Mushroombrew, you are so very welcome!* From your description I suspect that was an ornamental vine and not a native.* Since the leaves had fallen, it was probably a tropical vine hardy to zone 9 at the most.* I still find some Campsis radicans aka trumpet vine in my zone 7 garden and they still have their leaves.
I applaud you for wanting to plant native plants.* If you need links on where to find info, seeds, plants or more just lmk.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.