Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide is designed to provide a framework for researching individual Native Americans at the National Archives at Atlanta. It is organized primarily by tribe. Each section lists available resources in chronological order and includes textual, microfilm, online, and published records and indexes.

A PDF version of this guide is available below.


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Tribal Association

In order to begin researching a Native American or tribally associated individual, you must already know the answer (or approximate answer) to four questions:

1. What was their name?
2. When did they live?
3. Where did they live?
4. What was their tribal association?

The fourth question is important. Because government records are created and organized around each tribe, researchers must know which one the individual is associated with. If you have not already established a specific tribal connection, consider the following five ways an individual could be associated with a Native American tribe.

Types of Association

Formal Association.

Any person who, during their lifetime, appeared on an official record as being a member of a Native American tribal group is considered to be formally associated. For the purpose of this guide, any person who claimed to be part of a tribal group in a governmental process (e.g, the Dawes Commission) but was rejected is considered to have a formal association. This group also includes “Freedmen”—former slaves of a tribe.

Close Association.

People who are specifically identified as being Native American on contemporary records but who are not members of a particular tribal group are considered to be closely associated.

Government Association.

This group primarily includes people who were employed by the U.S, state, or local governments, but were not associated with a tribal group in their own right. It also includes individual whites whose interactions with Native Americans were recorded in government records.

Informal Association.

Any person who lived in close proximity to a tribal group but was never specifically identified as being Native American or a government employee has an informal association.

No Association.

An individual who is rumored to be a Native American but for whom no documentary evidence has been found should not be considered to be associated with a tribal group. Researchers who wish to prove undocumented oral histories, particularly within their family, should carefully document successive ancestral generations rather than beginning with the supposed Native American.

Race

The challenges of researching non-Native individuals who are potentially associated with a tribe are common for whites and blacks. If the person had a formal association with a tribe, including being a former slave of a tribe, there is a high probability that records will be found for that individual. If the person did not have a formal association with a tribe, there is a low probability of finding documentation.

Because of their formal legal status, former slaves and intermarried whites in the five tribes applied for allotments through the Dawes Commission. The applications generally include significant information concerning family relationships and documentation of residence on tribal land.

Tribal Membership

The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 gave tribes the right to determine their own membership. Most tribes have adopted constitutions that specify conditions for enrollment. Even though a person may be of Indian heritage, they are not necessarily entitled to membership in a tribe or to tribal benefits. For specific membership requirements, please contact the tribe in question.

Textual Records

The National Archives Southeast Region manages approximately 200 square feet (more than 400 boxes) of textual records relating to the Eastern Band of Cherokee (North Carolina) and the Seminole in Florida. The bulk of these Bureau of Indian Affairs records relate to North Carolina Cherokees, spanning from 1890 to 1953. The available Seminole records primarily date from 1936 to 1952. These records include a wide variety of administrative material related to the daily operations in the tribal areas.

Specific textual records that are useful for researching individuals are described in this guide with the applicable tribe. Some records are privacy restricted.

Native American Genealogy

For researchers attempting to trace Native American ancestry, start with these steps.

Step One

Identify the family in each U.S. census from 1930 back to 1870. Determine if they were living within the territory of one of the Five Tribes: Cherokee; Chickasaw; Choctaw; Creek; Seminole. Enumerations of the Five Tribes on the 1900 U.S. census are found within Indian Territory. They are found in Oklahoma in 1910, 1920, and 1930.

Step Two

If the family was enumerated within one of the Five Tribes in Indian Territory, search the Dawes Enrollment Cards on Ancestry.com and the Dawes Applications on Footnote.com.

Ancestry.com database: “U.S. Native American Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914”
Footnote.com database: “Dawes Packets”

NOTE: If the family was African American in Oklahoma, search the Dawes records for evidence that they were “Freedmen” (former slaves of a tribe). Freedmen were identified as such by the Dawes Commission.

See the “Dawes Commission” section in this guide for details and microfilm rolls.

Step Three

If the family was NOT enumerated within one of the Five Tribes, search the Indian census rolls on Ancestry.com.

NOTE: The Indian census rolls include all tribes except the Five Tribes in Indian Territory. The family will be listed on one or the other, but not both.

NOTE: The Ancestry.com search includes a list of tribes in a drop-down box. The list is not complete. For better results, search for the state where the tribe was located.

See the “Indian Census Rolls” heading in this guide for details and microfilm rolls.

Step Four

If the family cannot be found as “Indian” on the U.S. census, in the Dawes records, or in the Indian census rolls, continue researching in non-Indian records. The earlier a family can be found in general population records without being identified as Indian, the less likely it is that a tribal connection will be provable.


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Dawes Commission

The Dawes Rolls, also known as the “Final Rolls,” are the lists of individuals who were accepted as eligible for tribal membership in the “Five Civilized Tribes”: Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. Those found eligible for the Final Rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead. This includes African American “Freedmen” who were formerly slaves of the tribes.

Today these five tribes continue to use the Dawes Rolls as the basis for determining tribal membership. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.

More information about the Dawes Rolls

Step 1

Know the name and tribe of the research subject.

Step 2: Search the Index

Search for the individual in the Index to the Final Rolls. The Index is available in numerous places.

1. www.archives.gov/research/arc/native-americans-final-rolls.html
2. Ancestry.com database “U.S. Native American Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914”
3. Ancestry.com database “Dawes Commission Index, 1898-1914”
4. Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen—Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 1907, 1914. T529. 3 rolls.
5. Blankenship, Bob. Cherokee Roots, Vol 2: Western Cherokee Rolls, 2nd ed. (Cherokee, N.C.: Bob Blankenship, 1992). [Staff Library. Also includes Guion Miller Roll number.] You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Record three pieces of information from the Index.
• Tribe and classification (by Blood, Freedman, Minor, etc.)
• “Roll” Number, the tribal enrollment number, also known as the “Dawes” number
• “Card” Number, the tribal enrollment card number, also known as the “Census Card Number”

Step 3: Access the Tribal Enrollment Card

Tribal enrollment cards are available on microfilm and Ancestry.com.

Enrollment Cards of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914. M1186. 93 rolls.

On Ancestry.com, go to the database “U.S. Native American Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914.” Do not search for the name. Scroll down to the list of tribes and classifications, choosing the one that matches the Index entry. Then click the applicable range of card numbers. In the image viewer, use the “Image Number” and Prev/Next buttons to browse to the correct card. The number in the upper right corner is the card number. Verify that the card number and the “Dawes Roll No.” match the index. The tribal enrollment card should include references to an earlier record of the individual, such as a census or payment roll. Note this for future research.

Step 4: Access the Application Packet

Dawes applications are available on microfilm and Footnote.com.

Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914. M1301 A-C.
Only rolls 174-399 (Cherokee) are available on microfilm at the National Archives at Atlanta.
M1301A, Rolls 1-200
M1301B, Rolls 201-400
M1301C, Rolls 401-468

On Footnote.com, go to the database “Dawes Packets” and click “Browse.” Choose the tribe, the classification, the card range, and finally the card number. The name of the person is included in the browse list, providing quick verification. Browsing is preferable to searching for the name.

The applications include interviews and supporting documentation leading to possible enrollment. Interviewers made specific references to previous rolls that named the applicant. Many files include affidavits of vital events (birth, marriage, divorce, and death) or certified copies of the original documents.

Step 5: Individual Not Found

If the individual cannot be found in the Index to the Final Rolls, search the Doubtful and Rejected Applications Index.

Doubtful and Rejected Applications Index. P2089.

If the individual is in this index, use Ancestry.com as in Step 3 to access the enrollment card. The tribe and classification link will include the words “doubtful” or “rejected.”

Additional information concerning the Dawes Rolls is available through the National Archives Dawes Rolls tutorial:

http://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/dawes/intro.html

The Dawes Commission kept indexes to letters it received. The index volumes include the name of the sender, date the letter was written, the file number, and until 1908 a brief summary of the contents.

Index to Letters Received by the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1897-1913. M1314. 23 rolls.


Indian Census Rolls

Census rolls were generally submitted each year by agents or superintendents of Indian reservations beginning in 1884. Search these if the individual was not a member of one of the Five Tribes.

Twelve of the 692 microfilm rolls of these censuses are available at the National Archives at Atlanta. All of the film is accessible through Ancestry.com in the database “U.S. Indian Census Schedules, 1885-1940.”

There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year. It was not always possible to take a census on some reservations. Some rolls were lost over the years. Only persons who maintained a formal affiliation with a tribe under Federal supervision are listed on these census rolls. Some tribes, particularly those in the East, have never been under Federal jurisdiction. Because many persons with some degree of Indian blood did not maintain a tribal connection, their names do not appear on the rolls. For the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians), there is only an 1885 census of the Choctaw Indians.

Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940. M595 A-D. 692 rolls.
M595A, Rolls 1-200
M595B, Rolls 201-400
M595C, Rolls 401-600
M595D, Rolls 601-692

The following microfilm rolls are available at the Atlanta facility.
23: Cherokee, N.C., 1915-1922
24: Cherokee, N.C., 1923-1929
25: Cherokee, N.C., 1930-1932
26: Cherokee, N.C., 1933-1939
41: Choctaw, Miss., 1926-1932
42: Choctaw, Miss., 1933-1939
172: Green Bay Agency, 1885, 1888-89, 1891-94
183: Hoopa Valley Agency, 1885-97, 1899
399: Pueblo, 1891-1892, 1892
400: Pueblo, 1898-1899, 1893-1895
486: Seminole, Fla., 1913-1929
487: Seminole, Fla., 1930-1940

Search Using Ancestry.com

Go to the database “U.S. Indian Census Schedules, 1885-1940” and enter the name of the individual along with any other known information. Although you do not need to know the tribe when using the Ancestry.com search, it is recommended for narrowing results. The Ancestry.com search includes a list of tribes in a drop-down box. The list is not complete. For better results, search for the state where the tribe was located. For example, Seminoles of Florida are not in the list of tribes, but can be found by searching for Florida enumerations.


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Cherokee to 1838

Records Summary

Register of Persons Who Wish Reservations Under Treaty, July 8, 1817
Surveys of Reservations, 1820
Emigration and Muster Rolls (1817-1838)
Census Roll of Cherokees East of the Mississippi, 1835 (Henderson Roll)
Claims for Compensation (1838-1847)

Cherokees began moving west prior to 1817, first to Missouri, then settling on the Arkansas and White rivers in what would become the state of Arkansas. Treaties in 1817 and 1819 created a formal process for continued emigration. They also allowed individuals to obtain a 640-acre reservation in the east. An 1828 treaty established the Cherokee lands in modern-day Oklahoma and eliminated the tribe’s right to land in Arkansas. The Treaty of New Echota in 1835 extinguished the Cherokee’s claim to land east of the Mississippi and required removal to the west.

Records of the Cherokee from 1817 to 1838 all derive from those treaties and can be organized into four groups:
1. reservations for those wishing to remain in the east
2. emigration and muster rolls
3. 1835 census
4. claims for compensation from the U.S. government.

Register of Persons Who Wish Reservations Under Treaty

The reservation roll of 1817 contains the names of approximately 330 individuals who lived east of the Mississippi who did not want to emigrate to Arkansas. They applied for a reservation of 640 acres in a life estate that would revert to the state when the individual died or removed from the reservation. Right to the land could pass to the widow and children of the reservee. Not all applications were approved.

Register of Persons Who Wish Reservations Under Treaty, July 8, 1817. A21. Not indexed.
This register is available on the Access Genealogy website at http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/reservation.php.

Blankenship, Bob. Cherokee Roots, Vol I: Eastern Cherokee Rolls, 2nd ed. (Cherokee, N.C.: Bob Blankenship, 1992). [Staff Library] - You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Surveys of Reservations

Surveys of approved reservations were made by Robert Armstrong.
Surveys of Reservations Under the Eighth Article of the Treaty of 1817 and Second Article of the Treaty of 1819. A22. Not indexed.

Douthat, James L. Robert Armstrong’s Survey Book of Cherokee Lands (Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1993). Reading Room.
These are among the earliest records that document significant numbers of individual Cherokees. You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Emigration and Muster Rolls (1817-1838)

Emigration rolls include the names of individuals who moved to the Arkansas territory, then to Cherokee territory, prior to the Treaty of New Echota in 1835. They include:
1. Emigrants to Arkansas under the treaty of July 8, 1817.
2. List of widows who received one kettle and one blanket, 1818.
3. Emigrants to Arkansas under the treaty of May 6, 1828 (1828-1829).
4. Emigrants to Arkansas under the treaty of May 6, 1828 (1831-1832).
5. Chiefs and warriors who assent to a treaty proposed in 1832 who will settle west of the Mississippi (1833-1834)
6. Muster Roll of Lieutenant Edward Deas, June 1838 (Trail of Tears)
7. Emigrants to Arkansas, Fall 1817 to May 1819

Blankenship, Bob. Cherokee Roots, Vol I: Eastern Cherokee Rolls, 2nd ed. (Cherokee, N.C.: Bob Blankenship, 1992). You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Muster rolls document many, but not all, Cherokees removed during the period of 1834 to 1838, including the Trail of Tears.
1. 1834
2. 1837
3. 1837
4. Lieutenant Deas [1838]
5. 1838
6. Undated

Separate alphabetical indexes to the emigration and muster rolls are filmed at the start of each section.

Cherokee Emigration Rolls, 1817-1838. A23. Indexed.
Muster Roll of Cherokee Indians (Capt. John Page), 1838. A42.

Census Roll of Cherokees East of the Mississippi, 1835 (Henderson Roll)

The 1835 census, generally called the Henderson Roll, was taken in the months leading up to the conclusion of the Treaty of New Echota in December 1835. It lists more than 900 heads of household, with statistical information about each family, including number of people by blood percentage, number of slaves, and farm capacity. The census is organized by state, county, and watercourse, providing the general area where each family lived.

Census Roll of the Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi and Index to the Roll, 1835. T496. Indexed.

Blankenship, Bob. Cherokee Roots, Vol I: Eastern Cherokee Rolls, 2nd ed. (Cherokee, N.C.: Bob Blankenship, 1992). You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Claims for Compensation (1838-1847)

The Treaty of New Echota allowed Cherokees to make claims against the U.S. government for compensation for abandoned lands, spoliation (injury beyond legal recourse), and lost reservations.

These case files are an excellent source for information about people living in the Cherokee territory in the 1820s and 1830s. If research has led to an individual listed on the Henderson Roll of 1835, it is useful to search the claims. Some claims were filed by white men with Cherokee wives.

Even when claims were rejected (the vast majority), an explanation of the situation is generally included. Information in the claims can include residence, descriptions of property, names of relatives, and descriptions of events.

Decisions on Spoliation Claims, 1838. A17. Indexed.

Claim Papers, Fourth Board of Cherokee Commissioners, 1846-1847. A19.

See also

Guion Miller Roll

Cherokee Indian Agency

For records of the Cherokee Indian Agency in Tennessee

Digital Library of Georgia, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu


Cherokee West

Records Summary

Old Settler Roll, 1851. and Drennen Roll, 1852
Cherokee Census, 1880 (includes Dawes enrollment number)
Cherokee Census, 1890
Cherokee Census, 1893
Old Settler Cherokee Census, 1895
Cherokee Census, 1896
Cherokee Freedmen Payment Roll, 1897

Approximately one third of the Cherokee people moved to Indian Territory prior to 1835. Most of those who remained were forced to move west in 1838, in what became known as the Trail of Tears. The earliest rolls of Western Cherokee record the groups separately.

Old Settler Roll, 1851, and Drennen Roll, 1852

The “Old Settler Roll” in 1851 enumerated all Cherokees in Indian Territory that arrived prior to the forced removal in 1838. The Drennen Roll enumerated Cherokees in Indian Territory that arrived as a consequence of the forced removal. Only Guion Miller’s transcriptions of these rolls are available at the National Archives at Atlanta.

Old Settler Roll and Drennen Roll. M685. Roll 12. Available on Footnote.com.

Cherokee Census, 1880

The Cherokee nation began taking decennial censuses in 1870 for the purpose of determining representation in the Cherokee National Council. The 1880 census was authorized by the council on December 1, 1879. It was later used by the Dawes Commission for verification of citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. The census is organized by district and is made up of six schedules: 1) Cherokee citizens, 2) orphans under age 16, 3) denied citizenship claimants, 4) citizenship claimants whose case has not been heard, 5) illegal non-Cherokee residents, and 6) legal non-Cherokee residents.

Information listed on the census varies among the schedules but generally includes each individual’s name, age, sex, nativity, marital status, and occupation. Notations concerning family relationships have been entered in the “Remarks” column. The Dawes enrollment card number is noted in the “Occupation” column. Those deceased prior to enrollment in the land allotment process (Dawes) are noted as “Dead.”

Cherokee Census, 1880. P2072. 4 rolls. Indexed.

In 1877, the Cherokee Nation was given the authority to determine citizenship, leading to the creation of the Commission on Citizenship. The Cherokee Citizenship microfilm is primarily made up of the commission’s docket books. These books include an abstract of each citizenship case, identifying the applicant (name, age, and sex), listing the Cherokee ancestor, and giving a brief description of the case. Most case descriptions do not include anything more than a legal summary, but some contain detailed family histories. Also included are printed lists of accepted and rejected applicants from 1878 to 1899, predating the Dawes Commission.

Cherokee Citizenship, Lists of Claimants and Dockets of the Commission on Citizenship. 7RA25. 5 rolls. Each docket book indexed.

Cherokee Census, 1890

The 1890 Cherokee Census is similar to the 1880 Cherokee Census (above), being organized by district and made up of six schedules. Of six rolls, two are available at the National Archives Southeast Region and include Schedule 1 for the following districts: Going Snake, Illinois, Saline, Sequoyah, and Tahlequah. The census schedules are not indexed.

Cherokee Census, Residents of the Cherokee Nation, 1890. 7RA8. Rolls 3, 4. Not indexed.

Cherokee Census, 1893

The 1893 Cherokee Census was taken to determine payments for the sale of the Cherokee Strip, a disputed territory along the southern boarder in Kansas. The census is organized by district, then by type of enrollment (Citizens by Blood; Freedmen; Creeks, Delawares, and Shawnees; and Adopted Whites). Each list provides an individual’s name, age, and the name of the person who identified them for the census. Roll 2 includes the following districts: Illinois, Saline, Sequoyah, and Tahlequah. Roll 1 is not available.

Cherokee Census, 1893. P2119. Roll 2 of 2. Not indexed.

Old Settler Cherokee Census, 1895

The Treaty of August 6, 1846 provided for the payment of funds established by the 1835 Treaty of New Echota to the Cherokee “Old Settlers” in Indian Territory, along with their legal heirs or representatives. Entries for individuals include their name, age, sex, address, and various identification numbers. Roll 1 contains an index to the census on Roll 2.

Old Settler Cherokee Census Roll, 1895, and Index to Payment Roll, 1896. T985. 2 rolls. Indexed.

Cherokee Census, 1896

Similar to the 1893 census, the 1896 Cherokee census is arranged by district, then by type of enrollment. It is grouped by family and gives the name, age, sex, and degree of blood for each individual. Remarks are included that range from birth locations to current location, e.g., “In Fort Smith jail.” An index is available on a separate roll.

Cherokee Census of 1896. P2084.
Index to the Cherokee Roll of 1896, Not Including Freedmen. P2136.

Cherokee Freedmen Payment Roll, 1897

A U.S. Court of Claims degree, made February 3, 1896, gave former slaves of the Cherokee, or “Freedmen,” rights to allotments within the Cherokee Nation. The 1896 payment roll includes the names of all Freedmen who were eligible to participate in the award. It gives the name, age, sex, and amount due for each individual.

Cherokee Freedmen Payment Roll, 1896. P2116. Not indexed.

See also:
Dawes Commission
Guion Miller Roll
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs

For additional Cherokee research guidance, see: Thomas G. Mooney. Exploring Your Cherokee Ancestry. Tahlequah, Okla.: Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc., 1992. You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.


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Cherokee East

Records Summary
Microfilm
Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls, 1835-1884
Henderson, 1835
Mullay, 1848
Siler, 1851
Chapman, 1852
Congress, 1854
Powell, 1867
Swetland, 1869
Hester, 1884
Baker Roll, 1924
C. L. Davis Copybook, 1910

Textual Records
Annuities and Individual Indian Money Records, 1905-1952
Enumeration and Enrollment Censuses, 1893-1913
Indian Trader Licenses, 1933-1965
Timber Cutting Permits, 1944-1952
Rental Agreements, 1931-1951
Special Officer's Case Reports, 1934-1951

The best-represented group of Native Americans in National Archives Southeast Region records is the Eastern Band of Cherokee—those who remained in the east after the removal period (1817 to 1838). In addition to microfilm copies of 19th Century records, the facility holds textual records of the North Carolina agency dating from the 1890s to the 1950s.

Microfilm

Eight rolls of the Eastern Band of Cherokee have been microfilmed together as “Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls.” These rolls span 50 years from the removal period of the 1830s to 1885 when regular Indian censuses were mandated. The descriptive pamphlet includes detailed information about the history and contents of each roll.

All of these rolls are indexed in Bob Blankenship’s Cherokee Roots Volume 1: Eastern Cherokee Rolls. You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls, 1835-1884

These records are available on microfilm. M1773.

1835 Henderson Roll. The Henderson Roll was taken in the months leading up to the conclusion of the Treaty of New Echota in December 1835. It lists more than 900 heads of household, with statistical information about each family, including number of people by blood percentage, number of slaves, and farm capacity. The census is organized by state, county, and watercourse, providing the general area where each family lived.

1848 Mullay Roll. The Mullay Roll was compiled by John C. Mullay who was instructed to determine “the number and names of individuals and families that remained in North Carolina,” that is, those Cherokees who did not join the removal of the rest of the tribe after 1835. The Mullay Roll is the first Cherokee roll to list the names of all members of Cherokee families.

1851 Siler Roll. The Siler Roll, compiled by David W. Siler, is a list of people enrolled by Mullay still living or their descendants. It is organized by state, county, and family group.

1852 Chapman Roll. The Chapman Roll, prepared by Alfred Chapman, is a list of per capita payments made between December 1851 and January 1852 for Cherokees residing in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and two individuals in Washington, D.C. It is arranged by state, county, and family group.

1854 Congress Roll. The Act of Congress Roll is a supplement to the Siler Roll, including the names of 88 additional individuals.

1867 Powell Roll. The Powell Roll was prepared by Dr. R. J. Powell to “investigate and report upon the condition [with reference to “the recent Rebellion”] of certain Indians of the Cherokee Nation” in North Carolina and to determine names of Indians due per capita annuity payment and accrued interest for the period July 28, 1859, to July 28, 1866, interrupted by the Civil War. Although it provides little information about the enrollees, it does identify individuals who died prior to December 1866, making it a useful necrology.

1869 Swetland Roll. The Swetland Roll was prepared by S. H. Swetland for payments due to living persons who had been enrolled on the Mullay Roll and their descendants. It is arranged first by date, then locality, and thereunder numerically by enrollment number.

1884 Hester Roll. The Hester Roll is a census prepared by Joseph G. Hester. Most of the people on the list resided in Western North Carolina, but individuals from other states were also included. This roll includes cross references to five previous rolls (Hester, Mullay, Siler, Chapman, and Swetland).

Baker Roll, 1924

The “Final Roll,” or base document used as a standard for determining enrollment in the Eastern Band of North Carolina Cherokees, is the Baker Roll. Compiled by Special Agent Fred A. Baker, the roll is arranged alphabetically. It includes references to the 1908 Churchill Roll and the 1884 Hester Roll. A list of applicants is available in the descriptive pamphlet for microfilm publication M2104.
The Baker Roll is available on the Access Genealogy website at http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/baker.php.

C.L. Davis Copybook, 1910

The copybook of Special Agent Charles L. Davis contains outgoing correspondence to individuals seeking enrollment in the Eastern Band of Cherokees through the 1908 Churchill certification process. Almost all of the letters concern denied applications and many include genealogical details. The book includes a personal name index.

Copybook of Special Agent Charles L. Davis: North Carolina Cherokee Indian Records, 1910-1911. A20.

Textual Records, Bureau of Indian Affairs: Record Group 75

Additional information about Record Group 75, including a catalog link showing holdings at all NARA facilities

Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency document the daily lives of the people of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. They are predominantly dated in the early- to mid-20th Century and were heavily used by John R. Finger for his book Cherokee Americans: The Eastern Band of Cherokees in the Twentieth Century (available in the staff library).

Despite the interest of this material to researchers seeking information about an individual, most of the collection is arranged chronologically or by subject matter, making name searches difficult. Please see “Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs” for additional information about the North Carolina Cherokee Agency records.

The series described here are arranged alphabetically.

Annuities and Individual Indian Money Records, 1905-1952

The “Annuities and Individual Indian Money Records, 1905-1952” document per capita payments to members of the Eastern Band under 1906 claims. Filed alphabetically, each folder includes the files for one individual or family name. The records include correspondence, affidavits, receipts, and miscellaneous records relating to payments due.

Annuities and Individual Indian Money Records, 1905-1952, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 279382

Enumeration and Enrollment Censuses, 1893-1913

Enumeration and Enrollment Censuses, 1893-1913, consists of census books enumerating Cherokee Indians residing in communities and counties within the Cherokee Indian Reservation, or Qualla Reservation, in western North Carolina. They fill gaps in the Indian Census Rolls for the North Carolina Cherokee.

Information provided for each household may include name of head of household, number and ages of household members, degree of Indian blood, number of members who could read and use conversational English, number of dwellings built and occupied, and number of church members.

The census books are not available to the public. The staff has access to an index database and digital scans.

Enumeration and Enrollment Censuses, 1893-1913, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 642354.

Indian Trader Licenses, 1933-1965

Licenses were required for people doing business on Cherokee lands. The paperwork includes license applications and related maintenance documents.

Indian Trader Licenses 1933-1965, Subject Numeric Decimal Correspondence Files, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 279370. Boxes 33-34 (B-Y), Boxes 35-43 (A-Y).

Timber Cutting Permits, 1944-1952

Timber cutting permits show the race of the cutter (usually Indian), the status of the timber (usually Tribal), the permit number, the date the permit was issued, and the name and address of the cutter. The location and quantity of the timber to be cut is set forth as well as the price and regulatory provisions, including the time period allowed for the cutting. Occasionally correspondence or statements of cumulative permits issued to same cutter are included. They are arranged alphabetically. Privacy restrictions may apply.

Timber Cutting Permits, 1944-1952, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 279390.

Rental Agreements, 1931-1951

The rental agreements document part of the commercial, economic and agricultural history of the Cherokee Indian Agency, for that land owned by the by the Cherokee Nation and not by individuals. Contracts, agreements, and correspondence on the transfer of land use, share-cropping, and so forth, are included.

Rental Agreements, 1931-1951, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 279386.

Special Officer's Case Reports, 1934-1951

Special Officer’s Case Reports record the defendant and statute involved in violations of the law, along with the witnesses, place of offense and status of land (Tribal or private), the nature of the offense, the date of the offense and the evidence seized, as well as indicating the author of the report (usually Walter C. Martin, Deputy Special Officer, U.S. Indian Service), and the recipients of copies of the report. The date of the report and the case number are included. A synopsis of the investigation and outcome of the case is usually appended on a separate page. Many of the cases concern liquor (manufacture, transportation or sale without a license, or public drunkenness) or assault. They are arranged in rough alphabetical order.

Special Officer’s Case Reports, 1934-1951, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 279393.

See also

Indian Census Rolls
Guion Miller Roll
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs

Additional Information about General Cherokee Research

For additional information concerning general Cherokee research, see: Thomas G. Mooney. Exploring Your Cherokee Ancestry. Tahlequah, Okla.: Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc., 1992. You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Digital Library of Georgia, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu


Cherokee, Guion Miller Roll

The Guion Miller Roll is arguably the most important source for documenting family histories of the Eastern Cherokee. In 1906, the U.S. Court of Claims awarded the Eastern Cherokee more than $1 million to pay claims brought by the tribe. The decree provided that the fund was to be distributed to all Eastern and Western Cherokee Indians who were alive on May 28, 1906, who could establish the fact that at the time of the treaties they were members of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe of Indians or were descendants of such persons, and that they had not been affiliated with any other tribe of Indians. The Court appointed Guion Miller as Special Commissioner to determine who was eligible for funds under the treaties of 1835-1836 and 1845 between the U.S. and the Eastern Cherokee.

Microfilm publication M685 includes Miller’s report describing each applicant’s final status (approved or rejected), transcripts of testimony in disputed cases, and typescript indexes to early rolls (Chapman, Drennen, Hester) used to verify enrollment.

Use the General Index in M685 to locate the application number. Then access the application in M1104. Microfilm M685 is available on Footnote.com and Blankenship’s Cherokee Roots, Volume 2 contains a combined index to the Miller and Dawes rolls.

Blankenship, Bob. Cherokee Roots, Vol 2: Western Cherokee Rolls, 2nd ed. (Cherokee, N.C.: Bob Blankenship, 1992). [Staff Library] - You can search Worldcat.org to locate a copy at a library near you.

Records Relating to Enrollment of Eastern Cherokee by Guion Miller, 1908-1910. M685. 12 rolls. Available at Footnote.com.

Roll 1: General Index to Eastern Cherokee Applications, Volumes 1 and 2.
Roll 2: Report Submitted by Guion Miller, Special Commissioner, May 28, 1909. Vols. 1 and 2; Applications 1-6000.
Roll 3: Vols. 3 and 4; Applications 6001-16000.
Roll 4: Vols. 5-7; Applications 16001-31000.
Roll 5: Vols. 8-10; Applications 31001-45857.
Roll 6: Roll of Eastern Cherokee, May 28, 1909, and Report on Exceptions, with Supplemental Roll, January 5, 1910.
Roll 7: Miscellaneous Testimony Taken Before Special Commissioners, February 1908-March 1909. Vols. 1 and 2.
Roll 8: Vols. 3 and 4.
Roll 9: Vols. 5 and 6.
Roll 10: Vols. 7 and 8.
Roll 11: Vols. 9 and 10.
Roll 12: Indexes and Rolls of Eastern Cherokee Indians, 1850, 1854, and 1884. Miscellaneous Notes and Drafts.

Applications include substantial genealogical information, including names of parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Pay attention to the outside of each application packet (the first filmed item for each applicant). Many family members applied on the same evidence and applications reference each other by number. Some applications include certified copies of vital records, especially for minor children.

Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909. M1104. 348 rolls. See descriptive pamphlet for roll descriptions.
Rolls 1-200 on M1104A
Rolls 201-348 on M1104B


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Chickasaw

Records Summary
Muster Rolls, 1837-1839
Census, 1847
Annuity Rolls, 1848-1927
Chickasaw Reservations, 1834-1856

Muster Rolls, 1837-1839

Chickasaw were removed from Mississippi beginning in 1837 under the terms of the treaty of October 20, 1832. Muster rolls document those who were removed. They include the name of each head of household, along with the number of individuals in the household.

Chickasaw Muster Rolls, 1837-1839. A36. Not indexed.

Census, 1847

A census was taken of the Chickasaw in Indian Territory in the winter of 1847. It lists the name of each head of household, degree of blood, number of individuals in the household, and various household statistics.

Chickasaw Census, 1847. A36. Not indexed.

Annuity Rolls, 1848-1927

Under various treaties, the U.S. government was required to make annual payments to tribes. Although early payments were made to tribal leaders, by the early 1900s payments were required to be made directly to each head of household. The resulting rolls provide all or some of the following information: name, degree of blood, age, sex, relationships to other individuals on the roll, and whether living or deceased. Many of the rolls include family groups, identifying the children by name. None of the rolls are indexed.

Choctaw-Chickasaw Annuity Rolls. R4T75. Roll 35. Not indexed.
Annuity Rolls for Choctaw-Chickasaw, 1906-1907
Annuity (Townsite) Rolls for Choctaw-Chickasaw, 1906-1908
Choctaw and Chickasaw Equalization Rolls, 1912-1924

Chickasaw Reservations, 1834-1856

Under treaties in 1832 and 1834, individual Chickasaw were allowed to obtain patents to land in the ceded territory. The following textual records document those patents and the overall process of carrying out the treaty terms.

Record Group 49
Additional information about Record Group 49, including a catalog link showing holdings at all NARA facilities

Register of Letters Received, Chickasaw Cession of 1832. 1 volume. Indexed.

Abstract of Reservations in the Chickasaw Cession. 1 volume. Not indexed.

Abstract of Locations made by Colonel Benjamin Reynolds, Chickasaw Indian Agent, in Conjunction with Chiefs. 1 volume. Not indexed.

Chickasaw Reservations under 5th Article of the Treaty of 1834 and 6th Article, and Reservations without Numbers. 1 volume. Not indexed.

Chickasaw Reservations. 1 volume. Not indexed.

Letters Sent Relating to the Chickasaw Session of 1832. 4 volumes. Indexed.

Abstracts of Accounts of the Secretary of War, Expenditures in Carrying into Effect the Chickasaw Treaty of October 22. 1 volume.

Adjusted Accounts, Reports 1-140, Chickasaw Treaty of 1832. 1 volume. Indexed.

Index to Chickasaw Reservation Lands in Mississippi in Patent Volumes 269-273, Reservation Volumes 1-5. No Dates. 1 volume.

Abstract of Requisitions under the Chickasaw Treaty of October 1832, Volume A, War Department. 1 volume.

Reservations under the 5th, 6th, and 8th Articles of the Chickasaw Treaty of May 24, 1834. 1 volume. Not indexed.

Papers Relating to Indian Locations under the Chickasaw Treaty of 1834.

See also

Dawes Commission
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs


Choctaw

Records Summary
Armstrong (Removal) Roll, 1831
Reserves, 1831
Muster and Emigration Rolls, 1835-1855
Annuity Rolls, 1910-1927

Armstrong (Removal) Roll, 1831

Choctaws were removed from Mississippi beginning in 1831 under the terms of the treaty of September 27, 1830. The tribe was enumerated by Francis Armstrong, superintendent of the Choctaw removal. For each head of household, the roll include the person’s name, number of people in the household, location of their farm, size of their farm, and general remarks, usually noting the quality of the land. The roll is not indexed or paginated, but an alphabetical list at the end of the roll appears to be an index.

Choctaw Armstrong Roll, 1831. A39. Not indexed.
You can search the Armstrong Roll on the Access Genealogy website at http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/armstrong.php.

Reserves

Under the 1830 treaty, Choctaws could make a choice of staying in Mississippi and becoming U.S. citizens, or moving to Indian Territory. In each case, the head of household was entitled to a reservation of land. The “Alphabetical List of Choctaw Reserves” includes the names of each head of household, the location of his farm, and the treaty article under which the reservation was being made (Article Fourteen for those staying in Mississippi; Article Nineteen for those removing to Indian Territory).

Choctaw Reserves. A38. Alphabetical.

Muster and Emigration Rolls, 1835-1855

Muster rolls of Choctaws removing to the west include the names of each head of household, the number of people in the household, and the date of arrival in Indian Territory. In 1832, a register was made of those who had already emigrated. These records are not indexed and the film quality is very poor.

Choctaw Muster and Emigration Rolls. A40. Not indexed.
Choctaw Emigrants, 1838-1855
Register of Choctaw Indians, 1832 (those who had emigrated west)

Annuity Rolls, 1910-1927

Under various treaties, the U.S. government was required to make annual payments to tribes. Although early payments were made to tribal leaders, by the early 1900s payments were required to be made directly to each head of household. The resulting rolls provide all or some of the following information: name, degree of blood, age, sex, relationships to other individuals on the roll, and whether living or deceased. Many of the rolls include family groups, identifying the children by name. None of the rolls are indexed.

Choctaw Annuity Rolls. R4T75. Not indexed.
Roll 1: 1910
Roll 2: 1911
Roll 3: 1912
Roll 4: 1913-1922
Roll 5: 1917
Roll 6: 1917-1918
Roll 7: 1918
Roll 8: 1918-1919
Roll 9: 1919
Roll 10: 1919
Roll 11: 1919
Roll 27: 1922-1927
Roll 28: 1924-1927
Roll 29: 1925
Roll 30: 1925
Roll 31: 1925
Roll 32: 1925-1926

See also

Dawes Commission
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs


Mississippi Choctaw

Records Summary
• Cooper Roll, 1856
• Annuity Rolls

Cooper Roll, 1856

Many Choctaws remained in Mississippi after the 1831 removal. In 1856, Douglas Cooper, U.S. agent to the Choctaw Nation, compiled a census of Choctaws still living east of the Mississippi River. It is organized geographically and identifies each head of household. A typed index is included. The film is very poor and difficult to read.

Choctaw Census (Cooper Roll). A40.

Annuity Rolls

Under various treaties, the U.S. government was required to make annual payments to tribes. Although early payments were made to tribal leaders, by the early 1900s payments were required to be made directly to each head of household. The resulting rolls provide all or some of the following information: name, degree of blood, age, sex, relationships to other individuals on the roll, and whether living or deceased. Most of the rolls include family groups, identifying the children by name. None of the rolls are indexed.

Mississippi Choctaw Annuity Rolls. R4T75.
Roll 49: 1908-1926
Roll 50: 1919-1922
Roll 51: 1921-1929

See also

Indian Census Rolls
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs


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Creek

Records Summary
Parsons and Abbott Census, 1832
Creek Reservations in Alabama (RG49)
Roll of Creek Orphans (from 1832) and List of Payments, 1870
Loyal Creek Payroll, 1903
Index on Eastern Creek Indian Tribe

Parsons and Abbott Census, 1832

The Creeks ceded their land east of the Mississippi River under the treaty of March 24, 1832. Heads of household were enumerated by Parsons and Abbott in a census that lists the numbers of males, females, and slaves in each household. The census is not indexed and most of the people are listed under their Indian name.

Census of Creek Indians, 1832 (Parsons and Abbott). T275.

Creek Reservations in Alabama - Record Group 49

The treaty of March 24, 1832 allowed individual Creeks to obtain patents to land in the ceded territory. Three volumes include the records of 1,500 applications for land. They are arranged by Creek surname and include a reference to the Parsons and Abbott census number.

Record of Creek Reservations in Alabama, 1834-1869. RG49. 3 volumes.
Additional information about Record Group 49, including a catalog link showing holdings at all NARA facilities

Roll of Creek Orphans (from 1832) and List of Payments (1870)

The Roll of Creek Orphans contains a list of orphans in the tribe at the time of the 1832 treaty along with their heirs on August 6, 1870. A related List of Payments also names the orphans and their heirs. The lists are not indexed and the people are identified using their Indian name.

Roll of Creek Orphans and List of Payments to be made, 1870. A41.

Loyal Creek Payroll, 1903

The Loyal Creek Pay Roll (Annuity Roll) of 1905 includes the name, sex, age, and payment information for Creeks, Freedmen, and Halfbreeds. Each person is identified as a Soldier, Refugee, or Widow. The roll is not indexed.

1905 Loyal Creek Pay Roll. A44.

Index on Eastern Creek Indian Tribe

An index to applications for eligibility for funds awarded the Creek Nation at different times from the 1960s to the 1980s is available in the Reading Room. The original applications are located at the National Archives Southwest region in Fort Worth, Texas.

Index on Eastern Creek Indian Tribe. Four binders.

See also

Dawes Commission
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs


Seminole

Records Summary
• Seminole Indian Agency

The National Archives Southeast Region has limited resources for documenting individual Seminole Indians. Seminole Indian Agency textual records from 1936 to 1952 do include records of individuals, although they are organized by subject and do not include a personal name index. Seminole Indian Agency records are discussed in “Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs” on page 42 under “Florida, Seminole Agency.”

To begin documenting individual Seminoles in Indian Territory, access the Dawes Commission records through Ancestry and Footnote. For individual Seminoles in Florida, search the Indian Census Rolls. The two rolls of Seminole census microfilm are available on-site and can also be accessed through Ancestry.

Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940. M595 A-D. 692 rolls.
M595A, Rolls 1-200
M595B, Rolls 201-400
M595C, Rolls 401-600
M595D, Rolls 601-692

486: Seminole, Fla., 1913-1929
487: Seminole, Fla., 1930-1940

See also

Dawes Commission (if in Indian Territory)
Indian Census Rolls (if in Florida)
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs


Other Tribes

Records Summary

Special Census: Dakota, Washington, California
Chippewa
Delaware
Menominee
Ottawa
Osage
Potawatomi
Sac and Fox

Censuses of all tribes excepting the Five Civilized Tribes were taken from 1885 to the 1940s. See Indian Census Rolls for details.

Special Census of Indians, 1880

A special census of Indians living near military reservations in Washington Territory, Dakota Territory, and California was taken in 1880. This was in conjunction with the larger effort to enumerate “all Indians not taxed” nationwide. Besides standard name, age and relationship questions, the census includes substantial information about each person, such as: degree of blood, whether adopted into the tribe, number of years they have worn white man’s clothing, and the types of firearms owned.

Schedules of a Special Census of Indians, 1880. M1791. 5 rolls.

Chippewa (Michigan)

The Chippewa are one of three main tribes in Michigan and are closely associated with the Ottawa. The 1870 Annuity Roll lists each head of household, the number of people in each household, and the annuity payment amount. It was used by Horace B. Durant to compile his 1908 census of the Ottawa and Chippewa.

Ottawa and Chippewa Tribes, 1870 Annuity Payment Rolls. A50.

Under the terms of treaties in 1855 and 1864, individual Chippewa and Ottawa could select allotments from specified lands. Tract books include a description of each subdivision of land, the name of the allottee, and information about the land patent. They are organized by tract description, not by name. The bulk of patents included are dated 1872 or 1873. The microfilm roll includes an index book, but it is not clear how (or whether) the names are associated with the tract books.

Ottawa and Chippewa Tract Books. A51. Not indexed.

The Durant Roll, compiled by Horace B. Durant, identifies members or descendants of members of the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes of Michigan in 1870 who were living on March 4, 1907. The census is arranged alphabetically by first letter of the last name, then by tribal band (Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac, Traverse, Grand River). The information
included on the census is as follows: 1870 roll number (this number indexes field notes used by Durant), Durant roll number, Indian name, English name, relationship to head of the household, age, sex, tribal band, residence, and remarks.

Durant Roll, 1908. A49.

Delaware

The Delaware tribe moved from Kansas to Indian Territory following the treaty of May 30, 1860. Members of the tribe who made the move where given allotments of land and payments for the value of their property in Kansas. Three records document this process. The “List of Delaware who elect to move to Indian Territory” [Patent Lists] is an indexed list of each allottee’s name and the legal description of their allotment. The “Appraisement” and “Schedule of Payments” include the name, description of property, valuation of property, and record of payment for the lost value. They are not indexed.

Registry of Delaware Indians, Patent Lists, Appraisement, and Schedule of Payments, 1867-1874. A45.

Menominee (Wisconsin)

The Menominee were the only tribe in Wisconsin to avoid removal. They ceded their traditional lands but were ultimately settled on a reservation in northern Wisconsin. Annuity payments were made to the tribe as stipulated in treaties of 1836 and 1848. The payment rolls include the name of each head of household, the number of people in the family, each person’s distributive share, and the payment amount. There are twenty-one payment rolls. None are not index.

Menominee Annuity and Enrollment Payment Rolls, 1849-1873. A46.

Ottawa (Michigan)

See Chippewa.

Osage

See Military (Civil War)

Potawatomi (Michigan)

The Potawatomi are one of three main tribes in Michigan (with the Chippewa and Ottawa). The Wooster Roll of 1907, compiled by Walter M. Wooster, lists all members of the tribe, grouped by family. Each entry provide the person’s name, age, sex, relationship to the head of household, Indian name, meaning of the Indian name, and residence. The roll is not indexed.

Wooster Roll, 1907. A54. Not indexed.

Sac and Fox (Mississippi and Iowa)

Under various treaties, the U.S. government was required to make annual payments to tribes. Although early payments were made to tribal leaders, by the early 1900s payments were required to be made directly to each head of household. The resulting rolls provide all or some of the following information: name, degree of blood, age, sex, relationships to other individuals on the roll, and whether living or deceased. Many of the rolls include family groups, identifying the children by name. None of the rolls are indexed.

Sac and Fox Annuity Rolls. R4T75.
Roll 56: Mississippi, 1866-1884
Roll 57: Mississippi, 1886-1895
Roll 58: Mississippi, 1896-1910
Roll 59: Iowa

See also

Indian Census Rolls
Military
Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs


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Military

Native Americans have formally participated in all U.S. wars beginning with the War of 1812. Documentation regarding the service of such individuals can be found in the records of the units in which they served. Some record groups include records relating specifically to Native Americans who performed military service during the period 1812-1945.

War of 1812

Compiled Military Service Records of Maj Uriah Blue's Detachment of Chickasaw Indians in the War of 1812. M1829.

Civil War

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government. M258. Rolls 77-91. Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Osage, and Seminole. Available on Footnote.

Compiled Service Records Showing Service of Indian Units in the Confederate Army. M861. Roll 74.

Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations. M594 A-B. Rolls 201-225. (Roll 225)
M594A, Rolls 1-200
M594B, Rolls 201-225

Regular Army

Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914. M233. Rolls 70-71. (Not available at the National Archives Southeast Region.)

Access through Ancestry.com database U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914.

Browse the following date ranges for Indian-specific enlistments.
1866-1877 (Indian Scouts)
1878-1914 (Indian Scouts)
1865-1914 (Miscellaneous Indexes, includes Indian enlistments)

World War I

Register of Indians in World War I. P2292. This alphabetical list includes unit information and dates of death.

WWI draft cards for Native Americans can generally be found in the county of residence.

The General Records Correspondence Subject Files (RG 75) contain correspondence and other documents related to the draft registration and military service of North Carolina Cherokees in World War I.

Military Service and Registration, Boxes 17-18, Series 4 (Subject-Numeric Files), General Records Correspondence, Record Group 75, Bureau of Indian Affairs.


Treaties, Trade, and Indian Affairs

Records Summary
• Treaties (1772-1869)
• Continental Congress (1774-1789)
• Secretary of War (1794-1824)
• Office of Indian Trade (1795-1824)
• Indian Affairs (1801-1938) [Office/Bureau of Indian Affairs]

The following records are generally used to document the history of relations between the United States and Native American tribes. In addition, they provide detailed insight into the activities of political leaders, agents, and employees of the U.S. government who interacted with the tribes. Generally, there are no comprehensive indexes to these records, although most are organized in ways that minimize search efforts.

Treaties

You can search for a copy of the publication below at a library near you by using Worldcat: http://www.worldcat.org/.
Kappler, Charles J., comp. and ed. Indian Treaties, 1778-1883 (New York, N.Y.: Interland Publishing, Inc., 1972).

Ratified Indian Treaties, 1722-1869. M668. 16 rolls.

Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified treaties with Various Indian Tribes, 1801-1869. T494. 10 rolls.

Continental Congress

Papers of the Continental Congress dealing with Indians. M247 A-B. 204 rolls.
M247A, Rolls 1-200
M247B, Rolls 201-204

Secretary of War

Prior to the establishment of the Office of Indian Affairs in 1824, Indian affairs were handled directly by the Office of the Secretary of War.

Letters of Tench Coxe, Commissioner of the Revenue, Relating to the Procurement of Military, Naval, and Indian Supplies, 1794-1796. M74.

Letters Sent by the Secretary of War Relating to Indian Affairs, 1800-1824. M15. 6 rolls.
These volumes are indexed by addressee and some times by tribe or subject.

Letters Received by the Office of the Secretary of War Relating to Indian Affairs, 1800-1823. M271. 4 rolls.

Records of the Office of Indian Trade

Between 1795 and 1822 the U.S. Government established and operated a series of trading houses to supply Indians with manufactured goods in exchange for skins and furs. Each trading house was under the immediate charge of an agent appointed specifically to direct commerce with the Indians. The Secretary of War had general supervisory control over the trading houses, but from 1806 to 1822 they were administered by the Superintendent of Indian Trade, who was responsible to the Secretary. The trading houses were often referred to as factories and their agents as factors.

Letterbook of the Creek Trading House, 1795-1816. M4. One volume of handwritten copies of letters sent by the agent of the trading house for the Creek Indians from 1795 to 1816.
Descriptive pamphlet available

Records of the Creek Factory of the Office of Indian Trade of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1795-1821. M1334. 13 rolls.

Records of the Choctaw Trading House, 1803-1824. T500. 6 rolls.

Letters Sent by the Superintendent of Indian Trade, 1807-1823. T58.

Indian Affairs

Records of the Office of Indian Affairs are most useful for researching the history of particular agencies and the government officials that managed them. The resources in this section are organized first by the general records of the Office of Indian Affairs, then by regional offices in alphabetical order by state.

General Records, Office of Indian Affairs

The following records include files, letters (sent and received), registers, and reports of the Office of Indian Affairs. For microfilm publications, detailed information can be found in the descriptive pamphlets.

Special Files of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1807-1904. M574. 85 rolls.
An index to primary subjects is included in the descriptive pamphlet.

Letters Sent by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881. M21. 166 rolls.
Most of the books include an index to addressee.

Register of Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1823-1880. M18. 126 rolls.
Most of the registers are organized alphabetically by the sender’s name.

Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881. M234 A-E. 962 rolls. This series is organized by agency, then by date.
M234A, Rolls 1-200
M234B, Rolls 201-400
M234C, Rolls 401-600
M234D, Rolls 601-800
M234E, Rolls 801-962

Report Books of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1838-1885. M348. 53 rolls.

Reports of Inspection of the Field Jurisdictions of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1873-1900. M1070. 60 rolls.

Superintendent's Annual Narrative and Statistical Reports from Field Jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1907-1938. M1011. 6 rolls.

Indians at Work, 1933-1944, Record Group 75, Bureau of Indian Affairs. 5 boxes. Monthly periodical published by the Office of Indian Affairs.

Florida, Seminole Agency

Agency Subject Files Correspondence, compiled 1934 – 1952, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ARC 279401. 16 boxes. While this collection does include records pertaining to specific individuals, it is organized by subject matter and does not contain a personal name finding aid. See “Scope and Content” in ARC for more information. Privacy restrictions apply to portions of this collection. Consult with an archivist before proceeding.

Seminole Agency, Miscellaneous Records, Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 1 box. Mostly dating from the 1950s, these unprocessed records are a continuation of the Agency Subject Files Correspondence.

Michigan Superintendency

Records of the Michigan Superintendency, 1814-1851. M1. 71 rolls.

North Carolina (Eastern) Cherokees

Correspondence of the Eastern Division Pertaining to Cherokee Removal, April-December 1838. M1475. 2 rolls.

Selected Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs Relating to the Cherokees of North Carolina, 1851-1905. M1059. 7 rolls.

Cherokee Indian Agency, Record Group 75, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency document the daily lives of the people of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Despite the interest of this material to researchers seeking information about an individual, most of the collection is arranged chronologically or by subject matter. For detailed information including folder lists, consult the RG 75 finding aid.

Researchers interested in the history of the Eastern Cherokee should consult John R. Finger’s Cherokee Americans: The Eastern Band of Cherokees in the Twentieth Century (available in the staff library). It heavily relies on the Cherokee Indian Agency records.

Privacy restrictions apply to portions of this collection. Consult with an archivist before proceeding.

The following series have particular value for researching personal histories.

General Record Correspondence, Chronological Correspondence File, 9 boxes. ARC 279332. Contains telegrams, letters, and memoranda received from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, individual Indians, the Cherokee Tribal Council, business firms, state and local government officials and private individuals relating to expenditures and accounting of funds, supplies and equipment, education of Cherokee students, lands, censuses, and other programs and activities of the Cherokee Indian Agency.

General Record Correspondence, Subject-Numeric Files, 18 boxes. ARC 279336. The correspondence, divided into 36 broad subject areas and 92 sub-categories, contains exchanges between the Superintendent and the Commissioner and other officials of the Office of Indian Affairs, other Federal agencies and employees, officials of the State of North Carolina and the counties containing and surrounding the Cherokee Indian Agency, private individuals and business firms, officers of social, civic and philanthropic institutions and associations, and individual Cherokee Indians. Typical subjects covered are the accounting and distribution of monies to the Cherokees; the operation, staffing and improvement of the Schools; hiring, terminating and transferring of teachers and staff; enrollment of individuals as Cherokee Indians; trespass of Indian Land and cutting of timber thereon; arranging for Cherokee students to be admitted to other Indian schools such as Carlisle; military service and conscription of Cherokees during World War I; concern over the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic; the economic, physical and moral well-being of the Cherokees; and the settling of disputes between individual Cherokees by the Superintendent.

Subject Numeric Decimal Correspondence, Indian Field Service Filing System, 89 boxes. ARC 279370. This record series contains both incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence: reports, memos, invoices, forms, telegrams, blueprints, photographs and drawings are attached. Also included is correspondence between the Superintendent and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington, other Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officials, the Cherokee Indian Agency staff, Indians, state and local officials, the general public and individuals. Correspondence with organizations and businesses make up the bulk of the material. Day-to-day administration as well as concern for and development of policies toward the Cherokee is also represented.

Records Relating to Activities of the Civilian Conservation Corp, Indian Division, 3 boxes. ARC 279381. Records include project cost reports and project authorizations, project progress reports, correspondence, ledgers and balance sheets. Other records pertain to funds, appropriations, employees, equipment, and enrollees.

Oklahoma (Southern Superintendency)

Records of the Southern Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1832-1870. M640. 22 rolls.

Oregon Superintendency

Records of the Oregon Superintendency, 1848-1873. M2. 29 rolls.

Seminole Agency (See Florida above)


Tennessee Indian Agency

Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency in Tennessee, 1801-1835. M208. 14 rolls. Available on Footnote.

Washington (State) Superintendency

Records of the Washington Superintendency, 1853-1874.


Locations

Information about the National Archives at Atlanta

5780 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia 30260
Telephone: 770-968-2100
E-mail: atlanta.archives@nara.gov
Website: http://www.archives.gov/southeast/

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References





External Sources

We encourage Researcher Input to links to articles and other resources.

Published Resources

You can search for a copy of the publications below at a library near you by using WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/.

Foreman, Grant. Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians. Third ed. University of Oklahoma Press, 1972. [Reading Room]

Hill, Edward E., comp. Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. [Staff Library]

Kirkham, E. Kay. Our Native Americans and Their Records of Genealogical Value. 2 vols. Logan, Ut.: The Everton Publishers, Inc., 1980. [Reading Room]

Tiller, Veronica E. Velarde, comp., ed. American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1996. [Staff Library]

Washburn, Wilcomb E. The American Indian and the United States: A Documentary History. 4 vols. New York: Random House, 1973. [Reading Room]

For additional information concerning general Cherokee research, see: Thomas G. Mooney. Exploring Your Cherokee Ancestry. Tahlequah, Okla.: Cherokee National Historical Society, Inc., 1992.

Online Resources

Access Genealogy, Native American Indian Genealogy (information and databases)
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/

Cyndis List, Native American (numerous links to additional resources)
http://www.cyndislist.com/native.htm

National Archives, Native American Records (articles, tutorials, and inventories)
http://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/index.html

National Archives Southwest Region (Fort Worth, Texas), Native American microfilm
http://www.archives.gov/southwest/finding-aids/native-american-microfilm.html

Wantabes and Outalucks: Searching for Indian Ancestors in Federal Records
http://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/ancestor-search.html

Digital Library of Georgia, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu


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