1880 Cherokee Nation Census

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The census of 1880 was authorized by an act of the Cherokee National Council Senate Bill No. 33 on December 1, 1879.

This is a transcription of the index for Schedule One and includes all nine districts.  This index can be found on microfilm through the LDS organization on microfilm #989204.  National Archives also has a microfilm index for this census. It is found on Roll # 7RA07

The introduction to the NARA index, written by Thelma Defrates, indicates it was used by the Dawes Commission to verify citizenship in the Cherokee Nations for the purpose of land allotment.

Section 3 of Article III, an amendment to the Constitution and laws of the Cherokee Nation, provided for the taking of a census of the population of each district of the Cherokee Nation. The amendment provided for a census to be taken in the year 1870 and every succeeding ten years thereafter for the purpose of determining the number of delegates for each district to the Cherokee National Council.

The census consisted of six schedules for each of the nine Cherokee districts.  The nine districts are:

Illinois
Flint
Cooweescoowee
Canadian
Saline
Tahlequah
Goingsnake
Sequoyah
Delaware
with 67 pages and 2399 individuals
with 44 pages and 1552 individuals
with 99 pages and 3537 individuals
with 45 pages and 1594 individuals
with 38 pages and 1355 individuals
with 81 pages and 2903 individuals
with 60 pages and 2160 individuals
with 41 pages and 1455 individuals
with 88 pages and 3130 individuals

Also included are lists of individuals in the Shawnee tribe and the Delaware tribe enumerated in the Cherokee Nation.

The six schedules are:

Schedule One
Schedule Two
Schedule ThreeSchedule FourSchedule FiveSchedule Six
Citizens of the Cherokee Nation
Orphans under 16 years of age
Persons who claim right to citizenship but whose claims have been denied by the Cherokee GovernmentPersons who claim right to citizenship and whose cases have not been heard
Intruders – Persons not recognized as citizens of the Cherokee Nation
Persons legally residing in the Cherokee Nation under permit of the Cherokee Nation Or the United States

Schedule Three for Cooweescoowee District is incomplete.

After finding a name on this index you may wish to check the census itself or the NARA index.  The information listed on the census varies among the schedules.  Generally, names of the individuals, their age, sex, nativity, marital status and occupation are given.  Other information pertaining to acreage of land, improvements and agriculture products is listed on Schedule One.

The Dawes Commission was authorized by an Act of Congress June 28, 1898 to prepare tribal membership rolls for each tribe.  The tribal membership rolls were closed on March 4, 1907. Hand notations on the NARA index made by the Dawes Commission include Dawes enrollment card numbers, denied card numbers and other Roll numbers of the individuals.  The notation “DEAD”is stamped beside the names of individuals who were deceased at the time of enrollment for land allotment.

The Dawes Commission used this census and it appears to be the first enumeration of “white settlers” and “engross” made in the Cherokee Nation West.  The 1880 census was used as a basis for a “per capita payment” made to the citizens of the Cherokee Nation. The payment was authorized by an act of the Cherokee National Council of December 31, 1879. This was known as the Lipe Roll and the original is in the custody of the Fort Worth Archives Branch of The National Archives.

The census of 1880 was authorized by an act of the Cherokee National Council Senate Bill No. 33 on December 1, 1879. This is a transcription of the index for Schedule One and includes all nine districts.  This index can be found on microfilm through the LDS organization on microfilm #989204.  National Archives also has a microfilm index for this census. It is found on Roll #7RA07

Includes the following Districts: Illinois, Flint, Cooweescoowee, Canadian, and Saline

Please refer to the following information when reading this census.

N cher
A col
A co
A white
A creek
A cree
A choc
A osage
A S
A C
Native Cherokee
Adopted colored or Negro
Adopted colored or Negro
Adopted Caucasian
Adopted Creek
Adopted Creek
Adopted Choctaw
Adopted Osage
Adopted Shawnee?
Adopted Chickasaw?

Thanks to Jan Gilles for the original records



MLA Source Citation:

Indian Census Records: A directory of resources providing online access to Indian Census records. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 17 August 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/1880-cherokee-nation-census.htm - Last updated on Jul 6th, 2013


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