Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek, 1896
Please read the following for a better understanding of these pages.
This is the Index of Cherokees, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek found on microfilm M1650 obtained from the
National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas. If your ancestor was on the 1896
Cherokee Census they probably will NOT be on this index. This is NOT
the 1896 CENSUS. It is an index of people who were NOT recognized by the
Cherokee Tribe and subsequently made application to be considered for
Applications from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee Area Office, Relating to the Enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes under the Act of 1896
On the 54 rolls of this microfilm publication, M1650, are reproduced applications for enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes under the act of June 10, 1896. These applications, housed in the National Archives-southwest Region, Fort Worth, Texas, were maintained by the
Muskogee Area Office and are part of the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75.
Applications from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee
Area Office, Relating to Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes
under the Act of 1896.
View Application Index
3, 1893, Congress authorized the
establishment of a commission to negotiate
agreements with each of the Five Civilized
Tribes--Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek
and Seminole. Senator Henry
Dawes of Massachusetts, undertook the
compilation of a complete Indian census that
could be used as a basis for the allotment
of tribal lands to individual Indians.
Prior to 1896, the tribes exercised sole jurisdiction over tribal citizenship, but in that year Congress passed an act, allowing the Commission to hear and "determine the applications of all persons who may apply to them for citizenship and determine the right of such applicants to
be admitted and enrolled." The Dawes Commission issued notices on July 8, 1896, announcing that it would accept applications for citizenship until September 10, 1896. The application had to be signed and sworn statement containing all the facts supporting the claim, and the applicant had to provide proof that
a copy had been furnished to the tribal chief. Congress required the Commission to make its decision within 90 days of receipt of the application and authorized an appeal process through the recently established US Court in Indian Territory.
application and appeal process had been underway for
two years when Congress passed the Curtis Act on June 28, 1898, (30 Stat. 495). The act authorized the Commission to prepare for each tribe new citizenship rolls that incorporated names of successful applicants.
This "Final Roll" became the only roll used for allotment purposes.
This microfilm publication comprises the applications for enrollment of Cherokee, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks, as well as those of former slaves (freemen) of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes. The National Archives has not located any Seminole applications.
Applicants to the Commission included Indians by blood; spouses of Indians; although the spouses themselves were not Indians by blood; and freedmen who had formerly belonged to members of the Five Civilized Tribes.
were in active use, most applications were filed
numerically according to application numbers assigned
by the Commission. Applications from Chickasaw
and Choctaw freedman were filed separately from those
of other applicants for citizenship in the two tribes.
The commission maintained some applications, called Choctaw-Chickasaw Duplicates, in alphabetical arrangement. Despite their title, these files do not duplicate any of the applications filed numerically.
To facilitate access to the numerically-filed applications, the Commission prepared several indexes. These have been consolidated into one index and are reproduced on roll 1 of this publication.
Typical application files include supporting affidavits, depositions, letters, memorials, answers of tribal attorneys objecting to enrollment, lists of evidence, and receipts for service of papers. also included are notices of appeal to the US Court in Indian Territory at
either South McAlester or Ardmore and a reference to the case number assigned by the court. While several files contain only a receipt for papers signed by the Clerk of the US Court, a few files document in great detail the applicant's life, occasionally there are marriage licenses, photographs, and judgments issued
by the US court. some records provide background information on the applicant including name, post office address, age, degree of blood, lists of children and their ages, and other relatives. Every document within the application files has been microfilmed.
On the last roll of microfilm are miscellaneous files and applications that were received to late for consideration. These records are not included in the index on roll 1.
Related records are found in other series within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, RE 75. The Final Rolls, also known as the "Dawes Rolls," have been reproduced as Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 (M1186). These enrollment cards include both
individuals with tribal citizenship before 1896 and those who were approved for citizenship by the Dawes Commission. The applications for enrollment on the Final Rolls has been reproduced as Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 (M1301). Records relating
to enrollment and allotment for the Five Civilized Tribes, including appeals to the US Court of Indian Territory and cases hard before the Choctaw, Chickasaw Citizenship court in Tishomingo and McAlester, are housed in the National Archives-Southwest Region (entries #60A-101, and 114-126). Related records for the
Five Civilized Tribes are housed at the Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.
Meg Hacker wrote these introductory remarks and prepared the records for filming. Volunteers of the National Archives-Southwest Region created the consolidated index.
We wish to acknowledge Jan Gilles, providing these census records so we can present them to our readers. Work of
individuals like her are what make our pages grow!! Her original work was
a collection of images, these have now been typed
and are now in a database.