for you to email me?

      2. Christopher McLaughlin

        I was born in new Mexico. I have a family story my grandfather told of his grandmother wearing clothing that by description sounds very Chiricahua Apache. There is also a family story on my grandmothers side that my ancestors married off a daughter to the chiricahua in new Mexico to prevent the Chiricahua from raiding them. I have always wanted to know this woman’s name and story. Maybe if there’s enough there to go on use that to find out my connections to the tribe if any.

      3. Eric Brian Ojeda

        Hey Chris, look into the marriage of Geronimo Castillo…. son of Cristina Castillo… daughter of Ramon Castillo who use to run with…

  7. Hello I am showing 59 % Native the location my grandparents came from was all Apache land on both Mx & US. My mother’s father was taken in as a baby no birth record found, my mother shows 65%. My father died when I was 3, but his sister insists we are Apache also. I did my DNA how do I find my tribe I am a lost one

    1. Michele, without much to go on it will be hard to determine which tribe you belong to.

      But start building your family tree
      Then next start looking via dna matches and find how the match on your tree.

      Although you haven’t the records other lost members of your family may still have records.

    2. Hi Michele,
      Your best bet to learn more about where and possibly who you descended from is to talk to the elders in your family. Hopefully they can answer most of your questions. Gather names, birth places, marriages, and even death information to start. Start creating a family tree and enter the info provided by the elders. Then you can get a visual on where to look or ask more details on family members. Next, you can lookup the info from a Mormon church of Latter Day Saints as they kept records and even be able to print out census records that shows the names, locations based on the year of the census. Compare it to the info from the elders for accuracy to be sure you have the correct information. You can also join to.
      I’ve been doing genealogy for roughly 14 years.
      Good luck in your search. I hope I helped you.

  8. Rosemary O'Dell

    E Ojeda,
    Do not fret about this test.

    We have found the ancestry site to be very valuablein research but their DNA test is defunct.

    I know most of our ancestry & nearly all of my husband’s. My daughters are Chickasaw, Apache, Senaca (Iroquois), & Cherokee; mostly Chickasaw & Senaca. Ancestry DNA tests show mostly German & English & no Native American. English nobility is in our tree but so are other things.

    Unless you have around $500.00 & up to explore your DNA then don’t bother. Just prove your ancestry with documentation. It is the only way to prove it legally anyway.

    Happy hunting!

    Rosemary O’Dell

    1. I know my Heritage and I have my DNA and I know quite a bit about the Chiricuaha. I don’t fret on it.. but thanks.

      My Father was 100% Nednehi Mimbreno Chiricahua Apache as was his parents before him.

      I have much of my Documentation and I am always looking for more.

    2. Hi Rosemary, oh i don’t fret because i do know my origins and i have my family history… with documentation.

      Grandma was Nednehi, Grandpa was a mutt, Chiricahua, Lipan, Tonto/Yavapai, and Mission (only one branch had mission)

  9. Eric Brian Ojeda

    Ya’té Fidel you may contact me at

    I have the info you are looking for but I will need to verify your info. this includes any DNA test that you have taken. and if you know your Haplogroup markers.

    I know who Baishan and Black Knife are and who the Luna family is.

  10. Looking in to it, I am familiar with Baishan and some of the stories about him. however, the Luna line has many origins not only are there Luna that are Apache there are many Luna lines among other non Apache tribes of the same area. I did a quick check in the Warm Springs records but it looks like I may need to dig deep to find a connection. Point to remember the US Government took away the Warm Springs Rez in 1883 so the records are as easy to locate as most other Rez’s

  11. My father says hes a descendant of Geronimo
    And looks like him alot
    Im 39 percent native american but not registered
    I want to register but my father died a couple months ago
    How can i register if my father never was
    He was in foster homes since he was a small child

    1. Yvonne Cardona Pena

      Ashley, I am also the descendant of Geronimo i wonder if we are related and if so in what way. he is related to me thru my Grandmother Rita Villanueva

      1. My sister is 49 percent American Indian. Our great grandfather is Refugio Peña. Born and passed away in Rincon, New Mexico. Has anybody heard of him

      2. Hi Yvonne,

        I have been told stories by my grandmother that I too am a descendant of Geronimo. I am trying to do research on that side of my family but it is proving to be difficult. My great grandmother was adopted by a white family and her name was changed. I am hoping the information I am getting from my father next week will prove to have some leads. He said i will have to go to the reservation to dig deeper, which I am excited about. Perhaps we are related somewhere along the line!

      1. Hmmm cardona pena

        And claim of descendant

        Ok I can assist. Cardona is in my gamily trer on Geronimo’s sidr…

    2. Im here and can help.

      Did you do a DNA? If so we can compare to my family. If you are descended i can match you against those i know are also descended

    3. It matters not if he was or wasn’t, The process is still the same. Alot of Research of your family tree and hopefully you find someone on your tree that was Registered. although that is slim to start with. by 1936 only less than 10% of our tribe actually made it to the Concentration camps so many families were never registered.

  12. I am looking for my Boy APACHE warriors family !!! He’s forced American name is Jesus Villa !! Not his Apache name is == I only know it In tribal sign language !!! But it means === ( A bird ( a falcon or something like that ). Is flying in the air and sees a fish swimming in the water .) My grandfather was a Boy with his father uncles cousin’s were surprised but the U.S. Calvary ,Army !!! They were not expecting to be fought by them.!!! My APACHE boy warrior grandfather got shot in the head twice !!! And got left behind !! His Apache warrior were scrabbling to fight and took off fight ing !!! He eventually got tooke n to a New Mexico Mission with a German Friar !! With other Indian children from many tribes !! He said with his long time other Indian fried that the First was kind to them !! His father and fan my send someone to see if he was ok but know one could see this Indian person !!! His father and ran it did not go because the American military knew who they were and were waiting to capture them !!!! Well to hidden person who was sent asked if he was ok ??? And he said he was alright !! I asked my Apache grandfather and his Indian friend from another tribe if they ever seen or heard from their family again both of them said No !!!my grandfather only here from his family thru the person not seen sent only around 2 times !!! My Full blooded Apache grandfather was 78-87 yes old at the time and I was 4 years old !!! I loved him !!! This was in 1961 I am A healthy 61 years old now and am eager to join and find my Apache Warrior great grandfather and his family !!! I Want to join my tribe and learn my language !! And all the traditions !!! I want to be with ===MY PEOPLE !! With who I belong to !!!! So will you please ask around and see if anyone knows my great grand father’s ??? I was in face book for the first couple of times !! I really do not know how to use it !! But one night late some body said they were going to ask around and help find my great grandfather !!! They were in messager I did not know how to use it but it came in when I pushed twice and this man said he was trying to get a hold of me and said he found my great grandfather !!! He said he was a great warrior a Chief !! And that he had a like crooked leg or side of his body !!! He said he used to report to Geronimo before he went out in battles and that he was a great warrior !! And he died and was buried ??? There but I do not know we’re the r was !! My great Grandfather Chiefs name Started with a=====( P )=== it was late and I saved the name to my history and asked one of my many daughter’s if she could show me how to respond and she erased the names everything she said she did want me to leave and go away !!! She’s 27 Yrs old and I told her I will come back and visit but I have not been able to retrieve my grandfather’s name and reservations into since then !! Will you please help me ??? I try almost every day to find out where he is buried !! I think it’s were Geronimo is buried but I’m not sure !!! I have done my DNA And the am 57% Ch Chihuahua. American Indian thank you please reply or call me at 2096316859 Thank you it would be Easter to call me because I do not know how to use my tablet that well PS all my older realities have pass away !! And I did not know they had reservations for the Apache Indian s till I did my DNA !!! Thank you

    1. Eric Brian Ojeda

      Josephine please contact me directly I will try to assist but can’t guarantee any success based on your info so far.

  13. I need some help with the registration process please. I callied the white mountain apache registration office and no answer. I left messages and no call backs. I haven’t done the DNA test yet. My father is chiricahua apache. Can someone please point me in the right direction?

    1. White Mountain doesn’t handle the Chiricahua. there are only a few Rez’s that do. Depending on your ancestral lineage and your family tree would determine which Rez to start from. However, you should really try first the Mescalero Rez in NM. the second Rez would be Ft. Sill, OK. But I will be Frank about it. You will need to do a lot of Homework before you can get registered. you will need you Pedigree Chart, CIB and hopefully a direct relative on the Enrollment that you descend from.and that relative must have been registered with that tribe prior to 1934.

  14. All I know is wat I been researching on ancestry my great granfather name was Juan Carrillo and his wife socorita Carrillo and my grandma’s neme was adelina Carrillo they lived in bernadillo New Mexico and my dad had told me that we we’re Apaches but nothing else

      1. What does that mean I did the ancestry DNA and it says am 54%native and it was southern New Mexico

      2. Hi Eric is me adelina again we’re can I do a better DNA test I live in Washington state near the tulup tribe in Snohomish county

      3. Hi Adelina,

        Your up living in Familiar Territory (:

        Both and are good tests and will mail you the kits… They do charge; I think has a father’s day sale for 69$US

        But FamilyTree is offering deeper test currently and also have a Father’s day sale going on.

        after you get a test results done you can then download your results and then upload to (it’s Free) and compare to all the other test companies as well.

        each DNA company compares to their own database so the larger database the better the results. Hense why I need to do a deeper on from cause well their DNA Database isn’t that great when it comes to Native American DNA.

      4. Each person will have a few personal % points different from even their own family. so when I see 54% I know you are Half. some people come up 47% to 55% yet they have on half. this is due to Dominate genetic markers as far as I can explain. but it is ok.

        I would check to see if the mtDNA of the YDNA Haplogroup markers are that led the company to say where it is from.

  15. I also just found out that my grandma was Chiricahua Apaches. She was from Chihuahua Mexico. I am just starting to look for her and to get more information on my people. I feel we have lost so much by not knowing about this sooner. Good luck to all others who are searching for their Apache roots.

    1. When looking for your relatives in Mexico I have found I have to trace both up-line as I find them and then down line to verify, For instance, my great grandfather baptized only one of his children and in the baptism he listed his son’s name the parents and grandparents of his son and then the godparents, however the grand parents genealogy showed no affiliation to my grandfather or my great grandfather. This is common during the late 1800s for the Chiricahua were on the run from both the US and the Mexican army. Most Chiricahua hid all the way into the 1980s and some are still in hiding. Mexico did not keep records of the Apaches. so if they were in Mexico prior to 1936 or even before the census of 1880, 9100, 1920, and 1930, 1940 they wont show up if they were in the census your first clue is that they will be listed as White.

      1. Adelita Mendoza Cupples

        Hello my name is Adelita Mendoza. I have just learned that both of my Grandmother’s were Chiricahua Apache and I’d like to dig as deep as I can into my Family History. If you can help me by pointing out where to begin this endeavor. Sincerely Adelita Mendoza Cupples .

    2. My thought is if we can get the Chiricahua people from both Fort Sill, OK and Mescalero Rez to do a DNA test and post it on we can all compare our DNA to that to show matches. and that would eliminate many questions as to weather or not a lot of the unregistered Apaches are truly Chiricahua; many are but they need a lot more proof because the Chiricahua have been in hiding for many generations and it is time for all these people to come forward.

      I did my DNA through MyHeritage and then uploaded it to GEDMatch and found several others from other services who have Matches to me with the proper YDNA and mtDNA markers for the na-dene people.

    3. Ok Eric I been trying to get back in to ancestry but it’s not letting me all keep on trying thank you for all your help

      1. Adelina, just an FYI ummm there are a few Urbano in my family tree but not too direct and if you would like some assistance email me and I will see what I can help with.

    4. Rose if in fact you are Chiricahua, the territory you are saying they are from is Bronco Apache and Nednehi Apache territory as well as a few small non-Apache tribes. your family tree will ultimately determine your origins. if for some reason the word Mogollon shows up in your history that would be a great thing. however I would still look deep into your family tree, there are many Apache family’s that were never registered. There is a good reason for this. Even some that were captured didn’t get registered. The Castro Family from Hot Springs for instance were capture and relocated to Arizona never got on the enrollment list as well as some of the Apaches that joined up with the US Calvary were never put on the enrollment lists as well.

  16. My great grandparents name (English name) is listed on the San Carlos reservation rolld of 1908, Charlie Rud ,I have currently completed and submitted my DNA for testing. I want nothing more than my heritage, my history .I’m not interested in monetary gain. I am just hoping to regain what was lost or taken from my family an identity for my children. Because of records being what they were will dna. help regain my blood right, ? On the level of potentially finding other members and enrollment some are not accepting DNA, I make my own money I want to restore in part the lost history of that part of my family.My dad died when I was 3 and so much was lost with my mother not knowing much if any of my relatives.

    1. Although DNA will not give you a definite Yes, I can check to see if Charlie Rud is on that enrollment list. I am pretty sure he is but I will verify. However, your documents of Birth and a current family tree would also help. If the Haplo Markers show any of the know groups for Native markers and records of linage then it would be a great start to recover your Heritage.

      you may need to do a YDNA test (Father’s side)

      If you upload your test to I could see if there are the correct markers already on you test.

    2. hmmm ok I think I know who your Great Grandfather is and I know he had at least 2 kids. a Daughter and a Son, however you may want to re-review the individual that you feel is your Great Grandfather. Do you have a Family Tree I can look at and has your DNA come back yet?

      1. I think you miss read the individual’s name it’s not Rud. I looked it up and the transcriber made an error.

  17. Thank you for this great write up. Is there some place to locate relatives of this tribe that were imprisoned? I believe my great great grandmother was one of the imprisoned. I am per ancestory dna test 40% N.A. and really want to learn my roots especially spiritual practices from before. Hattie Tom’s story seems false as explained on many sites, why would she be burred differently and next to her dead child that there are no pictures of? Was she perhaps prisoned under false terms?

    1. There are a few Enrollment lists of Apaches that were imprisoned and you can research these enrollment list via this website (AccessGenealogy)

  18. My father said we have Chiricahua Apache in us. He died in 1990 and was an only child so I have no one to ask for any other information. I did my DNA and next to Native it has a 30. I am not sure what this means. It is not a percentage. Do you have any idea how I might find out more information?

    1. Although I am using for my research I like to use to compare my DNA to other services, the good part about GEDMatch is that it will show any Haplogroups related to your DNA. Some services do not go that deep so like on my DNA I would have to order a deeper test and then again post it. If you upload your test I can see if there were any markers found so far. can’t guarantee that your test will show it but GEDMatch is free and then if it doesn’t show your Haplogroup identifiers then you can order addition deeper test as you choose.

      Then researching your family records would be the next step.

      1. the mtDNA will show your Mother’s side of your heritage the YDNA is for males ONLY. Autosomal DNA has everything in it but is harder to pull the details out of. 30% from either Ancestry or from 23andme will most likely be higher at MyHeritage. Reason: My heritage has the largest DNA database when it comes to Native Americans. The Feds use it the Tribes use it. however MyHeritage will not show you your Haplogroup Markers. I have 3 DNA kits out there and they are available to compare to on
        if anyone wants to compare their DNA to mine on try comparing to my kit #AV3842365

  19. I’m related to the Goodays, my grandfather was late Ashley Guydelkon, full blooded Warm Springs Chiricahua. He was mom’ s dad died in 1939, mom’s mother was also full blooded Warm Springs Chiricahua. She was Evelyn Martine, last Chiricahua POW born in US captivity, died in 2006. She was granddaughter of Chiricahua Scout Martine, and Great granddaughter of Chiricahua Chiefs Victorio and Mangas Coloradas, through her mother Lillian Mangas. MY mother is Ivora L. Fossum, last full blood Chiricahua in the family, here in Mescalero, NM. Ashley had mother that was Irene Gooday.

    1. Hi Ewell,

      some names you mention are similar to surnames I am searching. Having you done DNA tests? if so I would love to exchange GEDmatch numbers?

    2. Hey Ewell

      Good info, I can suggest you call Lori (Vice-Chairperson) at Fort Sill, Ok (Chiricahua REz) I think she has some info for you… (:

      She is related to you if your info is accurate. (:

    3. Hi Ewell, if you are looking for your relatives I do know where they are at. For Privacy of these people I would prefer that you contact me directly.

    4. Ya’te cousin,

      You are definitely my cousin as are the Gooday family. This is DNA Proven. Have you uploaded your “Raw DNA Data” to If so, email me the Kit Number and I will verify your connection.

  20. My husband’s grandfather is apache from what my husband knows his grandfather was full Indian but never registered. He has information about his grandfather. How can my husband register as Chiricahua Apache?

    1. This is a difficult issue, you see one thing most people do not know is that the Tribal enrollments are governed by their Constitutions. and even though a person may have relatives in a tribe or have the Blood line, the enrollment procedure is highly regulated by the outline in their Constitution. and that little legal structure must be met. for example: if you were Nednehi and wanted to enroll in their small band in NM you would literally have to have a Parent already enrolled with that Rez. where as other tribes may have other provision based on how their Constitution is structured. It is not 100% impossible but if the ancestors were not enrolled there are only a few other mean and only a few Rez’s that can enroll you.

  21. Hello Peggy Gooday. My name is Joel. I was wondering if you could help me out in finding out about my great Grandmother. Her name was Ciria G. (thats the only name I have) and she was born in or around October 1870 in Arizona. I was told she was Chiricahua. She was sent to a camp as a little girl until she moved to Michigan were she had my grandfather Cruz Dominguez. She then moved to Austin, TX were she later passed on April 20, 1960. If you could please help. Thanks

    1. There was a small community in Michigan when my father was young which had several Apaches living there until about 1949. One of my uncles died in that area..
      My grandfather and some of his children had a nieghbor named Ciria or Ceceria. However that lady did have a husband and several kids… one pr two had a surname of de la Cruz but dropped the de la

  22. My father is full blooded chiricahua . But doesn’t know how he can prove it. He is old now and has a bad heart. I wish that I could help him before he passes away. He often would tell me a story growing up. About how his brother and he were taken by missionaries. That he remembered the caves. That one day he was with his mother and a man came. Said he had to go with them. He remembers getting a yellowish car and driven away from the desert. Just looking at the caves and desert until he could not see them any longer. He would tell me this story with tears in his eyes. He lived with a family. But says he never felt he belonged. He never learned to read. As a teen he grew very rebellious. He lost contact with the family he lived with. He told me his name: wolfpaw. But was raised as John Joe Montoya. He goes by wolfpaw. I feel for all those who are in the same situation as my father. Children stuck between. Not knowing .

    1. Hi Sunflower,

      Are you DNA tested? I am paternally Montoya line and there were several John Montoyas. If you have DNA tests done I would love to link up with you!

      1. Hello J, Yes I have had my DNA done. I am not sure what to do from here. I have been trying to search. I found my parents marriage license, hoping to get my dads birthday off there but he didn’t write a birth date. just a maybe year 1945. He can’t write very well and can’t read . He has no birth certificate he knows of. But , yes I have been DNA done.

    2. first thing I would do is get the YDNA test done on him while he is still alive. mtDNA is good too if you are looking for answers on his mother side.

      Look for Haplogroup on the YDNA and on the mtDNA there are a set of DNA markers on these line that point toward the na-dene heritage line (Athabascan based heritage)

      1. Hello Eric, thank you for your reply. Yes, my sister and I have been searching for any information concerning my herritage. According to my DNA results i am 49% native. We have searched for information. But have not had any success. There is just no info about my family. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Where do we start.

      2. Helen first start compiling your family tree. get your DNA Haplogroup Markers. although you are a lady, you can’t get your YDNA marker because it is only passed from male heir to male heir. but you can get your mtDNA Haplogroup marker and your autosomal DNA markers. if you have a Male Sibling then yes you can get his YDNA kit for him. note if you have a son he will carry only his father’s YDNA not your father’s.

        download your RAW DNA DATA and upload it to GEDMatch and get your kit number from GEDMatch and we can start comparing your DNA to other KNOWN Natives’ DNA from there we can research your origins

  23. I never knew of this. I am like 7/8 Apache. And I am from the San Carlos Reservation (Bylas). This is new to me.

  24. My grandfather was believed to have been born around 1881 in Benson,Az. He was found in the Chiracahua mountains as a baby by the missionaries and raised by them until he became old enough to go to an American school. As a boy, he worked for the Butterfield stage repairs the wagons and When Wells Fargo took over, he became a driver between Tucson, Az. and Albaquerce,Nm He lived in Bisby,Az. I am trying to find out what tribe he came from.

  25. I, too am interested in learning about my ancestry. My grandfather refused to be on the tribe roll and was counted in the 1940 census as white. 🙁

    1. Being counted as White on the US Census is a good indication when searching Native American. Many Apaches would list themselves as White because the census would not accept Native or Indian. and many refused to be recognized as White…

      Look at Julian Ojeda, Chicago 1940 census… White

      And my DNA is 50% American for that to happen my father had to be full and his Father and mother had to be full and Julian is my grandfather.

  26. How do I find out how much Apache Indian blood I have in me. I know thru that I have 49% Native American blood in me. My grandmother was full blooded Chiricahua Apache. Is there another blood test? She died in 1919 giving birth to my dad. My dad passed away in 2013. We have not been able to learn or locate any other surviving family members

    1. Art,
      Did any of your family members have a roll number if so you must prove that you’re related to them. Also have you ever taken a DNA test it might help.

    2. I am enrolled with the Fort Sill Apache Tribe (Chiricahua). If you could please share your grandmother’s name and possibly her location (was she in POW camp?) I might be able to help you.

      1. Peggy,
        How can I find these POW lists? I am 40% native and struggling to find family born prior to 1900…heck I only know for certain who is my parents and theirs. Im only early 30’s


        Peggy was wondering if you can help. we just did our family genealogy , and family history. We know that we are Chiricahua. We were told that my grandmother’s grandmother and grandfather left before being attached . That they went to Mexico so they would not be killed. They told everyone that they were Mexican because it was not safe to native in Mexico either. Of course we came back to the United States and up to about 12 years ago we thought we were Mexican. We just want to know so that we can know and learn about our culture. I just came back from the Intertribal Food Summit and I was asked what Clan was I. I do not even know what clan I am. if you can put me in contact with someone. I will have to go to my grandmothers to get my great great great grandmothers and grandfathers names.

      3. hi my name is adelina i am also trying to locate inf. on mt great granfather name juan carrillo he lived in soccorro new mexico

      4. Hi Peggy,

        Many Chiricahua descendants are all asking the same questions, We have lived for many generations in hiding from the US and Mexico, and very little were taught to our people except under hush, hush conditions, for instance Chato’s family only knew they were apaches when he got too drunk to hold his tongue. My own family made up stories and kept changing them… My DNA is 50% My grand parents did teach me some and My father and his siblings were mostly clueless butI did manage over the years to get bits and pieces and compiled much of our family’s history. Yes the Urbano are related to me so if they are looking for their history It is within mine as well. The Alvarado family (re: Chato) are cousins as well and are Apache. it is simply amazing as to the total number of unregistered Chiricahua out there today. between the Alvarado Family and the Ojeda Family that number is about 5000 and waiting on the tribes to recognize us.

        My great Grandfather is Pito or Pete and is the cousin to Poncho Aranda as well and that Aranda Family is still out there in hiding. Also the Isquerdo family is cousins and have DNA Match to myself as well

        Feel free to contact me I have more info and I am currently working on our Pedigree Chart.

      5. Hello Peggy, what happens when a person has Apache DNA markers but that person does not know who their real father was in order to find his ancestors? What would you recommend? I do not know which band of Apaches to even start with? My Dna test showed that I am part Apache and part Comanche.

      6. Josephine Mccann

        I am looking for my long lost 1800 Apache warrior Great Grand Father my grandfather an Apache warrior boy , with his father , uncles , cousins. Got token by surprise by the US ,Army ,Calvery , in the 1800s and my Apache boy warrior grandfather got shot in the head a couple of times . WHILE EVERYONE was fighting and etc he got left behind . He didn’t die he eventually got token to A New Mexico Mission that had a german missionary . WHO took care of misplaced Indian children . He SAID that ( my grandfather ) he heard from the family a couple of times . But the military knew his whole family and send some kind of messages . He responded he was ok . But he never heard from his family again after that . So I want to know is there anyone there who can let me talk to them I know my grandfather ‘s name only by tribal sign language . But He said it to me in English ==== A FLYING BIRD SEES A FISH BELOW SWIMMING IN THE WATER .=== WELL HE NAMED THE BIRD BUT I ‘M NOT SURE IF IT WAS A FALCON OR SOME THING SMALL LIKE THAT .
        I TALKED TO MY GRAND FATHER SEVERAL TIMES . IN 1961 he was age 78-88 , I WAS 4 YRS OLD NOW THAT WAS 1961 . HE HAD AN INDIOUS ORPHAN , FRIEND FROM ANOTHER TRIBE .( DRESSED IN FULL BRAIDS AND BUCK SKINS ). Who knew him since then ( they both were older then ) but his friend a greeted that he was speaking the truth . Now how my grandfather father looked . Now that I understand and did then he was dressed Apache with the red material across his forehead and dressed like Geronimo . He had a medicine bag it was real old and an indian necklace with an old feather hanging off the side of it . He said some one gave it to him . Now i asked on line if somebody could help me some body said my GREAT Grandfather was an Apache Chief that fought during the time of Geronimo and got consultation from Geronimo Before he when out to battle . I dont know how to use facebook massager, etc that well and asked my daughter to help me . But she erased my message real fast and i could not get anyone to retrieve it . The person on line told me my Great Grandfather name started with the letter “”” P” “”” so please PLEASE help me ok . with all RESPECT From LITTLE PECKING BIRD .

      7. Eric Brian Ojeda

        Ya’té Shilah

        hey I was going through the records and came across several including your family’s but within one particular record I think it was one of the Tribal records Census one of our ancestors had a maiden name of Arenas. if you or Lori have any clue to this could you please assist me?


    3. Hello art,

      I have a relative who died very close to that time leaving behind 5 small children in Sonora area. If you have done a DNA test I suggest taking your raw dna data and uploading to GEDmatch, and FamilyTreeDNA. Make a small tree with what you do know so that you can be found. You may be surprised to find you’re being looked for. I like Ancestry dna because it is user friendly and you get raw data free

    4. Thereis always a few percentage +/- in each person’s DNA. This is due to Dominant Genetic markers. and that is Why we each test different. This is the easiest way to describe why yours is 49%. There is a scientific process, but as a Layman I really don’t worry about that side very much, however I can tell you is that for it to be 1/2 blooded N.A. Both your grandparents would need to have been Full or both your parents needed to be half or some ratio thereof.

      Check you DNA for the Haplogroup markers A2 on the mtDNA side is Na-Dene origins there are a small handful of certain markers that signifies your heritage. The YDNA markers are inherited from your Father and the mtDNA is from your mother…

      I use GEDMatch (it’s Free) to upload mine to see the markers and found I will need to order a deeper test because MyHeritage did test that deep, some of my cousins did theres and the Haplogroups did show up on theirs.

      1. For all of you looking for information on your Chiricahua lineage, I do have a plethora of information and can check many of our records.

        There is much to know about the genealogy of our ancestors and much to be learned as to who what and especially why.

        Like my grandmother’s Grandfather died in prison for being an old running mate of Geronimo

        And yes I have the records of it

        But mostly many people fail to find their ancestors mainly because most of them were in hiding and many still to this day are still in hiding.

      2. A, B, C, D are mtDNA Haplogroup markers that can be traced to the Na-Dene or those tribes that speak the Athabaskan based Languages. Common Y-DNA Haplogroups are Q-M3 and Q-M242 and many others

      3. My Name is Fidel Luna they have told me that my GGG Grandfather was Baishan or also known as Cuchillo Negro Chieftain of Tchihende Warm Springs band of Apache he was born 1796-1857, does anyone have anything on his Sons please i just want to have proof of my Heritage i have this much Cuchillo Negro had a son named Don Juan Luna who had a son named Mateo Luna who had a son named Fidel Luna who had my Father Ramon Luna who had me Fidel Luna…I am waiting my DNA results from Ancestry. com weird thing is i did received Indian tutoring in Elementary and Junior High school, but cant remember how i was enrolled as it was a long time ago im in my 40s.

        Any help would be much appreciated…

    5. Hi Art, The problem is not you, the DNA test don’t really confirm how much Apache blood you have. there is a Cochoian marker but the Na-dene Autosomal marker can also be from a blend of other tribes based under that grouping. Your best method will be your family tree and other DNA matched Relatives. if you have taken DNA test find your Haplogroup markers and start working on your tree you will need this done regardless.

      1. Richatd Eagleshield

        Greetings Ewell Fossum,
        I am Richard Eagleshield, an enrolled member of the Fort Sill Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache Tribe. My paternal Grandmother, Ethylene Haozous, was also born in 1912 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma as a POW before the tribe was released in 1913. My GGG Grandfather was Chief Mangas Colorados. Grandma was an original allotee, among those roughly 30% who stayed in Oklahoma upon being released from prisoner of war status in 1913. Your Grandmother was undoubtedly one of the 70% of Chiricahua who went to the Mescalaro Rez at the same time. I know we must be related, since I’m related in some way to most of my tribal brothers and sisters.I’ve never been DNA tested, but if there is any way I could be of assistance to you , or anyone else who might be looking for answers, please don’t hesitate to contact me . I am also interested in learning about my blood relatives whom I never knew existed. I have two daughters who are also enrolled members, and two grandkids, Blossom and Mangas. I feel that any information I recieve about my tribal history or relatives not previously known, will be of great value to my children, and my children’s children.
        I look forward to learning, as well as helping, as much as possible.
        Thank you all!

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