Always heard that you have Native American ancestry and think you want to join the tribe? Learn the difference between researching for ancestry and actually being eligible for Tribal membership. Federally recognized Native American Tribes have guidelines to enroll new members.
Find out who can and cannot be a Tribal Member and why. Melody discusses her Cherokee and Choctaw ancestry, why she is a member of only the Western Cherokee Tribe and how research will be different depending on your goals.
About our Speaker
Melody Porter’s background started in banking and mortgage finance, but as businesses
transformed and began using computer software, she became a business analyst and
project manager. She is a lover of history and family stories. In her spare time, she has
been researching her genealogy for over 30 years. Escaping to Thomasville, Georgia, she
made her getaway and is pursuing genealogy fulltime as a genealogy and history
researcher, lecturer and writer. Melody specializes in Florida, Georgia and Native
American research, but has a soft spot for French and English history. Proud to be a
Native American (both Cherokee and Choctaw), Melody is a voting member of the Western
Cherokee Tribe in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA.
She has attended The Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University
in Birmingham, AL as well as local, state and national genealogy conferences (NGS &
FGS) to stay up on the newest trends. As a DAR member, she is constantly improving her
research skills by helping others join DAR. She has had her DNA tested as well as her
parents DNA and enjoys finding new cousins.
Melody is a former Director of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa where she began
her career in genealogy by attending the first Genealogy Cruise with well-known
genealogists, George Morgan and Drew Smith who now are known as the Genealogy
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Guys. As the past Secretary of the Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS) and former
Records Administrator and Reviewer for the FSGS Pioneer Certification Committee,
Melody has substantial experience with Florida research. Melody was previously the 1st
Vice President for the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE)
and member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) in the Georgia Chapter
and the National Genealogical Society. As Treasurer and Seminar Chair for the
Tallahassee Genealogical Society, Melody coordinated the annual seminar for three years
(2005-2007) including the year that Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak was the speaker.
Conference planning is an area that Melody takes to heart since she was also the Vendor
Chair for the Tallahassee seminar. In 2006 and 2007, as Vendor Chair for the Florida State
Genealogical Society, a record number of vendors were in attendance producing happy
vendors and ecstatic attendees.
Formerly Registrar for 6 years, but now Regent of the Thomasville, Georgia Chapter of the
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Melody is utilizing her skills
in genealogy combined with service to the community. She is also a member of the GA
State DAR Speakers Staff, GA State Volunteer Genealogists and Vice Chair of the GA
State Lineage Research committee.
Melody is available to speak at meetings, reunions, conferences and seminars. All lectures
include a question-and-answer period, visual presentations and handouts, and interactive
participation is encouraged. Passion is the description of Melody’s feeling for everything